Last of the Name

344p. Lerner. Apr. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781541541597.
Gr 4–7—Parry intrigues with a tale of 12-year-old Danny O'Carolan, who has fled Ireland for a new life in 1860s New York City. With his older sister and the musical traditions of his Irish home, Danny finds a tough new world in America. With very few jobs available for boys, and a burning desire to avoid the orphanage, he agrees to pretend to be a girl in order to be employed as a maid with his older sister. However, the Civil War is raging and the draft looms—with an expanding Irish population making an ideal draft target. Middle grade readers with an interest in historical fiction will enjoy this selection. Parry is successful at detailing the Irish immigrant experience in America. She retains a youthful perspective on the important, relevant topics of immigration and acceptance.
VERDICT An excellent addition to any historical fiction collection; recommended for fans of Little Women or A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.

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