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.

The Auslander

When Peter’s parents are killed, he is sent to an orphanage in Warsaw, Poland. But Peter is Volksdeutscher-of German blood. With his blond hair and blue eyes, he looks just like the boy on the Hitler Youth poster. The Nazis decide he is racially valuable. Indeed, a prominent German family is pleased to adopt such a fine Aryan specimen into their household. But despite his new “family,” Peter feels like a foreigner-an ausländer-and he is forming his own ideas about what he sees and what he’s told. He doesn’t want to be a Nazi. So he takes a risk-the most dangerous one he could possibly choose in 1942 Berlin.

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.

Dogtag Summer

Twelve-year-old Tracy–or Tuyet–has always felt different. The villagers in Vietnam called her con-lai, or “half-breed,” because her father was an American GI. And she doesn’t fit in with her adoptive family in California, either. But when Tracy and a friend discover a soldier’s dogtag hidden among her father’s things, it sets her past and her present on a collision course. Where should her broken heart come to rest? In a time and place she remembers only in her dreams? Or among the people she now calls family?

Migrant

Migrant farmers and their families represent an ever-growing body of laborers around the world. They are used as cheap labor but most of them are not allowed to settle down, integrate into their host countries and become citizens with full rights. This is of course devastating to their children.

Among these groups are the Mennonites from Mexico, who originally went to Mexico from Canada in the 1920s. They speak “Low German” and though many are poor, they are an important part of the Mexican farm community. Because of free trade, however, and the fact that Mexican farmers cannot compete with highly subsidized US farmers, they have been forced to come back to Canada — as migrant workers — in order to survive. And while this group currently retains their citizenship and the right to work in Canada, that right may be challenged.Anna is the child of Mennonites from Mexico, who have come north to harvest fruit and vegetables. Sometimes she feels like a bird, flying north in the spring and south in the fall, sometimes like a jackrabbit in an abandoned burrow, since her family occupies an empty farmhouse near the fields, sometimes like a kitten, as she shares a bed with her sisters . . . But above all Anna wonders what it would be like to be a tree rooted deeply in the earth, watching the seasons come and go, instead of being like a “feather in the wind.”