The Orphan Band of Springdale
With the United States on the verge of World War II, eleven-year-old Gusta is sent from New York City to Maine, where she discovers small-town prejudices — and a huge family secret.It’s 1941, and tensions are rising in the United States as the Second World War rages in Europe. Eleven-year-old Gusta’s life, like the world around her, is about to change. Her father, a foreign-born labor organizer, has had to flee the country, and Gusta has been sent to live in an orphanage run by her grandmother. Nearsighted, snaggletoothed Gusta arrives in Springdale, Maine, lugging her one precious possession: a beloved old French horn, her sole memento of her father. But in a family that’s long on troubles and short on money, how can a girl hang on to something so valuable and yet so useless when Gusta’s mill-worker uncle needs surgery to fix his mangled hand, with no union to help him pay? Inspired by her mother’s fanciful stories, Gusta secretly hopes to find the coin-like “Wish” that her sea-captain grandfather supposedly left hidden somewhere. Meanwhile, even as Gusta gets to know the rambunctious orphans at the home, she feels like an outsider at her new school — and finds herself facing patriotism turned to prejudice, alien registration drives, and a family secret likely to turn the small town upside down.

The Orphan Band of Springdale Details

TitleThe Orphan Band of Springdale
Author
ReleaseApr 10th, 2018
PublisherCandlewick Press (MA)
ISBN-139780763688042
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Childrens, Middle Grade, Fiction

The Orphan Band of Springdale Review

  • Shelby M. (Read and Find Out)
    January 1, 1970
    I received a finished copy of this book for review from Candlewick Press. Oh my goodness... This book. I'll be writing a short review when I gather my thoughts, and putting out a video review within the next week. I did not expect to love this as much as I did. This is some of the highest quality middle grade I have ever read.
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  • Alyssa Nelson
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*This is a heartwarming story about a young girl named Gusta who moves in with her grandmother and aunt because her father is in trouble and her mother doesn’t make enough to feed her. She finds herself not quite fitting in, having a very German name on the verge of World War II, needing glasses, and coming from a rather poor family. But, that doesn’t stop her from dreaming. Her great-grand *I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*This is a heartwarming story about a young girl named Gusta who moves in with her grandmother and aunt because her father is in trouble and her mother doesn’t make enough to feed her. She finds herself not quite fitting in, having a very German name on the verge of World War II, needing glasses, and coming from a rather poor family. But, that doesn’t stop her from dreaming. Her great-grandfather was a captain and once found a treasure chest of wishes; the story goes that he had just one left before he died, and it was hidden in the house. She plans to find it to make the perfect wish that will save her father, her mother, her maimed uncle, and herself.There are a lot of topics explored here, but the one that especially resonated with me was the idea of being “other.” Otherness is explored a lot within this story; Gusta arrives at a city she’s never been to, lives with family she’s never met, and has to try to fit into this new life, even though it’s quite different from the one she left. There’s also animosity towards immigrants and those who seem different. Sadly, this idea of not fitting in is something that I think will resonate with anyone at any time, who is any age. The animosity towards immigrants also rang all too true for today’s time. However, it was nice to see it handled in a way that showed the shortsightedness of those making snap judgments.However, at the center is Gusta. This main character is so brave and strong and kind, I couldn’t help but love her and her story. I would have read about her for pages and pages doing just about anything because I so much enjoyed reading about her thought process and seeing her struggle with wanting to make everyone happy. She has to deal with some incredibly grown-up situations and make decisions that are hard for adults to make, and she does so with aplomb.I could talk about this book forever. I love the idea of a great-grandfather leaving a magical wish, and Gusta’s wholehearted belief that if she finds it, she could fix everything; I love the friendships Gusta makes, and their love for music; I love the idea of justice and fairness that pervades the children’s thinking in this story. Everything about this book is lovely. It’s incredibly detailed, and I felt as if I were teleported right back into 1941 and living there right along with Gusta. I am excitedly looking forward to Nesbet’s future books, because she’s going to be a household name if she keeps writing. Put this book in your classrooms, add it to your curriculum, put it in your libraries, and buy it for the children in your life. It’s magical and charming and everything to love about middle grade.Also posted on Purple People Readers.
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  • Jessica Lawson
    January 1, 1970
    If Anne Nesbet doesn't win a Newbery Medal or Honor in the next 3-4 years, I'll eat my hat.The seamless characterization, the flawless voice, the fully-realized setting, the details (! oh, the details!), the history, the humor, the heart, the MAGIC (yes, I firmly believe in the magical wish in this book), the ...oh lord, I could go on and on.Warning: The Author's Note might make you cry.
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  • Vikki VanSickle
    January 1, 1970
    French horns, carrier pigeons and Dairy Wars! Colour me charmed! A sweet story about a girl who is sent to live with a grandmother she has yet to meet in Maine in the early 40s. Gusta's father may or may not be on the run for being a labor organizer, a secret Gusta keeps hidden as her classmates (and town in general) seems preoccupied with what it means to be a 'real' American and rooting out alien citizens in the shadow of the war in Europe. Sadly, this thread is resonant today. But Gusta makes French horns, carrier pigeons and Dairy Wars! Colour me charmed! A sweet story about a girl who is sent to live with a grandmother she has yet to meet in Maine in the early 40s. Gusta's father may or may not be on the run for being a labor organizer, a secret Gusta keeps hidden as her classmates (and town in general) seems preoccupied with what it means to be a 'real' American and rooting out alien citizens in the shadow of the war in Europe. Sadly, this thread is resonant today. But Gusta makes friends with her cousin and fellow 'orphan' Josie and the girls form a band with hopes of winning a ribbon at the local fair. Lots here about family, community, and wonderful prose about hope and music. Nesbet has a lovely turn of phrase and there are memorable bits here, such as Josie's desire to prove that music is 'real as jam,' meaning music can win ribbons just like jam, which is considered more worthwhile. A great read for fans of The Penderwicks, The War That Saved My Life, and the All of a Kind Family.
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  • Juli
    January 1, 1970
    I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.Wow, what a complex book. This book is so much more than a middle-grade book. The story takes us to Maine (and to be honest pretty much the reason why I wanted to review this book in the first place, I am only slightly obsessed with everything Maine). Springdale is a small, non-coastal, working-class town. We find ourselves on the eve of US's involvement in WWII - the I would like to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for my advanced copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.Wow, what a complex book. This book is so much more than a middle-grade book. The story takes us to Maine (and to be honest pretty much the reason why I wanted to review this book in the first place, I am only slightly obsessed with everything Maine). Springdale is a small, non-coastal, working-class town. We find ourselves on the eve of US's involvement in WWII - the townspeople worry about unregistered aliens, being drafted, and the first signs of communist ideas such as union uprisings. Gusta's papa is a fugitive with union ideas and a German background. Gusta's mama is holding down the fort in New York City. Gusta was sent to live in Springdale with her grandma who runs an orphanage. There she searches for a special coin that her sea captain great-grandfather hid.During the story, we follow Gusta as she gets used to living away from her mom and dad, tries to fit in with her new peers in her new school, and constantly searches for that wish-granting coin all the while she is growing up and learning that adults aren't always rational, that they aren't always fair, and that they aren't always good! I loved this book. While reading, I tried to remember if I ever had read such a deep middle-grade novel when I was the target age and I couldn't come up with an example. And even if I had, I probably would've had to admit that it went over my head a bit. I am glad that authors now challenge kids of all ages to think and muddle their way through complex storylines and plots. I also think that this book will reach older audiences that other middle-grade books probably wouldn't. All in all, this is a great novel and well worth your time.
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  • Amie's Book Reviews
    January 1, 1970
    THE ORPHAN BAND OF SPRINGDALE by Anne Nesbet is a work of Historical fiction, written with middle-grade as the intended readership. It is  "... nightingale sweet and honey-smooth." Anne Nesbet has beautifully mixed  music with history, family and a morality tale of doing what is right, no matter how difficult that may be. Eleven year old Augusta Neubronner Hoopes is sent from her home in New York City to stay at her grandmother's house deep in central Maine. From the very first chapter we learn THE ORPHAN BAND OF SPRINGDALE by Anne Nesbet is a work of Historical fiction, written with middle-grade as the intended readership. It is  "... nightingale sweet and honey-smooth." Anne Nesbet has beautifully mixed  music with history, family and a morality tale of doing what is right, no matter how difficult that may be. Eleven year old Augusta Neubronner Hoopes is sent from her home in New York City to stay at her grandmother's house deep in central Maine. From the very first chapter we learn that Augusta (who prefers to be called "Gusta") has a very heavy load on her shoulders. Halfway through the trip from New York to Maine, her father disappears. It turns out that he escaped just before authorities searched the bus looking for him. Gusta's father was born in Germany and has been involved with the labor movement ever since arriving in the United States. Now, he is a fugitive from the law. When Gusta arrives at her grandmother's house, all she has to her name is a small bag of clothes and her most prized possession - a French horn. That horn is not just decorative. Gusta can play it, and play it well. Hearing a family legend that somewhere there is a magic wish "...in a box on a shelf..." Gusta would dearly love to find that wish and sets out to ferret out its location. The longer she lives in the small town, the more problems she sees that need to be set right. Her father always told her that people needed to help each other whenever they could, and Gusta intends to honor his teaching - no matter how much it will hurt her to do so. I love this. It is so refreshing to read a story in which solidarity is celebrated and where selfishness is discouraged. In today's world, it is all about "ME". Too many people worry only about themselves and ignore the consequences to others of their actions. In this regard, going back in time would be wonderful. Sometimes it is necessary to look at the world through the eyes of a child who has not yet been beaten down by life. It is through Gusta's wonderfully flawed eyes that adult readers of this novel discover that everything can be boiled down to one of two choices ... Right or Wrong. This lesson may be a simple one, but it is one that is often forgotten. I am happy to say that "The Orphan Band of Springdale" has reminded me of that oh-so-true reality.Anne Nesbet has touched on so many issues worthy of discussion in this book that it is easy to see this book in a middle grade classroom and a lively discussion taking place. I highly recommend this book to teachers of those grades (as well as to everyone else.) Here is a partial list of some of the discussion worthy topics include: * Work ethic in the past vs. work ethic in present day * Hardscrabble lives * Unions * Injured Workers * Patriotism * Prejudice * Government & health * Music * Money and lack of it * Airplanes * Bullying * Glasses * German in the USA * Dairy Wars * Purity - of milk and of birth * Orphans * Family loyalty * The value of historic writings - such as the sketchbook and journal from the sea captain found in the attic by Gusta * Selflessness * Changes in technology from 1941 to present day* And much more... I sped through the reading of this book because I did not want to put it down. In fact, I spent two very sleepless nights devouring the pages and fully immersing myself in Gusta's world. Author Anne Nesbet has crafted Gusta's world with beautifully detailed descriptions and characters with such depth that they seem 100% real. It is patently obvious that the author has a distinct love of small-town Maine, and that love has seeped through onto every page of this delectable book. I rate this book as 5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and am planning to check out previous novels written by Anne Nesbet. I predict that THE ORPHAN BAND OF SPRINGDALE will find its way onto the Bestseller list shortly after its official release date. * I would like to thank GOODREADS as well as CANDLEWICK PRESS for providing me with an ARC (Advance Reading Copy) of this book. To read more of my reviews, visit my blog at http://Amiesbookreviews.wordpress.comFollow me on Instagram @Amiesbookreviews
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  • Dianna
    January 1, 1970
    I adore this book! The writing is lyrical and clear; the characters are believable and lovable; the historical events covered are highly relevant today; and there is a French horn, an attic full of old books, and an interrupting boy. Eleven-year-old Gusta is easy to relate to. Her life hasn't been easy, but she's figured out ways to make life work. So when she's dumped off a bus to go live with her formidable grandmother, she makes it work. When people at school aren't kind, she copes. When her I adore this book! The writing is lyrical and clear; the characters are believable and lovable; the historical events covered are highly relevant today; and there is a French horn, an attic full of old books, and an interrupting boy. Eleven-year-old Gusta is easy to relate to. Her life hasn't been easy, but she's figured out ways to make life work. So when she's dumped off a bus to go live with her formidable grandmother, she makes it work. When people at school aren't kind, she copes. When her uncle needs an expensive operation, she works to make it happen. Not all her choices are perfect—there are plenty of learning experiences here—but it's hard not to love someone who tries so hard.This book is set in pre-WWII Maine. Historical aspects touched upon include the upcoming war; union organizing; people fleeing Germany because of the events leading up to the war; and suspicion of immigrants under the guise of nationalism and security. I found it to be exceedingly relevant to events going on today, and that is one reason I am going to be strongly encouraging my eleven-year-old son to read this ASAP.Another reason I'll be encouraging him to read it is the bits about the French horn. My son plays it too, and I think he loves it as much as Gusta does. The passages that talk about how she feels when she plays it, I can see in my own son when he picks up his horn or talks about it. And the case banging against the shins: spot on! My son's biggest challenge when he started playing it last year was just carrying it around.I can't finish my review without mentioning the amazing writing surrounding Gusta getting glasses. I have never needed glasses, but reading about how she felt after getting them, I finally think I know what it would be like. I would love to see this book in the running for the Newbery. It's that good!———Content: An orphan discovers her true parentage (talk of a "mistake" made years earlier); a single pregnant woman delivers a baby and leaves it behind; a man scares a girl and rips her sweater. Ages 10+, but really, nothing in here offensive, just material for discussion.
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  • Jaina Rose
    January 1, 1970
    This review and more like it are available at Read Till Dawn .I'll be honest: I didn't really know what I was in for when I picked up The Orphan Band of Springdale, and I kind of thought it was going to be a little bit boring. I like historical fiction, but some areas (such as orphans going to live with a troubled family in a small town) have been done nearly to death by this point.I'm very happy to report, though, that The Orphan Band of Springdale avoids a lot of the pitfalls of its niche. So This review and more like it are available at Read Till Dawn .I'll be honest: I didn't really know what I was in for when I picked up The Orphan Band of Springdale, and I kind of thought it was going to be a little bit boring. I like historical fiction, but some areas (such as orphans going to live with a troubled family in a small town) have been done nearly to death by this point.I'm very happy to report, though, that The Orphan Band of Springdale avoids a lot of the pitfalls of its niche. Some of the plot devices and twists may look familiar, but the book as a whole is done in a fairly original and definitely gripping manner. It handles a lot of messy, complicated issues such as anti-German sentiment in the 1940s, the handling of sensitive family history, and the labor organization movement. All of these are done very well, I thought, and woven together very tightly and interspersed with the right amount of humor to keep things from becoming too dark for its target audience.I think my favorite thing about this book is that it works very hard to show both sides of every issue and paint the characters as complex and nuanced. There are almost no pure villains or amazing heroes in Springdale; people make their decisions out of love, out of fear, out of necessity; sometimes those decisions are good ones that improve life for everyone involved, and sometimes those decisions are bad ones which wind up hurting people around them. But they always have reasons for the choices they make, and sometimes those reasons are actually very reasonable (even if we may not like their results). For example, it's not really fair that Gusta–an innocent child–gets bullied because of her German last name, but it is true that her father is literally from Germany and WWII has already started; fears that her family might be connected to the Nazis aren't entirely unreasonable. As the granddaughter of a Swiss-German American who lost the German language which had been handed down for generations, because schoolteachers and parents decided it wasn't a good idea to let their kids speak German in the 1940s, I can mourn for the loss of cultural heritage people of German ancestry experienced during WWII–and the discrimination some, like Gusta, experienced–but I also understand that it was necessary to a certain extent. I think Nesbet does a good job walking the line between the two perspectives, showing us the atmosphere of the time and its results.The Orphan Band of Springdale is a good book, a nuanced book, and I really enjoyed reading it. It may be a bit long for some younger readers, but if they can make it through the 450 pages then I recommend it. Let me know in the comments below if you or anyone you know has read it, and give us your thoughts!Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Jen Naughton
    January 1, 1970
    Super enjoyable and sweet but way better than just "sweet." This book has a kind of Eleanor Estes or Penderwicks feel sometimes centering on the pursuits and cares of children in a small town, but it's the early 1940s, so the stakes are way higher than Ginger Pye. Xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment are on the rise, big business is fighting against a labor organization, and Gusta's dad is on the run from the law. There is plenty of goodwill and kindness to stand up against the world's real d Super enjoyable and sweet but way better than just "sweet." This book has a kind of Eleanor Estes or Penderwicks feel sometimes centering on the pursuits and cares of children in a small town, but it's the early 1940s, so the stakes are way higher than Ginger Pye. Xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment are on the rise, big business is fighting against a labor organization, and Gusta's dad is on the run from the law. There is plenty of goodwill and kindness to stand up against the world's real darkness, and the characters are great and genuine. There are a lot of topics explored here, but the one that especially resonated with me was the idea of being "other." Otherness is explored a lot within this story; Gusta arrives at a city she's never been to, lives with the family she's never met, and has to try to fit into this new life, even though it's entirely different from the one she left. There's also hatred towards immigrants and those who seem different. Sadly, this idea of not fitting in is something that I think will resonate with anyone at any time, at any age. The hatred towards immigrants also rang all too true for today's time. However, it was nice to see it handled in a way that showed the shortsightedness of those making snap judgments. I could talk about this book forever. I love the idea of a great-grandfather leaving a magical wish and Gusta's sincere belief that if she finds it, she could fix everything; I love the friendships Gusta makes and their love for music; I like the idea of justice and fairness that pervades the children thinking in this story. Everything about this book is lovely. It's incredibly detailed, and I felt as if I were teleported right back into 1941 and living there right along with Gusta. I am excitedly looking forward to Nesbet's future books because she's going to be a household name if she keeps writing. Put this book in your classrooms, add it to your curriculum, put it in your libraries, and buy it for the children in your life. It's magical and charming and everything to love about middle-grade stories.Release Date- April 10, 2018
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  • Afoma Umesi
    January 1, 1970
    The Orphan Band of Springdale, set in 1940's America, as World War II rages in Europe is Gusta Neubronner's story. Left behind by her father on a bus, eleven year old Gusta moves into her grandmother's orphanage. While there, the nearsighted, snaggletoothed girl learns about family, sacrifice and the bitter taste of prejudice. Central to Gusta's story is the French horn that is "the bravest part of her - her sweet, large, secret, brassy voice".Gusta is one of my favorite child protagonists in a The Orphan Band of Springdale, set in 1940's America, as World War II rages in Europe is Gusta Neubronner's story. Left behind by her father on a bus, eleven year old Gusta moves into her grandmother's orphanage. While there, the nearsighted, snaggletoothed girl learns about family, sacrifice and the bitter taste of prejudice. Central to Gusta's story is the French horn that is "the bravest part of her - her sweet, large, secret, brassy voice".Gusta is one of my favorite child protagonists in a long time. I was filled with tremendous admiration for the character that Nesbet has created. It is also ultimately refreshing to read a book that will simultaneously ignite in children a curiosity for history while creating awareness about prejudice. I particularly enjoyed reading how the kids dealt with discrimination and of the wonderful bond between them all. The Orphan of Springdale is powerful, necessary and very well written.If you're looking for children's fiction that is realistic and will help kids develop empathy, courage and awareness, then The Orphan Band of Springdale is highly recommended!*I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Full review at http://www.afomaumesi.com/2018/04/10/...
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  • Alisia
    January 1, 1970
    *I received a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review."This outstanding middle-grade historical fiction novel, set in small-town Maine during the early 1940s, tackles some big topics. Xenophobia, anti-immigration sentiment, union and labor rights organizations all play a role in the narrative that holds many parallels to modern day current events. Gusta is an 11 year old girl who is sent to live with her grandmother in Springdale, Maine, after her foreign- *I received a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review."This outstanding middle-grade historical fiction novel, set in small-town Maine during the early 1940s, tackles some big topics. Xenophobia, anti-immigration sentiment, union and labor rights organizations all play a role in the narrative that holds many parallels to modern day current events. Gusta is an 11 year old girl who is sent to live with her grandmother in Springdale, Maine, after her foreign-born father is forced to go on the run because of his labor organizing efforts. Her grandmother runs a children's home, and we meet a motley crew that all reside under Grandma Hoopes's roof as Gusta adjusts to her changed circumstances. Underlying this tale that is both heartwarming and powerful, is The Wish. The Wish is supposedly a magic coin that her sea-captain grandfather hid somewhere, and Gusta hopes to find it and use the wish to help her family.This is a story that teaches empathy and courage. Compassion and inclusiveness. Gusta is kind, intelligent, brave, and incredibly strong. The anti-immigrant storyline resonates today, and I could see this as an excellent book to use for an anti-bullying or diversity curriculum.
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  • Heidi
    January 1, 1970
    In 1941, eleven year old Gusta's life is turned upside down when her father disappears and her mother sends her to live in rural Maine with her grandmother and a house full of wild, fun loving orphans. Homesick as she can be, Gusta's perception of the world slowly changes as she learns to love her mother's family. She's given a pair of eyeglasses from a gentle optician with a fondness for pigeons. She gains great confidence and sees the effect of music on her community through her talent on the In 1941, eleven year old Gusta's life is turned upside down when her father disappears and her mother sends her to live in rural Maine with her grandmother and a house full of wild, fun loving orphans. Homesick as she can be, Gusta's perception of the world slowly changes as she learns to love her mother's family. She's given a pair of eyeglasses from a gentle optician with a fondness for pigeons. She gains great confidence and sees the effect of music on her community through her talent on the French horn. And she grows to own an understanding of life's harsher realities asshe faces a small community whose world is on the brink of war.A wonderful and touching book, I highly enjoyed "The Orphan Band of Springdale". The writing is personable and accessible and the characters grow close to the reader's heart. The sticky situations Gusta finds herself in are realistic and sad, and resolutions (or the lack thereof) are true to life. I can highly recommend this as great middle grade historical fiction.Thank you to @netgalley and @candlewickpress for an advanced electronic copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. “The Orphan Band of Springdale” was published April 10th, 2018...I highly recommend a copy for the children in your life...your own personal library.
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  • Grace
    January 1, 1970
    Super enjoyable and sweet but way better than just "sweet."This book has a kind of Eleanor Estes or Penderwicks feel sometimes, centering on the pursuits and cares of children in a small town, but it's the early 1940s so the stakes are way higher than Ginger Pye. Xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment are on the rise, big business is fighting against labor organization, and Gusta's dad is on the run from the law. There is plenty of good will and kindness to stand up against the world's real dar Super enjoyable and sweet but way better than just "sweet."This book has a kind of Eleanor Estes or Penderwicks feel sometimes, centering on the pursuits and cares of children in a small town, but it's the early 1940s so the stakes are way higher than Ginger Pye. Xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiment are on the rise, big business is fighting against labor organization, and Gusta's dad is on the run from the law. There is plenty of good will and kindness to stand up against the world's real darkness, and the characters are great and genuine.
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  • Mary Lee
    January 1, 1970
    This book was a very slow read for me, but slow in a savor-every-word way. After I've thought about it some more, I'll likely switch it up to 5 stars. One of my favorite things about the book is how Gusta sees the world after she gets her glasses. That's kind of what the whole book is about -- seeing things more clearly. Not making assumptions. Being brave and telling the truth as you see it.
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  • Brenda
    January 1, 1970
    Although I'm not typically a historical fiction reader, The Orphan Band of Springdale had so many of the elements that typically pique my interest, a girl who plays a musical instrument, set during the early parts of WWII and hints of a secret magical wish. What I was surprised with was the messaging that included wealth inequality, foreigner's being seen as "other," and how some German's during this time period were the subject of suspicion and discrimination. Other subjects included the import Although I'm not typically a historical fiction reader, The Orphan Band of Springdale had so many of the elements that typically pique my interest, a girl who plays a musical instrument, set during the early parts of WWII and hints of a secret magical wish. What I was surprised with was the messaging that included wealth inequality, foreigner's being seen as "other," and how some German's during this time period were the subject of suspicion and discrimination. Other subjects included the importance of unions in the US to protect people like Gusta's Uncle and mention of how the rising tensions and the War in Europe led to the enactment of the Smith Act or Alien Registration Act. Nesbet wonderfully utilizes her character of Molly as a springboard to show how Molly's claims of patriotism, nationalism, and trying to protect the people of Springdale by calling out Gusta and George as being "unamerican" are misguided, judgemental and wrong. How past events such as the ones in the story correlate to events sadly occurring even today. It's an interesting look at this time period from a child's perspective and captures the feeling and emotions of wanting to fit in, the loneliness of being without your family, fear for your father's safety in a place where you're seen as "foreign," while at the same time being hopeful and filled with lots of heart. Highly recommend, I can just imagine all the classroom discussions that could be had, please have a teachers guide. But not to be missed is the author's note where Nesbet explains the inspiration for the story and the research she performed to get the local and historical details of Gusta's town just right. Favorite Line: "A plan was what would tell your feet where to go and your hands what to do when you got there."
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    Candlewick previewed this as a follow-up book from noted author of Cloud and Wallfish; described as mystery/adventure story pre-WWII at a time when "patriotism often served as a cover for prejudice."
  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    I was excited to receive this ARC from Candlewick Press by Anne Nesbet because I adored another book by her, "Cloud and Wallfish". Happy Book Birthday to Anne on April 10th for this book, another one set long ago, this time pre-World War II. It's time to celebrate! Again I love Nesbit's style, including so many details in this story of eleven-year-old Gusta’s life whose life is about change just like the world around her. We readers learn her thoughts, see characters that surround Gusta in depth I was excited to receive this ARC from Candlewick Press by Anne Nesbet because I adored another book by her, "Cloud and Wallfish". Happy Book Birthday to Anne on April 10th for this book, another one set long ago, this time pre-World War II. It's time to celebrate! Again I love Nesbit's style, including so many details in this story of eleven-year-old Gusta’s life whose life is about change just like the world around her. We readers learn her thoughts, see characters that surround Gusta in depth, and learn much of that Maine community, family and neighbors, the countryside itself with poetic descriptions. Her father, a foreign-born labor organizer, has had to flee the country, and Gusta has been sent to live in an orphanage run by her grandmother. Nearsighted, snaggletoothed Gusta arrives in Springdale, Maine, lugging her one precious possession: a beloved old French horn, a memento of her father. Though Gusta is thought to be quiet and shy, as the story moves, we see too that she has brought along her father's words of advice which strengthen her resolve to do the right thing. He calls her "my little thingling" and in a talk about preparing for a coming storm, Gusta says to "Borrow umbrellas! Button up our coats! Run inside and close the door!" Her father replies with a more serious idea: to discover "who we are in the light of trouble." and after more conversation, "But can you be sure you will stay yourself, Gusta, when the wind is howling?" The plot continues to be revealed and shows Gusta's strong resolve, backed by her father's words, friends and family who always support her. Nesbet weaves fascinating parts into this "orphan band" story. In her new family Gusta remembers her mother’s fanciful stories, and secretly hopes to find the coin-like “Wish” that her sea-captain grandfather supposedly left hidden somewhere. There are challenges within the household, more at school as she faces the new words appearing in town about registering aliens, especially those with a German background. It seems that no matter what she does, she remains an outsider at her new school within her classroom and in her interactions with a high school music teacher. Sound complicated? That's Gusta's life, more challenges than one might wish for an eleven-year-old. But you will love the story, touching history that connects to today's conflicts, too. She is a young girl who takes a deep breath and steps up no matter how frightened.
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  • Ms. Yingling
    January 1, 1970
    E ARC from NetgalleyGusta Neubronner is on a bus from New York City to a small town in Maine in 1941 when her father disappears. He is a union organizer, and has told Gusta a little bit about what to do if men come for him, but she just didn't expect it. At least she is on her way to her grandmother's house, and manages to arrive without other incidents. Her grandmother runs an odd sort of orphanage, so there is plenty of room for Gusta. She settles in to school, gets to know her cousin, and fin E ARC from NetgalleyGusta Neubronner is on a bus from New York City to a small town in Maine in 1941 when her father disappears. He is a union organizer, and has told Gusta a little bit about what to do if men come for him, but she just didn't expect it. At least she is on her way to her grandmother's house, and manages to arrive without other incidents. Her grandmother runs an odd sort of orphanage, so there is plenty of room for Gusta. She settles in to school, gets to know her cousin, and finally gets a much needed pair of eyeglasses. In order to pay for the glasses, she helps a German optometrist who keeps pigeons. As WWII heats up, everyone comes under suspicion, especially the optometrist and Gusta, who is unable to furnish a birth certificate to the school. Gusta plays the French Horn, and is glad to be approached by the high school band, but when her uncle needs an operation to repair damage done by the looms at his work, she sells the instrument to help pay for it. She also writes to a labor organizer in New York who worked with her father, hoping to get some representation for the uncle's case. Long held family secrets emerge, and eventually Gusta is able to make sense of her world. Strengths: I am constantly fascinated by books involving Germans in the US during WWII, but aside from A Tiny Piece of Sky and Bunting's Spying on Miss Muller (1995), there aren't that many. This Nesbet's own mother's story, and the love that goes into the details is very evident. I would have adored this one as a child. Weaknesses: A bit long (448 pages) for my students. The biggest reason WWII books circulate is for an 8th grade unit, and this could have had a few more details about life on the home front. What I really think: May purchase this one if I have the money remaining to do so. This author's Cabinet of Earths and Cloud and Wallfish don't circulate particularly well. Again, perfectly fine book, and it may be great for your library.
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  • Fatima Alsuwaidi
    January 1, 1970
    The Orphan Band of Springdale by Anne Nesbet *I've received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest book review*Eleven-years-old Gusta finds her self-solo in a bus heading to her grandmother's orphanage while her mother is working in NewYork, her father a labor organizer is on the run and WWII is about to explode. She's in a new town and couldn't be more of an outsider in both school and her grandmother's house but alongside her is her most prized possession her French Horn. She formes a The Orphan Band of Springdale by Anne Nesbet *I've received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest book review*Eleven-years-old Gusta finds her self-solo in a bus heading to her grandmother's orphanage while her mother is working in NewYork, her father a labor organizer is on the run and WWII is about to explode. She's in a new town and couldn't be more of an outsider in both school and her grandmother's house but alongside her is her most prized possession her French Horn. She formes a band with her cousin and new friend all while fighting down the secrets that she promised to keep hidden and trying to live up to her new community's expectations.This was a cute, sweet book. I felt like reading daily events about little children living in a war period without actually being in a place of battle but still affected by it.I see myself being friends with Gusta she was very mature, friendly and loyal. All the characters in the book were relatable but, the truth it is we could have gotten more details about each and everyone because most relationships in the book were unique and had a strong base. Especially since a good chunk of this book was super stretched.I learned for the first time that someone had actually tried to put auto cameras on pigeons to take pictures from the sky!!! *mind blown*Her uncle's wounded hand was probably the story that moved me the most, it projected a true human injustice. I think the story could've had more depth yet at the same time it pointed big issues.This book was sweet and enjoyable but unfortunately nothing else.Three Stars.
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  • Rosemary
    January 1, 1970
    It's 1941, and things are tense in the U.S. as the world is at war in Europe. Eleven-year-old Gusta is on the run with her father, a German labor organizer, heading toward Maine to stay with her grandmother, when her father disappears. Gusta shows up on her grandmother's doorstep with the clothes on her back and her beloved French horn. Her grandmother and aunt, who run an orphanage, take her in, and Gusta starts adjusting to life in a place very different from New York. American nationalism run It's 1941, and things are tense in the U.S. as the world is at war in Europe. Eleven-year-old Gusta is on the run with her father, a German labor organizer, heading toward Maine to stay with her grandmother, when her father disappears. Gusta shows up on her grandmother's doorstep with the clothes on her back and her beloved French horn. Her grandmother and aunt, who run an orphanage, take her in, and Gusta starts adjusting to life in a place very different from New York. American nationalism runs rampant in Maine, and Gusta's last name and status as a newcomer brings some suspicion with it, as does her talk about unions and workers' rights. Her uncle, a mill-worker whose hand was mangled at the factory, can't work, so Gusta takes it upon herself to approach the owner of the mill to ask him to consider helping with her uncle's bills. What Gusta doesn't realize is that her desire to do the right thing puts her at odds with the mill owner, who has a history of his own with her family.There is such rich and relevant storytelling here. Gusta is a wonderfully realized character with a strong background in social justice: a background that makes her an outsider in her own country. She comes to Small Town America during a time when there of alien registration drives (it really happened) and extreme patriotism; when something as innocuous as a last name aroused suspicion. Gusta is hyper-aware of injustice and determined to do what's right, whether it's bringing union reps to her town or point-blank asking for compensation for her uncle's work-related injury. It's her unflinching sense of right and wrong that puts her at odds in her community - and her father's reputation certainly doesn't help. Thank goodness her tough but loving grandmother is there to lean on. The Orphan Band of Springdale moves at a good pace, has believable characters in relatable situations, and readers can easily draw parallels between 1941 and today.An author's note reveals the very personal connection between the author and Gusta's story. Readers can download a discussion guide and author's notes from Candlewick's website. The Orphan Band of Springdale has starred reviews from Publisher's Weekly and the Bulletin of the Center for Chidren's Books.
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  • Nate
    January 1, 1970
    The Orphan Band of Springdale is about the adjustment of young, plucky, standard middle grade heroine Gusta Neubronner to life in a small town just before the United States's entry into the Second World War. The story is about everyday life with very few large mysteries, mostly about the decisions and tribulations Gusta faces in Maine, from anti-immigrant prejudice to deciding whether she must sell her beloved possession to help her uncle. She makes friends with the girls that live at her grandm The Orphan Band of Springdale is about the adjustment of young, plucky, standard middle grade heroine Gusta Neubronner to life in a small town just before the United States's entry into the Second World War. The story is about everyday life with very few large mysteries, mostly about the decisions and tribulations Gusta faces in Maine, from anti-immigrant prejudice to deciding whether she must sell her beloved possession to help her uncle. She makes friends with the girls that live at her grandmother's orphanage and her cousin, Bess (who is rather forgotten and underdeveloped), with who she forms a band. The WW2 setting serves to add atmosphere and greater depth to what would be an otherwise dull book. There is a tad of magical realism in this book regarding a magical Wish, but it does not play much into the book except as a minor side-plot. In fact, this book does not have a typical overarching conflict, only a large amount of small, from Gusta's grappling with her father's outlaw situation to the trouble a local German doctor is facing to stay in the country. The writing holds interest in the myriad of characters, though some, like Bess and the factory owner, were rather underdeveloped. Interestingly, the author based this book on the experiences of her grandmother in this time. A digital copy of this book was provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
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  • Angela
    January 1, 1970
    As World War II blazes through Europe and Hitler becomes a menace, Augusta "Gusta" Neubronner is sent to live with her grandma she barely knows in Springdale, Maine. Her father was escorting her but in Providence they became separated so she trudges on until she finds her grandmother's doorstep. She brings very few possessions but her treasured French horn as made the journey with her. As she learns her way in life and the new town will the French horn be able to save her and her family as famil As World War II blazes through Europe and Hitler becomes a menace, Augusta "Gusta" Neubronner is sent to live with her grandma she barely knows in Springdale, Maine. Her father was escorting her but in Providence they became separated so she trudges on until she finds her grandmother's doorstep. She brings very few possessions but her treasured French horn as made the journey with her. As she learns her way in life and the new town will the French horn be able to save her and her family as family secrets start leaking out at the seams?What a treasured read. The book is loosely based on the author's own mother's life as a child during wartime in Maine. You can see the trueness of the story shine through the words on the page. I was enthralled with this different aspect of a children's book during World War Two. As a reader you learn about Alienation registration and how children treated other children who seemed un-American based on their name or look. At times it reminded me of what is going on the America today with the immigration disputes among people. This may be a children's fiction book but anyone who loves a good story, no matter the age, will find themselves cheering gutsy Gusta as she learns her way in life.I received a complimentary copy of this book from Candlewick Press through NetGalley. All opinions expressed in the review are completely my own.
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  • Jackie
    January 1, 1970
    In 1941 in a small town in Maine, prejudice and nonacceptance rears its ugly head. Yet, when it is aimed at a young girl who is trying to adapt to profound changes in her life, it is both heart-breaking and unfathomable. Gusta has recently moved from New York to Springdale to live with her grandmother who runs a home for orphans. Strict, but fair and loving, grandmother Hoopes, guides Gusta. And, with Gusta's father on the run as a fugitive from the law and her mother working feverishly to suppo In 1941 in a small town in Maine, prejudice and nonacceptance rears its ugly head. Yet, when it is aimed at a young girl who is trying to adapt to profound changes in her life, it is both heart-breaking and unfathomable. Gusta has recently moved from New York to Springdale to live with her grandmother who runs a home for orphans. Strict, but fair and loving, grandmother Hoopes, guides Gusta. And, with Gusta's father on the run as a fugitive from the law and her mother working feverishly to support them, Gusta arrives alone at her grandmother's house. Her one prized possession, a French horn, comes along with Gusta. There are some, however, who are wary of Gusta's foreign sounding name, her relationship with a fugitive father, and passionate beliefs of worker's rights. Trying her best to right some wrongs, Gusta manages to stir up trouble in the small town. Secrets, once deeply hidden, have become dislodged. Now, Gusta is beside herself with sorrow and repentance as she sees some beloved people hurting from her involvement. The Orphan Band of Springdale is a story of facing prejudice in the most repugnant form. Yet, trying to find all the goodness in life, too. Gusta's love of family and music will come shining through.
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  • Audra Watts
    January 1, 1970
    https://audrasbookblabbing.wordpress....Expected Publication: April 10, 2018Cleanliness: Very Clean (Middle-grade fiction. Topics to consider: orphans, fugitives, bullying, war, injury, and lying.)Who knew a book about World War II could be so extremely sweet and beautiful?! I loved this book so much! A lot of it made me think of The Penderwicks and A Series of Unfortunate Events mushed together.The author's writing style is absolutely perfect for middle-grade fiction, but it's also a nice read https://audrasbookblabbing.wordpress....Expected Publication: April 10, 2018Cleanliness: Very Clean (Middle-grade fiction. Topics to consider: orphans, fugitives, bullying, war, injury, and lying.)Who knew a book about World War II could be so extremely sweet and beautiful?! I loved this book so much! A lot of it made me think of The Penderwicks and A Series of Unfortunate Events mushed together.The author's writing style is absolutely perfect for middle-grade fiction, but it's also a nice read for adults. A lot of tough subjects (e.g. war, loss of family, unfair treatment by authority, inequality, Nazis) were presented and dealt with nicely, but in a kid-friendly way. It was so realistic and down-to-earth with just a little sprinkle of the magic of childhood.It is a story (at its root) about a girl, with her beloved French horn, who discovers how one little kid can make a big difference, even in a war-stricken world.The Orphan Band of Springdale was adorable, interesting, sad, and meaningful all at the same time, and I loved it.~I was sent a free ecopy of this book from NetGalley and Candlewick Press for an honest review~
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  • Katherine
    January 1, 1970
    Gusta and her dad, a labor organizer, are on a bus traveling from New York to Springdale, Maine together. Her father unexpectedly disappears and Gusta must finish the journey alone. With her cherished French horn and a letter to her grandmother from her mother, when the bus arrives in Springdale, Gusta trudges through the cold weather to her Grandmother's orphanage.This is a fine, well-written historical fiction for middle grade kids. Gusta has so many fine qualities. She bravely relocates to a Gusta and her dad, a labor organizer, are on a bus traveling from New York to Springdale, Maine together. Her father unexpectedly disappears and Gusta must finish the journey alone. With her cherished French horn and a letter to her grandmother from her mother, when the bus arrives in Springdale, Gusta trudges through the cold weather to her Grandmother's orphanage.This is a fine, well-written historical fiction for middle grade kids. Gusta has so many fine qualities. She bravely relocates to a new home in a new state. She attends a school where the students and teachers are strangers to her. She faces the absence of her parents, and so wants to help her uncle get the surgery for his damaged hand. She faces injustices and verbal attacks on her person and integrity. There are secrets, wish coins and diaries of a sea-faring grandfather. This is a wonderful story that left me with a good feeling when it ended.I received a complimentary copy of this book from Candlewick Press through Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    Gusta's parents are having money difficulties, so they are sending her to her maternal grandmother's orphanage for the summer. While she starts the long bus journey with her father, the two get separated when the police come looking for him to arrest him. Gusta holds onto the teachings of her mother and the strong passion for unions from her father. She must learn how to live in a small town, instead of New York City like she is used to. Gusta takes solace in playing her french horn and wants to Gusta's parents are having money difficulties, so they are sending her to her maternal grandmother's orphanage for the summer. While she starts the long bus journey with her father, the two get separated when the police come looking for him to arrest him. Gusta holds onto the teachings of her mother and the strong passion for unions from her father. She must learn how to live in a small town, instead of New York City like she is used to. Gusta takes solace in playing her french horn and wants to use it to earn money for her uncle's hand operation. After finding out that her uncle was injured on the job, Gusta does what she can to make the mill pay and to also earn money for the operation. The characters were well-developed and interesting. I thought this was a unique period piece set during WWII. This would be perfect for those who love The War that Saved My Life.
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  • Andrea
    January 1, 1970
    3.4 Stars, rounded down to 3.*The Orphan Band of Springdale opens with 11-year-old Gusta, suddenly and unexpectedly alone aboard a bus en route to her grandmother in Maine. It’s 1941, and the world is an unsure place...specifically for Gusta as the child of a German labor organizer at a time when foreigners are viewed with suspicion. Anne Nesbet beautifully captures the scenery of Springdale, Maine- bringing it more in focus as Gusta literally and figuratively begins to see the world around her. 3.4 Stars, rounded down to 3.*The Orphan Band of Springdale opens with 11-year-old Gusta, suddenly and unexpectedly alone aboard a bus en route to her grandmother in Maine. It’s 1941, and the world is an unsure place...specifically for Gusta as the child of a German labor organizer at a time when foreigners are viewed with suspicion. Anne Nesbet beautifully captures the scenery of Springdale, Maine- bringing it more in focus as Gusta literally and figuratively begins to see the world around her. It’s a sweet, charming story. A blend of historical fiction and social justice handbook. Gusta is a character of particular moxie and she’s lovable as she fumbles through her relationships and awakenings.*free copy of this book received in exchange for an honest review
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  • Rita
    January 1, 1970
    What a lovely book! I wasn’t expecting to love this novel as much as I did. I loved Gusta’s character, the setting, the whole historical subplot that was going on and all the other characters. The children (and adults alike) were so fleshed out that they read wonderfully. They had their flaws and their strong points, and their actions changed throughout the story which can be hard to see in this context. I’m so glad I got the chance to read this ARC offered to me by the publisher via Netgalley. What a lovely book! I wasn’t expecting to love this novel as much as I did. I loved Gusta’s character, the setting, the whole historical subplot that was going on and all the other characters. The children (and adults alike) were so fleshed out that they read wonderfully. They had their flaws and their strong points, and their actions changed throughout the story which can be hard to see in this context. I’m so glad I got the chance to read this ARC offered to me by the publisher via Netgalley. I will do a full review of this book at the end of the month in my monthly wrap-up. But in the meantime, if you’re looking for a middle-grade novel to read that has really strong characters and an incredible setting, PICK THIS ONE UP!
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  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    It’s 1941, the U.S. is about to enter World War II, and eleven year old Gusta is alone on a bus. Away from home. Away from her parents. Moving toward people and a place that she’s never known.“The Orphan Band of Springdale” was heartwarming and refreshing—the perfect read to usher in the spring. The main character, Gusta, won me over from the start with her fierce determination and her loyal spirit. Despite her dire circumstances and an unknown future, she stands firm on what she knows to be rig It’s 1941, the U.S. is about to enter World War II, and eleven year old Gusta is alone on a bus. Away from home. Away from her parents. Moving toward people and a place that she’s never known.“The Orphan Band of Springdale” was heartwarming and refreshing—the perfect read to usher in the spring. The main character, Gusta, won me over from the start with her fierce determination and her loyal spirit. Despite her dire circumstances and an unknown future, she stands firm on what she knows to be right. Gusta is a character children and adults alike will all want to emulate. Even in the midst of uncertainty, confusion, and temptation, she stays true to the person she wants to be.Near the beginning of the novel, readers learn that Gusta has terrible eyesight. Whether because of embarrassment, poverty, or ignorance, she has never sought help for the blurred world around her. With the aid of Mr. Bertmann, the oculist, Gusta finally gets the eyeglasses she so desperately needs. I loved the way Gusta’s understanding of the world transformed along with her eyes. In the beginning, everything was veiled in uncertainty, mystery, and fear. As she learned to see with her eyes and her heart, Gusta saw people more clearly—their insecurities, mistakes, fears, and good intentions. Her newfound insights gave her the courage she needed to embrace her identity as her own.“The Orphan Band of Springdale” is a work of historical fiction that translates beautifully to the issues of our world today. Readers are encouraged to consider what it really means to be “American” and, in small ways, the sacrifices faced by refugees fleeing from war. Gusta and Mr. Bertmann face prejudice and injustice simply because their family heritages trace back to Germany—a most unfortunate fact for those living during the World Wars. While treated like aliens, Gusta, Mr. Bertmann, and Georges (an endearing friend of Gusta’s), prove that true integrity resides in the heart, not in nationality, citizenship, or a name.I loved every moment of this heartwarming story. Its atmosphere, setting, characters, and message are ready and waiting to be enjoyed by readers of every age!
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  • Tricia
    January 1, 1970
    It’s 1941, and Augusta’s father, a German immigrant and labor organizer, has disappeared. Sent to live at her Gramma Hoopes’s orphanage in a Maine mill town, the plucky, scrawny Gusta tries mightily to uphold what her father has taught her about justice, but it’s a hard go. Distrust of “aliens” is on the rise, and the mill’s cruel owner has it in for the Hoopes. To help, Gusta tries to sell her beloved French horn, but even that goes wrong. Nesbet’s prose brims with delights: a cousin is so conf It’s 1941, and Augusta’s father, a German immigrant and labor organizer, has disappeared. Sent to live at her Gramma Hoopes’s orphanage in a Maine mill town, the plucky, scrawny Gusta tries mightily to uphold what her father has taught her about justice, but it’s a hard go. Distrust of “aliens” is on the rise, and the mill’s cruel owner has it in for the Hoopes. To help, Gusta tries to sell her beloved French horn, but even that goes wrong. Nesbet’s prose brims with delights: a cousin is so confident that “you could probably build actual bridges out of that confidence and walk on them over deadly fire pits and deep ravines.” A fine read-aloud.
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