It's 1942: Tomi Itano, 12, is a second-generation Japanese American who lives in California with her family on their strawberry farm. Although her parents came from Japan and her grandparents still live there, Tomi considers herself an American. She doesn't speak Japanese and has never been to Japan. But after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, things change. No Japs Allowed signs hang in store windows and Tomi's family is ostracized. Things get much worse. Suspected as a spy, Tomi's father is taken away. The rest of the Itano family is sent to an internment camp in Colorado. Many other Japanese American families face a similar fate. Tomi becomes bitter, wondering how her country could treat her and her family like the enemy. What does she need to do to prove she is an honorable American? Sandra Dallas shines a light on a dark period of American history in this story of a young Japanese American girl caught up in the prejudices and World War II.
Eleven-year-old Kaden has managed to stay under the radar for most of his life. With the exception of Kubla, a pet crow, Kaden doesn't have any friends his own age and he's okay with that. After all, friends can ask inconvenient questions. Questions like Why do you live with your grandmother and where is your father? Questions Kaden doesn't want to answer. Apart from school and a few trips to town, Kaden and Gram keep to themselves, living a simple life at their cabins outside the small community of Promise. But now Kaden's life is getting a lot more complicated. He's starting middle school, which brings its own set of problems for a boy who doesn't fit in. And then he learns that his father, a man he has never known, is getting out of prison and moving to Promise. After years of being the outsider at school, Kaden is given a chance to come out of his shell when Yo-Yo, a new boy, moves to the area and offers friendship. But can Kaden trust him? Will Yo-Yo be a real friend after he learns about Kaden's father? The true meaning of friendship, love, responsibility, and loyalty is explored in this novel for middle-grade readers.
Each paperback in this series features a trio of fictional stories highlighting a moment in American history. Troubled Times contains three stories focusing on the Great Depression. In The Lucky Star a girl helps her sister and other children learn to read when their school is closed. Rudy Rides the Rails features a boy living the hobo life. In Junk Man's Daughter, a family struggles after moving to the United States.
Voices for Freedom contains three stories focusing on the Underground Railroad and the 1963 Freedom March on Washington. Stories are Friend on Freedom River, Riding to Washington, and The Listeners. In Friend on Freedom River, written by Gloria Whelan, runaway slaves ask Louis to ferry them across the Detroit River to freedom in Canada. Hes not sure what to do. If they are caught, it means prison for Louis. Written by Gwenyth Swain, Riding to Washington tells of one girls journey to attend the 1963 Great March on Washington. Janie and her father ride a bus to Washington, D.C. to hear a man named Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. During the trip, Janie sees firsthand the injustices that many others endure. In The Listeners, another offering from Gloria Whelan, each night Ella May and her friends secretly listen outside the windows of their masters house. They listen to learn their fates and those of the other slaves.
Each paperback in this series features a trio of fictional stories highlighting a moment in history, with content taken from our popular Tales of Young Americans picture-book series. The Battles contains three stories focusing on key American battles: the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. The Scarlet Stockings Spy is set during the Revolutionary War. In Philadelphia 1777, childhood games now become life-and-death actions for Maddy Rose and her Patriot soldier brother, as British spies are everywhere. In The Town that Fooled the British, the War of 1812 comes to life when the British target St. Michaels, Maryland, in their campaign to defeat America. But a young boy's quick thinking helps the town escape destruction. The Last Brother is set on the battlefields of Gettysburg where Gabe, a Union Army bugler, meets and befriends Orlee, a young Confederate bugler. Now, with the battle looming ahead of him, Gabe is conflicted about what to do.
It's 1863 and 10-year-old Emmy Blue Hatchett has been told by her father that soon their family will leave their farm, family, and friends in Illinois, and travel west to a new home in Colorado. It's difficult leaving family and friends behind. They might not see one another ever again. When Emmy's grandmother comes to say goodbye, she gives Emmy a special gift to keep her occupied on the trip. The journey by wagon train is long and full of hardships. But the Hatchetts persevere and reach their destination in Colorado, ready to start their new life.
Westward Journeys contains three stories focusing on the American westward expansion, including the Oregon Trail and the Oklahoma Land Run. In Minnow and Rose, Rose and her family are traveling with a wagon train heading west on the Oregon Trail. When she encounters Minnow, a young native girl, their meeting has life-changing results for both cultures. The Oklahoma Land Run is the topic in Pappy's Handkerchief. When Moses and his family hear of free farmland out in Oklahoma, they head west to fulfill a lifelong dream of owning their own land. After a difficult wagon trip, they arrive at the staging point for the Oklahoma Land Run. In A Book for Black-Eyed Susan, Cora's family is faced with tragedy during their journey on the Oregon Trail. When Cora learns she is to be separated from her baby sister, she creates a memento of their journey together.
In 1850 the Detroit River was a major track along the Underground Railroad -- the last step to freedom. The journey across the river was dangerous, especially in winter and especially for a 12-year-old boy. When Louis's father left him in charge of the farm he offered his son this advice, "If you don't know what to do, just do what you think I would have done." Louis relies upon his father's words of wisdom when a runaway slave and her two children come looking for safe passage.