September
Refugee by Alan Gratz
Cried and cried. the stories of three refugee children in action and emotion packed narrative. Joseph, a Jew fleeing Germany in 1939, Isabel, a Cuban girl fleeing Castro in 1994, and Mahmoud who flees Allepo in Syria in 2015. This whole story is pretty wrenching. Maybe YA. I'm not sure. Five stars.

Bean Stalker and other Hilarious Scary Tales by Kiersten White
Odd mix of the classic fairy tales with the characters having weird twists like being vampires or zombies. There are funny sarcastic comments like about bears in awful toilet paper commercials. I didn't like it as much as In a Glass Grimmly by Gidwitz. It will probably be popular. 3rd+ Pretty creepy.

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
Unusual setting and time. 1925 on Elizabeth Islands off Massachusetts. Crow washed ashore as a newborn and Osh took her in. He is a hermit, but they have a close neighbor, Miss Maggie. Crow begins to wonder who her family was. Could she have come from the nearby island of Penikese, a leper asylum? That's why other islanders are afraid to touch her for 12 years! This was interesting and had a conflict when a truly sinister man becomes involved, but I felt like the story was a bit soft and some ends didn't tie up like I would like. Good and different. 4th+

Cyclone by Doreen Cronin
There is certainly a niche for this book. Nora finds herself in the hospital sitting with her very ill cousin, Riley. That's where most of the book takes place. There is a plot, but it's probably not as important as the wide ranging relationships. It was not a tight plot line, but that's not the purpose of this book. Lots and lots of hospital terminology here. 4th+

Slider by Pete Hautman
David can eat. A lot. and fast. After doing something stupid with his mom's credit card he decides he has to win the local pizza eating contest. But it's more complicated than he thought. This was an unusual plot, but had great characters and on the side there's his younger brother with severe autism. His family's dealing with that adds depth to this otherwise lighter story. Good. OK for 5th.

Tree Hugger by Jaz Akerele
This was a recommendation by a 5th grader who was so proud of her godfather for publishing a book. It's a short account of a family whose dad is killed in a car accident but speaks to his daughter from a blooming dogwood tree. There are rough spots that could use a better editor, but I'm sure this was self-published and I congratulate the author for getting that done.

Something in Between by Melissa de la Cruz
a student at Quest complained that there were no books with Filipino main characters. So I found this. Jas wins the National Scholarship Award and finds out that she is actually undocumented. This is a very detailed look at what that does to a family. At the same time she falls for the son of a conservative congressman. Lots and lots of teen romance here. No sex, although pretty close. Great other relationships too with her girlfriends, family, etc. I liked this even though it's not my style. YA for kissing and language.

Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz
Michael O'Shaunessey is the Irish ambassador's son in Berlin during WWII. His parents are spies for the allies and he does all he can to help. This is tense from beginning to end. Michael has to be the perfect Hitler Youth to accomplish his assignments. It's pretty awful. The transformation of a weaker boy into a Youth leader is pretty hard to watch, but realistic I'm sure. This was good if difficult to read. Maybe it should be YA for violence. I'm not sure.