Once I escaped from an orphanage to find Mum and Dad.
Once I saved a girl called Zelda from a burning house.
Once I made a Nazi with toothache laugh.
My name is Felix.
This is my story.
Everybody deserves to have something good in their life.
At least once.
Adeline Yen Mah is born into an affluent and powerful family in China, but her life is made miserable from the moment she is born. After her mother dies giving birth to her, Adeline’s family labels her “bad luck,” causing her to grow up with the guilt that she alone is responsible for her mother’s death. Things at home get even worse when Adeline’s father remarries. Restricted to one small area of the house, Adeline and her natural siblings are mistreated while their stepbrother and stepsister receive special treatment. An outstanding student and the winner of many academic awards, Adeline revels in the praise she receives from her Aunt Baba and grandfather, Ye Ye, and lives with the hope that her father might someday be proud of her.
Cherry Costello’s life is about to change forever.
She and Dad are moving to Somerset where a new mum and a bunch of brand-new sisters await.
And on Cherry’s first day there her head is turned by the gorgeous Shay Fletcher.
But Shay already has a girlfriend, Cherry’s new stepsister, Honey.
Cherry knows her friendship with Shay is dangerous – it could destroy everything.
But that doesn’t mean she’s going to stay away from him . . .
After the Nazis took my parents I was scared.
After they killed my best friend I was angry.
After they ruined my thirteenth birthday I was determined.
To get to the forest
To join forces with Gabriek and Yuli
To be a family
To defeat the Nazis after all.
John Dante is so enmeshed in WW II’s patriotic fever that he can hardly wait for his 18th birthday, in 1942, to enlist. Meanwhile, his sister, stricken with empathy and concern, is engaged to two soldiers and pregnant by a third; Dad, a nuclear physicist, is called from Pittsburgh to California for secret research; and John falls sweetly, ardently in love with pretty Ginny, who urges him to become a conscientious objector. To John, her fervent pacifism is incomprehensible; but as he endures active combat, without relief, until 1945, stereotypes give way to the reality of the enemy’s humanity, and Ginny’s ideas become clear. Still, after his long immersion in horror, John never communicates with her again-until a message at the end of this novel, narrated in 1992 when he’s a retired professor in Canada: “I want you to know that I am really alive. And I still love you.” Yet John has not been “alive” as he might have been: a lifelong solitary, he was even driven from his home by the war (“I could not stay in America because America had not suffered”). Rylant depicts-with some irony and much insight and compassion-the tragedy of young men putting aside their true selves and fighting in a war in which they ultimately lose faith.