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Small Towns: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about small towns?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to small towns. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about small towns.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

We hope this list of kids books about small towns can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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It
Written by Stephen King
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 18-

It’s a small city, a place as hauntingly familiar as your own hometown. Only in Derry the haunting is real…….

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A Walk to Remember
Written by Nicholas Sparks
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 14-18

A high school rebel and a minister’s daughter find strength in each other in this star-crossed tale of young but everlasting love (Chicago Sun-Times).There was a time when the world was sweeter….when the women in Beaufort, North Carolina, wore dresses, and the men donned hats…. Every April, when the wind smells of both the sea and lilacs, Landon Carter remembers 1958, his last year at Beaufort High. Landon had dated a girl or two, and even once sworn that he’d been in love. Certainly the last person he thought he’d fall for was Jamie, the shy, almost ethereal daughter of the town’s Baptist minister….Jamie, who was destined to show him the depths of the human heart-and the joy and pain of living. The inspiration for this novel came from Nicholas Sparks’s sister: her life and her courage. From the internationally bestselling author Nicholas Sparks, comes his most moving story yet….

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Hope Was Here
Written by Joan Bauer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-18

When Hope and her aunt move to small-town Wisconsin to take over the local diner, Hope’s not sure what to expect. But what they find is that the owner, G.T., isn’t quite ready to give up yet–in fact, he’s decided to run for mayor against a corrupt candidate. And as Hope starts to make her place at the diner, she also finds herself caught up in G.T.’s campaign–particularly his visions for the future. After all, as G.T. points out, everyone can use a little hope to help get through the tough times . . . even Hope herself.

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Chocolat
Written by Joanne Harris
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 18-
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Beautiful Creatures
Written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-18

The first book in the instant NYT bestselling gothic fantasy series–a modern paranormal romance set against the gothic backdrop of an isolated southern town. Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.

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  • Practical Magic - 25th Anniversary Edition–with an Introduction by the Author! The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Rules of Magic, Magic Lessons, and The Book of Magic. For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back–almost as if by magic… “Splendid…Practical Magic is one of [Hoffman’s] best novels, showing on every page her gift for touching ordinary life as if with a wand, to reveal how extraordinary life really is.”–Newsweek “[A] delicious fantasy of witchcraft and love in a world where gardens smell of lemon verbena and happy endings are possible.”–Cosmopolitan

  • The Moffats - Meet the Moffats. There is Sylvie, the oldest, the cleverest, and-most days at least-the responsible one; Joey, who though only twelve is the man of the house…sometimes; Janey, who has a terrific upside-down way of looking at the world; and Rufus, who may be the littlest but always gets in the biggest trouble.Even the most ordinary Moffat day is packed with extraordinary fun. Only a Moffat could get locked in a bread box all afternoon, or dance with a dog in front of the whole town, or hitch a ride on a boxcar during kindergarten recess. And only a Moffat could turn mistakes and mischief into hilarious one-of-a-kind adventure.

  • The Magic Misfits - From award-winning actor, Neil Patrick Harris, comes the magical first book in a new series with plenty of tricks up its sleeve. When street magician Carter runs away, he never expects to find friends and magic in a sleepy New England town. But like any good trick, things change instantly as greedy B.B. Bosso and his crew of crooked carnies arrive to steal anything and everything they can get their sticky fingers on. After a fateful encounter with the local purveyor of illusion, Dante Vernon, Carter teams up with five other like-minded illusionists. Together, using both teamwork and magic, they’ll set out to save the town of Mineral Wells from Bosso’s villainous clutches. These six Magic Misfits will soon discover adventure, friendship, and their own self-worth in this delightful new series. (Psst. Hey, you! Yes, you! Congratulations on reading this far. As a reward, I’ll let you in on a little secret… This book isn’t just a book. It’s a treasure trove of secrets and ciphers and codes and even tricks. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll discover more than just a story–you’ll learn how to make your own magic!)

  • Richard Scarry's Busy, Busy World - Travel the world thanks to the one and only Richard Scarry! Little explorers can travel the world thanks to Richard Scarry! With 33 stories featuring fun-filled stops in New York, Paris, Tokyo, Egypt, Australia, and more, this worldwide adventure of discovery will have children ready to pack their bags and visit those international Busytowns!

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Those Kids from Fawn Creek
Written by Erin Entrada Kelly
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Every day in Fawn Creek, Louisiana, is exactly the same–until Orchid Mason arrives. From Erin Entrada Kelly, the winner of the Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe and a Newbery Honor for We Dream of Space, this contemporary school story set in small-town Louisiana is about friendship, family, deception, and being true to yourself and your dreams.There are twelve kids in the seventh grade at Fawn Creek Middle School. They’ve been together all their lives. And in this small factory town where everyone knows everything about everyone, that’s not necessarily a great thing.There are thirteen desks in the seventh-grade classroom. That’s because Renni Dean’s father got a promotion, and the family moved to Grand Saintlodge, the nearest big town. Renni’s desk is empty, but Renni still knows their secrets; is still pulling their strings.When Orchid Mason arrives and slips gracefully into Renni’s chair, the other seventh graders don’t know what to think. Orchid–who was born in New York City but just moved to Fawn Creek from Paris–seems to float. Her dress skims the floor. She’s wearing a flower behind her ear. Fawn Creek Middle might be small, but it has its tightly knit groups–the self-proclaimed “God Squad,” the jocks, the outsiders–just like anyplace else. Who will claim Orchid Mason? Who will save Orchid Mason? Or will Orchid Mason save them?Newbery Medal and Newbery Honor winner Erin Entrada Kelly explores complex themes centered on family, friendships, and staying true to yourself. Those Kids from Fawn Creek will enchant fans of Thanhhà Lai’s Inside Out & Back Again and Rebecca Stead’s The List of Things That Will Not Change.

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Birdsong
Written & illustrated by Julie Flett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

A Best Book of the Year in Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and Horn Book. An American Indian Youth Literature Honor Title “Cycling from spring to spring, [Julie Flett’s] subtle, sensitive story delicately traces filaments of growth and loss through intergenerational friendship, art making, and changing moons and seasons.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review) When a young girl moves from the country to a small town, she feels lonely and out of place. But soon she meets an elderly woman next door, who shares her love of arts and crafts. Can the girl navigate the changing seasons and failing health of her new friend? Acclaimed author and artist Julie Flett’s textured images of birds, flowers, art, and landscapes bring vibrancy and warmth to this powerful story, which highlights the fulfillment of intergenerational relationships and shared passions. An activity guide is available at greystonebooks.com for FREE download. A brief glossary and pronunciation guide to Cree-Métis words that appear in the text is provided on the copyright page.

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The Doughnut King
Written by Jessie Janowitz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Doesn’t everyone love a good baking competition? If you or the kids in your life are into the hit show Nailed It! and if those kids have the entrepreneurial spirit, then this book is for you! When Tris tries to save his doughnut business and town by competing on a cooking show, will he have what a takes to win, or will he lose it all?Tris Levin thought moving from New York City to middle-of-nowhere Petersville meant life would definitely get worse…only it actually got better. But just when things are looking up, problems start rolling in.His doughnut business has a major supply issue. And that’s not the worst part, Petersville has its own supply problem–it doesn’t have enough people. Folks keep moving away and if they can’t get people to stay, Petersville may disappear.Petersville needs to become a tourist destination, and his shop could be a big part of it, if Tris can keep up with demand. There’s only one solution: The Belshaw Donut Robot. If Tris can win “Can You Cut It,” the cutthroat competitive kids’ cooking show, he can get the cash to buy the machine. But even with the whole town training and supporting him, Tris isn’t sure he can live with what it takes to takes to win.This sequel to The Doughnut Fix is about growing up, family, change, and as always, doughnuts. Kids with the spirit of an entrepreneur will relate to the ups and downs Tris experiences in this book. Parents and teachers, your middle school kids will love this story!

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The Second Story
Written by Neil Patrick Harris & illustrated by Lissy Marlin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

From award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris comes the magical second book in the New York Times bestselling Magic Misfits series–with even more tricks up its sleeve. Growing up in an orphanage, Leila was bullied for being different. She turned her hardship into skill by becoming an escape artist–a valuable trait when you belong to a group of magical best friends. But when a famous psychic comes to town, Leila and her pals can’t escape the big mystery heading their way. Whether chasing mad monkeys or banishing ghosts from haunted hotels, these six friends will do their best to keep their home of Mineral Wells safe–but can they protect themselves? Join the Magic Misfits as they discover adventure, friendship, and more than a few hidden secrets in this delightful new series. Whether you’re a long-time expert at illusion or simply a new fan of stage magic, hold onto your top hat! …have more questions? I thought you might. Here are some answers: WHERE? A sleepy town in New England. Within the town is a magic shop, run by the friendly but mysterious Dante Vernon–the gang’s caped and top-hatted mentor. WHO? Carter, who can make things vanish. Leila, who can escape from anything. Theo, who can make things levitate. Ridley, who can invent anything. And twins Olly and Izzy, who can make anyone laugh. WHY? Because together, these six magical misfits will discover adventure, friendship, and the town’s long-hidden secrets. (Psst. Hey, you! Yes, YOU! Congratulations on reading this far down. As a reward, I’ll let you in on a little secret… This book isn’t just a book. It’s a treasure trove of secrets and ciphers and codes and even tricks. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll discover more than just a story–you’ll learn how to make your own magic!)

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Going to Town
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Renee Graef
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

With the My First Little House picture book series, the youngest readers can share in the joy of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books in these illustrated adaptations of the beloved series!

One spring day Pa has a wonderful surprise—he is taking the family on a trip into town! Laura is very excited, for she has never been to a town, and this special visit is everything she imagined and more.

Renee Graef’s illustrations are based on Garth Williams’ classic artwork.

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  • Best at It - From award-winning actor Maulik Pancholy comes a hilarious and heartfelt middle grade debut about a gay Indian American boy coming into his own. One of Time Out’s “LGBTQ+ books for kids to read during Pride Month,” this is perfect for fans of Tim Federle’s Nate series. A Stonewall Honor Book!Rahul Kapoor is heading into seventh grade in a small town in Indiana. The start of middle school is making him feel increasingly anxious, so his favorite person in the whole world, his grandfather, Bhai, gives him some well-meaning advice: Find one thing you’re really good at and become the BEST at it.Those four little words sear themselves into Rahul’s brain. While he’s not quite sure what that special thing is, he is convinced that once he finds it, bullies like Brent Mason will stop torturing him at school. And he won’t be worried about staring too long at his classmate Justin Emery. With his best friend, Chelsea, by his side, Rahul is ready to crush this challenge…. But what if he discovers he isn’t the best at anything?Funny, charming, and incredibly touching, this is a story about friendship, family, and the courage it takes to live your truth. –Kacen Callender, Stonewall Award-winning author of Hurricane Child

  • American as Paneer Pie - An Indian American girl navigates prejudice in her small town and learns the power of her own voice in this brilliant gem of a middle grade novel full of humor and heart, perfect for fans of Front Desk and Amina’s Voice. As the only Indian American kid in her small town, Lekha Divekar feels like she has two versions of herself: Home Lekha, who loves watching Bollywood movies and eating Indian food, and School Lekha, who pins her hair over her bindi birthmark and avoids confrontation at all costs, especially when someone teases her for being Indian. When a girl Lekha’s age moves in across the street, Lekha is excited to hear that her name is Avantika and she’s Desi, too! Finally, there will be someone else around who gets it. But as soon as Avantika speaks, Lekha realizes she has an accent. She’s new to this country, and not at all like Lekha. To Lekha’s surprise, Avantika does not feel the same way as Lekha about having two separate lives or about the bullying at school. Avantika doesn’t take the bullying quietly. And she proudly displays her culture no matter where she is: at home or at school. When a racist incident rocks Lekha’s community, Lekha realizes she must make a choice: continue to remain silent or find her voice before it’s too late.

  • The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate - Callie Vee, Travis, Granddaddy, and the whole Tate clan are back in this charming follow-up to Newbery Honor-winner The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. Travis keeps bringing home strays. And Callie has her hands full keeping the wild animals–her brother included–away from her mother’s critical eye. Whether it’s wrangling a rogue armadillo or stray dog, a guileless younger brother or standoffish cousin, the trials and tribulations of Callie Vee will have readers laughing and crying and cheering for this most endearing heroine. In this enchanting middle-grade novel, The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly, readers will fall deeper in love with our heroine Callie Vee, as she continues her journey to learn more about the world around her and to deal with her wild family. “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is the most delightful historical novel for tweens in many, many years.” –The New Yorker, Book Bench section “In her debut novel, Jacqueline Kelly brings to vivid life a boisterous small-town family at the dawn of a new century. And she especially shines in her depiction of the natural world that so intrigues Callie.” –The Washington Post on The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate Don’t miss any of Callie’s middle-grade adventures: The Evolution of Calpurnia TateThe Curious World of Calpurnia Tate The Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet chapter book series: Skunked!Counting Sheep

  • Prairie Lotus - Prairie Lotus is a powerful, touching, multilayered book about a girl determined to fit in and realize her dreams: getting an education, becoming a dressmaker in her father’s shop, and making at least one friend. Acclaimed, award-winning author Linda Sue Park has placed a young half-Asian girl, Hanna, in a small town in America’s heartland, in 1880. Hanna’s adjustment to her new surroundings, which primarily means negotiating the townspeople’s almost unanimous prejudice against Asians, is at the heart of the story. Narrated by Hanna, the novel has poignant moments yet sparkles with humor, introducing a captivating heroine whose wry, observant voice will resonate with readers.

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King and the Dragonflies
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy’s grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself.FOUR STARRED REVIEWS!BooklistSchool Library JournalPublishers WeeklyThe Horn Book Twelve-year-old Kingston James is sure his brother Khalid has turned into a dragonfly. When Khalid unexpectedly passed away, he shed what was his first skin for another to live down by the bayou in their small Louisiana town. Khalid still visits in dreams, and King must keep these secrets to himself as he watches grief transform his family. It would be easier if King could talk with his best friend, Sandy Sanders. But just days before he died, Khalid told King to end their friendship, after overhearing a secret about Sandy-that he thinks he might be gay. You don’t want anyone to think you’re gay too, do you? But when Sandy goes missing, sparking a town-wide search, and King finds his former best friend hiding in a tent in his backyard, he agrees to help Sandy escape from his abusive father, and the two begin an adventure as they build their own private paradise down by the bayou and among the dragonflies. As King’s friendship with Sandy is reignited, he’s forced to confront questions about himself and the reality of his brother’s death. The Thing About Jellyfish meets The Stars Beneath Our Feet in this story about loss, grief, and finding the courage to discover one’s identity, from the author of Hurricane Child.

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Really Truly
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

The Pumpkin Falls Private Eyes grapple with pirates and mermaids in the third cozy mystery of the Edgar Award-nominated middle grade series from the author of the beloved Mother-Daughter Book Club books. Truly Lovejoy is excited for the perfect summer in Pumpkin Falls, New Hampshire: swim practice outside, working at the bookstore, one-on-one time with her mom, and best of all, time with the dreamy RJ Calhoun who may just like Truly back. But the idyllic falls apart when she’s sent off to mermaid academy–sparkly tail and all. Luckily, a mystery is never too far behind the Pumpkin Falls Private Eyes, and synchronized swimming turns into a hunt for a sunken ship and an investigation of the founding of Pumpkin Falls…which may have involved more pirates than originally thought. And as the Pumpkin Falls Private Eyes get closer to the heart of the mystery and Truly gets closer to her mermaid debut, she may just learn to come out of her shell.

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The Doughnut Fix
Written by Jessie Janowitz
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

An Amazon Best Book of the Month!

Superfudge meets The Lemonade War in this funny, heartwarming series debut about change, adventure, family, and of course, doughnuts.

Tristan isn’t Gifted or Talented like his sister Jeanine, and he’s always been okay with that because he can make a perfect chocolate chip cookie and he lives in the greatest city in the world. But his life takes a turn for the worse when his parents decide to move to middle-of-nowhere Petersville―a town with one street and no restaurants. It’s like suddenly they’re supposed to be this other family, one that can survive without bagels and movie theaters.

His suspicions about his new town are confirmed when he’s tricked into believing the local general store has life-changing chocolate cream doughnuts, when in fact the owner hasn’t made them in years. And so begins the only thing that could make life in Petersville worth living: getting the recipe, making the doughnuts, and bringing them back to the town through his very own doughnut stand. But Tristan will soon discover that when starting a business, it helps to be both Gifted and Talented, and It’s possible he’s bitten off more than he can chew…

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Wonderland
Written by Barbara O'Connor
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When her mother uproots them again to another home and takes a job as housekeeper, ten-year-old Mavis is determined to find a best friend in Landry, Alabama, where the summer also holds the promise of friendship and change for a sad man, a stray dog, and a timid girl.

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Lentil
Written by Robert McCloskey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Young Lentil wants to learn to sing, but no matter how hard he tries he can’t sing on key. He can’t even pucker his lips to whistle! So Lentil learns to play the harmonica instead and beautifully carries his tune through the winding streets of Alto, Ohio. Lentil masters his craft just as the beloved Colonel Carter returns to town and the Alto residents decide to plan a special celebration. But Old Sneep, the grouchiest man in town, doesn’t want anyone celebrating Colonel Carter’s homecoming. When Old Sneep stops the welcoming parade in its tracks, Lentil’s music turns out to be just what Alto needs. Robert McCloskey, the Caldecott-winning author and illustrator of Make Way for Ducklings, brings readers this delightful two color picture book.

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  • A Blind Guide to Stinkville - Before Stinkville, Alice didn’t think albinism—or the blindness that goes with it—was a big deal. Sure, she uses a magnifier to read books. And a cane keeps her from bruising her hips on tables. Putting on sunscreen and always wearing a hat are just part of life. But life has always been like this for Alice. Until Stinkville. For the first time in her life, Alice feels different—like she’s at a disadvantage. Back in her old neighborhood in Seattle, everyone knew Alice, and Alice knew her way around. In Stinkville, Alice finds herself floundering—she can’t even get to the library on her own. But when her parents start looking into schools for the blind, Alice takes a stand. She’s going to show them—and herself—that blindness is just a part of who she is, not all that she can be. To prove it, Alice enters the Stinkville Success Stories essay contest. No one, not even her new friend Kerica, believes she can scout out her new town’s stories and write the essay by herself. The funny thing is, as Alice confronts her own blindness, everyone else seems to see her for the first time. This is a stirring small-town story that explores many different issues—albinism, blindness, depression, dyslexia, growing old, and more—with a light touch and lots of heart. Beth Vrabel’s characters are complicated and messy, but they come together in a story about the strength of community and friendship. Sky Pony Press, with our Good Books, Racehorse and Arcade imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of books for young readers—picture books for small children, chapter books, books for middle grade readers, and novels for young adults. Our list includes bestsellers for children who love to play Minecraft; stories told with LEGO bricks; books that teach lessons about tolerance, patience, and the environment, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

  • The Unforgetable Guinevere St. Clair - A ten-year-old girl is determined to find her missing neighbor, but the answers lead her to places and people she never expected—and maybe even one she’s been running away from —in this gorgeous debut novel that’s perfect for fans of The Thing About Jellyfish.

  • Save Me a Seat - Save Me a Seat joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content! Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they’re both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL. Joe’s lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. Ravi’s family just moved to America from India, and he’s finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in. Joe and Ravi don’t think they have anything in common – but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.

  • Each Little Bird That Sings - Ten-year-old Comfort Snowberger has attended 247 funerals. But that’s not surprising, considering that her family runs the town funeral home. And even though Great-uncle Edisto keeled over with a heart attack and Great-great-aunt Florentine dropped dead–just like that–six months later, Comfort knows how to deal with loss, or so she thinks. She’s more concerned with avoiding her crazy cousin Peach and trying to figure out why her best friend, Declaration, suddenly won’t talk to her. Life is full of surprises. And the biggest one of all is learning what it takes to handle them. Deborah Wiles has created a unique, funny, and utterly real cast of characters in this heartfelt, and quintessentially Southern coming-of-age novel. Comfort will charm young readers with her wit, her warmth, and her struggles as she learns about life, loss, and ultimately, triumph.

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A Time to Kill
Written by John Grisham
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -

John Grisham has become, in less than three years, America’s most popular author. While The Firm first put him on bestseller lists across the country, and The Pelican Brief and The Client confirmed his status as the master of the legal thriller, it was A Time to Kill that launched his writing career. Originally published in a small print-run in 1989, and for years unavailable in hardcover, Doubleday is proud to publish a new trade hardcover edition of this gripping courtroom drama. Near the rural town of Clanton, Mississippi, little Tonya Hailey is brutally raped, beaten, and left for dead by two drunken and remorseless men. The rapists are almost immediately caught in a road side bar, where they have been bragging of their exploits. When the men appear in court days later, Tonya’s father Carl bursts out of the courthouse basement, and executes them with an assault rifle. Murder or executions? Justice or revenge? Carl trusts his life to only one man in town - local criminal lawyer Jake Brigance, who dreams of famous cases, headlines, and the big time. Jake is about to face the fight of his life, and he knows it. Not only is he up against Rufus Buckley - a tough, ambitious district attorney who realizes that a murder conviction could help him gain higher office - but he has a much bigger problem: the rapists are white, the judge is white - and Carl is black. This is a trial sure to change forever the lives of everyone involved. A Time to Kill is a riveting novel that challenges everything we think we know about justice and equality.

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A Snicker of Magic
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Natalie Lloyd’s SPINDIDDLY debut novel, now in paperback! Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart. But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck’s about to change. A “word collector,” Felicity sees words everywhere—shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog’s floppy ears—but Midnight Gulch is the first place she’s ever seen the word “home.” And then there’s Jonah, a mysterious, spiky-haired do-gooder who shimmers with words Felicity’s never seen before, words that make Felicity’s heart beat a little faster. Felicity wants to stay in Midnight Gulch more than anything, but first, she’ll need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that’s been cast over the town . . . and her mother’s broken heart.

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'Tis the Season
Written by Ann M. Martin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The holiday season comes to Camden Falls in this remarkable new novel from Ann M. Martin. Christmas is coming to Camden Falls, and Flora and Ruby don’t know how to feel about it; it’s their first Christmas without their parents, and the memories are both happy and sad. Luckily, Flora and Ruby are surrounded by people who care about them – from their grandmother Min to their friends Olivia and Nikki, who are dealing with challenges of their own. There’s also an unexpected visitor: Flora and Ruby’s aunt, whose presence promises to shake things up. It’s going to be a Christmas that nobody ever forgets….

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Finally, Something Mysterious
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The best mysteries can only be solved with your best friends. The perfect summer read for fans of Stuart Gibbs. Paul Marconi has always thought that Bellwood was a strange town, but also a boring one. Not much for an eleven-year-old to do. Fires are burning nearby, Paul’s parents are obsessed with winning a bratwurst contest, and his best friend, one of the founding members of their only-child detective club, the One and Onlys, is about to acquire a younger sister, sort of undoing their whole reason for existing. But then! Hundreds of rubber duckies have appeared on the lawn of poor Mr. Babbage without any explanation. Finally! There is something that Paul and his friends can actually investigate. In the face of all these bizarre occurrences, Paul is convinced that uncovering who deposited the duckies will finally bring some sense to what has become an upside-down world. Soon the three friends have a long list of suspects, all with their own motives, but no clear culprit. When everything comes to a head at the town’s annual Bellwood Bratwurst Bonanza, Paul discovers that some things don’t have an easy explanation and not every mystery can be solved. A perfect summer story about friends, amateur sleuthing, and a whole lot of rubber duckies. “The perfect mix of hilarious and heartwarming–kids won’t be able to get enough of Paul and his friends’ Bellwood adventures.”–Elsie Chapman, author of All the Ways Home “Delightful fun for budding mystery fans.”–Kirkus “A diverting mystery with clever misdirection that will keep readers guessing until the end.”–The Bulletin “The quirkiness of the premise and the light, punny humor give the narrative its momentum.”–Booklist “The One and Onlys seem primed to become a popular trio among readers who enjoy an old-fashioned whodunit.”–Publishers Weekly

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Encyclopedia Brown, Super Sleuth
Written by Donald J. Sobol
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The boy detective is back in another exciting adventure. Encyclopedia Brown is back, protecting Idaville from swindlers, con men, and thieves in Encyclopedia Brown, Super Sleuth. Since 1963, this brainy crime-stopper has been a favorite character among middle-grade readers. Follow the boy detective on ten separate mysteries, complete with answers at the end.

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  • Pay It Forward - The internationally bestselling book that inspired the Pay It Forward movement is now available in a middle grade edition. Pay It Forward is a moving, uplifting novel about Trevor McKinney, a twelve-year-old boy in a small California town who accepts his teacher’s challenge to earn extra credit by coming up with a plan to change the world. Trevor’s idea is simple: do a good deed for three people, and instead of asking them to return the favor, ask them to “pay it forward” to three others who need help. He envisions a vast movement of kindness and goodwill spreading across the world, and in this “quiet, steady masterpiece with an incandescent ending” (Kirkus Reviews), Trevor’s actions change his community forever. This middle grade edition of Pay It Forward is extensively revised, making it an appropriate and invaluable complement to lesson plans and an ideal pick for book clubs, classroom use, and summer reading. Includes an author’snote and curriculum guide.

  • The Moffat Museum - There has never been a museum in Cranbury…until now. Among its treasures are the first bike each of the Moffat kids rode, stardust from a meteor that fell to earth, a beautiful painting made by Sylvie, and-most spectacularly-Rufus, the Waxworks Boy, who is as funny as he is waxy. The museum is so interesting that Mr. Pennypepper even brings tourists to visit.But the museum is really for Jane, Joey, and Rufus themselves, so they can remember all the good times they’ve had. Because life is changing for the Moffats.Yet even if Sylvie gets married, or Joey goes off to work, or Rufus grows up, one thing will never change: The Moffats are still the sort to hilariously fill even the most ordinary day with extraordinary fun.

  • Three Times Lucky - A Newbery Honor Book An irresistible Southern narrator–a literary descendant of Scout Finch of To Kill a Mockingbird. –Newsday Rising sixth grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, NC, where everyone’s business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she’s been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her upstream mother, she’s found a home with the Colonel–a café owner with a forgotten past of his own–and Miss Lana, the fabulous café hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known. Look for all the Mo & Dale Mysteries: The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, The Odds of Getting Even, and The Law of Finders Keepers “A wickedly awesome tale…Mo LoBeau is destined to become a standout character in children’s fiction.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review “Turnage’s lively novel features a distinctive voice and a community of idiosyncratic characters.”–Booklist, starred review * Here is a writer who has never met a metaphor or simile she couldn’t put to good use.–Publishers Weekly, starred review

  • The Newspaper Club - Shortly after Nellie Murrow, named for one of the fiercest journalists who ever lived and daughter of two (former) newspaper reporters, move to sleepy Bear Creek, Maine, rumors of vandalism and attacks at the only park in town are keeping Nellie saddled to the house. Some townspeople say the attacks are gang recruitments. Others blame a vagrant spotted on the hiking trails around town. But when Nellie thinks like a reporter, none of those explanations make sense. Something is happening at the park, but what? All of the fake online news and rumors are clouding the real news. Nellie wants to break the story–and break free from the front yard-but she can’t do it alone. She needs a whole club if she’s going to start the town’s first independent newspaper–The Cub Report. Creating a newspaper from scratch is going to be tough; but for Nellie, making friends is even harder.

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Encyclopedia Brown Solves Them All
Written by Donald J. Sobol
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Leroy Brown is back in the next six books in the Encyclopedia Brown series. As Idaville’s ten-year-old star detective, Encyclopedia has an uncanny knack for trivia. With his unconventional knowledge, he solves mysteries for the neighborhood kids through his own detective agency. But his dad also happens to be the chief of the Idaville police department, and every night around the dinner table, Encyclopedia helps him solve some of the most baffling crimes. With ten confounding mysteries in each book, not only does Encyclopedia have a chance to solve them, but readers are given all the clues as well and can chime in with their own solutions. Interactive and fun–it’s classic Encyclopedia Brown!

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The Middle Moffat
Written by Eleanor Estes & illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

A 1943 Newbery Honor Book Who is Jane Moffat, anyway? She isn’t the youngest in the family, and she isn’t the oldest-she is always just Jane. How boring. So Jane decides to become a figure of mystery . . . the mysterious “Middle Moffat.” But being in the middle is a lot harder than it looks. In between not rescuing stray dogs, and losing and finding best friends, Jane must secretly look after the oldest inhabitant of Cranbury . . . so he can live to be one hundred. Between brushing her hair from her eyes and holding up her stockings, she has to help the girls’ basketball team win the championship. And it falls to Jane-the only person in town with enough courage-to stand up to the frightful mechanical wizard, Wallie Bangs. Jane is so busy keeping Cranbury in order that she barely has time to be plain old Jane. Sometimes the middle is the most exciting place of all. . . .

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Richard Scarry's Busy, Busy Town
Written & illustrated by Richard Scarry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Richard Scarry’s classic book that takes readers all around town!

Join Lowly Worm, Huckle Cat, and other beloved characters for a day in Richard Scarry’s Busy, Busy Town. Visit the school, the farm, the post office, and many more fun and exciting places in this classic book that teaches little ones all about what goes on in their very own communities.

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Encyclopedia Brown Keeps the Peace
Written by Donald J. Sobol
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Encyclopedia Brown has an uncanny knack for trivia. With his unconventional knowledge, he solves mysteries for the neighborhood kids through his own detective agency. But his dad also happens to be the chief of the Idaville police department, and every night around the dinner table, Encyclopedia helps him solve some of the most baffling crimes. With ten confounding mysteries in each book, not only does Encyclopedia have a chance to solve them, but readers are given all the clues as well and can chime in with their own solutions. Interactive and fun–it’s classic Encyclopedia Brown!

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Encyclopedia Brown Tracks Them Down
Written by Donald J. Sobol
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

As Idaville’s ten-year-old star detective, Encyclopedia has an uncanny knack for trivia. With his unconventional knowledge, he solves mysteries for the neighborhood kids through his own detective agency. But his dad also happens to be the chief of the Idaville police department, and every night around the dinner table, Encyclopedia helps him solve some of the most baffling crimes. With ten confounding mysteries in each book, not only does Encyclopedia have a chance to solve them, but readers are given all the clues as well and can chime in with their own solutions. Interactive and fun–it’s classic Encyclopedia Brown!

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  • How High the Moon - To Kill a Mockingbird meets One Crazy Summer in this powerful, bittersweet debut about one girl’s journey to reconnect with her mother and learn the truth about her father in the tumultuous times of the Jim Crow South.”Timely, captivating, and lovely. So glad this book is in the world.” –Jacqueline Woodson, author of Brown Girl Dreaming In the small town of Alcolu, South Carolina, in 1944, 12-year-old Ella spends her days fishing and running around with her best friend Henry and cousin Myrna. But life is not always so sunny for Ella, who gets bullied for her light skin tone and whose mother is away pursuing a jazz singer dream in Boston. So Ella is ecstatic when her mother invites her to visit for Christmas. Little does she expect the truths she will discover about her mother, the father she never knew and her family’s most unlikely history. And after a life-changing month, she returns South and is shocked by the news that her schoolmate George has been arrested for the murder of two local white girls. Bittersweet and eye-opening, How High the Moon is a timeless novel about a girl finding herself in a world all but determined to hold her down.

  • Rufus M. - You’ve never met anyone quite like Rufus Moffat. He gets things done, but he gets them done his way. When he wants to check out library books, Rufus teaches himself to write…even though he doesn’t yet know how to read. When food is scarce, he plants some special Rufus beans that actually grow…despite his digging them up every day to check on them. And Rufus has friends that other people don’t even know exist! He discovers the only invisible piano player in town, has his own personal flying horse for a day, and tours town with the Cardboard Boy, his dearest friend-and enemy.Rufus isn’t just the youngest Moffat, he’s also the cleverest, the funniest, and the most unforgettable.Eleanor Estes’s beloved Moffats stories are being published in new editions as Odyssey/Harcourt Young Classics. The original interior illustrations have been retained, but handsome new cover art by Tricia Tusa gives the books a fresh, timeless appeal for today’s readers.

  • Encyclopedia Brown Saves the Day - As Idaville’s ten-year-old star detective, Encyclopedia has an uncanny knack for trivia. With his unconventional knowledge, he solves mysteries for the neighborhood kids through his own detective agency. But his dad also happens to be the chief of the Idaville police department, and every night around the dinner table, Encyclopedia helps him solve some of the most baffling crimes. With ten confounding mysteries in each book, not only does Encyclopedia have a chance to solve them, but readers are given all the clues as well and can chime in with their own solutions. Interactive and fun–it’s classic Encyclopedia Brown!

  • Jaws - NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The classic suspense novel of shark versus man, which was made into the blockbuster Steven Spielberg movie. The Jaws phenomenon changed popular culture and continues to inspire a growing interest in sharks and the oceans today. When Peter Benchley wrote Jaws in the early 1970s, he meticulously researched all available data about shark behavior. Over the ensuing decades, Benchley was actively engaged with scientists and filmmakers on expeditions around the world as they expanded their knowledge of sharks. Also during this time, there was an unprecedented upswing in the number of sharks killed to make shark-fin soup, and Benchley worked with governments and nonprofits to sound the alarm for shark conservation. He encouraged each new generation of Jaws fans to enjoy his riveting tale and to channel their excitement into support and protection of these magnificent, prehistoric apex predators. This edition of Jaws contains bonus content from Peter Benchley’s archives, including the original typed title page, a brainstorming list of possible titles, a letter from Benchley to producer David Brown with honest feedback on the movie adaptation, and excerpts from Benchley’s book Shark Trouble highlighting his firsthand account of writing Jaws, selling it to Universal Studios, and working with Steven Spielberg. Praise for Jaws “A tightly written, tautly paced study of terror [that] makes us tingle.”–The Washington Post “Powerful . . . [Benchley’s] story grabs you at once.”–The New York Times Book Review “Relentless terror . . . You’d better steel yourself for this one. It isn’t a tale for the faint of heart.”–The Philadelphia Inquirer “Pure engrossment from the very opening . . . a fine story told with style, class, and a splendid feeling for suspense.”–Chicago Sun-Times

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A Long Way from Chicago
Written by Richard Peck
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother.

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Nothing But Trouble
Written by Jacqueline Davies
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

From the acclaimed author of The Lemonade War comes a new book starring two smart girls determined to liven up their town–one epic prank at a time.Odawahaka has always been too small for Maggie’s big scientific ideas. Between her stuck-in-a-rut mom, her grumpy grandpop, and the lifetime supply of sludgy soda in the fridge, it’s hard for Maggie to imagine a change. But when Lena moves in with her creative spirit and outrageous perspective, middle school takes off with a bang. Someone starts pulling the kind of pranks that send their rule-loving new principal into an uproar–complete with purple puffs of smoke, parachuting mice, and a scavenger hunt that leads to secret passageways. Suddenly the same-old football games, election for class president, and embarrassing stories feel almost exciting. And for the first time in her life, Maggie begins to wonder if there might be more to Odawahaka than she ever saw coming!Humorous, smart, and full of small-town heart, Nothing But Trouble will have mischief-loving readers caught up in the cleverness and determination of two girls who can’t be held down.

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How Angel Peterson Got His Name
Written by Gary Paulsen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

WHEN YOU GROW up in a small town in the north woods, you have to make your own excitement. High spirits, idiocy, and showing off for the girls inspire Gary Paulsen and his friends to attempt: - Shooting waterfalls in a barrel - The first skateboarding - Breaking the world record for speed on skis by being towed behind a souped-up car, and then . . . hitting gravel - Jumping three barrels like motorcycle daredevil Evel Knievel, except they only have bikes - Wrestling . . . a bear? Extreme sports lead to extreme fun in new tales from Gary’s boyhood. “A” New York Times “Bestseller”

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Of Mice and Men
Written by John Steinbeck
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -

While the powerlessness of the laboring class is a recurring theme in Steinbeck’s work of the late 1930s, he narrowed his focus when composing “Of Mice and Men” (1937), creating an intimate portrait of two men facing a world marked by petty tyranny, misunderstanding, jealousy, and callousness. But though the scope is narrow, the theme is universal; a friendship and a shared dream that makes an individual’s existence meaningful.

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Apple Picking Time
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

When the weather turns cooler and the leaves begin to change, it’s apple picking time across the valley. Everybody in town heads for the orchards, including Anna and her family. This year, Anna’s a little older, a little bigger—and determined to fill an entire bin of apples all by herself.

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