Parr's signature illustration style serves this difficult topic well, as a goldfish remembers a lost friend. Reassuring words that address a reader's grieving process are smartly chosen and the pace of the book is notably outstanding. Up to Seven. -Todd Krueger
Suzy Swanson fixates on jellyfish after the drowning death of her former best friend, Franny. Suzy retreats into near silence as she learns more and more about jellyfish and devises a plan to prove Franny died from a sting. Organized using the scientific method, the story is full of amazing (and scary) facts about jellyfish, the ache of loneliness when a friendship dies, the wonder of science, and the possibility of healing. September 22 release date. For October agenda. 10-14. Lisa Cosgrove-Davies
Two years after her big-hearted father dies in a plane crash 16-year-old Eva is still trying to piece together her life without him, although her mother seems to have moved on. Then Eva faces more loss as she falls in love with Will shortly before he moves across the country. An eventful cross-country bus trip with her super-smart best friend Annie, a reunion with Will, the power of poetry, and the wisdom of her mom’s best friend, lead Eva to a deeper understanding of love and loss. A wide variety of diverse characters fill this story that is heart-wrenching, humorous and poetic. 14 and up. Lisa Cosgrove-Davies
Next-door neighbors Lena and Trille live in Mathildewick, Norway. Their zany escapades range from hilarious to dangerous, sometimes ending in hospital visits. While Trille knows that Lena is his best friend, he worries that he’s not her best friend. This laugh-out-loud story of friendship is filled with poignant emotions and the warmth of family and small town life in Norway. 7-10. Lisa Cosgrove-Davies
A simple book, or so it seems, about loss and grief and healing, in the most positive way, sending something out to the person you miss. Buckley, a sweet young beaver, misses his dad and so sends boats out to him, comforting himself that since they don't return his papa has received them. And then one day, he discovers the gift his mama has given him. Gentle with opportunities for lots of discussion or just to sit back and think about who you would send a boat to and who would receive it. Up to Seven. Edie Ching. (This title will appear on the June agenda.)
Bear encounters a lost toy bunny in the forest, brings it home and immediately goes to work trying to find the owner. When the bunny's owner comes forward, Bear's emotions tug in two directions, until a resolution is reached.
Mourning for his mother, Jack Baker enters boarding school and meets math savant Early Auden, obsessed with the number Pi and his brother, supposedly missing in action. Jack joins Early’s search. Daymond’s quiet narration creates the wilderness while Bramhall adds depth to philosophical Pi’s parallel quest.
While missing his dog and trying to protect his secret, Travis avoids other students at his despicable new school. But the flamboyant Velveeta notices and asks many questions. When she discovers Travis’s motives, the two become something each desperately needs--friends.
Ella, Gus’s elderly dog, promises Gus that she will always be with him, but after she dies, Gus spends a lonely Halloween cavorting with skeletons in the cemetery. Gus’s reappearance is part of the night’s spooky but endearing magic. Firm horizontals and thickly outlined figures keep the story grounded.