SHADOW HAWK

A new Phar attempts to reunite the Two Lands of Ancient Egypt and to drive out the usurping Hyksos. Entering his service as The Leader of Ten; a young Nubian noble puts his experience as a border scout to good account on behalf of the Son of Re and the two royal princes. Using guerrilla techniques already familiar to Norton space-story fans, the Nubian archers successfully pave the way of the Egyptians to conquer the key city of the Hyksos. As usual, Andre Norton packs so much uncompromising exposition into the first half-chapter that it proves a stumbling block to many readers. But once the initial dose is swallowed, the story moves quickly to a high interest peak. Whether the author's locale is in the storied past or the imagined future, there is always the feeling of cardful research and plausible detail. No sissy stuff, this, but rich fare for the avid reader.

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 1960

ISBN: 1883937671

Page Count: 268

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1960

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LYDDIE

Abandoned by their mother, whose mental stability has been crumbling since her husband went west, Lyddie and her brother Charlie manage alone through a Vermont winter. But in the spring of 1844, without consulting them, the mother apprentices Charlie to a miller and hires Lyddie out to a tavern, where she is little better than a slave. Still, Lyddie is strong and indomitable, and the cook is friendly even if the mistress is cold and stern; Lyddie manages well enough until a run-in with the mistress sends her south to work in the mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, thus earning a better wage (in a vain hope of saving the family farm), making friends among the other girls enduring the long hours and dangerous conditions, and expanding her understanding of loyalty, generosity, and injustice (she already knows more than most people ever learn about perseverance). Knowing only her own troubled family, Lyddie is unusually reserved, even for a New Englander, With her usual discernment and consummate skill, Paterson depicts her gradually turning toward the warmth of others' kindnesses—Betsy reads Oliver Twist aloud and suggests the ultimate goal of Oberlin College; Diana teaches Lyddie to cope in the mill, setting an example that Lyddie later follows with an Irish girl who is even more naive than she had been; Quaker neighbors offer help and solace that Lyddie at first rejects out of hand. Deftly plotted and rich in incident, a well-researched picture of the period—and a memorable portrait of an untutored but intelligent young woman making her way against fierce odds.

Pub Date: March 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-525-67338-5

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2000

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THE BOXER

In 1880s New York, a young lad with inadequate means but an abundance of character uses his head, heart, and fists to battle his way out of the tenements. Johnny Woods works 12 hours a day at a sweatshop ironing men’s shirts. Since his father deserted his mother and five younger brothers and sisters, this 15-year-old youngster has valiantly toiled to help put bread on the table. Desperate for some extra cash, he signs up to box in a bar, only to get arrested—fighting was then illegal—and thrown into prison. In an unexpected twist, it’s the best thing that ever happened to him. There he meets Michael O’Shaunnessey, “Professor of the Science of Boxing,” and a “born teacher.” Returning home fit and trained, Johnny finds a paucity of job opportunities for politically unconnected and uneducated youths like himself, except in the boxing ring. There he soon piles up an impressive string of victories. Hard-working and kind, Johnny returns to school, spending his meager spare time with his five siblings, giving them by turn the treat of his undivided attention. Karr’s first-person narrative is fast-paced and instantly engrossing, and she captures her character’s dreams and dilemmas as well as the rhythm and excitement of the boxing matches, and the scenes, scents, and squalor of tenement life. Although Johnny is a little too good to be true, readers should be rooting for the kid with the killer punch and the soul of a Boy Scout both in and out of the ring. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Oct. 18, 2000

ISBN: 0-374-30921-3

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2000

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