Review of From There to Here

croza from there to here Review of From There to HereFrom There to Here
by Laurel Croza; illus. by Matt James
Primary, Intermediate    Groundwood    32 pp.
5/14    978-1-55498-365-0    $18.95
e-book ed.  978-1-55498-366-7    $16.95

In the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award-winning I Know Here (rev. 5/10), the young narrator knows she and her family will soon be leaving their home in the glorious wilderness of Saskatchewan, and in this sequel, so they do. The Toronto of the book’s era (early 1960s) might look positively quaint to us, but to the girl it is completely exotic. “There” she lived on a gravel road without a name; “Here” she lives on the well-paved Birch Street. “There”: the aurora borealis; “Here”: “street lamps in a straight row.” But just when you think the book is a paean to the forest primeval, in comes new neighbor Anne, “eight, almost nine” just like the girl, who back in the bush had no friend her own age. The palette of the Toronto scenes is predominately blue-sky sunny, reflecting the story’s ultimate optimism, although the wild dark colors of the forest continue their hold on the girl’s memories and in James’s paintings, where images of moose and pine trees rest matter-of-factly within the confines of the girl’s new house on Birch Street (birchless, by the way). While the bike helmets on Anne and our girl are more than a touch anachronistic, we know that the ride begun at the close of the book promises both amity and adventure.

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Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.

Comments

  1. Yeah I think we can certainly overlook that anachronistic detail considering what you attest to in this wonderfully descriptive review. You hit the bullseye a week weeks back with Marc Brown’s beautiful picture book on New York City -I purchased my own copy- and methinks we have another big winner here and a sequel at that! I will reserve on a copy on library loan today.

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