A high-stakes historical adventure full of emotional, social and political drama.

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Historical middle-grade fiction about a 12-year-old Scottish girl forced to flee her home and travel to the New World in the year 1692.

Debut novelist Macreery tells thestory of Dory MacDonald, a survivor of the massacre of Glencoe, an attack on three Scottish settlements ordered by the king of England in the late 1600s. The book begins as the MacDonald clan is ambushed by members of a rival clan in league with William of Orange, the British monarch. Dory, along with her parents and a small fraction of her clan, escapes the attack. As the group takes cover in the freezing woods of the Scottish Highlands, Dory’s mother falls ill and dies. Before Dory can even confront her grief, her father insists that she leave Scotland and travel to the New World, where she may take refuge with her mother’s sister in a place called Massachusetts. Although devastated by her apparent banishment, Dory comes to understand that since she is the granddaughter of her clan’s chief, she has a duty to survive. As war continues in Scotland, Dory must get to safety to preserve the history of her people. She thus begins a journey, first trekking across Scotland and then traveling the sea. As Macreery depicts the difficult voyage, she emphasizes Dory’s loneliness and fear while providing fascinating details about Scotland’s people, terrain and wildlife, as well as the hardships of ocean crossings in the 17th century. When Dory finally arrives in Massachusetts, the action continues as she finds herself in the midst of the famous Salem witch trials. Macreery’s well-researched story is chock-full of historical information seamlessly woven into Dory’s quest to extricate herself from one dangerous situation after another. In light of the death and devastation presented throughout the book, this story isn’t for the faint of heart. Regardless, the fast pace and suspense-filled pages will keep younger teens engrossed while providing notable history lessons.

A high-stakes historical adventure full of emotional, social and political drama.

Pub Date: April 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-1478733461

Page Count: 188

Publisher: Outskirts Press Inc.

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2014


From the Who's in Your Book? series

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit.

Readers try to dislodge a monster from the pages of this emotive and interactive read-aloud.

“OH NO!” the story starts. “There’s a monster in your book!” The blue, round-headed monster with pink horns and a pink-tipped tail can be seen cheerfully munching on the opening page. “Let’s try to get him out,” declares the narrator. Readers are encouraged to shake, tilt, and spin the book around, while the monster careens around an empty background looking scared and lost. Viewers are exhorted to tickle the monster’s feet, blow on the page, and make a really loud noise. Finally, shockingly, it works: “Now he’s in your room!” But clearly a monster in your book is safer than a monster in your room, so he’s coaxed back into the illustrations and lulled to sleep, curled up under one page and cuddling a bit of another like a child with their blankie. The monster’s entirely cute appearance and clear emotional reactions to his treatment add to the interactive aspect, and some young readers might even resist the instructions to avoid hurting their new pal. Children will be brought along on the monster’s journey, going from excited, noisy, and wiggly to calm and steady (one can hope).

Playful, engaging, and full of opportunities for empathy—a raucous storytime hit. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6456-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2017


From the Once Upon a World series

A nice but not requisite purchase.

A retelling of the classic fairy tale in board-book format and with a Mexican setting.

Though simplified for a younger audience, the text still relates the well-known tale: mean-spirited stepmother, spoiled stepsisters, overworked Cinderella, fairy godmother, glass slipper, charming prince, and, of course, happily-ever-after. What gives this book its flavor is the artwork. Within its Mexican setting, the characters are olive-skinned and dark-haired. Cultural references abound, as when a messenger comes carrying a banner announcing a “FIESTA” in beautiful papel picado. Cinderella is the picture of beauty, with her hair up in ribbons and flowers and her typically Mexican many-layered white dress. The companion volume, Snow White, set in Japan and illustrated by Misa Saburi, follows the same format. The simplified text tells the story of the beautiful princess sent to the forest by her wicked stepmother to be “done away with,” the dwarves that take her in, and, eventually, the happily-ever-after ending. Here too, what gives the book its flavor is the artwork. The characters wear traditional clothing, and the dwarves’ house has the requisite shoji screens, tatami mats and cherry blossoms in the garden. The puzzling question is, why the board-book presentation? Though the text is simplified, it’s still beyond the board-book audience, and the illustrations deserve full-size books.

A nice but not requisite purchase. (Board book/fairy tale. 3-5)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7915-8

Page Count: 24

Publisher: Little Simon/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Oct. 11, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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