Ella and Zachary, called Z, have been friends forever, but Z has always been “the weird kid” in their class. He collects stubby pencils, plays chess, and maintains an elaborate fantasy life, starring himself as a brave knight. Z’s games were okay back in 3rd or 4th grade, but by now their other friends have ditched them both. Z doesn’t care, but Ella longs to be part of a group of friends, even though most of the class makes fun of her. When a new boy, Bailey, moves to town, he befriends Ella, because they are now the only two black kids in the sixth grade class. But Bailey is popular – popular enough to make Ella cool and give her a wider circle of friends – but only if she stops hanging out with Z. That's a tough choice, one that Ella doesn't want to face. This is a moving story about friendship, bullying, and doing the right thing.
Aladdin, 2011 p. 224
"My name is Cally Louise Fisher and I haven't spoken for thirty-one days. Talking doesn’t always make things happen, however much you want them to."
When Cally Fisher sees her dead mother, real as anything, no one believes her. So Cally stops talking – what’s the point if no one is listening?
The only other living soul who seems to see Cally's mom is a mysterious wolfhound who always seems to be there when her mother appears. But without a voice, how will Cally convince anyone that her mum is still with them, and how will she ever persuade her Dad that the huge silver-grey dog is their last link with her?
This novel is sweet, sad and filled with longing.
Published by Katherine Tegen Books, 2012.
Joanne Zienty is a reader, a writer, a librarian and a tech geek. For more info, see the About Me page.