In World War II England, orphaned siblings William, Edmund, and Anna are evacuated from London to live in the countryside, where they bounce from home to home in search of someone willing to adopt them permanently.
Victoria (Tory) Blaisdell longs to live a life as adventurous and independent as that of her heroine, Jan Eyre. When Tory's father loses his job and decides to seek a share of the newly discovered gold in California, Tory stows away on the westbound ship carrying her father and younger brother, Jacob. Though San Francisco is mud-caked, frenzied, and full of wild and dangerous men, Tory quickly finds friends and independence until her father leaves...
When twelve-year-old Waka's parents suspect she can't understand basic Japanese they speak to her, they make the drastic decision to send her to Tokyo to live for several months with her strict grandmother. Forced to say goodbye to her friends and what would have been her summer vacation, Waka is plucked from her straight-A-student life in rural Kansas and flown across the globe, where she faces the culture shock of a lifetime. In Japan, Waka struggles...
With a letter to President Franklin Roosevelt and unexpected help from her Hallelujah-spouting cousin, Henry James, Elsie Mae tries to prevent a company from building a canal through the Okefenokee Swamp.
It is 1983 and Vanessa Martin, a thirteen-year-old African American girl in Newark's public housing, dreams of following in the footsteps of the first black Miss America, Vanessa Williams; but with a dysfunctional family (mother in jail, father withdrawn, drunken grandfather, gay cousin) the odds are against her--until a new teacher at school organizes a beauty pageant and encourages Vanessa to enter.
After his mother's death in 1946, eleven-year-old Langston and his father leave behind their quiet life in Alabama and move to Chicago. Struggling to fit in and missing his mother, Langston finds refuge at the local library where, unlike his library in Alabama, blacks are just as welcome as whites to use. There he discovers the poetry of Langston Hughes and a secret--he was named after this very poet whose work his mother loved.
When his poor sharecropper father is killed in an accident and leaves the family in debt, twelve-year-old Little Charlie agrees to accompany fearsome plantation overseer Cap'n Buck north in pursuit of people who have stolen from him; Cap'n Buck tells Little Charlie that his father's debt will be cleared when the fugitives are captured, which seems like a good deal until Little Charlie comes face-to-face with the people he is chasing.
What follows will be my book -- the book of Catherine, called Little Bird or Birdy, daughter of Rollo and the lady Aislinn, sister to Thomas, Edward, and the abominable Robert. Begun this 19th day of September in the year of Our Lord 1290. Picked off twenty-nine fleas today. Catherine's mother wants to teach her the skills of the lady of the manor and to prepare her to be a gentle and patient wife. Her father wants only to see her married off, and...
In 1939 six-year-old Henry, who is deaf, is taken from his family and placed in a home for the feeble-minded where, years later, his friends include a conscientious objector serving there during World War II.
Twelve-year-olds Anikwa, of the Miami village of Kekionga, and James, of the trading post outside Fort Wayne, find their friendship threatened by the rising fear and tension brought by the War of 1812.
In 1967, unhappy with her newly-blended family, twelve-year-old Bea agrees to accompany Pidge, her grandmother, to Atchison, Kansas, where Pidge believes her long-lost sister, Amelia Earhart, will meet them. Includes historical notes, a brief biography, quotations from the Earharts, and resources for educators.