Author: Jeanne Birdsall
Reading Level: 4th – 6th
This National Book Award Winner failed to intrigue me, either. It is nostalgic — faint echoes from old favorites such as Little Women and the E. Nesbit books. Some of the humor seems forced to me and the general complaint from other adult readers that the grown-ups in the story have almost no depth at all is a valid one. And to an extend, the children are stock characters themselves, each embodies a set of characteristics without surprises or changes. Their predicaments also don’t concern me much as a reader. Maybe I am too cynical and maybe this is a book for much younger children?