Small Acts of Amazing Courage

Gloria Whelan, S&S/Wiseman, $15.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4424-0931-6
Master storyteller Whelan (Homeless Bird) again whisks readers to a dramatic period in world history, this time to post-WWI India, where Gandhi's unconventional methods of protest are causing a stir. Fifteen-year-old Rosy, the daughter of a major serving in the British Indian army, possesses a big heart, curiosity, and a strong sense of justice. Unfortunately, her strict father doesn't share these traits. When she takes enormous risks—saving an Indian infant sold to a villainous beggar and sneaking off with her friend, Lt. Max Nelson, to witness one of Gandhi's speeches—her father becomes enraged. Rosy is sent back to England to live with her austere Aunt Ethyl and Ethyl's bullied younger sister, Aunt Louise ("Aunt Louise clutched me to her as if she were drowning and I was a life preserver"). It doesn't take Rosy long to shake up her aunts' somber household with her bold notions regarding Indian liberation. Whelan's insight into history and her characters' minds make every moment of this saga believable. The open-ended finale will leave fans yearning for a second installment. Ages 9–12. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/21/2011
Release date: 04/01/2011
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