HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Legend Led
Author: Amy LeFeuvre
Illustrator: E. Lance
Publisher: Curiosmith, republished in 2013
Related website: www.abpub.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 8-12
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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LeFeuvre, Amy. Legend Led (published in 1886 by Butler and Tanner, The Selwood Printing Works, Frome, England; republished in 2006 by AB Publishing Inc., 3039 S. Bagley Rd., Ithaca, MI, 48847). Donald, Claud, and Eleanor (nicknamed Gypsy) Thurston are orphans. Their mother died when Gypsy was born, and their father followed her in death about six months later. Victor, their older half-brother from their father’s first marriage who was abroad at the time, arranged for them to live with a friend of their mother’s who serves as governess and tutor, Miss Gubbins, whom the children call Gubby. Victor, whom they have dubbed “the Ogre” because they think that they won’t like him, then inherits an old house from an uncle, comes home, and bring the children and Gubby to live with him. The large manor allows their imaginations to soar.
Gubby often reads stories about King Arthur and the knights to the children. Gypsy becomes interested in searching for the “Holy Grail,” which she calls the “Holy Thing.” While on an outing for her seventh birthday, she sees a strange light which she thinks might be the object of her search, follows it, gets lost, and becomes very ill. Will she recover? Does she ever find what she’s looking for? And when “the Ogre” decides to marry, what happens to the children and Gubby? Author Amelia Sophia LeFeuver (1861-1929), born in Blackheath, London, England, dedicated her life to writing and wrote many books and stories, such as Probable Sons and Teddy’s Button, that are filled with Biblical principles.
The childish hunt for the Holy Grail soon turns into a search after Jesus. Gypsy is helped in her quest by Miss Helen Scott, who finds the little girl and nurses her back health then becomes Victor’s fiancée. Gypsy in turn assists a crippled neighbor, Bob Bogus whom she thinks of as “Sir Percival,” in finding the true “Holy Light.” Legend Led is a charming story which takes place in a bygone era but has a timeless appeal. This kind of didactic fiction from the past is often considered hopelessly outdated by modern critics, but it is a far sight more wholesome than much of what is palmed off as children’s literature today, which explains why so many books like this are being reprinted by homeschool-related publishers.