Lost in the Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and finds himself entwined in a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica–and decades later three children, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California find themselves caught up in the same thread of destiny in the darkest days of the twentieth century, struggling to keep their families intact, and tied together by the music of the same harmonica.
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See the review at WOW Review, Volume VIII, Issue 1.
Twelve-year-old Tracy–or Tuyet–has always felt different. The villagers in Vietnam called her con-lai, or “half-breed,” because her father was an American GI. And she doesn’t fit in with her adoptive family in California, either. But when Tracy and a friend discover a soldier’s dogtag hidden among her father’s things, it sets her past and her present on a collision course. Where should her broken heart come to rest? In a time and place she remembers only in her dreams? Or among the people she now calls family?
Fifteen-year-old Pearl DeWitt and her mother live in Fallbrook, California, where it’s sunny 340 days of the year, and where her uncle owns a grove of 900 avocado trees. Uncle Hoyt hires migrant workers regularly, but Pearl doesn’t pay much attention to them . . . until Amiel. From the moment she sees him, Pearl is drawn to this boy who keeps to himself, fears being caught by la migra, and is mysteriously unable to talk. And after coming across Amiel’s makeshift hut near Agua Prieta Creek, Pearl falls into a precarious friendship—and a forbidden romance.Then the wildfires strike. Fallbrook—the town of marigolds and palms, blood oranges and sweet limes—is threatened by the Agua Prieta fire, and a mandatory evacuation order is issued. But Pearl knows that Amiel is in the direct path of the fire, with no one to warn him, no way to get out. Slipping away from safety and her family, Pearl moves toward the dark creek, where the smoke has become air, the air smoke. Laura McNeal has crafted a beautiful and haunting novel full of peril, desperation, and love.
See the review at WOW Review, Volume 3, Issue 4
As high school senior Rudy adjusts his attitudes toward the elderly when his senile grandmother has to move in with his family, his girlfriend encourages him to talk with a friend’s mother who has similar problems with her own mother.
Lucky, age ten, can’t wait another day. The meanness gland in her heart and the crevices full of questions in her brain make running away from Hard Pan, California (population 43), the rock-bottom only choice she has.
It’s all Brigitte’s fault — for wanting to go back to France. Guardians are supposed to stay put and look after girls in their care! Instead Lucky is sure that she’ll be abandoned to some orphanage in Los Angeles where her beloved dog, HMS Beagle, won’t be allowed. She’ll have to lose her friends Miles, who lives on cookies, and Lincoln, future U.S. president (maybe) and member of the International Guild of Knot Tyers. Just as bad, she’ll have to give up eavesdropping on twelve-step anonymous programs where the interesting talk is all about Higher Powers. Lucky needs her own — and quick.
But she hadn’t planned on a dust storm.
Or needing to lug the world’s heaviest survival-kit backpack into the desert.
Two six-page gate folds and fresco-like paintings enhance the drama, and the fun, of the strong-willed Frida Maria’s preparations–with her horse, Diablo–for the fiesta, her attempts to please Mama by behaving properly, and her decision concerning a high-stakes race.
In this sequel to Honey Blonde Chica, Evie Gomez finally has it all: a sweet boyfriend, two mejor amigas, and an upcoming sixteeñera that’s the talk of the school. Too bad reality has a way of ruining things. Just when things look perfect, everything starts to unwind. Evie’s life takes one bad turn after another. Things can’t get more complicated…can they?
Part of the Get Ready for Gabi Series. In Northern California, Maritza Gabriela Morales Mercado struggles to deal with the third grade.
Few writers capture the everyday moments of life like Gary Soto. In direct and vivid poems, he draws from his own youth in California’s Central Valley to portray the joys and sorrows of young people. His writing focuses on Latino characters, yet speaks to readers of all ethnicities.
Acclaimed by educators and unavailable since 1998, A Fire in My Hands has been revised and expanded in this new edition. Old and new fans of Soto’s work will welcome the return of his compelling poems.
Includes an introduction and an interview with the author.
In this quiet, gentle novella reminiscent of Sarah, Plain and Tall, award-winning picture book writer Tony Johnston creates a moving story about a loving Chicano family in East LA. Filled with love, hope, and the exquisite beauty of a very special community, Tony Johnston¹s first novel is a warm and memorable gem.