Wednesday, September 23, 2015


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* Read my review of 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

Elizabeth Wein
Ages 12 - 17

Emilia's and Teo's lives changed in a fiery, terrifying instant when a bird strike brought down the plane their stunt-pilot mothers were flying. Teo's mother died immediately, but Em's survived, determined to raise Teo according to his late mother's wishes-in a place where he won't be discriminated against because of the color of his skin. But in 1930s America, a white woman raising a black adoptive son alongside a white daughter is too often seen as a threat.

Seeking a home where her children won't be held back by ethnicity or gender, Rhoda brings Em and Teo to Ethiopia, and all three fall in love with the beautiful, peaceful country. But that peace is shattered by the threat of war with Italy, and teenage Em and Teo are drawn into the conflict. Will their devotion to their country, its culture and people, and each other be their downfall...or their salvation?


Wein has done it again with her latest young pilots story. In Black Dove, White Raven, Wein takes us into the heart of 1930s Ethiopia where Em and Teo now live with their mother, a former stunt flier. As war with Italy looms, newly trained pilots Em and Teo are forced to take sides.

Wein's storytelling expertise is simply astounding. As I read, the Ethiopian landscape came alive for me, and I felt as if I were right in the plane with Em and Teo as they flew. If you are expecting a story similar to Wein's Code Name Verity or Rose Under Fire, you will instead discover a completely unique tale with a flavor and voice all its own. This is more of a journey than a story, a journey I promise is worth taking.

I can honestly say Elizabeth Wein is one of my top 10 all-time favorite authors. I already can't wait for her next book--whatever it will be.


Profanity:  Mild
Violence:  High
Sexuality:  None

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