As a mother who screens everything her 12-year-old daughter reads, I admit to a soft spot for older books, because they are, if still in print, more likely to be written in grammatical English, and full and complete sentences. "Daughter of the Mountains" by Louise Rankin is one such book, beautifully descriptive of the climatic variations from the top of the Tibetan hills to the tropical rainforest heat of colonial India and the grimy streets of Calcutta. I found the dialogue very believable, and the way the simple plot is used to explore class and gender relationships very clever - perfect for, as said daughter pointed out below, younger readers. The only thing I felt was missing is the Notes that nowadays typically accompany historical tales, which explain what is true and what is imagined. It in no way detracts from a well-written story, however, and I'm so happy I stumbled on it at our library, we now have our own Amazon copy!
"The book, `Daughter of the Mountains,' by Louise Rankin was a great book.
"When Momo's dog, Pempa, is stolen by horrible traders, Momo embarks on an adventure of a lifetime. From the nasty Indians to the friendly, familiar Tibetans, Momo's trip down the mountain is one you will never forget. But even when Momo finally discovers where Pempa is, can she still get her beloved red-gold Lhasa terrier back in time? Or will the strange English woman who paid for Pempa return to England with her new dog?
"My favorite part was in the beginning, when Momo first sees a golden red terrier when she was four years old. Then she wishes and prays for one just like it for FIVE WHOLE YEARS till she gets one she calls Pempa.
"I would give the book five stars: two stars for the plot, two for the character and one for the sweetness of it all. The plot deserves two stars mostly because it is a pretty original story full of love, loyalty and the strength of a friendship between a girl and her dog. The characters deserve two stars because of how the author manages to combine realism and fairy-taleism in describing them. For example, I am know that there are still women around the world who try to keep children as their slaves, but because I have been lucky and never met one, that reminded me of the fairy tale of `Hansel and Gretel.'
"I would recommend the book to girls in 2nd, 3rd, 4th an, maybe 5th grades, typically. However, since I am a big softy at heart, I loved it, despite the fact I am twelve and am in 6th grade."