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All My Noble Dreams and Then What Happens

Review

All My Noble Dreams and Then What Happens

Rosalind, known as Rosy, is torn between two worlds: the England where she was born and whose heritage she claims, and the India where she lives and whose culture she loves.

The story takes place just before the British Prince of Wales’s visit to India in 1921. Rosy’s father is a major in the British Indian Army. He and his family have been invited to Calcutta to participate in a reception to welcome the Prince to India.

"Whelan takes the reader into Rosy’s world, that of a young girl who must decide what is right and then have the courage to do it."

As the daughter of an Army major, Rosy is expected to behave a certain way and not get into any trouble that would embarrass her father. However, she is very vocal about her feelings and she doesn’t see things quite the way her father does. And she seems to have a knack for getting into trouble, anyway. Rosy’s father is dedicated to the cause of the British while Rosy sees the plight of the poor in India and is rooting for them to gain their independence from British rule. Even while living in India, for the most part Rosy is not subjected to its abject poverty as she lives in relative comfort, but she has Indian friends and she is aware of the differences between her circumstances and theirs.

During this time in history, Ghandi is in prison in India for promoting Indian independence from England. While in prison, Ghandi has called for a hartal, a strike by Indian workers. Rosy’s father thinks Ghandi should be in prison; Rosy thinks Ghandi is not being treated fairly. During the Prince’s visit to Calcutta, Rosy is given the opportunity to present the Prince with a letter that has been written by Ghandi. One of Rosy’s friends, Max, writes for Young India. The paper supports Ghandi’s cause and prints letters and essays written by him. Max has secured a hand-written letter from Ghandi addressed to the Prince. Will Rosy present the letter to the Prince and risk getting caught by her father, or will she do what she thinks is right?

Many foreign words are used throughout the text. Most of them are either defined in a sentence, or the definition can be derived from the way they are used in the text. In addtion, there is a glossary at the end of the book that gives definitions for all of them.

Author Gloria Whelan has received many awards and much critical acclaim for her children and young adult books. She writes both contemporary and historical fiction. Although Rosy is a fictional character, the setting is quite real. Whelan takes the reader into Rosy’s world, that of a young girl who must decide what is right and then have the courage to do it.

I was born in India, and my mother was British, so I thoroughly enjoyed the setting and the context for this story. But, I also enjoyed reading it because it was both interesting and well-written.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on April 4, 2013

All My Noble Dreams and Then What Happens
by Gloria Whelan

  • Publication Date: April 2, 2013
  • Genres: Youth Fiction
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
  • ISBN-10: 1442449764
  • ISBN-13: 9781442449763