Informative historical fiction written in a quaint, entertaining style.


Sixteen-year-old Klara must survive numerous obstacles and convince her traditional family to let her go to America.

In 1953, Klara lives on a dairy farm and is the oldest sibling in a very large family. She’s never been off her Dutch island in the North Sea; her abusive, highly religious father fears mainland influences. Her parents insist she must stay put and marry rich farmer’s son Luuc. Then a deadly hurricane causes flooding, changing everything. Thanks to a daring rescue by two fishermen, Klara and her family are evacuated, but their farm is destroyed. When Klara falls in love with Machiel, one of the fishermen, and wants to marry him instead, Father won’t hear of it. With the floodwaters receding and cleanup efforts commencing, Klara must decide whom—or even if—she’ll marry. If she doesn’t choose Luuc, the whole island will ostracize her for bringing shame to her family and not abiding by tradition. But Luuc turns out to be a violent misogynist who will make Klara’s life miserable: She must find a way to save herself, even if it means leaving everything behind. The backdrop of real historical events lends interest to this tale. The relative simplicity of the language and writing style make the difficult subject matter, including patriarchy, religion, misogyny, physical and sexual assault, stillbirth, suicidal thoughts, and mass death, accessible to reluctant readers.

Informative historical fiction written in a quaint, entertaining style. (floor plans, map, author’s note, timeline) (Historical fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 3, 2023

ISBN: 9781553806745

Page Count: 300

Publisher: Ronsdale Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2023

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There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.


The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

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From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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