A poignant, dignified tribute to Ury who, as a Jew during World War II, was murdered by her countrymen for whom she had...

NESTHÄKCHEN AND THE WORLD WAR

A uniquely sentimental look at World War I through the eyes of a preteen German girl.

Though still immensely popular in Germany, Ury’s ten Nesthäkchen books are virtually unknown in the United States, an omission Lehrer looks to correct with this fine translation, complete with notes and a brief but highly informative introduction. The book is an engaging tale of two years in the life of Annemarie Braun, a Berlin doctor’s daughter most often referred to by the narrator as "Nesthäkchen,” a wonderfully appropriate sobriquet reserved for spoiled children. Separated from her parents by the war, Annemarie nonetheless lives a comfortable life with her grandmother, siblings, girlfriends and even a cook. The narrative traces her often wildly extravagant, juvenile reactions to the vicissitudes of war. Mercurial by nature, youthfully innocent and self-absorbed due to her social standing, Annemarie filters her experiences of war through her personality in ways that can rarely be deeply felt by the reader, who watches as she flits from one emotion to another, despondent on one page, exultant on the next. Her most sustained behavior proves to be the cruelty she evinces toward a new girl at her school, a long campaign of ill-treatment for which she must eventually seek redemption. Her story is ultimately one of growth through sacrifice, and, not surprisingly, Annemarie matures into a generous, likable young woman by the novel’s end and receives abundant karmic reward for her goodness. Lehrer’s infrequent annotations are precise and cogent, though concerned primarily with military matters sometimes to the exclusion of cultural subjects. With its stilted diction and narrative air of bemused didacticism resembling perhaps nothing more in the American canon than the Horatio Alger books, Nesthäkchen and the World War is no longer likely to appeal to the juvenile audience for which it was originally penned, but Nesthäkchen could, and probably deserves to, find her place in the classroom alongside Ragged Dick as an important glimpse into the spirit of a long-gone age.

A poignant, dignified tribute to Ury who, as a Jew during World War II, was murdered by her countrymen for whom she had written with so much loyalty and love.

Pub Date: May 22, 2006

ISBN: 978-0-595-39729-7

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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A familiar but heartfelt romance for easygoing readers.

ADORKABLE

In O’Gorman’s YA debut, two best friends try to fool people into thinking that they’re in love—and then discover a new facet of their relationship.

Sally Spitz is a frizzy-haired 17-year-old girl with a charming zeal for three things: Harry Potter (she’s a Gryffindor), Star Wars, and getting into Duke University. During her senior year of high school, she goes on a slew of miserable dates, set up by her mother and her own second-best–friend–turned-matchmaker, Lillian Hooker. Sally refuses to admit to anyone that she’s actually head over Converses in love with her longtime best friend, a boy named Baldwin Eugene Charles Kent, aka “Becks.” After a particularly awkward date, Sally devises a plan to end Lillian’s matchmaking attempts; specifically, she plans to hire someone to act as her fake boyfriend, or “F.B.F.” But before Sally can put her plan into action, a rumor circulates that Sally and Becks are already dating. Becks agrees to act as Sally’s F.B.F. in exchange for a box of Goobers and Sally’s doing his calculus homework for a month. Later, as they hold hands in the hall and “practice” make-out sessions in Becks’ bedroom, their friendship heads into unfamiliar territory. Over the course of this novel, O’Gorman presents an inviting and enjoyable account of lifelong friendship transforming into young love. Though the author’s reliance on familiar tropes may be comforting to a casual reader, it may frustrate those who may be looking for a more substantial and less predictable plot. A number of ancillary characters lack very much complexity, and the story, overall, would have benefited from an added twist or two. Even so, however, this remains a largely engaging and often endearing debut. 

A familiar but heartfelt romance for easygoing readers.

Pub Date: Dec. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64063-759-7

Page Count: 340

Publisher: Entangled: Teen

Review Posted Online: Jan. 7, 2020

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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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