A Box of Bones by Marina CohenStarring: 12-year-old Kallie, who leans on logic and predictability in the aftermath of her mother's death.
What happens: Kallie's reassuring routine is disrupted when she's given a set of enchanted bone dice which connect her to the world of apprentice bone carver Liah, whose story seems tangled up with Kallie's.
You might also like: Karen Foxlee's Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, another fantasy with a skeptical heroine and a fairy-tale feel.
The Last Chance Hotel by Nicki ThorntonWhat it's about: After Seth Seppi, aspiring chef and kitchen boy at the Last Chance Hotel, is falsely accused of murdering a visiting magician, he needs all the help he can get -- magical and otherwise -- to prove his innocence.
Read it for: deadly desserts, off-the-wall characters (both human and feline), a fascinating fantasy world, and a gripping murder mystery.
All the Greys on Greene Street by Laura TuckerWhat it’s about: Twelve-year-old Ollie’s artist mom won’t get out of bed, and her art restorer dad has disappeared, leaving behind a secret note and a puzzling mystery involving a wooden statue.
Why you might like it: sharp details and delicate sketch art will make you feel like you’re right there with Ollie and her friends as they search for answers in 1980s New York City.
Try this next: Laura Marx Fitzgerald’s Under the Egg, another bittersweet art mystery set in NYC.
CatStronauts: Mission Moon
by Drew Brockington
Featuring: Blanket, Pom Pom, Waffles, and Major Meowser, four brave cat astronauts who blast off on a mission to build a solar power plant on the moon.
Series alert: Equal parts silly and smart, this cartoon-illustrated graphic novel is the 1st in a series, followed by CatStronauts: Race to Mars.
You might also like: Ian Boothby’s Sparks! or James Kochalka’s Pinky & Stinky.
Gordon: Bark to the Future! by Ashley SpiresWhat it’s about: With all the other agents of P.U.R.S.T. (Pets of the Universe Ready for Space Travel) in danger, space dog Gordon travels through time to save his friends and stop an alien invasion.
Why fans of Dog Man might like it: Similar to Dog Man, Gordon features a likeable canine hero plus goofy, energetic art.
Series alert: You can jump right into this 2nd book in the P.U.R.S.T. Adventures, though new fans might want to try the 1st, Fluffy Strikes Back, or the Binky Adventures (starring Gordon’s space cat friend).
Stick Dog by Tom Watson; illustrated by Ethan LongStarring: Stick Dog, a lovable stray whose quest to steal delicious hamburgers from a family picnic is held up by the not-so-smart shenanigans of his doggy friends Karen, Stripes, Mutt, and Poo-Poo.
Why fans of Dog Man might like it: Stick Dog combines the stick-figure art style of Wimpy Kid with the animal characters and off-the-rails humor of Dog Man.
Series alert: This is the 1st of 7 books in the easy-to-read Stick Dog series.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 8-11!
Richmond Public Library
101 East Franklin Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219