By Ann E. Burg
Serafina dreams of going to school like her friend, Nadia, but never ending chores and the need to help her Maman makes it feel impossible. After meeting Dr. Antoinette Solaine, Serafina promises her friend Julie-Marie that she is going find a way to go to school and become a doctor. After a major earthquake, Serafina’s whole life is turned upside down, but she has not let go of her dream to be a doctor and change her world.
By Jacqueline Woodson
Chloe will not talk to or include the new girl, Maya. Maya doesn’t wear new clothes or look like Chloe’s friends. One day, the teacher talks to the class about how important each act of kindness is and how it has a ripple effect into people’s lives. Chloe wants to make things right, but she never has her chance. This is a beautiful story that reminds us all that each action we take or don’t take affects those around us.
By Sharon M. Draper
Melody is not like other 5th grade students. She cannot feed herself, dress herself, or speak, but that doesn’t mean that she has nothing to offer her classmates and nothing to teach. As a result of cerebral palsy, she has not physically developed the same as her peers, and for many years, only her parents believe that she is mentally capable. With the introduction of a new Medi-Talker (that Melody names Elvira), Melody begins to communicate and show the world her amazing abilities. I highly recommend this book for any 5th-8th graders, as it tackles issues of friendship, fitting in, differences, and struggles beautifully.
By Katherine Rundell
Feo and her mother, Marina, teach wolves that have been domesticated and abandoned by the Russian aristocracy to live in the wild and to distrust humans. Some people want the wolves to be killed instead of trained by the wilders. Feo must decide how far she will go to protect her mother, 3 wolves, and ultimately the people of Russia. If you like historical fiction, you will love this beautiful story of love, courage, and loyalty.