An Award-Winning Book Club for Kids
Shop Now

Coming Of Age: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about coming of age?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to coming of age. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about coming of age.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about coming of age, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Fifteen to popular sellers like Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to some of our favorite hidden gems like Andi Unexpected.

We hope this list of kids books about coming of age can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book! As you explore the list, please comment below to let us know what books you would add.

Top 10 Books About Coming Of Age

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book
#1
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Written by J. K. Rowling & illustrated by Mary GrandPré
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

It all comes down to this - a final faceoff between good and evil. You plan to pull out all the stops, but every time you solve one mystery, three more evolve. Do you stay the course you started, despite your lack of progress? Do you detour and follow a new lead that may not help? Do you listen to your instincts, or your friends?

Lord Voldemort is preparing for battle and so must Harry. With Ron and Hermione at his side, he’s trying to hunt down Voldemort’s Horcruxes, escape danger at every turn, and find a way to defeat evil once and for all. How does it all end? Find out in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Waiting for Chicken Smith book
#2
Waiting for Chicken Smith
Written & illustrated by David Mackintosh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A story about childhood friendships, anticipation, and the magic moments that arise while you’re waiting for something else to happen. Every year a young boy stays in the same cabin at the beach with his family. And every year his friend Chicken Smith stays in the next cabin over. But this year, something’s different: Chicken Smith hasn’t shown up yet. The boy’s little sister, MaryAnn, keeps trying to get his attention, but he’s too busy remembering all of his adventures with Chicken Smith — and thinking about everything they’re going to do this summer. Is Chicken ever going to show up? And just what has MaryAnn been yelling about? David Mackintosh’s ode to small summer wonders will make readers of all ages open their eyes to the quick, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments happening all around them.

Andi Unexpected book
#3
Andi Unexpected
Written by Amanda Flower
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The first in a new middle-grade mystery series, in Andi Unexpected, twelve-year-old Andi Boggs, discovers evidence of her forgotten namesake, a missing relative, which leads her into a family mystery rooted in the Great Depression.

Replay book
#4
Replay
Written by Sharon Creech
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Leo’s papa stood in the doorway, gazing down at him. “Leo, you make gold from pebbles,” and the way he said it, Leo could tell that this was a good thing. He may have been given a bit part in the school play … but Leo dreams he is the biggest star on Broadway. Sure, his big, noisy family makes him feel like a sardine squashed in a tin … but in his fantasy he gets all the attention he wants. Yes, his papa seems sad and distracted … but Leo imagines him as a boy, tap-dancing and singing with delight. That’s why they call Leo “fog boy.” He’s always dreaming, always replaying things in his brain. He fantasizes about who he is in order to discover who he will become. As an actor in the school play, he is poised and ready for the curtain to open. But in the play that is his life, Leo is eager to discover what part will be his.

The Midwife's Apprentice book
#5
The Midwife's Apprentice
Written by Karen Cushman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

From the author of Catherine, Called Birdy comes another spellbinding novel set in medieval England. The girl known only as Brat has no family, no home, and no future until she meets Jane the Midwife and becomes her apprentice. As she helps the sharp-tempered Jane deliver babies, Brat—who renames herself Alyce—gains knowledge, confidence, and the courage to want something from life: “A full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world.” Medieval village life makes a lively backdrop for the funny, poignant story of how Alyce gets what she wants. A concluding note discusses midwifery past and present. A Newbery Medal book.

One Time book
#6
One Time
Written by Sharon Creech
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Imaginative, eleven-year-old Gina, her mysterious new neighbor, Antonio, and their classmates are inspired by an unusual young teacher to see who they are and envision who they are meant to become.

The Places We Sleep book
#7
The Places We Sleep
Written & illustrated by Caroline DuBois
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A family divided, a country going to war, and a girl desperate to feel at home converge in this stunning novel in verse.

It’s early September 2001, and twelve-year-old Abbey is the new kid at school. Again.

I worry about people speaking to me / and worry just the same / when they don’t.

Tennessee is her family’s latest stop in a series of moves due to her dad’s work in the Army, but this one might be different. Her school is far from Base, and for the first time, Abbey has found a real friend: loyal, courageous, athletic Camille.

And then it’s September 11. The country is under attack, and Abbey’s “home” looks like it might fall apart. America has changed overnight.

How are we supposed / to keep this up / with the world / crumbling / around us?

Abbey’s body changes, too, while her classmates argue and her family falters. Like everyone around her, she tries to make sense of her own experience as a part of the country’s collective pain. With her mother grieving and her father prepping for active duty, Abbey must learn to cope on her own.

Written in gorgeous narrative verse, Abbey’s coming-of-age story accessibly portrays the military family experience during a tumultuous period in our history. At once personal and universal, it’s a perfect read for fans of sensitive, tender-hearted books like The Thing About Jellyfish.

Little Bear's Little Boat book
#8
Little Bear's Little Boat
Written by Eve Bunting & illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Little Bear loves his little boat. But Little Bear soon begins to grow and grow, until one day he doesn’t fit in his little boat anymore! All children who experience growing pains will appreciate Little Bear’s predicament. And they will smile with satisfaction as the solution to his problem unfolds in simple, lyrical words and charming pictures from two award-winning picture-book creators.

My So-Called Superpowers: All the Feels book
#9
My So-Called Superpowers: All the Feels
Written by Heather Nuhfer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The third book in a heartwarming middle-grade series about a girl whose emotions turn into uncontrollable superpowers. Veronica’s powers have taught her a lot—about her family, her friends, and how to be herself. They’ve also literally rained on her parade, turned her green with jealousy, and set her school on fire. You win some, you lose some. Now Veronica’s finally figuring out how to control her superpowers. But then she discovers there might be a way to get rid of them forever—and to live a “normal” life.

Featuring ten black-and-white illustrations, All the Feels raises the stakes for this middle-school girl who has to decide if being “normal” is as fun as going on a roller-coaster ride of superpowered emotion.

The Fix-It Friends: The Show Must Go On book
#10
The Fix-It Friends: The Show Must Go On
Written by Nicole C. Kear & illustrated by Tracy Dockray
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

In the third adventure in Nicole C. Kear’s sweet chapter book series, it’s up to the Fix-It Friends to help the star of the school play prepare for opening night. Because reading isn’t always as easy as ABC. It’s a dream come true! Veronica’s playing the Queen of Hearts in the school play. It’s perfect: She gets to be a star and scream her head off! Even better, she makes an amazing new friend. Liv, who’s playing Alice, is a natural—it seems there’s nothing she can’t do! That is, until she reveals to Veronica that reading is really hard for her. To learn her lines, she’s going to need a lot of help. That’s the cue for the Fix-It Friends! With Jude working on sets, Cora on costumes, Ezra on stage lights, and Veronica by her side on stage, Liv is surrounded by just the right crew to help her get ready for opening night. After all, the show must go on! Told in Veronica’s charismatic, enthusiastic, and funny voice, The Show Must Go On is the third book in The Fix-It Friends series, which makes childhood issues accessible for chapter book readers. Includes a toolbox of expert advice on how to approach reading challenges! Don’t miss the other Fix-It Friends adventures: The Fix-It Friends: Have No Fear! The Fix-It Friends: Sticks and Stones The Fix-It Friends: Wish You Were Here The Fix-It Friends: Eyes on the Prize The Fix-It Friends: Three’s a Crowd An Imprint Book Praise for The Fix-It Friends: Have No Fear!: “Fears are scary! But don’t worry: the Fix-It Friends are here with step-by-step help —and humor too.”—Fran Manushkin, author of the Katie Woo series “Full of heart and more than a little spunk” —Kathleen Lane, author of The Best Worst Thing An empowering resource for kids — and they’re just plain fun to read.” —Lauren Knickerbocker, Ph.D., Co-Director, Early Childhood Service, NYU Child Study Center “Hooray for these young friends who work together; this diverse crew will have readers looking forward to more.” —Kirkus Reviews “The humor is spot-on, and the stories pull kids in, teaching without preaching, encouraging children to be active problem-solvers in their own lives.” —Dr. Dawn Huebner, Ph. D., child psychologist and creator of the What-to-Do Guides for Kids series

Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Coming Of Age and...

Books About Coming Of Age and Family

Andi Unexpected
Written by Amanda Flower
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The first in a new middle-grade mystery series, in Andi Unexpected, twelve-year-old Andi Boggs, discovers evidence of her forgotten namesake, a missing relative, which leads her into a family mystery rooted in the Great Depression.

"Who Could That Be at This Hour?"
Written by Lemony Snicket & illustrated by Seth
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 3-10

The first new series by Lemony Snicket since his global phenomenon, A Series of Unfortunate Events. In a fading town, far from anyone he knew or trusted, a young Lemony Snicket began his apprenticeship in an organization nobody knows about. He began asking questions that shouldn’t have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not be published, in four volumes that shouldn’t be read. This is the first volume. Lemony Snicket has sold over 60 million copies worldwide and has been translated into 39 languages. His books have been made into a Hollywood movie starring Jim Carrey and in this new series, fans of his best-selling books, young and old, can dive back into the gothic darkness of his murky but humorous world.

"Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?"
Written by Lemony Snicket & illustrated by Seth
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Before the Baudelaires became orphans, before he encountered A Series of Unfortunate Events, even before the invention of Netflix, Lemony Snicket was a boy discovering the mysteries of the world. Train travel! Murder! Librarians! A Series Finale! On all other nights, the train departs from Stain’d Station and travels to the city without stopping. But not tonight. You might ask, why is this night different from all other nights? But that’s the wrong question. Instead ask, where is this all heading? And what happens at the end of the line? The final book in Lemony Snicket’s bestselling series, All the Wrong Questions. span

Honorable Mentions
  1. "When Did You See Her Last?" - Before the Baudelaires became orphans, before he encountered A Series of Unfortunate Events, even before the invention of Netflix, Lemony Snicket was a boy discovering the mysteries of the world. I should have asked the question “How could someone who was missing be in two places at once?” Instead, I asked the wrong question — four wrong questions, more or less. This is the account of the second. In the fading town of Stain’d-by-the-Sea, young apprentice Lemony Snicket has a new case to solve when he and his chaperone are hired to find a missing girl. Is the girl a runaway? Or was she kidnapped? Was she seen last at the grocery store? Or could she have stopped at the diner? Is it really any of your business? These are All The Wrong Questions.

  2. It's Not the End of the World - Can Karen keep her parents from getting a divorce? This classic novel from Judy Blume has a fresh new look. Karen couldn’t tell Mrs. Singer why she had to take her Viking diorama out of the sixth-grade showcase. She felt like yelling, “To keep my parents from getting divorced!” But she couldn’t say it, and the whole class was looking at her anyway. Karen’s world was ending. Her father had moved out of the house weeks before; now he was going to Las Vegas to get divorced, and her mother was pleased! She had only a few days to get the two of them together in the same room. Maybe, if she could, they would just forget about the divorce. Then the Newman family could be its old self again—maybe. But Karen knew something she didn’t know last winter: that sometimes people who shouldn’t be apart are impossible together.

  3. The Summer of the Swans - A Newbery Medal Winner All summer Sara Godfrey has fretted over herself, her impossible body, her terrible new haircut. One moment she’s elated, the next, she’s in tears. And she can’t figure out why. Maybe her wildly changing moods are tied to the sudden and unaccountable appearance of the swans, which hold the rapt attention of Charlie, Sara’s mentally handicapped brother, who she loves far more than herself these days. In fact, it will be the sudden disappearance of Charlie that will compel Sara to abandon her own small, annoying miseries, and lose herself in searching for him. In her anguish, Sara turns to Joe Melby, whom she has long despised, and together they search through the dense woods and rough fields to find him. Sara knows that she will never be the same again. “A compelling story.”—Publishers Weekly

  4. Husky - Twelve-year-old Davis lives in an old brownstone with his mother and grandmother in Brooklyn. He loves people-watching in Prospect Park, visiting his mom in the bakery she owns, and listening to the biggest operas he can find as he walks everywhere. But Davis is having a difficult summer. As questions of sexuality begin to enter his mind, he worries people don’t see him as anything other than “husky.” To make matters worse, his best girlfriends are starting to hang out with mean girls and popular boys. Davis is equally concerned about the distance forming between him and his single mother as she begins dating again, and about his changing relationship with his amusingly loud Irish grandmother, Nanny. Ultimately, Davis learns to see himself outside of his one defining adjective. He’s a kid with unique interests, admirable qualities, and people who will love him no matter what changes life brings about.

Books About Coming Of Age and Culture

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Written by J. K. Rowling & illustrated by Mary GrandPré
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

It all comes down to this - a final faceoff between good and evil. You plan to pull out all the stops, but every time you solve one mystery, three more evolve. Do you stay the course you started, despite your lack of progress? Do you detour and follow a new lead that may not help? Do you listen to your instincts, or your friends?

Lord Voldemort is preparing for battle and so must Harry. With Ron and Hermione at his side, he’s trying to hunt down Voldemort’s Horcruxes, escape danger at every turn, and find a way to defeat evil once and for all. How does it all end? Find out in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Light a Candle
Written by Eric Walters and Godfrey Nkongolo & illustrated by Eva Campbell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Co-written by Eric Walters and Godfrey Nkongolo, Light a Candle weaves non- fiction with fiction to tell the story of a boy coming of age in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro and his father, the chief of their tribe. The boy climbs the mountain against his father’s wishes to fulfill a request of the country’s first leader, Julius Nyerere, to light a candle on the top of the mountain and unify the mainland of Tanganyika and the islands of Zanzibar as one country, the United Republic of Tanzania.

Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.
Written by Judy Blume
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Margaret shares her secrets and her spirituality in this iconic Judy Blume novel, beloved by millions, that now has a fresh new look.

Margaret Simon, almost twelve, likes long hair, tuna fish, the smell of rain, and things that are pink. She’s just moved from New York City to Farbook, New Jersey, and is anxious to fit in with her new friends—Nancy, Gretchen, and Janie. When they form a secret club to talk about private subjects like boys, bras, and getting their first periods, Margaret is happy to belong.

But none of them can believe Margaret doesn’t have religion, and that she isn’t going to the Y or the Jewish Community Center. What they don’t know is Margaret has her own very special relationship with God. She can talk to God about everything—family, friends, even Moose Freed, her secret crush.

Margaret is funny and real, and her thoughts and feelings are oh-so-relatable—you’ll feel like she’s talking right to you, sharing her secrets with a friend.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Little Men - Little Men, or Life at Plumfield with Jo’s Boys, was first published in 1871. The novel reprises characters from Little Women and is considered by some the second book in an unofficial Little Women trilogy, which is completed with Alcott’s 1886 novel Jo’s Boys. This book tells the story of Jo Bhaer and the children at Plumfield Estate School. It was inspired by the death of Alcott’s brother-in-law. It has been adapted to film and television.

  2. Julie of the Wolves - Lost on the Tundra To her small Eskimo village, she is known as Miyax; to her friend in San Francisco, she is Julie. When the village is no longer safe for her, Miyax runs away. But she soon finds herself lost in the Alaskan wilderness, without food, without even a compass to guide her. Slowly she is accepted by a pack of Arctic wolves, Mid she grows to love them as though they were family. With their help, and drawing on her father’s teachings, Miyax struggles day by clay to survive. But the time comes when she must leave the wilderness and choose between the old ways an(] the new. Which will she choose? For she is Miyax of the Eskimos—but Julie of the Wolves. Faced with the prospect of a disagreeable arranged marriage or a journey acoss the barren Alaskan tundra, 13-year-old Miyax chooses the tundra. She finds herself caught between the traditional Eskimo ways and the modern ways of the whites. Miyax, or Julie as her pen pal Amy calls her, sets out alone to visit Amy in San Francisco, a world far away from Eskimo culture and the frozen land of Alaska. During her long and arduous journey, Miyax comes to appreciate the value of her Eskimo heritage, learns about herself, and wins the friednship of a pack of wolves. After learning the language of the wolves and slowly earning their trust, Julie becomes a member of the pack. Since its first publication, Julie of The Wolves,winner of thr 1973 Newbery Medal, has found its way into the hearts of millions of readers.

  3. Matilda Bone - Into the fascinating, pungent setting of Blood and Bone Alley, home of leech, barber-surgeon, and apothecary, comes Matilda, raised by a priest to disdain worldly affairs and spend all her time in study and prayer. To Matilda’s dismay, her new occupation will not involve Latin or writing, but practical tasks: lighting the fire, going to market, mixing plasters and poultices, and helping Red Peg the Bonesetter treat patients. She is appalled by the worldliness of her new surroundings, and the sharp-tongued saints she turns to for advice are no help at all.  Filled with witty dialogue and richly authentic detail, Matilda Bone is a compelling comic novel about a girl who learns to see herself and others clearly, to laugh, and to live contentedly in this world.

  4. Rodzina - Rodzina Clara Jadwiga Anastazya Brodski, a strong and stubborn Polish orphan, leaves Chicago on an orphan train, expecting to be adopted and turned into a slave—or worse, not to be adopted at all. As the train rattles westward, she  begins to develop attachments to her fellow travelers, even the frosty orphan guardian, and to believe that there might be good homes for orphans—maybe even for a big, combative Polish girl. But no placement seems right for the formidable Rodzina, and she cleverly finds a way out of one unfortunate situation after another until at last she finds the family that is right for her.  The compelling narrative is laced with wry humor and keen observation, full of memorable characters, and a thoroughly researched Afterword.

Books About Coming Of Age and School

Replay
Written by Sharon Creech
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Leo’s papa stood in the doorway, gazing down at him. “Leo, you make gold from pebbles,” and the way he said it, Leo could tell that this was a good thing. He may have been given a bit part in the school play … but Leo dreams he is the biggest star on Broadway. Sure, his big, noisy family makes him feel like a sardine squashed in a tin … but in his fantasy he gets all the attention he wants. Yes, his papa seems sad and distracted … but Leo imagines him as a boy, tap-dancing and singing with delight. That’s why they call Leo “fog boy.” He’s always dreaming, always replaying things in his brain. He fantasizes about who he is in order to discover who he will become. As an actor in the school play, he is poised and ready for the curtain to open. But in the play that is his life, Leo is eager to discover what part will be his.

One Time
Written by Sharon Creech
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Imaginative, eleven-year-old Gina, her mysterious new neighbor, Antonio, and their classmates are inspired by an unusual young teacher to see who they are and envision who they are meant to become.

Ramona the Brave
Written by Beverly Cleary & illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Newbery Medal–winning author Beverly Cleary lovingly chronicles the ups and downs of elementary school woes. This is perfect for fans of Clementine.

For a girl as enthusiastic about life as Ramona, starting the first grade should be easy! But with a teacher who doesn’t understand her, a tattletale classmate, and a scary dog who follows her on the walk home from school, Ramona has a hard time acting like the big girl everyone expects her to be. But when she shows up to school with a missing shoe, Ramona gets a fresh grip on her courage in order to make it through a mortifying situation.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Otis Spofford - When it comes to stirring up a little excitement in class, Otis Spofford knows just what to do. He can turn a folk dance fiesta into a three-ring circus . . . or an arithmetic lesson into a spitball marathon. Best of all, Otis likes teasing neat, well-behaved Ellen Tebbits—until the day his teasing goes too far. Now Otis is nervous, because Ellen isn’t just mad . . . she’s planning something!

  2. Anastasia, Absolutely - What could possibly go wrong when Anastasia Krupnik walks to a mailbox early one morning with two packages and a dog? A mail mix-up of a most embarrassing kind.  Instead of mailing the letter, she deposits her dog’s morning business! As her school “Values” class debates moral issues and the local police confiscate the corner mailbox, Anastasia faces a dilemma of her own. Should she confess? What is the right thing to do? With her characteristic integrity and humor, Anastasia weighs her options.

Books About Coming Of Age and Action And Adventure

Waiting for Chicken Smith
Written & illustrated by David Mackintosh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A story about childhood friendships, anticipation, and the magic moments that arise while you’re waiting for something else to happen. Every year a young boy stays in the same cabin at the beach with his family. And every year his friend Chicken Smith stays in the next cabin over. But this year, something’s different: Chicken Smith hasn’t shown up yet. The boy’s little sister, MaryAnn, keeps trying to get his attention, but he’s too busy remembering all of his adventures with Chicken Smith — and thinking about everything they’re going to do this summer. Is Chicken ever going to show up? And just what has MaryAnn been yelling about? David Mackintosh’s ode to small summer wonders will make readers of all ages open their eyes to the quick, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments happening all around them.

Katfish
Written & illustrated by Obert Skye
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

A schoolwide event inspired by the Hunger Games and a girl with the strength of Katniss Everdeen (plus a scaly mermaid tail)—is Rob Burnside in store for even more trouble than usual? Find out in Book 4 in Obert Skye’s middle grade Creature from My Closet series. Rob Burnside’s life is in ruins. After his escapades with Pinocula and his resulting outrageous lies, everyone is fed up with him. Rob needs help. And his science laboratory closet is there to give him a hand. Meet Katfish, a mashup of Katniss from the Hunger Games and the Little Mermaid. This girl is strong as nails and sports a tail. Everyone at Rob’s school is excited about an upcoming riff on the Hunger Games created by Principal Smelt: the Fun-ger Games. Rob is less excited because the principal and his mom have roped him into participating. But Katfish is sticking around to help Rob out with girl advice, Fun-ger Games tips, and how to get people to stop hating him. What could go wrong? Praise for Katfish: “Drawing from The Wimpy Kid school of adolescent humor, scenes like a drenching water balloon mishap, a food fight at the family dinner table, and a clever parody of ‘The Fun-ger Games,’ should appeal to reluctant and enthusiastic readers alike. The line drawings are reminiscent of doodles middle school boys draw when they should be taking notes. Engaging cartoons, quick dialogue in speech squares, and generous white space break up text segments, make this book an inviting, independent read.” —Children’s Literature Read the Creature in My Closet series: Wonkenstein Potterwookie Pinocula Katfish The Lord of the Hat Batneezer

Dealing with Dragons
Written by Patricia C. Wrede
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

Meet Princess Cimorene—a princess who refustes to be proper. She is everything a princess is not supposed to be: headstrong, tomobyish smart…

And bored.

So bored that she runs away to live with a dragon. And not just any dragon, but Kazul—one of the most powerful and dangerous dragons arounds. Of course, Cimorene has a way of hooking up with dangerous characters, and soon she’s coping with a witch,a a jinn, a death-dealing talking bird, a stone prince, and some very oily wizards.

If this princess ran away to find some excitement, it looks like she’s found plenty! With a new look and new introduction from the author.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling’s beloved collection of short stories about a boy raised by wolves who learns the Laws of the Jungle. Mowgli, lost in the deep jungle as a child, is adopted into a family of wolves. Hunted by Shere Khan, the Bengal tiger, Mowgli is allowed to run with the wolf pack under the protection of Bagheera, the black panther, and Baloo, the brown bear who teaches wolf cubs the Laws of the Jungle.

  2. Ninth Ward - In New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, twelve-year-old Lanesha, who can see spirits, and her adopted grandmother have no choice but to stay and weather the storm as Hurricane Katrina bears down upon them.

  3. Sunker's Deep - Action, adventure, and mystery surround the Sunkers, a band of children who live in a submarine, as they try to survive a war in Book Two of the Icebreaker Trilogy . Sharkey is a Sunker - he was born on a fortunate tide, and everyone in the giant submersible Rampart knows it. He’s a hero, a future admiral, beloved by the ancestors. The trouble is his life is based on a lie. He’s been a fake hero for years, but when tragedy strikes, he must become a real one. And he has no idea how to go about it.Meanwhile, on land, Petrel, Fin, and the crew of the Oyster are on a mission to defeat the Devouts and bring lost knowledge back into the world, a mission they have no idea how to carry out. This second installment of the Icebreaker trilogy features action, adventure, and a world that is perhaps not so different from our own.

  4. Anya and the Dragon - This lush tale of magic and dragons is a gem for any adventure-seeking middle grader and perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the End of Time. Anya and the Dragon is the story of fantasy and mayhem in tenth century Eastern Europe, where headstrong eleven-year-old Anya is a daughter of the only Jewish family in her village. When her family’s livelihood is threatened by a bigoted magistrate, Anya is lured in by a friendly family of fools, who promise her money in exchange for helping them capture the last dragon in Kievan Rus. This seems easy enough, until she finds out that the scary old dragon isn’t as old—or as scary—as everyone thought. Now Anya is faced with a choice: save the dragon, or save her family.

Books About Coming Of Age and Self-esteem

The Midwife's Apprentice
Written by Karen Cushman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

From the author of Catherine, Called Birdy comes another spellbinding novel set in medieval England. The girl known only as Brat has no family, no home, and no future until she meets Jane the Midwife and becomes her apprentice. As she helps the sharp-tempered Jane deliver babies, Brat—who renames herself Alyce—gains knowledge, confidence, and the courage to want something from life: “A full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world.” Medieval village life makes a lively backdrop for the funny, poignant story of how Alyce gets what she wants. A concluding note discusses midwifery past and present. A Newbery Medal book.

Echo's Sister
Written by Paul Mosier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From critically acclaimed author Paul Mosier, a Publishers Weekly Flying Start, comes a stunning story about the beauty of family, the power of community, and ultimately the strength of the human spirit. Twelve-year-old El has planned on making her first week at a new school fantastic. She won’t go by her given name, Laughter. She’ll sit in the back of the classroom where she can make new friends. She won’t even have time to think about all the fun her old friends are having without her. Everything will be great. But when her dad picks her up after school and tells her that her younger sister, Echo, has a life-threatening illness, her world is suddenly turned upside down. And with her parents now pressed for time and money, El feels lost and powerless. Then she befriends Octavius, the only other kid in school who gets what she’s going through. As El begins to adjust to her new life, she soon finds that maybe a little hope and a lot of love can overcome any obstacle.

Smile
Written & illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going.

Honorable Mentions
  1. New Kid - New York Times bestselling author and former NFL defensive end Tim Green delivers another baseball tale that will keep kids on the edge of their seats. Perfect for fans of Mike Lupica or Dan Gutman’s Baseball Card Adventure series. Tommy’s the new kid in town, like he’s been so many times before. Now he goes by the name Brock, and he’s having a hard time fitting in, especially when his new friend is the bully from the wrong side of the tracks. Thanks to a prank gone wrong, the baseball coach notices Brock and offers him a place on his failing baseball team. But can Brock prove himself on and off the field before he becomes a new kid…again?

  2. The Humiliations of Pipi McGee - Award-winning author Beth Vrabel writes with humor and empathy about a girl who wants to shed her embarrassing moments before she leaves middle school behind her. The first eight years of Penelope McGee’s education have been a curriculum in humiliation. Now she is on a quest for redemption, and a little bit of revenge. From her kindergarten self-portrait as a bacon with boobs, to fourth grade when she peed her pants in the library thanks to a stuck zipper to seventh grade where…well, she doesn’t talk about seventh grade. Ever. After hearing the guidance counselor lecturing them on how high school will be a clean slate for everyone, Pipi—fearing that her eight humiliations will follow her into the halls of Northbrook High School—decides to use her last year in middle school to right the wrongs of her early education and save other innocents from the same picked-on, laughed-at fate. Pipi McGee is seeking redemption, but she’ll take revenge, too.

  3. Karma Khullar's Mustache - In the tradition of Judy Blume, debut author Kristi Wientge tackles the uncomfortable—but all too relatable—subject of female body hair and self-esteem with this “sparkling and triumphant tale of a middle school misfit” (Heather Vogel Frederick). Karma Khullar is about to start middle school, and she is super nervous. Not just because it seems like her best friend has found a newer, blonder best friend. Or the fact that her home life is shaken up by the death of her dadima. Or even that her dad is the new stay-at-home parent, leading her mother to spend most of her time at work. But because she’s realized that she has seventeen hairs that have formed a mustache on her upper lip. With everyone around her focused on other things, Karma is left to figure out what to make of her terrifyingly hairy surprise all on her own.

  4. Shadow of a Bull - Manolo was only three when his father, the great bullfighter Juan Olivar, died. But Juan is never far from Manolo’s consciousness — how could he be, with the entire town of Arcangel waiting for the day Manolo will fulfill his father’s legacy? But Manolo has a secret he dares to share with no one — he is a coward, without afición, the love of the sport that enables a bullfighter to rise above his fear and face a raging bull. As the day when he must enter the ring approaches, Manolo finds himself questioning which requires more courage: to follow in his father’s legendary footsteps or to pursue his own destiny?

Books About Coming Of Age and Siblings

The Fix-It Friends: The Show Must Go On
Written by Nicole C. Kear & illustrated by Tracy Dockray
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

In the third adventure in Nicole C. Kear’s sweet chapter book series, it’s up to the Fix-It Friends to help the star of the school play prepare for opening night. Because reading isn’t always as easy as ABC. It’s a dream come true! Veronica’s playing the Queen of Hearts in the school play. It’s perfect: She gets to be a star and scream her head off! Even better, she makes an amazing new friend. Liv, who’s playing Alice, is a natural—it seems there’s nothing she can’t do! That is, until she reveals to Veronica that reading is really hard for her. To learn her lines, she’s going to need a lot of help. That’s the cue for the Fix-It Friends! With Jude working on sets, Cora on costumes, Ezra on stage lights, and Veronica by her side on stage, Liv is surrounded by just the right crew to help her get ready for opening night. After all, the show must go on! Told in Veronica’s charismatic, enthusiastic, and funny voice, The Show Must Go On is the third book in The Fix-It Friends series, which makes childhood issues accessible for chapter book readers. Includes a toolbox of expert advice on how to approach reading challenges! Don’t miss the other Fix-It Friends adventures: The Fix-It Friends: Have No Fear! The Fix-It Friends: Sticks and Stones The Fix-It Friends: Wish You Were Here The Fix-It Friends: Eyes on the Prize The Fix-It Friends: Three’s a Crowd An Imprint Book Praise for The Fix-It Friends: Have No Fear!: “Fears are scary! But don’t worry: the Fix-It Friends are here with step-by-step help —and humor too.”—Fran Manushkin, author of the Katie Woo series “Full of heart and more than a little spunk” —Kathleen Lane, author of The Best Worst Thing An empowering resource for kids — and they’re just plain fun to read.” —Lauren Knickerbocker, Ph.D., Co-Director, Early Childhood Service, NYU Child Study Center “Hooray for these young friends who work together; this diverse crew will have readers looking forward to more.” —Kirkus Reviews “The humor is spot-on, and the stories pull kids in, teaching without preaching, encouraging children to be active problem-solvers in their own lives.” —Dr. Dawn Huebner, Ph. D., child psychologist and creator of the What-to-Do Guides for Kids series

Farah Rocks Fifth Grade
Written by Susan Muaddi Darraj & illustrated by Ruaida Mannaa
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-10

Farah and her best friend, Allie Liu, are getting excited to turn in their applications to the Magnet Academy, where they both hope to attend sixth grade. But when new girl Dana Denver shows up, Farah’s world is turned upside down. As Dana starts bullying Farah’s little brother, Samir, Farah begins to second-guess her choice to leave him behind at Harbortown Elementary/Middle School. Determined to handle it on her own, Farah comes up with a plan—a plan that involves lying to those closest to her. Will her lies catch up with her, or can Farah find a way to defeat the bully and rock fifth grade?

House of Robots: Robot Revolution
Written by Chris Grabenstein and James Patterson & illustrated by Juliana Neufeld
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Robots on strike! Sammy’s underappreciated mechanical helpers are causing chaos in book 3 of the bestselling House of Robots series. After a few early glitches in their relationship, Sammy and his “bro-bot” E are now fast friends. In fact, E is such a valued member of the family that the other electronic occupants of the House of Robots are feeling sorely unappreciated. And when Sammy’s inventor mom becomes distracted by a top-secret project, the robots soon begin to fall into disrepair. Cue a robot revolt, with the droids wreaking harmless havoc in the house! Armed with pranks like glue in the shampoo bottles and flying toast missiles, the robots demand to be cared for. It’s up to Sammy and his disabled sister Maddie to keep the peace until his mom reveals her secret project…and why it was worth the wait.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Superfudge - Part of the classic Fudge series from Judy Blume, bestselling author of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing! Farley Drexel Hatcher—otherwise known as Fudge—thinks he’s a superhero, but his older brother, Peter, knows Fudge is nothing but a big pain! Dealing with Fudge is hard enough, but now Peter’s parents have decided to move to New Jersey for an entire year! Even worse, Peter’s mom is going to have a new baby. And if this baby is anything like Fudge—help! How will Peter ever survive? “As a kid, Judy Blume was my favorite author, and _Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing_ was my favorite book.”—Jeff Kinney, author of the bestselling Wimpy Kid series Love Fudge, Peter, and Sheila? Read all these books featuring your favorite characters:
    Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
    Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great
    Fudge-a-Mania

    Double Fudge 

  2. Peace, Locomotion - Twelve-year-old Lonnie is finally feeling at home with his foster family. But because he’s living apart from his little sister, Lili, he decides it’s his job to be the “rememberer”—and write down everything that happens while they’re growing up. Lonnie’s musings are bittersweet; he’s happy that he and Lili have new families, but though his new family brings him joy, it also brings new worries. With a foster brother in the army, concepts like Peace have new meaning for Lonnie.Told through letters from Lonnie to Lili, this thought-provoking companion to Jacqueline Woodson’s National Book Award finalist Locomotion tackles important issues in captivating, lyrical language. Lonnie’s reflections on family, loss, love and peace will strike a note with readers of all ages.

  3. Here's to You, Rachel Robinson - From the New York Times bestselling author of Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and the adult bestseller In the Unlikely Event comes a tale of family, friendship, and pre-teen life like only JUDY BLUME can deliver. The companion to Just As Long As We’re Together.
     
     
    CAN YOU BE too perfect?
     
    From the outside, Rachel looks like the perfect daughter in the perfect family. She’s a straight-A student, a gifted musician, and a good friend. But Rachel feels as if it’s all falling apart. Her brother, Charles, was just kicked out of boarding school and is now at home, wreaking havoc. Her sister, Jessica, has problems of her own, which Rachel thinks it’s her job to help solve. And Rachel herself is considering adding drama club, community service, and class president to her already crowded roster of activities. Rachel’s best friends, Stephanie and Alison, urge Rachel to lighten up and enjoy the end of seventh grade. Easy for them to say. Not so easy for Rachel. Not even when Jeremy Dragon, the coolest boy in ninth grade, notices her. Is it possible that perfection isn’t the key to an exciting life?
     
    An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
    “A master.” —SLJ

  4. Max's New Suit - These irresistible Max & Ruby board books will introduce the youngest readers to the beloved bunny pair, who star in their own show on Nick Jr. and Noggin. In Max’s New Suit, Max has his own ideas about how to wear his hated new suit, in spite of Ruby’s careful instructions.

Books About Coming Of Age and Feelings And Emotions

My So-Called Superpowers: All the Feels
Written by Heather Nuhfer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The third book in a heartwarming middle-grade series about a girl whose emotions turn into uncontrollable superpowers. Veronica’s powers have taught her a lot—about her family, her friends, and how to be herself. They’ve also literally rained on her parade, turned her green with jealousy, and set her school on fire. You win some, you lose some. Now Veronica’s finally figuring out how to control her superpowers. But then she discovers there might be a way to get rid of them forever—and to live a “normal” life.

Featuring ten black-and-white illustrations, All the Feels raises the stakes for this middle-school girl who has to decide if being “normal” is as fun as going on a roller-coaster ride of superpowered emotion.

The Fix-It Friends: Three's a Crowd
Written by Nicole C. Kear & illustrated by Tracy Dockray
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Because no one likes to feel left out.

Friends are like sprinkles on a birthday cake—you can never have too many! So when a new girl named Margot joins the class, Veronica and her BFF, Cora, welcome her with open arms. Everything about Margot is super exciting— from her fashion designer mom to the perfect French she speaks—and everyone loves her. Especially Cora.

Before long, Cora and Margot have matching outfits and rhyming nicknames. Veronica feels left out, big time, but she won’t give up on her best friend without a fight. Trouble is, the harder she tries to hold on to Cora, the more she pushes her away—until the two besties end up in a showdown that hurts more than just feelings.

It’s a job for the Fix-It Friends, to be sure. But can the president of the problem-solvers accept help herself?

The Giver
Written by Lois Lowry
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick

The Giver, the 1994 Newbery Medal winner, has become one of the most influential novels of our time. The haunting story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal, if colorless, world of conformity and contentment. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver of Memory does he begin to understand the dark, complex secrets behind his fragile community. Lois Lowry has written three companion novels to The Giver, including Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Son - They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice. Son thrusts readers once again into the chilling world of the Newbery Medal winning book, The Giver, as well as Gathering Blue and Messenger where a new hero emerges. In this thrilling series finale, the startling and long-awaited conclusion to Lois Lowry’s epic tale culminates in a final clash between good and evil.

  2. My So-Called Superpowers - The first book in a quirky and funny coming-of-age series follows a girl whose emotions physically manifest themselves for the whole world to see. Veronica’s story is sure to resonate with readers who feel desperate to fit in. Illustrations.

  3. Anastasia Off Her Rocker - Anastasia’s seventh-grade science project becomes almost more than she can handle, but brother Sam, age three, and a bust of Freud nobly aid her.

  4. Then Again, Maybe I Won't - Get a guy’s perspective on adolescent hang-ups in this classic Judy Blume novel, now with a fresh new look. “That’s an interesting way to solve the problem, Tony.” Miss Tobin is talking about a math problem on the blackboard, but Tony is thinking about real problems. If his parents or his friend Joel or Joel’s sixteen-year-old sister Lisa knew what Tony was thinking about a lot of the time, they’d probably freak out. About snitching on Joel, who Tony knows is a shoplifter. About watching Lisa undress each night and liking what he sees. About money and the changes money makes in people (especially his mother). Hung up at thirteen. That’s Tony Miglione—especially this morning in math class in front of Miss Tobin, for everyone to see…

Books About Coming Of Age and Middle School

The Places We Sleep
Written & illustrated by Caroline DuBois
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A family divided, a country going to war, and a girl desperate to feel at home converge in this stunning novel in verse.

It’s early September 2001, and twelve-year-old Abbey is the new kid at school. Again.

I worry about people speaking to me / and worry just the same / when they don’t.

Tennessee is her family’s latest stop in a series of moves due to her dad’s work in the Army, but this one might be different. Her school is far from Base, and for the first time, Abbey has found a real friend: loyal, courageous, athletic Camille.

And then it’s September 11. The country is under attack, and Abbey’s “home” looks like it might fall apart. America has changed overnight.

How are we supposed / to keep this up / with the world / crumbling / around us?

Abbey’s body changes, too, while her classmates argue and her family falters. Like everyone around her, she tries to make sense of her own experience as a part of the country’s collective pain. With her mother grieving and her father prepping for active duty, Abbey must learn to cope on her own.

Written in gorgeous narrative verse, Abbey’s coming-of-age story accessibly portrays the military family experience during a tumultuous period in our history. At once personal and universal, it’s a perfect read for fans of sensitive, tender-hearted books like The Thing About Jellyfish.

Boy Bites Bug
Written & illustrated by Rebecca Petruck
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

To defuse a situation between his best friend and a new student, Nolan eats a live stink bug, gaining popularity and a class project idea but, perhaps, losing a friend.

Rodrick Rules
Written & illustrated by Jeff Kinney
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Whatever you do, don’t ask Greg Heffley how he spent his summer vacation, because he definitely doesn’t want to talk about it.

As Greg enters the new school year, he’s eager to put the past three months behind him . . . and one event in particular. Unfortunately for Greg, his older brother, Rodrick, knows all about the incident Greg wants to keep under wraps. But secrets have a way of getting out . . . especially when a diary is involved.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules chronicles Greg’s attempts to navigate the hazards of middle school, impress the girls, steer clear of the school talent show, and most important, keep his secret safe. The highly anticipated sequel to the #1 New York Times bestselling book!

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Wednesday Wars - During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker’s classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns muchof value about the world he lives in.

  2. So Done - When best friends Tai and Mila are reunited after a summer apart, their friendship threatens to combust from the pressure of secrets, middle school, and the looming dance auditions for a new talented-and-gifted program. Fans of Renée Watson’s Piecing Me Together will love this memorable story about a complex friendship between two very different African American girls—and the importance of speaking up. Jamila Phillips and Tai Johnson have been inseparable since they were toddlers, having grown up across the street from each other in Pirates Cove, a low-income housing project. As summer comes to an end, Tai can’t wait for Mila to return from spending a month with her aunt in the suburbs. But both girls are grappling with secrets, and when Mila returns she’s more focused on her upcoming dance auditions than hanging out with Tai. Paula Chase explores complex issues that affect many young teens, and So Done offers a powerful message about speaking up. Full of ballet, basketball, family, and daily life in Pirates Cove, this memorable novel is for fans of Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish and Jason Reynolds’s Ghost.

  3. Blubber - What happens when teasing goes too far? This classic middle grade novel from Judy Blume addresses the timeless topic of bullying and has a fresh new look. “Blubber is a good name for her,” the note from Caroline said about Linda. Jill crumpled it up and left it on the corner of her school desk. She didn’t want to think about Linda or her dumb report on whales just then. Jill wanted to think about Halloween. But Robby grabbed the note and before Linda stopped talking it had gone halfway around the room. There was something about Linda that made a lot of kids in her fifth-grade class want to see how far they could go…but nobody, Jill least of all, expected the fun to end where it did.

  4. TBH #2: TBH, This May Be TMI - Told entirely in text messages, the second book in this addictive series from the acclaimed author of 11 Before 12 is perfect for fans of Lauren Myracle and Rachel Renee Russell. TBH, Cece has no time for her boy-crazy friends. She wants to make a bigger impact in middle school than just choosing the perfect kissy cat-face emoji. But that’s hard when Gabby and Prianka talk about their crushes 24/7. (To be honest, it’s way too much information!) Between nailing down summer plans, getting busted for iMessaging in class, and organizing the spring fair, things are getting rocky for the BFFs. But when Prianka gets an SOS text from her friend Vishal, the girls realize they need to band together—because some of their classmates have bigger challenges than dealing with sixth grade stress.

Books About Coming Of Age and Friendship

TBH #4: TBH, IDK What's Next
Written & illustrated by Lisa Greenwald
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Three BFFs set out to have the BEST SUMMER EVER in the fourth book in this addictive series told entirely in text messages.

BFFAEs Prianka, Cece, and Gabby are ready to have an unforgettable summer—but they don’t agree on what that means.

For Cece and Gabby, everything is CAMP, CAMP, CAMP! But Prianka wants to forget about sleeping in the woods and hang out at the pool before her big family trip to India. Gabby won’t stop obsessing over the likes on her camp photos while Cece won’t pick up her phone at all.

With “back-to-school” looming and relationships changing at lightning speed, can CPG4Eva sort out their differences before classes start and things really change?

Batneezer: The Creature From My Closet
Written by Obert Skye
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

For the first time, Rob Burnside knows when his closet is about to open—but he’s not prepared for what emerges. A mash-up of Ebenezer Scrooge and Lego Batman, this new visitor’s unusual antics are only one of Rob’s problems.While enduring visits by the ghosts of books past, present,and future, Rob learns some shocking news: A battle is brewing, and his school needs a hero. What he gets is so much more. (Spoiler alert: All the creatures from past books come visit!)

My Life as a Youtuber
Written by Janet Tashjian
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Book 7 of the much-loved My Life series that has the irrepressible Derek Fallon starting his own Youtube web series! Derek Fallon finally found something to get excited about at school—an extracurricular class on making videos! Together with his friends Carly, Matt, and Umberto, Derek can’t wait to create his own Youtube web series. But he soon realizes Youtube stardom is a lot of work. On top of that, it’s time for his foster monkey Frank to go to monkey college so Derek must scramble to find a reason for Frank to stay with his family—if only a little while longer. Can Derek solve both problems at once? What if Frank became a part of Derek’s Youtube videos? Here’s another funny and thoughtful novel in the series that centers around most every tween today’s pastime—Youtube! A Christy Ottaviano Book

Honorable Mentions
  1. Miss Fortune - Zoe’s never been superstitious, so when she and her best friend Mia have their fortunes read at a carnival, she doesn’t take it seriously. In fact, Zoe mocks the fortune-teller. But the woman gives Zoe a necklace to seal her fortune, and as soon as Zoe puts it on, unexplained things begin to happen to her. Her bike spins out of control, a fire starts in the oven when it isn’t on, and Zoe begins receiving threatening texts and emails. The necklace must be cursed! But when Zoe and Mia return to the site of the carnival, it’s gone! Can they break the curse before something terrible happens?

  2. Henry and the Paper Route - Newbery Medal–winning author Beverly Cleary gives readers a hero they’ll relate to, and root for, in this comical and inspiring novel about Henry Huggins’s mission to prove himself worthy of his very own paper route. All the older kids work their own paper route, but because Henry is not eleven yet, Mr. Capper won’t let him. Desperate to change his mind, Henry tries everything he can think of to show he’s mature and responsible enough for the job. From offering free kittens to new subscribers, to hauling hundreds of pounds of old newspapers for his school’s paper drive, there’s nothing Henry won’t try. But it might just be the irrepressible Ramona Quimby who shows Mr. Capper just how capable Henry is.

  3. The Fix-It Friends: Eyes on the Prize - Because paying attention can be tricky. Veronica Conti’s on a mission. She wants a trophy. She needs a trophy. She will not rest until a glorious golden trophy is in her hands! So when her school’s 100 Day Contest is announced, Veronica vows to take home the grand prize. But when Veronica gets teamed up with none other than Matthew Sawyer, her biggest enemy, she thinks all hope is lost. Matt gets distracted and has a history of losing stuff, not to mention that he and Veronica can’t stop arguing. To win the prize, Matt needs to organize. And to do that, he needs the Fix It Friends! Together, the friends help Matt and Veronica discover that unexpected friendship is the best prize of all.

Books About Coming Of Age and Social Themes

Little Bear's Little Boat
Written by Eve Bunting & illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

Little Bear loves his little boat. But Little Bear soon begins to grow and grow, until one day he doesn’t fit in his little boat anymore! All children who experience growing pains will appreciate Little Bear’s predicament. And they will smile with satisfaction as the solution to his problem unfolds in simple, lyrical words and charming pictures from two award-winning picture-book creators.

Rules of the Ruff
Written & illustrated by Heidi Lang
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Jessie, twelve, copes with what promised to be a long, boring summer with relatives by becoming apprentice to Wes, a grouchy neighborhood dog walker, who is facing new competition.

The Castle in the Attic (35th Anniversary Edition)
Written & illustrated by Elizabeth Winthrop
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A miniature Medieval castle seems like the perfect gift—and it leads William on the adventure of a lifetime. Presenting the 35th anniversary edition of this beloved adventure. William thinks the miniature castle, complete with a drawbridge, portcullis, and a silver knight, is the perfect gift. But when a problem arises, William finds himself entering the castle and getting caught up on a daring quest, having to face a dragon, and needing to face a few personal challenges, too, before he can save the kingdom.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Jean and Johnny - First Date Fifteen-year-old Jean is astonished when a handsome Johnny whirls her ‘round the dance floor. She’s never given much thought to boys before; now Johnny is all that’s on her mind. Finally she finds the courage to invite him to a dance. But the excitement of a new dress and a scheme to take Johnny’s photograph cannot stop jean’s growing uneasiness that she likes Johnny a lot more than he likes her . . . This high-school story, which is both funny and touching, is about a girl who lacks self-confidence, and a boy who has too much.

  2. The Kid in the Red Jacket - Howard Jeeter has moved across the country and his only friend is an annoying six-year-old girl. Of course, when you’re really lonely, you’ll be friends with anyone—almost.

  3. My So-Called Superpowers: Mixed Emotions - The second book in the heartfelt, hilarious, and acclaimed series, where middle-school student Veronica’s superpowers will ruin everything—if she doesn’t beat them to it. Veronica has worked hard to get her feelings under control. Sure, sometimes a strong emotion turns into a superpower—giving her a personal raincloud on a bad day, or literally turning her green with envy. But it’s happening a lot less these days! Then she finds out what she’ll be doing at summer camp: directing her own movie with her best friend Charlie—and her best frenemy Becky. At first it seems fun, until Veronica’s superpowers start affecting other people. When Veronica calls “Action!” everyone has to do what she says. But is that the best way to make her dream movie—or to treat her friends? My So-Called Superpowers: Mixed Emotions raises the stakes on Veronica’s middle-school adventures, proving that her powers are both the best thing and the worst thing that’s ever happened to her.

  4. Fish Girl - The triple Caldecott winner David Wiesner brings his rich visual imagination and trademark artistry to the graphic novel format in a unique coming-of-age tale that begins underwater. A young mermaid, called Fish Girl, in a boardwalk aquarium has a chance encounter with an ordinary girl. Their growing friendship inspires Fish Girl’s longing for freedom, independence, and a life beyond the aquarium tank. Sparkling with humor and brilliantly visualized, Fish Girl’s story will resonate with every young person facing the challenges and rewards of growing up.

Books About Coming Of Age and Family Life

Drum Roll, Please
Written by Lisa Jenn Bigelow
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat in this big-hearted middle grade novel. Not to be missed by fans of Raina Telgemeier’s Drama and Tim Federle’s Better Nate Than Ever! Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It’s the only time she doesn’t feel like a mouse. Now she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods. But this summer brings a lot of big changes for Melly: her parents split up, her best friend ditches her, and Melly finds herself unexpectedly falling for another girl at camp. To top it all off, Melly’s not sure she has what it takes to be a real rock n’ roll drummer. Will she be able to make music from all the noise in her heart? Ami Polonsky, acclaimed author of Gracefully Grayson, raved, “Drum Roll, Please is a perfect middle-grade love story. Bigelow delivers a mighty message to turn up the volume on your inner drumbeat.”

The Summer I Saved the World...in 65 Days
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

One summer. One girl. One plan. Inspired by her late grandmother, Nina Ross sets out to do 65 anonymous good things for her family and neighbors, one for each day of summer vacation, to find out if doing good actually does any good. But things don’t turn out exactly as she envisioned.

Henry and the Clubhouse
Written by Beverly Cleary & illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Fiery Ramona Quimby and the well-meaning Henry Huggins may clash, but in this delightful and hilarious novel by Newbery Medal–winning author Beverly Cleary, it’s an unlikely compromise that wins the day.

Henry and his friends are building a no-girls-allowed clubhouse. With a private space of their own, and a top-secret password required for entry, the boys are relieved to finally have a hang-out spot they don’t have to share. But Henry’s about to find out that nothing—not even a sign—will keep gutsy Ramona out of their clubhouse…and her retaliation may just ruin Henry’s newspaper career.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Anastasia on Her Own - Anybody can run a household. All you need is a schedule. At least, that’s what Anastasia thinks. So she and her dad decide to organize Anastasia’s frazzled mother and help her run the household smoothly. But when Mom has to go away for a consulting job, Anastasia gets to test out her theory. The household quickly begins to crumble as Anastasia has to face Sam’s chicken pox, an unexpected visit from her father’s old girlfriend, and her first date ever. How is she supposed to take care of Sam and make a romantic gourmet meal? Anastasia has new-found respect for her mom and the important job she does.

  2. Anastasia Again! - Twelve-year-old Anastasia is horrified at her family’s decision to move from their city apartment to a house in the suburbs.

  3. Anna All Year Round - Eight-year-old Anna enjoys one exciting experience after another in this charming story set in Baltimore just before World War I. She gets a new winter coat that’s even better than Rosa’s, rollerskates down the steepest hill in the neighborhood, and rides the trolley all by herself. And she delights in the changes occurring in the world around her, as motorcars and electric lights appear for the first time on her street. Based on the childhood experiences of the author’s mother, these heartwarming episodes touch on timeless themes of family, friends, and the wonders of growing up.

  4. Switcharound - “Lowry fans will not be disappointed.” —_School Library Journal_   Caroline and J.P.’s father has asked them to come visit him and his new wife in Des Moines, Iowa. They don’t really want to go, but they also don’t have a say in the matter. Upon arriving, they discover they each have unexpected and unpleasant responsibilites. Caroline has to babysit their baby twin sisters and J.P. is forced to coach baseball to a bunch of six-year-olds.  The two decide to call a truce in their continual sibling warfare and help each other out. They soon discover there’s strength in numbers—and a little responsibility isn’t always a bad thing.

Books About Coming Of Age and History

Al Capone Throws Me a Curve
Written & illustrated by Gennifer Choldenko
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Moose has his hands full during the summer of 1936 watching his autistic sister, Natalie, and the warden’s daughter, Piper, and trying to get on a baseball team by proving he knows Al Capone.

When You Reach Me
Written by Rebecca Stead
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

“Like A Wrinkle in Time (Miranda’s favorite book), When You Reach Me far surpasses the usual whodunit or sci-fi adventure to become an incandescent exploration of ‘life, death, and the beauty of it all.’” —The Washington Post

This Newbery Medal winner that has been called “smart and mesmerizing,” (The New York Times) and “superb” (The Wall Street Journal) will appeal to readers of all types, especially those who are looking for a thought-provoking mystery with a mind-blowing twist.

Shortly after a fall-out with her best friend, sixth grader Miranda starts receiving mysterious notes, and she doesn’t know what to do. The notes tell her that she must write a letter—a true story, and that she can’t share her mission with anyone.

It would be easy to ignore the strange messages, except that whoever is leaving them has an uncanny ability to predict the future. If that is the case, then Miranda has a big problem—because the notes tell her that someone is going to die, and she might be too late to stop it.

Winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction A New York Times Bestseller and Notable Book Five Starred Reviews A Junior Library Guild Selection

“Absorbing.” —People

“Readers … are likely to find themselves chewing over the details of this superb and intricate tale long afterward.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Lovely and almost impossibly clever.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

“It’s easy to imagine readers studying Miranda’s story as many times as she’s read L’Engle’s, and spending hours pondering the provocative questions it raises.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred review

Lord of the Mountain
Written by Ronald Kidd
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Nate’s family has a secret, and it’s wrapped up in a song. The problem is, his preacher father hates music, and when he catches Nate hanging around downtown Bristol with musicians like Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, he comes down hard on him. So Nate sets out in search of himself and the song he thinks will heal his family. Set during the “big bang” of country music in the late 1920s, Nate’s journey of self-discovery parallels that of a region finding its voice for the first time.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Good Wives - Louisa May Alcott’s enchanting tale of the March sisters continues with Good Wives, the second novel in the Little Women Collection! The tale of the March sisters continues in the beloved sequel to Little Women, which picks up three years later as Meg is preparing for her wedding, Jo attempts to launch her literary career, Beth still struggles to regain her health, and Amy begins traveling the world with their aunt. But obstacles stand between the girls and their dreams, and they’re forced to confront unimaginable heartache. Through love, perseverance, and family, together they overcome the hardships to find happiness.

  2. Tru & Nelle: A Christmas Tale - Young Truman Capote thought life in New York City was going to be perfect, but things didn’t work out as planned. In fact, Tru is downright miserable. So he decides to run away to Monroeville, Alabama, and the only friend he’s ever had, Nelle Harper Lee. But things don’t go well there, either. Bad things seem to happen wherever he goes. The only explanation: he must be cursed. Christmas is coming, and Tru’s only wish is to be happy. But it’ll take a miracle for that to come true. Luckily, a special feast brings the miracle he’s hoping for. Tru and Nelle: A Christmas Tale is based on the real life friendship of Truman Capote and Harper Lee.

  3. Tru & Nelle - Long before they became famous writers, Truman Capote (In Cold Blood) and Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird) were childhood friends in Monroeville, Alabama. This fictionalized account of their time together opens at the beginning of the Great Depression, when they’re both still young. They love playing pirates, but they like playing Sherlock and Watson–style detectives even more. It’s their pursuit of a case of drugstore theft that lands the daring duo in real trouble. Humor and heartache intermingle in this lively look at two budding writers in the 1930s South.

Want to see books about history?

Books About Coming Of Age and Death

Old Yeller
Written by Fred Gipson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

When a novel like Huckleberry Finn, or The Yearling, comes along it defies customary adjectives because of the intensity of the respouse it evokes in the reader. Such a book, we submit, is Old Yeller; to read this eloIquently simple story of a boy and his dog in the Texas hill country is an unforgettable and deeply moving experience. The big, ugly, yellow dog showed up out of nowhere one night and stole a whole side of hanging pork, and when Travis went for him the next morning that dog started yelling like a baby before he was touched. Then he got into the spring water with five-year-old Arliss, Travis took an easy hate to Old Yeller, as they started to call him; in fact, he would have driven him off or killed him if it hadn’t been for brother Arliss’ loud and violent protests, So Yeller stayed, and Travis soon found he couldn’t have got along without him. Pa and Ma and Travis and Arliss lived on Birdsong Creek in the Texas hill country. It wasn’t an easy life, but they had a snug cabin that Pa had built himself, and they had their own hogs and their own cattle, and they grew most of what else they needed. The only thing they and the rest of the settlers lacked that year in the late 1860’s was cash, so the men decided to get together and drive all the cattle up to the new market in Abilene, Kansas, more than six hundred miles away. Travis was only fourteen, but he was proud of his new role as man of the family and determined to live up to his responsibility. It was hard work, too, plowing until his legs ached, chopping wood until his hands were raw and his head was spinning, weeding the garden in the hot sun, toting the heavy buckets tip from the spring, and trying to keep his mischievous little brother in line. But there were pleasant moments, too: his Ma treating him like a man, and deer hunting in the early-morning stillness, and hot summer nights out in the corn patch under the stars with Old Yeller, trying to keep the coons and skunks out of the winter food supply. And there was plenty of excitement, like the fight between the two bulls, and the time Arliss nearly got mauled by the bear, and trying to catch and mark the new hogs. Here the suspense and excitement reach a peak, only to be topped a few pages later when the crazy-sick loafer wolf goes for Ma. Both times it is Yeller who saves them, only the second time it is not lucky for Yeller, as Travis comes to find out. And in finding out, Travis learns just how much he has come to love that big ugly dog, and he learns something about the pain of life, too. Old Yeller is a story that will be read and treasured by many thousands for years to come. In a shorter form, this has appeared as a three-part serial in Collier’s.

Pay Attention, Carter Jones
Written by Gary D. Schmidt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

Carter Jones is astonished early one morning when he finds a real English butler, bowler hat and all, on the doorstep—one who stays to help the Jones family, which is a little bit broken.

In addition to figuring out middle school, Carter has to adjust to the unwelcome presence of this new know-it-all adult in his life and navigate the butler’s notions of decorum. And ultimately, when his burden of grief and anger from the past can no longer be ignored, Carter learns that a burden becomes lighter when it is shared.

Sparkling with humor, this insightful and compassionate story will resonate with readers who have confronted secrets of their own.

Secret Friends
Written by Elizabeth Laird
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-11

What’s the good in keeping secrets? Secret Friends is a heartbreaking story about friendship and bullying from the multi-award-winning Elizabeth Laird. Rafaella doesn’t find it easy to make friends. She looks and feels different from the others at school. And Lucy is the first to tease, the first to call her ‘Earwig’, until they get to know one another and Lucy sees that Rafaella is full of hopes and ideas, just like she is. Lucy loves keeping her own secret friend, until tragedy strikes and secrets can’t be kept any longer. Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Children’s Book Award and reissued with new illustrations, more than twenty years after first publication, Elizabeth Laird’s moving and unflinching novella brings home the crucial importance of cultivating empathy in young people. ‘[A] humane and honest story. It conveys so much, so simply and so well’ Scotsman ‘[A] fine weepy with a moral, about the dangers of playground cliquishness and cruelty’ The Sunday Times

Honorable Mentions
  1. Up a Road Slowly - The beloved author of Across Five Aprils and No Promises in the Wind presents one of her most cherished novels, the Newbery Award-winning story of a young girl’s coming of age… Julie would remember her happy days at Aunt Cordelia’s forever. Running through the spacious rooms, singing on rainy nights in front of the fireplace. There were the rides in the woods on Peter the Great, and the races with Danny Trevort. There were the precious moments alone in her room at night, gazing at the sea of stars. But there were sad times too—the painful jealousy Julie felt after her sister married, the tragic death of a schoolmate and the bitter disappointment of her first love. Julie was having a hard time believing life was fair. But Julie would have to be fair to herself before she could even think about new beginnings… “Hunt demonstrates that she is a writer of the first rank…Those who follow Julie’s growth—from a tantrum-throwing seven-year-old to a gracious young woman of seventeen—will find this book has added a new dimension to their lives.”—The New York Times Book Review

  2. Walk Two Moons - “How about a story? Spin us a yarn.” Instantly, Phoebe Winterbottom came to mind. “I could tell you an extensively strange story,” I warned. “Oh, good!” Gram said. “Delicious!” And that is how I happened to tell them about Phoebe, her disappearing mother, and the lunatic. As Sal entertains her grandparents with Phoebe’s outrageous story, her own story begins to unfold—the story of a thirteen-year-old girl whose only wish is to be reunited with her missing mother. In her own award-winning style, Sharon Creech intricately weaves together two tales, one funny, one bittersweet, to create a heartwarming, compelling, and utterly moving story of love, loss, and the complexity of human emotion.

  3. The Reckless Club - From award-winning author Beth Vrabel comes a new middle-grade Breakfast Club drama set in a old folks’ home. On the last day of middle school, five kids who couldn’t be more different commit separate pranks, each sure they won’t be caught and they can’t get in trouble. They’re wrong. As punishment, they each have to volunteer one beautiful summer day-the last one before school-at Northbrook Retirement and Assisted Living Home, where they’ll push creamed carrots into toothless mouths, perform the world’s most pathetic skit in front of residents who won’t remember it anyway, hold gnarled hands of peach fuzzed old ladies who relentlessly push hard candies, and somehow forge a bond with each other that has nothing to do with what they’ve done and everything to do with who they’re becoming. All the action takes place in the course of this one day, with each chapter one hour of that day, as the five kids reveal what they’ve done, why they did it, and what they’re going to do now.

  4. Instructions for a Secondhand Heart - A moving novel about grief, guilt, and the unpredictability of love, for fans of Everything, Everything and All the Bright Places. Jonny knows better than anyone that life is full of cruel ironies. He’s spent every day in a hospital hooked up to machines to keep his heart ticking. Then when a donor match is found for Jonny’s heart, that turns out to be the cruelest irony of all. Because for Jonny’s life to finally start, someone else’s had to end. That someone turns out to be Neve’s twin brother, Leo. When Leo was alive, all Neve wanted was for him (and all his glorious, overshadowing perfection) to leave. Now that Leo’s actually gone forever, Neve has no idea how to move forward. Then Jonny walks into her life looking for answers, her brother’s heart beating in his chest, and everything starts to change. Together, Neve and Jonny will have to face the future, no matter how frightening it is, while also learning to heal their hearts, no matter how much it hurts. The final book will feature select illustrations from “Jonny’s” sketchbook.

Want to see books about death?

Books About Coming Of Age and Love

Beverly, Right Here
Written by Kate DiCamillo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Revisiting once again the world of Raymie Nightingale, two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo turns her focus to the tough-talking, inescapably tenderhearted Beverly.

Beverly put her foot down on the gas. They went faster still.
This was what Beverly wanted — what she always wanted. To get away. To get away as fast as she could. To stay away.

Beverly Tapinski has run away from home plenty of times, but that was when she was just a kid. By now, she figures, it’s not running away. It’s leaving. Determined to make it on her own, Beverly finds a job and a place to live and tries to forget about her dog, Buddy, now buried underneath the orange trees back home; her friend Raymie, whom she left without a word; and her mom, Rhonda, who has never cared about anyone but herself. Beverly doesn’t want to depend on anyone, and she definitely doesn’t want anyone to depend on her. But despite her best efforts, she can’t help forming connections with the people around her — and gradually, she learns to see herself through their eyes. In a touching, funny, and fearless conclusion to her sequence of novels about the beloved Three Rancheros, #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo tells the story of a character who will break your heart and put it back together again.

Stu Truly
Written by Dan Richards
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Stu Truly is the coming-of-age story of 12-year-old Stu as he struggles to navigate the murky waters of adolescence when he finds himself living a lie-that seems to be growing beyond his control-to impress the new girl in school. When Stuart Cornelius Truly first sets eyes on the new girl, Becca, he staples his finger to his seventh-grade history assignment. The second time he sees her, he coughs up a bite of her lunch-a vegetarian roasted pepper sandwich-all over her sweater, and promptly lies, claiming that he, too, is a vegetarian. Their third encounter goes more smoothly, but Stu’s lie turns out to be harder to keep than he expected, especially since his family owns a butcher shop. In this hilarious, heartwarming, contemporary middle grade novel, Stu suddenly begins to realize the opposite sex exists (and isn’t so bad, after all!). Can Stu learn to successfully navigate old friends, new crushes, and horror-filled school dances, or will his lie, intended to impress his crush, actually cause his world to fall apart?

Autumn Street
Written by Lois Lowry
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Elizabeth is forced to grow up when her father goes to fight in World War II. Her family moves in with her grandfather, and a special friend is struck by tragedy.

An ALA Notable Children’s Book.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Lucky for Good - The residents of Hard Pan, California, come together to help Brigitte and Lucky when the County Health Department threatens to close down the cafâe, and meantime Miles’s life is complicated by his mother’s return.

  2. Fifteen - It seems too good to be true. The most popular boy in school has asked Jane out — and she’s never even dated before. Stan is tall and good-looking, friendly and hard-working — everything Jane ever dreamed of. But is she ready for this? Suppose her parents won’t let her go? What if she’s nervous and makes a fool of herself? Maybe he’ll think she’s too young. If only she knew all the clever things to say. If only she were prettier. If only she were ready for this… With her usual warmth, perceptiveness, and humor, Beverly Cleary creates the joys and worries of a young girl’s first crush.

  3. The Luckiest Girl - Falling in Love . . . Shelly fells as if she’s living in a fantasyland. She’s spending the school year in southern California, where flowers bloom in November, oranges grow on trees, and lawns are mowed in winter. When the star of the basketball team smiles at her, Shelly feels as if she’s been touch by magic. Now she’s about to discover the magic of falling in love! A bittersweet story of first love from one of America’s most beloved children’s authors.

  4. Tara Takes the Stage - There are many ways this story can go. YOU decide what happens next. And if you don’t like how it ends? Just start again! The Yes No Maybe So series is an interactive reading experience about friendships, family, and all the feelings. Every day before and after school, Tara Singh helps her parents at their Indian sweet shop, but the only business Tara is interested in is show business. When a local theater announces a casting call for The Wizard of Oz, Tara is determined to wear the ruby slippers. As she prepares for the audition, Tara is distracted by some unexpected drama: There is Rohan, the delivery boy her parents hired. Hiro, her forever crush, who wants to rehearse with her. And Desmond, a shy theater nerd who has started lighting up her heart. Can Tara win the part and get the guy? You have the power to choose what happens…and the chance to choose differently next time!

Want to see books about love?

Books About Coming Of Age and Girls And Women

Ramona the Pest
Written by Beverly Cleary & illustrated by Louis Darling and Jacqueline Rogers
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Ramona is off to kindergarten, and it’s the greatest day of her life. So why is she sitting on the bench while the rest of the students play the game gray duck? Laughs and minor upsets abound in an enormously popular story starring the one and only Ramona Quimby!

Anastasia Krupnik
Written by Lois Lowry & illustrated by Diane de Groat
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Anastasia’s tenth year has some good things, like falling in love and really getting to know her grandmother, and some bad things, like finding out about an impending baby brother.

Pretty
Written by Justin Sayre
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Pretty isn’t everything! Trapped by the limitations of her high-school adjective, the realities of her mother’s alcohol addiction, and a racially fraught America, Sophie’s perspective on what being pretty really means changes drastically in the second adjective-busting novel by the author of Husky, Justin Sayre. Set three months after Husky’sconclusion and narrated by Sophie, Davis’s best friend, Sayre details the private and public life of someone saddled with the adjective of pretty. Confident, stylish, and easygoing at school, Sophie is struggling in her home life. Stepping in to help as her mother’s addiction spirals out of control, Sophie’s aunt teaches the biracial Sophie new lessons about her heritage. While helping to heal the wounds inflicted by alcoholism, Sophie’s renewed sense of self challenges her perception of place in the affluent, “liberal” neighborhood of Park Slope where she lives.a Set against the backgrounds of Brooklyn and Harlem, Sayre challenges readers to confront superficial assumptions about race and beauty and breathes new life into the cannon of middle-grade realistic fiction.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Jacob Have I Loved - The remarkable Newbery-winning classic about a painful sibling rivalry, and one sister’s struggle to make her own way. Sara Louise Bradshaw is sick and tired of her beautiful twin Caroline. Ever since they were born, Caroline has been the pretty one, the talented one, the better sister. Even now, Caroline seems to take everything: Louise’s friends, their parents’ love, her dreams for the future. For once in her life, Louise wants to be the special one. But in order to do that, she must first figure out who she is . . . and find a way to make a place for herself outside her sister’s shadow.

  2. Alchemy and Meggy Swann - Fans of Karen Cushman’s witty novels will welcome Meggy Swann, newly come to London with her only friend, a goose named Louise. Meggy’s mother was glad to be rid of her; her father, who sent for her, doesn’t want her after all. Meggy is appalled by London, dirty and noisy, full of rogues and thieves, and difficult to get around in—not that getting around is ever easy for someone who walks with the help of two sticks. Just as her alchemist father pursues his great work of transforming base metal into gold, Meggy finds herself pursuing her own transformation. Elizabethan London has its dark side, but it also has gifts in store for Meggy Swann.

Did you enjoy our coming of age book recommendations? Did you know you can help us improve this list? Check out our Community Handbook and learn how to add tags to books.

Additional book lists you might enjoy:

Suggested Links