Miss Dido Kent is invited to Bellfield Hall when her niece’s engagement falls apart. Catherine wants her spinster Aunt Dido to find her ex-fiancee. However, when a young woman is murdered on the estate, Dido ends up with more questions than answers. Aunt Dido’s character is sarcastic and fun as she tries to solve this cozy “closed house” mystery. “Bellfield Hall” by Anna Dean.
Claudia returns home to start school to find her best friend, Monday Charles, missing and no one seems to care. As she tries to focus on her eighth-grade year and pressures the adults around her to help her locate Monday, Claudia’s life starts to unravel. This story is compulsively readable. This is a dark and disturbing tale of teen disappearance. Trigger warnings for child abuse. “Monday’s Not Coming” by Tiffany Jackson
Ruby Moon Hayes and her mother have been bouncing from place to place since Ruby’s father was killed in the line of duty. Now they have returned to Vermont where her mother grew up. When her Mom clashes with her new boss and is threatened with arrest, Ruby decides she wants nothing to do with Vermont. However, as she meets another young classmate who doesn’t fit in, a refuge, and a homeless woman who was once a scientist, life starts to look more interesting. A fascinating story with ties to current political issues and past scientific breakthroughs. “Ruby in the Sky” by Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo
Zara’s dog Moose is always getting into trouble at school. We follow Moose as he gets into trouble and then becomes a therapy dog who can accompany Zara to school and no longer has to dread the word “goodbye”. It is such a sweet story and Moose’s school antics come across well in the illustrations. “Hello Goodbye Dog” by Maria Gianferrari.