Elizabeth George Speare’s Newbery Award–winning novel portrays a heroine whom readers will admire for her unwavering sense of truth as well as her infinite capacity to love.
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
Confused and saddened by her daily life style, Lily looks to the bees that visit her room for comfort. Things take a turn; however, when Lily's black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, chewing snuff, spits on the shoes of a white man and then refuses to apologize. Rosaleen is beaten and jailed along with Lily. T.Ray only bails out Lily, even though Rosaleen had given him at least 10 years of housekeeping and nanny duties. Outraged, Lily ends up breaking Rosaleen out of a hospital. She decides their destination is Tiburon, South Carolina because she found a small, wooden plaque with an image of a black Virgin Mary pasted on it, and the words "Tiburon, SC" carved on the back in her mother's belongings. In Tiburon, Lily sees the same Black Madonna adorning a bottle of honey at a diner. She and Rosaleen go to find the woman who makes it, August Boatwright who lives with her sisters: May who is a bit light-headed, and June who is an ardent feminist.
Barcelona, 1945—A great world city lies shrouded in secrets after the war, and a boy mourning the loss of his mother finds solace in his love for an extraordinary book called The Shadow of the Wind, by an author named Julian Carax. When the boy searches for Carax’s other books, it begins to dawn on him, to his horror, that someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book the man has ever written. Soon the boy realizes that The Shadow of the Wind is as dangerous to own as it is impossible to forget, for the mystery of its author’s identity holds the key to an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love that someone will go to any lengths to keep secret.