Selling Hope by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb

I don’t usually like historical fiction, even in children’s literature.  This one was really interesting, though.  Its setting is 1910, when Halley’s Comet passes near Earth.  The protagonist is a young girl who travels with her magician father and a vaudeville troupe.  She discovers her dad is about to be fired, and she is determined that they will not be abandoned penniless.  She stumbles upon the side business of selling pills that will ward off the ill-effects of Halley’s Comet.  In the process, she discovers truth about friendships, family, and her father.  The danger is in an unstable vaudeville director, who could discover the side-business, rob her and her father…even kill them.

I loved thinking about this time before television and internet and the real miracle drugs we have now.  In this age of people becoming mere numbers and just faces in a crowd, it was fascinating to see the same thing 100 years ago, in a very different world.  The cover leans towards girls, but guys might like it all the same.



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