Young Adult - General
440 Pages
Reviewed on 07/21/2016
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Author Biography

Sarah MacTavish is a small-town Texan with Yankee roots and a heart that belongs in Ireland. In addition to being a writer she is also a young adult librarian, spending her days surrounded by books and the teens who love them—basically the best job ever. She’s a big sister to her three best friends, aunt to the cutest kids on the planet, and mom to two fluffy writing buddies (who are not as helpful as they might think). She loves Star Wars, Benny Goodman, and Victorian literature.

When she isn’t writing, she’s either gaming, watching British television, or chasing down “just one more hint” on her family tree.

Sarah is a member of the Historical Novel Society, and winner of Novel Rocket’s 2014 Launch Pad Contest in the Historical Fiction category. Firebrand is her first novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Sefina Hawke for Readers' Favorite

Firebrand by Sarah MacTavish is a well written young adult historical fiction novel set in 1860. This was a year when slavery was still a part of the American culture. Firebrand follows two main characters; one living in the North and one living in the South. The perspectives of Saoirse Callahan and Westleigh Kavanagh provide an interesting contrast to each other. Saoirse Callahan sets her life on a different path when she begins to investigate dangerous fires being started in the areas surrounding her home, not realizing the amount of danger she is putting herself and her family in. Westleigh Kavanagh is an abolitionist who has to make the decision between telling his father, the sheriff, that their boarder is an escaped slave or to keep the secret.

Move over Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter and make room for Firebrand by Sarah MacTavish; a much more interesting read that is actually historically accurate. Firebrand is a book that I would have enjoyed reading during the portion of history class that studies slavery in America during the 1800s. Firebrand really pulled me in and kept me interested while also inspiring me to want to learn more about that period of history. My favorite aspect of Firebrand was the fact that the book would switch between the two perspectives, and it allowed me to understand how different things were between those living in the North and the South during the 1800s.