Waiting for the Queen by Joanna Higgins

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I recently reviewed Waiting for the Queen by Joanna Higgins for School Library Journal.  Here’s my review:

“Fifteen-year-old Eugenie de la Roque and her family flee the French Revolution for the woods of Pennsylvania, where their lives are very different from the elegant world they inhabited among the French nobility. Based on the true story of a group of families who sought asylum in Pennsylvania, this title vividly captures the hardships faced by the teen and her parents as they adjust to a life without luxuries. A group of Quakers guides the small band of settlers. Hannah Kimbrell is initially frustrated by the seemingly frivolous demands of the new arrivals, but she eventually begins a friendship with Eugenie. At first the two girls seem to have little in common, but a shared outrage over how a slave is treated at the hands of her owner brings them together. Alternating between Eugenie’s and Hannah’s viewpoints, the story is equal parts period novel and coming-of-age tale. Eugenie’s growth as she begins to understand what is really important to her is beautifully and convincingly portrayed. The “Queen” of the novel’s title is Marie Antoinette, and the glittering details about life at Versailles provide a dramatic contrast with Eugenie’s refuge in 1793 America. This rewarding novel should be shared with confident readers who enjoy historical fiction.”

Two other things for you today….

1. There’s a movie coming out in December that sounds promising.  In Saving Mr. Banks, Tom Hanks plays Walt Disney in a story about the making the 1964 musical Mary Poppins.  Emma Thompson plays P.L. Travers who was, legend has it, quite “difficult” behind-the scenes. Maybe someone should have offered her a spoonful of sugar!

2. If you haven’t read it already, take a few minutes to read the commencement address George Saunders delivered at the University of Syracuse.  You will not regret it. Here’s the link:

http://6thfloor.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/07/31/george-saunderss-advice-to-graduates/

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