Imogene's Last Stand

Common Sense Media says

Tenacious girl fights to preserve her historical society.





What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can read the book superficially and will still learn a lot about the value of understanding our history. Readers who are convinced by Imogene's arguments can dig in to history more deeply by reading more about the historic heroes listed in the front and end papers of the book.

Positive messages

Imogene stands by her beliefs and is rewarded for doing so.

Positive role models

Imogene does the research needed to back up her activism and shows perseverance in working to save her beloved historical society.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Imogene is a girl with a mission. While she does protest the loss of the local historical society, her actions are appropriate acts of civil disobedience.

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Kids say

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What's the story?

Imogene loves history and has since she was a tiny baby. Her favorite place in the whole wide world is the neglected Liddleville Historical Society set in a dusty forgotten building at the end of Main Street. Imogene works hard to clean the place up and get it ready for visitors, but nobody comes. Even worse, the city wants to knock down the building to make way for a shoelace factory! Can Imogene convince them that history matters more than shoelaces?

Is it any good?


Effortlessly including historical quotes throughout Imogene's dialogue, this book manages to be entertaining and educational. Imogene's plight and earnestness will have kids rooting for her even if they haven't given historical preservation a second thought. For kids who are intrigued, the book offers a way to learn more with front and end pages that showcase Imogene's inspirational heroes.

 The pen and ink illustrations are detailed as befits a book with lots of dusty artifacts in the background. Imogene's determination comes through, too, as the pictures effectively depict her stomping, shaking her fist, and hollering to be heard. With her brown bob and high spirits, she looks a little bit like a studious version of Beverly Cleary's Ramona.

There is lots of detail in the well-wrought scenery and Imogene's determination comes through loud and clear in every picture.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about who Imogene quotes throughout the book. Using the front and end pages, kids can explore the source of the italicized quotes and the actual context of each statement.

  • Parents can also talk about ways people protest in their own communities, including lawn signs during elections, parades, gatherings in front of the state capital, and petitions. Why do people do these things? Does it work? Why or why not?

  • Families can take a field trip to their own local historical society. They can also visit historic districts or museums in their communities. What kinds of things are kept there? Who decides what has historical value and what doesn't?

  • Kids can think about their own family histories. How do we honor our own stories and why? Families can explore sentimental reasons for historic preservation as well as the educational value of preserving our past.

  • Kids might want to create their own historical displays using art supplies to create "artifacts." What sorts of things would they want to have in their museums? What important historical events would they want to honor or celebrate?

Book details

Author:Candace Fleming
Illustrator:Nancy Carpenter
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House
Publication date:October 13, 2009
Number of pages:40
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 8
Read aloud:4
Read alone:8

This review of Imogene's Last Stand was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 5 year old Written bylckitty December 10, 2009
kid loves it
What other families should know
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