Episode # 20

Last in a Long Line of Rebels

Lisa Lewis Tyre

In this fast-paced and funny debut, Lou finds that her home is linked to the Underground Railroad—and a hidden treasure—and that old prejudices die hard. Read More »

On Sale Date:


10 + / 5 +
Nancy Paulsen Books




Last in a Long Line of Rebels

When Lou and her best friend, Benzer, pray for an exciting summer, they get more than they bargained for—as “exciting” can be defined in many ways. Before Lou knows it, the county is planning to take her house, and, in order to save it, she’s masterminding a late-night book heist to solve a century-old mystery about a cache of stolen Civil War gold. Who stole the gold? Why, her own notorious great-great-grandfather, of course. As Lou pieces together her family history, she discovers her ancestor may have also been a murderer and was certainly a slave owner. “Why do people even like history?” she wonders. Fortunately Lou’s grandmother, Bertie, the town historian and gossip, has plenty of answers for that and shows Lou that the only shame is not looking at our shameful past. When Lou uncovers the Civil War era diary written by her namesake matriarch, she begins to learn what it was like to live in a state divided over the war—and finds herself immersed in her colorful family’s struggles and the story of their changing stance on the war. Lisa Lewis Tyre’s debut novel brings delicious, laugh-out-loud life to this small Tennessee town in a novel full of intriguing mystery, strong characters and fascinating glimpses into the past. As Lou comes of age in this formative summer, she discovers that there’s a lot more she inherited from her family than their junk pile business and that it’s never too late to fight injustice.

Full of humanity, Pieces of Why is a timely story that addresses grief, healing, and forgiveness, told through the eyes of a gifted girl who hears rhythm and song everywhere in her life.

Praise for Last in a Long Line of Rebels

“Accomplished debut…. Strong secondary characters, including Lou’s thrice-divorced flirtatious grandmother, help build the strong sense of small-town community. Tyre masterfully weaves historical details into Lou’s discoveries in ways that never feel facile, while deftly and satisfyingly resolving past and present puzzles.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Louise Duncan Mayhew’s perspective in the 1860s is an intriguing contrast to Lou’s modern narration at the turn of the 21st century…. The story addresses injustice in plain language that is accessible to young readers who enjoy whodunits.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Tyre’s debut features characters that are believable in their naïveté and sense of invincibility…. Louise’s account of their summer adventures, with chapters headed by entries from a Civil War diary, should please middle-grade readers looking for a solid story with an intriguing historical connection.”

Lisa Tyre grew up in the tiniest of towns in Tennessee, where the only form of entertainment was watching her crazy family, and even crazier neighbors. As a child, she heard the story of siblings that found gold in their field, enough to pay off the family farm. Legend claimed it was Civil War gold. Whatever the truth, Lisa and her friends spent many hours searching their own backyards for treasure. Lisa now lives in Atlanta and works in Advertising/Social Media consulting. www.lisalewistyre.com