Troll Swap

Timothy Limpet feels out of place in his troll family. He likes things to be just so, and most trolls, frankly, don’t. Tabitha Lumpit likes things to be loud, loopy, and messy, and she feels like a fish out of water in her very neat family. Sometimes they wonder if their families really see them for who they are. So Timothy and Tabitha swap places . . . with hilarious and touching results.

Hans My Hedgehog

A classic tale of love and acceptance from the Brothers Grimm is beautifully rendered in this magical retelling.Hans is an unusual boy. Born a hedgehog from the waist up, he knows what it’s like to truly be an outcast. Even his amazing fiddle playing can’t help him fit in. So Hans flees to the forest with his herd of loyal pigs and only his music to keep him company. But then a most unusual thing happens: When Hans crosses paths with two kings with two lovely daughters, his luck starts to change. Will this lonely soul find true love after all?This lively and lyrical retelling of the classic Grimm’s tale, paired with lush, detailed illustrations, reminds us of the power of music, the importance of belonging, and the transformative effect of love.

In the Shade of the Nispero Tree

When her mother wants her to be part of the high society world in their native Puerto Rico, Teresa attends a private school but loses her best friend. All Teresa and her best friend and classmate Ana think about is winning the contest for the Junior Queen and Princess of their town in Ponce, Puerto Rico. But Tere’s mother has different ideas for her only daughter. She wants her to be part of La Sociedad, “high society,” and go to a fancy private school. At first Tere doesn’t want to leave her school friends to follow her mother’s dream. She knows her parents can’t afford the luxuries the rich girls take for granted. But when Tere gets into trouble and has a fight with Ana, she quickly changes her mind. Now she finds herself caught between two worlds.

A Stranger at Home

The powerful memoir of an Inuvialuit girl searching for her true self when she returns from residential school. Traveling to be reunited with her family in the Arctic, 10-year-old Margaret Pokiak can hardly contain her excitement. It’s been two years since her parents delivered her to the school run by the dark-cloakednuns and brothers. Coming ashore, Margaret spots her family, but her mother barely recognizes her, screaming, “Not my girl.” Margaret realizes she is now marked as an outsider. And Margaret is an outsider: she has forgotten the language and stories of her people, and she can’t even stomach the food her mother prepares. However, Margaret gradually relearns her language and her family’s way of living. Along the way, she discovers how important it is to remain true to the ways of her people — and to herself. Highlighted by archival photos and striking artwork, this first-person account of a young girl’s struggle to find her place will inspire young readers to ask what it means to belong.

See the review at WOW Review, Volume 4, Issue 2

This book has been included in WOW’s Language and Learning: Children’s and Young Adult Fiction Booklist. For our current list, visit our Booklist page under Resources in the green navigation bar.

Nowhere Girl

Luchi Ann only knows a few things about herself: she was born in a prison in Thailand. Her American mother was an inmate there. And now that her mother has died, Luchi must leave the only place she’s ever known and set out into the world. Neither at home as a Thai, because of her fair skin and blond hair, nor as a foreigner, because of her knowledge of Thai life and traditions, Luchi feels as though she belongs nowhere. But as she embarks on an amazing adventure-a journey spanning continents and customs, harrowing danger and exhilarating experiences-she will find the family, and the home, she’s always dreamed of. Weaving intricate elements of traditional Thailand into a modern-day fairy tale unique unto itself, Nowhere Girl is a beautifully rendered story of courage, resilience, and finding the one place where you truly belong.