The Memory Keeper is an engaging middle-grade debut from Jennifer Camiccia, perfect for anyone who loves science, mysteries, and stories about strong bonds between grandparents and their grandchildren.
Twelve-year-old Ellie is a sassy, determined baker. It just so happens that she also has cerebral palsy and has to use a wheelchair. Her dad couldn't deal with her being ill at birth (and for months after), so he pretty much skipped out on her and her mom who's been her #1 advocate. When Ellie's grandfather's Alzheimer's takes a turn for the worse, Ellie and her mom move into her grandparents trailer in Oklahoma to help out for six months.
Sophie is looking forward to getting time away from her parents for the holidays. They're visiting her heavily pregnant sister over the holidays. But she's especially happy because she's looking forward to spend time with her boyfriend, Griffin. So she's thrown for a loop when she overhears Griffin discussing his desire to break up with her -- and then of course, she breaks up with him.
Bryan loves comics and hanging out with his mom -- and even his big sister sometimes -- with no drama. His dad has a temper and has been in jail for some misdemeanor. Now though, he's on parole, and it seems like things may be looking up. But when a new boy his age, Mike, worms his way into Bryan's family, it appears Bryan may have a new friend.
In Strange Birds, four girls form an unlikely friendship that leads to activism. Ofelia Castillo (budding journalist), Aster Douglas (bookish foodie), Cat Garcia (bird aficionado), and Lane DiSanti (artist) are as different as can be. But when the Floras -- their local Scout troop -- plans to crown its next queen with a hat of feathers, the girls band together to fight for birds.
In Paula Yoo's Good Enough, high school senior Patti Yoon is preparing to retake the SATs after failing to make her Korean proud with her 2010 score. It doesn't help that she's also lost her concertmaster position at the All-State Orchestra. Both "failures" are conversation fodder at her Korean church where she also plays music.