This WWII story traces the friendship between 11-year old Annabelle and her family and a local WWI veteran named Toby. Toby has lived in the town for many years and keeps to himself. Life is mostly peaceful in the rural town in Pennsylvania where they live, until Betty Glengarry arrives. Betty is mean and cruel and does everything she can to inflict pain on others. When Betty goes missing, Toby becomes the main suspect. Annabelle knows that he is innocent and is determined to prove it. This is a compelling story about prejudice and unjust persecution. Recommended for grades 5-8
Ten-year old Raymie Clarke has a plan to get her father, who has run off with a dental hygienist, to come back home. She is sure that if she does something important, her father will return. So, she starts to practice baton twirling in order to win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition. She meets two other girls who, for very different reasons, are also entering the contest. All three girls have lost someone close to them and it's this bond that ties them together. It's this friendship that helps this well-written novel unfold. Recommended for grades 4-7
Izzy Malone isn't your typical middle schooler. She's kind of a class outcast, the only girl in her school who isn't interested in clothes or boys. Instead, she desperately wants to be part of the after school rowing team. When her temper gets her into trouble, her parents enroll her in Mrs. Whipple's Earn Your Charm School. She has to complete certain tasks in order to earn “charms” for her charm bracelet. Unfortunately, her good intentions go vastly awry. This contemporary realistic novel will leave you with a smile on your face and looking forward to the next book in the series. Recommended for grades 4-6.