Friday, March 23, 2018

In the Country of Queens by Cari Best - OPTIONAL

Best, Cari In the Country of Queens, 211 pages. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2017. $17.

Language: G; Mature Content: G; Violence: G.

It’s 1961 and Shirley lives with her mom and grandma.  Her dad has been gone for 6 years and she would sure love to ask some questions, but her mom, who she calls Hurricane Anna, won’t talk about him. In fact, she acts like he never existed. Shirley would also like to stop taking ballet, ask her teacher why he accused her of plagiarism, and go with her cousins camping this summer.  Unfortunately it’s hard standing up to others, especially Hurricane Anna, but maybe it’s time to find her courage and do just that.

This was a really nice story with a great message about finding your voice that would fit in most elementary collection. The author sets her story in 1961, but there isn’t any historical event that connects the reader to 1961, just a mention of a few people and items.  Although the historical aspect doesn’t add anything to the story, most readers will probably forget when the story takes place, as it also doesn’t hinder the story.       
EL - OPTIONAL. Reviewer: RB

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