Mao’s Last Dancer

Chosen from millions of children to serve in Mao’s cultural revolution by studying at the Beijing Dance Academy, Li knows ballet would be his family’s best opportunity to escape the poverty in his rural China home. From one hardship to another, Li perseveres, never forgetting the family he left behind.

Elly: My True Story Of The Holocaust

At just 15, her mother, and brother were taken from their Romanian town to the Auschwitz-II/Birkenau concentration camp. When they arrived at Auschwitz, a soldier waved Elly to the right; her mother and brother to the left. She never saw her family alive again. Thanks to a series of miracles, Elly survived the Holocaust. Today she is dedicated to keeping alive the stories of those who did not. Elly appeared on CBS’s 60 Minutes for her involvement in bringing an important lawsuit against Volkswagen, whose German factory used her and other Jews as slave laborers.

Breaking Through

At the age of fourteen, Francisco Jiménez, together with his older brother Roberto and his mother, are caught by la migra. Forced to leave their home, the entire family travels all night for twenty hours by bus, arriving at the U.S. and Mexican border in Nogales, Arizona. In the months and years that follow, Francisco, his mother and father, and his seven brothers and sister not only struggle to keep their family together, but also face crushing poverty, long hours of labor, and blatant prejudice. How they sustain their hope, their goodheartedness, and tenacity is revealed in this moving sequel to The Circuit. Without bitterness or sentimentality, Francisco Jiménez finishes telling the story of his youth.

Reaching Out

The author describes the many challenges he faced as the son of Mexican American migrant workers during his quest to continue his education and become an academic success, overcoming poverty, family turmoil, guilt, and self-doubt.

This book is a sequel to The Circuit (1997) and Breaking Through (2001), which covered Mexican-born Jiménez’s childhood.

Moominpappa’s Memoirs

Before he had a family, before he met Moominmamma, Moominpappa led a life of adventure and intrigue. But he’s never told his story until now.Now Moominpappa has a bad cold, and it’s the perfect time to remember his youthful endeavors and to ponder the Experiences which have made him the remarkable Moomin he is. As he reads each chapter aloud to Moomintroll, Snufkin, and Sniff, they, and we, learn of his triumphs and tribulations, and his momentous meetings with the Joxter, the Muddler, and a cast of other characters too incredible (especially Edward the Booble) to list here.”Moominpappa’s Memoirs” has never before been translated into English, and Farrar, Straus and Giroux is proud to be able to add this title to its other Moomin books.

Thanks to My Mother

Susie Weksler was only eight in 1941 when Hitler’s forces invaded her Lithuanian city of Vilnius, a great center for Jewish learning and culture. Soon her family would face hunger and fear in the Jewish ghetto – but worse was to come. When the ghetto was liquidated, some Jews were selected for forced labor camps; the rest were killed. Susie would live – because of the courage and ingenuity of her mother. It was her mother who carried Susie, hidden in a backpack, to the group destined for the labor camps; who disguised her as an adult in makeup and turban to fool the camp guards; who fed her body and soul through gruesome conditions in three concentration camps and a winter “death march”; who showed her the power of the human spirit to endure.

Silent Observer

“I was born, like my seven brothers and sisters, in a house atop a hill overlooking lovely Bras d’Or Lake”. So begins Christy MacKinnon’s story of life as a little girl in 19th-century Nova Scotia, Canada. Through wonderful images created with her own words and her watercolors, she tells of a simple, charming life on the family farm; of learning with her father, the master of her town’s one-room schoolhouse; and of her eventual travel to Halifax to attend a “special” school. As with many children in the 1800s, Christy became deaf after a “seige of whooping cough”, a sickness common then, which she barely survived.

Silent Observer opens to young readers a world rarely seen today. They will be thrilled by her family’s ride in a horse-drawn sleigh over a frozen northern lake, and her close encounters with a noisy bull and a “gentleman” ram. Children and adults alike will warm to her cheerful memories of the simple pleasure of playing in a flower-filled field with her brothers and sisters. They will discover, too, that young Christy crossed paths with many vital figures of the day, beginning with frequent visits by Alexander Graham Bell, and later with a momentous meeting with Helen Keller.

Silent Observer is a delightful memoir told as it was seen through the eyes of a lively child. It is also a meaningful record of life for a deaf child and her family in the far reaches of Canada at the end of an era. Silent Observer is a beautiful, sensitive story that is sure to be enjoyed by everyone.

Disguised: A Wartime Memoir

The true story of a girl who posed as a boy during World War II–and dared to speak up for her fellow prisoners of war. With the Japanese army poised to invade their Indonesian island in 1942, Rita la Fontaine’s family knew that they and the other Dutch and Dutch-Indonesian residents would soon become prisoners of war. Fearing that twelve-year-old Rita would be forced to act as a “comfort woman” for the Japanese soldiers, the family launched a desperate plan to turn Rita into “Rick,” cutting her hair short and dressing her in boy’s clothes. Rita’s aptitude for languages earned her a position as translator for the commandant of the prisoner camp, and for the next three years she played a dangerous game of disguise while advocating against poor conditions, injustice, and torture. Sixty-five years later, Rita describes a war experience like no other — a remarkable tale of integrity, fortitude, and honor.