Looking for a summer read? Check out this list of award winners and critically acclaimed books! This collaboration between Alachua County Public Schools and Alachua County Library District is sure to be a hit for any tween!
“In a small town located “somewhere in the Américas,” eleven-year-old Max has been raised by his no nonsense father and head-in-the-clouds grandfather, ever since his mother disappeared. Longing to find her, the fútbol-loving … Max … uncovers secrets about his family’s past and embarks on a dangerous mission to help a refugee from a dictator-led country find her way to Mañanaland. The two traverse rocky terrain, hide from those looking to collect a reward for the missing refugee, and follow the map that Max learned through his grandfather’s nightly bedtime story.” Booklist starred (January 1, 2020 (Vol. 116, No. 9))
“Rahul, an Indian American boy in a small Indiana town, finds seventh grade unsettling, especially … when … his longtime best friend, Chelsea, suddenly blushes and stammers around a friendly eighth-grader. And Brent, a bully, repeatedly makes disconcerting innuendos about Rahul having a crush on a boy he admires. After talking with a therapist, he thinks through his worries, confronts his nemesis, and finds that his friends are fully with him.” Booklist starred (September 1, 2019 (Vol. 116, No. 1))
“Omar Mohamed was a child when soldiers attacked his village in Somalia. Separated from his parents, he and his younger brother, Hassan, eventually made their way to Dadaab, a crowded refugee camp in Kenya where he now spends his days scrambling for food and taking care of Hassan. A chance to attend school is a dream come true, but the opportunity weighs heavily on Omar; school is a selfish choice when you have no parents and a brother who needs constant looking after.” Booklist starred (March 15, 2020 (Vol. 116, No. 14)
“Growing up in a coastal town in Syria, Jude’s days revolve around her family and best friend, watching movies, and going to school. But there’s trouble on the horizon, and Jude’s brother, Issa, gets involved in the resistance movement. Jude and her mother leave, moving in with Uncle Mazin and his family in Cincinnati and friendships, complicated family relationships, Islamophobia, and a new language [are just a few of the things Jude must now contend with.]” Booklist starred (April 15, 2019 (Vol. 115, No. 16))
“Ten stories are told in parallel, each following different middle-graders home from school. On Marston Street, TJ lays out his hilarious hypothesis that ‘we all boogers.’ On Placer Street, we meet the Low Cuts, a four-kid crew that hustles for spare change to help their cancer-stricken parents. Cynthia, who learned joke telling from her grandpa on Southview Avenue before his health began to decline. As the chapters pass, readers will sink into the more-and-more familiar neighborhood, getting so invested in these linked human experiences that, when the bus finally falls, it’s only to remind us that we’re all connected.” Booklist starred (August 2019 (Vol. 115, No. 22))