Author: Todd Parr

This  is a great book for Thanksgiving or any day. There are a few allusions to Thanksgiving but this book is really about being thankful every day! (Mentioning the library made me happy!)

What is a Friend?

Author: Kristin Levine

"I think a friend is someone who helps you change for the better. And whether you see them once a day or once a year, if it's a true friend, it doesn't matter."  This is a great book! It has unexpected twists and turns in the plot that can really surprise you.  Historical fiction set during the Civil Rights Movement in the American South, it is really more a book about friendship, loyalty, and family.  I highly recommend this book!

Score Big!

Author: John Coy

I'm recommending this book to all middle school basketball lovers.  John Coy knows and writes a lot about basketball, but this is the first fiction book of his I read.  It's a great mix of real life issues (friends, family, girls, homework) and the love of the game.  I like the way the author adds everyday teenagers life into the plot.  This would be good choice for reluctant readers.

Author: Amy Timberlake

Set in Wisconsin in 1871, this book brings us into the small towns of Placid and Dog Hollow during the hey day of the passenger pigeon (now extinct).  Georgie is the only one who doesn't believe that the pieces of body brought home for burial in the blue-green ball gown is her older sister, Agatha.  She needs to find out what really happened and she discovers more than she bargained for.  This book will have you on the edge of your seat until almost the very last page!  It was a Newbery Honor Book, too.

Author: Holly Sloan

This book reminded me of Out of My Mind and Wonder (both books I loved by the way) being that it is about a 12-year old girl who is a genius, but feels detached from her peers.  Suffering the loss of her parents in a tragic accident sets this story on a hopeful mission to find Willow Chance a new family.  But what does it take to be a family?  Readers will have a lot to talk about after reading this book.  What is strange?  Are we all strange or at varying levels of strangeness?  Is it fair to group like strangers?  Hmmm.

Title: Hold Fast
Author: Blue Balliett

This book is a mystery and a work of art.  The Pearl family experiences a huge upheaval and Early, the young protagonist, feels the urgency to not only solve the mystery of where her father has disappeared to, but hold her family (mom and brother) together in the Chicago homeless shelter scene.  Readers will get a pretty realistic look at the lives of those having to live in such shelters.  I'm interested now in checking out some Langston Hughes poetry.  Lots to talk about after reading this book.

Author: Claudia Mills

Seventh-grader, Sierra, has always been an good student.  Her life gets messy the day she accidentally brings her mother's lunchbag to school with a paring knife in it.  The school has a "zero tolerance" policy about drugs and weapons.  Will Sierra get expelled for her mistake even if she did the right thing by turning herself into the school office?  This book keeps you interested until the very last page.....don't read the end first!!!

Author: Karel Hayes

This wordless picture book tells two stories. One is about the bears who live in the cabin during the winter and one is about the family who lives in the cabin in the summer. Will their pathes cross? This is a funny and imaginative book.

Author: Eric Wight

I enjoyed this graphic novel (for the younger set) about Frankie who is finding mathematics challenging. Unknown to him, over a weekend, his parents set up some situations for him in which he is actually learning about the concepts of math, hands-on. Because of this he has a better understanding of mathematical equations. Very well done, this is a book kids can relate to.

Author: Ann Cameron

From the point of view of Spunky we learn how he feels to be part of a family and how much he is attached to Huey.  The plot thickens half way through the book when a cat, Fiona, is introduced. Very fun! I have always loved the Julian and Huey books by this author (nine before this one) so I was so glad to see an addition to the series!