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Inhaltsangabe: A 1922 anti-Catholic campaign provides the backdrop for a new teen mystery by Libby Sternberg to be published by Bancroft Press in November 2007. The book, "The Case Against My Brother, is the story of a Polish Catholic teen, Carl Matuski, and his quest to clear his brother Adam of a burglary charge in 1922 Portland, Oregon.
In the book, Carl is convinced that Adam is being targeted unfairly because Oregon is awash in anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant sentiment triggered by the campaign for the "Oregon School Question," a referendum that would have made it illegal for parents to send their children to parochial schools. Those who broke the law faced fines or imprisonment or both. The referendum resulted in a famous Supreme Court case that eventually led to the overturning of the bigoted law. Bancroft Press will time the release of the book to coincide with the 85th anniversary of the Oregon School Question's passage on November 7, 1922.
"The history of the Oregon School Question fascinated me when I became involved in education reform," said author Libby Sternberg.
Although she now lives in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Sternberg worked for six years as the head of a school choice advocacy organization in Vermont. "In fact, many people are unaware of the thread of anti-Catholicism that runs through the history of the founding of the American public school system. The Oregon School Question is probably the most striking example of that unsavory past."
Sternberg is the author of two contemporary teen mysteries, "Uncovering Sadie's Secrets" and "Finding the Forger," which are both set in a Catholic high school. "Sadie" was an Edgar finalist for Best YA Mystery, a featured title in the Brodart Gems program, and one of the Pennsylvania School Librarians Young Adult Top 40 Fiction Picks.
Kirkus has described "Sadie" as "an extra entertainment for mystery fans," while Booklist described it as "a good alternative to Nancy Drew." Mystery Morgue called "Forger," "simply a delight to read." Both books were published by Bancroft in hardcover and released in paperback by Dorchester publishing. A third book in this series will be published by Bancroft in 2008.
Bancroft Press, the publisher of "The Case Against My Brother" and Sternberg's first two mysteries, is a Baltimore-based general interest trade book publisher operating under the slogan of "books that enlighten." Since 1992, Bancroft has published more than 40 titles. They've ranged from thrillers, Hollywood novels, young adult fiction, and mysteries, on the fiction side, to non-fiction books that run the gamut from humor, health, and cultural criticism, to history, business, self-help, and personal investment. It has received special recognition from Publishers Weekly, which calls Bancroft "small but enterprising," and from Brodart (which made Bancroft the first Gem publisher it profiled). It is consistently ranked among the nation's top 100 independent presses (it is one of the very few that concentrates on fiction), and is called "up and coming" by syndicated columnist Liz Smith. Five of Bancroft's books have been sold to mass market paperback, seven to book clubs, five to the movies and television, four to foreign publishers, four to audio book publishers, and two to serial sales. In just the Young Adult area, it has published one Alex Award winner, one Edgar finalist, and one book garnering a Booklist starred review.
The Case against My Brother has already earned the accolades of Carolyn Hart, widely hailed as America's heir to Agatha Christie. Hart, who s the winner of two Agatha Awards, two Anthony Awards, and two Macavity Awards, and is also a co-founder and past president of Sisters in Crime.
Inhaltsangabe: "Orphaned and penniless in 1922 Baltimore, Maryland, 15-year-old Carl and 17-year-old Adam Matuski are forced to move across the continent to live with their Uncle Pete in Portland, Oregon.Almost from the beginning, homesick Carl desperately wants to return east with his brother, but his plans fall apart when Adam is sought by police for the theft of expensive jewels from his girlfriend?s wealthy home.Carl is convinced that Adam is being fingered unfairly. He and his brother are Polish Catholics, and Portland is awash in anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant sentiment. Voters, in fact, are being asked to decide whether Catholic schools, indeed all non-public schools, should be outlawed entirely. Carl works at one such Catholic school. Fueled by the Ku Klux Klan and other unsavory groups, the campaign touches Carl personally as he strives to clear his brother?s name and solve the mystery: Who really took the family jewels, and why?"
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