THE TINKER'S DAUGHTER

If there's anything worse than having a middle-aged flower child as a mother, Holly Gerard can't imagine what it could be. Paisley, as her mother has called herself since the 1960s, supports the two of them by selling antiques (read junk) out of their modest Vermont home. Holly will have none of it, longs to be ``normal,'' and molds herself in that image when glamorous teen actress Maddy Gordon moves to town and makes friendly overtures. Holly hides her humiliating home life so their fragile friendship won't shatter, even while she suspects that certain aspects of Maddy's world just don't add up. Another girl moves inCamillawith troubles that put Holly's in perspective; she starts Holly on the road to acceptance of her mother and herself as well. Hayes (Zoe's Gift, 1994, etc.) has penned a positive tale about peer pressure, coming of age, and real values in a small town. Paisley and Camilla, two delightful characters, are icing on the cake. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-525-67497-7

Page Count: 153

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1995

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GIRL'S BEST FRIEND

From the Maggie Brooklyn Mysteries series

In this series debut, Maggie Sinclair tracks down a dognapper and solves a mystery about the noises in the walls of her Brooklyn brownstone apartment building. The 12-year-old heroine, who shares a middle name—Brooklyn—with her twin brother, Finn, is juggling two dogwalking jobs she’s keeping secret from her parents, and somehow she attracts the ire of the dogs’ former walker. Maggie tells her story in the first person—she’s self-possessed and likable, even when her clueless brother invites her ex–best friend, now something of an enemy, to their shared 12th birthday party. Maggie’s attention to details helps her to figure out why dogs seem to be disappearing and why there seem to be mice in the walls of her building, though astute readers will pick up on the solution to at least one mystery before Maggie solves it. There’s a brief nod to Nancy Drew, but the real tensions in this contemporary preteen story are more about friendship and boy crushes than skullduggery. Still, the setting is appealing, and Maggie is a smart and competent heroine whose personal life is just as interesting as—if not more than—her detective work. (Mystery. 10-13)

   

 

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 967-1-59990-525-9

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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A LONG WALK TO WATER

BASED ON A TRUE STORY

Salva Dut is 11 years old when war raging in the Sudan separates him from his family. To avoid the conflict, he walks for years with other refugees, seeking sanctuary and scarce food and water. Park simply yet convincingly depicts the chaos of war and an unforgiving landscape as they expose Salva to cruelties both natural and man-made. The lessons Salva remembers from his family keep him from despair during harsh times in refugee camps and enable him, as a young man, to begin a new life in America. As Salva’s story unfolds, readers also learn about another Sudanese youth, Nya, and how these two stories connect contributes to the satisfying conclusion. This story is told as fiction, but it is based on real-life experiences of one of the “Lost Boys” of the Sudan. Salva and Nya’s compelling voices lift their narrative out of the “issue” of the Sudanese War, and only occasionally does the explanation of necessary context intrude in the storytelling. Salva’s heroism and the truth that water is a source of both conflict and reconciliation receive equal, crystal-clear emphasis in this heartfelt account. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-25127-1

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Clarion

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2010

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