So, have you read anything by Gary Schmidt yet? I've already recommended The Wednesday Wars and Okay for Now as enthusiastically as I could, and if you've read either of those books I know you're looking for more by the author. You might even have already found Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. We listened to the audio book on a car trip and loved it. It's based on real events in Maine and deals with racism and the ugly consequences - so it's a bit serious - but don't think it's not a "nice" story or that there's nothing happy about it. It's the kind of book you'll be glad you read.
Gary Schmidt has the most amazing and beautiful way with words. He can put you right in his character's shoes, make you feel their pain, and their happiness. You can smell the salty breeze and see the sun shining on a beautiful summer's day. Like I've said before, these are the kind of books that really strike a chord deep down and you feel a real concern for the people in the story. So, do yourself a favor and pick up one of Mr. Schmidt's books - you'll be glad you did. (And you'll probably start looking for the rest of them.)