Chasing Secrets

Chasing Secretsby Gennifer Choldenko

Thirteen-year-old Lizzie Kennedy is living in San Francisco.  The year is 1900.  Many people in the city are leading very glamourous lives, but there is a dark side.

Lizzie aspires to be a doctor, like her father.  When Lizzie’s father is away she is supervised by her rich aunt and uncle.  But it is really their servant, Jing, who treats Lizzie like a daughter.  When Jing disappears, Lizzie knows she must find him.  When she hears noises coming from his room, Lizzie creeps upstairs and discovers that Jing has a son – Noah – who is hiding in her house! 

Noah and Lizzie become friends and she begins sneaking food and other supplies to him.  It’s Noah who alerts her to the quarantine in Chinatown.  The authorities are saying that the Plague has come to Chinatown and no Chinese are allowed out.  Rumour has it that Chinatown will be burned to the ground to stop the spread of the disease.  The city’s pervasive racism is putting every Chinese man, woman and child in danger.

How will Lizzie get Jing back and save Chinatown from destruction?  It’s a tall order for a child, but Lizzie loves an adventure.  With the help of her older brother, Billy, Lizzie fearlessly stands up for those she believes in.