March 20, 2018

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Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling by Tony Cliff | SLJ Review

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redstarCliff, Tony. Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling. illus. by Tony Cliff. 272p. ebook available. First Second. Mar. 2016. pap. $17.99. ISBN 9781626721555.Cliff, Tony. Delilah Dirk and the King’s Shilling

Gr 6 Up –Delilah Dirk has a chip on her shoulder. Of late, she lashes out at anyone who wounds her pride or name, even when the danger is great. As in Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant (First Second, 2012), her faithful friend Selim acts as the voice of reason, but stopping a resolute Delilah proves to be nearly impossible. So when a traitorous British soldier threatens her good reputation, she pursues him, bent on his downfall. England does not welcome her back, and with redcoats chasing her, she reluctantly takes refuge with her privileged family. This position gives her an advantage, but her headstrong attitude jeopardizes all: her chance at success, survival, and her bonds. Frustration and tension have a bigger presence than humor in this volume, but we get more character and relationship development because of this. Colors are key to setting the tone; when this duo arrive in England, the hues take on an overcast brown to match how stifled Delilah feels. Fortunately, heart-pounding action sequences chase such clouds away every time. VERDICT Another whirlwind adventure that builds upon Cliff’s unifying factor—true friendship.–Rachel Forbes, formerly of Oakville Public Library, Ontario, Canada

This review was published in the School Library Journal February 2016 issue.