“Saying goodbye to Scotland is the hardest thing Jenna MacDuff has had to do– until she met Lord Pembroke. Jenna’s small clan has risked their lives traveling the countryside as masons, secretly drumming up support and arms for the exiled King James Stuart to retake the British throne. But their next job brings them into enemy territory: England. Jenna’s father repeatedly warns her to trust no one, but when the Duke of Keswick hires the clan to build a garrison on his family estate, it seems she cannot hide her capable mind from the duke’s inquisitive son, Lord Alex Pembroke. Nor her growing attraction to him. When he begins to return those forbidden feelings, she finds that she’s thrust into a precarious position– keeping her newfound friendship to the duke’s son a secret from her father, while concealing her father’s treason from an increasingly attendant Lord Pembroke. But there’s a covert plan behind the building of the garrison. Will Jenna decide to keep her family’s mutinous secrets and assist her clan’s cause? Or protect the you man she’s falling for and keep him safe? No matter which she chooses, someone will pay a deadly price”–Jacket.
Told entirely through illustrations, Letters to a Prisoner is a wordless story about the power of hope and the written word. Inspired by Amnesty International’s letter-writing campaigns to help free people who have been jailed for expressing their opinion, the book tells the story of a man who is arrested during a peaceful protest. In solitary confinement, he begins to despair―until a bird delivers a letter of support written by somebody outside the prison. Every day more missives arrive until the prisoner escapes his fate on wings made of letters.
Featured in WOW Review Volume XII, Issue 4
Living in Toledo, Spain, and raised a devout Catholic, Isabel cannot know her privileged life is about to unravel. The tolerant society she is used to has been turned upside down by the Spanish Inquisition and the Grand Inquisitor, Torquemada. Now even the walls have ears, and no one is immune to rumor, suspicion, a resentful servant, or a neighbor bearing a grudge. Still, Isabel feels safe from the burnings and torture. After all, her father is a respected physician in the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. Then Isabel is betrothed to an abusive man she thoroughly dislikes, and for the first time, her doting parents are united against her. The reason becomes all too clear when they reveal to her their family’s Jewish roots. By marrying their only child into a respected old Catholic family, they hope to protect her and dispel any suspicion that they have not always been devout Christians. Despite their efforts, Isabel’s father is arrested and tortured by the Inquisition, and it’s up to Isabel to concoct a desperate plan to save his life – and her own.
Aaron and Zev have been protected from serving in the Czar’s army for very different reasons–Aaron’s father has always paid to keep his scholarly son free. Zev takes the job of khapper, kidnapping other poor, young Jewish boys to fulfill the czar’s army quotas. Zev’s jealousy of Aaron turns to hate when he discovers that the girl he loves is to marry Aaron. When Zev decides to rid himself of Aaron forever, he kidnaps him and turns him over to serve in the army. He knows Aaron’s fate is sealed–few survive the forced labor. A trick of fate, however, pits the boys against each other face-to-face. Sworn enemies, they must endure the cruel captivity together. Will they join forces to survive or will they destroy each other?
Just down the road from their families, Deo and his friends play soccer in the dusty fields of Zimbabwe, cheered on by Deo’s older brother, Innocent. It is a day like any other . . . until the soldiers arrive and Deo and Innocent are forced to run for their lives, fleeing the wreckage of their village for the distant promise of safe haven. Along the way, they face the prejudice and poverty that await refugees everywhere, and must rely on the kindness of people they meet to make it through. But when tragedy strikes, Deo’s love of soccer is all he has left. Can he use that gift to find hope once more? Relevant, timely, and accesibly written, Now Is the Time For Running is a staggering story of survival that follows Deo and his mentally handicapped older brother on a transformative journey that will stick with readers long after the last page.
See the review at WOW Review, Volume IV, Issue 4
Nine-year-old Nat and his family are forced from their home on April 17, 1975, marched for many days, separated from each other, and forced to work in the rice fields, where Nat concentrates on survival. Includes historical notes and photographs.
See the review at WOW Review, Volume 4, Issue 2
Deep in the woods, a child with green-tinged skin and long matted hair awakens. She is Isabella Leland, daughter of a healer who was executed as a heretic some 300 years earlier. On her mother’s death, Isabella was taken in by the crow people—faierie folk—who can manipulate space and time. The first time she returned to the real world, Catholics ruled England. Now, those who follow the pope are regarded with suspicion and shunned. When Isabella emerges from her hiding place, she’s discovered by another outcast, Elizabeth Dyer, whose family follows the old ways. Elizabeth wants to befriend Isabella, but she has her own troubles. Her brother has brought home a priest in need of shelter. Hiding him is an act of treason, and his pursuers are closing in. Sarah Singleton has a gift for blending the seen and the unseen, the matter-of-fact and the magical, into a convincing whole. Here she offers a fast-paced plot—a cat-and-mouse game between hunter and hunted—while exploring questions about religious faith and fanaticism that will resonate with YA readers.
The year is 1882. A young servant girl named Esther disappears from a small Hungarian village. Several Jewish men from the village of Tisza Eszvar face the ‘blood libel’ — the centuries-old belief that Jews murder Christian children for their blood. A fourteen-year-old Jewish boy named Morris Scharf becomes the star witness of corrupt authorities who coerce him into testifying against his fellow Jews, including his own father, at the trial.
This fictionalized account of one of the last blood libel trial in Europe is told through the eyes of Julie, a friend of the murdered Esther, and a servant at the jail where Morris is imprisoned. Julie is no stranger to suffering herself: abused by her alcoholic father and separated from her beloved baby sister, she is as bound up in the tragedy of the times as is Morris. The book is based upon a real court case that took place in Hungary in 1883. In Hungary today, the name Morris Scharf has become synonymous with “traitor.”
Nine-year-old Ling is comfortable; her parents are both dedicated surgeons in the best hospital in Wuhan. But when Comrade Li, one of Mao’s political officers, moves into a room in their apartment, Ling begins to witness the gradual disintegration of her world. In an atmosphere of increasing mistrust, Ling fears for the safety of her neighbors and, soon, for herself and family. Over the course of four years, Ling manages to grow and blossom, even as she suffers more horrors than many people face in a lifetime. Drawing from her childhood experience, Ying Chang Compestine brings hope and humor to this compelling story for all ages about a girl fighting to survive during the Cultural Revolution in China.
A young German boy recounts the fate of his best friend, a Jew, during the Nazi regime.