Sequoyah Children’s List
We Are Wolves
This “hauntingly atmospheric” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), heart-stopping middle grade novel follows three of the Wolfskinder, German children left to fend for themselves in the final days of World War II, as they struggle to hold onto themselves and each other while surviving in the wild.
Sometimes it’s good to be wild. Sometimes, you have to be.
When the Russian Army marches into East Prussia at the end of World War II, the Wolf family must flee. Being caught by the Russians or the Americans would be the end for them. Liesl, Otto, and baby Mia’s father has already been captured, and they get separated from their mother in a blizzard after only a few days on the run.
Liesl had promised Mama that she’d keep her brother and sister safe, no matter what. They’ll forage in the forests if they have to. Little do they know that there are hundreds of other parentless children doing the very same thing. And they far too quickly learn that, sometimes, to survive, you have to do bad things.
Dangerous things. Wild things. Sometimes you must become a wolf.
This middle grade mystery follows the adventures of a boy with an experimental brain implant, and a reclusive girl training to be a spy, as they're pitted against school bullies, their own parents, and an evil, brain-hacking corporation. Perfect for fans of Stranger Things.
Trex’s experimental brain implant saved his life—but it also made his life a lot harder. Now he shocks everything he touches. When his overprotective mother finally agrees to send him to a real school for sixth grade, Trex is determined to fit in.
He wasn’t counting on Mellie the Mouse. She lives in the creepiest house in Hopewell Hill, where she spends her time scowling, lurking, ignoring bullies, and training to be a spy. Mellie is convinced she saw lightning shoot from Trex’s fingertips, and she is Very Suspicious.
And she should be . . . but not of Trex. Someone mysterious is lurking in the shadows . . . someone who knows a dangerous secret.
The Pear Affair
Nell is determined to find her beloved missing au pair in this vibrant adventure set in, and underneath, Paris.
Penelope Magnificent spends as little time as possible with her awful parents—a grocery-mogul father and a fashion-obsessed mother who loves expensive purses more than she does her daughter. But when they mention an important trip to Paris, Nell begs to come along. Paris holds something very dear to her: her old au pair Perrine—Pear—who lives there. Pear used to write to Nell every week, promising to come to her rescue, but recently the letters stopped. With the help of a savvy bellboy named Xavier, Nell sets out from her parents’ ultra-fancy Parisian hotel to find her beloved Pear. But Pear’s old neighbors and coworkers are strangely tight-lipped. And as Nell’s search for the truth takes her and Xavier to some of the darkest, most mysterious parts of the city, a sinister plot comes to light involving the destruction of a cherished—and delicious—part of Parisian life. Food, fashion, and intrigue abound in this delightful caper from the author of The Secret Starling.
Marty doesn't have much—unlike his mom, who seems to hold on to everything. Life at home is tough, but Marty finds sanctuary down at the community garden with his eccentric grandad.
On Marty's birthday, Grandad gifts him a seed. "There’s magic in seeds, you know. You can never tell what wonders are in them." As it turns out, Grandad has a rather wonderful plan up his sleeve. It involves wishes, a pumpkin, and a trip all the way from England to Paris.
Funny, inspiring, and larger-than-life, Seed is a story about believing in dreams—your own, and those of the people you love.
The Ogress and the Orphans
A new instant-classic fantasy about the power of generosity and love, and how a community suffers when they disappear, by Kelly Barnhill, winner of the Newbery Medal for The Girl Who Drank the Moon, a New York Times bestseller.
Stone-in-the-Glen, once a lovely town, has fallen on hard times. Fires, floods, and other calamities have caused the people to lose their library, their school, their park, and even their neighborliness. The people put their faith in the Mayor, a dazzling fellow who promises he alone can help. After all, he is a famous dragon slayer. (At least, no one has seen a dragon in his presence.) Only the clever children of the Orphan House and the kindly Ogress at the edge of town can see how dire the town’s problems are.
Then one day a child goes missing from the Orphan House. At the Mayor’s suggestion, all eyes turn to the Ogress. The Orphans know this can’t be: the Ogress, along with a flock of excellent crows, secretly delivers gifts to the people of Stone-in-the-Glen.
But how can the Orphans tell the story of the Ogress’s goodness to people who refuse to listen? And how can they make their deluded neighbors see the real villain in their midst?
Not Starring Zadie Louise
In this “entertaining and moving” (Kirkus Reviews) middle grade novel that’s perfect for fans of Tim Federle and Gordon Korman, Zadie is determined to spend the summer helping at the community theater—but things go hilariously awry!
Zadie loves Tae Kwon Do, comic books, and outer space. She also loves visiting the community theater that her mom runs, especially the lighting grid over the stage and the stage manager’s booth, which is filled with levers and buttons like a spaceship control panel. So when the family’s finances suffer a blow and Zadie has to give up her usual activities to spend the summer at the theater, she doesn’t mind too much. After all, she’s always wanted to tech a show.
She knows she’d be great at it, but her mom and the new stage manager are totally opposed to the idea of having a kid do tech. Instead, Zadie’s stuck handing out snacks and folding flyers. But the future of the theater rides on this show, and Zadie is determined to help. She’s going to make Spinderella the hit of the season—unless she accidentally turns it into a disaster.
For fans of Tuck Everlasting comes a fantasy adventure from Kirsty Applebaum about a twelve-year-old boy who can bring living creatures back from the point of death—in exchange for part of his own life.
Twelve-year-old Lonny can stop death in its tracks. But there’s a price to pay for his magic. Each time he saves a life, he must sacrifice years of his own. In order to keep his power a secret, he's always stayed away from the nearby town of Farstoke, where the townsfolk might take advantage of a lifeling boy for their selfish and dangerous ends.
But when Lonny’s family is left with no money, he and his brother Midge are forced to venture into Farstoke in search of work. Lonny soon finds that the people of Farstoke aren’t the frightening monsters he’s been told to fear. Or so they seem at first glance. As Lonny debates revealing his secret ability to the town, he must ask himself if the people of Farstoke are really who they appear to be, and if he is willing to risk his life to save another.
The Last Mapmaker
From Christina Soontornvat, the visionary and versatile author of two 2021 Newbery Honor Books, comes a high-seas adventure set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world.
In a fantasy adventure every bit as compelling and confident in its world building as her Newbery Honor Book A Wish in the Dark, Christina Soontornvat explores a young woman’s struggle to unburden herself of the past and chart her own destiny in a world of secrets. As assistant to Mangkon’s most celebrated mapmaker, twelve-year-old Sai plays the part of a well-bred young lady with a glittering future. In reality, her father is a conman—and in a kingdom where the status of one’s ancestors dictates their social position, the truth could ruin her. Sai seizes the chance to join an expedition to chart the southern seas, but she isn’t the only one aboard with secrets. When Sai learns that the ship might be heading for the fabled Sunderlands—a land of dragons, dangers, and riches beyond imagining—she must weigh the cost of her dreams. Vivid, suspenseful, and thought-provoking, this tale of identity and integrity is as beautiful and intricate as the maps of old.
Oceans 11 goes to the arcade in this wildly entertaining heist adventure that is perfect for fans of Gordon Korman, Varian Johnson, and Celia P rez.
We do this my way.
No one gets hurt.
And if I call it off, it's off.
My name's Darius James--but everyone calls me DJ. At my old school, I was the go-to guy for all kinds of tricky problems that needed creative solutions. But at my new school, Ella Fitzgerald Middle, I'm just trying to blend in.
Well, I was, anyway, until my best friend, Conor, got himself transferred to the Fitz too. Now Conor owes 100,000 arcade tickets to the biggest bully around--and he only has two weeks to make it happen. Impossible? Not with my head in the game.
Going Places: Victor Hugo Green and His Glorious Book
In the vein of Hidden Figures comes a nonfiction picture book about the Green Book, a travel guide by Victor Hugo Green, a Black postal worker from Harlem, made to help African Americans stay safe while traveling during segregation.
As a mail carrier, Victor Hugo Green traveled across New Jersey every day. But with Jim Crow laws enforcing segregation since the late 1800s, traveling as a Black person in the US could be stressful, even dangerous.
So in the 1930s, Victor created a guide--The Negro Motorist Green-Book--compiling information on where to go and what places to avoid so that Black travelers could have a safe and pleasant time. While the Green Book started out small, over the years it became an expansive, invaluable resource for Black people throughout the country--all in the hopes that one day such a guide would no longer be needed.
Award-winning author Tonya Bolden and acclaimed illustrator Eric Velasquez shine a light on this little-known history of Victor Hugo Green and the deep impact of his incredible book on generations of Black families in America.
Ernesto Cisneros, Pura Belpré Award-winning author of Efrén Divided, is back with a hilarious and heartfelt novel about two best friends who must rely on each other in unexpected ways. A great next pick for readers who loved Ghost by Jason Reynolds or The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez.
Isaac and Marco already know sixth grade is going to change their lives. But it won't change things at home--not without each other's help.
This year, star basketball player Isaac plans on finally keeping up with his schoolwork. Better grades will surely stop Isaac's parents from arguing all the time. Meanwhile, straight-A Marco vows on finally winning his father's approval by earning a spot on the school's basketball team.
But will their friendship and support for each other be enough to keep the two boys from falling short?
A Duet for Home
From the New York Times bestselling creator of the Vanderbeekers series comes a triumphant tale of friendship, healing, and the power of believing in ourselves told from the perspective of biracial sixth-graders June and Tyrell, two children living in a homeless shelter. As their friendship grows over a shared love of classical music, June and Tyrell confront a new housing policy that puts homeless families in danger.
It's June's first day at Huey House, and as if losing her home weren't enough, she also can't bring her cherished viola inside. Before the accident last year, her dad saved tip money for a year to buy her viola, and she's not about to give it up now.
Tyrell has been at Huey House for three years and gives June a glimpse of the good things about living there: friendship, hot meals, and a classical musician next door.
Can he and June work together to oppose the government, or will families be forced out of Huey House before they are ready?
Cookies and Milk
WINNER OF THE NAACP IMAGE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING LITERARY WORK--YOUTH/TEENS!
It's a summer of family, friendship, and fun fiascos in this acclaimed novel that's as irresistible as a fresh-baked cookie.
Ellis Bailey Johnson has the summertime blues. Instead of hanging out with friends, listening to music, and playing his harmonica, Ellis has to help bring his dad's latest farfetched, sure-to-fail idea to life: open the world's first chocolate chip cookie store.
They have six weeks to perfect their recipe, get a run-down A-frame storefront on Hollywood's Sunset Boulevard into tip-top shape, and bring in customers. But nothing goes according to plan, especially when family secrets start to surface. Can Ellis bake up a happy ending?
Partially based on Shawn Amos's own experiences growing up the son of Wally "Famous" Amos, and packed with humor, heart, and fun illustrations, this debut novel sings with the joy of self-discovery, unconditional love, and community.
"Shawn Amos has written a beautiful story of family and music, of growing up and having adventures, of business building and character building, that is at once very specific and universal. I love Cookies and Milk as much as I love cookies and milk." -Lisa See, New York Times bestselling and award winning author of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Shanghai Girls
**Don't miss Ellis's next adventure: Ellis Johnson Might Be Famous
Concrete: From the Ground Up
A stylish, eye-opening, utterly engaging, and often wry look at one of the marvels of the material world, from the ground up.
From a lowly mixture of stone, sand, water, and cement have sprung sidewalks, streets, and skyscrapers, sturdy lighthouses and magnificent palaces, long bridges and massive dams. In ancient building practices, in modern engineering, and in the architecture of the future, humble concrete plays a mighty role in the creation of the human-made world. Brimming with facts and spiced with clever running narrative in the form of repartee-filled speech bubbles, Concrete is as intimate and entertaining as it is informative and visually sweeping. Curious readers of all ages—from would-be engineers to science and history buffs to retro-design lovers—will delight in this bold, one-of-a-kind guide to the (literal) bedrock of civilization, amplified by a bibliography in the back matter.
Anybody Here Seen Frenchie?
A big-hearted, beautiful, and funny novel told from multiple viewpoints about neurodiversity, friendship, and community from the award-winning author of The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle, Leslie Connor.
Eleven-year-old Aurora Petrequin's best friend has never spoken a word to her. In fact, Frenchie Livernois doesn't talk.
Aurora is bouncy, loud and impulsive--"a big old blurter." Making friends has never come easily. When Frenchie, who is autistic, silently chose Aurora as his person back in third grade, she chose him back. They make a good team, sharing their love of the natural world in coastal Maine.
In the woods, Aurora and Frenchie encounter a piebald deer, a rare creature with a coat like a patchwork quilt. Whenever it appears, Aurora feels compelled to follow.
At school, Aurora looks out for Frenchie, who has been her classmate until this year. One morning, Frenchie doesn't make it to his classroom. Aurora feels she's to blame. The entire town begins to search, and everyone wonders: how is it possible that nobody has seen Frenchie?
At the heart of this story is the friendship between hyper-talkative Aurora and nonvocal Frenchie. Conflict arises when Aurora is better able to expand her social abilities and finds new friends. When Frenchie goes missing, Aurora must figure out how to use her voice to help find him, and lift him up when he is found.
Featuring a compelling mystery and a memorable voice, this is a natural next-read after Leslie Connor's The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle.
* Kids' Indie Next Pick * New England Book Award Finalists 2022 *
"Leslie Connor brilliantly depicts a genuine and meaningful friendship between a dynamic girl and her nonvocal friend. By showing the ways Aurora and Frenchie communicate, Connor gives us a blueprint for seeing autistic children in a new light. I loved, loved, loved this book!" --Cammie McGovern, author of Frankie and Amelia and Chester and Gus
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