The Golden Day by Ursula Dubonarsky

This short book unsettled me.  Even after waiting a couple of days to write my review, I'm still not sure how I feel, or if I understood it.

This book is based on the facts that children will keep adult secrets, even when they shouldn't; a group of children who experience the same tragic event, bond in a way that changes them, permanently.  After their teacher, Miss Renshaw, disappears, Cubby, one of the students, sees so many things for which she has no background knowledge.  Her innocence makes her an unreliable narrator. I'm still wondering if I should view the story through her eyes, or my own jaded ones. Icara, another more realistic student, due to her own circumstances, sees things in a totally different way, but we aren't in her head. Miss Renshaw quotes follow.

P. 15 "Far flung."
P. 19 "We won't mention Morgan.  Will we?"
P. 21 "Save your tears for greater sorrows, girls."
P. 24 "the world needs dreamers, not realists."

P. 68 "Not now. Not ever."

Goodreads summary

The Vietnam War rages overseas, but back at home, in a year that begins with the hanging of one man and ends with the drowning of another, eleven schoolgirls embrace their own chilling history when their teacher abruptly goes missing on a field trip. Who was the mysterious poet they had met in the Garden? What actually happened in the seaside cave that day? And most important — who can they tell about it? In beautifully shimmering prose, Ursula Dubosarsky reveals how a single shared experience can alter the course of young lives forever. Part gripping thriller, part ethereal tale of innocence lost, The Golden Day is a poignant study of fear and friendship, and of what it takes to come of age with courage.

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