The Worm Whisperer
This was the last of the Sunshine State books that I read this spring. It is a very sweet story about a young man named Ellis who loves animals. He spends a lot of time out in nature and thinks he can communicate with many of the animals. When he finds a caterpillar that seems to respond to his directions he believes he might be a "worm whisperer." This is important because his community has a "Woolly Worm Race" event every year. The grand prize is $1,000. That just happens to be the amount of the deductible for the surgery his Dad needs but can't afford. The story is set in a town in North Carolina that really does have a Woolly Worm Festival every year.
I loved the family relationships in this story. Dad can't work because of his back injury and Mom is working three jobs to make ends meet. There just doesn't seem to be any way to get the money so he can have the surgery. There are some twists and turns in the story - it doesn't exactly turn out the way Ellis plans, which makes it much more fun. This one is another great read-aloud and is under 200 pages.
The Terrible Two
Jory John and Mac Barnett
Miles has just moved to a new town and school. And he's not happy about it! He had to leave all his friends, but worst of all he left behind his reputation as a master prankster. He assumes he will be able to pull off great pranks here, but discovers there is already a prankster at work - and he is awesome. Miles sees this as a competition with the mysterious prankster; when he finds out who it is he is extremely surprised. I'm not going to give it away here, but this is another fun read, and already has a second book in the series.