cover image Rory's Promise

Rory's Promise

Michaela MacColl and Rosemary Nichols. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek, $16.95 (288p)

Inspired by historical events in the early 1900s, MacColl (Nobody's Secret) and debut author Nichols launch the Hidden Histories series with the gripping story of 12-year-old Rory Fitzpatrick and her determination to stay with her younger sister, Violet. Ever since their parents died three years earlier, the girls have lived in New York City's Foundling Hospital, where Rory assists the nuns in caring for the children there. In order to make room for new arrivals, Violet and other young ones are being sent to a town in Arizona Territory, where Catholic families will adopt them. Strong-willed and brash, Rory sneaks onto the orphan train and talks her way into meeting Violet's new family. When Rory arrives in the town of Clifton, there's no gas or electricity, frequent flooding, and a violent rift between the "Mexicanos," who have arranged to adopt the children, and the "Anglos," who dislike the idea of white children being adopted by Hispanic families, and aim to steal the children away. Endearing (and enduring) relationships and a suspenseful plot make for an exciting and at times wrenching voyage into America's past. Ages 9%E2%80%9312. (Sept.)