Calli Be Gold by Michele Weber Hurwitz
Have you ever felt you didn't belong in your family? That is exactly how eleven-year-old Calli Gold feels. She is the quiet third child in a family of loud overachievers whose motto is "Be Gold." Her parents are sure Calli has a hidden talent and push her to try just about everything and anything. She hasn't been successful or enjoyed anything she has tried and she feels like she isn't "Gold."
Then a new person enters her life. Second grader Noah Zullo seems strange to many people, but Calli is intrigued and partners up with him in their school's Peer Helper program. Together they create a special booth for the Friendship Fair which ends up being the surprise hit at school. Calli teaches herself and her family a lesson that sometimes you don't have to be loud to be the best. Sometimes it's okay to be "ordinary."
This is a Bluestem nominee book for 2014. It is a humorous story about the true meaning of achievement and that's it is okay to be "ordinary." Ordinary people do amazing things all the time. The book made Calli shine at the end and Noah too, who struggling with social interactions throughout the book. The book never said what his diagnosis was but I am guessing he was on the autistic spectrum. His mini storyline reminds us that everyone has something to offer if we just take the time to get to know them.