In 1941 twelve-year-old Karl is proud to be a member of the Hitler Youth, but when his father is killed on the Eastern Front everything changes–his family moves to the country to live with his grandparents, he encounters a brutal Gestapo officer, and he begins to realize that his sixteen-year-old brother has joined a youth group who opposes the Nazis.
Hero, a girl who does not speak, begins to do odd-jobs for her enigmatic neighbor, Miss Credence, whose house holds a shocking secret, at the same time that Hero’s sister returns home with an abandoned boy and another secret.
Riese has never been happy as a princess; she’d much rather be hunting or fighting than sitting through another lesson on court etiquette. When she meets Micah, a wandering artist with a mysterious past, she pretends to be a peasant–it’s a chance to be just a normal girl with a normal boy for a while. But with war decimating her once-proud nation and the sinister clockwork Sect infiltrating her mother’s court, Riese’s moments with Micah are the only islands of sanity left in a world gone mad. As her kingdom falls and the Sect grows ever stronger, will Riese remain true to her duty as a princess…or risk everything on a boy she barely knows?
Hector Robles has spent his sixteen years in the projects of El Paso trying to stay unnoticed. His peaceful obscurity is shattered when his impulsive brother challenges the leader of a gang called the Discípulos. Suddenly Hector is drawn into their world of violence and hopelessness. When a marker is placed on his life, Hector tries to escape by going away to a school for students with troubled pasts. But it isn’t easy to function when he’s paralyzed by the fear that they’ll find him, even there. Ultimately, by confronting external threats and the internal pain of his memories and mistakes, Hector begins to understand what manhood really means.
Jewel is shuttled from one foster home to another. But Jewel wasn’t always a “State Kid.” Her mother Angela’s constant search for happiness through a steady stream of unsavory boyfriends leads to the state’s intervention in Jewel’s life. Listening to her new foster mother’s list of “nos”—no drugs, no lying, no stealing, no skipping school, no boys in or out of the house, no being late—Jewel realizes that her mother said “yes” a lot. Probably too much. She remembers saving Angela’s life when one of many boyfriends beat her, trying to hide another boyfriend’s attempts to rape her when she was fourteen, and being sent to a foster home to please the latest boyfriend. But still, Jewel worries about her mother and knows that she will once again pick up the pieces when the latest jerk leaves. Bit by bit Jewel’s life begins to change for the better after her latest move to a new foster home and school. Although most people can’t see past her tough “State Kid” façade—spray-painted hair, heavy make-up, ripped clothing and unlaced shoes—her English teacher realizes there’s more to her then meets the eye. He convinces Jewel to tutor a fellow student who needs help with math, and gradually she learns how to make friends. In the process, she touches the lives of many people around her, including her social worker, teachers who believe in her, her new-found, tentative friends, and even their parents. But when she’s forced to choose between her life-long job—taking care of her mother”—and doing what’s right for herself, old habits and loyalties are hard to break. Jewel is sure that this time, she can save her mom. But will she be able to save herself?
FACT OF LIFE #48: Kat’s mom is No-Last-Name Abra, the best home-birth midwife in Colorado. But with her own daughter, Abra can’t stop teaching and lecturing long enough to be a mom.Fact of Life #21: Kat’s had a crush on Manny Cruz since seventh grade. Now Manny is showing interest , but could he seriously be into Weird Yoga Girl Kat Flynn?Fact of Life #14: Gorgeous Libby Giles has always intimidated Kat. But lately there’s something different about Libby, and it’s about to bring her crashing into Kat’s Life. . . .Hilarious and poignant, this is the story of one girl’s sometimes funny, sometimes painful path to self-acceptance and to finding her place in the world.
In her brilliant but argumentative family, Hero is different, because she doesn’t speak. Instead, she prefers the silence and solitude she finds climbing the trees high above her neighbors stately old house. But everything changes when Hero starts to do odd jobs for the neighbor — and discovers a shocking secret high up in the tower of the house. “Mahy is a writer who just keeps getting better with every book.”– Kirkus Reviews, pointer review “Mahys exceptional imagination and storytelling prowess will make it difficult for readers to leave this book behind themhers is a tale with staying power.”– Publishers Weekly, starred review New Zealand author Margaret Mahy won the Carnegie Medal for The Changeover and The Haunting. Her most recent novel for Viking is Tingleberries, Tuckertubs, and Telephones.