1. Mr. Postmouse's Rounds by Marianne Dubuc http://powells.us/1Qr8QTx
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    Mr. Postmouse's Rounds by Marianne Dubuc "Fans of Richard Scarry rejoice! This is such a sweet and engaging story with so many hidden details that you will be poring over Mr. Postmouse's Rounds for hours. Every time I read it, I can't help but giggle at the little characters and subtle references I missed the previous time around." – Brandon
  2. Rutabaga the Adventure Chef, Book 1 by Eric Colossal http://powells.us/1Qr8UCT
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    "In this fun graphic novel, a little boy travels the world with his companion, a cooking pot, creating real and imagined recipes. Rutabaga the Adventure Chef is an original read for both kids and adults." – Kim
  3. Friends for Life by Andrew Norriss http://powells.us/1Qr8VGI
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    "Friends for Life is a beautifully touching story of four friends: Francis, a boy who wants to be a fashion designer; Andi, a girl who is big and tough; Roland, who is huge; and Jessica, who is dead. Only this group can see Jessica, and they form a unique friendship that helps each to overcome and rise above their fears of being 'different.'"
  4. The Only Child by Guojing http://powells.us/1YiDMES
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    I'm a picture book fanatic, and this lovely story is like a picture book times 10. With over 100 pages of illustrations, it bridges the gap between picture book and graphic novel. But what I really love about this beautifully told, beautifully paced book about a young girl lost in the deep woods is the sweet, plush majesty of its art.
  5. Lizard from the Park by Mark Pett http://powells.us/1YiDOwl
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    Another picture book I loved this year! The combination of finished and beautifully unfinished art zeroes in on the intimate relationship between Leonard and his pet lizard, Buster, in this story of friendship and letting go. There's a lot of great subtlety here and a clever, surprisingly dramatic ending. Lizard from the Park is also a great portrait of a city, with New York playing as big a part in the story as Buster (who, trust me, gets pretty huge, and wait till you find out why).
  6. Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan http://powells.us/1YiDRIw
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    "Wow! Such a gripping tale that will pique the interest of literally any middle reader. Ryan beautifully weaves together music, historical fiction, magic, fairy tale, mystery, adventure… you name it. I rarely if ever reread books, but this is one that I will surely come back to time and again, and a book I already love loaning out to friends. I will be shocked if it doesn't win the Newbery. Excellent, excellent read!" – Brandon
  7. Waiting by Kevin Henkes http://powells.us/1Qr8Z9x
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    "A great book that teaches patience, anticipation, and community. Waiting is a lovely, lovely read." –Kim
  8. Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty http://powells.us/1Qr9111
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    "Serafina can move like a cat, all silent in the night, and she lives with her pa in the basement of a Southern mansion where he warns her never to go into the forest or have contact with the people who live upstairs. A hauntingly beautiful story of friendship, courage, evil, and love with an ending that brought tears to my eyes." – Richard
  9. Moletown by Torben Kuhlmann http://powells.us/1Qr95xV
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    "A story about moles is going to get me every time, but this picture book pulled me in instantly with its rich, dark, fascinating art. It's essentially the story of civilization — its blessings and curses, its rise and fall — told with moles. Moletown is a cautionary tale about progress and conservation, but it doesn't feel preachy."
  10. The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley http://powells.us/1YiDYnu
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    "This lovely, touching World War II novel has a wonderful heroine and is definitely a Newbery candidate." – Richard
  11. Stina by Lani Yamamoto http://powells.us/1Qr96SA
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    "This stunner from Icelandic author/illustrator Lani Yamamoto follows a young girl who goes to great lengths to stay warm in the cold, cold winter. Readers can look forward to a warm ending with a bonus recipe for hot cocoa!" – Kim