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Spotlight: In the Country of Queens by Cari Best

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Eleven-year-old Shirley Alice Burns lives with her domineering mother, Hurricane Anna, and loving Grandmother. One day she unexpectedly discovers that her beloved father isn’t in Absentia as her family would have her believe, but dead. And she understands all too well why they haven’t told her; she’s always been shy and quiet, and Anna has always been protective of her. But if Shirley doesn’t start speaking up, she isn’t going to be able to do the things she wants to do: go on vacation to Lake Winnipesaukee with her cousins, stop taking ballet lessons, and talk about her father. Through the help of a mouse, her hero Pippi Longstocking, and her cousin Phillie, Shirley finds the strength to give her dreams a voice and convince everyone, even Hurricane Anna, that she doesn’t need to be sheltered, especially from the truth. IN THE COUNTRY OF QUEENS is the debut novel from acclaimed picture-book author Cari Best.

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About the Author

Cari Best has written many award-winning picture books, including Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen, a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year; and My Three Best Friends and Me, described by the New York Times as “refreshing” and “exciting.” Her picture book If I Could Drive, Mama was described by Publishers Weekly as “a wonderful tribute to an imagination in perpetual motion.” In the Country of Queens is her first novel. Ms. Best lives in Connecticut.

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