Posts Tagged middle grade books

November New Releases

Grab a warm drink and a cozy blanket. There are some great books waiting for you in our November New Releases List.

Looking for True by Tricia Springstubb


When two unlikely friends bond over shared compassion for a bereft but lovable dog, they learn what it truly means to find a sense of belonging and identity.

11-year-olds Gladys and Jude live in the same small, rust belt town, and go to the same school, but they are definitely not friends. Gladys is a tiny, eccentric, walking dictionary who doesn’t hesitate to express herself, while Jude likes to keep his thoughts and feelings to himself. But they both agree that a new dog in the neighborhood is being mistreated by its owner.

Gladys would like to do something to help while Jude is more resigned to the situation until the dog (who Gladys has named True Blue) disappears. They hatch a plan to find her and once they do, realize they have a problem: Gladys’s father is allergic and Jude’s mother hates dogs. There is no way they can bring her home. They hide True Blue in an abandoned house on the edge of town, but as their ties to the dog–and to one another–deepen, so does the impossibility of keeping such a big secret. Yet giving True up will break all three of their hearts.

Told in alternating voices set in a small, rust-belt town, True Blue is a story about family, identity, and finding friends in unexpected places.

 

 

Midnight at the Shelter by Nanci Turner Steveson

Written with a distinctively doggy voice, great humor, and plenty of heart, this novel from acclaimed author Nanci Turner Steveson is a perfect pick for readers looking for a touching animal story in the vein of Because of Winn-Dixie or Marley & Me.

Rescue dog MahDi is happy helping his human partner, “MomDoc,” with the important work at her vet clinic and the local animal shelter. The two of them make a good team, caring for the town’s pets and matchmaking rescue animals with the families who need them.

When the shelter is suddenly down a staff member, the animals have to deal with a new caretaker: Huck, an unpleasant man who seems to have no problem threatening the animals he’s supposed to care for. As more dogs crowd into the shelter than are going to new homes, MahDi begins to worry that if MomDoc isn’t around, there is no telling what Huck might do.

With three perfectly good legs, the heart of a true leader, and his pack mates by his side, MahDi is willing to risk everything to save his shelter-friends from an uncertain future.

 

 

 

 

Controlled Burn Erin Soderberg Downing

From acclaimed middle-grade and chapter-book author, Erin Soderberg Downing, Controlled Burn is a story that blends family, friendship, fire, and the rocky path toward healing our deepest fears.

Twelve-year-old Maia’s parents say she’s lucky she noticed something as early as she did. Lucky to have smelled the smoke, lucky to have pulled her sister, Amelia, out of their burning house. But is it really “lucky” when Amelia’s stuck in the hospital, covered in burns? And is it “lucky” when Maia knows it was her candle, left unattended, that started the fire in the first place?

When she’s sent to spend the summer with her grandparents in Northern Minnesota while her sister heals, Maia discovers that her anxieties and demons are intent on following her wherever she goes…unless she can figure out how to overcome them. But what if she can’t? Maia barely knows her grandparents, she desperately misses her sister and home, and she’s not thrilled to be spending the summer with Grandpa Howard on his daily motorcycle rides out to the middle of the woods, where he spends all day keeping watch for forest fires. There are no kids her age in Gram and Pop’s small town at “the end of the road”–just the chatty nine-year-old neighbor who is intent on getting his Bear Scout badge at all costs, and a friendly, stray dog who’s been lurking around.

But Maia will soon learn that nature is a powerful teacher, and sometimes our greatest strengths show themselves when we have to be there for someone else. As she begins to figure out how to face her guilt and paralyzing fears, she’ll discover there’s a fine line between fear and adventure. And when danger strikes again, Maia must summon all her bravery and overcome her self-doubt if she wants to save those she loves most.

 

 

Morning Sun in Wuhan by Ying Chang Compestine

What was the pandemic of the century like at the start? This swift, gripping novel captures not only the uncertainty and panic when COVID first emerged in Wuhan, but also how a community banded together.

Weaving in the tastes and sounds of the historic city, Wuhan’s comforting and distinctive cuisine comes to life as the reader follows 13-year-old Mei who, through her love for cooking, makes a difference in her community. Written by an award-winning author originally from Wuhan.

Grieving the death of her mother and an outcast at school, thirteen-year-old Mei finds solace in cooking and computer games. When her friend’s grandmother falls ill, Mei seeks out her father, a doctor, for help, and discovers the hospital is overcrowded. As the virus spreads, Mei finds herself alone in a locked-down city trying to find a way to help.

Author Ying Chang Compestine draws on her own experiences growing up in Wuhan to illustrate that the darkest times can bring out the best in people, friendship can give one courage in frightening times, and most importantly, young people can make an impact on the world. Readers can follow Mei’s tantalizing recipes and cook them at home.

 

 

 

 

The Cool Code by Deirdre Langeland (Author) and Sarah Mai (Illustrator)

In this funny and heartfelt slice-of-life graphic novel for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Kayla Miller, when coding whiz Zoey goes from homeschooled to new school, she develops an app to help her make friends. Will the Cool Code help Zoey fit in? Or will it completely crash her social life?

In an attempt to fit in, Zoey develops an app called the Cool Code with a cute llama avatar that will tell her everything from what to say to what to wear based on pop culture algorithms she’s uploaded.

But when the app gives her ridiculous advice, awkwardness and hilarity ensues. With a few upgrades and a bit of debugging from the coding club, the app actually works–Zoey gets really popular . . . and gets her pulled in all kinds of directions, including away from her real friends.

Life’s most complicated choices. . . is there a code for that?

 

 

 

Operation Final Notice by Matthew Landis

Told in alternating points of view, this middle grade novel, following best friends Ronny and Jo, is about anxiety, being in over your head, and learning to accept help–even if you don’t know how to ask

Eight hundred seventy-eight dollars. That’s how much Ronny needs by January 4th to make to keep his family’s only car from getting repossessed. Since a workplace injury disabled his dad and forced the family to move from their home into the apartment complex across the street, Ronny’s been learning all sorts of things–like what letters marked with Final Notice means and that banks can take cars away for being behind on payments.

His best friend Josefina Ramos is also counting down until the start of January when her life could change forever–that’s when she has her big cello audition at the prestigious music academy Maple Hill. Except she can’t play a solo performance without something disastrous happening and no one seems to hear her when she talks about how nervous she is.

As the countdown to the new year rolls ahead, Ronny and Jo learn what can happen to best-laid plans and how to depend on one another and their community when things get tough.

 

 

 

Daisy Woodworm Changes the World by Melissa Hart

Thirteen-year-old Daisy Woodward loves insects, running track, and hanging out with her older brother, Sorrel, who has Down syndrome and adores men’s fashion. When her social studies teacher assigns each student an oral report and project to change the world for the better, Daisy fears the class bully–who calls her Woodworm–will make fun of her lisp. Still, she decides to help Sorrel fulfill his dream of becoming a YouTube fashion celebrity despite their parents’ refusal to allow him on social media.

With the help of her best friend, Poppy, and Miguel–the most popular boy in school and her former enemy–Daisy launches Sorrel’s publicity campaign. But catastrophe strikes when her parents discover him online along with hateful comments from a cyberbully. If Daisy has any hope of changing the world, she’ll have to regain her family’s trust and face her fears of public speaking to find her own unique and powerful voice.

Daisy Woodworm Changes the World includes an author’s note and additional resources.

 

 

 

 

Heart Finds by Jaime Berry

A heartwarming novel about a girl who must learn to let go of the past and embrace the future, perfect for fans of Kate DiCamillo and Barbara O’Connor.

Eleven-year-old Mabel Cunningham is a quiet loner who only feels free to be herself when she’s “extreme treasure hunting” with her grampa–much to her perfectionist mother’s disapproval. Nothing excites Mabel more than discovering a heart find, an item that calls to her heart, and the maybes that come along with it.

But when her friendships start to crumble and her grampa suffers a stroke, Mabel quickly learns that real-life maybes are harder to handle than imagined ones. Desperate to change things back to the way they were, Mabel devises a plan that she believes will fix everything. Except bringing her plan to fruition means lying to her grampa and disappointing her mother.

Will Mabel learn that letting go of the past doesn’t mean letting go of her grampa and that embracing the future might be one of her most important heart finds yet?

 

 

 

 

 

The Secrets of Stone Creek by Briana McDonald

The Hardy Boys meets We Dream of Space in this tender middle grade adventure about a girl with the heart of an explorer who discovers more than she bargained for with her two brothers over the course of one fateful week.

Finley Walsh and her best friend Sophie were adventurers, like the ones they grew up reading about in 100 of the World’s Greatest Female Adventurers–that is, until Sophie found new friends. Between losing her best friend and feeling overlooked by her mother and older brother, Finley is determined to prove herself by becoming a great adventurer like the ones in her book.

The perfect opportunity comes when she and her brothers stay with an estranged relative in Stone Creek, a remote tourist town dedicated to the legend of a local adventurer who went missing two decades before. Finley knows that if she finds the missing woman, she’ll not only be able to prove herself to Sophie and her family, but also be able to meet a real, live adventurer just like her.

Finley convinces her brothers to join her in her rescue mission. But as they delve deeper into Stone Creek’s painful past, it becomes harder to know who they can trust–including each other–and they realize some places are better left unexplored.

 

 

 

Dad’s Girlfriend and Other Anxieties by Kellye Crocker

Anxiety has always made Ava avoid the slightest risk, but plunging headfirst into danger might be just what she needs.

Dad hasn’t even been dating his new girlfriend that long, so Ava is sure that nothing has to change in her life. That is, until the day after sixth grade ends, when Dad whisks her away on vacation to meet The Girlfriend and her daughter in terrifying Colorado, where even the squirrels can kill you! Managing her anxiety, avoiding altitude sickness, and surviving the mountains might take all of Ava’s strength, but at least this trip will only last two weeks. Right?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sisters in Delft by Nika Teran

“Antonia felt a pull, and that tingling in her bones she’d experienced before. She approached to read the letters on the golden-colored plate: Johannes Vermeer: The View of Delft.”

While on a visit to The Cloisters in New York City, Antonia and her little sister get pulled into a painting and land in the Dutch city of Delft in 1647. Will Antonia outwit two ancient spirits, keep her wayward sister safe, and find the way back home?

Sisters in Delft is about friendship, sisterhood, and mysterious worlds that lie just beyond our reach.

 

 

 

 

 

See anything  in our November New Releases you can’t wait to curl up with? Let us know in the comments.

Author Spotlight: Interview with Hena Khan

Three years before the pandemic hit, I had the great luck of sharing a train ride with Hena Khan, the award-winning author of Amina’s Voice. Hena and I were headed home from #nErDCampLI, and I remember feeling wiped out—and talked out—from the conference. But once I sat down next to Hena and started chatting, my weariness evaporated and an instant connection was formed. For the next 60 minutes, we talked about writing (we were both debut authors); parenting (Hena’s two sons were in middle school; my daughter was a senior in high school); and countless other topics that newfound friends on a train often discover.

Since Amina’s Voice came out in 2017, Hena has gone on to publish multiple MG novels, including Amina’s Song (2021), More to the Story (2020), and the Zayd Saleem: Chasing the Dream series. She is also the author of seven picture books and has contributed to six children’s anthologies, including Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices. A popular guest speaker in classrooms, school auditoriums, and libraries across the country, Hena’s latest MG novel, Zara’s Rules for Finding Hidden Treasure, is out now from Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon & Schuster. Here’s a brief summary:

Zara’s Rules for Finding Hidden Treasure

Zara lives for bike rides with her friends—so, when her shiny, brand-new bike goes missing from the park one day, she’s crushed. After her parents insist she earn the money for another bike herself, Zara’s determined to start a business. But what kind? A lemonade stand? Not profitable enough. Selling painted rocks? Not enough customers.

Zara’s starting to get discouraged when she and her friend Naomi finally come up with the perfect idea: The Treasure Wagon, a roving garage sale that unloads knickknacks from the Saleem family basement and makes money all at once! But when a mix-up gets Zara in hot water again, will she have to give up everything she’s earned toward her new bike?

The Interview

MR: Welcome to the Mixed-Up Files, Hena! I’m so happy to have you here. I can’t believe it’s been five years since our paths crossed!

HK: I know! But it’s so nice to reminisce about that lovely train ride and our instant friendship! Thanks so much for inviting me to talk about my newest book.

MR: Zara’s Rules for Finding Hidden Treasure is the second of a trilogy. (Zara’s Rules for Record-Breaking Fun came out earlier this year; Zara’s Rules for Living Your Best Life pubs on March 21, 2023.) What was the inspiration behind the series?

HK: I came up with the idea during the pandemic while listening to children playing outside in droves and thinking about my own childhood. I adored Beverly Cleary’s books, characters like Ramona Quimby and Henry Huggins, and reading about their clever antics (anyone else want to stomp around on coffee can stilts too?). I wanted to write a series that similarly makes kids wish they were part of the neighborhood and imagine themselves joining in the fun, just like I did.

MR: Zara has two loving parents, a cute-but-sometimes-annoying little brother, Zayd, a strong bond with her extended family, including her grandparents and her uncle, Jamal Mamoo, and a crew of caring, fun-loving neighborhood friends. Is this reflective of your own childhood? What are the main similarities and differences?

HK: The crew of neighborhood friends is very much based on the children I grew up with, and the Goldsteins are inspired by my lifelong friends who lived across the street. The extended family, however, is more reflective of my children’s experience and vantage point as third-generation Pakistani American Muslims. I’m fascinated by the way my kids interact with their grandparents (Naano and Nana Abu are essentially my real-life parents), aunts and uncles, and the way they relate to the culture. They find it alternately cool and hilarious and don’t have the same type of pressure, expectations, or awkwardness that I felt as a child of immigrants. I also didn’t get to grow up around many relatives, and always wished I had been as fortunate.

Trash and Treasure

MR: One of the main themes of Zara’s Rules for Finding Hidden Treasure is our emotional attachment to possessions. This resonated with me deeply, because I recently had to clear out my mom’s apartment, which contained 60 years’ worth of stuff. (The task was daunting, to say the least.) What made you focus on this theme? And where does Marie Kondo fit into the picture?

HK: Oh wow, my heart is with you—I’m sure that was incredibly difficult! I grew up with parents who saved everything, and we had a storage room much like the one I describe in the book. They were reluctant to part with anything, in the hopes that it could be useful in the future. I wanted to tackle the topic because it’s something I still wrestle with, both in terms of finding the right balance between saving, donating, and recycling my own things, and convincing my mother to part with her “junk.”

I thought a lot about the idea of trash versus treasure, why we value the things we do, sentimental value, and what really matters. And it felt both cathartic and wishful to write some of the scenes. I’ve heard a lot about Marie Kondo, particularly the controversy around getting rid of books (the horror!), and thought it would be funny to include her although I’m not a disciple . . . at least not yet!

Viewing Life from a Younger Lens

MR:  Compared to some of your previous MG novels (Amina’s Voice, Amina’s Song, and More to the Story), the Zara’s Rules trilogy skews younger, ages seven-10, with shorter chapters and numerous illustrations. What’s the main challenge when writing for a younger audience? What’s the most fun?

HK: I’d say the biggest challenge is having less space to fully flesh out characters and plots, which is very important to me even in a shorter book. But it’s so fun to be able to jump right into the action, and to examine the world through the lens of a 10-and-three-quarter-year-old. Kids at that age are very aware and engaged with the world but still so earnest and innocent, and I love to explore the things that I’m thinking about now from that perspective.

Series Versus Stand-alones

MR: In addition to the Zara’s Rules trilogy, you’ve written the Zayd Saleem: Chasing the Dream series, with six books in total. What’s it like to work on a series as opposed to a stand-alone book?

HK: The biggest difference is that you get to know your characters deeply, so it feels like getting to play with old friends in each story. I never really believed authors who talked about their characters deciding what happens in a story, but I kind of understand that concept now. When characters become so fully developed in your mind, you have an idea of what they would say or do in a situation, and it becomes easier to write them. At the same time, it’s critical to keep the stories fresh and interesting and avoid repetition. I love making passing references to former books as little surprises to those who have read them all.

Picture-Book Love

MR: You also write picture books, including the acclaimed Under My Hijab. Is it tricky to switch from MG to picture books—and from picture books to MG…?

HK: It’s not too hard to switch back and forth between the formats since they use very different writing muscles. I generally don’t work on two middle-grade projects at once, but often turn to a picture book during breaks. I love the economy of words and the way one sentence can make or break an entire book. It forces you to be a sharp editor and pay attention to every syllable.

Celebrating Diversity

MR: Your books are lovingly infused with elements from your Pakistani heritage, and your characters are ethnically, culturally, and religiously diverse. What can authors—and publishers—do to increase the visibility of authentic, diverse characters in kidlit?

HK: Thank you! The people I love inspire so much of what I write. But it’s important to remember that I represent only one subset of the Pakistani American Muslim community, which also has diversity within it—in terms of level of cultural assimilation, socioeconomic status, religious observance and more. And then, of course, the American Muslim community is even more diverse. I think it’s wonderful to see more diverse representation in kidlit, but we need a bigger variety of stories and characters in all genres. Also, while it’s wonderful to have books to celebration diversity, culture, and traditions, I hope to see more stories where identities aren’t necessarily emphasized but are simply woven into the background like in Zara’s Rules.

Plotter or Pantser?

MR: What does your writing routine look like? Do you have a particular schedule? Also, are you a plotter or a pantser?

HK: I wish I had a routine, but I don’t. I write at all times of the day, sometimes every day for a while and then not for weeks. But I’d like to find some discipline someday! Overall, I’m more of a plotter than a pantser.

The Secret to Success

MR: You’ve written 13 (and counting!) middle-grade novels, seven picture books, and stories included in six anthologies. What’s the secret to being such a prolific author?

HK: Well, I’ve been at it for a while now, and sometimes it feels like I’ve published a lot, and at other times I think I could have done more! I think the key to staying engaged and motivated is to keep challenging myself to improve my craft, to try to reach audiences in different ways, and to only write about what genuinely excites me.

What’s Next?

MR: What are you working on now, Hena? Enquiring Mixed-Up Files readers want to know…

HK: I’m excited to be starting on my second graphic novel, finishing up a new middle-grade novel, and editing an anthology that hasn’t been announced yet. I’ve also got some new picture books on the way! Please connect with me to get updates on my new titles.

Lightning Round!

MR: And finally, no MUF interview is complete without a lightning round, so…

Preferred writing snack?

I prefer cookies but settle for nuts or kettle corn.

Coffee or tea?

Coffee all the way! I drink espresso with a little bit of milk.

Marie Kondo: Yea or nay?

Nay, can’t do it!

Zombie apocalypse: Yea or nay?

If I had to choose an apocalypse, it would be the one.

Superpower?

I’d have to go with invisibility.

Favorite place on earth (besides Seville, Istanbul, and Seattle)?

Turks and Caicos is just incredible.

If you were stranded on a desert island with only three things, what would they be?

My husband and two sons. Or if they count as one family, then ice cream and my laptop.

MR: Thank you for chatting with us, Hena—and congratulations on the recent publication of Zara’s Rules for Finding Hidden Treasure!

Thank YOU!

Bio

Hena Khan is an award-winning author of picture books and middle-grade fiction. Her middle-grade novel Amina’s Voice launched Simon & Schuster’s groundbreaking Salaam Reads imprint and was named a Best Book of 2017 by the Washington Post, NPR, Kirkus Reviews, and others. The sequel, Amina’s Song, won the 2021 Asian/Pacific Award for Children’s Literature. Hena wrote the popular Zayd Saleem Chasing the Dream series, and More to the Story, a novel inspired by her all-time favorite book, Little Women. Hena’s acclaimed picture books include Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, Under My Hijab, Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets, Night of the Moon, and It’s Ramadan, Curious George. Learn more about Hena on her website and follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

(For more on Hena Khan, check out this MUF interview by Jonathan Rosen!)

All the Fall Feels

As a society, haven’t we all fallen hard for fall in recent years? Perhaps our interest in autumn emanates not just from sweater weather, football games, and fall food favorites, but from the amazing array of emotions that comes with fall. It’s a strangely paradoxical season when you think about it: summer ending, school beginning; energetic colors that burn fiercely before a quick fade; the beginning of the end of another year.

No matter the weather, temperatures, or number of pumpkins in fields near to you, fall in our hemisphere signifies the passage of time; so all those autumn connotations can hold plenty of meaning. No wonder we all want to stroll through leaves and reflect with our you-know-what-spice latte in hand. Thankfully, autumn gives us the ways and means to mindfully reflect on seasons and transitions. For example, we might have a little more home-time with longer stretches of dark. Families settle more deeply into the routine of the school year. And a chill in the air helps along a more meditative feel as we cozy up in hoodies and fleece.

Middle graders are at an excellent age developmentally to take on some of that mindful reflection. They still have a festive appreciation for changing leaves and upcoming holidays, but they are also developing daily their sense of how time passes (as evidenced in their connection to school planners and bell schedules).

For all those reasons, the atmosphere associated with autumn can be inspirational, and you might use that vibe to incorporate some middle grade fall-themed celebratory reflection, writing, and reading in your ELA or homeschool classroom or in your library.

Fall Reflection

  • If permitted to so in your educational setting, students might benefit from experiencing a guided walk outside looking for evidence of the change of seasons.
  • If not, consider video and audio that encapsulates images of seasonal change pertinent to your region—or explore what fall means in other places.
  • If your setting permits independent reading or research into themed topics, consider investigation into the historical importance of the harvest to community and society, the cultural history of Halloween, the notion of “playing” with time in the interest of more daylight, and why pumpkins hold the cultural significance the do. Here are some reads for student interest:

An article with explanations and examples of hygge ; ideas and images for fall based on hygge

Cool facts about and images of pumpkins

A discussion on why we “fall” back and reset clocks in November

An article on the origins and history of Halloween

Fall Writing

Sensory imagery writing is a natural choice for fall; weather, clothing, meals, the look of the light and landscape all set the senses astir. Take students through some imagination activities or pose leading questions about the feel of cold air in the nose, the sound of geese flying south, the surprising heaviness of a jacket after warm days turn chilly. Put imagination generation to work with prompts, discussion, story starters or setting descriptions.

Some autumn-themed quotes for prompts or reflection:

  • “Of all the seasons, autumn offers the most to man and requires the least of him.” – Hal Borland (American writer, journalist, and naturalist)
  • “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.” – L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
  • “No spring nor summer hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.” – John Donne, English poet and scholar
  • “Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” – Emily Bronte, English novelist
  • “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  • “Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.” – Stanley Horowitz

 

Fall Reading

Cozy up with some sustained silent reading (or individual listening via audio device) afternoons over the next several weeks in your classroom or library. If permitted in your setting, consider allowing students to bring blankets, warm cocoa, apples or other autumn snacks, or other small comfort factors to enhance the hibernation vibe (without the actual hibernating, of course!) Relaxing with a great book might benefit MG readers ready to experience all the fall feels.

Here’s a varied mix to make the most of fall—some set in autumn, some that feature the passing of symbolic seasons of life, some with reflection and gratitude themes:

The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z by Kate Messner – Gianna’s chances of attending a cross-country tournament depend on her successful completion of a science project requiring the collection of 25 fall leaves.

Turtle Boy by M. Evan Wolkenstein – Introverted 7th grader Will Levine is inspired by RJ, a boy with a terminal disease whom Will meets during his bar mitzvah service project, and takes up RJ’s “bucket list” of adventures.

  Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper – In the autumn season of her 11th year, Stella Mills confronts racism while navigating the challenges of school, family life, and friendship.

Hurricane Season by Nicole Melleby – Sixth grader Fig contends with her father’s mental health challenges during hurricane season in their beach town. (Scholastic notes this book as having mature content.)

October October by Katya Balen – Autumn imagery abounds in this novel featuring 11-year-old October, a girl raised in the woods by her father but compelled to join her mother in busy London after a fateful accident.

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor – Mason Buttle lost his mom, his grandfather, and his family orchard–along with his best friend Benny. When his current best bud Calvin goes missing, Mason faces loss, harassment from local bullies, and other challenges with pluck and gumption.

Alone by Megan E. Freeman – Twelve-year-old Maddie wakes to discover that her Colorado town is inexplicably abandoned. She must keep her wits and find the courage to survive as the months pass.

Enjoy, and please share your cozy, contemplative MG reads in the comments!