Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award

Beyond the Bright Sea

Orphaned Crow has grown up with her foster father Osh on an island off the coast of Massachusetts – but now she wants to know who she is and where she came from. The answer is far more complex than expected, involving a leper colony, a hidden treasure, and a villain – but ultimately leads Crow to a deeper understanding of family and home.
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Patina

The second book in Jason Reynold’s Track series focuses on Patina “Patty” Jones, fastest girl on the team who thinks anything other than first place is “Fake. But real.” Real like the stress of navigating a new fancy school, of taking care of her little sister now that they cannot live with Ma, of worrying about her Ma’s diabetes, and of having to run on the relay team.  Facing these real things, Patty learns, is easier when you rely on others to help share the burden and support you along the way.
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The Someday Birds

Dealing with the changes in his routine since his dad returned home injured from the war in Afghanistan hasn’t been easy for Charlie. His life takes another unexpected and unwanted twist when his dad is sent far away to receive medical care. Charlie reluctantly embarks on a cross – country road trip along with a three – legged dog, his boy – crazy sister, pesky twin brothers and a mysterious caretaker in hopes of reuniting with his father and viewing some of his elusive “Someday Birds” along the way.
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The Stars Beneath Our Feet

Even since Lolly’s older brother Jermaine was killed during an act of gang violence his feelings swing from either mad to sad with no in – between. The only comfort Lolly feels is when he’s building with Legos. When a staff member at the community center in the Harlem, New York projects where he lives provides him with his own space to build, Lolly is able to temporarily shield himself from his grief and the dangers he and his friend Vega face on the street every day.
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Chester and Gus

This inspiring and gripping novel is about the remarkable bond between Chester, a service dog, and ‘his person’, an autistic boy named Gus. Chester narrates the story, which gives a wonderfully realistic picture of autism and the challenges and triumphs faced by sufferers and their families.
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All’s Faire in Middle School

All’s Faire in Middle School is a heartwarming graphic novel about starting middle school and navigating the challenging worlds of friends and family. We learn that the rules of middle school are even more complex than the rules of swordplay, and that we all have a dragon inside of us that we can choose to overcome.
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The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street

The Vanderbeekers are being evicted from their beloved brownstone on 141st Street in Harlem and–worse-just before Christmas, but the five creative Vanderbeeker kids are determined to convince their curmudgeonly landlord to change his mind. Think “It’s a Wonderful Life” with spice.
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The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora

Arturo Zamora is determined to save his family’s beloved Miami restaurant from a greedy land developer.  Arturo’s family gives him the support and power to fight for the little person.
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Beautiful Blue World

LaFleur, Suzanne, Beautiful Blue World.

This touching and suspenseful novel is a brilliant re-imagining of war, where even kindness can be a weapon, and children have the power to see what adults cannot.

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Wish

O’Connor, Barbara, Wish.

Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since the fourth grade. But when she is separated from her older sister and sent to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. With the help of a stray dog, a plucky neighbor and a big-hearted family, Charlie discovers that what she thought she wants may not at all be what she needs.

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The Bitter Side of Sweet

Sullivan, Tara, The Bitter Side of Sweet.

Two brothers and their unlikely companion risk everything to escape their enforced slavery on an Ivory Coast cocoa plantation.

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Wolf Hollow

Wolk, Lauren. Wolf Hollow.

In this complex coming-of-age book, blond city girl Betty Glengarry is sadistic, cruel, and frankly terrifying – and when she moves to Annabelle’s small rural Pennsylvania town in 1943, Annabelle has to cope with threats and problems she had never before imagined. Not least of these is her determination to protect Toby, a reclusive, shell-shocked World War I veteran, from Betty’s manipulations.

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The Nest

nestFor some kids summer is a sun-soaked season of fun. But for Steve, it’s just another season of worries. Worries about his sick newborn baby brother who is fighting to survive, worries about his parents who are struggling to cope, even worries about the wasp’s nest looming ominously from the eaves. So when a mysterious wasp queen invades his dreams, offering to “fix” the baby, Steve thinks his prayers have been answered.

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The Lightning Queen

Combining history, magic 9780316381321and folklore, this colorful tale offers a glimpse into an encounter between two fascinating but marginalized cultures–the Rom and the Mixtec Indians–while telling the heart-warming story of an unlikely friendship that spans generations.

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The Doldrums

9780316381321Archer B. Hemsley wants nothing more than to follow in the footsteps of his adventurous grandparents, who have unfortunately now vanished in the Arctic. A real adventure will be no easy feat for a young dreamer like Archer, especially as his mother does not allow him to leave the house. With the help of his odd and wonderful new friends, Oliver and Adelaide, Archer sets a plan in motion.

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19 Comments »

The Nest

nestFor some kids summer is a sun-soaked season of fun. But for Steve, it’s just another season of worries. Worries about his sick newborn baby brother who is fighting to survive, worries about his parents who are struggling to cope, even worries about the wasp’s nest looming ominously from the eaves. So when a mysterious wasp queen invades his dreams, offering to “fix” the baby, Steve thinks his prayers have been answered.

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2 Comments »

The Turtle of Oman

Aref lives in the small, Middle Eastern country of Oman with his parents, but the family will be moving to Michigan for three years so his parents can complete their doctoral studies. Aref doesn’t want to leave his beloved home, friends and most of all his grandfather, Siddi.

The Turtle of Oman takes place during the week before Aref must leave. Aref avoids packing and is more of a nuisance to his mother, so she sends him off to spend time with Siddi. The pair embark on series of seemingly magical adventures. They wander through the local market, watch sea turtles on the beach, travel through the desert to spend the night at a special camp where they meet and interact with a falconer. The story closes with Aref finally finishing his packing and coming to terms with his departure. With its soft tone and slow pace, this novel celebrates a child’s connection with his home and the little things that make a place a home.

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Rain Reign

Fifth grader Rose Howard is obsessed with homophones, rules and prime numbers. She lives alone with her father, who spends most of his time working at the local garage or hanging out at The Luck of the Irish bar. One rainy night he comes home with a dog for Rose. He never brings Rose anything, so she is thrilled. She names the dog Rain (Rein, Reign– a special homonym trio!) and he becomes Rose’s companion and best friend. When a really bad hurricane hits their small town, Rain goes missing. Now, Rose must find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places. During her search for Rain, one that lasts for weeks, Rose discovers an uncomfortable truth– Rain’s original owners are also looking for him.
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