The Pearl Thief

By Elizabeth Wein.

Before Verity . . . there was Julie.
When fifteen-year-old Julia Beaufort-Stuart wakes up in the hospital, she knows the lazy summer break she’d imagined won’t be exactly what she anticipated. And once she returns to her grandfather’s estate, a bit banged up but alive, she begins to realize that her injury might not have been an accident. One of her family’s employees is missing, and he disappeared on the very same day she landed in the hospital.
Desperate to figure out what happened, she befriends Euan McEwen, the Scottish Traveller boy who found her when she was injured, and his standoffish sister, Ellen. As Julie grows closer to this family, she witnesses firsthand some of the prejudices they’ve grown used to-a stark contrast to her own upbringing-and finds herself exploring thrilling new experiences that have nothing to do with a missing-person investigation.
Her memory of that day returns to her in pieces, and when a body is discovered, her new friends are caught in the crosshairs of long-held biases about Travellers. Julie must get to the bottom of the mystery in order to keep them from being framed for the crime.
This exhilarating coming-of-age story, a prequel to the Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity, returns to a beloved character just before she first takes flight.
Praise for The Pearl Thief
 
* “Each thread of this novel is exquisitely woven” –Publishers Weekly, starred review
* “Another ripping yarn from a brilliant author.” –Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* “A finely crafted book that brings one girl’s coming-of-age story to life” –Booklist, starred review
* “A must for Verity fans and a good read for those who enjoy mystery with a touch of romance.”
School Library Journal, starred review
The Pearl Thief stands alone as a diverting piece of historical fiction/mystery but takes on extra poignancy for those aware of Julie’s eventual fate.”
Horn Book
 
* “Verity fans will find this irresistible and return to a reread of that title with this new backstory in mind, while fans of period drama . . . will appreciate this as an absorbing read that leads them inexorably to the next book.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

“The rich details of the prewar time period, the intriguing history of Scottish river pearls, and the glimpse into the social dynamics between Scottish Travellers and the landed gentry of Scotland make for fascinating reading, but the real treat is reading another chapter in the story of Julie. Give this to fans of the first book, as well as historical fiction buffs.”
VOYA

The Secret Language of Stones

Secret language of stonesAs World War I rages and the Romanov dynasty reaches its sudden, brutal end, a young jewelry maker discovers love, passion, and her own healing powers in this rich and romantic ghost story, the perfect follow-up to M.J. Rose’s “brilliantly crafted” (Providence Journal) novel The Witch of Painted Sorrows.

Nestled within Paris’s historic Palais Royal is a jewelry store unlike any other. La Fantasie Russie is owned by Pavel Orloff, protégé to the famous Faberge, and is known by the city’s fashion elite as the place to find the rarest of gemstones and the most unique designs. But war has transformed Paris from a city of style and romance to a place of fear and mourning. In the summer of 1918, places where lovers used to walk, widows now wander alone.

So it is from La Fantasie Russie’s workshop that young, ambitious Opaline Duplessi now spends her time making trench watches for soldiers at the front, as well as mourning jewelry for the mothers, wives, and lovers of those who have fallen. People say that Opaline’s creations are magical. But magic is a word Opaline would rather not use. The concept is too closely associated with her mother Sandrine, who practices the dark arts passed down from their ancestor La Lune, one of sixteenth century Paris’s most famous courtesans.

But Opaline does have a rare gift even she can’t deny, a form of lithomancy that allows her to translate the energy emanating from stones. Certain gemstones, combined with a personal item, such as a lock of hair, enable her to receive messages from beyond the grave. In her mind, she is no mystic, but merely a messenger, giving voice to soldiers who died before they were able to properly express themselves to loved ones. Until one day, one of these fallen soldiers communicates a message—directly to her.

So begins a dangerous journey that will take Opaline into the darkest corners of wartime Paris and across the English Channel, where the exiled Romanov dowager empress is waiting to discover the fate of her family. Full of romance, seduction, and a love so powerful it reaches beyond the grave, The Secret Language of Stones is yet another “spellbindingly haunting” (Suspense magazine), “entrancing read that will long be savored” (Library Journal, starred review).

Stay Where You Are & Then Leave

Sta where you areBy John Boyne.  Four years after Alfie Summerfield’s father left London to become a soldier in World War I he has not returned but Alfie, now nine, is shining shoes at King’s Cross Station when he happens to learn that his father is at a nearby hospital being treated for shell shock. (ages 9-12)

wwd