Swing Sideways by Nanci Turner Steveson (Lexile: 700; Interest Level: Grades 4-7) begins with Annie watching the country pass by from her seat in the car while she contemplates a summer with no rules, no schedules, and only her own choices to guide her. Then she passes California standing at the edge of the road--tall, barefoot, and looking carefree--and she knows she wants to be friends with her.
Annie doesn't know what might be coming her way when she sneaks off to meet California and immerse herself in the wild and free antics of the new neighbor. California takes Annie with her on a real-life adventure to find the ponies that her mother used to ride, with so much faith and optimism that Annie couldn't help but start believing with her. The friendship between these two girls is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience for both girls as they each search for something they secretly need in the life of the other.
When the time comes to share secrets, will Annie be able to handle California's?
Readers will enjoy Annie's relationship with California. Fans of books such as Tuck Everlasting and Bridge to Terabithia will want to give this one a try. And, the author, Nanci Turner Steveson is from Wyoming! It certainly deserves to be a 2017-2018 Indian Paintbrush Nominee. (288 p.)
Raymie's dad has left home with a dental hygienist. Raymie doesn't know what this means for her, and she doesn't quite understand the grown-up things involved, but she wants her dad to come home. She thinks that maybe, if she becomes famous by winning the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition that her father will have no choice but to come home. She asked her father's secretary who told her that if she wants to win, she will need to learn to twirl a baton. At her baton lessons, Raymie meets some interesting girls: Louisiana Elephante, who claims to be a member of a family of flying trapeze artists, and Beverly Tapinski, whose father is a cop. The girls' relationship is off to a rocky start, but things are definitely going to get crazier before they sort themselves out.
Join Raymie and her unlikely allies on their adventures in this realistic fiction story that shows what friendship and family can really mean when you let others see who you really are and understand that no one, and no one's family, is really perfect. Raymie Nightingale (Lexile: 550; Interest Level: Grades 5-7) by Kate DiCamillo will appeal to readers who enjoy reading "day-to-day" stories and like to root for the underdog. It is an interesting addition to the 2017-2018 Indian Paintbrush Nominee list. (272 p.)
Lou and her best friend Benzer were hoping for a little excitement for the upcoming summer vacation, so when Lou overhears news that the city was trying to take her family's home away, she begins hatching a plan to get it declared an historical landmark. While digging around, Lou discovers a diary that belonged to a great-great grandparent that leads to clues about some missing Civil War era gold. If Lou and Benzer can find the gold, they may be able to save the house!
Last in a Long Line of Rebels (Lexile: 660; Interest Level: Grades 4-7) by Lisa Lewis Tyre brings history, especially family history, to life in this realistic fiction story that pulls strongly on ideas of knowing where our families have come from. It certainly belongs on the list as a 2017-2018 Indian Paintbrush Nominee. (288 p.)
What would Rapunzel do if she was able to leave her tower? What if she didn't really want to go? What would it really be like to have all that hair? In this reimagined story of the famous fairy tale, Rapunzel doesn't really want to leave her tower. She is convinced that her "mother" (whom she calls Witch) really cares for her and is trying to protect her. Then she meets Jack.
Jack climbs into her tower with a rather amazing story of needing to take the dew from one of her roses as an antidote to a poison that a fairy friend of his has encountered. When Rapunzel refuses, Jack starts to complain about his last visit. Except that Rapunzel has never met Jack before. Unless Jack's story is true and Witch has been taking her memory. She decides that she will have to go with Jack to find out the truth, but the two of them don't really get along well and Rapunzel knows nothing about the world outside of her tower.
Fans of "fractured" fairy tales and adventure stories with strong female characters will enjoy Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel (Lexile: 680; Interest Level: Grades 3-7) by Megan Morrison, the first book in the Tyme series. (384 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.