Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell (Knopf, 20218) is a delightful romp in a neighborhood full of imaginative children during the course of one summer. This graphic novel shows the stories of more than a dozen children with a variety of unique personalities who live on a couple blocks, and to the discerning reader, it gives

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Ava XOX by Carol Weston (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2016) continues 11-year-old Ava’s story over the course of her fifth-grade year. I was a bit nervous going into this book because the premise is that Ava begins to have a crush on a boy in her class, and I certainly don’t want my soon-to-be 11-year-old daughter to

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I read the first book in the Ava and Pip trilogy many years ago, when my kids were very young. Now that My daughter is 10 years old, I felt like it was time I revisit it, especially since there are two other books in the series that were not around when I reviewed the

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OCDaniel by Wesley King is a much needed added addition to Young Adult collections, as it puts a frequently taboo subject (mental illness) at the center of the story. OCDaniel is about a middle school boy suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, but he does not quite know what it is. He feels progressively frustrated with

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Detective Gordon: The First Case by Ulf Nilsson is part a mystery story but also part a story of friendship in a friendly forest. Detective Gordon, a toad, is the only officer in the forest, and he sits alone at his desk. When a hungry and lonely forest mouse is caught stealing nuts from squirrel’s winter

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Little One by Jo Weaver shows a mama bear and her little cub coming out of hibernation and into the world for a summer of adventure. The completely black-and-white pencil sketches are surprisingly detailed and engaging. In fact, they perfectly capture the simple details of learning to befriend little creatures, find food, and pad back through

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Harry and Walter by Kathy Stinson is about two unlikely friends, one 4 and three-quarters years old and the other ninety-two and a half. I loved how this was a story about how friendships evolve and change. I love how the two friends, although very different in age, found things they liked to do together.

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A Friend for Mole by Nancy Armo is about a mole who stumbles out of his hole and feels lonely because he’s afraid of the light, as well as a wolf who got lost from his home in the middle of the night and is afraid of the dark. Since they are afraid of the opposite

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Tru and Nelle by G. Neri is a book about a young Harper Lee and a young Truman Capote. In this book, however, Harper Lee is known as Nelle and young Truman is Tru. I often heard that the book To Kill a Mockingbird and the characters in that book were based on the childhood friendship of Harper

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The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman is a clever chapter book written from the perspective of four different preteens who have been caught cheating on their homework with a “homework machine.” The book is also fun as the students overcome their own prejudices and judgments of one another in order to unite in using the

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