Millie sat down on the bare wooden floor of the dark attic where she had been locked up by Peg Hanson. She heard a humming noise that she soon realized was a swarm of bees. One stung her on the cheek, and another got her on her arm. She screamed for help, but no one came.

At the young age of five, Millie is torn from the farm she loves and abandoned by her mother, who leaves her with strangers who resent having to take care of her. After suffering at their hands, Millie goes to live with her father’s sister in a little steel mill town.

Millie’s Shoes is the historical memoir of Debora Rossi’s mother, Millie. It’s set in the 1920s and follows Millie as she tried to stay positive and overcome severe punishment, bullying, and poverty, and how ultimately friendship and love helped heal her heart. If you’ve ever experienced abandonment through divorce or loss of a parent, Millie’s Shoes will inspire you and show that happy endings are possible. Intermediate readers will also get a personal glimpse into life in the 1920s.