Newport Librarians's Reviews > The Girl is Murder

The Girl is Murder by Kathryn Miller Haines
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's review
Sep 15, 12

bookshelves: ms-kathy, ya-fiction
Read in August, 2012

Iris Anderson finds herself suddenly without a mother, living with a father she barely knows, poor, and about to head off for her first day at a public school on the Lower East Side of Manhattan--a world away from the life of the Upper East Side private school girl she had so recently lived. Here's how author Kathryn Miller Haines describes Iris's first few moments at school: "From the moment I entered the doors of P. S. 110, I was dodging, ducking, and holding my breath, hoping that whatever I just saw would pass by without doing me harm. . . . Public school was exactly what I imagined trench warfare was like." Iris certainly doesn't sound like someone who has what it takes to be a fearless sleuth. But just as public school isn't exactly as she at first sees it, Iris isn't the coddled (read: spoiled) kid she appears to be.

The Girl Is Murder hits all the right notes, from great 1940s slang and an accurate 1940s view of race, class, and religion, to a compelling (but not too scary) mystery, to a realistic depiction of a teenager thrust into a world she is mostly unprepared for--until she decides that she'll just have to become prepared. This is a fun, fast read that provides plenty of food for thought, too.

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