BOOKS

Young Adult Fiction
Can Patrik and his family escape their totalitarian country before they are found out?
multicultural middle grade fiction
In Baghdad, war is being waged all around Talib and Nouri. Can these two Iraqi boys solve their own war and live in peace with each other?
Living in the Mayan jungle, Rosalba knows nothing about the 2012 prophesy of the end of the world. Then sophisticated Alicia comes from Mexico City to tell her all about it...
Susana and Pina grow up in an Italian orphanage Will either find a parent?
Can a white boy and an African boy keep their friendship in a changing world?
Overnight, Tinh's Vietnamese village is destroyed by a cyclone. How can Tinh make things right for himself and his family?
Binh's Ameican aunt is coming to her Vietnamese village. Will she bring the riches that Binh longs for?
Gregory has to leave the Navajo reservation for the big city of Tucson.
Why won't the new Chinese girl be Ginny's friend?
In this sequel to The Gold-Threaded Dress, Oy must again make a decision. In the talent show will she do what others want or be true to herself?
What if your best friend is also your biggest rival?
Will Noi be sent to the factory to work, or can she learn to paint umbrellas? Will a young artist be able to pursue her gift?
Gloria wakes up on Christmas morning to find that Mama is going to work instead of taking her to Nana's house in Mexico to celebrate.
Oy, a Thai immigrant, has to decide what she will give up to fit in. What would you do if the most popular girl demanded that you bring or special dress to school, or else?

Young Adult Fiction

AWARDS:
2013 Choice of the CCBC, the Cooperative Children's Book Center

REVIEWS:

My Own Revolution by Carolyn Marsden (Candlewick, $16.99). Most kids feel they have something to rebel against, whether it's their home life, school, or society at large. But what if you lived in a place where to lash out in even the smallest way could mark you as an enemy of the state? If doing graffiti or even listening to records could get your parents fired from their jobs or land you in prison? This is the backdrop of Carolyn Marsden's arresting new novel, My Own Revolution, which takes place in Communist Czechoslovakia in the 1960s. Patrik is only 14, and he has the same concerns as any kid (namely, that he's hopelessly in love with his pretty friend Danika), but the scrutiny his family lives under has put an intolerable strain on their daily lives. The book's language is simple and unadorned, and Marsden uses it to build a quiet tension that's nearly heart-stopping by the novel's uncertain - but hopeful - conclusion. A powerful little novel, like an arrow to the heart.—Philadelphia Inquirer

"Marsden’s carefully researched and engrossing story will be of obvious classroom use but will also appeal to thoughtful independent readers. — Michael Cart-- Booklist

"Marsden palpably depicts the paranoia of the time and the stress Patrik’s family is under; there’s an unremitting tension to the second half of the story as they make plans to flee the country. It’s an entirely believable portrait of a boy whose daily life is divided between normal teenage concerns—like winning the girl of his dreams and improving his photography skills—and worries about his very uncertain future."-- Publishers Weekly

"Inspired by a true story, this easily accessible novel should appeal to teens who, like Patrik, are keen observers of the chaos that surrounds them. "-- Kirkus

"The overall story is excellent, conveying feelings of dread, suspicion, despair, and frustration experienced by citizens in Communist Eastern Europe. The relationships among Patrik and his friends and family are realistic and genuine. This novel will open some eyes about how difficult and unfair life was in the Eastern Bloc."-- School Library Journal

HOW I GOT THE IDEA:

In the course of a business deal, I met a Czech surgeon whose family had escaped the country in 1966. They'd gone on a "camping trip" to nearby Yugoslavia. From there they'd motored their small boat to Italy and freedom. I was instantly intrigued by this story, seeing the possibilities of learning more about that part of the world and the politics of the era. This doctor's story was also filled with the kinds of interesting characters and anecdotes that I find irresistible. That very evening, I gained his permission to write the fictionalized story which became MY OWN REVOLUTION.
Here is a sculpture I made out of this and that. The doll's body is a Thai computer keyboard.