Beautiful and haunting. Salma also sees the possibility of winning the local Blueberry Queen pageant for a college scholarship. This realistic middle grade novel is a tender story about friendship and growing up. In a word: powerful. Only Mike hates math and when he gets sent to a small town for the summer with distant relatives, Mike learns is true value.
The story is gripping, the ending bittersweet, and the writing amazing. Jasmine is so jealous that the older kids in her family have important jobs on the mochi making day — she wants to do what the older boys and men are doing, pound the mochi rice.
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Her understanding father figures out a way for Jasmine to join in. Zoo Camp Puzzle by Gail Herman ages 7 — 9. Ava and Rosie are not excited to move to the zoo for the summer with their brother, writer mom, and teacher dad. But once they arrive, they change their minds quickly. Also in the series: Puppy Rescue Riddle.
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And yes, pet-icures are in the story, too! I loved the diversity and the realistic topics of life and playing sports —so many kids will be able to relate to this charming story. Very easy. All her friends laugh but not Henry. And she stays mad for awhile. I loved the life lesson, the relatable characters, and the excellent pacing.
Great white space to text to picture ration, too! Contrast this with the diabolical plotting narration of the evil genius guinea pig Gizmo remind anyone of Pinkie and the Brain? Selfors skillfully addresses a family in transition through the humorous lenses of the pets.
I hope we hear more from these two. Well-written with fantastic illustrations by my good friend, Eric Wight. A delightful, well-paced story of super-smarty Benji who earns his first million by inventing an app of excuses for a school project.
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I really like that he has a close relationship with his mom and dad, too. Ellray takes the blame to protect his sister, after all family is family, and gets to help find a new class pet. In this story, Amelia searches for the perfect puppy. Peschke age 6 — 9 Kylie Jean Carter wants to be beauty queen but also a rodeo queen, blueberry queen, hoop queen, singing queen. Kylie Jean is adorable! Ellie Engineer by Jackson Pearce ages 7 — 9. What a well-written adventure that makes engineering seem enticing and creative! I loved this first book in the series from beginning to end.
Can Rosie and friends invent something to help June paint with her casts? After one disaster after another, including at the art contest, Rosie continues to persevere and problem solve to find a solution that will work. We learn that friendship comes from the most unlikely of friends, even someone like Crystal who despite her lies, is a loyal friend. It turns out Jacky is a natural actor — and that helps distract her from her Nonna being sick, her mom being deployed, and her dad never being home.
Very enjoyable! A ghost tour outing with a neighbor boy sends Maya to the hospital. Beautifully written and illustrated, this story deftly deals with big issues in an interesting, unique way. Wishtree by Katherine Applegate ages 8 — From the writer of The One and Only Ivan , comes a warm-hearted story of kindness and connection to others.
A wise old oak tree named Red narrates this beautiful story. Now, before he is cut down executed , he speaks to Samar to help her find a friend. This is one of those stories you want to reach out and hug. Lucy joins coding club so she can make an app for her uncle to remember his medications. But the class is moving TOO slow. Then, a mysterious letter arrives on her locker with instructions in code:. The subsequent messages in code put her back in touch with old friends and help her build a new friendship. But who is sending her messages? To solve the mystery, the girls decide to write their own code.
This series is off to a great start with an intriguing mystery, friendship dilemmas, and tangible coding knowledge. I love these three unique, wonderful siblings — they stick together and look out for each other. Liam is a responsible, kind big brother in fifth grade. Choldenko crafts a beautiful, multi-layered, warm-hearted story that celebrates family, unique personalities as well the richness in having a dog. I love this story so much. If you like the Penderwicks or the VanderBeekers, you will love this book, too.
Granny drags Louisiana out of bed in the middle of the night, insisting that they leave their home to confront the family curse.
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Not only does Louisiana not want to leave her friends and home, things get even worse when Granny abandons Louisiana at a motel along the way. Forced to fend for herself, Louisiana figures out how to survive miles from home while worrying that the family curse has destined her for an unhappy life. His mom, Astrid, is worried about social services taking him so he keeps quiet even though he really wants a bathroom. This well-written book is beautiful, important, and highly recommended. Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai ages 8 — Pie in the Sky is an insightful, funny, and poignant look at the struggles of immigrating to a new country Australia and the difficulties of learning English along with growing up and grieving the loss of a father.
He likens learning English with becoming human. After school with his brother, he bakes the cakes that his father wanted to include at his dream Pie in the Sky bakery. All the Impossible Things by Lindsay Lackey ages 9 — Tender, eye-opening, and heartfelt — this is the story of a foster kid named Red and her journey of abandonment, growing up, empowerment, and finding a family. Soon, she becomes friends with a neighbor boy and starts developing a relationship with her foster parents.
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The author skillfully weaves an important, heartfelt story about growing up, family, and finding your identity in the context of adoption, historical maltreatment of Native Americans, and the mystery of your own heritage. The truth opens her eyes and ours to the unjust but common practices that happened throughout U. Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams ages 9 — Genesis hates that her skin is so dark; she knows her grandma and father hate that about her, too.
In this coming-of-age story, Genesis finds her voice both literally and metaphorically. It will start the conversation about who defines beauty and how we can do better individually and as a society. Unteachables by Gordon Korman ages 8 — Funny, sensitive, well-written, brilliantly paced, relatable, and poignant. The middle school assigns the worst teacher, Mr.
Kermit, to a class of the so-called worst kids —the class known as the unteachables because Mr. Kermit does not care at all about teaching. Or disciplining. Or his students. As we get to know the kids in this small class, something surprising happens that gets Mr.
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Kermit to care just a little. And that opens the gates to even more caring and a big life change. As things get more complicated, like Mr. Kermit who begins to see the potential in each child. This is reciprocated, too.
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I think this book will get kids reading AND thinking. So for an elective, she takes computer programming instead of music. A girl in her programming class named Abigail is friendly but only during class. Which makes Emmy feel both good for that little attention but angry at being kept a secret. Lucido skillfully connects music and programming in a memorable, poetic story that even non-programmers can understand. Nothing works to deter the boys unwanted attention but unexpectedly, Mila finds an inner strength when she starts karate classes. That strength helps her find what works to put a stop to the harassment.
I highly recommend this essential book; it should be shared widely with middle school boys and girls. Middle school is hard enough with friend drama but add to it not-being-black-enough drama, personal and community race-related drama, and boy drama. Shayla explains to her classmates that black lives have been and are still being marginalized and treated differently than what is right, fair, or equal.
This is a powerful story about a girl finding her voice. Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya ages 8 — Her mom helps her stay on top of her assignments but her mom leaves for a work trip, leaving Emilia on her own.
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