The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan GlaserFiction. The five Vanderbeeker kids -- Oliver, Hyacinth, Isa, Jessie, and Laney -- love their family's old apartment on Harlem's 141st Street. When their grumpy landlord Mr. Beiderman says they have to move out, the siblings band together in all-out effort to change his mind. Combining eccentric characters and cheerful chaos, this charming tale is just right for readers who love Dana Alison Levy's Family Fletcher series.
Garvey's Choice by Nikki GrimesNovel in Verse. Why do people seem to want Garvey to be someone he's not? Kids at school tease him for being fat, and his dad is disappointed that Garvey isn't athletic like his sister. Only his friend Joe understands that Garvey prefers science fiction and music to sports. Written in short tanka poems, Garvey's Choice is a sensitive, honest read that's just right for fans of Jacqueline Woodson and Sharon Creech.
The Fourth Stall by Chris RylanderFiction. From their "office" in an unused school bathroom, sixth-graders Mac and Vance work as fixers, helping students with all kinds of problems (for a fee, of course). After they agree to protect a kid from a high school bully, the job threatens both their business and their friendship. Action and humor add oomph to this middle school mobster story, the 1st in the Fourth Stall trilogy.
EllRay Jakes is Not a Chicken! by Sally Warner; illustrated by Jamie HarperFiction. When his dad promises a day at Disneyland in return for one week of good behavior at school, third-grader EllRay Jakes tries to stay out of trouble, but it's not easy – especially not after he's targeted by class bully Jared. If you like this realistic school story (the 1st in the EllRay Jakes series), you might also enjoy Karen English's Carver Chronicles.
Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita VaradarajanFiction. Newly arrived in New Jersey from Bangalore, India, Ravi is sure that his best friend at school will be Dillon, a popular American-born Indian student. But Joe, a tall white kid with a learning disability, knows from experience that Dillon is a bully. Ravi and Joe take turns describing the events of this "lunchroom drama" that will leave you "begging for seconds" (School Library Journal).
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