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Star in the Storm    by Joan Hiatt Harlow order for
Star in the Storm
by Joan Hiatt Harlow
Order:  USA  Can
Aladdin, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Jessica Maguire

This YA novel begins with eleven black birds ... and a secret. Young Maggie sees a flock of crows and remembers the rhyme: 'One for sadness, two for mirth ... Three for marriage, four for birth; five for laughing, six for crying; seven for sickness, eight for dying; nine for silver, ten for gold; eleven for a secret that will never be told.' Maggie and her humongous Newfoundland dog Sirius see eleven, but what is the secret?

Maggie soon finds out. Sirius tries to save the loathsome Tamar Rand's sheep. However, Tamar believes Sirius is responsible for not saving but killing her livestock. Because Tamar's father is a powerful figurehead in their Newfoundland coastal community, he sees to it that all dogs except for herding dogs are banned. This means that Maggie will have to part with her beloved Sirius or see him put to death. Neither option appeals to Maggie.

Unwilling to send Sirius away or see him killed, Maggie decides to hide Sirius until she can get the ban lifted. But where do you hide a dog as big as Sirius? Maggie finds a spot, but she can't keep the dog hidden forever. While Sirius is in exile, disasters strike and only Sirius can help.

But how can a dog exiled to a secret hideout help when a ship, a ship carrying the Rands' older daughter and their first grandchild, is sinking in the bay in frigid temperatures? Will Maggie bring Sirius out of hiding and risk losing him forever to save the people on the ship?

To find out you'll just have to pick up this book for pre-teen and teen readers. I rather enjoyed reading a story set around the turn of the century Newfoundland and I love how the hero of the story is a Newfoundland dog, known for its size (at the age of six I received a ride in a cart pulled by my first grade teacher's Newfoundland). The story is action packed and full of suspense while the descriptions of the land made me think I was in the town of Bonnie Bay.

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