The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew
Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee (grade 7 and
Daywalt (K-2nd grade) is absolutely hilarious!
up) is an adventure story with strong female
My Southern Journey: True Stories from
And the illustrations are great. There's even
characters. Set in 1849, it follows Samantha, a
the Heart of the South by Rick Bragg is as
a glow-in-the-dark illustration. Imagine if
Chinese-American, and Annamae, a runaway
comforting as biscuits and gravy on a cold
crayons could talk. Well, in this book they do,
slave, as they flee an impossible situation and
winter morning. This book of non-fiction
and they have plenty to say. This is a great
head out on the Oregon Trail. Along the way
contains essays about being southern that
book to read aloud.
they face adversity, befriend a trio of cowboys,
Bragg wrote in the span of about ten years.
and discover the power of friendship.
Want to love this book even more? Get the audio version to hear Bragg read his words. His voice is full of the music of the South.
Also Recommended: Firefly Hollow by Alison McGhee (grades 3-5) The Marvels by Brian Selznick (grades 5-8) Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff (grades 4-8)
Edisto Jinx by C. Hope Clark, a fast-paced
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead (grades 6-9)
mystery set in the beach town of Edisto, South Carolina, follows former Boston PD
For those who love literary fiction, it doesn't
detective Callie Morgan, as she is pulled back
get much better than Did You Ever Have a
into the world of crime solving. A young
Family by Bill Clegg. The story begins the
woman dies, but is it murder? Before that
night before a big wedding. Lolly, June Reid's
question is answered, another mysterious
daughter, is getting married, and the house is
death occurs. The locals have their opinions.
full of friends and family. It should be a time
Some think the small town is cursed, and at
of great celebration; however, tragedy strikes
least one resident says she's being visited by
and everyone but June is gone in a flash.
ghosts. But Callie suspects something even
What happens next takes June on a journey to
more sinister, and with every passing day it
trace the last happy travels of her lost daughter.
appears as if she's right. This is one of those
Along the way she finds unlikely heroes who
books that will keep you up late into the
refuse to let her fall. This book is elegant and
night trying to figure out "who done it."
heartbreaking and absolutely beautiful.
A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen (grades 4-7) The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness (teen and young adult) Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman (grades 9-12) Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli (grades 8-12) Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (grade 10 and up) The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz (grades 6-9)