in this spine-chilling novel. Brilliantly
merging Steven’s anxieties with the wasp’s
malignant whispers, Oppel tells an outstanding tale about monsters both outside
The Remarkable Journey of Charlie
Price. By Jennifer Maschari. 2016.
(9780062380104). Gr. 5–8.
Charlie is overjoyed to discover a world
where his mother is still alive, but it
soon becomes clear that it’s impossible
to reclaim the past. A beautifully written
meditation on grief, easily digestible for a
Season of Secrets. By Sally Nicholls.
2011. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine,
$16.99 (9780545218252). Gr. 5–8.
This study in grief and renewal draws
upon the legend of the Green Man as two
sisters endeavor to overcome the unex-
pected loss of their mother.
The Secret Horses of Briar Hill.
By Megan Shepherd. Illus. by Dan
Burgess. 2016. Delacorte, $16.99
(9781101939758). Gr. 3–5.
In the midst of WWII, Emmaline is
sent to Briar Hill Hospital, where she sees
winged horses in the mirrors. When one
escapes into her world, Emmaline finds
purpose in caring for it, even as her own
Slog’s Dad. By David Almond. Illus.
by Dave McKean. 2011. Candlewick,
$15.99 (9780763649401). Gr. 4–7.
One day Slog spots a man he’s convinced is his father come back to life.
This magic-realism-tinged story explores
the depths of grief, longing, and hope
swirling about a boy’s last chance to say
good-bye to his father.
Some Kind of Happiness. By Claire
Legrand. 2016. Simon & Schuster,
$16.99 (9781442466012). Gr. 4–7.
Eleven-year-old Finley Hart sometimes
has “blue days,” marked by overwhelming sadness or panic. The only thing that
helps is writing stories about the Ever-wood, a magical forest where she is queen.
When the wood is threatened, Fin must
confront her own darkness to save it.
Stonebird. By Mike Revell. 2015.
Quercus, $16.99 (9781623654627).
While struggling with his grandmother’s declining health from dementia,
Liam gains insights into her past by reading her childhood diary and finds hope
for the future in a stone gargoyle that
comes to life.
The Dyerville Tales. By M. P. Kozlowsky.
Illus. by Brian Thompson. 2014.
HarperCollins/Walden Pond, $16.99
(9780061998713). Gr. 3–6.
Vincent’s adventurous escape from an
orphanage alternates with outlandish
stories of his grandfather’s life in this
sensitive and unblinking exploration of
Firefly Hollow. By Alison McGhee. Illus.
by Christopher Denise. 2015. Atheneum,
$16.99 (9781442423367). Gr. 3–5.
Cricket and Firefly run away with the
help of a lonely boy and a river vole. A
quiet grief underpins the narrative, which
strengthens the characters’ understanding
of the world and resolution to take it by
Hour of the Bees. By Lindsay
Eagar. 2016. Candlewick, $16.99
(9780763679224). Gr. 5–8.
Twelve-year-old Carolina bonds with
her dementia-stricken grandfather
through the fantastical stories he tells of
his youth. Eager uses magic realism to
create an atmospheric novel of family,
heritage, and illness’ difficulties.
Maybe a Fox. By Kathi Appelt and
Alison McGhee. 2016. Atheneum/Caitlyn
Dlouhy, $16.99 (9781442482425).
In a poignant tale of overcoming grief,
Jules Sherman struggles to adjust to life
after her sister’s death. At the same time,
a newborn fox feels a spiritual connection
to Jules, and the pair’s fates become inexorably entwined.
A Monster Calls. By Patrick Ness. Illus.
by Jim Kay. 2011. Candlewick, $16.99
(9780763655594). Gr. 7–10.
As Conor helplessly watches his mother
succumb to cancer, he is visited by a monster, who helps him navigate his grief and
anger. Beautiful and fearlessly honest, this
story illuminates a path through the darkness of doubt.
My Diary from the Edge of the World.
By Jodi Lynn Anderson. 2015. Aladdin,
$16.99 (9781442483873). Gr. 4–7.
The Lockwood family tries to outrun a
looming Dark Cloud, a bringer of death,
before it can claim Grace’s sickly little
brother. On the eye-opening journey,
Grace comes to understand and accept
the cloud’s true purpose.
The Nest. By Kenneth Oppel. Illus. by
Jon Klassen. 2015. Simon & Schuster,
$16.99 (9781481432320). Gr. 5–8.
An angelic wasp’s offer to fix Steven’s
sick baby brother takes an insidious turn