The Truth About 5th Grade
The Truth About 5th Grade

A funny he-said she-said diary on perspective and what really went down in 5th grade, co-written and illustrated by Kim Tomsic and award-winning comic artist, Mark Parisi (HarperCollins August 2024)!

*Perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy KidThe Tapper Twins, and Invisible Emmie.

Charlotte “Charli” Wilson thought Alex Andropov would always be her best BFF in the whole wide world. From crushes to butterfly phobias to secret hidden blankies, there’s never been a secret they couldn’t share. Charli even showed Alex the supersecret hiding spot for her diary. But when school starts and Charli learns that Alex has betrayed her by sharing her biggest, most secretest secret, she realizes that maybe her bestie isn’t so great after all.

Meanwhile, Alex has no idea what he’s done wrong. He doesn’t know why Charli’s not talking to him. He has no choice (right? RIGHT?) but to take her diary and try to correct the record. There’s always two sides to the truth—especially in fifth grade.

With hilarious illustrations and outrageous twists on every page, this is the perfect story for fans of Diary of a Wimpy KidThe Tapper Twins, and Invisible Emmie.

Pre-Order: Several Options

Editorial Reviews

“The truth is: readers are going to LOVE this HILARIOUS he-said/she-said diary!” — Sarah Mlynowski, author of the NYT Bestselling Whatever After series

“The book includes plenty of humor, such as a memory of a ladybug flying up Alex’s nose… The illustrations are appealing and break up the text, making it accessible to reluctant readers. … Lively, fun, and deeply relatable.”  — Kirkus Reviews

“As the besties struggle to get on the same page, [Alex and Charli] navigate friendship rivalries, pranks, and violations of privacy via fast-paced chapters that highlight their differences—and similarities—and offer laugh-out-loud moments.”  — Publishers Weekly


(Chronicle Children’s Books, May 18, 2021) ISBN: 978-1452127835

Free CLASSROOM RESOURCES available here.  Book an in-person or virtual School Visit!

The amazing true story of a herd of elephants, the man who saved them, and the miracle of love that brought them home.

One day in 1999, Lawrence and Françoise learn that a herd of wild African elephants needs a new home. They welcome the elephants to their wildlife sanctuary—Thula Thula—with open arms. But the elephants are much less sure they want to stay. How will Lawrence prove to them that they are safe and loved? What follows is a gorgeously illustrated real-life story of a friendship . . . and the story of the miraculous way that love given freely will return—greater and more wonderful than it began.

Winner! 2023-2024 California Young Readers Medal

Awarded the Norman A. Sugarman Honor in Children’s Biography

Winner!    Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award Primary Grade Winner

Winner!  Minnesota Comstock-Gág Book Award Winner

Finalist for Alabama Children’s Choice Camellia Award Finalist grades 2-3

Finalist for CYBILS Award

Finalist for the Kentucky Blue Grass Award

Finalist for the 2024 Connecticut Nutmeg Award

Finalist for the 2023-2024 Iowa Goldfinch Award

Finalist for 2024 Illinois Bluestem Award grades 3-5

Finalist 2024 Utah The Beehive Award

Showcased at the Bologna Children’s Book Festival’s BRAW Amazing Bookshelf of “100 publishing gems” chosen from a selection of 2,200 books submitted by publishers from around the globe.

“The story’s flawless, gentle pacing illuminates the animals’ initial fear and the time, patience, and compassion it takes for attentive Lawrence to earn their trust…Hooper’s…shades of rich blue and soft rose heighten the story’s emotional impact.”—Horn Book Magazine

“In brief action-packed sentences, Tomsic informs readers of all the steps taken to bring [the elephants] back, with the text placed against Hooper’s beautifully realized illustrations of African animals and the vast, gorgeous landscape…with its focus on the elephants and the protagonists, this book is lovely, tender, and moving.”  —Kirkus Reviews

This touching true story portrays conservationist Lawrence Anthony’s relationship with a frightened, hunted herd that found a home at his reserve in South Africa, Thula Thula..The importance of conservation shines through the friendship story here, and both themes are beautifully complemented by Hooper’s detailed, atmospheric drawings of the elephants and their surroundings.”—Booklist

 “The illustrations are expansive with a limited color palette of warm oranges and cool greens and blues. The animal characters are dynamic, humorous, and emotive…A sentimental but high-­interest story based on true events of the bond between wild animals and the humans who care for them.”         —School Library Journal

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Or simply ask your local bookseller!

*CLASSROOM RESOURCES available here.  Book an in-person or virtual a School Visit !

The 12th Candle

TEACHERS:  Teacher’s Guide and Book Club activities: Click Here

THE 12TH CANDLE (Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins)

ISBN 978-0062654977

BULLYING vs. community KINDNESS in a heartfelt and humorous story

featuring the big three: A family curse, an “innocent” prank, and a magic candle.


Since birth, Sage Sassafras has been plagued by the Contrarium Curse, aka the Curse of the Opposites, and it has pitted her against tall, rich, basketball star, Priscilla Petty. When Priscilla lands dunk shots, Sage throws bricks. When Priscilla has a good hair day, Sage gets tangles, and when Priscilla’s father lands a big promotion at work, things go really sour for Sage’s daddy.

So when Noodler, the biggest search-engine company in the world, challenges students at Goldview K-8 to the Doodle for Noodler art contest, Sage is determined to win fame before Priscilla can, and thereby change her reputation from infamous to famous. Plus, with a little help from the magic candle she received on her 12th birthday, she believes she can do even more! The candle brings pizza, art supplies, and new clothing—maybe it can change the curse, too, so Sage makes the ultimate wish—she asks for a curse-reverse.

In a Freaky-Friday-ish fashion, the consequences of her wish take a terrible turn, and she has to team up with her frenemies to figure out how to break the curse and its reverse for good, or else she’ll be doomed to a life of opposites forever!



A thoughtful look at curse versus choice and an encouragement to youngsters to make their own paths.—Kirkus Review

“Tomsic demonstrates that wishes have a power of their own, no matter the good intentions behind them. [Sage has a] colorful group of friends whose engaging dialogue and ever-evolving relationships capture the essence of middle-school interaction.” Booklist

“Sage is a believable feisty twelve-year-old, who has been trying to outrun her family’s tarnished reputation for as long as she can remember, and her vulnerability to the preening Priscilla is keenly relatable.” –BCCB

“Friendship, magic, and pink lightning—this book is a wish come true!” —Lauren Myracle

“This sweetly magical novel is a lesson in kindness. There is magic in all of us.” –Kristen Gilligan, owner, Tattered Cover Book Store

“A heartfelt and humorous story about the ups and downs of middle school, touching on the ways acts of forgiveness can change an entire community. The 12th Candle is a wish come true!” –McCourt Thomas, Head of Youth Services, Lyons Regional Library District

“An enchanting and heartfelt story for anyone who has ever tried to wish away their problems!” –Ida Olson, Library Media Specialist, McCormick Junior High School

THE 11:11 WISH
THE 11:11 WISH

(HarperCollins Katherine Tegen Books, February 13, 2018)

Wishes, and Magic, and Dares, oh my! Megan Meyers has a foolproof plan to reinvent herself at her new school. Good-bye, dorky math whiz; hello, friend magnet! But her first day at Saguaro Prep starts off weird to the tenth power.

When she’s dared to “make something exciting happen,” Megan is thrown into the middle of an epic power struggle between the two seventh-grade Spirit Captains. So with nothing to lose as the classroom clock chimes 11:11, Megan wishes for “some magic” —and she is granted an enchanted teen magazine promising miracle makeovers and sure-fire secrets for winning friends and crushes.

But magic can have quirky side effects, and as her social life grows exponentially worse, Megan begins to wonder if wishing was ever a purrfect idea.

Critical Praise for The 11:11 Wish

“Debut author Tomsic infuses Megan’s first-person narrative with lots of personality and a distinctive voice, and secondary characters are all complex and multidimensional. Light fantasy firmly grounded in the realities of middle-school emotions.”
— ALA Booklist

“While Megan’s home life is referenced in healthy doses, the action is firmly centered on the drama at school. Megan is endearingly transparent. Readers will empathize with [Megan’s] tenuous position and her tenacity despite the hilarious situations she gets herself into.” And “A fin, funny fix.”

“Tomsic puts a pawsitively magical twist on middle school mayhem. Whimsical and wacky, The 11:11 Wish is a romp of a read sure to please young teens and tweens.”
— Ingrid Law, Newbery Honor Winner and New York Times Bestselling Author of Savvy

“Full of unexpected twists and turns, this sweet, funny book is pure magic.”
— Tara Dairman, author of All Four Stars

“Readers will be enchanted by this delightful story of friends, family, fitting in, and finding yourself. The 11:11 Wish mixes the pitfalls of middle school with much humor and heart, and the results are pure magic.”
— McCourt Thomas, Head of Youth Services, Lyons Regional Library

“A magic infused romp that will make you wince and cheer. Perfect for readers struggling to find their own voice in the tricky social landscape of middle school.”
— Ida Olson, Library Media Specialist, McCormick Junior High

“From social outcast to social butterfly – can the enchanted cat clock grant Megan’s impulsive wish? This debut novel is full of mean girls, magic, teenage angst, and ultimately the satisfying discovery of self.”
— Susan Dunn, Children’s Librarian, Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library

GUITAR GENIUS: How Les Paul Engineered the Solid Body Electric Guitar and Rocked the World
GUITAR GENIUS: How Les Paul Engineered the Solid Body Electric Guitar and Rocked the World

(Chronicle Children’s Books, April 9, 2019) By Kim Tomsic, Illustrated by Brett Helquist

TEACHER’S GUIDE: Click here for PDF

Guitar Genius, a story of both innovation and perseverance, is centered on Hall of Fame icon Les Paul. Les faced ridicule, hardships, and struggles as he worked to engineer devices and recording techniques that were revolutionary in transforming the way we hear music music.

“An exuberant introduction to a musician and creative genius.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Les Paul was an innovator and musical force for the ages-he changed the world in a very real way. His story is a lesson from which kids of all ages can derive inspiration”.                                                                                      – Billy Gibbons, lead guitarist of ZZ Top.

Related imageA Junior Library Guild selection

“The engaging narrative, breezy in tone, is paired with Brett Helquist’s brilliant illustrations.”Nonfiction Detectives

“Lively story of this inventive boy whose love of music and tinkering lead him to succeed both as a musician and an inventor. An upbeat picture book biography.” Booklist

“Text and illustrations radiate exuberance and joy…A strong addition to inspire would-be inventors, and an excellent choice for STEM programs and biography collections.”—School Library Journal


Perfect for young readers and rock & roll fans alike!

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