My daughter fell madly in love with Kate DiCamillo's wonderful novel Because of Winn-Dixie. We made a shadow box with a scene from the book to serve as a visual aid for her report at school in November, and she's still talking about the book. If you want to grab the nine-year-old girl's market, I'd recommend adding a homeless dog to your cast of characters.
At the moment I'm buried in the essentials of Norwegian grammar. Note to self: do not immigrate to Norway until you can master som/at/hvem/det. One interesting linguistic difference: English has only to think while Norwegians have three or more verbs to express the same word with subtle differences in meaning and response approach . . . but