Cricket Keating and her brothers (Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty, by Ramona Ausubel)Read about another entry on the list.
In Ramona Ausubel’s endearing new novel, born-wealthy couple Fern and Edgar Keating learn Fern’s family money has run out. Rather than join his father’s business, Edgar decides to initiate an affair and take off with a woman on an impromptu boat trip. Fern tries to get back at Edgar by heading on a cross-country road trip with “an actual giant.” Each parent thinks the other one is minding their three children. Luckily, their oldest child, Cricket, is a trusty 9-year-old, who decides she can take care of her twin 6-year-old brothers rather than letting any authority know their parents have split. Cricket does a good job of it, marching her brothers to school each morning, in their uniforms, while letting freedom reign at night. They pitch a teepee, paint their faces, and survive on canned beans and ice cream.