An entertaining, if fanciful look at colonial India in transition.

ALL MY NOBLE DREAMS AND THEN WHAT HAPPENS

In this sequel to Small Acts of Amazing Courage (2011), heroine Rosalind dances with the Prince of Wales during his 1921 visit to India and does her bit for Gandhi’s independence movement.

Growing up in colonial India, Rosalind isn’t “what a well-bred English girl should be,” to the distress of her very British father. Two years before, Rosalind and her friend Max barely avoided arrest for publically supporting Gandhi’s movement to free India. Now they sympathize with his nonviolent strikes disrupting the country. When Rosalind’s father is invited to festivities surrounding the Prince of Wales’ visit to Calcutta, Max coaxes her to deliver an important letter from Gandhi to the prince. Months later, in London, Rosalind’s chance encounter with King George V also affects Gandhi’s cause. Whether saving an Indian girl from an arranged marriage or teaching Indian boys, Rosalind’s loyalties lie with her adopted country. Though at first approaching India’s struggle from a “White Man’s Burden” perspective, Rosalind learns not to apply English values to India and its cultures. Whelan conveys the atmosphere of a critical period in India’s history from the sympathetic, first-person perspective of an egalitarian heroine who acts on her principles.

An entertaining, if fanciful look at colonial India in transition. (author’s note, text of Gandhi’s letter of 1920, glossary) (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 2, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4976-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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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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Entrancing and uplifting.

STAY

A small dog, the elderly woman who owns him, and a homeless girl come together to create a tale of serendipity.

Piper, almost 12, her parents, and her younger brother are at the bottom of a long slide toward homelessness. Finally in a family shelter, Piper finds that her newfound safety gives her the opportunity to reach out to someone who needs help even more. Jewel, mentally ill, lives in the park with her dog, Baby. Unwilling to leave her pet, and forbidden to enter the shelter with him, she struggles with the winter weather. Ree, also homeless and with a large dog, helps when she can, but after Jewel gets sick and is hospitalized, Baby’s taken to the animal shelter, and Ree can’t manage the complex issues alone. It’s Piper, using her best investigative skills, who figures out Jewel’s backstory. Still, she needs all the help of the shelter Firefly Girls troop that she joins to achieve her accomplishment: to raise enough money to provide Jewel and Baby with a secure, hopeful future and, maybe, with their kindness, to inspire a happier story for Ree. Told in the authentic alternating voices of loving child and loyal dog, this tale could easily slump into a syrupy melodrama, but Pyron lets her well-drawn characters earn their believable happy ending, step by challenging step, by reaching out and working together. Piper, her family, and Jewel present white; Pyron uses hair and naming convention, respectively, to cue Ree as black and Piper’s friend Gabriela as Latinx.

Entrancing and uplifting. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 13, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-283922-0

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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