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These are popular books that may be similar to We Were Here by Matt De La Pena

 

We Were Here

by Matt De La Pena

Published 2009 by Delacorte Press     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780385736671

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After "it" happens, Miguel is sent to juvenile hall for a year. The judge had no idea he was doing Miguel a favor. Ever since "it" happened, his mother can't even look at him. "Any" home besides his would be a better place to live.

 

 

Bridge to Terabithia

by Katherine Paterson

Published 2017 by HarperCollins     Paperback, English. ISBN: 9780064401845

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The 40th anniversary edition of the classic Newbery Medal-winning title by beloved author Katherine Paterson, with brand-new bonus materials including an author's note by Katherine herself and a foreword by New York Times bestselling author Kate DiCamillo.

Jess Aarons has been practicing all summer so he can be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. And he almost is, until the new girl in school, Leslie Burke, outpaces him. The two become fast friends and spend most days in the woods behind Leslie's house, where they invent an enchanted land called Terabithia. One morning, Leslie goes to Terabithia without Jess and a tragedy occurs. It will take the love of his family and the strength that Leslie has given him for Jess to be able to deal with his grief.

Bridge to Terabithia was also named an ALA Notable Children's Book and has become a touchstone of children's literature, as have many of Katherine Paterson's other novels, including The Great Gilly Hopkins and Jacob Have I Loved.

 

 

Ghost

by Jason Reynolds

Published 2017 by Atheneum Books     Paperback, English. ISBN: 9781481450164

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A National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.
Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read.

Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of a brand-new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award-winning author Jason Reynolds.

Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team--a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.

Running. That's all Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons--it all started with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems--and running away from them--until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who sees something in Ghost: crazy natural talent. If Ghost can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed, or will his past finally catch up to him?

 

 

Be Kind

by Pat Zietlow Miller

Published 2018 by Roaring Brook Press     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781626723214

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A New York Times bestseller!

"These days, it seems more important than ever for books to show young people how to act with thoughtfulness, civility, and kindness." --The New York Times Book Review

When Tanisha spills grape juice all over her new dress, her classmate wants to make her feel better, wondering: What does it mean to be kind?

From asking the new girl to play to standing up for someone being bullied, this moving story explores what kindness is, and how any act, big or small, can make a difference--or at least help a friend.

With a gentle text from the award-winning author of Sophie's Squash, Pat Zietlow Miller, and irresistible art from Jen Hill, Be Kind is an unforgettable story about how two simple words can change the world.

 

 

Hello, Universe

by Erin Entrada Kelly

Published 2017 by Greenwillow Books     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780062414151

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Winner of the Newbery Medal

"A charming, intriguingly plotted novel."--Washington Post

Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly's Hello, Universe is a funny and poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships.

Told from four intertwining points of view--two boys and two girls--the novel celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner bayani (hero). "Readers will be instantly engrossed in this relatable neighborhood adventure and its eclectic cast of misfits."--Booklist

In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and she loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so he can concentrate on basketball.

They aren't friends, at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find missing Virgil. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms.

The acclaimed and award-winning author of Blackbird Fly and The Land of Forgotten Girls writes with an authentic, humorous, and irresistible tween voice that will appeal to fans of Thanhha Lai and Rita Williams-Garcia.

"Readers across the board will flock to this book that has something for nearly everyone--humor, bullying, self-acceptance, cross-generational relationships, and a smartly fateful ending."--School Library Journal

 

 

Mac and Cheese

by Sarah Weeks

Published 2010 by HarperCollins     Paperback, English. ISBN: 9780061170812

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Written in the style of P. D. Eastman's classic Big Dog . . . Little Dog, this modern-day alley-cat odd couple will delight beginning readers.

Mac loves to run and play, but Cheese likes lazy lounging. When Mac's hat blows away, will Cheese sit there like a lump or spring into action to save it?

Mac and Cheese is a Level One I Can Read book, which means it's perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences.

 

 

Tales from a Not-So-Happy Birthday

by Rachel Ren Russell

Published 2018 by Aladdin Paperbacks     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781534426382

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It's Nikki Maxwell's birthday!! Will it be a blast or a bust? Find out in Nikki's newest diary, the thirteenth installment in the #1 New York Times blockbuster bestselling Dork Diaries series!

Nikki and her BFF's Chloe and Zoey have been planning a birthday party of epic proportions! There's just one problem--Nikki's mom says no way to the budget they need to make it happen. Nikki's ready to call the whole thing off, but some surprising twists might take that decision out of her hands, and help comes from the person Nikki would least expect. One way or another, this will be a birthday that Nikki will never forget!

 

 

Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning

by Lemony Snicket

Published 2007 by HarperCollins     Paperback, English. ISBN: 9780061146305

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NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES

Are you made fainthearted by death? Does fire unnerve you? Is a villain something that might crop up in future nightmares of yours? Are you thrilled by nefarious plots? Is cold porridge upsetting to you? Vicious threats? Hooks? Uncomfortable clothing?

It is likely that your answers will reveal A Series of Unfortunate Events to be ill-suited for your personal use. A librarian, bookseller, or acquaintance should be able to suggest books more appropriate for your fragile temperament. But to the rarest of readers we say, "Proceed, but cautiously."

 

 

Wish

by Barbara O'Connor

Published 2017 by Square Fish Farrar Straus Giroux     Paperback, English. ISBN: 9781250144058

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A touching story about a girl and her dog, perfect for young animal lovers

Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite.

But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is, until she meets Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all.

From award-winning author Barbara O'Connor comes a middle-grade novel about a girl who, with the help of a true-blue friend, a big-hearted aunt and uncle, and the dog of her dreams, unexpectedly learns the true meaning of family in the least likely of places.

This title has Common Core connections.

Praise for Wish

"At school, at home, and in the community, the characters and settings are well drawn, but it's the narrator's convincing, compelling voice that will draw readers into the novel and keep them there until her wish finally comes true." --Booklist

"The many ways [Charlie] wishes form something of a catalog of folk and family traditions and are delightful all by themselves....Speaking in an honest voice revealing her hurt, resentment, and vulnerability, Charlies explains how her wish comes true. A warm, real, and heartfelt tale." --Kirkus Reviews

"O'Connor again finds the sweet spot for young readers who are beyond early chapter books but not quite ready for the cynicism and/or complexity of much tween-into-teen lit. Bertha, Gus, and the Odoms are certainly awash in goodness, but their big-heartedness never devolves into sentimentality." --The Bulletin

"Like a generous portions of grits, Wish makes the world a little better." --Bookpage

"This heartwarming story is not to be missed." --Kidsreads

 

 

Freak the Mighty

by Rodman Philbrick

Published 2001 by Scholastic Paperbacks     Paperback, English. ISBN: 9780439286060

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Freak the Mighty joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content!

It has been over twenty years -- and more than two million copies, eight foreign editions, and a popular Miramax feature film -- since the world was introduced to this powerful story of a unique friendship between a troubled, oversized boy and the tiny, physically challenged genius who proves that courage comes in all sizes.

This simple yet timeless story explores many themes, including bullying -- an important topic in today's schools. Freak the Mighty is sure to remain fresh, dramatic, and memorable for the next twenty years and beyond!

 

 

Days with Frog and Toad

by Arnold Lobel

Published 2004 by HarperCollins     Paperback, English. ISBN: 9780064440585

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In 1957, Harper published its first I Can Read title, Little Bear, written by Else Holmelund Minarik and illustrated by Maurice Sendak. Large type, simple vocabulary, chapter-like divisions, and decorative pictures made Little Bear perfect for emerging readers

 

 

Day You Begin

by Jacqueline Woodson

Published 2018 by Nancy Paulsen Books     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780399246531

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Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson and two-time Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner Rafael López have teamed up to create a poignant, yet heartening book about finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone.

There will be times when you walk into a room
and no one there is quite like you.

There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it's how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat, or something just as random. It's not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.

Jacqueline Woodson's lyrical text and Rafael López's dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.

(This book is also available in Spanish, as El Día En Que Descubres Quién Eres!)

 

 

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea

by Ben Clanton

Published 2016 by Tundra Books (NY)     Paperback, English. ISBN: 9781101918715

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"Hilarious and charming. The most lovable duo since Frog and Toad." --NYT-bestselling creator of the Dog Man and Captain Underpants series, Dav Pilkey

Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do they love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together.
A wonderfully silly early graphic novel series featuring three stories. In the first, Jelly learns that Narwhal is a really good friend. Then Narwhal and Jelly form their own pod of awesomeness with their ocean friends. And finally, Narwhal and Jelly read the best book ever -- even though it doesn't have any words...or pictures!
Ben Clanton showcases the joys of friendship, the benefits of working together and the power of imagination in the delightful Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea.

 

 

Wolf in the Snow

by Matthew Cordell

Published 2017 by Feiwel & Friends     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781250076366

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Winner of the 2018 Caldecott Medal

A girl is lost in a snowstorm. A wolf cub is lost, too. How will they find their way home?

Paintings rich with feeling tell this satisfying story of friendship and trust. Here is a book set on a wintry night that will spark imaginations and warm hearts, from Matthew Cordell, author of Trouble Gum and Another Brother.

 

 

Wishtree

by Katherine Applegate

Published 2017 by Feiwel & Friends     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781250043221

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The New York Times-bestselling story of kindness, friendship, and hope.

Trees can't tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . .

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"--people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Along with a crow named Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red's hollows, this wishtree watches over the neighborhood.

You might say Red has seen it all.

Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experience as a wishtree is more important than ever.

Funny, deep, warm, and nuanced, this is Katherine Applegate at her very best--writing from the heart, and from a completely unexpected point of view.

This book has Common Core connections.

 

 

Roller Girl

by Victoria Jamieson

Published 2015 by Dial Books     Paperback, English. ISBN: 9780803740167

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The Newbery Honor Award Winner and New York Times bestseller Roller Girl is a heartwarming graphic novel about friendship and surviving junior high through the power of roller derby--perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier's Smile!

For most of her twelve years, Astrid has done everything with her best friend Nicole. But after Astrid falls in love with roller derby and signs up for derby camp, Nicole decides to go to dance camp instead. And so begins the most difficult summer of Astrid's life as she struggles to keep up with the older girls at camp, hang on to the friend she feels slipping away, and cautiously embark on a new friendship. As the end of summer nears and her first roller derby bout (and junior high!) draws closer, Astrid realizes that maybe she is strong enough to handle the bout, a lost friendship, and middle school... in short, strong enough to be a roller girl.

In this graphic novel debut that earned a Newbery Honor and five starred reviews, real-life derby girl Victoria Jamieson has created an inspiring coming-of-age story about friendship, perseverance, and girl power!

 

 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: The Illustrated Edition

by J K Rowling

Published 2016 by Arthur A. Levine Books     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9780545791328

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Award-winning artist Jim Kay illustrates year two of Harry Potter's adventures at Hogwarts, in a stunning, gift-ready format.

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike.

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone -- or something -- starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects... Harry Potter himself?

 

 

George

by Alex Gino

Published 2017 by Scholastic Inc.     Paperback, English. ISBN: 9780545812573

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George joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content!

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl.

George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part . . . because she's a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte -- but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.

 

 

War That Saved My Life

by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Published 2016 by Puffin Books     Paperback, English. ISBN: 9780147510488

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*2016 Newbery Honor book
*Winner of the 2016 Schneider Family Book Award

This #1 New York Times bestseller is an exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War II. For fans of Counting by 7s and Sarah, Plain and Tall.

Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada's twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn't waste a minute--she sneaks out to join him.

So begins a new adventure for Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan--and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?

 

 

One and Only Ivan

by Katherine Applegate

Published 2015 by HarperCollins     Paperback, English. ISBN: 9780061992278

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Soon to be a major motion picture!

Winner of the Newbery Medal and a #1 New York Times bestseller

This unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendship. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated book is told from the point of view of Ivan himself.

Having spent twenty-seven years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create an unforgettable story of friendship, art, and hope.

The One and Only Ivan features first-person narrative; author's use of literary devices (personification, imagery); and story elements (plot, character development, perspective).

Plus don't miss Katherine Applegate's Endling series!

 

 

First-Grade Friends: The Lunch Box Surprise (Scholastic Reader, Level 1): The Lunch Box Surprise

by Grace Maccarone

Published 1995 by Cartwheel Books     Paperback, English. ISBN: 9780590262675

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With inspiring and educational stories, Scholastic's Hello Reader series caters to the spectrum of reading abilities among beginning readers. My First Hello Readers use basic words to reinforce phonics and sight vocabulary. The books at this level offer punch-out flash cards plus six additional pages of skill-building activities. Levels 1 - 4 combine a greater vocabulary and longer sentence length. Each book has an introductory letter from an education specialist guiding parents on how to help their children learn to read. Preschool - Kindergarten.

 

 

Number the Stars

by Lois Lowry

Published 2011 by Houghton Mifflin     Paperback, English. ISBN: 9780547577098

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As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen's family takes in Annemarie's best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family.

Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden. The heroism of an entire nation reminds us that there was pride and human decency in the world even during a time of terror and war.

With a new introduction by the author.

 

 

Elephant & Piggie Biggie!

by Mo Willems

Published 2017 by Hyperion Books for Children     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781484799673

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Mo Willems, a #1 New York Times bestselling author and illustrator, celebrates ten years of Elephant & Piggie in this special bind-up collection: Today I Will Fly!; Watch Me Throw the Ball!; Can I Play Too?; the award-winning Let's Go For a Drive!; and I Really Like Slop!

 

 

Tales from a Not-So-Friendly Frenemy

by Rachel Ren Russell

Published 2016 by Aladdin Paperbacks     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781481479202

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It's a frenemy showdown in the eleventh installment in the blockbuster #1 New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series!

Nikki Maxwell has the worst luck. Of all the schools she could have been assigned to for the student exchange week program, she's stuck at North Hampton Hills, her arch nemesis MacKenzie Hollister's new school. Even worse, there might just be someone at NHH who can out-MacKenzie MacKenzie!

At least Nikki can write about every moment of drama in her diary, so readers won't miss a moment of it.

Can the queen of dorks survive a week at the head CCP's new school or will it be a dorky disaster?

 

 

Happy Valentine's Day, Mouse!

by Laura Joffe Numeroff

Published 2009 by Balzer & Bray/Harperteen     Board Books, English. ISBN: 9780061804328

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Join Mouse from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie as he celebrates Valentine's Day with all the friends he loves.

This board book with sturdy pages is perfect for preschoolers, who will enjoy the simple introduction to the fun of Valentine's Day.

"This title follows Mouse as he makes valentines for all of his friends," said School Library Journal. "Each valentine is made to represent what he loves most about each of his friends, such as Pig 'because she's a good dancer' and Bunny 'because she's the best at hide-and-seek.'"

Budding artists and crafters will love this book, perfect for pairing with Valentine's Day activities. A surprise at the end adds to the read-aloud fun!

 

 

Ivy + Bean One Big Happy Family

by Annie Barrows

Published 2018 by Chronicle Books     Hardcover, English. ISBN: 9781452164007

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Annie Barrows' bestselling chapter book series, Ivy & Bean, is a classroom favorite and has been keeping kids laughing---and reading--for more than a decade! With more than 5 million copies in print, Ivy & Bean return with a brand-new book for a new generation!

Ivy & Bean are back . . . and they are funnier than ever!

Ivy's worried. She's read a lot of books about only children, so she knows that they are sometimes spoiled rotten. They don't share their toys. They never do any work. They scream and cry when they don't get their way. Spoiler alert! Ivy doesn't have any brothers or sisters. That's why she's worried. How can she keep from getting spoiled? She could give away all her clothes, but she'd probably get in trouble. She could give away all her toys, but she likes her toys. There's really only one solution: she needs a baby sister, on the double! Luckily, Ivy and Bean know just where to get one.