Twelve-year-old Twig’s town in the Berkshires is said to hide a winged beast, the Monster of Sidwell, and the rumors draw as many tourists as the town’s famed pink apple orchards. Twig lives in the orchard with her mysterious brother James and her reclusive mother, a baker of irresistible apple pies. Because of a family secret, an ancient curse, Twig has had to isolate herself from other kids. Then a family with two girls, Julia and Agate, moves into the cottage next door. They are descendants of the witch who put the spell on Twig’s family. But Julia turns out to be Twig’s first true friend, and her ally in trying to undo the curse and smooth the path to true love for Agate and James.
Bridge and her friends live on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. When Bridge was in third grade, she survived being hit by a car, and ever since she’s wondered: why am I here on earth? There must be a reason. Bridge and her best friends Tab and Emily start 7th grade, and dramas unfold: Emily suddenly has “a body” and is getting lots of attention, including texts from a popular older boy who sends revealing photos of himself, wanting Em’s photos back. Tab immerses herself in the human rights club and feminism. Bridge becomes good friends with Sherm, a boy who makes her question a lot of things, such as: did Apollo 11 really land on the moon? And she wonders: what’s the difference between liking someone, and love?