It is 1983 Berlin, Germany where we find a wall of cement and concertina wire that separates the city and separates two lovers Ada and Stefan. Ada, a graffiti artist in the West, wants Stefan, in the East, to go over the wall, but with more failures than successes, odds are not in Stefan’s favor. Beth Kephart expertly weaves Going Over between the lives of Ada and Stefan. Each point of view transports us into the heart and soul of each character. Ms Kephart has created a hauntingly lyrical and powerful story about lives in a divided Berlin, about choices and consequences, about love and loss that draws you in and won’t let you go long after you’ve put the book down. Fourteen and Up. Ruth Compton
Dodger, 17, survives in nineteenth century London by scouring its sewers for jewels. When he sees a girl desperately flee from a horse-drawn carriage trying to escape captors, he takes action that leads him to encounters with Sweeney Todd, Charles Dickens, and Benjamin Disraeli. Stephen Briggs brilliantly conveys the sorrow, dry humor, and danger in this historical fantasy. (14 up)
In 1958, 12-year-old Marlee's forbidden friend, fearless Lizzie, helps her find her own voice in concert with the adults around her who have been quietly acquiescent to the battle against integration that closed high schools in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1958. The novel’s verbal power offers a viable alternative for Julia Whelan’s uniquely voiced and perfectly-timed audio narration. (10-14)
Note: Renominated for new narrator -- Twelve-year-old Abilene has just been sent to live in the town where her father grew up. A drifter since childhood, he doesn't have any living relatives, but for a time, he found a home in Manifest, Kansas. Though upset about being sent away, Abilene takes the opportunity to dig into her dad's (and the town's) storied past. Jenna Lamia's young voice suits Abilene and the story's other characters while the use of multiple narrators helps listeners keep track of the story as it jumps between 1936 and 1918. Audio. Colleen Beaupre
This fictional account of Manjiro, the 14-year-old Japanese boy whom whalers rescued in 1841, is filled with hardship and adventure as well as an outsider's perspective on nineteen-century American culture. Gritty details and authentic illustrations evoke the period.