Clean Getaway by Nic StoneStarring: Scoob Lamar, who’s ready for a spring break adventure (especially if it means getting away from his strict dad); and G’ma, who invites Scoob on a mysterious road trip.
What happens: As they drive through the American South, Scoob realizes that G’ma might be re-creating a vacation she took with his grandfather in 1963, when travel was risky for interracial couples.
Try this next: Rita Williams-Garcia’s One Crazy Summer, another book about a trip that reveals hidden family history.
What the Eagle Sees: Indigenous Stories of Rebellion and Renewal by Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy LowingerWhat it is: a short but wide-ranging look at how Native North Americans have resisted and survived, from the earlier European invasions to the present day.
What’s inside: personal stories paired with potentially eye-opening facts, as well as photos, illustrations, and sidebars that invite you to imagine what life was like for Indigenous people during different moments in history.
You might also like: Turtle Island, another absorbing book about Indigenous nations, written by the same authors.
My Diary from the Edge of the World by Jodi Lynn AndersonWhat it's about: In Gracie's world, migrating dragons attack strip malls, ghosts linger in backyards, sasquatches lurk in the woods, and Dark Clouds appear before people die. After a Dark Cloud arrives for Gracie's brother, their parents take the family on a wild road trip in search of a safe haven from the supernatural.
Is it for you? If you prefer fantasy stories rooted in reality, you'll love the eccentric characters and bittersweet plot in this imaginative read, written in the form of Gracie's diary.
Counting to Perfect by Suzanne LaFleurWhat it’s about: Swimmer Cassie misses the way things used to be before her teenage sister Julia had a baby. So when Julia decides to take off with baby Addie, Cassie goes along for the ride.
Why you might like it: Lots of small details and moving moments bring a lived-in feel to this story about two sisters re-connecting on the road.
You might also like: Jen Petro-Roy’s P.S. I Miss You, about a very different family in a similar situation.
The Someday Birds by Sally J. PlaWhat it’s about: Twelve-year-old Charlie likes order and rituals, so as he and his siblings -- along with pink-haired family friend Ludmila -- drive across America to join their injured war reporter father, Charlie carefully tries to complete his and his dad's birdwatching bucket list.
Why you might like it: Charlie's voice is both thoughtful and authentic as he describes the national landmarks, family drama, and desperate hope of this offbeat road trip.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 10-13!