Mildred Pitts Walter's Second Daughter (1996) is out of print, but the copy I have is in very good shape. It tells roughly the same story as Anderson's Chains. Lizzie and her older sister Bett are slaves during the Revolutionary War. They have lost their father and mother and even their names-- Aissa and Fatou. The book follows their story (based on a real one) from Aissa's birth until the time that Fatou and her husband sue their owners for their freedom. The fact that the slaves wanted to fight on the side of the British is one of those always surprising facts that people don't think about, but the British were going to give the slaves their freedom. If you have a copy of this on the shelves, pull it out for 8th graders who are studying this era.
Yoko Kawashima Watkin's fictionalized autobiography, So Far From the Bamboo Grove (1986) is still available in paperback, and is the riveting tale of her experiences as a Japanese child stuck in Korea at the end of World War II. She, her mother, and older sister all must flee their home quickly and manage to make their way to Japan, but it is far from easy. Her older brother also makes his way there, since Korean feelings about Japanese were not kindly during this time period. This book made me feel grateful for everything that I have, and for the fact that I don't live in a war-torn country.
I keep thinking that there have to be more than four Regular Guy (2002) books by Sarah Weeks, but there aren't. Her recent efforts have been for younger children, but these goofy tales of Guy and his wacky mother are popular. In this installment, Guy's best friend Buzz is hit by a car while riding his bike, and while Guy is waiting at the hospital to see how his friend is doing, he remembers the course of events that made them best friends.
Since I am almost the whole way through the alphabet, I did treat myself to the newest First Kisses book, The Boyfriend Game by Stephanie Davis. *Sigh* This was a wonderful romance book. Trisha is focused on soccer and doesn't care about boys-- until she meets Graham. He doesn't want to worry about girls, is an awesome soccer player, and helps Trisha train so that she can make the varsity team. But he's hot. And Trisha "like" likes him. But he doesn't like her that way. But maybe he does. It's perfect-- that balance between wanting to accomplish something and still being completely distracted by a member of the opposite sex. Davis never portrays Trisha as weak and stupidly girly, and in the end, she gets both the guy AND the varsity team spot. This makes my list for top romantic books along with Girlfriend Material, Along for the Ride, and Fifteen. My only complaint-- why did they change from the green cover, which would match the other books in this series?
And our levy passed by a narrow margin. Thank goodness.