Friendship

Shirley & Jamila Save their Summer

Jamila has to find a way to avoid going to boring old Science Camp and spend more time shooting hoops! So when oddball Shirley Bones offers a deal that will keep Jamila out of camp, Jamila jumps at the offer. There is only one problem - Shirley is weird. But soon, Jamilia realizes that Shirley isn't just weird, she's a detective! The two girls set out to solve the case of the missing gecko and save their summer!

This book is a wonderfully fun mystery with a lovely tale of friendship. If you fall in love with Shirley and Jamila like I did, then be sure to take a look at the sequel Shirley & Jamila's Big Fall.

Fans of books about friendship like Shannon Hale's Real Friends and for fans of mysteries like Kate Petty's The Leak: For the Love of Truth.

Recommended for ages 8-12.

Reviewed by Kim B. Children's Librarian

   
Tween   
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My Pet Human

This first-chapter book stars an adorable tuxedo cat who loves living the outdoor life! It can hang out with its friends (other animals in the neighborhood), has lots of great places to eat, and doesn't have to worry about any pesky humans. All of the cat's animal friends have human pets with the weirdest habits and flaws––one human stays in their room all day and another's group of mini-humans jumps all over it. When a new human, a nice one, moves into an abandoned house and gives the cat some yummy tuna mac-and-cheese, the cat tries to train it to make its own "human pet."

This book is so cute and the pictures are really delightful. I love that the story is told from the cat's point of view! It is so funny. If you love cats or stories about animals this would be a good book for you! Recommended for ages 6–10.

Reviewed by Kim B., Children's Librarian

   
Animals    Friendship    Read   
Tween   
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Allergic

Sometimes Maggie feels left out. Her mom and dad are preoccupied with getting ready for the new baby, her twin brothers are always in their own little twin world, and even her friends seem to be distracted with other things.

Maggie convinces her parents that a puppy is the perfect answer, but a trip to the animal shelter just makes things worse! Turns out Maggie is severely allergic to many kinds of pets. Then Maggie makes a new best friend. Claire has just moved in next door and seems to answer all of Maggie's troubles until she does something that makes Maggie feel completely misunderstood.

   
Allergic   
Tween   
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A Wolf for a Spell

Young wolf, Zima, has always been told by her pack-mates that humans and witches are evil, dangerous beings that should be attacked at first sight. Yet, when a young girl ventures into the woods with the aim of running away from the orphanage in town, Zima can't bring herself to attack the girl. A legendary witch, Baba Yaga, witnesses Zima's hesitance and decides that Zima is exactly the wolf she needs to help her. But are Baba Yaga's intentions really as evil as Zima's pack has always told her?

This spin on the classic Russian folktales of Baba Yaga will have you guessing what twist and turn will take place next as storylines entangle and long-held secrets unfold. This tale is perfect for readers who love fairy tales and folktales and themes of family and friendship. Recommended for ages 8–12.

Reviewed by Ginny H.

   
Animals    Family    Fantasy    Fiction    Folklore    Friendship    Staff Picks   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids   

The Last Last-Day-of-Summer

The small town of Fry in Logan County is a weird place. Strange, unexplainable, dangerous stuff happens all the time, threatening the townsfolk. Thankfully, the town is also home to cousins Otto and Sheed - the Legendary Alston Boys. They've solved mysteries and saved the day countless times, but when they encounter an unusual man with a magical camera on the last day of summer, they embark on what may be their toughest challenge yet... The setting is reminiscent of Gravity Falls or Stranger Things (but more kid-friendly of course) - Logan County is full of supernatural surprises. Otto and Sheed are extremely likable characters, and the story is filled with humor, action, imagination, and delivers a heartwarming and inspiring message on top. Recommended for ages 9-12, but could be enjoyed by younger kids as well.

Reviewed by Paul D.

   
Adventure    Diversity    Fantasy    Fiction    Friendship    Mystery    Read    Suspense   
Tween   
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American As Paneer Pie

Eleven year old Lekha is the only Indian American girl in her school and definitely feels like an outcast in the mostly-white Detroit neighborhood she calls home. Her classmates make ignorant remarks about her family’s culture, language, and tease her about her birthmark (that just so happens to be on her forehead, just like a Bindi).

Lekha has learned to suppress everything that makes her different from everyone else - she never brings her favorite Indian foods to lunch, covers her birthmark with her hair, and stays silent when she, or anyone else, is teased. When a new Desi kid, Avantika, moves in across the street everything begins to change. Avantika speaks up about her culture and celebrates it when all Lekha has done is hide it. Lekha is impressed and embarrassed by Avantika’s ability to lean into her culture and heritage. But when a local political election spawns a hate crime against Lekha’s family, she knows she can’t stay silent and complacent any longer.

   
Bullying    Diversity    Fiction    Friendship    Inclusiveness    Read    Realistic   
Tween   
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Scritch Scratch

This spooky novel follows Claire, an interested-in-science-doesn’t-believe-in-the-paranormal-thank-you-very-much middle schooler who has a pretty typical life. She doesn’t always get along with her brother and her friend group is having some growing pains since her best friend is now hanging out with a new girl. Her parents would be normal if it wasn’t for her dad’s job which is a tour guide for a Chicago Ghost bus touring company. Claire can usually ignore that, but one night she gets pulled into helping her dad on the tour and a ghost follows her home, haunting her. Claire has to figure out what the ghost wants, and quickly, before it gets angrier.

   
Fantasy    Fiction    Friendship    History    Horror    Read    Siblings   
Tween   
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The Only Black Girls in Town

Until Edie and her mom bought the B&B across the street, Alberta and her two dads were the only Black folks in their neighborhood. Surfer girl Alberta is thrilled to find out that she and the new girl are in the same grade, and expects to immediately be besties, despite how different they are in many ways.

Then, Edie discovers a box of old journals in the attic and recruits Al to help her figure out the mystery of who wrote them, leading to a shocking discovery!

This is an excellent middle grade story about the complexities of Blackness and friendship. Appropriate for ages 8+

Reviewed by Cidne B., Senior Information Assistant

   
Diversity    Friendship    Mystery   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids   

Doodleville

There’s something special about the doodles Drew and her art club pals create - they come to life! The art club crew usually draft friendly characters, though Drew’s doodles are known to get into trouble, like the time they stole a hat out of a painting in the museum. But that was nothing compared to real trouble her newest doodle, Levi, created in Doodleville! With her monster on the loose destroying all of her friends’ creations, Drew feels hopeless. How will Drew ever be able to stop Levi from destroying everything in sight and hold onto her friendships!

With such an imaginative story and a wonderfully racially diverse group whose members display a variety of gender presentations, there's a lot to love about this book. It is the perfect read for fans of Chad Sell’s The Cardboard Kingdom, or Kirsten Gudsnuk’s Making Friends. Recommended ages 8+

Reviewed by Kim B., Librarian

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids    Reviews   

Extraordinary: A Story of an Ordinary Princess

We can usually see the benefit of fairy godmothers’ gifts - after all, who wouldn’t like to be graced with the gift of wisdom, beauty, or humor? But what would happen if a fairy godmother gave the gift of being ordinary?

That’s exactly what happens to Princess Basil of Florim. While her five sisters were given perfectly standard fairy godmother gifts, Basil was given the gift of being ordinary. It seemed like no matter what the King and Queen tried, nothing could make Princess Basil anything more than ordinary. Worried that her ordinary daughter would never find a fiance, the Queen carried out a scheme to have Basil captured by a dragon! After all, brave knights are always looking for a Princess to rescue and wed, right?

How will Princess Basil escape capture and prove that she's extraordinary? Read this fun and fast paced graphic novel to find out! 

   
Tween   
Think Library    Kids   

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