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Wolfish

Christiane M. Andrews

The Inquisitor's Tale meets The Book of Boy in this adventurous fantasy inspired by the myth of Romulus and Remus.



Twelve-year-old Rae is content as the adopted daughter of shepherds, helping with the flock and reveling in the beauty of her family's hillside farm. But after a frightening encounter with a wolf--to whom she feels a sudden, peculiar connection--Rae realizes there is much more to her past, and her future, than she could have imagined.



Meanwhile, a young girl named Alba goes about her days as an oracle's apprentice, a duty that confines her to a distant, watery cave. But when she bestows a troubling prophecy on the rising boy-king, her words unintentionally begin a reign of terror, and send Alba on a desperate mission alongside Rae and the wolf.



Inspired by Roman mythology, this mysterious and uniquely magical adventure explores the intricate roles of nature and fate in our lives, the power of language to shape our world, and the boundless importance of love and kindness.

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Nowhere Better Than Here

Sarah Guillory

In a town slowly being destroyed by rising tides, one girl must fight to find a way to keep her community’s spirit from drowning.

For thirteen-year-old Jillian Robichaux, three things are sacred: bayou sunsets, her grandmother Nonnie’s stories, and the coastal Louisiana town of Boutin that she calls home.

When the worst flood in a century hits, Jillian and the rest of her community band together as they always do—but this time the damage may simply be too great. After the local school is padlocked and the bridges into town condemned, Jillian has no choice but to face the reality that she may be losing the only home she’s ever had.

But even when all hope seems lost, Jillian is determined to find a way to keep Boutin and its indomitable spirit alive. With the help of friends new and old, a loveable golden retriever, and Nonnie’s storytelling wisdom, Jillian does just that in this timely and heartfelt story of family, survival, and hope.

In her stunning debut middle grade novel, Sarah Guillory has written a lush story about an indomitable girl fighting against the effects of climate change.

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Little Land

Diana Sudyka

Inspire a love of nature in young readers with this gorgeous, simple guide--and learn how, through millennia of transformations, life and land have always found a way to begin anew, for nature-loving fans of Kate Messner's Over and Under series.



Do you know a little bit of land? It could be smaller than you expect. But its importance is bigger than you know. From the prehistoric past to the dramatic environmental change of right here and now, the land has countless stories to tell. You, too, are a part of the land. Listen, and you will understand what it needs to stay in balance.



A breathtaking exploration of the connections between life and land central to the past, present, and future of our planet, Little Land invites young readers to think about ways in which they engage with the environment in their own lives.

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A Girl Can Build Anything

e.E. Charlton-Trujillo

A brilliant, inclusive ode to self-expression, girl power, and the many things readers can create.

Have you ever dreamed of building something? Maybe something little—like a birdhouse? Or something big—like a skyscraper? If you can envision it, you can build it! A Girl Can Build Anything is a playful celebration of all the different ways girls can make things—from tinkering to tool wielding, from ideas on paper to big, lived-out dreams that require brick and mortar. This fun and empowering ode to self expression will inspire readers to jump up and immediately start to build. Because they can. They can do anything!

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Night in the City

Julie Downing

An ingenious account of the jobs people do all through the night, when kids are fast asleep.

In Night in the City, author and illustrator Julie Downing cleverly uses multiple panels to follow eight people throughout the course of their busy evening, from waking up just as most people are contemplating bedtime, through the following morning.

The jobs depicted are nurse, baker, taxi driver, fire fighter, on location film tech, janitor, museum security guard, and emergency dispatcher.

Together, their stories bring the beating heart of a city to life, making for a book sure to have kids pouring over meticulously designed pages, following the exploits of our lead characters over the course of a single ordinary evening.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

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My Baba's Garden

Jordan Scott

The bond between a child and his grandmother grows as they tend her garden together.

A young boy spends his mornings with his beloved Baba, his grandmother. She doesn't speak much English, but they connect through gestures, gardening, eating, and walking to school together. Marked by memories of wartime scarcity, Baba cherishes food, and the boy learns to do the same. Eventually, Baba needs to move in with the boy and his parents, and he has the chance to care for her as she’s always cared for him.

Inspired by memories from poet Jordan Scott’s childhood, with beautiful, dreamlike illustrations by award-winning illustrator Sydney Smith, My Baba’s Garden is a deeply personal story that evokes universal emotions. Like Scott and Smith’s previous collaboration I Talk Like a River, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, My Baba’s Garden lends wistful appreciation to cherished time with family.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

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My Powerful Hair

Carole Lindstrom

From the award-winning and bestselling author of We Are Water Protectors comes an empowering picture book about family history, self-expression, and reclaiming your identity



Our ancestors say our hair is our memories,

our source of strength and power,

a celebration of our lives.



Mom never had long hair--she was told it was too wild. Grandma couldn't have long hair--hers was taken from her. But one young girl can't wait to grow her hair long: for herself, for her family, for her connection to her culture and the Earth, and to honor the strength and resilience of those who came before her.



From Carole Lindstrom, author of the New York Times bestseller and Caldecott Medal winner We Are Water Protectors, and debut illustrator Steph Littlebird comes an empowering and healing celebration of hair and its significance across Indigenous cultures.

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Noodle and the No Bones Day

Jonathan Graziano

An instant #1 New York Times bestseller!

From the creator of the viral “Bones or No Bones” TikTok videos comes a sweet and entertaining picture book following Noodle the pug and his human as they navigate Noodle’s first No Bones Day—a day for being kind to yourself!


Noodle is a sweet, silly old pug who enjoys doing all his favorite activities with his favorite human, Jonathan. But one day when Jonathan goes to take Noodle on his morning walk, he finds Noodle still comfortable in bed. When Jonathan lifts Noodle up, Noodle just flops over. It’s almost like Noodle woke up without any bones!

Noodle isn’t sick or sad—but he also isn’t interested in going for walks or sitting outside (he will accept snacks, though). Today, all he needs are extra snuggles and belly rubs. Jonathan soon learns that not every day can be a Bones Day, and sometimes a No Bones Day is exactly what you need to get through the week.

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Counting Creatures

Julia Donaldson

A gorgeous lift-the-flap counting book that pairs parent animals with their babies, from the bestselling author of Room on the Broom.

From a bat and its pup, to a frog and its twelve tadpoles, young readers will delight in counting each creature's babies and learning unusual scientific names for young animals. With rhyming text, lift-the-flaps and peekaboo holes, and a surprise search-and-find element, this is a read-aloud delight and preschool must-have.

* "Engaging, rewarding, and utterly delightful."—Kirkus, starred review
Indie Next List pick
CCBC Choices selection

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Being Friends with Dragons

Katherine Locke

A 2023 Children's Book Council Children's Favorites Award Winner

Dragons can be great friends . . . most of the time.

Dragons always know the best games to play, the perfect way to toast a marshmallow, and how to get that cookie out of a cookie jar undetected. While dragons can be good friends, they sometimes forget how. They can yell, stomp their feet, shoot flames out of their mouths, and not be a very good listener. It can be hard to be friends with a dragon, but with some deep breaths and calming words, you and your dragon can learn how to be best friends forever.

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Mysteries of Trash and Treasure: The Secret Letters

Margaret Peterson Haddix

In this page-turning middle grade series by New York Times bestseller Margaret Peterson Haddix, Colin and Nevaeh, whose parents own rival junk-removal businesses, uncover mysteries hidden in attics and basements and discover how trash can become treasure. In The Secret Letters, Colin and Nevaeh find vintage letters that lead to interlocking mysteries from the 1970s and '80s, and they learn about "women's lib," the ERA, and other social issues from that time in history--and the way echoes from that era affect Colin and Nevaeh themselves.

When Colin finds a shoebox full of letters hidden in a stranger's attic, he knows he's supposed to throw them away. That's his summer job, getting rid of junk. But Colin wants to rescue the letters--and find out what really happened to best friends Rosemary and Toby way back in the 1970s.

Meanwhile, across town, Nevaeh also finds a mysterious letter. But this one reads like a confession to a crime. And Nevaeh knows her father, the "Junk King," expects her to join the rest of the family in blaming a single suspect: his business rival, Colin's mom.

But that's not what Nevaeh wants, either.

Even as one set of letters bring Colin and Nevaeh together, the one Nevaeh found threatens to tear them apart. Is their new friendship as doomed as Rosemary and Toby's?

Each book in the Mysteries of Trash and Treasure series will examine a different time period in history and make readers think about how we value the stuff we hold on to--and what it is that makes it valuable.

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The Midnight Children

Dan Gemeinhart

In the dead of night, a truck arrives in Slaughterville, a small town curiously named after its windowless slaughterhouse. Seven mysterious kids with suitcases step out of the vehicle and into an abandoned home on a dead-end street, looking over their shoulders to make sure they aren't noticed.

But Ravani Foster covertly witnesses their arrival from his bedroom window. Timid and lonely, Ravani is eager to learn everything he can about his new neighbors: What secrets are they hiding? And most mysterious of all...where are the adults?

Yet amid this shadowy group of children, Ravani finds an unexpected friend in the warm and gutsy Virginia. But with this friendship comes secrets revealed—and danger. When Ravani learns of a threat to his new friends, he must fight to keep them safe, or lose the only person who has ever understood him.

Full of wonder, friendship, and mystery, The Midnight Children explores the meaning of "home," what makes a family, and what it takes to find the courage to believe in yourself.

* "A story of fierce friendship, bravery, loyalty, and finding—or making—a place to belong." —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Equal parts Kate DiCamillo and Shirley Jackson, this book is unlike anything else I've ever read—you will love it." —Jonathan Auxier, New York Times-bestselling author of Night Gardener and Sweep: the Story of a Girl and her Monster

The #1 New York Times and Indie bestseller!

From Dan Gemeinhart, the acclaimed author of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, comes an extraordinary story about a family of runaways who take up residence in a small town, and the outcast boy who finds his voice and his people
perfect for fans of Katherine Applegate and Kate DiCamillo.

"Dan Gemeinhart’s best yet and that’s saying something." —Padma Venkatraman, Walter Award-winning author of The Bridge Home

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What We Saw

Mary Downing Hahn

A chilling murder mystery lies at the heart of this page-turning thriller about a missing teacher, small town secrets, and turbulent tween friendships from master of middle grade horror Mary Downing Hahn.

 

 

When best friends Abbi and Skylar witness a clandestine meeting between a mysterious woman and someone in a dark van, they're thrilled. Finally, a mystery to spice up the summer!

Who could these people be Why are they meeting Are they spies Criminals The two girls are determined to find out. But then a local woman goes missing and is found dead in the woods. And Abbi and Skylar realize that their detective work could hold the keys to solving her murder. Suddenly, sleuthing isn't so fun anymore.

As tensions rise and their friendship frays, the girls find themselves in increasing danger, and must choose between keeping a secret or exposing a life-altering truth.

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Moonwalking

Zetta Elliott

For fans of Jason Reynolds and Jacqueline Woodson, this middle-grade novel-in-verse follows two boys in 1980s Brooklyn as they become friends for a season.

Punk rock-loving JJ Pankowski can't seem to fit in at his new school in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, as one of the only white kids. Pie Velez, a math and history geek by day and graffiti artist by night is eager to follow in his idol, Jean-Michel Basquiat's, footsteps. The boys stumble into an unlikely friendship, swapping notes on their love of music and art, which sees them through a difficult semester at school and at home. But a run-in with the cops threatens to unravel it all.

From authors Zetta Elliott and Lyn Miller-Lachmann, Moonwalking is a stunning exploration of class, cross-racial friendships, and two boys' search for belonging in a city as tumultuous and beautiful as their hearts.

"This novel in verse, alternately narrated by two boys in 1980s Greenpoint, Brooklyn, one channeled by Elliott and one by Miller-Lachmann, eloquently tackles race, culture and life on the spectrum." — The New York Times

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Windswept

Margi Preus

From Newbery Honor-winner Margi Preus, a gripping middle-grade fantasy about a girl who must save the children of her world from being "windswept"

In Tag's world, children are disappearing. "Youngers" who venture Outside are windswept--vanishing in the swirling snow--Tag's sisters among them. Many have tried to find the lost children; all have failed. And since the Other Times, the Powers That Be seem intent on keeping it that way.

Little remains from those times: snippets of songs, heaps of plastic trash, and a few banned texts--including a book of fairytales.

An unlikely crew of Youngers join forces--Boots, who can climb anything, Ant, who will eat anything, Ren, who will say anything, and Tag, who doesn't appear to have any talent whatsoever. With their dubious skills, the fairytales, a possibly magic ribbon, and an unwillingness to accept "that's impossible," they set off to rescue their windswept siblings in this spellbinding fantasy from Newbery Honor winner Margi Preus.

 

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Scritch Scratch

Lindsay Currie

For fans of Small Spaces and the Goosebumps series by R.L Stine comes a chilling ghost story based on real Chicago history about a malevolent spirit, an unlucky girl, and a haunting mystery that will tie the two together.

Claire has absolutely no interest in the paranormal. She's a scientist, which is why she can't think of anything worse than having to help out her dad on one of his ghost-themed Chicago bus tours. She thinks she's made it through when she sees a boy with a sad face and dark eyes at the back of the bus. There's something off about his presence, especially because when she checks at the end of the tour...he's gone.

Claire tries to brush it off, she must be imagining things, letting her dad's ghost stories get the best of her. But then the scratching starts. Voices whisper to her in the dark. The number 396 appears everywhere she turns. And the boy with the dark eyes starts following her.

Claire is being haunted. The boy from the bus wants something...and Claire needs to find out what before it's too late.

Pick up Scritch Scratch if you are looking for:

  • A book for middle school students, 5th grade to 9th grade
  • A story with a strong female protagonist that explores bravery, friendship, and family
  • Mystery books for kids 9-12
  • Chilling ghost stories and ghost books for kids (perfect for Halloween!)
  • Historical mysteries and Chicago history books for kids

"This is a teeth-chattering, eyes bulging, shuddering-and-shaking, chills-at-the-back-of-your-neck ghost story. I loved it!"--R.L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps series

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The Door of No Return

Kwame Alexander

Dreams are today's answers for tomorrow's questions.

11-year-old Kofi Offin dreams of water. Its mysterious, immersive quality. The rich, earthy scent of the current. The clearness, its urgent whisper that beckons with promises and secrets...

Kofi has heard the call on the banks of Upper Kwanta, in the village where he lives. He loves these things above all else: his family, the fireside tales of his father's father, a girl named Ama, and, of course, swimming. Some say he moves like a minnow, not just an ordinary boy so he's hoping to finally prove himself in front of Ama and his friends in a swimming contest against his older, stronger cousin.

But before this can take place, a festival comes to the villages of Upper and Lower Kwanta and Kofi's brother is chosen to represent Upper Kwanta in the wrestling contest. Encircled by cheering spectators and sounding drums, the two wrestlers from different villages kneel, ready to fight.

You are only fine, until you are not.

The match is over before it has barely begun, when the unthinkable-a sudden death-occurs...

The river does not care how grown you are.

As his world turns upside down, Kofi soon ends up in a fight for his life. What happens next will send him on a harrowing journey across land and sea, and away from everything he loves.

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Running Wild

Lucy Jane Bledsoe

Twelve-year-old Willa and her twin brothers have survived with their father in the Alaskan wilderness for five years. But Willa knows this can't go on--they must escape.

Since their mother died five years ago, Willa, her younger brothers, and her father have lived in the wilderness, in a log cabin they built. They survive on food they grow and animals they hunt. Every year they have struggled a little bit more to survive.

Now, with winter approaching and her father becoming more reckless, Willa wonders if they will live to see spring. She also knows her father will never agree to leave.

When her father goes on a hunting expedition by himself, Willa convinces her brothers that they must make the four-day journey down the Yukon River to Fort Yukon to get help. But first, they'll need to survive the treacherous trip . . . all while knowing their father is on their trail.

Perfect for middle grade readers looking for adventure stories with strong female protagonists, Lucy Jane Bledsoe's Running Wild is a page-turner that hooks you from the beginning and doesn't let go.

A Bank Street Best Book of the Year

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Attack of the Black Rectangles

A. S. King

Award-winning author Amy Sarig King takes on censorship and intolerance in a novel she was born to write.

When Mac first opens his classroom copy of Jane Yolen's The Devil's Arithmetic and finds some words blacked out, he thinks it must be a mistake. But then when he and his friends discover what the missing words are, he's outraged.

Someone in his school is trying to prevent kids from reading the full story.

But who?

Even though his unreliable dad tells him to not get so emotional about a book (or anything else), Mac has been raised by his mom and grandad to call out things that are wrong. He and his friends head to the principal's office to protest the censorship... but her response doesn't take them seriously.

So many adults want Mac to keep his words to himself.

Mac's about to see the power of letting them out.

In Attack of the Black Rectangles, acclaimed author Amy Sarig King shows all the ways truth can be hard... but still worth fighting for.

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