Bluefish

Thirteen-year-old Travis has a secret: he can’t read. But a shrewd teacher and a sassy girl are about to change everything in this witty and deeply moving novel.Travis is missing his old home in the country, and he’s missing his old hound, Rosco. Now there’s just the cramped place he shares with his well-meaning but alcoholic grandpa, a new school, and the dreaded routine of passing when he’s called on to read out loud. But that’s before Travis meets Mr. McQueen, who doesn’t take “pass” for an answer—a rare teacher whose savvy persistence has Travis slowly unlocking a book on the natural world. And it’s before Travis is noticed by Velveeta, a girl whose wry banter and colorful scarves belie some hard secrets of her own. With sympathy, humor, and disarming honesty, Pat Schmatz brings to life a cast of utterly believable characters—and captures the moments of trust and connection that make all the difference.

Mia’s Secret

Mia is little and feeling utterly powerless. She has promised to keep a secret, but now this secret feels wrong. And now that she has played the secret game, she is frightened — frightened that “he” will be angry if she tells, frightened that no one will understand. Only her stuffed bear, Tikki, has seen everything and knows how much this secret hurts. He comes again and again. Mia tries to stop him, but now he’s angry with her. If only she hadn’t made the promise. Then, Mia has an idea. Tikki has promised nothing. Maybe Tikki can speak to her mother and stop the hurt at last.