cover image Black Dove, White Raven

Black Dove, White Raven

Elizabeth Wein. Hyperion, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-4231-8310-5

Wein returns to Africa, the setting of her Lion Hunters series, with protagonists who share an avocation with those in her award-winning novels Code Name Verity and Rose Under Fire. Delia and Rhoda are stunt pilots, barnstorming the American countryside in the 1920s, each with a child in tow. When Delia is killed during an air show, Rhoda commits to fulfilling their dream of raising Teo, whose father was Ethiopian, in a place where he won’t be discriminated against because of his skin color. Rhoda resettles Teo and her own daughter, Emilia, at an Ethiopian coffee plantation just as Haile Selassie takes power—and as Mussolini’s troops prepare for an invasion. The novel, which opens with the knowledge that Teo is missing, is constructed as a series of letters, school essays, flight logs, and excerpts of fantasy stories written by Teo and Emilia, all of which Emilia is sending to Selassie in a plea for help. While the conceit tests credulity, Wein brings this fascinating period in history to life with several well-engineered plot twists, lots of high-flying, nail-biting tension, and meticulous research. Ages 12–up. Agent: Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown. (Mar.)