New Books in the Spotlight

By Mandy Davis

320 pages

Lester's first days as a fifth grader at Quarry Elementary School are not even a little bit like he thought they would be-the cafeteria is too loud for Lester's ears, there are too many kids, and then there's the bully.

Lester was always home-schooled, and now he's shocked to be stuck in a school where everything just seems wrong. That's until he hears about the science fair, which goes really well for Lester! This is it. The moment where I find out for 100 percent sure that I won.

But then things go a bit sideways, and Lester has to find his way back. A touching peek into the life of a sensitive autism-spectrum boy facing the everydayness of elementary school, Superstar testifies that what you can do isn't nearly as important as who you are.

My Brother's Shadow
By Tom Avery

161 pages

A deeply affecting middle grade novel in which a girl suffering from terrible grief befriends a mysterious wild boy.

When I saw him that first time I screamed-a small and silent scream, all inside, in my gut. Eleven-year-old Kaia, who has felt isolated since her older brother committed suicide more than a year before, befriends a wild boy who mysteriously appears at her London school.

Though the boy is mute and can only communicate with a flash of his gray eyes, he might be the friend Kaia needs to bring her through her grief.

Here's a fascinating story, which offers a fresh and completely original portrayal of loss and renewal.

Whodunit Detective Agency: The Diamond Mystery
By Martin Widmark

68 pages

In between hanging out, riding their bikes, and playing video games, best friends and classmates Jarry and Maya run a detective agency in their small town.

In this mystery, somebody is stealing diamonds from the local jeweler -- and it looks like the culprit is someone on the jeweler's staff.  But just who is it?  

The police chief and the jeweler are stumped by the case, so Jerry and Maya are asked to help crack it.  Will they be able to use their superior skills to find the thief?  As  they know, even a tiny clue can be worth its weight in gold.

Originally published in Swedish.

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