In 1899, 13-year-old Elsie Lutz is changed forever when her father is jailed for a crime he did not commit. Now alone, Elsie must fend for herself in turn-of-the-century New York. Tides change when she befriends Grin, a teenage newsboy with a kind heart and a mysterious past. Elsie soon finds herself wrapped up in the newsboy strike of 1899, a sweeping act of social activism led by children. Through the brotherhood of the newsboys, Elsie discovers her own courage, bravery and self-determination. But will what she learns be enough to conquer the overwhelming odds, find her own voice and ultimately free her father? "Calling Extra" is a novel that revisits this tumultuous time in American history. It’s both a book about recognizing the power in one’s own voice to make a difference and a novel that explores the child labor movement, immigration and the impoverished slums of New York at the dawn of the twentieth century. As Grin and Elsie try to survive the city, they encounter many iconic figures of their place and time. This work of historical fiction attempts to honor this momentous era, while telling a compelling story about how friendship, brotherhood and sisterhood influence our lives in ways we may never fully realize.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published on March 9, 2012 by Kids Book Market