I just finished "The Year of the Book," by Andrea Cheng, and enjoyed it very much! The main character, Anna Wang, is a shy 4th grader who seeks refuge in books, especially when her good friend Laura starts to keep her at a distance. This book deals with some serious topics, including divorce and Anna's search for her identity as a Chinese-American girl, but in a subtle way that isn't overly dramatic or overwhelming. As you can tell from the cover, this book is a love letter to books and reading, and I personally feel inspired to reread some of my favorite children's classics!
In French, I am starting to read the book "Joker," by renowned children's book author Susie Morgenstern. I was already laughing out loud on the second page, as the disgruntled students mutter about their new teacher, who was supposed to be young and athletic but ended up being an elderly man with a startlingly deep voice and untidy white hair. He begins the first class by saying... "ni 'bonjour' ni 'je m'appelle," ni 'asseyez-vous.' Simplement: 'J'ai un cadeau pour vous..." Certainly a different way to start the school year!