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Laura, an American college student studying in Leningrad, is homesick and tired of bitter cold, inedible food, filthy dorms, boring classes.
Thats before she meets Alyosha, a handsome young Russian artist who appears on a bridge just in time to save her from two aggressive gypsy women.
There are implausible moments, but the courage in Claires consistent refusal to change herself to please others always feels genuine.
VERDICT An engaging tale of unwavering self-acceptance.
Besides offering readers passion and suspense, Standiford raises thought-provoking questions about how far people should go for the sake of love and freedom.
(Click the title link above for more reviews.) A New York Times Notable Children's Book of 2012 The New York Times Book Review, June 17, 2012 "The Secret Tree" takes its rightful place in the now classic genre of "neighborhood kids" that began with Beverly Cleary....
So, "(0|prequel)" sorts by 0 under the label "prequel."Series was designed to cover groups of books generally understood as such (see Wikipedia: Book series).
Like many concepts in the book world, "series" is a somewhat fluid and contested notion.
The plot covers a lot of grounda birthday party, a school dance, soccer games, sailing competitions, and even the appearance of a pirate ghost.
Readers will laugh out loud and emerge from the story satisfied with the cheerful resolution.
Kirkus Reviews, December 18, 2013 A wish, a shared birthday and some theater magic transform the lives of two young teens.
The girls emerge from their experiences with an appreciation of their genuine friendship and the courage to make positive changes in their lives.
A characteristically insightful tale that affirms the importance of true friendship and self-acceptance. 9-13) (Click the title link above for more reviews plus personal photos from Russia) *Publishers Weekly, May 27, 2013 Standiford (Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters) paints a somber portrait of communist Russia during the early 1980s in this love story tinged with intrigue.