Newbery Honor–winning author Gennifer Choldenko deftly combines humor, tragedy, fascinating historical detail, and a medical mystery in this exuberant new novel.
San Francisco, 1900. The Gilded Age. A fantastic time to be alive for lots of people . . . but not thirteen-year-old Lizzie Kennedy, stuck at Miss Barstow’s snobby school for girls. Lizzie’s secret passion is science, an unsuitable subject for finishing-school girls. Lizzie lives to go on house calls with her physician father. On those visits to his patients, she discovers a hidden dark side of the city—a side that’s full of secrets, rats, and rumors of the plague.
The newspapers, her powerful uncle, and her beloved papa all deny that the plague has reached San Francisco. So why is the heart of the city under quarantine? Why are angry mobs trying to burn Chinatown to the ground? Why is Noah, the Chinese cook’s son, suddenly making Lizzie question everything she has known to be true? Ignoring the rules of race and class, Lizzie and Noah must put the pieces together in a heart-stopping race to save the people they love.
Includes a Note Read by the Author.
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Gennifer Choldenko is the New York Times bestselling and Newbery Honor–winning author of many popular children’s books, including Notes from a Liar and Her Dog, If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period, Al Capone Does My Shirts, Al Capone Shines My Shoes, Al Capone Does My Homework, and No Passengers Beyond This Point. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she hopes never to see a rat. Dead or otherwise. Visit her online at choldenko.com.From School Library Journal:
Gr 5–8—Thirteen-year-old Lizzie is the daughter of Dr. Jules Kennedy, who practices medicine in turn of the 20th century San Francisco. The family resides in a house on Uncle Karl and Aunt Hortense's Nob Hill estate. There's Lizzie and her brother, Billy; Jing, the cook; Maggy, the maid; and—unbeknownst to all but Lizzie—Jing's son, Noah. Since Lizzie's mother died, Aunt Hortense has assumed a maternal role in Lizzie's upbringing, which includes making her attend Miss Barstow's School for Young Women. Unfortunately, the school offers little to nurture Lizzie's interest in science and medicine. While accompanying her father on house calls, Lizzie soon hears rumors of a plague. Then Jing goes missing. She suspects he might be under quarantine in Chinatown. But why is Chinatown the only area of the city under quarantine? And why aren't any medical staff or supplies being sent to the Chinatown residents? Despite the evidence, city officials and the medical community—including Lizzie's father—are denying the plague's existence. As the title suggests, various characters, along with the state and city government, harbor secrets. An author's note, time line, and bibliography document the historical facts and issues of the period. VERDICT Choldenko's latest novel features a fast-paced plot that will appeal to lovers of both mystery and historical fiction. A first purchase.—Sharon M. Lawler, formerly of Randolph Elementary, Universal City, TX
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Book Description 2015. Audio CD. Book Condition: Good. Item may show signs of shelf wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. Includes supplemental or companion materials if applicable. Access codes may or may not work. Connecting readers since 1972. Customer service is our top priority. Bookseller Inventory # S_204283154