Lil' B.I.T. Picks 2021

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Our Lil' B.I.T. (Before It's Trendy) Program is Changing Hands's legion of tween reviewers, casting judgment on books before they're released. Reviewers aged 8-12 get access to advance reading copies of middle-grade releases, and in return write brief recommendations for the books they love. Their recommendations are showcased in the children's sections, on event displays, and here on our website. Interested in becoming a part of this elite crew? Click here for more info.
Violets Are Blue By Barbara Dee Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534469181
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Aladdin - October 12th, 2021

Wren's life changes forever after her parents get divorced. To help her through this hard time, she finds a new passion doing screenplay makeup. This book teaches you that everyone is special in their own way, and that you can find someone who accepts you anywhere. I liked that it has a very emotional effect. The amazing story will pull you in. It’s a quick read for anyone who likes mystery, suspense, heartbreak, and friendship.  -Zooey, 11

Amira & Hamza: The War to Save the Worlds By Samira Ahmed Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316540469
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 21st, 2021

In AMIRA & HAMZA, two siblings work together to save the world and restore the moon that has broken. Along their journey, they face lots of challenges. They have to battle monsters to restore peace for the world. What I liked about the book is that it made real-life references, including celebrities and other well-known things that I could relate to as a young teenager.  Overall, this is a well thought-out, well-written book good for ages 8 and older. I would definitely recommend this book to someone who is looking for a thrilling fantasy adventure.  -Sofia, 14

We Are Family By LeBron James, Andrea Williams Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062971098
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - August 31st, 2021

All I would say is that if you are not excited to read a book by an NBA player who has 4 rings, and 4 MVP titles, then you are a very boring person. One of the reasons that I loved WE ARE FAMILY is that it has the right balance of fun and meaningful parts. Most of the main characters have struggles with their family, which makes the book very deep, but it also has a fun side to it with all of its basketball parts.  -Eli P., 12

Spy School at Sea By Stuart Gibbs Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534479432
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - August 31st, 2021

The new book in the Spy School series may be the best one yet. SPY SCHOOL AT SEA has Ben going on yet another mission, where the danger is always near. Like all books in the series you will always be on the edge of your seat and will not be able to put the book down. The action scenes are amazingly written and you won't be able to predict all of the twists and turns. With Murray back, you know there will be another villainous scheme that Ben will have to find a way to thwart. Will Ben be able to complete his mission at sea or will he fail?  -Giuliana, 13

The Ghoul Next Door By Cullen Bunn, Cat Farris (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Cullen Bunn, Cat Farris (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062896100
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperAlley - July 13th, 2021

This eerie but fun graphic novel shows energy and companionship with an element of spookiness. The drawings are done so beautifully and aesthetically that they really capture the moment. One thing I love about this book is the marvelous character development and how they strengthened their friendship. Read THE GHOUL NEXT DOOR now!  -Dominic, 13

Super Secret Super Spies: Mystery of the All-Seeing Eye By Max Mason Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062915696
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Quill Tree Books - June 1st, 2021

SUPER SECRET SUPER SPIES is a fun and exciting book! Maddie is asked to join a team of elite super spies. The characters have so many different personalities, you will quickly find your favorite person. My favorite character is Maddie, because she went from a girl doing science experiments in the basement to a super spy! She never thought her life would take a turn like that! You should read this book because it is filled with cliffhangers and adventure. I really enjoyed reading SUPER SECRET SUPER SPIES and I think you will too!  -Jyothi, 11

The Dragon Path: A Graphic Novel By Ethan Young Cover Image
ISBN: 9781338363296
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Graphix - May 18th, 2021

This graphic novel has stunning drawings, intriguing characters, and a storyline which makes you not want to stop reading. THE DRAGON PATH has thrilling action scenes with outstanding detail. The author really knows how to capture the reader’s attention. Go see for yourself!  -Dominic, 13

Unsettled By Reem Faruqi Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063044708
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - May 11th, 2021

UNSETTLED is an incredible book about finding your place in your country, with your family, and about finding your passion. Nurah is 13 and lives in Pakistan, but when she and her family move to Georgia she feels out of place. This book really captures the struggle of moving to a new area and being different because it is written in verse and each poem is a separate thought. The author explains the religion, food, clothing, and traditions of Pakistan very well. I think this book is extraordinary and I highly recommend it.  -Zooey, 11

Atlantis: The Accidental Invasion (Atlantis Book #1) By Gregory Mone Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419738531
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Amulet Books - April 20th, 2021

The idea of Atlantis in movies and books can seem repetitive. However, ATLANTIS: THE ACCIDENTAL INVASION does such a fascinating job using and adding on to that theme, that it doesn’t feel overused. With interesting character development and amazing detail, the author really shows you what transpired, instead of just writing down words! This book is a must-read!  -Dominic, 13

The Way of the Hive: A Honey Bee's Story By Jay Hosler, Jay Hosler (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jay Hosler, Jay Hosler (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780063007352
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperAlley - April 20th, 2021

This graphic novel is both educational and creative for all ages. It gives interesting facts about bees and teaches you the bees’ way of life. It has a heartwarming story, with lovable characters. THE WAY OF THE HIVE demonstrates how you can accomplish much more together than individually.  -Dominic, 13

Across the Pond By Joy McCullough Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534471214
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - March 16th, 2021

This is a fantastic book! The story is filled with mystery, kindness, and most importantly, friendship. When Callie’s parents said her family was moving to Scotland, Callie was ready and eager for a new life to start. But Callie quickly realizes that living in a dark, cold castle is not exactly luxurious. She decides to join a bird club to try to make friends, but her true best friend is closer than she thinks.The scenes in this book have such vivid descriptions, so I felt like I was moving to a new country too, and I laughed out loud at how out of place Callie sometimes was. I loved this book with the birding club as my favorite setting, and twists that I wasn’t expecting.  -Kelly, 8

Amina's Song (Amina's Voice) By Hena Khan Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534459885
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for You - March 9th, 2021

AMINA'S SONG is very uplifting and bright, with some sad parts too. Amina is the main character and she is very likable. The book really captures the day-to-day life of a kid experiencing hard times fitting in. I liked that the author put a lot of detail and research into the foods and culture of Pakistan. Amina’s Song has a realistic storyline and taught me a lot about a different culture. I loved this book because it shows life from an immigrant's perspective.  -Zooey, 11

The Hedgehog of Oz By Cory Leonardo Cover Image
ISBN: 9781534467590
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Aladdin - February 23rd, 2021

THE HEDGEHOG OF OZ is a very funny and exciting story. It features a hedgehog named Marcel living in the Emerald City Theater. Marcel thinks that his adventure is like Dorothy’s in The Wizard of Oz. It was fun to read because of the similarities to that story. All of the characters have traits like those in The Wizard of Oz and you will easily find your favorite. I like this book because it brings people together and gave me the feeling that anything is possible. When I read it, I got a warm feeling that made me feel happy. If you are looking for a fun book to read, you should read THE HEDGEHOG OF OZ-Jyothi, 11

Red, White, and Whole: A Newbery Honor Award Winner By Rajani LaRocca Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063047426
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Quill Tree Books - February 2nd, 2021

RED, WHITE, AND WHOLE is a heartbreaking story written in verse (poems). This style helped me connect with characters. It's about a young girl who has to find her place in life after her mother is diagnosed with Leukemia. I liked this book because of its details, like the descriptions of Indian food. The descriptions made it easier to envision what was happening. The author wrote about her childhood and that made the book more emotional because it made me sad to think that somebody actually had an experience similar to this in real life. I also liked this book because it taught me more about the Indian culture and what it is like to be an Indian in America. I would love to read more books by this author.  -Zooey, 10

The Last Bear By Hannah Gold Cover Image
ISBN: 9780063041073
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - February 2nd, 2021

THE LAST BEAR is a heartwarming story about a young girl and a polar bear whose friendship will never end. I liked this book because it taught me more about climate change and how important it is to care for our world and each other. I also like the fact that it teaches you that no matter who you are or what species of animal, you can always help out and make new friends. This book also taught me how to overcome challenges in life because the character's age is close to mine and was easy to relate to. I thought that it was an interesting choice to base it in the Arctic Circle. It taught me a lot about the Arctic Circle that I didn't know. I would recommend this fantasy for ages 8 and up!  -Zooey, 10

Bump By Matt Wallace Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780063007987
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - January 26th, 2021

I couldn’t help but pick up this book. MJ lost her dad when she was young, but her bright personality makes me smile, and she inspires me with all she dares to do. From saving the school from rats to fighting pro wrestlers, at times I would be laughing my head off. MJ is very unique, and not just because she likes wrestling better than gymnastics. MJ will do a lot of things that you do not expect! This story will make you feel powerful and mighty with the message that even through tough times, you can do anything and achieve your dreams.  -Kelly, 8

Shaking Up the House By Yamile Saied Méndez Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062970725
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - January 5th, 2021

SHAKING UP THE HOUSE is a hilarious story filled with laughter and fun. It is about two girls in the White House and twins of the incoming president that have a prank war. I liked this book because it taught me more pranks that I can do on April Fools' Day. It lightened up my mood with its funny jokes. Another thing I liked was that the author put a woman in the White House. The pranks got so ridiculous and funny, I could not believe it and I didn't want the book to end.  -Zooey, 10

The Sea in Winter By Christine Day Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062872043
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Heartdrum - January 5th, 2021

THE SEA IN WINTER is an amazing story about a girl whose life changes forever after an injury. Her perspective changed when she realized if you fall down doing one thing you would have to get back up by doing another. Maisie was a great main character because she had a good heart, but I did not agree with all the decisions she made. I liked this story because it taught me how to overcome disappointments in life. I liked that the message of the book helped me see that there is more to life than just one thing. This is one of the best books i have ever read because the writing was so descriptive and it was very easy to fall in love with the characters.  -Zooey, 10