The Orphan Band of Springdale

Anne Nesbet. Candlewick, $18.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-7636-8804-2
In this uplifting, multifaceted historical novel set in 1941, Nesbet (Cloud and Wallfish) creates an arrestingly strong and sympathetic character in nearsighted 11-year-old Augusta “Gusta” Hoopes Neubronner. Financial strains force Gusta to leave her parents and New York City for her grandmother’s home in Springdale, Maine, where the townsfolk are wary of anyone different—especially someone with an unusual name or unusual talent, both of which Gusta, a passionate French horn player, possesses. Gusta is surprised by much in Springdale (including that her grandmother runs an orphanage), though nothing is more astonishing than her German-born union organizer father’s sudden disappearance during their bus trip to Maine and the men who subsequently board the bus searching for “fugitive” August Neubronner. Buoyed by memories of his encouraging words (“In war and struggle, we do what we must!”), Gusta adjusts to her new life, instinctively standing up for what she believes is right. Nesbet deftly weaves disparate elements—music, orphans, labor unions, carrier pigeons, and a magic wish—into a richly developed story set during a pivotal era in American history. Ages 10–14. Agent: Ammi-Joan Paquette, Erin Murphy Literary. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 02/12/2018
Release date: 04/10/2018
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-5436-8746-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-5436-8748-4
MP3 CD - 978-1-5436-8747-7
Paperback - 464 pages - 978-1-5362-1319-5
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