Cosmic, by Frank Cottrell Boyce
At age 12, Liam looks like a 30-something adult, which to him feels like a curse. Then his friend Florida helps him realize that this is a free pass to the land of grown-ups: He starts masquerading as Florida’s dad so the two can go places kids aren’t normally allowed by themselves. Even though the plot veers into sci-fi territory (the pair end up on a rocket), Liam’s earnest, believable tween voice keeps the story grounded.
Best for: 8- to 12-year-olds.
To buy: $17, Walden Pond Press, amazon.com.