“An exciting exploration of history, justice, and the long-lasting impact of the past...”—Readers’ Favorite (5 stars)
“Spooky history meets bone-chilling mystery.” —Kate Hannigan, author of Cape, Mask, and Boots
“A strong, flawed, believable girl.” —Paula Morrow, children’s book editor and librarian
“Mystery, ghosts, crushes, secret staircases, believable friendships, and librarians. A page-turner.” —Louise Brueggemann, librarian
by Carol Fisher Saller
In 1933, when 13-year-old wannabe jazz singer Alice Blue Wallington is orphaned, she hits the hobo trails to find her only ticket out of the County Home: a long-lost cousin whose name she doesn’t even know.
In another town, 16-year-old Nate Howe ages out of the orphanage and apprentices with a sullen cabinetmaker. Nate can’t sing a note, but he plays a mean blues harp, enthralled by the race records he hears on the radio deep into the night. Then a remark by a stranger stuns him with a new possibility: he might have family. Maybe not far from here.
And there's Billy, whose birth certificate reads "Girl," but who wonders about the truth of it in an era when young people had no words for such questions.
ALICE BLUE is middle-grade historical fiction. Told from three points of view, Alice Blue provides grist for discussion in issues that resonate today: racial inequities, gender questioning, homelessness, hunger, and how music gets in our bones and tells us who we are.
In the Works
Ellie & Kat, Time-Jinx Twins, Book 1
by Carol Fisher Saller
Eleven-year-old Ellie is bummed when her world-traveler father brings her identical twin sister Kat to Chicago to live with Ellie and her physicist mom. Ellie barely knows Kat! And she isn’t sure she likes her. Ellie’s into fitness and gymnastics; sophisticated Kat is into her phone.
But then the bickering twins trigger Mom’s not-quite-finished time machine and travel to 1970 Chicago. A truce is the only way to survive and find a way home.
Not that 1970’s so bad. Their supercool young hippie grandma is there, plus a new friend who might be a genius, and 10-cent Snickers. But home is home. Seeking help at a university physics department, they end up exposing their tiny time machine to the greedy gaze of Professor Wilkes Lavin. When Lavin swipes the machine for his own evil schemes, Ellie and Kat agree to do whatever it takes to get it back.
In tricky situations, escapes, and sometimes just for fun, the sisters make the most of their identical twinness. Ellie’s acrobatics and martial arts come in handy; Kat calls on her fact-checking and tech know-how and, to Ellie’s surprise, hidden talents for singing and improv. If they aren’t careful, they just might become friends.