Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Ages 9-12
Pages: 240
Themes: juvenile novel, magical realism, historical fiction, French Revolution
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 03/Sep/2019
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Resourceful fourteen-year-old Odette is on the move again, traveling as a stowaway on a cheese cart with her hapless mother, Anneline. They are in Burgundy, France, in 1799, fleeing yet another calamity caused by Anneline (who is prone to killing people accidentally). At dawn they find themselves in a town called Nevers, which is filled with eccentric characters, including a man who obsessively smells hands, another who dreams of becoming a chicken and a donkey that keeps the town awake at night, braying about his narrow life. As Odette establishes a home in an abandoned guardhouse, she makes a friend in the relaxed Nicois and finds work as a midwife's assistant. She and Nicois uncover a mystery that may lead to riches and, more important for Odette, a sense of belonging.

CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"Nevers is a funny story, simply told, with a delightful heroine. It has been a long time since I've read such a convincing, relevant historical novel for children."
Julie Paul, author of Meteorites and The Pull of the Moon

“In Nevers, readers will be spellbound by the magic and mayhem of Odette and Anneline’s life in motion. Against a rich background of post-Revolutionary France, they’ll learn of perseverance, friendship and love in many forms. Cassidy is a master storyteller, and her fresh imagery and wordplay, along with a well-paced plot and a diverse cast of characters, are a real delight.”

Kirkus Reviews
"This brief sojourn in an alternative 18th-century France is an unexpectedly rich one."
Esta Spalding, author of the Fitzgerald-Trouts series
Nevers is a marvelous and magical book with an unforgettable heroine—prepare to be transported!”
School Library Journal
“Readers will enjoy the quirky characters...While the pacing is quick, the story never feels rushed. A worthy addition to middle grade collections; give this to fans of Adam Gidwitz’s The Inquisitor’s Tale.”
“Unfolds with mystery and hilarity, building momentum in a way that will keep readers engaged to the end. Recommend to fans of Adam Gidwitz’s The Inquisitor’s Tale.”
Resource Links
“This book is a quick, fast paced read that will keep the reader involved…Filled with a variety of characters that will be appealing to most readers.”
Globe and Mail
“Poignant, passionate and full of surprises.”
Must Read Literature: K thru YA
“Beautiful in its writing style, almost poetic at times, this novel is characterized by the strength of the protagonist, the historical references which educate young readers about a monumentally influential period of French history and the clever resolution which will surprise all readers who do not read carefully.”
Canadian Children's Book News, student takeover edition
"Full of twists and turns...The book has an off-beat story line and will appeal to kids who like a quirky, unexpected read."


BC and Yukon Book Prize Society Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize  | 2020 | Short-listed
Hackmatack Children's Choice Book Award  | 2021 | Short-listed
CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens  | 2020 | Commended
City of Victoria Children's Book Prize  | 2020 | Short-listed
Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic  | 2020 | Short-listed
Rocky Mountain Book Award  | 2021 | Short-listed
Chocolate Lily Book Awards  | 2021 | Short-listed
Governor General's Literary Awards  | 2020 | Short-listed

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