SPYING ON MISS MULLER by Eve Bunting

SPYING ON MISS MULLER

Age Range: 9 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Miss Müller -- half-Irish, half-German -- is a favorite of the girls at Belfast's Alveara School until the start of WW II. Then, caught up in the anti-German fervor of the day, 13-year-old Jessie and her friends convince themselves that the teacher is creeping up to the roof to signal German observers with her flashlight. After one of these forays, Belfast is bombed for the first time, and the girls resolve to catch Miss Müller in the act. Jessie joins in, saddened because the woman has always been exceptionally kind to her. But war is war; the girls begin their vigil, and learn that the teacher is engaged in romantic -- and not wartime -- assignations. Even so, the girls' discovery forces Miss Müller to leave the school and Jessie, at least, must live with her guilt. Bunting (The In-Between Days, 1994, etc.) shows the confusion and hysteria that wartime brings to the lives of the young, and in the process paints a true-to-life and often very funny picture of boarding school life in a more innocent era. The one false note is Jessie's belated and rather facile acceptance of her father's alcoholism (somehow linked to Miss Müller's acceptance of her own father's Nazism), but it's not enough to spoil a good story well told. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: April 24th, 1995
ISBN: 0-395-69172-9
Page count: 181pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1995




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