I thought that this was a relatable book with excellent writing. I like how this book relates to a time where kids wouldn't remember, yet it's still an issue of their world today. I loved the themes of friends, family and home.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for granting me free access to the advanced digital copy of this book.
This one reminded me of reading Zlata's Diary as a middle schooler. That was primary understanding of the war in Kosovo. SO I was interested to read this novel and the experience of my age peers for whom the war was more "real". Middle school is really when you become more aware of the larger world anyway and then you add in a changing family and the presence of refugees and it's a complex, compelling plot. It's emotionally charged in a way that might be overwhelming for a very sensitive reader but could also inspire some in depth conversations about refugees in the modern world.
The Year the Maps Changed takes place in 1999 when the war in Kosovo was happening and refugees were sent to Australia. Winifred (Fred) and her dad, Luca live in Portsea, Australia. Luca is a police officer and gets involved with helping the refugees when they arrive in town. The people they meet, along with Fred’s teacher Mr. Khouri, change their view of the world and those around them. This is a great book to help kids realize he world is so much bigger than where they live and open discussions about war and its effects. It was interesting to remember the war in Kosovo and learn more about how people were affected by it.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy.
This is a nice story about a girl named Fred who is dealing with a lot of things. Her mom died, leaving her with her grandfather and her mom's boyfriend, but then Pop leaves too and Luca has a new girlfriend and she has a son AND she's going to have a baby soon. Also, there are a group of refugees being resettled in her town and they are interesting and different from everything Fred has known before. Middle graders who like stories about families and relationships will like this one.
Thanks to HarperCollins Children's Books, Quill Tree Books, and NetGalley for a review copy of The Year the Maps Changed.
12-year-old Fred lives in Australia with her non-traditional family. She lives with her stepdad, his girlfriend and her son, and her grandfather. She is still grieving the loss of her mother who died years earlier. Fred is already struggling to figure out where she belongs in her household when her stepdad announces that his girlfriend is pregnant. At the same time, Fred's community is being joined by refugees from war-torn Kosovo. Fred wants them to feel welcome, but not everyone in her community is so inviting. What unfolds is a story that reaffirms the diversity of many of today's families and what it means to be a good neighbor.
Engaging middle grade fiction. 6th grader Winifred is having a rough time. Her mom has died, she's happily living with her step-dad Luca and grandfather until a Luca brings a new partner and her child into their home. A very confusing time for Winifred. Where is home, who is her family, how to "be" in this new family? At the same time, an immigrant crisis brings more unmoored people to their town, immigrants who are facing similar questions and many bigger challenges. A story about love and doing the right thing.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the e-ARC of this middle grade novel.
I absolutely adored this book. It's so well crafted, and an excellent retrospective on a time in our history that I think few would be proud of. I can't wait for young readers to get their hands on this one.
A really deftly written story about family, community, global events and politics, war, refugees, and good citizenship—big ideas written about through a small, personal, and local lens. Really big issues handled with care and respect, perfectly targeted for middle grade readers.
Set in 1999, The Year the Maps Changed is a study of family and how it morphs. For Fred, family used to be her mom, stepdad and grandfather. But just like maps of places can change, so can the lines on Fred’s family map. And sometimes those lines shift to include people Fred never considered.
Fred is the kind of character you’d want your kid to be friends with. She’s bright and thoughtful and thinks beyond herself even when she’s struggling with her own problems. Fred also has a strong, supportive group of people around her that are just as multifaceted and flawed as she is.
Author Danielle Binks approaches both Fred’s personal life and the refugee situation honestly. She respects her readers, speaking to them on their level about hard things. She doesn’t shy away from difficult topics or hide her characters’ pain. And her book is better for it.
The year the Maps Changed is a quiet read that packs a punch. Though it’s set a little more than 20 years ago, readers will easily relate to many of the themes throughout.
A note for North American readers: The Year the Maps Changed takes place in Australia. This may cause some confusion with American readers, especially where seasons come into play. Winter for Australia is summer for North America. A short discussion prior to reading should clear up any confusion.
This is a thoughtful and insightful read, set in 1999 but absolutely on point for may current issues.
This is bittersweet and beautifully written, and gives a powerfully empathetic look at refugee life. Every character grows and fills out, and the plot is paced to hold interest. The multi-faceted look into communities receiving refugees is handled at an age appropriate level and educates well without ever being heavy-handed.
The Year the Maps Changed by Danielle Binks is a wonderful middle grades historical fiction story that tackles change, loss, social responsibility, personal responsibility, and growing up all set in Australia during the Kosovo War in 1999. Fred, also known as Freddie, Winifred, and rarely Winnie, enters her sixth-grade year while adapting to major changes at home grateful to be in a class with her all-time favorite teacher, Mr. Khouri. While Mr. Khouri challenges his students to ask big questions and figure out the world around them, Fred is paying attention to the war happening half a world away and figuring out how the tragedy will impact her world in Sorrento, Victoria.
The Year the Maps Changed is a great novel for lovers of The Thing About Jelly Fish and We Dream of Space.
This was a great book.
The plot was really well thought out and the characters really gave the story depth and meaning.
I really loved all the relationships. Parent / Child. Husband / Wife. Sibling/Sibling. Boy / Girl. Grandparent / Grandchild. They all worked together to make a story, and characters that you cared about.
The story would have worked with just that but then the author added in refugees and it brought the story to another level. Now society, neighbors, communities, all had different interactions with the refugees. It was thoughtfully done with hope thrown in with reality.
I loved this book and would love to have a sequel.
*Thank you, NetGalley, for the digital copy of The Year the Maps Changed in exchange for an honest review*
A coming-of-age tale that expresses the beauty and tragedy of life in a kid-friendly way. Fred is 11 years old and living with her adoptive father and his new partner and her son. Fred is relatable to anyone who has been thrown into a situation where they have zero control and feels the maps change in both literal and metaphorical ways throughout the book. To make matters more complicated, her adoptive father and his partner are expecting a child - something that Fred is not looking forward to.
While her family is dealing with many new changes, Albanian refugees begin showing up in town and are met with a variety of reactions from the community.
This book is both dark and hopeful, sharing with the reader the good and bad of humanity in a way that is both appropriate for children and creates a bridge to build a better understanding of what makes us human and ties us to one another.
This was a great story about what makes a family and community great. In the context of recent history, we need more stories that remind us that doing good for others is the most important part of living in a society. Sometimes fighting the rules is the only thing that makes change happen. Everyone deserves a safe place in this world and those of us who have that should help others find it in any way we can.
Unrelated to the book, it's strange to read about events that happened in my lifetime being written as historical fiction. Related to the book, I absolutely adored this storyline, the characters, and especially the protagonist, Winifred. I will definitely be adding this to my purchase list for the year and recommending to my students!
Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
I didn't know much about this book before I started reading. And, I hate to admit, that although I was an adult in 1999 (when the story takes place), I didn't know much about the struggles of the refugees from the war in Kosovo. This book, although set in the past, is so necessary for children to read now. Watching 5th and 6th graders struggle with the view of the adults around them about this topic is a conversation that needs to be had.
Wow. What an emotional and educational story about family and about Kosovo refugees in Australia in 1999. Whereas most Middle Grade books are upbeat and optimistic, this book is a bit darker, with a very adult tone. It deals with serious subject matters: step-siblings, death of a parent, still-birth of a child, and war refugees.
Despite the bleak subject matter, the novel was beautifully written and engrossing. I found myself lost in the pages, thoroughly invested in the story. The characters were diverse and realistic, and the situations they found themselves in ringed true to life. There was a good amount of action and the plot flowed along smoothly.
One thing that really makes this book stand out is that it is based on the Kosovo refugees coming to Australia in 1999. In that sense, it elucidates a moment in history that most people know little about. Very educational.
A special thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an advanced reader's copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
I read The Year the Maps Changed almost in one sitting. It was just brilliant. It reminded me of the books I’d get engrossed in as a kid, reading late into the night because I wanted to stay immersed in the story with the characters.
Oh wow, I loved this book a lot.
This middle grade novel takes place in Australia in 1999, when Kosovo refugees were brought there.
As a World Cultures and Geography teacher, I really appreciated all of the references and comparisons to maps. That was really speaking my language!
This coming of age novel focused on empathy, grief, and discovering your moral compass. The character growth of Winnifred was fabulous, and I loved the changing relationships between her and Sam and Anika.
This shed light on historical events that I hadn't known a lot about and has inspired me to research to learn what is real. The author has included sources to make this task easy.
Recommend for kids and adults alike.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an early copy for review.