A Boston Globe Best Book of 2018
A Horn Book Best Book of 2018
“Vivid, hilarious, and heartbreaking.” —Elizabeth Wein, New York Times bestselling author of Code Name Verity
“The best children’s book I’ve read this year.” —Katherine Rundell, Boston Globe–Horn Book Award–winning author of Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms
“A near-miraculous balance of light and joyous touch with sometimes serious and even heartbreaking material.” —BCCB (starred review)
From award-winning author Hilary McKay comes a “wholly satisfying” (Booklist, starred review) story full of wit, heartbreak, and hope as a girl fights for her independence during World War I.
Clarry Penrose finds the good in everyone. Even in her father, who isn’t fond of children, and especially girls. He doesn’t worry about her education, because he knows she won’t need it. It’s the early twentieth century, and the only thing girls are expected to do is behave.
But Clarry longs for a life of her own. She wants to dive off cliffs and go swimming with her brother Peter and cousin Rupert. And more than anything, she wants an education. She helps Peter with his homework all the time, so why can’t she manage it by herself? When war breaks out, Clarry is shocked to find that Rupert has enlisted. Then he is declared missing, and Clarry is devastated. Now she must take a momentous step into the wide world—for if she misses this chance, she may never make it.
This is an inspirational, funny, and heartwarming story about a girl who dares to open doors that the world would rather keep closed.