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The Orphan Band of Springdale: 05/26/18
The Orphan Band of Springdale by Anne Nesbet is set in inland Maine in 1941. Augusta "Gusta" Neubronner is sent to her maternal grandmother's home as her father flees the authorities. In her possession is her suitcase and her French horn.
What unfolds after Gusta's arrival is the fictionalized account of stories Anne's mother's time in Maine. The afterword explains how the real events informed and inspired the fictional ones. Springdale is inspired by Sanford.
To describe the plot would be to give it away. It's a nuanced, messy set of events. In this regard it's very much like Cloud and Wallfish (2016).
The title reflects Gusta and her cousins forming a band to play at the summer fair. Their goal is to be a red ribbon band (earning second place) so that their grandmother will allow them to sing and play music in the house.
But it's not just about the band. It's about trying to do the right thing and standing up to injustice when adults can't or won't. It's about telling the truth and breaking open family secrets. It's about making your own family and remember the ones no longer living. It's about injustice of racism and the dangerous nature of enforced patriotism.
Basically it's a timely, relevant, thoughtful book that I hope makes it into classrooms.