Name upon Name

136p. Little Island. Jun. 2016. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9781910411360.
Gr 5–7—During World War I, as the world was fighting the Germans, some of the Irish were seeking independence from England, while others were fierce loyalists. In 1916, 14-year-old Helen is living in Belfast and her family is immersed in both sides of the conflict. She has a cousin from each side in the British Royal Army. On Easter Sunday, during what is referred to as the Easter Rising, the Irish rebels stage a bloody rebellion against the British in Belfast. Helen's cousin is called upon by the British Army to quash the rebellion, causing him to decide whether he will shoot at his own people or desert. Helen's story is set far away from the conflict and is an internal struggle about right and wrong, family and country, and family honor. Helen hears about both the Great War and the Rising through the adults around her and letters from her cousins. This is a slow story, but Wilkinson explains the conflicts and provides enough context for readers unfamiliar with the history. Helen learns that even if she can't decide which side of the war she should be on, she can do the right thing and can still be loyal to her family.
VERDICT Recommended to fans of Scott O'Dell's Sarah Bishop. A solid addition to middle grade collections in need of historical fiction.

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