A summer-camp story that’s just right for summer reading. (Fiction. 9-12)

CAMP SHADY CROOK

When a skillful (but lonely) con artist meets up with a clever (but friendless) trickster at summer camp, the outcome is sure to leave other campers suffering misfortune.

Archie Drake’s starting his fourth summer at the woefully run-down Camp Shady Brook, cleverly misguiding other campers into thinking he’s rich—very far from the truth. But the misperceptions help him with his cons, aided by Oliver, a counselor-in-training. And sometimes, Archie even rewards some of the other, poorer campers with bits of his payout, helpfully assuaging his underactive conscience. Vivian Cheng is new to Shady Brook, but she’s there because of a scam she participated in at school that’s left her parents feeling little trust in her. Under Archie’s reluctant tutelage, she readily learns the tricks of the con trade while avoiding the attention of the camp director, the evil “Miss Hiss.” But after the pair challenge each other to con two undeserving campers, the situation quickly spirals out of control, and both begin to experience the hurtful consequences of their acts. Writing alternately in tightly focused third-person from the two protagonists’ points of view, Malone infuses into each enough believable personality to carry the story along to its satisfying conclusion. Vivian’s name suggests she’s Chinese-American, but Archie (and most of the rest of the kids) seems to be default white.

A summer-camp story that’s just right for summer reading. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: May 21, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5344-2226-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit...

NUMBER THE STARS

The author of the Anastasia books as well as more serious fiction (Rabble Starkey, 1987) offers her first historical fiction—a story about the escape of the Jews from Denmark in 1943.

Five years younger than Lisa in Carol Matas' Lisa's War (1989), Annemarie Johansen has, at 10, known three years of Nazi occupation. Though ever cautious and fearful of the ubiquitous soldiers, she is largely unaware of the extent of the danger around her; the Resistance kept even its participants safer by telling them as little as possible, and Annemarie has never been told that her older sister Lise died in its service. When the Germans plan to round up the Jews, the Johansens take in Annemarie's friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is their daughter; later, they travel to Uncle Hendrik's house on the coast, where the Rosens and other Jews are transported by fishing boat to Sweden. Apart from Lise's offstage death, there is little violence here; like Annemarie, the reader is protected from the full implications of events—but will be caught up in the suspense and menace of several encounters with soldiers and in Annemarie's courageous run as courier on the night of the escape. The book concludes with the Jews' return, after the war, to homes well kept for them by their neighbors.

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit of riding alone in Copenhagen, but for their Jews. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 1989

ISBN: 0547577095

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1989

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Japanese-American Aki and her family operate an asparagus farm in Westminster, Calif., until they are summarily uprooted and...

SYLVIA & AKI

Two third-grade girls in California suffer the dehumanizing effects of racial segregation after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in 1942 in this moving story based on true events in the lives of Sylvia Mendez and Aki Munemitsu.

Japanese-American Aki and her family operate an asparagus farm in Westminster, Calif., until they are summarily uprooted and dispatched to an internment camp in Poston, Ariz., for the duration of World War II. As Aki endures the humiliation and deprivation of the hot, cramped barracks, she wonders if there’s “something wrong with being Japanese.” Sylvia’s Mexican-American family leases the Munemitsu farm. She expects to attend the local school but faces disappointment when authorities assign her to a separate, second-rate school for Mexican kids. In response, Sylvia’s father brings a legal action against the school district arguing against segregation in what eventually becomes a successful landmark case. Their lives intersect after Sylvia finds Aki’s doll, meets her in Poston and sends her letters. Working with material from interviews, Conkling alternates between Aki and Sylvia’s stories, telling them in the third person from the war’s start in 1942 through its end in 1945, with an epilogue updating Sylvia’s story to 1955.

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-337-7

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

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