Stargirl Caraway is a loser (when judged by the standards of her peers) but a compassionate and special girl in the 10th grade at a high school in Arizona. Like many of Spinelli’s characters, she’s an outcast and suffers the scorn and hatred of her classmates, but manages to rise above it. You will find yourself cheering for Stargirl.
Elise’s mother died while giving birth to her. Her father died five years later from cancer. She is being raised by her aunt and uncle. Her best friend is Franklin, but as they enter middle school, she finds herself the victim of bullying, party because of her friendship with him. She feels lost and unsure of what to do as her life seems to spiral out of control. But before her father died, he left her a mystery in the form of eight keys. When she unlocks the mystery of the keys, she may learn something about her parents and, more importantly, about herself. This is a beautiful story.
The Apprentices is the sequel to The Apothecary (see review below). It follows Benjamin and Janie, as they continue to fight evil forces in this fantasy/adventure story. Of course they have some help in the form of the pharmacopeia which is their ancient book of alchemy/magic. The plot is fast-paced and exciting. Great book!
President Lincoln reportedly said to Harriet Beecher Stowe when he met her, “So, you’re the little woman who started this big war.” This book is that powerful. The brutality of the American system of slavery is so shocking, so cruel, so inhuman, that you can scarcely believe it existed in a country whose founding documents declare the equality of all men. When this book was published in 1852, it caused a great uprising against slavery that ultimately ended with 100,000 Americans dead and the end of centuries of injustice. The Christian themes running through this novel are so beautiful and the characters so vivid and fully developed, that you will feel that you know every one intimately. Some you will hate to your core and some will fill you with admiration. Amazing book that should be read by EVERY American!