Britain has declared war on Nazi Germany and every able-bodied man is conscripted into the military, forcing the government to fill its offices with women and the medically unfit. Food is heavily rationed, bombs are constantly being dropped on London, families are destroyed, and mass paranoia is taking hold. Hidden in plain clothes, Britain’s spies and code breakers are working to dismantle Germany’s impending invasion.
Veronica Speedwell was raised by her spinster aunts. They never liked to stay in the same house for more than a few months, so Veronica spent her childhood being dragged from one corner of England to another. She never went to school, never had friends her own age, and educated herself by devouring books at the library. After discovering a fascination with butterflies, Veronica, at the age of eighteen, left on her first scientific expedition and, over the course of the next several years, visited numerous countries on her quest for specimens.
However, after losing her aunts to old age, Veronica realizes deep-seated loneliness is gnawing at her heart. With no home, no friends, no colleagues, no family, what exactly does she have?
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a coming-of-age story about a boy named Jacob Portman. An outcast both at school and at home, Jacob’s only true friend is Grandpa Portman, a World War II veteran with an endless supply of stories. He shows Jacob old photographs of strange-looking children with supernatural powers and says he grew up with them in an orphanage before he left to fight “the monsters” in the war. Young Jacob was fascinated and dreamed of being an adventurer just like Grandpa Portman.
Jacob’s parents discouraged him from believing such nonsense. Grandpa Portman’s stories are just that – stories. Monsters don’t exist, children don’t levitate, and grandfathers love teasing their grandsons.
Serafina and the Black Cloak is a middle-grade novel about a brave twelve-year-old girl named Serafina who overcomes her fears in order to save children kidnapped by a wraith-like creature dressed in a black cloak. Serafina has lived her entire life in the basement of the Biltmore estate, using her cat-like body to catch rats and spy on the parties held upstairs by the estate owners, the Vanderbilts.
“Never go into the deep parts of the forest, for there are many dangers there, and they will ensnare your soul.”
She wonders why her father, the estate’s handyman, is so adamant her existence remains a secret and why he so strictly forbids her from entering the forest. Is he embarrassed by his feral daughter?
The year is 1881 and the Ellison family is blissfully unaware of the world outside their home. Edward has raised his three daughters – Sarah, Charlotte, and Emily – to be modest, feminine ladies of the upper class. Newspapers are strictly prohibited; they’re filled with nothing but vile gossip unfit for female minds. Nothing should distract them from their studies and finding suitable husbands.
Until the murders.
Someone is strangling girls at random on Cater Street. The Ellisons are politely concerned, but nothing more.
Until their own maid is the next victim.
“Calista Langley operates an exclusive “introduction” agency in Victorian London, catering to respectable ladies and gentlemen who find themselves alone in the world. But now, a dangerously obsessed individual has begun sending her trinkets and gifts suitable only for those in deepest mourning—a black mirror, a funeral wreath, a ring set with black jet stone. Each is engraved with her initials.
Witches, revenge, and teenagers – oh my!
Miss Mabel’s School for Girls is a magical coming-of-age story about sixteen-year-old Bianca Monroe. After spending her childhood racing barefoot through the forest, Bianca is in for a shock when she arrives at her District’s most prestigious school. Uniforms, strict schedules, bookwork, shoes…
What other girls see as heaven, Bianca sees as torture.
To make matters worse, she’s immediately targeted by a group of older girls who see her self-confidence as a personal insult. Bianca dismisses everything with a cheeky remark and a wave of her hand. She only has one thing on her mind and nothing will deter her from it.
She must confront Miss Mabel and soon. Her life depends on it.