It's 1941, and tensions are rising in the United States as the Second World War rages in Europe. Eleven-year-old Gusta's 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.
"Financial strains force Gusta to leave her parents and New York City for her grandmother’s home in Springdale, Maine, where the townsfolk are wary of anyone different — especially someone with an unusual name or unusual talent, both of which Gusta, a passionate French horn player, possesses.... Buoyed by memories of [her father's] encouraging words ('In war and struggle, we do what we must!'), Gusta adjusts to her new life, instinctively standing up for what she believes is right. Nesbet deftly weaves disparate elements — music, orphans, labor unions, carrier pigeons, and a magic wish — into a richly developed story set during a pivotal era in American history." — Publishers Weekly
|Recommended Age||10 - 13|
|Publication Date||Apr 10, 2018|