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Neighbors: Books For Kids

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

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

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

When it comes to children’s stories about neighbors, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Kid in the Red Jacket to popular sellers like Horton Hears a Who! to some of our favorite hidden gems like Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch.

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

Top 10 Books About Neighbors

Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch book
#1
Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch
Written by Eileen Spinelli & illustrated by Paul Yalowitz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch. “Somebody loves you,” the note says. “Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room. “Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town. “But who,” Mr. Hatch wonders, “could that somebody be?” After some time, Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is and, in doing so, enjoys the biggest surprise of his life!

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas book
#2
Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas
Written by Natasha Yim & illustrated by Grace Zong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this Chinese American retelling of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” a careless Goldy Luck wreaks havoc on the home of a family of panda bears. She eats up the littlest panda’s rice porridge, breaks his rocking chair, and rumples all the blankets on his futon. When Goldy takes responsibility for her actions, she makes a new friend (and a whole plate of turnip cakes!) just in time for Chinese New Year.

Quinny & Hopper book
#3
Quinny & Hopper
Written by Adriana Brad Schanen & 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?

Bunny Built book
#4
Bunny Built
Written & illustrated by Michael Slack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A construction bunny learns a creative lesson in sharing and friendship when he meets the biggest carrot of his life. LaRue was very handy. His toolbox had everything and industrious bunny could ever need. Everything, that is, except carrots. But then LaRue stumbles onto a special seed. With proper tending, this seed quickly grows into an ENORMOUS CARROT! What’s a bunny to do with so much carrot? In a stroke of construction genius (and generosity), LaRue has the answer. This clever story celebrates just what it means to be a friend. A Christy Ottaviano Book

Horton Hears a Who! book
#5
Horton Hears a Who!
Written by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A city of Whos on a speck of dust are threatened with destruction until the smallest Who of all helps convince Horton’s friends that Whos really exist. Reissue.

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman book
#6
A Hat for Mrs. Goldman
Written by Michelle Edwards & illustrated by G Brian Karas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“[A] celebration of winter mitzvahs, or kind deeds. Karas’s adorable, radiant art adds to the heartwarming mood.” -The New York Times

Here’s a heartwarming winter picture book that’s sure to appeal to families who love knitting.

Mrs. Goldman always knits hats for everyone in the neighborhood, and Sophia, who thinks knitting is too hard, helps by making the pom-poms. But now winter is here, and Mrs. Goldman herself doesn’t have a hat—she’s too busy making hats for everyone else! It’s up to Sophia to buckle down and knit a hat for Mrs. Goldman. But try as Sophia might, the hat turns out lumpy, the stitches aren’t even, and there are holes where there shouldn’t be holes. Sophia is devastated until she gets an idea that will make Mrs. Goldman’s hat the most wonderful of all. Readers both young and old will relate to Sophia’s frustrations, as well as her delight in making something special for someone she loves.

A knitting pattern is included in the back of the book.

Smoky Night book
#7
Smoky Night
Written by Eve Bunting & illustrated by David Diaz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Eve Bunting’s heartfelt story and David Diaz’s dramatic illustrations create a compelling child’s-eye view of urban violence. A young boy and his mother are forced to flee their apartment during a night of rioting in Los Angeles. Fires and looting force neighbors—who have always avoided one another—to come together in the face of danger and concern for their missing pets. David Diaz was awarded the Caldecott Medal for his bold acrylic paint and photo-collage illustrations.

The Dumpster Diver book
#8
The Dumpster Diver
Written by Janet S. Wong & illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Once a month—every week in the summer—Steve the electrician dons special gear and, with the help of youngsters who live in his building, dives into a dumpster seeking useful objects that they can transform into imaginative new ones.

Rain! book
#9
Rain!
Written by Linda Ashman & illustrated by Christian Robinson
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Good attitudecanchase away the blues at any age!Now in aboard book format for more rainy day reading. “

Max and Xam book
#10
Max and Xam
Written & illustrated by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

Max and Xam are the very best of friends - until they fall out over who is more popular! Determined to prove the other wrong, their exploits bring new meaning to the phrase ‘making friends’. A hilarious and delightfully far-fetched story about the meaning and value of real friendship.

Table of Contents
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Books About Neighbors and Social Themes

Quinny & Hopper
Written by Adriana Brad Schanen & 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?

Bunny Built
Written & illustrated by Michael Slack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A construction bunny learns a creative lesson in sharing and friendship when he meets the biggest carrot of his life. LaRue was very handy. His toolbox had everything and industrious bunny could ever need. Everything, that is, except carrots. But then LaRue stumbles onto a special seed. With proper tending, this seed quickly grows into an ENORMOUS CARROT! What’s a bunny to do with so much carrot? In a stroke of construction genius (and generosity), LaRue has the answer. This clever story celebrates just what it means to be a friend. A Christy Ottaviano Book

Smoky Night
Written by Eve Bunting & illustrated by David Diaz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Eve Bunting’s heartfelt story and David Diaz’s dramatic illustrations create a compelling child’s-eye view of urban violence. A young boy and his mother are forced to flee their apartment during a night of rioting in Los Angeles. Fires and looting force neighbors—who have always avoided one another—to come together in the face of danger and concern for their missing pets. David Diaz was awarded the Caldecott Medal for his bold acrylic paint and photo-collage illustrations.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota's Garden - When the tsunami destroyed Makio’s village, Makio lost his father…and his voice. The entire village is silenced by grief, and the young child’s anger at the ocean grows. Then one day his neighbor, Mr. Hirota, begins a mysterious project—building a phone booth in his garden. At first Makio is puzzled; the phone isn’t connected to anything. It just sits there, unable to ring. But as more and more villagers are drawn to the phone booth, its purpose becomes clear to Makio: the disconnected phone is connecting people to their lost loved ones. Makio calls to the sea to return what it has taken from him and ultimately finds his voice and solace in a phone that carries words on the wind. Inspired by the true story of the wind phone in Otsuchi, Japan, following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in 2011.

  2. 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.

  3. Cody and the Mysteries of the Universe - Not everything turns out to be as it first appears when Cody and her best friend, Spencer, navigate a neighborhood mystery and the start of a new school year. Cody’s best friend, Spencer, and his parents are moving in with his grandmother right around the corner, and Cody can’t wait. For one thing, Cody needs Spencer to help solve the mystery of the never-seen Mr. Meen, who lives on the other side of the porch with a skull-and-crossbones sign in the window and an extermination truck out front. How’s Cody to know that a yellow jacket would sting her, making her scream “Ow! Ow!” just as they start spying? Or that the ominous window sign would change overnight to “Welcome home,” only deepening the mystery? In this second adventure, Spencer’s new-school jitters, an unexpected bonding with a teacher over Mozart, and turf-claiming kids next door with a reason for acting out are all part of Cody’s experiences as summer shifts into a new year at school.

  4. The Monster Next Door - In a big field, a boy has a tree house, and one day, he has a neighbor—a monster with a talent for silly dances and funny faces. The two become fast friends, even setting up a pulley line to pass notes between their tree houses. The boy knows just how to celebrate this invention—with music! But the monster’s tuba music is loud. Really loud. WAY. TOO. LOUD. Before the boy can think, he hurls a water balloon at his neighbor to get him to stop. An epic water-balloon fight ensues, until the boy—fed up, spent, done—cuts the pulley line. No more note-passing. No more monster. Can the boy and monster ever be friends again? Does the boy even want to? Maybe he just needs to see things from a new, unexpected perspective.

Books About Neighbors and Friendship

Somebody Loves You Mr. Hatch
Written by Eileen Spinelli & illustrated by Paul Yalowitz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch. “Somebody loves you,” the note says. “Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room. “Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town. “But who,” Mr. Hatch wonders, “could that somebody be?” After some time, Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is and, in doing so, enjoys the biggest surprise of his life!

Max and Xam
Written & illustrated by Ariane Hofmann-Maniyar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

Max and Xam are the very best of friends - until they fall out over who is more popular! Determined to prove the other wrong, their exploits bring new meaning to the phrase ‘making friends’. A hilarious and delightfully far-fetched story about the meaning and value of real friendship.

First Snow
Written by Nancy Viau & illustrated by Talitha Shipman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Snowflakes falling! What a treat! Friends gather outside to celebrate the first snowfall of the season with snowball fights, sledding, building igloos, drinking hot chocolate, and making the most of a windy, wintry day. With rhyming text and cheerful illustrations, this is a charming celebration of the winter season.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Those Pesky Rabbits - Can kindness from pesky rabbits soften Mr. Bear’s grumpy heart? All Mr. Bear wants is to be left alone, but his rabbit neighbors just don’t get it! They keep asking annoying things—like if they can they borrow honey, or does he want to swap books? When grumpy refusals don’t work, Mr. Bear decides to scare away those pesky rabbits. Can kindness make Mr. Bear see that it’s time for a change?

  2. Ellie, Engineer: The Next Level - Ellie the Engineer is back in another charming, hilarious, illustrated story filled with creative, STEM-powered fun! “Look out, Junie B. Jones! Ellie the engineer is thinking, making, creating, and showing enthusiasm and brilliance with her creations!” -School Library Connection on Ellie, Engineer After Ellie’s first elevator build goes terribly wrong, her parents decide her “punishment” is to assist an elderly neighbor, Mrs. Curran, around the house. Ellie and her friends Kit and Toby are really only supposed to help with little things, but Ellie can’t turn down the opportunity to use her engineering skills here and there where she sees a need—because that’s what engineers do! It’s no fun, though, when Mrs. Curran always gives Toby the credit for all the ingenious projects, and acts like Kit and Ellie were just helping him. . . . Can Ellie come up with another great build to elevate Mrs. Curran’s ideas about this girl engineer? With Ellie’s designs and sketches throughout, and her fun guide to simple machines in the back, the continuation of this delightful series will leave young readers laughing and inspired to create.

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

  4. Danny and the Dinosaur Mind Their Manners - When the museum is expecting a royal visitor, Danny and the dinosaur need to brush up on their manners! From saying “please” to holding doors, can Danny and the dinosaur work on behavior fit for a king? Everyone knows it can be hard learning good manners, but that doesn’t stop Danny and the dinosaur when they learn a king is coming to visit the museum! This dynamic duo will show young readers and parents alike that nothing is impossible if you try your best. Readers first fell in love with Danny and his prehistoric pal in the I Can Read classic Danny and the Dinosaur, created by Syd Hoff in 1958. Now the popular pair is together again in a hilarious Level One I Can Read adventure sure to win over a new generation of beginning readers. Danny and the Dinosaur Mind Their Manners is a Level One I Can Read, which means it’s perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences.

Books About Neighbors and Multigenerational

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman
Written by Michelle Edwards & illustrated by G Brian Karas
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“[A] celebration of winter mitzvahs, or kind deeds. Karas’s adorable, radiant art adds to the heartwarming mood.” -The New York Times

Here’s a heartwarming winter picture book that’s sure to appeal to families who love knitting.

Mrs. Goldman always knits hats for everyone in the neighborhood, and Sophia, who thinks knitting is too hard, helps by making the pom-poms. But now winter is here, and Mrs. Goldman herself doesn’t have a hat—she’s too busy making hats for everyone else! It’s up to Sophia to buckle down and knit a hat for Mrs. Goldman. But try as Sophia might, the hat turns out lumpy, the stitches aren’t even, and there are holes where there shouldn’t be holes. Sophia is devastated until she gets an idea that will make Mrs. Goldman’s hat the most wonderful of all. Readers both young and old will relate to Sophia’s frustrations, as well as her delight in making something special for someone she loves.

A knitting pattern is included in the back of the book.

Rain!
Written by Linda Ashman & illustrated by Christian Robinson
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Good attitudecanchase away the blues at any age!Now in aboard book format for more rainy day reading. “

Swashby and the Sea
Written by Beth Ferry & illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

From New York Times best-selling author Beth Ferry and Caldecott Honor winner Juana Martinez-Neal comes a sweet-and-salty friendship story perfect for pirate-lovers and fans of The Night Gardener.

Captain Swashby loves the sea, his oldest friend. And he loves his life by the sea just as it is: salty and sandy and serene.

One day, much to Swashby’s chagrin, a young girl and her granny commandeer the empty house next door. All Swashby wants is for his new neighbors to GO AWAY and take their ruckus with them.

When Swashby begins to leave notes in the sand for his noisy neighbors, however, the beach interferes with the messages that are getting across. Could it be that the captain’s oldest friend, the sea, knows what Swashby needs even better than he knows himself?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Mr. Posey's New Glasses - In a charming tale of an elderly man and his obliging young friend, former poet laureate Ted Kooser and newcomer Daniel Duncan invite us to look at the world with fresh eyes. Mr. Posey is feeling gloomy. Everything seems dull. Maybe he needs new glasses? Perhaps a trip to the Cheer Up Thrift Shop with his energetic young neighbor, Andy, will help. But when the duo try on the glasses in the shop’s barrel, they’re in for a big surprise. One pair with stars for frames shows only constellations in a night sky. Round frames reveal a world all aswirl, while a heart-shaped pair makes everything pink. And as soon as Mr. Posey puts on the cat-eye framed glasses, fierce dogs start chasing him. No, thank you! But when Andy makes a simple observation, Mr. Posey’s view opens to a whole new world — and finally everything is brighter, different, and exciting.

  2. Thank You, Omu! - A 2019 Caldecott Honor Book Winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award In this remarkable author-illustrator debut that’s perfect for fans of Last Stop on Market Street and Extra Yarn, a generous woman is rewarded by her community. Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu’s delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself? Debut author-illustrator Oge Mora brings to life a heartwarming story of sharing and community in colorful cut-paper designs as luscious as Omu’s stew, with an extra serving of love. An author’s note explains that “Omu” (pronounced AH-moo) means “queen” in the Igbo language of her parents, but growing up, she used it to mean “Grandma.” This book was inspired by the strong female role models in Oge Mora’s life.

  3. Little Cliff and the Porch People - Sent to buy special butter for Mama Pearl’s candied sweet potatoes and told to get back lickety-split, Little Cliff is delayed by all his neighbors when they want to contribute their own ingredients. By the author of Eight Habits of the Heart.

Books About Neighbors and Helping Others

Horton Hears a Who!
Written by Dr. Seuss
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A city of Whos on a speck of dust are threatened with destruction until the smallest Who of all helps convince Horton’s friends that Whos really exist. Reissue.

Katie Saves Thanksgiving
Written by Fran Manushkin & illustrated by Tammy Lyon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

When a snowstorm causes the power to go out, Katie and her parents think their Thanksgiving dinner with JoJo and Pedro is ruined, but by being a good neighbor, Katie manages to save the day. Simultaneous.

The One Day House
Written by Julia Durango & illustrated by Bianca Diaz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Wilson dreams of all the ways he can help improve his friend Gigi’s house so that she’ll be warm, comfortable, and happy.

One day, friends and neighbors from all over come to help make Wilson’s plans come true. Everyone volunteers to pitch in to make Gigi’s house safe, clean, and pretty.

Inspired by a friend’s volunteerism, author Julia Durango tells a story of community and togetherness, showing that by helping others we help ourselves. Further information about Labor of Love, United Way, and Habitat for Humanity is included at the end of the book.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Bruce's Big Storm - Bruce’s home is already a full house. But when a big storm brings all his woodland neighbors knocking, he’ll have to open his door to a crowd of animals in need of shelter-whether he likes it or not. Readers will love this next installment of the uproarious, award-winning Mother Bruce series.

  2. Possum and the Summer Storm - Possum looked out one summer afternoon. “Time to come in!” he called to his baby possums. “It looks like we’re in for some weather!” Possum calls his children out of the summer storm—but what can he do when their home is swept away by rising water? The possum family must rely on their friends to construct a new house. At first it seems that no other animal’s home is suited for a possum, but they come up with something spectacular! Beloved character Possum is back, along with an array of friends who make for a broad, ranging ensemble, giving children a tantalizing peek at how different animals build their homes.

  3. Afternoon of the Elves - For nine-year-old Hillary Lenox, being friends with Sara-Kate Connolly is a complicated business. Sara-Kate’s clothes don’t match, her hair’s a mess, and she’s known to spit at people when they make her mad. But when Sara-Kate shows Hillary the tiny elf village in her overgrown backyard, Hillary decides she can’t be as awful as all that.Hillary is amazed by the delicate houses, the miniature well, even an intricate Ferris wheel made of bicycle wheels and popsicle sticks. But the more time she spends in Sara-Kate’s yard, the more questions she has. How come they never go inside Sara-Kate’s house? Why is Sara-Kate sometimes missing from school? And why hasn’t Hillary ever seen Sara-Kate’s mom? If Hillary can just look deep enough, she hopes, she will uncover the secrets of the elves—and of her new friend.

Books About Neighbors and Animals

The Welcome Wagon
Written & illustrated by Cori Doerrfeld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Someone new to celebrate! Welcome to Cubby Hill!

Meet Cooper Cub, a curious young bear who notices a new family moving to town. Cooper jumps on his scooter and sets off on a journey through town, assembling his best friends to welcome the newcomers. Along the way, they consider what the new family might be like and the changes they might bring to Cubby Hill. In The Welcome Wagon, Cori Doerrfeld brings the world of Cubby Hill to life with humor, charm, and a whole lot of warmth.

My Fox Ate My Homework
Written & illustrated by David Blaze
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

My name is Jonah Johnson, and I’m in the 6th grade - but please call me Joe. My whole world just got turned upside down. It’s my first day at a new school and I’ve already got to deal with the bully. If that wasn’t bad enough, there’s a talking fox that keeps getting me into trouble at my new house in the country. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true! To top it all off, I’ve got to help save my mom’s house!

Binny Bewitched
Written by Hilary McKay & illustrated by Tony Ross
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When Binny finds some money left behind at an ATM—and then loses it—she unleashes an adventure full of “funny, poignant chaos” (The Wall Street Journal).Binny Cornwallis is not a thief. Or is she? In one greedy moment, she snatches some bills left behind at an ATM. After all it’s her mother’s birthday, and just think of what she could do with some cash in her never-quite-enough-money household. But of course she has to hide the money—she can’t explain it. And in her tiny house, every hiding place is in danger of discovery. After a few tries, Binny hides it so well she can’t find it again, even after she decides to give it back!Now, Binny must team up with her best enemy Gareth, who sets out to play detective and figure out who might have taken the money. Meanwhile the next-door neighbor is doing odd things like presenting Binny with a little doll that looks just like her—with her hand in her pocket, just as Binny’s was when she pocketed the cash. Is the witchy neighbor woman putting a spell on Binny?There’s plenty more going on, as Binny’s older sister Clem has a secret of her own, and her little brother James is having a kung fu clash with his best friend. Mayhem,love, and laughter run wild in this new hilarious Binny adventure.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Mercy Watson to the Rescue - From the one and only Kate DiCamillo comes an irresistible new hero for early chapter book readers, brightly captured with comic nostalgic flair by Chris Van Dusen. To Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Mercy is not just a pig – she’s a porcine wonder. And to the portly and good-natured Mercy, the Watsons are an excellent source of buttered toast, not to mention that buttery-toasty feeling she gets when she snuggles into bed with them. This is not, however, so good for the Watsons’ bed. BOOM! CRACK! As the bed and its occupants slowly sink through the floor, Mercy escapes in a flash – “to alert the fire department,” her owners assure themselves. But could Mercy possibly have another emergency in mind – like a sudden craving for their neighbors’ sugar cookies? Welcome to the wry and endearing world of Mercy Watson – an ebullient new character for early chapter-book readers in a series that’s destined to be a classic.

  2. Ernestine's Milky Way - In Maggie Valley, North Carolina, in the 1940s, Ernestine, who is five years old and a big girl, carries fresh milk to needy neighbors through thickets, down paths, and over a barbed-wire fence, despite her fears.

  3. The New Neighbors - New neighbors have moved into the ground floor of a bustling apartment building. The bunnies upstairs are excited, but what will the other residents think? Sarah McIntyre’s funny, light-hearted tale reveals there’s no room for prejudice. The bunnies upstairs are thrilled to find out that rats have moved into the first-floor apartment. But when other neighbors discover the news, excitement soon turns to jitters, panic, and worse! As the residents descend the stairs to investigate, the rats prepare a yummy dessert. Will all of the animals make the rats leave, or can fear be conquered with delicious, homemade cake?

  4. Do Unto Otters - Mr. Rabbit wonders if he will be able to get along with his new neighbors, who are otters, until he is reminded of the golden rule.

Want to see books about animals?

Books About Neighbors and Family Life

The Vanderbeekers Lost and Found
Written by Karina Yan Glaser
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

New York Times best-seller Karina Yan Glaser brings everyone’s favorite Harlem family back in this poignant fourth novel in the “delightful and heartwarming” (New York Times Book Review) Vanderbeekers series.

When autumn arrives on 141st Street, the Vanderbeekers are busy helping Mr. Beiderman get ready for the New York City Marathon and making sure the mysterious person sleeping in the community garden gets enough to eat. But when they discover the true identity of the person making a home in the community garden’s shed, their world turns upside down as they learn what it means to care for someone in an impossible situation.

In this fourth book in the Vanderbeekers series, return to 141st Street with Isa, Jessie, Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney as they attempt to make their neighborhood a better place, one heartfelt plan at a time.

An Ordinary Day
Written by Elana K. Arnold & illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-8

An ordinary day in an ordinary neighborhood turns out to be quite extraordinary in this moving story about the circle of life.

It’s an average day in the neighborhood—children play, roses are watered, and a crow watches over it all. But then two visitors arrive at two houses, one to help a family say hello to a new baby and one to help a family say goodbye to a beloved pet. This sensitive picture book takes a gentle look at life, death, the bonds of family, and the extraordinary moments that make ordinary days so special.

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

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

Honorable Mentions
  1. 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.

  2. Princess Posey and the Flower Girl Fiasco - Everyone’s favorite first grade friend, Princess Posey, learns that sometimes exciting news comes with big changes in this twelfth book in the series! When Posey’s grandpa announces that he’s marrying Posey’s neighbor, Mrs. Romero, Posey is thrilled! She LOVES Mrs. Romero and she’s going to be the flower girl! But then she learns that Mrs. Romero will be moving away, and her dog Hero, too. That is just about the worst news ever and Posey wants nothing to do with the wedding. Now no one is happy. Then Mrs. Romero has an idea—what if Hero stays with Posey? Posey jumps at the idea, but it turns out that makes Hero even more miserable than she was. Is Posey strong enough to do what will make everyone happy again?

  3. After the Worst Thing Happens - Left reeling after her thoughtless mistake causes a terrible accident, 12-year-old Army Morand channels her grief to help someone in need. Army Morand feels like her life has been blown to bits when the worst thing imaginable happens—her beloved dog dies. It was an accident, but it was also Army’s fault. She can’t seem to stop hiding from everything and everybody including her best friend JennaLouise. But then Army sees Madison, the little girl who moved in across the way, climbing a tree and walking down the street unsupervised. Her family is not neglectful, just overwhelmed. Army finds herself overcome with the need to help Madison’s family to make sure another worst thing doesn’t happen—which becomes even more challenging when a big storm threatens her town. After the Worst Thing Happens is a bittersweet story about a girl surprised by the force of a growing need inside her to reach out and lend a hand while trying to escape the swirling sadness of her own sudden loss. In the end, it is about finding love and hope and friendship in very surprising places.

  4. The Misadventures of the Family Flether - The start of the school year is not going as the Fletcher brothers hoped. Each boy finds his plans for success veering off in unexpected and sometimes diastrous directions. And at home, their miserable new neighbor complains about everything. As the year continues, the boys learn the hard and often hilarious lesson that sometimes what you least expect is what you come to care about the most.

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