I included this title because I thought about this book for days after reading it and I think the plot is completely different from almost anything that I’ve ever read. Tora is a thirteen year old girl from a close-knit family in 19th century Norway who is struck down by leprosy and forced to move into a leper colony. While there, she meets Mistress Dybendal, a mysterious rich woman who makes life hell for everyone else but learns to love Tora and teaches her how to read. The irony here is that as Tora weakens and her body gets sicker, her mind travels by books to places far beyond the walls of the hospital and even the little life that she knew before. Just a beatiful book, and even though it’s sad (leprosy is terminal, you know) the overall feeling of the story is hopeful and forgiving. I hope I don’t sound melodramatic when I say it changed me a little. Maybe you’ll come away changed a little too.