The Grave

Thirteen-year-old Tom, an unhappy foster child in Liverpool, falls into a massive open grave and is transported to Ireland in 1847, where he finds himself in the midst of the deadly potato famine.

Mountain Dog

When his mother is sent to jail in Los Angeles, eleven-year-old Tony goes to live with his forest ranger great-uncle in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where Tony experiences unconditional love for the first time through his friendship with a rescue dog.

 

Shadow Girl

This novel for ages nine and up is the story of a resilient young girl who struggles as the daughter of an alcoholic father and an absentee mother. Left alone to fend for herself for days at a time, she is observed by a kind and compassionate saleswoman at the mall she retreats to every day after school to avoid going “home.” The saleswoman gains her trust and takes action into her own hands by reporting the girl’s situation to social services. She is placed in foster care, where she dreams of being reunited with her dad, despite the deprivations in her life with him. The relationship between the girl and her foster mother is painful, and the girl’s spirit disintegrates. Eventually, the saleswoman “adopts” the girl into her caring family, whose love and support enable her, finally, to believe in herself.

Refugee Boy

Fourteen-year-old Alem Kelo adjusts to life as a foster child seeking asylum in London, while his Eritrean mother and Ethiopian father work for peace between their homelands in Africa.

Desperate Measures

Vicky has always felt responsible for her mentally disabled twin sister, Rhianna, and their feisty little brother, Jamie. So when the foster care system threatens to split them up, they all run away together, heading for a distant relative’s home. After a difficult journey, they arrive only to find strangers living there. With nowhere else to go, they hide in a cave, and must survive by their wits. By the end of their adventure, Vicky is surprised to find that the sister she thought she was protecting is the one who saves her. This touching, funny, fast-paced novel was short listed for the Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize. Vicky and Rhianna’s engaging dual-perspective narration offers a refreshing view of people with disabilities, and their wild adventure and fierce family bond will resonate with readers.

The Ghost Of Crutchfield Hall

In the nineteenth century, ten-year-old Florence Crutchfield leaves a London orphanage to live with her great-uncle, great-aunt, and sickly cousin James, but she soon realizes the home has another resident, who means to do her and James harm.