In nineteenth-century England, a boy is about to discover a mysterious mechanical world he may never escape. Ten-year-old Jack Foster has stepped through a doorway and into quite a different London. Londinium is a smoky, dark, and dangerous place, home to mischievous metal fairies and fearsome clockwork dragons that breathe scalding steam. The people wear goggles to protect their eyes, brass grill insets in their nostrils to filter air, or mechanical limbs to replace missing ones. Over it all rules the Lady, and the Lady has demanded a new son—a perfect flesh-and-blood child. She has chosen Jack. His only hope of escape lies with a legendary clockwork bird. The Gearwing grants wishes—or it did, before it was broken—before it was killed. But some things don’t stay dead forever.
A Flea In The Ear
When a fox tricks a dog into abandoning his post at the hen house in order to get rid of his fleas, the dog discovers his error and returns the favor.
Friday Never Leaving
Friday Brown and her mother Vivienne live their lives on the road, but when Vivienne succumbs to cancer, 17-year-old Friday decides to search for the father she never knew. Her journey takes her to an abandoned house where a bunch of street kids are squatting, and an intimidating girl named Arden holds court. Friday gets initiated into the group, but her relationship with Arden is precarious, and it puts Friday, and anyone who befriends her, at risk. With the threat of a dangerous confrontation growing, Friday has to decide between returning to her isolated, transient life, or trying to help the people she’s come to care about, if she can.
A Troublesome Boy
Teddy can’t believe how fast his life has changed in just two years. When he was twelve, his father took off, and then his mother married Henry, a man Teddy despises. But Teddy has no control over his life, and adults make all the decisions, especially in 1959. Henry decides that Teddy should be sent to St. Ignatius Academy for Boys, an isolated boarding school run by the Catholic church.
St. Iggy’s, Teddy learns, is a cold, unforgiving place — something between a juvenile detention center and reform school. The other boys are mostly a cast of misfits and eccentrics, but Teddy quickly becomes best friends with Cooper, a wise-cracking, Wordsworth-loving kid with a history of neglect. Despite the priests’ ruthless efforts to crack down on the slightest hint of defiance or attitude, the boys get by for a while on their wits, humor and dreams of escape. But the beatings, humiliation and hours spent in the school’s infamous “time-out” rooms, and the institutionalized system of power and abuse that protects the priests’ authority, eventually take their toll, especially on the increasingly fragile Cooper.
Then one of the new priests, Father Prince, starts to summon Cooper to his room at night, and Teddy watches helplessly as his friend withdraws into his own private nightmare, even as Prince targets Teddy himself as his next victim.
Kate and Pippin
Photographs and simple text reveal the true story of a fawn which, abandoned by her mother and brought to live on a farm, is raised by Kate, a Great Dane who has never had puppies of her own.
A Bus Called Heaven
One morning in front of Stella’s house, an abandoned bus appears, looking sad as a whale on a beach. On its front, held up with packing tape, is a hand-painted sign that says Heaven. Right away, the bus brings change to Stella’s street when people stop to talk about it instead of rushing by. And as Stella looks past all the empty bottles and cans inside, as she sees the sparrows nesting in the engine, she changes, too. “This bus could be ours,” she declares. With a master’s eye for finding the magic in the mundane, Bob Graham creates an encouraging story about community – a whimsical tale about neighbors of all ages and stripes coming together, and about one little girl who comes into her own.
This book has been included in WOW’s Kids Taking Action Booklist. For our current list, visit our Boolist page under Resources in the green navigation bar.
A heartwarming tale about the importance of caring for strays. In Billy’s small town, stray cats are running wild, and there’s growing pressure to get rid of them. The school bullies don’t even hesitate to throw rocks at the poor creatures! So when Billy finds a wounded, starving kitten and sneaks her home, he has to be extra-careful to keep her hidden while he nurses her back to health. However precious little Conga is to him, he knows his dad would take her away if he discovered her, safe and warm in Billy’s bedroom. Can Billy and his friends confront the cat abusers, convince the town of the importance of caring for abandoned animals, and find a safe haven for strays?
Hansel and Gretel
A retelling of the well-known tale in which two children lost in the woods find their way home despite an encounter with a wicked witch who wants to eat them.
Hansel and Gretel
It’s a tale as timeless as storytelling itself: two children, lost in the woods, stumble upon a candy house that isn’t all that it seems. From Hansel’s trail of bread crumbs to Gretel’s ingenious triumph over the witch, the details of this familiar fairy tale enchant children year after year. Now, in an update on her classic retelling, Caldecott Honor winner and New York Timesbestseller Susan Jeffers brings Hansel and Gretelto life for a new generation.
The Wish Pony
When the balloon was born I was going to tell it exactly what I thought about it, how sick it had made my mother and how it had ruined my life. Ruby’s mum is having a baby, but why does she need one of those when she’s already got a Ruby? To make matters worse, her best friend Sarah has just found another, BETTER friend. It seems like everyone is abandoning her. But when Ruby meets the mysterious Magda, who gives her a very special gift that might, just MIGHT even be a bit magical, everything begins to change.
The Wish Pony was Catherine’s first exploration of magic realism. It was partly inspired by a small ornamental horse she once saw in a relatives display cabinet.