I just finished reading the book Brooklyn Bridge by Karen Hesse. (She wrote 1998 Newbery Award winning book Out of the Dust).
This book was inspired by the story of the inventors of the teddy bear and takes place in New York City in 1903. The main story is that of Joseph Michtom, a 14 year old bear who lives with his family of Russian immigrants in a small apartment above their candy store. Their life takes a turn when they invent the first soft body teddy bear and begin selling them out of their shop. The story is filled with family and all the things that families experience, especially immigrant families at the turn of the century.
The interesting part of this book is the parallel story of children who live in a makeshift city under the Brooklyn Bridge. They are children who are orphaned or have been deserted by their families and are trying to make it as street children all on their own. These children have their own set of problems, including a ghost who haunts them.
As I read the book I wondered what the connection was between these two stories. Did they just take place at the same time in about the same place? Was it because Joseph and his family had so much and the children had so little? But Karen Hesse does a wonderful job weaving together these two seemingly different stories as they come together in the last chapters in an eerie way.
If you like ghost stories (real honest-to-goodness creepy ghost stories) or historical fiction (books set at real times and places in history) then this is the book for you.
Eerie reading to you!