Born Behind Bars

Kabir has been in jail since the day he was born, because his mom is serving time for a crime she didn’t commit. He’s never met his dad, so the only family he’s got are their cellmates, and the only place he feels the least bit free is in the classroom, where his kind teacher regales him with stories of the wonders of the outside world. Then one day a new warden arrives and announces Kabir is too old to stay. He gets handed over to a long-lost “uncle” who unfortunately turns out to be a fraud, and intends to sell Kabir. So Kabir does the only thing he can–run away as fast as his legs will take him. How does a boy with nowhere to go and no connections make his way? Fortunately, he befriends Rani, another street kid, and she takes him under her wing. But plotting their next move is hard–and fraught with danger–in a world that cares little for homeless, low caste children. This is not the world Kabir dreamed of–but he’s discovered he’s not the type to give up. Kabir is ready to show the world that he–and his mother–deserve a place in it.

The Queen On Our Corner

Nobody notices the queen on the corner. Nobody, that is . . . except one young girl. Through her eyes, the woman who dwells in the abandoned plot is a warrior queen, with many battles fought and won. When, one day, danger comes to the street and the queen on the corner sounds the alarm, the little girl must find a way to thank her. Can she bring the community together to turn the queen’s corner into a home?

Nice Try Charlie!

With his cart full of treasures and big green hat, Charlie is a neighborhood fixture. When he finds a pie, he sets off to find the owner ― and helps some friends along the way.
Poignant and funny, this story is an ode to resourcefulness and the compassion that turns neighbors into friends. Charlie and his friends might not have much ― but they have each other.

A Wish In The Dark

A boy on the run. A girl determined to find him. A compelling fantasy looks at issues of privilege, protest, and justice.
All light in Chattana is created by one man — the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the city. For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars. The wealthy dine and dance under bright orb light, while the poor toil away in darkness. Worst of all, Pong’s prison tattoo marks him as a fugitive who can never be truly free. Nok, the prison warden’s perfect daughter, is bent on tracking Pong down and restoring her family’s good name. But as Nok hunts Pong through the alleys and canals of Chattana, she uncovers secrets that make her question the truths she has always held dear.

A Wish In The Dark is featured in A Dozen Books on Activism.

Aunt Pearl

Aunt Pearl arrives one day pushing a shopping cart full of her worldly goods. Her sister Rose has invited her to come live with her family. Six-year-old Marta is happy to meet her aunt, who takes her out to look for treasure on garbage day, and who shows her camp group how to decorate a coffee table with bottle caps. But almost immediately, Pearl and Rose start to clash over Pearl’s belongings crammed into the house, and over Rose’s household rules. As the weeks pass, Pearl grows quieter and more withdrawn, until, one morning, she is gone.

The Bridge Home

Four determined homeless children make a life for themselves in Chennai, India.

The Bridge Home was our WOW Recommends: Book of the Month for October 2019 and also featured our August 2019 My Take/Your Take, June 2020 My Take/Your Take, and July 2020 My Take/Your Take.