Each summer, we invite young readers to explore a well-crafted novel, play around in its pages, and develop creative work in response to what we read. The Book Crush fosters close reading skills, creative reading approaches, critical thinking, and ingenuity! Read on to learn more about this year's Book Crush selections for three age groups.

August 6-10 | 9am to noon
Headwaters School (801 Rio Grande St.)
Open to rising 3rd through 8th graders

The Lotterys Plus One

Open to rising 3rd through 5th graders.

Internationally bestselling author Emma Donoghue's first children's book follows the domestic adventures of a large, rambunctious, multicultural family. The Lotterys, as they call themselves, are headed up by a lesbian couple and a gay couple who joined forces to create a family, won a lottery jackpot, and moved into a Victorian Gothic mansion in Toronto, where their enormous brood is home-schooled. It all seems perfectly normal to nine-year-old Sumac until their hitherto obscure grandfather Grumps comes to stay, upending the Lotterys' already chaotic family life. Read the reviews: The New York Times, NPR, The Guardian.

Hello, Universe

Open to rising 4th through 6th graders.
Newbery Medalist Erin Entrada Kelly’s Hello, Universe is a funny and poignant neighborhood story about unexpected friendships. Told from four intertwining points of view—two boys and two girls—the novel celebrates bravery, being different, and finding your inner bayani (hero). In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. They aren’t friends, at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find missing Virgil. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms. Read the reviews: The Washington Post, Kirkus Reviews, Publisher's Weekly.

The Hazel Wood

Open to rising 7th and 8th graders.

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away—by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.” This bestseller from Melissa Albert is getting rave reviews: NPR, Publisher's Weekly, Kirkus Reviews.

Check out the creative work designed, constructed, and crafted by previous Book Crushers.

Previous Book Crush Novels Include:
Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
The Turtle of Oman by Noami Shihab Nye
The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
Wonder by R.J. Palacio