10-year-old Johnny's toymaker father has volunteered for service in the British Army of World War I. At first, his spirits are high as he completes basic training, but his tone becomes grim once he reaches the front. To ease his son's worries, Johnny's dad carves him little figurines that reflect his experiences in the war. Comprised of letters from his father, followed by Johhny's feelings, Lord of the Nutcracker Men is a haunting and poignant tale.
It’s 1955, and Laurie Valentine’s best friend Dickie has contracted polio. Confined to a breathing machine in the hospital, he begs Laurie to stay by his side and tell him a story. As Laurie creates the tale of the giant Collosso and the young boy destined to stop him, Dickie starts to believe he’s part of the story. But when Laurie is forced to stop telling the story, Dickie has to reach within himself to create his own ending.
Kids have been picking on 14-year-old Harold ever since he can remember. They stare at him and call him "maggot" or "ghost boy" because he's an albino. Even his mother seems angry and withdrawn when he's around.One day the circus comes to town, and Harold runs away to join it. When Fossil Man and Princess Minikin accept him into their family, he feels that he has at long last come home.
There was once a village off the coast of Cornwall, England where people were so poor that they prayed for shipwrecks. They made their living by salvaging food and clothing from the wreckage. Some of them lit fires during a storm to lure ships onto the rocks. Then these "wreckers" made sure that no one survived the wrecks, so there would be no witnesses to their crimes. One stormy night in 1799, 14-year-old John Spencer was unfortunate enough to be on his father's ship when the wreckers did their worst.
Less than 48 hours after 12-year-old Chris sets off on a sailing trip down the Alaskan coast with his uncle, their boat sinks. The only survivors are Chris and a boy named Frank, who hates Chris immediately. Chris and Frank have no radio, no flares, no food. Suddenly they've got to forage, fish, and scavenge the shore for supplies. Chris likes the company of a curious, friendly raven more than he likes the prickly Frank. But the boys have to get along if they want to survive.
The Castaways finds Tom Tin and four other convicts drifting on the ocean when they come upon an empty ship. Shortly after, they also encounter two men who appear to be refugees from the abandoned vessel. But these two are not what they seem, and they become an obstacle for Tom as he travels home.
In The Winter Pony, Iain Lawrence pens the mesmerizing tale of a young white Siberian pony who escapes a group of cruel masters only to enter the company of Englishman Robert Falcon Scott. Joining Scott’s men and their race to the South Pole, the pony is soon given a name, James Pigg, as he and the rest embark on a thrilling race to reach the bottom of the world - a race in which not everyone will survive.
"Not For Sensitive Audiences"
ALA notable author Iain Lawrence pens a moving tale with a Dickensian atmosphere about a young man's life aboard a cruel 19th-century prison ship. 14-year-old Tom Tin is forced to scavenge on the grimy streets of London after his father is sent to debtor's prison. Tom's survival is threatened by the sinister lowlifes that inhabit his hopeless world. But when he is unjustly arrested for murder, he finds a place that is even worse than the dark city streets.
Iain Lawrence is the best-selling author of such heralded books for young readers as Lord of the Nutcracker Men, which broached the complicated subject of human experience in war. His novels have been chosen as Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly and School Library Journal on more than one occasion. Lawrence again contemplates war in this novel, set in 1943, England. Sixteen-year-old Kak escaped his abusive family in Canada to join the Canadian Air Force. Now a crewman aboard a night-flying bomber bound for Germany, Kak learns of the terror and violence of war firsthand.
It's been two years since John Spencer and his father were shipwrecked and nearly murdered by unscrupulous scavengers. Now the Spencers have a new ship, the Dragon, and 16-year-old John is elated to be making the new schooner's maiden voyage to London. But not long out to sea, John realizes that the captain and crew of the Dragon are not who they pretended to be.
This thrilling companion to Iain Lawrence's award-winning The Wreckers and The Smugglers plunges listeners into high-sea action and intrigue. After 17-year-old John Spencer sets out on his first voyage to foreign lands, he and his crew are wary when they come across a stranger named Horn rowing a lifeboat in the middle of nowhere. What is the man hiding?
Tom Tin, an innocent convict, is aboard a ship bound for Australia where he will serve a lengthy sentence in prison. To avoid this horrible fate, Tom jumps ship to nearby islands, but finds that the refuge he hoped for may just be another struggle for his freedom - and his life. Acclaimed author Iain Lawrence delivers another exotic adventure tale for young readers.
Three years after leaving her family behind on the idyllic lighthouse island where she grew up, 17-year-old Elizabeth "Squid" McCrae returns, full of anger and accusations and eager to confront her father about a family tragedy. But as a ghostly voice from the past sparks her memories, Squid soon realizes that nothing is exactly as she thought it was, and no one, not even herself, is completely free from blame.
In the midst of the roaring '20s, Scooter, the son of a psychic, admires Harry Houdini. He can't wait to see Houdini perform his amazing new illusion. But backstage at the show, Scooter finds something that he wishes were merely an illusion: a dead body floating in Houdini's tank.