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12-year-old Dory Byrne lives with her brothers on New York City’s Lower East Side, waiting impatiently through the darkest hours of World War II for her pop to come home from fighting Hitler. Legally speaking, Dory’s brother, Fish, isn’t old enough to be in charge of Dory and her younger brother, Pike, but the neighborhood knows the score and, like Pop always says, “the neighborhood will give you what you need.” There’s the lady from the bakery, who saves them leftover crullers. The kind landlord who checks in on them. And every Thursday night, the Byrnes enjoy a free bowl of seafood stew at Mr. Caputo’s restaurant. Which is where Dory learns about the hand-pulled elevator that is the only way to get to Caputo’s upper floors. The elevator that’s so creaky and ancient, nobody’s been in it for decades.
The Byrnes’ landlord dies unexpectedly and the new one is anything but kind. When he catches on about Pop being gone, he turns the Byrnes in, hoping they’ll be shipped off to an orphanage. Dory and her brothers need a hideout, and suddenly the elevator and the abandoned hotel it leads to provide just the solution they need.
Based on a very real place in old New York and steeped in the history of the last year of World War II, Nothing Else but Miracles shows how, when things get tough, the neighborhood really will give you what you need… and may even offer up a miracle or two in the process.
Nothing Else But Miracles
Margaret Ferguson Books at Holiday House
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