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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!

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Top 10 Books About Neighbors

#1
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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!

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#2
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Khalil and Mr. Hagerty and the Backyard Treasures
Written by Tricia Springstubb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
A sweet friendship spanning age and culture blooms in a shared backyard.
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#3
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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.

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#4
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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?

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#5
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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

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#6
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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.

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#7
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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.

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#8
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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.

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#9
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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. “

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#10
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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.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Neighbors and...

Books About Neighbors and Multigenerational

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Khalil and Mr. Hagerty and the Backyard Treasures
Written by Tricia Springstubb
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
A sweet friendship spanning age and culture blooms in a shared backyard.
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Add to list
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. “

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$7.99
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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.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Swashby and the Sea - 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?

  2. 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.

  3. Holes in the Sky - Miss Eula is back! In this heartwarming companion to Chicken Sunday, young Trisha is devastated when her grandmother passes away, but finds joy in bonds with a new friend, her new California neighborhood--and the invincible Miss Eula.

  4. 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.

Books About Neighbors and Friendship

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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!

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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.

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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.

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  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. Amelia Bedelia Makes a Friend - Learn to read with young Amelia Bedelia! Amelia Bedelia has been loved by readers for more than fifty years, and it turns out that her childhood is full of silly mix-ups, too!

  3. Ivy & Bean - The moment they saw each other, Bean and Ivy knew they wouldn’t be friends. But when Bean plays a joke on her sister, Nancy, and has to quickly hide and Ivy comes to the rescue, proving that sometimes the best of friends are people never meant to like each other. Vibrant characters and lots of humor make this a charming and addictive introduction to the <em>Ivy and Bean</em> Book Series. <p/>From beloved children’s book author Annie Barrows, The <em>Ivy & Bean</em> collection has been delighting preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and kids of all ages for nearly two decades. Centered upon messages promoting friendship, empathy, and understanding, each book follows Ivy and Bean on their various adventures through adolescent life.

  4. 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.

Books About Neighbors and Helping Others

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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.

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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.

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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.

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  1. The Summer I Saved the World...in 65 Days - 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 City And Town Life

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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.

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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.

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Bolivar
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

What would you do if your neighbor was a dinosaur? <p/>Going extinct isn’t for everyone. <p/> Sybil knows that there is something off about her next door neighbor, but she can’t seem to get anyone to believe her. Everyone is so busy going about their days in the busy streets of New York City that they don’t notice Bolivar. They don’t notice his odd height, his tiny arms, or his long tail. No one but Sybil sees that Bolivar is a dinosaur. <p/> When an unlikely parking ticket pulls Bolivar into an adventure from City Hall to New York’s Natural History Museum, he must finally make a choice: continue to live unnoticed, or let the city see who he really is. <p/><b><i>School Library Journal</i> says…</b><br> “<i>Bolivar the dinosaur speaks to the introvert in all of us. That part deep down inside that encourages us to hide away from the world, keep to ourselves, and avoid any and all connections for fear of getting hurt. Dinosaurs may not be around anymore but Bolivars abound. Even little Bolivars who will pick up this book and instantly connect with someone just like them. So for the Bolivars and the Manhattan-lovers, the graphic novel enthusiasts and the parents just looking for a good bedtime story, </i>Bolivar <i>the book is the place to go. Dino-mite stuff.</i>”

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  1. The Neighbors - As a young girl climbs the seven stories to her own (very boring!) apartment, she imagines what’s behind each of the doors she passes. Does the door with all the locks belong to a family of thieves? Might the doorway with muddy footprints conceal a pet tiger? Each spread reveals—in lush detail—the wilds of the girl’s imagination, from a high-flying circus to an underwater world and everything in between. When the girl finally reaches her own apartment, she is greeted by her parents, who might have a secret even wilder than anything she could have imagined!

  2. Rain! - One rainy day in the city, an eager little boy exclaims, "Rain!" Across town a grumpy man grumbles, "Rain." In this endearing picture book, a rainy-day cityscape comes to life in vibrant, cut-paper-style artwork. The boy in his green frog hat splashes in puddles--"Hoppy, hoppy, hoppy!"--while the old man curses the "dang puddles." Can the boy's natural exuberance (and perhaps a cookie) cheer up the grouchy gentleman and turn the day around?

Books About Neighbors and Moving

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The Kid in the Red Jacket
Written by Barbara Park
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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.

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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?

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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.

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  1. My Fox Ate My Homework - 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!

  2. Neighbors - <em>Neighbors </em>is a contemplative picture book about the lives of our neighbors–who are all around us and ever-present, yet somehow surprisingly elusive.

  3. 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.

  4. Butterfly Park - When a little girl moves to a new town, she finds a place called Butterfly Park. But when she opens the gate, there are no butterflies. <p/> Determined to lure the butterflies in, the girl inspires her entire town to help her. And with their combined efforts, soon the butterflies – and the girl – feel right at home. <p/> Elly MacKay’s luminous paper-cut illustrations and enchanting story encourage community, friendship, and wonderment in the beauty of everyday life. <p/> Free poster on reverse side of book jacket.

Want to see books about moving?

Books About Neighbors and Social Themes

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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

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The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota's Garden
Written by Heather Smith & illustrated by Rachel Wada and Heather Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

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.

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Payback on Poplar Lane
Written by Margaret Mincks
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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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  1. Big Bob, Little Bob - It's not easy to become friends with someone who is nothing like you--but surprising things can happen when you give it a try.

  2. Miracle on 133rd Street - An urban family’s dilemma becomes a community celebration in this delectable holiday treat from Sonia Manzano, also known as “Maria” on <i>Sesame Street</i>. <p/>It’s Christmas Eve and Mami has bought a delicious roast for a Christmas feast. But, oh no! It’s too big to fit in the oven. Jose and Papa need to find an oven big enough to cook Mami’s roast. As they walk from door to door through their apartment building, no one seems to be in the Christmas spirit. So they head down the street to find someone willing to help, and only when they do, lo and behold, the scent–the itself magical smell–of dinner begins to spread, and holiday cheer manifests in ways most unexpected. <p/>Sonia Manzano from <i>Sesame Street</i> and two-time Caldecott Honor-recipient Marjorie Priceman have cooked up a Christmas tale about how the simplest things–like the tantalizing smell of Christmas dinner and the sharing of it–can become a holiday miracle.

  3. 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.

  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 Animals

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Your House, My House
Written & illustrated by Marianne Dubuc
picture book
Recommend Ages: -

There’s no neighborhood like a Marianne Dubuc neighborhood — this time in an apartment building!<br/><br/>It’s a special day at 3 Maple Street. It’s Little Rabbit’s birthday! His mother makes him his favorite breakfast. His sister has drawn him a picture. And, best of all, he’s having a birthday party! His friends are invited, his father is decorating, and his mother is baking a cake. But that’s not the only thing going on at 3 Maple Street today. The Cat family is moving in upstairs . . . the Fox family is having a new baby . . . Mr. Owl is trying to sleep . . . there’s so much happening inside (and outside) this lively building, it’s hard to keep track!<br/><br/>This multilayered picture book from international award-winning Marianne Dubuc allows readers to peer into the homes of all the charming animal families in the building on every spread. Though there is one main story, captured in the text, there are multitudes of other stories-within-the-story, told in visual narratives. Dubuc’s winsome one-of-a-kind illustrations include heaps of clever details for children to pore over, promising something new to discover with every look and encouraging visual literacy in readers and prereaders. There are terrific social studies connections here on the concepts of community, inclusiveness and belonging.

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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.

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Mercy Watson to the Rescue
Written by Kate DiCamillo & illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

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.

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  1. Zola's Elephant - Illustrated by two-time Caldecott-honor winning artist Pamela Zagarenski, this tender, witty friendship story of imagination gone wild, by New York Times bestselling author Randall de Sève, shows how assumptions often cause us to misjudge--and miss out. But with a little courage, new opportunities and new friendships can be made.

  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.

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Books About Neighbors and Family Life

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Echo Mountain
Written by Lauren Wolk
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-
"
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A Map Into the World
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Filled with wonder and sorrow and happiness.
--Alison McGhee, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Someday
A heartfelt story of a young girl seeking beauty and connection in a busy world.

As the seasons change, so too does a young Hmong girl's world. She moves into a new home with her family and encounters both birth and death. As this curious girl explores life inside her house and beyond, she collects bits of the natural world. But who are her treasures for?
A moving picture book debut from acclaimed Hmong American author Kao Kalia Yang.

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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.

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  1. Shouting at the Rain - From the author of the New York Times bestseller Fish in a Tree comes a compelling story about perspective and learning to love the family you have.

  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?

Books About Neighbors and Dogs

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Split! Splat!
Written by Amy Gibson & illustrated by Steve Bjorkman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When a little girl ventures out into a spring rain with her dog, singing a simple, plain, pitter-patter rain song, her neighbors soon join her for some muddy-day fun.

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Pug's Snow Day
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7
The second book in a sweet and funny Branches series about a pug and his human, told from the pug's POV!
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After the Worst Thing Happens
Written & illustrated by Audrey Vernick
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

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.

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  1. The Case of the Stolen Drumsticks (Detective Paw of the Law: Time to Read, Level 3) - Detective Paw and Patrol Officer Prickles reunite for The Case of the Stolen Drumsticks! Vinnie “The Crash” McClaren’s drumsticks disappear right before the Battle of the Bands! Can Detective Paw and Patrol Officer Prickles find the culprit before the show? Young readers can learn about police procedures and detective work as they follow along with Detective Paw and try to solve the case themselves!

  2. King & Kayla and the Case of the Unhappy Neighbor - A lovable dog helps his human girl solve a mystery.<br>Thor has been accused of wrecking Mr. Gary’s yard–knocking over trash cans, eating the vegetables out of the garden, and pooping. But King and Kayla, with the help of some other neighbors, are determined to clear his name, using a wide variety of familiar and new detecting skills.<br>With simple, straightforward language and great verbal and visual humor, the King & Kayla series from Geisel Honor Award-winning team Dori Hillestad Butler and Nancy Meyers is perfect for newly independent readers.

  3. Buddy and Earl Meet the Neighbors - When Wonder Buddy and Super Earl learn that the Evil Doctor Stinker is planning to shut down the only hamburger factory in town, they know they have to find the supervillain’s secret lair — fast! Hopping into the Earl-mobile, they race into the yard next door where they come face-to-face with the new neighbors.

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Books About Neighbors and Multicultural

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Cardboard Kingdom
Written & illustrated by Chad Sell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Awkward, and All's Faire in Middle School, this graphic novel follows a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary cardboard into fantastical homemade costumes as they explore conflicts with friends, family, and their own identity
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Lulu and the Rabbit Next Door
Written by Hilary McKay & illustrated by Priscilla Lamont
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

When Lulu’s next-door neighbor doesn’t seem to be looking after his rabbit properly, Lulu and her cousin Mellie devise a scheme to make him pay more attention to his pet.

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Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island
Written by Dana Alison Levy
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Love the TV show Modern Family? Wait until you meet the family Fletcher! With two dads, four adopted brothers, two cats, and one pug, the Fletchers will have you laughing out loud!
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  1. 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.

  2. Karen's Witch (Baby-Sitters Little Sister Graphic Novel #1): A Graphix Book, Volume 1: A Graphix Book (Adapted, Full-Color) - A fresh and fun graphic novel series spin-off of The Baby-sitters Club, featuring Kristy's little stepsister!

  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.

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