SPEEDWELL by Ann Turnbull

SPEEDWELL

Age Range: 10 - 12
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Though set in an English country village, this is no tale of pastoral beauty. The Depression has dispersed Mary's family: While her miner father is looking for work and sister Phyl is a kitchen maid at a distant manor, Mary and her mother are home with two younger children. Until she turns 12 and can get part time work, Mary's only hope for earning money is in racing her father's pigeons, including the promising Speedwell. Worn down by poverty and dreams gone awry, her practical mother is scornful of the sport; when food runs out and she cooks up three pigeons, Mary runs away. Turnbull's story demands that readers infer the details of pigeon racing, but rewards them with the subtle revelation of Mary's courage and determination. Her family's struggles become bitterly apparent with each new initiative, while Mary's simple, childish dreams of prizes and the resolution of her worries about her mother's lack of affection unleash the novel's optimism. The ending is not entirely upbeat, but it's gratifying and realistic. A striking jacket by Reg Cartwright will grab readers from the start. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1992
ISBN: 1-56402-112-2
Page count: 119pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 1992




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