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This tender novel describes a loving Japanese-American family from the point of view of the younger sister. Personal challenges and family tragedy, particularly the older sister's struggle with lymphoma, are set against the oppressive social climate of the South during the 1950s and early 1960s. (2005 Newbery Medal Winner)
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
Told in the form of a recollection, these "confessions" cover 13-year-old Charlotte's eventful 1832 transatlantic crossing. She begins her trip as a prim schoolgirl returning from England to her home and family in America, but by the end she is in command of the Seahawk.
Crispin: The Cross of Lead
In this Newbery Medal-winning novel, Crispin is falsely accused of murder and must flee his medieval town to save his life. But, just as he's leaving, he learns from the village priest that his parents' origins — and fates — might be more mysterious than he ever imagined… (2003 Newbery Medal Winner)
The Secret School
More than anything, 14-year-old Ida Bidson wants to become a teacher. But her dream falters when the one-room school in her remote Colorado town shuts down. Her only hope is to keep the school open without anyone finding out. Yet even a secret school needs a teacher. Is Ida ready to take charge?
When the Circus Came to Town
After being badly scarred by smallpox, Ursula isolates herself in the family stagecoach stop in Whistle, Montana. An unlikely friendship with a cook at the station brings the old Ursula back as she leads the preparations for Chinese New Year in the small town, which is even more isolated than usual by a blizzard. This riveting book explores difficult themes in an accessible way.
The Lee family, first introduced in Star Fisher (HarperCollins, 1997), is Chinese. Living in Clarksburg, West Virginia, in 1927, they stand out in the community. Joan Lee and her siblings want to fit in and celebrate a non-Chinese holiday, Christmas. The children's parents agree, but only if the children behave according to the parents high standards. Understanding and friendship gradually emerge in this touching novel based on the experiences of the author's mother.
Lyddie is a resourceful, self-sufficient girl who leaves Vermont to work in a Lowell, Massachusetts factory. Historical detail about life in 19th century New England combined with a portrait of this fiercely independent girl create an unforgettable novel.
The Game of Silence
Like its predecessor The Birchbark House, this long-awaited sequel is framed by catastrophe, but the core of the story, which is set in 1850, is white settlers' threats to the traditional Ojibwe way of life. Omakayas is now nine and living at her beautiful island home in Lake Superior. But whites want Ojibwe off the island: Where will they go? In addition to an abundance of details about life through the seasons, Erdrich deals with the wider meaning of family and Omakayas' coming-of-age on a vision quest. — Booklist
Moon Shadow joins his father, traveling from China to San Francisco in the early 20th century. Together father and son confront harsh prejudice as well as kindness, and ultimately follow a dream to build a flying machine in this Newbery Honor novel.
Forced to leave the turmoil and political unrest of their native Vietnam, 13-year old Mai and her family cram into a boat and make way for Hong Kong and ultimately to America. Mai's voice provides a necessary distance as she chronicles the journey and its horrors in with even tone.