Dear Blue Sky by Mary Sullivan (paperback)
In this middle-grade novel, seventh-grader Cassie feels like her world is falling apart. Her brother is fighting in Iraq, her parents are fighting about Irag, and her sister is making all kinds of bad decisions. Her best friend, Sonia, has stopped speaking to her, and her little brother has stopped talking altogether. Cassie's only relief comes from daily runs and hanging out with Kimberly Love--the offbeat classmate who has surprised Cassie with friendship after Sonia and her crowd dropped her. Cassie's perspective on things shifts when she discovers Blue Sky's blog. Blue Sky, an Iraqi girl, seems so similar to Cassie, yet her world really is falling apart. The girls begin a correspondence. Cassie takes strength from Blue Sky's courage and is inspired to reclaim her life.
The Spy with the Wooden Leg: The Story of Virginia Hall by Nancy Polette (hardcover)
How did a young woman from Baltimore, born at a time when daughters led sheltered lives and a woman's place was in the home, become one of the bravest and most valued intelligence agents in World War II? Virginia Hall had a dream to become the first woman ambassador for the United States. Turned down by the US State Department time and again, Virginia could not stand idly by while the German army swept through Europe conquering country after country. She volunteered to drive an ambulance in France. She rescued downed airmen, radioed vital information to the Allies, and led three battalions of French Resistance forces in guerrilla warfare. Known as la dame qui boite or the Limping Lady, she rose to the top of the Gestapo's Most Wanted list. The Limping Lady was the spy with the wooden leg.
Perch, Mrs. Sackets, and Crow's Nest by Karen Pavlicin (hardcover)
When 10-year-old Andy Parker reluctantly goes to Grandma's house for the summer, all he can think about is how much he misses his dad in heaven and his best friend Anthony, who moved away. What will he do in this sleepy small town for the entire summer? It turns out even cow dung can be interesting and something wonderful can come from rotten apples.
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