The Piper – Jacqueline Halsey


  The Piper – Jacqueline Halsey, Nimbus, (9781771086059), 2018

Format: Paperback

Rating:  1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

 Genre: Historical fiction

 What did you like about the book? It’s 1773 in Scotland.  The Jacobites have lost to the English who have taken their homes, animals, their way of life.  Dougal is the oldest (living) child in his family when his father dies, leaving his mother with three younger children, all girls.  Before he died, Dougal’s Da purchased tickets for the family to sail to Nova Scotia to begin a new life.  Deciding that is still the best choice, they all board the Hector.  Dougal meets Johnny Piper who begins teaching him to play the bagpipes which have been forbidden by the English along with wearing tartan.  The voyage is not only a treacherous one when smallpox breaks out, but it is taking weeks longer than planned and the food is gone.  Will the ship sink?  Will they survive?  Will they make it to Nova Scotia?  This is a riveting read with realistically drawn characters and a tenseness that is with the reader throughout. Backmatter includes a glossary of Scots Gaelic words and a history of what was happening to the Scots at the time .

Anything you did not like about the book? No.

 To whom would you recommend this book? Kids who like historical fiction, grades 4-7, may well enjoy this story especially those of Scottish extraction.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it? Juvenile fiction

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? I enjoyed this story so much more than I thought I would.  I’d put it near the top.

 Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Manager, Youth Services Book Review

 Date of review: 9/18/2019

 

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