Best Selling Books by Karen Hesse

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Dear America: A Light in the Storm

release date: Aug 01, 2011
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Dear America: A Light in the Storm
Newbery Medal winner Karen Hesse's Civil War diary, A LIGHT IN THE STORM, is now back in print with a beautiful new cover! In 1861, Amelia Martin's father is stripped of his post as a ship's captain when he is caught harboring the leader of a slave rebellion. Now he is an assistant lighthouse keeper on Fenwick Island, off the coast of Delaware -- a state wedged between the North and the South, just as Amelia is wedged between her warring parents. Amelia's mother blames her abolitionist husband for their living conditions, which she claims are taking a toll on her health. Amelia observes her mother's hate and her father's admiration for Abraham Lincoln. But slavery is the deeper issue separating the two sides. As the Civil War rages on, Amelia slowly learns that she cannot stop the fighting, but by keeping watch in the lighthouse each day, lighting the lamps, cleaning the glass, and rescuing victims of Atlantic storms, she can still make a difference.

Stowaway

release date: Nov 01, 2000
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Stowaway
A fictionalized journal relates the experiences of a young stowaway from 1768 to 1771 aboard the Endeavor which sailed around the world under Captain James Cook.

Aleutian Sparrow

release date: May 11, 2010
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Aleutian Sparrow
In June 1942, seven months after attacking Pearl Harbor, the Japanese navy invaded Alaska's Aleutian Islands. For nine thousand years the Aleut people had lived and thrived on these treeless, windswept lands. Within days of the first attack, the entire native population living west of Unimak Island was gathered up and evacuated to relocation centers in the dense forests of Alaska's Southeast. With resilience, compassion, and humor, the Aleuts responded to the sorrows of upheaval and dislocation. This is the story of Vera, a young Aleut caught up in the turmoil of war. It chronicles her struggles to survive and to keep community and heritage intact despite harsh conditions in an alien environment.

Witness

release date: Mar 01, 2013
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Witness
Leanora Sutter. Esther Hirsh. Merlin Van Tornhout. Johnny Reeves . . . These characters are among the unforgettable cast inhabiting a small Vermont town in 1924. A town that turns against its own when the Ku Klux Klan moves in. No one is safe, especially the two youngest, twelve-year-old Leanora, an African-American girl, and six-year-old Esther, who is Jewish. In this story of a community on the brink of disaster, told through the haunting and impassioned voices of its inhabitants, Newbery Award winner Karen Hesse takes readers into the hearts and minds of those who bear witness.

Wish on a Unicorn

release date: Nov 17, 2015
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Wish on a Unicorn
Now I didn't believe a broken-down old unicorn could make wishes come true . . . not for a minute. But what if it could? Mags has a lot to wish for—a nice house with a mama who isn't tired out from work; a normal little sister; a brother who doesn't mooch for food; and, once in a while, she'd like some new clothes for school. When her sister Hannie finds a stuffed unicorn, Mags's wishes start to come true. She knows the unicorn can't really be magic, but she won't let anything ruin her newfound luck—even if it means telling her own sister to believe something that can't possibly be true.

Out of the Dust

release date: Sep 01, 2012
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Out of the Dust
Acclaimed author Karen Hesse's Newbery Medal-winning novel-in-verse explores the life of fourteen-year-old Billie Jo growing up in the dust bowls of Oklahoma.

Sable

release date: Jan 19, 2010
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Sable
Tate Marshall is delighted when a stray dog turns up in the yard one day, but Sable, named for her dark, silky fur, causes trouble with the neighbors and has to go.

Letters from Rifka

release date: Jul 15, 1992
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Letters from Rifka
Addressing her journal entries to the cousin she left behind, Rifka recounts her flight from the pogroms of 1919 Russia, enduring sickness, separation from her family, and a voyage across the Atlantic.

Brooklyn Bridge

release date: Sep 02, 2008
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Brooklyn Bridge
Karen Hesse has achieved many honors for her more than twenty books over the course of her award-winning career: the Newbery Medal, the Scott O'Dell Historical Fiction Award, the MacArthur Fellowship "Genius" Award, and the Christopher Medal. Her novels burn with intensity, and keenly felt, deeply researched, and are memorable for their imagination and intelligence. So it is with great pride and excitement that we present Karen Hesse's first novel in over five years: Brooklyn Bridge. It's the summer of 1903 in Brooklyn and all fourteen-year-old Joseph Michtom wants is to experience the thrill, the grandeur, and the electricity of the new amusement park at Coney Island. But that doesn't seem likely. Ever since his parents—Russian immigrants—invented the stuffed Teddy Bear five months ago, Joseph's life has turned upside down. No longer do the Michtom's gather family and friends around the kitchen table to talk. No longer is Joseph at leisure to play stickball with the guys. Now, Joseph works. And complains. And falls in love. And argues with Mama and Papa. And falls out of love. And hopes. Joseph hopes he'll see Coney Island soon. He hopes that everything will turn right-side up again. He hopes his luck hasn't run out—because you never know. Through all the warmth, the sadness, the frustration, and the laughter of one big, colorful family, Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse builds a stunning story of the lucky, the unlucky, and those in between, and reminds us that our lives—all our lives—are fragile, precious, and connected. Brooklyn Bridge is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Just Juice

release date: Nov 01, 1999
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Just Juice
Realizing that her father's lack of work has endangered her family, nine-year-old Juice Faulstich decides that she must return to school and learn to read in order to help their chances of surviving and keeping their house. Reprint.
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