Booklist: Fiction with Cooking!

It’s the holidays, and what’s one thing everyone seems to enjoy when it gets cold and dark too soon?  Baking!  Here are some fiction and chapter books to enjoy adventures, mysteries and fantasy titles featuring kids who cook!

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Cooking and Baking Fiction & Chapter Books

recipe-for-troubleBerk, Sheryl.  Recipe for Trouble
Sophie and Katherine, stars of TLC’s DC Cupcakes meet Lexi Poole. To Lexi, a new school year means back to baking with her BFFs in the cupcake club. But the club president, Kylie, is mixing things up by inviting new members. Lexi is cast in the school’s production of Romeo and Juliet. If only she could be as confident onstage as she is in the kitchen. The icing on the cake: her secret crush is playing Romeo. Sounds like a recipe for trouble. Can the girls’ friendship stand the heat, or will the cupcake club go up in smoke? This book Includes recipes and tips to try at home!  Try all of the Cupcake Club series!

Dahl, Roald.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
charlie-and-the-chocolate
Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca lt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

De Laurentiis, Giada.   Naples!
naplesWhen Zia Donatella comes to live with the Bertolizzi family, little do Alfie and his older sister Emilia know what’s in store for them. Zia Dontella is determined to show the kids how a home-cooked meal is better than even the best take-out pizza or burrito. Zia’s plan transports Alfie and Emilia to famous food cities around the world. Alfie and Emilia find themselves transported to Naples, where they meet Marco, a young Italian boy on a very important mission to shop for the essential ingredients for his family’s entry in the city’s annual pizzafest contest. In their whirlwind search for the perfect items, Alfie and Emilia not only get a taste of Italy, but also find themselves refereeing a family feud between Marco’s family and his uncle’s family. Try all the Recipe for Adventure series

Dunbar, Fiona. The Truth Cookie
truth-cookieIn a sparkling debut reminiscent of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, comes the story of Lulu Baker, an ordinary twelve-year-old who discovers a magical secret. Lulu Baker’s dad is getting ready to marry his new girlfriend, world-famous model Varaminta le Bone. Everyone thinks Varaminta is fabulous. Everyone, that is, except Lulu. She knows that her stepmother-to-be, not to mention her awful son Torquil, is cruel, deceitful, and just using her father. But how can she make her dad see Varaminta and Torquil for who they really are? When a magical recipe book called THE APPLE STAR finds its way into Lulu’s hands, she finds that some very unusual ingredients and some help from her friends just might do the trick. Try the whole Lulu Baker Trilogy

Elish, Dan. The Worldwide Dessert Contest
worldwide-dessert
For eleven years in a row, John Applefeller has entered his highly original apple desserts in The Worldwide Dessert Contest. And every year he’s watched his delectable treats turn into disasters while the evil Sylvester Sweet wins first prize. But this year, when John’s greatest creation, the world’s largest pancake, flops, he and his sidekicks decide to seek help from the king of dessert chefs, the magical Captain B. Rollie Ragoon!

Graff, Lisa. A Tangle of Knots
tangle-of-knots
Told in multiple viewpoints, A Tangle of Knots is a magnificent puzzle. In a slightly magical world where everyone has a Talent, eleven-year-old Cady is an orphan with a phenomenal Talent for cake baking. But little does she know that fate has set her on a journey from the moment she was born. And her destiny leads her to a mysterious address that houses a lost luggage emporium, an old recipe, a family of children searching for their own Talents, and a Talent Thief who will alter her life forever. However, these encounters hold the key to Cady’s past and how she became an orphan. If she’s lucky, fate may reunite her with her long-lost parent.

Hannigan, Kate.  Cupcake Cousins
cupcake-cousinsCousins Willow and Delia can’t wait to spend a week vacationing together with their families. Their aunt is getting married, and Willow and Delia are hoping their tasty baked goods will be enough to get them out of being flower girls in the wedding. But with a mischievous little brother, a bacon-loving dog, and a misbehaving blender in the mix, their treats don’t exactly turn out as planned. When a real emergency threatens to ruin the wedding, will their baking skills be enough to save the day?  Try the other Cupcake Cousins books!

Harper, Charise.   Just Grace and the Trouble with Cupcakes
just-grace-and-the-power-of-cupcakesIt’s time for the school fair, and Just Grace’s class has chosen a cupcake theme. But the fair’s highlight, a cupcake competition, causes quite a stir when Grace gets paired with dreadful Owen and not with her best pal, Mimi. Grace is devastated. And just when she thinks things can’t get worse, her team votes down her idea to build a cupcake Eiffel Tower in favor of building Spiderman. It’s a challenging time for Grace. Will she be able to overcome her disappointment and lead her team onward? Will Grace’s team ever figure out how to make a Spiderman out of cupcakes?  Try the other Just Grace books

Horvath, Polly.  Everything on a Waffle
everything-on-a-waffle
Primrose’s parents have been lost at sea, but she believes without an iota of doubt that they are still alive, somewhere. She moves in with her Uncle Jack, but feels generally friendless. Her only real refuge is a local restaurant called The Girl on the Red Swing, where the owner, Miss Bowzer, serves everything on waffles – except advice and good sense which come free of charge and are always reliable. Food in general plays an important role in Primrose’s journey toward peace and understanding.

Kingfisher, Rupert.  Madame Pamplemousse and her Incredible Edibles
madame-pamplemousseMadame Pamplemousse is the story of Madeleine, forced to work in her unpleasant uncle’s horrible restaurant, The Squealing Pig . By chance she comes across the most marvelous shop, run by Madame Pamplemousse, which is quiet, discreet, yet full of delicious and otherworldly ‘edibles’ – Pterodactyl Bacon, Scorpion Tails in Smoked Garlic Oil, and Great Squid Tentacle in Jasmine-Scented Jelly. A quiet comradeship develops between Madeleine, Madame Pamplemousse, and Madame’s cat, Camembert. And together they create some wonderful culinary magic. Try the sequel too!

Lin, Grace.  Dumpling Days
dumpling days.jpgThis summer, Pacy’s family is going to Taiwan for an entire month to visit family and prepare for their grandmother’s 60th birthday celebration. Pacy’s parents have signed her up for a Chinese painting class, and at first she’s excited. This is a new way to explore her art talent! But everything about the trip is harder than she thought it would be–she looks like everyone else but can’t speak the language, she has trouble following the art teacher’s instructions, and it’s difficult to make friends in her class. At least the dumplings are delicious…As the month passes by, Pacy eats chicken feet (by accident!), gets blessed by a fortune teller, searches for her true identity, and grows closer to those who matter most.

Magnin, Joyce.  Cake
cakeMore than frosting filled those cakes. Wilma Sue seems destined to go from one foster home to the next–until she is sent to live with sisters and missionaries, Ruth and Naomi. Do they really care about Wilma Sue, or are they just looking for a Cinderella-style farmhand to help raise chickens and bake cakes? As Wilma Sue adjusts to her new surroundings and helps deliver “special” cakes, Wilma Sue realizes there’s something strange going on. She starts looking for secret ingredients, and along the way she makes a new friend, Penny. When Penny and her mother hit a rough patch, Naomi decides to make her own version of cake–with disastrous results. Then tragedy strikes the chickens, and all fingers point to Wilma Sue–just when she was starting to believe she could at last find a permanent home with Ruth and Naomi. Will the sisters turn her out, or will she discover what it feels like to be truly loved?

Mass, Wendy.   Pi in the Sky
pi-in-the-skyJoss is the seventh son of the Supreme Overlord of the Universe. His older brothers help his dad rule the cosmos, but all Joss gets to do is deliver pies. That’s right: pies. Of course, these pies actually hold the secrets of the universe between their buttery crusts, but they’re still pies. Joss is happy to let his older brothers shine. He has plenty to keep his hands full: attempting to improve his bowling score; listening to his best friend, Kal, try (and fail) to play the drums; and exploring his ever-changing home, The Realms. But when Earth suddenly disappears, Joss is tasked with the seemingly impossible job of bringing it back. With the help of Annika, an outspoken girl from Earth, he embarks on the adventure of a lifetime…and learns that the universe is an even stranger place than he’d imagined.

great-cake-mysteryMcCall-Smith, Alexander.  The Great Cake Mystery
Have you ever said to yourself; wouldn’t it be nice to be a detective? This is the story of an African girl who says just that. Her name is Precious. When a piece of cake goes missing from her classroom, a traditionally built young boy is tagged as the culprit. Precious, however, is not convinced. She sets out to find the real thief. Along the way she learns that your first guess isn’t always right. She also learns how to be a detective.

McCall-Smith, Alexander.  The Perfect Hamburger and Other Delicious Stories
perfect-hamburgerWhen a snazzy fast-food chain moves into town, business at Joe’s favorite hamburger restaurant begins to suffer. He gets an idea that’s sure to bring back the diners, but there’s just one problem. The secret recipe for the burgers is missing! Can Joe figure out the ingredients to recreate the perfect hamburger before it’s too late?  Enjoy two other delicious stories featuring three  young chefs with some enterprising ideas!

Michaels,  Anna.  The Adventures of Miss Petitfour
adventures-of-miss-petitfourMiss Petitfour enjoys having adventures that are “just the right size – fitting into a single, magical day.” She is an expert at baking and eating fancy iced cakes, and her favorite mode of travel is par avion. On windy days, she takes her sixteen cats out for an airing with the aid of her favorite tea party tablecloth as a makeshift balloon, Miss Petitfour and her charges fly over her village, having many little adventures along the way. Join Miss Petitfour and her equally eccentric felines on five magical outings — a search for marmalade, to a spring jumble sale, on a quest for “birthday cheddar”, the retrieval of a lost rare stamp and as they compete in the village’s annual Festooning Festival. A whimsical, beautifully illustrated collection of tales that celebrates language, storytelling and small pleasures, especially the edible kind!

Pankhurst, Kate.  Mariella Mystery Investigates a Cupcake Conundrum
mariella-mystery-investigates-a-cupcake-conundrumShe’s smart as a whip, super sleuth-y, and able to solve most mysterious mysteries and perplexing problems in no time flat. Mariella Mystery (age nine and a bit) knows that all good detectives write down important information about their investigations. In this top-secret journal she tackles the case of who is trying to sabotage the Puddleford baking contest with important clues and observations, helpful drawings, and handy tips for new detectives.

Papademetriou, Lisa. Save the Cupcake
save-the-cupcakeHayley has a knack for baking cupcakes with all sorts of ingredients, from cocoa to peanuts to even Thai curry! She and her little sister, Chloe, have just moved into their grandmother’s house with their mom, who divorced their dad a year ago and has just been laid off from her job. Hayley often helps out at her grandmother’s tea shop, where she gets to practice her cupcake-baking skills. She makes a batch for her new class only to learn that the PTA president’s daughter is allergic to gluten. Before she even gets a chance to share her gluten-free cupcake recipe, Hayley finds out that the PTA may instate a school-wide cupcake ban. Now it’s up to Hayley and her new friends to “Save the Cupcake!”  Try the other books in the Confectionately Yours series.

Pearce, Jackson. Sweetly
sweetlyAs a child, Gretchen’s twin sister was taken by a witch in the woods. Ever since, Gretchen and her brother, Ansel, have felt the long branches of the witch’s forest threatening to make them disappear, too. Years later, when their stepmother casts Gretchen and Ansel out, they find themselves in sleepy Live Oak, South Carolina. They’re invited to stay with Sophia Kelly, a beautiful candy maker who molds sugary magic: coveted treats that create confidence, bravery, and passion. Life seems idyllic and Gretchen and Ansel gradually forget their haunted past — until Gretchen meets handsome local outcast Samuel. He tells her the witch isn’t gone — it’s lurking in the forest, preying on girls every year after Live Oak’s infamous chocolate festival, and looking to make Gretchen its next victim. Gretchen is determined to stop running and start fighting back. Yet the further she investigates the mystery of what the witch is and how it chooses its victims, the more she wonders who the real monster is. Gretchen is certain of only one thing: a monster is coming, and it will never go away hungry.

Schaefer, Laura.  The Teashop Girls
teashop-girlsAnnie, Genna, and Zoe have been hanging out at the Steeping Leaf since elementary school. The Teashop Girls do everything together — at least they used to. With the end of eighth grade approaching, Genna’s too busy with theater, Zoe’s always at tennis, and Annie feels totally left out. What happened to tea every week, no matter what? When Annie convinces her grandmother to give her a job as a barista at the Leaf, things begin to look up. In between whipping up chai lattes for customers, and attempting to catch the attention of her Barista Boy crush, Annie is finally beginning to feel as grown-up as her best friends. But an eviction notice spells trouble for the Leaf and unless they can turn the business around, the teashop will have to close its doors forever.

Smith, Robert Kimmel.   Chocolate Fever
chocolate-fever
Henry Green is a boy who loves chocolate. He likes it bitter, sweet, dark, light, and daily; for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks; in cakes, candy bars, milk, and every other form you can possibly imagine. Henry probably loves chocolate more than any boy in the history of the world. One day-it starts off like any other day-Henry finds that strange things are happening to him. First he makes medical history with the only case of Chocolate Fever ever. Then he finds himself caught up in a wild and hilarious chase, climaxed by a very unusual hijacking!

Spinelli Eileen The Dancing Pancake
dancing-pancakes
The grand opening of the Dancing Pancake isn’t the only new thing in Bindi’s life: new friends, a new apartment, maybe even a cute new crush? But there are other changes, like her dad’s move to a new city that have left Bindi confused and wondering: What will happen to my family? Will this new life ever feel normal? Among the unlikely bunch of regulars who form a makeshift community at the diner, Bindi will try to figure out how to be a new version of herself, one pancake and one silly elephant joke (her uncle’s specialty) at a time.

Staniszewski, Anna. The Prank List
prank-listRachel Lee never thought she’d fight for the right to clean toilets. But when a rival cleaning business starts stealing her mom’s clients, Rachel will do whatever it takes to save herself the horror of moving to Connecticut―even giving up her fantastic new pastry classes, and her best friend Marisol. Operation Save Mom’s Cleaning Business is a go!  But when the series of pranks Rachel and her BFF cook up to take down the competition totally backfires, Rachel worries that her recipe for success is a dud. You know what they say―if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen…  Try other books in The Dirt Diary  trilogy!

Thorpe, Kiki.   In a Blink
Kate craves adventure and excitement. Mia loves dresses, roses, and anything beautiful. Lainey dreams of talking to animals. Gabby believes in fairies more than anyone. In a blink of an eye, these four best friends all get their biggest wish–they’re whisked off to Never Land, home to Tinker Bell and her fairy friends.The Never Girls is a fun series based on Disney characters.

Weeks, Sarah.  Pie
pieWhen Alice’s Aunt Polly, the Pie Queen of Ipswitch, passes away, she takes with her the secret to her world-famous pie-crust recipe. Or does she? In her will, Polly leaves the recipe to her extraordinarily fat, remarkably disagreeable cat, Lardo . . . and then leaves Lardo in the care of Alice. Suddenly, the whole town is wondering how you leave a recipe to a cat. Everyone wants to be the next big pie-contest winner, and it’s making them pie-crazy. It’s up to Alice and her friend Charlie to put the pieces together and discover the not-so-secret recipe for happiness: Friendship, family and the pleasure of doing something for the right reason. With Pie, acclaimed author Sarah Weeks has baked up a sweet and satisfying delight, as inviting as warm pie on a cold day. You’ll enjoy every last bite.

Wilson, Jacqueline. Cookie
cookieBeauty Cookson isn’t beautiful. Her father chose her name because he wants her to be a confident, popular girl. She tries to fit in, but she’s plain and awkward. All the girls at school make fun of her and have nicknamed her Ugly. Her mother thinks she needs a fun, creative nickname, something like . . . Cookie! But kids at school can’t just be told to call her Cookie. And, even worse, her Dad doesn’t approve. His already bad temper reaches frightening new heights. Will Cookie find the strength to stand up to her dad? And will she find a way to be the person she wants to be?

 

Winston, Sherri.  President of the Whole Fifth Grade
president-of-the-whole-fifth-gradeWhen Brianna Justice’s hero, the famous celebrity chef Miss Delicious, speaks at her school and traces her own success back to being president of her fifth grade class, Brianna determines she must do the same. She just knows that becoming president of her class is the first step toward her own cupcake-baking empire! But when new student Jasmine Moon announces she is also running for president, Brianna learns that she may have more competition than she expected. Will Brianna be able to stick to her plan of working with her friends to win the election fairly? Or will she jump at the opportunity to steal votes from Jasmine by revealing an embarrassing secret? This hilarious, heartfelt novel will appeal to any reader with big dreams, and the determination to achieve them.

Wrede, Patricia. Sorcery and Cecelia: or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot
sorcery-and-ceceliaA great deal is happening in London this season. For starters, there’s the witch who tried to poison Kate at Sir Hilary’s induction into the Royal College of Wizards. (Since when does hot chocolate burn a hole straight through one’s dress?!) Then there’s Dorothea. Is it a spell that’s made her the toast of the town–or could it possibly have something to do with the charm-bag under Oliver’s bed? And speaking of Oliver, just how long can Cecelia and Kate make excuses for him? Ever since he was turned into a tree, he hasn’t bothered to tell anyone where he is! The girls might think it all a magical nightmare . . . if only they weren’t having so much fun.

Zahler Diane Baker’s Magic
bakers-magic
Bee is an orphan in the poor kingdom of Aradyn, and when she is caught stealing a bun from a bakery, the lonely baker offers to take her on as an apprentice–but when she meets Princess Anika, and the evil mage Joris who is her “guardian” she embarks on a journey to save Anika, and restore the kingdom its rightful ruler.

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We hope you enjoy these great stories of cooking from all around the library!  If you would like to see if any of them are available for checking out, just look the title up on the Minuteman Library Network Catalog.  If it’s not available in Weston, we can put it on hold for you, and have it sent from one of our other member libraries!

Booklist prepared by Hope

 

 

 

Ideas for Holiday Giving – 2016 edition


New Children’s Books to share for 2016 Holiday giving:

                 (and maybe some potential winners for the 2017 Caldecott & Newbery Awards)

Picture Books:
thunder boy jr.jpgairport book.jpgsnappsynight-gardener

Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie; illustrated by Yuyi Morales
Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that’s all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn’t mean he wants to be Little Thunder!  He wants a name for something he’s done, like Touch the Clouds or Drums, Drums, More Drums!  But just when he’s about to give up, his Dad finds the perfect nickname.

The Airport Book by Lisa Brown
Follow a family on its way through the complexities of a modern-day airport. From checking bags and watching them disappear on the mysterious conveyor belt, to security clearance and a seemingly endless wait at the gate to finally being airborne. But have they lost something? Where is Sock Monkey?

Snappsy the Alligator by Julie Falatko; pictures by Tim Miller
Snappsy the alligator finds himself in a book he doesn’t want to be in.  He’s minding his own business when a pesky narrator jumps in an ruins everything by dramatically changing Snappsy’s ordinary day.  What’s an alligator to do? An irreverent look at storytelling, friendship, and creative differences, perfect for fans of Mo Willems.

The Night Gardener by Terry Fan and Eric Fan
Life is grim on Grimloch Lane, until a suddenly, someone is transforming trees and shrubs into animal masterpieces after dark.  The Night Gardener is a mystery until William, a lonely boy, spots the artist, follows him, and finds his life transformed with a special gift.

 shyit-is-not-time-for-sleepingchild-of-bookswe-found-a-hat
Shy
by Deborah Freedman
Shy loves birds. He’d love to watch them fly and hear them sing, but he’s only ever read about them in books. . .until a real bird comes along. He’s dying to meet her, but there’s just one problem- Shy is so shy that he’s afraid to leave the gutter of the book. Can Shy overcome his fears and venture out onto the page?

It is Not Time for Sleeping  by Lisa Graff; illustrated by Lauren Castillo
As the day comes to an end, the little boy in this book is quite sure it is NOT time for sleeping. As each piece of his evening routine is completed he becomes a little more certain: it is definitely not time for sleeping. But as he draws out his bedtime routine, the question becomes when WILL it be time for sleeping? A rhythmic, cumulative text and lush twilit scenes come together to create a perfect bedtime book for even the most reluctant sleeper.

A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers; illustrated by Sam Winston
A little girl sails her raft across a sea of words, arriving at the house of a small boy and calling him away on an adventure. Through forests of fairy tales and across mountains of make-believe, the two travel together on a fantastical journey that unlocks the boy’s imagination. Now a lifetime of magic and adventure lies ahead of him . . . but who will be next?

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen
Two turtles find a hat that looks good on both of them, but, with fairness in mind, they decide to leave it be, until night falls and one of the turtles changes its mind.  A longer picture book with the same quirky humor that will thrill the fans of Klassen’s other hat books.
bear-and-the-pianoare we there yet.jpgstorytellerwhat-do-you-do-with-a-problemThe Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield
A bear cub finds something strange and wonderful in the forest. It makes a horrible noise when touched. He is drawn back again and again, eventually learning to play beautiful sounds. He longs to explore the world, and to play bigger and better than before. But he knows that if he leaves, the other bears will be sad . . .  This gorgeously illustrated tale of following one’s dreams reminds us of the value of friendship, wherever we go.

Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat
Let’s face it: everyone knows that car rides can be boring. And when things get boring, time slows down. In this book, a boy feels time slowing down so much that it starts going backward–into the time of pirates! Of princesses! Of dinosaurs!  After reading this astonishingly inventive new book (that even turns upside down for several pages!), you’ll never look at being bored the same way again.

The Storyteller by Evan Turk
Long, long ago, like a pearl around a grain of sand, the Kingdom of Morocco formed at the edge of the great, dry Sahara. It had fountains to quench the thirst of the desert, and storytellers to bring the people together. But as the kingdom grew, the people forgot the dangers of the desert, and they forgot about the storytellers, too. Until one young boy came for a drink and found more. As he listened to the last storyteller recount the Endless Drought, and the Glorious Blue Water Bird, he discovered the power of a tale well told.

What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada; illustrated by Mae Besom
A nameless boy has a nameless problem. He ignores it, worries about it, avoids it, and wishes it would go away. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than it appeared. An optimistic book about facing up to things that scare you.

If you’re looking for something well-loved to give:

very-hungry-caterpillarduck-and-goosegrinchofficer-buckle-and-gloriaif-i-built-a-car
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
One small caterpillar, one week of food, an amazing transformation.

Duck & Goose by Tad Hills
After finding a mysterious egg, arguments turn to friendship.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
The original story of the Grinch, and how he was transformed.

Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
Safety and friendship have never been so much fun.

If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen
What kind of  amazing accessories would you add to a car, if you could design it yourself?

 

Chapter Books:

lucynarwhalbaby-lincolnstink-slime-mold
Lucy
by Randy Cecil
Lucy is a small dog without a home. She had one once, but she remembers it only in her dreams. Eleanor is a little girl who looks forward to feeding the stray dog that appears faithfully beneath her window each day. Eleanor’s father is a juggler with stage fright. The overlapping stories of three delightful characters, offering a slightly different perspective each time, come together in a truly original, beautifully illustrated book for dog (and underdog) lovers of all ages.

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton
Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but both love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together.  A graphic novel about friendship and fun.

Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? By Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Mercy Watson’s friend Baby Lincoln has her own adventure! Baby Lincoln’s older sister, Eugenia, is very fond of telling Baby what to do, and Baby usually responds by saying “Yes, Sister.” But one day Baby has had enough. She decides to depart on a Necessary Journey, even though she has never gone anywhere without Eugenia telling her what to take and where to go. Who might Baby meet as she strikes out on her own, and what could she discover about herself? Will her impulsive adventure take her away from Eugenia for good?

Stink and the Attack of the Slime Mold by Megan McDonald; illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Stink may be a super science geek, but even Dr. Stinkelstein is feeling freaked out about having a slime mold living and growing in his very own room. At Saturday Science Club, Stink learns that these one-celled organisms are smart enough to find their way out of mazes and gang up on food sources — so who says they aren’t smart enough to take over Stink’s pets, Stink’s room, Stink himself, and . . . the world? Vintage horror flicks meet classic Star Trek episodes as a wary Stink comes to know and love an unusual new pet in a hilarious adventure that sneaks in factoids and comics at each chapter’s end.

skunkedlife according to dani.jpgjuana-and-lucascookie-fiasco
Skunked!
by Jacqueline Kelly; illustrations by Jennifer L. Meyer
When Travis discovers an abandoned baby skunk, he brings him home to take care of him. Stinky settles in pretty well. But when Travis discovers Stinky’s litter-mate, Winky, who is in need of some help, things get complicated. One skunk is a piece of cake; two is just asking for trouble. Will Travis and Callie be able to keep the critters away from Mother’s careful eyes—and nose? A family story full of character.

Life According to Dani by Rose Lagercrantz, illustrated by Eva Eriksson
It’s Dani’s first summer vacation-and the best ever! She is staying on an island with Ella, her best friend in the world. Dad is still in hospital but he calls every day, and Ella and Dani stay busy building huts, fishing, exploring and swimming. Then Dad turns up, but with his nurse too! This is not the visit anyone had imagined.

Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina
Juana loves many things — drawing, eating Brussels sprouts, living in Colombia, and especially her dog, Lucas, the best amigo ever. She does not love wearing her itchy school uniform, solving math problems, or learning the English. But when Juana’s abuelos tell her about a special trip they are planning—one that Juana will need to speak English to go on—Juana begins to wonder whether learning the English might be a good use of her time after all.  Fans of Ivy + Bean will enjoy this book.

Great Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat
Four friends. Three cookies. One problem.  Hippo, Croc, and the Squirrels are determined to have equal cookies for all! But how? There are only three cookies . . . and four of them! They need to act fast before nervous Hippo breaks all the cookies into crumbs!  With a fun introduction by Elephant and Piggie!

 

Early Chapter Books not to miss at any age:

my-fathers-dragondory-fantasmagoryholly-joliday
My Father’s Dragon
, by Ruth Stiles Gannett; illustrations by Ruth Chrisman Gannett
A boy is determined to rescue a baby dragon from the lazy animals mistreating him on Wild Island.

Dory Fantasmagory by Abby Hanlon
The youngest in her family, Dory has a vivid imagination which she uses playing with her imaginary friend, pretending to be a dog, battling monsters, and generally driving her family nuts.

The Holly Joliday by Megan MacDonald
Judy Moody and her brother Stink celebrate in their own unique way!

 

Fiction:

girl-who-drank-the-moon wild-robot inquisitors-tale when-friendship-followed-me-home
The Girl Who Drank the Moon
by Kelly Barnhill
Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch. But Xan (the witch) actually rescues them and delivers them to new families, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. When Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight, filling her with magic, she decides she must raise this girl, Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge–with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions gather, a volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles, and the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .   A epic coming of age adventure.

Wild Robot by Peter Brown
Robot Roz has no idea why she is on a remote island or what her purpose is–but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a fierce storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island’s unwelcoming animals. As Roz slowly befriends them, the island starts to feel like home–until, one day, Roz’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her. A heartwarming adventure!

The Inquisitor’s Tale by Adam Gidwitz
On a dark night, travelers cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children and a dog:  William, an oblate on a mission; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning villa; Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions; and Jeanne’s loyal greyhound, Gwenforte, recently brought back from the dead.  On the run to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious holy texts from being burned, their adventures take them on a chase through France. They are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon.  Their quest drives them to a final showdown, where all will come to question if these children can perform miracles.  With style and humor, this story is richly researched and full of adventure.

When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin
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 books…until he rescues an abandoned mutt. Scruffy little Flip leads Ben to befriend a fellow book-lover named Halley; who Ben nicknames “Rainbow Girl” because of her crazy-colored clothes and her magic laugh, which 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.  A story that will warm your heart as much as it breaks it.

full-of-beans when-the-sea-turned-to-silver school-ship-tobermory ghost

Full of Beans by Jennifer Holm
Grown-ups lie. That’s one truth Beans knows for sure. He and his gang know how to spot a whopper a mile away, because they are the savviest bunch of barefoot conchs (that means “locals”) in all of Key West. But it’s 1934, the middle of the Great Depression, and with no jobs on the island, and no money anywhere, so who can really blame the grown-ups for telling a few tales? Besides, Beans isn’t anyone’s fool. In fact, he has plans. Big plans. And the consequences might surprise even Beans himself.  Filled with humor, heart, and warmth this return to the award winning world of Turtle in Paradise will find more devoted readers.

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin
Pinmei’s gentle, loving grandmother always has exciting tales for her granddaughter and the other villagers; until she’s kidnapped by the Emperor, who thinks her tales can help him find something called the Luminous Stone. Determined to have her grandmother returned, Pinmei embarks on a journey to find it first with her mysterious friend Yishan. Together, they face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Stone and save Pinmei’s grandmother–before it’s too late. A masterpiece companion novel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky.

School Ship Tobermory by Alexander McCall Smith
Twins Ben and Fee MacTavish have been homeschooled on a submarine. Now they’re heading to the School Ship Tobermory. This is no ordinary school–it’s a sailing ship where kids from around the world train to be sailors and learn about all things nautical. Ben and Fee make friends as they adjust to life aboard the Tobermory. When a film crew arrives on a nearby ship, Ben is one of the lucky kids chosen as a movie extra. But after a day’s filming, his suspicions are aroused. Are the director and crew really shooting a film? Or are they protecting a secret on the lower decks of the Albatross? Ben, Fee, and their friends set out to investigate. Are they prepared for what they might find?

Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities who are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.  A  gritty coming of age look at a boy overcoming obstacles.

evil-wizard-smallbone secret-keepers ghosts wolf-hollow
Evil Wizard Smallbone
by Delia Sherman
When Nick runs away from his uncle’s in the middle of a blizzard, he stumbles onto a very opinionated bookstore and its guardian, the self-proclaimed Evil Wizard Smallbone, who calls Nick his apprentice and won’t let him leave, but won’t teach him magic, either. It’s a good thing the bookstore takes Nick’s magical education in hand, because Smallbone’s nemesis–the Evil Wizard Fidelou–and his pack of shape-shifting bikers are howling at the borders. Smallbone might call himself evil, but compared to Fidelou, he’s practically a puppy. And he can’t handle Fidelou alone.  Wildly funny and cozily heartfelt, this is an eccentric fantasy adventure featuring dueling wizards, enchanted animals, and one stray boy.

Secret Keepers  by Trenton Lee Stewart
When Reuben discovers an extraordinary antique watch, he soon learns it has a secret power and his life takes an intriguing turn. Now he is on a dangerous adventure–full of curious characters, treacherous traps, and hairsbreadth escapes–as he races to solve the mystery before it is too late. From the author of the popular Mysterious Benedict Society.

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in their new home. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake -and her own.  A moving and insightful graphic novel about the power of family and friendship, and how it gives us the courage to do what we never thought possible.

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount.  A haunting tale of America at a crossroads and a time when one girl’s resilience, strength, and compassion help to illuminate the darkest corners of our history.

 

Classic Fiction Books for Holiday Reading:

penderwickshalf-magic-16turtle-in-paradisehatchetbest-christmas-pageant-everall-of-a-kindfamily
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
Four sisters go on a summer adventure, where they change the life of one boy.

Half Magic by Edgar Eager
What would you wish for if you found a magic talisman…that grants half a wish?

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm
Turtle learns about love and belonging after being foisted on an unsuspecting aunt during the Depression.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
Brian learns survive alone in the wilderness after a plane crash.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
The Horrible Herdmans take over the school’s Christmas Pageant in an hilarious story of friendship, faith and understanding.

All-of-a-Kind Family by Sidney Taylor
Five Jewish sisters experience the ups and downs of life in early 1900’s New York City.

 

If you would like other suggestions for Holiday gift-giving ideas, ask our librarians!  The Library does own all of these books, so if you would like to read one and just want to know if it’s available, check our Library Catalog and enter the title of the book to see if it is available or place a hold.

Happy Holidays!

::Kelly::
Weston Public Library
December 2016

 

Booklist: Branches

branches

Branches is a unique line of books specifically designed for newly independent readers who are ready to make the exciting leap from leveled readers, but not quite prepared for a traditional chapter book.

 

With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

Chabert, Jack Eerie Elementary (books 1-4) JCHP Chabert

The school is alive!

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Sam Graves discovers that his elementary school is alive and plotting against the students, and,as hall monitor, it is his job to protect them–but he will need some help from his friends.

 

px-1The locker ate Lucy!

Only a week into his job as hall monitor and class protector, Sam Graves and his friends Lucy and Antonio are trying to uncover the secrets of Eerie Elementary, their living and malevolent school–and then Lucy gets eaten by her locker.

 Cummings, Troy Notebook of doom series ( books 1-10) JCHP Cummings

Rise of the balloon goons

Alexander has just moved into Stermont, but the elementary school is being torn down, his new classroom is located in the hospital morgue, a notebook he finds is full of information about monsters–and everywhere he turns there are spooky balloon men determined to attack him.

Day of the night crawlerspx (3).jpg

Alexander and his new friend, Rip, are worried that the worms the rain has brought out are really the megaworms that Notebook of Doom describes but they soon discover that the night crawlers are trying to warn them about the monster tunnel fish that are threatening Stermont Elementary.

Elliott, Rebecca Owl Diaries series (books 1-5) JCHP

Eva’s treetop festival

 

Havinpx-5g a Bloomtastic Festival at school to celebrate spring is a great idea–but Eva Wingdale, a young owl, discovers that it is also a lot of work, and there is nothing wrong with asking her friends for help.

 

 

Eva sees a ghostpx-6

When Eva Wingdale sees something large and white flying above her she is convinced that it is a ghost, although most of the other owls just laugh at her–until something large and heavy and white lands on the school roof.

A woodland wedding

Eva’s teachpx-7er, Miss Featherbottom, is getting married, but when her special necklace disappears, Eva and her friends set out to track down the thief and return the necklace before the wedding.

 

 

Green, D.L  Silver Pony Ranch Series (books 1-2) JCHP Green

Sparkling Jewelpx (8).jpg

Nine-year-old Tori is thrilled to be spending the summer at her grandmother’s ranch, even if she has to share a room with her younger sister Miranda, who is eight–there is a beautiful, but very nervous, new pony called Jewel that she would love to ride, but her grandmother feels that this pony is just too much for a child.

Sweet Buttercup

px-9While staying at their grandmother’s ranch, sisters Tori and Miranda are practicing to compete in different events at the local horse show–but Ashley, a rude and conceited girl who is stabling her pony at the ranch, is constantly criticizing everthing, their costumes, their ponies, Jewel and Buttercup, and generally draining the fun out of the summer.

 

Jones Z. Noah Princess Pink and the Land of fake-believe series JCHP Jones

Moldylocks and the three beardspx (10).jpg

After falling through the refrigerator into the Land of Fake Believe, Princess meets a girl named Moldylocks who takes her to the home of the Three Beards for chili–but when the Beards capture her friend, Princess must come up with a plan to save her.

 Little Red Quacking Hood

px-11In her second adventure in the Land of Fake-Believe, Princess Pink meets Scaredy-Pants Wolf, a baker whose business has been robbed by Little Red Quacking Hood–and to save the bakery Princess must figure out why the ducks are suddenly so interested in pies.

 

The three little pugspx (12).jpg

In the Land of Fake-Believe the Three Little Pugs’ used car business has sold Scaredy-Pants Wolf a lemon (literally) instead of a delivery van, so Princess Pink gets an opportunity to use her karate moves to get Wolf’s money back–and set the Pugs on the straight-and-narrow path to business success.

 Joyner, Andrew Boris series (books 1-6) JABC Joyner

Boris on the move

px (1).gifBoris lives in Hogg Bay, in an old bus that used to travel all over the world, but now just sits there–until one day when his parents take him on an adventure.

 

 

Boris gets a lizard     px-13

Boris has a lot of pets, but what he really wants is a Komodo dragon, so he comes up with a plan–and invites his class to come and see his lizard.

Boris for the win

Schpx (14).jpgool field day is coming up and Boris and his friends are practicing hard because they are determined not to let Eddie win again, but on race day Boris is forced to choose between winning and friendship.

 

 

Lubar, David Looniverse (books 1-4) JCHPLubar

Stranger thingspx-15

When ordinary third-grader Ed finds a coin with the words “strange” and “stranger” on both sides, weird things start happening around him–but when his friends start blaming him for all the weirdness Ed wonders if this coin is not too strange for comfort.

Meltdown madness 

px (16).jpgEver since Ed found the magic coin called Silver Center, strange things keep happening around him, but maybe if he finds the right words he can use the magic to raise money for the soccer team.

 

 

Marko, Cyndi Kung Pow Chicken series (books 1-4) JCHP Marko

Let’s get cracking!    px-17

Gordon Blue and his brother Benny, unlikely superheroes, must save Fowladelphia from Granny Goosebumps, who has filled the city with cookies that cause innocent chickens’ feathers to fall off.

Bok! bok! boom!      

Supepx-18rheroes Gordon Blue and his brother Benny must rescue an opera star from the evil Dr. Screech before he turns her super high voice into a supersonic weapon.

 

 

May, Kyla Lotus Lane Series (books 1-4) JCHP May

Kiki : my stylish lifepx-19

Kiki and her best friends, Coco and Lulu, all live on Lotus Lane, attend Amber Acres Elementary School, and have their own club, so when a when a Japanese girl named Mika moves in next door and also chooses fashion design for her art project, Kiki is seriously annoyed.

Coco : my delicious life

Coco, on519OO9uDxdL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpge of the Lotus Lane Girls, loves cooking and animals, so when the club decides to plant a vegetable garden to help save snails, organizing a cupcake sale is an obvious idea–but Mika, the new girl next door, is still an unresolved problem. Includes cupcake recipe.

 

 

Nees, Susan Missy’s Super Duper Royal Deluxe (books 1-4) JCHP Nees

Picture day

51rPw6Ly9VL._SX345_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgAfter her mother helps with her outfit, Missy is afraid her school picture will not be special this year.

 

 

 

Class petsmissy2

Missy wants to take home the class pets, but another girl, Tiffany, has already asked their teacher so Missy and her friend Oscar need to come up with a plan to make Tiffany change her mind.

Stadelmann, Amy Olive and Beatrix (book 1-2) JCHP Stadelmann

The not-so itty-bitty spiders

51+fkJcjBzL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgBeatrix is a witch, but her twin sister Olive is not, and when Beatrix plays one trick too many on Olive and their classmate Eddie the two decide to get back at her with a bucket of garden spiders–but when the spiders get into a growing potion and turn into giant spiders the three children have to work together to save their town.

 


The super-smelly moldy blob

Beatrix wins the school science fair every year because she uses magic to cheat, but this year her un-magical twin Olive is convinced that her own project on molds will win–until a fight over space upsets both projects and turns Olive’s mold into a stinky, moldy blob monster which is alive, growing, and threatening to overwhelm the school.

West, Tracey Dragon Masters series (books 1-4) JCHPWest

Rise of the earth dragon
Eight5195psvhgfl-_sx340_bo1204203200_-year-old Drake is snatched up by the King’s soldiers and taken to the castle where he is told by the wizard Griffith that he has been chosen to be a Dragon Master like Ana, Rori,  and Bo–and his first task will be to discover whether his dragon, Worm, has any special powers

 

 

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Saving the sun dragon
The dark magic the dragons encountered in their first adventure has made Ana’s sun dragon, Kepri, sick and Drake’s earth dragon, Worm, teleports the himself, Kepri, and the four young dragon masters far away from the castle in search of a cure–but the threat of the dark magic still remains.

 Young, Jessica  Haggis Tank unleashed series (books 1-2) JCHP Young 

All paws on deck

s-l225.jpgTank is a clumsy, outgoing Great Dane, and Haggis is a bored, curmudgeonly Scottie–so one afternoon Tank suggests they turn the wagon in the backyard into a ship and play pirate.

 

 

Digging for dinos61Z+kCe9OgL.jpg

Haggis, the Scottie, and Tank, the Great Dane, two dogs with active imaginations, set out to search their neighborhood for dinosaurs to play with.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Booklist: Celebrating Hispanic Heritage!

It’s almost the end of Hispanic Heritage month, but there’s still time to  celebrate, with a book!  If you get a chance, check out our display, on the shelves when you first come into the library.

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celebrating-hispanic-heritage-graphic

PICTURE BOOKS (J PIC)

Aardema, Verna. Pedro and the Padre.
In this Mexican folktale, a lazy boy learns a lesson about lying.

Alvarez, Julia. The Secret Footprints.
A story based on Dominican folklore about the ciguapas, a tribe of beautiful underwater people whose feet are attached backwards, with their toes pointing in the direction from which they have come.

Andrews-Goebel, Nancy. The Pot That Juan Built.
Juan Quezada is the premier potter in Mexico. Using local materials and the primitive methods of the Casas Grandes people, Juan creates stunning pots in the traditional style, each a work of art unlike any other.

Brown, Monica. Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match.
Try as she might, in a world where everyone tries to put this biracial, Peruvian-Scottish-American girl into a box, Marisol McDonald doesn’t match. And that’s just fine with her.

Dorros, Arthur. Isla.
A young girl and her grandmother take an imaginary journey to the Caribbean island where her mother grew up and where some of her family still lives.

Elya, Susan Middleton. Little Roja Riding Hood.
While Roja picks flowers on the way to her grandma’s, a mean wolf sneaks away with her cape to surprise Abuelita. But Grandma’s no fool and Roja’s no ordinary chica. They send that hungry lobo packing with a caliente surprise!

Engle, Margarita. Drum Dream Girl.
Follows a young Cuban girl in the 1930s as she strives to become a drummer, despite being continually reminded that only boys play the drums, and that there’s never been a female drummer in Cuba.

Flora, James. The Fabulous Firework Family.
A Mexican family prepares a grand fireworks display for the festival of the village’s patron saint. With illustrations labeled in Spanish.

Johnston, Tony. The Iguana Brothers.
Dom and Tom, the iguana brothers, eat flowers, pretend to be dinosaurs, and discover that they can be best friends.

—. Isabel’s House of Butterflies.
Eight-year-old Isabel hopes that her plan will spare her favorite tree, keep the butterflies coming, and provide an income for her poor family in Mexico.

—. My Abuelita.
With great gusto, a child’s grandmother performs deep knee bends, consumes a breakfast of “huevos estrellados,” and practices vocal exercises before going to work as a storyteller.

Keats, Ezra Jack. Roberto Walks Home.
Roberto is thrilled that his older brother Miguel is going to walk him home from school. But when Miguel forgets and shoots hoops with his friends instead, Roberto is mad and has to walk alone. How will Miguel make it up to Roberto?

Kimmel, Eric. The Runaway Tortilla.
In Texas, Tia Lupe and Tio Jose make the best tortillas — so light that the cowboys say they just might jump right off the griddle. One day, a tortilla does just that.

—. The Three Cabritos.
Once upon a time three cabritos (little goats) decide to go to a Mexican fiesta. But their mother is worried. She warns them about Chupacabra, the goat-sucker who lives beneath the bridge. And sure enough, as the goats cross the bridge, he jumps out!

Lattimore, Deborah. The Flame of Peace. (PB)
To prevent the outbreak of war, a young Aztec boy must outwit nine evil lords of the night to obtain the flame of peace from Lord Morning Star.

Manning, Maurie. Kitchen Dance.
Two sleepy children sneak out of their beds to watch as their parents, who love each other very much, break into a dance while washing the dishes.

Markun, Patricia Maloney. The Little Painter of Sabana Grande.
Lacking paper, a young Panamanian artist paints the outside of his adobe home.

Medina, Meg. Mango, Abuela, and Me.
The night she arrives, Mia tries to share her favorite book with Abuela before they go to sleep and discovers that Abuela can’t read the words inside. So while they cook, Mia helps Abuela learn English (“Dough. Masa“), and Mia learns some Spanish too, but it’s still hard for Abuela to learn the words she needs to tell Mia all her stories.

Montes, Marisa. Los Gatos Black on Halloween.
Under October’s luna, full and bright, the monsters are throwing a ball in the Haunted Hall. Las brujas come on their broomsticks. Los muertos rise from their coffins to join in the fun. Los esqueletos rattle their bones as they dance through the door. And the scariest creatures of all aren’t even there yet!

—. Juan Bobo Goes to Work.
Although he tries to do exactly as his mother tells him, foolish Juan Bobo keeps getting things all wrong.

Mora, Pat. Abuelos.
Young Ray and Amelia move to a new village and experience the fright and fun of “los abuelos” for the first time, a tradition from northern New Mexico. In the cold months of midwinter, village men disappear to disguise themselves as scary old men and then descend on the children, teasing them and asking if they’ve been good.

—. Book Fiesta!
Children read aloud in various settings to celebrate of El día de los niños, or Children’s Day, in this bilingual story. Includes facts about Mexico’s annual celebration of children and the book fiestas that are often included.

—. Gracias.
A young multiracial boy celebrates family, friendship, and fun by telling about some of the everyday things for which he is thankful.

Morales, Yuyi. Just in Case: A Trickster Tale and Spanish Alphabet Book.
As Senor Calavera prepares for Grandma Beetle’s birthday he finds an alphabetical assortment of unusual presents, but with the help of Zelmiro the Ghost, he finds the best gift of all.

—. Niño Wrestles the World.
Lucha Libre champion Niño has no trouble fending off monstrous opponents, but when his little sisters awaken from their naps, he is in for a no-holds-barred wrestling match that will truly test his skills.

Soto, Gary. Too Many Tamales.
Maria tries on her mother’s wedding ring while helping make tamales for a Christmas family get-together. Panic ensues when hours later, she realizes the ring is missing.

Tafolla, Carmen. Fiesta Babies.
These Fiesta Babies dance, march on parade, and sing along to mariachi songs in their spirited celebration of fiestas.  From piñatas to flower coronas, little ones are introduced to the many colorful aspects of an important and lively Latino cultural tradition.

Thong, Roseanne Greenfield. Green is a Chile Pepper.
Children discover a world of colors all around them. Many of the featured objects are Latino in origin, but all are universal in appeal.

Tonatiuh, Duncan. Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin.
Two cousins, one in Mexico and one in New York City, write to each other and learn that even though their daily lives differ, at heart the boys are very similar.

—. Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale.
When Papa Rabbit does not return home as expected from many seasons of working in the great carrot and lettuce fields of El Norte, his son Pancho sets out on a dangerous trek to find him, guided by a coyote.

Vamos, Samantha. The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred.
A cumulative tale of a farm maiden who, aided by a group of animals, prepares “arroz con Leche,” or rice pudding.

Velasquez, Eric. Grandma’s Gift.
After they prepare their traditional Puerto Rican celebration, Eric and Grandma visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a school project, where he sees a painting by Diego Velasquez and realizes for the first time that he could be an artist when he grows up.

—. Looking for Bongo.
When a boy’s abuela accuses him of being careless with his beloved Bongo, he devises a trap and catches the toy thief red-handed.

Yacowitz, Caryn.  Pumpkin Fiesta.
Hoping to win a prize for the best pumpkin at the fiesta, Foolish Fernando tries to copy Old Juana’s successful gardening techniques, but without really watching to see how much effort and love she puts into her work. Includes a recipe for pumpkin soup.

FAIRY & FOLK TALES

Aardema, Verna. Borreguita and the Coyote. (J 398.2 AAR)
What’s a little lamb to do about a fierce coyote that wants to eat her? Why, trick him, of course… and trick him again…and trick him one more time!

Gerson, Mary-Joan.  Fiesta Femenina. (J 398.2 GER)
A collection of folktales from various cultures in Mexico, all focusing on the important roles of women, such as Rosha, a young girl who rescues the sun; the goddess Tangu Yuh; Kesne, a Zapotec princess; and the Virgin Mary.

—. People of Corn. (J 398.2 GER)
After several unsuccessful attempts to create grateful creatures, the Mayan gods use sacred corn to fashion a people who will thank and praise their creators.

Hayes, Joe. Juan Verdades: The Man Who Couldn’t Tell a Lie. (J 398.2 HAY)
A wealthy rancher is so certain of the honesty of his foreman that he wagers his ranch.

Hayes, Joe. La Llorona: The Weeping Woman. (J 398.2097 MOR)
Retells, in parallel English and Spanish text, the traditional Hispanic American tale of a proud and beautiful woman who, in a fit of jealousy, commits a terrible act and then cannot stop weeping for it, even after she is dead.

Kimmel, Eric. The Lady in the Blue Cloak. (J 398.2 KIM)
A collection of stories depicting the history of seven Texas missions from the 17th century to the 19th century.

—. The Two Mountains: An Aztec Legend. (J 398.2089 KIM)
Two married gods disobey their orders and visit Earth. They are turned into mortals as punishment and eventually become mountains so that they will always stand side by side.

Lamadrid, Enrique. Juan the Bear and the Water of Life. (J 398.2 LAM)
Although treated as outcasts, three superhuman friends, including Juan del Oso, whose father was a bear, create an irrigation system for New Mexico’s Mora Valley.

Lilly, Melinda. The Moon People. (J 398.208 LIL)
The moon people use a cloud bridge to travel to the Earth, a messy but beautiful world of incredible variety that becomes their new home.

—.  The Snake’s Toothache. (J 398.208 LIL)
An old witch who lives in a cave in a volcano with a fiery snake uses her wits to keep the serpent from destroying her village.

—. Song of the Sun. (J 398.209 LIL)
Eagle Warrior tries to find a way to free his fellow musicians who have been captured by the jealous Sun because they have only honored the Spirit of Night.

Mora, Pat. The Night the Moon Fell. (J 398.2 MOR)
When a gust from her grandfather’s blowgun causes Luna to tumble from the sky and fall into the ocean, the little fishes help her rise once again, in an updated retelling of a traditional Mopan Maya myth from Belize.

Palacios, Argentina. The Llama’s Secret. (J 398.21 P)
A Peruvian rendition of the Great Flood story, in which a llama warns the people and animals to seek shelter on Huillcacato to avoid the rising sea, Mamacocha.

Parker, Robert Andrew.  The Monkey’s Haircut. (J 398.2 BIE)
A collection of twenty-two traditional tales from the Mayas, including “How Christ Was Chased” and “The Corn in the Rock.”

Philip, Neil. Horse Hooves and Chicken Feet. (J 398.2 HOR)
This unique collection of fifteen folktales draws on the rich storytelling tradition of Mexico’s people and culture. Lively retellings and vibrant, whimsical paintings, based on Mexican folk art, make these spirited tales a perfect introduction to this little-known body of folk literature.

Storace, Patricia. Sugar Cane: A Caribbean Rapunzel. (J 398.2 STO)
You live in a tower without a stair, Sugar Cane, Sugar Cane, let down your hair. Stolen away from her parents on her first birthday by island sorceress Madam Fate, beautiful Sugar Cane grows up in a tower overlooking the sea.

Wood, Nancy. The Girl Who Loved Coyotes: Stories of the Southwest. (J 398.2 WOO)
Contains twelve original tales based on folklore that combine elements from Native American, Spanish, and Anglo cultures and focus on the Southwest, coyotes, and magic.

NONFICTION

 Ada, Alma Flor. Pio Peep! (J 461 PIO)
A collection of more than two dozen nursery rhymes in Spanish, from Spain and Latin America, with English translations.

Alarcon, Francisco X. Iguanas in the Snow. (J 811.54 ALA)
This collection of poems invites young readers to celebrate winter at the seashore, in San Francisco and in the redwood forests of the Sierras.

Ancona, George. ¡Olé flamenco! (J 793.3 ANC)
Flamenco: it’s dancing, it’s singing, it’s guitar playing! It’s a way of expressing oneself that has evolved from many influences over hundreds of years. In Santa Fe, New Mexico, we meet Janira Cordova, the youngest member of a company studying to perform flamenco.

Brown, Monica. My Name is Gabito: The Life of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. (J 468 BRO)
As a boy, Gabito had the ability to imagine many things. He lived in a small house with a large family. He would grow up to become a writer known as Gabriel García Márquez.

Engle, Margarita. The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom.       (J 811.54 ENG)
Cuba has fought three wars for independence, and still she is not free. This history in verse creates a lyrical portrait of Cuba.

Gonzalez, Lucia. The Storyteller’s Candle. (J 468 GON)
During the early days of the Great Depression, New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, Pura Belpré, introduces the public library to immigrants living in El Barrio and hosts the neighborhood’s first Three Kings’ Day fiesta.

Morales, Yuyi. Viva Frida. (J 468 MOR)
Frida Kahlo, one of the world’s most famous and unusual artists is revered around the world. Her life was filled with laughter, love, and tragedy, all of which influenced what she painted on her canvases.

Petrillo, Valerie. A Kid’s Guide to Latino History. (J 973.0468 PET)
Features more than 50 hands-on activities, games, and crafts that explore the diversity of Latino culture and teach children about the people, experiences, and events that have shaped Hispanic American history.

Rosario, Idalia. Idalia’s Project ABC. (J 468.6 ROS)
Introduces the alphabet by means of brief bilingual descriptions of city life.

Schmidt, Gary D. Martin de Porres: The Rose in the Desert. (J 282.092 SCH)
As the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a former slave, Martin de Porres was born into extreme poverty. Even so, his mother begged the church fathers to allow him into the priesthood. Instead, Martin was accepted as a servant boy. But soon, the young man was performing miracles.

Tafolla, Carmen. What Can You Do With a Rebozo? (J 468 TAF)
A spunky young girl explains the many uses of her mother’s red rebozo, a traditional Mexican woven shawl.

Tonatiuh, Duncan. Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation. (J 379.2 TON)
Years before the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling Brown v. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez, an eight-year-old girl of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage, played an instrumental role in Mendez v. Westminster, the landmark desegregation case of 1946 in California.

Zepeda, Gwendolyn. Growing Up with Tamales. (J 468 ZEP)
Six-year-old Ana looks forward to growing older and being allowed more responsibility in making the tamales for the family’s Christmas celebrations.

CHAPTER BOOKS and FICTION

 Agosin, Marjorie. I Lived on Butterfly Hill. (J FIC)
Eleven-year-old Celeste Marconi is a dreamer, a writer, a collector of words. But then a new whispered word trickles into her life: “Subversives.” Her beloved country of Chile has been taken over by a military dictatorship, and subversives — people considered a threat to the new government — are in increasing danger.

American Girl series. Josefina. (J SERIES)
Nine-year-old Josefina, the youngest of four sisters living in New Mexico in 1824, tries to help run the household after her mother dies.

 Bulla, Clyde Robert. The Paint Brush Kid. (J CHP)
Nine-year-old Gregory paints pictures representing the life of the Mexican American old man known as Uncle Pancho and attempts to save him from losing his house.

Cameron, Ann. The Most Beautiful Place in the World. (J FIC)
Growing up with his grandmother in a small Guatemalan town, seven-year-old Juan discovers the value of hard work, the joy of learning, and the location of the most beautiful place in the world.

Fleischman, Sid. Bandit’s Moon. (J FIC)
Twelve-year-old Annyrose relates her adventures with Joaquín Murieta and his band of outlaws in the California gold-mining region during the mid-1800s.

Flood, Pansie Hart. It’s Test Day, Tiger Turcotte. (J CHP)
Already so worried about the big second grade test that his stomach is upset, seven-year-old Tiger Turcotte, whose parents are African American, Meherrin Indian, and Hispanic, gets stuck on the question about race.

Jennings, Patrick. Faith and the Electric Dogs. (J PBK)
Because Faith hates her new life in Mexico, she and her faithful mutt, Edison, flee by rocket and find adventures which cause her to have a change of heart.

Jules, Jacqueline. Zapato Power series (J CHP)
Freddie finds a mysterious package outside his apartment containing sneakers that allow him to run faster than a train, and inspire him to perform heroic deeds.

Lord, Cynthia. A Handful of Stars. (J FIC)
When her blind dog slips his collar, twelve-year old Lily meets Salma Santiago, a young Hispanic girl whose migrant family are in Maine for the blueberry-picking season, and, based partly on their mutual love of dogs, the two forge a friendship while painting bee boxes for Lily’s grandfather–but as the Blueberry Queen pageant approaches Lily and Selma are confronted with some of the hard truths of prejudice and migrant life.

Mikaelson, Ben.  Sparrow Hawk Red. (J FIC & J PBK)
Thirteen-year-old Ricky, the Mexican American son of a former Drug Enforcement Agency man, tries to avenge his mother’s murder by crossing over into Mexico to steal a high-tech radar plane from drug smugglers.

Ryan, Pam Munoz.  Becoming Naomi Leon. (J FIC)
When Naomi’s absent mother resurfaces to claim her, Naomi runs away to Mexico with her great-grandmother and younger brother in search of her father.

 —. The Dreamer. (J FIC)
A fictionalized biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who grew up a painfully shy child, ridiculed by his overbearing father, but who became one of the most widely-read poets in the world.

—.  Esperanza Rising. (J PBK)
Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.

—.  Riding Freedom. (J FIC & J PBK)
A fictionalized account of Charley (Charlotte) Parkhurst who ran away from an orphanage, posed as a boy, moved to California, and fooled everyone by her appearance.

Stanley, Diane.  Elena. (J FIC)
A Mexican American girl recounts how her mother moved the family to America during the Mexican Revolution.

Wojciechowska, Maia. Shadow of a Bull. (J FIC)
Manolo Olivar has to make a decision: to follow in his famous father’s shadow and become a bullfighter, or to follow his heart and become a doctor.

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Thanks to Casey, for helping prepare this list!

Booklist: If you Like Ivy + Bean!

Do we have a booklist for you!  All the books on this list feature girls who, when they put their minds to it, can do anything!  Solve mysteries, care for animals, even do magic!  If you like  Ivy and Bean, you sure to love these titles too.

(You’ll find these titles in the Beginning Chapter Books section unless noted).

Atinuke. Anna Hibiscus
AAnna Hibiscusnna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa. She lives with her whole family in a wonderful house. There is always somebody to laugh and play with. Anna Hibiscus loves to splash in the sea with her cousins and have parties with her aunties. But more than anything else in the world, Anna Hibiscus would love to see snow. Featuring warm, loving multi-generational family relationships, this Boston Globe/Horn Book Honor winner showcases daily life in modern, urban Africa.

Barkley, Callie. The Critter Club
Critter ClubIntroducing the Critter Club! Amy and her friends solve a canine caper in this start to a pet-friendly illustrated chapter book series. It’s Spring Break in Santa Vista, and everyone has big plans… everyone except for Amy, that is! As her best friends head out of town on exciting adventures, Amy resigns herself to helping out at her mom’s vet clinic. At least she’ll be around cute animals! But when Santa Vista’s cold and elusive millionaire, Marge Sullivan, brings her puppy Rufus for a check-up, Amy encounters an unexpected mystery. After her friends return home, the girls get to the bottom of what happened to Rufus—and discover a way to help other lost and lonely animals in their town.

Benton, Jim. Franny K. Stein, Mad Scientist
Franny K Stein
Franny K. Stein is not your average girl — she’s a mad scientist. She prefers poison ivy to daisies, and when Franny jumps rope, she uses her pet snake. The kids in Franny’s class think she’s weird, wacky, and just plain creepy. Tired of being stared at, Franny decides to attempt her most dangerous experiment yet — she’s going to fit in. But when a giant Monstrous Fiend attacks the class, everyone knows it’s up to a mad scientist to save the day. But has Franny lost her creepy, crawly ways?

Pain and the Great OneBlume, Judy. The Pain and the Great One
When an eight-year-old girl and her six-year-old brother take turns describing each other, it’s no surprise that “The Pain” and “The Great One” are the nicknames that emerge. As this duo debates whom Mom and Dad love most, their competition becomes increasingly humorous—because when it comes to family affection, there’s no such thing as win or lose.

Branford, Anna. Violet Mackerel
Violet MackerelViolet is a seven-year-old with a knack for appreciating the smallest things in life: her “Theory of Finding Small Things” states that the moment of finding a tiny treasure usually coincides with the moment of having a genius idea. This creative little girl always strives to think outside the box, so when she spots a small china bird that she desperately wants, she forms an imaginative plan for getting it—and her methods are anything but ordinary!

Coven, Wanda. Heidi Heckelbeck
Heidi Heckelbeck seems like any other eight-year-old, but she has a secret: She’s a witch in disguise. Careful to keep her powers hidden (but excited to use them all the same), Heidi’s learningheidi heckelbeck to live like any other kid — who just happens to be a witch. Heidi and her brother Henry have always been homeschooled — until now. But Heidi is not happy about attending Brewster Elementary, especially not when meanie Melanie Maplethorpe turns Heidi’s first day of school into a nightmare by announcing that Heidi is smelly and ruining her art project. Heidi feels horrible and never wants to go back to school-but while sulking in her room at home, she remembers her special medallion and Book of Spells. With a little bit of carefully concealed magic, Heidi might be able to give Melanie a taste of her own medicine….

Friedman, Laurie. Mallory McDonald   *located in Fiction
Mallory
When eight-and-a-half-year-old Mallory McDonald’s parents tell her that they are moving, she’s mad–really mad! It’s not fair! How can they make her move away from Mary Ann, her best friend in the whole wide world? Who will she paint her toenails with, tell secrets to, and make scrapbooks with? When Mallory arrives at her new house on Wish Pond Road, things are terrible. Her room is too small and the girl next door is mean. But Joey lives next door, too. Even though he doesn’t paint his toes, he tells jokes, helps teach her cat to do tricks, and shows her how to skateboard. Mallory’s having so much fun she forgets the pact she made with Mary Ann never to make friends with a boy next door. But when Mary Ann comes to visit, what will Mallory do? Will she have to choose between her best friend and her new friend?

Greene, Stephanie. Princess Posey
Princess Posey
Posey is really nervous about starting first grade. Instead of getting walked to her classroom, her mom has to drop her off at the Kiss-and-Go Lane. Then she’ll have to walk into school and face the Monster of the Blue Hall all by herself. Worst of all, she has to do it without the one thing that always makes her feel brave and special: the tutu that turns her into the Pink Princess. But when Posey inspires her new teacher to throw a first-day parade in which all the kids are invited to wear whatever makes them feel the most comfortable, first grade starts to look a lot more promising.

Hale, Shannon and Dean. The Princess in Black
Princess in BlackPrincess Magnolia is having hot chocolate and scones with Duchess Wigtower when… Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! A big blue monster is threatening the goats! Stopping monsters is no job for dainty Princess Magnolia. But luckily Princess Magnolia has a secret —she’s also the Princess in Black, and stopping monsters is the perfect job for her! Can the princess sneak away, transform into her alter ego, and defeat the monster before the nosy duchess discovers her secret? From award-winning writing team of Shannon and Dean Hale and illustrator LeUyen Pham, here is the first in a humorous and action-packed chapter book series for young readers who like their princesses not only prim and perfect, but also dressed in black.

Dory FantasmagoryHanlon, Abby. Dory Fantasmagory
As the youngest in her family, Dory really wants attention, and more than anything, she wants her brother and sister to play with her. But she’s too much of a baby for them, so she’s left to her own devices—including her wild imagination and untiring energy. Her siblings may roll their eyes at her childish games, but Dory has lots of things to do: outsmarting the monsters all over the house, escaping from prison (aka time-out), and exacting revenge on her sister’s favorite doll. And when they really need her, daring Dory will prove her bravery, and finally get exactly what she has been looking for.

Harper, Charise Mericle. Just Grace  *located in Fiction
Just Grace
Grace loves cats. She also loves taking pictures of cats and drawing Not-So-Super comics. She doesn’t like Sammy Stringer, a boy in her class. She’s got lots and lots of ideas, and when her neighbor’s cat goes missing, Grace does her best to make Mrs. Luther feel less lonely. But as the mystery of the missing cat continues, Grace’s well-intentioned plan backfires, and she finds herself in a bit of trouble. Maybe, just maybe, Sammy Stringer will help her through.

Look, Lenore. Ruby Lu
Ruby LuMost days the best thing about being Ruby is everything. Like when she’s the star of her own backyard magic show. Or when she gives a talk at the school safety assembly on the benefits of reflective tape. Or when she rides the No. 3 bus all the way to Chinatown to visit GungGung and PohPoh. And then there are the days when it’s very hard to be Ruby. Like when her mom suggests Chinese school on Saturdays. Or when her little brother, Oscar, spills all of Ruby’s best magician secrets. Or when her parents don’t think she’s old enough to drive!

Lowry, Lois. Gooney Bird Greene
Gooney BirdFrom the moment Gooney Bird Greene arrives at Watertower Elementary School, her fellow second-graders are intrigued by her unique sense of style and her unusual lunches. So when story time arrives, the choice is unanimous: they want to hear about Gooney Bird Greene. And that suits her just fine, because, as it turns out, Gooney Bird has quite a few interesting and “absolutely true” stories to tell.

McDonald, Megan. Judy Moody   *located in Fiction
Judy Moody“Judy Moody was in a mood. Not a good mood. A bad mood. A mad-faced mood.” To start, Judy Moody doesn’t have high hopes for third grade. Her new desk won’t have an armadillo sticker with her name on it. Her new classroom will not have a porcupine named Roger. And with her luck, she’ll get stuck sitting in the first row, where Mr. Todd will notice every time she tries to pass a note to her best friend, Rocky. An aspiring doctor, Judy does have a little brother who comes in handy for practicing medicine, a cool new pet, and a huge Band-Aid collection. Judy also has an abundance of individuality and attitude, and when Mr. Todd assigns a very special class project, she really gets a chance to express herself!

McDonald, Megan. Stink
StinkShrink, shrank, shrunk! Every morning, Judy Moody measures Stink and it’s always the same: three feet, eight inches tall. Stink feels like even the class newt is growing faster than he is. Then, one day, the ruler reads — can it be? — three feet, seven and three quarters inches! Is Stink shrinking? He tries everything to look like he’s growing, but wearing up-and-down stripes and spiking his hair aren’t fooling anyone into thinking he’s taller. If only he could ask James Madison — Stink’s hero, and the shortest person ever to serve as President of the United States. In Stink’s first solo adventure, his special style comes through loud and strong — enhanced by a series of comic strips, drawn by Stink himself, which are sprinkled throughout the book.

lulu and the duck in the parkMcKay, Hilary. Lulu
When Lulu finds a duck egg that has rolled out of its nest, she takes it to class to keep it safe. Lulu isn’t allowed to bring pets to school. But she’s not really breaking the rules because it’s just an egg. Surely nothing bad will happen…will it?
In this series, Lulu loves all animals, and since her classmates know that, they come to her for advice, and sometimes to re-home a problem pet.  What’s a girl to do?

O’Connor, Jane. Nancy Clancy
Nancy ClancyKids who grew up with Jane O’Connor’s Fancy Nancy picture books can spend some quality time with their BFF because Nancy Clancy is now starring in her own chapter books!  Sassy Fancy Nancy is now a detective. When one of Nancy’s classmate’s most special possessions disappears from school, it’s up to her to save the day. With the help of her friend Bree, she follows the clues to an unexpected source. Fans of Nancy Drew’s Clue Crew will be happy to see a new Nancy join the ranks of super sleuths.

Parish, Herman. Amelia Bedelia Chapter Books
Amelia BedeliaYoung Amelia Bedelia will do almost anything for a shiny new bicycle. Amelia Bedelia’s parents say they’ll split the cost of a new bike with her, and that means Amelia Bedelia needs to put the pedal to the metal and earn some dough! With Amelia Bedelia anything can happen, and it usually does. Short, fast-paced chapters, tons of friends, silly situations, and funny wordplay and misunderstandings make the Amelia Bedelia chapter books an ideal choice for readers of the Ivy and Bean, Magic Tree House, and Judy Moody books. Look out! Here comes Amelia Bedelia, and she means business!

Park, Barbara. Junie B. Jones   *located in Series Section
Junie BMeet the World’s Funniest Kindergartner—Junie B. Jones! Remember when it was scary to go to school? In the first Junie B. Jones book, it’s Junie B.’s first day and she doesn’t know anything. She’s so scared of the school bus and the meanies on it that when it’s time to go home, she doesn’t.
Follow all of Junie B.’s  (that B. is Very Important to Junie!) adventures as she moves from kindergarten to first grade!

clementinePennypacker, Sara. Clementine   *located in Fiction
Clementine is having not so good of a week. On Monday she’s sent to the principal’s office for cutting off Margaret’s hair. Tuesday, Margaret’s mother is mad at her. Wednesday, she’s sent to the principal again. Thursday, Margaret stops speaking to her. Friday starts with yucky eggs and gets worse. And by Saturday, even her mother is mad at her. Okay, fine. Clementine is having a DISASTROUS week.

Peschke, Marci. Kylie Jean
kylie jean blueberryIn her first book, it’s time for the Blueberry Festival, and everyone in town is busy getting ready. Kylie Jean Carter’s momma is baking pies, her pa is picking berries, and Kylie is thinking about becoming the Blueberry Queen.
Kylie Jean lives in Jacksonville, Texas.  She has two brothers, T.J. and Ugly Brother (who is really a dog, but they don’t tell him that), she is surrounded by her whole family in Jacksonville, and she is the queen of everything!  (Well, everything that’s important, anyway.)

Rylant, Cynthia. Cobble Street Cousins
Cobble Street Cousins
Welcome to Cobble Street! Meet Lily, Rosie, and Tess. Lily wants to be a poet. Tess wants to act on Broadway. And Rosie wants a little cottage with flowers by the door. But for right now, the three cousins are happy staying with their Aunt Lucy on Cobble Street. It’s summer, school’s out, and the cousins have a project — a cookie company! They deliver fresh-baked cookies and meet a customer who has a crush on Aunt Lucy. But he’s too shy to tell her. How will these two ever get together? It’s up to the cousins to make romance bloom on Cobble Street!

Stern, A.J. Frankly Frannie
Frankly FrannieFrannie Miller cannot wait to grow up and work in an office with a swivel chair and her own assistant. She’s already got her resume, business cards, and mustard packets (which are so much more grown up than ketchup) ready. So why is it taking eleventeen hundred years? Frannie’s class is visiting the local radio station and the radio host is nowhere to be found. Should Frannie cover for him–after all, this could be her big break! But what happens when listeners call in with questions, and Frannie doesn’t know the answers?

Sternberg, Julie. Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie   (Eleanor series)
Like Pickle JuiceWhen Eleanor’s beloved babysitter, Bibi, has to move away to take care of her ailing father, Eleanor must try to bear the summer without Bibi and prepare for the upcoming school year. Her new, less-than-perfect babysitter just isn’t up to snuff, and she doesn’t take care of things like Bibi used to. But as the school year looms, it’s time for new beginnings. Eleanor soon realizes that she will always have Bibi, no matter how far away she is.

Viorst, Judith. Lulu
Lulu ViorstIt’s Lulu’s birthday and she’s decided she’d like a pet brontosaurus as a present. When Lulu’s parents tell her that’s not possible, Lulu gets very upset. She does not like it when things don’t go her way. So she takes matters into her own hands and storms off into the forest to find herself a new pet, where she encounters a number of animals; a snake, a tiger, a bear, all of whom don’t particularly impress her. And then she finds him…a beautiful, long-necked, gentle, graceful brontosaurus. And he completely agrees with Lulu that having a pet would be a wonderful thing, indeed! Lulu thinks she’s gotten her birthday wish at last. Until she realizes that Mr. Brontosaurus thinks that she would make an ideal pet for him!

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Do you have any other favorite books on this level?  Beginning Chapter Books are a fun place to meet new characters and see how they deal with situations.  If you’ve read all of these, just ask one of our librarians to help you find something else.  We love to help readers find the right book.

Coming soon…If You Like Horrible Harry–Beginning Chapter Books with main characters that are boys!

::Kelly::

Booklist prepared by Casey!

Terrific Trilogies As & Bs

Terrific Trilogies You May have Missed:
Authors A & B

Everybody enjoys a good trilogy! One good story, split into three episodes. Most of these are fantasy or adventure, but there are some are mysteries, sports and other genres thrown in. There are also a few that aren’t exactly trilogies, but that sort of belong on this list anyway!The plan is to go through the entire J Fiction collection and share some of the lesser known trilogies that you may have missed! Check them out and see what you think.

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Applebaum, Susannah – The Poisons of Caux
Poisons of Caux
The Hollow BettleThe Tasters GuildThe Shepherd of Weeds
There’s little joy left in the kingdom of Caux: the evil King Nightshade rules with terrible tyranny and the law of the land is poison or be poisoned. Worse, Ivy’s uncle, a famous healer, has disappeared, and Ivy sets out to find him, joined by a young taster named Rowan. But these are corrupt times, and the children—enemies of the realm—are not alone. What exactly do Ivy and Rowan’s pursuers want? Is it Ivy’s prized red bettle, which, unlike any other gemstone in Caux, appears—impossibly—to be hollow? Is it the elixir she concocted—the one with the mysterious healing powers? Or could it be Ivy herself?
Action Adventure, Survival, Magic

Bach, Shelby – The Ever Afters
Ever Afters trilogy
Of Giants and Ice – Of Witches and Wind – Of Sorcery and Snow
Rory Landon has spent her whole life being known as the daughter of a famous movie star mom and director dad. So when she begins a new after-school program and no one knows who her family is, Rory realizes something is different. And after she ends up fighting a fire-breathing dragon on her first day, she realizes the situation is more unusual than she could have imagined. It turns out the only fame that matters at Ever After School is the kind of fame earned from stories Rory thought were fictional.
Fairy Tales, Magic, Adventure

Bacon, Lee – Joshua Dread trilogy
joshua dread trilogy
Joshua Dread – The Nameless Hero -The Dominion Key
For Joshua Dread, middle school is proving to be, well, awkward. Not only do bullies pick on him, but do you see those supervillains over there trying to flood the world? The ones that everyone, including his best friend Milton, are rooting for Captain Justice to take down? They’re the Dread Duo, and they just happen to be his parents. As if trying to hide his identity wasn’t hard enough, Joshua has started leaving a trail of exploding pencils and scorched handprints in his wake, and only Sophie, the new girl in town with a mysterious past, seems unsurprised. When a violent attack at the Vile Fair makes it clear someone is abducting supervillains, and that his parents may be next, Joshua must enlist both Sophie and Milton’s help to save them.
Superheroes, Supervillains, Identity, School

Bardugo, Leigh – The Grisha Trilogy
Gisha trilogy
Shadow and Bone -Siege and Storm – Ruin and Rising
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a nearly impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked and her best friend is injured, Alina reveals a power that saves his life–a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha and the secrets of her heart.
Fantasy, Powers, Orphans, War

Bell, Hilary – Knight & Rogue
knight and rogue trilogy
The Last Knight – Rogue’s Home – Player’s Ruse – Thief’s War
Need a Hero? You’ve got one in Sir Michael Sevenson. Although there hasn’t been a knight errant in over two hundred years, this young noble has decided to revive the trade. He’s found himself a reluctant partner in Fisk, a clever rogue who has been given the choice of serving as Michael’s squire or going to jail for a very long time. Now Michael and Fisk are on a quest to right wrongs, protect the innocent, and make the world a happier place. It’s not going to be easy. On their first attempt at rescuing a damsel in distress, they break a lady out of a tower, only to discover she was there for good reason: awaiting trial for poisoning her husband. Now the would-be heroes must find Lady Cecile and return her to justice or be condemned themselves. Bonus! Apparently I missed that a fourth book was published, so it has been ordered and will be added to the collection. So, not an actual trilogy, but an honorary one.
Knights, Thieves, Heroes, Fantasy

Bell, Hilari – The Shield and Crown trilogy
shield and crown trilogy
Shield of Stars – Sword of Water – Crown of Earth
A former pickpocket, Weasel is the type of boy most people would avoid. Certainly, no one would ever trust him — except for one man. Justice Holis took Weasel off the streets, gave him a home, a job as his clerk, and a key to his house. Weasel’s new life may be a bit boring, but for the first time someone actually cares about him. But now Justice Holis is the one in trouble. Arrested for treason, he will surely hang unless someone saves him — and that someone can only be Weasel. But what can one boy do? With a mysterious girl named Arisa by his side, Weasel goes in search of the Falcon, the most dangerous bandit in Deorthas, but also the one person who would be able — and possibly willing — to stage a prison break. But Weasel’s fate changes when he stumbles upon a shield. Could this be the one said to have been lost for centuries, the one that bestows power on whoever holds it? If so, Weasel, once a lowly pickpocket, could be the most powerful person in the land.
Fantasy, Adventure, Thieves

Bellairs, John. The Lewis Barnavelt Mysteries
house with a clock trilogy
The House with a Clock in Its Walls – The Figure in the Shadows – The Letter, the Witch and the Ring
Lewis always dreamed of living in an old house full of secret passageways, hidden rooms, and big marble fireplaces. And suddenly, after the death of his parents, he finds himself in just such a mansion–his Uncle Jonathan’s. When he discovers that his big friendly uncle is also a wizard, Lewis has a hard time keeping himself from jumping up and down in his seat. Unfortunately, what Lewis doesn’t bank on is the fact that the previous owner of the mansion was also a wizard–but an evil one who has placed a tick-tocking clock somewhere in the bowels of the house, marking off the minutes until the end of the world. And when Lewis accidentally awakens the dead on Halloween night, the clock only ticks louder and faster. Doomsday draws near–unless Lewis can stop the clock!
Mystery, Horror, Family

Benz, Derek – Grey Griffins and Grey Griffins: The Clockwork Chronicles – TWO Trilogies!
grey griffins two trilogiesThe Revenge of the Shadow King – The Rise of the Black Wolf – The Fall of the Templar
Max Sumner and his three best friends, Harley, Ernie, and Natalia–who form the secret club The Grey Griffins–seem to be the only people in their very normal Minnesota town to notice that strange things have started to happen. When creatures like goblins and fairies and unicorns, all characters from a card game the Grey Griffins play, begin to make appearances in Max’s backyard, Max and his friends know something is terribly wrong. And it’s up to them to stop the wicked creatures of the cards from destroying their town-indeed, their world. (Ugly covers, great books!)
Grey Griffins: The Clockwork Chronicles
The Brimstone Key – The Relic Hunters – The Paragon Prison
A year ago, the Grey Griffins were just regular kids from Avalon, Minnesota. That was before they learned about the existence of evil fairies, werewolves, and other things that go bump in the night. Now they are monster-hunters, celebrated heroes, and allies to the legendary Templar knights—but even heroes have to go to school. When the Griffins enroll at Iron Bridge Academy, a school to train young recruits in the fight against the forces of evil, they find themselves at the center of a whole new adventure. The Clockwork King, a Templar foe from days past, has returned to finish the plan he set in motion decades ago. A plot to steal the souls of changelings—humans infused with fairy blood and supernatural abilities—in order to power his army of clockwork war machines.
Magic, Goblins, Card Games, Adventure

Berkeley, Jon – The Wednesday Tales
wednesday tales trilogy
The Palace of Laughter – The Tiger’s Egg – The Lightning Key

Miles Wednesday, orphaned, unwashed and living in a barrel, has never been to a circus before-but then the Circus Oscuro, which arrives in town in the dead of night, is no ordinary circus. There’s a strange beast called The Null and an array of sinister-looking clowns, and a tiger who claims to “smell the circus” in Miles. When one of the performers, an unusual little girl with wings, falls from a tower during the performance, Miles’s life is changed forever. As Miles and Little embark on an extraordinary journey to rescue two friends who have been captured at the Palace of Laughter, which is more dangerous and sinister than the name suggests. Can they succeed?
Adventure, Circuses, Orphans, Friendship

Blackwood, Sage – Jinx’s Series
jinx trilogy
Jinx – Jinx’s Magic – Jinx’s Fire

Abandoned in a forest by his stepfather, young orphan Jinx manages to avoid the dangerous trolls and werewolves. He has nowhere to go though, until he meets a crusty, morally ambiguous wizard named Simon, who takes him in as a servant. Jinx, who has always had an ability to see feelings in colors and symbols, develops the ability to communicate with the forest’s trees. But after Simon selfishly performs a spell, Jinx loses his abilities. Setting out into the forest to look for a counterspell, Jinx joins company with a girl and a boy, both of whom are suffering under their own curses, and all three set off to find another wizard, the monstrous Bonemaster, in hopes he can help them overcome their respective magical troubles.
Magic, Wizards, Fantasy, Friendship

Bode, N.E. – Anybodies Trilogy
anybodies trilogy
The Anybodies – The Nobodies – The Somebodies

Fern Drudger, an imaginative misfit in her extraordinarily boring family. When Fern discovers that she was swapped at birth, she leaves her tragically dull parents for an unforgettable adventure with her true father, the Bone. She discovers he is an “Anybody”-he can change into someone or something else—but he’s not very good at it. He’s convinced that Fern can help him find The Art of Being Anybody, a book which will allow him to improve his skills. The only problem? He must locate it before his enemy does and uses it for evil purposes. Fern and the Bone end up in disguise at Fern’s grandmother’s boarding house, a magical, dilapidated palace of books, where anything can happen, especially if you happen to be an Anybody!
Shapeshifters, Magic, Adventure, Family

Boniface, William – The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy
extraordinary adventures trilogy
The Hero Revealed – The Return of Meteor Boy? – The Great Powers Revealed

In the town of Superopolis, everyone has a superpower. Everyone, that is, except Ordinary Boy. Be he is part of the Junior Leaguers, a hero team that includes Halogen Boy, Plasma Girl and Stench. Not such good powers, but good friends! It turns out that things are not so super in Superopolis these days, with the evil Professor Brain-Drain on the loose. Ordinary Boy and the Junior Leaguers are thrown into the middle of a baffling mystery. Forget the regular superheroes. In a city where everyone is extraordinary, this just might be a job for . . . Ordinary Boy.
Humor, Superheroes, Friendship

Bracegirdle, P.J. – The Joy of Spooking
joy of spooking
Fiendish Deeds – Unearthly Asylum – Sinister Scenes

Spooking is the terrible town on the hideous hill — and Joy Wells is a proud resident. A fan of classic horror stories, Joy is convinced that famous author E. A. Peugeot based his spine-tingling tales on her town. Take the eerie similarities between the nearby swamp and the setting of his masterpiece, “The Bawl of the Bog Fiend.” Could the story be true? Could the bog fiend be on the loose? Things become truly horrifying when Joy learns that Darlington, the despicable suburban city where she is forced to go to school, is planning to build a water park over her beloved bog. It is up to her to safeguard the endangered area and its secrets. Little does she know that there is someone determined to destroy not only the bog but the town of Spooking itself — and anyone who dares stand in his way.
Horror, Mysteries, Brothers and Sisters

Bradley, F.T. – Double Vision
Double vision trilogy
Double Vision – Code Name 711 – The Alias Men

Lincoln Baker finds himself in a world of trouble when his seemingly harmless prank on a school field trip ends in expulsion and a lawsuit. Then two mysterious figures from a secret government agency called Pandora show up at Linc’s house with a proposition. Turns out Linc looks exactly like one of Pandora’s top kid agents, Benjamin Green, who vanished while on a critical spy mission in Paris. If Linc agrees to take his place, they’ll get him back in school and make that lawsuit disappear. But the mission is a lot more complicated than it seems. A highly valuable copy of the Mona Lisa has gone missing and now Linc must make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Too bad Linc isn’t a black belt math genius who can run a four-minute mile like his double, Ben, because he’ll need those skills to make it out alive!
Spies, Adventure, Action

Burgis, Stephanie – The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson
kat incorrigible series
Kat Incorrigible – Renegade Magic – Stolen Magic

Resentful of her stepmother, her secretive older sisters, and the whole code of ladylike conduct in early-19th-century England, 12-year-old Kat Stephenson takes action. She chops off her hair, learns to use her mother’s magical mirror, and fends off both well-meaning and threatening adults. With a group of witches after her to use the magical powers she seems to be developing for their mysterious ends, Kat also has to deal with sorting through her older sisters’ romantic lives, evading her bumbling father’s good intention (but bad plans), and her stepmother’s vicious attempts at sabotaging her life. Can she manage to find a way to save her family and still get proper training in magic?
Historical, Magic, Mystery, Romance

Burns, T.R. – The Merits of Mischief
merits of mischief trilogy
The Bad Apple – A World of Trouble – Watch Your Step

Twelve-year-old Seamus Hinkle is a good kid with a perfect school record-until the day he accidently kills his substitute teacher with an apple. Seamus is immediately shipped off to a detention facility-only to discover that Kilter Academy is actually a school to mold future Troublemakers, where demerits are awarded as a prize for bad behavior and each student is tasked to pull various pranks on their teachers in order to excel. Initially determined to avoid any more mishaps, Seamus nonetheless inadvertently emerges as a uniquely skilled troublemaker. Together with new friends Lemon and Elinor, he rises to the top of his class while beginning to discover that Kilter Academy has some major secrets and surprises in store….
Humor, School, Trickery

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And there you have it!  Did you read them all, or have you missed any?  Try one on your next visit to the Library!

::Kelly::

 

If you liked Wonder…

wonderWonder, by R.J. Polacio has been a very popular book over the last few years.

Wonder tells the story of Auggie, a fifth-grade boy going to school for the very first time.  Because of a frequent hospitalizations, and the reaction of people around him, Auggie has always been home schooled.  But now that his parents have given him a choice, he chooses to meet more people and be a “regular kid”. 

But the thing is, Auggie will always stand out.  He was born with severe facial abnormalities, which cause people to stare at him.  He’s hoping that his new classmates at the private school he’s about to attend will judge him on his actions, not his face.  But will they?

Told in alternating chapters by Auggie, his sister, his classmates and his parents, this is a powerful story about being different, friendship and courage.

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And if you liked Wonder, you might try:

 

CrossoverThe Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Josh Bell and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse.  In this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood, Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

because of mr teruptBecause of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
It’s the start of fifth grade for seven kids at Snow Hill School. There’s . . . Jessica, the new girl, smart and perceptive, who’s having a hard time fitting in; Alexia, a bully, your friend one second, your enemy the next; Peter, class prankster and troublemaker; Luke, the brain; Danielle, who never stands up for herself; shy Anna, whose home situation makes her an outcast; and Jeffrey, who hates school. Only Mr. Terupt, their new and energetic teacher, seems to know how to deal with them all. He makes the classroom a fun place, even if he doesn’t let them get away with much . . . until the snowy winter day when an accident changes everything—and everyone.

freaky fast frankie joeFreaky Fast Frankie Joe by Lutricia Clifton
Frankie Joe Huckaby, forced to live with the father he never knew, a stepmother, and four stepbrothers in Illinois is miserable. Trying to adjust to his blended family proves too much to bear, so Frankie Joe hatches a plot to escape on his bike back home to Texas. For that he needs money, and so Frankie Joe’s Freaky Fast Delivery Service is born. His deliveries win new friends, a place in the rural Illinois community, and a sense of achievement. But his planned escape is destroyed by a heartbreaking betrayal, and Frankie Joe needs all of his incredible resilience and the loving support of his new family to survive the devastating loss.

mighty miss maloneThe Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teachers for a special path in life. But the Great Depression hit Gary hard, and there are no jobs for black men. When her beloved father leaves to find work, Deza, Mother, and her older brother Jimmie go in search of him, and end up in a Hooverville outside Flint, Michigan. Jimmie’s beautiful voice inspires him to leave the camp to be a performer, while Deza and Mother find a new home, and cling to the hope that they will find Father.

lemonade_warThe Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies
Evan Treski is people-smart. He’s good at talking with people, even grownups. His younger sister, Jessie, on the other hand, is math-smart, but not especially good with people. So when the siblings’ lemonade stand war begins, there really is no telling who will win—or even if their fight will ever end. Brimming with savvy marketing tips for making money at any business, definitions of business terms, charts, diagrams, and even math problems, this fresh, funny, emotionally charged novel subtly explores how arguments can escalate beyond anyone’s intent.

out of my mindOut of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.

better nate than everBetter Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle
Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he’d settle for *seeing* a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There’s an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, and Nate knows this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom.

absolutely almostAbsolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
Albie has never been the smartest kid in his class. He has never been the tallest. Or the best at gym. Or the greatest artist. Or the most musical. In fact, Albie has a long list of the things he’s not very good at. But then Albie gets a new babysitter, Calista, who helps him figure out all of the things he is good at and how he can take pride in himself.  An inspiring novel about figuring out who you are and doing what you love.

words with wingsWords with Wings by Nikki Grimes
Gaby daydreams to tune out her parents’ arguments, but when her parents divorce and she begins a new school, daydreaming gets her into trouble. Her mother scolds her for it, her teacher keeps telling her to pay attention, and the other kids tease her…until she finds a friend who also daydreams and her teacher decides to work a daydreaming-writing session into every school day. With a notebook “thick with daydreams,” Gaby grows more confident about herself.

same sun hereSame Sun Here by Silas House
Meena and River have a lot in common: fathers forced to work away from home to make ends meet, grandmothers who mean the world to them, and faithful dogs. But Meena is an Indian immigrant girl living in New York City’s Chinatown, while River is a Kentucky coal miner’s son. As Meena’s family studies for citizenship exams and River’s town faces devastating mountaintop removal, this unlikely pair become pen pals, sharing thoughts and discovering common ground in their disparate experiences.

one for the murphysOne for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Twelve-year-old Carley Connors can take a lot. Growing up in Las Vegas with her fun-loving mother, she’s learned to be tough. But she never expected a betrayal that would land her in a foster care. When she’s placed with the Murphys, a lively family with three boys, she’s blindsided. Do happy families really exist? Carley knows she could never belong in their world, so she keeps her distance.

lions of little rockThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Twelve-year-old Marlee doesn’t have many friends until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is bold and brave, and always knows the right thing to say, especially to Sally, the resident mean girl. Liz even helps Marlee overcome her greatest fear – speaking, which Marlee never does outside her family. But then Liz is gone, replaced by the rumor that she was a Negro girl passing as white. But Marlee decides that doesn’t matter. Liz is her best friend. And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz are willing to take on integration and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families.

rulesRules by Cynthia Lord
Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She’s spent years trying to teach David the rules from “a peach is not a funny-looking apple” to “keep your pants on in public”—in order to head off David’s embarrassing behaviors.  But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a surprising, new sort-of friend, and Kristi, the next-door friend she’s always wished for, it’s her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: What is normal?

gold threaded dressThe Gold-Threaded Dress by Carolyn Marsden
In Thailand she was named Oy, but here in America the teachers call her Olivia. Other things are not so easy to change, however. When Oy draws a portrait of herself with brown hair and eyes as round as coins, her classmate Frankie makes fun of her and calls her Chinese. And the popular girl Liliandra barely speaks to her, until she learns that Oy has something very special: a Thai dancing dress from her grandmother, shimmering with pink silk and golden threads, that makes her look like a princess. Will Oy risk shaming her family to win Liliandra’s approval – and be part of the club she has envied from afar?

rain reignRain Reign by Ann Martin
Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She’s thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose’s obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different – not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father.  When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search.

summer of the gypsy mothsSummer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker
Stella loves living with Great-aunt Louise in her big old house near the water on Cape Cod for many reasons, but mostly because Louise likes routine as much as she does, something Stella appreciates since her mom is, well, kind of unreliable. So while Mom “finds herself,” Stella fantasizes that someday she’ll come back to the Cape and settle down. The only obstacle to her plan? Angel, the foster kid Louise has taken in. Angel couldn’t be less like her name—she’s tough and prickly, and the girls hardly speak to each other. But when tragedy unexpectedly strikes, Stella and Angel are forced to rely on each other to survive, and they learn that they are stronger together than they could have imagined.

glory beGlory Be by Augusta Scattergood
As much as Gloriana June Hemphill, or Glory as everyone knows her, wants to turn twelve, there are times when Glory wishes she could turn back the clock a year. Jesslyn, her sister and former confidante, no longer has the time of day for her now that she’ll be entering high school. Then there’s her best friend, Frankie. Things have always been so easy with Frankie, and now suddenly they aren’t. Maybe it’s the new girl from the North that’s got everyone out of sorts. Or maybe it’s the debate about whether or not the town should keep the segregated public pool open.

counting by 7sCounting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life… until now. Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.

stargirlStargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first.  Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal.

liar & spyLiar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
When seventh grader Georges (the S is silent) moves into a Brooklyn apartment building, he meets Safer, a twelve-year-old coffee-drinking loner and self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer’s first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: how far is too far to go for your only friend?

center of everythingThe Center of Everything by Linda Urban
For Ruby Pepperdine, the “center of everything” is on the rooftop of Pepperdine Motors in her donut-obsessed town of Bunning, New Hampshire, stargazing from the circle of her grandmother Gigi’s hug. That’s how everything is supposed to be—until Ruby messes up and things spin out of control. But she has one last hope. It all depends on what happens on Bunning Day, when the entire town will hear Ruby read her winning essay. And it depends on her twelfth birthday wish—unless she messes that up too. Can Ruby’s wish set everything straight in her topsy-turvy world?

each kindnessEach Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
Chloe and her friends won’t play with the new girl, Maya. Maya is different–she wears hand-me-downs and plays with old-fashioned toys. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her gang, they reject her. Eventually, Maya stops coming to school altogether. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, how much better it could have been if she’d shown Maya a little kindness. This picture book is perfect for sharing with a class about differences and what makes a bully.

* * *

And if you loved Wonder and can’t get enough, there is a another book by R.J. Palacio: 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Brown’s Book of Precepts.  There are also three e-books, which can be borrowed through Minuteman’s Overdrive Catalog: The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story, Pluto: A Wonder Story, and Shingaling: A Wonder Story (coming in May).

Happy Reading!

::Kelly::