Mystery on Magnolia Circle begins with what seems to be the worst summer ever. Ivy’s summer plans are disrupted when she breaks her leg at the start of summer. Her best friend Teddy is having it any easier as his dog is diagnosed with a terminal illness and has to be put down. But while Ivy is standing at her window, trying to make the best of the summer, she witnesses a possible burglary and that both kids off on a summer of solving a mystery — or is it?
Kate Albus’s debut middle-grade book, A Place to Hang the Moon follows three orphaned kids in England during the WWII evacuation. Orphans William, Edmund, and Anna (aged 12, 11, and 9) are evacuated after their (not nice) grandmother dies. The kids are instructed not to disclose how well off their family is until they’re placed with a new family that feels like a forever family.
Twelve-year old Sara Martinez is a hacker bouncing from foster home to foster home in Brooklyn, New York. After getting arrested for hacking into the NYC foster care system to expose her foster parents as criminals, she meets a man named Mother who is not a lawyer but convinces her to take on her case. Mother somehow wins and Sara gets released only to join a team of kid spies operating out of a base in Scotland.
Flora and Julian are siblings who’ve been in foster care for as long they both can remember. Now they’ve been adopted by Emily, who Flora refers to as [her] “Person” in her head. Emily’s new husband who has a daughter, Elena, from a previous marriage also adopts Flora and Julian. However, both kids carry obvious trauma from years of bouncing between different parents. They’re convinced that they weren’t born, and have different theories as to how they came to be. Flora struggles with verbalizing emotions, becoming non-verbal in periods of stress while Julian hoards food in his wardrobe, because of an ingrained fear of hunger.