One of my favorite books for kids getting ready to move from a small school to a larger school (6th to 7th or at our school, 4th to 5th) is Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur.

Elise is an interesting girl. Her best friend Franklin lives next door to her and they are inseparable. She lives with her Aunt and Uncle because her mom died when Elise was born and her dad got cancer a few years later.

Things are getting confusing for Elise as she starts at a much larger middle school, becomes the target of a bully on the very first day of school. Elise doesn’t handle every problem perfectly, but what kid would? Elise forgets the value of true friends and has to deal with the consequences.

The title of the book has to do with a wonderful gift her father left for her with instructions that she start finding the keys when she is old enough and ready. The memories and stories unlocked by the keys help Elise realize who she is and who she wants to be.

LaFleur has other great titles, and I purchased Love Aubrey for the school library this year. I haven’t read it but the students who have say that it is both wonderful and sad.

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