Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn't belong. Not with his mother's new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father's wife. Not at school, where he's an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he's tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building who's introduced herself with a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez?
From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde comes a moving novel about two strangers who find that kindness is a powerful antidote to fear. Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn't belong. Not with his mother's new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father's wife. Not at school, where he's an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he's tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building who's introduced herself with a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez? Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone since her caretaker disappeared. She turns to Raymond for help, and as he tries to track Luis down, a deep and unexpected friendship blossoms between the two. Despondent at the loss of Luis, Mildred isolates herself further from a neighborhood devolving into bigotry and fear. Determined not to let her give up, Raymond helps her see that for every terrible act the world delivers, there is a mirror image of deep kindness, and Mildred helps Raymond see that there's hope if you have someone to hold on to.
The internationally bestselling book that inspired the Pay It Forward movement is now available in a middle grade edition. Pay It Forward is a moving, uplifting novel about Trevor McKinney, a twelve-year-old boy in a small California town who accepts his teacher’s challenge to earn extra credit by coming up with a plan to change the world. Trevor’s idea is simple: do a good deed for three people, and instead of asking them to return the favor, ask them to “pay it forward” to three others who need help. He envisions a vast movement of kindness and goodwill spreading across the world, and in this “quiet, steady masterpiece with an incandescent ending” (Kirkus Reviews), Trevor’s actions change his community forever. This middle grade edition of Pay It Forward is extensively revised, making it an appropriate and invaluable complement to lesson plans and an ideal pick for book clubs, classroom use, and summer reading. Includes an author'snote and curriculum guide.
Therapist George Samuel creates an experimental form of group therapy for men dealing with grief. The men: a non-stereotypical bouncer, an ex-cop turned farmer, a quirky programmer, a clever history teacher, a carefree college kid, and an antagonistic redneck, are asked to write poems and take pictures on a given topic weekly. Right before the sessions are about to begin, Dr. Samuel dies. After some persuading, his son, George Jr., takes over. George Jr. is not a therapist but an elementary teacher. The poems and dialogue are revealing, interesting, and more often than not comical. The grief the men are experiencing is not revealed to the last chapter, and even then, there is humor. East of Anywhere is optimistic, entertaining and a reminder of the healing power of art, honesty, and friendship.
In the summer of 1969, fourteen-year-old Lucas Painter carries a huge weight on his shoulders. His brother is fighting in Vietnam. His embattled parents are locked in a never-ending war. And his best friend, Connor, is struggling with his own family issues. To find relief from the chaos, Lucas takes long, meandering walks, and one day he veers into the woods.
Destiny Jones is doing just fine on her own, thanks. From her thriving one-woman carpentry business to the loving support of her small-town community, Destiny has constructed a life as sturdy and polished as her best cabinets. Twenty years ago, Destiny s world collapsed when her mother died and her father, Albert, abandoned his daughter to pursue acting in New York. His devastating exit taught Destiny a lesson in self-reliance that has kept her safe and alone ever since. Now Albert Jones is back, begging for a second chance. Destiny suspects he s simply staging another performance, starring himself as the prodigal father. Should she act on her misgivings? Or listen to her inner child, who still yearns for a family? When Albert divulges a shocking secret, Destiny s life will again be turned upside down. Kathleen Long s warm, wise novel reveals the armor that has protected us in the past is often the very thing we must shed to fully live and love."
Ben Mattlin lives a normal, independent life. Why is that interesting? Because Mattlin was born with spinal muscular atrophy, a congenital weakness from which he was expected to die in childhood. Not only did Mattlin live through childhood, he became one of the first students in a wheelchair to attend Harvard, from which he graduated and became a professional writer. His advantage? Mattlin’s life happened to parallel the growth of the disability rights movement, so that in many ways he did not feel that he was disadvantaged at all, merely different. Miracle Boy Grows Up is a witty, unsentimental memoir that you won’t forget, told with engrossing intelligence and a unique perspective on living with a disability in the United States.
"The story’s message, that people should choose joy even (and especially) in difficult and painful times, seems tailor-made for this moment. A timely, uplifting read about finding joy in the midst of tragedy, filled with quirky characters and comforting warmth."—Kirkus (starred review) From the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel full of heart and hope. Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living. But she wasn’t always that way. Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen. But he wasn’t always that way. And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before—at another school, in a different life. Back then, she loved him—but she was invisible. To him. To everyone. Even to herself. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But when Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school—and the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The lovable Duncan she’d known is now a suit-and-tie wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hell-bent on protecting the school that he’s willing to destroy it. As the school community spirals into chaos, and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love—which is the riskiest move of all. With Katherine Center’s sparkling dialogue, unforgettable characters, heart, hope, and humanity, What You Wish For is the author at her most compelling best.
When Nathan McCann discovers a newborn baby boy half buried in the woods, he assumes he's found a tiny dead body. But then the baby moves and in one remarkable moment, Nathan's life is changed forever. The baby is sent to grow up with his grandmother, but Nathan can't forget him and is compelled to pay her a visit. He asks for one simple promise - that one day she will introduce the boy to Nathan and tell him, 'This is the man who found you in the woods.' Years pass and Nathan assumes that the old lady has not kept her promise, until one day an angry, troubled boy arrives on his doorstep with a suitcase . . .
UPSTAIRS, an Edwardian home would have been a picture of elegance and calm, adorned with social gatherings and extravagantly envisioned dinner parties. DOWNSTAIRS, it was a hive of domestic activity, supported by a body of staff painstakingly devoted to ensuring the smooth running of the household. Brimming with family secrets, society scandal, and of course elaborate parties, dresses, and social customs, the world of an aristocratic Edwardian household as depicted on the hit show Downton Abbey has captivated millions. But what was life really like for the people who kept such a household running: the servants? In Life Below Stairs, international bestselling author Alison Maloney takes readers behind the scenes to reveal a lively and colorful picture of what went on "downstairs," describing servants' daily life in this now-vanished world. Detailing everything from household structure, pay and conditions, special duties, and rules and regulations, to perks, entertainment, and even romance, Maloney examines the drudgery and hardships below stairs, as well as the rewards and pleasures. Thoroughly researched and reliably informed, this charmingly illustrated volume also contains first-hand stories from the staff of the time, making it a must-read for anyone interested in the lifestyle and conduct of a bygone era.