June Sparrow and the Million Dollar Penny (2017) is a charming, classic middle grade debut perfect for fans of Three Times Lucky and Because of Winn-Dixie with the most lovable pig since Wilbur in Charlotte's Web.
June Sparrow and her best friend--a miniature pig named Indigo Bunting--have always been just fine on their own. June is a wealthy orphan who's lived in New York City her whole life. But on June's twelfth birthday, she suddenly loses her fortune and is forced to move in with an aunt she's never even met, in the tiny town of Red Bank, South Dakota, a place so small that it doesn't even have a traffic light.
Now June has to live on a farm with grouchy Aunt Bridget, who sees her best friend as potential bacon Then one day, June finds a mysterious Penny Book that her mother used to keep. She is instantly intrigued by what her mother called the Big One, the rarest and most valuable of all pennies. Finding it could be June's ticket back to New York and her old life. But the only guide June and Indigo have is a cryptic list her mom left behind.
To decode the list and find the Big One, June and Indigo enlist the help of some new friends in Red Bank and turn the town upside down in their search. But the most surprising mystery of all may be what brought June to Red Bank in the first place--and what is most valuable to her in the end.
Leaving Rock Harbor (2010) is a love story that takes place in a New England Mill town in the early twentieth century. Frankie, our narrator, is the fourteen year old daughter of a mill worker whose family moves to Rock Harbor in the wake of her father's attempted suicide, in an attempt to start over in one of the "Boom towns" of the textile industry in Massachusetts, 1914. As the story unfolds, a bittersweet love triangle evolves between Frankie and the man she eventually marries, Winslow Curtis, who is the son of a powerful state politician and mill owner, and his best friend, Joe, a Portuguese worker who becomes a union organizer. Frankie falls in in love with both of these charismatic young men. Frankie's personal history is told against the backdrop of the fall of the textile industry in New England, and is anchored in the issues of class and labor that define the time and place of this novel. Frankie's journey to adulthood parallels the evolution of the mill town itself, and the lost promise of a Boom Town that everyone thought would last forever.
A New York Times Book Review “Editor’s Choice,” New England Book Award Finalist, ABA Indie Notable Book
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Capture the Flag (1999) tells the fascinating story of one girl's struggle through adolescence as the once-clear lines between parenthood and childhood become blurred. Dividing their time between New York City and upstate New York, two privileged families find their lives arranged around an annual game of 'capture the flag'. Designed to test strategy and military prowess, the game becomes a test of interpersonal relationships as well, as young Annie strives to keep her own family and friends intact as her nucleur family disintegrates. Coping with sexual ambiguity and what it means to be a child of the Beat generation, Annie tries to make sense of the world as the adults around her seem to break all the rules. Shedding light on the traditions particular to elite society in the 1970s, Capture the Flag is a portrait of the children of sophisticated New Yorkers on their journey to adulthood.
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Chautauqua Summer: Adventures of a Late-Twenthieth Century Vaudvillian (1993).
An Editor’s Choice and Pick of Summer, New York Times Book Review
"An amusing, intimate account of a season with the Flying Karamazov Brothers on their annual vaudeville circuit." — New York Times
"Chace presents a freewheeling and witty description of her transformation from New York acting student to vagabond trapeze artist." — Seattle Times
"Ms. Chace describes the fear, the thrill, the catharsis of a fine performance, without self-aggrandizement or the use of cheap tricks. She achieves this through deceptively simple description, in the voice of a professional. Here, for instance, she looks back on her first performance: "I rushed some of the moments, not allowing the audience enough time to applaud. You have to stop very clearly in the circus and acknowledge them in order to give them permission to acknowledge you. Later, I learned to lengthen and enjoy these moments.” — New York Times Book Review