Chasing Secrets
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Gennifer Choldenko
author, Gennifer Choldenko
author's website
Wendy Lamb Books
San Francisco, California

San Francisco, 1900. The Gilded Age. A fantastic time to be alive for lots of people … but not thirteen-year-old Lizzie Kennedy, stuck at Miss Barstow’s snobby school for girls. Lizzie’s secret passion is science, an unsuitable subject for finishing-school girls. Lizzie lives to go on house calls with her physician father. On those visits to his patients, she discovers a hidden dark side of the city—a side that’s full of secrets, rats, and rumors of the plague.

The newspapers, her powerful uncle, and her beloved papa all deny that the plague has reached San Francisco. So why is the heart of the city under quarantine? Why are angry mobs trying to burn Chinatown to the ground? Why is Noah, the Chinese cook’s son, suddenly making Lizzie question everything she has known to be true? Ignoring the rules of race and class, Lizzie and Noah must put the pieces together in a heart-stopping race to save the people they love.

1.   Did you know anything about bubonic plague before you read this book? There have been major outbreaks throughout history, one of them called The Black Death.
2.   Why was Billy so ornery? Had he truly forgotten about his family?
3.   Lizzie wants to be a doctor. Why was it hard in 1900 for a girl to seriously consider this job choice?
4.   Lizzie and Noah become good friends. Why did they have to keep this a secret? Why would you have to keep any of your own friendships a secret?
5.   Lizzie has a strong affection for Meggy. She loves Billy and her father and her aunt and uncle. When the plague strikes, which people did you worry about most? How do you feel about the way the story turns out?s
When your child has finished reading Chasing Secrets, be sure to check off this book on your booklist, moving towards reading 12 books or 18 books this summer. You can register for a mile marker, our random drawing for several levels of giveaways.

Al Capone Does My ShirtsIf you're intrigued by this book about San Francisco in the 1900s, then we suggest another book by Gennifer Choldenko which takes place in San Francisco, on Alcatraz Island to be specific, in the 1930s.

When Moose's family moves to Alcatraz so his father can work as a guard and his sister can attend a special school in San Francisco, Moose has to leave his friends and his winning baseball team behind. But it's worth it, right? If his sister, Natalie, can finally get help, maybe his family will finally be normal.

But as it turns out, life on Alcatraz is much more complicated than even Moose would have predicted.

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