THE TREASURES OF WEATHERBY

An assortment of eccentric adult characters and one undersized 12-year-old boy live in an old Victorian style, badly maintained mansion. Harleigh J. Weatherby IV, raised by his elderly Great Aunt Adelaide while father is away on his architectural research trips, prefers private tutoring by Uncle Edgar to attending school with its cruel and taunting environment. Recovering from yet another heart surgery to remedy his growth issues, Harleigh ventures into the overgrown garden and is surprised by an intruder, Allegra, a young girl dressed in thin rags who claims she “flew” onto the property. So begins a much-needed relationship in Harleigh’s life, friendship that leads to mystery, intrigue and even perilous circumstances. Allegra’s inquisitive interloping inside the large house alerts Harleigh to a hidden family treasure in danger of being stolen by one of the other bizarre residents of Weatherby. Snyder has created a quick, yet multi-layered mystery that incorporates themes of good vs. evil, peer acceptance, self-esteem and confidence. She adds a touch of magic realism to an increasingly captivating story, which builds to a risky and daring climax and concludes with a pleasingly acceptable solution. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2007

ISBN: 1-4169-1398-X

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Atheneum

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2006

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A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit...

NUMBER THE STARS

The author of the Anastasia books as well as more serious fiction (Rabble Starkey, 1987) offers her first historical fiction—a story about the escape of the Jews from Denmark in 1943.

Five years younger than Lisa in Carol Matas' Lisa's War (1989), Annemarie Johansen has, at 10, known three years of Nazi occupation. Though ever cautious and fearful of the ubiquitous soldiers, she is largely unaware of the extent of the danger around her; the Resistance kept even its participants safer by telling them as little as possible, and Annemarie has never been told that her older sister Lise died in its service. When the Germans plan to round up the Jews, the Johansens take in Annemarie's friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is their daughter; later, they travel to Uncle Hendrik's house on the coast, where the Rosens and other Jews are transported by fishing boat to Sweden. Apart from Lise's offstage death, there is little violence here; like Annemarie, the reader is protected from the full implications of events—but will be caught up in the suspense and menace of several encounters with soldiers and in Annemarie's courageous run as courier on the night of the escape. The book concludes with the Jews' return, after the war, to homes well kept for them by their neighbors.

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit of riding alone in Copenhagen, but for their Jews. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 1989

ISBN: 0547577095

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1989

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ONE CRAZY SUMMER

A flight from New York to Oakland, Calif., to spend the summer of 1968 with the mother who abandoned Delphine and her two sisters was the easy part. Once there, the negative things their grandmother had said about their mother, Cecile, seem true: She is uninterested in her daughters and secretive about her work and the mysterious men in black berets who visit. The sisters are sent off to a Black Panther day camp, where Delphine finds herself skeptical of the worldview of the militants while making the best of their situation. Delphine is the pitch-perfect older sister, wise beyond her years, an expert at handling her siblings: “Just like I know how to lift my sisters up, I also knew how to needle them just right.” Each girl has a distinct response to her motherless state, and Williams-Garcia provides details that make each characterization crystal clear. The depiction of the time is well done, and while the girls are caught up in the difficulties of adults, their resilience is celebrated and energetically told with writing that snaps off the page. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-06-076088-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2010

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