Spindlefish and Stars by Christiane M. AndrewsWhat it's about: After her thieving father disappears, loner Clo follows his last instructions and journeys to an eerie gray island. There, she meets a strange old weaver woman who orders Clo to spin the island's silver fish into thread.
Why you might like it: Dreamy hints of Greek mythology begin to surface as Clo learns more about the island, her family, and her own destiny, making Spindlefish and Stars a good choice for readers who like thoughtful, richly detailed fantasy.
The Boys in the Back Row by Mike JungStarring: best friends Matt and Eric, both proud band geeks and comic book fans.
What happens: Just before Eric's family moves away, the boys decide to sneak out on an epic final adventure to meet their favorite graphic novelist at a comic-con. They might even get away with it -- unless their plan is ruined by Sean, the biggest jerk in class.
Read it for: an authentic (and funny!) look at middle school bullying and the close, caring friendship between two guys.
How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science... by John RoccoWhat it is: a dramatic chronicle of the 1969 moon landing, packed with stunning illustrations and bite-sized chunks of information.
Why you might like it: Told in present tense and accompanied by vivid, full-color art, How We Got to the Moon makes you feel like you're right there with the astronauts, scientists, and other experts from historic moon missions.
About the author: You might recognize author/illustrator John Rocco's art style from the covers of the Percy Jackson books.
More to the Story by Hena KhanWhat it is: an update of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women, starring Jameela, Maryam, Bisma, and Aleeza, four sisters from a close-knit Pakistani American family.
What happens: With a job on the school newspaper and an exciting friendship with British newcomer Ali, Jameela's 7th-grade year is looking up... until her dad goes overseas for work and Bisma becomes seriously ill.
Who it's for: readers who like feisty heroines, cozy vibes, and modern, realistic family stories.
Lock and Key: The Initiation by Ridley PearsonWhat it is: a modern-day reimagining of brilliant detective Sherlock Holmes and criminal mastermind James Moriarty, recast here as reluctant boarding school roommates at Baskerville Academy.
Why you might like it: Through the perspective of James' clever sister Moira, you'll get an up-close look at how a theft at the Academy activates Sherlock's sleuthing instincts, while a shady secret society pulls James into its sinister orbit.
Series alert: This is the suspenseful 1st in the Lock and Key trilogy.
Sisterland by Salla Simukka; translated by Owen F. WitesmanWhat it is: a bewitching and moving fantasy with roots in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Secret Garden, The Snow Queen, and other classic tales.
What happens: From a world of seemingly endless winter, curious Alice tumbles into Sisterland, a green and vibrant world where she meets Marissa, the friend she's always dreamed of. Eternal summer has a price, however, and the girls must undertake a dangerous quest to protect their home from the magic of Sisterland's Queen Lili.
Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel VailWhat it is: a middle school spin on the classic "it's complicated" love story of Cyrano de Bergerac.
Why it's complicated: Gracie ikes her classmate A.J., only A.J. likes Gracie's best friend Sienna, so loyal sidekick Gracie agrees to help Sienna text him, even though A.J.'s texts seem like they might actually be written by Emmett, Gracie's other best friend.
You might also like: Joanne Levy's Crushing It, another angsty yet adorable twist on mistaken-identity romance.
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 10-13!