Nearly every person, no matter what age, has experienced the sting of knowing a friend said something behind her back. And all of us know what it’s like to misunderstand something and let a situation get out of hand. This is the drama at the heart of Liz Rosenberg’s What James Said, where one elementary-age girl tells readers how she refuses to talk to her friend James. “We are in a fight,” she declares. Word has gotten around, you see, that James said that he thinks our narrator thinks she is perfect.
A rambunctious preschooler can be a hard trial for even the most patient canine. After all, sometimes all a dog wants is a nap—a nice, long, uninterrupted nap.
When author Jen White was 12, she and her sister and cousin were mistakenly left behind at a gas station for six hours during a family camping trip―no one had seen the girls get out of the camper. Years later, White’s first novel, Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave, begins with 12-year-old Liberty being abandoned by her father at a gas station along with her 8-year-old sister, Billie.
Behold! a Baby by Stephanie Watson tackles the age-old theme of sibling rivalry and manages to solve one family’s conflict within the colorful pages of an appealing picture book.
Eccentric mastermind Garrison Griswold, founder of the popular Book Scavenger website, is about to launch an elaborate new game when his plans are violently interrupted. The only clue he leaves behind is a specially printed copy of an Edgar Allan Poe short story, “The Gold-Bug.”
Whether your younger sibling is on the way or is 30 years old, it’s never too early or too late for Little Miss, Big Sis.
After six children receive invitations from an eccentric countess, they encounter mysterious keys, things that go bump in the night and secret passages during the weekend visit of a lifetime. The children unknowingly share a connection, but rather than bringing them together, this bond nearly destroys them.
Twelve-year-old Lily is thoughtful and bright but needs an extra push to unleash her imagination and individuality. That push is Salma Santiago, a migrant worker whose family is in Maine for the blueberry harvest.
Hopper is a happy frog who loves to play. But Hopper also has a problem—he doesn’t quite fit in with everyone else. In fact, Hopper seems so different that an old turtle, sounding suspiciously like another wise elder who lived near a swampy pond, tells him, “Hmm . . . young pond-hopper . . . perhaps you are not a frog.”
Lisa Graff’s latest novel is a feast for all kinds of readers. She writes convincingly in the voice of a middle school student, and young readers will relate easily to the main character, Trent. Graff’s stories always foster a better understanding of young people in parents and teachers, but never more so than in Lost in the Sun.