A rousing read.

Cabby’s family are homesteaders in Kansas; fires and grasshoppers destroy their crops, but Cabby is determined to continue farming.

Twelve-year-old Catherine “Cabby” Potts isn’t aware that her parents may lose their claim until they force her to go work in Lady Ashford’s prairie manor. With no crops to sell, the family needs her wages. Independent-minded Cabby hates servitude and resents the classism of snooty Londoner Lady Ashford and her youngest son, Nigel. But that doesn’t stop her from matchmaking her sister, Emmeline, with Nigel, thinking the marriage will solve the family’s financial woes. To Cabby’s shock, although Nigel initially seemed interested in Emmeline, he in fact looks down on her. Cabby also discovers that Nigel and his associates are tricking her family and other homesteaders out of land they claimed for themselves. This storyline is juxtaposed with Cabby’s growing understanding of how these families acquired their land at the cost of Kiowa, Cheyenne, Kansa, and Wichita people. She becomes aware of the way her White neighbors disdain the town’s remaining Kiowa residents. With each episodic adventure narrated in Cabby’s first-person voice, Cabby earns the grudging respect of Lady Ashford and the trust of her Kiowa and White friend, Eli Lewis, a boy who works as the Ashfords’ groom. Throughout, she questions the nature of love and partnership, and, with new self-confidence, she ultimately exposes the fraudsters. Despite life’s uncertainties, one thing is clear: Cabby will determine her own path.

A rousing read. (author’s note) (Historical fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-956378-05-4

Page Count: 252

Publisher: Blue Bronco Books

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022


The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952


An emotional, much-needed historical graphic novel.

Sandy and his family, Japanese Canadians, experience hatred and incarceration during World War II.

Sandy Saito loves baseball, and the Vancouver Asahi ballplayers are his heroes. But when they lose in the 1941 semifinals, Sandy’s dad calls it a bad omen. Sure enough, in December 1941, Japan bombs Pearl Harbor in the U.S. The Canadian government begins to ban Japanese people from certain areas, moving them to “dormitories” and setting a curfew. Sandy wants to spend time with his father, but as a doctor, his dad is busy, often sneaking out past curfew to work. One night Papa is taken to “where he [is] needed most,” and the family is forced into an internment camp. Life at the camp isn’t easy, and even with some of the Asahi players playing ball there, it just isn’t the same. Trying to understand and find joy again, Sandy struggles with his new reality and relationship with his father. Based on the true experiences of Japanese Canadians and the Vancouver Asahi team, this graphic novel is a glimpse of how their lives were affected by WWII. The end is a bit abrupt, but it’s still an inspiring and sweet look at how baseball helped them through hardship. The illustrations are all in a sepia tone, giving it an antique look and conveying the emotions and struggles. None of the illustrations of their experiences are overly graphic, making it a good introduction to this upsetting topic for middle-grade readers.

An emotional, much-needed historical graphic novel. (afterword, further resources) (Graphic historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5253-0334-0

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Kids Can

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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