Sandra Novacek, author
It’s 1938, and soldiers with weapons have arrived in Charles’s hometown in Czechoslovakia. When his family decides to flee, Charles begins packing his things. But his parents say there’s no room for his beloved art supplies; they will have to stay behind. In his new home, Charles feels homesick, especially when children at school laugh at his odd accent. Luckily, he finds a place to escape — a fragrant forest near a magical stone bridge. Charles longs to paint the bridge, but with war looming, there’s no hope of ever getting paints and brushes. Then one day in the woods, inspiration strikes . . .