The Rabbit Girl by Mary Arrigan, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Rabbit Girl

The Rabbit Girl

by Mary Arrigan
     
 

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What is the secret of Mallie's picture? The mystery unfolds as evacuees Tony and Alice escape the terrors of London's Blitz for the Lake District, where they befriend a fascinating and fearless old lady. Many years later, an after-school job in a pet shop enables well-meaning Mallie to buy her mum a drawing of a girl with a rabbit. Could this old picture bring past

Overview

What is the secret of Mallie's picture? The mystery unfolds as evacuees Tony and Alice escape the terrors of London's Blitz for the Lake District, where they befriend a fascinating and fearless old lady. Many years later, an after-school job in a pet shop enables well-meaning Mallie to buy her mum a drawing of a girl with a rabbit. Could this old picture bring past and present together - and change Mallie's life?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—Two different stories converge, one contemporary, the other set during the London Blitz, to bring old and young together in a shared family past. When Mallie takes an after-school job in a pet store owned by a retired veterinarian, it also leads to some commissioned artwork for her single mother, an artist. Mallie's purchase of an old framed sketch of a girl and rabbit makes a perfect present for her mum, but when a dinner brings mother and daughter together with the pet-shop owner and his middle-aged son, the gifted piece of art attracts some consternation and intrigue. The vet recognizes the drawing as something he received as a child from a mysterious Mrs. H, and his upsetting reaction prompts Mallie to find out more about it. She eventually learns that the artist is Beatrix Potter, who not only knew the man as a child, but also spent time with Mallie's grandmother during the war. Alternating chapters take readers through the separate stories of a boy's wartime experiences opposite a very modern London girl's lifestyle. Both children experience parallel situations of uncertainty and stress. The young future vet must leave his parents to live in an unknown rural setting, longing for some familiarity and companionship. Mallie strives to help her mother's unemployment and subsequent depression. A well-crafted British import with believable characterization, realism, and a suspenseful story arc.—Rita Soltan, Youth Services Consultant, West Bloomfield, MI
Kirkus Reviews
A novel explores intergenerational links, with a modern teenager at one end and a child orphaned in the London Blitz at the other. The bombing sends unwilling, urbanized 10-year-old Tony into the Lakes District. There he is given a drawing by old "Mrs H" (a certain artist and sheep farmer whose real identity is made known when the drawing lands on Antiques Road Show decades later) and develops a love for animals by working on a farm before receiving news that his widowed father has been killed. Meanwhile, in alternating segments, a modern teen, Mallie, lands a part-time job in a pet shop owned by a crusty retired veterinarian, buys an old drawing in a thrift shop and engineers both work and a personal connection with the vet's unattached son for her widowed artist mum. A disastrous dinner party during which the old man spots Mallie's drawing and accuses her of theft sets up a climactic round of revelations, shared memories and long-ago connections that ties the tale into a tidy bow. Young readers may enjoy the lively banter between Mallie and her BF Jamila and perhaps take mild intellectual interest in the historical back story--but to American children for whom the war wasn't fought so close to home, the emotional resonance won't be particularly sharp. Likely to be a miss on this side of the pond, though written in a style fluid enough to smooth over some contrivances. (afterword) (Historical fiction. 10-12)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781847801562
Publisher:
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Publication date:
10/25/2011
Pages:
224
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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