Ruth is in the throes of middle school and floundering without her friend Charlotte. For years, the girls did everything together: Charlotte was adopted by two dads, and Ruth has two moms, so their parents formed a “support group.” Now Charlotte has moved on to the popular crowd, and Ruth has become a loner. “I’m that hawk flying above it all, the quiet observer on the sidelines. And that’s the way I like it,” she says. But life won’t leave her on the sidelines.
Rapunzel could not be happier. She has a beautiful tower that obeys her command; no one bothers her when she reads stories or brushes her hair; and a loving, caring Witch protects her from the evil people who would want to steal her away. In Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel, life is innocent and perfect—until Jack arrives. Jack thinks Rapunzel was involved in the injury of a fairy yesterday, but she’d remember something like that . . . right?
In the time Before, Peter Lee and his older brother, Nelson, loved baseball. They played it, listened to it on the radio and cheered for both Taiwan and the United States in the 1972 Little League World Series. But now Peter lives in the After. With Nelson dead from a car accident, Peter’s mother does nothing but watch TV, his younger sister is increasingly frustrated and his father, Ba, has become more distant than ever.
Bowser has led a tough life, avoiding thugs in the city before ending up in an animal rescue shelter in Louisiana’s bayou country. Life hasn’t been easy for 11-year-old Birdie Gaux, either. With a police detective father killed in the line of duty and an engineering mother working on an oil rig off the coast of Africa, Birdie is being raised by Grammy, who owns a bait store and gives swamp tours. When Birdie selects Bowser as a belated birthday present, the lovable mutt and spunky tween become a formidable sleuthing team.
It’s been 20 years since Cynthia Rylant’s beloved middle grade novel Gooseberry Park introduced the world to Stumpy the squirrel and her quirky, clever, community-minded friends. Now, the furry and feathered bunch is back in Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan, and readers will delight in discovering that the Gooseberrians are as adorable, smart and resourceful as ever.
Almost-13-year-old Delphine, middle sister Vonetta and baby sister Fern Gaither are back in the final installment of the award-winning series by Rita Williams-Garcia. This time they’re spending the summer of 1969 in Alabama with their grandmother (Big Ma), great-grandmother (Ma Charles) and great-aunt (Miss Trotter).
In the summer of 1859, a recently orphaned girl named Nell arrives on the doorstep of Aunt Kitty, whose "pickled onion" face offers her sorrowful niece a less-than-warm welcome. But when Nell discovers her aunt is a detective for Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency, the two end up tracking down thieves and murderers in this fun historical tale. The character of Aunt Kitty is based on real-life Kate Warne, the first female detective in the U.S. Chicago author and former journalist Kate Hannigan shares a bit more behind her new book, The Detective's Assistant.
It’s 1948, and 11-year-old Tate P. Ellerbee’s teacher wants each of her students to choose a pen pal, hoping that “new worlds will unfold in front of you, and you’ll see your own world through fresh eyes.” Tate decides to write to rising country singer Hank Williams. She pours her heart out to her idol in letter after letter, even though he sends her fan photos but never writes back.
Ten years ago, Jeanne Birdsall introduced readers to the funny, smart, sweet-but-never-saccharine Penderwick sisters, whose initial summer adventures were followed by two additional books. This fourth installment opens five years after The Penderwicks at Point Mouette. With Rosalind away at college and Skye and Jane busy with teenage pursuits, the focus is on 10-year-old Batty, along with her stepbrother Ben and the newest Penderwick sibling, 2-year-old Lydia.
The fact that the world’s not fair is a hard concept for children to learn, but 11-year-old Julia Delaney (based on the author’s mother-in-law, also named Julia) knows this lesson all too well. She's growing up in St. Louis’ tough Irish neighborhood of Kerry Patch in the winter of 1911, one of the coldest winters in Missouri's history.