Darklands – Like Jess and Leslie in Bridge to Terabithia, Steven escapes into his own world. The fatal return of his mother’s cancer tests this coping mechanism and his alter ego, Bright Star, who maintains hope for most of the journey of this 31,700 word middle grade novel.
Flood – While facing his fear of drowning, seven year old Marcus makes a deal with his dog and helps his family prepare for a rooftop rescue in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Smoky Night and other works by Eve Bunting influenced this nearly 10,000 word chapter book.
Tooth Fairy Business – In this 5,132 page tongue-in-cheek chapter book adventure with elements of the picture book You Think It’s Easy Being a Tooth Fairy?, Dante coerces Fred into showing him what fairies do with kids’ teeth.
Grandma’s Bat Mitzvah – The protagonist of this 857 word picture book, eight year old Shanna, has the determination of Nicholas Allen in Frindle. She believes all women should be Bat Mitzvahed no matter their age, but first she must petition the rabbi and convince her own grandmother.
Hole in the Middle of the Street – A preschooler narrates this 358 word concept picture book inspired by the children’s songs “The Farmer in The Dell” and “There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea.” Workers dig and fill the hole needed to connect the main water line to his new home so he can finally move in.
Want to Play? – Like the TV show Chloe’s Closet, this 400 word picture book romp takes place where imagination mingles with reality. Jakey has a tantrum when Baxter, the dog, doesn’t play Pilots the way Jakey wants.
Billy and the Shadow Monsters – In this 507 word young picture book, Billy’s new nightlight took the darkness away, but it brought a new fear, shadows. Billy investigates until he’s identified them all, especially the turning head shadow.
Don’t Do That – A 268 word picture book about a book that is afraid to be read in the vein of Mo Willems’ Pigeon and The Monster at the End of this Book.