In the wake of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, four 13-year-olds must solve a series of riddles to track down a rare Arthurian manuscript in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and decode a message to prevent a Nazi strike on New York City. Scrappy Madge leads the diverse band of misfits, speaking in the distinct lingo of a radio-serial heroine (“Whaddya mean, Doc?”). At her side: German refugee Walt, who has an eidetic memory; Joe, a Mohawk boy with a gift for translation; and Japanese-American Kiku, who has special knowledge of the collection. Cultural and socioeconomic clashes among the four highlight racism and bias, as relevant then as now, but also help make them an effective team. Goodman (the Blythewood series) sprinkles a dash of the supernatural on the story, helping offset the harsh realities of war, homelessness, and alienation. The overarching message is one of hope—in order to defeat foes and overcome insecurities, the children must learn to trust each other and be willing to sacrifice for the greater good. Ages 10–up. Agent: Robin Rue, Writers House. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/09/2017 Release date: 03/01/2017 Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-5247-5538-6
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-1-101-99768-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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