SHADOWS ON THE SEA by Joan Hiatt Harlow

SHADOWS ON THE SEA

Age Range: 9 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

A clunky thriller based on a landing of Nazi spies in Maine during WWII seems bent more on instruction than on thrills. Fourteen-year-old Jill’s father is an entertainer, always on the road, so when her mother’s brother falls ill in Newfoundland, Jill must reluctantly spend the summer of 1942 with her grandmother on the coast of Maine. Her worries about her parents’ safety and her anxiety about making friends become tied together when she and the lighthouse-keeper’s son come to believe they have found a Nazi cell operating out of a neighbor’s house. The suspense deepens when Jill begins to wonder if her new girlfriend’s aunt is a member of the cell. Harlow peppers her text with details obviously meant to invoke a sense of period and place, but that end up burdening the rather predictable plot. Physical descriptions replete with references to “honey-colored hair” and “amber eyes” and a thoroughly tin ear for regional dialect complete the package, which ends up being a sort of mix between Nancy Drew and Murder, She Wrote. (Historical fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-689-84926-5
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: McElderry
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 2003




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