The Marble Queen
by Stephanie Blake
Amazon Children’s Publishing, 2012
ages 8 and up, ISBN 978-0-761-46227-9
Freedom Jane McKenzie isn’t good at following the rules. She doesn’t like any of the things that girls are supposed to like. She’s good at fishing, getting into trouble—and playing marbles. All she wants is to enter the marble competition at the Autumn Jubilee and show the boys in the neighborhood that she’s the best player.
If she can’t be the Marble King, then she’ll be the Marble Queen. First, Freedom has to convince her mother to let her enter. But there’s a new baby on the way, Freedom’s daddy is drinking too much, her little brother is a handful, and her mother is even more difficult than usual.
Freedom learns that when it comes to love, friendship, and family, sometimes there are no rules.
Set in 1959, The Marble Queen is a timeless story about growing up.
by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Katherine Tegen Books, 2013
ages 8 and up, ISBN 978-0-061-62501-5
Eleven-year-old Emily Elizabeth Davis has been told for her entire life that her destiny is to become a poet, just like her famous namesake, Emily Dickinson. But Emily doesn’t even really like poetry, and she has a secret career ambition that she suspects her English-professor mother will frown on. Then, just after discovering that it contains an important family secret, she loses the special volume of Emily Dickinson’s poetry that was given to her at birth. As Emily and her friends search for the lost book in used bookstores and thrift shops all across town, Emily’s understanding of destiny begins to unravel and then rewrite itself in a marvelous new way.
Little Dog, Lost
written by Marion Dane Bauer
illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
Simon & Schuster
Mark is a boy who needs a dog. But he can’t get his mom on board with his plan.
Buddy is a dog who needs a boy. Buddy has an owner already, but not one who understands the kind of love and care—the “something more”—a dog needs.
Mr. LaRue is a neighbor who needs a community. He’s alone all the time in his huge old house—and everyone needs more than that.
Over the course of a summer thunderstorm and one chaotic town council meeting, these three characters cross paths and come together in a timeless tale ripe with emotions and told in verse that resolves with love, understanding, and a sense of belonging—plus a place to play a game of fetch!