Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All

Finalist, National Book Awards 2019 for Young People's Literature

ISBN 9780062317643
Balzer + Bray, HarperCollins Publishers |
Laura Ruby author photo
Laura Ruby

Laura Ruby is the author of books for adults, teens, and children, including the Michael L. Printz Medal winner and National Book Award Finalist Bone Gap, the Edgar Award-nominee Lily’s Ghosts, the Book Sense Pick Good Girls, and the York series. More about this author >

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When Frankie’s mother died and her father left her and her siblings at an orphanage in Chicago, it was supposed to be only temporary—just long enough for him to get back on his feet and be able to provide for them once again. That’s why Frankie’s not prepared for the day that he arrives for his weekend visit with a new woman on his arm and out-of-state train tickets in his pocket.

Now Frankie and her sister, Toni, are abandoned alongside so many other orphans—two young, unwanted women doing everything they can to survive.

And as the embers of the Great Depression are kindled into the fires of World War II, and the shadows of injustice, poverty, and death walk the streets in broad daylight, it will be up to Frankie to find something worth holding on to in the ruins of this shattered America—every minute of every day spent wondering if the life she’s able to carve out will be enough.

I will admit I do not know the answer. But I will be watching, waiting to find out.

That’s what ghosts do.


Judges Citation

A ghost girl and a “half-orphan” are equally haunted and haunting in Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All. Laura Ruby’s magnetic prose blurs history and speculative fiction, weaving violence and love, desire and betrayal, presence and absence, tragedy and triumph. A complex, intricate, and stunning work of literary fiction, this novel illuminates the myriad ways we are both shaped by the past and entitled to a future of our own creation.