Read to Them is always looking to add new, exciting titles to our library – as you might recall from the book selection overview piece. We invite you to explore these seven titles, from both debut authors and creators established on the KidLit scene, with your school communities. You can find blurbs for each book below and further explore Read to Them’s catalog by visiting our featured book lists.
by Katherine Applegate
“If you ever have to live in your car, you are going to have some problems with feet.”
In the past, Jackson and his family lived in the family van before moving into an apartment. Now they are facing homelessness again. And though both his parents are loving and supportive, Jackson is worried.
Which is where Crenshaw comes in. Crenshaw is a large, imaginary, talking cat who likes purple jelly beans. Can Crenshaw magically solve all the problems in Jack’s complicated life? No. But, he can offer support, and ask sassy, challenging questions that help Jackson think differently about his childhood.
by Jennifer Holm
“A PhD lasts a lot longer than love.”
What would you do if you discovered your grandfather had turned into a 13-year-old wise-cracking kid?
Grandpa Melvin is a scientist and he’s discovered a cure for aging. (It involves jellyfish.) He appears on his daughter’s doorstep looking for help breaking into his lab to recover his research. He ends up enrolled in middle school with his 11-year-old granddaughter, Ellie!
by Cynthia Lord
“It happened once…”
That’s how Emma’s grandfather – Pépère – always began his enchanting, lesson-filled stories about the trickster rabbit, Monsieur Lapin. Emma also receives sensitive and winning support from her older brother, Owen.
Emma’s biggest concern is the fate of her rescued rabbit, Lapi. Not only does she have to care for Lapi, but she must also determine if Lapi has a former owner. This turns out to be a dicey ethical question as Emma wants to find a way to keep him.
by Janae Marks
“To my Little Tomato…”
Marcus writes to his daughter, Zoe, from prison. But if Zoe’s mother has anything to say about, Zoe won’t receive these letters, and she certainly won’t be allowed to respond. Zoe’s desire to build a relationship with her father lies at the heart of this novel, but there is so much more.
Zoe’s relationship with Marcus grows through letters, recipes, and playlists. The novel takes a sharp turn when Zoe decides to take on the mission of proving his innocence. With the help of her good friend Trevor, she sets off to find an alibi witness and engage the Innocence Project. The story deals with serious themes of friendship, family, and justice, along with cupcakes, basketball, and Stevie Wonder.
by Thomas Taylor
“But in a place like Eerie-on-Sea, legends can sometimes have a little more… bite.”
This is a lesson that Herbert “Herbie” Lemon, Lost-and-Founder of the Grand Nautilus Hotel, quickly discovers when he learns about the fearsome Malamander, a half-fish, half-man, that’s kept the town of Eerie-on-Sea wary of misty evenings for generations.
Get ready to embark on a larger-than-life adventure, especially if you are one who enjoys an appreciation for things that are just a little bit strange.
by Renée Watson
“Be who we named you to be.”
Ryan Hart is full of spit and fire, and a drive to do right by everyone. Yet somehow in moving to a new neighborhood, and worrying about her father’s new job, and fretting about the fourth-grade talent show, well, little things can go awry.
We invite you to share Ryan Hart with your school and families. Every child should experience authentic characters like Ryan, and all the things that make them so relatable – their attitude, warmth and generosity, mistakes, ups and downs, lessons, and their resolutions.
by Jacqueline Woodson
“Always remember, when you are with your people, you are home.”
Welcome to the ARRT Room – A Room To Talk. Here, six Brooklyn middle school students are afforded one hour each Friday to talk amongst themselves – no adults present.
It’s a racially and economically diverse group of students, dealing with their own challenges. They use the time and freedom to get to know each other – to find out where each of them is coming from and what each of them is dealing with.