1 of 5
By Sarah Addison Allen
While the Waverly women aren't enchantresses, everyone in the tiny town of Bascom, NC, knows there's something mysterious about them: Clare's mother creates one-of-a-kind edible concoctions with flowers to assist people in their most vexing personal problems; her elderly cousin Evanelle has a knack for sending unexpected presents just at the moment people need them most. When Clare's sister, Sydney, returns to Bascom after a decade in New York, she brings along her daughter, a special blend of and the ability to bring this unconventional family together.
2 of 5
Up High in the Trees
By Kiara Brinkman
Eight-year-old Sebby Lane has always been quiet, self-posessed, and painfully shy. But then his mother dies, and his father has them take refuge in their family's summer home. Sebby, desperate to connect, begins writing letters to his favorite teacher back home, and through his writing — as well as nightmares and dreams — he guides himself out his despair in this luminous — and ultimately uplifting — debut novel.
3 of 5
By Michael Tisserand
When journalist Michael Tisserand and his family found themselves escaping the maelstrom of Hurricane Katrina, he turned his investigative eye on the aftermath, as his family and others helped create a one-room schoolhouse for evacuee children. This true story of how determination, faith and a sheer force of will allowed learning and hope to blossom in the office space that became the only public school open in New Orleans.
4 of 5
Teen Pick: Wilderness
By Roddy Doyle
Brothers Johnny and Tom are excited to go on a dog-sledding adventure in Finland with their mother, even though the reason they're going is to escape the tension bound to occur back home when their stepsister Grainne's long-lost mother arrives for a visit. However, when their own mother's sled disappears into the cold at the start of their trip, Johnny and Tom must work together and race against time to save her life — while across the Irish Sea, Grainne must decide whether or not to make her mother a part of hers.
5 of 5
Tween Pick: Piper Reed, Navy Brat
By Kimberly Willis Holt
Nine-year-old Piper Reed likes being called a Navy Brat and is proud to have lived in so many places during her short life, even though her siblings don't always share her enthusiasm. But when she has to move to a new town during the school year and learns that her dad will be deployed, she has to use every ounce of her imagination to make new friends, cheer up her sisters and find the adventures she just knows are waiting for her.