The Burying Beetle by Ann Kelley is a memorable story of a young 12-year-old girl with a heart defect that threatens her life. Gussie is a strong willed heroine with a wonderful imagination and an undauntable spirit. In an attempt to bring an element of calm and rest to their lives and improve Gussie's health, she and her mother move to the Cornish countryside of England. This isn't a plot-driven story, but rather a character book, and Gussie, as she values every moment of her young life (and so many of us don't), certainly has character. The story delves into tough topics as Gussie faces death, an obvious biggie, to the everyday struggles children of divorced parents face. Moving and heartwarming, this is a good book to remind you not to take life for granted.
Recommended by Rachel DeBusk