Lessons From the Gypsy Camp by Elizabeth Appell

A GIRL...A GYPSY...A MURDER...A CHOICE

Lolly Candolin can deal with having no friends and a drug-addicted mother, but her alcoholic lawyer father is intolerable. At her ultimatum to quit the bottle, he hurls her pet cat -- and best friend -- off a levee into a forbidden gypsy camp. Secretly searching for Bo, Lolly discovers not only new friends, but murder and a terrible choice: Should she save an innocent gypsy man's life, or keep quiet and finally win her father's love?

Lessons From the Gypsy Camp ISBN: 0-9742652-1-7

Hardback with dust jacket

298 pages

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Price: $9.99 + s&h
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$2.99 KINDLE Edition (Amazon.com)

REVIEWS

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"Exquisite...Compelling to the adult and adolescent reader alike from its very first lines, "You can do this". Lolly Candolin, exudes optimism in the face of blatant physical, psychological, and emotional abuse on the part of her prominent attorney father. To qualify this piece of literature as a murder mystery is to only understand a small portion of the story itself - for it is much more."
--Victoria Douglas, The Compulsive Reader. Read the full review here.

"...Lolly Candolin is an irresistible young heroine in the mode of Scout (To Kill a Mockingbird). Lolly's determination to speak the truth to a family and society where hypocrisy rules makes this richly plotted and elegantly detailed novel a pleasure to read."
--Drusilla Campbell, author of Wildwood


...An excellent read. Lessons From The Gypsy Camp is multi-layered and conflict filled. Appell presents strong images and themes.
--Melissa Levine, In the Library Reviews Read the full review here

Consequences:
    Young Lollie, the central character of the book, is faced with the dilemma of making choices in her search for justice and truth. Lollie is ten years old, charming, and precocious. After a traumatic incident with her father she becomes involved with a band of gypsies on the other side of the levee.
    A series of playground scuffles and the resultant stern discipline by her teacher and her alcoholic father cause Lollie to become defiant. As the story develops she learns valuable life lessons from the gypsies. She learns to stand by her convictions.
    Elizabeth Appell has used all the elements of storytelling in this her debut novel. As she describes the berm, the levee, the manicured lawns and other diverse settings from the Sacramento Valley in California the reader becomes a participant in the story. Her plot is carefully developed. Non stop conflict and resolution kept me engrossed right up to the final heart warming surprise ending.
    The author has created colorful, believable characters. These complex relationships deal with personal issues of self acceptance, handling anger, and making good choices.
    Although the book is targeted for the young adult reader, I highly recommend this book for any age.
    Adults working through problems relating to alcoholism, parental relationships, addictive behavior, or abuse will gain new insights in their effort to rebuild these relationships. --Richard R. Blake


An engaging exploration of such issues as individualism and family obligation
    "Ten-year-old Lolly Candolin finds herself having to deal with an alcoholic father and a mother who uses medication to avoid having to deal with family issues. There is a gypsy camp outside of Lolly's [town] where she is welcomed by friendly, colorful people whom [her] father, in his role as county prosecutor, has sworn to destroy. When the town sheriff is murdered and the evidence implicates the gypsy camp leader, Lolly discovers who the real killer is. Now she must decide whether to expose the murderer (which would destroy her father's professional reputation and end any chance at securing his approval) or say nothing and let an innocent man die. Deftly embedded in a riveting story for your readers ages 8 to 14, is an engaging exploration of such issues as individualism and family obligation, the complexities of discerning right from wrong, and the consequences of pursuing truth and justice. Elizabeth Appell's Lessons From The Gypsy Camp is an especially recommended addition to school and community library fiction shelves!" --Midwest Book Review

    "At times disturbing, perhaps because of its realistic voyeurism into a home wrought with alcoholism and mean-spiritedness, Lessons from the Gypsy Camp is riveting." --Dian Moore, Midwest Book Review


    "Lessons from the Gypsy Camp" is a very compelling read, a "page turner" as advertised. I found the characters engaging, the messages important and delivered smoothly and acceptably, the plot fast-moving, even exciting. The father's change at the end is believable even though I would have bet against it earlier in the book. The writing is very good, major characters are complex and well-defined. I do think it would find an audience with any age group from middle school up." --Linda Bennett, Librarian, Kent Middle School, Kentfield, CA

    ...The lessons from the gypsy camp are well worth learning, and are made all the more entertaining by the intensely vivid and endearing characters that teach them. From the bouncing and vivacious Tick and her adoring, unconventional mother, to the simple giant Bob Bob and his lion-taming mentor Sam, Elizabeth Appell has brought to life truly believable characters, a challenge made all the more so by their innate uniqueness.
--Nancy Morris, Allbook Reviews. See the full review on Blether.


    ...Compelling to the adult and adolescent reader alike from its very first lines, "You can do this". Lolly Candolin, exudes optimism in the face of blatant physical, psychological, and emotional abuse on the part of her prominent attorney father. To qualify this piece of literature as a murder mystery is to only understand a small portion of the story itself - for it is much more. --Victoria Douglas, The Compulsive Reader. Read the full review here.

    ...A gripping tale of family trouble, community prejudice, personal responsibility & the consequences of choosing to do the wrong or right thing. --RebeccasReads.com Read the full review here


    ...A novel of fascinating characters, full of plots and sub-plots. A page-turner! --Paul Perry, author of Lost People, A Room in Ueno, and Letter From Chicago, 1932

    A heart-wrenching, well-written drama. The characters come to life under the pen of Elizabeth Appell. I felt as if I had known them many, many years. --Gail Cauble Gurley, Author and Columnist


    This book reminds me of To Kill A Mockingbird and you can't do any better than that! --Mary Lynn Roby, author of Marsh House

    ...An excellent read. Lessons From The Gypsy Camp is multi-layered and conflict filled. Appell presents strong images and themes. --Melissa Levine, In the Library Reviews Read the full review here