A lyrical, monumental work of fact and imagination that reads like an oral history revved up by the drama of the event.

THE WATCH THAT ENDS THE NIGHT

Twenty-four voices—of passengers, rats and even the iceberg—evoke the human tragedy of the ill-fated voyage.

Titanic was a floating city, “the largest moving thing on the planet ever made by man.” She sank quickly on the night of April 14-15, 1912, and only 712 of the 2,207 passengers survived. Wolf brings the history and, more importantly, the human scale of the event to life by giving voice to the players themselves—the captain, the lookout, the millionaire, the socialite and various workers and passengers representing all classes of society that floated to their doom. The undertaker, out of Halifax, is the first voice, penultimate voice and intermittent commentator, gathering floating clumps of corpses in “a dead man’s sad regatta.” The iceberg, the voice of the ages, floats with a primordial indifference… but with a plan. Rats have the last word, as they scurry off to “follow the future / follow the food.” As he did in New Found Land: Lewis and Clark’s Voyage of Discovery (2004), Wolf draws on a prodigious amount of  research to fully realize each character; they are real people just telling their stories, all the more poignant because readers know their fates and recognize prophetic comments along the way. Extensive backmatter includes character notes, a Titanic miscellany and a large bibliography with books, websites and audio resources for the many readers who will want to know more.

A lyrical, monumental work of fact and imagination that reads like an oral history revved up by the drama of the event. (Historical fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3703-3

Page Count: 472

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Aug. 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2011

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Summery fun and games with feeling.

THE SUMMER OF BROKEN RULES

A summer trip helps break 18-year-old Meredith Fox out of a haze of mourning.

Her cousin’s wedding means a return to Martha’s Vineyard, a well-loved destination but one filled with bittersweet memories. It’s been a year and a half since the sudden loss of Meredith’s sister, Claire, and the grief remains strong. Meredith, though, resolves to take this time to celebrate family and bridge the rifts resulting from ghosting friends. She didn’t plan on a meet-cute/embarrassing encounter with the groom’s stepbrother, Wit. Nor did she expect a wedding-week game of Assassin, a water-gun–fueled family tradition. What starts off as a pact of sharing strategic information with Wit grows into something more as the flirting and feelings develop. Only one person can win, though, and any alliance has an expiration date. To win and honor Claire, who was a master of the game, Meredith must keep her eye on the prize. Taking place over the course of a week, the narrative is tight with well-paced reveals that disrupt predictability and keep the plot moving. Early details are picked back up, and many elements come satisfyingly full circle. The short time frame also heightens the tension of this summer romance: What will happen when they leave the bubble of the Vineyard? The mix of budding romance, competitive hijinks, a close-knit circle, as well as dealing with loss make for a satisfying read. The main cast is White.

Summery fun and games with feeling. (family tree) (Romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-72821-029-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love.

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LAST NIGHT AT THE TELEGRAPH CLUB

Finally, the intersectional, lesbian, historical teen novel so many readers have been waiting for.

Lily Hu has spent all her life in San Francisco’s Chinatown, keeping mostly to her Chinese American community both in and out of school. As she makes her way through her teen years in the 1950s, she starts growing apart from her childhood friends as her passion for rockets and space exploration grows—along with her curiosity about a few blocks in the city that her parents have warned her to avoid. A budding relationship develops with her first White friend, Kathleen, and together they sneak out to the Telegraph Club lesbian bar, where they begin to explore their sexuality as well as their relationship to each other. Lo’s lovely, realistic, and queer-positive tale is a slow burn, following Lily’s own gradual realization of her sexuality while she learns how to code-switch between being ostensibly heterosexual Chinatown Lily and lesbian Telegraph Bar Lily. In this meticulously researched title, Lo skillfully layers rich details, such as how Lily has to deal with microaggressions from gay and straight women alike and how all of Chinatown has to be careful of the insidious threat of McCarthyism. Actual events, such as Madame Chiang Kai-shek’s 1943 visit to San Francisco, form a backdrop to this story of a journey toward finding one’s authentic self.

Beautifully written historical fiction about giddy, queer first love. (author’s note) (Historical romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-525-55525-4

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Nov. 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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