“Project Unpopular” (set in Idaho) by Kristen Tracy; Delacorte Books for Young Readers ($16.99)
Popularity: who has it, who wants it and who won’t get it is the topic of this story about two middle school friends who want to make the lives of their classmates more equitable, to disastrous results.
Middle school isn’t a popularity contest. It’s a war.
Perry and her best friend, Venice, are excited to be yearbook photographers and tell the story of their school through their art. But that’s before they find out the truth: The spontaneous moments they’re supposed to capture are all faked.
Yearbooks should include everybody — even the dorks. But Perry feels totally stuck. Until she starts taking flattering shots of popular people, none of her candids will ever be chosen. Fighting back isn’t going to win her any friends — she might even lose some. It’s time to decide what’s more important: fitting in — or standing out. Suggested for ages 10 and up.
“Saving Ellie” by Marilee Crow (Meridian); Guardian Angel Publishing ($9.95)
“Saving Ellie” is a touching story about 8-year-old Ellie and her separation from her family in the midst of World War II when Jews were not safe. Neighbors and strangers risk their lives to keep her alive and get her on a ship that will take her to relatives in America. Suggested for ages 8-12.