Kate Messner (2009)
"One can do worse than be a swinger of birches."
A lot going on in this book, seems like a good one to take your time on with a class. The pretty and popular girl bully angle, mother/daughter communication and understanding, procrastination on school projects, art brain vs over organized brain (also the mother/daughter deal), grandparents dealing with old age and possible Alzheimer's, funerals, running track, young romance, the poetry of Robert Frost, plus lots and lots of trees.
Personally I'm going to try to get my 6th grade boy to read it, although the only hook for him may be the electronic genius friend (sorry son, no dragons, robots, or time travel). But my father does suffer from cognitive issues and this might be a way to see if he has questions about that. It's not all serious stuff, it's an entertaining story with good characters and some humor.