Daughter of a Daughter of a Queen by Sarah BirdInspired by: the life of Cathay Williams, the first African American woman to enlist in the U.S. Army.
What happens: After describing her life in bondage, Williams recounts how she became Union Army "contraband" during the Civil War and how, disguised as a man, she later served as Buffalo soldier "William Cathay."
You might also like: James McBride's The Good Lord Bird; Paulette Jiles' The Color of Lightning.
I'm available in ebook.
Washington Black by Esi EdugyanWhat it's about: In 1830, 11-year-old enslaved child George Washington Black -- a.k.a. "Wash" -- is hired out as a manservant to Christopher "Titch" Wilde, an inventor who needs the boy's help to test his hot-air balloon. Everything goes wrong, and that's just the beginning.
Reviewers say: "strong, beautiful and beguiling" (The Guardian)
Book Buzz: This novel by acclaimed Canadian author Esi Edugyan was recently shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
I'm available in ebook and eaudio.
Fools and Mortals by Bernard CornwellStarring: Richard Shakespeare, younger brother of playwright William.
What happens: A junior member of the Lord Chamberlain's Men, Richard leaps at the chance to prove himself when the company's scripts are stolen by a rival playhouse. Meanwhile, Puritans would shut down every theater in London if they could.
Author alert: Known for fast-paced, action-packed series about soldiers (Sharpe) and warriors (Saxon Stories), Bernard Cornwell shifts gears in this stand-alone, which brings to life the world of Elizabethan theater.
The Tumbling Turner Sisters by Juliette FayFeaturing: Kit, Gert, Winnie, and Nell Turner, sisters who -- under the direction of their overbearing mother -- form an acrobatic troupe after their father loses his job.
Why you might like it: Set in 1919, this upbeat novel offers an authentic depiction of Vaudeville shortly before the nascent motion picture industry transforms American entertainment.
Did you know? Author Juliette Fay is the great-granddaughter of a Vaudeville performer.
Church of Marvels by Leslie ParryWhat it's about: Shortly after a fire consumes the Church of Marvels, their mother's Coney Island sideshow, teen sword-swallower Belle Church disappears, prompting her twin sister, Odile, to search for her.
Why you might like it: This richly detailed novel, set in a gritty 1895 New York City, takes place within a 24-hour period and contains four interwoven storylines.
You might also like: Alice Hoffman's The Museum of Extraordinary Things.
The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie WisemanWhat it's about: Lilly Blackwood, a nine-year-old with albinism, becomes a sideshow attraction after her mother sells her to a traveling circus. In a parallel narrative, set 25 years later in the 1950s, 19-year-old Julia Blackwood investigates her family history.
Why you might like it: The Life She Was Given introduces resilient young protagonists thrust into difficult circumstances and provides a well-researched depiction of circus life during the Great Depression.
For fans of: Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants.
Contact your librarian for more great books!
Carrollton Public Library
1700 Keller Springs Road, Carrollton Texas 75006
4220 North Josey Lane, Carrollton Texas 75010