Book picks similar to
City of Orphans by Avi


historical-fiction
young-adult
mystery
historical

Moon Over Manifest


Clare Vanderpool - 2010
    I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I’d seen only in Gideon’s stories: Manifest—A Town with a rich past and a bright future.Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.”Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.

Wolf Hollow


Lauren Wolk - 2016
    Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount.

90 Miles to Havana


Enrique Flores-Galbis - 2010
    When Julian's parents make the heartbreaking decision to send him and his two brothers away from Cuba to Miami via the Pedro Pan operation, the boys are thrust into a new world where bullies run rampant and it's not always clear how best to protect themselves.90 Miles to Havana is a 2011 Pura Belpre Honor Book for Narrative and a 2011 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Countdown


Deborah Wiles - 2010
    But that's hard to get when her best friend is feuding with her, her sister has disappeared, and her uncle is fighting an old war in his head. Her saintly younger brother is no help, and the cute boy across the street only complicates things. Worst of all, everyone is walking around just waiting for a bomb to fall. It's 1962, and it seems that the whole country is living in fear. When President Kennedy goes on television to say that Russia is sending nuclear missiles to Cuba, it only gets worse. Franny doesn't know how to deal with what's going on in the world -- no more than she knows how to deal with what's going on with her family and friends. But somehow she's got to make it through. Featuring a captivating story interspersed with footage from 1962, award-winning author Deborah Wiles has created a documentary novel that will put you right alongside Franny as she navigates a dangerous time in both her history and our history.

Al Capone Does My Shirts


Gennifer Choldenko - 2004
    I'm not the only kid who lives here. There's my sister, Natalie, except she doesn't count. And there are twenty-three other kids who live on the island because their dads work as guards or cook's or doctors or electricians for the prison, like my dad does. Plus, there are a ton of murderers, rapists, hit men, con men, stickup men, embezzlers, connivers, burglars, kidnappers and maybe even an innocent man or two, though I doubt it. The convicts we have are the kind other prisons don't want. I never knew prisons could be picky, but I guess they can. You get to Alcatraz by being the worst of the worst. Unless you're me. I came here because my mother said I had to.

The Misadventures of Maude March


Audrey Couloumbis - 2005
    When she and her sister Maude escape their self-serving guardians for the wilds of the frontier, they begin an adventure the likes of which Sallie has only read about. This time however, the "wanted woman" isn't a dime-novel villian, it's Sallie's very own sister! What follows is not the lies the papers printed, but the honest-to-goodness truth of how two sisters went from being orphans to being outlaws—and lived to tell the tale!

Penny from Heaven


Jennifer L. Holm - 2006
    But nothing’s that easy in Penny’s family. For starters, she can’t go swimming because her mother’s afraid she’ll catch polio at the pool. To make matters worse, her favorite uncle is living in a car. Her Nonny cries every time her father’s name is mentioned. And the two sides of her family aren’t speaking to each other!Inspired by Newbery Honor winner Jennifer Holm’s own Italian American family, Penny from Heaven is a shining story about the everyday and the extraordinary, about a time in America’s history, not all that long ago, when being Italian meant that you were the enemy. But most of all, it’s a story about families—about the things that tear them apart and bring them together. And Holm tells it with all the richness and the layers, the love and the laughter of a Sunday dinner at Nonny’s. So pull up a chair and enjoy the feast! Buon appetito!

The Warden's Daughter


Jerry Spinelli - 2017
     Cammie O'Reilly lives at the Hancock County Prison--not as a prisoner, she's the warden's daughter. She spends the mornings hanging out with shoplifters and reformed arsonists in the women's excercise yard, which gives Cammie a certain cache with her school friends.But even though Cammie's free to leave the prison, she's still stuck. And sad, and really mad. Her mother died saving her from harm when she was just a baby. You wouldn't think you could miss something you never had, but on the eve of her thirteenth birthday, the thing Cammie most wants is a mom. A prison might not be the best place to search for a mother, but Cammie is determined and she's willing to work with what she's got."Jerry Spinelli again proves why he's the king of storytellers" (Shelf Awarenss, starred) in this tale of a girl who learns that heroes can come in surprising disguises, and that even if we don't always get what we want, sometimes we really do get what we need."This book is never boring and never predictable. Fame, good and bad fortune, friendship and mental illness all make their way into [Cammie's] narrative."--The New York Times Book ReviewPraise for the works of Jerry Spinelli:"Spinelli is a poet of the prepubescent. . . . No writer guides his young characters, and his readers, past these pitfalls and challenges and toward their futures with more compassion." --The New York Times"It's almost unreal how much the children's book still resonates." --Bustle.com on Maniac Magee

The Good Thieves


Katherine Rundell - 2019
    When Vita’s grandfather’s mansion is taken from him by a powerful real estate tycoon, Vita knows it’s up to her to make things right. With the help of a pickpocket and her new circus friends, Vita creates the plan: Break into the mansion. Steal back what’s rightfully her grandfather’s. Expose the real estate tycoon for the crook he truly is. But 1920s Manhattan is ever-changing and full of secrets. It might take more than Vita’s ragtag gang of misfits to outsmart the city that never sleeps. Award-winning author Katherine Rundell has created an utterly gripping tour de-force about loyalty, trust, and the lengths to which we’ll go for the ones we love.

Here Lies the Librarian


Richard Peck - 2006
    And motoring down the road comes Irene Ridpath, a young librarian with plans to astonish them all and turn Peewee’s life upside down.This novel, with its quirky characters, folksy setting, classic cars, and hilariously larger-than-life moments, is vintage Richard Peck – an offbeat, deliciously wicked comedy that is also unexpectedly moving.

Small Acts of Amazing Courage


Gloria Whelan - 2011
    While it is common practice for British children in India to be packed off to boarding school at the age of 6, Rosalind is unusual because she lives and is schooled in India because her mother insists. The heart of this penetrating story is Rosalind's coming of age set against the hardship of life for the Indian people, Rosalind's daily life in India, the rise of Ghandi and Rosalind's coming to make her own decisions and become her own person.

May B.


Caroline Starr Rose - 2012
    She wants to contribute, but it’s hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May’s memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she’s determined to find her way home again.Caroline Starr Rose’s fast-paced novel, written in beautiful and riveting verse, gives readers a strong new heroine to love.

A House of Tailors


Patricia Reilly Giff - 2004
    Endless tiny stitches, button holes, darts. Since she was tiny, she’s worked in her family’s dressmaking business, where the sewing machine is a cranky member of the family.When 13-year-old Dina leaves her small town in Germany to join her uncle’s family in Brooklyn, she turns her back on sewing. Never again! But looking for a job leads her right back to the sewing machine. Why did she ever leave home? Here she is, still with a needle and thread—and homesick to boot. She didn’t know she could be this homesick, but she didn’t know she could be so brave either, as she is standing up to an epidemic or a fire. She didn’t know she could grow so close to her new family or to Johann, the young man from the tailor’s shop. And she didn’t know that sewing would reveal her own wonderful talent—and her future. In Dina, the beloved writer Patricia Reilly Giff has created one of her most engaging and vital heroines. Readers will enjoy seeing 1870s Brooklyn through Dina’s eyes, and share her excitement as she discovers a new world.From the Hardcover edition.

Secret of the Andes


Ann Nolan Clark - 1952
    An Indian boy who tends llamas in a hidden valley in Peru learns the traditions and secrets of his Inca ancestors.

Lyddie


Katherine Paterson - 1991
    Hearing about all the money a girl can make working in the textile mills in Lowell, Massachusetts, she makes her way there, only to find that her dreams of returning home may never come true.