Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award

The Prince and the Dressmaker

The Prince and the Dressmaker. First Second, 2018. $24.99. ISBN 978-1626723634.
A graphic novel with a modern, fairy tale vibe. Prince Sebastien has a secret: at night, he loves to
dress up in fantastic ball gowns and go out on the town as the fashionable Lady Crystallia. Frances
is the lowly seamstress who becomes his special designer. Charming, romantic, joyful and
subversive, this is a story about gender identity, self-expression, family pressure, and the joy of truly
beautiful clothes.

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Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle

Bicycle, raised at the Mostly Silent Monastery where the monks are permitted only eight words (yes,
no, maybe, help, now, later, sleep, and sandwich), is being sent to the Friendship Factory to
improve her social skills and make friends. Instead she runs away and sets off on an incredible
solo cross-country journey to meet her cyclist hero at San Francisco’s Blessing of the Bicycles –
encountering en route a host of quirky characters, among them a lonely Civil War ghost.

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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!

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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?

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Bob

It’s been five years since Livy last visited her grandmother in Australia – and when she finally
returns she finds Bob, a greenish zombie-like creature in a chicken suit, who has been obediently
waiting in her closet all this time. (He’s spent the years crying and building Lego pirate ships.) A tale
of friendship, love, and magic, told in the alternating voices of Livy and Bob.

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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.

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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?

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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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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.
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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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Restart

When Chase wakes up with amnesia after a concussion, he’s horrified to learn that he used to be the school’s worst bully. This hilarious story is about school life, but also about family, sports, friendship, and the choices we make about who we are and who we want to become.
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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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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.
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The Magic Misfits

Sleight of hand — some people use it for entertainment, Uncle Sly uses it to steal. Carter escapes from his Uncle and a dastardly life of crime, and finds a new life with a group of talented misfits. Can they use their skills with illusions and performance arts to save the town from a sleazy circus of thieves?
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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.
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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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Wishtree

Red is an oak tree that offers wishes and refuge to the people and animals of a neighborhood.
Red shows great wisdom and heart as he welcomes a new family which is experiencing a difficult transition.
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When Friendship Followed Me Home

Griffin, Paul. When Friendship Followed Me Home.

A boy’s chance encounter with a scruffy dog leads to an unforgettable friendship in this deeply moving story about life, loss and the meaning of family.

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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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Falling Over Sideways

Sonnenblick, Jordan.  Falling Over Sideways.

Harassed at her middle school, not taken seriously at home, and with a “perfect” older brother, Matthew, to live up to, thirteen-year-old Claire has always felt like her life was cursed. Then one morning, when she and her father are talking at breakfast, he suddenly keels over with a stroke, and suddenly everything changes. Sonnenblick is a master with realistic teen drama – expect both laughter and tears.

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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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The Littlest Bigfoot

Weiner, Jennifer. The Littlest Bigfoot.

Brimming with equal parts humor and heartbreak, The Littlest Bigfoot is an irresistible adventure about friendship, furry creatures, and finding the place where you belong.

 

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It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel

Dumas, Firoozeh. It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel

Recently moved to Newport Beach, California, Zomorod Yousefzadeh’s plan for fitting in at her new middle school starts with having an American name, Cindy— like on The Brady Bunch. She dreams of joining the Girl Scouts, making American friends, having a beanbag chair, and fitting in for once. It’s the late 1970s, and fitting in becomes more difficult as Iran makes headlines with protests, a revolution, and finally the taking of American hostages.

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Nothing but Trouble

Davies, Jacqueline, Nothing but Trouble.

Budding engineer Maggie Gallagher and her artsy new friend Lena Polachev plan and execute elaborate pranks at their school, bringing much needed change to their depressed community.

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The Inn Between

Cohen, Marina, The Inn Between.

Quinn’s little sister Emma has vanished, leaving nothing behind but a backpack. Now on a cross-country trip with her best friend Kara and family, who are moving to California, Quinn ends up at the Inn Between, an elegant and eerie Victorian hotel in the desert, where people mysteriously disappear and she catches glimpses of Emma through distant windows. A spooky mystery for grades 5 and up.

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Ms. Bixby’s Last Day

Anderson, John David. Ms. Bixby’s Last Day.

When their one-of-a-kind, beloved teacher falls ill and leaves school for the rest of the school year, Topher, Steve, and Brand are crushed. Determined to give Ms. Bixby the perfect last day, they set off on a risky, chaotic, and exciting adventure.

 

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Lost in the Sun

{4C66983A-1237-405B-B3F1-EF7D23923F3C}Img400When Trent is involved in a horrible accident that results in another boy’s death, he must find a way to overcome his guilt and rage in this touching story of acceptance and forgiveness.

 

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I am Princess X

Two girls become 9780545620857inseparable friends as they bond over art and storytelling. Together they create Princess X. After a tragic accident, one girl mourns and eventually discovers that Princess X may not have died with her friend.

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Waiting for Unicorns

Twelve-year-old Talia 9780439874021just lost her mother to cancer, and as if that wasn’t hard enough to cope with, now her father is about to bring her to the Arctic for her whole summer vacation and leave her with a mysterious Inuit woman that she’s never even met. While Talia’s dad is out researching whales on the dangerous tundra, will she somehow find hope and friendship in this barren place or will she be left alone, wishing for impossible things?

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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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George

9780316381321George is a typical 4th grader who wants a part in the school play.  But George has a secret.  She is a girl in a boy’s body.  She and her best friend hatch a plan to get George the coveted girl’s role in the play and convince everyone to accept her as she is.

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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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The Blackthorn Key

The year is 1665 and fourteen-year-old Christopher Rowe is the apprentice of an apothecary in London. With death and danger around every corner, he and his best friend Tom must untangle the web of clues and codes to discover the truth behind a series of murders that are being blamed on a secretive cult, before it’s too late!

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Escape from Baxters’ Barn

baxtersBurdock the barn cat hears some terrible news and shares it with the barn animals. The brave and charming group of farm animals works together once they learn that their lives are threatened. A delightful story of perseverance, friendship, and teamwork, peppered with the author’s own pen and ink drawings.

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