cover image Nothing Else but Miracles

Nothing Else but Miracles

Kate Albus. Holiday House/Ferguson, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-82345-163-0

Three close-knit siblings rely on each other and their supportive Lower East Side community after their widowed father is called up during WWII in this suspenseful family novel from Albus (A Place to Hang the Moon). Free-thinking 12-year-old Dory Byrne lives in a fourth-floor walk-up (which she prefers to access through the fire escape) with her brothers—responsible 17-year-old Fish and wise eight-year-old Pike. From a perch on the wall of Battery Park’s half-demolished Castle Clinton, Dory shares her many worries with a secret confidante: the Statue of Liberty (“Libby” to Dory). The siblings are managing thanks to the neighborhood’s generosity, but when the Byrnes’ understanding landlord dies and his mean-spirited replacement threatens to report the underage trio to city authorities, their situation grows precarious—until Dory’s canny observations land them a perfect hideaway. Rich in New York City period detail and era-specific colloquialisms, the briskly moving telling succeeds in its well-executed combination of classic plot elements, sympathetic characters and community, and anxiety-provoking uncertainties, while parenthetical asides to readers create a deepening sense of engagement and intimacy with the Byrne family. Characters read as white. Ages 9–12. (Sept.)