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THE RED SHOE by Ursula Dubosarsky

THE RED SHOE

By Ursula Dubosarsky

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: May 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-59643-265-9
Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

Three sisters growing up in an isolated area of Sydney have to cope not only with significant world and local happenings but also their largely absent and mentally unstable sailor father; his brother, who seems to visit mostly when Dad is away; and their possibly unfaithful mother. Excerpts from actual Sydney newspapers from April 1954, interspersed throughout, subtly illuminate and comment on this story’s comings and goings, primarily the defection of a top-level Soviet Embassy official in Australia, a genuine scandal of the time. Some clippings describe other significant events, including the polio scare and the H-bomb. While generally interesting and sometimes humorous, the narrative, mostly told from the perspective of six-year-old Matilda, is somewhat distant and uninvolving, but watch out for the very slowly unfolding revelation, told from several points of view, of a shocking family secret. (background on the “Petrov affair”) (Fiction. 10-14)