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I’ll Be There

I’ll Be There

By Holly Goldberg Sloan

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Teen Life: Family, Personal Development: Friendship, Guidance/Health: Abuse

Grades: 7-17

Emily Bell believes in destiny. To her, being forced to sing a solo in the church choir–despite her average voice–is fate: because it’s while she’s singing that she first sees Sam. At first sight, they are connected.

Sam Border wishes he could escape, but there’s nowhere for him to run. He and his little brother, Riddle, have spent their entire lives constantly uprooted by their unstable father. That is, until Sam sees Emily. That’s when everything changes.
As Sam and Riddle are welcomed into the Bells’ lives, they witness the warmth and protection of a family for the first time. But when tragedy strikes, they’re left fighting for survival in the desolate wilderness, and wondering if they’ll ever find a place where they can belong. Beautifully written and emotionally profound, I’ll Be There is a gripping story that explores the complexities of teenage passions, friendships, and loyalties.


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* “Illustrates how we are all connected in big and small, positive and negative ways….[This] riveting story will keep readers interested and guessing until the end.” –School Library Journal, starred review

* “[A] life-affirming exploration of the subtleties of love, compassion, and relationships. . . . Like the song it was named for, this book is hard to get out of your head.” –The Horn Book, starred review

* “Sloan builds characters rich with depth and realism…. A terrific read, quick to capture the audience, this book will make readers sing the melody in their hearts.” –VOYA, starred review

“[Sloan] has fashioned a cast of memorable characters with compelling stories and relationships.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Sam and Riddle are wonderfully appealing characters that readers will root for….A highly suspenseful read with a dynamic, cinematic quality that keeps the pages turning to the satisfying conclusion.” –Booklist

“Sloan delivers a cinematic, psychologically nuanced first novel…[and] excels at crafting memorable characters and relationships.” –Publishers Weekly

“With a light, deft touch, Sloan shows the folly of superficial judgments, the difficulties of true empathy and how love and brotherhood can save us. You’ll be humming this book’s song for days.”



By Jerry Spinelli

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family Life: Grandparents and Extended Family, Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies, Personal Development: Loss, Personal Development: Friendship

Grades: 3 – 7

Eggs is a quirky and moving novel about two very complicated, damaged children. David has recently lost his mother to a freak accident, his salesman father is constantly on the road, and he is letting his anger out on his grandmother. Primrose lives with her unstable, childlike, fortuneteller mother, and the only evidence of the father she never knew is a framed picture. Despite their age difference (David is 9, Primrose is 13), they forge a tight yet tumultuous friendship, eventually helping each other deal with what is missing in their lives.


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A Scholastic Instructor Best New Summer Book

2007 National Parenting Publications Awards Honor

“Spinelli deftly handles themes of friendship, family, loss, and resilience in a story that will long linger in the hearts of readers. Elegant and memorable.”–Kirkus (starred review)

“The Newbery Award-winning Spinelli has crafted his tale in simple, vivid prose. Once again, it’s his original, compelling characters that set him so far above most authors writing for this age group…’A’ –Entertainment Weekly

“A touching tale.”–KLIATT

”A lyrical study of grief and hope.” –The Bulletin

“Readers will find some of the scenes between David and Primrose vivid and memorable.” –Booklist

Fixing Delilah

Fixing Delilah

By Sarah Ockler

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Teen Life: Family, Teen Life: Relationships/Sexuality, Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies

Grades: 7 – 17

Things in Delilah Hannaford’s life have a tendency to fall apart. She used to be a good student, but she can’t seem to keep it together anymore. Her “boyfriend” isn’t much of a boyfriend. And her mother refuses to discuss the fight that divided their family eight years ago. Falling apart, it seems, is a Hannaford tradition.

Over a summer of new friendships, unexpected romance, and moments that test the complex bonds between mothers and daughters, Delilah must face her family’s painful past. Can even her most shattered relationships be pieced back together again?

Sarah Ockler delivers a powerful story, rich with emotion and filled with family, love, and self-discovery.


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* “Delilah [is] one of the more realistic adolescent girls in contemporary fiction. She tells her own story in a lyrical and authentic voice.” –VOYA, starred review

“[A] perfect fit for those seeking expressive writing, emotional depth, and lush, cinematic romance.” –Booklist

“A love letter to relationships, falling in love, the importance of honesty, the relief found in a fresh start and the joy of discovering what true friends really look like.” –Justine Magazine

“Will satisfy readers who crave romance.” –School Library Journal

“The writing is beautiful in places, bordering on lyrical.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Well-written and ambitious.” –Publishers Weekly

Everybody Sees the Ants

Everybody Sees the Ants

By A.S. King

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Guidance/Health: Abuse, Guidance/Health: Women’s Studies, Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies, Family Life: Grandparents and Extended Family, Personal Development: Self-Discovery

Grades: 10 – 17

Lucky Linderman didn’t ask for his life. He didn’t ask his grandfather not to come home from the Vietnam War. He didn’t ask for a father who never got over it. He didn’t ask for a mother who keeps pretending their dysfunctional family is fine. And he didn’t ask to be the target of Nader McMillan’s relentless bullying, which has finally gone too far.

But Lucky has a secret–one that helps him wade through the daily mundane torture of his life. In his dreams, Lucky escapes to the war-ridden jungles of Laos–the prison his grandfather couldn’t escape–where Lucky can be a real man, an adventurer, and a hero. It’s dangerous and wild, and it’s a place where his life just might be worth living. But how long can Lucky keep hiding in his dreams before reality forces its way inside?

Michael L. Printz Honor recipient A.S. King’s smart, funny and boldly original writing shines in this powerful novel about learning to cope with the shrapnel life throws at you and taking a stand against it.


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* “Blending magic and realism, this is a subtly written, profoundly honest novel about a kid falling through the cracks and pulling himself back up.” –Booklist, starred review

* “King remarkably channels fifteen-year-old Lucky, creating one of the most believable teen male characters in young adult fiction…. This unique coming-of-age story will hold tremendous appeal for reluctant male readers.” –VOYA, starred review

* “A smart, funny, and passionate novel that embodies the idea that ‘It Gets Better’–when you take action.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review

* “King’s heartfelt tale easily blends realism and fantasy…. A haunting but at times funny tale about what it means to want to take one’s life, but rising above it so that living becomes the better option.” –School Library Journal, starred review

* “King’s themes of torture, physical and emotional imprisonment, and bullying connect in satisfying ways in this improbably witty and heartwarming story.” –The Horn Book, starred review

* “The unusual and occasionally comic juxtaposition of the POW experience with Lucky’s victimization… [offers] compelling food for thought about the things we can control and the things we can’t, and how that distinction ultimately determines the need for action.” –The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

“A resonant, uplifting story about not just getting through, but powering through, the tough times.” –Kirkus Reviews

Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream

claraClara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream

By Jenny Han

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family Life: Grandparents and Extended Family, Personal Development: Character Development

Grades: 3 – 7


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Clara Lee knows exactly what she likes: her best friends, her grandpa, kimchi, candy necklaces, and her dream of becoming the next Little Miss Apple Pie.


Clara Lee knows exactly what she doesn’t like: when her little sister is being annoying, her mom’s fish soup, bad dreams (but Grandpa says they mean good luck), and speaking in front of lots of people (but she’ll have to do it for the pageant).


After a bad dream, will Clara Lee’s luck change for the better? Can she overcome her fear of speaking in public and win Little Miss Apple Pie?



“Han’s well-crafted first novel captures the aching hurt of exclusion in middle school, and the acute pain of vicious teasing. Shug’s direct, honest narration reveals a wholly believable, endearing, hot-tempered young woman who faces painful truths and survives”— Booklist


“Han’s heartfelt first novel persuasively expresses the woes of Annemarie ‘Shug’ Wilcox during her first year of junior high.”— Publishers Weekly


“This new author bears watching”— School Library Journal

Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel

mood ringAsk My Mood Ring How I Feel

By Diana Lopez

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies, Personal Development: Diversity, Personal Development: Loss, Personal Development: Self-Discovery

Grades: 3 – 7


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It’s summer before eighth grade, and Erica “Chia” Montenegro is feeling so many things that she needs a mood ring to keep track of her emotions. She’s happy when she hangs out with her best friends, the Robins. She’s jealous that her genius little sister skipped two grades. And she’s passionate about the crushes on her Boyfriend Wish list. And when Erica’s mom is diagnosed with breast cancer, she feels worried and doesn’t know what she can do to help.


When her family visits a cuarto de milagros, a miracle room in a famous church, Erica decides to make a promesa to God in exchange for her mom’s health. As her mom gets sicker, Erica quickly learns that juggling family, friends, school, and fulfilling apromesa is stressful, but with a little bit of hope and a lot of love, she just might be able to figure it out.


Confetti Girl author Diana Lopez returns with this sweet, funny, and utterly honest story about being a girl in a world full of good (and bad) surprises.



“The many characters in Chia’s life are individually and lovingly drawn…Readers will feel like Chia’s family and friends could do anything as long as they stick together-and they may be right.”– Booklist


“A funny and heartfelt story…Balancing the heavy subject matter with generous doses of humor and an authentic young teen voice, Lopez crafts a story that blends family and middle school drama successfully.”– Kirkus Reviews


“Lopez skillfully balances emotional moments with humorous ones, offering an honest portrait of a family under strain. Chia’s clever, cheeky voice and a strong cast contribute to an inspiring story about developing “a special kind of bravery.”– Publishers Weekly


“Chia’s voice shines…A fast-moving, absorbing read about how one person’s illness can affect the whole family in many different ways.”– School Library Journal

The House Baba Built

The House Baba Built

By Ed Young

Genre: Juvenile Nonfiction

Curriculum Subject:   Social Studies: Biographies, Social Studies: Europe/Asia/Africa, Family Life: Daily Life and Play, Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies

Grades: P – 17

In Ed Young’s childhood home in Shanghai, all was not as it seemed: a rocking chair became a horse; a roof became a roller rink; an empty swimming pool became a place for riding scooters and bikes. The house his father built transformed as needed into a place to play hide-and-seek, to eat bamboo shoots, and to be safe.

For outside the home’s walls, China was at war. Soon the house held not only Ed and his four siblings but also friends, relatives, and even strangers who became family. The war grew closer, and Ed watched as planes flew overhead and frends joined the Chinese air force. But through it all, Ed’s childhood remained full of joy and imagination.

                                                                                             This powerful, poignant, and exquisitely illustrated memoir is the story of one of our most beloved children’s illustrators and the house his baba built.

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Praise for Wabi Sabi:

A New York Times Bestseller

A New York Times Notable Children’s Book

A New York Times Best Illustrated Book

“Ingeniously layered text…and gorgeous collage art.” – – The New York Times Book Review

* “A glorious piece of bookmaking.” – Booklist

* “Simply beautiful.” – Kirkus

“Young’s art is as striking and thought-provoking as ever, emplying large swaths of phographic images to create blocks of texture that seem to pop off the page.” – The Horn Book

Praise for Beyond the Great Mountains:

“A stunning and uniquely designed picture book.” – School Library Journal

“A world of stunning beauty.” – Publishers Weekly

Praise for The Emperor and the Kite:

“A familiar jewel polished to unaccustomed brilliance.” – Booklist


Strawberry Hill

Strawberry HillStrawberry Hill

By Mary Ann Hoberman

Genre: Historical Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Social Studies: History; Personal Development: Friendship; Family Life: School

Grades: 3 – 7

When 10-year-old Allie learns that her family will be moving from a two-family home to their very own house, she’s hesitant until she finds out they will be living on a street with the magical name of Strawberry Hill. That changes everything! But strawberries aren’t the only things Allie will have to look for in her new neighborhood. As Allie struggles to find a new “best friend” and adjust to all of the changes she faces, she takes readers on her journey to make Strawberry Hill feel like home.

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A New York Times Editor’s Choice


★ “Highly evocative… With story lines that are simple but never simplistic and perfectly crafted chapters in which the ordinary has the opportunity to become special.” – Booklist


“[Hoberman] knows how to bring detail and language into just the right balance…to pull you into the story.” – The New York Times


“Rich details bring the period to life…This is a gentle story with the sensibility of a novel written in an earlier time.” – SLJ


“Allie’s plight will be utterly relatable to contemporary readers and the resolution is both satisfying and realistic.” – Publishers Weekly


Space Taxi Series by Wendy Mass & Michael Brawer

Archie Morningstar’s dad drives a taxi through outer space!


And with the help of a talking cat named Pockets, Archie and his dad help fight crime across the universe.




A new sci-fi chapter book series from Wendy Mass and Michael Brawer

filled with humor, adventure, and plenty of science to impress your friends and teachers.



space taxiArchie Takes Flight

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Aliens/ Ghosts; Science: Astronomy/ Space/ Aviation

Grades: 1–3


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It’s not every day a regular kid like Archie gets to wake up at midnight. But today is Take Your Kid to Work Day, and Archie is finally allowed to ride along in his dad’s taxi cab. He has been waiting eight years, eight months, and eight days for this moment to arrive.  But he’s about to discover his dad is no ordinary cab driver…In fact, he drives an intergalactic space taxi! All night long, he shuttles aliens from one corner of the universe to another. And being a space taxi copilot is no easy task: Archie must steer them into wormholes, keep them from crashing into planets, deal with a very unusual cat…and save the universe from an evil mastermind!





water planet

Water Planet Rescue

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Aliens/ Ghosts; Science: Astronomy/ Space/ Aviation

Grades: 1–3


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In the second book in this series, Archie, his dad, and Pockets fly to a planet in peril: someone is stealing the water from this underwater world! Can Archie and Pockets save the day?









alien disguise

Archie’s Alien Disguise

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Aliens/ Ghosts; Science: Astronomy/ Space/ Aviation

Grades: 1–3


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In the third book in the series, Archie, his dad, and Pockets visit a planet that resembles medieval Earth in every way but its inhabitants, who have rainbow colored hair and extra eyes. To beat the evil organization B.U.R.P., the trio must disguise themselves as aliens and rescue a princess! When Archie must act on his own, can he find the courage to save the day?








The Galactic B.U.R.P.

Curriculum Subject: Adventure: Aliens/ Ghosts; Science: Astronomy/ Space/ Aviation

Grades: 1–3


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In this fourth book in the series, Archie is taken to the criminal organization B.U.R.P.’s mothership where he must outsmart evil masterminds!











★ “This blend of rollicking adventure and a splash of science will make this series a hit with young readers.” – School Library Connection, starred review


★ “With wacky adventure, imaginative settings and wildly varied ETs, this series has endless potential. Archie’s sense of wonder and dedication to his newfound responsibility are inspirational. Line drawings and a trio of science facts further enhance this enjoyable interstellar romp. Its likable hero is just one reason to love this intergalactic space adventure.” – Kirkus, starred review



Wise Young Fool

Wise Young Fool by Sean Beaudoin

Wise Young Fool

By: Sean Beaudoin

Genre: YA Realistic Fiction (with a twist of snark)

Curriculum Subjects: Teen Life: Relationships/Sexuality, Personal Development: Loss, Family Life: Divorce/Stepfamilies

Grade: 10 & Up

AR: 10.0

Teen rocker Ritchie Sudden is pretty sure his life has just jumped the shark. Except he hates being called a teen, his band doesn’t play rock, and “jumping the shark” is yet another dumb cliché. Part of Ritchie wants to drop everything and walk away. Especially the part that’s serving ninety days in a juvenile detention center.


Telling the story of the year leading up to his arrest, Ritchie grabs readers by the throat before (politely) inviting them along for the (max-speed) ride. A battle of the bands looms. Dad split about five minutes before Mom’s girlfriend moved in. There’s the matter of trying to score with the dangerously hot Ravenna Woods while avoiding the dangerously huge Spence Proffer–not to mention just trying to forget what his sister, Beth, said the week before she died.


Praise for Wise Young Fool


 “Beaudoin is the Fred Astaire of comic writing, translating each sentence into a manic dance routine of half-invented jargon (“chewing the profunda-cud”) on his way to blessedly non-cloying coming-of-age glory.” –Booklist

“The author does a brilliant job getting into the head of a troubled teen and does not shy away from racy topics.” –School Library Journal

“Larger-than-life characters….Behind the music quest, sarcasm and pursuit of girls, however, lies a more complicated and often compelling story about family, grief and flawed coping mechanisms.” –Kirkus