cover image Poppy


Mary Hooper. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (288) ISBN 978-1-61963-496-1

A veteran of historical YA fiction, Hooper (Velvet) brings readers to the cusp of WWI as she introduces Poppy Pearson, a parlor maid at a Downton Abbey–like estate outside London. To help with the war effort, Poppy decides to leave the de Vere estate to become a volunteer nurse. Poppy is shy but capable, excited about the adventures that await her in her new role but also shocked by the sight of soldiers with terrible wounds and the reality of death that surrounds her. Hooper doesn’t shirk from describing the horrors of war (“Private Jones had lost an arm and was full of shrapnel; Private Brown had lost an arm and an ear, and couldn’t remember how”), but she balances them with Poppy’s kindhearted determination, as well as the potential for a class-defying romance (and possible heartbreak) once Freddie de Vere’s eye lands on Poppy. As the war continues and social norms are tested, Hooper gives readers a vivid glimpse into the lives of young men and women seeking to redefine themselves in a world in turbulent transition. Ages 13–up. (Aug.)