2024-2025 Book List

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Banana Dream Hasan Namir
Illustrated by Daby Zainab Faidhi Publisher Neal Porter Books ISBN# 978-0823451005 (HB) Copyright 7/11/2023 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

Growing up in Iraq after the Gulf War, Mooz didn’t always like his name, which means “banana”. But when he learns the story behind it, he’s proud, even when being teased by his classmates. Now all he yearns for is to taste a banana—a lofty dream in a time when few countries are trading with Iraq, where bananas don’t grow.

The Brilliant Calculator: How Mathematician Edith Clarke Helped Electrify America Jan Lower 2024-2025
Crown
Illustrated by Susan Reagan Publisher Calkins Creek ISBN# 978-1662680069 (HB) Copyright 3/14/2023 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

Long before calculators were invented, little Edith Clarke devoured numbers, conquered calculations, cracked puzzles, and breezed through brainteasers. Edith wanted to be an engineer—to use the numbers she saw all around her to help build America.

Broken Crayons Still Color Toni Collier
Illustrated by Natalie Vasilica Publisher Tommy Nelson ISBN# 978-1400242900 (HB) Copyright 8/22/2023 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

Avery has big emotions and bubbling anxieties about changes in her life. When her crayons break as she scribbles furiously, she discovers that they have personalities and feelings too! And they can show her how to use her love of coloring to manage scary, overwhelming feelings and embrace curiosity and joy. As Avery follows the crayons’ advice, gets creative, and chooses bravery and positive thinking, she discovers that God can use her to make beautiful things, even with broken crayons.

Cozy in Love Jan Brett
Illustrated by Jan Brett Publisher G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers ISBN# 978-0593109854 (HB) Copyright 11/8/2022 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.50

After losing a test of strength to another musk ox in his herd, Cozy is convinced he’ll never impress his crush, Lofti. But while he’s sulking, he learns of a bigger concern. His friend Bella, a beluga whale, is still playing in an inlet even though it’s cold enough for ice to form and block her way out. Cozy races to the inlet and, sure enough, Bella is in trouble. Luckily, Cozy thinks of a new way to use his strong legs and tough horns that might help save Bella and win Lofti’s heart as well.

Every Little Seed Cynthia Schumerth
Illustrated by Elisa Paganelli Publisher Sleeping Bear Press ISBN# 978-1534112698 (HB) Copyright 3/14/2023 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

Grandpa told Mom, and Mom told me: The secret of a plant lives in every little seed. Seeds are truly amazing! Did you know that every seed, no matter how small (microscopic) or large (weighing up to 14 pounds), contains everything it needs to one day grow into a plant? Three generations of a gardening family work together to bring a backyard garden to full bloom.

Just Gus McCall Hoyle 2024-2025
Crown
Illustrated by Vivienne To Publisher Shadow Mountain Publishing ISBN# 978-1639930937 (HB) Copyright 4/3/2023 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

Gus is a livestock guardian dog with one job―protecting his farm from coyotes and foxes. He likes keeping the sheep, the chickens, and his humans safe, and he’s very good at it.One day, Diego and his dad come to visit the farm, and Gus immediately connects to the small boy. They both like to sit still and enjoy the quiet, and Gus can tell that Diego likes being around a gentle giant of a dog, that it helps relieve the boy’s constant worry.When Gus detects the scent of a bear in the woods, he rushes to protect his flock, injuring his leg in a fight with the dangerous beast. Wounded, Gus needs to rest and heal away from his sheep, so he doesn’t risk reinjuring his leg. Diego suggests Gus come home with them to the North Carolina coast.Suddenly, Gus is thrust into a new world of saltwater and sand and neighbors who don’t appreciate the presence of a large guard dog, like the neighbor who reminds Gus of his first owner―the junkyard man with the heavy boots.Gus realizes Diego might need a friend as much as his sheep need a protector, but if he can’t learn to control his instincts, like barking and patrolling the neighborhood, Gus might lose his chance to stay in his new home. If he can’t protect the farm or his boy, Gus worries he might never find his place in the world.

Like Me: A Story About Disability and Discovering God’s Image in Every Person Laura Wifler
Illustrated by Skylar White Publisher Harvest Kids ISBN# 978-0736985758 (HB) Copyright 1/10/2023 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

This children’s picture book follows a sibling of a child with a disability as they go through their day. A simple story with an important message, Like Me helps kids recognize the many similarities they share with disabled kids and model a loving and understanding approach to the differences.

Polly and the Screen Time Overload Betsy Childs Howard
Illustrated by Samara Hardy Publisher Crossway ISBN# 978-1433577888 (HB) Copyright 5/10/2022 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

Readers meet Polly while on a trip to her grandparents’ farm. During her visit, she spends all her time on her new tablet instead of enjoying the farm animals and playing with her cousins. A chat with her grandfather teaches her that, though screen time can be good, it can also keep kids away from better things.

Shermy and Shake, the Not So Nice Neighbor Kirby Larson
Illustrated by Shinji Fujioka Publisher Candlewick ISBN# Shinji Fujioka (HB) Copyright 5/9/2023 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

When a new kid comes to stay with his grandmother at the house next door, Shermy’s plans for a quiet, relaxing summer are completely upended. That’s because Shake is nothing like Shermy. And Shermy is nothing like Shake. Shermylikes to read quietly in the shade of a tree. He knows the proper way to do a puzzle. He collects treasures in the pouch he wears around his neck, and the books on his shelves are alphabetized by author. Shakelikes to play street hockey or space explorers. He gobbles up rocket ice pops and Toaster Tarts. He shows up unannounced and plays board games by his own rules. As the two boys are forced to spend more and more time together, will they learn how to get along? Or will it be one long countdown until Shake goes home?

When I Caught You Izzy B
Illustrated by Publisher IzzyBBooks ISBN# 979-8218091910 (PB) Copyright 10/28/2022 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

As the moon still hung above the treetops, Dad Bear gently woke his little fisherman to set out on a grand adventure. They always took the long way around the mountain, but when they finally arrived at their fishing spot, the fish weren’t bitin’ a bit. When they were ready to pack up their things, Dad Bear declared it “a wonderful day!” which confused Little Bear. How could it be a wonderful day? They didn’t catch a single fish! When I Caught You is a sweet story that teaches readers that sometimes it’s not about how many fish you catch, but the memories you made along the way.

Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me 'round: My Story of the Making of Martin Luther King Day Kathlyn J. Kirkwood 2024-2025
Lamplighter
Illustrated by Steffi Walthall Publisher Versify ISBN# 978-0358387268 (HB) Copyright 1/4/2022 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ’Round is a deeply moving middle grade memoir about what it means to be an everyday activist and foot solider for racial justice, as Kathlyn recounts how, drawn to activism from childhood, she went from attending protests as a teenager to fighting for Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s birthday to become a national holiday as an adult. A blueprint for kids starting down their own paths to civic awareness, it shows life beyond protests and details the sustained time, passion, and energy it takes to turn an idea into a law.

Beneath the Swirling Sky Carolyn Leiloglou 2024-2025
Lamplighter
Illustrated by Vivienne To Publisher WaterBrook ISBN# 978-0593579527 (HB) Copyright 9/12/2023 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

A house full of paintings, a missing sister, and a family secret send a boy and his cousin into a world where art is the key in this fantasy adventure perfect for fans of The Wingfeather Saga and Pages & Co.After an experience he’d rather forget, Vincent is determined to be done with art. So when he and his little sister, Lili, spend spring break with their art conservator great-uncle, Vincent’s plan is to stay glued to his phone.That is, until Lili disappears into one of the world’s most famous paintings and Vincent learns his parents have been hiding something from him: Their family is the last of The Restorationists, a secret society with the power to travel through paintings—and a duty to protect them from evil forces.

Clara Poole and the Long Way Round Taylor Tyng 2024-2025
Crown
Illustrated by Publisher Pixel+Ink ISBN# 978-1645951599 (HB) Copyright 7/4/2023 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

When an unintended flight over Michigan in her class science project—a lawn chair held aloft by balloons—brings her instant celebrity, Clara Poole is invited to be the spokesperson for a round-the-world adventure race. But when her overprotective father refuses, Clara forges his signature in a moment of defiance and runs away to Paris to take her place in the skies. If only she’d read the fine print first.

Far Out! Anne Bustard 2024-2025
Crown
Illustrated by Publisher Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers ISBN# 978-1665914192 (HB) Copyright 4/18/2023 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

It’s 1964, the Space Race is well underway, and eleven-year-old Magnolia Jean Crook and the other residents of Totter, Texas, are over the moon about UFOs.The whole town is gearing up for the First Annual Come on Down Day—in just one week, they are hoping to host any and all space aliens who would like to visit Earth. But right before the kick-off party, a meteorite goes missing—and MJ’s beloved grandmother Mimi, who is the vice president of the Totter Unidentified Flying Object Organization, is the prime suspect.

Half Moon Summer Elaine Vickers 2024-2025
Lamplighter
Illustrated by Publisher Peachtree ISBN# 978-1682635391 (HB) Copyright 6/6/2023 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

Drew was never much of a runner. Until his dad’s unexpected diagnosis. Mia has nothing better to do. Until she realizes entering Half Moon Bay’s half-marathon could solve her family’s housing problems. And just like that they decide to spend their entire summer training to run 13.1 miles. Drew and Mia have very different reasons for running, but these two twelve-year-olds have one crucial thing in common (besides sharing a birthday): Hope. For the future. For their families. And for each other.

I Will Protect You Eva Mozes Kor and Danica Davidson 2024-2025
Lamplighter
Illustrated by Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers ISBN# 978-0316460637 (HB) Copyright 4/5/2022 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

Eva and her identical twin sister, Miriam, had a mostly happy childhood. Theirs was the only Jewish family in their small village in the Transylvanian mountains, but they didn’t think much of it until anti-Semitism reared its ugly head in their school. Then, in 1944, ten-year-old Eva and her family were deported to Auschwitz. At its gates, Eva and Miriam were separated from their parents and other siblings, selected as subjects for Dr. Mengele’s infamous medical experiments.

Light Comes to Shadow Mountain Toni Buzzeo 2024-2025
Crown
Illustrated by Publisher Holiday House ISBN# 978-0823453849 (HB) Copyright 7/11/2023 Intl. Setting Reading Level 5.50

It’s 1937 and the government is pushing to bring electricity to the mountains of southeastern Kentucky. It’s all Cora can think of; radios with news from around the world, machines that keep food cold, lightbulbs by which to read at night! Cora figures she can help spread the word by starting a school newspaper and convincing her neighbors to support the Rural Electrification Act. But resistance to change isn’t easy to overcome, especially when it starts at home. Cora’s mother is a fierce opponent of electrification. She argues that protecting the landscape of the holler—the trees, the streams, the land that provides for their way of life—is their responsibility. But Cora just can’t let go of wanting more.

Outside Nowhere Adam Borba 2024-2025
Lamplighter
Illustrated by Sam Kalda Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers ISBN# 978-0316542647 (HB) Copyright 10/18/2022 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

Once Parker’s father catches wind of his latest scheme, he decides enough is enough, and Parker is sent halfway across the country to work on a farm alongside five other kids who aren’t his biggest fans. As Parker learns to roll up his sleeves and keep his head down, strange things start happening. And after he awakens one morning to find a seventeen-hundred-pound dairy cow on the roof of a barn, he suspects that something magical and mysterious is growing in the farm’s fields.

Serpent Slayer and the Scroll of Riddles Andy Naselli and Champ Thornton 2024-2025
Crown
Illustrated by Dana Thompson Publisher New Growth Press ISBN# 978-1645072331 (PB) Copyright 2/14/2022 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

The Serpent Slayer and the Scroll of Riddles is a time travel adventure with a twist—middle school students will discover theological themes as they travel through God’s Word. By placing the characters into Bible events, Champ Thornton and Andrew Naselli show the Bible is far from being a boring book full of instructions. Readers will discover life-changing truths they’ll never forget.

Sisterhood of Sleuths Jennifer Chambliss Bertman 2024-2025
Lamplighter
Illustrated by Vesper Stamper Publisher Christy Ottaviano Books ISBN# 978-0316331074 (HB) Copyright 10/4/2022 Intl. Setting Reading Level 5.10

Maizy always assumed she knew everything about her grandmother, Jacuzzi. So when a box full of vintage Nancy Drew books gets left at her mom’s thrift store, Maizy is surprised to find an old photo of her grandmother and two other women tucked beneath the collection. Stranger still, when Maizy shows the photo to Jacuzzi she feigns ignorance, insisting the woman is someone else. Determined to learn the truth — and inspired by the legacy of Nancy Drew — Maizy launches her own investigation with the help of new friends, Nell and Cam. What they discover not only points to the origins of the iconic series, but uncovers a truth from the past that will lead to self-discovery in the present, connecting three generations of women.

The Adventures of Robo-Kid Diane deGroat
Illustrated by Publisher Neal Porter Books ISBN# 978-0823449767 (HB) Copyright 6/28/2022 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

Imagine you could meet your favorite comic-book hero in the real world. What kinds of questions would you ask? Would you go on new and exciting adventures? While heroes might seem larger than life, everyone can use some help from a friend.

The Dragon and the Stone Kathryn Butler 2024-2025
Crown
Illustrated by Publisher Crossway ISBN# 978-1433579479 (PB) Copyright 5/10/2022 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

Even though she’s only 12 years old, Lily McKinley already feels the weight of the world’s brokenness. She’s seen it in her mother’s exhaustion, her grandmother’s illness, and the cruelty of Adam, the bully at her school. But most tragically, she experienced it two months ago when her father died in a terrible accident. As an artistic daydreamer, Lily has a brilliant imagination to help her cope, but that imagination often gets her into trouble. One day, it transports her to a fantasy world called the Somnium Realm, where her father’s secret history embroils her in an epic quest. With the help of a dragon guide named Cedric, Lily battles evil shrouds, harpies, and other creatures to find her way through grief, rescue the world from evil, and discover the power of redemption.

The Girl Who Lost a Leopard Nizarana Farook 2024-2025
Crown
Illustrated by Publisher Peachtree ISBN# 978-1682635810 (HB) Copyright 5/9/2023 Intl. Setting Reading Level 4.60

Selvi is a free spirit who loves climbing in the beautiful mountains behind her home. There, she befriended Lokka, a leopard with a beautiful coat and huge golden eyes. Together, they roam the wilderness as they please.But when hunters come with bows and arrows, Selvi knows she must stop them before they hurt Lokka. But what can she do against such powerful enemies, especially when the friends and family she turns to for help are not all they seem to be? To rescue her leopard friend, first Selvi must outwit the poachers and expose the mastermind behind it all.

The Grand Teton Stampede C.R. Fulton 2024-2025
Crown
Illustrated by Publisher Bakken Books ISBN# 979-8436149448 (PB) Copyright 3/20/2022 Intl. Setting Reading Level 4.90

Twelve-year-old Isaiah Rawlings wished for only one thing this summer, a camping trip outside of Kentucky. I’m so tired of camping in my backyard, he groaned. Isaiah pleads with his parents to reconsider their usual summer trip to dusty old museums and big cities.When his dad unexpectedly announces a trip to Grand Teton National Park, Isaiah is ecstatic! On the second night of camping, He wakes to a thunderous noise that grows louder and louder. The ground begins to tremble. Earthquake?! Isaiah scrambles from his tent…When Isaiah, his cousin Ethan, and sister Sadie investigate the next morning, tracks lead them back to a broken fence. As they scan the surrounding area, something seems off…Why? More than one set of tracks lead into the park. Was this stampede accidental or is there more to the story?

The Horseback Librarians Jane Yolen
Illustrated by Alexandra Badiu Publisher Albert Whitman & Company ISBN# 978-0807562918 (HB) Copyright 6/22/2023 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

There were no libraries in the backwoods of Kentucky in the 1930s. Librarians there and throughout the South delivered books to families by horseback and mule, sleeping outdoors or sheltering in barns when they could, going from farm to farm in remote areas. In this story, a woman named Anna Mary stands in for all the real-life horseback librarians who helped keep the love of books alive in Appalachia during the Great Depression.

The Inkwell Chronicles: the Ink of Elspet J.D. Peabody 2024-2025
Crown
Illustrated by Publisher WorthyKids ISBN# 978-1546001980 (HB) Copyright 9/13/2022 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

When their father goes missing after a mysterious train crash, Everett and his little sister Bea find a curious pen in his belongings, and its magical Ink begins to rewrite their once-ordinary lives. The Ink leads them to a world they never knew existed—one teeming with impossible magic, formidable allies, and villains who are determined to destroy everything they hold dear. Together, Everett and Bea embark on an adventure through secret tunnels in England and Scotland to find and protect the last Inkwell, and ultimately to save their father. But in order to do so, Everett must find a way to tap into the most magical power of all: his courage. Perfect for fans of The Silver Arrow, the Bookwanderers, and Inkheart, this classic battle of good and evil pits creativity against the forces that would seek to blot it out for good.

The Songs of a Warrior: Saul and David Katy Morgan 2024-2025
Lamplighter
Illustrated by Publisher The Good Book Company ISBN# 978-1784988173 (PB) Copyright 2/1/2023 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

This dramatic retelling of the accounts of the first two kings of Israel follows the intertwining stories of Jonathan, Saul, David and Michal documented in 1 and 2 Samuel.In this imaginative yet biblically faithful book, readers will find themselves immersed in the hearts and minds of the key players as they experience battles, intrigue, plots, betrayal, love, and friendship.

Thirst Varsha Bajaj 2024-2025
Lamplighter
Illustrated by Publisher Nancy Paulsen Books ISBN# 978-0593354391 (PB, HB) Copyright 7/19/2022 Intl. Setting Reading Level 4.40

Minni lives in the poorest part of Mumbai, where access to water is limited to a few hours a day and the communal taps have long lines. Lately, though, even that access is threatened by severe water shortages and thieves who are stealing this precious commodity—an act that Minni accidentally witnesses one night. Meanwhile, in the high-rise building where she just started to work, she discovers that water streams out of every faucet and there’s even a rooftop swimming pool. What Minni also discovers there is one of the water mafia bosses. Now she must decide whether to expose him and risk her job and maybe her life. How did something as simple as access to water get so complicated?

This Seats Saved Heather Holleman 2024-2025
Lamplighter
Illustrated by Publisher Moody Publishers ISBN# 978-0802428868 (PB) Copyright 6/6/2023 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

At the start of 7th grade, Elita Brown’s friends enjoy their seats at the popular lunchroom table. Meanwhile, Elita hides in the bathroom. This is not how she envisioned middle school. And her omission from the popular table is only the beginning of her problems. What will she do when she’s terrorized by the meanest girl in school and accused of a crime she didn’t commit? Elita befriends an older couple living in the woods and gains confidence through her project on the red fox. Will Elita find her way and take her seat at the best table? Full of suspense and divine moments, readers will be captivated by this story.

Wild Ride (Adapted for Young Readers) Hayley Arceneaux 2024-2025
Lamplighter
Illustrated by Publisher Convergent Books ISBN# 978-0593443880 (HB) Copyright 8/8/2023 Intl. Setting Reading Level 0.00

In this adaptation of her heartfelt memoir, especially inspiring for middle-grade readers, Arceneaux shares the details of her wild ride with never-before-told stories written especially for kids coming to this edition. Arceneaux not only tells readers what it was like to go to space—from training in a fighter jet to lifting off in a Dragon capsule—but she also offers stories from her childhood: things that she faced at the hospital when going through cancer treatment, what she had to overcome when she went back to school, and the courage it took to dream big dreams for her teenage and adult years.