RALEIGH’S PAGE

Young Andrew’s mind’s been set afire by his teacher’s enthusiasm for the opportunities offered by America, so when his father finds him a position as page to Sir Walter Raleigh, he dares to hope for overseas excitement. Once ensconced in Raleigh’s household, he quickly becomes caught up in the web of intrigue that is Queen Elizabeth’s court. When events take Andrew, his teacher and Raleigh’s navigator to Virginia, they find themselves at the mercy of both insufficient provisions and the military captain of the enterprise, whose determination to find gold leads to the first in a tragic history of conflicts with the Native Americans. The monumental research that provides the foundation for this tale is woven effortlessly into the account of Andrew’s coming-of-age, the brutality and the prejudices of the times always evident. Armstrong walks a fine line between accurately representing the beliefs and sensibilities of 16th-century Englishmen and accommodating modern social attitudes, a feat he accomplishes neatly, between Andrew’s native teenage sense of justice and the introduction of Sky, Andrew’s Native-American friend. It’s an absorbing historical adventure from an emerging master. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 25, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-375-83319-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2007

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Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure, and suspense.

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REFUGEE

In the midst of political turmoil, how do you escape the only country that you’ve ever known and navigate a new life? Parallel stories of three different middle school–aged refugees—Josef from Nazi Germany in 1938, Isabel from 1994 Cuba, and Mahmoud from 2015 Aleppo—eventually intertwine for maximum impact.

Three countries, three time periods, three brave protagonists. Yet these three refugee odysseys have so much in common. Each traverses a landscape ruled by a dictator and must balance freedom, family, and responsibility. Each initially leaves by boat, struggles between visibility and invisibility, copes with repeated obstacles and heart-wrenching loss, and gains resilience in the process. Each third-person narrative offers an accessible look at migration under duress, in which the behavior of familiar adults changes unpredictably, strangers exploit the vulnerabilities of transients, and circumstances seem driven by random luck. Mahmoud eventually concludes that visibility is best: “See us….Hear us. Help us.” With this book, Gratz accomplishes a feat that is nothing short of brilliant, offering a skillfully wrought narrative laced with global and intergenerational reverberations that signal hope for the future. Excellent for older middle grade and above in classrooms, book groups, and/or communities looking to increase empathy for new and existing arrivals from afar.

Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure, and suspense. (maps, author’s note) (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-88083-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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An outstanding new edition of this popular modern classic (Newbery Award, 1961), with an introduction by Zena Sutherland and...

ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS

Coming soon!!

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1990

ISBN: 0-395-53680-4

Page Count: -

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2000

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