March Book Picks:

Stories about

Kids who

Overcome Obstacles

I love realistic fiction stories with strong characters who are a little bit -- or a lot -- different. These tales usually involve overcoming an obstacle and provide great life lessons for all kids (and adults) about appreciating our own uniqueness.

Here are e few of my favorite stories about kids who overcome obstacles that are great for 8-12 year old readers.

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Happy Reading!


This highly engaging story centers around Ally Nickerson, a 6th grade girl that struggles with school and is considered "dumb" and a "pest" by most teachers until she gets in Mr. Daniels' class. Her life turns around as he realizes she struggles with dyslexia and brings out the best in her. A great story about friendships, overcoming adversity, and appreciating the uniqueness in all of us.

Emotionally charged, this award winning story is about 12 year old Willow Chance who suddenly learns that her adoptive parents were killed in a car accident. She finds herself an orphan with no family or friends except an oddball group she was with when she heard the news -- her deadbeat guidance counselor and a Vietnamese family struggling to beat poverty.  This story immediately sucks you in and reminds us of the power of kindness from strangers.

A powerful story told from the point of view of Rose, an 11 year old with high functioning Asperger’s who is obsessed with rules and homonyms. The main plot focuses on Rose's pursuit to find her beloved dog , Rain (Reign), who is lost in a terrible storm, but the underlying story is how Rose evolves and survives in a world that is not always kind nor simple for someone like her.