Salina Harris is a stubborn, outspoken twelve-year-old from a small mountain town in Tennessee. It’s 1949, and while WWII left scarred lives in the community, life goes on and with it comes change. Salina is fretting over her older brother’s new role as caregiver to a weak foal, as it means he is spending less time with her. Also, her best friend, Mayella, seems to be focusing on her future—without Salina. When the teacher, Miss Williams, begins pairing Salina with a new girl, Scooter, it opens several opportunities for the girls, and ultimately gives Salina the nudge she needs to see her world differently.
Themes explored in this appealing young adult novel include Germanophobia, resistance to change, rivalry, and friendship. It is, of course, a coming-of-age story with Salina growing up within the pages from her experiences and the wise words of those around her. Salina will resonate with young readers who enjoy characters who have a love for books, as that is the basis for her personality even if she’s a bit fiery at times. The historical details of life on a farm, and in a small Southern community, are spot on for its mid-20th century setting. Overall all an engaging read perfect for middle graders. This is the 25th Anniversary Edition.
originally posted on Historical Novels Review