Young Adult Novels by Donna Jo Napoli

THE MAGIC CIRCLE
1993 Dutton (ISBN 0-525-45127-7) (pb 1995 Puffin)

  • PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Best Books
  • BULLETIN OF THE CENTER OF CHILDREN'S BOOKS Blue Ribbon Book
  • American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults
  • American Library Association Recommended Books for Reluctant Readers
  • American Library Association Notable
  • BOOKLIST Children's Editor's Choice
  • starred review KIRKUS
  • starred review BULLETIN FOR THE CENTER OF CHILDREN'S BOOKS
  • starred review PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
  • starred review SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
  • boxed review BOOKLIST
  • Volunteer State Book Award Master List in Tennessee
  • New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
  • nominated Garden State Teen Book Award, New Jersey
  • book of the month Philadelphia Children's Reading Round Table
  • available in cassette through Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic
  • published in German (1995 Sauerländer IM ZAUBERKREIS ISBN 3-7941-4101-6)
  • published in Dutch (1996 Averbode HET GEVECHT MET DE DUIVELS ISBN 90-317-1333-3)
  • published in Japanese (2000 Aoyama Shuppansha ISBN 4-89998-003-5)
  • published in Chinese (2003 Pennant Cultural Publishing Co. ISBN 957-6774721)
  • performed as musical at Media Theatre, Media, PA, Feb., 2001

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From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: ...genuine magic and suspense ...will captivate adults as well...

 

From KIRKUS: ...extraordinary artistry... richly poetic yet accessible and immediate, pungent and wise, mesmerizing...

 

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: ...richly imagined ...sure to change readers' views of this much maligned figure forever...

 

 

ZEL
1996 Dutton (ISBN 0-525-45612-0) (pb 1998 Puffin)

  • PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Best Books
  • SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL Best Books
  • BULLETIN FOR THE CENTER OF CHILDREN'S BOOKS Blue Ribbon Book
  • BOOKLIST "Books of Special Note"
  • American Booksellers Association Pick of the List
  • American Library Association Young Adults (YALSA) popular paperbacks
  • starred review KIRKUS
  • starred review PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
  • starred review SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
  • boxed review BOOKLIST
  • Junior Library Guild
  • New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Master List, Vermont
  • Maine Student Book Award Master List
  • Voice of Youth Advocates Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror List
  • Missouri State Teachers Association Reading Circle Selection List
  • Notable Carolyn W. Field Award, Pennsylvania Library Association
  • Honor Book YOUNG CRITICS' TOP CHOICES FROM THE LAST SIX YEARS, 1997
  • audiocassette with Recorded Books (ISBN 0-7887-3529-2)
  • available in cassette through National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
  • published in Danish (1999 Carlsen ZEL ISBN 87-562-7748-2)
  • published in Chinese (1999 Academy Press-Xue Yuan ISBN 7- 5077-0877-2)
  • published in Japanese (2008 Poplar-Sha ISBN 978-4-591-10494-1)

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From KIRKUS: ... rich, complex ...A passionate, painful elaboration of the story of Rapunzel...

 

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: ... A work of depth and beauty... The genius of the novel lies in its breadth of vision...

 

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: ...This version will challenge readers to think about this old story on a deeper level. It begs for discussion in literature classes...

 

SONG OF THE MAGDALENE
(originally 1996 Scholastic (ISBN 0-590-93705-7) with pb 1998)
reissued and available in pb 2004 Simon & Schuster (ISBN 0-689-87396-4) (available on Kindle 2012)

  • American Booksellers Association Pick of the Lists
  • American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults
  • Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies
  • New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age list
  • boxed review BOOKLIST

reviews another review another review For a recording of the author reading, please click here.

From BOOKLIST: ... With richness of detail and depth of feeling, Napoli introduces the biblical figure Mary Magdalene... Lyrical and layered...

 

STONES IN WATER (first in a series with FIRE IN THE HILLS)
1997 Dutton (ISBN 0-525-45842-5) (pb 1999)

  • Golden Kite Award of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators 1998
  • Sydney Taylor Book Award presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries 1998
  • Carolyn W. Field Honor Book, Pennsylvania Library Association
  • nominated Nebraska Golden Sower Young Adult Award
  • nominated Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award of Illinois
  • North Carolina Battle of the Books 2012-2013
  • American Library Association Best Books
  • American Library Association Notable
  • National Council of Social Studies Notable Children's Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies
  • PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Best Books
  • boxed starred review PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
  • starred review SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
  • New York Public Library Best Books
  • nominated Allen White Children's Book Award, Kansas
  • nominated Young Hoosier Book Award, Indiana
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Master List, Vermont
  • nominated Maud Hart Lovelace Award, Minnesota
  • available in braille and in cassette through National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
  • published in Dutch (1998 Averbode SAMEN STERK ISBN 90-317-1381-3)
  • published in Danish (1999 Carlsen SOM STEN I VAND ISBN 87-562-8086-6)
  • published in England (1999 Oxford U Press ISBN 0-19-271798-7, also in paperback)
  • published in German (2001 Carl Hanser Verlag FLUCHT NACH VENEDIG ISBN 3-446-20012-6)
  • published in Korean (2008 Pulbit Publishing Co. ISBN 978-89-7474-621-6)
  • Performed as drama at Media Theatre, Media, PA, 2003

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From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: ... Few books view the Holocaust from this vanage point...

 

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: ...Children will be riveted by Roberto's struggle to stay alive -- and aid others along the way -- against enormous odds...

 

From KIRKUS: ... Riveting... A memorable survival story...

 

FOR THE LOVE OF VENICE
1998 Delacorte (ISBN 0-385-32531-2) (pb 2000)

  • New York Public Library Best Books
  • Highlights Free Library of Philadelphia
  • Boxed review BOOKLIST
  • Renaissance Learning recommended list
  • available in cassette through National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

reviews

From BOOKLIST:... writing is strong and sure... story is nicely laced with romance ...

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL:... paints Venice with loving detail that is a gift to the senses... Offers a unique slant on contemporary politics and perspectives couched in exotic romance



SIRENA
1998 Scholastic (ISBN 978-0-590-38388-2) (pb 2000) (available on Kindle 2012)

  • American Library Association Best Books
  • starred review SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
  • boxed review BOOKLIST
  • San Francisco Chronicle Holiday Roundup List
  • Nebula nomination
  • New York Public Library Best Books
  • International Reading Association Children's Choices
  • Highlights Free Library of Philadelphia
  • Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice for Young Adults
  • available in braille through National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
  • published in Chinese (2005 Muses Publishing in Taiwan 0800-221029 and 02-22181142 and 957-29530-6-0, as well as Shanghai Literature and Art in Mainland China)
  • to be published in Thai by Matichon Publishing House

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From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: ... absorbing ... mythic aspects

 

From BOOKLIST: ... rich in insight, fine language, and a look at truth told aslant... full of the sweetness of longing, romance, and the space and togetherness needed for any close relationship.

 

From CNN YOUNG ADULT BOOKS THAT CHANGED OUR LIVES: ...a poignant tale of relatable longing with the most beautiful language.

 

SPINNERS

coauthored

1999 Dutton (ISBN 0-525-46065-9) (pb 2001)

  • Junior Library Guild
  • boxed review BOOKLIST
  • New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
  • Carolyn W. Field Honor Book, Pennsylvania Library Association
  • South Carolina Book Award Master List

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From BOOKLIST: ...Love, pride, greed, magic, and revenge: what a wonderful read.

 

CRAZY JACK
1999 Delacorte (ISBN 0-385-32627-0) (pb 2001)

  • Junior Library Guild
  • Smithsonian's Notable Books
  • starred review BOOKLIST
  • starred review BULLETIN FOR THE CENTER OF CHILDREN'S BOOKS
  • starred review VOICE OF YOUTH ADVOCATES
  • Tennessee Master List, Volunteer State Book Award
  • Renaissance Learning recommended list
  • available in large print from Thorndike (ISBN 0-7862-3047-9)
  • audiocassette with Recorded Books (ISBN 0-7887-4010-5)
  • available in cassette through National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
  • published in Japanese (2006 Julian ISBN 4-902584-14X)

To see a one-act play version performed at Lamoille Union High School in Hyde Park, VT on 13 March 2014, go here.

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From BOOKLIST: ... beautifully written... romance, adventure, fantasy...

From VOYA: ...subtle highlighting of the need to work hard, yet appreciate the beauty in life...

From KIRKUS: ...Gripping... dark and psychologically truthful...

From the HORN BOOK:... everyday magic that makes life worth living.

 

BEAST
2000 Simon & Schuster (ISBN 0-689-83589-2) (pb 2002)

  • SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL Best Books
  • Junior Library Guild
  • VOICE OF YOUTH ADVOCATES "Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers"
  • VOICE OF YOUTH ADVOCATES "Best Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror"
  • finalist for 2001 Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature
  • starred review SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
  • starred review KIRKUS
  • starred review THE HORN BOOK
  • audiocassette with Recorded Books (ISBN 0-7887-5227-8)
  • Washington DC's Capitol Choices Noteworthy Books for Children
  • Carolyn W. Field Honor Book Pennsylvania Library Association
  • Keystone Young Adult Book Award list
  • YALSA 100 Great Books for Teens
  • 2001-2002 Texas Tayshas Reading List
  • Renaissance Learning recommended list
  • available in cassette through Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic
  • available in large print from Thorndike (ISBN 0-7862-7421-2)
  • published in Farsi (2003 Peydayesh ISBN 964 349 169 2)
  • published in Japanese (2005 Julian ISBN 4-902584-13-1)

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For a description of Donna Jo's visit to Iran in 2005, click here:

 

From THE HORN BOOK: ... brings immediacy and vitality to the beast

From KIRKUS:.. sensual and brillliant imagining... Compelling, relentless, erotic.

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: ... rich language and gracefully formal prose portraying Beast's poignant search for his place in the world...

From LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS: Besides creating unconventional viewpoint characters, Napoli is a master of atmosphere ...a deep immersion into an unfamiliar world... anguish... integrity ... true love.

 

DAUGHTER OF VENICE
2002 Delacorte (ISBN 0-385-90036-8) (pb 2003)

  • Nevada Young Readers Award
  • starred review SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
  • Booksense 76
  • starred review VOICE OF YOUTH ADVOCATES
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award Master List, Vermont
  • YALSA 100 Great Books for Teens
  • Renaissance Learning recommended list
  • excerpted in READ vol.53, no. 15, March 19, 2004
  • published in England (2002 Walker Books, Ltd. ISBN 0-7445-9059-0; 2004, pb ISBN 0-7445-9080-9)
  • published in German (2003 Fischer Schatzinsel DONATA, TOCHTER VENEDIGS ISBN 3-596-85124-6)
  • to be published in Polish (Wydawnictwo Literatura, Kraków)

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From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: ...Even when acting rebelliously, [the main character's] actions and thoughts feel authentic to the time and world... engrossing and exotic...

 

From VOYA: ... engaging... exciting... thoroughly satisfying end ing...

 

THE GREAT GOD PAN
2003 Delacorte (ISBN 0-385-32777-3) (pb 2005)

  • starred review KIRKUS
  • New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
  • Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror list, VOICE OF YOUTH ADVOCATES

 

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From KIRKUS: ...the otherworld of myth, the lush and varying landscapes... pulsing with erotic tension... elegant and tragic solution

From BOOKLIST: ... breathtaking language about nature, music, and desire. Teen readers will swoon.


BREATH
2003 Simon & Schuster (ISBN 0-689-86174-5) (pb 2005)

  • Golden Kite Honor Book
  • American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults
  • New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
  • American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults
  • starred review KIRKUS
  • starred review KLIATT
  • Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers list
  • Renaissance Learning recommended list
  • American Library Association Young Adults (YALSA) Popular Paperback
  • available in large print from Thorndike (ISBN 0-7862-7420-4).
  • published in Chinese (2006 Muses Publishing House ISBN 986 739913-7)
  • published in German by Patmos Verlagshaus GmbH & Co.
  • to be published in Japanese by Julian.

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From KIRKUS: ...compelling mystery.... fully realized characters...

From KLIATT: ...vividly evokes the harsh and superstitious medieval world... nightmarish but memorable.

 

NORTH
2004 Greenwillow (ISBN 0-06-057987-0) (pb 2005) (available on Kindle 2012)

  • Parents' Choice Silver Honor Award
  • South Carolina Junior Book Award Nominee
  • published in Spanish (2005 Destino. Barcelona. HACIA EL NORTE ISBN 84-08-05765-0)
  • published in German (2006 Carl Hanser Verlag NACH NORDEN ISBN 3-446-20645-0)
  • audiocassette with Recorded Books (ISBN 1-4025-9927-7)
  • selections read on Vermont Public Radio in spring, 2005

 

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From BOOKLIST: ...Idyllic, yet with an authentic feel... [takes] readers on a journey they won't forget soon.

From KIRKUS: ... fascinating [journey], organically incorporating a wealth of detail about the Arctic and its human and non-human inhabitants.

 

BOUND
2004 Simon & Schuster (ISBN 0-689-86175-3) (pb 2006)

  • American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults
  • SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL Best Books
  • PUBLISHERS WEEKLY Best Books
  • KIRKUS Editor's Choice
  • BOOKLIST Top Ten Historical Fiction for Youth
  • starred review SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
  • starred review KIRKUS
  • starred review BOOKLIST
  • starred review PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
  • Junior Library Guild
  • American Library Association Young Adults (YALSA) Popular Paperbacks
  • nominated for Kentucky Bluegrass Award
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher Master List (Vermont)
  • South Carolina Junior Book Award List
  • available in large print from Thorndike (ISBN 0-7862-7419-0)
  • published in German (2008 Patmos Verlagshaus ISBN 978-3-7941-8047-9)
  • published in Japanese (2009 Akane Shobo ISBN 978-4-2510-6662-6)

To hear the first chapter read by the author, click here.

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From KIRKUS: ...finely crafted... ending has spart, resonance, and a relievingly appealing prince. Deliberate and satisfying.

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: ... powerful and moving... dramatic and masterful retelling.

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: ...masterly third-person narrative... incorporates spiritual beliefs... authentic to her time... will have readers racing to the finish.

From BOOKLIST: ... unforgettable characters... themes of freedom, captivity, love, human rights...balanced between terror and tenderness... both subversive and rooted in tradition.

 

THE KING OF MULBERRY STREET
2005 Delacorte (ISBN 0-385-74653-9) (pb 2007)

  • Sydney Taylor Honor Book presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries 2006
  • Junior Library Guild
  • Parents' Choice Silver Honor Award
  • starred review in KIRKUS
  • starred review in PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
  • New York Public Library 100 Books for Reading and Sharing
  • Sons of Italy National Book Club selection
  • Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People (by NCSS and CBC)
  • Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award List (Vermont)
  • Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award Master List
  • Rhode Island Children's Book Award Nominee
  • Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading Book Award Master List, Intermediate Category
  • Graden State Book Award Nominee (New Jersey)
  • to be published in Japanese (Kaiseisha Publishing)

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From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: ...credibly expands the narrator's awareness, as he begins to recognize some of the unspeakable cruelties going on around him yet manages to extend kindnesses to others...

From KIRKUS: ... powerfully vivid.. always-immaculate prose... as real and as tangible as possible...

 

FIRE IN THE HILLS (sequel to STONES IN WATER) (pb 2008)
2006 Dutton (ISBN 0-525-47751-9)

  • Carolyn W. Field Honor Book, Pennsylvania Library Association

 

 

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From KIRKUS: ... powerful.. strong, action-packed ode to the Italian resistance movement... a side of WWII that will fascinate readers...

 

HUSH: An Irish Princess' Tale
2007 Atheneum (Simon & Schuster) (ISBN 0-689-86176-1) (pb 2008)

  • American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults
  • Young-Adult Round Table of the Texas Library Association (TAYSHAS) selection
  • Bank Street Best Books selection
  • starred review KIRKUS
  • starred review PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
  • starred review SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
  • Miami Herald's Best Books of the Year list
  • New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age
  • published in German (2011 Patmos Verlagshaus MELKORKAS SCHWEIGEN ISBN: 978-3-7941-8085-1)

 

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From KIRKUS: ... spellbinding... rich in details both tender and blood-soaked... vivid, precise, cinematic.

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: ... powerful exploration of what it means to have a voice.

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: ... tension over Mel's hopes for escape paces this story like a thriller.

 

THE SMILE
2008 Dutton (ISBN 978-0-525-47999-4) (pb 2009)

  • Bank Street Best Books selection
  • highlighted review VOYA (5Q)
  • published in German (2009 Fischer Schatzinsel DAS GEHEIMNISVOLLE LÄCHELN ISBN978-3-596-85378-6)
  • published in Greek (2009 Agyra Publishing House, Athens ΤΟ ΧΑΜΟΓΕΛΟ ISBN 978-960-422-811-9)
  • to be published in Polish by Wydawnictwo Jaguar
  • to be published in Australia and New Zealand (Random House Australia)

 

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From VOYA:... spot-on flair for infusing history with emotion...

From KIRKUS: ... magnificent and mournful portrait of the Italian Renaissance, both tragic and triumphant...

From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: ...romantic tragedy and redemption...

 

ALLIGATOR BAYOU
2009 Random House (ISBN 978-0-385-76472-8) (pb 2010)

  • American Library Association Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults
  • Parents' Choice Gold Award for Historical Fiction
  • Junior Library Guild
  • International Reading Association's (IRA) Notable Books for a Global Society
  • Bank Street Best Books (Historical)
  • part will appear in TLI Grade 8 Interim assessment 2011-12 by The Learning Institute

 

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From KIRKUS: ... haunting... deep reflection on our country's treatment, past and present, of its immigrants...

From BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS:... ominous, eminently booktalkable theme...

 

Above are sixth and seventh graders in Portland, Oregon, reading ALLIGATOR BAYOU as part of their curriculum.

 

 

 

 

THE WAGER
2010 Henry Holt and Company (ISBN 978-0-8050-8781-9)
(pb 2014)

  • Bank Street Best Books selection
  • starred review PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
  • starred review BCCB
  • shortlisted for the Cybils Award in YA Fantasy & Science Fiction

 

 

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From PUBLISHERS WEEKLY: ... lush feasts and brightly colored brocades give way to wretched scenes described in lurid detail...human nature at its worst and its best.

From BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS: ... journey of the senses... Impeccable pacing...

 

cover of SKIN

SKIN
2013 Amazon (ISBN 97814778 followed by 17216 for hardcover; 16905 for paperback; 67211 for eBook; also 9781480544024 for CD)

 

 

 

From HORN BOOK: The teen's turmoil over a disease that is literally only skin-deep is poignant, and given respectful treatment by Napoli; readers will empathize with Sep's feelings, fears, and actions.

From BOOKLIST: ...Napoli has created a direct, internal, intelligent, not always likable but thoroughly sympathetic hero... Those searching for skin-centered self-acceptance reads would do well to start here...

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: ...teens will relate to her feelings of betrayal toward her body. Napoli captures the stresses of adolescence in a fresh, believable way. Readers will watch Sept grow from an angry and at times selfish girl into a strong and confident woman... This is truly a novel about personal growth and the power of loving and believing in yourself.

 

storm cover

STORM
2014 Simon & Schuster (ISBN 9781481403023)

 

review the-PAGE-69-test

 

From THE HORN BOOK: The characters (including the loyal bonobos—and another human stowaway) that Napoli creates to flesh out her retelling of the classic story of survival and faith add both veracity and depth.

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL:...gritty survival story will resonate with fans of The Hunger Games...

From BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN'S BOOKS: Napoli mines the Biblical story... transforming it from a tale not about obeying the will of God but about how the very act of survival is sometimes the greatest leap of faith of all...Fans of Life of Pi will find a similar blend of gritty survivalism and spiritual contemplation in this maelstrom of a tale. 

From VOYA: ... swift and sometimes frightening .... Readers will feel all the anxiety, anticipation, fear, and hopelessness along with the people confined to the ark. . ... This is a tale of survival, empathy, and having faith.

From BOOKLIST:... the despair of a ruined world and the stir-craziness of confinement ....an obstinate, guilt-ridden Noah and an angry family resentful over their wretched circumstances, all through the eyes of a clever, headstrong young girl who learns to thrive on hope.

From AJL REVIEWS: The writing is exceptional.... it is difficult to put the book down.:...Superb writing and a unique story combine to make this a recommended
purchase for Jewish libraries.

From WOMEN'S LEAGUE FOR CONSERVATIVE JUDAISM: ... page turning adventure story... satisfying climactic ending.... it will surely find an audience among readers who like their heroines spunky and with the courage to overcome catastrophe and begin life anew.

From MablesFablesRaves:.. delicious and fulfilling... This epic tale is very different...a very tender story full of discovery and the simple joys...even within the harsh reality of surviving.

 

hidden cover

HIDDEN (sequel to HUSH: An Irish Princess' Tale)
2014 Paula Wiseman Books (Simon & Schuster) (ISBN 9781442483002)

  • starred review SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

 

From SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL: Napoli seamlessly weaves cultural, mythological, and historical information together, immersing the readers in Norse life.