The year is 1299. Fourteen year-old Elenor reluctanly awaits the return of her betrothed — a man she hardly knows — from the Crusade. Thomas, broken and disillusioned from years of fighting, finds the very idea of marriage and lordship overwhelming. So When the village priest sends them on religious pilgrimage before the marriage, both are relieved.
For each Texas mission, there is a rich and complicated history. In the title story, from Mision de San Francisco de los Tejas, a mysterious woman in blue visits the Teas people to prepare them for the missionaries\’ arrival. In \”Rosa\’s Window\” and \”The Bell\” the love and grief of two couples torn apart in the making of the Mision de San Jose y San Miguel de Aguayo manifest themselves in the very edifices of the mission. The Mision de Nuestra SEnora de la Purisma Concepcion de Acuna, named for and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, was the scene of a remarkable salvation as the Teas workers tried to escape the heated pursuit of the Comanches in \”The Miracle at the Gate.\” Here Kimmel gracefully retells these and other powerful legends behind four of th missions, each enhanced by a beautifully evocative painting by Susan Guevara.
When it was discovered that thirteen-year-old Tora has leprosy, she is sent from her family’s remote mountain farm to the leprosy hospital in the bustling port of Bergen. In early-nineteenth-century Norway, lepers are quarantined in this hospital and no longer considered among the living. But even as her body gradually fails her, Tora’s new life blossoms. She finds strength through helping her fellow patients, both young and old, and she decides to see for herself what the Bible says about leprosy. To do so, she must make friends with the young and angry Mistress Dybendal, the only person at the hospital who can teach her to read.As she did in The Abduction (an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year), Mette Newth brings another era vividly to life and demonstrates the timeless nature of the search for identity and tolerance.