Friendship: Chapter Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about friendship?

Reading about friendship helps us learn how to be a good friend. While friendship can change as we age, it’s essence remains the same; friendship is loyalty, fun, communication, support, compassion, and love. Enjoy our list of our favorite books showing the joy, journeys, hardships, and value of friendship! We hope you might even make a few (book) friends along the way.

“Reading for me, is spending time with a friend.” – Gary Pauls

Top 10 Books About Friendship

The Secret Garden book
#1
The Secret Garden
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from The Fun Uncle

A fun classic filled with adventure and friendship. A story of a young girl who finds herself feeling alone, as many of our young readers will. However, through The Secret Gardner, readers can experience the fun of branching out and trying new things, and the friends that come along the way.

After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle’s gloomy mansion on the wild English moors. She is lonely and has no one to play with, but one day she learns of a secret garden somewhere in the grounds that no one is allowed to enter. Then Mary uncovers an old key in a flowerbed – and a gust of magic leads her to the hidden door. Slowly she turns the key and enters a world she could never have imagined.

Anne of Green Gables (Puffin in Bloom) book
#2
Anne of Green Gables (Puffin in Bloom)
Written by L.M. Montgomery
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Puffin in Bloom is a charming assortment of classic novels with coming-of-age themes, aimed at the young reader. Bond, a stationary artist with Rifle Paper Co. renowned for her floral patterns, puts her signature touch on the covers in this line, because just as a flower blossoms, a young child comes into her own.

The Best Bear in All the World book
#3
The Best Bear in All the World
Written by Paul Bright, Brian Sibley, Kate Saunders, and Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Mark Burgess
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love these stories based off of the original Winnie the Pooh, and love that it’s divided up into four stories with the four seasons. Pooh is always so positive and looks for the good in everything, there’s so much wisdom from the little sayings throughout the story. I think Pooh is a great example of choosing to look at the bright side and be happy. :) It’s so fun to read about these sweet stories of friendship.

For the 90th anniversary of Winnie-the-Pooh, a sequel featuring new stories and a new character from the Hundred Acre Wood.

Now a New York Times Bestseller.

The Trustees of the Pooh Properties have commissioned four authors to write in the timeless style of A.A. Milne to create a quartet of charming new adventures for Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, and their friends. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall: take a trip back to the Hundred Acre Wood with a collection of tales sure to delight year-round.

One story finds Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet on a quest to discover the “Sauce of the Nile” (they suspect it’s apple). And in another, all the animals rally around poor Eeyore when he thinks he sees another donkey eyeing his clover. The winter story features a new penguin character, based on a stuffed toy owned by Christopher Robin Milne himself. Readers of all ages will love rediscovering old friends and making new ones in this essential new volume of Pooh stories.

The book feature beautiful color artwork in the style of Ernest H. Shepard by Mark Burgess.

Andi Unexpected book
#4
Andi Unexpected
Written by Amanda Flower
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This story shows how grief is manifested in different ways, but how the two sisters and their guardian bonded together and strengthened one another in their difficult times. I also loved that the mystery was about Andi’s family history and linked to the great depression, both of which are great topics for readers to learn about. I loved following along in their sleuthing and detective efforts to figure out the answer to their mystery. :)

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.

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie book
#5
Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie
Written by Julie Sternberg and illustrated by Matthew Cordell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

When nine-year-old Eleanor’s beloved babysitter Bibi moves away to care for her ailing father, Eleanor must spend the summer adjusting to a new babysitter while mourning the loss of her old one.

The Fix-It Friends: Three's a Crowd book
#6
The Fix-It Friends: Three's a Crowd
Written by Nicole C. Kear and 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 One and Only Ivan book
#7
The One and Only Ivan
Written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Patricia Castelao
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Soon to be a major motion picture! This Harper Classic edition of the Newbery Medal winner and #1 New York Times bestseller includes an author’s note, a letter from the real Ivan’s caretaker at Zoo Atlanta, Ivan’s “signature,” discussion questions, and more. This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself. Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes. In the tradition of timeless classics such as Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little. Katherine Applegate’s novel blends humor and poignancy to create this incredible tale of friendship, art, and hope. The One and Only Ivan was named to multiple state lists, received three starred reviews, and was hailed as a best book of the year by Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Amazon. Plus don’t miss Katherine Applegate’s Endling series!

George and Martha book
#8
George and Martha
Written by James Marshall and illustrated by Maurice Sendak
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Collects all thirty-five stories about best friends George and Martha.

Frog and Toad Are Friends book
#9
Frog and Toad Are Friends
Written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

From writing letters to going swimming, telling stories to finding lost buttons, Frog and Toad are always there for each other—just as best friends should be.

11 Birthdays book
#10
11 Birthdays
Written and illustrated by Wendy Mass
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

After celebrating their first nine same-day birthdays together, Amanda and Leo, having fallen out on their tenth and not speaking to each other for the last year, prepare to celebrate their eleventh birthday separately but peculiar things begin to happen as the day of their birthday begins to repeat itself over and over again.

Books About Friendship and Making Friends

The Secret Garden book
#1
The Secret Garden
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from The Fun Uncle

A fun classic filled with adventure and friendship. A story of a young girl who finds herself feeling alone, as many of our young readers will. However, through The Secret Gardner, readers can experience the fun of branching out and trying new things, and the friends that come along the way.

After losing her parents, young Mary Lennox is sent from India to live in her uncle’s gloomy mansion on the wild English moors. She is lonely and has no one to play with, but one day she learns of a secret garden somewhere in the grounds that no one is allowed to enter. Then Mary uncovers an old key in a flowerbed – and a gust of magic leads her to the hidden door. Slowly she turns the key and enters a world she could never have imagined.

Andi Unexpected book
#2
Andi Unexpected
Written by Amanda Flower
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This story shows how grief is manifested in different ways, but how the two sisters and their guardian bonded together and strengthened one another in their difficult times. I also loved that the mystery was about Andi’s family history and linked to the great depression, both of which are great topics for readers to learn about. I loved following along in their sleuthing and detective efforts to figure out the answer to their mystery. :)

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.

The Fix-It Friends: Three's a Crowd book
#3
The Fix-It Friends: Three's a Crowd
Written by Nicole C. Kear and 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?

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Great Troll Rescue - Meet Jack and his talking chicken Betsy, Red, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, and a host of other Little Legendsas they have fantastic new adventures!Get to know your favorite fairytale characters like never before in this magical new book series. What starts as an adventure ends in disaster when Jack and all his friends are captured by a wicked witch with a devious plan. It’s up to Red, the woodcutter’s daughter, to save the day. Along the way Red befriends the wicked witch’s servants, Ella and her Fairy Godbrother Cole. Can they rescue Red’s friends and all the other magical creatures the witch has kidnapped — including a fearsome troll?

  2. The Startup Squad - Girls mean business in a brand-new middle grade series about friendship and entrepreneurship! All the great leaders had to start somewhere. And Theresa (“Resa” for short) is starting with the lemonade stand competition her teacher assigned to the class—but making it a success is going to be a lot harder than Resa thinks. The prize: line-skipping tickets to Adventure Central. The competition: Val, Resa’s middle school nemesis. And the biggest obstacle to success: Resa’s own teammates. Harriet is the class clown, Amelia is the new girl who thinks she knows best, and Didi is Resa’s steadfast friend—who doesn’t know the first thing about making or selling lemonade. The four of them quickly realize that the recipe for success is tough to perfect—but listening to each other is the first step. And making new friends might be the most important one… The back of each book features tips from the Startup Squad and an inspirational profile of a girl entrepreneur!

  3. The Desperate Adventures of Zeno and Alya - A desperately ill girl and an orphaned African gray parrot find friendship, security and healing when they are inadvertently joined by fate. By the author of The Girl Behind the Glass.

  4. Dory Fantasmagory - Move over, Junie B. Jones and Ivy & Bean! Here comes a lovably energetic little sister with a BIG personality—and an imagination to match! As the youngest in her family, Dory really wants attention, and more than anything she wants her brother and sister to play with her. But she’s too much of a baby for them, so she’s left to her own devices—including her wild imagination and untiring energy. Her siblings may roll their eyes at her childish games, but Dory has lots of things to do: outsmarting the monsters all over the house, escaping from prison (aka time-out), and exacting revenge on her sister’s favorite doll. And when they really need her, daring Dory will prove her bravery, and finally get exactly what she has been looking for. With plenty of pictures bursting with charm and character, this hilarious book about an irresistible rascal is the new must-read for the chapter book set.

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Books About Friendship and Adventure

The Best Bear in All the World book
#1
The Best Bear in All the World
Written by Paul Bright, Brian Sibley, Kate Saunders, and Jeanne Willis and illustrated by Mark Burgess
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I love these stories based off of the original Winnie the Pooh, and love that it’s divided up into four stories with the four seasons. Pooh is always so positive and looks for the good in everything, there’s so much wisdom from the little sayings throughout the story. I think Pooh is a great example of choosing to look at the bright side and be happy. :) It’s so fun to read about these sweet stories of friendship.

For the 90th anniversary of Winnie-the-Pooh, a sequel featuring new stories and a new character from the Hundred Acre Wood.

Now a New York Times Bestseller.

The Trustees of the Pooh Properties have commissioned four authors to write in the timeless style of A.A. Milne to create a quartet of charming new adventures for Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, and their friends. Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall: take a trip back to the Hundred Acre Wood with a collection of tales sure to delight year-round.

One story finds Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet on a quest to discover the “Sauce of the Nile” (they suspect it’s apple). And in another, all the animals rally around poor Eeyore when he thinks he sees another donkey eyeing his clover. The winter story features a new penguin character, based on a stuffed toy owned by Christopher Robin Milne himself. Readers of all ages will love rediscovering old friends and making new ones in this essential new volume of Pooh stories.

The book feature beautiful color artwork in the style of Ernest H. Shepard by Mark Burgess.

Stuart Little book
#2
Stuart Little
Written and illustrated by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A hardcover edition of this treasured story, for which Garth Williams’s original black-and-white line drawings for the jacket of Stuart Little have been colorized by the celebrated illustrator Rosemary Wells. Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he’s shy and thoughtful, he’s also a true lover of adventure. Stuart’s greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?

Scary Stories for Young Foxes book
#3
Scary Stories for Young Foxes
Written by Christian McKay Heidicker and illustrated by Junyi Wu
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Christian McKay Heidicker draws inspiration from Bram Stoker, H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen Poe for his debut middle-grade novel, a thrilling portrait of survival and an unforgettable tale of friendship. The haunted season has arrived in the Antler Wood. No fox kit is safe. When Mia and Uly are separated from their litters, they discover a dangerous world full of monsters. In order to find a den to call home, they must venture through field and forest, facing unspeakable things that dwell in the darkness: a zombie who hungers for their flesh, a witch who tries to steal their skins, a ghost who hunts them through the snow . . . and other things too scary to mention. Featuring eight interconnected stories and sixteen hauntingly beautiful illustrations, Scary Stories for Young Foxes contains the kinds of adventures and thrills you love to listen to beside a campfire in the dark of night. Fans of Neil Gaiman, Jonathan Auxier, and R. L. Stine have found their next favorite book.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Babysitting Nightmares: The Phantom Hour - The supernatural never sleeps in the second book of this spooky middle grade series! Clio has already had one brush with the paranormal, and she’s dead set on making it her last. But her new babysitting job is in a haunted house! At first, Clio’s excited to work at the historical Victorian mansion in town—until doors start closing behind her, objects move on their own, and messages appear from beyond the grave. Clio enlists the help of her three best friends, Tanya, Maggie, and Rebecca, to uncover long-buried secrets from the past. Can Clio face her fear and solve the mystery of the haunted mansion?

  2. George and the Blue Moon - George and Annie are off on another cosmic adventure inspired by the Mars Expedition in the fifth book of the George’s Secret Key series from Stephen and Lucy Hawking. George and his best friend, Annie, have been selected as junior astronauts for a program that trains young people for a future trip to Mars. This is everything they’ve ever wanted—and now they get to be a part of up-to-the minute space discoveries and meet a bunch of new friends who are as fascinated by the universe as they are. But when they arrive at space camp, George and Annie quickly learn that strange things are happening—on Earth as well as up in the skies. Mysterious space missions are happening in secret, and the astronaut training they’re undertaking gets scarier and scarier…

  3. The Miraculous - In the tradition of heartwrenching and hopeful middle grade novels such as Bridge to Terabithia comes Jess Redman’s stunning debut about a young boy who must regain his faith in miracles after a tragedy changes his world. Eleven-year-old Wunder Ellis is a miracologist. In a journal he calls The Miraculous, he records stories of the inexplicable and the extraordinary. And he believes every single one. But then his newborn sister dies, at only eight days old. If that can happen, then miracles can’t exist. So Wunder gets rid of The Miraculous. He stops believing. Then he meets Faye—a cape-wearing, outspoken girl with losses of her own. Together, they find an abandoned house by the cemetery and a mysterious old woman who just might be a witch. The old woman asks them for their help. She asks them to believe. And they go on a journey that leads to friendship, to adventure, to healing—and to miracles. The Miraculous is Jess Redman’s sparkling debut novel about facing grief, trusting the unknown, and finding brightness in the darkest moments.

  4. Unicorn of Many Hats - “A pink, bubble-gum bonbon of a tale spun of a likable, albeit self-centered, fourth-grader and her magical, self-obsessed, although sometimes-kind, unicorn.” —Kirkus Reviews Book seven in the Phoebe and Her Unicorn series! NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR! Marigold Heavenly Nostrils is no ordinary unicorn. She has Wi-Fi-enabled appendages. She’s the most enchanted babysitter of all time. She’s published numerous scholarly articles on the “shimmering” versus “glimmering” debate. She is, in short, a unicorn of many hats. Phoebe and her exceptional hooved pal are back in this all-new collection of comics! Laugh alongside the lovable duo as they question the idea of “coolness,” gain a deeper appreciation for the power of friendship, and put off summer reading assignments for as long as physically possible.

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Books About Friendship and School

My Year in the Middle book
#1
My Year in the Middle
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Miss Garrett’s classroom is like every other at our school. White kids sit on one side and black kids on the other. I’m one of the few middle-rowers who split the difference. In a racially polarized classroom in 1970 Alabama, Lu’s talent for running track makes her a new best friend—and tests her mettle as she navigates the school’s social cliques. Sixth-grader Lu Olivera just wants to keep her head down and get along with everyone in her class. Trouble is, Lu’s old friends have been changing lately—acting boy crazy and making snide remarks about Lu’s newfound talent for running track. Lu’s secret hope for a new friend is fellow runner Belinda Gresham, but in 1970 Red Grove, Alabama, blacks and whites don’t mix. As segregationist ex-governor George Wallace ramps up his campaign against the current governor, Albert Brewer, growing tensions in the state—and in the classroom—mean that Lu can’t stay neutral about the racial divide at school. Will she find the gumption to stand up for what’s right and to choose friends who do the same?

Cody Harmon, King of Pets book
#2
Cody Harmon, King of Pets
Written by Claudia Mills and illustrated by Rob Shepperson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Cody Harmon doesn’t love reading, math, spelling, or really any of the subjects that Miss Molina teaches in her third-grade class. But he lives on a farm and he loves animals—he even has nine pets—so when the school holds a pet-show fund-raiser, it should be his time to shine. There’s a ten-dollar entrance fee per pet, though, and Cody can’t pay it for all nine pets. He’d love to take his pig, but what about the others? In the end, Cody figures out a way to lend out his pets so that every person in the class (and every pet) gets to participate in the show.

School for Skylarks book
#3
School for Skylarks
Written and illustrated by Sam Angus
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

It is 1939. When Lyla is evacuated from her home in London to her great-aunt’s enormous house in the West Country, she expects to be lonely. She has never been to school nor had any friends, and her parents have been at the center of a scandal. But with the house being used to accommodate an entire school of evacuated schoolgirls, there’s no time to think about her old life. Soon there is a horse in a first-floor bedroom and a ferret in Lyla’s sock drawer, hordes of schoolgirls have overrun the house, and Lyla finds out that friends come in all shapes and sizes.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Everybody Is Somebody - In the final book of this bestselling easy-to-read series, Hank begins a new chapter! When a well-known author of a beloved book series visits Hank’s school, he and his two best friends get the chance to be her guide for the day and introduce her at an assembly. But Hank, embarrassed by his struggles with reading, tries to hide the fact that he’s never actually finished reading the author’s books—or any book, for that matter! So Hank gets creative and makes up his own version of the story. But will everyone be able to tell fact from fiction? This bestselling series written by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver is perfect for the transitional reader. With a unique, easy-to-read font, endless humor, and characters every kid would want to be friends with, any story with Hank is an adventure!

  2. Class Act - Fans of Princess Posey and Ivy and Bean will enjoy rooting for Jada Jones as she runs for student council in this easy-to-read chapter book. As a candidate for class representative, Jada is ready to give the campaign her all. But when rumors start to fly about her secret fear of public speaking, she isn’t sure who she can trust. And the pressure to make promises she can’t keep only adds to her growing list of problems. Is winning even worth it when friendships are on the line? This easy-to-read story—with plenty of pictures and a charming, relatable cast of characters—is a sure winner. The early chapter book bridges between leveled readers and chapter books for fluent readers adjusting to the chapter book format. At about 5,000 words, with short chapters and two-color art on almost every page, it will appeal to this unique reader. The two-color art throughout will help readers transition from the familiar four-color art of leveled readers and ease them into black-and-white chapter books.

  3. Eliza Bing Is (Not) a Star - How will Eliza make it through the sixth grade? Her ADHD tends to complicate things. . . . Eliza Bing stuck with taekwondo and earned her yellow belt even though her family expected her to quit. She’s tough enough to break boards with her bare hands! Next up: middle school, and hopefully a best friend. The school play turns out to be the perfect opportunity to befriend confident, stage-obsessed Annie. But can their friendship survive the spotlight? The joys and sorrows of middle school come to life in this funny and heartfelt sequel to Eliza Bing Is (NOT) a Big, Fat Quitter, recipient of the Christopher Award and four child-voted state award nominations.

  4. The Crossroads - Jaime and Ángela discover what it means to be living as undocumented immigrants in the United States in this timely sequel to the Pura Belpré Honor Book The Only Road. After crossing Mexico into the United States, Jaime Rivera thinks the worst is over. Starting a new school can’t be that bad. Except it is, and not just because he can barely speak English. While his cousin Ángela fits in quickly, with new friends and after-school activities, Jaime struggles with even the idea of calling this strange place “home.” His real home is with his parents, abuela, and the rest of the family; not here where cacti and cattle outnumber people, where he can no longer be himself—a boy from Guatemala. When bad news arrives from his parents back home, feelings of helplessness and guilt gnaw at Jaime. Gang violence in Guatemala means he can’t return home, but he’s not sure if he wants to stay either. The US is not the great place everyone said it would be, especially if you’re sin papeles—undocumented—like Jaime. When things look bleak, hope arrives from unexpected places: a quiet boy on the bus, a music teacher, an old ranch hand. With his sketchbook always close by, Jaime uses his drawings to show what it means to be a true citizen. Powerful and moving, this touching sequel to The Only Road explores overcoming homesickness, finding ways to connect despite a language barrier, and discovering what it means to start over in a new place that alternates between being wonderful and completely unwelcoming.

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Books About Friendship and Music

The Trumpet of the Swan book
#1
The Trumpet of the Swan
Written by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Swan Song Like the rest of his family, Louis is a trumpeter swan. But unlike his four brothers and sisters, Louis can’t trumpet joyfully. In fact, he can’t even make a sound. And since he can’t trumpet his love, the beautiful swan Serena pays absolutely no attention to him. Louis tries everything he can think of to win Serena’s affection—he even goes to school to learn to read and write. But nothing seems to work. Then his father steals him a real brass trumpet. Is a musical instrument the key to winning Louis his love?

The Major Eights 3: The Goo Disaster! book
#2
The Major Eights 3: The Goo Disaster!
Written by Melody Reed and illustrated by Emilie Pepin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

In book three of the Major Eights series, Maggie has to ace her science fair project or she won’t be able to perform with the band at the annual arts banquet! Maggie is thrilled to perform with the Major Eights at the school’s annual arts fund-raising banquet. But when Maggie’s science grade starts slipping (her one difficult subject), her mom refuses to let her play at the banquet unless she can get an A on her science fair project. Can Maggie and the girls find a way to make sure Maggie aces the project?

The Major Eights 5: The New Bandmate book
#3
The Major Eights 5: The New Bandmate
Written by Melody Reed and illustrated by Emilie Pepin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

In book 5 of the Major Eights series, Jasmine breaks her arm just when the Major Eights have a big show coming up. Can they find a way to save the show? Just before a big show, Jasmine breaks her arm. The Major Eights don’t want to let down their audience, so they ask Leslie to sub. But Jasmine is worried the band will like Leslie better. Is this the end of the Major Eights as they know it?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Jack & Louisa Act 1 - A show-stopping series about life in the spotlight from Broadway actors and internet sensations Andrew Keenan-Bolger and Kate Wetherheada. Twelve-year-old Jack Goodrich was a Broadway star-until a sudden voice change cost him his dream role. Now he lives with his parents in Shaker Heights, Ohio trying hard to leave his acting past behind. But his new neighbor, Louisa-a self-proclaimed musical theater nerdo-won’t stop until Jack auditions for a local production of Into the Woods. Fans ofTim Federle’s Nate Foster bookswill rejoice to meet the newest MTN’s (musical theater nerds) on the block- Jack & Lou.

  2. Jack & Louisa Act 2 - Cast opposite each other when their middle school stages a production of Guys and Dolls, Jack and Lou find their ambitions of stardom threatened by a mysterious new director, a Broadway-level dance call and a new stage competitor.

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Books About Friendship and Family

The Magic Misfits book
#1
The Magic Misfits
Written by Neil Patrick Harris and illustrated by Kyle Hinton and Lissy Marlin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From award-winning actor, Neil Patrick Harris, comes the magical first book in a new series with plenty of tricks up its sleeve. When street magician Carter runs away, he never expects to find friends and magic in a sleepy New England town. But like any good trick, things change instantly as greedy B.B. Bosso and his crew of crooked carnies arrive to steal anything and everything they can get their sticky fingers on. After a fateful encounter with the local purveyor of illusion, Dante Vernon, Carter teams up with five other like-minded illusionists. Together, using both teamwork and magic, they’ll set out to save the town of Mineral Wells from Bosso’s villainous clutches. These six Magic Misfits will soon discover adventure, friendship, and their own self-worth in this delightful new series. (Psst. Hey, you! Yes, you! Congratulations on reading this far. As a reward, I’ll let you in on a little secret… This book isn’t just a book. It’s a treasure trove of secrets and ciphers and codes and even tricks. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll discover more than just a story—you’ll learn how to make your own magic!)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe book
#2
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Written by C.S. Lewis and illustrated by Pauline Baynes
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.

Open the door and enter a new world! The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second book in C. S. Lewis’s classic fantasy series, which has been captivating readers of all ages with a magical land and unforgettable characters for over sixty years.

Ruby in the Sky book
#3
Ruby in the Sky
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In this heartfelt middle-grade debut about family, friendship, and finding your own identity, Ruby Moon Hayes learns there’s more to a person’s story than what other people tell.

When twelve-year-old Ruby Moon Hayes and her mother move to Vermont, Ruby’s goal is to stay as silent and invisible as a new moon in the frozen sky. She doesn’t want kids at school asking about her missing father or discovering that her mother has been arrested. But hiding isn’t easy when Ahmad Saleem, a Syrian refugee, decides he’s her new best friend. Or when she meets “the Bird Lady,” a recluse named Abigail, who lives in a ramshackle shed near Ruby’s house. No one in town understands Abigail—people whisper about her, about her boarded-up house and the terrible secrets she must be hiding.

As Mom’s trial draws near and Abigail faces eviction, Ruby is forced to make a choice: break her silence or risk losing everyone she loves.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Nowhere Boy - A timely, poignant tale of family, sacrifice and the friendship between a young Syrian refugee and an American boy living in Brussels.

  2. Simple Art Of Flying - Quirky characters, plucky humor, and a heartwarming message come together in this big-hearted debut novel about friendship and the true meaning of family. Sometimes flying means keeping your feet on the ground… Born in a dismal room in a pet store, Alastair the African grey parrot dreams of escape to bluer skies. He’d like nothing more than to fly away to a palm tree with his beloved sister, Aggie. But when Aggie is purchased by twelve-year-old Fritz, and Alastair is adopted by elderly dance-enthusiast and pie-baker Albertina Plopky, the future looks ready to crash-land. In-between anxiously plucking his feathers, eating a few books, and finding his own poetic voice, Alastair plots his way to a family reunion. But soon he’s forced to choose between the life he’s always dreamed of and admitting the truth: that sometimes, the bravest adventure is in letting go.

  3. Blackberry Juice - After moving into their new home, a keeling-over farmhouse in the country, nine-year-old Cyrus and his brother, Rudy, have trouble adjusting to all the changes. The fresh-from-the-farm egg yolks are blindingly yellow. The eccentric girl next door has a very unusual sense of style. And Rumpley, a donkey they inherited with the farmhouse, doesn’t even know how to bray. Nothing about the country feels warm or familiar. But when Cyrus is stranded one evening by the tide, he finds his lifeline in an unlikely companion. Blackberry Juice is the sequel to Not For Sale.

  4. The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee - India Wimple can spell. Brilliantly. Every Friday night, she and her family watch the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee on TV. When the Wimples suggest she enter the next bee, India finds the idea disconcerting. She’s sure she’s not good enough—but her family won’t accept that and encourages her to sign up. There are plenty of obstacles to reaching the finals, and the whole thing seems rather calamitous to India. But with hope, hard work, and a little bit of heart, something splendiferous might be on the horizon…

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Books About Friendship and Magic

Moon Shadow book
#1
Moon Shadow
Written and illustrated by Erin Downing
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Thirteen-year-old Lucia Frank discovers that she can become the girl she’s always wanted to be with the help of a little “moon magic” in this charming novel about the value of friendship, family, and finding yourself. Lucia Frank has never had time for her mom’s “new age” nonsense. She doesn’t believe in any of that stuff. All she wants is to figure out how to get her best friend, Will, back and cope with her parents looming divorce. But then something strange happens on the night of her thirteenth birthday. When the eclipsed moon slips into the shadow of the earth, Lucia’s Shadow slips out. Now hidden in a moonstone, the Shadow waits for Lucia to sleep so it can come out to play. Lucia’s Shadow seems unlike her in almost every way: daring, outspoken, and unwilling to let anyone push her around. But it actually isn’t the anti-Lucia…in fact, her Shadow is very much like the person Lucia wishes she could be. At first, Lucia is eager to undo whatever magic happened on her birthday so life can get back to normal. But when she realizes her Shadow is doing and saying things she has only dreamed about, she wonders if maybe things aren’t all bad. With a little help from her Shadow, she’s turning into the kind of girl she’s always wanted to be.

The Infinity Year of Avalon James book
#2
The Infinity Year of Avalon James
Written by Dana Middleton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Avalon James and Atticus Brightwell have a secret—one that they aren’t allowed to discuss with anyone. This secret is shared between two best friends. When you and your best friend turn ten years old magical things are said to happen. You both will receive some kind of magical power. It can be a power you can call on time and time again. Or it can be a power that comes once when you need it most. It’s your Infinity Year and the possibilities are endless.

The past year hasn’t been great with her family being torn apart and bullying at school, so Avalon is depending on her magical ability to appear soon and help. With the clock ticking and her eleventh birthday approaching, which would be the end of her powers, Avalon’s hopes are running high. Will she and Atticus get the powers they so desperately want and need?

Dana Middleton’s debut novel is a wonderfully enchanting story of the possibility of magic and the even more magical bond between two best friends.

Honey Moon Shiver book
#3
Honey Moon Shiver
Written and illustrated by Joyce Magnin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

“Honey Moon is in a terrible pickle. She borrowed her mother’s precious silver locket without permission and now the family heirloom has gone missing. Honey suspects it was taken by one of her best friends. She sets out to find the necklace before her mother notices it’s gone. Along the way, Honey meets Shiver, who turns out to be much more than the owner of the newest popsicle shop in Sleepy Hollow. With Shiver’s guidance and a bit of magic, Honey is able to track down the locket and learn the importance of telling the truth and the power of forgiveness.”—Amazon.com.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Language of Spells - Grisha is a dragon in a world that’s forgotten how to see him. Maggie is a unusual child who thinks she’s perfectly ordinary. They’re an unlikely duo—but magic, like friendship, is funny. Sometimes it chooses those who might not look so likely. And magic has chosen Grisha and Maggie to solve the darkest mystery in Vienna. Decades ago, when World War II broke out, someone decided that there were too many dragons for all of them to be free. As they investigate, Grisha and Maggie ask the question everyone’s forgotten: Where have the missing dragons gone? And is there a way to save them? At once richly magical and tragically historical, The Language of Spells is a novel full of adventure about remembering old stories, forging new ones, and the transformative power of friendship.

  2. Sea Monster! - Troubled waters ahead! Lucas and Clara search for a scary sea monster in this third chapter book in the fantastical Kingdom of Wrenly series. Something has been making waves around Wrenly, and it’s not the tides. Prince Lucas is sure that it’s the mysterious sea monster that has only been heard of in tall tales. Now the legendary monster is frightening everyone—from fishermen, to the king’s men, to even the hardiest of sea captains. With the aid of his best friend, Clara, and a cast of unlikely helpers, it’s up to Prince Lucas to discover what is bothering the beast—and make the trouble stop! With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

  3. Wish Upon a Sleepover - Five misfits. One magical wish. Bestselling author Suzanne Selfors brings heart and humor to this middle grade novel about a group of misfits who find true friendship where they least expect it. Leilani dreams of being friends with the most popular girls in her class―the Haileys―who are always throwing awesome themed sleepovers. She devises a master plan: throw her own sleepover of the century and invite them! When Tutu, her grandmother, accidentally mails Leilani’s invitations to the DO NOT INVITE list, the best sleepover in the history of the world becomes the worst. Instead of the Haileys, the only guests are the three kids Leilani definitely did not want to show up: the neighbor who never speaks, the girl who draws mean pictures of her, and her farting older cousin. At least her best friend August will be there. Leilani and her guests decide to make Tutu’s recipe for Sleepover Soup, which requires each of them to collect one ingredient that has significant meaning in their lives. They embark on a scavenger hunt that reveals unexpected surprises. What Leilani finds is not what she wanted, but it might just be even better. An Imprint Book “Big-hearted, fast-paced, and funny.” ―Kim Baker, author of Pickle “Equal parts heartbreaking, hopeful and hilarious. It’s impossible not to cheer for these unlikely heroes” ―Sara Nickerson, author of The Secrets of Blueberries, Brothers, Moose & Me “Anyone who’s ever felt different from the crowd will relish this story of kids who find the magic of being their own unique selves―together.” ―Sundee T. Frazier, author of the Coretta Scott King Award-winner Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything In It and the Cleo Edison Oliver series “Huzzah for Suzanne Selfors! By turns humorous and poignant, this terrific book was impossible to put down.” ―Suzanne Williams, coauthor of the Goddess

  4. Phoebe and Her Unicorn in the Magic Storm (Phoebe and Her Unicorn) - It all started when Phoebe skipped a rock across a pond and accidentally hit a unicorn in the face. Improbably, this led to Phoebe being granted one wish, and using it to make the unicorn, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, her obligational best friend. But can a vain mythical beast and a nine-year-old daydreamer really forge a connection?

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How about children's books about magic?

Books About Friendship and Bravery

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book
#1
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the author of The BFG and Matilda!

Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

Mighty Jack and the Goblin King book
#2
Mighty Jack and the Goblin King
Written and illustrated by Ben Hatke
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Like a bolt from the blue, Jack’s little sister Maddy is gone—carried into another realm by an ogre. When Jack and Lilly follow Maddy’s captor through the portal, they are ready for anything . . . except what they find waiting for them in the floating crossroads between worlds. Even the power of their magic plants may not be enough to get them back to earth alive. Alone and injured, Jack and Lilly must each face their own monsters—as well as giants who grind the bones of human children to feed their “beast” and a fearsome goblin king in the sewers down below. But when Jack finds himself in a tough spot, help comes from the most unlikely person: the goblin king! Ben Hatke, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Zita the Spacegirl, concludes his latest middle-grade fantasy-adventure graphic novel series, Mighty Jack, with the energetic finale to his retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk.

The Bfg book
#3
The Bfg
Written by Roald Dahl
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Matilda!

The BFG is no ordinary bone-crunching giant. He is far too nice and jumbly. It’s lucky for Sophie that he is. Had she been carried off in the middle of the night by the Bloodbottler, or any of the other giants—rather than the BFG—she would have soon become breakfast. When Sophie hears that the giants are flush-bunking off to England to swollomp a few nice little chiddlers, she decides she must stop them once and for all. And the BFG is going to help her!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Ask Emma (Ask Emma Book 1) - Emma Woods knows just how to fix all her peers’ problems-or so she thinks-in this first book in the brand-new middle grade series Ask Emma, from the bestselling creators behind the Cupcake Club series! When 13-year-old Emma Woods gets that tingling feeling in her fingertips, she knows she’s on to a great idea-and starting an advice blog for her classmates at Austen Middle may be one of her most brilliant ones yet! Who better to give advice on friendship, style, school, and even crushes than someone who’s going through it too? But when Ask Emma goes live, she quickly realizes not everyone sees it that way. Suddenly, Emma is bombarded with peers asking her to help them postpone quizzes, get out of detention, and cut gym class short. This wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. . . .What’s worse, someone is posting hurtful comments, telling her to mind her own business. Despite her good intentions, Emma’s blog seems to only be getting her-and her friends—deeper and deeper into trouble. Will Ask Emma come to an end before it’s really begun? Or can Emma find her voice, write what’s in her heart, and truly stand up for what she believes in? This book will include an appendix on cyberbullying resources.

  2. Lost Boys - Based on historical events, this unforgettable and inspiring tale for middle-grade readers is about a young boy torn from the only life he’s ever known and held captive as a prisoner of war. In 1982, twelve-year-old Reza has no interest in joining Iran’s war effort. But in the wake of a tragedy and at his mother’s urging, he decides to enlist, assured by the authorities that he will achieve paradise should he die in service to his country. War does not bring the glory the boys of Iran have been promised, and Reza soon finds himself held in a prisoner-of-war camp in Iraq, where the guards not only threaten violence—they act upon it. Will Reza make it out alive? And if he does, will he even have a home to return to? In this unforgettable tale of friendship and survival against the odds, Reza finds solace through music and forges his own path, wherever that might take him. Lost Boys is a stunning debut from Darcey Rosenblatt. It is perfect for readers interested in current events, history, and the Middle East. Praise for Lost Boys: “In Rosenblatt’s ambitious debut novel, Reza, a 12-year-old Iranian boy, clings to friendship and his love of music as the Iran-Iraq War tears his world apart. . . . Reza’s story is compelling . . . .” —Kirkus Reviews “This hard-hitting first novel opens in Iran in 1982 during the Ayatollah Khomeini’s oppressive rule and that nation’s war with Iraq. . . . The larger political context becomes personal when a devastating public rejection of Reza and his fellow survivors by Iran leaves the boys without a country. . . . [T]he resilience of Rosenblatt’s protagonist strikes a strong chord.” —Publishers Weekly

  3. Stolen Identity - When someone is out to frame Frank and Joe for the theft of an original Sherlock Holmes manuscript, they use a group of skateboarders as sources of information in their attempt to clear their names.

  4. The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street - A girl unravels a centuries-old mystery after moving into a haunted house in this deliciously suspenseful read that Kirkus Reviews calls “just the ticket for a cold autumn night.” Tessa Woodward isn’t exactly thrilled to move to rainy, cold Chicago from her home in sunny Florida. But homesickness turns to icy fear when unexplainable things start happening in her new house. Things like flickering lights, mysterious drawings appearing out of nowhere, and a crackling noise she can feel in her bones. When her little brother’s doll starts crying real tears, Tessa realizes that someone—or something—is trying to communicate with her. And it involves a secret that’s been shrouded in mystery for more than one hundred years. With the help of three new friends, Tessa begins unraveling the mystery of what happened in the house on Shady Street—and more importantly, what it has to do with her!

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Books About Friendship and Camping

Camp Hero Double Trouble book
#1
Camp Hero Double Trouble
Written by Gina Bellisario and illustrated by Jessika von Innerebner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-8

Ellie is excited to go to Camp Hero, where the motto is: Where Super Friendships are Made! But when Ellie’s cabinmates, superhero twins Mona and Leona, give her the cold shoulder, Ellie decides to use her parents’ latest invention to get them to like her. The invention works too well, and the twins start fighting over Ellie! Can Ellie stop their double trouble and find out why they weren’t friendly to her in the first place?

TBH #4: TBH, IDK What's Next book
#2
TBH #4: TBH, IDK What's Next
Written and 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?

Willows vs. Wolverines book
#3
Willows vs. Wolverines
Written and illustrated by Alison Cherry
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

It’s an all-out boys vs. girls summer camp prank war in this hilarious M!X novel from the author of The Classy Crooks Club!

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Girls of Firefly Cabin - Lauren, Isla, Jade, and Archer meet the first day of summer camp, and friendship magic is made in Firefly Cabin. If only they could immortalize their summer memories by winning the contest to be the face of the camp’s website. But it won’t be easy; not with rival cabins, distracting crushes, and of course, the girl’s own secrets getting in the way. Can friendship—and the Fireflies—triumph over all?

  2. Campfire Cookies - The girls from Flowerpot Cabin are back at camp in Martha Freeman’s second novel in the Secret Cookie Club series, which was called “a younger version of Ann Brashares’s The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” by School Library Journal. Recipe for Summer Drama 1 girl counselor, broken-hearted 1 boy counselor, super-cute 4 determined campers Mix all ingredients together for eight weeks at Moonlight Ranch summer camp. For best results, add cookies. The Secret Cookie Club members Grace, Emma, Olivia, and Lucy are excited to be back at Moonlight Ranch summer camp with their beloved counselor, Hannah. But when a mysterious letter arrives, Hannah is plunged into despair. Secret Cookie Club to the rescue! After puzzling out the contents of the letter, they make a plan to fix Hannah’s life—a plan that requires a magic spell, a daring mission to the boys camp, and a big batch of campfire cookies. What could possibly go wrong? With a dash of romance, a pinch of mystery, and a heaping tablespoon of fun, this camp adventure is as satisfying as a warm chocolate chip cookie.

  3. The Alien Next Door 3: Alien Scout - In the third book of the Alien Next Door series, Harris knows Zeke is an alien, and they go away for a weekend trip as Beaver Scouts. Will Harris be able to help Zeke keep his secret when another scout starts suspecting something? Zeke has revealed to Harris that he’s an alien and Harris is thrilled to have an alien best friend! This weekend, Harris has a Beaver Scout outing in the wilderness, so he invites Zeke to join in on the fun. Zeke doesn’t quite understand all the activities, like sleeping outside and telling ghost stories, and he is a little careless with using his powers, which leads one scout to become a little suspicious. Will Harris be able to help Zeke hide his identity from everyone?

  4. Unicorn Theater - New York Times Bestselling Author! The second Phoebe and Her Unicorn graphic novel! Summer is here, and Phoebe and Marigold are headed to drama camp. Phoebe’s expecting some quality time with her best friend, but in a surprise twist, Marigold has invited her sister, Florence Unfortunate Nostrils! While the unicorn sisters head to camp in a magical rainbow pod, Phoebe is stuck riding with her parents in their boring car, wondering where it all went wrong. But at Camp Thespis, there are more daunting tasks at hand: writing, producing, and acting in an entirely original play! The second Phoebe and Her Unicorn graphic novel is a sparkling tale of sisterhood and summer fun, as well as a reminder that sometimes it takes a bit of drama to recognize true friendship.

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Books About Friendship and Rescue

Super Spooked book
#1
Super Spooked
Written by Gina Bellisario and illustrated by Jessika von Innerebner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-8

Although she has battled supervillains, Ellie has recently become scared of the dark, so when she is invited to a Halloween sleepover at her best friend’s house she is apprehensive—but when the villainous Fairy Frightmare sprinkles the girls with bad dream dust, trapping them all inside their nightmares, Ellie must squash her own fears to rescue her friends.

The Baby Firebird book
#2
The Baby Firebird
Written by Paula Harrison and illustrated by Sophy Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

In a land far, far away, a small group of animal lovers work to keep magical creatures safe from the grasp of the evil Sir Fitzroy in this third book in the brand-new Secret Rescuers chapter book series! Talia lives in a tropical rainforest that is home to a flock of magical firebirds. One day she meets a baby firebird and they become best friends. But the firebirds are in terrible danger. Can Talia and her friend Lucas protect the firebirds, and save their home from destruction?

Rise of the Dragon Moon book
#3
Rise of the Dragon Moon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The princess of a frozen queendom fights to free her mother from the clutches of terrifying dragons in this middle grade fantasy debut. Princess Toli may be heir to the throne, but she longs to be a fierce hunter and warrior. Alone in a frozen world, her queendom is at the mercy of the dragons that killed her father, and Toli is certain it’s only a matter of time before they come back to destroy what’s left of her family. When the dragons rise and seize her mother, Toli will do anything to save her— even trust a young dragon who may be the only key to the Queen’s release. With her sister and best friend at her side, Toli makes the treacherous journey across the vast ice barrens to Dragon Mountain, where long-held secrets await. Bear-cats are on their trail, and dragons stalk them, but the greatest danger might be a mystery buried in Toli’s past. An Imprint Book

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Nameless City: The Divided Earth - The Nameless City—held by the rogue Dao prince Erzi—is under siege by a coalition of Dao and Yisun forces who are determined to end the war for the Nameless City once and for all. And the people of the city—the “Named”—are caught in between. Meanwhile, Rat and Kai must infiltrate Erzi’s palace and steal back the ancient and deadly formula for napatha, the ancient weapon of mass destruction Erzi has unearthed—before he can use it to destroy everything Rat and Kai hold dear! In her third and final installment in the Nameless City trilogy, Faith Erin Hicks delivers a heart-thumping conclusion. With deft world-building, frantic battle scenes, and a gentle and moving friendship at its heart, the Nameless City has earned its place as one of the great fantasy series of our time.

  2. A Fairy's Courage - Being a fairy is a lot more dangerous than you think… Ever since Rowan was transformed into a fairy, her life has been filled with perilous adventure. And when her mom is kidnapped by an evil fairy called Vulpes and his army of foxes, Rowan sets off on her most dangerous mission yet. With the help of her fairy friends—plus a tiger released from London Zoo!—she’s sure she can rescue her mom and save the fairy realms. But Vulpes is cunning and sly. And he’s luring Rowan right into a trap.

  3. The Danger Gang and the Isle of Feral Beasts! - Ronald Zupan and the rest of the Danger Gang are back for their second rip-roaring adventure, perfect for fans of Indiana Jones and Lemony Snicket, fully illustrated by Arree Chung. “The ride of a lifetime.” —Matt de la Peña, Newbery Award-winning author on The Danger Gang and the Pirates of Borneo! Ronald Zupan, his quick-witted fencing partner Julianne Sato, and his trusty butler Jeeves are off on another adventure. This time, they’re trying to rescue the movie star Josh Brigand—who was kidnapped from his latest film premiere by the dreaded Liars’ Club. As the Danger Gang races to save their friend, they face off with a poisoning poet, a band of Roman candle-wielding thugs, and thousands of feral foxes. When their skills of deduction are put to the ultimate test, will Ronald and his pals be able to stick together long enough to rescue Josh and defeat the Liar’s Club once and for all? Fully illustrated by picture book talent Arree Chung, this hilarious, high-action series is a must-have for all adventurers.

  4. Rain Reign - A New York Times Bestseller! Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She’s thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose’s obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different – not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father. When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search. Hearts will break and spirits will soar for this powerful story, brilliantly told from Rose’s point of view.

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Books About Friendship and Helping Others

The Fix-It Friends: The Show Must Go On book
#1
The Fix-It Friends: The Show Must Go On
Written by Nicole C. Kear and 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

The Eleventh Trade book
#2
The Eleventh Trade
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

From debut author Alyssa Hollingsworth comes a story about living with fear, being a friend, and finding a new place to call home. They say you can’t get something for nothing, but nothing is all Sami has. When his grandfather’s most-prized possession—a traditional Afghan instrument called a rebab—is stolen, Sami resolves to get it back. He finds it at a music store, but it costs $700, and Sami doesn’t have even one penny. What he does have is a keychain that has caught the eye of his classmate. If he trades the keychain for something more valuable, could he keep trading until he has $700? Sami is about to find out. The Eleventh Trade is both a classic middle school story and a story about being a refugee. Like Katherine Applegate, author of Wishtree, Alyssa Hollingsworth tackles a big issue with a light touch.

Skylark and Wallcreeper book
#3
Skylark and Wallcreeper
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

While helping her granny Collette evacuate to a makeshift shelter in Brooklyn during Superstorm Sandy, Lily uncovers secrets of her grandmother’s past as a member of the French Resistance during WWII. Queens, 2012. Hurricane Sandy is flooding New York City, and Lily is at a nursing home with her grandmother, Collette. Lily visits Collette often, as she is beginning to lose her memories. When the National Guard shows up to evacuate the building and take them to safety at the Park Slope armory in Brooklyn, Lily’s granny suddenly produces a red box she’s hidden in a closet for years. Once they get to safety, Lily opens the box, where she finds an old, beautiful Montblanc pen. Granny tells Lily that the pen is very important and that she has to take care of it, as well as some letters written in French. But Lily loses the pen in the course of helping other nursing home residents, and as she searches the city trying to find it, she learns more about her grandmother’s past in France and begins to uncover the significance of the pen with the help of her best friend, a quirky pen expert, and a larger-than-life, off-Broadway understudy. Told in alternating sections (2012 and 1944), this engaging book explores a deep friendship during difficult times and the importance of family.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel - Twelve-year-old Stevie attempts to brighten the lives of her cranky grandfather and the residents of his motel by planting a garden in this middle grade novel by National Book Award–winning author Kimberly Willis Holt. Stevie’s world changes drastically when her parents are tragically killed and she is forced to live with her estranged grandfather at his run-down motel. After failed attempts to connect with her grandfather, Stevie befriends the colorful motel tenants and neighbors. Together, they decide to bring some color and life to the motel by planting a flower garden, against Stevie’s grandfather’s wishes. It will take Stevie’s departure before her grandfather realizes just how needed she is by everyone. Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel explores themes of loss, family, and love, and gets at the heart of what it means to find a place to call home. A Christy Ottaviano Book “Endearing and imperfect, Stevie establishes immediate rapport with readers.” —Kirkus Reviews More from Kimberly Willis Holt: Skinny Brown Dog Dear Hank Williams Dinner with the Highbrows The Water Seeker Keeper of the Night When Zachary Beaver Came to Town The Piper Reed series: Piper Reed, Navy Brat Piper Reed, Clubhouse Queen Piper Reed Gets a Job Piper Reed, Party Planner Piper Reed, Campfire Girl Piper Reed, Rodeo Star Piper Reed, Forever Friend

  2. Cracks in the Cone - Allie must find a balance between being a boss and being a friend in this second delicious book in the Sprinkle Sundays series from the author of the Cupcake Diaries series!

  3. The Horrible Hex - Linda is a good witch, who always tries to undo the hexes that her sisters, Agnes and Griselda, create—but to defeat the malevolent smoke that they have cooked up this time, and teach her sisters a lesson, she will need the help of her monster friends, Brian the zombie, Mina the vampire, and Will the ghost.

Want to see more children's books about helping others?

Books About Friendship and Moving

Quinny & Hopper book
#1
Quinny & Hopper
Written by Adriana Brad Schanen and illustrated by Greg Swearingen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Quinny has a lot to say. Hopper gets to the point.

Quinny has one speed: very, very, extra-very fast. Hopper proceeds with caution.

Quinny has big ideas. Hopper has smart solutions.

Quinny and Hopper couldn’t be more different. They are an unstoppable team.

But when summer ends, things suddenly aren’t the same. Can Quinny and Hopper stick together in the face of stylish bullies, a killer chicken, and the brand-new Third Grade Rules-especially the one that says they aren’t allowed to be friends anymore?

Wonderland book
#2
Wonderland
Written by Barbara O'Connor
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When her mother uproots them again to another home and takes a job as housekeeper, ten-year-old Mavis is determined to find a best friend in Landry, Alabama, where the summer also holds the promise of friendship and change for a sad man, a stray dog, and a timid girl.

The Doughnut Fix book
#3
The Doughnut Fix
Written by Jessie Janowitz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

An Amazon Best Book of the Month!

Superfudge meets The Lemonade War in this funny, heartwarming series debut about change, adventure, family, and of course, doughnuts.

Tristan isn’t Gifted or Talented like his sister Jeanine, and he’s always been okay with that because he can make a perfect chocolate chip cookie and he lives in the greatest city in the world. But his life takes a turn for the worse when his parents decide to move to middle-of-nowhere Petersville―a town with one street and no restaurants. It’s like suddenly they’re supposed to be this other family, one that can survive without bagels and movie theaters.

His suspicions about his new town are confirmed when he’s tricked into believing the local general store has life-changing chocolate cream doughnuts, when in fact the owner hasn’t made them in years. And so begins the only thing that could make life in Petersville worth living: getting the recipe, making the doughnuts, and bringing them back to the town through his very own doughnut stand. But Tristan will soon discover that when starting a business, it helps to be both Gifted and Talented, and It’s possible he’s bitten off more than he can chew…

Honorable Mentions
  1. Sunday Sundaes - Enjoy a sprinkle of happy with this fun, sweet new series from the author of Cupcake Diaries! Meet the Sunday Sundae Sisters! Allie, Sierra, and Tamiko have been best friends since kindergarten. Now Allie’s parents are divorced and Allie has moved one town away. She can still see her friends but she no longer goes to the same middle school. So that means new teachers, new classrooms, and new students to deal with—all without her BFFs for support. But when Allie’s mom decides to fulfill her lifelong dream and open up an ice cream shop, Allie has an idea. Maybe she and her friends can work in the shop every Sunday! It’s a way for them to stay in touch every week and have fun—that is, of course, until they actually start working.

  2. Tiny Infinities - When Alice’s dad moves out, leaving her with her troubled mother, she does the only thing that feels right: she retreats to her family’s old Renaissance tent in the backyard, determined to live there until her dad comes home. In an attempt to keep at least one part of her summer from changing, Alice focuses on her quest to swim freestyle fast enough to get on her swim team’s record board. But summers contain multitudes, and soon Alice meets an odd new friend, Harriet, whose obsession with the school’s science fair is equal only to her conviction that Alice’s best stroke is backstroke, not freestyle. Most unexpected of all is an unusual babysitting charge, Piper, who is mute—until Alice hears her speak. A funny and honest middle-grade novel, this sharply observed depiction of family, friendship, and Alice’s determination to prove herself—as a babysitter, as a friend, as a daughter, as a person—rings loud and true.

Want to see more children's books about moving?

Books About Friendship and Dogs

Fenway and Hattie Up to New Tricks book
#1
Fenway and Hattie Up to New Tricks
Written by Victoria J. Coe
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Fenway’s dog’s-eye-view of the world is as enthusiastic as ever, but his favorite short human is not acting the way he expects—and he doesn’t like it one bit!

Fenway’s life is pretty great, except for the strange stripey chipmunks that have suddenly appeared in the Dog Park behind his house. He’s determined to catch them, but one of their hiding places contains some stinging insects. Ouch! Fenway thinks he can take care of this injury himself, but his humans don’t let him. They take him to the Place of Fear and then Hattie doesn’t even help him take off the Cone of Doom! Fenway never would have expected Hattie to do these things to him. Doesn’t she love him anymore? But even though his family is acting weird, Fenway is determined do whatever it takes to make them all happy again.

Anna, Banana, and the Recipe for Disaster book
#2
Anna, Banana, and the Recipe for Disaster
Written by Anica Mrose Rissi and illustrated by Meg Park
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Anna and Banana must cook up a solution when her jealousy gets her into some hot water in the sixth book of this “fast-paced, fun, and funny” (Megan McDonald, bestselling author of the Judy Moody series) illustrated chapter book series about the joys and challenges of elementary school friendships.

After watching the contestants on The Batter-Up Bake-Off Show whip up sweet treats, Anna, Isabel, Sadie, and Banana are ready to put their culinary chops to the test. The plan? To make the best-ever cookie recipe for the town library’s bake sale!

There’s only one problem: Isabel and Sadie have started hanging out with a girl named Monica, and suddenly she’s all they can talk about. Anna’s sure she, Sadie, and Isabel are complete as a trio, and winning the bake sale will prove it. But when Monica shows up with Sadie and Isabel for their big baking day things quickly turn from sweet to sour.

Can Anna win back the attention of her two besties, or will she learn that friendship—like cookies—is best when shared?

Anna, Banana, and the Puppy Parade book
#3
Anna, Banana, and the Puppy Parade
Written by Anica Mrose Rissi and illustrated by Meg Park
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Anna can’t wait for the Puppy Parade. She’s certain Banana will win. Soon Banana will be famous—and that means Anna will be famous too!

But when Sadie and Isabel suggest they all enter Banana in the parade together, Anna starts feeling a little unsure about sharing her dog—and the spotlight—with her friends.

How can Anna be Best in Show and be a good best friend?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Anna, Banana, and the Big-Mouth Bet - Anna has a loose tooth! It’s as wiggly as her dog Banana’s tail. But while Anna is poking at her loose tooth, class clown Justin keeps poking fun at Anna and her friends. Anna tries to make Justin leave them alone and gets pulled into a high-stakes bet. If Anna wins, Justin has to play nice; but if Anna loses, she has to do something so jaw-droppingly embarrassing, even Banana can’t believe it. There’s no wiggling her way out of this one. Anna has to win this bet.

  2. Anna, Banana, and the Friendship Split - Anna has two favorite things: her best friend, Sadie, and her dog, Banana. She can’t wait to celebrate her birthday with both of them. But Anna’s birthday party turns into a birthday disaster when Sadie starts a terrible fight that Anna never saw coming. Anna doesn’t know why her best friend is suddenly acting like her worst enemy, but she knows she’d do anything to fix it. She and Banana just need to come up with a plan. Only, what if Sadie doesn’t want their friendship to be fixed?

  3. Anna, Banana, and Monkey in the Middle - Anna is lucky to have two best friends—it makes everything twice as fun. She’s excited to go with Sadie and Isabel on their class trip to the zoo. But when Anna’s two best friends start choosing opposite sides on everything, Anna feels caught in the middle. Sadie wants Anna to see the spiny anteater with her, but Isabel wants to visit the tortoise instead. When Isabel pulls Anna toward the camel house, Sadie yanks her toward the giraffes. It’s like they’re playing a game of tug-of-war and Anna is the rope! How can Anna keep the peace without causing double trouble?

  4. Henry Huggins - This special edition of Henry Huggins features the original illustrations by Louis Darling—the first artist to ever render Henry, Ribsy, Ramona, and Beezus—as well as a foreword written by New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Tony DiTerlizzi. In Newbery Medal-winning author Beverly Cleary’s first novel, boys and girls alike will instantly be charmed by an average boy whose life is turned upside-down when he meets a loveable puppy with a nose for mischief. Just as Henry Huggins is complaining that nothing exciting ever happens, a friendly dog sits down beside him and looks pleadingly at his ice-cream cone. From that moment on, the two are inseparable. But when Ribsy’s original owner appears, trying to reclaim his dog, Henry’s faced with the possibility of losing his new best friend. Has Klickitat Street seen the last of rambunctious Ribsy?

Want to see more children's books about dogs?

Books About Friendship and Imagination

Posey, the Class Pest book
#1
Posey, the Class Pest
Written by Holly Anna and illustrated by Genevieve Santos
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Daisy brings her totally true imaginary friend, Posey, to visit her totally real school in this seventh Daisy Dreamer chapter book!

Nerd alert! Guess what? I, Daisy Dreamer, have a big confession. I love school. You know what else I love? Posey. He’s my totally true imaginary friend. So if I were to mix school and Posey together, then I would have the absolutely, most perfect day. Obviously. Unfortunately, sometimes mixing two great things together makes for an absolutely huge mess, like grape juice and fluffy carpets, or lollipops and long hair. Well, I would not recommend mixing school and Posey together, unless you love having a classroom pest.

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Daisy Dreamer chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

Dory and the Real True Friend book
#2
Dory and the Real True Friend
Written by Abby Hanlon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

The star of Dory Fantasmagory is heading to school. Her older siblings, Luke and Violet, warn her to leave her imaginary friend, Mary, at home—or better yet, leave her whole imagination at home! But on her very first day she meets a new friend, a girl whose imagination and style are just about as wild as her own. Now she just has to convince her siblings that she’s not making it all up!

Dory Dory Black Sheep book
#3
Dory Dory Black Sheep
Written by Abby Hanlon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Ever since Dory met Rosabelle, a real true friend whose imagination and high spirits match her own, school has been pretty good. But now the class is learning to read, and it’s proving to be a challenge for Dory. While Rosabelle can read chapter books in her head, Dory is stuck with baby books about a happy little farm. Dory wishes for a potion to turn her into a reader but things don’t go as planned. Suddenly, a naughty little girl who looks an awful lot like Dory’s imaginary nemesis, Mrs. Gobble Gracker, shows up. And a black sheep leaves the pages of the farm book to follow Dory to school. It really needs her help–this seems like a job for a superhero! And it would help if she knew how to read.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Confessions of an Imaginary Friend - Jacques Papier has the sneaking suspicion that everyone except his sister Fleur hates him. Teachers ignore him when his hand is raised in class, he is never chosen for sports teams, and his parents often need to be reminded to set a place for him at the dinner table. But he is shocked when he finally learns the truth: He is Fleur’s imaginary friend! When he convinces Fleur to set him free, he begins a surprising and touching, and always funny quest to find himself—to figure out who Jacques Papier truly is, and where he belongs.

  2. Journey of the Pale Bear - A runaway boy befriends a polar bear that’s being transported from Norway to London in this lyrical and timeless adventure story about freedom, captivity, and finding a family. The polar bear is a royal bear, a gift from the King of Norway to the King of England. The first time Arthur encounters the bear, he is shoved in her cage as payback for stealing food. Restless and deadly, the bear terrifies him. Yet, strangely, she doesn’t harm him—though she has attacked anyone else who comes near. That makes Arthur valuable to the doctor in charge of getting the bear safely to London. So Arthur, who has run away from home, finds himself taking care of a polar bear on a ship to England. Tasked with feeding and cleaning up after the bear, Arthur’s fears slowly lessen as he begins to feel a connection to this bear, who like him, has been cut off from her family. But the journey holds many dangers, and Arthur knows his own freedom—perhaps even his life—depends on keeping the bear from harm. When pirates attack and the ship founders, Arthur must make a choice—does he do everything he can to save himself, or does he help the bear to find freedom? Based on the real story of a polar bear that lived in the Tower of London, this timeless adventure story is also a touching account of the bond between a boy and a bear.

  3. Elizabeth and Zenobia - Abandoned by her mother and neglected by her scientist father, timid Elizabeth Murmur has only her fearless friend Zenobia for company. And Zenobia’s company can be very trying! When Elizabeth’s father takes them to live in his family home, Witheringe House, Zenobia becomes obsessed with finding a ghost in the creepy old mansion and forces Elizabeth to hold séances and wander the rooms at night. With Zenobia’s constant pushing, Elizabeth investigates the history of the house and learns that it does hold a terrible secret: Her father’s younger sister disappeared from the grounds without a trace years ago. Elizabeth and Zenobia is a wonderfully compelling middle-grade story about friendship, courage, and the power of the imagination.

  4. More Than a Princess - Aislin of Eliasind is more than just a princess — she’s half-fairy and half-pedrasi, with magical gifts from each side of her heritage! One day, as Aislin is venturing through the woods, she is alarmed to hear a band of humans coming through. How did they get past the guarded magical passageway that leads to her hidden kingdom? Mistaken for a human herself, Aislin is captured, and soon realizes she’s in even bigger trouble—she’s being used as a pawn to help the king of this nearby kingdom, Morrain, find a secret passageway to the warring land of Scarmander, so he can capture his enemies by surprise. Aislin must find a way to break free, while also minding the beautiful human princess and ladies-in-waiting she now shares a castle with, who are all too ready to point out her differences. Thankfully, Aislin’s inner strength goes beyond her magical qualities. And with a few loyal friends by her side, she’s ready to stand up for herself and her kingdom once and for all. A classic and original fairy-tale that celebrates beauty and goodness in all its shapes and sizes, More than a Princess will resonate with readers who love magic, suspense, girl power, and adventure.

Want to see more children's books about imagination?

Books About Friendship and Detectives

Lou Lou and Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza book
#1
Lou Lou and Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza
Written by Jill Diamond and illustrated by Lesley Vamos
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

BFFs Lou Lou Bombay and Peacock Pearl are busy preparing for the Bicentennial Bonanza, their city’s two-hundredth birthday bash! And this year, the party will take place in their beloved neighborhood of El Corazón. With a baking contest, talent show, and a new gazebo planned, the community can’t wait to celebrate the founders (and historical BFFs), Diego Soto and Giles Wonderwood. But when Vice-Mayor Andy Argyle claims the festivities belong to Verde Valley, using a mysterious diary as evidence, Lou Lou and Pea smell trouble. Will the friends be able to uncover the secrets of their city’s founding, and bring the Bonanza back to El Corazón?

Shadow of a Pug (Howard Wallace, P. I. , Book 2) book
#2
Shadow of a Pug (Howard Wallace, P. I. , Book 2)
Written and illustrated by Casey Lyall
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Middle-school detectives Howard Wallace and Ivy Mason are itching for a juicy case—but when they’re forced to prove that uber-bully Carl Dean didn’t pugnap the school mascot, they’re not thrilled. Now Howard and Ivy have to play nice with Carl, dodge a snoopy reporter, and deal with Howard’s worst enemy, Miles Fletcher. Can Howard handle these complications and still be there for Ivy when her life is turned upside down?

Lost in Hollywood book
#3
Lost in Hollywood
Written and illustrated by Cindy Callaghan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

When Ginger Carlson’s aunt finds herself in financial trouble, Ginger’s entire family and her best friend head to Hollywood to help find the missing money.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Magic Looking Glass - Meet Jack and his talking chicken Betsy, Red, Rapunzel, Hansel and Gretel, and a host of other Little Legendsas they have fantastic new adventures!Get to know your favorite fairytale characters like never before in this magical new book series. A cutting has been stolen from the magical Story Tree, and it’s up to twins Hansel and Gretel to get it back. With the help of their new friend Wolfie, they find a secret fortress in the forest and a Magic Looking Glass that promises to help them. But things are not always what they seem! Can Wolfie and the twins save the day, or will the Magic Look Glass have the last laugh?

  2. Sam the Man & the Secret Detective Club Plan - Sam Graham is a mystery man. But when there are no mysteries to solve, Sam comes up with a plan to find one in this hilarious fourth chapter book in the Sam the Man series from Frances O’Roark Dowell. Sam Graham loves solving mysteries. After successfully solving the mystery of Annabelle’s lost sock, Sam decides to make mystery-solving his main hobby (after tending the chickens, of course). He recruits his best friend Gavin and a couple of their classmates for a detective club, and together they’re ready for any mystery that comes their way. There’s a problem though…there are no cases to solve! So, Sam comes up with a plan: They’ll take the most interesting things in the lost and found and try to find out who lost what. But who could a locked box, a very long stuffed snake, and a red jacket belong to? And how will Sam and his friends find them? And…why does that jacket smell so bad?!?

  3. Potion Problems - Kelly Quinn and her friends must figure out a way to save a beloved local store and find their infamous Secret Recipe Book, which has gone missing in this sequel to Just Add Magic (the inspiration for the family-friendly TV series)! Kelly Quinn and her best friends, Darbie and Hannah, are having the worst day ever! Their Secret Recipe Book accidentally gets included in frenemy, Charlotte’s used book drive. Not good. As if that’s not enough, the girls find out that their cooking program is on the chopping block at school, thanks to big budget cuts. Kelly & Company decide to take matters into their own hands and apply for famous TV chef Felice Foudini’s Recipe Challenge. The prize? $10,000 and webisodes on Felice’s site. With the Book and the special ingredients from their beloved mentor, Senora Perez’s, store LaCucina, the girls are sure to win. But when they turn to Senora Perez, for help, they discover La Cucina is in danger of closing! Then Kelly gets a mysterious delivery—a package with the missing Secret Recipe Book with a note: “From KE.” KE is one of the Book’s authors, but who is KE exactly? It’s up to Kelly, Darbie, and Hannah to get to the bottom of the mystery, save the cooking program, and help Senora P. keep her store!

  4. The Curious Cat Spy Club - No one at school knows that Kelsey, Becca, and Leo are secretly friends. They have nothing in common—until they rescue three kittens and form a club to help animals through volunteering, spying, and solving mysteries. In the first book of this series, Kelsey helps catch a runaway zorse (horse + zebra) with the help of another girl from school named Becca. The two are walking home when they happen upon a litter of kittens trapped in a dumpster and Leo Polanski is the only person around who can help get them out. The three unlikely friends decide to work together to help solve animal crimes with their secret club!

Want to see more children's books about detectives?

Books About Friendship and Science

Sleepover Scientist book
#1
Sleepover Scientist
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Jada Jones is back for the third book of this popular, celebrated series perfect for STEM fans! Jada is hosting her first sleepover, and she has lots of cool scientific activities planned: kitchen chemistry, creating invisible ink, and even making slime! But when her friends get tired of the lessons and just want to hang out, can Jada figure out the formula for fun and save the sleepover? Praise for Jada Jones: Rock Star “Fast-paced, with supersimple vocabulary and a smattering of earth science to spark interest in young rock collectors everywhere.”—Kirkus Reviews “Readers who love “Ivy and Bean” or “Katie Woo” will want to meet Jada Jones.”—School Library Journal

Sleepover Scientist #3 book
#2
Sleepover Scientist #3
Written by Kelly Starling Lyons and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton and Nneka Myers
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Jada Jones is back for the third book of this popular, celebrated series perfect for STEM fans!

Jada is hosting her first sleepover, and she has lots of cool scientific activities planned: kitchen chemistry, creating invisible ink, and even making slime! But when her friends get tired of the lessons and just want to hang out, can Jada figure out the formula for fun and save the sleepover?

Enginerds book
#3
Enginerds
Written and illustrated by Jarrett Lerner
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

The battle between boys and bots is on in this funny, fast-paced novel.

Ken is an EngiNerd: one of a super-smart group of friends—all nerds—who have been close since kindergarten.

They may be brainiacs, but they’re just like everyone else: they fight with one another, watch too much TV, eat Chinese food, and hate walking their dogs. Well, maybe not just like everyone because Ken’s best friend Dan has been building robots. He then secretly sent one to each of the EngiNerds, never letting them know he’s the mastermind.

At first Ken is awed and delighted: what kid hasn’t dreamed of having a robot all their own? Someone who can be their friend, clean their room, walk the dog, answer homework questions…how amazing is that?

But be careful what you wish for: Dan’s robot, Greeeg, may look innocent, but his ravenous consumption of food—comestibles—turns him into a butt-blasting bot. And once the other robots ‘come alive’ it’s up to the motley crew of EngiNerds to not only save the day, but save the planet!

Honorable Mentions
  1. George and the Big Bang - Explore how the universe began—and thwart evil along the way—in this cosmic adventure from Stephen and Lucy Hawking that includes a graphic novel. George has problems. He has twin baby sisters at home who demand his parents’ attention. His beloved pig Freddy has been exiled to a farm, where he’s miserable. And worst of all, his best friend, Annie, has made a new friend whom she seems to like more than George. So George jumps at the chance to help Eric with his plans to run a big experiment in Switzerland that seeks to explore the earliest moment of the universe. But there is a conspiracy afoot, and a group of evildoers is planning to sabotage the experiment. Can George repair his friendship with Annie and piece together the clues before Eric’s experiment is destroyed forever? This engaging adventure features essays by Professor Stephen Hawking and other eminent physicists about the origins of the universe and ends with a twenty-page graphic novel that explains how the Big Bang happened—in reverse!

  2. Ada Lace and the Impossible Mission - From Emily Calandrelli—Emmy-nominated host of Xploration Outer Space, correspondent on Bill Nye Saves the World, and graduate of MIT—comes the fourth novel in a fun illustrated chapter book series about an eight-year-old girl with a knack for science, math, and solving mysteries with technology. Third grader and inventor extraordinaire Ada Lace has a new social studies teacher—who loves group projects. While most of the class has constructed regular dioramas with clay and construction paper, Ada, her best friend Nina, and sometimes nemesis Milton have built a complex scale model of an historic silver mine. But when Milton reveals that he added his “old Milton touch” on their project right before turning it in, Ada worries that he has sabotaged their work. In a desperate attempt to save their project, Ada and Nina use their combined creative and technical prowess to perform a heist and break into their teacher’s supply closet after school. Do the two friends have what it takes to deceive the school’s security system? Or will they get caught trying to pull off this seemingly impossible mission.

  3. Rock Star - When Jada Jones’s best friend moves away, school feels like the last place she wants to be. She’d much rather wander outside looking for cool rocks to add to her collection, since finding rocks is much easier than finding friends. So when Jada’s teacher announces a class project on rocks and minerals, Jada finally feels like she’s in her element. The only problem: one of her teammates doesn’t seem to like any of Jada’s ideas. She doesn’t seem to like Jada all that much, either. Can Jada figure out a way to make a winning science project and a new friend?

Want to see more children's books about science?

Books About Friendship and Mischief

Big Nate Goes Bananas! book
#1
Big Nate Goes Bananas!
Written and illustrated by Lincoln Peirce
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-12

Join Big Nate and his pals for another round of pranks, jokes, and wedgies! NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR! The school year is winding down, and Nate can’t wait for summer vacation: baseball, beach trips, and…overripe bananas? Yuck! Turns out Nate has a problem with fruit that’s past its prime. And that’s not all that’s bugging him. Kim Cressly is making Chester jealous at Nate’s expense, Artur is challenging him in the Hunny Bursts mascot contest, and his replacement social studies teacher is none other than Coach John. In banana terms, it’s all left Nate feeling a little bruised. Can he make it to summer without slipping up? Join Nate and the gang for more shenanigans in this newest collection of Big Nate comics!

Anna, Banana, and the Little Lost Kitten book
#2
Anna, Banana, and the Little Lost Kitten
Written by Anica Mrose Rissi and illustrated by Meg Park
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Anna and Banana rescue a stray kitten in the fifth book of this “fast-paced, fun, and funny” (Megan McDonald, bestselling author of the Judy Moody series) illustrated chapter book series about the joys and challenges of elementary school friendships.

Anna and Banana have found a kitten!

But when Banana accidentally scares the kitten away during their afternoon walk, Anna enlists her two best friends, Sadie and Isabel, for OPERATION CATCH THE KITTEN. Anna can’t image such a tiny kitten living outside all by himself, and she’s determined to find him a good home.

But catching a kitten is trickier than Anna thought—kittens are easily scared and very stealthy. Then there’s the problem of finding him a good home. Sadie’s mom has a “No Pets” rule, Isabel’s cat, Mewsic, does not play well with other animals, and Anna’s dad is allergic to cats!

Anna and her friends desperately want to help, but will they be able to find the kitten a good home?

Ghosts Don't Ride Bikes, Do They? book
#3
Ghosts Don't Ride Bikes, Do They?
Written by Andres Miedoso and illustrated by Victor Rivas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Desmond and Andres are in for a bike-riding adventure in the second book of the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter book series!

Welcome to Kersville, a town with a spooky history and a collection of ghosts and spirits who are major mischief-makers. Most kids spend their days without ever seeing or dealing with a ghost, but some kids get stuck with a haunt. When that happens, they call Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol. There’s no job too spooky, icky, or risky for Desmond.

I’m not like that at all. My name’s Andres Miedoso. I’m Desmond’s best friend and ghost patrol partner.

So when Desmond and I are called to track down a ghost on wheels, Desmond is sure that ghosts don’t ride bikes. Here’s why: they float everywhere. Makes sense, right? But if there’s one thing I’ve learned during my Ghost Patrol days, it’s this: Never tell a ghost what they can or can’t do.

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Zach King: Mirror Magic - Zach King, the award-winning social media superstar with nearly 25 MILLION fans, is back with the third and final magical installment in his hilarious, fun-filled trilogy about Zach, a seventh grader trying to control his new magical powers. Features color graphic novel sections and an augmented reality app that brings the illustrations to three-dimensional life! BIG NATE meets DANTDM in the third magical middle grade adventure by social media superstar Zach King. Since Zach finally recovered his magical powers, middle school has never been better—he’s teaming up with his best friend, Aaron, on their super-popular YouTube channel and talking to the nicest, smartest, prettiest girl in school, Rachel. But when Zach magically “passes through” a magical mirror, he lands in a world that is the exact opposite of everything he’s ever known. Instead of finding himself at Horace Greeley Middle School, he’s at Horace Greeley MAGIC School. And in this world of opposites, everyone here has magic except him. Even worse, Zach is stuck in this world AND his alter-ego, the newly magical Jack, has passed in to Zach’s world and now living his life and getting into all sorts of trouble. Fortunately, Zach can always count on his friends—even this mixed-up magical world’s versions of them! If he can just convince the guys about the truth of his world-jumping misadventure, Zach knows, they’ll work together to figure out how to put everyone back where they belong—before it’s too late. It’s another hilarious adventure from the online and Instagram sensation Zach King. The book comes complete with a free downloadable augmented reality app that animates the illustrations in the book, bringing them to full three-dimensional life.

  2. To Night Owl from Dogfish - Unhappy about being sent to the same summer camp after their fathers start dating, Bett and Avery, eleven, eventually begin scheming to get the couple back together after a break-up. Told entirely through text messages.

  3. Big Nate: Silent But Deadly - “These strips appeared in newspapers from October 6, 2013, through March 29, 2014.”—Copyright page.

  4. Payback on Poplar Lane - Twelve-year-old Peter Gronkowski prides himself on being a professional businessman. Tired of the cliched lemonade stands that line his block, he decides to start a better business with the help of an intern. But his intern of choice, the quiet and writerly Rachel Chambers, turns out to be more than he bargained for. Rachel is innovative, resourceful, driven—and when she’s had enough of Peter’s overbearing management style, she decides to start a competing empire next door. As their rivalry and sabotage tactics become more outrageous—Slander! Espionage! Lemonade threats!—Peter and Rachel ultimately learn the hard way that “nothing gold can stay” and that friendship is more important than money. Alternating perspectives reveal what really motivates each character to win. And Peter’s memos and “business tips” as well as excerpts from Rachel’s melodramatic novel-in-progress generate fresh hilarity and tension at every page turn. Payback on Poplar Lane is a pitch-perfect comedy with heart, reminiscent of your favorite classic middle-grade series.

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Books About Friendship and Sports

Caught Offside book
#1
Caught Offside
Written and illustrated by Andrea Montalbano
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Rejoin the Soccer Sisters in this latest installment - full of friendship, teamwork, and soccer fun! As the youngest member of the elite Brookville Breakers, Val Flores is feeling out of place. She just doesn’t understand why suddenly her teammates can’t talk about anything except boys.So when the Breakers play a match against El Fuego, she wonders if she should switch teams. Is Val’s time with the Breakers up?

The Mighty Dynamo book
#2
The Mighty Dynamo
Written by Kieran Crowley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

More than anything, Noah Murphy wants to be a professional soccer player—and participating in the Schools’ World Cup qualifiers might be just what he needs to get scouted. But when he’s suspiciously banned from his school team for something he didn’t even do, all his dreams come crashing down. Determined to live up to his Mighty Dynamo nickname, Noah must find his own way to enter the contest no matter what it takes. With his best friend Stevie on tactics, and the skills of some unlikely new teammates, he’s soon ready to take on the world—just as long as no one plays foul.

Out of Bounds book
#3
Out of Bounds
Written and illustrated by Andrea Montalbano
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Fans of Alex Morgan’s The Kicks will love this new series by former soccer player, coach, and motivational speaker, about a group of friends and the lessons they learn through their love of the world’s most popular sport. Makena James absolutely loves soccer. She knows it’s the best sport around and she feels lucky that the teammates on her super competitive and super skilled team, the Brookville Breakers, feel the same way. The girls always have and always will be Soccer Sisters. But when a new person joins the Breakers, everything changes. Skylar is a great player and really cool-but she also doesn’t always play by the rules. Makena, hoping to impress Skylar, starts acting out and running wild, off and on the field. But with a huge tournament looming, Mac’s got tough choices ahead. Choices that will affect her family, her friends, and the game she loves. Can she staytrue to what the Soccer Sisters believe in and win the big game?

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Alien Next Door 5: Baseball Blues - In the fifth book of the Alien Next Door series, Zeke, Harris, and Roxy all try out for the baseball team, but Zeke can’t resist using his powers to help him play better than everyone else. It’s baseball season, and Zeke, Harris, and Roxy all decide to try out for the team. Zeke doesn’t quite know how to play baseball, but his powers allow him to pitch and hit better than anyone else! But Harris thinks that what Zeke is doing is cheating, since none of the other players have his powers, and he’s also concerned that someone might discover Zeke’s an alien. But Zeke doesn’t see a problem with this, causing tension in their friendship. Can Zeke and Harris save their friendship, or will they strike out?

  2. The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case - Acclaimed author Elizabeth Eulberg continues her hilarious middle-grade twist on Sherlock Holmes as detective duo Shelby and Watson tackle their trickiest case yet—going undercover . . . as figure skaters! Being friends with a super sleuth isn’t easy, especially when she’s nine years old, four feet tall, and full of attitude. But for eleven-year-old John Watson, being friends with Shelby Holmes is just the adventure he’s looking for. After Watson’s online journal chronicling his and Shelby’s case-closing abilities attracts the attention of a newspaper reporter, the pair becomes a small “media sensation” in their Harlem neighborhood. So it’s no surprise (at least, to Shelby!) when the article lands them a new client—a figure skating coach whose star athlete, Jordan Nelson, is receiving strange, threatening messages, written entirely in code. There’s no one better to crack the cipher than dynamic duo Shelby and Watson! But to gather information, Shelby decides that they’ll have to go undercover . . . as an award-winning pair skating team. Can they use the laws of physics and their acting skills to maintain their covers and figure out who’s sending Jordan such strange messages before it’s too late?

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Books About Friendship and Bullying

Real Friends book
#1
Real Friends
Written by Shannon Hale and illustrated by LeUyen Pham
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale and New York Times bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham join forces in this graphic memoir about how hard it is to find your real friends—and why it’s worth the journey. When best friends are not forever . . . Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen’s #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top . . . even if it means bullying others. Now every day is like a roller coaster for Shannon. Will she and Adrienne stay friends? Can she stand up for herself? And is she in The Group—or out?

Skateboard Sibby book
#2
Skateboard Sibby
Written and illustrated by Clare O’Connor
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Super skateboarder Sibby Henry won’t let the loss of her board defeat her. Eleven-year-old Sibby Henry liked her old life. Now she’s living in a new town with her nan and pops, and mad at her dad for messing everything up. On her first day of school, she sees a dope skateboard park, but she’s lost her precious board. To make things worse, Freddie, a super skater and a super jerk, dominates the park. Sibby tries to stay chill, but when Freddie gets in the face of her only new friend, Charlie Parker Drysdale, things get too hot for chill. Never one to back down, Sibby accepts when Freddie challenges her to a competition on the half pipe. She won’t let anything stop her from proving herself.

Out of Place book
#3
Out of Place
Written by Jennifer Blecher and illustrated by Merrilee Liddiard
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When twelve-year-old Cove Bernstein becomes the target of a school-wide bullying campaign, she sets out to find a way to leave her home on Martha’s Vineyard for New York City, where her best friend lives. But Cove discovers that friends can appear in the unlikeliest places, and maybe home isn’t the worst place to be after all. Jennifer Blecher’s debut novel is a voice-driven story about bullying, friendship, and self-reliance that hits the sweet spot for fans of Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish and Erin Entrada Kelly’s You Go First.

Twelve-year-old Cove Bernstein’s year has gone from bad to worse. First, her best friend, Nina, moved from Martha’s Vineyard to New York City. Then, without Nina around, Cove became the target of a bullying campaign at school. Escape seems impossible. But opportunities can appear when you least expect them. Cove’s visit to a secondhand clothing store leads her to a surprising chance to visit Nina, but only if she can win a coveted place in a kids-only design competition. Cove doesn’t know how to sew, but her friend at the retirement home, Anna, has promised to teach her. And things start really looking up when a new kid at school, Jack, begins appearing everywhere Cove goes. Then Cove makes a big mistake. One that could ruin every good thing that has happened to her this year. One that she doesn’t know how to undo. Jennifer Blecher’s accessible and beautifully written debut novel explores actions and consequences, loneliness, bullying, and finding your voice. This voice-driven friendship story is for fans of Rebecca Stead’s Goodbye Stranger and Jodi Kendall’s The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City. Includes black-and-white spot art throughout.

Honorable Mentions
  1. 24 Hours in Nowhere - Welcome to Nowhere, Arizona, America’s least livable town. For Gus, a bright 13-year-old with dreams of escaping, life there is made even worse by bully Bo Taylor. When Bo tries to force Gus to eat a spiny cactus, Rossi Scott, one of the best racers in Nowhere, rescues him by relinquishing her prized dirt bike. Gus agrees to do anything to get it back—even if it means going into a deadly mine to hunt for gold. A gripping story about friendship, hope, and finding the power within ourselves.

  2. The Rhino in Right Field - A boy who loves baseball must get past his hard-working immigrant parents—and the rhino in the outfield—to become a batboy in this laugh-out-loud middle-grade novel in the tradition of The Sandlot.

  3. Secret Friends - 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

  4. Cupcake Diaries 3 Books in 1! #4 - Three Cupcake Club adventures are now available as one sweet treat of a book! Join Katie, Mia, Emma, and Alexis as they form the Cupcake Club—and fast friendships. This book includes three stories in the Cupcake Diaries series: Mia’s Boiling Point; Emma, Smile and Say “Cupcake!”; and Alexis Gets Frosted.

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Books About Friendship and Self-discovery

The Major Eights 2: Scarlet's Big Break book
#1
The Major Eights 2: Scarlet's Big Break
Written by Melody Reed and illustrated by Emilie Pepin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

In book 2 of the Major Eights series, Scarlet goes solo and risks alienating her bandmates. After their Battle of the Bands competition, the girls are famous! Everyone knows who they are now—even strangers recognize them! But the attention starts to go to Scarlet’s head, and she decides to sign up for the school’s talent show as a solo artist. But what about the Major Eights? Should she really leave the band and her friends behind? With each book told from a different girl’s perspective, this series is all about girl power, diversity, and marching to the beat of your own drum!

Unicorn Crossing book
#2
Unicorn Crossing
Written by Dana Simpson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Phoebe and Marigold are back for a fifth installment of the award-winning series. Join in on their latest adventures - and experiments - in being themselves! Phoebe and Her Unicorn returns with more sparkles than ever!

The Year of the Garden book
#3
The Year of the Garden
Written by Andrea Cheng and illustrated by Patrice Barton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

In this prequel to The Year of the Book, join Anna in a year of discovery, new beginnings, friendships, and growth.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Princess Angelica, Camp Catastrophe - Angelica isn’t a liar. She just loves making up stories. When she goes to sleepaway camp and is mistaken for a princess, she could easily clear up the misunderstanding… but pretending to be royalty is way more fun! When her best friend from home surprises her at camp, Angelica is forced to fess up. Luckily, she also has a talent for repairing things, and when disaster strikes on the girls’ kayaking trip, Jelly has to repair more than just her newfound friendships.

  2. Mango Delight - What happens when your BFF becomes your EFF . . . EX-Friend-Forever? Surviving seventh grade is tough-especially when your BFF dumps you, you lose your spot on the track team, and you cost your dad his job. That’s the mess Mango’s in. THEN her ex-bestie spitefully tricks Mango into auditioning for the school musical and the tables turn: Mango wins the lead role, becomes a YouTube sensation, and attracts the attention of the school’s queen bee. But soon Mango is forced to make tough choices about the kind of friend she wants to have . . . and the kind she wants to be.

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Did you enjoy our friendship book recommendations? Did we miss one of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!

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