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Dragonfly pool

 

Author:  Eva Ibbotson

Illustrator:  Kevin Hawkes

Released:   September 4, 2008

Ages: Grades 5-8.

Themes: 

World War II, Historical fiction, Boarding school, Folk dance, Hitler, royalty

 

 

 Eleven-year-old Tally doesnít want to leave London for boarding school in the country, but with Hitler amassing power and war on the horizon, her father insists. Tally expects Delderton to be full of posh bullies and cruel teachers, but it turns out to be a place where the students are free to learn in their own way. When the school is invited to participate in an international folk-dancing festival in Ibbotson-imagined Bergania, where the king has gained notoriety for refusing Hitlerís demands, Tally overcomes all odds to put together a troupe. In Bergania, Tally and Karil, the lonely crown prince, become fast friends, and after the king is assassinated, she and her friends smuggle Karil out of Bergania, intending to hide him at their school. While selfless, optimistic Tally is a little too good, Ibbotsonís trademark eccentric characters and strongly contrasted principles of right and wrong brighten and broaden this uplifting tale. The thrilling war story, complete with chase scenes, clashes at first with the nostalgic school tale, but they eventually come together in celebration of freedom of all kinds.

 --Krista Hutley

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Coraline

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