Hell and High Water

Tanya Landman. Candlewick, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7636-8875-2
In an adventure set in 18th-century England, Landman (The Goldsmith’s Daughter) introduces a desperate, on-the-run hero who is trying to solve a mystery. Caleb, the dark-skinned son of a white puppeteer, has always acted as his father’s assistant when they perform Punch and Judy shows. After his father is wrongfully arrested for theft, Caleb flees to a fishing village to live with an aunt he’s never met. Welcomed by her and his cousin but shunned by the other villagers, Caleb gets the shock of his life when his father’s corpse washes ashore. Soon after, Caleb’s sailor uncle returns from sea acting strangely. Determined to find answers relating to these two events, Caleb embarks on a dangerous mission that leads him straight into a ring of tyranny and deception. Suspenseful from first page to last, the book delves into racism, class structure, and the abuse of power while highlighting one unprivileged adolescent’s attempt to beat a corrupt system. Landman brings to life the sights, sounds, and injustices of a bygone era and is just as attentive to Caleb’s strong emotions as his life becomes increasingly dangerous. Ages 12–up. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/17/2017
Release date: 06/13/2017
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 978-0-7636-9382-4
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