LaFleur, Suzanne. Beautiful Blue World. Wendy Lamb Books, 2016. $16.99. ISBN 9780385743006. 210 pages. Ages 11-15. P8Q8
Mathilde and Megs are best friends in a fictional land ravaged by war. The girls’ world is reminiscent of Europe during World War II, where citizens live in fear of aerial bombings and warring countries share borders. As the battle rages, shrinking families become increasingly impoverished. Desperate parents are willing to enlist their young children in exchange for a large allowance and the scant hope of their child’s safety. This first book in a series introduces readers to the strong bond between Mathilde and Megs. Their almost telepathic connection is the only fantastical addition to a story that reads like historical fiction. LaFleur’s lyrical language adds to the reader’s experience and effectively highlights Mathilde’s compassion—an important quality to the story. Beautiful Blue World appeals to middle and early high school readers who enjoy stories with emphasis on character and writing.
November 2016 review by Lillian Curanzy.