Synopses & Reviews
When Leah's aunt Olivia sends her a red rose box all the way from California for her tenth birthday, she and her younger sister Ruth can hardly imagine what could be inside. Living in dusty Sulphur, Louisiana, the arrival of the box, full of magical things-lipstick, nailpolish, and a 100% silk bedjacket-is about the most exciting thing that has ever happened to Leah and Ruth.
Aunt Olivia has also sent some train tickets for a trip to Los Angeles and freedom, far away from the Jim Crow laws that keep the Southern blacks down. Leah is enchanted by her rich aunt's lifestyle and the California culture. Like the treasures in the box, California is almost too good to be true. But when tragedy forces Leah and Ruth to make Los Angeles their permanent home, the girls are torn by longing for their roots.
Brenda Woods has written an evocative first novel about the importance of remembering your past, even as you move away from it.
Sally Harrison and her family are slaves on a plantation in Georgia. But when Master decides to sell Sally and her brother, the family escapes to seek shelter with a tribe of Seminoles who are rumored to adopt runaway slaves. After a perilous journey, Sally?s family finds and joins the tribe. But while her father and brother easily adjust to Indian ways, Sally can?t seem to find her place. Combining the poetry of Sally?s songs with the heartracing tension of the family?s escape, author Brenda Woods delivers a breathtaking story of a girl caught between worlds.
When Miles?s mother remarries, Miles decides to move to New Orleans to be with his father. But he and his father are very different?Miles?s dad lives for jazz, while Miles?s first love is football. Then Hurricane Katrina hits, and the two must seek refuge in the Superdome. What would normally be a dream come true for a football fan, this safe haven turns into a nightmare when the power fails and gangs take over. And when his father decides to rebel, Miles must make a choice that will alter their relationship? and their lives?forever.
Emako Blue was supposed to be a star. She was beautiful and good-hearted. She was Monterey's best friend. She was the only girl Jamal cared about, the one who saw through his player act. She was the one who understood the burden of Eddie's family. She was the best singer anyone had ever heard, with a voice like vanilla incense, smoky and sweet. She was Savannah's rival, the one who wouldn't play by the rules. She was destined for greatness, already plucked from South Central Los Angeles by the record producers. She was only fifteen when she died.
If you could get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for anything at all, what would it be? This writing assignment, given out in Ms. Hart?s tenth-grade creative writing class, sparks a group of nine students each to tell his/her own story. Readers are introduced to Jake and Shante?s interracial romance, Carlos? fear of deportation, and Sunday?s determination after being sexually assaulted. These teens persevere through hardship and heartache, laughter and love, and in the end, their voices shine through inspiring journal entries that answer the question in unusual and unexpected ways. Once again, Brenda Woods shows a keen understanding of the teenage psyche, as she did in Emako Blue
, winner of the 2005 IRA Children?s Choice Young Adult Fiction Award.
On her tenth birthday, Leah receives a surprise gift from glamorous Aunt Olivia, Mama's only sister, who lives in Los Angeles. It is a red rose box. Not many people in 1958 Louisiana have seen such a beautiful traveling case, covered with red roses, filled with jewelry, silk bedclothes, expensive soaps...and train tickets to California. Soon after, Leah and her sister, Ruth, find themselves in Hollywood, far away from cotton fields and Jim Crow laws. To Leah, California feels like freedom. But when disaster strikes back home, Leah and Ruth have to stay with Aunt Olivia permanently. Will freedom ever feel like home?
A boy, a dog, and New Orleans' most famous hurricane
Saint is a boy with confidence as big as his name is long. A budding musician, he earns money playing clarinet for the New Orleans tourists, and his best friend is a stray dog named Shadow. At first Saint is sure that Hurricane Katrina will be just like the last one--no big deal. But then the city is ordered to evacuate and Saint refuses to leave without Shadow. Saint and Shadow flee to his neighbor's attic--and soon enough it's up to Saint to save them all.
The gripping story of a boy, a dog and a hurricane
Saint is a boy with confidence as big as his name is long. A budding musician, he earns money playing clarinet for the New Orleans tourists. His best friend is a stray dog named Shadow, and it's because of Shadow that Saint's still in town when Hurricane Katrina hits. Saint's not worried about the hurricane at first--he plans to live to be a hundred just to defy his palm-reader friend Jupi, who told him he had a short life line. But now the city has been ordered to evacuate and Saint won't leave without Shadow. His search brings him to his elderly neighbor's home and the three of them flee to her attic when the waters rise. But when Miz Moran's medication runs out, it's up to Saint to save her life--and his beloved Shadow's.
About the Author
Paul Volponi is the author of the critically acclaimed young adult novel Black and White. From 1992 to 1998, he taught adolescents on Rikers Island in New York City to read and write. Mr. Volponi worked at a day treatment center like Daytop teaching students and helping them prepare for the GED. Mr. Volponi lives in New York City.