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Berlin, 1932. 13-year-old Gabriella Schramm's world is slowly but steadily crumbling as Adolf Hitler rises to power. The only thing that soothes Gabriella is her favourite pastime - reading. But tensions rise, the streets fill with soldiers, Gaby's sister's boyfriend raises his arm in a Heil Hitler salute and a family friend - Albert Einstein - flees the country. What's more, her only solace, her books, come under attack. Will Gaby have to leave behind the stories - and the life - that she has always loved?
Between Shades of Gray by
Fifteen-year-old Lina is a Lithuanian girl living an ordinary life -- until Soviet officers invade her home and tear her family apart. Separated from her father and forced onto a crowded train, Lina, her mother, and her young brother make their way to a Siberian work camp, where they are forced to fight for their lives. Lina finds solace in her art, documenting these events by drawing. Risking everything, she imbeds clues in her drawings of their location and secretly passes them along, hoping her drawings will make their way to her father's prison camp. But will strength, love, and hope be enough for Lina and her family to survive?
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by
Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move to a new house far, far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people in the distance. But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different from his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.
Code Talker by
Throughout World War II, in the conflict fought against Japan, Navajo code talkers were a crucial part of the U.S. effort, sending messages back and forth in an unbreakable code that used their native language. They braved some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and with their code, they saved countless American lives. Yet their story remained classified for more than twenty years.
Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise and a harmonica. Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania and Ivy in California each in turn become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. Ultimately pulled by the invisible thread of destiny their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo. Richly imagined and masterfully crafted, Echo pushes the boundaries of genre and form, and shows us what is possible in how we tell stories. The result is an impassioned, uplifting and virtuosic tour de force that will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck.
Fever 1793 by
During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out. Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie's world upside down. At her feverish mother's insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.
Girl in the Blue Coat by
Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion. On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman's frantic plea to find a person--a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such dangerous work, but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations that lead her into the heart of the resistance, open her eyes to the horrors of the Nazi war machine, and compel her to take desperate action.
Hurricane Dancers by
Quebrado has been traded from pirate ship to ship in the Caribbean Sea for as long as he can remember. The sailors he toils under call himel quebrado--half islander, half outsider, a broken one. Now the pirate captain Bernardino de Talavera uses Quebrado as a translator to help navigate the worlds and words between his mother's Taíno Indian language and his father's Spanish. But when a hurricane sinks the ship and most of its crew, it is Quebrado who escapes to safety. He learns how to live on land again, among people who treat him well. And it is he who must decide the fate of his former captors.
Lucky Broken Girl by
In this unforgettable multicultural coming-of-age narrative--based on the author's childhood in the 1960s--a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl is adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed. Ruthie's plight will intrigue readers, and her powerful story of strength and resilience, full of color, light, and poignancy, will stay with them for a long time. Ruthie Mizrahi and her family recently emigrated from Castro's Cuba to New York City. Just when she's finally beginning to gain confidence in her mastery of English--and enjoying her reign as her neighborhood's hopscotch queen--a horrific car accident leaves her in a body cast and confined her to her bed for a long recovery. As Ruthie's world shrinks because of her inability to move, her powers of observation and her heart grow larger and she comes to understand how fragile life is, how vulnerable we all are as human beings, and how friends, neighbors, and the power of the arts can sweeten even the worst of times.
Mapping the Bones by
It's 1942 in Poland, and the world is coming to pieces. At least that's how it seems to Chaim and Gittel, twins whose lives feel like a fairy tale torn apart, with evil witches, forbidden forests, and dangerous ovens looming on the horizon. But in all darkness there is light, and the twins find it through Chaim's poetry and the love they have for each other. Like the bright flame of a Yahrzeit candle, his words become a beacon of memory so that the children and grandchildren of survivors will never forget the atrocities that happened during the Holocaust. Filled with brutality and despair, this is also a story of poetry and strength, in which a brother and sister lose everything but each other. Nearly thirty years after the publication of her award-winning and bestselling The Devil's Arithmetic and Briar Rose, Yolen once again returns to World War II and captivates her readers with the authenticity and power of her words.
The Marvels by
Two seemingly unrelated stories-one in words, the other in pictures-come together with seamless, ingenious synergy! We open in 1766 with a visual story: Young Billy Marvel becomes the lone survivor of a shipwreck. Returned to London, he grows up in a theater, where we follow the dramatic trials and triumphs of his progenyover five generations...We cut to 1990 with a narrative story: Lost and alone, and on the brink of expulsion from yet another boarding school, Joseph impulsively runs away to search for his best friend. He finds himself swept up with an erratic man in a strange and beautiful house full of secrets-secrets that compel Joseph on a treasure hunt.
My Life As an Ice Cream Sandwich by
Twelve-year-old Ebony-Grace Norfleet has lived with her beloved grandfather Jeremiah in Huntsville, Alabama ever since she was little. As one of the first black engineers to integrate NASA, Jeremiah has nurtured Ebony-Grace's love for all things outer space and science fiction-especially Star Wars and Star Trek. But in the summer of 1984, when trouble arises with Jeremiah, it's decided she'll spend a few weeks with her father in Harlem. Harlem is an exciting and terrifying place for a sheltered girl from Hunstville, and Ebony-Grace's first instinct is to retreat into her imagination. But soon 126th Street begins to reveal that it has more in common with her beloved sci-fi adventures than she ever thought possible, and by summer's end, Ebony-Grace discovers that Harlem has a place for a girl whose eyes are always on the stars.
The Night Diary by
It's 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders. Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn't know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it's too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can't imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together.
Nine, Ten: a September 11 Story by
Ask anyone: September 11, 2001, was serene and lovely, a perfect day--until a plane struck the World Trade Center. But right now it is a few days earlier, and four kids in different parts of the country are going about their lives. Sergio, who lives in Brooklyn, is struggling to come to terms with the absentee father he hates and the grandmother he loves. Will's father is gone, too, killed in a car accident that has left the family reeling. Naheed has never before felt uncomfortable about being Muslim, but at her new school she's getting funny looks because of the head scarf she wears. Aimee is starting a new school in a new city and missing her mom, who has to fly to New York on business.
Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party by
The summer of 1972, before I turned nine, danger began knocking on doors all over China. Nine-year-old Ling has a very happy life. Her parents are both dedicated surgeons at the best hospital in Wuhan, and her father teaches her English as they listen to Voice of America every evening on the radio. But when one of Mao's political officers moves into a room in their apartment, Ling begins to witness the gradual disintegration of her world. In an atmosphere of increasing mistrust and hatred, Ling fears for the safety of her neighbors, and soon, for herself and her family. For thenext four years, Ling will suffer more horrors than many people face in a lifetime. Will she be able to grow and blossom under the oppressive rule of Chairman Mao? Or will fighting to survive destroy her spirit--and end her life?
Ten-year-old Sugar lives on the River Road sugar plantation along the banks of the Mississippi. Slavery is over, but laboring in the fields all day doesn't make her feel very free. Thankfully, Sugar has a knack for finding her own fun, especially when she joins forces with forbidden friend Billy, the white plantation owner's son. Sugar has always yearned to learn more about the world, and she sees her chance when Chinese workers are brought in to help harvest the cane. The older River Road folks feel threatened, but Sugar is fascinated. As she befriends young Beau and elder Master Liu, they introduce her to the traditions of their culture, and she, in turn, shares the ways of plantation life. Sugar soon realizes that she must be the one to bridge the cultural gap and bring the community together. Here is a story of unlikely friendships and how they can change our lives forever.
Words on Fire by
Audra lives on a quiet farm in Lithuania, but she understands that danger is never far away. Her parents warn her to stay close to home and avoid the patrolling Russian Cossack soldiers. The Russians, who occupy Lithuania, insist that everyone there must become Russianthey have banned Lithuanian books, religion, culture, and even the language. When Cossacks arrive abruptly at their door, Audras parents insist that she flee, taking with her an important package and instructions for where to deliver it. In hopes of rescuing her parents, she becomes caught up in a growing resistance movement, Lithuanians intent on preserving their language, history, and culture. She will become...a Carrier.
Alan Gratz Books
Projekt 1065 by
Michael O'Shaunessey, son of the Irish ambassador to Nazi Germany, lives with his family in Berlin. But Michael, like his parents, is a spy. He joins the Hitler Youth, and brings important information back to his parents and the British Secret Service. When Michael is tasked to find out more about Projekt 1065, a secret Nazi mission, he must prove his loyalty to the Hitler Youth at all costs -- even if it means risking the lives of his family... and himself.
June 6, 1944: The Nazis are terrorizing Europe on their evil quest to conquer the world. The only way to stop them? The biggest, most top-secret operation ever, with the Allied nations coming together -- by land, sea, and air -- to storm German-occupied France. Welcome to D-Day. Dee Carpenter, a young U.S. soldier, is on a boat racing toward the French coast. Dee -- along with his brothers-in-arms -- is terrified. He feels the weight of World War II on his shoulders. But Dee is not alone. Behind enemy lines in France, a girl named Samira works as a spy, trying to sabotage the German army -- and find her mother. At the same time, a paratrooper named James leaps from a plane to take part in a daring midnight raid. During the beach invasion, Henry, a medic, goes out into the bullets and bombs, searching for soldiers to save. In a breathtaking race against time, each of them must fight to complete their high-stakes missions. But with betrayals and deadly risks at every turn, can the Allies do what it takes to win?
Prisoner B-3087 by
Survive. At any cost. 10 concentration camps. 10 different places where you are starved, tortured, and worked mercilessly. It's something no one could imagine surviving. But it is what Yanek Gruener has to face. As a Jewish boy in 1930s Poland, Yanek is at the mercy of the Nazis who have taken over. Everything he has, and everyone he loves, have been snatched brutally from him. And then Yanek himself is taken prisoner -- his arm tattooed with the words PRISONER B-3087. He is forced from one nightmarish concentration camp to another, as World War II rages all around him. He encounters evil he could have never imagined, but also sees surprising glimpses of hope amid the horror. He just barely escapes death, only to confront it again seconds later. Can Yanek make it through the terror without losing his hope, his will -- and, most of all, his sense of who he really is inside? Based on an astonishing true story.
It's 1945, and the world is in the grip of war. Hideki lives on the island of Okinawa, near Japan. When WWII crashes onto his shores, Hideki is drafted into the Blood and Iron Student Corps to fight for the Japanese army. He is handed a grenade and a set of instructions: Don't come back until you've killed an American soldier. Ray, a young American Marine, has just landed on Okinawa. He doesn't know what to expect -- or if he'll make it out alive. He just knows that the enemy is everywhere. Hideki and Ray each fight their way across the island, surviving heart-pounding ambushes and dangerous traps. But when the two of them collide in the middle of the battle, the choices they make in that instant will change everything.
Mildred H. McEvoy Library at Worcester Academy | 81 Providence Street | Worcester, MA 01604