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Librarian’s recommended fiction books listed below are in alphabetical order by author’s last name. The summary for each book is from the Library of Congress or publisher.

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 Happy reading!














Written by Katherine Applegate

          (Feiwel and Friends, c2015, 245 p.)

Summary: “A story about a homeless boy and his imaginary friend that proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.”











The One and Only Ivan

Written by Katherine Applegate

(Harper, c2012, 341 p.)

Summary: “When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.”










Seaglass Summer

Written by Anjali Banerjee

(Wendy Lamb Books, 2010, 163 p.)

Summary: “While spending a month on an island off the coast of Washington helping in her Uncle Sanjay’s veterinary clinic, eleven-year-old Poppy Ray soon questions her decision to follow in her uncle’s footsteps.”











Rinkitink in Oz: Wherein is Recorded the Perilous Quest of Prince Inga of Pingaree and King Rinkitink in the Magical Isles that Lie Beyond the Borderland of Oz

Written by L. Frank Baum.

(Morrow, c1998/c1916, 318 p.)

Summary: “When all the inhabitants of Pingaree are kidnapped by the mongrel hordes of twin island kingdoms, Prince Inga and his friend King Rinkitink decide to go to the rescue.”












El Deafo

Written by Cece Bell. Graphic Novel format

(Amulet, c2014, 233 p.)

Summary: “. . . Going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest requires superpowers! The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear–sometimes things she shouldn’t–but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is.”













Masterpiece by Elise Broach

(Henry Holt and Company, c2008, 291 p.)

Summary: “After Marvin, a beetle, makes a miniature drawing as an eleventh birthday gift for James, a human with whom he shares a house, the two new friends work together to help recover an Albrecht Durer drawing stolen from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.”



Cheng Year of











Anna Wang Novel series

Written by Andrea Cheng

(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

The Year of the Book  (c2012, 146 p.)

Summary:Follows a young Chinese American girl, as she navigates relationships with family, friends, and her fourth-grade classroom, and finds a true best friend.”

The Year of the Baby  (c2013, 162 p.)

Summary: “Fifth-grader Anna is concerned that her baby sister Kaylee, adopted from China three months ago, is not thriving so she and her best friends, Laura and Camille, create a science project that may save the day.”

The Year of the Fortune Cookie  (c2014, 163 p.)

Summary: “Eleven-year-old Anna takes a trip to China and learns more about herself and her Chinese heritage.”

The Year of the Three Sisters  (c2015, 147p.)

Summary: “Twelve-year-old Anna’s friend Andee spearheads a campaign to bring Fan from China to Cincinnati on a year-long cultural exchange, but before Fan even arrives Anna’s concerned that Andee and Fan are too different to get along.”


Sylvia & Aki

Written by Winifred Conkling

(Tricycle Press, c2011, 151 p.)

Summary: “At the start of World War II, Japanese-American third-grader Aki and her family are sent to an internment camp in Poston, Arizona, while Mexican-American third-grader Sylvia’s family leases their Orange County, California, farm and begins a fight to stop school segregation.”


Because of Winn-Dixie

Written by Kate DiCamillo

(Candlewick Press. 2001. 182 p.)

Summary: “Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie.


Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

Written by Kate DiCamillo

(Candlewick Press. 2013. 231 p.; includes comic-style illustrations)

Summary:Rescuing a squirrel after an accident involving a vacuum cleaner, comic-reading cynic Flora Belle Buckman is astonished when the squirrel, Ulysses, demonstrates astonishing powers of strength and flight after being revived.”



Written by Kate DiCamillo

(HarperCollinsPublishers, c2016, 276 p.)

Summary: “After being forced to give up his pet fox Pax, a young boy named Peter decides to leave home and get his best friend back.”


Stella by Starlight

Written by Sharon M. Draper

(Atheneum Books for Young Readers, c2015, 320 p.)

Summary: “Stella lives in the segregated South, in Bumblebee, North Carolina [. . . where the] Klan hasn’t bothered them for years, but one late night, while wandering around outside, Stella and her little brother see something they’re never supposed to see, something that is the first flicker of unwelcome change to come . . .”


Birchbark House series

Written by Louise Erdrich

Titles and summaries of individual books:

The Birchbark House  (Hyperion Books for Children, c1999, 244 p.)

Summary: “Omakayas, a seven-year-old Native American girl of the Ojibwa tribe, lives through the joys of summer and the perils of winter on an island in Lake Superior in 1847.”

The Game of Silence  (HarperCollinsPublishers, c2005, 246 p.)

Summary: “When rumors that the white men are coming to remove her entire tribe from their land gains more credence, nine-year-old Omakayas, of the Ojibwa tribe, begins to fear for the worst while her family considers moving west.” 

The Porcupine Year  (HarperCollinsPublishers, c2008, 193 p.)

Summary: “In 1852, forced by the United States government to leave their beloved Island of the Golden Breasted Woodpecker, fourteen-year-old Omokayas and her Ojibwe family travel in search of a new home.”

Chickadee  (HarperCollinsPublishers, 2013, 196p.)

Summary: “In 1866, Omakayas’s son Chickadee is kidnapped by two ne’er-do-well brothers from his own tribe and must make a daring escape, forge unlikely friendships, and set out on an exciting and dangerous journey to get back home.”

Makoons  (coming Aug., 2016, 176 p.)

Summary: “Living with their Ojibwe family on the Great Plains of Dakota Territory in 1866, twin brothers Makoons and Chickadee must learn to become buffalo hunters, but Makoons has a vision that foretells great challenges that his family may not be able to overcome.”


The Island of Dr. Libris

Written by Chris Grabenstein

(Random House, 2015, 242 p.)

Summary: “A twelve-year-old boy, worried that his parents may divorce, discovers that an island in the middle of the lake where he is spending the summer is the testing grounds of the mysterious Dr. Libris, who may have invented a way to make the characters in books come alive.”


“Mr. Lemoncello” books

Written by Chris Grabenstein

(Random House)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library  (2013, 304 p.)

Summary: “Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.”

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics  (2016, 278 p.)

Summary: “Mr. Lemoncello has invited teams from all across America to compete in the first ever LIBRARY OLYMPICS…but someone is trying to censor what the kids are reading.”


Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

Written by Kelly Jones

(Alfred A. Knopf, c2015, 216 p.)

Summary: “Through a series of letters, Sophie Brown, age twelve, tells of her family’s move to her Great Uncle Jim’s farm, where she begins taking care of some unusual chickens with help from neighbors and friends.”


“Dini” books

Written by Uma Krishnaswami

(Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

The Grand Plan to Fix Everything  (c2011, 266 p.)

Summary: “Eleven-year-old Dini loves movies, and so when she learns that her family is moving to India for two years, her devastation over leaving her best friend in Maryland is tempered by the possibility of meeting her favorite actress, Dolly Singh.”

The Problem With Being Slightly Heroic  (c2013, 274 p.)

Summary: “Complications ensue when Bollywood star Dolly Singh premieres her new movie at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., and super fan Dinni and her best friend Maddie present a dance at the grand opening.”


Wolves of Beyond series

Written by Kathryn Lasky

(Scholastic Press)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

Lone Wolf  (2010, 219 p.)

Summary: “Abandoned by his pack, a baby wolf with a mysterious mark on his deformed paw survives and embarks on a journey that will change the world of the wolves of the Beyond.”

Shadow Wolf  (2010, 260 p.)

Summary: “After earning the right to return to the wolf pack that abandoned him, the exiled Faolan joins the clan as a lowly “gnaw wolf,” but his goal of rising in the pack order is threatened when a jealous rival frames him for an unspeakable crime.

Watch Wolf  (2011, 230 p.)

Summary: “Faolan, poised to take his place as a member of the revered Wolves of the Watch, may be the only one who can stop Dunbar MacHeath and his clan from provoking a war between the Watch and the bears.”

Frost Wolf  (2011, 238 p.)

Summary: When a terrible danger threatens the wolves of the Beyond, outsider Faolan must take a leadership role and inspire the pack to stand together.”

Spirit Wolf   (2012, 228 p.)

Summary:When earthquakes and erupting volcanoes strike the Beyond, Faolan and the other surviving wolves must head for the Distant Blue, where they hope to find a new home.

Star Wolf  (2013, 246 p.)

Summary: “The Ring of Sacred Volcanoes has been destroyed and Faolan is leading his small band of wolves across the ice bridge to the hoped for safety of the Distant Blue–but his old enemy Heep is pursuing him and the icy path ahead is filled with danger.”

“Fletcher Family” books

Written by Dana Levy

(Delacorte Press)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher  (2014, 260 p.)

Summary: “Relates the adventures of a family with two fathers, four adopted boys, and a variety of pets as they make their way through a school year, Kindergarten through sixth grade, and deal with a grumpy new neighbor.”

The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island  (2016, 259 p.)

Summary: “Summertime brings the Fletcher Family back to Rock Island where the good times never end, but this summer the boys’ favorite lighthouse is all boarded up and with the help from their new neighbors, the Garcia girls, the boys are determined to find out what is really happening with their lighthouse and saving it, no matter what the cost.”



“Pacy” books

Written by Grace Lin

 (Little, Brown and Company)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

The Year of the Dog: A Novel  (2006, 134 p.)

Summary: “Frustrated at her seeming lack of talent for anything, a young Taiwanese American girl sets out to apply the lessons of the Chinese Year of the Dog, those of making best friends and finding oneself, to her own life.

The Year of the Rat: A Novel  (2008, 182 p.)

Summary: “In the Chinese Year of the Rat, a young Taiwanese American girl faces many challenges: her best friend moves to California and a new boy comes to her school, she must find the courage to forge ahead with her dream of becoming a writer and illustrator, and she must learn to find the beauty in change.

Dumpling Days: A Novel   (2012, 261 p.

Summary: “When Pacy, her two sisters, and their parents go to Taiwan to celebrate Grandma’s sixtieth birthday, the girls learn a great deal about their heritage.


Three illustrated fantasy novels inspired by Chinese folktales

Written and illustrated by Grace Lin

 (Little, Brown and Company)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon  (2009, 278 p.)

Summary: Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.”

Starry River of the Sky  (2012, 288 p.)

Summary:Discovering that the moon has disappeared from the sky above a Chinese village where he works, runaway Rendi wonders about strange local behaviors until a mysterious storyteller arrives at the town’s inn and astonishing transformations begin to happen.”

Watch Grace Lin’s book trailer and Grace Lin talking about the book.

When the Sea Turned to Silver  (coming in Oct., 2016)

Summary: “Pinmei, a storyteller’s granddaughter, must find the Luminous Stone that Lights the Night to rescue her grandmother, who has been kidnapped by the Tiger Emperor”


A Handful of Stars

Written by Cynthia Lord

(Scholastic Press, 2015, 184 p.)

Summary: “When her blind dog slips his collar, twelve-year old Lily meets Salma Santiago, a young Hispanic girl whose migrant family are in Maine for the blueberry-picking season, and, based partly on their mutual love of dogs, the two forge a friendship while painting bee boxes for Lily’s grandfather–but as the Blueberry Queen pageant approaches Lily and Selma are confronted with some of the hard truths of prejudice and migrant life.


Rain Reign

Written by Ann Martin

(Feiwel and Friends, 2014. 226 p.)

Summary:Struggling with Asperger’s, Rose shares a bond with her beloved dog, but when the dog goes missing during a storm, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels, even if it means leaving her routines in order to search for her pet.”


Five Kingdoms series 

Written by Brandon Mull

(Aladdin / Simon & Schuster)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

Sky Raiders  (2014, 421 p.)

Summary: “Whisked through a portal to The Outskirts, an in-between world, sixth-grader Cole must rescue his friends and find his way back home–before his existence is forgotten.”

Rogue Knight  (2014, 480 p.)

Summary: “When the hunt for his lost friends leads Cole Randolph to the kingdom of Elloweer, he and new friends Mira, Twitch, and Jace team up with the resistance movement to search for Mira’s sister, Honor, but enemies abound and Cole and Mira must use a new kind of magic to protect themselves.”

Crystal Keepers  (2015, 479 p.)

Summary: “Journeying in a magical region where he continues his search for his friends and works to correct magical imbalances in The Outskirts, Cole confronts challenges that threaten to trap him in the world between reality and imagination.”

Death Weavers  (2016, 512 p.)

Summary: “Cole and his friends finally reach the fourth of the five kingdoms, Necronum, land of the dead, where they confront dangers and meet new allies.

The Winnie Years series

Written by Lauren Myracle

(Dutton Childrens Books)

Note: Thirteen and Thirteen Plus One read as “Older Fic.”

Titles and summaries of individual books:

 Ten  (c2011, 208 p.)

Summary: “Winnie celebrates her unique style through her first year with a double-digit age as she has many new experiences, from the high of spending time in New York City with her aunt and big sister, to the low of her two best friends suddenly becoming interested in boys.”

Eleven  (c2004, 208 p.)

Summary: “The year between turning eleven and turning twelve bring many changes for Winnie and her friends.”

Twelve  (2007, 208 p.)

Summary:Winnie relates the events of her twelfth year and the many changes in her relationships and in her attitude toward growing up.”

 Thirteen  (2008, 256 p.) (2010, 304 p.)

Summary: “Winnie relates the events of her twelfth year and the many changes in her relationships and in her attitude toward growing up.”

 Thirteen Plus One  (2010, 304 p.)

Summary: “As Winnie and her friends count the days until the beginning of high school, they attend a summer camp where they learn about sea turtles–as well as human relationships.”


The Turtle of Oman

Written by Naomi Shihab Nye

(Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2014, 299 p.)

Summary:When Aref, a third-grader who lives in Muscat, Oman, refuses to pack his suitcase and prepare to move to Michigan, his mother asks for help from his grandfather, his Siddi, who takes Aref around the country, storing up memories he can carry with him to a new home.”


Secrets at Sea: A Novel

Written by Richard Peck

(Dial Books for Young Readers, 2011, 238 p.)

Summary: “In 1887, the social-climbing Cranstons voyage from New York to London, where they hope to find a husband for their awkward older daughter, secretly accompanied by Helena and her mouse siblings, for whom the journey is both terrifying and wondrous as they meet an array of titled humans despite their best efforts at remaining hidden.”


Tiger Boy

Written by Mitali Perkins

(Charlesbridge, 2015, 140 p.)

Summary: “A tiger cub has escaped from a reserve in the Sunderbans in West Bengal, India, and Neel, a poor boy from the islands, is determined to find her in order to save her from being captured and sold on the black market by Mr. Gupta and his men.”


Star in the Forest

Written by Laura Resau

(Delacorte Press, c2010, 149 p.)

Summary: “After eleven-year-old Zitlally’s father is deported to Mexico, she takes refuge in her trailer park’s forest of rusted car parts, where she befriends a spunky neighbor and finds a stray dog that she nurses back to health and believes she must keep safe so that her father will return.”


Wings of Fire series

Written by Tui Sutherland

(Scholastic Press)

Titles and summaries of individual books:

The Dragonet Prophecy  (c2012, 304p.)

Summary: “Clay has lived his whole life under the mountain. The MudWing dragonet knows war is raging between the dragon tribes in the world outside – a war that he and four other dragonets are destined to end, according to the mysterious prophecy they have been taught. The five “chosen” dragonets were stolen from their homes while they were still in their eggs – and hidden away for years – all to fulfill the prophecy. But not every dragonet wants a destiny. And when danger threatens one of their own, Clay and his friends may choose freedom over fate … leave the mountain … and set the dragon world on a course that no one could have predicted.”

The Lost Heir  (2013, 296 p.)

Summary: “Overjoyed to be reunited with her fellow ocean-dwelling dragons, Tsunami the SeaWing continues efforts to end the war for Pyrrhia in spite of a dangerous assassin who is threatening all their lives.”

The Hidden Kingdom  (2013, 296 p.)

Summary: “The five dragonets of the prophecy are hoping to hide in safety in the RainWing kingdom, and Glory is hoping to learn more about her own identity, but when tribe members start disappearing and the old queen does nothing, it is up to Glory and her friends to uncover the lurking evil.”

The Dark Secret  (2013, 320 p.)

Summary: “When Starflight, one of the dragonets of destiny, is kidnapped by the NightWings he finds that the kingdom of his birth is a miserable place, full of terrible secrets–and that, with his fellow dragonets too far away to help, the fate of two kingdoms rests in his talons.”

The Brightest Night  (2014, 308 p.)

Summary“Sunny has always taken the Dragonet Prophecy very seriously, so Morrowseer’s devastating news changes everything–now she must forge a new identity, and find a way to stop the futile and destructive war between the dragon clans.”

Moon Rising  (2014, 298 p.)

Summary: “When Moonwatcher, a young NightWing with secret powers, begins school at the academy started by the dragonets of destiny after the end of the war, she soon realizes that someone is attacking the students. Moon must choose whether to help or continue to hide her gifts.”

Winter Turning (2015, 295 p.,)

Summary: “Winter has been a disappointment to his royal IceWing family, unlike his sister Icicle, who has been raised to challenge IceWing queen–but now that Icicle has broken the truce and escaped from Jade Mountain Academy, so Winter, accompanied by his new clawmates, Moon, Qibli, and Kinkajou, embarks on his own quest to free his brother from the clutches of Queen Scarlet, and win the respect of his family.”

Escaping Peril  (2016, 288 p.)

Summary:Peril is possibly the most dangerous dragon in Pyrrhia, because she has firescales that can kill an opponent with a touch, but now she has a mission–find her former queen, Scarlet, who is threatening the Jade Mountain Academy, and then stop her, and she is not sure if the persistent SeaWing, Turtle, who is accompanying her, will be a help or a hindrance.”


Love, Ruby Lavender

Written by Deborah Wiles.

(Harcourt, 2001, 188 p.)

Summary: “When her quirky grandmother goes to Hawaii for the summer, nine-year-old Ruby learns to survive on her own in Mississippi by writing letters, befriending chickens as well as the new girl in town, and finally coping with her grandfather’s death.”