In the grimy London of 1935, eleven-year-old Dominic Walker has lost his voice. His mother is sick and his father’s unemployed. Rescue comes in the form of his Uncle Roo, who arrives to take him and his young sister, Marlo, to Cornwall. There, in a boarding house populated by eccentric residents, Marlo, who keeps a death grip on her copy of The New Art of Cooking, and Dominic, armed with Incredible Adventures for Boys: Colonel Lawrence and the Revolt in the Desert, find a way of life unlike any they have known. Dominic’s passion for Lawrence of Arabia is tested when he finds himself embroiled in a village uprising against a band of travelers who face expulsion. In defending the vulnerable, Dominic learns what it truly means to have a voice.
Trilby Kent brilliantly handles a far-off time and place to present a story of up-to-the-minute relevance.
Medina Hill was a piece of young adult historical fiction that brings a lot of elements together including family, injustice, friendship, and leadership. I think it would be a perfect book for a middle school aged boy and maybe even girl that is interested in historical fiction.
While I appreciated all the different elements and themes the author brought together (such as a mis-matched group of residents that live in the Medina Hill boarding house, the Gypsy girl that Dominic befriends, and Dominic's love of Lawrence of Arabia) there were so many different parts that I didn't know really want to focus on and I don't think I got as much from any of the plots like I had expected. I definitely wanted to know more about the residents of the boarding house and Dominic's aunt and uncle.
I think of all the plots the one of Dominic and his Gypsy friend Sancha was the most complete. Their friendship made sense and was genuine. And I do think that the way the story unfolds is clever, how it uses all the different plot points and helps Dominic really find his voice. I also liked Dominic's sister Marlo and the personal journey that she goes through while in Medina Hill.
Overall a young adult historical pick for a middle-schooler that explores a lot of topics!
Medina Hill was released on October 13th
Genre: Young Adult Historical Fiction
Review copy provided by publisher for tour