Laika, Astronaut Dog

Laika is a stray dog living on the streets of Moscow when she is chosen to be the first ever animal launched into orbit. But her rocket disappears, and everyone thinks Laika is lost forever. In Owen Davey’s imaginative take on a true story, Laika is rescued by new owners and finds the perfect home on a planet far, far away.

A Perfect Place For Ted

Ted has lived among the dogs at the pet store for as long as he can remember. But there are so many dogs there, nobody ever chooses Ted. So he decides to go someplace else — someplace perfect. But Ted can’t fly through the air like the circus dogs, and he doesn’t have fancy pom-poms like the show dogs. Just as he loses hope, he sees a sign: Wanted: Perfect Pet. Little animal lovers will be tickled along with Ted at the unusual household that finally becomes his perfect place.

Good-Bye, Havana! Hola, New York!

When five year old Gabriella hears talk of Castro and something called revolution in her home in Cuba, she doesn’t understand. Then when her parents leave suddenly and she remains with her grandparents, life isn’t the same. Soon the day comes when she goes to live with her parents in a new place called the Bronx. It isn’t warm like Havana, and there is traffic not the ocean outside her window. Their life is different- it snows in the winter and the food at school is hot dogs and macaroni. What will it take for the Bronx to feel like home?

A Tinfoil Sky

Mel and her mother, Cecily, know what it’s like to live rough, whether it’s on the streets or in the apartment of an abusive man. When Cecily announces that they’ve had enough and that they are going to go home to her mother’s, Mel dreams of security, a comfortable bed, and a grandmother’s love seem to be about to come true. But some mistakes cannot be easily forgiven or erased. Her grandmother is not what Mel expects, and though the local library offers sanctuary, a real home seems beyond her grasp. Mel’s determination to rise above what fate has dealt is about to change that. Cyndi Sand-Eveland’s work with homeless youth gives her characters an authenticity no reader will forget. Ultimately, a story of hope and acceptance, A Tinfoil Sky is a powerful novel.

Margaret and the Moth Tree

Lemony Snicket meets Charlotte’s Web in this spellbinding story about a quiet, brown-haired orphan named Margaret trapped in a dreadful orphanage run by the sinister, beautiful Miss Switch. After an unsuccessful attempt to alert authorities to Miss Switch’s tyranny, Margaret is forced to endure a life of complete silence. But the new state of affairs proves to be more blessing than curse. You see, Margaret can hear things other people cannot. And on one incredible day, Margaret hears tiny voices coming from a strange, thorny tree and discovers a community of playful moths. Together Margaret and the moths prepare a plan to end Miss Switch’s reign of terror and provide a better life for everyone.

My Name Is Mina

Mina loves the night. While everyone else is in a deep slumber, she gazes out the window, witness to the moon’s silvery light. In the stillness, she can even hear her own heart beating. This is when Mina feels that anything is possible and her imagination is set free. A blank notebook lies on the table. It has been there for what seems like forever. Mina has proclaimed in the past that she will use it as a journal, and one night, at last, she begins to do just that. As she writes, Mina makes discoveries both trivial and profound about herself and her world, her thoughts and her dreams.

Award-winning author David Almond reintroduces readers to the perceptive, sensitive Mina before the events of Skellig in this lyrical and fantastical work. My Name is Mina is not only a pleasure to read, it is an intimate and enlightening look at a character whose open mind and heart have much to teach us about life, love, and the mysteries that surround us.