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Virtually browse the LSC-North Harris Library Leisure Reading collection to find something that peaks your interest.

Historical Fiction

In the Time of the Butterflies

Set during the waning days of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republica in 1960, this extraordinary novel tells the story the Mirabal sisters, three young wives and mothers who are assassinated after visiting their jailed husbands. On a deserted mountain road in the Dominican Republic in 1960, three young women from a pious Catholic family were assassinated after visiting their husbands who had been jailed as suspected rebel leaders. The Mirabal sisters, thus martyred, became mythical figures in their country, where they are known as Las Mariposas (the butterflies). Three decades later, Julia Alvarez, daughter of the Dominican Republic and author of the acclaimed How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents, brings the Mirabal sisters back to life in this extraordinary novel. Each of the sisters speaks in her own voice; beginning as young girls in the 1940s, their stories vary from hair ribbons to gun-running to prison torture. Their story is framed by their surviving sister who tells her own tale of suffering and dedication to the memory of Las Mariposas.

Navajo Long Walk

A young Navajo boy recounts the story of the forced internment of his tribe at Fort Sumner, and their subsequent return to their homeland.

Fire in Beulah

Oil-boom opulence, fear, hate, and lynchings are the backdrop for this riveting novel, originally published in 2001. Althea Whiteside, an oil-wildcatter's high-strung white wife, and her enigmatic black maid, Graceful, share a complex connection during the tense days of the Oklahoma oil rush. Their juxtaposing stories - and those of others close to them - unfold as tensions mount to a violent climax in the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, during which whites burned the city's prosperous black neighborhood to the ground. The massacre becomes the crucible that melds and tests each of the character in this masterful exploration of the American race story and the ties that bind us irrevocably to one another.

Until We Reach Home

Life in Sweden seems like an endless winter for three sisters after their mother's death and father's suicide. Elin feels the weight of responsibility for her sisters' welfare, and when circumstances become unbearable, she writes to her relatives in America, pleading for help.

Joining sixteen million other immigrants who left their homelands for America between 1890 and 1920, Elin, Kirsten, and Sofia begin the long, difficult journey. Enduring the ocean voyage in steerage and detention on Ellis Island, their story is America's story. And in a journey fraught with hardships, each woman will come to understand her secret longings and the meaning of home.

A School for Unusual Girls

It's 1814. Napoleon is exiled on Elba. Europe is in shambles. Britain is at war on four fronts. And Stranje House, a School for Unusual Girls, has become one of Regency England's dark little secrets. The daughters of the beau monde who don't fit high society's constrictive mold are banished to Stranje House to be reformed into marriageable young ladies. Or so their parents think. In truth, Headmistress Emma Stranje, the original unusual girl, has plans for the young ladies--plans that entangle the girls in the dangerous world of spies, diplomacy, and war. After accidentally setting her father's stables on fire while performing a scientific experiment, Miss Georgiana Fitzwilliam is sent to Stranje House. But Georgie has no intention of being turned into a simpering, pudding-headed, marriageable miss. She plans to escape as soon as possible--until she meets Lord Sebastian Wyatt. Thrust together in a desperate mission to invent a new invisible ink for the English war effort, Georgie and Sebastian must find a way to work together without losing their heads--or their hearts.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

Shots rang out in Savannah's grandest mansion in the misty,early morning hours of May 2, 1981. Was it murder or self-defense? For nearly a decade, the shooting and its aftermath reverberated throughout this hauntingly beautiful city of moss-hung oaks and shaded squares. John Berendt's sharply observed, suspenseful, and witty narrative reads like a thoroughly engrossing novel, and yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a hugely entertaining first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case.

A Long Way from Home

Spanning more than sixty years, A Long Way from Home is the story of Susie; her daughter, Clara; and her granddaughter, Susan--house slaves born and reared at Montpelier, the Virginia plantation of President James Madison. Proud and intelligent, these women are united by love, fierce devotion, and a desire for freedom that grows stronger year by year.

A Long Way from Home vividly re-creates Southern life and the ambivalent, shifting relationships on both sides of the color divide, from the cruelty and insidious benevolence of white owners to the deep yearnings and complex emotions of the slaves themselves. It is an unforgettable story that pays homage to the African-American experience and to the ancestors whose lives and histories are indelibly entwined with our own.

Code Talker: a Novel about the Navajo Marines of World War II

he United States is at war, and sixteen-year-old Ned Begay wants to join the cause especially when he hears that Navajos are being specifically recruited by the Marine Corps. So he claims he s old enough to enlist, breezes his way through boot camp, and suddenly finds himself involved in a top-secret task, one that s exclusively performed by Navajos. He has become a code talker. Now Ned must brave some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and with his native Navajo language as code, send crucial messages back and forth to aid in the conflict against Japan. His experiences in the Pacific from Guadalcanal to Iwo Jima and beyond will leave him forever changed.

Cold Sassy Tree

If the preacher's wife's petticoat showed, the ladies would make the talk last a week. But on July 5, 1906, things took a scandalous turn. That was the day E. Rucker Blakeslee, proprietor of the general store and barely three weeks a widower, eloped with Miss Love Simpson, a woman half his age and, worse yet, a Yankee! On that day, fourteen-year-old Will Tweedy's adventures began and an unimpeachably pious, deliciously irreverent town came to life.

An Extraordinary Union

As the Civil War rages between the states, a courageous pair of spies plunge fearlessly into a maelstrom of ignorance, deceit, and danger, combining their unique skills to alter the course of history and break the chains of the past. Elle Burns is a former slave with a passion for justice and an eidetic memory. Trading in her life of freedom in Massachusetts, she returns to the indignity of slavery in the South--to spy for the Union Army. Malcolm McCall is a detective for Pinkerton's Secret Service. Subterfuge is his calling, but he's facing his deadliest mission yet--risking his life to infiltrate a Rebel enclave in Virginia. Two undercover agents who share a common cause--and an undeniable attraction--Malcolm and Elle join forces when they discover a plot that could turn the tide of the war in the Confederacy's favor. Caught in a tightening web of wartime intrigue, and fighting a fiery and forbidden love, Malcolm and Elle must make their boldest move to preserve the Union at any cost--even if it means losing each other.

The Persian Pickle Club

In 1930s Harveyville, Kansas, Rita Ritter, a recent arrival, is invited to join the Persian Pickle Club, but her interest in journalism brings her dangerously close to a secret the club has sworn to keep.

So Far from Home

In the diary account of her journey from Ireland in 1847 and of her work in a mill in Lowell, Massachusetts, fourteen-year-old Mary reveals a great longing for her family.

The Red Tent

Her name is Dinah. In the Bible, her life is only hinted at in a brief and violent detour within the more familiar chapters of the Book of Genesis that are about her father, Jacob, and his dozen sons. Told in Dinah's voice, this novel reveals the traditions and turmoils of ancient womanhood--the world of the red tent. It begins with the story of her mothers--Leah, Rachel, Zilpah, and Bilhah--the four wives of Jacob. They love Dinah and give her gifts that sustain her through a hard-working youth, a calling to midwifery, and a new home in a foreign land. Dinah's story reaches out from a remarkable period of early history and creates an intimate connection with the past.

All the Light We Cannot See

Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure's agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall. In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure. Doerr's gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another.

The Treasure in the Tiny Blue Tin

When twelve-year-old Max Miller immigrates to America with his mother and sister in 1912, he wants only to be together with his family and forget the old country where they were persecuted for being Jewish and where his two brothers died. The family lives above Max's uncle's store, and Max, on a treasured new bicycle, makes deliveries for his uncle. Not at all a typical Texan, Max likes to go to school, doesn't know how to swim or fish and is afraid of horses, completely the opposite of Joe Hollis, the blacksmith's son, who taunts Max about being Jewish and a greenhorn.

When his papa, a peddler, doesn't come home for Passover, Max fears he may be a victim of an outbreak of meningitis. Max decides to ride his bicycle in search of his father, and his journey leads over flooded creeks and unfamiliar territory. Joe follows him out of town and joins him on his journey. The two boys learn to understand each other and become fast friends as they survive the perils of wilderness Texas.

Tracks

This "beautifully fashioned, powerful novel," set in North Dakota in the early 1900s, limns Fleur Pillager, a Native American woman who is rumored to be a witch, and whose life mirrors that of crumbling Indian culture and community. Over the course of ten crucial years, as tribal land and trust between people erode ceaselessly, men and women are pushed to the brink of their endurance―yet their pride and humor prohibit surrender.

90 Miles to Havana

When unrest hits the streets of Havana, Cuba, Julian's parents must make the heartbreaking decision to send him and his two brothers away to Miami via the Pedro Pan operation. But when the boys get to Miami, they are thrust into a world where bullies seem to run rampant and it's not always clear how best to protect themselves.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

In 1986, Henry Lee joins a crowd outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle's Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has discovered the belongings of Japanese families who were sent to internment camps during World War II. As the owner displays and unfurls a Japanese parasol, Henry, a Chinese American, remembers a young Japanese American girl from his childhood in the 1940s—Keiko Okabe, with whom he forged a bond of friendship and innocent love that transcended the prejudices of their Old World ancestors. After Keiko and her family were evacuated to the internment camps, she and Henry could only hope that their promise to each other would be kept. Now, forty years later, Henry explores the hotel's basement for the Okabe family's belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot even begin to measure. His search will take him on a journey to revisit the sacrifices he has made for family, for love, for country.

Keeping the World Away

Lost, found, stolen, strayed, sold, fought over... This engrossing, beautifully crafted novel follows the fictional adventures, over a hundred years, of an early 20th-century painting and the women whose lives it touches.It opens with bold, passionate Gwen, struggling to be an artist, leaving for Paris where she becomes Rodin's lover and paints a small, intimate picture of a quiet corner of her attic room... Then there's Charlotte, a dreamy intellectual Edwardian girl, and Stella, Lucasta, Ailsa and finally young Gillian, who share an unspoken desire to have for themselves a tranquil golden place like that in the painting.Quintessential Forster, this is a novel about women's lives, about what it means and what it costs to be both a woman and an artist, and an unusual, compelling look at a beautiful painting and its imagined afterlife.

The Cellist of Sarajevo

While a cellist plays at the site of a mortar attack to commemorate the deaths of twenty-two friends and neighbors, two other men set out in search of bread and water to keep themselves alive, and a woman sniper secretly protects the life of the cellist as her army becomes increasingly threatening.

Nory Ryan's Song

When a terrible blight attacks Ireland's potato crop in 1845, 12-year-old Nory Ryan's courage and ingenuity help her family and neighbours survive.

The Other Queen

Biographers often neglect the captive years of Mary, Queen of Scots, who trusted Queen Elizabeth's promise of sanctuary when she fled from rebels in Scotland and then found herself imprisoned as the "guest" of George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, and his indomitable wife, Bess of Hardwick. The newly married couple welcome the doomed queen into their home, certain that serving as her hosts and jailers will bring them an advantage in the cutthroat world of the Elizabethan court. To their horror, they find that the task will bankrupt them, and as their home becomes the epicenter of intrigue and rebellion against Elizabeth, their loyalty to each other and to their sovereign comes into question. If Mary succeeds in seducing the earl into her own web of treachery and treason, or if the great spymaster William Cecil links them to the growing conspiracy to free Mary from her illegal imprisonment, they will all face the headsman.

The Red Queen

Heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, Margaret Beaufort never surrenders her belief that her house is the true ruler of England and that she has a great destiny before her. Her ambitions are disappointed when her sainted cousin Henry VI fails to recognize her as a kindred spirit, and she is even more dismayed when he sinks into madness. Her mother mocks her plans, revealing that Margaret will always be burdened with the reputation of her father, one of the most famously incompetent English commanders in France. Married to a man twice her age, quickly widowed, and a mother at only fourteen, Margaret is determined to turn her lonely life into a triumph. She sets her heart on putting her son on the throne of England regardless of the cost to herself, to England, and even to the little boy. Disregarding rival heirs and the overwhelming power of the York dynasty, she names him Henry, like the king; sends him into exile; and pledges him in marriage to her enemy Elizabeth of York's daughter.

Summer of My German Soldier

When her small hometown in Arkansas becomes the site of a camp housing German prisoners during World War II, 12-year-old Patty Bergen learns what it means to open her heart. Although she's Jewish, she begins to see a prison escapee, Anton, not as a Nazi--but as a lonely, frightened young man with feelings not unlike her own, who understands and appreciates her in a way her parents never will. And Patty is willing to risk losing family, friends--even her freedom--for what has quickly become the most important part of her life.

The Winter of Red Snow

Eleven-year-old Abigail presents a diary account of life in Valley Forge from December 1777 to July 1778 as General Washington prepares his troops to fight the British.

The Kitchen House

Orphaned during her passage from Ireland, young, white Lavinia arrives on the steps of the kitchen house and is placed, as an indentured servant, under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate slave daughter. Lavinia learns to cook, clean, and serve food, while guided by the quiet strength and love of her new family. In time, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, caring for the master's opium-addicted wife and befriending his dangerous yet protective son. She attempts to straddle the worlds of the kitchen and big house, but her skin color will forever set her apart from Belle and the other slaves.

Snow Falling on Cedars

San Piedro Island, north of Puget Sound, is a place so isolated that no one who lives there can afford to make enemies. But in 1954 a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese American named Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder. In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than a man's guilt. For on San Pedro, memory grows as thickly as cedar trees and the fields of ripe strawberries--memories of a charmed love affair between a white boy and the Japanese girl who grew up to become Kabuo's wife; memories of land desired, paid for, and lost. Above all, San Piedro is haunted by the memory of what happened to its Japanese residents during World War II, when an entire community was sent into exile while its neighbors watched.

A Woman of Independent Means

Bess Steed Garner, in early century Dallas, inherits a legacy of wealth and determination and sets out to conquer high society but faces challenges in marriage and family because of her manipulating and bossy independence.

Patriot Hearts

When Martha Dandridge Custis marries her second husband, George, she never suspects that the soft-spoken Virginia planter is destined to command the founding of a nation--or that she is to be Lady Washington, the woman at the first President's side. Only a select inner circle of women will know the cost of sharing a beloved man with history . . . and each will draw strength from the unique treasure given to them by a doomed queen.
Seeing farm and family through each harsh New England season, Abigail Adams is sustained only by the fervent reunions stolen between John's journeys abroad. She will face the terror of an ocean crossing to join her husband in France--and write her own page in history. And there she will cross paths with kings, commoners--and young Sally Hemings.
Just as Sally had grown from a clever child to a beautiful woman, so had her relationship with Thomas Jefferson grown from a friendship between slave and master to one entangled in the complexities of black and white, decorum and desire. It is a relationship that will leave Sally to face an agonizingly wrenching choice.
Dolley Madison, too, must live with the repercussions of a forbidden love affair--although she will confront even greater trials as a President's wife. But Dolley will become one of the best-loved ladies of the White House--and leave an extraordinary legacy of her own.

I Thought My Soul Would Rise and Fly

Twelve-year-old Patsy keeps a diary of the ripe but confusing time following the end of the Civil War and the granting of freedom to former slaves.

Catch-22

At the heart of Catch-22 resides the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero endlessly inventive in his schemes to save his skin from the horrible chances of war. His efforts are perfectly understandable because as he furiously scrambles, thousands of people he hasn't even met are trying to kill him. His problem is Colonel Cathcart, who keeps raising the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempts to excuse himself from the perilous missions that he is committed to flying, he is trapped by the Great Loyalty Oath Crusade, the hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule from which the book takes its title: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes the necessary formal request to be relieved of such missions, the very act of making the request proves that he is sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved.

Out of the Dust

Dust piles up like snow across the prairie. A terrible accident has transformed Billie Jo's life, scarring her inside and out. Her mother is gone. Her father can't talk about it. And the one thing that might make her feel better -- playing the piano -- is impossible with her wounded hands. To make matters worse, dust storms are devastating the family farm and all the farms nearby. While others flee from the dust bowl, Billie Jo is left to find peace in the bleak landscape of Oklahoma -- and in the surprising landscape of her own heart.

The Known World

When a plantation proprietor and former slave--now possessing slaves of his own--dies, his household falls apart in the wake of a slave rebellion and corrupt underpaid patrollers who enable free black people to be sold into slavery.

The Given Day

An epic tale set at the end of World War I follows the experiences of a family whose lives mirror the political unrest of an America caught between its well-patterned past and an unpredictable future. Police officer Danny Coughlin, the latest in a long line of cops, is a fresh face on the force and anxious to impress his father. Thus, he agrees to go undercover to infiltrate a group of anarchists involved in labor strikes. As Danny penetrates this underground world, however, he befriends people such as a beautiful Irish immigrant and a black servant-turned-criminal who force him to re-evaluate his beliefs. Incorporating real historic events, such as the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic and the 1919 Boston police strike, the author "captures the sense of a country coming of age."

The Middle Heart

In 1932, as China shamefully kowtows under Japanese occupation, three unlikely companions are fatefully bound by their steadfast patriotism: Steel Hope, heir to a once-great aristocracy; Mountain Pine, his crippled, scholarly servant; and Firecrackers, a poor gravekeeper's daughter. In a youthful pact, they call themselves "Brothers of the Middle Heart," vowing to defend their country to the end.

Yet as war and, later, the Communist Revolution ignite, cruel circumstances separate them. One becomes a political leader, one a writer, one an actress. But despite incessant historical upheaval, their lives continue to intertwine in poignant, often tragic, ways. Enmeshed in a love triangle, they will live to see their loyalty to one another tested again and again.

The Watch That Ends the Night

Set in Montreal in the 1930s. George and Catherine Stewart share not only the burden of Catherine's heart disease, which could cause her death at any time, but the memory of Jerome Martell, Catherine's first husband and George's closest friend. Martell, a brilliant doctor passionately concerned with social justice, had travelled to Europe to help those affected by the war and is presumed to have died in a Nazi prison camp. His unexpected return to Montreal precipitates the central crisis of the novel.

All the Stars Denied

In the heart of the Great Depression, Rancho Las Moras, like everywhere else in Texas, is gripped by the drought of the Dust Bowl, and resentment is building among white farmers against Mexican Americans. All around town, signs go up proclaiming "No Dogs or Mexicans" and "No Mexicans Allowed."

When Estrella organizes a protest against the treatment of tejanos in their town of Monteseco, Texas, her whole family becomes a target of "repatriation" efforts to send Mexicans "back to Mexico" -- whether they were ever Mexican citizens or not. Dumped across the border and separated from half her family, Estrella must figure out a way to survive and care for her mother and baby brother. How can she reunite with her father and grandparents and convince her country of birth that she deserves to return home?

Shame the Stars

Eighteen-year-old Joaquín del Toro's future looks bright. With his older brother in the priesthood, he's set to inherit his family's Texas ranch. He's in love with Dulceña--and she's in love with him. But it's 1915, and trouble has been brewing along the US-Mexico border. On one side, the Mexican Revolution is taking hold; on the other, Texas Rangers fight Tejano insurgents, and ordinary citizens are caught in the middle.

As tensions grow, Joaquín is torn away from Dulceña, whose father's critical reporting on the Rangers in the local newspaper has driven a wedge between their families. Joaquín's own father insists that the Rangers are their friends, and refuses to take sides in the conflict. But when their family ranch becomes a target, Joaquín must decide how he will stand up for what's right.

Color Me Dark

Eleven-year-old Nellie Lee Love records in her diary the events of 1919, when her family moves from Tennessee to Chicago, hoping to leave the racism and hatred of the South behind.

A Picture of Freedom

It's 1859, and Clotee, a twelve-year-old slave, has the most wonderful, terrible secret. She knows that if she shares it with the wrong person, she will face unimaginable consequences. What is her secret? While doing her job of fanning her master's son during his lessons, Clotee has taught herself to read and write. But the tutor, Ely Harms, has a secret of his own. In a time when literacy is one of the most valuable skills to have, Clotee is determined to use her secret to save herself and her family.

Where the Broken Heart Still Beats

A fictional retelling of the abduction of Cynthia Parker, who was stolen by Comanches as a child & lived with them for 24 years, first as a slave, then as a chief's wife. Having been taken as a child and raised by Comanche Indians, thirty-four-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker is forcibly returned to her white relatives, where she longs for her Indian life and her only friend is her twelve-year-old cousin Lucy.

I, Elizabeth

Publicly declared a bastard at the age of three, daughter of a disgraced and executed mother, last in the line of succession to the throne of England, Elizabeth I inherited an England ravaged by bloody religious conflict, at war with Spain and France, and badly in debt. When she died in 1603, after a forty-five- year reign, her empire spanned two continents and was united under one church, victorious in war, and blessed with an overflowing treasury. What's more, her favorites-William Shakespeare, Sir Francis Drake, and Sir Walter Raleigh-had made the Elizabethan era a cultural Golden Age still remembered today. But for Elizabeth the woman, tragedy went hand in hand with triumph. Politics and scandal forced the passionate queen to reject her true love, Robert Dudley, and to execute his stepson, her much-adored Lord Essex. Now in this spellbinding novel, Rosalind Miles brings to life the woman behind the myth. By turns imperious, brilliant, calculating, vain, and witty, this is the Elizabeth the world never knew. From the days of her brutal father, Henry VIII, to her final dying moments, Elizabeth tells her story in her own words.

An Elephant in the Garden

Elizabeth's mother works at Dresden Zoo, where her favorite animal is an elephant named Marlene. When the zoo director tells her the dangerous animals must be shot to prevent them running amok when the town is bombed, Elizabeth's mother moves Marlene into the back garden to save her.

The Journal of James Edmond Pease

James Edmond, a sixteen-year-old orphan, keeps a journal of his experiences and those of "G" Company which he joined as a volunteer in the Union Army during the Civil War.

Spy!

Coming of age during the American Revolution, Jonah is torn between honoring his Loyalist father's dying wish and taking up the cause of his Patriot neighbors. Inspired by his young, charismatic teacher, Nathan Hale, Jonah begins to question his family's beliefs. When a decision he makes leads to Nathan's execution, Jonah must live with the damage he has caused and learn to fight for what he knows to be right.

The Elephant Keeper

In 1766, a ship docks at Bristol, England, disgorging a crate with two young elephants in poor health, but alive. A wealthy sugar merchant purchases them for his country estate and turns their care over to a young stable boy, Tom Page. It takes time for Tom and the two elephants to understand each other, but to the surprise of everyone on the estate, a remarkable bond is formed, and changes the lives of all who meet them.

A Night Divided

With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family suddenly divided. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can't help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city. But one day, while on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Then, when she receives a mysterious drawing, Gerta puts two and two together and concludes that her father wants Gerta and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted. Will Gerta and her family find their way to freedom?

Lara's Gift

In 1914 Russia, Lara is being groomed by her father to be the next kennel steward for the Count's borzoi dogs unless her mother bears a son, but her visions, although suppressed by her father, seem to suggest she has special bond with the dogs.

Lyddie

When Lyddie and her younger brother are hired out as servants to help pay off their family farm's debts, Lyddie is determined to find a way to reunite her family once again. Hearing about all the money a girl can make working in the textile mills in Lowell, Massachusetts, she makes her way there, only to find that her dreams of returning home may never come true.

Numbering All the Bones

The story of a young house servant who has to make a decision about staying a slave or running North for freedom and leaving all she knows behind.

Sarah's Key

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel d'Hiv roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours. Paris, May 2002: On Vel d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv, to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

Midnight's Children

Saleem Sinai was born at midnight, the midnight of India's independence, and found himself mysteriously "handcuffed to history" by the coincidence. He is one of 1,001 children born at the midnight hour, each of them endowed with an extraordinary talent—and whose privilege and curse it is to be both master and victims of their times. Through Saleem's gifts—inner ear and wildly sensitive sense of smell—we are drawn into a fascinating family saga set against the vast, colourful background of the India of the 20th century

Echo

Lost in the Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. Decades later, as the second World War approaches, the lives of three children--Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California--become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. Pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their solo stories converge.

Esperanza Rising

Esperanza thought she'd always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico--she'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn't ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces. When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances--Mama's life, and her own, depend on it.

And Ladies of the Club

Tells of the lifetimes of two women in a small Ohio town from the Civil War to the New Deal, and of their views of the other ladies of the Waynesboro literary society.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Lily is haunted by memories-of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as she recounts the tale of Snow Flower, and asks the gods for forgiveness.

In nineteenth-century China, when wives and daughters were foot-bound and lived in almost total seclusion, the women in one remote Hunan county developed their own secret code for communication: nu shu ("women's writing"). Some girls were paired with laotongs, "old sames," in emotional matches that lasted throughout their lives. They painted letters on fans, embroidered messages on handkerchiefs, and composed stories, thereby reaching out of their isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments.

With the arrival of a silk fan on which Snow Flower has composed for Lily a poem of introduction in nu shu, their friendship is sealed and they become "old sames" at the tender age of seven. As the years pass, through famine and rebellion, they reflect upon their arranged marriages, loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their lifelong friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.

Out of the Easy

It's 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

As London is emerging from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton discovers her next subject in a book club on Guernsey--a club born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi after its members are discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island.

Cleopatra's Moon

The extraordinary story of Cleopatra's only daughter -- now in paperback!Selene has grown up in a palace on the Nile with her parents, Cleopatra & Mark Antony--the most brilliant, powerful rulers on earth. But the jealous Roman Emperor Octavianus wants Egypt for himself, & when war finally comes, Selene faces the loss of all she's ever loved. Forced to build a new life in Octavianus's household in Rome, she finds herself torn between two young men and two possible destinies--until she reaches out to claim her own.

The Weight of Water

On Smuttynose Island, off the coast of New Hampshire, more than a century ago, two Norwegian immigrant women were brutally murdered. A third woman survived by hiding in a cave until dawn. In 1995, Jean, a photographer, is sent on an assignment to shoot a photo essay about the legendary crime. Taking her extended family with her, Jean stays in a sailboat anchored off the coast, and finds herself gradually becoming more and more engrossed in the bay's mysterious and gruesome past. Wandering into a library one day, she unearths letters written by Maren, the sole survivor of the murder spree. Jean's fear of losing all that she cares about is reflected in Maren's poignant tale of love and loss, and her obsession with the ancient story drives her to wild impulsive action -- with unrecoverable consequences.

Train to Pakistan

In the summer of 1947, when the creation of the state of Pakistan was formally announced, ten million people--Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs--were in flight. By the time the monsoon broke, almost a million of them were dead, and all of northern India was in arms, in terror, or in hiding. The only remaining oases of peace were a scatter of little villages lost in the remote reaches of the frontier. One of these villages was Mano Majra.

The Anarchist

On a stifling, hot afternoon in September 1901, a young anarchist, Leon Czolgosz, who has been stalking President William McKinley, waits in line to meet the president, his right hand wrapped in a handkerchief and held across his chest as though it were in a sling. But the handkerchief conceals a .32-caliber revolver. When the president greets him, Czolgosz fires two shots.

The Help

In Jackson, Mississippi, in 1962, there are lines that are not crossed. With the civil rights movement exploding all around them, three women start a movement of their own, forever changing a town and the way women--black and white, mothers and daughters--view one another.

Cane River

Follows four generations of African American women, from slavery to the early twentieth century, as they struggle for economic security and the future of their families along the Cane River in rural Louisiana.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

A black family living in Mississippi during the Depression of the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination which its children do not understand.

The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

It is 1917 in the South Dakota Badlands and the summer has been hard. Rachel and Isaac DuPree had left Chicago fourteen years ago to stake their claim. Isaac, a former Buffalo Soldier, is fiercely proud: black families are rare in the West, and black ranchers even rarer. But it hasn't rained in months, the cattle are bellowing with thirst, and supplies have dwindled. Struggling to feed her family, Rachel is isolated by more than just geography. She is determined to give her surviving children the life they deserve, but Isaac will never leave his ranch: land means a measure of equality with the white man. Rachel must find the strength to do what is right--for her children, for her husband, and for herself.

A Mad Desire to Dance

Sixty year-old Doriel Waldman, a Polish Jew born in 1936, is on the verge of insanity until Dr. Thérèse Goldschmidt draws him out with his story of surviving the Holocaust in hiding with his father while his mother made a reputation for herself in the Polish resistance--only to die in an accident shortly after the war.

One Crazy Summer

In the summer of 1968, after traveling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.

Katarina

During World War II in Slovakia, a young Jewish girl in hiding becomes a devout Catholic and is sustained by her belief that she will return home to her family as soon as the war ends.

Britannia's Fist - From Civil War to World War

'Britannia's Fist' is the story of powerful historical personalities who come together as America goes into total war mobilization in the fight for its life against the power of the British Empire.

The Reluctant Heiress

Being an heiress in 1920s Austria with nothing but a broken-down castle to your name and nary a penny in your purse could be frustrating for anyone but the Princess Theresa-Maria of Pfaffenstein. Tessa, however, is thrilled with her situation, as it allows her to concentrate on her love of the arts--and no one in the Viennese opera company need know that their delightful and charming under-wardrobe mistress is really a princess. But when the dashing self-made millionaire Guy Farne arrives at the opera in search of suitable entertainment for his high society guests, Tessa realizes that there may be more to life--and love--than just music. But while the attraction between them in undeniable, Guy's insufferable snob of a fiancée only solidifies Tessa's determination to keep her true identity a secret. Yet, after a chance meeting with the handsome Englishman, Tessa's reserve begins to melt, and she starts to wonder if it's not too late for a fairytale ending?

Rhett Butler's People

Through Rhett's eyes we meet the people who shaped his larger than life personality as it sprang from Margaret Mitchell's unforgettable pages: Langston Butler, Rhett's unyielding father; Rosemary his steadfast sister; Tunis Bonneau, Rhett's best friend and a onetime slave; Belle Watling, the woman for whom Rhett cared long before he met Scarlett O'Hara at Twelve Oaks Plantation, on the fateful eve of the Civil War. Of course there is Scarlett. Katie Scarlett O'Hara, the headstrong, passionate woman whose life is inextricably entwined with Rhett's: more like him than she cares to admit; more in love with him than she'll ever know.