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The Real McCoys by Matthew Swanson

Grades 3-5

real mccoys

Fourth grader Moxie McCoy is a confident detective who is determined to catch whoever stole her school mascot, Eddie the Owl. Usually, she works together with her best friend who has recently moved away. She calls on her little brother Milton instead, and together the two of them interview Moxie’s classmates, who are all potential suspects. Can the two rival siblings come together and solve the case?

Thanks to School Library Journal for a review copy of this book.

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One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Grades 3-6

one crazy summer

Delphine and her two younger sisters are sent to visit their birth mother, Cecile, during the summer of 1968. They travel all the way from Brooklyn to Oakland, California and they’re not sure what to expect. When they arrive, they find that Cecile isn’t happy to have them visit, and wants them to attend the Black Panther summer camp. They came with one thing to accomplish: to get to know their mother better. However, Delphine fears this might be an impossible task, given how outlandish their mother is.

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Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson

Grades 3-6

ms bixby

Ms. Bixby announces to her sixth grade class that she has cancer and will be leaving before the end of the school year. Heartbroken, three of her students embark on a mission to visit her in the hospital and bring her all her favorite things. Their plan goes awry when they end up going on a school day instead of a Saturday like they’d planned. What’s more, bringing Ms. Bixby her favorite alcoholic drink is proving harder than they’d thought. This funny, heartwarming book is a true testament to the effect that great teachers have on their students.

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Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel by Kimberly Willis Holt

Grades 3-6

blooming

Twelve-year-old Stevie is forced to live with her distant grandfather after her parents are tragically killed. Her grandfather owns a dilapidated motel, and makes it clear he wants nothing to do with his granddaughter. Hurt and confused, Stevie befriends the motel’s guests and neighbors. They all come together and plant a flower garden to brighten the place up, even though her grandfather is dead set against it. Will Stevie ever win her grandfather over?

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Confessions of a Closet Catholic by Sarah Darer Littman

Grades 3-6

closet catholic

Justine Silver is Jewish, and her best friend Mary Catherine McAllister, is Catholic. One day, Justine decides to become Catholic like Mary Catherine. Instead of giving up chocolate for Lent like her friend, Justine gives up being Jewish. She confesses all of her sins to Father Ted, the stuffed bear in her closet, which she has turned into a confessional. When Justine’s grandmother suffers a stroke, she begins to question her decision to give up her Jewish faith. What will she ultimately decide?