1. Stuart Little by E.B. White – What a strange book. E. B. White’s stories are perverse but his prose is to be admired.

2. The Great Good Summer by Liz Garton Scanlon – Lately I have been reading a lot of books about kids wanting to go to space or interested in astronomy. This one reminds me of Because of Winn-Dixie. If I were 10 and growing up in Panhandle Florida in the 1970s, I probably would have liked to rope someone into going on an adventure with me.

3. The Truth About Twinkie Pie by Kat Yeh – I loved this book because of how sweet and surprising it is! I couldn’t put it down. This is a case of not judging the book by its cover because I had thought this book was pure fluff, and it turns out that it is actually pretty meaningful and surprising. Did Paula Dean write the recipes?

4. What You Wish For by various authors – I am getting into short stories and some of the ones in this collection are pretty good. It’s really satisfying to read about the wishes being fulfilled in different ways. I, too, wish each child had a protectionist against his or her bully, but more importantly I wish that no child became a bully in the first place. The fact that we wish so much means that we have plenty of work to do.

5. Adventures with Waffles by Maria Parr – This is such a sweet book because it’s about two best friends (at first it’s one-sided but SPOILER ALERT: by the end of the book she acknowledges that he is her best friend too) and their shenanigans. Wafflehearts forever! More children’s books should end with the weddings of fringe characters.

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