Stepping Stones by Lucy KnisleyWhat it’s about: As if it wasn’t bad enough that Jen and her mom moved from the city to Peapod Farm (where Jen is stuck with a whole mess of new chores), Jen also has to put up with her mom’s insensitive boyfriend and his too-perfect daughter Andy.
Don’t miss: the scribbly pages from Jen’s notebook, where she pours out her feelings as they change.
For fans of: the realistic graphic novels of Victoria Jamieson, Svetlana Chmakova, and Vera Brosgol.
Focus on: Cooking and Baking
Pie in the Sky by Remy LaiWhat it’s about: After the loss of his father, 12-year-old Jingwen immigrates to Australia with his family. Though his brother has no trouble fitting in, Jingwen feels like an alien. The only thing that makes him feel better is baking the cakes he dreamed up with his dad -- an activity he has to hide from his strict mother.
Read it for: an easy-to-read blend of words and crisp cartoon art (think Raina Telgemeier or Gene Luen Yang).
Nixie Ness, Cooking Star by Claudia Mills; illustrated by Grace ZongWhat it’s about: Can you be best friends with more than one person? Third-grader Nixie didn’t think so, but now that she’s bonding with the kids in after-school cooking camp while her BFF Grace hangs out with classmate Elyse, she isn’t so sure.
For fans of: Karen English’s Carver Chronicles or Annie Barrows’ Ivy + Bean books.
Series alert: For more about Nixie and her friends, pick up Vera Vance: Comics Star, the next book in the After-School Superstars series.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 8-11!