Hilmo, Tess Cinnamon Moon, 247 pgs. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2016. $16.99 Content: Language: G; Violence: PG-13; Mature Content: G.
Twelve year old, Ailis and eleven year old Quinn are two orphans who survived the Peshtigo fire. Taken by one of their father’s friends to Chicago, they now find themselves living in a boardinghouse with a woman who doesn’t like kids. Ailis and Quinn befriend a six year old girl, Nettie, and decide that they will get jobs and raise money to move somewhere together. When Nettie goes missing, Ailis and Quinn uncover nefarious workings of a prominent business in the struggling post Great Chicago Fire city. Ailis and Quinn, have to work together and fight for what is right.
I enjoyed the story line and the kind and courageous characters. The history of the Peshtigo fire, a fire that happened the same day as the Great Chicago Fire is heartbreaking and fascinating. At the end of the book the author provides the histories of the different events from the book. The cover will be a hard sell for younger readers because it is bland. Ailis and Quinn’s family was burned to death in the book and although it isn’t detailed it is upsetting. Also, Nettie is abused and kidnapped by scary characters.
MS- OPTIONAL. Reviewer, C. Peterson.