The best books about finding your magnificent family of choice

Benjamin Klas Author Of Second Dad Summer
By Benjamin Klas

The Books I Picked & Why

The Mysterious Benedict Society

By Trenton Lee Stewart, Carson Ellis

Book cover of The Mysterious Benedict Society

Why this book?

Four orphans who seemed all alone in the world, are brought together by the strange Mr. Benedict. Although they were chosen for their intelligence, braininess looks wildly different coming from each of them. As they go undercover to, well, save the world (more or less), their loyalty and bonds of deep friendship might be just as important as their wits. Family awaits in unforeseen places.

Bonus: You get to puzzle out clues right along with the rest of ‘em. See if your own wits would be enough to get you into the society!

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By Gene Luen Yang

Book cover of Boxers

Why this book?

Travel back in time to the Boxer Rebellion in the early 1900s. This graphic novel follows Little Bao as he gathers a brotherhood (and later is joined by a sisterhood) called the Society of Righteous and Harmonious Fists. People from many different backgrounds gather together to support each other to fight for the freedom of their homeland, China. I love the way that the clean illustrations in this graphic novel make the story explode in my mind as I follow this band of ragtag revolutionaries coming together as a family on a mission!

Bonus: There’s a companion graphic novel, Saints, that tells a parallel story from a very different perspective!

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Watership Down

By Richard Adams

Book cover of Watership Down

Why this book?

This is a story about a group of homeless rabbits forming a new family.

Wait a second.



Driven from their old warren, the small group of rabbits is out in the wide world looking for a place to make a new home for themselves. Although only two of them are related by blood, the whole group of them are going to have to cover for each other, support each other’s weaknesses, and rely on one another’s strengths if they want to survive. If that doesn’t sound like family, I don’t know what does.

Bonus: You get to learn some rabbit language along the way. What’s a hrududu? How about flayrah? You’ll have to read to find out!

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Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

By Ransom Riggs

Book cover of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Why this book?

Having an epic, peculiar power sounds like fun, doesn’t it? What if that meant that you were cast out and disconnected from your family? What if there was a place where you could find others just as strange as you, but just as different as you are from the rest of the world? 

Eery, haunting antique photographs give the book shiver-inducing realism as Jacob finds out about this formed family of peculiars, and about whether he might become to be a part of their group.  

Bonus: The story may just have a time loop or two. I mean, how do you get better than that? Time loops are even better than Fruit Loops!

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Because of Winn-Dixie

By Kate DiCamillo

Book cover of Because of Winn-Dixie

Why this book?

Follow India Opal around her new town as she hunts for friendship and new family even as she learns more about the mother she lost. It’s a mangy mutt that helps break into the world of so many interesting people in her town. I’ve read this book at least a dozen times, and I’m always in love with the tangled ways that bring so many disparate characters together by the end of the book. 

Bonus: it contains the best fictional candy of all time: the Littmus Lozenge!

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