WINNIE’S WAR

In fall of 1918, the threat of Spanish influenza tops the list of Winnie’s concerns—along with her frail sister, her gentle but completely unassertive father and her mother, who remains emotionally crippled by storms from the past. The only strong member of the family, besides herself, is her grandmother, who seems far more concerned about the town society queens than her own family. Winnie fights on all fronts, but not until true tragedy hits does she realize how much she can count on the strength of her allies—and who her allies are. The first-person narrative beautifully captures Winnie’s voice and, especially, life in a small Southern town, where everyone understands that “Thank you all for coming” can mean “Get the heck out of my house,” and where the sheriff, learning of one of Winnie’s transgressions, orders her to go home and not tell her grandmother. Moss handles the large cast of characters and historical information with a deft touch, always allowing the narrative to carry the story. A multifaceted, nuanced debut. (author’s note) (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-8027-9819-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Walker

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2009

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Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure, and suspense.

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REFUGEE

In the midst of political turmoil, how do you escape the only country that you’ve ever known and navigate a new life? Parallel stories of three different middle school–aged refugees—Josef from Nazi Germany in 1938, Isabel from 1994 Cuba, and Mahmoud from 2015 Aleppo—eventually intertwine for maximum impact.

Three countries, three time periods, three brave protagonists. Yet these three refugee odysseys have so much in common. Each traverses a landscape ruled by a dictator and must balance freedom, family, and responsibility. Each initially leaves by boat, struggles between visibility and invisibility, copes with repeated obstacles and heart-wrenching loss, and gains resilience in the process. Each third-person narrative offers an accessible look at migration under duress, in which the behavior of familiar adults changes unpredictably, strangers exploit the vulnerabilities of transients, and circumstances seem driven by random luck. Mahmoud eventually concludes that visibility is best: “See us….Hear us. Help us.” With this book, Gratz accomplishes a feat that is nothing short of brilliant, offering a skillfully wrought narrative laced with global and intergenerational reverberations that signal hope for the future. Excellent for older middle grade and above in classrooms, book groups, and/or communities looking to increase empathy for new and existing arrivals from afar.

Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure, and suspense. (maps, author’s note) (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-88083-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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An outstanding new edition of this popular modern classic (Newbery Award, 1961), with an introduction by Zena Sutherland and...

ISLAND OF THE BLUE DOLPHINS

Coming soon!!

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1990

ISBN: 0-395-53680-4

Page Count: -

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2000

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