Sequoyah Children’s List
★ "Historical fiction at its finest." -The Horn Book
"There has never been a better time to read about healing, of both the body and the heart." -The New York Times Book Review
Echo Mountain is an acclaimed best book of 2020! An NPR Best Book of the Year - A Horn Book Fanfare Selection - A Kirkus Best Book of the Year - A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year - A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year - A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year
After losing almost everything in the Great Depression, Ellie's family is forced to leave their home in town and start over in the untamed wilderness of nearby Echo Mountain. Ellie has found a welcome freedom, and a love of the natural world, in her new life on the mountain. But there is little joy after a terrible accident leaves her father in a coma. An accident unfairly blamed on Ellie.
Ellie is a girl who takes matters into her own hands, and determined to help her father she will make her way to the top of the mountain in search of the healing secrets of a woman known only as "the hag." But the hag, and the mountain, still have many untold stories left to reveal.
Historical fiction at its finest, Echo Mountain is celebration of finding your own path and becoming your truest self. Lauren Wolk, the Newbery Honor- and Scott O'Dell Award-winning author of Wolf Hollow and Beyond the Bright Sea, weaves a stunning tale of resilience, persistence, and friendship across three generations of families.
"Soothing and exquisitely written." -People
"This is a book that will soothe readers like a healing balm." -The Wall Street Journal
"Brilliant." -Lynda Mullaly Hunt, bestselling author of Fish in a Tree
Zeus, Dog of Chaos
Kristin O'Donnell Tubb, the award-winning author of A Dog Like Daisy, delivers another heartwarming must-read middle grade novel for dog lovers. Equal parts funny and poignant, this book from the point of view of the service dog, Zeus, is perfect for fans of Max and A Dog Called Homeless.
Zeus comes from a long line of heroic dogs, and he dreams of glory as a K9 commander. But he receives a much more dangerous assignment--middle school! And as all good service dogs know, the only way to get through hostile territory is by being invisible.
Zeus's new human, Madden, is diabetic, and he wants to be invisible, too. That's hard to do with a huge German Shepherd at his side to alert him when his blood sugar drops. And it's even harder because Madden makes this noise called music that draws attention. Zeus's mission becomes clear: he must destroy music.
While Zeus's training prepared him for his most important job--keeping Madden safe--he discovers the human world is complicated. As Madden dreams of winning the state band competition and tries to reconnect with his mom, the lieutenant, Zeus must learn that, sometimes, you need to stand out to fulfill your duty.
Tune It Out
From the author of the acclaimed Roll with It comes a moving novel about a girl with a sensory processing disorder who has to find her own voice after her whole world turns upside down.
Lou Montgomery has the voice of an angel, or so her mother tells her and anyone else who will listen. But Lou can only hear the fear in her own voice. She’s never liked crowds or loud noises or even high fives; in fact, she’s terrified of them, which makes her pretty sure there’s something wrong with her.
When Lou crashes their pickup on a dark and snowy road, child services separate the mother-daughter duo. Now she has to start all over again at a fancy private school far away from anything she’s ever known. With help from an outgoing new friend, her aunt and uncle, and the school counselor, she begins to see things differently. A sensory processing disorder isn’t something to be ashamed of, and music might just be the thing that saves Lou—and maybe her mom, too.
Brave Like That
Find yourself. Find your place. Find your brave.
This uplifting tale, which award-winning author Leslie Connor dubbed "a perfectly paced journey of the heart" is perfect for fans of Lisa Graff and Lynda Mullaly Hunt.
Cyrus Olson's dad is a hero--Northfield's former football star and now one of their finest firefighters. Everyone expects Cyrus to follow in his dad's record-breaking footsteps, and he wishes they were right--except he's never been brave like that. But this year, with the help of a stray dog, a few new friends, a little bit of rhythm, and a lot of nerve, he may just discover that actually...he is.
Lauded as "remarkable" by the New York Times Book Review, Lindsey Stoddard's heartfelt stories continue to garner critical acclaim, and her latest novel will have fans new and old rooting for Cyrus and Parker's special bond and the courage it helps them both to find.
A delightfully creepy novel from a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award winner imbued with magic and seafaring mythology. Lemony Snicket and Jessica Townsend meet Greenglass House, with a hint of Edward Gorey thrown in.
When twelve-year-old Rory applies for a job at a spooky old mansion in his gloomy seaside town, he finds the owner, Lord Foxglove, odd and unpleasant. But he and his mom need the money, so he takes the job anyway. Rory soon finds out that his new boss is not just strange, he's not even human--and he's trying to steal the townspeople's shadows. Together, Rory and his friend Isabella set out to uncover exactly what Foxglove and his otherworldly accomplices are planning and devise a strategy to defeat them. But can two kids defeat a group of ancient evil beings who are determined to take over the world?
Another delightfully creepy tale from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning author Ronald L. Smith.
The Elephant's Girl
A magical adventure about a girl with a mysterious connection with the elephant who saved her life, for fans of Katherine Applegate and Jennifer Holm.
An elephant never forgets, but Lexington Willow can't remember what happened before a tornado swept her away when she was a toddler. All she knows is that it landed her near an enclosure in a Nebraska zoo; and there an elephant named Nyah protected her from the storm. With no trace of her birth family, Lex grew up at the zoo with Nyah and her elephant family; her foster father, Roger; her best friend, Fisher; and the wind whispering in her ear.
Now that she's twelve, Lex is finally old enough to help with the elephants. But during their first training session, Nyah sends her a telepathic image of the woods outside the zoo. Despite the wind's protests, Lex decides to investigate Nyah's message and gets wrapped up in an adventure involving ghosts, lost treasure, and a puzzle that might be the key to finding her family. As she hunts for answers, Lex must summon the courage to leave the secure borders of her zoo to discover who she really is--and why the tornado brought her here all those years ago.
Black Brother, Black Brother
From award-winning and bestselling author, Jewell Parker Rhodes comes a powerful coming-of-age story about two brothers, one who presents as white, the other as black, and the complex ways in which they are forced to navigate the world, all while training for a fencing competition.
Donte wishes he were invisible. As one of the few black boys at Middlefield Prep, he feels as if he is constantly swimming in whiteness. Most of the students don't look like him. They don't like him either. Dubbed the "Black Brother," Donte's teachers and classmates make it clear they wish he were more like his lighter skinned brother, Trey. Quiet, obedient.
When an incident with "King" Alan leads to Donte's arrest and suspension, he knows the only way to get even is to beat the king of the school at his own game: fencing. With the help of a former Olympic fencer, Donte embarks on a journey to carve out a spot on Middlefield Prep's fencing team and maybe learn something about himself along the way.
Any Day with You
A warm, tender story about a creative girl who hopes that by winning a filmmaking contest, she'll convince her great-grandfather not to move back home to the Philippines. For fans of Erin Entrada Kelly and Kelly Yang.
Kaia and her family live near the beach in California, where the fun of moviemaking is all around them. Kaia loves playing with makeup and creating special effects, turning her friends into merfolk and other magical creatures.
This summer, Kaia and her friends are part of a creative arts camp, where they're working on a short movie to enter in a contest. The movie is inspired by the Filipino folktales that her beloved Tatang, her great-grandfather, tells. Tatang lives with her family and is like the sparkle of her special-effects makeup. When Tatang decides that it is time to return to his homeland in the Philippines, Kaia will do anything to convince him not to go.
Seekers of the Wild Realm
Fablehaven meets How to Train Your Dragon in this action-packed fantasy about a young boy and girl who become reluctant allies when caring for a baby dragon—the first in brand-new duology!
Twelve-year-old Bryn has always dreamed of becoming a Seeker, just like her dad. Only the Seekers are allowed to journey from their small village into the fantastical, untamed wilderness of their island known as the Wild Realm. Once there, they obtain magical items for the village and use magic to protect and heal the incredible creatures native to the Realm.
When one of the elderly Seekers retires, leaving a vacant position, Bryn knows this may be her chance. There’s just one problem: Only boys have ever been Seekers. And the training master makes it clear he will not be training a girl.
But then Bryn’s biggest rival for the Seeker position, a boy named Ari, shows up at her door. He reveals the baby dragon he’s been hiding, and the two strike a deal—if Bryn helps care for the dragon, Ari will share all his training with her.
Even as the two bond over their love of magical animals and their secret trips into the Wild Realm, Bryn doesn’t completely trust Ari’s motives. Especially as she suspects Ari may know more than he’s letting on about the enemy clan stirring up unrest in their village.
When all these secrets come to a head and the stakes are at their highest, Bryn realizes it’s up to her to save her family…and the Realm.
From the Desk of Zoe Washington
#1 Kids Indie Next List * Parents Magazine Best Book of the Year * Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book of the Year * SLJ Best Book of the Year * Kirkus Best Book of the Year * Junior Library Guild Selection * Edgar Award Nominee * Four Starred Reviews
From debut author Janae Marks comes a captivating story full of heart, as one courageous girl questions assumptions, searches for the truth, and does what she believes is right--even in the face of great opposition.
Zoe Washington isn't sure what to write. What does a girl say to the father she's never met, hadn't heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who's been in prison for a terrible crime?
A crime he says he never committed.
Could Marcus really be innocent? Zoe is determined to uncover the truth. Even if it means hiding his letters and her investigation from the rest of her family. Everyone else thinks Zoe's worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she's worthy of auditioning for Food Network's Kids Bake Challenge.
But with bakery confections on one part of her mind, and Marcus's conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn't know how to balance. The only thing she knows to be true: Everyone lies.
When Marcus tells Zoe he is innocent, and her grandmother agrees, Zoe begins to learn about inequality in the criminal justice system, and she sets out to find the alibi witness who can prove his innocence. (Publishers Weekly, An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List)
The Way Past Winter
The Way Past Winter is a riveting adventure about magic, an eternal winter, and one girl's unbreakable determination to reunite her family.
Mila, her sisters, and her brother, Oskar, live in a small forest cabin, surviving in a world gripped by frost and snow.
When a mysterious man shows up on her doorstep, Mila and her family grant him shelter for the night. But in the morning, the man is gone--and he's taken Oskar with them.
* Written by awardwinning and internationally recognized author Kiran Millwood Hargrave
* Inspired by European folklore
* Middle grade novel that explores deeper topics--grief, inner strength, and the unbreakable bonds of family
Determined to save their brother, Mila and her sisters set out on a mission to rescue him. But challenges await them at every turn: wolves with the speed of demons, tempestuous gold, an untrustworthy mage--and always the relentless, stinging freeze of winter.
The Way Past Winter is a classic adventure story in the vein of Phillip Pullman, Anne Ursu, and Kelly Barnhill that evokes the best of the middle grade fantasy genre.
* A beautifully written, smartly paced tale of riveting adventure with a focus on family
* Perfect gift for children ages 10 and up who love fantasy and magic
* Great for librarians and teachers looking to expand their classroom novel collection
* Add it the the shelf with books like Greenglass House by Kate Milford, Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend, and The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill.
The Mystwick School of Musicraft
Humor and heart shine in this middle grade fantasy about a girl who attends a boarding school to learn how to use music to create magic, perfect for fans of Nevermoor and The School for Good and Evil series.
Amelia Jones always dreamed of attending the Mystwick School of Musicraft, where the world's most promising musicians learn to create magic. So when Amelia botches her audition, she thinks her dream has met an abrupt and humiliating end--until the school agrees to give her a trial period. Amelia is determined to prove herself, vowing to do whatever it takes to become the perfect musician. Even if it means pretending to be someone she isn't. Meanwhile, a mysterious storm is brewing that no one, not even the maestros at Mystwick, is prepared to contain. Can Amelia find the courage to be true to herself in time to save her beloved school from certain destruction?
A Place at the Table
A timely, accessible, and beautifully written story exploring themes of food, friendship, family and what it means to belong, featuring sixth graders Sara, a Pakistani American, and Elizabeth, a white, Jewish girl taking a South Asian cooking class taught by Sara's mom.
Sixth graders Sara and Elizabeth could not be more different. Sara is at a new school that is completely unlike the small Islamic school she used to attend. Elizabeth has her own problems: her British mum has been struggling with depression. The girls meet in an after-school South Asian cooking class, which Elizabeth takes because her mom has stopped cooking, and which Sara, who hates to cook, is forced to attend because her mother is the teacher. The girls form a shaky alliance that gradually deepens, and they make plans to create the most amazing, mouth-watering cross-cultural dish together and win a spot on a local food show. They make good cooking partners . . . but can they learn to trust each other enough to become true friends?
The Great Pet Heist
Ocean’s Eleven meets The Secret Life of Pets in this hilarious and delightfully illustrated novel following a ragtag group of pets who will do whatever it takes to avoid being sent to the pound.
Butterbean knew she wasn’t always a good dog. Still, she’d never considered herself a BAD dog—until the morning that her owner, Mrs. Food, fell in the hallway. Admittedly the tile was slipperier than usual, mostly because Butterbean had just thrown up on it.
Now Butterbean and her fellow pets have to come up with a grand plan to support themselves in case Mrs. Food is unable to keep taking care of them. When they discover a mysterious man in their building who seems to have lots of loot, they plan a heist. Oscar the mynah bird is the brains of the operation. Walt the cat has the necessary slyness and slink. Marco and Polo are the reconnaissance rats. And Butterbean...well, no one would ever suspect a cute little wiener dog, right? Can these animal friends can pull off the heist of the century?
Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor
"A fast-paced thrill ride of a book. . . it's Batman meets Annie." --Stuart Gibbs, New York Times best-selling author of the Spy School series
"An adventure-filled read with a twisty mystery and spunky friendships. I loved it!" -Melissa de la Cruz, New York times best-selling author of The Descendants series
April didn't mean to start the fire. She wasn't the one who broke the vase. April didn't ask to go live in a big, creepy mansion with a bunch of orphans who just don't understand that April isn't like them. After all, April's mother is coming back for her someday very soon.
All April has to do is find the clues her mother left inside the massive mansion. But Winterborne House is hiding more than one secret, so April and her friends are going to have to work together to unravel the riddle of a missing heir, a creepy legend, and a mysterious key before the only home they've ever known is lost to them forever.