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.
In June of 1939, the United States played host to two very special guests. British monarchs King George VI and Queen Elizabeth were coming to America. As it was the first visit ever by reigning British royalty, it was a chance for America to build a stronger relationship with the British, especially in those challenging times. On the domestic side, many people didn't have jobs, housing, or food. Internationally, Adolf Hitler, Germany's leader, was threatening the countries around him and war loomed on the horizon. But First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt saw the visit as an opportunity for America to set aside its cares for a while and extend a warm welcome and hand of friendship to the royal guests. As part of the festivities, Eleanor hosts an all-American picnic that includes hot dogs, a menu item that shocks some people.
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.
On December 2, 1863, a bronze statue was placed atop the dome of the United States Capitol. Standing more than 19 feet tall, the figure called Freedom was designed and created during a period of great turmoil in American history. But at one point during its creation, it wasn't clear the statue would even get to its final destination. One man, in particular, played an important role in seeing the statue through to completion. His name was Philip Reid. Born into slavery, Reid grew up on a South Carolina farm, helping various craftsmen such as the blacksmith and the potter. Eventually, he was sold to a man named Clark Mills, who opened a foundry in Washington, D.C. Millss' foundry was contracted to cast the Freedom statue, but the project was jeopardized when a seemingly unsolvable puzzle arose. And it was Philip Reid who stepped in to solve it.
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.
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.
It's bad enough being the new kid, but as a freshman, Jimmy finds school less enjoyable than many of his classmates. Standing 5'5" and weighing 187 pounds, he's subjected to a daily barrage of taunts and torments. His only sources of comfort are his family, his youth group, and his favorite foods. When his English teacher assigns a journal as a writing project, Jimmy chronicles not only his struggles but also his aspirations - to lose weight and win the girl of his dreams. Inspired by a true story and told in first-person journal entries, The Fat Boy Chronicles brings to life the pain and isolation felt by many overweight teenagers as they try to find their way in a world obsessed with outward beauty.