A Million to One by Adiba Jaigirdar

A Million to One by Adiba Jaigirdar. Harper Teen, 2022. 9780062916327 

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4.5

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Mystery/Historical fiction

What did you like about the book? Four teen girls, (Josefa, thief; Violet, actress wannabe; Hinnah, acrobat/contortionist; Emilie, artist) board the Titanic in April 1912 with the intention of stealing a jewel-encrusted edition of the Rubaiyat in order to sell the jewels. Of course the reader knows the fate of the Titanic whose overshadowing creates and builds tension and suspense.  Indeed, the chapters, each from the standpoint of one of the girls, are titled with the countdown time remaining (2 days, 4 hours, 30 minutes) before the ship strikes the iceberg. The relationship between each character grows as do their unique histories: Josefa has forsaken a life of wealth seeking her freedom; Violet is Croatian, escaping her father and trying to reunite with her younger brother; Emilie’s father was a French art historian whose mother was Haitian; Hinnah, Indian, has been expelled from her family). The story is solid with realistic sympathetic characters.

Anything you did not like about the book?  No.

To whom would you recommend this book? Recommend this one to readers who like stories about the Titanic that are filled with mystery, suspense and unique characters.

Who should buy this book? Public Middle school and high school libraries

Where would you shelve it? YA Fiction

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Near the top

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

Date of Review:  January 4, 2023

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