Holly Goldberg Sloan
The Elephant in the Room

The Elephant in the Room

From the publisher: "It's been almost a year since Sila's mother traveled halfway around the world to Turkey, hoping to secure the immigration paperwork that would allow her to return to her family in the United States. The long separation is almost impossible for Sila to withstand. But things change when Sila accompanies her father (who is a mechanic) outside their Oregon town to fix a truck. There, behind an enormous stone wall, she meets a grandfatherly man who only months before won the state lottery. Their new alliance leads to the rescue of a circus elephant named Veda, and then to a friendship with an unusual boy named Mateo, proving that comfort and hope come in the most unlikely of places."

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Counting By 7s

Counting By 7s

This is the favorite of my 9-year-old, Lucy. She picked it out at the bookstore because a friend had told her it was good, plus she loved the cover (that's a real thing, so we work with it). I was a little concerned it might be heavy for her (read the summary and you'll see what I mean), but she loved this story about a lonely girl who overcomes adversity in the way that fitting for <em>her</em>. Adults, you won't be sorry if you pick this up for yourself, regardless of whether or not you have kids of your own.

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Short

Short

Entertainment Weekly says, "Holly Goldberg Sloan is skilled at creating sympathetic and utterly charming young characters, and in Short she succeeds once again. . . . Sloan manages to deftly weave in tough topics like grief and identity with both the same humor and tenderness."

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To Night Owl From Dogfish

To Night Owl From Dogfish

I've never included a middle-grade novel in a Summer Reading Guide before, but this modern version of The Parent Trap earned its spot: it's exactly the kind of delightful read I'd eat up by the pool or on an airplane. This collaboration between two highly successful authors—one who primarily writes for kids, the other for grown-ups—is about two twelve-year old girls who live on opposite coast who strike up an unwanted correspondence after they discover their dads fell in love at a building conference and are secretly dating. This is not good news to either of them, as they make clear in the ensuing emails that comprise the book. And then it gets worse, when the girls are forced to attend camp together because their fathers went them to become friends. Things go horribly wrong in more ways than one, but there's not a single page here that doesn’t feel fresh, funny, charming, and real. A feel-good story for readers of all ages.

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