War and Millie McGonigle by Karen CushmanWhat it's about: In 1941, San Diego, 12-year-old Millie is grieving the loss of her beloved Gram when the U.S. enters World War II. Millie tries hard to "remember the good things" like Gram told her to, but it's tough when she's faced with rationing, blackouts, family responsibilities, and the uncertainty of wartime.
For fans of: the relatable characters and authentic details in Kirby Larson's Dogs of World War II series.
Wilderlore: The Accidental Apprentice by Amanda FoodyIntroducing: orphan Barclay Thorne, who wants a nice, safe life as a mushroom farmer in Dullsville. It's only by accident that he strays into the forbidden Woods and magically bonds with a wolfish Beast.
What happens: Banished for his error, Barclay seeks out the magic-practicing Lore Keepers, who might be able to break the unwanted bond -- if he can win a risky competition.
For fans of: the humor in Cressida Cowell's How to Train Your Dragon series or the inventive magic in Jessica Townsend's Nevermoor books.
Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey by Erin Entrada KellyStarring: Marisol, an eight-year-old girl who loves silent movies, rescuing stuffed animals from claw machines, and naming everything (including the kitchen fridge).
What it's about: It's hard for Marisol to stop imagining all of life's scary "what ifs," but if her friend Jada is brave enough to climb Peppina, the big magnolia tree, then Marisol can do it too...can't she?
Why you might like it: Funny black-and-white illustrations will keep you turning the pages of this easy-to-read chapter book.
The One Thing You'd Save by Linda Sue Park; illustrated by Robert Sae-HengThe teacher's question: If your home was on fire, what's the one thing you would save?
The students' answers: a phone (to call for help); some extra-awesome sneakers; Mom's medicine; Dad's wallet (you'll need money, right?); a keepsake sweater; "your own sorry skin;" and many more.
Why you might like it: Told in the style of Korean sijo poems, this book is a quick read that will leave you thinking about what your own "one thing" might be.
The Leak by Kate Reed Petty; illustrated by Andrea BellThe reporter: middle schooler Ruth Keller, who's persistent -- some might even say pushy -- in search of the truth.
The scoop: There's mysterious black slime in the local pond, and a wealthy country club might be trying to cover up their role in the pollution.
You might also like: Cynthia Copeland's Cub, another attention-grabbing, full-color comic book about a girl juggling her friendships and her goals as a journalist.
Tails and Tales: Warm Fuzzies
Welcome, Wombat: Tales of Rescue and Release by Kama EinhornWhat it is: a book of advice from Chance the wombat to Panzer, the newest arrival at Sleepy Burrows Wombat Sanctuary in Gundaroo, Australia.
What's inside: easy-to-read facts about wombats and the Sleepy Burrow sanctuary, alongside adorable photos of the sanctuary residents, from tiny pink joeys to furry full-grown wombats.
Who it's for: anyone who's interested in wildlife rescue (or cute animal pictures).
Moto and Me: My Year as a Wildcat's Foster Mom by Suzi EszterhasWhat it is: the true story of how a wildlife photographer became foster parent to Moto, an orphaned serval kitten.
Why you might like it: Up-close photos let you follow along as Moto grows from a fluffy, bottle-fed baby to a sleek adult who can live on his own in the wild.
Want more animal pictures? Try author Suzi Eszterhas' My Wild Life, which focuses on her career photographing animals all over the world.
Hawk Rising by Maria Gianferrari; illustrated by Brian FlocaWhat it is: a day in the life of a red-tailed hawk, as seen by two young birdwatchers.
Why you might like it: Simple yet vivid words place you right alongside the birdwatchers, while softly textured artwork shows the hawk and his family in fine, feathery detail.
You might also like: the fascinating glimpse of medieval falconry in Danna Smith's The Hawk of the Castle.
Fearless Felines: 30 True Tales of Courageous Cats by Kimberlie HamiltonWhat it is: a fascinating, easy-to-browse book highlighting 30 heroic and famous felines.
Featuring: astro-cat Félicette; stationmaster cat Tama; flying ace cat Pyro; detective cat Snowball; plus lists of cat facts, trivia, and a timeline of important moments in feline history.
Art alert: The cat portraits are illustrated by a wide variety of artists, making each mini-bio feel fresh and distinct.
Our Dogs, Ourselves: How We Live with Dogs by Alexandra HorowitzWhat it's about: We say that dogs are our best friends, but is that how we treat them? Dog expert Alexandra Horowitz answers to that question with a blend of scientific facts and personal stories.
Chapters include: "Things People Say to Dogs;" "Pet or Property;" "The Trouble With Breeds;" "Does My Dog Love Me?"
Who it's for: older readers who are curious about animal science and ready for a close, sometimes challenging look at how humans relate to dogs.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 8-11!