A smoothie of Into the Wild and On the Road, blended with Grade A feminism and fantasy. Though the plot moves at a walking pace, Tess's character drives this book forward. As she follows the eponymous road on her indelible journey, she moves away from a past that shackles her and towards a future that welcomes her audacious spirit. And as Tess learns, sometimes you just have to walk it off to progress.
Though this book is short, it is nothing short of profound. Meg was my first fictional hero, and she taught me something fundamentally important: that you can be flawed and still be a hero. You can be angry and amazing, full of fear and love at the same time, and all of those layers stack together to make you strong. A book to combat darkness, in all its forms.
George's titular character is a transgender 4th grade girl whose unwavering faith in herself provides a model for all readers to aspire to. The supportive relationship that George has with her best friend Melissa assures readers that, with friends who encourage you to be your most authentic self, anything is possible.
Think Cheaper by the Dozen but WAY BETTER. When you have a big family, it's easy for things to lapse into pandemonium, but the Lotterys manage that delicate balance between chaos and calm with skillful co-parenting, mindful communication, and lots of affection. A loving, inclusive snapshot of a non-traditional family for fans of The Penderwicks, Clementine, and Ivy + Bean.
This is not your average robot book. This robot book is also about: animals, what it means to be human, the environment, community-building, creating a family, and - most importantly - finding a home. Brown intersperses his text with his signature graphic illustrations, and his short chapters pack powerful punches while lending themselves well to reading aloud. Readers young and old will find themselves desperate for more robot Roz when this book ends.
Another home run from the author of Roller Girl! Imogene has been home schooled and has grown up assisting her family at their shop at the renaissance fair, perfecting her sword fighting skills, and dreaming of becoming a paid squire. But when she enters public school, her priorities are tested and her values are challenged in the new environment. Anyone who has survived middle school will definitely relate as Imogene struggles to navigate the cliques, the unwritten rules, and the difficult teachers while staying true to herself. Her experiences are universally familiar while still featuring a one-of-a-kind heroine.
To be honest, I was reluctant to start this book. A story about an oak tree and a crow didn't quite capture my interest. But I took a step of faith based on Applegate's abilities, and read on anyway, and I'm so glad I did! What an unexpected delight, with a story so simple and true, I'm sure it will resonate with every reader. This is a timely book, great for any individual, but would be especially fruitful to discuss in a family or classroom setting.
A beautifully written story on friendship, grief, loss, and healing with a generous helping of mystery and suspense thrown into the mix. Every character and environment is poppin'-off-the-page real, to the point where I could almost feel the muggy Georgia summer, even though it was 25* out and my hands were frozen numb from holding the book. (I couldn't put it down after I picked it back up.)
This is more than your average coming-of-age tale - this is a story that teaches about compassion, mental illness, tolerance, and gender issues.
An absolute must-read and essential addition to every middle school library.