Books for ages 9+

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Don't Judge Me, Scholastic, ISBN-13 978-1338628548
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Inspired by a true story of girl empowerment, acclaimed author Lisa Schroeder's new novel explores trust, self-worth, and speaking up -- especially when you're told to keep quiet.

Well-behaved girls seldom make history

Hazel doesn't like to make waves. Middle school is hard enough without causing more trouble, right? She's happy just eating lunch in the library with her BFF, writing secret haikus, and taking care of an adorable rescue tortoise.

But then Hazel discovers a list that rates the girls at her middle school based on their looks -- started by her best friend's older brother. She knows she has to do something, and she can't do it alone. The wave she'll be making might turn into a tsunami, but if Hazel can find the courage to speak up, she might just change everything.

Kirkus says, "Hazel's actions may encourage readers to stand up for what's right...An empowering read!" 

Publisher's Weekly says, "Schroeder eloquently traces Hazel's metamorphosis from fearful onlooker to brave activist..."

Wish on All the Stars, Scholastic, ISBN-13 978-1338195774
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The follow-up to See You on a Starry Night! Juliet is now an official member of the Starry Beach Club, and loves working with her new friends, Emma and Carmen, to make people's wishes come true. Living away from her dad is still hard, and she misses her best friend from her old town, but she has her friends and the bookmobile, and San Diego feels more like home than ever. 

But then she learns that the bookmobile is going to have to shut down. The owner of the parking lot wants to start charging rent, and soon the bookmobile won't be able to stay in business. 

The Starry Beach Club comes up with different ways to save their favorite store, but none seem to work. But then Emma gets the idea to have a crafts fair...and she wants Juliet to sell her paintings! Juliet is nervous, and isn't sure whether she's ready to put herself on display. Meanwhile, Carmen is feeling anxious about the possibility of her mother being deported. Will Juliet be able to be brave for herself and for Carmen?

See You on a Starry Night, Scholastic, ISBN-13 978-1338195743
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Juliet has just moved to a beachside town with her newly separated mother and her moody older sister. When she meets their new neighbor, Emma, the girls form an instant bond. Emma's big family takes Juliet in, and the girls have fun together - starting when they throw bottles with secret messages into the sea. Then someone writes back to Juliet's message. An email arrives, inviting her to join the Starry Beach Club. All she has to do is make someone's wish come true.

So Juliet and Emma set off to help as many people as they can. It's fun! But as Juliet spends more and more time away from home, enjoying her new town and Emma's family more than her mom and sister, she starts feeling lost. It's been easy to find others to help. But maybe her star would shine a little brighter if she brought it closer to home.

Publisher's Weekly says: "Schroeder offers solid character portraits and a reassuring tone that draws readers into Juliet's journey as she navigates her jumbled feelings, gains self-confidence and friends, and opens up to her evolving family dynamics."

Kirkus says: "A useful, even soothing choice for children undergoing a common transition.

Another companion novel to My Secret Guide to Paris!

Keys to the City, Scholastic, ISBN-13 978-0549507385
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Lindy can't believe she has homework this summer -- to find her "true passion." Does curling up with a good book count? Probably not. Luckily, Lindy has the help of a new friend, a happy dog, and a special journal as she hits the streets of New York City to unlock her secret talents.

Kirkus says, "Lindy's journey comforts those in search of themselves. Sweet and familiar Lindy makes this story hard to resist."

School Library Journal says, "The writing is accessible, Lindy's concerns feel real, and readers may be inspired by the protagonist's poems and stories.

The Girl in the Tower, Henry Holt & Co., ISBN-13 978-0805095135
2017-18 Utah Beehive Award Nominee
Order the e-book from Amazon

Ever since she could remember, Violet and her mother have been locked away in a tower by the evil Queen Bogdana, who has the kingdom under her spell. The queen has all she wants except one thing-beauty. Violet possesses this beauty. She also has a secret: though she is very small, both her spirit and her heart are mighty. When Violet is summoned by Bogdana to start training to become a real princess, it seems like her life might be taking a turn for the better. But hope quickly fades when Violet's mother is banished from the castle and they're forbidden to see each other ever again. With everyone's lives in the balance, it's up to Violet to break the spell and reunite her family. 

Publisher's Weekly says: "Kids will find it easy to root for determined Violet as she sets out to regain her family's freedom... her courage and hope light up the pages of this sweetly quaint fairy tale."

School Library Journal says: "Recommended for fans of fairy tales and modern Disney princesses."

A companion novel to My Secret Guide to Paris!

Sealed with a Secret, Scholastic, ISBN-13 978-0545907347
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About sisters, secrets, and everyday magic ― all set in the enchanting streets of London!
When Phoebe finds a beautiful antique at a flea market, she’s not sure whether it’s as valuable as it looks. But inside she discovers something truly amazing ― a letter from WWII, from a young girl to her sister, who has been evacuated from London. The letter includes a “spell” for bringing people closer together, a list of clues leading all through the city. Each stop along the way adds up to magic.
Phoebe is stunned by the discovery. Not only is it an amazing piece of history, the letter is exactly what she needs ― she is also separated from her sister, though not by distance. Alice will be leaving for university soon, and in the meantime, she seems to want nothing to do with Phoebe. They used to be so close! But now that Phoebe has this magical list ― maybe she can try the spell herself, and make everything go back to the way it was!

School Library Journal says: "Schroeder is at her best when bringing the city of London to life and depicting the complex relationship between siblings."

My Secret Guide to Paris, Scholastic, ISBN-13 978-0545708081 
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Nora loves everything about Paris, from the Eiffel Tower to chocolat chaud. Of course, she's never actually been there -- she's only visited through her Grandma Sylvia's stories. And just when they've finally planned a trip together, Grandma Sylvia is suddenly gone, taking Nora's dreams with her.

Nora is crushed. She misses her grandmother terribly, but she still wants to see the city they both loved. So when Nora finds letters and a Paris treasure map among her Grandma Sylvia's things, she dares to dream again...

She's not sure what her grandma wants her to find, but Nora knows there are wonderful surprises waiting for her in Paris. And maybe, amongst the croissants and macarons, she'll even find a way to heal her broken heart.

Publisher's Weekly says, "This love letter to the City of Light will have readers believing that everything's better in Paris."

Booklist says: "A sweet, reassuring contemporary read."

Kirkus says, "Nora's hopeful, openhearted character is beautifully depicted."


I have a new series for 8-12 year olds called CHARMED LIFE, about four girls who meet at summer camp and think they've found a lucky bracelet. These books are ultimately about friendship, and how sometimes in life we get lucky in finding friends when we least expect it.

Caitlin's Lucky Charm (1st in the Charmed Life series), Scholastic, May 2014, ISBN-13 978-0545603720 
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Four best friends, one lucky bracelet, and an utterly charming new middle-grade series!
Caitlin would stay at summer camp forever if she could. Her new best friends in the world, Hannah, Mia, and Libby are there. And at home? Everything's different: Her dad is worried he might be losing his job; her mom is repainting the whole house and making the kids volunteer at a soup kitchen; and Caitlin is starting sixth grade at a new school, where none of the girls are as fun or friendly as her Cabin 7 BFFs. But Caitlin has a good-luck charm -- or a good-luck charm bracelet anyway. The Cabin 7 girls bought it together, and Caitlin is taking the first turn wearing it. She's sure it will help turn her luck around . . . but when?
Mia's Golden Bird (2nd in the Charmed Life series), Scholastic, May 2014, ISBN-13 978-0545603775 
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Mia has always loved living in southern California, where she takes every chance she gets to surf. But when she breaks her foot, Mia can't believe how bored she is! Bored enough that when a famous young actress asks her to come bird-watching with her to take photos, Mia jumps at the chance. Something to do AND the money she needs to pay for camp for next year! There's just one more problem: How will she keep her weird new job a secret from her BFFs?

Libby's Sweet Surprise (3rd in the Charmed Life series), Scholastic, July, 2014 ISBN-13-9780546503782
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When she's not hanging out at her family's sweets shop, Libby loves walking her dog. Especially since she always meets the most interesting people -- like Cedric, who's her age and also has a dog. They become fast friends, until Libby finds out his family are the new owners of a competing store! Libby tries to keep her family's business a secret, because she really likes Cedric and wants to be his friend. But the secrets start adding up, and Libby needs the charm bracelet she shares with her besties to bring her some luck . . . right now!

Hannah's Bright Star (4th in the Charmed Life series), Scholastic, October, 2014 ISBN-13 978-0545603799
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It's finally Hannah's turn to wear the lucky charm bracelet -- and not a moment too soon! 

Hannah's parents have a surprise for her, and she's sure it's her dream come true: a horse of her own. Turns out they've gotten her a mule. Everyone says she can still ride the mule, even in the 4-H parade, but how silly will that look? Hannah is so embarrassed, and she needs the luck from her Cabin 7 BFFs' charm bracelet more than ever!

School Library Journal says of the CHARMED LIFE series: "With a nod to Ann Brashares's "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" books (Delacorte), this series for the tween set features protagonists from diverse backgrounds."


Frosting and Friendship (3rd in the series), Aladdin, 2013, ISBN-13 978-1442473973 
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Has Lily bitten off more than she can bake? Another sweet treat from the author of It's Raining Cupcakes and Sprinkles and Secrets.

On a scale of one to ten, twelve-year-old Lily Hubbard is a zero when it comes to baking. Her cookies turn out salty, her cakes tend to lean, and things are always overcooked. When Lily is invited to be a part of the mother-daughter book club called The Baking Bookworms, she is excited and terrified. It seems like she is the only one who didn't inherit the baking gene.

But she does have the music gene, which is why she's forming a band that will audition for their school's annual Spring Fling. If, that is, Lily can balance her priorities. Because Isabel, one of the Baking Bookworms, has asked Lily to help plan a surprise birthday party for their mutual friend, Sophie.

Soon, Lily finds herself knee-deep in sugar and sheet music as she tries to juggle her responsibility to her bandmates AND give her friend the best party ever.

Kirkus says: "Schroeder addresses friendship dilemmas familiar to preteen readers as Lily struggles to reconcile her yearning to fit in with the need to be herself."

School Library Journal says: "The combination of baking and bands will initially attract many girls, but it's the short chapters and simple diction that keep the plot cooking. Readers will be drawn to the well-delineated, quirky Lily. They'll empathize with  her, ponder her dilemma, and cheer her on to make the right decisions."

Sprinkles and Secrets (2nd in the series), Aladdin, 2011, ISBN-13 978-1442422636 
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A 2014-15 Massachusetts Children's Book Award nominee

Twelve-year-old Sophie has always dreamed of being an actress, in front of the cameras and in the spotlight. So when she's given the opportunity to audition for a T.V. commercial, and a chance to make her dreams come true, she's not just happy--she's over-the-moon happy.

But then Sophie finds out what exactly she'd be advertising. And she knows her BFF, Isabel, wouldn't be happy about it at all. So she keeps the specifics of her budding acting career under wraps, as she doesn't want their friendship crumbling faster than a stale brownie. But like sprinkles on a cupcake, secrets can be difficult to contain. 

In this companion novel to It's Raining Cupcakes, Lisa Schroeder offers up another fun story about friendship, dreams and scrumptious sweet treats.

Kirkus says: "Schroeder skillfully evokes the turbulence of pre-adolescence as she explores the delicate balance of being a true friend while remaining true to yourself."

It's Raining Cupcakes (1st in the series), Aladdin, 2010, ISBN-13 978-1416990857
A 2011 Bank Street College of Education Best Book
A 2013 Colorado Children's Book Award nominee
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Twelve-year-old Isabel dreams of traveling but has never been out of Oregon, and so when her best friend, Sophie, tells her of a baking contest whose winners travel to New York City, she eagerly enters, despite concerns about her mother, who is opening a cupcake bakery. Includes recipes.

School Library Journal says, "This story about making dreams come true may encourage young girls to set goals and go after their own dreams."

Kirkus says, "Isabel's voice is direct and endearing; with gentle wit and clarity, she describes her own foibles as well as others'."

Check out this video where 11-year-old Elana interviews me about IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES and asks me about the upcoming companion novel, SPRINKLES AND SECRETS:

Novel Novice Interviews Lisa Schroeder: "It's Raining Cupcakes" from NovelNovice on Vimeo.