Applegate, Katherine. Crenshaw. J FIC Applegate
When Jackson and his family face living in their minivan, Jackson’s imaginary cat Crenshaw returns to help him.
Baker, Matthew. If You Find This. J FIC Baker
When the grandfather he never knew is released from prison suffering from dementia, 11-year-old Nicholas, a mathematical and musical genius, tries to save the family’s home by helping search for heirlooms Grandpa claims to have buried.
Baron, Nancy. Tuesday’s Child. J FIC Baron
Although Grace intends to become the first female in baseball’s big leagues, Grace’s mother insists she take ballet lessons on the very days her little league team practices and plays.
Baskin, Nora Releigh. Ruby on the Outside. J FIC Baskin
Hiding the truth about her mother’s imprisonment, 11-year-old Ruby befriends a new neighbor and worries that the girl will stop liking her when it is discovered that the friend’s family has ties to the events that put Ruby’s mother in jail.
Byars, Betsy Cromer. Bingo Brown, Gypsy Lover. J FIC Byars
A sixth-grade boy deals with the prospect of a new baby brother and a long-distance love relationship.
Cervantes, Angela. Allie, First At Last. J FIC Cervantes
Born into a family of over-achievers, fifth-grader Allie Velasco has never finished first in anything, and lately things have been going badly: her science project is ruined by a well-meaning student, her former best friend is hanging out with another girl–but now she is determined to win the Trailblazer contest with a photographic presentation about her great grandfather, the first Congressional Medal of Honor winner from their town.
Cleary, Beverly. Dear Mr. Henshaw. J FIC Cleary
In his letters to his favorite author, ten-year-old Leigh reveals his problems in coping with his parents’ divorce, being the new boy in school, and generally finding his own place in the world.
Cleaver, Vera. Moon Lake Angel: A Novel. J FIC Cleaver
Kitty Dale, whose mother does not want to deal with a child, or admit one into her new life, spends the summer with Aunt Petal and eventually learns to accept her mother’s weaknesses.
Connor, Leslie. All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook. J FIC Connor
Born and raised in a prison where is mother is incarcerated, Perry T. Cook is taken to live with a foster family, where he feels trapped and out of place, and works to find a way to be reunited with his mother.
Elliott, David. Jeremy Cabbage and the Living Museum of human oddballs and quadruped delights. J FIC Elliott
While searching for a loving family, orphaned Jeremy becomes entangled in a conflict between his city’s arrogant and oppressive leader, the Baron von Strompie, and a group of outlandish people called the “cloons.”
Gantos, Jack. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key. Y FIC Gantos // Y PB G (SUMMER READING)
To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention or controlling his mood swings when his prescription medications wear off and he starts getting worked up and acting wired.
Giff, Patricia Reilly. Until I Find Julian. J FIC Giff
Mateo’s big brother Julian works in the United States. When the family doesn’t hear from Julian for a few weeks, Mateo sneaks out and journeys north to find him, crossing the border with the help of a new friend, Angel.
Graff, Lisa. Absolutely Almost. J FIC Graff
Ten-year-old Albie has never been the smartest, tallest, best at gym, greatest artist, or most musical in his class, as his parents keep reminding him, but new nanny Calista helps him uncover his strengths and take pride in himself.
Hahn, Mary Downing. Following My Own Footsteps. J FIC Hahn
In 1945, Gordy’s grandmother takes him and his family into her North Carolina home after his abusive father is arrested, and he just begins to respond to his grandmother’s loving discipline when his father returns.
Hannigan, Kate. Cupcake Cousins. J FIC Hannigan
During a family vacation at Lake Michigan, nine-year-old cousins Willow and Delia, desperate to avoid being flower girls in their aunt’s wedding, try to demonstrate that they would do better as chefs for the reception.
Harkrader, Lisa. The Adventures of Beanboy. J FIC Harkrader (SERIES)
When aspiring comic-book artist Tucker MacBean enters a contest to create a new sidekick for his favorite superhero, Beanboy , he’s got a lot riding on whether or not he wins. Tucker hopes that stardom might make him more popular, and he wants to give the prize, a college scholarship, to his hardworking but exhausted single mom. SEQUEL: Cool Beans (2014).
Haydu, Corey Ann. Rules for Stealing Stars. J FIC Haydu
Four sisters rely on each other–and a bit of mysterious magic–to cope with their mother’s illness.
Herrera, Robin. Hope is a Ferris Wheel. J FIC Herrera
After moving from Oregon to a trailer park in California, ten-year-old Star participates in a poetry club, where she learns some important lessons about herself and her own hopes and dreams for the future.
Holt, Kimberly Willis. Dear Hank Williams. J FIC Holt
In Rippling Creek, Louisiana, in 1948, eleven-year-old Tate writes letters to her favorite country singer, sharing her dreams of becoming a singer and revealing that her mother is in prison.
Horvath, Polly. Everything on a Waffle. J FIC Horvath
Eleven-year-old Primrose living in a small fishing village in British Columbia recounts her experiences and all that she learns about human nature and the unpredictability of life in the months after her parents are lost at sea.
Howland, Leila. The Forget-Me-Not Summer. J FIC Howland
When their parents, a screenwriter and a film editor, go off on summer projects, Marigold, twelve, Zinnia, eleven, and Lily, five, must visit their Great Aunt Sunny in Cape Cod, where they learn much about themselves and each other and grow closer than ever.
Kelly, Mark & Freeman, Martha. Astrotwins–Project Blastoff. J FIC Kelly
Twins Mark and Scott Kelly decide to build a rocket over the summer when their constant bickering starts to annoy their grandfather in this middle-grade novel based on the NASA astronauts’ real childhoods.
Lord, Cynthia. Rules. J FIC Lord // Y FIC Lord
Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with an young paraplegic.
Nye, Naomi Shihab. The Turtle of Oman. J FIC Nye
When Aref, a third-grader who lives in Muscat, Oman, refuses to pack his suitcase and prepare to move to Michigan, his mother asks for help from his grandfather, his Siddi, who takes Aref around the country, storing up memories he can carry with him to anew home.
Palacio, R.J. Wonder. J FIC Palacio (SUMMER READING)
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.
Parenteau, Shirley. Ship of Dolls. J FIC Parenteau
It’s 1926, and the one thing eleven-year-old Lexie Lewis wants more than anything is to leave Portland, where she is living with her strict grandparents, and rejoin her mother, a carefree singer in San Francisco. But Mama’s new husband doesn’t think a little girl should live with parents who work all night and sleep all day. Lexie’s class has been raising money to ship a doll to the children of Japan in a friendship exchange, and when Lexie learns that the girl who writes the best letter to accompany the doll will be sent to the farewell ceremony in San Francisco, she knows she just has to be the winner.
Rodgers, Mary. Freaky Friday. J FIC Rodgers // J PB R
A thirteen-year-old girl gains a much more sympathetic understanding of her relationship with her mother when she has to spend a day in her mother’s body.
Rorby, Ginny. How to Speak Dolphin. J FIC Rorby
Determined to get her autistic brother into an appropriate therapy program in spite of her stepfather’s denial, Lily bonds with a sick dolphin who helps her brother and who Lily considers releasing from captivity.
Shang, Wendy Wan-Long. The Way Home Looks Now. J FIC Shang
In 1972, after his older brother is killed in a car crash, Peter Lee’s mother is paralyzed by grief and his traditional Chinese father seems emotionally frozen–but Peter hopes that if he joins a Little League team in Pittsburgh he can reawaken the passion for baseball that all the members of his family used to share and bring them back to life.
Smith, Jennifer E. The Storm Makers. J FIC Smith
Twelve-year-olds Ruby and Simon have been growing apart since their parents moved them to a Wisconsin farm, but weird weather events that seem tied to Simon’s emotions bring a stranger into their lives who introduces them to the Makers of Storms Society, strengthening the bond between the twins.
Sovern, Megan Jean. The Meaning of Maggie. J FIC Sovern
Eleven-year-old Maggie Mayfield is an A-plus student with big plans for herself, but at this moment she is also facing a lot of problems–like starting middle school and figuring out how to help her father who is out of work and in a wheelchair.
Tolan, Stephanie S. Applewhites At Wit’s End. J FIC Tolan
Great changes are in store for the highly creative and somewhat eccentric Applewhite family when money problems force them to open a summer camp for gifted children, who almost immediately begin to rebel, while a mysterious interloper watches from the woods.
Turner, Amber McRee. Sway. J FIC Turner
Ten-year-old Cass’s attitude changes after her mother, whom she idolizes, leaves her behind, and her father who previously seemed boring and practical, takes her on a summer road trip in which he shows her the creative, magical side of himself.
Watson, Jude. Loot: How to Steal a Fortune. J FIC Watson
When Alfie McQuinn, the notorious jewel thief, is killed on a job, his last words to his son, March, are to “find jewels” and this instruction leads the boy to Jules, the twin sister he never knew he had–and the perfect partner to carry on the family business.
Woods, Brenda. The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond. J FIC Woods
A biracial girl finally gets the chance to meet the African American side of her family.
Yep, Laurence. Later, Gator. J FIC Yep
Teddy finds that his imagination has gotten him into trouble once more, when he buys his younger brother Bobby an alligator for his birthday.