cover image The Peach Rebellion

The Peach Rebellion

Wendelin Van Draanen. Knopf, $18.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-593-37856-4

In a historical novel set in 1947 California, Van Draanen (Hope in the Mail) chronicles the friendship of two presumed white teens whose friendship is constrained by societal attitudes. Ten years before this book’s present, 16-year-old Ginny Rose’s little brothers died of dysentery in a shantytown after the family lost everything in Oklahoma. Now, her father’s permanent job at the Ferrybank train yard means a settled home for the family, which previously took on work as migrant farmers. Her childhood friend, Peggy—whose family owns a peach farm where Ginny’s dad once worked—is happy that Ginny’s back, though both families disapprove of their friendship’s disregard for class boundaries. While Ginny Rose navigates a grueling new job and protects her sisters from their grieving mother’s increasingly unpredictable moods, Peggy learns uncomfortable truths about those closest to her. Soon, the teens commit to a risky plan to bring closure to Ginny’s family’s painful past, and their bond offers them both a new feeling of freedom. Exploring gender roles and class hierarchies alongside postwar U.S. attitudes that resonate today, Van Draanen’s heartfelt telling captures the close bond of two lovable heroines. Ages 12–up. Agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown. (May)