Long before either became an acclaimed author, Truman Capote and Nelle Harper Lee were childhood friends in Monroeville, Alabama. This fictionalization of their exploits draws on the stories both authors shared over the years, focusing on their mutual love of the mysteries of Sherlock Holmes. The two children set out to solve the mysteries that beset Monroeville. Presented in an episodic style, these tales reminded me of the old-time radio serials. I was almost sure at the end of each section I could hear the booming voice of an announcer telling me to tune in next week for more adventures of Tru & Nelle! -Scott
Once you let this sweet little fox into your life, you will never want to let him go. He is one of the most endearing characters I have come across in a long time, and the author truly brings him to life, treating him like a genuine friend. Sara Pennypacker is a wonderful storyteller, a voice of wisdom, empathy, and hope. With PAX, she broke my heart and then mended it, stitching the torn pieces back together with tender care and soothing grace. Though the journey was harrowing, when I reached the end of it, I felt a renewed sense of peace with the world around me. Sincere, poignant, and stunningly beautiful, this is the kind of book that made me fall in love with reading in the first place. I can’t wait to share it with you. -Jason
Kate DiCamillo tugs at our heartstrings yet again with her newest novel about three young ladies bonding through personal tragedies. Raymie sets out to win her father's affection by competing in the Little Miss Central Florida contest. If she succeeds, she's convinced this will bring her father back home. Her competition includes Louisana Elefante and Beverly Tapinski, who have their own agendas for the competition. Through a good deed mishap, the girls band together to rescue a book and a cat, with unexpected results that ultimately solidify their friendship. You'll definitely need a tissue with this book. It's beautiful, heartbreaking and endearing. -Brandi
If you judged this book by its cover, you might think it was a fairy retelling. The action takes place in the Everwood, an enchanted forest dreamed up by our heroine Finley, full of rowdy knights, rescue missions, and daring escapes. It's where she retreats on her increasingly frequent "blue days". This is a kid absolutely packed to the brim with secrets; confused and guilt-ridden and desperate to be happy. Turns out those traits run in the family. Finley's storytelling talents are interwoven with a very real depiction of childhood anxiety and depression. A compelling family mystery will pull readers quickly through this story of self-acceptance and learning to trust. -Emmy
This is the first book that I have read by Raina Telgemeier and I really enjoyed it. It's the story of Catrina and her younger sister Maya, who has cystic fibrosis, and their family's move to Northern California to help with Maya's health. The town of Bahia de la Luna is alive with more than just its current residents, it is also filled with ghosts! I love that the author brings in Dia De Los Muertos and explains the celebration. I also enjoyed the book because I could relate to Maya, as I also spent a lot of time in hospitals with lung problems as a child. This is a beautiful story and I recommend it to all age groups! -Heather G.
Certain hearts are drawn to horses -- and horse stories -- like bees to flowers. If this is the nature of your heart (or you happen to be very fond of someone who this describes), you’ll be enchanted to have found this book. Emmaline is brave, though ill, and traumatized by the terror of war; she will valiantly try her best to help the Horse Lord protect the secret horses of Briar Hill. And you, dear reader, will be her champion all the way, and you too will have taken a magical, utterly unforgettable journey. Don't keep the horses waiting now! -Claudia
Every year on her birthday Lottie receives a letter granting her birthday wish from a magic apple tree in her front yard. So, when her best friend's illness takes a turn for the worse, Lottie asks for one thing, a cure to save his life. Instead of a letter though, Lottie receives two sprites who take her through the apple tree to their world. There she must weigh the importance of her friend's life against the lives of an entire world of sprites. A fun debut perfect for fans of The Chronicles of Narnia. -Brandi
The world Rick Riordan created with Percy Jackson expands again, this time from the point of view of the Olympian god Apollo, who has been banished by Zeus to live as a mortal teenager. Apollo's quest to return to his godhood and Olympus brings him in contact with none other than Percy Jackson and Camp Half-Blood. New threats, new characters, and a new quest combine to make this as exciting book as Riordan has ever done! This series promises to be every bit as captivating as its predecessors. -Scott
As an adult who has been reading Harry Potter since I was in grade school, I am admittedly always hungry for more of the Potterverse. When I heard the next story was to be in the form of a script, I was hesitant -- would I still enjoy the story? Would there be enough substance to feel like I wasn't cheated out of an 8th novel? All my fears were quelled instantaneously once I started reading THE CURSED CHILD. The characters, both old and new, are wonderfully written, and the story is just magical (pun absolutely intended) as the seven preceding novels. Tried as I might to savor THE CURSED CHILD, I devoured it in an afternoon, and recommend it to all those who have ever enjoyed a Harry Potter book. It's a perfect conclusion to a beloved series. -Heather H.
This slim volume, with mustard-yellow covers and gold block lettering on its spine, is absolutely not what you expect it to be. The writing is quiet and thoughtful -- just like Evelyn, our 5th-grade main character. Her regimented existence is conveyed through small, ordinary details. When Queen enters the picture, it's with gentle ripples, not splashes. The book perfectly captures that invigorating first time of getting to know a person whose life is radically different than your own. It makes Evelyn (and readers, too) wonder: what if we proudly exhibited our differences, instead of hiding them? Sometimes the thrill in getting to know someone new lies in discovering more about yourself. -Emmy
I love this book so much. Stories like THE WRONG SIDE OF MAGIC are exactly why I work with children's books. It is a charming blend of Phantom Tollbooth and The Neverending Story, and like them, it's completely delightful. Everything from the snarky unicorns to the troll curses helps make this a hilarious story that is sure to capture the hearts of all readers. Who is it for? Everyone! -Faith
With a nod to classic fairy tales, MONSTROUS is a fascinating debut about a young chimera girl. Kym was created with the sole purpose of rescuing girls from an evil wizard who wishes to kill them to cope with the loss of his own daughter. Although Kym is loyal to her father's noble mission, she becomes distracted by a boy called Ren, who seems familiar, though she's sure she's never met him before. Soon her hodgepodge brain begins remembering things that threaten to destroy everything she believes. -Brandi