The Last Song by Eva Wiseman

46%

18 Critic Reviews

Isabel’s rapid transformation from one who feels peace when addressing “our savior’s mother,” to secret student of Torah, combined with her unsurprising preference for a kind Jewish boy over her odious fiancé, lessen the story’s dramatic tension.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

Spain had been one of the world’s most tolerant societies for eight hundred years, but that way of life was wiped out by the Inquisition. Isabel’s family feels safe from the terrors, torture, and burnings. After all, her father is a respected physician in the court of Ferdinand and Isabella. Isabel was raised as a Catholic and doesn’t know that her family’s Jewish roots may be a death sentence. When her father is arrested by Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor, she makes a desperate plan to save his life – and her own.
 
Once again, master storyteller Eva Wiseman brings history to life in this riveting and tragic novel.
 

About Eva Wiseman

See more books from this Author
Hungarian-born novelist Eva Wiseman has received numerous prizes, including the McNally Robinson Books for Young People Award for My Canary Yellow Star. That novel and A Place Not Home were selected for the New York Public Library's annual Best Books for the Teen Age list. Kanada was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award and as the winner of the prestigious Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction. Eva Wiseman is the mother of two and lives in Winnipeg with her husband.
 
Published April 10, 2012 by Tundra Books. 234 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Last Song
All: 18 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 11

Kirkus

Below average
on Feb 22 2012

A scant few of the Christians here are not rabidly hateful, but Wiseman is plainly less intent on posing thorny issues of faith or crafting complex characters than portraying Jewish courage and solidarity in adversity. Worthy aims are scuttled by avoidance of nuance.

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
Reviewed by PW on Feb 20 2012

Isabel’s rapid transformation from one who feels peace when addressing “our savior’s mother,” to secret student of Torah, combined with her unsurprising preference for a kind Jewish boy over her odious fiancé, lessen the story’s dramatic tension.

Read Full Review of The Last Song | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

CM

Excellent
Reviewed by Joan Marshall on Feb 17 2012

Middle school readers and their teachers across Canada and the U.S. will be thrilled to include this excellent novel in their history and language arts classes.

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Iris on Books

Below average
Reviewed by Iris on May 01 2012

But overall, I am sorry to say that this was a disappointing read. One that I did not mind reading so much, but that did not make a lasting impression.

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Mermaid Vision Books

Below average
Reviewed by Angeli Cruz on Apr 10 2012

The Last Song is a good introduction to historical fiction for young kids, but older readers will definitely want more than what it can give them.

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Diary of a Bookworm

Below average
Reviewed by Rhiannon on Apr 10 2012

My wish for The Last Song would have been for Wiseman to explore Isabel and her family more as characters rather than practitioners of a religion.

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Ageless Pages Reviews

Below average
Reviewed by Jessie on Mar 15 2012

If you erase "Isabel"'s name and input "Luis" "Caterina" or any other, the result would be the same: they played their defined roles and nothing less.

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Chronicles of a Book Evangelist

Good
Reviewed by Book Evangelist on Apr 19 2012

The Last Song was safe enough that it was fun to read, and real enough to make kids think.

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Susie Bookworm

Below average
Reviewed by Susie on Mar 16 2012

Wiseman could easily have fleshed out the book more than its little over 200 pages, which would have allowed for more character and plot development.

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Ten Stories Up

Good
Reviewed by Lindsey Carmichael on Jun 01 2012

If you're looking for girl power, stories of cultural conflict, or deeply-felt historical fiction, this is the book for you.

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Manda-Rae Reads a Lot

Below average
Reviewed by Manda-Rae on May 05 2012

I definitely got some strong feelings of shame based on this sad past of ours. However, the romance in this book felt a little bland.

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So I'm Fifty

Good
Reviewed by Pam Torres on Apr 04 2012

Wiseman has created a 15th-century world where prejudice and religious persecution abound; a great introduction to young teens to the historical aspects of the Inquisition.

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Musings of ALMYBNENR

Below average
Reviewed by ALMYBNENR on Apr 01 2012

Isabel was a likable character as well and the the plot was good, but it was not overly remarkable for me.

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Magickware Book Review & Emporium

Below average
Reviewed by Magickware on Mar 12 2012

Outside of the intensity of the imagery, I found the book very engaging, and couldn’t put it down. I do feel as if the character development was lacking.

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Rebecca's Book Blog

Good
Reviewed by Rebecca on Feb 12 2012

Although this book is about sad events, it’s not all depressing, it’s a very hopeful story too.

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Two Canadian Readers

Below average
Reviewed by Paulina Kate on Jun 02 2012

However, parts of the novel read very much like a history lesson, albeit a worthwhile one, and other parts seemed rushed.

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BiblioQuill

Good
Reviewed by BiblioQuill on Apr 14 2012

The Last Song is a lovely novel whose characters face an impossible situation with candor and grace.

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Perogies and Gyoza

Good
Reviewed by Perogyo on Apr 10 2012

Any of these books would be a good choice for students interested in reading ficitonalized account of Jewish social history after reading The Diary of Anne Frank.

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Reader Rating for The Last Song
57%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 7 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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