A LITTLE PRINCESS by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Please don't think Disney when you hear the word "princess" here. Sara Crewe, heroine of this Victorian tale, is the most selfless, empathetic, kind character in a children's book ever. The story of how she shares her fortune and how she survives her misfortune, continuing to share what little she has, is wonderful. A great read-out-loud.
A classic Holocaust book and a must-read for anyone who is interested in recent history. It was required reading for my Western Civ class, and I'm glad I read it because the next year I took Holocaust history and the books I had to read for it made "Night" look like a cake-walk. Really good book and easy to read, although it's not my favorite Holocaust book. I still highly recommend it though.
"Paper Valentine" by Brenna Yovanoff. This book was delightfully creepy and beautifully sad, just like all Yovanoff's writing. Technically a paranormal mystery, but really more of an exploration of the fragility and insecurity of adolescence. I loved it!