Review: An Uncertain Choice by Jodi Hedlund

An Uncertain Choice by Jodi HedlundAn Uncertain Choice
Jodi Hedlund
Zondervan

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As Rosemarie’s eighteenth birthday nears, she prepares to fulfill the sacred vow her parents made and become a nun. She struggles to accept this role even as her kingdom is in turmoil at the hands of a sheriff who enforces cruel punishment and unexplained plagues that ravage the poorest citizens. Then, one month before her birthday, an old family friend rides into her kingdom with news: Rosemarie may have another option. If she can find and marry her true love before midnight on her eighteenth birthday, she will not have to enter the convent. Three knights accompany Rosemarie’s advisor. She must find out if one of … Continue reading

Review: The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

girl-in-the-blue-coatThe Girl in the Blue Coat
Monica Hesse
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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In 1943 Amsterdam, Hanneke is the girl who can help you find things like coffee, meat, kerosene. But when a lonely widow asks Hanneke to find a missing Jewish girl, Hanneke at first refuses to get involved. Locating a Jewish girl and trying to rescue her is far too dangerous.

On the other hand, maybe danger is exactly what Hanneke needs to distract her from the aching grief of her boyfriend’s recent death. Reluctantly, Hanneke agrees to investigate the girl’s disappearance. Her search throws her in the path of a well-organized group of resistance workers who beg Hanneke to help them. … Continue reading

Review and Author Interview: Jacqueline by Jackie Minniti

Anaiah Press Blog Tour for Jacqueline by Jackie Minniti

 Jacqueline by Jackie MinnitiJacqueline
Jackie Minniti
Anaiah Press

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When Jacqueline and her mother receive news that her father, a French soldier in World War II has been shot down, she refuses to give up hope that he’ll return home. She studies hard, prays to the saint in the book her father gave her, and visits the train yard where wounded prisoners arrive. As the Nazis who occupy her small French town begin to remove local Jews from the neighborhood, Jacqueline and her mother hide a boy in their home. Soon the Americans come to liberate France from German control, and Jacqueline befriends an American … Continue reading

Review: Li Jun and the Iron Road by Anne Tait

Li Jun and the Iron RoadLi Jun and the Iron Road
Anne Tait
Dundurn

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Working as a servant to help her family becomes unbearable when Li Jun’s lecherous master makes it clear he plans to take advantage of her. As a Chinese woman in the 1880s, Li Jun has few other options. She makes a daring escape by disguising herself as a boy and living as a street urchin. When she hears of an opportunity to travel to British Columbia to work on the railroad, she realizes this could be the chance she has longed for: to follow in her father’s footsteps and discover what has kept him from returning home.

As Little Tiger, Li Jun befriends … Continue reading

Review: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer DonnellyThese Shallow Graves
Jennifer Donnelly
Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s

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When news of Jo’s father’s sudden death rips her away from school, she returns home to her grieving family. Unable to accept the story that her father accidentally shot himself, she teams up with Eddie, a local reporter who worked for her father’s paper, to uncover the truth about his death. As each clue leads to more questions, Jo and Eddie quickly realize that the uncovering the truth could destroy everything her father once built. Jo also realizes she may be falling for the handsome reporter, but to surrender to her feelings would mean turning her back on her family.

I first fell … Continue reading

Thoughts on Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Some Notes on What Happens in Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Jean Louise returns to her home in a small southern town to visit her ailing, aged father and his protege, Henry, also her beau. During her visit she discovers that the man she’s admired and trusted all her life as the most fair and just man has somehow shifted into someone with whom she deeply disagrees. Her once peaceful town has become a place where races are deeply divided, and where respect for one another has evaporated. The change throws her into despair and agony, and she fights to be understood and to understand what has happened.

So the story goes something like this: Once upon a time, Harper Lee wrote a manuscript and … Continue reading

Review: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth WeinRose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
Disney Hyperion

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Eighteen year old Rose Justice volunteers as a civilian pilot in England during World War II. She works alongside Maddie and other young female pilots transporting planes and personnel to assist military forces. When an enemy aircraft draws Rose off course during one of her transport flights, Rose finds herself captured in enemy territory. Her troubles have only begun. Soon after German forces arrest her, she is sent to Ravensbruck, a German concentration camp. Rose faces brutal treatment at the hands of her captors. Her love for poetry and bonds with other prisoners challenge her to survive.

Readers of Wein’s novel Code Name Verity will recognize Maddie … Continue reading

Review: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFeversGrave Mercy
Robin LaFevers
HMH Books for Young Readers

A strange birthmark spares Ismae from an arranged marriage with a cruel man, but thrusts her into the power of the sisters at the convent of St. Mortain. There, Ismae discovers she’s been gifted with great power. To understand her potential, she must embrace the training offered by the mysterious sisters. If Ismae agrees, they will teach her the arts of murder and seduction, so that she can be sent out into the world to bring the justice of an old god: Mortain, the god of death. When an opportunity arrives for Ismae to serve the young duchess of Brittany who faces an arranged marriage of her own, Ismae can’t help but accept, remembering her own past.

Determined to … Continue reading

Review: The Ruby Airship by Sharon Gosling

The Ruby Airship by Sharon GoslingThe Ruby Airship
Sharon Gosling
Capstone Young Readers
Published on February 1, 2015

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Reformed jewel thief Remy Brunel tries to live the quiet life of a stage performer in a busy London theater. Thaddeus Rec, a detective with the London police force, wants to believe Remy has given up her old ways. When one of Remy’s old friends shows up in town, he can’t help but wonder if this man is connected to a string of impossible robberies he is responsible to solve.

As Thaddeus investigates further, he uncovers hints of a much larger, more sinister plot. Before he can warn … Continue reading

Review: The Princess Spy by Melanie Dickerson

The Princess Spy by Melanie DickersonThe Princess Spy
Melanie Dickerson
Zonderkids
Published November 4, 2014

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Despite her romantic dreams and wishes, Margaretha is determined to wed a man who will secure her family’s future as well as her own. When a handsome though bedraggled stranger warns her that Lord Claybrook, her latest beau, is a fraud, Margaretha at first thinks him delusioned by fever.

Gradually she comes to accept and respect Colin, the English stranger and even volunteers to spy on Lord Claybrook for him. When Claybrook’s men seize her castle at Hagenheim and threaten the lives of her family members, it’s up to Margaretha and Colin to stop the evil plot.

Continue reading

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