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Hell & High Water

By: Tanya Landman

Mystery turns to mortal danger as a young man's quest to clear his father's name ensnares him in a net of deceit, conspiracy, and intrigue in 1750s England. Author's note.

ISBN: 9780763688752

JLG Release: Sep 2017


Sensitive Areas: Language: Racial or Ethnic Epithet/Slur, Discrimination: Reference/Discussion
Topics: Eighteenth-century England , Colonial America , Race , Mixed race , Immigration , Mysteries , Historical fiction

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Awards & Honors

BooklistTop 10 Books of 2018, Historical Fiction and Crime Fiction for Youth

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

Fifteen-year-old Caleb and his father tour mid-18th-century England with their Punch and Judy puppet show; Caleb’s white father shields him as much as he can from racist taunts and treatment, but the black teen is forced to fend for himself when his father is framed for a robbery and exiled to the American colonies. Following his dad’s Fifteen-year-old Caleb and his father tour mid-18th-century England with their Punch and Judy puppet show; Caleb’s white father shields him as much as he can from racist taunts and treatment, but the black teen is forced to fend for himself when his father is framed for a robbery and exiled to the American colonies. Following his dad’s directions, Caleb tracks down his aunt, who now lives in a seaside community. Although his aunt is initially shocked, he is welcomed into her home, which she shares with her stepdaughter, Letty. Caleb soon learns that the community is ruled by Sir Robert Fairbrother, who owns many of the residences. When Caleb’s father’s body washes up onshore, the parson and Sir Robert are adamant that the corpse is not Caleb’s dad. Letty and Caleb are determined to find out the truth, which leads them to discover rampant bribery and deceit in Sir Robert’s business. The harshness of 18th-century life is brutally portrayed, from catastrophic illnesses to the merciless power of nobility. Caleb’s strength and courage help him endure painful treatment; numerous heart-pounding close calls are exciting and taut with tension. The identity twist and romance near the end of the story are a bit jarring and strain credulity. The puppet show descriptions add much-needed humor. VERDICT Although some parts seem unrealistic, this title is recommended for those looking to add to their YA historical fiction shelves.—Jennifer Schultz, Fauquier County Public Library, Warrenton, VA

Horn Book

It’s the 1750s, and Caleb and his father make their living traveling around England performing Punch and Judy shows—until Pa is framed for a theft he didn’t commit. When he is sentenced to be transported to the colonies, he urges Caleb to go to Devon and find his aunt—someone Caleb had no idea existed. In his aunt’s fi It’s the 1750s, and Caleb and his father make their living traveling around England performing Punch and Judy shows—until Pa is framed for a theft he didn’t commit. When he is sentenced to be transported to the colonies, he urges Caleb to go to Devon and find his aunt—someone Caleb had no idea existed. In his aunt’s fishing village, dark-skinned Caleb is abused by racist villagers, but he finds his aunt, her baby, and her stepdaughter to be a loving family. Then he comes upon his father’s corpse washed up on the shore, and realizes that Pa’s fate is but a tiny piece in a vast web of treachery and theft. In a tale of considerable action, Landman shows the great gulf between the period’s confident rationalism (language can “tame emotions, confine fears, govern passions,” Caleb’s father tells him) and its greed and class injustice. In restrained, atmospheric prose, she mingles horror and drama, family affection and rational debate. The action intensifies as Caleb peels back the layers of corruption, culminating in a shipwreck, an explosion, an escape by sea and land, a betrayal, a hanging, and a marriage. A satisfying yarn based on an actual 1752 shipwreck and, as described in the author’s note, the “extraordinary scandal that followed.” deirdre f. baker

Book Details

ISBN

9780763688752

First Release

September 2017

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

320

Accelerated Reader

Level 5.7; Points: 11;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 5.4; Points: 17;

Lexile

Level 830L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Candlewick

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Language: Racial or Ethnic Epithet/Slur, Discrimination: Reference/Discussion

Topics

Eighteenth-century England, Colonial America, Race, Mixed race, Immigration, Mysteries, Historical fiction,

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