Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life…until now.
Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world.
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still.
Liesel Meminger and her younger brother are being taken by their mother to live with a foster family outside Munich. Liesel’s father was taken away on the breath of a single, unfamiliar word ? Kommunist ? and Liesel sees the fear of a similar fate in her mother’s eyes. On the journey, Death visits the young boy, and notices Liesel. It will be the first of many near encounters. By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery.
So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordion-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.
But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jewish fist-fighter in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.
Sixteen-year-old Lottie is on a mission to protect her biggest secret, and it’ll take every lie and every baking trick she can muster. Since her dad died, life hasn’t been the same for Lottie.
When the school suggests she joins Bake Club to get her back on track, Lottie reluctantly agrees. The alternative – the school paying her mum a home visit – is not an option. But Lottie’s uncertainty about Bake Club melts away as she rekindles her love of baking and gets caught up with Mac, school rebel and another unwilling Bake Club member.
As the end-of-year Bake Off approaches, the tension rises. Can Lottie keep up the facade of her perfect life? And can her bubbling romance with Mac survive the pressure?