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WISHING FOR TOMORROW by Hilary McKay Kirkus Star


by Hilary McKay and illustrated by Nick Maland

Pub Date: Jan. 5th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4424-0169-3
Publisher: McElderry

Sequels to beloved classics penned by contemporary authors have at best a mixed track record, and the author of the quirky Casson family novels makes an unlikely successor to Frances Hodgson Burnett. As such, this slyly engaging follow-up to A Little Princess is a welcome surprise. Sara Crewe and Becky have left Miss Minchin’s academy for girls. Miss Minchin is shattered, Lavinia bored, Ermengarde and Lottie bereft—and bigger changes are afoot. Alice, Becky’s assertive replacement, refuses to sleep in the attic; she’s no doormat. The discovery that girls can attend Oxford prompts Lavinia to put her strong will to use; she vows to go herself, an opportunity she recognizes was denied to the young Miss Minchin. Struggling to fill Sara’s shoes, caring for Lottie and feeding the rat Melchisedec, sturdy Ermengarde discovers her own strength. These characters, including Sara in a small but key role, are more nuanced than their originals, and McKay is never didactic. Her signature charm and light touch, echoed in Maland’s illustrations, complement Burnett’s renowned creation. The result is storytelling magic. (Historical fiction. 8-12)