Children's fiction, Historical fiction

The Orphan Band of Springdale by Anne Nesbet

This book is marked as being for middle school level, and therefore I have put it under that category as well. Though of course, I disagree with putting it in that limited a box and think it can be read by people of all ages. It is narrated by a child, and lets us view the world within her limited sight but even an adult can appreciate her story.

We are introduced to Gusta(short for Augusta which is in turn, short for August her father) who is on a bus heading on to a new journey. She is a unique child, intelligent and sensitive. She sees more than she is told, and retains even more. In her new life, she has her father’s french horn and her mother’s tales to keep her going.Her school gets uncomfortable as soon as it begins, because there is enough misinformation to go around and being discussed in homes to make even children edgy.The story is set in the time before WWII and suspicions and insinuations are rife in small town Springdale. Music seems to be an outlet and so is the hunt for the missing ‘wish’ her mother told her about.Along with the friends she makes and the new relations she has (re)discovered, she forges a new life. I am skipping a lot of information because mentioning those as well would take away a lot from the book itself. I haven’t given a five-star rating for the last few books and I am very excited to give this one the full rating.

It has all the elements to touch the heart and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who likes well written work.I was lucky to read it thanks to NetGalley.

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