Janet Taylor Lisle
Sirens and Spies

“Elsie had not told Mary everything. Oh, no, there was more about Miss Fitch. Much more. The callers, Elsie believed, were only symptoms of another terrible disease. The callers were what Elsie had expected to see (she could almost have predicted them!) after uncovering the larger, blacker secret that Miss Fitch kept hidden beneath her charm.”

At first, Elsie Potter, 14, is enthralled by her exotic and mysterious violin teacher, Renee Fitch. Miss Fitch, who is French, has toured the world on the concert circuit. She dresses beautifully, tells marvelous stories of her experiences and seems utterly beyond the drab inhabitants of Millport, Connecticut, where Elsie and her older sister, Mary, 15, have lived their lives. Then Elsie comes across old news photographs in a library book showing French collaborators during World War II. In one, she recognizes her teacher as a young woman, though her head has been shaved. Elsie is horrified, and begins to spy. She tells Mary what she has discovered, so that she also won't be drawn in. But when the sisters go together to confront Miss Fitch, they discover that the facts are not easy to judge. Miss Fitch's past, told in her own words, is at once more shocking and more complicated than either girl could have guessed.

Awards and Honors

American Library Association Notable Book
ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Booklist Best Book of the '80s
Booklist Editor's Choice
Parents' Choice Award for Fiction
School Library Journal Best Book
Junior Literary Guild selection

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Janet Taylor Lisle
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