Joan Hiatt Harlow, Author . S&S/McElderry $16.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-689-84926-8

Browsers drawn to Harlow's (Joshua's Song) WWII home-front novel by the sleek picture of a submarine in crosshairs on the cover might be in for a slight disappointment—the naval intrigue nestled into the plot doesn't fully emerge until close to the end. Jill Winter must spend the summer of '42 with her grandmother in small-town Maine; her father, a famous pop singer, is on tour, and her mother has taken a dangerous route to Newfoundland to care for her dying brother. Jill immediately makes two friends—Wendy, who, as Jill later discovers, is considered a pariah by the community, and Quarry, a salt-of-the-earth country boy. Against the backdrop of Jill's fears about her parents' safety, smaller intrigues play out. What is the purpose of her grandmother's secret Saturday night meetings with a group of women, among them a German? Why is their strange neighbor breeding pigeons (he claims they're for food, but Jill thinks otherwise)? And why are the Crystals, a local girls' clique, so determined to blackball Wendy? Harlow does an excellent job of describing the hardships of war on those back home, when rationing and a heightened sense of caution transform buttering a roll or turning on a light into something significant. Although the dialogue can be wooden and the plotting eventually strains for effect, the novel offers an enjoyable slice-of-life with an overlay of mystery. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 09/15/2003
Release date: 09/01/2003
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4391-0817-8
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-4025-7015-5
Prebound-Glued - 244 pages - 978-0-606-33386-3
Prebound-Sewn - 272 pages - 978-1-4177-4001-7
Prebound-Sewn - 978-0-7569-5079-8
Hardcover - 214 pages - 978-0-7862-6145-1
Paperback - 244 pages - 978-0-689-84927-5
Mass Market Paperbound - 244 pages - 978-0-690-84927-1
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4711-0369-8
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4498-8740-7
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