Wednesday, April 25, 2007


Mal Peet's Tamar won the Carnegie Medal last year, for 2005.

When I put up a cover image earlier, the color was wrong. I didn't realize until now that the lettering too was wrong. This is the American edition , published by Candlewick Press is Cambridge, Massachusetts (2007). Mal Peet's named is not blazoned across the cover, I guess because he's not widely known here.

While promoted as a Young Adult novel (or, as they still consider it in England, children's fiction) the book centers around an older adult, Tamar, a grandfather and former World War II resistance fighter in Holland during the war, working undercover in dangerous territory. Another Tamar, his granddaughter, undertakes a present day journey of discovery into the past, providing the frame for the novel.

Throughout, the story is completely absorbing, combining suspense and intrigue, romance, memory and discovery, friendship and betrayal, anticipation and surprise. Peet's writing is deft and enchanting. The novel transcends age designations -- it's for teenage and above and demonstrates why people should pay more attention to "children's fiction."

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