A Rat and a Ransom is an adorable tale full of adventure. It centers on Tom Lewis, a privileged but lonely 9-year-old boy, who wants a pet more than anything. One rainy Sunday as Tom is gazing out his bedroom window, he sees something outside that looks like an animal. He goes outside to investigate and finds a cat trying to eat a white rat who is hiding at the bottom of an old watering can. Tom adopts the rat, and names her “Mask” because of the black markings on her face. Then, Tom and Mask are kidnapped for ransom and held captive in an old farmhouse.
Between Two Worlds by Katherine Kirkpatrick is the story of 16-year-old Eqariusq (also called Billy Bah), an Inuit girl in Greenland. One day a ship arrives in Billy Bah’s small village, bearing supplies for the explorer Robert Peary. On the ship are Peary’s wife and daughter with whom Billy Bah lived for a year in America. Billy Bah is glad to see them, but is torn between the fascinating world of the white men and her own, and that conflict intensifies when her husband starts trading her to a sailor on Peary’s ship.
Still struggling after the death of her mother, Vanessa Day is also trying to continue her late mom’s research: cryptids (cryptids are creatures or plants whose existence has been suggested by legend or local lore but not proven by scientific study). And a family trip to Scotland is going to give Vanessa an opportunity to study the famous Loch Ness Monster. But unfortunately it isn't only Vanessa. Her two brothers and father are going on the trip. Lee McDonald, her father’s new girlfriend (whom Vanessa hates), is also coming along.
The Mirk and Midnight Hour by Jane Nickerson is an enchanting and suspenseful tale based on the Scottish ballad of Tam Lin. The Mirk and Midnight Hour is set in Civil War Mississippi, where 17-year-old Violet Dancey is trying to adjust to her father’s remarriage and her twin brother’s death. Then, she finds a wounded Union soldier in an abandoned cabin in the woods, and her life becomes even more complicated. She knows that he is an enemy, but she tries to help him.
Set during World War II, The Extra by award-winning author Kathryn Lasky is a wonderful story centering on a Gypsy girl, Lilo Friwald. Lilo and her family are living in Vienna when Hitler’s soldiers come. They are taken away to a Gypsy work camp along with hundreds of others. Soon Lilo and her mother are separated from Lilo’s father and taken to work as extras for famous filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl. But the movie set isn’t the hoped-for oasis; the Gypsy extras are guarded day and night, starved, and, when they are not on set, locked in an old barn.
In the imaginary Scandinavian city of Skyggehavn in a time that seems to be the Renaissance, three women--the seamstress Ava Bingen, mute nursemaid Midi Sorte, and mad Queen Isabel--must try as best they can to survive the deadly sickness that is raging through the court. As one royal heir after another dies, the situation grows evermore dangerous. What no one knows is that the royal sickness is unstoppable because it originates from the Queen herself.