A City Tossed and Broken: The Diary of Minnie Bonner (Dear America Series) by Judy Blundell

syndetics-lcCan you imagine your family being so poor that at 14 you were contracted to a wealthy family to be a servant?  Not only that, but you had to leave your home in Philadelphia and cross the country to San Francisco.  Part of Minnie’s job was to be a companion to Lily, a girl who was close to her own age.  A short time after they arrived in San Francisco, a powerful earthquake hit.  Minnie was in the kitchen when it happened and was safe, but Lily and the rest of the family did not survive.  The lawyer/guardian thought that Minnie was Lily, and she decided to continue this pretense so she would be taken care of.  Minnie had also found a strongbox of money and bonds that she was able to bury until she could come back for it.  Will Minnie be able to live a life of luxury or will she decide she can’t live a lie and tell the truth?  The ending will surprise you.