Take a Visual Journey Through Hillsborough or Let Little Ones Experiment With These New Reads

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Students’ Walk, a 19th-century boxwood-lined path used by Burwell School students to walk between the school and the Presbyterian church. Photo by Elizabeth Matheson

“Hidden Hillsborough: Historic Dependencies and Landscapes in a Small Southern Town”

By Preservation Fund of Hillsborough

Photos by Elizabeth Matheson • Maps by Stewart E. Dunaway

A project of the Preservation Fund of Hillsborough, “Hidden Hillsborough: Historic Dependencies and Landscapes in a Small Southern Town” is a visual journey through the barnyards, bungalows and bricks that make up the remarkable town.

Equal parts research and anecdote, the authors leave no stone unturned – literally – as they take readers on a tour of the town’s notable buildings. Using historic records, they confirm the age and original purpose of many of these structures, and then use this information to confirm or infer the names of builders and sources of materials used in their construction. From flagstones sourced from nearby quarries to plantings from neighboring states, the result was a Southern town unlike any other.

Each building held a significant purpose, and “Hidden Hillsborough” explores them all. From freestanding kitchens to slave quarters, it is clear just how different Hillsborough was at the time of its founding compared to today. Some of these original buildings can still be found in the town’s historic district, including barns, carriage houses, school buildings and smokehouses.

Thanks to well-preserved “family papers,” such as birth certificates and property and tax records, the names of those who inhabited these homes and used these structures lend a personality to the town’s history. Perhaps the most interesting chapter is the final one, entitled “Cemeteries.” It illustrates the early history of Hillsborough through its deaths, marriages and even friendships, noting the presence of the same types of trees or gravestones in different families’ graveyards.

The narrative-style collection of essays is enlivened by Elizabeth Matheson’s rich photographs, and its facts are supported by Stewart E. Dunaway’s detailed maps. An ideal holiday gift to a loved one (or yourself), “Hidden Hillsborough” is a treasure that, like the town itself, you’ll want to visit again and again.

“Charlotte the Scientist is Squished”

By Camille Andros • Illustrated by Brianne Farley

No matter how big or small a family is, everyone needs a little extra space once in a while. But exactly how much space is too much?

In “Charlotte the Scientist is Squished,” author Camille Andros poses this very relatable question – and uses the scientific method to answer it.

Brilliantly brought to life by illustrator Brianne Farley, Charlotte is a very serious scientist with a very serious problem: no matter where she goes, her many siblings crowd her, and worse, make it impossible to carry out her work. So, she decides to take on her biggest experiment yet: a trip to outer space, with all the room she could ever want.

At first, it seems like the perfect solution. She isn’t interrupted, her beakers are intact and her experiments are successful. But soon, Charlotte finds that life in space isn’t perfect – bathtime is boring with no one to blow bubbles at, dinner conversations just aren’t the same without someone to talk to and there’s nowhere to turn in case of emergencies. So what’s a young scientist to do?

Form a new hypothesis, of course!

Her problems finally solved, “Charlotte” closes with a clever explanation of the scientific method and encourages young readers to engage with the story through thoughtful questions and to email Charlotte about their own experiments.

A charming, inspirational read for all ages, “Charlotte the Scientist” is sure to delight the inquisitive children in your life.

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Morgan Weston

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