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WATER STREET by Patricia Reilly Giff Kirkus Star

WATER STREET

By Patricia Reilly Giff

Age Range: 9 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 2006
ISBN: 0-385-73068-3
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Bird Mallon wants to be a healer like her mother, but she has doubts about her capabilities. She also worries about her sister Annie and especially her brother Hughie, who is trying to earn money in illegal bare-knuckle fights. New neighbor Thomas Neary is Bird’s age and has troubles of his own. His father spends most of his time at the pub and leaves Thomas alone to dream and write about a better life. Thomas and Bird’s friendship becomes the catalyst for changes that affect their lives and the lives of the people they love. Revisiting the Irish immigrant experience of Sean and Nory from Nory Ryan’s Song (2000) and Maggie’s Door (2003), and introducing their children, Giff has meticulously recreated the sights, sounds and atmosphere of 1876 Brooklyn during the construction of the towers of the great suspension bridge being built across the East River. By focusing on one small group of strong, complex and believable characters, she opens a door to the past and makes it all come alive for modern young readers. Historical fiction at its best. (Historical fiction. 9-12)