Here are some of my favorite books:
The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall — About four sisters’ summer adventures at a summer cottage. Very funny. Two sequels, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street and The Penderwicks at Point Mouette.
Gone-Away Lake by Elizabeth Enright — Two cousins discover an elderly and sprightly brother and sister living by a huge marsh that was once-upon-a-time (at the turn of the century) a lake in the middle of a now abandoned summer community. Sequel, Return to Gone-Away.
The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright — Four siblings come up with a way to have a little adventure by taking turns at doing something interesting and exciting each Saturday. Very good author. Three follow-up books.
The Dragonfly Pool by Eva Ibbotson — An eleven-year-old girl goes to boarding school in England (a rather abnormal boarding school), and becomes involved with the royalty of a fictional country during World War II. Very funny, and a wonderful author. (One of my favorite books.)
Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson — Annika, who has grown up with three professors and their servants who adopted her, finally meets her mother, granting Annika’s wish. But her mother’s appearance coincides with Annika inheriting a chest of jewels. Takes place in 1908 in Vienna. Very good.
Island of the Aunts by Eva Ibbotson — A wacky, very well written fantasy about an island inhabited by three elderly sisters who have taken care of the magical creatures there for years, but decide they need to teach somebody young how to do it.
The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson — Also a wacky fantasy, about a prince who was kidnapped from a magical island when he was a baby, and the rescue mission to find him years later.
The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages — About two smart girls in the 1940s. Wonderful. Another of my favorites.
All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor — About five Jewish sisters adventures around New York City in 1912. Four follow up books.
Just Jane by William Lavender — Lady Jane Prentice is fourteen when she is orphaned and moves to Charleston, SC to live with her aunt and uncle in their plantation house. It is 1776. Over the course of the American Revolution, Jane discovers who she is. (A bit of a romance.)
The Loud Silence of Francine Green by Karen Cushman — Takes place in Los Angeles from 1949-1950 during the Cold War. It turns out that Francine’s best friend’s father is a communist, and Francine deals with many questions. Quite enjoyable.
Greater than Angels by Carol Matas — Takes place at the beginning of World War II when 15-year-old Anna and her parents are taken from their home in Germany to a refugee camp in Vichy France because they are Jewish. Then the Swiss Red Cross takes the children and young people of the camp to a tiny French village, where the villagers care for and hide them. Very good.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly – The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is about the summer of 1899 on a cotton and pecan plantation in Texas, and Calpurnia’s new friendship with her grandfather, an amateur naturalist.
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool – Abilene Tucker has listened to her father’s stories about the town where he grew up for as long as she can remember: Manifest, Kansas, with its sign MANIFEST: A TOWN WITH A RICH PAST AND A BRIGHT FUTURE. But when twelve-year-old Abilene jumps off of the train to spend the summer of 1936 in Manifest, the sign is old and crumbling; MANIFEST: A TOWN WITH A PAST is all that is left. And upon exploring the town, she realizes that this is true – everybody living in Manifest seems to have forgotten the future, and their rich past as well. After finding a cigar box full of keepsakes and letters, Abilene begins learning about the town’s past, and about two boys named Ned and Jinx who lived there in 1918. This book is truly amazing. I wouldn’t be quite this enthusiastic if it weren’t for the last 50 pages – they gave me shivers.