Today’s post is sponsored by Caroline Gertler and Many Points of Me!
Title Many Points of Me
Author Caroline Gertler
Intended Target Audience Middle Grade
Publication Date January 12th 2021 by Greenwillow Books
Find It On Goodreads ● Amazon ● Chapters ● The Book Depository ● Barnes & Noble ● IndieBound
When Georgia finds a secret sketch her late father — a famed artist — left behind, the discovery leads her down a path that may reshape everything holding her family and friends together. Caroline Gertler’s debut is a story about friendship, family, grief, and creativity. Fans of Rebecca Stead’s Goodbye Stranger, Dan Gemeinhart’s The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, and E. L. Konigsburg’s From The Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler will find a new friend in Georgia.
Georgia Rosenbloom’s father was a famous artist. His most well-known paintings were a series of asterisms — patterns of stars — that he created. One represented a bird, one himself, and one Georgia’s mother. There was supposed to be a fourth asterism, but Georgia’s father died before he could paint it. Georgia’s mother and her best friend, Theo, are certain that the last asterism would’ve been of Georgia, but Georgia isn’t so sure. She isn’t sure about anything anymore — including whether Theo is still her best friend.
Then Georgia finds a sketch her father made of her. One with pencil points marked on the back — just like those in the asterism paintings. Could this finally be the proof that the last painting would have been of her?
Georgia’s quest to prove her theory takes her around her Upper West Side neighborhood in New York City and to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was almost a second home to Georgia, having visited favorite artists and paintings there constantly with her father. But the sketch leads right back to where she’s always belonged — with the people who love her no matter what.
When I reflect on the pandemic thus far and how our lives have changed immeasurably since March 2020, I’m heartsick at the collective trauma, loss and grief the world has experienced in the past year, the extent of which I don’t think we’ve even begun to be able to process. This is made especially difficult when those acting responsibly and following social distancing protocols are often isolated, alone and unable to practice the services and rituals that can help make the grieving process easier. They can’t gather with loved ones to celebrate the life of the loved one they lost or have the opportunity to say goodbye.
As I continue to remain home and shelter-in-place in my small corner of the world, I often feel frustrated and helpless in regard to helping those who are struggling or in pain in the wake of the death of a loved one. Desperate to do something, I began working on this post at the beginning of February and have spent weeks on research, with the hope that it can help middle grade readers find comfort, understanding, and some semblance of closure in the pages of the books below. Literature has helped me in my most challenging moments, allowing me to confront and explore difficult emotions in a safe space, and it’s my sincerest wish that the novels in today’s post will be able to provide that same comfort, consolation and help to a young reader when they need it most of all.
I’ve done my best to encompass a myriad of experiences, relationships and types of loss in the collection of titles below, including the death of a parent, grandparent, sibling and friend. I’m sure there are deserving books I’ve forgotton or haven’t yet learned about, and I encourage readers to leave their own suggestions in the comments below, particularly if there’s a specific book that helped you through the loss of someone dear to you. Together, I hope that this post can act as a resource young readers can turn to during one of the most painful periods in their lives.
Perfect for fans of Small Spaces and Nightbooks, Ally Malinenko’s debut is an empowering and triumphant ghost story – with spooky twists sure to give readers a few good goosebumps!
Zee Puckett loves ghost stories. She just never expected to be living one.
It all starts with a dark and stormy night. When the skies clear, everything is different. People are missing. There’s a creepy new principal who seems to know everyone’s darkest dreams. And Zee is seeing frightening things: large, scary dogs that talk and maybe even…a ghost.
When she tells her classmates, only her best friend Elijah believes her. Worse, mean girl Nellie gives Zee a cruel nickname: Ghost Girl.
But whatever the storm washed up isn’t going away. Everyone’s most selfish wishes start coming true in creepy ways.
To fight for what’s right, Zee will have to embrace what makes her different and what makes her Ghost Girl. And all three of them — Zee, Elijah, and Nellie — will have to work together if they want to give their ghost story a happy ending.
Twelve-year-old Gauge’s life has been cursed since the day he witnessed an invisible Great White Wolf steal his grandpapá’s soul, preventing it from reaching the Sea-in-the-Sky and sailing into eternity.
When the superstitious residents of Bouge-by-the-Sea accuse the boy of crying wolf, he joins forces with another orphan to prove his innocence. They navigate their shared grief in a journey that ultimately reveals life-changing truths about the wolf – and death.
Narrated in a voice reminiscent of The Book Thief, this fast-paced adventure is perfect for fans of fantasy such as Lemony Snicket and The Book of Boy.
For fans of Erin Entrada Kelly and Ali Benjamin comes a poignant yet hopeful novel about a girl navigating grief, trauma, and friendship, from Ashley Herring Blake, the award-winning author of Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter To The World.
Hazel Bly used to live in the perfect house with the perfect family in sunny California. But when a kayaking trip goes horribly wrong, Mum is suddenly gone forever and Hazel is left with crippling anxiety and a jagged scar on her face. After Mum’s death, Hazel, her other mother, Mama, and her little sister, Peach, needed a fresh start. So for the last two years, the Bly girls have lived all over the country, never settling anywhere for more than a few months.
When the family arrives in Rose Harbor, Maine, there’s a wildness to the small town that feels like magic. But when Mama runs into an old childhood friend — Claire — suddenly Hazel’s tight-knit world is infiltrated. To make it worse, she has a daughter Hazel’s age, Lemon, who can’t stop rambling on and on about the Rose Maid, a local 150-year-old mermaid myth.
Soon, Hazel finds herself just as obsessed with the Rose Maid as Lemon is — because what if magic were real? What if grief really could change you so much, you weren’t even yourself anymore? And what if instead you emerged from the darkness stronger than before?
This debut novel is a poignant exploration of grief, change, and hope, perfect for fans of Lisa Graff and Lindsey Stoddard.
After Kitty’s mother dies on an inappropriately sunny Tuesday, all Kitty wants is for her life to go back to “normal” — whatever that will mean without her mum. Instead, her dad announces that he, Kitty, and her sister are moving from their home in London to New York City, and Kitty will need to say goodbye to the places and people that help keep her mother’s memory alive.
New York is every bit as big and bustling as Kitty’s heard, and as she adjusts to life there and befriends a blue-haired boy, she starts to wonder if her memories of her mum don’t need to stay in one place — if there’s a way for them to be with Kitty every day, everywhere.
A character-driven novel about the unlikely friendship between a 10-year-old boy and an elderly woman. The old woman badgers the boy into taking her sailing, but when the weather turns bad, it becomes a wild sail. It becomes the last trip before she goes into the hospital where she dies: but not before the two of them share memories of their last sail together. Hazel helps build the boy’s confidence during a tough time in his home life.
Both moving and joyful, Into The Wind is a poignant story about loss and love in a boy’s life, and the surprising and sustaining bonds that can grow between the old and young.
An extraordinary new novel from Jasmine Warga, Newbery Honor–winning author of Other Words For Home, about loss and healing — and how friendship can be magical.
Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a year.
Despite living next door to each other, they exist in separate worlds of grief. Cora is still grappling with the death of her beloved sister in a school shooting, and Quinn is carrying the guilt of what her brother did.
On the day of Cora’s twelfth birthday, Quinn leaves a box on her doorstep with a note. She has decided that the only way to fix things is to go back in time to the moment before her brother changed all their lives forever — and stop him.
In spite of herself, Cora wants to believe. And so the two former friends begin working together to open a wormhole in the fabric of the universe. But as they attempt to unravel the mysteries of time travel to save their siblings, they learn that the magic of their friendship may actually be the key to saving themselves.
The Shape of Thunder is a deeply moving story, told with exceptional grace, about friendship and loss — and how believing in impossible things can help us heal.
This #OwnVoices debut about losing and finding family, forging unlikely friendships, and searching for answers to big questions will resonate with fans of Erin Entrada Kelly and Rebecca Stead.
The only thing Rosalind Ling Geraghty loves more than watching NASA launches with her dad is building rockets with him. When he dies unexpectedly, all Ro has left of him is an unfinished model rocket they had been working on together.
Benjamin Burns doesn’t like science, but he can’t get enough of Spacebound, a popular comic book series. When he finds a sketch that suggests that his dad created the comics, he’s thrilled. Too bad his dad walked out years ago, and Benji has no way to contact him.
Though Ro and Benji were only supposed to be science class partners, the pair become unlikely friends: Benji helps Ro finish her rocket, and Ro figures out a way to reunite Benji and his dad. But Benji hesitates, which infuriates Ro. Doesn’t he realize how much Ro wishes she could be in his place?
As the two face bullying, grief, and their own differences, Benji and Ro must try to piece together clues to some of the biggest questions in the universe.
Fans of Rebecca Stead and Lynda Mullaly Hunt will embrace this heartwarming story about the effects of grief, the power of friendship, and learning that sometimes not all lost things are meant to be found.
When twelve-year-old Leah goes to spend the summer in Chicago with her little cousin TJ, she’s shocked to discover that he’s gone mute after surviving a school shooting. She knows there isn’t a “right way” to deal with his pain, but when she learns that he’s sneaking out to visit a laundromat at night, it seems all wrong.
Determined to discover why the laundromat brings her cousin to life, Leah and her new friend Violet follow him, unwittingly falling into an imaginary world called “The Land of Lost Things,” home to the socks and coins and buttons that disappear in the dryer. And when TJ hears about the wonders beyond the portal in the back of the dryer, he actually speaks!
Eager to keep him talking, Leah and her new friends populate the world with characters, performing elaborate puppet shows that grab the attention of YouTube viewers everywhere. Soon Leah realizes that there’s something in this special world that TJ has to find and get back. But as the Lost Things Club works together to try and make TJ’s dreams a reality, they learn there are some lost things that can’t come back.
Mix together a used food truck, a road trip that doesn’t exactly go as planned, and a lot of pie, and you have the recipe for this sweet middle grade series starter brimming with humor, heart, and a family you’ll fall in love with. Perfect for readers who gobbled down The Penderwicks and The Vanderbeeks of 141st Street.
Sweet summer has taken a rotten turn…
After a tough year, Lucy, Freddy, and Herb Peach are ready for vacation. Lucy wants to read all of the books on the summer reading list. Freddy wants to work on his art projects (when he isn’t stuck in summer school). Herb wants to swim every day.
Then their dad makes a big announcement: one of the inventions their mom came up with before she passed away has sold, and now they’re millionaires!
But Dad has bigger plans than blowing the cash on fun stuff or investing it. He’s bought a used food truck. The Peaches are going to spend the summer traveling the country selling pies. It will be the Great Peach Experiment – a summer of bonding while living out one of Mom’s dreams. Summer plans, sunk. And there’s one more issue Dad’s neglected: none of them knows how to bake…
A perfect blend of humor, heart, and family antics, When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie is a delectable treat to be gobbled down or savored slowly. (Slice of pie on the side, optional, but highly recommended.)
A heartfelt middle-grade novel from New York Times bestselling author Barbara O’Connor about a boy whose life is upended after the loss of his older brother ― timeless, classic, and whimsical.
Walter Tipple is looking for adventure. He keeps having a dream that his big brother, Tank, appears before him and says, “Let’s you and me go see my world, little man.” But Tank went to the army and never came home, and Walter doesn’t know how to see the world without him.
Then he meets Posey, the brash new girl from next door, and an eccentric man named Banjo, who’s off on a bodacious adventure of his own. What follows is a summer of taking chances, becoming braver, and making friends ― and maybe Walter can learn who he wants to be without the brother he always wanted to be like.
Halfway To Harmony is an utterly charming story about change and growing up.
Evie Walman is not obsessed with death. She does think about it a lot, though, but only because her family runs a Jewish funeral home. At twelve, Evie already knows she’s going to be a funeral director when she grows up.
So what if the kids at school call her “corpse girl” and say she smells like death? They’re just mean and don’t get how important it is to have someone take care of things when your world is falling apart. Evie loves dusting caskets, polishing pews, and vacuuming the chapel ― and on funeral days, she dresses up and hands out tissues and offers her condolences to mourners.
She doesn’t normally help her parents with the grieving families directly, until one day when they ask her to help with Oren, a boy who was in a horrific car accident that killed both his parents. Oren refuses to speak and Evie, who is nursing her own private grief, is determined to find a way to help him deal with his loss.
Even though her family moved across the country for a “fresh start” after her little brother’s death, eleven-year-old Zinnia Helinski still feels like she’s stuck waiting for her new life to begin. Then she spots her new neighbor, Kris, climbing down the fire escape of their apartment building. He’s wearing a black eye mask! And Spandex leggings…And a blue body suit?
Soon Zinnia finds herself in a secret club for kids who want to be heroes. The Reality Shifters don’t have superpowers, but they do have the power to make positive change in their neighborhoods. And a change is just what Zinnia is looking for!
At first, she feels invincible. Zinnia finally has friends and is on the kind of real-life adventures her little brother, Wally, would have loved. But when her teammates lose sight of their goals, Zinnia must find the balance between bravery and recklessness, and learn to be a hero without her cape.
Gordon Korman meets The Great Outdoors in this funny and moving debut about a boy who goes on a disastrous family vacation (sweltering heat! bear chases!) that ends with a terrible surprise: his dad’s new girlfriend.
There are zero reasons for Theo Ripley to look forward to his family vacation. Not only are he, sister Laura, and nature-obsessed Dad going to Big Bend, the least popular National Park, but once there, the family will be camping. And Theo is an indoor animal. It doesn’t help that this will be the first vacation they’re taking since Mom passed away.
Once there, the family contends with 110 degree days, wild bears, and an annoying amateur ornithologist and his awful teenage vlogger son. Then, Theo’s dad hits him with a whopper of a surprise: the whole trip is just a trick to introduce his secret new girlfriend.
Theo tries to squash down the pain in his chest. But when it becomes clear that this is an auditioning-to-be-his-stepmom girlfriend, Theo must find a way to face his grief and talk to his dad before his family is forever changed.
Hatchet meets Long Way Down in this heartfelt and gripping novel in verse about a young girl’s struggle for survival after a climbing trip with her father goes terribly wrong.
One year after a random shooting changed their family forever, Nora and her father are exploring a slot canyon deep in the Arizona desert, hoping it will help them find peace. Nora longs for things to go back to normal, like they were when her mother was still alive, while her father keeps them isolated in fear of other people. But when they reach the bottom of the canyon, the unthinkable happens: A flash flood rips across their path, sweeping away Nora’s father and all of their supplies.
Suddenly, Nora finds herself lost and alone in the desert, facing dehydration, venomous scorpions, deadly snakes, and, worst of all, the Beast who has terrorized her dreams for the past year. If Nora is going to save herself and her father, she must conquer her fears, defeat the Beast, and find the courage to live her new life.
An endearing story of love and grief as one girl follows the clues in a scavenger hunt left behind by her best friend, perfect for fans of Bridge To Terabithia and Nine, Ten.
When you’ve lost what matters most,
How do you find your way back home?
Joy Fonseca is dreading her 13th birthday, dreading being reminded again about her best friend Lukas’s senseless death on this day, one year ago – and dreading the fact he may have heard what she accidentally blurted to him the night before. Or maybe she’s more worried he didn’t hear.
Either way, she’s decided: she’s going to finally open the first clue to their annual birthday scavenger hunt Lukas left for her the morning he died, hoping the rest of the clues are still out there. If they are, they might lead Joy to whatever last words Lukas wrote, and toward understanding how to grab onto the future that is meant to be hers.
Left reeling after her thoughtless mistake causes a terrible accident, 12-year-old Army Morand channels her grief to help someone in need.
Army Morand feels like her life has been blown to bits when the worst thing imaginable happens – her beloved dog dies. It was an accident, but it was also Army’s fault. She can’t seem to stop hiding from everything and everybody including her best friend JennaLouise.
But then Army sees Madison, the little girl who moved in across the way, climbing a tree and walking down the street unsupervised. Her family is not neglectful, just overwhelmed. Army finds herself overcome with the need to help Madison’s family to make sure another worst thing doesn’t happen – which becomes even more challenging when a big storm threatens her town.
After the Worst Thing Happens is a bittersweet story about a girl surprised by the force of a growing need inside her to reach out and lend a hand while trying to escape the swirling sadness of her own sudden loss. In the end, it is about finding love and hope and friendship in very surprising places.
An emotional and uplifting debut about a girl named Jack and her gender creative little brother, Birdie, searching for the place where they can be their true and best selves.
After their mama dies, Jack and Birdie find themselves without a place to call home. And when Mama’s two brothers each try to provide one – first sweet Uncle Carl, then gruff Uncle Patrick – the results are funny, tender, and tragic.
They’re also somehow…spectacular.
With voices and characters that soar off the page, J. M. M. Nuanez’s debut novel depicts an unlikely family caught in a situation none of them would have chosen, and the beautiful ways in which they finally come to understand one another. Perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish and Counting By Sevens.
A coming-of-age tale about a boy who discovers a love of poetry after finding his late father’s journal. Adapted from a story that first appeared in Flying Lessons & Other Stories and perfect for fans of The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson.
Isaiah is now the big man of the house. But it’s a lot harder than his dad made it look. His little sister, Charlie, asks too many questions, and Mama’s gone totally silent.
Good thing Isaiah can count on his best friend, Sneaky, who always has a scheme for getting around the rules. Plus, his classmate Angel has a few good ideas of her own – once she stops hassling Isaiah.
And when things get really tough, there’s Daddy’s journal, filled with stories about the amazing Isaiah Dunn, a superhero who gets his powers from beans and rice. Isaiah wishes his dad’s tales were real. He could use those powers right about now!
Kelly J. Baptist’s debut novel explores the indomitable spirit of a ten-year-old boy and the superhero strength it takes to grow up.
Eleven-year-old “Blue” Warren is cursed with three bothersome brothers, a too-busy father, a recently deceased mother, and she’s annoyed. With humor, hijinks, and heart, this debut novel is a touching tale of grief and the healing power of family.
Eleven-year-old Beulah “Blue” Warren spends every waking moment surrounded by boys: her three brothers, her father, her best friend, even the family dog, but that’s never stopped her from being her usual rambunctious self. Grappling with the loss of her mother, Blue is determined to do what she wants without fear of consequences. When she is sent to the principal’s office, she gets out of it like a pro. When the witchy neighbor next door trashes her yard, Blue doesn’t just get even, she gets ahead. No clean underwear because she hasn’t done the laundry? No worries. That’s what her little brother’s Superman underwear is for, isn’t it? But everything changes on the day she explores the attic and finds her mother’s death certificate. Blue will need to muster all the strength she has to deal with the truth, find forgiveness, trust in her father, and grieve for her mother once and for all.
For fans of Kate DiCamillo’s Louisiana’s Way Home, this heartwarming novel tells the story of ten-year-old Glory Bea as she prepares for a miracle of her very own — her father’s return home.
Glory Bea Bennett knows that miracles happen in Gladiola, Texas, population 3,421. After all, her grandmother — the best matchmaker in the whole county — is responsible for thirty-nine of them.
Now, Glory Bea needs a miracle of her own.
The war ended three years ago, but Glory Bea’s father never returned home from the front in France. Glory Bea understands what Mama and Grams and Grandpa say — that Daddy died a hero on Omaha Beach — yet deep down in her heart, she believes Daddy is still out there.
When the Gladiola Gazette reports that one of the boxcars from the Merci Train (the “thank you” train) — a train filled with gifts of gratitude from the people of France — will be stopping in Gladiola, she just knows daddy will be its surprise cargo.
But miracles, like people, are always changing, until at last they find their way home.
Perfect for fans of See You In The Cosmos and Where The Watermelons Grow, author Jenn Bishop’s latest novel tells the moving story of a boy determined to uncover the truth.
Nothing is going right this summer for Drew. And after losing his dad unexpectedly three years ago, Drew knows a lot about things not going right. First, it’s the new girl Audrey taking over everything at the library, Drew’s sacred space. Then it’s his best friend, Filipe, pulling away from him. But most upsetting has to be the mysterious man who is suddenly staying with Drew’s family. An old friend of Mom’s? Drew isn’t buying that.
With an unlikely ally in Audrey, he’s determined to get to the bottom of who this man really is. The thing is, there are some fears — like what if the person you thought was your dad actually wasn’t — that you can’t speak out loud, not to anyone. At least that’s what Drew thinks.
But then again, first impressions can be deceiving.
In journal entries alternating between two timelines ― before and after a tragic accident ― Jennie Englund’s heartfelt coming-of-age story, Taylor Before and After follows the year that changes one girl’s life forever.
Before, Taylor Harper is finally popular, sitting with the cool kids at lunch, and maybe, just maybe, getting invited to the biggest, most exclusive party of the year.
After, no one talks to her.
Before, she’s friends with Brielle Branson, the coolest girl in school.
After, Brielle has become a bully, and Taylor’s her favorite target.
Before, home isn’t perfect, but at least her family is together.
After, Mom won’t get out of bed, Dad won’t stop yelling, and Eli…
Through everything, Taylor has her notebook, a diary of the year that one fatal accident tears her life apart. In entries alternating between the first and second semester of her eighth-grade year, she navigates joy and grief, gain and loss, hope and depression.
How can Taylor pick up the pieces of what used to be her social life? How can her house ever feel like home again after everything that’s happened? And how can she move forward if she can’t stop looking back?
A boy and horse could outrun all the sadness of this flat world. If the boy believed, and the horse was swift. The sorrel knew he was fast enough to help the boy. He just needed open grassland and a light hand on the reins. He’d show Ol’ Mr. Grief his heels. Why, he’d run so fast that the wind would peel that sorrow right off the boy. Like a snake shedding its skin. Leaving it caught in the grass and drying up in the sun. Dust to dust. All the horse needed was a chance.
Alex Nash dreams of being a soccer star. Or a graphic artist. Maybe both. But being a cowboy? Nope and no way. Not if it means being anything like his seldom seen father.
Then, out of nowhere, tragedy shatters Alex’s world, and when he thinks life couldn’t sucker-punch him again, it does. He’s forced to live with Roberto Nash, a man he barely knows. Or wants to know.
Until Alex finds out his dad has bought him a peace offering of a sort, one with a red coat, lightning speed, and a fighting spirit. A spitfire of a horse that just might heal Alex’s heart and reunite father and son.
In a stunning novel set in the 1980s, a girl with heavy secrets awakens her sleepy street to the complexities of love and courage.
It’s the summer of ’83 on Trowbridge Road, and June Bug Jordan is hungry. Months after her father’s death from complications from AIDS, her mother has stopped cooking and refuses to leave the house, instead locking herself away to scour at the germs she believes are everywhere. June Bug threatens this precarious existence by going out into the neighborhood, gradually befriending Ziggy, an imaginative boy who is living with his Nana Jean after experiencing troubles of his own. But as June Bug’s connection to the world grows stronger, her mother’s grows more distant — even dangerous — pushing June Bug to choose between truth and healing and the only home she has ever known.
Trowbridge Road paints an unwavering portrait of a girl and her family touched by mental illness and grief. Set in the Boston suburbs during the first years of the AIDS epidemic, the novel explores how a seemingly perfect neighborhood can contain restless ghosts and unspoken secrets. Written with deep insight and subtle lyricism by acclaimed author Marcella Pixley, Trowbridge Road demonstrates our power to rescue one another even when our hearts are broken.
In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy’s grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself.
Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family.
It would be easier if King could talk with his best friend, Sandy Sanders. But just days before he died, Khalid told King to end their friendship, after overhearing a secret about Sandy-that he thinks he might be gay. “You don’t want anyone to think you’re gay too, do you?”
But when Sandy goes missing, sparking a town-wide search, and King finds his former best friend hiding in a tent in his backyard, he agrees to help Sandy escape from his abusive father, and the two begin an adventure as they build their own private paradise down by the bayou and among the dragonflies. As King’s friendship with Sandy is reignited, he’s forced to confront questions about himself and the reality of his brother’s death.
The Thing About Jellyfish meets The Stars Beneath Our Feet in this story about loss, grief, and finding the courage to discover one’s identity, from the author of Hurricane Child.
Wonder meets Some Kind of Happiness in this powerful tween novel from Ali Standish, author of the Carnegie Medal nominee The Ethan I Was Before and August Isle.
While her grandmother was alive, Emma’s world was filled with enchantment. But now Gram is gone, and suddenly strange spots are appearing on Emma’s skin. Soon, she’s diagnosed with vitiligo — a condition that makes patches of her skin lose their color — and the magic in her world is suddenly replaced with school bullies and doctor appointments.
But when Emma writes one last story in the journal she shared with Gram, something strange happens. Someone writes back to her, just like Gram used to. Who’s writing to Emma? And just what is her story going to be, now that everything is so different?
Award-winning author Ali Standish explores the ways life transforms us, and how we learn to let go of what we must while still holding fast to who we are.
Learn what it means to be a journalist in this fun, fast-paced new middle grade series about a club of kid reporters by an award-winning author.
Nellie Murrow – the daughter of two (former) newspaper reporters – was named after one of the fiercest journalists who ever lived. When she moves to sleepy Bear Creek, Maine, rumors of vandalism and attacks at the only park in town are keeping her saddled to the house.
Some townspeople say the attacks are gang recruitments. Others blame a vagrant spotted on the hiking trails around town. But when Nellie thinks like a reporter, none of those explanations make sense. Something is happening at the park, but what? All of the fake online news and rumors are clouding the truth.
Nellie wants to break the story – and break free from the front yard – but she can’t do it alone. She needs a whole club if she’s going to start the Cub Report, the town’s first independent newspaper. Creating a newspaper from scratch is going to be tough; but for Nellie, making friends is even harder.
The acclaimed author of Where The Watermelons Grow is back with a story perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Ali Benjamin, about finding friendship after a tragic loss.
It’s been eighty-three days since Annie Lee’s daddy died, but she still sees reminders of him everywhere. His record player mysteriously plays his favorite songs, there’s shaving cream in the sink every morning, and the TV keeps flipping to the Duke basketball games he loved.
She knows Mama notices it too, but Mama’s been working around the clock to make ends meet. To make matters worse, Annie Lee’s friends ditched her over the summer. She feels completely alone — until she meets Mitch.
Though Mitch is tough and confident on the outside, she may need a friend just as badly as Annie Lee. But after losing so much, Annie Lee is afraid to let anyone get too close.
And Mitch isn’t the only friend trying to break through Annie Lee’s defenses. Ray, an elderly pianist who plays at a local mall, has been giving her piano lessons. His music is pure magic, and Annie Lee hopes it might be the key to healing her broken heart. But when Ray goes missing, searching for him means breaking a promise to Mitch.
Faced with once again losing those who mean the most to her, Annie Lee must make a choice: retreat back into her shell, or risk admitting how much she needs Mitch and Ray — even if it means getting hurt all over again.
Just like in her debut, Where The Watermelons Grow, Cindy Baldwin brings her signature twist of magic to this authentically heartfelt story.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Ellen Hopkins’s poignant middle grade novel in verse about coming to terms with indelible truths of family and belonging.
For the most part, Hannah’s life is just how she wants it. She has two supportive parents, she’s popular at school, and she’s been killing it at gymnastics. But when her cousin Cal moves in with her family, everything changes. Cal tells half-truths and tall tales, pranks Hannah constantly, and seems to be the reason her parents are fighting more and more. Nothing is how it used to be. She knows that Cal went through a lot after his mom died and she is trying to be patient, but most days Hannah just wishes Cal never moved in.
For his part, Cal is trying his hardest to fit in, but not everyone is as appreciative of his unique sense of humor and storytelling gifts as he is. Humor and stories might be his defense mechanism, but if Cal doesn’t let his walls down soon, he might push away the very people who are trying their best to love him.
Told in verse from the alternating perspectives of Hannah and Cal, this is a story of two cousins who are more alike than they realize and the family they both want to save.
A unique masterpiece about loss, love, and the world’s best bad dog, from award winner Leslie Connor, author of the National Book Award finalist The Truth As Told By Mason Buttle.
This novel sings about loss and love and finding joy in new friendships and a loving family, along with the world’s best bad dog. An uplifting middle grade novel about recovery featuring strong female characters, an adorable dog, and the girl who comes to love him.
It’s a life-altering New Year for thirteen-year-old Lydia when she uproots to a Connecticut farm to live with her aunt following her mother’s death.
Aunt Brat and her jovial wife, Eileen, and their ancient live-in landlord, Elloroy, are welcoming — and a little quirky. Lydia’s struggle for a sense of belonging in her new family is highlighted when the women adopt a big yellow dog just days after the girl’s arrival.
Wasn’t one rescue enough?
Lydia is not a dog person — and this one is trouble! He is mistrustful and slinky. He pees in the house, escapes into the woods, and barks at things unseen. His new owners begin to guess about his unknown past.
Meanwhile, Lydia doesn’t want to be difficult — and she does not mean to keep secrets — but there are things she’s not telling…
Like why the box of “paper stuff” she keeps under her bed is so important…
And why that hole in the wall behind a poster in her room is getting bigger…
And why something she took from the big yellow dog just might be the key to unraveling his mysterious past — but at what cost?
Would you make a deal with a magical tiger? This uplifting story brings Korean folklore to life as a girl goes on a quest to unlock the power of stories and save her grandmother.
Some stories refuse to stay bottled up…
When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now they want it back. And when one of the tigers approaches Lily with a deal – return what her grandmother stole in exchange for Halmoni’s health – Lily is tempted to agree. But deals with tigers are never what they seem! With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice…and the courage to face a tiger.
Tae Keller, the award-winning author of The Science of Breakable Things, shares a sparkling tale about the power of stories and the magic of family. Think Walk Two Moons meets Where The Mountain Meets The Moon!
A poignant story of a boy picking up the pieces of his life after the unexpected death of his father, and the loyalty, concern, and friendship he finds in his small-town community.
Justin doesn’t know anything these days. Like how to walk down the halls without getting stared at. Or what to say to Jenni. Or how Phuc is already a physics genius in seventh grade. Or why Benny H. wanders around Wicapi talking to old ghosts. He doesn’t know why his mom suddenly loves church or if his older brother, Murphy, will ever play baseball again. Or if the North Stars have a shot at the playoffs. Justin doesn’t know how people can act like everything’s fine when it’s so obviously not. And most of all, he doesn’t know what really happened the night his dad died on the train tracks. And that sucks.
But life goes on. And as it does, Justin discovers that some things are just unknowable. He learns that time and space and memory are grander and weirder than he ever thought, and that small moments can hold big things, if you’re paying attention. Just like his math teacher said, even when you think you have all the information, there will be more. There is always more.
Set during the Gulf War era, Like Nothing Amazing Ever Happened is a story about learning to go on after loss, told with a warmth that could thaw the coldest Minnesota lake.
The timelessness of Bridge To Terabithia meets the wonder of Big Fish in this bittersweet, magical story, perfect for fans of Barbara O’Connor, Lisa Graff, and Dan Gemeinhart.
When Sam’s dad dies in a car accident, Sam is shuttled off to the dusty town of Holler, Oklahoma, to live with a long-lost aunt. There he encounters a mysterious mangy cat who leads him to an unassuming tree that turns out to be a portal — a passage through which Sam can revisit his old life for a few minutes at a time.
Sam’s visits to the bayou become stranger and stranger. Pa’s old stories unfold around him in beautiful but sinister detail, and Pa is not quite himself. Still, Sam is desperate to find a way for them to stay together — no matter what it takes.
Robin Yardi, author of The Midnight War of Mateo Martinez, tells a story full of mystery, feathers, and sprinkles.
After Mattie Waters loses her mother, she goes to live with her aunt, the owner of a roadside donut shop in Big Sur, California. When an owl taps on Mattie’s window one night, Mattie looks out to see something suspicious taking place nearby.
With help from her friendsand from Alfred, a stuffy but good-hearted owl, she’ll set out to find the culprits, facing fears that have followed her since her mother’s death.
He believes in science, but only magic can help his mom.
Twelve-year-old Finn is used to people in his family disappearing. His twin sister, Faith, drowned when they were three years old. A few months ago, his mom abandoned him and his dad with no explanation. Finn clings to the concrete facts in his physics books ― and to his best friend, Gabi ― to ward off his sadness. But then his grandmother tells him a secret: the women in their family are Travelers, able to move back and forth in time.
Finn’s mom is trapped somewhere in the timeline, and she’s left Finn a portal to find her. But to succeed, he’ll have to put his trust in something bigger than logic.
Deep in the woods, a gnarled tree grows. Its thick, black trunk twists angrily up into the night sky. Held in place by the magic of a long-ago patriarch, it has waited centuries to lure a descendant into its trap.
When Tavorian Kreet and his mom move in with his great-grandmother, Tav is forbidden to go into the woods on the estate. But like most eleven-year-olds, he just can’t resist.
After secretly exploring the woods, Tav begins having dreams about a supernatural tree. Soon, the dreams change from pleasant to dark and menacing. On a dare, Tav ventures farther into the woods with his new friend, Harper. There, they meet a mysterious, mute boy named Edward who lives in a decrepit cabin nearby. Afraid, and unable to speak, Edward scrawls “Wicked Tree” on the ground.
Determined to help Edward, Tav enlists Harper, and they search the estate for clues to Edward’s identity and how to help him.
With Harper’s help, Tav pieces together the Kreet family history and discovers an ancient curse. If Tav wants to save his friends and family, he must go into the heart of the woods, find the Wicked Tree, and confront a most evil magic.
The Wicked Tree, a MG dark fantasy that will appeal to fans of Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener and Mary Downing Hahn’s Took. If you love Serafina and The Black Cloak, then The Wicked Tree is for you!
Laurel Snyder, author of Orphan Island, returns with another unforgettable story of the moments in which we find out who we are, and the life-altering friendships that show us what we can be.
The school year is over, and it is summer in Atlanta. The sky is blue, the sun is blazing, and the days brim with possibility. But Leah feels…lost. She has been this way since one terrible afternoon a year ago, when everything changed. Since that day, her parents have become distant, her friends have fallen away, and Leah’s been adrift and alone.
Then she meets Jasper, a girl unlike anyone she has ever known. There’s something mysterious about Jasper, almost magical. And Jasper, Leah discovers, is also lost.
Together, the two girls carve out a place for themselves, a hideaway in the overgrown spaces of Atlanta, away from their parents and their hardships, somewhere only they can find.
But as the days of this magical June start to draw to a close, and the darker realities of their lives intrude once more, Leah and Jasper have to decide how real their friendship is, and whether it can be enough to save them both.
This beautifully written, emotional debut perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt or Ali Benjamin tells the story of a girl, her special needs brother, and the summer they will never forget.
Cat and her brother Chicken have always had a very special bond – Cat is one of the few people who can keep Chicken happy. When he has a “meltdown” she’s the one who scratches his back and reads his favorite story. She’s the one who knows what Chicken needs. Since their mom has had to work double-hard to keep their family afloat after their father passed away, Cat has been the glue holding her family together.
But even the strongest glue sometimes struggles to hold. When a summer trip doesn’t go according to plan, Cat and Chicken end up spending three weeks with grandparents they never knew. For the first time in years, Cat has the opportunity to be a kid again, and the journey she takes shows that even the most broken or strained relationships can be healed if people take the time to walk in one another’s shoes.
Funny, poignant, and deeply moving, The Line Tender is a story of nature’s enduring mystery and a girl determined to find meaning and connection within it.
Wherever the sharks led, Lucy Everhart’s marine-biologist mother was sure to follow. In fact, she was on a boat far off the coast of Massachusetts, collecting shark data when she died suddenly. Lucy was seven.
Since then Lucy and her father have kept their heads above water – thanks in large part to a few close friends and neighbors. But June of her twelfth summer brings more than the end of school and a heat wave to sleepy Rockport. On one steamy day, the tide brings a great white – and then another tragedy, cutting short a friendship everyone insists was “meaningful” but no one can tell Lucy what it all meant. To survive the fresh wave of grief, Lucy must grab the line that connects her depressed father, a stubborn fisherman, and a curious old widower to her mother’s unfinished research on the Great White’s return to Cape Cod.
If Lucy can find a way to help this unlikely quartet follow the sharks her mother loved, she’ll finally be able to look beyond what she’s lost and toward what’s left to be discovered.
A relatable novel-in-verse about loss…and what happens afterwards
Twelve-year-old Birdie Briggs loves birds. They bring her comfort when she thinks about her dad, a firefighter who was killed in the line of duty. Life without her dad isn’t easy, but at least Birdie still has Mom and Maymee, and her friends Nina and Martin.
But then Maymee gets a boyfriend, Nina and Martin start dating, and Birdie’s mom starts seeing a police officer. And suddenly not even her beloved birds can lift Birdie’s spirits. Her world is changing, and Birdie wishes things would go back to how they were before. But maybe change, painful as it is, can be beautiful too.
With compelling verse and a lighthearted touch, Eileen Spinelli captures the poignancy of adolescence and shows what can happen when you let people in.
In the tradition of The Higher Power of Lucky and Because of Winn Dixie, a young girl deals with her mother’s suicide in this riveting debut novel that explores love, loss, family, friendship, and redemption.
In the summer of 1977, twelve-year-old Dulcie Louise Dixon arrives on the doorstep of her Aunt Bernie’s farmhouse in Shepherdsville, Ohio, with no voice, a spelling bee trophy, a Webster’s Dictionary, and a box full of ashes. She tries to adjust to her new situation, but can’t forget the words she left behind or the mother she’s lost to suicide.
One day, Dulcie discovers a secret place: a swan’s nest in the woods where at last, her broken world begins to mend. With the help of her surprising new friends — a guitar-playing runaway, a poetry-loving preacher, a one-armed gas station attendant, a singing seamstress, a chained-up hunting dog, and a family of swans — Dulcie is finally able to rise out of her sadness and grief to find her voice once again.
That’s how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, criss-crossing the nation.
It’s also how long ago Coyote lost her mom and two sisters in a car crash.
Coyote hasn’t been home in all that time, but when she learns that the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished ― the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box ― she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days…without him realizing it.
Along the way, they’ll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there’s Gladys…
Over the course of thousands of miles, Coyote will learn that going home can sometimes be the hardest journey of all…but that with friends by her side, she just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after.”
Ghosts aren’t meant to stick around forever…
Shelly and her grandmother catch ghosts. In their hair.
Just like all the women in their family, they can see souls who haven’t transitioned yet; it’s their job to help the ghosts along their journey. When Shelly’s mom dies suddenly, Shelly’s relationship to ghosts — and death — changes. Instead of helping spirits move on, Shelly starts hoarding them. But no matter how many ghost cats, dogs, or people she hides in her room, Shelly can’t ignore the one ghost that’s missing. Why hasn’t her mom’s ghost come home yet?
Rooted in a Cree worldview and inspired by stories about the author’s great-grandmother’s life, The Ghost Collector delves into questions of grief and loss, and introduces an exciting new voice in tween fiction that will appeal to fans of Kate DiCamillo’s Louisiana’s Way Home and Patrick Ness’s A Monster Calls.
In the tradition of Wishtree and You May Already Be A Winner, this hopeful middle grade novel tells the story of three former friends who must come together at their annual town carnival to heal and reconnect after a tragedy.
The small town of Clarkville has seen better days. Ever since the Cohen factory burned down a few years ago, jobs are scarce and unemployment is high. But each year for one night the Carnival of Wishes and Dreams comes to town and everyone gets to indulge in a little wonder and delight. And for three girls who each receive notes asking them to meet the anonymous sender at midnight at the Ferris Wheel, it’s an evening that promises to be truly magical.
Audrey McKinley can’t believe someone would ask her to ride the Ferris Wheel. Everyone in town knows she’s afraid of heights; the last time she rode the Ferris Wheel it ended with her having a panic attack. But ever since her dad lost his job after the Cohen factory burned down he’s been working too little. The carnival gives him a chance for some seasonal work, and she plans to spend the evening checking up on him and making sure he does his job. Maybe she’ll face her fears tonight, after all.
Grace Chang isn’t supposed to go to the carnival. It’s too close to the burned remains of the old Cohen factory — the place where her firefighter father lost his life. And they always rode the Ferris Wheel together, so that’s also something Grace isn’t supposed to do. But since her mom just announced they’ll be moving away from Clarkville the day after the carnival, Grace is sick of only doing things she’s supposed to do. She’ll be at the carnival. And she is definitely riding that Ferris Wheel.
Harlow Cohen is surprised anyone would want to ride the Ferris Wheel with her. Harlow used to be popular. But ever since her grandparents’ old factory burned down and so many people lost their jobs, many of the kids at school blame her — and her rich family — for their own parents’ worsening economic situations. Harlow can never resist a dare, but when a note arrives asking her to meet an anonymous person at the Ferris Wheel at midnight, she’s far from certain it will be a friend waiting for her.
Can these three girls put their differences aside long enough for their wishes to come true? And is it possible to save a friendship that once seemed lost for good?
Go on a journey of discovery, magic, science, and hope with this remarkable debut novel about a girl’s powerful connection to a mysterious lake.
Twelve-year-old Addie should stay away from Maple Lake. After all, her twin brother, Amos, drowned there only a few months ago. But its crisp, clear water runs in Addie’s veins, and the notebook Amos left behind – filled with clues about a mysterious creature that lives in the lake’s inky-blue depths – keeps calling her back.
So despite her parents’ fears, Addie accepts a Young Scientist position studying the lake for the summer, promising she’ll stick to her job of measuring water pollution levels under adult supervision. Still, Addie can’t resist the secrets of Maple Lake. She enlists the lead researcher’s son, Tai, to help her investigate Amos’s clues. As they collect evidence, they also learn that Maple Lake is in trouble – and the source of the pollution might be close to home. Addie finds herself caught between the science she has always prized and the magic that brings her closer to her brother, and the choice she makes will change everything.
Sometimes, home isn’t where you expect to find it.
After losing his mom in a fatal car crash, Kaede Hirano – now living with a grandfather who is more stranger than family – developed anger issues and spent his last year of middle school acting out.
Best-friendless and critically in danger repeating the seventh grade, Kaede is given a summer assignment: write an essay about what home means to him, which will be even tougher now that he’s on his way to Japan to reconnect with his estranged father and older half-brother. Still, if there’s a chance Kaede can finally build a new family from an old one, he’s willing to try. But building new relationships isn’t as easy as destroying his old ones, and one last desperate act will change the way Kaede sees everyone – including himself.
This is a book about what home means to us ― and that there are many different correct answers.
Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents Kwame Mbalia’s epic fantasy, a middle grade American Gods set in a richly-imagined world populated with African American folk heroes and West African gods.
Seventh grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he has left of Eddie is the journal his friend wrote stories in. Tristan is dreading the month he’s going to spend on his grandparents’ farm in Alabama, where he’s being sent to heal from the tragedy.
But on his first night there, a sticky creature shows up in his bedroom and steals Eddie’s notebook. Tristan chases after it – is that a doll? – and a tug-of-war ensues between them underneath a Bottle Tree. In a last attempt to wrestle the journal out of the creature’s hands, Tristan punches the tree, accidentally ripping open a chasm into the MidPass, a volatile place with a burning sea, haunted bone ships, and iron monsters that are hunting the inhabitants of this world.
Tristan finds himself in the middle of a battle that has left black American folk heroes John Henry and Brer Rabbit exhausted. In order to get back home, Tristan and these new allies will need to entice the god Anansi, the Weaver, to come out of hiding and seal the hole in the sky. But bartering with the trickster Anansi always comes at a price.
Can Tristan save this world before he loses more of the things he loves?
Carter Jones is astonished early one morning when he finds a real English butler, bowler hat and all, on the doorstep — one who stays to help the Jones family, which is a little bit broken.
In addition to figuring out middle school, Carter has to adjust to the unwelcome presence of this new know-it-all adult in his life and navigate the butler’s notions of decorum. And ultimately, when his burden of grief and anger from the past can no longer be ignored, Carter learns that a burden becomes lighter when it is shared.
Sparkling with humor, this insightful and compassionate story will resonate with readers who have confronted secrets of their own.
From the critically acclaimed author of Just Like Jackie comes a strikingly tender novel about one family’s heartbreak and the compassion that carries them through, perfect for fans of Sara Pennypacker, Lisa Graff, and Ann M. Martin.
It’s been almost a year since Rain’s brother Guthrie died, and her parents still don’t know it was all Rain’s fault. In fact, no one does — Rain buried her secret deep, no matter how heavy it weighs on her heart.
So when her mom suggests moving the family from Vermont to New York City, Rain agrees. But life in the big city is different. She’s never seen so many people in one place — or felt more like an outsider.
With her parents fighting more than ever and the anniversary of Guthrie’s death approaching, Rain is determined to keep her big secret close to her heart. But even she knows that when you bury things deep, they grow up twice as tall.
Readers will fall in love with the pluck and warmth of Stoddard’s latest heroine and the strength that even a small heart can lend.
In the tradition of heartwrenching and hopeful middle grade novels such as Bridge To Terabithia comes Jess Redman’s stunning debut about a young boy who must regain his faith in miracles after a tragedy changes his world.
Eleven-year-old Wunder Ellis is a miracologist. In a journal he calls The Miraculous, he records stories of the inexplicable and the extraordinary. And he believes every single one. But then his newborn sister dies, at only eight days old. If that can happen, then miracles can’t exist. So Wunder gets rid of The Miraculous. He stops believing.
Then he meets Faye ― a cape-wearing, outspoken girl with losses of her own. Together, they find an abandoned house by the cemetery and a mysterious old woman who just might be a witch. The old woman asks them for their help. She asks them to believe. And they go on a journey that leads to friendship, to adventure, to healing ― and to miracles.
The Miraculous is Jess Redman’s sparkling debut novel about facing grief, trusting the unknown, and finding brightness in the darkest moments.
The acclaimed author of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day and Posted returns with an unforgettable tale of love and laughter, of fathers and sons, of what family truly means, and of the ways in which we sometimes need to lose something in order to find ourselves. Celebrate dads and Father’s Day year-round with this warm and witty novel for tweens.
Rion Kwirk comes from a rather odd family. His mother named him and his sisters after her favorite constellations, and his father makes funky-flavored jellybeans for a living. One sister acts as if she’s always on stage, and the other is a walking dictionary. But no one in the family is more odd than Rion’s grandfather, Papa Kwirk.
He’s the kind of guy who shows up on his motorcycle only on holidays handing out crossbows and stuffed squirrels as presents. Rion has always been fascinated by Papa Kwirk, especially as his son — Rion’s father — is the complete opposite. Where Dad is predictable, nerdy, and reassuringly boring, Papa Kwirk is mysterious, dangerous, and cool.
Which is why, when Rion and his family learn of Papa Kwirk’s death and pile into the car to attend his funeral and pay their respects, Rion can’t help but feel that that’s not the end of his story. That there’s so much more to Papa Kwirk to discover.
He doesn’t know how right he is.
Derrick is sure that doomsday is coming, and he’s prepping to survive – whether his friends believe him or not – in this middle grade novel for readers of Gary Schmidt, Gordon Korman, and Jack Gantos
Ever since his mother was killed in the line of duty in Iraq, Derrick has been absolutely certain that the apocalypse is coming. And he’s prepared: he’s got plenty of canned goods, he’s fully outfitted with HAZMAT suits, and he’s building himself a sturdy fallout shelter. When his neighbor Misty insists on helping with the shelter, Derrick doesn’t think it’s such a good idea. Misty’s just had a kidney transplant, and her reaction to her brush with death is the opposite of Derrick’s: where Derrick wants to hide, Misty wants to see and do everything. But as confident as Misty is, Derrick’s doomsday fears just keep getting worse. And Derrick’s promised apocalypse day begins with a very strange disaster, Derrick and Misty have to figure out a way to survive – especially when the end of the world as they know it looks nothing like they expected.
The world tilted for Elodee this year, and now it’s impossible for her to be the same as she was before. Not when her feelings have such a strong grip on her heart. Not when she and her twin sister, Naomi, seem to be drifting apart. So when Elodee’s mom gets a new job in Eventown, moving seems like it might just fix everything.
Indeed, life in Eventown is comforting and exciting all at once. Their kitchen comes with a box of recipes for Elodee to try. Everyone takes the scenic way to school or work — past rows of rosebushes and unexpected waterfalls. On blueberry-picking field trips, every berry is perfectly ripe.
Sure, there are a few odd rules, and the houses all look exactly alike, but it’s easy enough to explain — until Elodee realizes that there are only three ice cream flavors in Eventown. Ever. And they play only one song in music class. Everything may be “even” in Eventown, but is there a price to pay for perfection — and pretending?
From two-time Newbery Honor and New York Times–bestselling author Kevin Henkes, this timeless novel about loss, loneliness, and friendship tells the story of the spring break that changes seventh-grader Amelia Albright’s life forever.
Amelia Albright dreams about going to Florida for spring break like everyone else in her class, but her father — a cranky and stubborn English professor — has decided Florida is too much adventure.
Now Amelia is stuck at home with him and her babysitter, the beloved Mrs. O’Brien. The week ahead promises to be boring, until Amelia meets Casey at her neighborhood art studio. Amelia has never been friends with a boy before, and the experience is both fraught and thrilling. When Casey claims to see the spirit of Amelia’s mother (who died ten years before), the pair embarks on an altogether different journey in their attempt to find her.
Using crisp, lyrical, literary writing and moments of humor and truth, award-winning author Kevin Henkes deftly captures how it feels to be almost thirteen.
With themes of family, death, grief, creativity, and loyalty, Sweeping Up The Heart is for readers of Kate DiCamillo, Rebecca Stead, Lauren Wolk, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, and Pam Muñoz Ryan.
This witty, heartfelt story about perseverance in the face of adversity is perfect for fans of R. J. Palacio, Cammie McGovern, and John David Anderson.
Noah Savino has been stuck in a wheelchair for months. He hates the way people treat him like he’s helpless now. He’s sick of going to physical therapy, where he isn’t making any progress. He’s tired of not having control over his own body. And he misses playing baseball — but not as much as he misses his dad, who died in the car accident that paralyzed Noah.
Noah is scared he’ll never feel like his old self again. He doesn’t want people to think of him as different for the rest of his life. With the help of family and friends, he’ll have to throw off the mask he’s been hiding behind and face the fears that have kept him on the sidelines if he ever wants to move forward.
Eleven-year-old Jameson O’Malley’s dad is on Mars. The only way to see him, other than squinting into the night sky, is through the JICC – short for Jameson’s Interplanetary Communication Console. Jameson thought the JICC would help shorten the millions of miles that stretch between Base Ripley and Mars, but he’s is starting to realize no transmission can replace his real, actual father.
When a new family moves onto Base Ripley, Jameson makes an unlikely friend in Astra Primm, daughter of the country’s leading climatologist, who died in an explosion on Mars. But as Jameson’s friendship with Astra grows stronger, he begins to notice the flaws in his own family. Mom is growing distant, and something is wrong with Dad. He’s not sending transmissions as frequently as he used to, and when he does there are bags under his eyes. Jameson begins to realize there’s more to the story than he knows – and plenty people aren’t telling him.
Determined to learn the truth and discover what happened to their parents, Jameson and Astra embark on a journey exploring life, loss, and friendship that will take them to the edge of their universe.
When Inge Maria Jensen’s mother dies, the ten-year-old girl in braids is sent from Copenhagen to live on her grandmother’s farm on the Danish island of Bornholm. The whimsical Inge is desperate to tease a smile out of her stern-seeming but “jelly-soft” grandmother with nonsensical songs and Hans Christian Andersen stories. A nostalgic nod to Pippi Longstocking and Heidi, this cozy, humorous novel explores love and loss…and the unsung magic of mischief.
Back To The Future meets The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time in this original, poignant, race-against-time story about a boy who travels back to 1984 to save his father’s life.
My dad died twice. Once when he was thirty-nine and again four years later, when he was twelve. On his twelfth birthday, Al Chaudhury receives a letter from his dead father. It directs him to the bunker of their old house, where Al finds a time machine (an ancient computer and a tin bucket). The letter also outlines a mission: travel back to 1984 and prevent the go-kart accident that will eventually take his father’s life. But as Al soon discovers, whizzing back thirty years requires not only imagination and courage, but also lying to your mom, stealing a moped, and setting your school on fire — oh, and keeping your pet hamster safe. With a literary edge and tons of commerical appeal, this incredible debut has it all: heart, humor, vividly imagined characters, and a pitch-perfect voice.
In the tradition of The Thing About Jellyfish and When You Reach Me, acclaimed author Kat Zhang offers a luminous and heartbreaking novel about a girl who is convinced that an upcoming solar eclipse will bring back her dead mother.
One of the happiest memories twelve-year-old Sophia Wallace has is of her tenth birthday. Her mother made her a cake that year — and not a cake from a boxed-mix, but from scratch. She remembers the way the frosting tasted, the way the pink sugar roses dissolved on her tongue.
This memory, and a scant few others like it, is all Sophia has of her mother, so she keeps them close. She keeps them secret, too. Because as paltry as these memories are, she shouldn’t have them at all.
The truth is, Sophia Wallace’s mother died when she was six years old. But that isn’t how she remembers it. Not always.
Sophia has never told anyone about her unusual memories — snapshots of a past that never happened. But everything changes when Sophia’s seventh grade English class gets an assignment to research solar eclipses. She becomes convinced that the upcoming solar eclipse will grant her the opportunity to make her alternate life come true, to enter a world where her mother never died.
With the help of two misfit boys, she must figure out a way to bring her mother back to her—before the opportunity is lost forever.
An uplifting young reader debut about perseverance against all odds, Marie Miranda Cruz’s debut Everlasting Nora follows the story of a young girl living in the real-life shantytown inside the Philippines’ Manila North Cemetery.
After a family tragedy results in the loss of both father and home, 12-year-old Nora lives with her mother in Manila’s North Cemetery, which is the largest shantytown of its kind in the Philippines today.
When her mother disappears mysteriously one day, Nora is left alone.
With help from her best friend Jojo and the support of his kindhearted grandmother, Nora embarks on a journey riddled with danger in order to find her mom. Along the way she also rediscovers the compassion of the human spirit, the resilience of her community, and everlasting hope in the most unexpected places.
Perfect for fans of Jennifer L. Holm’s The Fourteenth Goldfish and Holly Goldberg Sloan’s Counting By 7s, and called “nothing short of magical” by The New York Times, this heartfelt, deeply moving middle-grade debut features an offbeat girl who learns that she can remain true to herself while also letting others in.
Eleven-year-old Frances is an observer of both nature and people, just like her idol, the anthropologist Margaret Mead. She spends most of her time up on the rocks behind her house in her “rock world,” as Alvin, her kindhearted and well-read school bus driver, calls it. It’s the one place where Frances can truly be herself, and where she doesn’t have to think about her older sister, Christinia, who is growing up and changing in ways that Frances can’t understand.
But when the unimaginable happens, Frances slowly discovers that perhaps the world outside her rugged, hidden paradise isn’t so bad after all, and that maybe – just maybe – she can find connection and camaraderie with the people who have surrounded her all along.
Original, accessible, and deeply affecting, April Stevens’s middle-grade debut about an unforgettable girl and an unlikely friendship will steal your heart.
An incredible story of losing, growing, and healing, from the acclaimed author of House Arrest.
Amelia Peabody lives in a small town where nothing changes. And that’s just fine by her. After losing her big sister, Clara, a few years ago, Amelia can’t handle any more change. But when she starts eighth grade, she accidentally receives a letter that Clara had written to herself. In it, there’s a list of things she’d wanted to do before the end of middle school and never finished, like get on the softball team and throw an awesome birthday party on the lake.
Amelia wonders if it’s a sign from Clara. Maybe if she completed the list, her heart would stop hurting so much, and she could go back to being her old self. But as she makes her way through, Amelia finds that there’s no going back, only forward. And she realizes she’ll have to put her own spin on Clara’s list to grow and change in the ways she needs to.
K. A. Holt’s beautiful new novel is about grieving and growing up, and the ripples loss creates for a girl, a family, and a community.
From the author of Finding Perfect comes a funny, heartwarming story about the importance of family and the secrets we keep from those we love.
Sometimes you need to keep a few secrets.
Frankie knows she’ll be in big trouble if Dad discovers she secretly posted a dating profile for him online. But she’s determined to find him a wife, even if she ends up grounded for life. Frankie wants what she had before Mom died. A family of three. Two is a pair of socks or the wheels on a bicycle or a busy weekend at the B&B where Frankie and Dad live. Three is a family. And Frankie’s is missing a piece.
But Operation Mom is harder to pull off than Frankie expects. None of the Possibles are very momish, the B&B’s guests keep canceling, Frankie’s getting the silent treatment from her once best friend, and there’s a maybe-ghost hanging around. Worst of all, Gram and Dad are definitely hiding secrets of their own.
The poignant – and funny – story of a girl trying to be brave and find her place in the world after she’s sent to live with scheming relatives.
Right before Wavie’s mother died, she gave Wavie a list of instructions to help her find her way in life, including this one: Be brave, Wavie B! You got as much right to a good life as anybody, so find it! But little did Wavie’s mom know that events would conspire to bring Wavie back to Conley Hollow, the Appalachian hometown her mother tried to leave behind. Now Wavie’s back in the Holler – and in the clutches of her Aunt Samantha Rose. Life with the devilish Samantha Rose and her revolting cousin Hoyt is no picnic, but there’s real pleasure in sleeping in her own mother’s old bed, and making friends with the funny, easygoing kids her aunt calls the “neighborhood-no-accounts.” With their help, Wavie just might be able to prevent her aunt from becoming her legal guardian, and find her courage and place in the world.
Twelve-year-old Esme’s life changes when she discovers dinosaur bones on her family’s peach farm in Texas.
Fans of Wendy Maas and Lynda Mullaly Hunt will love this perfectly pitched story about friendship, family, and loss from Suzanne Crowley, the acclaimed author of The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous.
After her grandfather died from a heart attack while driving his tractor on Solace Hill, twelve-year-old Esme’s been inextricably drawn to that spot, although her grandmother warns her to stay away. But when she follows her little brother, Bo, and her dog, Old Jack, up the hill while chasing fireflies, she makes an incredible discovery — dinosaur bones peeking out from underneath the abandoned tractor.
The bones must be a message from her grandfather, a connection from beyond the grave. But when word gets out that the farm is hiding something valuable, reporters, researchers, and neighbors arrive in droves. Esme struggles to understand who has her best interests at heart, especially as the memory of her grandfather begins to slip away.
Full of friendship and adventure, and featuring a palpable Texas setting, Finding Esme is a moving and heartfelt story about family, friendship, and learning to deal with loss.
From acclaimed author Suzanne Crowley, this engaging adventure set on a Texas peach farm is just right for fans of Rebecca Stead and Ann M. Martin.
A heart-expanding, magical debut from one of the most exciting new voices in the grand tradition of southern literature.
Sparrow doesn’t have many friends. Some kids believe her house near the swamp is haunted. Others think there’s something “unusual” about her. But Sparrow’s not lonely – she has a best friend who’s always with her. He sits with Sparrow on her porch swing. He makes her smile by playing pranks in church. Yet Sparrow is the only one who can see him…because the Boy is a ghost. So when her mama passes away, Sparrow doesn’t give up hope. After all, if the Boy can linger after death, then surely Mama can return as well. But the Boy has a secret of his own, one that Sparrow will need to uncover before the ghost will lead her to Mama. To solve the mystery, Sparrow joins forces with some unlikely allies – Maeve and Johnny, siblings from a family of town outcasts – and Elena, a visiting child fortune-teller.
With its loving depiction of small town life, and characters who feel like old friends, this magical debut will enchant you, dazzle you…and make you feel at home.
Patricia MacLachlan, beloved author of the Newbery Medal-winning Sarah, Plain and Tall, has crafted another lyrical and touching novel for young readers about finding hope after the loss of a loved one.
Declan O’Brien always had a gentle word to share, odd phrases he liked to repeat, and songs to sing while he played basketball. His favorite song was “Dona Nobis Pacem,” “Grant Us Peace.” His family loved him deeply and always knew they were loved in return.
But a terrible accident one day changes their lives forever, and Fiona and Finn O’Brien are left without a father. Their mother is at a loss. What words are there to guide them through such overwhelming grief?
At the suggestion of their friend Luke, Fiona and Finn volunteer at an animal rescue shelter, where they meet two sweet dogs who are in need of comfort, too. Perhaps with time, patience, and their father’s gentle words in their hearts, hope will spark once more.
Ok Lee is determined to find the perfect get-rich-quick scheme in this funny, uplifting novel that bestselling author Gene Luen Yang called “So funny and heartfelt.”
Ok Lee knows it’s his responsibility to help pay the bills. With his father gone and his mother working three jobs and still barely making ends meet, there’s really no other choice. If only he could win the cash prize at the school talent contest! But he can’t sing or dance, and has no magic up his sleeves, so he tries the next best thing: a hair braiding business.
It’s too bad the girls at school can’t pay him much, and he’s being befriended against his will by Mickey McDonald, the unusual girl with a larger-than-life personality. Who needs friends? They’d only distract from his mission, and Ok believes life is better on his own. Then there’s Asa Banks, the most popular boy in their grade, who’s got it out for Ok.
But when the pushy deacon at their Korean church starts wooing Ok’s mom, it’s the last straw. Ok has to come up with an exit strategy — fast.
A tender and fantastical adventure story perfect for fans of Coraline.
After Cecelia Dahl’s little brother, Celadon, dies tragically, his soul goes where all souls go: the Land of Yesterday—and Cecelia is left behind in a fractured world without him.
Her beloved house’s spirit is crumbling beyond repair, her father is imprisoned by sorrow, and worst of all, her grief-stricken mother abandons the land of the living to follow Celadon into Yesterday.
It’s up to Cecelia to put her family back together, even if that means venturing into the dark and forbidden Land of Yesterday on her own. But as Cecilia braves a hot-air balloon commanded by two gnomes, a sea of daisies, and the Planet of Nightmares, it’s clear that even if she finds her family, she might not be able to save them.
And if she’s not careful, she might just become a lost soul herself, trapped forever in Yesterday.
New York Times bestselling adult author of The Bear and The Nightingale makes her middle grade debut with a creepy, spellbinding ghost story destined to become a classic.
After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think – she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.
Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN.
Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods – bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them – the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.”
And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins.
Marjorie Glatt feels like a ghost. A practical thirteen-year-old in charge of the family laundry business, her daily routine features unforgiving customers, unbearable P.E. classes, and the fastidious Mr. Saubertuck who is committed to destroying everything she’s worked for. Wendell is a ghost. A boy who lost his life much too young, his daily routine features ineffective death therapy, a sheet-dependent identity, and a dangerous need to seek purpose in the forbidden human world. When their worlds collide, Marjorie is confronted by unexplainable disasters as Wendell transforms Glatt’s Laundry into his midnight playground, appearing as a mere sheet during the day. While Wendell attempts to create a new afterlife for himself, he unknowingly sabotages the life that Marjorie is struggling to maintain.
Sheets illustrates the determination of a young girl to fight, even when all parts of her world seem to be conspiring against her. It proves that second chances are possible whether life feels over or life is over. But above all, it is a story of the forgiveness and unlikely friendship that can only transpire inside a haunted laundromat.
An orphan grapples with her unpleasant aunt and the even more unpleasant idea of moving to Boston in this poignant middle-grade debut that handles loss and renewal.
Donut is an eleven-year old geography buff who keeps her taxidermied mice hidden in her late mother’s hope chest. Her pops passed away, leaving her an orphan. Aunt Agnes has moved in, bringing along her lumpy oatmeal, knitting, and a plan to drag Donut off to Boston forever.
Donut stands to lose everything: her friends, her village, her home, the woods, and walks where the memories of her pops are stored up.
While Donut dodges the ache of missing her pops, she and her best friend Tiny plan how to keep her where she belongs.
A Stitch In Time by Daphne Kalmar is shot through with gorgeous, evocative language, and gets right to Donut’s heart.
A funny and heartfelt realistic middle-grade novel about friendship, family, and the meaning of luck, from author Janice Erlbaum.
Eighth-grader Emma Macintyre could use some good luck. The popular kids at her school ignore her, the boy she likes is out of her league, and her best friend has been ditching her for the mean girls. Worst of all, her beloved Aunt Jenny died recently, leaving Emma and her single mom reeling with grief.
Then Emma receives a mysterious letter with no return address. The letter promises that ten lucky little things will happen to her over the next thirty days ― she just has to make a list of what she wants. When the things on her list start coming true, she races to understand what’s happening. How does this lucky letter work? Who sent it? And what’s going to happen when the thirty days are done?
There are times we all feel we need more than one heart to get through. When Briana’s father dies, she imagines she has a new heart growing inside her. It speaks to her in her Dad’s voice. Some of its commands are mysterious.
Find Her! it says. Be Your Own!
How can Briana “be her own” when her grieving mother needs her to take care of her demanding little brother all the time? When all her grandpa can do is tell stories instead of being the “rock” she needs? When her not-so-normal home life leaves no time to pursue her dream of writing for the school literary magazine? When the first blush of a new romance threatens to be nipped in the bud? Forced by the loss of her favorite parent to see all that was once familiar with new eyes, Briana draws on her own imagination, originality, and tender loving heart to discover a surprising path through the storm.
Twelve-year-old Lowen Grover, a budding comic-book artist, is still reeling from the shooting death of his friend Abe when he stumbles across an article about a former mill town giving away homes for just one dollar. It not only seems like the perfect escape from the city and all of the awful memories associated with it, but an opportunity for his mum to run her very own business. But is the Dollar Program too good to be true? The homes are in horrible shape, and the locals are less than welcoming.
Will the Grovers find they’ve traded one set of problems for another? From the author of Small As An Elephant and Paper Things comes a heart-tugging novel about guilt and grief, family and friendship, and, above all, community.
An unforgettable coming-of-age story about comedy, loss, and friendship for fans of Jennifer L. Holm and Gary D. Schmidt.
Spoiler alert: This book is not about the Three Stooges. It’s about Noah and Dash, two seventh graders who are best friends and comedy junkies. That is, they were best friends, until Dash’s father died suddenly and Dash shut Noah out. Which Noah deserved, according to Noa, the girl who, annoyingly, shares both his name and his bar mitzvah day.
Now Noah’s confusion, frustration, and determination to get through to Dash are threatening to destroy more than just their friendship. But what choice does he have? As Noah sees it, sometimes you need to risk losing everything, even your sense of humor, to prove that gone doesn’t have to mean “gone for good.”
Equal parts funny, honest, and deeply affecting, All Three Stooges is a book that will stay with readers long after the laughter subsides.
A beautiful and heartbreaking novel from an award-winning author about a girl who gets swept up into an adventure involving forgotten toys, perfect for fans of Lauren Wolk and Kelly Barnhill.
Emily and her sister, Holly, were as close as sisters could be. They did everything together. But Holly died three months ago, and Emily’s world is shattered.
Amid a sea of changes – her best friend is acting distant, she’s just started at a new school, and she’s been cast as the lead in the school play – Emily is surprised to find that she misses Holly’s teddy bear, Bluey, almost as much as she misses Holly herself. But Bluey was buried with Holly, and there’s no getting either of them back.
Then one night, Emily dreams of talking toys, who tell her they have come from the toy world with a message from Bluey. Emily is convinced she can be reunited with him. But there’s something strange about the barrier between the toy world and the real world. Not just strange, but dangerous – magic is spilling out, and it’s wreaking havoc on Emily’s world. Now she must decide whether finding Bluey is worth risking the lives of those she loves.
From the award-winning author of The Patron Saint of Butterflies and The World From Up Here comes a story about grieving hearts, broken families, and how speaking out can save them both.
Saying goodbye is never easy.Everything changed after Pippa and Jack’s mother died last spring. Pippa stopped speaking, Jack started picking fights, and their father’s struggling business began to fail. Now, with school starting again, Pippa doesn’t know how she’ll manage a class presentation on Spartan warriors when she can’t even find the words to tell her father that she wishes he were home more. And Jack is struggling to understand his feelings for the mysterious girl next door.
But when Jack and Pippa realize that their dad is getting so desperate for cash to keep the family afloat that he might be going to extreme – and illegal – lengths to make ends meet, they are faced with the biggest decision of their lives. How far are they willing to go to keep their family together?
Stealing Our Way Home is a poignant, deeply affecting novel about falling apart, finding your voice, and the power of letting go.
For years people have claimed to see a mysterious white deer in the woods around Chinaberry Creek. It always gets away.
One evening, Eric Harper thinks he spots it. But a deer doesn’t have a coat that shimmers like a pearl. And a deer certainly isn’t born with an ivory horn curling from its forehead.
When Eric discovers the unicorn is hurt and being taken care of by the vet next door and her daughter, Allegra, his life is transformed.
A tender tale of love, loss, and the connections we make, The Unicorn In The Barn shows us that sometimes ordinary life takes extraordinary turns.
Two best friends on the run…to IKEA.
Frankie and Walter aren’t really running away. Just like the kids in their favorite book, they are running to somewhere. Specifically, a massive furniture store. They’ve been obsessed with the Ikea catalog for years. So they make a plan, pack their backpacks, give their parents the sleepover switcheroo…and they’re in.
One night all on their own, with no grown-ups or little brothers.
One night of couch jumping, pillow forts, and unlimited soda refills.
One night of surprises and twinkle lights and secrets they have been keeping — and waiting to share.
One unforgettable night in Ikea.
A tribute to the beloved classic From The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler! Only, instead of running away to the Metropolitan Museum, these kids are running away to somewhere a little more modern…
Fun science meets humor and heart in this adventure about a boy who is searching for his mother…in a parallel universe.
Stephen Albie Bright leads a happy, normal life. Well, as normal as it gets with two astrophysicist parents who named their son after their favorite scientists, Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein.
But then Albie’s mother dies of cancer, and his world is shattered. When his father explains that she might be alive in a parallel universe, Albie knows he has to find her. So, armed with a box, a laptop, and a banana, Albie sets out to do just that.
Of course, when you’re universe-hopping for the very first time, it’s difficult to find the one you want. As Albie searches, he discovers some pretty big surprises about himself and our universe(s), and stumbles upon the answers to life’s most challenging questions.
A poignant, funny, and heartwarming adventure, this extraordinary novel is for anyone who has ever been curious.
Rydr is on a train heading east, leaving California, where her gramma can’t take care of her anymore, and traveling to Chicago, to live with an unknown relative. She brings with her a backpack, memories both happy and sad, and a box containing something very important.
As Rydr meets her fellow passengers and learns their stories, her own story begins to emerge. It’s one of sadness and heartache, and one Rydr would sometimes like to forget.
But as much as Rydr may want to run away from her past, on the train she finds that hope and forgiveness are all around her, and most importantly, within her, if she’s willing to look for it.
From Publishers Weekly Flying Start author Paul Mosier comes a poignant story about a young girl’s travels by train from Los Angeles to Chicago in which she learns along the way that she can find family wherever she is. Perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead and Sharon Creech.
Can a clever young inventor uncover a ruthless pirate’s heart of gold? Thrilling sea adventure takes on a hint of steampunk in the second book by the author of the acclaimed Hour of the Bees.
When her parents, the great marine scientists Dr. and Dr. Quail, are killed in a tragic accident, eleven-year-old Fidelia Quail is racked by grief — and guilt. It was a submarine of Fidelia’s invention that her parents were in when they died, and it was she who pressed them to stay out longer when the raging Undertow was looming. But Fidelia is forced out of her mourning when she’s kidnapped by Merrick the Monstrous, a pirate whose list of treasons stretches longer than a ribbon eel. Her task? Use her marine know-how to retrieve his treasure, lost on the ocean floor. But as Fidelia and the pirates close in on the prize, with the navy hot on their heels, she realizes that Merrick doesn’t expect to live long enough to enjoy his loot. Could something other than black-hearted greed be driving him? Will Fidelia be able to master the perils of the ocean without her parents — and piece together the mystery of Merrick the Monstrous before it’s too late?
Two sisters take off on a wild road trip in this poignant tale for fans of Counting By 7s and Fish In A Tree.
After Mama Lacy’s death, Fella was forced to move in with her grandmother, Mrs. Madison. The move brought Fella all sorts of comforts she wasn’t used to at home, but it also meant saying goodbye to her sister Zoey (a.k.a. Zany) and her other mother, Mama Shannon. Though Mama Shannon fought hard to keep Fella, it was no use. The marriage act is still a few years away and the courts thought Fella would be better off with a blood relation. Already heartbroken, Fella soon finds herself alone in Mrs. Madison’s house, grieving both the death of her mother and the loss of her entire family.
Then one night, Zany shows up at Mrs. Madison’s house determined to fulfill Mama Lacy’s dying wish: to have her ashes spread over the lawn of the last place they were all happy as a family. Of course, this means stealing Mama Lacy’s ashes and driving hundreds of miles in the middle of night to Asheville, North Carolina. Their adventure takes one disastrous turn after another, but their impulsive journey helps them rediscover the bonds that truly make them sisters.
A heartrending story of family torn apart and put back together again, Ashes To Asheville is an important, timely tale.
A staggering debut that will forever change the way you think about life, hope, death…and the power of friendship to transcend them all.
Twelve-year-old Stanly knows the bone growing in his yard is a little weird, but that’s okay, because now he’ll have the perfect photo to submit to the Young Discoverer’s Competition. With such a unique find, he’s sure to win the grand prize.But, oddly, the bone doesn’t appear in any photos. Even stranger, it seems to be growing into a full skeleton…one that only children can see. There’s just one person who doesn’t find any of this weird – Stanly’s little sister. Mischievous Miren adopts the skeleton as a friend, and soon, the two become inseparable playmates. When Miren starts to grow sick, Stanly suspects that the skeleton is responsible and does everything in his power to drive the creature away. However, Miren is desperate not to lose her friend, forcing Stanly to question everything he’s ever believed about life, love, and the mysterious forces that connect us.
Being responsible is NOT easy.
Fourth grader Vilonia hasn’t lost her rain coat in the three weeks she’s had it and she’s brushed her teeth every night and she’s volunteered to be the Friday Library Helper. But all that hard work is worth it if it means she can get a dog. Besides, this dog isn’t just because Vilonia has wanted one for pretty much ever. It’s also to help Mama, who’s been lost in one, big sadness fog for forty-three days — ever since Nana died. But Vilonia read that pets can help with sadness. Now all she has to do is keep the library goldfish alive over spring break, stop bringing stray animals home, and help Mama not get fired from her job. And she’s got to do all of it before the Catfish Festival. Easy as pie, right?
Tremendous voice, humor, and heart make this debut novel utterly lovable.
A critically-acclaimed tale for fans of Sharon Creech’s Walk Two Moons. Set in a West Virginia coal-mining town, this is part One For The Murphys and part Locomotion.
When her brother Michael dies in a fire, Sasha Harless has no one left and nowhere to turn. He’d been her caretaker since their mother ran off and their father died in the mines. And before his accident, Michael made Sasha promise him that she would leave Caboose, West Virginia for a better life someday. Now, she’s in foster care, feeling more stuck and broken than ever.
Trying to cope with her brother’s death, Sasha returns to school and is introduced to poetry and finds it’s a new way to express herself when spoken words just won’t do. She even discovers family she didn’t know she had, including a younger Mikey Harless, who’s just as broken as she is. But just as she’s settling into her new life, tragedy strikes the mine her cousin works in. While fearing the worst, Sasha takes Mikey and finally makes her escape. But will running from Caboose really fix the pain in Sasha’s life, or will she have to discover a new way to heal?
New York Times bestselling author Patrick Carman delivers a modern reimagining of the classic Mary Poppins tale in this story about family, grief, and healing — with a dash of magic!
Stanley Darrow isn’t sure what to expect when the mysterious Mr. Gedrick appears on his doorstep. He is certain, however, that his family could use Mr. Gedrick’s help: Their lives — and their house — have been a mess since Stanley’s dad died.
The strange new nanny quickly helps them transform their cluttered home into a sparkling and spotless version of its former self, but it’s going to take more than a clean house to help the Darrow family learn to live and love again.
Can Mr. Gedrick help Stanley, his brother, Fergus, his sister, Amelia, and his mom find their way back to each other? And what secrets of his own is Mr. Gedrick hiding behind his crooked grin?
The search for Bigfoot gets juicy in this funny and touching story that’s perfect for fans of Kate DiCamillo’s Flora & Ulysses and the movie Smallfoot!
Lemonade Liberty Witt’s mama always told her: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But Lem can’t possibly make lemonade out of her new life in Willow Creek, California — the Bigfoot Capital of the World — where she’s forced to live with a grandfather she’s never met after her mother passes away.
Then she meets eleven-year-old Tobin Sky, the CEO of Bigfoot Detectives Inc., who is the sole Bigfoot investigator for their small town. After he invites Lem to be his assistant for the summer, they set out on an epic adventure to capture a shot of the elusive beast on film. But along the way, Lem and Tobin end up discovering more than they ever could have imagined. And Lem realizes that maybe she can make lemonade out of her new life after all.
Lily refuses to believe what everyone else accepts to be true: that her father has died while climbing Denali, the highest mountain in North America. Lily has grown up hiking in the Alaskan wilderness with her dad. He’s an expert climber. There’s no way he would let something like this happen. So instead of grieving, Lily decides to rescue him. Her plan takes her to Denali and on a journey that tests her physically and emotionally.
In this powerful debut, Hannah Moderow has written an authentic Alaskan adventure that crosses terrain both beautiful and haunting — and ultimately shows the bond of family and the wonder of wild places.
A Horse in the house?
Things are hard for eleven-year-old Yonder. Her mother died and her father has sunk into sadness. She doesn’t have a friend to her name…except for Dirt, the Shetland pony next door.
Dirt has problems of his own. He’s overweight, he’s always in trouble, and his owner is the mean Miss Enid, who doesn’t have the patience for a pony’s natural curiosity. His only friend is Yonder, the scrawny girl next door.So when Miss Enid decides to sell Dirt for horsemeat, Yonder knows she has to find a way to rescue him. Even if that means stealing Dirt away and sneaking him into her own house. What follows will make you worry, will make you cry, and will ultimately fill you with hope, love, and an unshakable belief in the power of friendship. Especially the four-legged kind.
Garland, Derby, and Triple Clark spend each season traveling highways and byways in their Rambler — until summer, when small-town Ridge Creek, Virginia, calls them back. There they settle in, selling burgers and fries out of Garland’s Grill after each game the Rockskippers play in their battered minor-league baseball stadium. Derby’s summer traditions bring her closer than she’s ever been to a real home that isn’t on wheels, but this time, her return to Ridge Creek reveals unwelcome news. Now the person Derby loves most in town needs her help — and yet finding a way to do so may uncover deeply held stories and secrets.
Told in Derby’s unforgettable voice, this warm-hearted debut novel is about taking risks, planting roots, and discovering the true definition of home.
In a courageous debut novel, Holly M. McGhee explores the loss that shakes one girl’s world — and the unexpected consequences of the things we do for love.
Sussy and Guy are best friends, fourth-graders who share their silliest thoughts and deepest hopes. One afternoon, the two of them decide they must have something of their very own to love. After a trip to the pet store, they bring home a spotted lizard, the one with the ancient face and starfish toes, and they name her Matylda (with a y so it’s all her own). With Guy leading the way, they feed her and give her an origin story fit for a warrior lizard. A few weeks later, on a simple bike ride, there is a terrible accident. As hard as it is, Sussy is sure she can hold on to Guy if she can find a way to love Matylda enough. But in a startling turn of events, Sussy reconsiders what it means to grieve and heal and hope and go on, for her own sake and Matylda’s. By turns both devastating and buoyant, this story is a brave one, showing how far we can justify going for a real and true friend.
The Ethan I Was Before is an award-winning story of love and loss, wonder and adventure, and ultimately of hope.
Lost In The Sun meets The Thing About Jellyfish in Ali Standish’s breathtaking debut. A poignant middle grade novel of friendship and forgiveness, this is a classic in the making.
Ethan had been many things. He was always ready for adventure and always willing to accept a dare, especially from his best friend, Kacey. But that was before. Before the accident that took Kacey from him. Before his family moved from Boston to the small town of Palm Knot, Georgia.
Palm Knot may be tiny, but it’s the home of possibility and second chances. It’s also home to Coralee, a girl with a big personality and even bigger stories. Coralee may be just the friend Ethan needs, except Ethan isn’t the only one with secrets. Coralee’s are catching up with her, and what she’s hiding might be putting both their lives at risk.
When Emmaline Beaumont’s father started building the ghost machine, she didn’t expect it to bring her mother back from the dead. But by locking himself in the basement to toil away at his hopes, Monsieur Beaumont has become obsessed with the contraption and neglected the living, and Emmaline is tired of feeling forgotten.
Nothing good has come from building the ghost machine, and Emmaline decides that the only way to bring her father back will be to make the ghost machine work…or destroy it forever.
From award winning author Carol Weston comes an uplifting, heartfelt tale of bravery and strength in the face of loss and grief, perfect for tweens, teens and adults alike.
Sofia lost her mother eight months ago, and her friends were 100% there for her. Now it’s a new year and they’re ready for Sofia to move on. But being a motherless daughter is hard to get used to, especially when you’re only fourteen.
Problem is, Sofia can’t bounce back, can’t recharge like a cellphone. She decides to write Dear Kate, an advice columnist for Fifteen Magazine, and is surprised to receive a fast reply. Soon the two are exchanging emails, and Sofia opens up and spills all, including a few worries that are totally embarrassing. Turns out even advice columnists don’t have all the answers, and one day Sofia learns a secret that flips her world upside down.
A girl’s friendship with a lonely black hole leads her to face her own sadness in this original, funny, and touching middle grade novel for fans of Crenshaw and Flora & Ulysses.
When eleven-year-old Stella Rodriguez shows up at NASA to request that her recording be included in Carl Sagan’s Golden Record, something unexpected happens: A black hole follows her home, and sets out to live in her house as a pet. The black hole swallows everything he touches, which is challenging to say the least — but also turns out to be a convenient way to get rid of those items that Stella doesn’t want around. Soon the ugly sweaters her aunt has made for her all disappear within the black hole, as does the smelly class hamster she’s taking care of, and most important, all the reminders of her dead father that are just too painful to have around.
It’s not until Stella, her younger brother, Cosmo, the family puppy, and even the bathroom tub all get swallowed up by the black hole that Stella comes to realize she has been letting her own grief consume her. And that’s not the only thing she realizes as she attempts to get back home. This is an astonishingly original and funny adventure with a great big heart.
A boy tries to steer a safe path through the projects in Harlem in the wake of his brother’s death in this outstanding debut novel that celebrates community and creativity.
It’s Christmas Eve in Harlem, but twelve-year-old Lolly Rachpaul and his mom aren’t celebrating. They’re still reeling from his older brother’s death in a gang-related shooting just a few months earlier. Then Lolly’s mother’s girlfriend brings him a gift that will change everything: two enormous bags filled with Legos. Lolly’s always loved Legos, and he prides himself on following the kit instructions exactly. Now, faced with a pile of building blocks and no instructions, Lolly must find his own way forward.
His path isn’t clear — and the pressure to join a “crew,” as his brother did, is always there. When Lolly and his friend are beaten up and robbed, joining a crew almost seems like the safe choice. But building a fantastical Lego city at the community center provides Lolly with an escape — and an unexpected bridge back to the world.
David Barclay Moore paints a powerful portrait of a boy teetering on the edge — of adolescence, of grief, of violence — and shows how Lolly’s inventive spirit helps him build a life with firm foundations and open doors.
Violet Barnaby searches for the joy in life after losing her mother in this sweet and funny follow-up to The Charming Life of Izzy Malone.
Violet Barnaby is a having a blue Christmas. She’s still grieving the loss of her mother, and to make things worse, her dad has just married Melanie Harmer, a.k.a. the meanest teacher at Dandelion Hollow Middle School. But on the day Violet and her dad are packing up and moving into the new house they’ll share with Melanie and Melanie’s two children, Violet finds a letter her mother wrote to her before she died, asking Violet to enjoy Christmas, along with a Christmas Wish List — things her mom wants her to do during the holiday season. On the list are exactly the kinds of things Violet doesn’t want to do this year, like Be Someone’s Secret Santa; Give Someone the Gift of Your Time: Volunteer; and Bake Christmas Cookies.
Violet shows the letter to her friend Izzy’s Aunt Mildred, who calls a meeting of the Charm Girls, a club Izzy and Violet belong to along with their friends, Daisy and Sophia. Aunt Mildred decides she will give them each a charm to put on their bracelet if they do all of the tasks on the Christmas Wish List, which Violet is not too happy about. She’d rather forget about the list completely, but feels compelled to honor her mother’s wishes.
And when Izzy’s crush confides a big secret to Violet, Violet feels like she is stuck between her best friend and the boy who she just might have a crush on, too…
Twelve-year-old Stevie attempts to brighten the lives of her cranky grandfather and the residents of his motel by planting a garden in this middle grade novel by National Book Award–winning author Kimberly Willis Holt.
Stevie’s world changes drastically when her parents are tragically killed and she is forced to live with her estranged grandfather at his run-down motel. After failed attempts to connect with her grandfather, Stevie befriends the colorful motel tenants and neighbors. Together, they decide to bring some color and life to the motel by planting a flower garden, against Stevie’s grandfather’s wishes. It will take Stevie’s departure before her grandfather realizes just how needed she is by everyone.
Blooming At The Texas Sunrise Motel explores themes of loss, family, and love, and gets at the heart of what it means to find a place to call home.
A heartfelt and voice-driven novel with just a touch of magic, Emily Gale’s The Other Side of Summer is perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead.
Ever since her brother Floyd died, Summer’s world has been falling apart. Her mom is a ghost of her former self, her older sister is angry all the time, and her dad wants to move the family to Australia. It seems like the only thing unchanged in their lives is Floyd’s guitar, which was returned to the family perfectly unharmed by the bombing that killed him.
Once Summer arrives in Australia, she feels even further away from Floyd than before. Until she works up the courage to play his guitar. When she plays, something amazing — perhaps even magical — happens. Summer starts to feel less alone. But even with a little magic on her side, only Summer will be able to find her way through her grief to whatever the other side may bring.
From the author of The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher and Nooks & Crannies comes a “whimsical, heartwarming,” (Kirkus Reviews) and profound tale of love, loss, and family.
Eleven-year-old Benjamin Putter has a lump in his throat, and he’s certain it’s a golf ball. He knows it sounds crazy, but everything’s been topsy-turvy since his father died last month. And he doesn’t know how to fix it.
Then, one day, something starts tugging at Ben, telling him to hurry to Augusta, Georgia — home of the most famous golf course in the world.
Ben might be going a little crazy, but escaping Hilltop, Alabama, sounds like a darn good idea. (And just maybe it will make that lump go away.) As he makes his way to Augusta, Ben partners up with a mysterious runaway named Noni, and they embark on a journey full of strange and wonderful surprises — and possibly magic — at every turn.
For fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt and Rita Williams-Garcia, Jenn Bishop’s heartwarming debut is a celebration of sisterhood and summertime, and of finding the courage to get back in the game.
Last summer, Quinnen was the star pitcher of her baseball team, the Panthers. They were headed for the championship, and her loudest supporter at every game was her best friend and older sister, Haley.
This summer, everything is different. Haley’s death, at the end of last summer, has left Quinnen and her parents reeling. Without Haley in the stands, Quinnen doesn’t want to play baseball. It seems like nothing can fill the Haley-sized hole in her world. The one glimmer of happiness comes from the Bandits, the local minor-league baseball team. For the first time, Quinnen and her family are hosting one of the players for the season. Without Haley, Quinnen’s not sure it will be any fun, but soon she befriends a few players. With their help, can she make peace with the past and return to the pitcher’s mound?
Fred is a sixth-grader reeling from the loss of his beloved dog, Casey. Every day he walks home from school bouncing Casey’s old worn-out tennis ball. One day, the ball falls down a sewer grate, and Fred can’t bear to leave it down there. He pries open the grate and stumbles down. Through the sewer, Fred enters a parallel universe: Casey is alive, his mom and sister are happier, and there’s a version of Fred who’s happier too. Spending time with Casey, Fred feels joy for the first time since his dog’s death, but he slowly realizes that the loss of Casey is masking an even greater loss: the death of Fred’s father. Fred brings his sister, Izzy, to this upside-down world of lost things in the hope of finding their father and bringing him back. Can everything that is lost be found again?
A breathtaking middle-grade novel about happiness, loss, and an unforgettable dog named Flip
Ben Coffin has never been one for making friends. As a former foster kid, he knows people can up and leave without so much as a goodbye. Ben prefers to spend his time with the characters in his favorite sci-fi books…until he rescues an abandoned mutt from the alley next-door to the Coney Island Library.
Scruffy little Flip leads Ben to befriend a fellow book-lover named Halley — yes, like the comet — a girl unlike anyone he has ever met. Ben begins thinking of her as “Rainbow Girl” because of her crazy-colored clothes and her laugh, pure magic, the kind that makes you smile away the stormiest day.
Rainbow Girl convinces Ben to write a novel with her. But as their story unfolds Ben’s life begins to unravel, and Ben must discover for himself the truth about friendship and the meaning of home.
Paul Griffin’s breathtaking middle-grade debut will warm your heart as much as it breaks it.
Future scientist Madeline Little is dreading the start of middle school. Nothing has been right since her grandfather died and her best friend changed schools. Maddie would rather help her father in his research lab or write Standard Operating Procedures in her lab notebook than hang out with a bunch of kids who aren’t even her friends. Despite Maddie’s reluctance, some new friends start coming her way — until they discover what she’s written in that secret notebook. And that’s just part of the trouble. Can this future scientific genius find the formula for straightening out her life?
An irrepressible ten-year-old must reconcile her fantasies with reality in this beautifully written novel about facing the future.
Although eleven-year-old Kobi’s parents sailed into a storm at sea five years ago, she knows they are alive. If she says “Avanti!” she can see them. Now that her wealthy Parisian Grandmama is sending Kobi and her sister away to live with Uncle Wim in Iowa, she will need the magic words her mother left her more than ever. To fit in at her new American school, Kobi tells lies that soon catch up with her, and leans heavily on her magic. In a heart-wrenching climax, she must confront not only the untruths she has told others but the stories she has made herself believe. Only then will she be able to grieve for her parents and move on with her life.
A tender and compelling contemporary novel for young readers about facing loss and finding friendship, from Ally Condie, international bestselling author of the Matched series.
Sometimes it takes a new friend to bring you home. It’s the first real summer since the accident that killed Cedar’s father and younger brother, Ben. Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar.
Infused with emotion and rich with understanding, Summerlost is the touching new novel from Ally Condie, the international bestselling author of the Matched series that highlights the strength of family and personal resilience in the face of tragedy.
Odette Zyskowski has a list: Things That Aren’t Fair. At the top of the list is her parents’ decision to take the family on the road in an ugly RV they’ve nicknamed the Coach. There’s nothing fair about leaving California and living in the cramped Coach with her parents and exasperating younger brother, sharing one stupid cell phone among the four of them. And there’s definitely nothing fair about what they find when they reach Grandma Sissy’s house, hundreds of miles later. Most days it seems as if everything in Odette’s life is far from fair. Is there a way for her to make things right?
With warmth and sensitivity, Elana K. Arnold makes the difficult topics of terminal illness and the right to die accessible to young readers.
Since her mom died, Andie’s family has crumbled. Instead of working, her dad gambles away insurance money, while her sister, Paige, has put her future on hold in order to pick up extra waitressing shifts. Andie’s afraid of what will happen if people find out just how bad things are. She’s not sure how long she can hide the fact that there’s no food or money in the house…or adults, for that matter.
When her science partner suggests they study paranormal activity, Andie gets an idea. She wants a sign from her mom — anything to tell her it’s going to be okay. Maybe the rest of her family does too. So she starts a project of her own. Pretending to be her mother’s ghost, Andie sprays perfume, changes TV channels, and moves pictures. Haunting her house is Andie’s last hope to bring her family back into the land of the living.
For anyone who loved Counting By 7s, The Haunted House Project is a journey through loss and grief, but ultimately a story of hope and self-reliance. As much as Andie has been changed by her mother’s death, the changes she makes herself are the ones that are most important.
Seventh grader Eddie is determined honor his father’s legacy and win the school science fair in this heartfelt and funny book that School Library Journal says is “perfect for middle school students looking for realism.”
Eddie learned everything there is to know about birding from his dad, including the legend of the Golden Eagle, which Dad claimed he saw once down near Miss Dorothy’s pond. According to his dad, the Golden Eagle had wings wider than a creek and talons the size of bulldozer claws. But when Eddie was in sixth grade, Dad “flew away” for good, leaving Eddie on his own to await the return of the elusive raptor.
Now Eddie is starting seventh grade and trying to impress Gabriella, the new girl in town. The annual seventh grade Science Symposium (which Dad famously won) is looming, and Eddie is determined to claim the blue ribbon for himself. With Mr. Dover, the science teacher who was Dad’s birding rival, seemingly against him, and with Mouton, the class bully, making his life miserable on all fronts, Eddie is determined to overcome everything and live up to Dad’s memory. Can Eddie soar and make his dream take flight?
Macy Hollinquest is eleven years old, and don’t count on her to change that anytime soon.
Her birthday is just days away, but she has no intention of turning twelve without her dad by her side. He’d promised to be there for her big day, and yet he’s been gone for months — away after his discharge from the army, doing some kind of top secret, “important work.”
So Macy’s staying eleven, no matter what — that is, until she meets Ginger, a nice older lady who is searching for her missing dog. Ginger’s dog search is the perfect cover for Macy’s attempt to locate her dad. But her hunt puts her on a path to a head-on collision with the truth, where she discovers that knowing can sometimes be a heavy burden. And that change, when finally accepted, comes with an unexpected kind of grace.
Mary Penney’s earnest, heartfelt story of change, loss, and new beginnings will resonate with young readers on the cusp of new beginnings, and stay in their hearts long after it’s done.
A heartfelt, beautifully written novel of love, loss, and math—perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead and Sharon M. Draper.
This “tangible allegory of grief through the eyes of a struggling 12-year-old boy” has been cited by Brightly.com as a book about sadness and grief that will help support kids and foster conversation.
Ever since twelve-year-old Charlie Price’s mom died, he feels like his world has been split into two parts. Before included stargazing and Mathletes and Saturday scavenger hunts with his family. After means a dad who’s completely checked out, comically bad dinners, and grief group that’s anything but helpful. It seems like losing Mom meant losing everything else he loved, too.
Just when Charlie thinks things can’t get any worse, his sister, Imogen, starts acting erratically—missing school and making up lies about their mother. But everything changes when one day he follows her down a secret passageway in the middle of her bedroom and sees for himself.
Imogen has found a parallel world where Mom is alive!
There’s hot cocoa and Scrabble and scavenger hunts again and everything is perfect…at first. But something doesn’t feel right. Whenever Charlie returns to the real world, things are different, and not in a good way. And Imogen wants to spend more and more time on the other side. It’s almost as if she wants to leave the real world for good. If Charlie doesn’t uncover the truth, he could lose himself, the true memory of their mother, and Imogen…forever.
In a touching poetic novel, a fall apple ritual — along with some inventive storytelling — brings a family together as they grieve the loss of a beloved family member.
When the first apple falls from the tree, Faith and Peter know that it’s applesauce weather, even though Peter is getting a little old for such things. It also means Uncle Arthur should be here to tell his stories, with a twinkle in his eye as he spins tales about how he came to have a missing finger. But this is the first year without Aunt Lucy, and when Uncle Arthur arrives, there’s no twinkle to be found and no stories waiting to be told. Faith is certain, though, that with a little love and patience, she and Peter might finally learn the truth about that missing finger.
Paired with warm, expressive illustrations by Amy June Bates, this heartfelt tale by award-winning poet Helen Frost highlights the strength of family and the power of a good story.
After the death of her father, twelve-year-old Wren finds her life thrown into upheaval. And when her mother decides to pack up the car and forces Wren to leave the only home she’s ever known, the family grows even more fractured. As she and her mother struggle to build a new life, Wren must confront issues with the environment, peer pressure, bullying, and most of all, the difficulty of forgiving those who don’t deserve it.
A quirky, emotional middle grade novel set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Be Light Like A Bird features well-drawn, unconventional characters and explores what it means to be a family ― and the secrets and lies that can tear one apart.
Dream Big. Be Extraordinary.
Everyone in Emma’s family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians – every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream. For Emma, her own dream can’t come soon enough. Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she’d do whatever it took to fulfill her destiny, and she doesn’t want to let her mother down. But when Emma’s dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task – finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town’s cemetery. If Emma fails, she’ll let down generations of extraordinary ancestors…including her own mother. But how can she find something that’s been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost?
With her signature blend of lyrical writing, quirky humor, and unforgettable characters, Natalie Lloyd’s The Key To Extraordinary cements her status as one of the most original voices writing for children today.
Worlds collide in a spectacular way when Newbery and National Book Award finalist Kathi Appelt and Pulitzer Prize nominee and #1 New York Times bestseller Alison McGhee team up to create a fantastical, heartbreaking, and gorgeous tale about two sisters, a fox cub, and what happens when one of the sisters disappears forever.
Sylvie and Jules, Jules and Sylvie. Better than just sisters, better than best friends, they’d be identical twins if only they’d been born in the same year. And if only Sylvie wasn’t such a fast — faster than fast — runner. But Sylvie is too fast, and when she runs to the river they’re not supposed to go anywhere near to throw a wish rock just before the school bus comes on a snowy morning, she runs so fast that no one sees what happens…and no one ever sees her again. Jules is devastated, but she refuses to believe what all the others believe, that — like their mother — her sister is gone forever.
At the very same time, in the shadow world, a shadow fox is born — half of the spirit world, half of the animal world. She too is fast — faster than fast — and she senses danger. She’s too young to know exactly what she senses, but she knows something is very wrong. And when Jules believes one last wish rock for Sylvie needs to be thrown into the river, the human and shadow worlds collide.
Writing in alternate voices — one Jules’s, the other the fox’s — Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee tell the searingly beautiful tale of one small family’s moment of heartbreak, a moment that unfolds into one that is epic, mythic, shimmering, and most of all, hopeful.
Lucas has just lost his father in Afghanistan and to help him cope, his grandmother sends him to Camp Kawani. While there, he learns of the lost treasure of Thomas Jefferson Beale, a local legend of a hoard of gold buried in the mountains 200 years ago. The location is encrypted in a set of codes no one has ever been able to decipher. Lucas becomes obsessed with finding the gold to save his home and leads his newfound friends into a dangerous mission into the wilderness to uncover it.
In the tradition of Counting By 7s and The Thing About Jellyfish, a heartwarming coming-of-age story about grief, family, friendship, and the importance of finding your voice.
Wayne Kovok lives in a world of After. After his uncle in the army was killed overseas. After Wayne and his mother survived a plane crash while coming back from the funeral. After he lost his voice.
Wayne has always used his love of facts to communicate (“Did you know more people die each year from shaking a vending machine than from shark attacks?”). Without his voice, how will he wow the prettiest girl in school? How will he stand up to his drill-sergeant grandfather? And how will he share his hopes with his deadbeat dad? It’s not until Wayne loses his voice completely that he realizes how much he doesn’t say.
Filled with Karen Harrington’s signature heart and humor, Mayday tackles an unforgettable journey of family and friendship.
Ever since his mother died, 11-year-old Owen has felt lost. He’s drifting apart from his dad, his grades are dropping, and the only thing keeping him sane are the soccer trials coming up.
Then, in the middle of school one day, he is sucked out of real life and thrown into a desolate alternative world, a largely deserted wasteland where a menacing storm of Darkness plagues the city, threatening his life and the lives of the people who dwell there.
Terrifying as this new world is, Owen recognizes it – his dad is an author, and this is the setting of his new novel. Fueled by his grief over the loss of his mom, Owen’s dad has conjured a world so real and so fraught that Owen is transported to it every time his dad sets pen to paper. And he has to live out every word in the story.
But each jump devours chunks of his real life. Owen misses days of school, and even a key soccer game that threatens his chances of having a shot at appearing in the tryouts at all. Owen desperately wants these events to stop, but doesn’t want to plunge his dad any further into the well of unhappiness that threatens to drown them both.
With social services threatening to ship Owen off to his aunt’s house and his school career spiraling out of control, what if finishing the story and battling the Darkness is the only way Owen can save himself…and his dad?