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Author: Choldenko, Gennifer
Thirteen-year-old Lizzie and her secret friend Noah, who is hiding in her house, plan to rescue Noah's father from the quarantined Chinatown, and save everyone they love from contracting the plague that is spreading in 1900 San Francisco.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.70
Points: 7.0 Quiz: 175458
Kirkus Reviews (05/01/15)
School Library Journal (06/01/15)
Booklist (+) (06/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/10/15)
The Hornbook (00/09/15)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 06/01/2015 *Starred Review* Dead rats, hushed rumors of plague, and cryptic talk of a monkey are at the forefront of 13-year-old Lizzie’s mind as she schemes to rescue the family cook, Jing, from quarantine in San Francisco’s Chinatown during the year 1900. In her newest novel, Newbery Honor Book author Choldenko (Al Capone Does My Shirts, 2004) delves into the controversial circumstances surrounding this outbreak of bubonic plague, as well as the more pedestrian challenges of growing up as a girl in early twentieth-century America. Bright and tenacious Lizzie has ambitions to become a doctor like her father, but such dreams give her little in common with other girls her age and also put her at odds with Aunt Hortense, who is determined to make a lady of her. The plot is enriched by winning characters, meaningful friendships, a taut atmosphere, and secrets multiplying as fast as the story’s rats. Readers will sympathize as Lizzie fights for Jing and confronts challenges brought by adolescence, gender inequality, and racial prejudice. An author’s note and chronology provide additional historical information. This engrossing mystery perfectly balances heart and intrigue, proving once again Choldenko’s talent for packaging history within a story that kids are bound to love. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 06/01/2015 Gr 5–8—Thirteen-year-old Lizzie is the daughter of Dr. Jules Kennedy, who practices medicine in turn of the 20th century San Francisco. The family resides in a house on Uncle Karl and Aunt Hortense's Nob Hill estate. There's Lizzie and her brother, Billy; Jing, the cook; Maggy, the maid; and—unbeknownst to all but Lizzie—Jing's son, Noah. Since Lizzie's mother died, Aunt Hortense has assumed a maternal role in Lizzie's upbringing, which includes making her attend Miss Barstow's School for Young Women. Unfortunately, the school offers little to nurture Lizzie's interest in science and medicine. While accompanying her father on house calls, Lizzie soon hears rumors of a plague. Then Jing goes missing. She suspects he might be under quarantine in Chinatown. But why is Chinatown the only area of the city under quarantine? And why aren't any medical staff or supplies being sent to the Chinatown residents? Despite the evidence, city officials and the medical community—including Lizzie's father—are denying the plague's existence. As the title suggests, various characters, along with the state and city government, harbor secrets. An author's note, time line, and bibliography document the historical facts and issues of the period. VERDICT Choldenko's latest novel features a fast-paced plot that will appeal to lovers of both mystery and historical fiction. A first purchase.—Sharon M. Lawler, formerly of Randolph Elementary, Universal City, TX - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.