The book The Newcomers is about a group of high school students trying to find their place in America. These students are from all over the world and most don’t know English. They are all placed in Mr. Williams' newcomers class with a lot to learn. Their teacher, Mr. Williams, does his best to help his students find their place in America, but it is hard when their languages are so different from his own. The author Helen Thorpe sits in on Mr. Williams' class and tells the story from her perspective.
Billie Paradise, her mom, and her brother move out to a strange house in a town full of secrets. While Billie explores the town, she meets a boy and falls in love with him. Many new people and many new mysteries unfold as Billie looks more closely at this unusual town. Billie’s mother has many secrets of her own, including the identity of Billie’s dad. Family secrets unravel and murders are solved. Even the cute new boy has something to do with the town’s many unknowns.
Lion Island takes place during the Cuban War of Independence, a time when Cuba was fighting for its freedom from Spain. This book shows three different perspectives. First, Antonio Chuffat. He comes from a long line of different races, which all play an important role in his life since cultural diversity is a big problem during this time. He is grateful for his messenger job. Next is Wing. Wing is a Chinese indentured servant who sells fruit. Antonio and Wing meet and soon become friends. This leads to Wing introducing his sister Fan to Antonio.
Milla knows the dangers of the town. The danger if she doesn’t take precautions. The danger of any young girl the demon possesses. Milla and her family do all that is necessary to keep the demon out of her. When her brother's potential fiancée, Iris, joins them for a visit, it looks like the demon has arrived. And she’s come through Iris. The only way to save Iris (Milla’s new and only friend) is to break the curse.
This book was focused on bullying. The bad, the ugly, and the unseen. Margo is a normal teenager who has never noticed the bullying that is all around her. She is only looking out for herself and her clique of “popular” friends. This is only until Margo realizes that her friends don’t always have her back, but instead are the ones putting her down. This sparks an idea in her head to be a real life superhero and start up an anti-bullying group called Mind Over Bullies (M.O.B.).