by Polonsky, Ami

Discovering a desperate note for help hidden in a purse in a department store, a 12-year-old girl reeling from the death of her adopted sister struggles to convince the adults in her life that a young worker in a Beijing sewing factory needs their help. 35,000 first printing.

Ami Polonsky ( is a reading and writing tutor, mother to two young children, and author, among other things. A former Language Arts teacher and literacy coach, she remains passionate about guiding children toward a love of books and helping create lifetime readers. Ami lives outside of Chicago with her family.

Twelve-year-old Clara is still reeling from the death of her adopted Chinese sister, Lola, when she stumbles into an unexpected situation: zipped into a purse at a mall store, she finds a desperate note from a 13-year-old girl named Yuming, a child laborer trapped in a factory outside Beijing. Certain that the note was destined for her, Clara talks her parents into traveling to China, where she plans, against all odds, to rescue Yuming. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Yuming has given up hope and is staging a breakout of her own. This powerful, emotionally wrenching story follows two paths that become surprisingly and delicately interwoven. Told in alternating voices from the viewpoints of Clara and Yuming, the story details a string of surprising and sometimes traumatic events. Although the ending is more abrupt and not quite as uplifting as one might expect, the girls' journeys of hope, loss, and longing make for a sad and ultimately satisfying read from the author of Gracefully Grayson (2014). Copyright 2016 Booklist Reviews.

An urgent message for help and a family picture found in a department-store purse connect two girls, one in China, the other in the United States, and set in motion a life-saving journey.When Clara, a 12-year-old white girl grieving the death of her older sister, Lola, finds the note and picture, she instantly recognizes where the picture was taken: at Molihua Park in Shanghai, where Lola, adopted from China, was found as a baby. After being kidnapped and forced to work illegally in a purse factory, 13-year-old Yuming, a Chinese girl from Yemo Village, writes the note and hides it in a purse bound for America. She gives smart clues to her whereabouts: "pale pink factory" and "outside of Beijing." Inspired by these clues and ever present visions of Lola encouraging her, Clara feels compelled to help Yuming and convinces her parents to return to China. Meanwhile, after six weeks without a rescue, Yuming and fellow captives Jing, Kai, and Li attempt a daring escape. Told in alternating viewpoints, the two girls' connection to each other compels and intrigues, even though the note's discovery feels wholly arbitrary. Nonetheless, Clara and Yuming are strong, vulnerable girls whose two lives run in parallel: Clara searches for Yuming, while Yuming longs for Bolin, her estranged brother; Clara grieves Lola, while Yuming grieves for her grandparents and remembers their wisdom. A courageous story filled with hope. (author's note) (Fiction. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus 2016 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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