Midge and Mo
Publisher: Stripes (Little Tiger)
Midge doesn’t want a new beginning or a new school. Midge is sad. He just wants everything to be the way it used to be.
Mo is given the job of being Midge’s buddy and helping him settle in. She's excited, but Midge won’t even speak to her. It’s only when she makes a link to her own experience that she finds a way through to him and Midge finds a smile and a voice.
The reason for the 'new beginning' is not explained - it's instead left open for the reader to interpret, and so the book can mean different things to different readers. Midge does not speak for most of the book, like many children who find refuge in silence to cope with grief; and Mo’s kind acceptance of Midge’s silence is a good model for children who want to help. Adults may explain to children that they might not always be able to ‘fix things’ like Mo does, but that doesn't mean kindness isn't useful and important.
This simple story is accessible to newly independent readers and the cloth hardback binding means it will survive many readers in a library or classroom.