In 1860, life in New York City’s slums is hard and dangerous. For a widow with six children, it is impossible. So when Mrs. Kelly learns of the Children’s Aid Society, she sees a way to provide for her children. They will be sent west on an “orphan train” to families eager for help on their farms. Thirteen-year-old Mary Frances is confused and angry. How could a mother send her children away? At her new home in Missouri, however, Mary Frances is surprised to discover that the kind family provides a refuge on the Underground Railroad.
Christina Lattimore’s family is wealthy and powerful. She attends the best private high school. Yet Christina feels trapped by her family’s expectations. Frustrated and angry at her situation, she pays little attention when a strange car follows her home one night. Its headlights are the last thing she remembers until she wakes up in captivity. Christina is terrified when she realizes kidnappers are holding her for ransom. But after her rescue, she faces an even greater shock. Her family thinks she was an accomplice in her own kidnapping! Can she convince them of her innocence?
Thirteen-year-old Stacy is sunbathing in the backyard when she hears a strange noise from inside the house. Turning to look, she sees a man with a gun burst through the door; then everything goes black. She wakes up in a hospital bed to learn that she has spent the last four years in a catatonic state. Suddenly 17, she finds herself struggling to adjust and fighting to remember what happened to her. She is the only witness to the shooting that injured her and killed her mother. Her memory is hazy, but slowly more details of that awful day come back. She knows that it was someone familiar to her, but she can’t quite see his face yet.
"For a younger audience"
Holly Campbell's world has suddenly been turned upside down. Her best friend stands accused of murdering his parents. She knows Cody is innocent, but how can she help him prove it? Holly’s father, the detective in charge of the murder investigation, has forbidden her to see Cody, and he and her mother are too preoccupied with their failing marriage to listen to reason. Cody's strange neighbor wants to help, but the woman gives Holly the creeps. She's supposed to be a psychic, but the things she's asking Holly to do are frightening and very risky.
The first time 16-year-old Sarah walks into her new home, she is overwhelmed by a feeling of dread. Something terrible has happened here. When an icy presence whispers a desperate plea for help, Sarah investigates. Sarah first began sensing spirits after her near death experience. She had hoped to leave the hauntings behind and start over in this new town. But now she has learned that someone was murdered in this house, and the murderer went unpunished. Maybe her new friends can help her.
The coroner has ruled Barry Logan’s death as the latest in a string of teen-age suicides. Marti Lewis was Barry’s best friend, and she knows that he was murdered. She just can’t get anyone to believe her. The evidence is clear to Marti. Barry was excited about being accepted at Texas A&M and had everything to live for. Why would he shoot himself in the head after watching a music video that disgusted him? The police found the gun in his right hand, but he was left-handed. Everyone is refusing to accept the obvious.
"I loved this book as a teen and adult"
Katie Gillian’s mother is a dedicated investigative reporter. Her articles have helped innocent men on death row and have halted the illegal dumping of toxic wastes. Now the Gillians have moved from their home in Dallas to a small, quiet Texas town, where Katie’s mother is taking six months off to write a novel. In the local high school, Katie feels like an outsider. But as she meets the townspeople, she begins to feel fear as well. Someone prowls around outside her house at night. A homely girl who befriends Katie suddenly disappears. Now the Gillians are determined to discover what evil is lurking in the shadows of this seemingly ordinary town.