Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin. Thyme's family moves from San Diego to New York City so her brother can participate in a program to help cure his cancer. Moving to a new city, having a kid brother who is very ill, and a new school can be rough. But Thyme will accept any challenge to help her brother get better.
Ari doesn't quite think of herself as homeless, but gets very excited when she meets someone who is living in a storage facility, because it's fairly warm and safe, and really cheap! While this is sad, it does have an overall feeling of hopefulness. Review from Ms. YingLing Reads.
"Benji Wendell Barnsworth is a small ten-year-old boy with a big personality. Born premature, Benji is sickly, accident-prone, and at the hospital so often he even has his own punch card. So when Benji wakes up one day from a particularly bad spell, his doctors take the radical step of suggesting he get a therapy dog. But when a massive crate arrives at Benji's house, out walks a two-hundred-pound Newfoundland who can talk! And boy, is he bossy."
Bigger Than a Bread Box - by Laurel Snyder. Devastated when her parents separate, 12-year-old Rebecca must move with her mother from Baltimore to Gran's house in Atlanta, where Rebecca discovers an old breadbox with the power to grant any wish -- so long as the wished-for thing fits in the breadbox.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (absolutely not) Reviewed by Donalyn Miller