Dancing on Grapes

It’s September, time for the annual grape harvest, one of the happiest times in Tuscany.

On the first day of the harvest, Claudia’s aunts, uncles, and cousins have come to her home to gather the grapes from the vineyard. Harvesting grapes is hard work, but Claudia knows it can be fun, too. At the end of the day, her family will celebrate with pizzas filled with ricotta cheese and sausages and olives.

But the most fun of all will be what Claudia has been dreaming about all year: crushing the grapes. Now she is old enough to join her cousins and stomp the grapes in the big tub. But the tub is on top of the cantina, and Claudia is afraid of heights. Will she muster the courage to climb the ladder to the top? Or will she wait until next year to join in the fun?

I Will Come Back For You

What was it like to grow up Jewish in Italy during World War II? Sit with a little girl as her grandmother tells the story of her childhood in Rome, of being separated from her father, and of going into hiding in the mountains. Based on the experiences of the author’s own family, this deeply moving book set during the Holocaust deals with a difficult subject in a way that is accessible and appropriate for young readers. I Will Come Back for You is an incredible story of bravery and kindness in the face of danger.

Strega Nona’s Gift

In Strega Nona’s village, the holiday season is a time of celebrations-and nothing says celebration like a feast! All the kitchens are bustling from the Feast of San Nicola, when the children choose the food, to the Feast of Epiphany, when someone gets to be king or queen for the day. Even the animals share in the holiday spirit, and when Big Anthony smells the delicious treats Strega Nona is cooking for them, he decides that just a taste couldn’t hurt, right? Wrong! Big Anthony gets his just desserts, while Strega Nona surprises everyone with a special gift.

 

The Blackhope Enigma

For centuries, Blackhope Tower has been shrouded in intrigue, centering on a labyrinth and painting in the Mariner’s Chamber. When fourteen-year-old Sunni Forrest visits the tower and sees her stepbrother, Dean, disappear, seemingly into the painting itself, she must find him and risk being drawn into the heart of the Blackhope enigma.

 

The Undrowned Child

In 1899, eleven-year-old Teodora goes with her scientist parents from Naples to Venice, Italy, which is falling victim to a series of violent natural disasters, and once there she is drawn into a web of mysterious adventures involving mermaids, an ancient prophecy, and the possible destruction of the city itself.

Orani: My Father’s Village

As a child, Claire Nivola loved summers in Orani, the village where her father grew up and where her many aunts, uncles, and 50 cousins still lived. She ran freely through the town’s cobbled streets with packs of cousins, who quizzed her about America while she took in all the simple joys and pleasures of daily life in a village where surprises met them at every turn.