Thursday, January 05, 2017

Compass Point South (Four Points 1)

25689025Larson, Hope and Mock, Rebecca. Compass Point South (Four Points 1)
June 28th 2016 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
Library copy

Twins Cleopatra and Alexander have been abandoned by their adoptive father in 1860s New York City and have been taken in by the Black Hook Gang, for whom they commit petty theft. When they are caught, they agree to be extradited to New Orleans instead of sent to Randall's Island. They see an advertisement for lost red headed twin boys, and decide to present themselves (with Cleo cutting her hair and wearing boys' clothes) to the poster of the ad in order to have someone to take care of them. They meet another set of twins trying to do the same thing. They get separated, and Cleo develops a relationship with Silas, while Alex forms an uneasy partnership with his brother. The two pairs travel on ships around Cape Horn and hope to meet up in San Francisco, and maybe even find their father. Book two, Knife's Edge,  comes out in June of 2017. 

31145083Strengths: This was a great action/adventure story that I would have loved had it been in chapter book form. My students do NOT like their history that way, so perhaps this is a good compromise, since they will read anything in graphic form. Solid characters, amusing budding romance, lots of danger.
Weaknesses: Tiny print and very detailed, small pictures. I had trouble keeping the characters straight since there were four red headed, nearly identical characters, and their names were not mentioned frequently. The story was complicated, especially since there were two main lines in similar settings. 
What I really think: My students will check it out, but I have my concerns as to how much they will really understand about the story. 

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