The Rogues

Written by Jane Yolen Robert J. Harris
Review by Cindy Vallar

The Highlands of the 19th century, sometime after 1815, are no longer a safe place for regular folk to live, for the landowners have found something more valuable to them than people – sheep. The estate factor, William Rood, and his henchmen soon come to Roddy Macallan’s village to oust the tenants, burn their farms, and slaughter whatever livestock won’t bring a profit. Roddy and his family flee for their lives. They head for Glasgow in hopes of finding either work or a ship that will take them to America. But that requires precious coin, which they don’t have, until Roddy remembers The Blessing, a gift from Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Roddy returns to his demolished family home to search for The Blessing. A sliver of moonlight reveals its location, but his joy is short lived. The laird confiscates The Blessing and orders his factor to silence Roddy. Allan Dunbar, also known as the Rogue, intervenes. He takes Roddy under his wing and soon the two outlaws formulate a plan to recover The Blessing with the help of the laird’s niece, who despises her uncle.

From the Highlands to Glasgow to Cape Fear, this riveting adventure takes the reader back to the days of the Clearances. Shock, despair, anger, and hope are but a few of the emotions this tale evokes. Roddy goes from fun-loving child to mature adult who stops at nothing to be reunited with his family. Written for young adults, this heartrending tale will appeal to readers young and old.