Nightlights – Lorena Alvarez Gomez

Every night, tiny stars appear out of the darkness in little Sandy’s bedroom. She catches them and creates wonderful creatures to play with until she falls asleep, and in the morning brings them back to life in the whimsical drawings. When a mysterious new girl appears at school, Sandy’s drawings are noticed for the first time… but Morfie’s fascination with Sandy’s talent soon turns into something far more sinister.

Stargirl – Jerry Spinelli

After 15 years of homeschooling, Stargirl bursts into Mica Area High School with an explosion of color and a clatter of ukulele music, enchanting the Mica student body. But the delicate scales of popularity suddenly shift, and Stargirl is shunned for everything that makes her different. In a celebration of nonconformity, Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the fleeting, cruel nature of popularity–and the thrill and inspiration of first love.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (Young Readers Edition) – William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William’s windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land. Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows how, even in a desperate situation, one boy’s brilliant idea can light up the world.

Act – Kayla Miller

How do you know when the person who can make the difference . . . is you? Olive is excited to start sixth grade: new teachers, new experiences, and a field trip to the big city! But when she finds out that a school policy is keeping some kids from going on the trip, she decides to act. She’s prepared to do whatever it takes to be heard—even if it means running against two of her closest friends, in the student council election.

Wildwitch: Wildfire –  Lene Kaaberbøl

The author, known as the Danish J.K. Rowling, presents a highly-acclaimed new children’s fantasy series about a young girl who can communicate with and control the natural world.  **series**

The Book of Wildly Spectacular Sports Science – Sean Connolly

Organized by categories (bat and ball, indoor, winter, outside, rackets, and aquatic), each entry talks about the sport and then adds in the scientific elements, finishing off with an experiment. Take for example, “Why Does Pumping Up a Basketball Make it Bouncier?” talks about different ball sports and then gives you a cool bouncing experiment to try where you compare different bounce heights to their inflated pounds per square inch.

Lowriders in Space – Cathy Camper

Lupe Impala, El Chavo Flapjack, and Elirio Malaria love working with cars. You name it, they can fix it. But the team’s favorite cars of all are lowriders—cars that hip and hop, dip and drop, go low and slow, bajito y suavecito. The stars align when a contest for the best car around offers a prize of a trunkful of cash—just what the team needs to open their own shop! With striking, unparalleled art from debut illustrator Raul the

Third, the story is sketched with Spanish, inked with science facts, and colored with true friendship. **series**

Porch Lies: Tales of Slicksters, Tricksters, and other Wiley Characters – Patricia McKissack

This wonderful collection of colorful, rich stories reflect the oral traditions of African American folktales and legends. Side-splittingly funny, spine-chillingly spooky, the bad characters in these stories give readers a glimpse into the supremely charming trickster tales the award-winning author heard growing up on her grandparents’ front porch.

Smile – Raina Telgemeier

Smile is an award-winning autobiographical graphic novel about Raina, who just wants to be a normal middle schooler. But after severely injuring her two front teeth, what follows is a long, frustrating journey with embarrassing and painful dental drama. On top of all that, there’s a major earthquake, boy confusion and friends who turn out to be not so friendly. This coming-of-age true story resonates with readers who have ever struggled to find their voice. **series**

Awkward – Svetlana Chmakova

The book tells the story of Penelope “Peppi” Torres, a new student at Berrybrook Middle School, whose first encounter with a boy from the science club leads to several awkward encounters that Peppi must learn to overcome for the good of her art club, the school, and herself. **series**

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon – Grace Lin

Inspired by Chinese folklore, this award-winning fantasy-adventure novel takes place in the valley of Fruitless mountain, where a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. Her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life’s questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family’s fortune.   **series**

First Generation: 36 Trailblazing Immigrants and Refugees Who Make America Great – Sandra Neil Wallace, Rich Wallace and Agata Nowicka

This boldly-illustrated collection of immigrant and refugee stories reveals the challenges and triumphs of 36 American trailblazers. This guide book celebrates the genius, diversity and grit of some of the artists, athletes, educators, journalists, activists, inventors, CEOs and comedians who make America great.

Bad Island – Doug TenNapel

Something on this island is up to no good. When Reese is forced to go on a boating trip with his family, the last thing he expects is to be shipwrecked on an island-especially one teeming with weird plants and animals. But what starts out as simply a bad vacation turns into a terrible one, as the castaways must find a way to escape while dodging the island’s dangerous inhabitants.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret – Brian Selznick

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. This is an intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

Ken Jennings’ Junior Genius Guides – Ken Jennings

Kids can unleash their inner genius and become masters of interactive trivia with these books from Jeopardy! champ and best-selling author Ken Jennings. Subjects range from dinosaurs, to maps and geography to Greek mythology. Great illustrations and fun quizzes to test your knowledge.  **series**

Lost & Found – Shaun Tan

Now for the first time, The Red Tree, The Lost Thing, and the John Marsden classic The Rabbits are presented in their entirety with additional new artwork and authors’ notes. Together they tell a tale that will leave no reader unmoved, about how we love and find what matters most to us.

Love That Dog – Sharon Creech

In this entertaining and engaging book, Jack finds his voice with the help of a teacher, a pencil, some yellow paper, and of course, a dog. Written as a series of free-verse poems from Jack’s point of view, and with classic poetry included in the back matter, this novel is both humorous and endearing.

Top Secret: A Handbook of Codes, Ciphers and Secret Writing – Paul B. Janeczko

Packed into this practical field guide is everything a reader needs to know about the art of concealment – making and breaking codes, mastering cipher systems, and experimenting with secret writing. Offers hands-on practice sessions, tips for creating a code-making kit, sidebars on secret codes in history, and an amusing pair of spies to illustrate techniques.

Mighty Jack – Ben Hatke

Jack might be the only kid in the world who’s dreading summer. But he’s got a good reason: summer is when his single mom takes a second job and leaves him at home to watch his autistic kid sister, Maddy. It’s a lot of responsibility, and it’s boring, too, because Maddy doesn’t talk. Ever. But then, one day at the flea market, Maddy does talk—to tell Jack to trade their mom’s car for a box of mysterious seeds. It’s the best mistake Jack has ever made.

**series**

Tuck Everlasting – Natalie Babbitt

When Winnie Foster is kidnapped she’s terrified at first, but she soon realizes her kidnappers, the Tuck family, are kind people with an astonishing secret. The Tucks will never die, which turns out to be less of a blessing than one might think. The situation — and Winnie’s choices — grows complicated when a stranger shows up, hoping to profit off of the spring water that made the Tucks immortal. A gentle but powerful reflection on mortality, and on what constitutes a meaningful life.

Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team – Steve Sheinkin

This is an astonishing underdog sports story—and more. It’s an unflinching look at the U.S. government’s violent persecution of Native Americans and the school that was designed to erase Indian cultures.

One Dead Spy – Nathan Hale

Nathan Hale, the author’s historical namesake, was America’s first spy, a Revolutionary War hero who famously said “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country” before being hanged by the British. The author channels his namesake to present history’s roughest, toughest and craziest stories in the graphic novel format. **series**

The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The Little Prince is a classic tale. On one level it is the story of an airman’s discovery, in the desert, of a small boy from another planet – the Little Prince – and his stories of intergalactic travel, while on the other hand it is a thought-provoking allegory of the human condition. It also contains delightful illustrations.

Marley Dias Gets It Done and So Can You – Marley Dias

This incredibly inspiring book about social media and activism is by Marley Dias, the kid activist who started the #1000blackgirlbooks campaign. She focuses on empowering other kids, diversity, and the importance of literacy.

The Tea Dragon Society – Katie O’Neill

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.  **series**

(Gaia Girls series) Enter the Earth – Lee Welles

Like eco-Nancy Drews, the characters of the Gaia Girls series will appeal to readers ready to take on modern-day environmental challenges. Enter the Earth is the first in the series and introduces Elizabeth, who possesses the power of “earth” — the ability to work with and command soil, trees and creatures in the soil. Illustrated throughout, this chapter book is for more mature fourth-grade readers, as it does not pull any punches when taking on subjects like factory farming. Highly recommended for its compelling story and sensitivity to current issues.

We Are All Greta: Be Inspired to Save the World – Valentina Giannella

Follow in Greta Thunberg’s footsteps and join the global mission to save our planet from climate change. With in-depth text and data, this necessary and timely book will answer readers’ questions on what climate change means, what its consequences will be, and what must be done to protect our world.

Real Friends – Shannon Hale

Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale and New York Times bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham join forces in this graphic memoir about how hard it is to find your real friends—and why it’s worth the journey.

The Gruesome Guide to World Monsters – Judy Sierra

From Boston to Beijing, from Moscow to Mali, every place you visit has its own terrifying tales of very real creatures. Complete with “gruesomeness ratings,” this guide offers all the important facts on some 63 folkloric monsters and how (if possible!) to survive an encounter with them.

The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler – John Hendrix

When the Nazi party rose to power, Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer was appalled by the church’s complacency in Hitler’s regime of evil. He spoke out against the Nazis, becoming a fugitive who struggled to reconcile religious faith with stopping Hitler by any means necessary.

Pilu of the Woods – Mai K. Nguyen

A 2020 Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards Finalist. For fans of Hilda and the Troll, this is a heartwarming and bittersweet story of friendship, loss, exploring complex emotions and finding your way home from debut creator Mai K. Nguyen.

Bridge to Terabithia – Katherine Paterson

Jess Aarons’ greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in his grade, but on the first day of school, a new girl boldly crosses over to the boys’ side and outruns everyone. Jess and Leslie Burke become inseparable. Together they create Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where the two of them reign, and their imaginations set the only limits.

Extreme Animals: The Toughest Creatures on Earth – Nicole Davies

From the persevering emperor penguins of the South Pole to the brave bacteria inside bubbling volcanoes, from the hardy reptiles of the driest deserts to the squash-proof creatures of the deepest seabeds, animals have adapted to survive in conditions that would kill a human faster than you can say “coffin”. Discover how they do it in this amazing natural history book from a celebrated team – and find out who is the toughest animal of them all.

Doodleville – Chad Sell

For fans of Svetlana Chmakova’s Awkward and Raina Telgemeier’s Smile comes an inventive new story from Cardboard Kingdom creator Chad Sell about a group of young artists who must work together when one of their own creations becomes a monster.

Zorgamazoo – Robert Paul Weston

Brilliant and unique, this is the story of an adventurous young girl; a shadowy, subterranean creature; a bizarre lottery; a mysterious map; some outrageous kidnappings; and a sport that brings together the finer points of cricket, swimming and chess. It also has lobotomies. To sum up, it is about saving the universe from boredom. And it rhymes—all 281 pages worth.

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World – Malala Yousafzai

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. This is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, of a father who championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

Diana: Princess of the Amazons – Shannon Hale

From New York Times bestselling authors Shannon Hale and Dean Hale comes a heartfelt story about making mistakes, learning the hard way, and growing up to become a hero.

Esperanza Rising – Pam Muñoz Ryan

Esperanza thought she’d always live a privileged life on her family’s ranch in Mexico. But a sudden tragedy forces her and Mama to flee to California and settle in a farm labor camp. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard work or lack of acceptance she now faces, but when Mama gets sick and a strike threatens to uproot their new life, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances – Mama’s life, and her own, depend on it.

Wacky and Wild! Guinness World Records – Calliope Glass

A brand-new Guinness World Records book. Some Guinness World Records have to be seen to be believed. Wacky and Wild! is packed with mind-boggling feats. When it comes to records on the zany side, sometimes the greatest asset you can have is an active imagination.

The Weirn Books (Be Wary of the Silent Woods) – Svetlana Chmakova

Ailis and her cousins are young Weirn, witches with a particular guardian spirit known as an Astral. They attend their local night school for paranormal students. Their grandmother warns them to stay away from the old school building in the forest, but it’s a shortcut to school, so…One night, Ailis, her cousins, and her friends learn that there was a very good reason for their grandmother’s warning – one that not only explains an old family mystery, but that might also cost them their magic, if not their lives.

Keeper of the Lost Cities – Shannon Messenger

12-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her, a talent she’s never known how to explain. Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known. **series**

Writing Magic: Creating Stories That Fly – Gail Carson Levine

For the aspiring young writer, this craft book from Newbery Honor author of Ella Enchanted is an excellent introduction to the functions and form of story, with plenty of writing prompts to get the creative juices flowing.

The Okay Witch – Emma Steinkellner

Sabrina the Teenage Witch meets Roller Girl in this hilarious, one-of-a-kind graphic novel about a half-witch who has just discovered the truth about herself, her family, and her town and is doing her best to survive middle school now that she knows everything!

Holes – Louis Sachar

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten- pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women – Catherine Thimmesh

Retaining reader-tested favorite inventions, this updated edition of the best-selling Girls Think of Everything features seven new chapters that better represent our diverse and increasingly technological world, offering readers stories about inventions that are full of hope and vitalityempowering them to think big, especially in the face of adversity.

Trickster: Native American Tales, A Graphic Collection – Matt Dembicki

In Trickster, the first graphic anthology of Native American trickster tales, more than twenty Native American tales are cleverly adapted into comic form. An inspired collaboration between Native writers and accomplished artists, these tales bring the Trickster back into popular culture in vivid form. From an ego-driven social misstep in “Coyote and the Pebbles” to the hijinks of “How Wildcat Caught a Turkey” and the hilarity of “Rabbit’s Choctaw Tail Tale,” Trickster bring together Native American folklore and the world of graphic novels for the first time.

When You Reach Me – Rebecca Stead

This mesmerizing, award-winning book tells the story of sixth-grader Miranda who, after a falling out with her best friend, begins receiving mysterious messages. They would be easy to ignore, except whoever is leaving them has an uncanny ability to predict the future. Miranda has a big problem – because the notes tell her that someone is going to die, and she might be the only one to stop it. This story will appeal especially to those who are looking for a thought-provoking mystery with a mind-blowing twist.

Resist: 35 Profiles of Ordinary People Who Rose Up Against Tyranny and Injustice – Veronica Chambers

Chambers highlights activists both historical and contemporary, illuminating their challenges and accomplishments in order to inspire kids. This is a great tool for teaching kids about activism and important historical figures, and for motivating them to make positive changes in their own communities.

Jane, the Fox and Me – Fanny Britt

ostracized by her friends. Fortunately, she has one consolation: Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. When she is lost in the pages of this wonderful book, she is able to ignore her tormentors. But when Hélène is humiliated on a class trip in front of her entire grade, she needs more than a fictional character to allow her to see herself as a person deserving of laughter and friendship.

Inside Out & Back Again – Thanhha Lai

For all the ten years of her life, Hà has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, and the warmth of her friends close by. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In America, Hà discovers the foreign world of Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food, and the strength of her very own family.

Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

At one time, Lew Alcindor was just another kid from New York City with all the usual problems: he struggled with fitting in, with pleasing a strict father, and with overcoming shyness that made him feel socially awkward. But with a talent for basketball, and an unmatched team of supporters, Lew Alcindor was able to transform and to become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The basketball player turned author and activist shares his story in this memoir for young readers.

Baba Yaga’s Assistant – Marika McCoola

Most children think twice before braving a haunted wood filled with terrifying beasties to match wits with a witch, but not Masha. Her beloved grandma taught her many things: that stories are useful, that magic is fickle, and that nothing is too difficult or too dirty to clean. The fearsome witch of folklore needs an assistant, and Masha needs an adventure. She may be clever enough to enter Baba Yaga’s house on chicken legs, but within its walls, deceit is the rule. To earn her place, Masha must pass a series of tests, outfox a territorial bear, and make dinner for her host. Wry, spooky and poignant, Marika McCoola’s debut–with richly layered art by acclaimed graphic artist Emily Carroll–is a storytelling feat and a visual fest.

Ana María Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle – Hilda Eunice Burgos

Ana María Reyes is stuck in a tiny apartment with two parents (way too loveydovey), three sisters (way too dramatic), everyone’s friends (way too often), and a piano (which she never gets to practice). When she hears about the Eleanor School, New York City’s best private academy, she knows she’ll need to stand out to win a scholarship, get out of her Washington Heights neighborhood school and achieve the education she’s longed for. But some new friends and honest conversations help her figure out what truly matters, and know that she can succeed no matter what.

Something Rotten: A Fresh Look at Roadkill – Heather L. Montgomery

This humorous and highly engaging narrative nonfiction is an eye-opening and irreverent look at the dead and dying animals that we pass by without a second thought–as well as a fascinating insight to the scientific research process.