Great Reads (ages 8-12)


Do you love animals? Do you care about the environment? Join us for Michelle Kadarusman’s Music for Tigers on Thursday May 21 at 10:30 a.m. EST – and check out these other great books you might love too!
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How to Bee
By Bren MacDibble
Published by Groundwood Books

In a world where real bees are extinct, the quickest, bravest kids climb the fruit trees and pollinate the flowers by hand. Peony lives with her sister, Magnolia, and her grandfather on a fruit farm outside the city. All Peony really wants is to be a bee. Even though she is only nine — and bees must be ten — Peony already knows all there is to know about being a bee and she is determined to achieve her dream.

Life on the farm is a scrabble, but there is enough to eat and a place to sleep, and there is love. Then Peony’s mother arrives to take her away from everything she has ever known. Peony is taken to the city to work for a wealthy family. Will Peony’s grit and quick thinking be enough to keep her safe?

How to Bee is a beautiful and fierce novel for younger readers, and the voice of Peony will stay with you long after you read the last page.

Activity: Create some How to Bee origami with author, Bren MacDibble.

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Gone is Gone
Isabelle Groc
Published by Orca

Gone is Gone looks at why species become endangered, how scientists are learning about endangered wildlife, what people are doing to conserve species and ways young people can help.

The book is richly illustrated with unique photos that Isabelle has taken over many years of observing endangered species in the field alongside the people who work to conserve them. Throughout, the author shares enchanting encounters and personal field stories: watching narwhals socialize in the Canadian Arctic, getting close to a Laysan albatross raising chicks on a remote Hawaiian island, spotting a rhinoceros on safari and even swimming with sea lions in the Galápagos Islands.

Gone is Gone will inform, intrigue and inspire readers to take small steps toward big changes for endangered species around the world.

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World’s Worst Parrot
By Alice Kuipers
Published by Orca

Ava works hard at maintaining a certain image online and at school. As far as anyone else knows, life is great. But when she inherits an African gray parrot from her great-uncle Bernie (whom she barely remembers), Ava’s carefully crafted world starts to crumble. The parrot, Mervin, is loud and messy and obnoxious. Ava’s brother thinks it’s hilarious to post videos of Ava trying to deal with the crazy bird. He even creates a profile for the two of them. Everyone wants to see more of Ava and Mervin. Suddenly, Ava is internet famous—in the worst possible way. Her friends think the parrot is gross and start acting weird. But then a new girl at school helps Ava see that this parrot might not be the worst gift in the world and that just being yourself is the best way to be.