The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering

Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Physical child abuse
  • Physical injury resulting in hearing loss
  • Animal injury
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Cujo by Stephen King

Cujo by Stephen King

Outside a peaceful town in central Maine, a monster is waiting… Cujo is a huge Saint Bernard dog, the best friend Brett Camber has ever had. One day Cujo chases a rabbit into a bolt-hole, a cave inhabited by some very sick bats. What happens to Cujo, how he becomes a horrifying vortex inexorably drawing in all the people around him.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Cheating
  • Domestic violence
  • Stalking
  • Gun violence
  • Animal attack, including death from a dog attack (theme)
  • Animal death (dog)
  • Animal injury & illness
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The Haunting by Alex Bell

The Haunting by Alex Bell

Some curses grow stronger with time…People say that all Cornish inns are haunted, but the Waterwitch’s history is particularly chilling. Built from the salvaged timber of a cursed ship, the guest house’s dark secrets go further back than anyone can remember.

Emma is permanently confined to a wheelchair after an accident at the Waterwitch which took place when she was ten. Seven years later, she decides to return to the place where the awful event occurred. But the ancient inn still has its ghosts, and one particular spirit is more vengeful than ever…

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Domestic violence
  • Self harm
  • Body horror
  • Serious physical injury recounted
  • Burns
  • Death of a grandparent
  • Death of a parent
  • Torture recounted
  • Animal injury
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Malcolm at Midnight by WH Beck

Malcolm at Midnight by W.H. Beck

When Malcolm the rat arrives as the pet at McKenna School, he revels in the attention. He also meets the Midnight Academy, a secret society of classroom pets that keeps the nutters (kids) safe. There’s just one problem…rats have a terrible reputation! So when the Academy’s iguana leader is kidnapped, Malcolm must prove his innocence—and that even rats can be good guys.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Kidnapping
  • Drowning
  • Animal attack
  • Animal injury
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Through the Skylight by Ian Baucom

Through the Skylight by Ian Baucom and illustrated by Justin Gerard

When Jared, Shireen, and Miranda are each given one glittering gift from an old Venetian shopkeeper, they never fathom the powers they are now able to unleash; they never expect that their very reality is about to be utterly upended. And the adventure has hardly begun.

For in another time, centuries earlier, another trio—Rashid, Maria, and Francesca—have been thrown together under terrible circumstances: They have been kidnapped and, along with hundreds of other children, will be sold into child slavery. Unless, that is, they can find some way to save them all.

But all their fates lie in the hands of Jared, Shireen, and Miranda. The future—and the lives—of these three very modern children become entirely intertwined with those of the children from the past. Danger, it seems, has a way of spanning centuries.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Antisemitism
  • Islamomisia
  • Smoking mentioned
  • Imprisonment
  • Animal injury
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Runt by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Runt by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Elizabeth Moon grew up around dogs. Her mom runs a boarding kennel out of their home, so she’s seen how dogs behave to determine pack order. Her experience in middle school is uncomfortably similar.

Maggie hates how Elizabeth acts so much better than everyone else. Besides, she’s always covered in dog hair. And she smells. So Maggie creates a fake profile on a popular social networking site to teach Elizabeth a lesson.

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Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Animal abuse
  • Animal death
  • Animal injury
  • Bullying
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A Wolf in Duke’s Clothing by Susanna Allen

A Wolf in Duke’s Clothing by Susanna Allen

Alfred Blakesley, Duke of Lowell, has long been an enigma. No one dares to give a man of his stature the cut direct, but there’s simply something not quite right about him. What would the society mamas say if they learned that the something they sensed was the fact that Alfred is a wolf shifter…? He’s been looking for his mate for a long time, but not just any young lady will do for him, or for his pack.

Felicity Templeton has one goal: to remain unmarried. If she can manage that until her twenty-fifth birthday, she stands to inherit a large fortune. But when she meets Alfred, the dashing duke is determined to have her for his very own…and a wolf who’s a duke can be very persuasive…

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Misogyny
  • Forced marriage
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Death of parents recounted
  • Kidnapping
  • Repeated threats to injury or kill animals
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Granted by John David Anderson

Granted by John David Anderson

Everyone who wishes upon a star, or a candle, or a penny thrown into a fountain knows that you’re not allowed to tell anyone what you’ve wished for. But even so, rest assured: There is someone out there who hears it.

Ophelia Delphinium Fidgets is no ordinary fairy—she is a Granter: one of the select few whose job it is to venture beyond the boundaries of the Haven and grant the wishes of unsuspecting humans every day. It’s the work of the Granters that generates the magic that allows the fairies to do what they do and to keep the Haven hidden and safe. But with worldwide magic levels at an all-time low, this is not as easy as it sounds. On a typical day, only a small fraction of the millions of wishes made get granted. And even granting those promised few means navigating a human world fraught with danger.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Alcohol consumption mentioned
  • Animal abuse recounted
  • Animal injury during military service mentioned
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Bitterburn by Ann Aguirre

Bitterburn by Ann Aguirre 

Amarrah Brewer is desperate and grief-stricken. For ages, the town of Bitterburn has sent tribute to the Keep at the End of the World, but a harsh winter leaves them unable to pay the toll that keeps the Beast at bay. Amarrah volunteers to brave what no one has before—to end the threat or die trying.

The Beast of Bitterburn has lost all hope. One way or another, Njål has been a prisoner for his entire life. Monstrous evil has left him trapped and lonely, and he believes that will never change. There is only darkness in his endless exile, never light. Never warmth. Until she arrives.

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Child abuse
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Illness of a child
  • Grief & loss depiction
  • Death of a fiancé
  • Torture
  • Animal pregnancy & stillbirth
  • Animal death (goat)
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The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold

The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold

When a deadly Fly Flu sweeps the globe, it leaves a shell of the world that once was. Among the survivors are eighteen-year-old Nico and her dog, on a voyage devised by Nico’s father to find a mythical portal; a young artist named Kit, raised in an old abandoned cinema; and the enigmatic Deliverer, who lives Life after Life in an attempt to put the world back together. As swarms of infected Flies roam the earth, these few survivors navigate the woods of post-apocalyptic New England, meeting others along the way, each on their own quest to find life and love in a world gone dark. 

GoodreadsThe Story Graph

Trigger & Content Warnings:

  • Attempted rape
  • Pregnancy & childbirth
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Pandemic
  • Coma
  • Physical illness
  • Death of a mother & father
  • Gun violence
  • Knife violence
  • Kidnapping
  • Car accident
  • Animal death
  • Animal injury
  • Hunting mentioned
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