In July of 1957, the Love family rolls into the tiny town of Binder, Ark. Reverend Everlasting Love, his wife Susanna and...



Hilmo creates a family, a town and a mystery that readers won’t soon forget.

In July of 1957, the Love family rolls into the tiny town of Binder, Ark. Reverend Everlasting Love, his wife Susanna and their daughters Olivene (called Ollie), Martha, Gwen, Camille and Ellen set up camp so Reverend Love can preach for three evenings before they load it all up again and head to the next small town down the road. Such is the life of an itinerant preacher’s family. But there is something different about Binder, Ark., something strange enough to cause the family to stay a while longer. Ollie meets a boy named Jimmy, whose mother is in jail for killing his brutish father. Jimmy insists she didn’t do it, but everyone else in town is convinced she did. Poor Jimmy could certainly use a friend. The Love family, particularly Ollie, cannot abide the injustice, but what can they possibly do to help? And just how long will they stay in Binder, anyway? There is, after all, a boarded-up church in the center of town needing a preacher, and Ollie, for one, would sure love to stay put for a good long while. Hilmo relishes her small-town setting and develops her characters with affection. Readers will become caught up in events as firmly as Ollie is.

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-38465-4

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Farrar, Straus & Giroux

Review Posted Online: July 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2011

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It's 1937, and Anya is becoming accustomed to Shanghai. Her family had to flee Odessa in the night after Papa told that ugly policeman he wouldn't join the Communist Party. Now China is home for her whole family: Papa, Mama (a former opera singer), Mama's parents, Babushka and Dedushka, and baby brother Georgi. In Shanghai's French Quarter, they live Jewish lives as if the Japanese weren't advancing on the city. Anya's biggest worry is the prospect of telling her mother she doesn't want to become an opera singer—until the day she finds a baby in the gutter. Will Mama and Papa let her keep the baby? Anya's Shanghai is richly chaotic, polyglot and packed with refugees. Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, Mandarin Chinese and Italian pepper the dialogue. Meanwhile, immigrant Anya happily devours her buckwheat piroshki with chopsticks after Papa has recited the Hebrew blessings over the food. The chaos of the prose is less felicitous; characters whisk between conversations without segue. A delightfully textured—but confusingly rushed—glimpse at a little-remembered period of Jewish history. (Historical fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-312-37093-0

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Dec. 30, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2011

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Elsie doesn't know what's worse: living in the garage with your mom, grandmother and uncle behind the house that used to be home or having your father abandon you. Then her mother and uncle also leave, supposedly for jobs. Her miserable situation is all because of the Depression, which is affecting families everywhere. Her best friend, Scout, who is going to be a newspaperman, helps her search for her dad. But when Rev. Hampton takes them to see the dance marathon to show how exploitative it is, clues begin to add up. The Canadian setting and dialogue establish context for the terms hoboes, shantytowns and the phrase, "could you spare a dime." Though today’s readers won’t be familiar with the Depression, dance marathons or references to Bing Crosby, cribbage and Eaton’s catalog, the search for family and relationships in tough times rings true. The evocative title refers to the coins thrown at a favored dance couple. Once past the unappealing cover, readers will find an absorbing and perceptive story. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-55469-280-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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