Pre-Teens

A Wrinkle In Time. Madeleine L'Engle, $8.99

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

"Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I'll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract."

A tesseract (in case the reader doesn't know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L'Engle's unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O'Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg's father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.


Wonder. R.J. Palacio, $21.99

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid — but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Wonder, a #1 New York Times bestseller, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” — indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.


My Brigadista Year. Katherine Paterson, $21.99

When thirteen-year-old Lora tells her parents that she wants to join Premier Castro's army of young literacy teachers, her mother screeches to high heaven, and her father roars like a lion. Nora has barely been outside of Havana — why would she throw away her life in a remote shack with no electricity, sleeping on a hammock in somebody's kitchen? But Nora is stubborn: didn't her parents teach her to share what she has with someone in need? Surprisingly, Nora's abuela takes her side, even as she makes Nora promise to come home if things get too hard. But how will Nora know for sure when that time has come? Shining light on a little-known moment in history, Katherine Paterson traces a young teen's coming-of-age journey from a sheltered life to a singular mission: teaching fellow Cubans of all ages to read and write, while helping with the work of their daily lives and sharing the dangers posed by counterrevolutionaries hiding in the hills nearby. Inspired by true accounts, the novel includes an author's note and a timeline of Cuban history.


The Breadwinner. Deborah Ellis, $9.95 (ages 10-14)

A special edition of The Breadwinner, the first book in Deborah Ellis’s riveting Breadwinner series, coincides with the launch of the animated movie. It is an award-winning novel about loyalty, survival, families and friendship under extraordinary circumstances during the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan.

Eleven-year-old Parvana lives with her family in one room of a bombed-out apartment building in Kabul, Afghanistan’s capital city. Parvana’s father — a history teacher until his school was bombed and his health destroyed — works from a blanket on the ground in the marketplace, reading letters for people who cannot read or write. One day, he is arrested for the crime of having a foreign education, and the family is left without someone who can earn money or even shop for food. As conditions for the family grow desperate, only one solution emerges. Forbidden to earn money as a girl, Parvana must transform herself into a boy, and become the breadwinner.

The book includes a map, author’s note and a glossary to provide young readers with background and context. An eight-page color insert features stills from the movie. All royalties from the sale of this book will go to Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan. Parvana’s Fund supports education projects for Afghan women and children.


Girls Who Code: Learn to Code and Change the World. Reshma Saujani, $23.99

Since 2012, the organization Girls Who Code has been leading the charge to get girls interested in technology and coding. Now its founder, Reshma Saujani, wants to inspire you to be a girl who codes!

Bursting with dynamic artwork, down-to-earth explanations of coding principles, and real-life stories of girls and women working at places like Pixar and NASA, this graphically animated book shows what a huge role computer science plays in our lives and how much fun it can be. No matter your interest — sports, the arts, baking, student government, social justice — coding can help you do what you love and make your dreams come true.

Whether you’re a girl who’s never coded before, a girl who codes, or a parent raising one, this entertaining book, printed in bold two-color and featuring art on every page, will have you itching to create your own apps, games, and robots to make the world a better place.


Myles and the Monster Outside. Philippa Dowding, $9.99 (ages 8-12)

I will never leave this car, the back seat reeks of everything my little brother has ever eaten, and that thing is still out there …

Myles and his family have been driving for four days. It’s their final night on the road, but Myles knows they will never arrive at their new house. It will never stop raining. And even if they do get there (which is doubtful), he knows he will never have friends again.

He also knows that something is following them in the dark, rainy fields outside their car. Something monstrous. Once the monster arrives, things go very wrong. Myles and his family get lost, their car keeps breaking down, and a strange old man and his dog turn up, again and again. Then things get really weird. Myles is pretty sure it’s all his fault: he’s the only one who can see the monster. He’s the only one who can hear the monster. And hardest of all? He’s the only one who can make it go away.


The Mask That Sang. Susan Currie, $9.95

A young girl discovers her Cayuga heritage when she finds a mask that sings to her.

Cass and her mom have always stood on their own against the world. Then Cass learns she had a grandmother, one who was never part of her life, one who has just died and left her and her mother the first house they could call their own. But with it comes more questions than answers: Why is her Mom so determined not to live there? Why was this relative kept so secret? And what is the unusual mask, forgotten in a drawer, trying to tell her? Strange dreams, strange voices, and strange incidents all lead Cass closer to solving the mystery and making connections she never dreamed she had.


Be the Change, Make It Happen: Big and Small Ways Kids Can Make a Difference. Bernadette Russell, $18.95

This 96-page bright and playful activity book for children is an exuberant introduction to personal and social issues. Whether you’re helping the planet through recycling and saving water, or promoting important causes with awesome art exhibitions, or simply keeping a Happiness Diary, Be the Change, Make It Happen offers tons of inspirational ideas and activities to encourage kids to make their voices heard and to make an impact on the issues that are important to them.


How to Update Your Parents. Pete Johnson, $12.99

What can you do when you're trapped in a technology time warp? When Louis's parents decide he spends too much time "glued to screens" they come up with their worst idea ever — a total ban on tablets, computers and mobiles! Louis needs a plan to fight back, and fast! Can his best friend, Maddy, come to the rescue?


The Owner's Manual for Driving Your Adolescent Brain. JoAnn Deak & Terrence Deak, $22.50 (ages 9-14)

A mind is a terrible thing to waste, so if you haven’t yet picked up your copy of The Owner’s Manual for Driving Your Adolescent Brain, here are a few good reasons to, ahem, think about it. This absorbing book by Drs. JoAnn Deak and Terrence Deak continues the lessons from Your Fantastic Elastic Brain, offering helpful insights into the brain as it enters its second decade.


Half a World Away. Cynthia Kadohata, $9.99 (ages 10-14)

Eleven-year-old Jaden is adopted, and he knows he’s an “epic fail.” That’s why his family is traveling to Kazakhstan to adopt a new baby — to replace him, he’s sure. And he gets it. He is incapable of stopping his stealing, hoarding, lighting fires, aggressive running, and obsession with electricity. He knows his parents love him, but he feels... nothing.

When they get to Kazakhstan, it turns out the infant they’ve traveled for has already been adopted, and literally within minutes are faced with having to choose from six other babies. While his parents agonize, Jaden is more interested in the toddlers. One, a little guy named Dimash, spies Jaden and barrels over to him every time he sees him. Jaden finds himself increasingly intrigued by and worried about Dimash. Already three years old and barely able to speak, Dimash will soon age out of the orphanage, and then his life will be as hopeless as Jaden feels now. For the first time in his life, Jaden actually feels something that isn’t pure blinding fury, and there’s no way to control it, or its power.


A-Z of Being the Best Leader You Can Be: Leading Through the Alphabet. Yvonne Bleam, $24.95

Not your average A-Z, this book aims to teach young people aged 8-11 about what it means to be a good leader. From honesty and respect to understanding and dependability, each of the 26 stories covers a quality that any good leader should possess and is followed by fun activities and exercises to help children learn the true meaning of each concept. Building positive leadership behaviors in children, this book will be of interest to educators, school counselors, pastoral care workers as well as parents.


Listen, Slowly. Thanhhà Lai, $8.50 (ages 8-12)

A California girl born and raised, Mai can’t wait to spend her vacation at the beach. Instead, she has to travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War. Mai’s parents think this trip will be a great opportunity for their out-of-touch daughter to learn more about her culture. But to Mai, those are their roots, not her own. Vietnam is hot, smelly, and the last place she wants to be. Besides barely speaking the language, she doesn’t know the geography, the local customs, or even her distant relatives. To survive her trip, Mai must find a balance between her two completely different worlds.

Listen, Slowly is an irresistibly charming and emotionally poignant tale about a girl who discovers that home and culture, family and friends, can all mean different things.


The Gutsy Girl: Escapades for Your Life of Epic Adventure. Caroline Paul, $24.00

Why should girls miss out on the joy of adventure? They can jump off rocks, swing on ropes, and climb trees just as well as boys can. But girls often allow fear to stand in their way.

In The Gutsy Girl, author Caroline Paul emboldens girls to seek out a life of exhilaration. Once a young scaredy-cat herself, Caroline decided that fear got in the way of the life she wanted — of excitement, confidence, self-reliance, friendship, and fun. She has since flown planes, rafted big rivers, climbed tall mountains, and fought fires as one of the first female firefighters in San Francisco.

In The Gutsy Girl, she shares her greatest escapades as well as those of other girls and women from throughout history, and offers engaging activities such as confidence-building stances, creating a compass, positive self-talk, and using crickets to estimate outside temperatures. Each section includes a place for girls to "journal" their adventures, thus encouraging a new generation to develop a zest for challenges and a healthy relationship to risk.

The Gutsy Girl is Lean In for young girls, a book about the glorious things that happen when you unshackle from fear and open up to exhilaration. Fully illustrated and enlivened throughout by bestselling illustrator Wendy MacNaughton's whimsical pen-and-ink drawings.


Quiet Power: the Secret Strengths of Introverts. Susan Cain, $23.99

Susan Cain sparked a worldwide conversation when she published Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. With her inspiring book, she permanently changed the way we see introverts and the way introverts see themselves. The original book focused on the workplace, and Susan realized that a version for and about kids was also badly needed. This book is all about kids’ world — school, extra-curriculars, family life, and friendship. You’ll read about actual kids who have tackled the challenges of not being extroverted and who have made a mark in their own quiet way. You’ll hear Susan Cain’s own story, and you’ll be able to make use of the tips at the end of each chapter. There’s even a guide at the end of the book for parents and teachers.


Making YouTube Videos: Star in Your Own Video! Nick Willoughby, $9.99

The fast and easy way for kids to shoot, edit, and share videos on YouTube. Whether looking to go viral or simply wanting to make videos for their friends, Making YouTube Videos is the place to start. Written by a filmmaking expert who runs camps for wanna-be filmmakers as young as seven, this fun and friendly guide takes you step by step through the process: from idea creation to production to sharing on YouTube.

Filled with eye-popping graphics that make the information come to life, Making YouTube Videos takes the intimidation out of working with video technology and offers your child a friendly, trusted source for expressing their creativity.

  • Introduces ideas on framing, lighting, and sound
  • Shows kids how to load a video, add transitions, and add effects
  • Provides easy-to-follow instruction on uploading a video to YouTube and setting who can see or not see their video
  • Explains how to grab free software and make simple edits, like cutting out scenes, adding to a timeline, and implementing transitions

It's Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going! Chelsea Clinton, $24.99

In a book that tackles the biggest challenges facing us today, Chelsea Clinton combines facts, charts, photographs and stories to give readers a deep understanding of the world around them — and how anyone can make a difference. With stories about children and teens who have made real changes big and small — in their families, their communities, in our country and across the world — this book will inspire readers of all ages to do their part to make our world a better place.

In addition to informing and inspiring readers about topics including Poverty, Homelessness, Food Insecurity, Access to Education, Gender Equality, Epidemics, Non-Communicable Diseases, Climate Change, and Endangered Species, this book encourages everyone to get going! With suggestions and ideas for action, Chelsea Clinton shows readers that the world belongs to every single one of us, and every one of us counts.


Cleo Edison Oliver — Playground Millionaire. Sundee Frazier, $8.99

Cleopatra Edison Oliver has always been an entrepreneur, just like her inspiration, successful businesswoman Fortune A. Davies. So when Cleo's fifth-grade teacher assigns her class a "Passion Project," Cleo comes up with her best business idea yet: the finest "tooth-pulling" company in town. With the help of her best friend Caylee, a Nerf gun, her dad's tablet, and her patented Persuasion Power, Cleo's Quick and Painless Tooth Removal Service starts to take off.

But even the best made plans, by the best CEOs, go awry sometimes. A minor barfing incident during a tooth-pulling operation causes Cleo to lose customers. Caylee, initially enthusiastic about the business, grows distant as Cleo neglects their friendship in lieu of getting more customers. And when a mean classmate makes fun of Cleo for being adopted, everything comes crashing down. Will she be able to rescue her business, salvage her friendship with Caylee, and discover that her true home has been here all along?


Inside of a DogYoung Readers Edition: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know. Alexandra Horowitz, Illustrated by: Sean Vidal Edgerton, $22.99 (ages 8 - 12)

From an animal behaviorist and dog enthusiast comes an adorable and informative guide to understanding how our canine friends see the world. Have you ever wondered what your dogs are thinking? What they’re feeling? Now you finally can! The answers will surprise and delight you as scientist and dog-owner Alexandra Horowitz explains how our four-legged friends perceive their daily worlds, each other, and that other quirky animal, the human.


A Year Without Mom. Dasha Tolstikova, $19.95 (graphic novel)

A Year Without Mom follows twelve-year-old Dasha through a year full of turmoil after her mother leaves for America. It is the early 1990s in Moscow, and political change is in the air. But Dasha is more worried about her own challenges as she negotiates family, friendships and school without her mother. Just as she begins to find her own feet, she gets word that she is to join her mother in America — a place that seems impossibly far from everything and everyone she loves.


SEX is a Funny Word: a Book about Bodies, Feelings, and YOU. Cory Silverberg & Fiona Smyth. $23.95

A comic book for kids that includes children and families of all makeups, orientations, and gender identities, Sex Is a Funny Word is an essential resource about bodies, gender, and sexuality for children ages 8 to 10 as well as their parents and caregivers. Topics covered include:

  • What is sex?
  • Privacy, safety, and respect
  • Boundaries regarding nudity, talking about sex, and touch
  • Assigned sex, gender identity, and gender roles
  • Names and functions of body parts
  • Talking about the word “sexy”
  • Protecting yourself against unwanted sexual touch and abuse
  • Crushes, love, and sexy feelings 

Much more than the "facts of life" or “the birds and the bees," Sex Is a Funny Word opens up conversations between young people and their caregivers in a way that allows adults to convey their values and beliefs while providing information about boundaries, safety, and joy. Sex Is a Funny Word is the first sex education book for this age group that is inclusive of lesbian, gay, and bisexual experience as well as gender creative and gender nonconforming children.


Speak Up! A Guide to Having Your Say and Speaking Your Mind. Halley Bondy, $21.99

Middle school is a tough time for nearly everyone, but it can be especially hard on girls. Between social and cultural pressures, academic challenges, family dynamics, changing hormones, and a growing awareness of the world around them, middle school girls often end up feeling voiceless and powerless. They can struggle with speaking in class, standing up for their beliefs, navigating complicated social situations, and generally letting their voices be heard.

Speak Up! confronts these issues head on. In a relatable, frank tone, Speak Up! lets young girls know that what they have to say is important and that their thoughts are worth hearing. By presenting real issues and scenarios that girls will recognize from their own day-to-day lives, as well as exploring the negative thoughts and feelings that can hold them back, Speak Up! will supply girls with the tools they need to understand their feelings and speak up in any situation. Interactive exercises, lists, real-life examples, and attractive graphics will keep the readers engaged from start to finish. More than a book about self-esteem, Speak Up! addresses the cultural factors that hold girls back, and features real strategies to enable them in finding, and using, their voices.


Bounce Back: How to Be a Resilient Kid. Wendy Moss, $13.95

Think of a bouncing ball. When a bouncing ball hits the ground, it bounces back. That's what resilience means — the ability to bounce back from tough times. Some people seem to just automatically bounce back. But the truth is that resilience is not something you are born with or not — it can be learned.

Bounce Back will help you find your bounce using cool quizzes, lots of advice, and practical strategies that build up resiliency skills. You'll learn how to:

  • understand your emotions
  • coach yourself with self-talk
  • calm yourself when you are upset
  • deal with decisions, disappointments, and new challenges
  • handle situations that are under your control
  • negotiate, compromise, and navigate social conflicts
  • cope with or adjust to serious sources of stress
  • ask for help and guidance

George. Alex Gino, $8.99 (novel)

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl. George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part... because she's a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.


The Book of Languages: Talk Your Way Around the World. Mick Webb, $17.95

We use language all day, every day — probably without thinking much about it. But if you stop and consider it, language is not only extremely important, it’s fascinating, too! Use of language is one of the key things distinguishing humans from other animals, and nearly 7,000 languages are spoken around the world. Without it, we’d be hard pressed to communicate, express ourselves, or understand others.

The Book of Languages begins with an introduction to why language is important, how it originated and how it changes. From there, the book profiles 21 of the world’s languages. Each spread showcases a language’s history, where it’s spoken, what it looks like and how to speak a few phrases and count to ten. Rounded out with sections on non-verbal and animal language, this book will stimulate readers’ curiosity about the world and spark appreciation for language learning.


28 Tips for a Fearless Grade 6. Catherine Austen, $9.95

Dave Davidson's heart is in the right place. He believes it's his mission to cure his friends of their fears. But his solutions are hare-brained at best and often come with unintended and hilarious consequences. Afraid of dancing at the school dance? Dave's got ways to fix that: sprain an ankle, eat expired food to get sick, or even get yourself suspended for a few days. Have a public speaking phobia? Dave can fix that for you too: get laryngitis, forge a note from a therapist, or get your friends to hold up cue cards. This hilarious new novel will appeal to reluctant Tween readers, especially boys.


Does This Happen to Everyone? A Budding Adult's Guide to Puberty. Jan von Holleben & Antje Helms, $34.50

Even before they experience puberty and young love themselves, girls and boys have many questions about sex and sexuality. Parents often don’t know the best way to answer them and it’s practically impossible to find the right time to start a conversation about the birds and the bees.

Especially today, when most young people have access to the internet and its explicit or dubious content, it is extremely important to address the topic of sex education with children proactively and give it the attention it needs and deserves. As daunting as it might be for parents to take the lead, ­leaving the internet or a classmate to “explain” sexuality is not an option. Thankfully, the book Does This Happen to Everyone? offers a welcome alternative with a contemporary look and feel that is both fitting for kids and appealing to adults.


Growing Up Inside and Out. Kira Vermond, $13.95 (ages 9-12)

Puberty is something humans have gone through, quite literally, forever. But that doesn't mean the experience has stayed the same or that there's nothing new to say about the topic. And though puberty can often look different for boys and girls (growing facial hair versus getting a period), kids may be surprised by what all their classmates have in common: crushes, acne, anxiety, getting mad at their parents. Not only does GROWING UP, INSIDE AND OUT break with the tradition of having separate books for separate sexes, it unites kids by showing them that there are things that everyone goes through.


The Secret Life of Money: A Kid's Guide to Cash.  Kira Vermond, Illustrated by Clayton Hanmer, $13.95

If discussing money is a difficult task for adults, it's doubly so where kids are involved. Not only is the subject loaded with cryptic jargon, but it often fails to click with how a kid sees his or her world. Many preteens and young teens do not yet have a job, and even if they do, their responsibilities with their earnings are miles away from grown-up money issues. In other words, not only is money a little overwhelming and mysterious, it's also seen as something they can't do anything about. 

THE SECRET LIFE OF MONEY is written to address this last point in particular. This book uses odd anecdotes, engaging comics, and a wealth of surprising everyday connections to help young readers see and understand cash from an entirely different angle. From the history of different currencies to why we buy what we buy, from how credit cards work to saving and investing, readers will gain not only an appreciation for the myriad ways that money changes, influences, and (even) betters their lives, they will arrive to an understanding of the control they have over it.


Hot Issues Cool Choices: Facing Bullies, Peer Pressure, Popularity and Put Downs. Sandra McLeod Humphrey, $18.98

Did you know that there are kids out there who don’t even want to get out of bed in the morning because they know what going to school means for them?

  • being teased and taunted
  • being excluded and rejected
  • being afraid that you’re going to be assaulted and possibly hurt

After reading this book, you may just possibly become a kinder, more compassionate human being, someone who treats others the way you want them to treat you. So come along and join the students at Emerson Elementary and help them make some cool choices!


Middle School Confidential Series by Annie Fox

Be Confident in Who You Are. Annie Fox, $14.99

So begins the journey of Jack, Jen, Chris, Abby, Mateo, and Michelle—six students just trying to figure it all out in middle school. Be Confident in Who You Are follows these characters as they work to meet new challenges and survive the social scene—without losing sight of who they are. Book 1 offers insider information on common middle school concerns and practical advice for being healthy, feeling good about who you are, and staying in control of your feelings and actions—even when the pressure is on.

Real Friends vs. the Other Kind. Annie Fox, $14.99 

Real Friends vs. the Other Kind, the second book in the Middle School Confidential series, follows these characters as they work to forge friendships while navigating tough social situations. Book 2 explores making and keeping friends, resolving disputes, and dealing with common middle school concerns—like gossip, exclusion, and cyberbullying. There's also expert advice on crushes, peer pressure, and being there for friends who need help.

What’s Up With My Family: Annie Fox, $14.99

Follow these young teens as they work on challenges at home. Along the way you’ll find ideas for building trust with adults, getting past hurt feelings and making family relationships stronger. Life at home may not be perfect, appreciating family members and working with them can help everyone get along.


Faith: Five Religions and What They Share. Richard Steckel & Michele Steckel, $18.95 (ages 8-12)

This kid-friendly exploration of faith provides a superb overview of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism. Young readers will learn about different aspects of each, including historical origins and beliefs, holy texts, religious clothing and places of worship. They will also find out about the values, customs and symbols all five religions share, such as the golden rule, charity, prayer and candles. Straightforward, simple text makes the content interesting and accessible, as do the vivid photos of children around the world. Parents and teachers will find FAITH: FIVE RELIGIONS AND WHAT THEY SHARE an invaluable tool for teaching respect for people of different beliefs.


Girlness: Deal With It, Body & Soul. Diane Peters, illustrated by Steven Murray, $12.95

It’s hard enough being a girl on the brink of puberty without dealing with a barrage of mixed messages about femininity. From self-image to peer pressure, consumerism to feminism, girls have a lot to grapple with. This volume looks at issues relating to gender identity and how girls can cope with the conflicts that arise when we question what it means to be female.


Guyness: Deal with It, Body & Soul. Steve Pitt, illustrated by Steven Murray, $12.95

As boys become men, pressure to fit into set images of masculinity can be overwhelming. And stereotypes about what makes a man a man can make the early stages of puberty — the beginning of physical, emotional, and sexual maturity — all the more confusing. This volume looks at issues relating to gender identity and how boys can deal with the conflicts that arise when boys fit — or do not fit — the masculinity mold.


What to Do When Good Enough Isn’t Good Enough: the Real Deal on Perfectionism. Thomas Greenspon, $15.99 (ages 9 – 13)

Most children don’t know what perfectionism is, yet many suffer from it. Nothing they do is ever good enough. School assignments are hard to start or hand in. Relationships are challenging, and self-esteem is low. Written for kids ages 9–13, this book helps them understand how perfectionism hurts them and how to free themselves. Includes true-to-life vignettes, exercises, and a note to grown-ups.


See our Parenting 6-12 booklist for adult titles.

Awkward. Svetlana Chmakova, $14.50

Cardinal rule #1 for surviving school: Don't get noticed by the mean kids.

Cardinal rule #2 for surviving school: Seek out groups with similar interests and join them.

On her first day at her new school, Penelope (Peppi) Torres reminds herself of these basics. But when she trips into a quiet boy in the hall, Jaime Thompson, she's already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the "nerder girlfriend." How does she handle this crisis? By shoving poor Jaime and running away!

Falling back on rule two and surrounding herself with new friends in the art club, Peppi still can't help feeling ashamed about the way she treated Jaime. Things are already awkward enough between the two, but to make matters worse, he's a member of her own club's archrivals, the science club! And when the two clubs go to war, Peppi realizes that sometimes you have to break the rules to survive middle school.


Little Bits of Sky. S.E. Durrant, $24.95

Siblings Ira and Zac have moved between foster homes ever since they can remember. When they are moved to a group home called Skilly House, a London-based home for children, they think everything is about to break, but it may just be the beginning of their new lives.


The Theory of Hummingbirds. Michelle Kadarusman, $11.95 (novel, ages 8-12)

"Hummingbirds and angels don’t need two good feet. They have wings.” That’s what Alba’s mother always says. Of course, Alba doesn’t have wings or two good feet: she has Cleo. Cleo is the name Alba has given to her left foot, which was born twisted in the wrong direction. When she points this out, though, her mother just smiles like the world has some surprise in store she doesn’t know about yet.

Well, Alba has her own surprise planned. After one final surgery and one final cast, Cleo is almost ready to meet the world straight on — just in time to run in the sixth grade cross-country race. Unfortunately, Alba’s best friend Levi thinks there’s no way she can pull it off. And she thinks there’s no way he’s right about the school librarian hiding a wormhole in her office. Tempers flare. Sharp words fly faster than hummingbirds. And soon it looks like both friends will be stuck proving their theories on their own.


Canadian Boys Who Rocked the World. Tanya Lloyd Kyi, $12.95

30 lives that achieved greatness before age 20. No one ever said you had to be a grown-up to do something great. The boys in Canadian Boys Who Rocked the World have proved this to the world. Breaking world records, winning hearts in the limelight, changing the face of the scientific world — these boys have shaken the planet with their achievements. At 17, Louis Cyr bested the reigning Canadian strongman by lifting a 180 kg granite boulder. Wayne Gretzky was breaking NHL records by the time he was 18. Oscar Peterson won his first radio contest for piano at 14 and was awarded his own 15-minute weekly radio show. Every day, Canadian boys find new ways to rock the world. This fascinating book profiles young men who are born to greatness as well as young boys who aspire to it.

Canadian Girls Who Rocked the World. Tanya Lloyd Kyi, $12.95

Take an adventure with some of Canada`s most interesting and accomplished young women. An inspiring book, Canadian Girls Who Rocked the World tells the stories of Canadian girls who won Olympic medals, discovered dinosaurs, explored their country or shaped its history — all while still in their teens. For example, when she was just 16 years old, Marilyn Bell stepped into the icy waters of Lake Ontario and became the first person in history to swim across it. Subsequently, she became the youngest person to swim the English Channel and changed the world`s ideas about women`s athletic abilities and endurance. And pop star Avril Lavigne released her first album when she was 17, which skyrocketed to the top of the charts, selling 12 million copies. This revised and expanded edition is packed with yet more tales of adventure and achievement. New profiles include hockey player Cassie Campbell, music exec Denise Donlon and environmental activist and leader of the federal Green Party Elizabeth May. Every day, Canadian girls find new ways to rock the world. This fun book profiles women who have achieved greatness and contains quotes from the girls who aspire to follow in their footsteps.


642 Things about Me: Young Writer's & Artist's Edition. Chronicle Books, $23.95

A new offering in the wildly popular 642 series, this unique journal encourages young creators to dive deep into the subject they know best-themselves! Packed with quirky, thought-provoking, and imaginative drawing and writing prompts, 642 Things About Me: Young Writer's & Artist's Edition is a fun way for kids to document their lives, jump-start their creative talent, and produce a memorable keepsake-or the first draft of their bestselling memoir.


The Family Fletcher Take Rock Island. Dana Alison Levy, $9.50

Wait until you meet the family Fletcher! With two dads, four adopted brothers, two cats, and one pug, the Fletchers will have you laughing out loud! 

Welcome to Rock Island, Where Time Stands Still!

The Fletchers are back on Rock Island, home of all their best summer memories. But from the first day they arrive, it’s clear that this year, things have changed. FIRST, a giant fence is blocking their beloved lighthouse. SECOND, they have new neighbors. THIRD, who the heck is the weird artist guy who’s never actually painting? And FOURTH, there’s now an ice cream truck! Can the island stay the same even with these crazy transformations?

Over the course of the summer, the Fletchers will learn that sometimes, even in a place where time stands still, the wildest, weirdest, and most wonderful surprises await.


Staying Safe Online. Louie Stowell, $12.95

The internet is full of amazing possibilities but, just like the real world, there are a lot of potential dangers and difficulties too. You need to know what to watch out for and how to protect yourself. Whether you’re worried about oversharing on social media or coming across dangerous people, this guide gives you tips and tools to take control and stay safe online.


Shu-Li and Diego. Paul Yee, illustrated by ShaolLi Wang, $8.95

Shu-Li and her classmate Diego take on the challenge of taking care of Baxter, a neighbour’s dog. The two friends face disaster when Baxter runs away and they have to break the news to its owner. Can they find him before the owner finds out?

Shu-Li and the Magic Pear Tree. Paul Yee, illustrated by ShaolLi Wang, $8.95

Shu-Li has just moved into her new home on Commercial Drive in Vancouver, British Columbia. She has trouble adjusting to her new neighborhood but finds surprising help from a "magic" pear tree in the back garden.

Shu-Li and Tamara. Paul Yee, illustrated by ShaolLi Wang, $8.95

Shu-Li’s family moved to Canada two years ago. They now run a Chinese deli in Vancouver’s Commerical Drive area. Her classmate Tamara recently moved into the neighbourhood. The two girls become good friends, but an ugly rumour threatens their relationship.


This Is Not a Math Book. Anna Weltman, $21.50

This Is Not a Math Book shows how math can be beautiful and art can be numerical. Amazing patterns with a mathematical basis are revealed as you follow the simple activity instructions. Readers will learn incredible math facts as they draw beautiful designs. A real eye-opener for kids of all ages with an artistic bent who think that math is dry and boring, while math enthusiasts will discover new ways to be creative.


Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto. Susan Goldman Rubin, Illustrated by Bill Farnsworth, $13.99

Irena Sendler was a diminutive Polish social worker who helped spirit more than four hundred children out of the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. Using toolboxes, ambulances, and other ingenious measures, Irena Sendler defied the Nazis and risked her own life by saving and then hiding Jewish children. Her secret list of the children's real identities was kept safe, buried in two jars under a tree in war-torn Warsaw. An inspiring story of courage and compassion, this biography includes a list of resources, source notes, and an index.


Tatterhood: Feminist Tales From Around the World. Ethel Johnson Phelps, $21.50

With tales from Japan, Norway, Scotland, and Sudan, Tatterhood brings readers twelve folk tales — and twelve women whose cunning, hard work, and physical strength are at the center of the story.


Surviving Middle School: Navigating the Halls, Riding the Social Roller Coaster, and Unmasking the Real You. Luke Reynolds, $15.99

Author and teacher Luke Reynolds uses irreverent humor, genuine affection for middle-schoolers, and authenticity that bubbles over as he ties real-life experiences from his own time in middle school to the experiences he has from his many years as a teacher.

Covering topics like bullying, peer pressure, grades, dealing with difficult parents, and love and romance, this rare book reaches kids at a deeper level during an age when they are often considered too young to appreciate it. Readers will learn to find their own voice, begin to explore their genuine identity, and definitely laugh out loud along the way.


Building Your Own Robots: Design and Build Your First Robot! Gordon McComb, $9.99

There's no better way for kids to learn about the world around them than to test how things work. Building Your Own Robots presents fun robotics projects that children aged 7 – 11 can complete with common household items and old toys. The projects introduce core robotics concepts while keeping tasks simple and easy to follow.


Getting Started with Coding: Get Creative with Code! Camille McCue, $9.99

Getting Started with Coding is here to help kids get started with the basics of coding. It walks young readers through fun projects that were tested in the classroom. Each project has an end-goal to instill confidence and a sense of achievement in young coders.

Steering clear of jargon and confusing terminology, Getting Started with Coding is written in clear, instructive language. Plus, the full-color design is heavy on eye-catching graphics and the format is focused on the steps to completing a project, making it approachable for any young person with an interest in exploring the wonderful world of coding.

  • Introduces the basics of coding to create a drawing tool
  • Teaches how to create graphics and apply code to make them do things
  • Shows how to make things that respond to motion and collision commands
  • Introduces score-keeping and timing into coding

Modding Minecraft: Build Your Own Minecraft Mods! Sarah Guthals, Stephen Foster & Lindsey Handley, $9.99

There’s no doubt about it: Minecraft has taken the world by storm. Modding allows Minecraft players to modify the game through code — giving them the ability to add a variety of gameplay changes, ranging from new blocks and items to new mechanisms to craft. It’s pretty much a Minecraft enthusiast’s dream brought to life!

Walking young readers through projects that outline how to create games in Minecraft for single or multiple players, this friendly and accessible guide takes the intimidation out of coding and instills confidence in children as young as seven as they complete cool coding projects to mod their favorite game. Full-color, eye-popping graphics and a short page count hold their attention while the goal-based format keeps them focused on the task at hand.

  • Kids can complete the projects on their own or alongside an adult
  • Introduces getting started with a single-player, single-level game
  • Moves readers on to multi-level game playing
  • Finishes with a multi-level, multi-player game based on the classic “capture the flag” game

What Goes On In My Head? Big Questions about Your Brain. Robert Winston, $10.99 (ages 8-12)

Get thinking about thinking! Introducing readers to the most powerful and complicated computer network they will ever encounter — their own brain — What Goes on in My Head? explains what the different parts of the brain do, how they work together, what gives us our individual personalities, why some people are better at doing certain things than others, and why, despite its immense complexity, there are still some things the brain cannot do or understand. Packed with tips and brainteasers that test memory, perception, reasoning, and reactions, What Goes On in My Head? also features a wealth of bizarre and fascinating facts to get readers thinking about thinking.


Ruby for Kids for Dummies. Christopher Haupt, $29.99

Ruby For Kids gears you up to expand your technology skills and learn this popular programming language. Written in a way that's easy to follow — and keeping the super tech-heavy stuff to a minimum — it quickly and easily shows you how to use Ruby to create web and mobile applications with no experience required.

Ruby is considered one of the best and simplest languages to start with when you're learning coding. This fun and friendly guide makes it even easier. Broken down into simple projects designed to appeal to younger programmers, Ruby For Kids gets you up and running with core coding concepts in no time. Before you know it, you'll be tackling hands-on projects, enjoying the support of a vibrant community, and feeling a sense of accomplishment as you complete projects.

  • Navigate the basics of coding with the Ruby language
  • Use Ruby to create your own applications and games
  • Offers tips for parents and teachers helping kids learn Ruby

So what are you waiting for? Ruby For Kids has everything you need to get in on one of the most popular topics around!


Go Figure! Big Questions about Numbers. Johnny Ball, $10.99 (ages 8-12)

Numbers create the structure to our universe. Without numbers, computers would not work and cars would not go. There would be no way to quantify things. You wouldn't be able to ask "How many?" or "How much?" We would not understand time or distance. Sports records wouldn't matter! Go Figure! is a math book filled with the weird and wonderful side of math and numbers.

Discover why there are 60 minutes in an hour, why daisies have to have 34, 55, or 89 petals, and why finding a prime number could make you a millionaire. Go Figure! is also packed with activities that children can try out on their own or with friends, including brainteasers, magic tricks, and things to make, while also learning about the simple puzzles that stumped the world's brainiest mathematicians for centuries. Go Figure! is a fun and quirky look at the magical world of numbers, without the effort of a math textbook.


The Tween Book: a Growing-Up Guide for the Changing You. Wendy  Moss & Donald  Moses, $14.50

The tween years are a time of change and possibility. They are also a time when kids may begin to feel confused, unsure, and even different. Have you ever felt like that? This book is for you — the tween!

The Tween Book is chock full of tips, advice, research, and reflection questions to help you navigate the tween experience, including:

  • Finding the right pace for growing up
  • Adjusting to your changing role in your family
  • Gaining independence and responsibilities
  • Making decisions and setting goals for your future
  • Understanding your changing looks and your body image
  • Getting crushes on other kids and dating (or not!)
  • Making friends and hanging out in groups
  • Dealing with rumors, teasing, and even bullying
  • Completing schoolwork and getting organized
  • And more! Take a look inside and begin your tween adventure!

Friends and Frenemies: the Good, the Bad, and the Awkward. Jennifer Castle & Deborah Reber, $15.99

Middle school friendships can be a source of great joy one day, then pain and anxiety the next. Friends and Frenemies examines the complexities of friendship and helps readers start building communication tools that will last a lifetime. The book tackles big questions such as: “How can I make friends?” and “What if I feel like I need to end a friendship?”

Friends and Frenemies includes not just advice, but also comments from real kids, advice from older teens who have been there and done that, quizzes, polls, and other interactive elements that encourage readers to engage with the book, adding their own thoughts and experiences.


Gay & Lesbian History for Kids: the Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights. Jerome Pohlen, $21.95

Given today's news, it would be easy to get the impression that the campaign for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) equality is a recent development, but it is only the final act in a struggle that started more than a century ago. The history is told through personal stories and firsthand accounts of the movement's key events, like the 1950s "Lavender Scare," the Stonewall Inn uprising, and the AIDS crisis. This up-to-date history includes the landmark Supreme Court decision making marriage equality the law of the land. Twenty-one activities enliven the history and demonstrate the spirited ways the LGBT community has pushed for positive social change. 


Child Soldier. Michel Chikwanine & Jessica Dee Humphreys, illustrated by Claudia Dávila, $18.95 (ages 10-14)

Michel Chikwanine was five years old when he was abducted from his schoolyard soccer game in the Democratic Republic of Congo and forced to become a soldier for a brutal rebel militia. Against the odds, Michel managed to escape and find his way back to his family, but he was never the same again. After immigrating to Canada, Michel was encouraged by a teacher to share what happened to him in order to raise awareness about child soldiers around the world, and this book is part of that effort. Told in the first person and presented in a graphic novel format, the gripping story of Michel's experience is moving and unsettling. But the humanity he exhibits in the telling, along with Claudia Dávila's illustrations, which evoke rather than depict the violent elements of the story, makes the book accessible for this age group and, ultimately, reassuring and hopeful.

The book also contains further information, as well as suggestions for ways children can help. This is a perfect resource for engaging youngsters in social studies lessons on global awareness and social justice issues, and would easily spark classroom discussions about conflict, children's rights and even bullying. Michel's actions took enormous courage, but he makes clear that he was and still is an ordinary person, no different from his readers. He believes everyone can do something to make the world a better place, and so he shares what his father told him: “If you ever think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a room with a mosquito.”


The Secret of Your Name. David Bouchard, $24.95

Canada's Métis are the only mixed blood people in the world recognized by every level of government as being a Nation. The Métis have their own language, flag, songs and stories. They have exciting traditions and a proud history. Sadly, their journey was one of hardships, denial and often lies. In The Secret of Your Name, these three men open their hearts to all those who care to know what it means when it is said that we are Proud to be Métis! This spectacular book will appeal to any and all who have an interest in Canada's aboriginal people. It will call out to art collectors, musicians and all who have ever pondered their own past.

Best selling, award winning Métis poet David Bouchard, once again makes books and culture available to all ages in The Secret of Your Name. Bouchard's heartfelt story is illustrated by Canada's most prominent Métis artist Dennis Weber. Included on the accompanying CD, with reading in English/French and Michif, is the Red River Jig performed by acclaimed Master Métis Fiddler John Arcand.


Letters to Leo. Amy Hest, illustrated by Julia Denos, $8.00

Annie Rossi never, ever thought her father would let her have a dog. But now that he’s finally given in, she’s found the perfect ear for the stories of her day. She just writes them in a notebook hidden under the bed and reads them to Leo in her soft night voice, like the one her mother used when reading to Annie at bedtime before she died. And Annie sure has a million stories to tell! There’s mean Edward, who brags about his “noble goldfish” and gets her in trouble for accidentally lobbing a volleyball into his nose. There’s her best friend, Jean-Marie, who ups and moves to New Jersey (and wants to borrow Leo for company!). There’s the poem Annie writes about her mom, which Miss Meadows asks her to read for the class. And there’s her professor dad, who is finally coming out of his shell, even though he is an elderly forty-year-old with a serious personality. Genuine and funny, Amy Hest’s first-person narration revisits a winning young character as she takes on a new year — and a new dog — with humor, honesty, and resiliency.


Nobody Knows. Shelley Tanaka, $9.95 (novel, 10+)

It's autumn in Tokyo, and 12-year-old Akira and his younger siblings, Kyoko, Shige and little Yuki, have just moved into a new apartment with their mother. Akira hopes it's a new start for all of them, even though the little ones are not allowed to leave the apartment or make any noise, since the landlord doesn't permit young children in the building. But their mother soon begins to spend more and more time away from the apartment, and then one morning Akira finds an envelope of money and a note. She has gone away with her new boyfriend for a while.

Akira bravely shoulders the responsibility for the family. He shops and cooks and pays the bills, while Kyoko does the laundry. The children spend their time watching TV, drawing and playing games, wishing they could go to school and have friends like everyone else. Then one day tragedy strikes.

Based on a true story, from the award-winning film by Hirokazu Kore-eda, this is a powerfully moving novel about four children who become invisible to almost everyone in their community and manage — for a time — to survive on their own.


Drama-rama! A Quiz Book for a Smart Girl's Guide: Drama, Rumors & Secrets. Emma MacLaren Henke, $13.50

This quiz-book is designed to help girls understand their own power in the face of drama. Through thought-provoking questions and entertaining answers, readers will get a better understanding of why drama happens and what they can do to stop it.


Rosie's Dream Cape. Zelda Freedman, $8.95

Based on a true story, this charming juvenile novel tells of how eleven-year-old Rosie and her grandmother Bubba Sarah arrive in Toronto from Russia after fleeing one of the purges that carried away Rosie’s mother, a famous Russian dancer. To help make ends meet, Rosie works in a factory sewing velvet capes for Eatons, all the while dreaming of making such a cape from scraps, and wearing it to Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre. This tale provides a wonderful insight into how an immigrant child survives with her values and dreams intact despite the harsh working conditions of a 1921 garment factory.


BYSTANDER: a Bystander? Or the Bully’s Next Target? James Preller, $8.99 (novel, ages 12+)

Eric is the new kid in seventh grade. Griffin wants to be his friend. When you’re new in town, it’s hard to know who to hang out with — and who to avoid. Griffin seems cool, confident, and popular. But something isn’t right about Griffin. He always seems to be in the middle of bad things. And if Griffin doesn't like you, you’d better watch your back. There might be a target on it.

Eric wants to break away, do the right thing. But in one shocking moment, he goes from being a bystander... to the bully’s next victim.


Follow Your Money: Who Gets It, Who Spends It, Where Does It Go? Kevin Sylvester & Michael Hlinka, $14.95

Accessible and fun, FOLLOW YOUR MONEY is a vital introduction to the way money flows from creator to distributor to retailer to customer. Who benefits most from your purchase? Was the price you paid fair? What happens to your money when you deposit in the bank? This lively book answers all these questions and more.


26 Tips for Surviving Grade 6. Catherine Austen, $9.95

Forget social studies, math, and science — this hilarious novel is about surviving some of the real problems Tween girls face in the sixth grade. Honest and heartwarming, the story follows eleven-year-old Becky Lennox over the course of the school year as she figures out how to survive friendships, first crushes, embarrassing parents and annoying older brothers.


New Kid, New Scene: a Guide to Moving and Switching Schools. Debbie Glasser & Emily Schenk, $13.50 (ages 8-13)

This book gives kids the ins and outs of navigating new surroundings, making new friends (as well as staying in touch with old ones), and finding a place that feels like your own. You'll learn ways to get adjusted and ease into your new school and surroundings. Every chapter is packed with stories from other kids like you, useful advice for when you are worried or upset, and quizzes to help you learn more about who you are. With a little help, you can be comfortable as the star in your new scene!


The Kids Book of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. Diane Silvey, Illustrated by John Mantha, $14.95

Canada's Aboriginal peoples have shaped this country in countless ways. Their story is central to the nation's identity — indeed, the word "Canada" is derived from the Huron-Haudenosaunee word "kanata," which means "our village."

This book is a balanced, in-depth look at the cultures, struggles and triumphs of Canada's first peoples. Exhaustively researched and reviewed by specialists in the field, this groundbreaking book is by far the most comprehensive of its kind. The detailed illustrations based on museum artifacts, written records of long ago and contemporary scholarship help bring the traditional ways to life for young readers. 


Journal of a Schoolyard Bully: CYBERBULLY. Farley Katz, $14.99 (novel, ages 12+)

Niko Kayler is a calculating bully. When his mom transfers to a new job, in a new town, Niko has the chance to mend his ways and start fresh. Though he tries to contain himself, Niko stumbles into the world of cyberbullying and begins to covertly torture his new classmates. Things seem to be going his way until the technology is turned against him, and Niko learns what it’s like to be on the wrong side of cyberbullying.

Also Available: Journal of a Schoolyard Bully: Notes on Noogies, Wet Willies, and Wedgies. Farley Katz, $14.99 (novel, ages 12+)


Siblings: You’re Stuck with Each Other, So Stick Together. James Crist & Elizabeth Verdick, $12.95 (ages 8-12)

Every sibling relationship has its ups and downs, and moments of complete AAAAAACCCCCK! But siblings are more than annoyers and stuff-destroyers. You and your brothers and sisters can be buddies, allies, helpers, role models, secret-sharers and lifelong friends. It all starts with you!


Dude, That’s Rude! (Get Some Manners). Pamela Espeland & Elizabeth Verdick, $11.95 (ages 8 to 13)

Full-color cartoons and kid-friendly text teach the basics of polite behavior in all kinds of situations—at home, at school, in the bathroom, on the phone, at the mall, and more … It seems like light reading, but it’s serious stuff: Manners are major social skills, and this book gives kids a great start.


Don’t Behave Like You Live in a Cave. Elizabeth Verdick & Steve Mark, $11.95

Is your behavior sometimes out of whack or out of control? Do you tend to get in trouble more than other kids you know? Don’t worry — you’re NOT a problem child. But you may need help with your behavior at home and school — and that’s what this book is for!


The Adding Assets Series for Kids empowers young people ages 8 - 12 to build their own 'Developmental Assets'. Research shows that young people who thrive have specific assets in their lives, including family support, a caring neighborhood, integrity, resistance skills, self-esteem and a sense of purpose.

People Who Care about You: the Support Assets. Pamela Espeland & Elizabeth Verdick, $11.99

Book 1 in the Adding Assets Series for Kids introduces and describes the six support assets: Family Support, Positive Family Communication, Other Adult Relationships, Caring Neighborhood, Caring School Climate, and Parent Involvement in Schooling. Each asset is clearly defined and introduced by a story. Kids learn concrete, realistic ways to build family closeness and strengthen other important relationships in their lives.

Helping Out and Staying Safe: the Empowerment Assets. Pamela Espeland & Elizabeth Verdick, $8.99

Book 2 in the Adding Assets Series for Kids introduces and describes the four Empowerment Assets: Community Values Children, Children as Resources, Service to Others, and Safety. Each asset is clearly defined and introduced by a story. Kids learn simple, everyday ways to play useful roles at home and in the community, help others, and feel safer at home, at school, and in their neighborhood.


Friends: Making Them and Keeping Them. Patty Kelley Criswell, $12.99 (ages 8 to 12)

Here’s all you need to know about making friends and making friendships last. The book includes tips and quizzes, plus true friendship stories.


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