Monday, October 17, 2011

Secrets At Sea

Booklist (September 1, 2011 (Vol. 108, No. 1))

Grades 4-7. As the eldest, Helena has taken charge of her orphaned siblings. It is her job to keep the younger mice safe—not much of a challenge, really, except for avoiding the occasional snake and keeping the daring Louise from being seen by humans. However, when word comes that the Cranstons, the people upstairs, are sailing for Europe to give their eldest daughter, Olive, “Her Chance,” the mice must conquer their fear of drowning to accompany the family across the Atlantic or else stay behind and starve. This delightful romp, told by Helena, is enhanced by whimsical black-and-white illustrations. By turns poignant and playful, engaging and exciting, and with a touch of romance, the story will have great appeal for the audience. The characters (both two- and four-legged) are well drawn, and the timeless themes—the importance of family, the need for courage—add heft.

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