Abigail (don’t call her “Abby”) is so excited about starting sixth grade, she has to make lists just to calm herself down. She’s ready to rule the school with best friends Alli and Cami and their wicked pom pom choreography when disaster strikes three times over: Abigail ends up in a different homeroom than her friends; she doesn’t make the pom squad; and her homeroom teacher pairs her with wildly unpopular Gabby Marco for a year-long letter writing assignment. Always, Abigail is a story of friendship found in unexpected places, and the cost of kindness versus popularity.
When Jade gets caught making up school reports about her summer vacations, her parents send her to have a real summer adventure in Wyoming with her aunt. From stargazing on the roof to meeting a boy who claims to be related to Butch Cassidy, Jade’s world starts rapidly expanding. Skies Like These isn’t all sunny weather, but even the storms make for great slumber parties.
Three picture books about racing use the excitement of competition to introduce themes of cooperation, collaboration and sharing.
By age 6, Kara Westfall has seen and suffered unimaginable loss: Her mother was convicted of witchcraft, and Kara was accused as well. By 12 she’s developed a dark sense of humor, but she’s a dutiful sister to younger brother Taff and tries to care for her grieving father. Their village hates and fears her, so when a strange bird appears in her path and leads her into the Thickety, the oppressive forest that surrounds them, she’s frightened but curious. What she finds there will reshape her destiny.
The city of Hamburg has become a prison for its smallest citizens. Where once they ate their fill and ran the streets freely, the invention of the mousetrap has forced mice underground. Some flee by ship, but the ports are now guarded by cats, and owls watch from every steeple. One mouse has a revelation when he sees bats flying overhead: They’re little more than mice with wings, so who’s to say a mouse can’t fly? The adventures in Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse are ready for takeoff.
National Poetry Month begins with April Fools’ Day. Coincidence? Perhaps not. These three books for young readers goof, spoof and are rarely, if ever, aloof. They make poetry and reading as easy as breathing, and also a lot of fun.
Little Poems for Tiny Ears is a sweet and gentle collection of verse for babies, toddlers and parents observing their first milestones. It’s a quiet celebration of things like discovering one’s own toes, learning to walk, count and find all the ways one’s body makes noise.
BookPage Children's Top Pick, April 2014
“Work smart / Live smarter / Play hard / Practice harder / Love, Dad” The Crossover is a novel-in-verse, with long flows of prose that spill out a tale of family, love, loss and basketball.
Heather Nill is living a dead-end life in a washed-up town. Prospects are so grim that the high school kids’ best hope of escaping is through a legendary game called Panic. Everyone pays in, and there can be only one winner, but it's not just a matter of facing down your worst fears—the stakes can be life or death.
Casey Snowden lives for baseball, almost literally—his dad and granddad run a school for umpires, where Casey and his best friend Zeke spend all their time. It helps Casey forget his absent mother, who keeps calling to re-establish visitation, and provides inspiration for his future career as an award-winning sportswriter.