I just finished a sweet novel called the Romeo and Juliet Code by Phoebe Stone. A few of the 5th graders at school had requested it, so I added it to my reading list. The cover art suggests more romance than it delivers, but for this fan of historical fiction, this novel hit the mark.
The beginning of the story reminded me of The Secret Garden. A young independent girl ends up in the home of unknown relatives. She has no friends and believes making any in Bottlebay, Maine is unlikely. There is even a sick boy locked up in a room. But the story quickly becomes its own. While our main character reads The Secret Garden herself, her own story is revealed.
Felicity Bathburn Budwig, a perhaps neglected, but definitely adored daughter, is delivered to America by her parents to escape the bombs of London. In the six months that proceed the bombing of Pearl Harbor, we have a chance to see our culture through the eyes of this British child. Many of the historical elements of the novel are revealed through her own experiences, which include becoming an essential part of the Bathburn clan and stirring the soup (or pot) on more than one occasion. The main plot revolves around 7 letters, 6 of which Felicity is determined to read and decipher.
Mystery, Romance, War....What's not to like.