Stirring and unforgettable.

THE SWALLOWS' FLIGHT

This follow-up to 2018’s Love to Everyone reunites readers with cherished characters, and the circle of beloved friends and family grows.

Spanning 1927 to 1947, this novel follows a well-drawn ensemble cast through the interwar years and the turbulence of World War II before leaving them battered but resolute. The Great War casts a shadow over young people’s lives—a father or uncle lost or seriously wounded; a mother or aunt haunted by memories of nursing the soldiers. Best friends Erik and Hans live in Berlin, dreaming of working at the zoo tending to animals (Erik) and running a pastry stall (Hans). They are disturbed by Hitler but, facing forces beyond their control, eventually become Luftwaffe pilots. In Plymouth, Violet’s daughter, Ruby, is self-conscious about prominent birthmarks on her face that draw unwelcome attention. Kate, daughter of Peter and Vanessa, is the youngest of the Penrose brood in Oxford. Her health is delicate, and she fades into the background, honing her observational skills. Clarry is godmother to Ruby and Kate, and Rupert comes and goes, dispensing treats—the benevolent English counterpart to Hans’ glamorous Uncle Karl. These four young people and their families—plus one abandoned scrapyard dog—find their orbits intersecting due to the vagaries of war on the way to a poignant and utterly satisfying conclusion. Third-person chapters filled (but never to the point of distraction) with historical texture rotate among the charming characters’ distinct voices and perspectives. Characters read as White.

Stirring and unforgettable. (family trees) (Historical fiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 19, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-66590-091-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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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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Longing—for connection, for family, for a voice—roars to life with just a touch of magic.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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  • Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Winner

  • Newbery Medal Winner

WHEN YOU TRAP A TIGER

A young girl bargaining for the health of her grandmother discovers both her family’s past and the strength of her own voice.

For many years, Lily’s Korean grandmother, Halmoni, has shared her Asian wisdom and healing powers with her predominantly White community. When Lily, her sister, Sam—both biracial, Korean and White—and their widowed mom move in with Halmoni to be close with her as she ages, Lily begins to see a magical tiger. What were previously bedtime stories become dangerously prophetic, as Lily begins to piece together fact from fiction. There is no need for prior knowledge of Korean folktales, although a traditional Korean myth propels the story forward. From the tiger, Lily learns that Halmoni has bottled up the hard stories of her past to keep sadness at bay. Lily makes a deal with the tiger to heal her grandmother by releasing those stories. What she comes to realize is that healing doesn’t mean health and that Halmoni is not the only one in need of the power of storytelling. Interesting supporting characters are fully developed but used sparingly to keep the focus on the simple yet suspenseful plot. Keller infuses this tale, which explores both the end of life and coming-of-age, with a sensitive examination of immigration issues and the complexity of home. It is at one and the same time completely American and thoroughly informed by Korean culture.

Longing—for connection, for family, for a voice—roars to life with just a touch of magic. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5247-1570-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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