Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award

Just Like Jackie

Robbie Hart has a fierce temper and a big heart. She’s been covering for her Grandpa at home and
at his auto repair shop: she worries the authorities will learn about his Alzheimer’s and take her
away from her only family. Robbie wishes he’d tell her about her mom, though, and her anger
issues lead her into fights and other trouble at school. Vermont author Lindsey Stoddard’s debut
deftly mixes themes of family, acceptance, race, gender, and friendship.

5 Comments »

Amal Unbound

Amal dreams of being a teacher, but soon she discovers that for a girl in Pakistan, an education is
not guaranteed. After a car accident, she is forced to be an indentured servant in the household of
the village landlord, a luxurious estate financed by illegal dealings. Amal discovers the depth of the
corruption of the landlord and his family, but she must weigh the risks of trying to expose them in a
small village where girls are not always believed and their dreams are not always honored.

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Ghost Boys

Jerome is twelve and mostly just a quiet kid, until one day when he is playing with a friend’s toy
gun. A police officer mistakes him for a threat and shoots him. But this isn’t the end of Jerome’s
story. As a ghost, Jerome meets Emmett Till, another boy who was killed in a racially charged
misunderstanding. Jerome learns about Emmett’s life and the aftermath of his own death. Through
the two stories, more questions are asked than answered, in a necessary exploration about the
prejudices of society.

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The House that Lou Built

Lou loves woodshop, her family, and her dream to build a 100-square foot “tiny house” on a
beautiful piece of land her Dad left her when he died. But when back taxes and a possible move to
another state threaten Lou’s dream, she’s got to build on her resources and resilience to find a way
to make it come true!

3 Comments »

No Fixed Address

What do a Westfalia van, a hamster named Horatio and a gnome all have in common? To 12 and
¾ year old Felix Knuttson, they are all important parts of his rapidly changing world. The van is his
home that he shares with his depressed and not always dependable mom. The hamster is named
after the host of his favorite TV quiz show, which with some luck, Felix thinks he could win. Mel is
his steadfast tomte that Felix believes protects he and his mom from all that could go wrong. Life
living in a van isn’t easy and Felix must keep his living arrangement a secret, from everyone, even
his best friends. Can Felix find a solution to his family crisis before it is too late?

3 Comments »

Merci Suarez Changes Gears

Merci Suárez is grateful to go to an excellent private school. Really, she is. Even if she was able to
forget how fortunate she is, the extra required community service hours would be there to remind
her. She also knows how lucky she is to be surrounded by family- even though that has its own
challenges, as her grandfather ages and her family relies on her in more ways. How can Merci
navigate her changing worlds at home and at school?

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Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

Although she doesn’t remember it, Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning, which gave her genius
level math skills and a severe case of OCD. Since then she has been homeschooled. She is
technically ready for college, but her grandmother gives her one more test to pass: middle school.
This beautifully written novel teaches us that sometimes numbers aren’t all that matters, no
problem is unsolvable, and if you have a few friends who accept you for who you are, you’re pretty
lucky

3 Comments »

Harbor Me

Six kids meet weekly in the ARTT (A Room to Talk) room without any adults and discover a safe haven to share their struggles and to find support. Issues of identity, bullying, racism, immigration, incarceration and more are shared and as each story unfolds in this safe space the students find courage, hope, and strength in the community they’ve created and the bonds they’ve made.

5 Comments »

Front Desk

While some kids are at sports practice or music lessons after school, ten-year-old Mia Tang is manning the front desk of the motel in which she and her Chinese immigrant parents live and work. The Calavista Motel owned by the cruel Mr. Yao is not only a respite for weary travelers but also home to a colorful cast of full-time residents and it doesn’t take long for kindhearted Mia to be drawn into the trials and tribulations of day to day life at the motel. Even though she is faced with daily challenges, Mia has big dreams for herself, as well as her friends and family. Does Mia have what it takes to turn dreams into reality?

4 Comments »

Game Changer

An accident at the end of high school football practice leaves Teddy Youngblood in a coma…or was it an accident? Rumors swirl as Teddy, the team, and the town try to recover, and while Teddy is unable to share what he knows, there are plenty of others who just aren’t willing to share.

10 Comments »

Missing Mike

Eleven-year-old Cari is devastated when encroaching wildfires force her family to quickly evacuate their home before she can find her beloved dog, Mike. After a harrowing escape, Cara’s family is housed by a host family with a foster daughter whom Cara befriends and enlists the support of to find Mike. Faced with the realization that her home is gone, Cara will do whatever it takes not to lose Mike too.

11 Comments »

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

Mason Buttle is a large, sweaty kid with learning disabilities. Mason also has a big heart. When his best friend dies under suspicious circumstances, Mason becomes the focus of Lieutenant Baird’s investigation.

3 Comments »

Louisiana’s Way Home

Louisiana Elephante’s world gets turned upside down the night her Granny announces that the day of reckoning has arrived and they must leave their home immediately. For Louisiana, that means leaving behind her best friends Raymie and Beverly as well as her beloved cat, Archie. As fate would have it, Granny’s mouth full of bad teeth land them in Richford, Georgia, a place that Louisiana at first desperately wants to leave. As Louisiana begins to settle into the rhythm of the town and learns more about her past, she begins asking herself: what is the true meaning of home?

6 Comments »

The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade

Falconer is small for his age, but he is big on justice. He’s determined to make a positive difference this year, at school and at home. Unfortunately, nothing seems to go as planned and he keeps ending up in the Assistant Principal’s office. What will it take to turn things around and become the hero he knows he can be?
3 Comments »

Short

Short is a charming and exuberant story about a young girl discovering herself and her potential for greatness. The main character Julia, along with the other quirky cast of characters, make it laugh-out-loud funny and simply irresistible.
6 Comments »

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.
7 Comments »

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.
2 Comments »

The First Rule of Punk

Twelve – year – old Malu is the product of two very different parents – her mom, the “SuperMexican” professor and her dad, the cool Indie – music store owning punk rocker. As Malu and her mother move from Florida to Chicago, Malu finds her way through zines, music and new relationships.
6 Comments »

Train I Ride

Rydr lost her mother to a drug overdose and is being taken away from her grandmother who is unable to care for her. Bound for Chicago to live with a relative she’s never met, Rydr befriends Tenderchunks the boy scout, Paolo the poet, and Neal the snack bar attendant, who learn Rydr’s story and share their own. It is through these connections, as brief as they may be, that Ryder finds hope, love and family on the train she rides.
7 Comments »

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.
4 Comments »

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.
19 Comments »

Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes

Annabelle has a strict rule that no friends can enter the invisible five-mile boundary around her home. Her mother is a hoarder and each family member deals with it in their own way. Will the latest catastrophe topple their already fragile family framework?
4 Comments »

Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel

When’s Stevie’s parents are tragically killed, she is sent away to live with a grandfather she has never met. As she meets members from both sides of her family, she learns that love, family and a sense of belonging can exist after terrible loss.
2 Comments »

Ban this Book

Eleven – year – old Amy Anne Ollinger finds her voice and her courage fighting back against censorship after her favorite book was banned from her school library. Challenging the idea that one person can determine what everyone else can read, Amy quickly becomes the leader in a battle against censorship and demonstrates the power of young people to effect change.
7 Comments »

Halfway Normal

 Halfway Normal is an original and heartbreakingly honest story about a twelve-year-old cancer survivor trying to fit in and find her voice. It is a powerful story of empathy and resilience, of moving forward and accepting yourself for who you are.
3 Comments »

See You in the Cosmos

                               
Alex Petroski is planning to make his own version of Carl Sagan’s Golden Record of all the sounds of earth, launched in 1977 on Voyager 1. Alex hopes to launch his, the Golden iPod, on  his own rocket Voyager 3, at the Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival in New Mexico. His journey there and back again, however, is far more revelatory than expected–and his resourcefulness and kindness in the face of many troubles make you proud to share a planet with this kid.
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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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Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

Aven Green is pretty much your average soccer playing, blog writing 13-year-old, with one major exception. Aven was born without arms. When her family moves from Kansas to Arizona, Aven’s once unfailing confidence begins to falter. Making friends is tough, until she meets Connor and Zion, boys who also know what it’s like to be an outsider. Together the trio work together to solve a mystery about the quirky amusement park Aven’s family calls home.

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