Shadows in the Twilight

Joel will soon be 12, and he thinks nothing is going on in the small community where he lives. But he’s wrong. One day, an incident that could easily have been a catastrophe turns into a miracle. Now Joel believes he owes the world a good deed, to prove that he deserved what might have been divine intervention. He thinks up an elaborate scheme, but it doesn’t go as anticipated. Even though his heart is in the right place, feelings are hurt. If he confesses what he’s done and why, will things be put right again?

Readers who met Joel Gustafson, his father, and their friends in A Bridge to the Stars will follow, with appreciation, Henning Mankell’s shrewd depiction, in this companion novel, of the surprising changes in Joel’s existence. Mankell deftly explores Joel’s self-discovery, his realization that lives can be altered in a single moment, and his new understanding that a choice between telling the truth and keeping silent can make all the difference.

Emily Goldberg Learns to Salsa

Emily is a Jewish girl from the suburbs of New York, end of story. Her mother has family in Puerto Rico, but Emily has never had any contact with them–not until she’s forced to go to the Caribbean for her grandmother’s funeral. Pampered Emily wants nothing to do with her Puerto Rican heritage– until a very special person shows her that that uncovering her roots is like discovering a secret part of her own heart.

Red Land Yellow River: A Story from the Cultural Revolution

In 1966 Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution swept through China and transformed the life of Beijing teenager Ange Zhang. Ange longed to join the Red Guard with his classmates, but was denied membership after his father, a famous writer, was arrested and charged with being a counter-revolutionary. As Ange struggled to maintain his friends’ respect, he began to question the Revolution and his role in it.

Barkbelly

One silver-starry night, a shiny, wooden egg falls from a flying machine high in the air down, down, down through the midnight sky down to the small village of Pumbleditch, where Barkbelly is born. Where he’s the only wooden boy. And where he’s the cause of a tragic accident. Suddenly, Barkbelly’s only choice is to flee for his life—to run. As he tries to escape his haunting past, he faces extraordinary adventures and dangers. Every wooden step leads Barkbelly toward the dark and startling truth about where he comes from and the burning question of where he really belongs.

I Was A Rat!: Or, The Scarlet Slippers

“I was a rat!”

So insists a scruffy boy named Roger. Maybe it’s true. But what is he now? A terrifying monster running wild in the sewers? The Daily Scourge newspaper is sure of it. A lucrative fairground freak? He is to Mr. Tapscrew. A championship wriggler and a budding thief? That’s the hope of Billy and his gang. A victim of “Rodent Delusion”? So says the hospital doctor.

Or just an ordinary small boy, though a little ratty in his habits? Only three people believe this version of the story. And it may take a royal intervention–and a bit of magic–to convince the rest of the world. . . .

Notes from the Teenage Underground

Seventeen-year-old Gem loves movies, her feminist mom, and Dodgy, her coworker in a video store (at least she thinks she loves Dodgy).  When a school trip inspires Gem to make an underground film, her best friends Lo and Mira are quick to join the project, taking on the roles of producer and star. The film is intended to cement the girls’ friendship as well as their superiority over their sucker high school peers. But when the fragile balance of their friendship begins to falter, and intentions lead to betrayals big and small, it will take great movies, bad haiku, and a pantheon of great voices—from Dostoyevsky to Emerson to The Beatles—to help Gem find the meaning of love, friendship, and being true to herself.

Looking for X

Smart and independent, 11-year-old Khyber lives with her mom, Tammy, a former stripper, and her autistic twin brothers in a poor Toronto neighborhood. Though she doesn’t have a lot in common with her classmates, Khyber does have wonderfully eccentric friends: Valerie, Toronto’s meanest waitress, and X, a homeless woman in hiding from “the secret police.” Despite having to deal with pompous social workers who make her mother cry and ignorant kids who make remarks about her brothers, Khyber manages to enjoy herself, poring over atlases, planning exotic journeys, and taking peanut butter sandwiches to X. But when Tammy decides to move her sons to a group home for proper care, Khyber’s world starts to crumble. She fights with her mom and then gets expelled from school. To make matters worse, X suddenly disappears. Khyber sets out to find her in a wild all-night odyssey of self-discovery.

Be Water, My Friend: The Early Years Of Bruce Lee

A biography of Bruce Lee focusing on his early years in Hong Kong, where he discovered martial arts and began developing the physical and mental skills that led to his career as a legendary martial artist and film star.