Works of Merit Posted on September 1, 2012 by Ava What do these books have in common? By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it’s safe to go, and they know who to avoid. “You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” Despereaux Tilling is a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked two moons in his moccasins.” Jess Aarons’ greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in his grade. Everything is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear of pain.