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Because of Mr. Terupt

By: Rob Buyea
Publisher: Yearling
Level: 12-13

It’s the start of fifth grade for seven kids at Snow Hill School. There’s . . . Jessica, the new girl, smart and perceptive, who’s having a hard time fitting in; Alexia, a bully, your friend one second, your enemy the next; Peter, class prankster and troublemaker; Luke, the brain; Danielle, who never stands up for herself; shy Anna, whose home situation makes her an outcast; and Jeffrey, who hates school.

Only Mr. Terupt, their new and energetic teacher, seems to know how to deal with them all. He makes …

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The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes

By: Gary Rubinstein
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Level: 8-9

Meet Beatrice Bottomwell: a nine-year-old girl who has never (not once!) made a mistake. She never forgets her math homework, she never wears mismatched socks, and she ALWAYS wins the yearly talent show at school. In fact, Beatrice holds the record of perfection in her hometown, where she is known as The Girl Who Never Makes Mistakes. Life for Beatrice is sailing along pretty smoothly until she does the unthinkable–she makes her first mistake. And in a very public way!

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One for the Murphys

One for the Murphys

By: Lynda Hunt
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Level: 12-13

A moving debut novel about a foster child learning to open her heart to a family’s love. Carley uses humor and street smarts to keep her emotional walls high and thick. But the day she becomes a foster child, and moves in with the Murphys, she’s blindsided. This loving, bustling family shows Carley the stable family life she never thought existed, and she feels like an alien in their cookie-cutter-perfect household. Despite her resistance, the Murphys eventually show her what it feels like to belong–until her mother wants her back …

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And Still They Bloom: A Family's Journey of Loss and Healing

And Still They Bloom: A Family’s Journey of Loss and Healing

By: Amy Rovere
Publisher: The American Cancer Society
Level: 12-13

Emily and Ben have just lost their mother to cancer. The children are struggling to come to terms with their mother’s death and make sense of their changed world. They experience a range of feelings: anger, sadness, fear, and hopelessness. Guided by conversations with their father, the children learn to better understand and express their feelings. Gradually, they begin to adjust to their loss.

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Be a Gem, Let Your Goodness Shine

By: Nancy Steyer Stapleton
Publisher: Ferne Press
Level: 8-9

Goldie learns sportsmanship. These character traits help children grow up and “let their goodness shine.” You can be a positive role model. Find out how to take care of our Earth or try something new. Which gem or stone are you?

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I am a Vivor

I am a Vivor

By: Leona Booms Ashley
Publisher: Halo publishing
Level: 10-11

Here is an inspirational story of a young girl who has survived cancer. The superb photography and kid friendly language depict her doing everything other kids can do, with one arm. She is an amazing little girl with a positive attitude and a strong family behind her. This story is wonderful for helping children and families better understand surviving cancer and living with a limb indifference.

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The Bravest Boy I Ever Knew

The Bravest Boy I Ever Knew

By: Lisa Eichlin
Publisher: Tate Publishing & Enterprises, L.L.C.
Level: 12-13

What makes someone brave? Michael wants to introduce you to someone very important. This boy is just like you. He loves sports, puzzles, and being outside. He loves to race Michael, often beating him. This boy is a great best friend. Michael wants to be just like him because he’s the bravest boy Michael knows. But why does Michael think he’s so brave? Find out in The Bravest Boy I Ever Knew.

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Umbrella Summer

Umbrella Summer

By: Lisa Graff
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Level: 12-13

Annie Richards knows there are a million things to look out for—bicycle accidents, food poisoning, chicken pox, smallpox, typhoid fever, runaway zoo animals, and poison oak. That’s why being careful is so important, even if it does mean giving up some of her favorite things, like bike races with her best friend, Rebecca, and hot dogs on the Fourth of July. Everyone keeps telling Annie not to worry so much, that she’s just fine. But they thought her brother, Jared, was just fine too, and Jared died.

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I Like Myself!

I Like Myself!

By: Karen Beaumont
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Level: 8-9

High on energy and imagination, this ode to self-esteem encourages kids to appreciate everything about themselves—inside and out. Messy hair? Beaver breath? So what! Here’s a little girl who knows what really matters.
At once silly and serious, Karen Beaumont’s joyous rhyming text and David Catrow’s wild illustrations unite in a book that is sassy, soulful—and straight from the heart.

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Upstairs Room

Upstairs Room

By: Johanna Reiss
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Level: 14+

A Life in Hiding… When the German army occupied Holland, Annie de Leeuw was eight years old. Because she was Jewish, the occupation put her in grave danger-she knew that to stay alive she would have to hide. Fortunately, a Gentile family, the Oostervelds, offered to help. For two years they hid Annie and her sister, Sini, in the cramped upstairs room of their farmhouse. Most people thought the war wouldn’t last long. But for Annie and Sini — separated from their family and confined to one tiny room — the war seemed to go on forever.

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