Raised in foster homes, Jayna finally has a taste of real family life when her older brother Rob rescues her. When Rob is called up for duty in the Navy, Jayna is again left alone. Not one to languish in self-pity for too long, Jayna sets out on an adventure to New York City to track down the woman in an old family photograph. Will it be her grandmother? Urged on by a ghost and accompanied by her pet turtle, Jayna takes us into a world where family is loosely defined but love and comfort is abounding. Ten to Fourteen. Anne Womack
In this sequel to the Newbery Honor book Hattie Big Sky, we encounter Hattie Brooks as she leaves Montana for San Frncisco to work as a seamstress for a vaudeville troupe. She quickly leaves that job to work as a cleaning woman for the San Francisco Chronicle. That is not the job she wants to do, of course. She has her sight on becoming a newspaper woman, as her hero Nellie Bly. We see San Francisco through the eyes of a fresh new reporter: going on her first plane ride and interviewing President Wilson in a stuck elevator, or all things. Full of adventure seen through the eyes of a plucky heroine, a touch of romance all handled beautifully in the voice of Kirsten Potter. Ages 10+ Maria E. Gentle
With the family of cousins Bonnie and Sylvia away, Miss Slightcarp, a duplicitous nanny, sends the girls to an orphanage and plans to gain control of the estate. To save their home, the girls must escape and outwit wily Miss Slighcarp, the wolf “inside” their house. Aiken's daughter Lizza lively narrates this beloved classic. (10-14)
A boy, girl, and fierce half-man struggle against child soldiers in this companion to Shipbreaker featuring political chaos and the repercussions of global warming. Their hellish war-torn jungle surrounds former Washington, DC.
After a wealthy family hires Grisini, a talented street puppeteer, and his orphaned apprentices to entertain for their daughter Clara on her 12th birthday, Clara and Grisini disappear. In the search for Clara, the orphans encounter and outsmart both evil and magic.