Reviewed on GoodReads
KIdsWWwrite - Sarah's Stars by Anika, age 11, October 2009.
Reviewed by Beth L. Virtanen, Ph.D.,
in The Finnish American Reporter, April 2009.
Reviewed in Resource Links, April 2009.
Reviewed in BC Bookworld Spring 2009.
Reviewed by Malcolm R. Campbell on the Writer's Notebook web site.
Reviewed by Karen
Rankin in CM: Canadian Review of Materials, February 6, 2009,
The following book review is used by permission from THE CHRONICLE-JOURNAL, Sunday, December 28, 2008 in Thunder Bay, ON, Canada:
OFF THE SHELF
Autio scores with second installment
BY LINDA TURK
Sometimes you read a book that's so good in every way you just want to write the author and say thanks.
Karen Autio has done a lovely job with her
second book about young Saara, the girl we met in Second Watch.
that first volume, Saara survived the shipwreck of the Empress
and in this book is continuing her life with her family in Port Arthur
during the early years of the First World War.
Saara's family is from Finland
and we see through her eyes the division of the Finnish community
during that dreadful war. She and her parents are avid newspaper
readers, following events in Europe from the apparent safety of their
Bay Street neighbourhood.
far away from the battlefields of France and Belgium doesn't save the
family from the terrors of every day. Saara's Aunt Marja is diagnosed
with tuberculosis and sent away to a sanatorium, leaving her baby,
Sanni, to her family's care.
then had no drugs for a cure. Patients were exposed to fresh air in all
seasons and given nourishing, high-calorie foods to try to build them
up a bit, but it was all a matter of chance as to whether a patient
survived. Aunt Marja's letters to Saara are masterpieces, full of
yearning for her baby and a determinedly cheerful description of her
days. Saara at 12 is just old enough to understand a little how very
hard it must be for her aunt to have to rely on letters to learn how
her baby is growing and changing every day.
we would consider a 12-year-old to be far too young to determine her
own comings and goings, but Saara represents those generations of
children who were allowed to be out on their own for hours as long as
they made it home for meals.
and her friend are witnesses to many of the stirring and upsetting
events of the war years in the Lakehead. This is historically accurate
in that many of the photos from that time show children on the
outskirts of every crowd.
must in this story find her way, or make her passage, from childhood to
the world of grown-up responsibilities -- or at least the beginnings of
them -- and the way is never easy. Autio depicts with care and beauty
the struggles youngsters go through to do the right thing, to know the
right thing to do, to think of others.
Saara's Passage is published through Sono Nis Press and available for $10.95.