Rigel has 365 days to Alaska. After her parents split up, her mom moves Rigel and her two sisters from their Alaskan bush living to Connecticut where their grandmother lives. At first, Rigel hates it in the Connecticut suburbs, even though her sisters seem to be having a better time. They're excited about the comforts of running water, a television, and malls, among other things. But Rigel yearns for the quiet of bush life, wants to return to the simplicity of hunting animals for food, and being with her dad. So her father promises her that in a year, when he's earned a bit of money from working, Rigel can return to live with him in Alaska.
The best middle-grade books about families warm our hearts. But then again, isn't nearly every book a little bit about families? I thought so too, so for this list of middle-grade books about families, I chose books with family as one of the central themes. This means that whether the families in this story are small (parent and child) or large (parents and multiple children), a major plot point is how the family unit deals with a given challenge. You'll find happy families, worried families, dysfunctional families, and supportive families in various shapes and sizes.