Orphan Train ~  Adult novel
Christina Baker Kline
Orphan trains, which ran from about 1854 to 1929, were the beginnings of the United States foster care system for orphaned and runaway children who existed on the streets of major cities in the East.  These children were transported across the country and placed with families who took them in.  Some of these placements were positive, and some resulted in exploitation and abuse of children who had no other place to go.  Christina Kline, the author of five novels and a graduate of Yale and Cambridge, tells the contemporary fictional story of Molly, a 17-year-old girl in foster care, and the unlikely relationship that is forged between her and Vivian, a 91-year old survivor of the orphan trains.  In this story of resilience and redemption, Molly helps Vivian make peace with her past and, in turn, Molly sees hope for her own future.
A Fine, Fine School (Grades 2-4)
Sharon Creech
Mr. Keene, the principal of this fine school, is so impressed with the progress of the students that he decides they should attend school every day including all holidays.  The students love Mr. Keene and know he wants what is best for them, but eventually everyone recognizes the children also need to spend time with their friends and family.  This is a cute book with colorful illustrations and an important message.
Dogku (Grades K-2)
Andrew Clements
The poetry form, haiku, is used to tell the story of Mooch who is a rescue dog.  Mooch needs a new home, but has a bit of a problem blending in.  Vivid pictures, creatively written haiku, and a lively story line make this an excellent book for young readers and anyone teaching the writing of haiku poetry.