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Somewhere around the Corner


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Just when her world seems darkest, Barbara, a runaway in contemporary Australia, is ``pulled around the corner'' backward in time. Awakening in the year 1932, the confused girl meets a kindly boy named Jim, who brings her home to ``Poverty Gully,'' a relief camp for the unemployed. While Jim's parents view their strange visitor as neglected and delusional, they are quick to accept Barbara as one of the family. Their run-down shack has no floor nor beds, but there Barbara finds the love and compassion denied her in her ``other world.'' Told from several points of view, French's tender story portrays the Great Depression as the best and the worst of times. The Australian author deftly parallels the hardships of that era with the modern-day conflicts that have pushed Barbara to the streets. Persuasively expressing its characters' dreams and concerns while offering a series of surprising twists, this intriguing adventure conveys a faith in many levels of miracles. Ages 9-12. (May)

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