A girl is curious about what people are?
A girl and a horse adventure during the Depression?
Coping with emotions of social situations due to being an immigrant and different?
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What are people for?
That’s the burning question on the mind of Leeva Spayce Thornblossom.
Fame! says Leeva’s mom, the mayor of Nutsmore.
Money! says her dad, the town treasurer.
With the help of an orphaned badger, a risk-averse boy in a hazmat suit, and the town’s librarians, Leeva sets off to discover her own answer—setting off a chain of events that will change Nutsmore forever.
Bea wakes to Daddy’s note in a hayloft, where he abandoned her with her little sister after the stock market crash took everything: Daddy’s job at the bank, their home, Mama’s health and life.
How is Bea supposed to convince the imposing Mrs. Scott to take in two stray children? Mrs. Scott’s money and Virginia farm are drying up in a drought and the Great Depression, too. She might have to sell her beautiful horses, starting with a dangerous chestnut that has caused tragedy in the past and injures her stableman shortly after Bea arrives.
But wrestling with her own hurts and fears, Bea understands the chestnut’s skittish distrust. She sees hope in the powerful jumper—if he can compete at horse shows, they might save the farm, and maybe Bea can even win a place in Mrs. Scott’s heart.
When ten-year-old Lina Gao steps off the plane in Los Angeles, it’s her first time in America and the first time seeing her parents and her little sister in five years! She’s been waiting for this moment every day while she lived with her grandmother in Beijing, getting teased by kids at school who called her “left behind girl.” Finally, her parents are ready for her to join their fabulous life in America! Except, it’s not exactly like in the postcards:
1. School’s a lot harder than she thought. When she mispronounces some words in English on the first day, she decides she simply won’t talk. Ever again.
2. Her chatty little sister has no problem with English. And seems to do everything better than Lina, including knowing exactly the way to her parents’ hearts.
3. They live in an apartment, not a house like in Mom’s letters, and they owe a lot of back rent from the pandemic. And Mom’s plan to pay it back sounds more like a hobby than a moneymaker.
As she reckons with her hurt, Lina tries to keep a lid on her feelings, both at home and at school. When her teacher starts facing challenges for her latest book selection, a book that deeply resonates with Lina, it will take all of Lina’s courage and resilience to get over her fear in order to choose a future where she’s finally seen.
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