A mysterious local tradition spawns a pact, an attempted quest, an unlikely friendship, and the revelation that the world is much stranger and more beautiful than expected. If you're a fan of Hayao Miyazaki and/or quietly adventuresome, reveatory, deeply beautiful fantasy, you will adore this book.
If, on reading or watching The Martian, you thought, "This is cool and all, but I wish it was about cats in space," then I have some AMAZING news for you.
Remember camp? How excited you were for it? How lonely it made you feel? How you couldn't wait to make new friends? How you felt like a total outsider? How you couldn't believe seeing squirrels and rabbits running around your cabin? How you swear you could hear the bears walking in the woods while you were trying to sleep? It's all here, brought to life by some of the nicest art I've seen in years.
One way to know that your friend is real, not imaginary, is to eat waffles together.
Fifth-grade Mean Girls memoir. This book was slightly painful to read, but only because it rang so true and close to my heart. A moving and funny exploration of the complications of trying to remain your true, weird, individual self even in the face of elementary schoolgirl groupthink. As always, Shannon Hale nails it.
After her friend gets kidnapped by aliens, Zita has no choice but to head to outer space and rescue him. With the help of an angry robot, a quiet mouse, and a clever conman, Zita builds a legend for herself. Lots of fun to read aloud!
— Jacob S.
This book makes me want to high five the entire world.
Coming into middle school can be tough, but the girls soccer team seems to be an okay way to make friends, right? Except these kids are only slightly better at friendship than they are at soccer. And they are terrible at soccer. But that just means there is a lot of room for growth! A fun story of coming of age, discovering oneself, and learning how complicated friendship can be.
An interplanetary adventure about family, physics, and love. Meg and her strange brother Charles Wallace go on a fantastical journey to rescue their father from a planet held in the treacherous clutches of IT.
— Jacob S
"Calvin & Hobbes," but sparklier.
Our five Lumberjanes, a diverse and realistic set of characters, are thrown into the world of the supernatural alongside their (understandably) stressed out cabin leader. Very fun and charming.
You can speak any language and still read this story. Wordless and full of feelings, The Arrival follows an immigrant father as he adapts to life in a strange new place. Tan’s intricate illustrations, many of a world both distant and familiar, fill every page with wonder.
A compact bildungsroman and quest story for kids who hope to solve certain life questions: how to overcome one's fears; develop confidence; discover the liberty of self-reliance. All successfully worked out after Marcy embarks on a rescue that morphs into an exciting adventure featuring a sphinx, a riddle, an angry Thoth, and a generous assist from the sun god Ra. Great fun for nascent and seasoned Egyptophiles.