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Allergic to My Family

by Liza Ketchum

When Rosie Maxwell, age nine, discovers her family will soon expand from five kids to six, she explodes. "No one has that many kids anymore!" After Clara is born, Rosie's parents are too busy to notice that the family is crazier than ever: Silas, age four, can't talk, even though his twin sister Katie always knows what he wants. Dan, the family bookworm, has a habit of disappearing. Bossy Shirley lives on the phone, even in a crisis, and Clara can't do much except cry and mess her diaper. Clearly, it's up to Rosie to fix things but somehow, all her efforts make matters worse. Then a brush fire roars into Copper Canyon, threatening the Maxwell's home. That's when everyone learns to appreciate Rosie's spunk, imagination, and gift for gymnastics--and when Rosie, now a hero, discovers she fits into her unusual family after all.In its starred review of Allergic to My Family, Kirkus Reviews wrote: "[Ketchum] deftly builds a consistent picture of this entire lively family in three amusing, self-contained episodes, then tells a satisfyingly suspenseful story about how her well-established characters cope with the fire. Welcome, Maxwells! Come back soon." "Rosie is a spirited and funny heroine, and her antics are completely believable," Booklist wrote. "[Ketchum] has captured the injured and indignant feelings of a harassed nine-year-old with great sympathy and humor. Rosie is sure to be popular with preteen readers." And indeed, as one enthusiastic teen wrote to the author, "I wish you would write another book about Rosie. I think it would help a lot of preteen girls with their lives."

Blue Coyote

by Liza Ketchum

Can Alex accept the truth behind his friend's disappearance? In this long-awaited companion to the award-winning "Twelve Days in August", Alex Beekman is relieved to learn that his father is moving back to Los Angeles, because the move will allow him to search for his best friend, Tito Perone. Tito has stopped writing and calling, and his parents claim not to care where their son is. As he tracks Tito down, Alex realizes that solving the mystery of his friend's whereabouts is not the biggest problem he must face. On finding him, Alex learns that Tito was kicked out of his home for simply telling his parents the truth -- he is gay. Now, Alex himself must face the questions about his own sexuality that he has been trying to avoid.

The Gold Rush

by Liza Ketchum

Illustrates the event which drew thousands of people to California and its effect on the gold seekers, the Spanish settlers, and the native Indian tribes who lived there.

Into a New Country: Eight Remarkable Women of the West

by Liza Ketchum

The history of the West has traditionally been presented in terms of the accomplishments of men. We now realize that women also played an essential role in the great changes that swept this country, as the West became the destinations of one of the greatest migrations in world history. Here are the stories of eight women from different backgrounds who exemplify the challenges and the opportunities women found as they participated in the westward expansion. Among them Susan Magoffin who journeyed down the Santa Fe trail; Lotta Crabtree who began her career as a child dancing in the camps of gold miners and wound up a nationally known celebrity; Bridget "Biddy" Mason who escaped slavery and eventually became one of the richest women in Los Angeles. Also featured are Susan LaFleche who championed the disregarded rights of Native Americans and Mary Tape, who fought discrimination against the Chinese that was so prevalent at the time. Into a New Country is a book rich in detail and adventure. It is sure to be used repeatedly by young people interested in women's contributions to our common history.


by Liza Ketchum

In 1851 San Francisco, newly-arrived Amelia Forrester disguises herself as a boy to earn a living and joins a gang of newsboys selling Eastern newspapers. And that's just the beginning of her adventures.

Orphan Journey Home

by Liza Ketchum C. B. Mordan

When Jesse's parents decide to abandon their Illinois farm and return to their first home in Kentucky, Jesse is happy at the thought of seeing her grandmother again. Her older brother, Moses, would rather travel west, where the prairie goes on forever. He hates the idea of returning to a slave state and joins the family only reluctantly. But just a few days into their journey, Mama and Papa both die of the milk sickness. Now Jesse, Moses, and the two younger children are orphans, and must make the long journey on their own, in a pioneer world where orphan children can be found out and forced to live as indentured servants until they are grown. Armed with a letter of protection from their father and the heart and will to survive, the children brave the wilderness. They don't know whom to trust. Will they ever find their way to Kentucky? And when they do, will they have a home?

Where the Great Hawk Flies

by Liza Ketchum

On Daniel Tucker's 13th birthday, a hawk flies over his family's farm. Does the hawk announce a visitor, or warn of imminent danger? Daniel's mother and sister listen for the hawk's message, while something urgent stirs inside Daniel. He is struggling to find his own path between the heritage of his Pequot mother and the customs of his English father. Meanwhile, a new family has moved into the crumbling cabin next door. Hiram Coombs can't believe his parents have returned to Vermont now that the Revolutionary War is over. Don't they remember the terror of the raid, when Indians and Redcoats burned the family's previous farm and kidnapped Hiram's uncle? When Hiram encounters Daniel at the trout stream that separates the two farms, he sees only a "dirty Injun", while Daniel regards Hiram as "buffle-brained". The arrival of two more unexpected visitors heightens the tensions between the boys and threatens to rekindle the smoldering embers of the war.

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