Wednesday, August 13, 2014

All My Noble Dreams and Then What Happens by Gloria Whelan - ADVISIBLE

Whelan, Gloria All My Noble Dreams and Then What Happens, 255 pgs. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2013. $6.99. Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: G

In India during the 1920s, Rosalind finds herself trying to find a balance between two worlds. She is an ex-pat in India with a father who is an officer in the British Indian Army and is enjoying all the trappings of being a British citizen of the occupying country while trying to connect to the occupied. She is aware of Gandhi and the increasing support for him and his movement for independence.  This is a effort she supports and will do what she can to advance the cause, but does she really understand what she is doing and the consequences her actions may bring about?

This story successfully tells of the struggles in India during the British occupation at a time when change was beginning. Rosalind is a well-drawn character who believably mixes activist zeal with the naiveté that is often seen in teenagers. Her choices and the consequences they bring about allow for an understanding that sometimes what seems right may not be what is best. Readers will come to appreciate the problems inherent with imperialism and Social Darwinism and have a better grasp of what is involved when change is sought. The characters in the book have a few too many convenient moments to allow the story to progress, but that is a small snag in the overall story.


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