Duke’s Den

dukeAuthor: Citra, Becky
Pub. Date: 2016
Pages: 208
List Price: 9.95
Suggested Grades: 4 to 7
FICTION – (Included in the Middle and Elementary Extra Packages – paperback)

“Amelia’s world came crashing down when her parents separated and she was forced to relocate with her mother to a new part of town. But when Duke and Gabriella move into the suite downstairs with their menagerie of exotic animals, Amelia feels like she’s been thrown a lifeline. Helping care for the animals gives Amelia a sense of purpose, and she’s determined to keep Duke and Gabriella’s secret.

Eventually her mother discovers the animals and refuses to let them stay. To make matters worse, Winston, a sulcata tortoise, has fallen ill, and the medical bills are piling up. Can Amelia figure out a way to help save Winston and keep her newfound family together?”

Reviewed by Janet Eastwood. CM: Canadian Review of Materials, March, 2016 Highly Recommended “The human relationships are caring without being perfect. Duke and Gabriella argue over money, something of which they are constantly short. Amelia is, initially, less than fully invested in her new friends, celebrity-obsessed Roshni and computer-geek Liam. Duke’s brother, Simon, is not from Amelia’s perspective as nice as Duke or Gabriella, but he proves kind when she is upset. Amelia’s dad, in particular, causes his daughter pain; Amelia’s reactions to his behaviour are realistic. The story does not wallow in Amelia’s unhappiness, nor does it skip past the outbursts of misery she feels. The emotions feel authentic.

Kirkus Review “Sweet and lively.”