Saturday, March 17, 2018

Best, Cari. In the Country of Queens.

Best, Cari. In the Country of Queens. Macmillan/Farrar Strauss     2017 211p $16.99   ISBN 978-0-374-37052-7  elem/ms  Realistic Fiction  VG      

Eleven-year-old Shirley has never been able to speak up for herself. Not to her mother, described as being such a force that Shirley calls her Hurricane Anna, nor to her teacher, who has falsely accused her of plagiarism. One day, Shirley finds out that her father is not really “in absentia” but dead. Since she has always been shy and sensitive, and Anna has always been so controlling, she understands why she hasn’t been told the truth, and she vows to change. With the help of her friends, grandmother, cousin Phillie, and her storybook heroine Pippi Longstocking, she finds the courage to use her voice.

This is a well-written coming-of-age novel that will appeal to adolescents, especially those who experience shyness. It is the story of Shirley’s self-discovery and determination to make changes. The plot is fun and engaging, and readers will root for Shirley on her quest to change herself. The story is set in the 1960’s, and it accurately references the items, culture, and events of that time period.  This book is recommended for any elementary or middle-school library and will appeal to adolescents.  

Summary: Eleven-year-old Shirley has never spoken up for herself -- to her mother Hurricane Anna, to her teacher, or to anyone -- about her dreams, and she decides over the summer before junior high to find her voice.       

Coming of Age-Fiction                         --Virginia McGarvey

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