Set against the backdrop of the Nixon Watergate scandal, this leisurely work of historical fiction follows a working-class family weathering the summer heat and navigating a new reality in 1974 Boston. Twelve-year-old, horoscope-obsessed Taurus Susan B. Anthony, aka Nellie, lives with her father, a short-order cook who struggles to support Nellie and her three brothers—all named after Mt. Rushmore presidents—since his wife left five months previously. After discovering that she also took the $500 meant for the family’s summer trip to Mt. Rushmore, Nellie’s dad angrily retreats, leaving her to run the house. The girl decides to raise the money herself, even if it means selling her mom’s belongings. But despite rescuing a cheerful dog from an abusive owner, Nellie’s summer seems destined for losses social and familial, including any hope of her mother’s return. Nellie is a likable main character, laudably kind to her sensitive younger brother and loyal to her family, but a languishing pace further slowed by sprinkled-in cultural references may deter young readers. Ages 8–12. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 07/02/2020 Release date: 08/18/2020 Genre: Children's
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