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Skylark and Wallcreeper

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While helping her granny Collette evacuate to a makeshift shelter in Brooklyn during Superstorm Sandy, Lily uncovers secrets of her grandmother's past as a member of the French Resistance during WWII. Queens, 2012. Hurricane Sandy is flooding New York City, and Lily is at a nursing home with her grandmother, Collette. Lily visits Collette often, as she is beginning to lose h While helping her granny Collette evacuate to a makeshift shelter in Brooklyn during Superstorm Sandy, Lily uncovers secrets of her grandmother's past as a member of the French Resistance during WWII. Queens, 2012. Hurricane Sandy is flooding New York City, and Lily is at a nursing home with her grandmother, Collette. Lily visits Collette often, as she is beginning to lose her memories. When the National Guard shows up to evacuate the building and take them to safety at the Park Slope armory in Brooklyn, Lily's granny suddenly produces a red box she's hidden in a closet for years. Once they get to safety, Lily opens the box, where she finds an old, beautiful Montblanc pen. Granny tells Lily that the pen is very important and that she has to take care of it, as well as some letters written in French. But Lily loses the pen in the course of helping other nursing home residents, and as she searches the city trying to find it, she learns more about her grandmother's past in France and begins to uncover the significance of the pen with the help of her best friend, a quirky pen expert, and a larger-than-life, off-Broadway understudy. Told in alternating sections (2012 and 1944), this engaging book explores a deep friendship during difficult times and the importance of family.


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While helping her granny Collette evacuate to a makeshift shelter in Brooklyn during Superstorm Sandy, Lily uncovers secrets of her grandmother's past as a member of the French Resistance during WWII. Queens, 2012. Hurricane Sandy is flooding New York City, and Lily is at a nursing home with her grandmother, Collette. Lily visits Collette often, as she is beginning to lose h While helping her granny Collette evacuate to a makeshift shelter in Brooklyn during Superstorm Sandy, Lily uncovers secrets of her grandmother's past as a member of the French Resistance during WWII. Queens, 2012. Hurricane Sandy is flooding New York City, and Lily is at a nursing home with her grandmother, Collette. Lily visits Collette often, as she is beginning to lose her memories. When the National Guard shows up to evacuate the building and take them to safety at the Park Slope armory in Brooklyn, Lily's granny suddenly produces a red box she's hidden in a closet for years. Once they get to safety, Lily opens the box, where she finds an old, beautiful Montblanc pen. Granny tells Lily that the pen is very important and that she has to take care of it, as well as some letters written in French. But Lily loses the pen in the course of helping other nursing home residents, and as she searches the city trying to find it, she learns more about her grandmother's past in France and begins to uncover the significance of the pen with the help of her best friend, a quirky pen expert, and a larger-than-life, off-Broadway understudy. Told in alternating sections (2012 and 1944), this engaging book explores a deep friendship during difficult times and the importance of family.

30 review for Skylark and Wallcreeper

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Dutton

    Two stories unfold in this exciting novel, the first featuring twelve-year-old Lily, who’s looking after her grandmother, Collette, immediately following Hurricane Sandy. The Queens nursing home in which her grandmother is living has flooded and its occupants have been transferred to the Brooklyn Armory. Lily, who knows all the nursing home staff, stays with her grandmother to make sure she feels safe and also helps out the staff by finding food in the neighborhood when the emergency supply is l Two stories unfold in this exciting novel, the first featuring twelve-year-old Lily, who’s looking after her grandmother, Collette, immediately following Hurricane Sandy. The Queens nursing home in which her grandmother is living has flooded and its occupants have been transferred to the Brooklyn Armory. Lily, who knows all the nursing home staff, stays with her grandmother to make sure she feels safe and also helps out the staff by finding food in the neighborhood when the emergency supply is late. It is in the midst of all this turmoil that Lily loses her grandmother’s pen, an old Mont Blanc in a red box. Lily is frantic because her grandmother seems to set great store by this pen, one that until now Lily had not known existed. It is her search for this pen that sends her over to Manhattan and then to Connecticut, unbeknownst to anyone but her best friend Johnny and the owners of a pen store. The second story, told in alternating chapters, features a twelve-year-old Collette of Brume, France, who carries out secret missions for the French Resistance. Using the name Wallcreeper, she trades code words for signatures, and with another young resistance worker, derails a German train. Lily, like her grandmother Collette, is a risk taker. Each has a worthy cause, sharp wit and determination, and it is in Lily’s seeking her grandmother’s pen that the reader begins to see the connection between these two stories. Characterization is excellent. Lily’s friend Johnny works for his family’s restaurant and is often sharing his culinary concoctions, such as cookies made of “broccoli and spinach, with bacon and maple syrup frosting.” And readers will love Henry, the fast-talking owner of The Fountain Pen Emporium, and his would-be actress daughter Rosie. A rich and fascinating read for middle-grade and up! (Read ARC copy)

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia Mason

    I was given an advance copy of Skylark and Wallcreeper because I am a Middle Grade Social Studies teacher. I found it a fast and compelling read. As I finished each chapter I was anxious to see what would happen next. Middle grade students will definitely enjoy it as the story moves smoothly between Manhattan and Brooklyn during Superstorm Sandy, and a town in Occupied France during World War II. A mystery unfolds, prompted by a vintage pen discovered during the hurricane evacuation. The main ch I was given an advance copy of Skylark and Wallcreeper because I am a Middle Grade Social Studies teacher. I found it a fast and compelling read. As I finished each chapter I was anxious to see what would happen next. Middle grade students will definitely enjoy it as the story moves smoothly between Manhattan and Brooklyn during Superstorm Sandy, and a town in Occupied France during World War II. A mystery unfolds, prompted by a vintage pen discovered during the hurricane evacuation. The main character, a determined twelve-year old girl named Lily, uncovers the remarkable story of her grandmother’s past. I was particularly taken by the relationship between Lily and her “Granny Collette.” Many of my students are close to their grandparents and would identify with the protective relationship that Lily has over her granny when they are evacuated to a shelter in the Brooklyn Armory. The friendship Collette established as a young girl in France is also quite heartwarming. The book is loaded with historical details and shows the history of women and children in the French Resistance. I would recommend this book to middle grade students (as early as 4th grade) and definitely during the study of World War II. Young adults interested in true stories of secrets and danger will also enjoy it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Linda Scatton

    As soon as my ARC review copy arrived, I was intrigued by the title and the concept of tying together the stories of two twelve-year old girls, one in 2012 Brooklyn and her grandmother (at age 12) in 1944 France. Both stories move at a brisk pace and are full of adventure that will surely appeal to middle grade readers. Lily's search for her grandmother's precious World War II memento in a post-Superstorm Sandy Manhattan and later, in Connecticut, requires courage, determination, and endurance. As soon as my ARC review copy arrived, I was intrigued by the title and the concept of tying together the stories of two twelve-year old girls, one in 2012 Brooklyn and her grandmother (at age 12) in 1944 France. Both stories move at a brisk pace and are full of adventure that will surely appeal to middle grade readers. Lily's search for her grandmother's precious World War II memento in a post-Superstorm Sandy Manhattan and later, in Connecticut, requires courage, determination, and endurance. Her grandmother Collette's Resistance activities in southern France during the Nazi occupation demand the same qualities, but the settings and the life-threatening obstacles will be much less familiar to a young American reader. The author’s prose style and descriptions make the situation in France understandable to middle grade readers, who probably do not yet have much familiarity with WWII. The lead characters are well drawn, likable and engaging; the secondary ones, also deftly presented, move the plot forward nicely. The fact that the brave and adventurous twelve-year-olds are girls is an added plus. The elderly, who figure prominently in the plot and exhibit both physical frailty and a variety of idiosyncrasies, are treated with affection. I recommend the book highly.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Alex (not a dude) Baugh

    It's August 2012 and Superstorm Sandy has hit New York City with all her force. With rising waters flooding the first floor of the Rockaway Manor Nursing Home in Queens, it's time to evacuate the residents. And that includes Lily, 12, and her 80-year-old grandma Collette, whom she happens to be visiting. But not before Granny insists Lily find and bring along a flat red box, and slips back into speaking her native French as soon as Lily asks what's inside. Flashback to Nazi-occupied Brume, a smal It's August 2012 and Superstorm Sandy has hit New York City with all her force. With rising waters flooding the first floor of the Rockaway Manor Nursing Home in Queens, it's time to evacuate the residents. And that includes Lily, 12, and her 80-year-old grandma Collette, whom she happens to be visiting. But not before Granny insists Lily find and bring along a flat red box, and slips back into speaking her native French as soon as Lily asks what's inside. Flashback to Nazi-occupied Brume, a small town in the south of France in the winter of 1944. A 12-year-old Collette, disguised as a young boy named Jean-Pierre, is working for the resistance. Her job is to deliver a package. In reality, it is a code for letting other resistance members know if their next operation against the Nazis is a go or not. The confirmation that the message was received is an X marked in her notebook with a Montblanc fountain pen. Collette's stealthiness and success at avoiding Nazis soon earn her a code name, Wallcreeper, and a place in the resistance group referred to by the Germans as Noah's Ark. Back to 2012: once Superstorm Sandy has finally passed and her granny is settled in on a cot at the Brooklyn Armory, Lily is asked by one of the nurses if she would try to scrounge up some food - preferably free food. Before she leaves to do that, granny shows Lily what's in the red box - a very special Montblanc fountain pen with the initial F engraved on the side - and asks her to keep it safe for her. Lily manages to find free food, but in the process she loses the pen her granny asked her to safeguard. Realizing that her granny will be upset if she learns that she has lost her special pen, Lily is determined to find it or one just like it. Armed with a packet of old letters written in French and addressed to her Granny, Lily's quest for the lost pen will take her to an odd little pen store in Manhattan, on a long train ride to Stratford, CT and a meeting with Skylark. Along the way, Lily will interact with a variety of interesting people, all willing to help her accomplish her pen quest. And it all unfolds without her frantic mother's knowledge (or permission). As more surprising details about her granny's life unfolds, a life neither she nor her mother had any knowledge of, Lily learns the identity of Skylark and Wallcreeper - two young French girls working together in the Noah's Ark resistance where members only go by the names of animals in their quest to help defeat the Nazis. Although Skylark and Wallcreeper is written in two time periods, it is not a time travel book. Lily stay firmly in 2012, it is Granny's story as a 12-year-old resistance worker in 1944 that is interspersed with the events of 2012 and Lily's story throughout the novel. Interestingly, the present is told in the first person by Lily, and the past is narrated in the third person, so there is no confusion. Usually when I read a dual time setting novel, I end up wishing the author had just written two separate books instead of combining them. However, in this novel, I really thought it worked well. There was just enough of the past and present to satisfy. The chapters that take place in WWII always start at an appropriate point in Lily's story, so it is not a jarring jump into Nazi occupied France. I found myself completely caught up in Lily and Granny's stories immediately. Lily, Granny, and Skylark are appealingly vivid characters, more well-rounded than the supporting characters around them. In German, there are these words called flavoring particles which add particular zest to a sentence and that's how I felt about the secondary characters in this novel. They really add a lot, but it remains Lily, Granny, and Skylark's story. Skylark and Wallcreeper is a very satisfying, compelling novel that examines the importance of friendship, family relationships, courage and loyalty in the face of difficult and challenging times. There are a few peccadillos, but not so bad as to spoil the overall story and I would still highly recommend this book. Do read the Author's Note to learn when elements of this novel are based in fact and what is based in fiction. This book is recommended for readers age 9+ This book was an EBOOK provided to me by the publisher, Little Bee

  5. 4 out of 5

    Laura Gardner

    Thank you to @littlebeebooks for the FREE book to share with #kidlitexchange . 〰 〰 ⭐⭐⭐⭐💫/5 for SKYLARK AND WALLCREEPER by #anneobriencarelli This DEBUT middle grade book took me by surprise. Alternating between 2012 NYC during Hurricane Sandy and 1944 France during WWII German occupation, it follows two plucky, brave twelve year old girls who will do anything to protect and care for those they love. Part historical fiction, part mystery, Skylark and Wallcreeper was impossible for me to put down—I s Thank you to @littlebeebooks for the FREE book to share with #kidlitexchange . 〰️ 〰️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5 for SKYLARK AND WALLCREEPER by #anneobriencarelli This DEBUT middle grade book took me by surprise. Alternating between 2012 NYC during Hurricane Sandy and 1944 France during WWII German occupation, it follows two plucky, brave twelve year old girls who will do anything to protect and care for those they love. Part historical fiction, part mystery, Skylark and Wallcreeper was impossible for me to put down—I started it around 7 pm and finished it at 11 pm under the covers with my book light. I know it’s going to be popular with students obsessed with WWII; Collette’s participation in the French Resistance movement as a twelve year old is fascinating. The group, dubbed Noah’s Ark, all had animal code names; Collette’s was Wallcreeper and her friend Marguerite was Skylark. Lily, Collette’s granddaughter, knows none of this in 2012 NYC, but when her grandmother gives her a special pen during Superstorm Sandy, Lily is set on an adventure that will lead her to learn all about her grandmother’s crazy exploits. . 〰️ 〰️ This book moved fast for me and was immensely readable. Students are going to love learning about this facet of WWII and they’re especially going to love the characters of Lily and Collette. They may be separated by over fifty years, but the two are both incredibly brave and daring. Book 35 for #30booksummer . 〰️ 〰️ #bookstagram #book #reading #bibliophile #bookworm #bookaholic #booknerd #bookgram #librarian #librariansfollowlibrarians #librariansofinstagram #booklove #booktography #bookstagramfeature #bookish #bookaddict #booknerdigans #booknerd #ilovereading #instabook #futurereadylibs #ISTElibs #TLChat #mgbooks

  6. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Giraldo

    I was provided a copy of this weeks read in exchange for an honest review. After helping her grandmother, Collette, evacuate her nursing home in NY and get set up in a temporary shelter in Brooklyn, 12 year old Lily begins to unravel a complicated past that her grandmother has long ago chosen to keep secret. Having grown up in Southern France during the time of the German occupation during WWII, Collette joins the Resistance, a secret network of individuals whose aim was to hinder the German caus I was provided a copy of this weeks read in exchange for an honest review. After helping her grandmother, Collette, evacuate her nursing home in NY and get set up in a temporary shelter in Brooklyn, 12 year old Lily begins to unravel a complicated past that her grandmother has long ago chosen to keep secret. Having grown up in Southern France during the time of the German occupation during WWII, Collette joins the Resistance, a secret network of individuals whose aim was to hinder the German cause and advance in the war. When Lily looses a special pen her grandmother brought from the nursing home, she sets off on a journey that sheds light on a side of her grandmother she never knew. Alternating chapters between Collettes time in the Resistance in the 1940s, and Lily in the present connecting clues to figure out more about her grandmothers past, this one pen bridges the gap of generations, and brings two long lost friends together again. What an absolutely lovely read! These two stories were woven so seamlessly together, culminating in something truly heartwarming. With a female heavy cast of MC’s, this book was empowering and fun for all ages, kids and adults alike. Both Lily and Collette were tenacious and brave, taking risks in order to work towards a goal bigger than themselves. They were selfless and intelligent with spunk for days. These are two girls you would want to be friends with, and certainly people you would want in your corner. For all my fans of historical fictions, hands down you will want to check this one out. Similar feel to an Alan Grantz novel (who you all know I LOVE).

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Hudson

    When waters from Hurricane Sandy flood the nursing home in Queens where Lily’s Grandma Collette lives, residents are evacuated to a shelter in Brooklyn. Collette insists that Lily save a small box that she later finds holds a pen. When Lily loses the pen, she goes on an unexpected journey to recover it and discovers stories about her grandmother’s life growing up as part of the Resistance in Nazi-occupied France. Skylark and Wallcreeper by Anne O’Brien Carelli showcases the importance of family a When waters from Hurricane Sandy flood the nursing home in Queens where Lily’s Grandma Collette lives, residents are evacuated to a shelter in Brooklyn. Collette insists that Lily save a small box that she later finds holds a pen. When Lily loses the pen, she goes on an unexpected journey to recover it and discovers stories about her grandmother’s life growing up as part of the Resistance in Nazi-occupied France. Skylark and Wallcreeper by Anne O’Brien Carelli showcases the importance of family and friendship while shedding light on two historical events: life in southern France during World War II and the hardships suffered during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Collette is 12 years old when she decides she has to do something to help her countrymen defeat the occupying Germans. Along with her friend Marguerite, she takes on roles of messenger, spy, and saboteur. There is always danger that the two will be exposed and suffer dire consequences. Decades later Collette’s granddaughter, who is 12 during the hurricane, proves to be courageous and daring, as well. While not fighting an enemy army, she does have to battle the elements and put herself at risk to make sure her beloved grandma stays safe. Skylark and Wallcreeper is an adventurous tale that show young people fighting for what they believe in, forging friendships and strengthening family relationships. I recommend it for readers aged 9 to 12. The publisher provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kristin Crouch

    Thank you to Anne O'Brien Carelli for providing Collabookation with an ARC to review. Skylark and Wallcreeper alternates between New York City in the recent past and the French countryside during World War II. Lily is caring for her Granny through Hurricane Sandy when she's given a pen for safekeeping. The pen belongs to her Granny's long-lost friend and fellow resistance fighter. When Lily loses the pen, she finds that her Granny has kept many secrets over the years. There is a lot to love in thi Thank you to Anne O'Brien Carelli for providing Collabookation with an ARC to review. Skylark and Wallcreeper alternates between New York City in the recent past and the French countryside during World War II. Lily is caring for her Granny through Hurricane Sandy when she's given a pen for safekeeping. The pen belongs to her Granny's long-lost friend and fellow resistance fighter. When Lily loses the pen, she finds that her Granny has kept many secrets over the years. There is a lot to love in this book. For fans of historical fiction, this book is adventurous, intriguing, and full of new (to me) information. Carelli highlights the hardships citizens of invaded countries endured, and how they fought against the German war machine. For fans of contemporary fiction, Lily is a brave and compassionate character. Her relationship with her Granny, whose dementia is progressing, is honest and endearing. She is fierce and determined to fix her mistake of losing the pen. Beyond Lily and her Granny you'll find a large cast of interesting supporting characters. I closed the book feeling as though if I were to visit NYC I may run into them and enjoy a chat. Skylark and Wallcreeper is a great novel for anyone who enjoys adventure and/or World War II fiction. Reminiscent of The Last Grand Adventure, it highlights strong intergenerational connections. I recommend Skylark and Wallcreeper to students in grade 5 or above.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mandy Stallard

    If you enjoy historical fiction, then you must read this book. Having spent time in France during college and loving all things French, I will never turn down the opportunity to read a book that involves my favorite destination. Many people will tell you that this book is about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and World War II. Those two events don't seem to fit together, but O'brien has magically woven them together. Lily's grandmother is evacuated from her nursing home during Hurricane Sandy t If you enjoy historical fiction, then you must read this book. Having spent time in France during college and loving all things French, I will never turn down the opportunity to read a book that involves my favorite destination. Many people will tell you that this book is about the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and World War II. Those two events don't seem to fit together, but O'brien has magically woven them together. Lily's grandmother is evacuated from her nursing home during Hurricane Sandy to an armory. Lily decides to stay with her grandmother because it will be safer than returning home but also because she is worried about her. The story alternates from Lily's perspective to that of her grandmother, Colette, as a child living in the south of France during World War II. Colette is part of the French resistance and takes on very dangerous missions. During the chapters about Colette, we see a side of Lily's grandmother that she has never seen. After Lily loses her grandmothers favorite pen, she goes on a search to find it. During this search, Lily discovers the truth about Colette's childhood. While this book takes place during two very important events, I would tell you that this book is about the love of family. It's about doing all you can to make sure those you love are happy and safe. While Lily has always loved and respected her grandmother, finding out about her grandmother's past makes her realize that Colette is the bravest person she's ever met; this frail old woman is truly a hero.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Barbara L

    This intriguing book draws the reader right in and keeps going at a fast pace that will surely appeal to children who like reading about secret missions, danger, and mysteries to solve. I was fully engaged in the first chapters when Lily, a twelve-year-old girl, gets caught in Hurricane Sandy. The tension builds as the floodwaters keep rising and Lily has to help rescue her beloved grandmother. Then the story switches to France during World War II, when two young girls conduct secret activities This intriguing book draws the reader right in and keeps going at a fast pace that will surely appeal to children who like reading about secret missions, danger, and mysteries to solve. I was fully engaged in the first chapters when Lily, a twelve-year-old girl, gets caught in Hurricane Sandy. The tension builds as the floodwaters keep rising and Lily has to help rescue her beloved grandmother. Then the story switches to France during World War II, when two young girls conduct secret activities in the French Resistance. I was deep in 1944 during World War II when I started to see how the two fascinating stories are connected. This book, based on true events, is filled with action, clues, and interesting characters as Lily sets out to investigate the unknown story of her grandmother's past in France. The book easily moves from contemporary to historical fiction, and middle grade students (and older!) will not want to put it down. I love the underlying messages of friendship, brave girls, and love and respect for grandparents who have some pretty interesting stories to tell. I highly recommend this book -- it was a captivating read!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie P

    3.5 stars I received a free copy of this book from the publisher to review. Skylark and Wallcreeper is a middle grade novel that alternates timelines between a young girl helping her grandma in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the narrative of the grandma as a young girl assisting in the French Resistance in 1944. I love historical fiction and learning about brave people who stood up to evil so that aspect always draws me in. And I really enjoyed reading about a modern day young girl wh 3.5 stars I received a free copy of this book from the publisher to review. Skylark and Wallcreeper is a middle grade novel that alternates timelines between a young girl helping her grandma in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012 and the narrative of the grandma as a young girl assisting in the French Resistance in 1944. I love historical fiction and learning about brave people who stood up to evil so that aspect always draws me in. And I really enjoyed reading about a modern day young girl who truly loves and takes care of her grandmother and whom is able to learn about her grandmother's past. Something about the writing didn't completely capture me, and although I enjoyed the story, I didn't experience that element that pushed me over the edge to being totally engrossed and in love with the book. I do think this would be a great introduction for young readers to learn of the experiences of children during World War II and the work of the French Resistance. The publisher recommends it for ages 8 to 12 and I would agree with that.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mary Mckelvin

    It was 2012 in Queens when Hurricane Sandy flooded New York City. I love the way the author went back and forth between the years to let the reader know about a friendship even thru war wouldn't keep this girls who became women apart. This is a beautiful story of friendship that have lasted a lifetime even though they have lost one another. Collette and Marguerite friendship began in France the Spring of 1944, when Collette was only 12 years old and on a mission for the French Resistance. The gr It was 2012 in Queens when Hurricane Sandy flooded New York City. I love the way the author went back and forth between the years to let the reader know about a friendship even thru war wouldn't keep this girls who became women apart. This is a beautiful story of friendship that have lasted a lifetime even though they have lost one another. Collette and Marguerite friendship began in France the Spring of 1944, when Collette was only 12 years old and on a mission for the French Resistance. The group Collette worked for was the " Noah Ark" and her spy name was the Wallcreeper. Marguerite name spy name is Syklark she was able to sing like the bird. Marguerite family helped the Fench Resistance by acting like they was helping the german soldiers. The Germans was trying to take over their country and they was trying to take it back. I mean another child,spy and historical book with children. Lily is Collette granddaughter who learns all the horrible and brave things her grandmother had to deal with at time.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    This book tells two stories, one taking place in 2012 and the other in 1944. Lily is helping her grandmother, Collette, because the nursing home she lives in is being evacuated due to flooding during Hurricane Sandy. During the evacuation, Collette asks Lily to take care of a pen that she has had hidden among her belongings. The alternating story tells about Collette, who as a young girl delivered messages to aid the efforts of the French Resistance during World War II. As Lily loses Collette's This book tells two stories, one taking place in 2012 and the other in 1944. Lily is helping her grandmother, Collette, because the nursing home she lives in is being evacuated due to flooding during Hurricane Sandy. During the evacuation, Collette asks Lily to take care of a pen that she has had hidden among her belongings. The alternating story tells about Collette, who as a young girl delivered messages to aid the efforts of the French Resistance during World War II. As Lily loses Collette's pen and goes on a search to get it back, she learns the story of her courageous grandmother. Both stories within the book are intriguing and adventurous. This book gives insight into two different time periods within history while also highlighting two wonderful characters who display determination and selflessness. Thanks to the author for providing my book review group with an advance reader's copy of the book.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Katelyn Connally

    I don't always read historical fiction, but this book is a combination of modern adventures in New York City in 2012 during Superstorm Sandy, and a town in southern France in 1944 during World War II. It kept my interest from the very first page. Both the settings were vividly described, but it was the action of the stories (and how they came together!) that kept me turning the pages. The main character, Lily, is determined to solve a puzzle, driven by her love for her Granny College, who turns I don't always read historical fiction, but this book is a combination of modern adventures in New York City in 2012 during Superstorm Sandy, and a town in southern France in 1944 during World War II. It kept my interest from the very first page. Both the settings were vividly described, but it was the action of the stories (and how they came together!) that kept me turning the pages. The main character, Lily, is determined to solve a puzzle, driven by her love for her Granny College, who turns out to have a fascinating past. There were times when their relationship brought tears to my eyes, and the ending just about did me in! Boys and girls in middle school will love the mystery and tension. There's a lot of history woven in, but it's the quirky characters and Lily's quest that made the book entertaining. This book would be perfect for reading aloud to a family or class. I'm still thinking about it!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Heidi

    I loved this book! It grabs you right away and continues the pace right to the end. The characters are wonderful and believable, especially as the 2 elderly women. Their bravery as young girls is inspirational. The portrayal of Lily, the granddaughter, is realistic with her texting and interactions with her anxious mom. She too exhibits her own form of bravery as she attempts to help her grandmother but I question her shedding of tears in several tense situations. If she's brave enough to do som I loved this book! It grabs you right away and continues the pace right to the end. The characters are wonderful and believable, especially as the 2 elderly women. Their bravery as young girls is inspirational. The portrayal of Lily, the granddaughter, is realistic with her texting and interactions with her anxious mom. She too exhibits her own form of bravery as she attempts to help her grandmother but I question her shedding of tears in several tense situations. If she's brave enough to do something, I don't see why she's crying. Maybe that's just me. I never would have imagined combining the impact of Hurricane Sandy with the French Resistance in WWII but it works beautifully here. What a fantastic way to introduce WWII to middle school readers.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    I was given an advance copy of Skylark and Wallcreeper, and though I don't read a lot of MG fiction, I have friends with young children and was hoping this would be a great read. I wasn't disappointed. Lily is very likable, and her relationship with her mom is quite relatable. But what shines in this book is Lily's relationship with her Granny Collette. Lily is tender and patient with her, and it's touching to witness. The author does a great job of weaving the past story with the present and ke I was given an advance copy of Skylark and Wallcreeper, and though I don't read a lot of MG fiction, I have friends with young children and was hoping this would be a great read. I wasn't disappointed. Lily is very likable, and her relationship with her mom is quite relatable. But what shines in this book is Lily's relationship with her Granny Collette. Lily is tender and patient with her, and it's touching to witness. The author does a great job of weaving the past story with the present and keeps the pace going. And the cast features a diverse cast of folks you'd typically run into living in a large city up North.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ben Langhinrichs

    This is a really clever story telling the split perspectives of Lily (2012) dealing with Hurricane Sandy and trying to get her grandmother safely settled in a refugee center, and then her grandmother as a member of the resistance in WWII, which Lily knows nothing about until her grandmother's somewhat confused and fuzzy hints lead her on a mission which echoes those her grandmother went on. I like the characters, and I love the insight into the amazing women who risked their lives in WWII, plus This is a really clever story telling the split perspectives of Lily (2012) dealing with Hurricane Sandy and trying to get her grandmother safely settled in a refugee center, and then her grandmother as a member of the resistance in WWII, which Lily knows nothing about until her grandmother's somewhat confused and fuzzy hints lead her on a mission which echoes those her grandmother went on. I like the characters, and I love the insight into the amazing women who risked their lives in WWII, plus the way Lily's bravery (and occasional foolhearted tendencies) show she has inherited something from her grandmother.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brigit Young

    As a kid, I would have read this book over and over, reliving the page-turning adventures of a granddaughter experiencing Hurricane Sandy and the flashbacks to her grandmother's acts of rebellion in World War II France. As an adult, I was in tears. The adventure was marvelous, and the connection between granddaughter and grandmother deeply moving. Additionally, the chapters in New York manage to capture the feeling in the city post-Sandy better than any article or fiction piece I've read since t As a kid, I would have read this book over and over, reliving the page-turning adventures of a granddaughter experiencing Hurricane Sandy and the flashbacks to her grandmother's acts of rebellion in World War II France. As an adult, I was in tears. The adventure was marvelous, and the connection between granddaughter and grandmother deeply moving. Additionally, the chapters in New York manage to capture the feeling in the city post-Sandy better than any article or fiction piece I've read since the hurricane. This book is sure to be taught in schools for years to come.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anita Sanchez

    This book starts off with fast-paced action in the present, and then takes an unexpected turn into the past, into an area of history that has always fascinated me--the story of the incredibly brave heroes of the French Resistance. And some of those heroes and heroines were kids. Carelli's research really shines in the historical parts of the novel--every detail rings true, but the reader is never overwhelmed with facts. Colette is a wonderful character and is just as interesting as a grandmother This book starts off with fast-paced action in the present, and then takes an unexpected turn into the past, into an area of history that has always fascinated me--the story of the incredibly brave heroes of the French Resistance. And some of those heroes and heroines were kids. Carelli's research really shines in the historical parts of the novel--every detail rings true, but the reader is never overwhelmed with facts. Colette is a wonderful character and is just as interesting as a grandmother as she is as a girl, facing dangers no kid should ever have to face. Highly recommended.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    I put this book in historical fiction because it does teach a lot about France in 1944 and a little bit about SuperStorm Sandy in 2012. It could also go in realistic fiction through since the final storyline is 2012. Recommended for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of WWII history and resistance against Germans. I enjoyed how the story switched back and forth between Lily and her grandma, with hints at how everything was going to come together. Appropriate for upper elementary and up! # I put this book in historical fiction because it does teach a lot about France in 1944 and a little bit about SuperStorm Sandy in 2012. It could also go in realistic fiction through since the final storyline is 2012. Recommended for anyone who wants to expand their knowledge of WWII history and resistance against Germans. I enjoyed how the story switched back and forth between Lily and her grandma, with hints at how everything was going to come together. Appropriate for upper elementary and up! #bookexcursion

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Betts

    O’Brien Carelli has written a wonderful YA book which will be enjoyed by all readers. Set in New York during Hurricane Sandy (2012) and Brume, France (1944) a fascinating story unravels because of a pen. When her nursing home must be evacuated because of the hurricane, Collette and her granddaughter, Lily, find themselves relocated to an Armory in Brooklyn with very few possessions. One of these treasures, the pen, gets lost and the story unfolds. The story is not time travel, but more of a remem O’Brien Carelli has written a wonderful YA book which will be enjoyed by all readers. Set in New York during Hurricane Sandy (2012) and Brume, France (1944) a fascinating story unravels because of a pen. When her nursing home must be evacuated because of the hurricane, Collette and her granddaughter, Lily, find themselves relocated to an Armory in Brooklyn with very few possessions. One of these treasures, the pen, gets lost and the story unfolds. The story is not time travel, but more of a remembrance (told in third person) about Collette’s life in Brume.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Sumrow

    This book follows the story of two girls that are part of French Resistance during WWII and a young girl during Superstorm Sandy. I've never seen a historical woven with a near-present day mystery in MG before, and the author here masters it! I enjoyed the exploration of a lesser-known part of WWII history and the strength of the female characters in both timelines. Also, I loved the relationship between the main character and her grandmother, which is often an under-explored dynamic in MG. This This book follows the story of two girls that are part of French Resistance during WWII and a young girl during Superstorm Sandy. I've never seen a historical woven with a near-present day mystery in MG before, and the author here masters it! I enjoyed the exploration of a lesser-known part of WWII history and the strength of the female characters in both timelines. Also, I loved the relationship between the main character and her grandmother, which is often an under-explored dynamic in MG. This is a page-turner that will keep kids reading!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    This book has everything: a superstorm, very brave kids, mystery, intrigue, a worried mom, the power of resistance, vivid descriptive writing - even some details on spy gear used in WWII France. I kept turning the pages of this briskly-paced historical fiction mixed with contemporary adventure, wanting to see how everything works out for Lily, Skylark, and Wallcreeper, and I am certain kids will do the same.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Wendy Menard

    I was given an ARC for review and I could not put it down! The juxtaposition of the two stories - a girl caring for her grandmother after Hurricane Sandy, and two girls in the French Resistance - kept me completely engaged. The attention to detail, both physical and emotional, and the emotional authenticity are terrific, and sure to captivate middle grade readers while educating them. Loved it.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

    I gave this book 5 stars. I loved the way Carelli gave the needed information for her novel. She weaved details and facts in and out of the story flawlessly. Sometimes, historical fiction either tries to hard to give all of the facts for the reader and sometimes not enough. This book had the perfect amount, in my opinion, for a younger reader to understand. I think it was a well-developed story and enjoyed reading it. I received this book from the author as part of our ARC group, Lit Review Crew, I gave this book 5 stars. I loved the way Carelli gave the needed information for her novel. She weaved details and facts in and out of the story flawlessly. Sometimes, historical fiction either tries to hard to give all of the facts for the reader and sometimes not enough. This book had the perfect amount, in my opinion, for a younger reader to understand. I think it was a well-developed story and enjoyed reading it. I received this book from the author as part of our ARC group, Lit Review Crew, in exchange for an honest review. Read more about this book on my blog: http://www.mrsbookdragon.com/2018/10/...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Christina Collins

    Adored this book. I loved the way the two storylines unfold, one in 2012 and the other in 1944, and would recommend this not just for historical fiction fans but for anyone who loves an exciting, well-researched story, especially one with girl power!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Tanner

    This very fast paced story is told from two perspectives-one in NY during Hurricane Sandy and one in France during WW2. The story was compelling, the characters were interesting and I couldn't put it down.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Fredda

    What a poignant book about love, friendship and history. I was transported to 1944 and 2012 Brooklyn as the years came together, especially in 2018. Looking forward to the sequel (sorry, author)!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Rawson Hill

    Ummm, there's going to be a sequel, right? Right?

  30. 4 out of 5

    J.H. Diehl

    Skylark and Wallcreeper is filled with poignantly observed details that bring vividly to life dual historical narratives set in WWII German-occupied France and NYC during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. As the Lily of 2012 races against both time and the weather to unspool the unheard stories of her grandmother's childhood bravery in a small French town, O'Brien Carelli celebrates the value of sharing our lived experiences down through the generations - and the wealth of stories attached to even a humb Skylark and Wallcreeper is filled with poignantly observed details that bring vividly to life dual historical narratives set in WWII German-occupied France and NYC during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. As the Lily of 2012 races against both time and the weather to unspool the unheard stories of her grandmother's childhood bravery in a small French town, O'Brien Carelli celebrates the value of sharing our lived experiences down through the generations - and the wealth of stories attached to even a humble souvenir, like a long-saved pen. I highly recommend this book.

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