My Jasper June by Laurel Snyder
While everyone else is looking forward to summer, Leah is dreading it. Ever since everything changed last summer she’s hardly looked forward to anything. For a few days she does nothing at all, but then even that gets boring and she goes for a walk. That’s when she meets Jasper. Though they are about the same age, Jasper seems wiser and more responsible than anyone Leah knows. They become fast friends, but they are both hiding big secrets. By confiding in each other, will they both be able to start to heal?
This middle school novel is a gentle exploration of grief and hardships, as well as friendship, imagination, and inner strength. Highly recommended to readers in middle school and up who enjoy stories about strong girls overcoming adversity.