In the Country of Queens
Eleven-year-old Shirley Burns lives with her domineering mother and eccentric grandmother in Queens, New York. Shirley wants to be recognized as a great writer, go with her cousins to Lake Winnipesaukee, and understand what life would be like if she had a father. But she's too shy and quiet to say those things out loud. So her teacher thinks she plagiarized her best-ever essay, her mom decides that Shirley can't handle a faraway vacation, and no one says anything about her absent father—the father she inadvertently learns is dead. If Shirley wants to bring her big dreams to life, she must give them a voice and stand up for herself. Ages 10 to 12.