Browse our regularly updated lists of staff picks, bestsellers, reading recommendations by grade, award winners, and more.
(Want personalized recommendations? Use our Kids Book Picks form for suggested reads from our librarians.)
Planting Seeds and Growing Gardens
Plant the Tiny Seed
Beautiful collage-and-watercolor art follows the seed through its entire life cycle, as it grows into a zinnia in a garden full of buzzing bees, curious hummingbirds, and colorful butterflies. Children engage with the book as they wiggle their fingers to water the seeds, clap to make the sun shine after rain, and shoo away a hungry snail. Appropriate for even the youngest child, Plant the Tiny Seed is never the same book twice—no matter how many times you read it!
And for curious young nature lovers, a page of facts about seeds, flowers, and the insects and animals featured in the book is included at the end. Fans of Press Here, Eric Carle, and Lois Ehlert will find their next favorite book in Plant the Tiny Seed.
Are You a Cheeseburger?
Laugh-out-loud humor and a tender friendship blossom in author-illustrator Monica Arnaldo's charming picture book about a lonely raccoon and a glowing seed, and the world's most important question: Can this seed grow cheeseburgers?
Grub is a lonely racoon. Rumbling in the trash. Looking for food.
Seed is, well, a seed! Patiently waiting in the trash. Hoping someone will plant it.
When the two finally meet, they realize they might be able to help each other! Grub has just one big question first: What will Seed grow? Could Seed grow Grub's favorite food, mouthwatering cheeseburgers? Seed isn't sure what a cheeseburger is exactly, but . . . maybe!
And so begins a hilarious friendship following two unlikely strangers learning more about the other and discovering the pressure that comes with fulfilling expectations. Author-illustrator Monica Arnaldo will leave readers giggling and clamoring for more in this charming story that celebrates the unexpected--and how the most special friendships bloom only when we are unapologetically ourselves.
Lola Plants a Garden
How does your garden grow? Book-loving Lola is inspired by a collection of garden poems that she reads with her mommy. She wants to plant her own garden of beautiful flowers, so she and Mommy go to the library to check out books about gardening. They choose their flowers and buy their seeds. They dig and plant. And then they wait. Lola finds it hard to wait for her flowers to grow, but she spends the time creating her own flower book. Soon she has a garden full of sunflowers and invites all of her friends for cakes and punch and a story amongst the flowers.
What Will Grow?
Seeds can be big or small, round or pointy, and all sorts of colors. They can become flowers, trees, fruits, or vegetables, and they sprout all times of year, during spring, summer, fall, and winter.
But all seeds have one thing in common--inside each is a new plant life waiting to emerge. What kind of plant will bloom? Wait and see what will grow!
Including four gorgeous pull-out gatefolds, this lyrical and stunningly illustrated book includes fun facts about starting a garden.
To Be Like the Sun
Within every tiny seed lies the secret of what's to come. First a shoot, then a stem, a leaf, a bud--and finally a brilliant sunflower reaching high for the sun. Join a young girl as she waters and watches, celebrating the everyday miracles of growth and life.
Plant a Little Seed
With a little help from a watering can, bright sunlight, and a lot of patience, two friends plant seeds in their community garden and watch how they grow. Slowly, the seeds turn into sprouts, which grow into stems, followed by leaves and buds! The garden will soon be teeming with life and ready for a harvest season celebration. But until then, the children water and wait and dream . . .
Sprout, Seed, Sprout!
One day, when a boy sees his dad cut an avocado in half, he decides to plant the fruit's seed and grow it into...an avocado tree! One glass of water, two careful hands, and three pointy toothpicks later, it's time to wait...and wait...and wait...for it to grow.
At long last, the boy and his faithful pet cat see one root, two roots, three roots emerge! Three scoops of soil, three sprinkles of water, and a lot more waiting...lead to one sturdy stem, two clapping hands, and three grateful cheers. The avocado tree starts to appear! One, two, and three years later, the tree grows taller still.
This charming story is told with lots of rhythm and repetition, paired with playful illustrations full of funny details about the trials of coaxing a seed into a plant. Readers will come away with a sense that the struggle to be patient and stick it out can be worthwhile, even when a result seems impossible.
A Seed Is Sleepy
Award-winning artist Sylvia Long and author Dianna Hutts Aston have teamed up again to create this gorgeous and informative introduction to seeds. Poetic in voice and elegant in design, the book introduces children to a fascinating array of seed and plant facts, making it a guide that is equally at home being read on a parent's lap as in a classroom reading circle.
If You Plant a Seed
Kadir Nelson, acclaimed author of Baby Bear and winner of the Caldecott Honor and the Coretta Scott King Author and Illustrator Awards, presents a resonant, gently humorous story about the power of even the smallest acts and the rewards of compassion and generosity.
With spare text and breathtaking oil paintings, If You Plant a Seed demonstrates not only the process of planting and growing for young children but also how a seed of kindness can bear sweet fruit.
It Starts With A Seed
In gentle rhyme, It Starts with a Seed evocatively explores the growth of a tiny sycamore seed.
Taking a journey through the seasons and years, we follow the seed as it transforms from a seedling to a sapling, then a young tree, until it becomes a large tree with its branches and roots filling the page. As the tree grows, it is joined by well-loved woodland creatures - squirrels and rabbits, butterflies and owls - who make it their home. Beautiful and evocative, It Starts with a Seed is a factual story that will touch children with its simple but enchanting message of life and growth.
Beautifully presented, It Starts with a Seed has a gold embossed front cover, gatefolds, textured paper and specialised etching technique, hand made by the illustrator throughout.
It Starts with a Seed was the winner of the inaugural Margaret Mallett Award for Children's Non-Fiction.
Combines cut-paper artwork and simple, rhyming text in an introduction to gardening that follows the efforts of little bunnies who plant and grow carrots while counting from one to 10.
The perfect counting book for young nature-lovers
If you plant 10 seeds, what do you get? Follow nature's wonderful cycle in this engaging counting book with a difference! Rounded corners and card pages make this picture book perfect for young children.
Dig holes in the autumn soil.
Drop the bulbs in one by one.
Cover them with dirt.
Come spring, the bulbs will flower!
In this lushly illustrated story from Deborah Diesen that celebrates life and growing up, a mother and daughter plant a garden to see how something small blooms into something as beautiful and strong as their love.
Mental Health Awareness Month Middle School Reads
No Fixed Address
For fans of Wendelin van Draanen and Cynthia Lord, a touching and funny middle-grade story about family, friendship, and growing up when you're one step away from homelessness.
Twelve-and-three-quarter-year-old Felix Knutsson has a knack for trivia. His favorite game show is Who What Where When; he even named his gerbil after the host. Felix's mom, Astrid, is loving but can't seem to hold on to a job. So when they get evicted from their latest shabby apartment, they have to move into a van. Astrid swears him to secrecy; he can't tell anyone about their living arrangement, not even Dylan and Winnie, his best friends at his new school. If he does, she warns him, he'll be taken away from her and put in foster care.
As their circumstances go from bad to worse, Felix gets a chance to audition for a junior edition of Who What Where When, and he's determined to earn a spot on the show. Winning the cash prize could make everything okay again. But things don't turn out the way he expects. . . .
Susin Nielsen deftly combines humor, heartbreak, and hope in this moving story about people who slip through the cracks in society, and about the power of friendship and community to make all the difference.
Genesis Begins Again
“Reminiscent of Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye.” —The New York Times
“One of the best books I have ever read…will live in the hearts of readers for the rest of their lives.” —Colby Sharp, founder of Nerdy Book Club
“An emotional, painful, yet still hopeful adolescent journey…one that needed telling.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“I really loved this.” —Sharon M. Draper, author of the New York Times bestseller Out of My Mind
This deeply sensitive and “compelling” (BCCB) debut novel tells the story of a thirteen-year-old who must overcome internalized racism and a verbally abusive family to finally learn to love herself.
There are ninety-six reasons why thirteen-year-old Genesis dislikes herself. She knows the exact number because she keeps a list:
-Because her family is always being put out of their house.
-Because her dad has a gambling problem. And maybe a drinking problem too.
-Because Genesis knows this is all her fault.
-Because she wasn’t born looking like Mama.
-Because she is too black.
Genesis is determined to fix her family, and she’s willing to try anything to do so…even if it means harming herself in the process. But when Genesis starts to find a thing or two she actually likes about herself, she discovers that changing her own attitude is the first step in helping change others.
Sara and the Search for Normal
“Readers will appreciate [Sara] as good literary company even as they develop sympathy for her struggles.” —BCCB
“It’s the vivid, insightful depiction of Sara’s internal struggles that readers will remember.” —Booklist
“A must-buy.” —School Library Journal (starred review)
In this prequel to the Edgar Award–winning OCDaniel, fan-favorite Sara quests for “normal” and finds something even better along the way.
Sara’s Rules to be Normal
1. Stop taking your pills
19. Make a friend
137. Don’t put mayonnaise on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
Sara wants one thing: to be normal. What she has instead are multiple diagnoses from Dr. Ring. Sara’s constant battle with False Alarm—what she calls panic attacks—and other episodes cause her to isolate herself. She rarely speaks, especially not at school, and so she doesn’t have any friends. But when she starts group therapy she meets someone new. Talkative and outgoing Erin doesn’t believe in “normal,” and Sara finds herself in unfamiliar territory: at the movies, at a birthday party, and with someone to tell about her crush—in short, with a friend. But there’s more to Erin than her cheerful exterior, and Sara begins to wonder if helping Erin will mean sacrificing their friendship.
Taking Up Space
From beloved author Alyson Gerber comes another realistic contemporary novel perfect for fans of Judy Blume.
Sarah loves basketball more than anything. Crushing it on the court makes her feel like she matters. And it's the only thing that helps her ignore how much it hurts when her mom forgets to feed her.
But lately Sarah can't even play basketball right. She's slower now and missing shots she should be able to make. Her body doesn't feel like it's her own anymore. She's worried that changing herself back to how she used to be is the only way she can take control over what's happening.
When Sarah's crush asks her to be partners in a cooking competition, she feels pulled in a million directions. She'll have to dig deep to stand up for what she needs at home, be honest with her best friends, and accept that she doesn't need to change to feel good about herself.
Booklist described Gerber's novels in starred reviews as both highly empathetic and truly inspiring. Taking Up Space promises to be a realistic and compelling story about struggling with body image and learning that true self-esteem comes from within.
Finding Junie Kim
For fans of Inside Out and Back Again and Amina's Voice comes a breathtaking story of family, hope, and survival from Ellen Oh, cofounder of We Need Diverse Books. When Junie Kim is faced with middle school racism, she learns of her grandparents' extraordinary strength and finds her voice. Inspired by her mother's real-life experiences during the Korean War, Oh's characters are real and riveting.
"Both unique and universal, timely and timeless." --Padma Venkatraman, Walter Award-winning author of The Bridge Home
"A moving story that highlights how to find courage in the face of unspeakable hardship." --Hena Khan, award-winning author of Amina's Voice
"Junie discovers where she comes from and gains the courage to make a difference in the future." --Wendy Wan-Long Shang, award-winning author of The Great Wall of Lucy Wu
Junie Kim just wants to fit in. So she keeps her head down and tries not to draw attention to herself. But when racist graffiti appears at her middle school, Junie must decide between staying silent or speaking out.
Then Junie's history teacher assigns a project and Junie decides to interview her grandparents, learning about their unbelievable experiences as kids during the Korean War. Junie comes to admire her grandma's fierce determination to overcome impossible odds, and her grandpa's unwavering compassion during wartime. And as racism becomes more pervasive at school, Junie taps into the strength of her ancestors and finds the courage to do what is right.
Finding Junie Kim is a reminder that within all of us lies the power to overcome hardship and emerge triumphant.
Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Honor Book
Included in NPR's 2021 Books We Love List
2021 Nerdie Award Winner
The final novel in the award-winning Finding Langston trilogy from Coretta Scott King Author Honoree and Scott O'Dell Award medalist Lesa Cline-Ransome.
Clem can make anybody, even his grumpy older sisters, smile with his jokes. But when his family receives news that his father has died in the infamous Port Chicago disaster, everything begins to fall apart. Clem's mother is forced to work long, tough hours as a maid for a wealthy white family. Soon Clem can barely recognize his home--and himself. Can he live up to his father's legacy?
In her award-winning trilogy, Lesa Cline-Ransome masterfully recreates mid-twentieth century America through the eyes of three boys: Langston, Lymon, and, now, Clem. Exploring the impact of the Great Migration, the Harlem Renaissance, Jim Crow laws, and much more, Lesa's work manages at once to be both an intimate portrait of each boy and his family as well as a landscape of American history.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Middle Grade Book of the Year
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year
A CCBC Choice
A Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Book!A CSMCL Best Multicultural Children's Book of the Year
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
Praise for Finding Langston, a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book and winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction
"There aren't any explosions in this spare story. Nor is there a happy ending. Instead, Langston discovers something more enduring: solace."--The New York Times
* "This crisply paced book is full of historical details of the Great Migration and the role a historic branch library played in preserving African American literary culture."--The Horn Book, Starred Review
* "This is a story that will stay with readers long after they've finished it."--School Library Journal, Starred Review
* "The impact on the reader could not be more powerful. A memorable debut novel."--Booklist, Starred Review
* "A fascinating work of historical fiction . . . Cline-Ransome at her best."--Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
* "Finding Langston is about cultural heritage and personal growth and, at its heart, about finding home wherever you land."--Shelf Awareness, Starred Review
The Magical Imperfect
"Highly recommended... Perfect for readers of Wonder and Erin Entrada Kelly's Hello, Universe."— Booklist magazine, starred review
Etan has stopped speaking since his mother left. His father and grandfather don’t know how to help him. His friends have given up on him.
When Etan is asked to deliver a grocery order to the outskirts of town, he realizes he’s at the home of Malia Agbayani, also known as the Creature. Malia stopped going to school when her acute eczema spread to her face, and the bullying became too much.
As the two become friends, other kids tease Etan for knowing the Creature. But he believes he might have a cure for Malia’s condition, if only he can convince his family and hers to believe it too. Even if it works, will these two outcasts find where they fit in?
Where the Watermelons Grow
Fans of The Thing About Jellyfish and A Snicker of Magic will be swept away by Cindy Baldwin’s debut middle grade about a girl coming to terms with her mother’s mental illness. An Oregon Spirit Award Honor book.
When twelve-year-old Della Kelly finds her mother furiously digging black seeds from a watermelon in the middle of the night and talking to people who aren't there, Della worries that it’s happening again—that the sickness that put her mama in the hospital four years ago is back. That her mama is going to be hospitalized for months like she was last time.
With her daddy struggling to save the farm and her mama in denial about what’s happening, it’s up to Della to heal her mama for good. And she knows just how she’ll do it: with a jar of the Bee Lady’s magic honey, which has mended the wounds and woes of Maryville, North Carolina, for generations.
But when the Bee Lady says that the solution might have less to do with fixing Mama’s brain and more to do with healing her own heart, Della must learn that love means accepting her mama just as she is.
The Sea in Winter
In this evocative and heartwarming novel for readers who loved The Thing About Jellyfish, the author of I Can Make This Promise tells the story of a Native American girl struggling to find her joy again.
It's been a hard year for Maisie Cannon, ever since she hurt her leg and could not keep up with her ballet training and auditions.
Her blended family is loving and supportive, but Maisie knows that they just can't understand how hopeless she feels. With everything she's dealing with, Maisie is not excited for their family midwinter road trip along the coast, near the Makah community where her mother grew up.
But soon, Maisie's anxieties and dark moods start to hurt as much as the pain in her knee. How can she keep pretending to be strong when on the inside she feels as roiling and cold as the ocean?
The Heartdrum imprint centers a wide range of intertribal voices, visions, and stories while welcoming all young readers, with an emphasis on the present and future of Indian Country and on the strength of young Native heroes. In partnership with We Need Diverse Books.
Things You Can't Say
Perfect for fans of See You in the Cosmos and Where the Watermelons Grow, author Jenn Bishop's latest novel tells the moving story of a boy determined to uncover the truth.
Nothing is going right this summer for Drew. And after losing his dad unexpectedly three years ago, Drew knows a lot about things not going right. First, it’s the new girl Audrey taking over everything at the library, Drew’s sacred space. Then it’s his best friend, Filipe, pulling away from him. But most upsetting has to be the mysterious man who is suddenly staying with Drew’s family. An old friend of Mom’s? Drew isn’t buying that.
With an unlikely ally in Audrey, he’s determined to get to the bottom of who this man really is. The thing is, there are some fears—like what if the person you thought was your dad actually wasn’t—that you can’t speak out loud, not to anyone. At least that’s what Drew thinks.
But then again, first impressions can be deceiving.
Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes
Annabelle has a secret . . . a secret so big she won't allow friends within five miles of her home. Her mom collects things. Their house is overflowing with stuff. It gives Annabelle's sister nightmares, her brother spends as much time as he can at friends' houses, and her dad buries himself in his work.
So when a stack of newspapers falls on Annabelle's sister, it sparks a catastrophic fight between their parents--one that might tear them all apart--and Annabelle starts to think that things at home finally need to change.
Is it possible for her to clean up the family's mess? Or are they really, truly broken?
Mary E. Lambert's moving and heart-breakingly funny debut novel about the things we hold dear--and the things we let go--will resonate with anyone whose life has ever felt just a little too messy.
The Science of Breakable Things
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR - THE CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY - KIRKUS REVIEWS
The spectacular debut novel from the Newbery Award winning author of When You Trap a Tiger. This is an uplifting story about friendship, family, and the complicated science of the heart.
When Natalie's science teacher suggests that she enter an egg drop competition, she thinks it could be the perfect solution to all of her problems. With the prize money, she can fly her botanist mother to see the miraculous Cobalt Blue Orchids--flowers with the resilience to survive against impossible odds. Her mother has been suffering from depression, and Natalie is positive that the flowers' magic will inspire her mom to fall in love with life again.
But she can't do it alone. Her friends step up to show her that talking about problems is like taking a plant out of a dark cupboard and exposing it to the sun. With their help, Natalie begins an unforgettable journey to discover the science of hope, love, and miracles.
EDGAR AWARD WINNER FOR BEST MYSTERY
BANK STREET BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
SILVER BIRCH AWARD WINNER
“Complex and satisfying. Written from Daniel’s point of view, this perceptive first-person narrative is sometimes painful, sometimes amusing, and always rewarding.” —Booklist (starred review)
From the author of Incredible Space Raiders from Space! comes a brand-new coming-of-age story about a boy whose life revolves around hiding his obsessive compulsive disorder—until he gets a mysterious note that changes everything.
Daniel is the back-up punter for the Erie Hills Elephants. Which really means he’s the water boy. He spends football practice perfectly arranging water cups—and hoping no one notices. Actually, he spends most of his time hoping no one notices his strange habits—he calls them Zaps: avoiding writing the number four, for example, or flipping a light switch on and off dozens of times over. He hopes no one notices that he’s crazy, especially his best friend Max, and Raya, the prettiest girl in school. His life gets weirder when another girl at school, who is unkindly nicknamed Psycho Sara, notices him for the first time. She doesn’t just notice him: she seems to peer through him.
Then Daniel gets a note: “I need your help,” it says, signed, Fellow Star child—whatever that means. And suddenly Daniel, a total no one at school, is swept up in a mystery that might change everything for him.
With great voice and grand adventure, this book is about feeling different and finding those who understand.
In Your Shoes
"A unique and compelling novel from a master storyteller." --School Library Journal, starred review
The critically acclaimed author of Lily and Dunkin delivers another heartfelt story that will remind readers you never know who needs a friend the most.
Miles is an anxious boy who loves his family's bowling center--even though he could be killed by a bolt of lightning or a wild animal that escaped from the Philadelphia Zoo on the way there.
Amy is the new girl at school who wishes she didn't have to live above her uncle's funeral home and tries to write her way to her own happily-ever-after.
Then Miles and Amy meet in the most unexpected way . . . and that's when it all begins. . . .
All the Things That Could Go Wrong
A moving and beautifully written story about what can happen when two completely different boys are forced to put aside their differences, for fans of Wonder.
There are two sides to every story.
Alex's OCD is so severe that it's difficult for him to even leave his house some days. His classmate Dan is so angry that he lashes out at the easiest target he can find at school: Alex. When their moms arrange for Alex and Dan to spend time together over winter break, it seems like a recipe for certain disaster...until it isn't. Once forced together, these two sworn enemies discover that there is much more to each other than they ever knew.
Fifty-Four Things Wrong with Gwendolyn Rogers
From the critically acclaimed author of the ALA Notable and Charlotte Huck Honor Book Forever, or a Long, Long Time comes a moving own-voices story that shines a light on how one girl’s learning differences are neither right nor wrong…just perfectly individual. For fans of Alyson Gerber, Cammie McGovern, and Kathryn Erskine.
No one can figure out what Gwendolyn Rogers’s problem is—not her mom, or her teachers, or any of the many therapists she’s seen. But Gwendolyn knows she doesn’t have just one thing wrong with her: she has fifty-four.
At least, according to a confidential school report (that she read because she is #16. Sneaky, not to mention #13. Impulsive). So Gwendolyn needs a plan, because if she doesn’t get these fifty-four things under control, she’s not going to be able to go to horse camp this summer with her half-brother, Tyler.
But Tyler can’t help her because there’s only one thing “wrong” with him: ADHD.
And her best friend Hettie can’t help her because there’s nothing wrong with Hettie. She’s perfect.
So Gwendolyn is hopeless until she remembers the one thing that helped her mother when her own life was out of control. Or actually, the twelve things. Can these Twelve Steps that cured her mother somehow cure Gwendolyn too?
An ALA Notable Book
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2017
“Striking, enigmatic, and haunting all around.” —Booklist (starred review)
“A suspenseful, realistic, finely crafted story exploring friendship, trust, and how we judge others.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Newbery Honor winner Janet Taylor Lisle’s novel about a pivotal summer in two girls’ lives explores the convictions we form, the judgments we make, and the values we hold.
The pond is called Quicksand Pond.
It’s a shadowy, hidden place, full of chirping, shrieking, croaking life. It’s where, legend has it, people disappear. It’s where scrappy Terri Carr lives with her no-good family. And it’s where twelve-year-old Jessie Kettel is reluctantly spending her summer vacation.
Jessie meets Terri on a raft out in the water, and the two become fast friends. On Quicksand Pond, Jessie and Terri can be lost to the outside world—lost until they want to be found. But a tragedy that occurred many decades ago has had lingering effects on this sleepy town, and especially on Terri Carr. And the more Jessie learns, the more she begins to question her new friendship—and herself.
The Curious Cat Spy Club
No one at school knows that Kelsey, Becca, and Leo are secretly friends. They have nothing in common--until they rescue three kittens and form a club to help animals through volunteering, spying, and solving mysteries. In the first book of this series, Kelsey helps catch a runaway zorse (horse + zebra) with the help of another girl from school named Becca. The two are walking home when they happen upon a litter of kittens trapped in a dumpster and Leo Polanski is the only person around who can help get them out. The three unlikely friends decide to work together to help solve animal crimes with their secret club!
The Detective's Assistant
Based on the extraordinary true story of America's first-ever female detective, this fast-paced adventure recounts feats of daring and danger...including saving the life of Abraham Lincoln!
Eleven-year-old Nell Warne arrives on her aunt's doorstep lugging a heavy sack of sorrows. If her Aunt Kate rejects her, it's the miserable Home for the Friendless.
Luckily, canny Nell makes herself indispensable to Aunt Kate...and not just by helping out with household chores. For Kate Warne is the first-ever female detective employed by the legendary Pinkerton Detective Agency. And Nell has a knack for the kind of close listening and bold action that made Pinkerton detectives famous in Civil War-era America. With huge, nation-changing events simmering in the background, Nell uses skills new and old to uncover truths about her past and solve mysteries in the present.
A Little Bit of Spectacular
An authentic coming-of-age story about finding magic in the every day—perfect for fans of Rebecca Stead, Joan Bauer, and Wendy Mass.
Olivia and her mom have just moved in with her grandmother, and Olivia has exactly zero friends at her new school. But after a strange message on the bathroom wall of a café catches her eye, Olivia decides that Birmingham, Alabama, may be a little more interesting than it seems. So begins a search for answers that takes her all over the city. Luckily, her mission isn’t solitary for long, thanks to her newfound friendship with Amelia, a girl just odd enough to be intriguing.
What the girls discover isn’t the earth-shattering revelation they were hoping for, but it may be just as compelling. After all, sometimes the journey really is more important than the destination. Especially when it leads you back home.
Kazu Jones and the Denver Dognappers
Packed with high stakes mystery and tons of heart, this first installment in a new series introduces Kazu Jones-a spunky, scrappy detective who's this generation's Harriet the Spy.
When a string of dognappings grips her Denver neighborhood, Kazu Jones vows to track down the culprits. She can't stand to see more dogs go missing-especially once her neighbors' beloved pet is taken because of her gigantic mistake.
With the help of her gang-including her best friend and expert hacker, March; and her ginormous, socially anxious pup, Genki-Kazu uncovers evidence that suggests the dognapping ring is bigger than she ever imagined. But the more she digs, the more dangerous her investigation becomes. The dognappers are getting bolder, and Genki could be next...
Kat Wolfe Investigates
When twelve-year-old Kat Wolfe starts a pet-sitting agency, she soon finds herself unraveling a mystery, in this first book of a new middle-grade series from award-winning author Lauren St John.
After a break-in at their London home, Kat Wolfe and her veterinarian mum decide it’s time to move to the country. Dr. Wolfe’s new job on England’s Jurassic Coast comes with a condition: They have to adopt Tiny, a huge Savannah who resists Kat’s best attempts at cat whispering. Kat starts a pet-sitting agency to make pocket money, but then the owner of her first client, an Amazon parrot, vanishes from his gadget-filled mansion. Only one person shares Kat’s conviction that he’s the victim of foul play: Harper Lamb, an American girl laid up with two broken legs thanks to her racehorse. Kat and Harper team up, but what starts out as mystery-solving fun turns deadly for the duo. When all clues point to a nearby army base, can they count on their unruly animal friends to save the day—and their lives?
The Maypop Kidnapping
In the coastal village of Maiden Rock, Maine, Quinnie Boyd's teacher has disappeared. Quinnie thinks it's a kidnapping case, but her mom, the town sheriff, just thinks the teacher has left town. Still, Quinnie's going to follow her instincts that something's wrong.
Her investigation takes her through a damp and smelly marsh, a lobster pound, and more of Maine's messiest places. She even gets help from her glamorous new neighbor, Mariella. As the girls hunt for clues around Maiden Rock, they encounter a cast of unlikely characters. And if Quinnie's hunch is right, the search may lead them right into danger . . .
This hilarious and page-turning debut is the perfect whodunit story for middle school sleuths.
The Treasure of Mad Doc Magee
A rip-roaring puzzle box of an adventure about grit, guts, and gold, from Elinor Teele, the acclaimed author of The Mechanical Mind of John Coggin.
The small, run-down town of Eden is the only place Jenny Burns has ever called home. The roots of the trees are in her bones, the air of the mountains is in her breath, the lakes and rivers are in her blood. And that’s why, when her father loses his job and tells Jenny that they may have to move on from Eden, she knows she can’t let that happen.
The fever of New Zealand’s gold rush still runs in the veins of Eden, and everyone knows the legend of Doc Magee: how he found the largest gold nugget anyone had ever seen and hid it somewhere in the hills before he disappeared.
Jenny and her best friend, Pandora, know that if they can find the gold, it’ll solve all their problems. But the way is fraught with mysteries, riddles, and danger—and those are just the threats they know about. Before her quest is over, Jenny will have to face challenges from within as well as from without.
The Story Collector
"For every book lover who fantasized about getting locked in the library overnight, The Story Collector is a dream come true!" —New York Times-bestselling author Alan Gratz
In the tradition of E. L. Konisburg, this middle-grade mystery adventure is inspired by the real life of Viviani Joffre Fedeler, born and raised in the New York Public Library.
The Story Collector by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb is a middle-grade historical fiction inspired by the real life of Viviani Fedeler. Eleven-year-old Viviani Fedeler has spent her whole life in the New York Public Library. She knows every room by heart, except the ones her father keeps locked. When Viviani becomes convinced that the library is haunted, new girl Merit Mubarak makes fun of her. So Viviani decides to play a harmless little prank, roping her older brothers and best friend Eva to help out.
But what begins as a joke quickly gets out of hand, and soon Viviani and her friends have to solve two big mysteries: Is the Library truly haunted? And what happened to the expensive new stamp collection? It's up to Viviani, Eva, and Merit (reluctantly) to find out.
Ernestine, Catastrophe Queen
In this tantalizing mystery that's "filled with laugh out loud moments" and "reads like a middle-grade version of the movie Clue", Ernestine is the smart, spunky, and fearless Nancy Drew for today's young readers!
We all know and love Ramona, Matilda, and Harriet the Spy. Now meet Ernestine.
When a series of suspicious accidents befalls the wealthy residents of the retired artists' home where she works, Ernestine is determined to piece together clues to find the real culprit. She suspects it might be a zombie, but maybe greedy relatives can be just as scary! Catastrophe has never been so much fun!
The Dollhouse Murders
Dolls can't move by themselves. . . . Or can they?
This special anniversary edition of the hair-raising mystery that's kept readers up at night for thirty-five years features a foreword by Goosebumps creator R.L. Stine.
Amy is terrified. She hears scratching and scurrying noises coming from the dollhouse in the attic, and the dolls she was playing with are not where she left them. Dolls can't move by themselves, she tells herself. But every night when Amy goes up to check on the dollhouse, it's filled with an eerie light and the dolls have moved again! Are the dolls trying to tell her something? Could this all be connected to the murders of her great-grandparents?
Sinister secrets unravel as Amy gets closer to revealing the mystery of the dolls in this haunting novel that combines complicated family relationships with a bone-chilling mystery. Even readers who love scary stories will want to keep the lights on after finishing!
The all-new foreword and jacket art make this spooky classic, an Edgar award nominee, perfect for sharing with a new generation.
A Girl, a Raccoon, and the Midnight Moon
In a slightly fantastical New York City, one very special library branch has been designated for possible closure. Bookish, socially awkward Pearl, the daughter of the librarian, can't imagine a world without the library—its books, its community of oddballs, its hominess. When the head of their Edna St. Vincent Millay statue goes missing, closure is closer than ever. But Pearl is determined to save the library. And with a ragtag neighborhood library crew—including a constantly tap-dancing girl who might just be her first friend, an older boy she has a crush on, and a pack of raccoons who can read and write—she just might be able to. With an eclectic cast of richly drawn characters, a hint of just-around-the-corner magic, footnotes, sidebars, and Jessixa Bagley's classic illustrations throughout, this warm-hearted, visually magnificent tale of reading and believing from beloved author Karen Romano Young tells of a world where what you want to believe can come true.
Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit
Move over, Nancy Drew--there's a new sleuth in town! Inspired by the beloved comic series, Goldie Vance is ready to sleuth her way through never-before-seen mysteries in this original novel series by Lilliam Rivera featuring 16 full-color comic pages!
Marigold "Goldie" Vance lives and works at the Crossed Palms Resort Hotel in Florida with a whole slew of characters: her dad, Art, the manager of the joint; Cheryl Lebeaux, the concierge and Goldie's best friend; and Walter Tooey, the hired hotel detective. Her mom, Sylvie, works nearby at the Mermaid Club.
While life at the Crossed Palms is always busy, the resort is currently overrun with Hollywood-types filming the hottest new creature feature, and tensions are at an all-time high. Even Goldie's mom is in on the movie act, doing what she does best: playing a mermaid. Just when Goldie thinks the movie biz couldn't get any more exciting, a diamond-encrusted swimming cap goes missing, and all fingers point to Goldie's mom as the culprit. Can Goldie uncover the true thief before it's too late?
Based on Hope Larson and Brittney Williams's critically acclaimed Goldie Vance comic, this thrilling novel explores a never-before-seen caper and features 16 full-color comic pages essential to unraveling the mystery.
Text and Illustration copyright: © 2020 BOOM! StudiosGoldie Vance(TM) and © 2020 Hope Larson & Brittney Williams
The Book of Lost Things
Newbery medalist Cynthia Voigt presents a rollicking mystery in three acts!
Max's parents are missing. They are actors, and thus unpredictable, but sailing away, leaving Max with only a cryptic note, is unusual even for them. Did they intend to leave him behind? Have they been kidnapped?
Until he can figure it out, Max feels it's safer to keep a low profile. Hiding out is no problem for a child of the theater. Max has played many roles, he can be whoever he needs to be to blend in. But finding a job is tricky, no matter what costume he dons.
Ironically, it turns out Max has a talent for finding things. He finds a runaway child, a stray dog, a missing heirloom, a lost love. . . . So is he a finder? A detective? No, it's more. Max finds a way to solve people's problems--he engineers better outcomes for them. He becomes Mister Max, Solutioneer.
Now if only he could find a solution to his own problems . . .
Midnight in the Piazza
Mysteries abound in this exciting race through Rome!
Beatrice Archer may love history, and Rome may be chock-full of it, but that doesn’t mean she wants to move there!
Too bad Beatrice’s father got a job as the head of the history department at the American Academy in Rome—now, Beatrice has no choice but to get used to the idea.
When she arrives in Rome she explores her new city as much as she can, but it isn’t until she hears talk of a strange neighborhood legend that Beatrice perks up. A centuries-old unsolved mystery about the beautiful turtle fountain outside her window? Sounds like fun!
Before Beatrice has a chance to explore, though, she sees a dark figure emerge from the shadows of the square in the middle of the night—and steal the famous turtle sculptures that give the fountain its name.
When no one believes her story, Beatrice knows that it’s up to her to solve the crime and restore the turtles to their rightful place. With the help of her new friend Marco, she navigates a world of unscrupulous ambassadors, tricky tutors, and international art thieves to unravel one of Roman history’s greatest dramas—before another priceless work of art is stolen.
Nooks & Crannies
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory meets Clue when six children navigate a mansion full of secrets—and maybe money—in this “delightful gem” (School Library Journal, starred review) with heart.
Sweet, shy Tabitha Crum, the neglected only child of two parents straight out of a Roald Dahl book, doesn’t have a friend in the world—except for her pet mouse, Pemberley, whom she loves dearly. But on the day she receives one of six invitations to the country estate of wealthy Countess Camilla DeMoss, her life changes forever.
Upon the children’s arrival at the sprawling, possibly haunted mansion, it turns out the countess has a very big secret—one that will change their lives forever.
Then the children beginning disappearing, one by one. So Tabitha takes a cue from her favorite detective novels and, with Pemberley by her side, attempts to solve the case and rescue the other children…who just might be her first real friends.
An unsent letter in a first edition copy of Charlotte’s Web leads to a hunt for treasure in this heartwarming middle grade mystery from the author of The Mother-Daughter Book Club.
Now that Truly Lovejoy’s father has been injured by an IED in Afghanistan and is having trouble finding work back home, the family moves from Texas to tiny Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire, to take over Lovejoy’s Books, a struggling bookstore that’s been in the family for one hundred years.
With two older brothers and two younger sisters clamoring for attention, her mother back in school, and everyone up to their eyebrows trying to keep Lovejoy’s Books afloat, Truly feels more overlooked than usual. So she pours herself into uncovering the mystery of an undelivered letter she finds stuck in a valuable autographed first edition of Charlotte’s Web, which subsequently goes missing from the bookshop. What’s inside the envelope leads Truly and her new Pumpkin Falls friends on a madcap treasure hunt around town, chasing clues that could spell danger.
Fans of Heather Vogel Frederick’s Mother-Daughter Book Club series “will rejoice for a new series with a similarly cozy New England setting, great characters, and literary references to beloved classics” (School Library Journal).
NYT Best Sellers
Get Reading for
Illinois Kids Book Awards
National Kids Book Awards