Just like Darleen—a spunky blend of darling and daring.

DARING DARLEEN, QUEEN OF THE SCREEN

Child actor Darleen’s reality begins to resemble her weekly silent-film adventures.

The once-beloved young “Darling Darleen” is now, in 1914, grown up at 12 and rebranded as “Daring Darleen,” starring in weekly adventurous serial silent films. Despite an absent mother, Darleen’s life has become routine at Matchless, her family’s struggling film studio in Fort Lee, New Jersey, the early hub of American filmmaking. When her family learns of the upcoming debut of the Strand Theatre in Manhattan, they contrive a fake kidnapping of Darleen on opening night to draw publicity to her film series. When the stunt turns into not only a real kidnapping, but the abduction of Victorine Berryman, “the Poor Little Rich Girl herself, orphaned scion of the Berryman railroad empire,” real adventures begin. In fittingly episodic chapters packed with smart dialogue, plucky characters, and dastardly villains, the girls must continuously save themselves from kidnappers out to steal Victorine’s fortune at any cost. As Darleen continues to uphold her acting duties throughout the shenanigans, readers learn early tricks of the trade, with an appearance by groundbreaking filmmaker Alice Guy Blaché adding to the fun; the apparently all-white cast underscores the deep roots of #OscarsSoWhite. True to Darleen’s work, the story leaves an open ending for a sequel. The concluding author’s note offers even more facts about the silent-film age.

Just like Darleen—a spunky blend of darling and daring. (Historical fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5362-0619-7

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2020

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A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit...

NUMBER THE STARS

The author of the Anastasia books as well as more serious fiction (Rabble Starkey, 1987) offers her first historical fiction—a story about the escape of the Jews from Denmark in 1943.

Five years younger than Lisa in Carol Matas' Lisa's War (1989), Annemarie Johansen has, at 10, known three years of Nazi occupation. Though ever cautious and fearful of the ubiquitous soldiers, she is largely unaware of the extent of the danger around her; the Resistance kept even its participants safer by telling them as little as possible, and Annemarie has never been told that her older sister Lise died in its service. When the Germans plan to round up the Jews, the Johansens take in Annemarie's friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is their daughter; later, they travel to Uncle Hendrik's house on the coast, where the Rosens and other Jews are transported by fishing boat to Sweden. Apart from Lise's offstage death, there is little violence here; like Annemarie, the reader is protected from the full implications of events—but will be caught up in the suspense and menace of several encounters with soldiers and in Annemarie's courageous run as courier on the night of the escape. The book concludes with the Jews' return, after the war, to homes well kept for them by their neighbors.

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit of riding alone in Copenhagen, but for their Jews. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 1989

ISBN: 0547577095

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1989

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A stellar collaboration that introduces an important and intriguing individual to today’s readers.

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BECOMING MUHAMMAD ALI

From the Becoming Ali series , Vol. 1

Two bestselling authors imagine the boyhood of the man who became the legendary boxing icon Muhammad Ali.

Cassius was a spirited child growing up in segregated Louisville, Kentucky. He had a loving home with his parents and younger brother, Rudy. Granddaddy Herman also was an important figure, imparting life lessons. His parents wanted him to succeed in school, but Cassius had difficulty reading and found more pleasure in playing and exploring outdoors. Early on, he and Rudy knew the restrictions of being African American, for example, encountering “Whites Only” signs at parks, but the brothers dreamed of fame like that enjoyed by Black boxer Joe Louis. Popular Cassius was especially close to Lucius “Lucky” Wakely; despite their academic differences, their deep connection remained after Lucky received a scholarship to a Catholic school. When Cassius wandered into the Columbia Boxing Gym, it seemed to be destiny, and he developed into a successful youth boxer. Told in two voices, with prose for the voice of Lucky and free verse for Cassius, the narrative provides readers with a multidimensional view of the early life of and influences on an important figure in sports and social change. Lucky’s observations give context while Cassius’ poetry encapsulates his drive, energy, and gift with words. Combined with dynamic illustrations by Anyabwile, the book captures the historical and social environment that produced Muhammad Ali.

A stellar collaboration that introduces an important and intriguing individual to today’s readers. (bibliography) (Biographical novel. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-49816-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 4, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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