Slip of a Girl
by Giff, Patricia Reilly






A heart-wrenching novel in verse by the two-time Newbery Honor-winning author of Lily's Crossing follows the experiences of a motherless girl who tries to protect her special-needs sibling during the Irish Land Wars. Simultaneous eBook.





Patricia Reilly Giff received two Newbery Honor Awards for her novels Lily's Crossing and Pictures of Hollis Woods. Some of her other middle grade novels include Genevieve's War, winner of the Christopher Award; Nory Ryan's Song, an ALA Notable Book; and Eleven. Her Kids of the Polk Street School series remain a popular chapter book mainstay. She has a doctorate in reading and spent twenty years teaching in New York City public schools, and now lives in Connecticut.





*Starred Review* Anna Mallon has seen the potato blight destroy her family's crop again and watched her brothers leave Ireland for America. Her mother grows weak and dies, while the English earl's agents drive neighbors from their homes. Her sister Jane emigrates, leaving Anna, her little sister Nuala, and her father to carry on with little food and dwindling prospects. Though she wants nothing more than to remain in the home built "by Mallon hands / four hundred years ago," Anna lashes out, throwing a rock at the earl's house. With Nuala, she flees toward a distant town, where they find refuge. Although the family's suffering recalls the plight of characters in Giff's Nory Ryan's Song (2000), who also endured the Great Hunger, this affecting novel ends differently, with an uprising against the English and Anna returning home to stay. An author's note comments on the Land War. Written in free verse, the story moves quickly, but the clarity of the writing and the images created leave strong impressions of the characters and settings. The subtly shifting emotional tenor of the narrative ranges from pensive to sorrowful and from desperate to hopeful. At intervals, archival photos offer windows into the time and place. A vivid, involving historical novel. Grades 5-7. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.





*Starred Review* Anna Mallon has seen the potato blight destroy her family's crop again and watched her brothers leave Ireland for America. Her mother grows weak and dies, while the English earl's agents drive neighbors from their homes. Her sister Jane emigrates, leaving Anna, her little sister Nuala, and her father to carry on with little food and dwindling prospects. Though she wants nothing more than to remain in the home built "by Mallon hands / four hundred years ago," Anna lashes out, throwing a rock at the earl's house. With Nuala, she flees toward a distant town, where they find refuge. Although the family's suffering recalls the plight of characters in Giff's Nory Ryan's Song (2000), who also endured the Great Hunger, this affecting novel ends differently, with an uprising against the English and Anna returning home to stay. An author's note comments on the Land War. Written in free verse, the story moves quickly, but the clarity of the writing and the images created leave strong impressions of the characters and settings. The subtly shifting emotional tenor of the narrative ranges from pensive to sorrowful and from desperate to hopeful. At intervals, archival photos offer windows into the time and place. A vivid, involving historical novel. Grades 5-7. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.





Young Anna narrates in lilting, free verse her trials, tribulations, and triumphs during the 1881 Land War in Drumlish, Ireland. "Sounds," the first of 31 short chapters in the book's first section, starts with high drama. While outside pulling up chickweed for tea, Anna hears screams and a crashing sound. "Dust rises up: / the house of five girls / and a mam is gone. / They're forced out on the road, / maybe to starve." Readers soon learn that English aristocrats have seized Irish properties, feeling empowered to arbitrarily raise rents and raze dwellings. However, what compels further reading is an immediate bond with Anna. Giff has the rare gift of using few words—but exactly the right ones—to evoke strong and varied images and feelings. Readers will be riveted as Anna tries her hardest to live up to her dying mam's requests: that Anna take care of her developmentally disabled little sister, Nuala; keep the family's home safe; and learn to read. There are several episodes of gripping suspense, including Anna and Nuala's fugitive flight to Aunt Ethna's house and encounters between a baili ff and a justifiably angry crowd. There are also tender and humorous moments. Traditional customs and language are woven into the tale as deftly as Aunt Ethna weaves at her loom. Despite the value attached to reading, it is a different skill that enables Anna to earn money—a welcome, realistic plot point. Characters all present white. Lovely. (glossary, photographs, author's note) (Historical verse fiction. 10-14) Copyright Kirkus 2019 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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