Summer Reading - Reading Lists

Incoming Grade 5 Students

Reading Recommendations

If a series is listed, it is the first in the series that is described. Read “any in the series” as long as you are reading the books in their proper sequence.

Angleberger, Tom. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (or any in the series)*
HUMOR, FANTASY
Sixth-grader Tom and his friends describe their interactions with a paper finger puppet of Yoda, worn by their weird classmate Dwight, as they try to figure out whether or not the puppet can really predict the future.

Avi. Something Upstairs
GHOSTS, FICTION
When he moves to Providence, RI, Kenny discovers his new house is haunted by the spirit of a black slave boy who asks Kenny to time travel back to the 1800’s to prevent his murder by slave traders.

Bell, Cece. El Deafo*
GRAPHIC NOVEL, REALISTIC FICTION
In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful--and very awkward--hearing aid. The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear--sometimes things she shouldn't--but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is.

Cabot, Meg. Moving Day (or any in the series)*
FRIENDS, REALISTIC FICTION
Nine-year-old Allie Finkle has rules for everything and is even writing her own rule book, but her world is turned upside-down when she learns that her family is moving across town, which will mean a new house, school, best friend, and plenty of new rules.

Carter, Ally. Cross My Heart and Hope To Spy (or any in the series)*
ADVENTURE, FICTION
All Cammie wants is a peaceful semester, which is easier said than done when you're a CIA legacy and go to the premier school in the world for spies.

Christopher, Matt. Comeback Challenge (any title by author)
SPORTS, REALISTIC FICTION
Mark, center for his middle school’s soccer team, the Scorpions, must cope with his parents’ divorce and a teammate who holds a grudge against him.

Colfer, Chris. The Land of Stories:The Wishing Spell
FANTASY, QUEST, ADVENTURE
Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, twins Alex and Conner leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairytale characters they grew up reading about.

Colfer, Eoin. Artemis Fowl (or any in the series)*
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
Artemis Fowl is a genius, a criminal mastermind, and a millionaire and he is only twelve. But when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit, he doesn't realize the danger that he has gotten himself into.

Cowell, Cressida. How To Train Your Dragon by Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III (or any in the series)*
HUMOROUS, FANTASY
A chronicle of the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock the Third as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon.

Creech, Sharon. Love that Dog
REALISTIC FICTION
An unwilling student must keep a journal for class, the reader discovers the truth about the mysterious dog in the title and reader may be amazed by the power of words.

DiCamillo, Kate. Because of Winn-Dixie
REALISTIC FICTION
Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie.

D'Lacey, Chris. The Fire Within (or any in the series)*
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
College student David Rain rents a room in an unusual boarding house full of clay dragons and soon wonders, is it possible that these sculptures come to life at night?

Draper, Sharon. Out of My Mind
SCHOOL, REALISTIC FICTION
Personal narrative of a brilliant fifth-grader, considered by many to be mentally retarded, who discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.

Erdrich, Louise. The Birchbark House (or any in series)*
HISTORICAL FICTION
Omakayas, a seven-year-old Native American girl of the Ojibwa tribe, lives through the joys of summer and the perils of winter on an island in Lake Superior in 1847.

Gantos, Jack. Joey Pigza Loses Control
REALISTIC FICTION, ADHD
Joey, who is still taking medication to keep him from getting too wired, goes to spend the summer with the hard-drinking father he has never known and tries to help the baseball team his father coaches win the championship.

George, Jean Craighead. My Side of the Mountain
SURVIVAL, ADVENTURE, FICTION
A young boy relates his adventures during the year he spends living alone in the Catskill Mountains including his struggle for survival, his dependence on nature, his animal friends, and his ultimate realization that he needs human companionship.

Gidwitz, Adam. A Tale Dark & Grimm (or any title in series)*
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
Follows Hansel and Gretel as they walk out of their own story and into eight more tales, encountering witches, devils, warlocks, kindly strangers, and some horrific adventures as they take charge of their own happily ever after.

Gutman, Dan. Honus and Me (or any in the series)*
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
Joey, who loves baseball but is not very good at it, finds a valuable 1909 Honus Wagner card that helps him travel back in time to meet Honus.

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Among the Hidden (or any in the series)*
SUSPENSE, SCIENCE FICTION
In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family's farm, until another "third" convinces him that the government is wrong.

Hahn, Mary Downing. Deep, Dark and Dangerous
GHOSTS, SUSPENSE, FICTION
When thirteen-year-old Ali spends the summer with her aunt and cousin at the family's vacation home, she stumbles upon a secret and comes upon a mysterious and not very nice friend.

Horowitz, Anthony. Stormbreaker (or any in the series)*
MYSTERY, FICTION
When his uncle dies in a car accident, Alex’s suspicions are raised when he sees a man at the funeral carrying a gun and when he finds his uncle’s office mysteriously emptied of all his papers. He realizes he has uncovered major criminal activity when he goes to inspect his uncle’s car, and, rather than finding it crushed, he finds a neat row of bullet holes in the driver’s side door.

Jeter, Derek. The Contract (or any in the series)
SPORTS, REALISTIC FICTION
As a young boy, Derek Jeter dreams of being the shortstop for the New York Yankees. He even imagines himself in the World Series. So when Derek is chosen for the Little League Tigers, he hopes to play shortstop. But on the day of the assignments, Derek Starts at second base. Still, he tries his best while he wishes and dreams of that shortstop spot.

Keesler, Liz. The Tail of Emily Windsnap
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
After convincing her mother that she should take swimming lessons, twelve-year-old Emily discovers a terrible and wonderful secret about herself that opens up a whole new world.

Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody. School Spirit (or any in the series)*
GHOSTS, FANTASY
Like her mother, a professional medium, Kat has been able to see dead people since turning thirteen, and although they would prefer to be normal, Kat and her best friend come to terms with their own talents while helping free the spirit of a girl trapped at their middle school.

Korman, Gordon. Shipwreck (1st of a trilogy)*
SURVIVAL, ADVENTURE, FICTION
Six strangers, all kids, are stranded on a deserted island and must rely on one another to survive.

Lasky, Kathryn. John Muir: America’s First Environmentalist
ENVIRONMENT, BIOGRAPHY, NONFICTION
Recounts the life of John Muir, who did more to preserve the American wilderness than anyone in our country’s history.

Levine, Gail. Ella Enchanted (or any by this author)
HUMOROUS, FANTASY
Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her.

Lord, Cynthia. Rules
REALISTIC FICTION, FRIENDS,
Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence and worries that his behavior will ruin her chances of becoming friends with their new neighbor.

Lupica, Mike. Heat (any by this author)
SPORTS, REALISTIC FICTION
Michael Arroyo has a pitching arm that throws serious heat, but his firepower is nothing compared to the heat Michael faces in his day to day life. Orphaned by their father after escaping Cuba, Michael and his brother Carlos are now growing up alone. If their secret is discovered, they fear being sent into the foster care system, or worse, being sent back to Cuba.

Mass, Wendy. 11 Birthdays
FRIENDS, FANTASY FICTION
After celebrating their first nine same-day birthdays together, Amanda and Leo, having fallen out on their tenth and not speaking to each other for the last year, prepare to celebrate their eleventh birthday separately but peculiar things begin to happen as the day of their birthday begins to repeat itself over and over again.

Morpurgo, Michael. An Elephant in the Garden
WWII, SUSPENSE, HISTORICAL FICTION
Lizzie and Karl’s mother, a zookeeper, persuades the zoo director to allow Marlene, a young elephant to be nursed back to health in their backyard. Can they keep themselves and the elephant safe as the war looms closer?

Mlynowski, Sarah. Fairest of All (or any in series)
FANTASY, FAIRY TALES
After moving to a new house, ten-year-old Abby and her younger brother Jonah discover an antique mirror that transports them into the Snow White fairy tale.

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. The Boys Start The War (or any in the series)
HUMOR, ADVENTURE, FICTION
Disgusted that a family with three girls moves into the house across the river, nine-year-old Wally and his three brothers declare a war of practical jokes on the girls.

Palacio, R. J. Wonder
REALISTIC FICTION
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan. Will he be able to endure the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student?

Paulsen, Gary. Lawn Boy
REALISTIC FICTION, ADVENTURE
Things get out of hand for a twelve-year-old boy when a neighbor convinces him to expand his summer lawn mowing business.

Relf, Pat. A Dinosaur Named Sue
NONFICTION
The story of the colossal fossil - the world’s most complete T. Rex.

Rhodes, Jewell Parker. Ninth Ward
SURVIVAL, ADVENTURE
In New Orleans' Ninth Ward, twelve-year-old Lanesha, who can see spirits, and her adopted grandmother have no choice but to stay and weather the storm as Hurricane Katrina bears down upon them.

Riordan, Rick. Lightning Thief (any Percy Jackson or Kane Chronicles)
FANTASY
Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When his mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. At Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods, a mystery unfolds.

Sachar, Louis. Holes
MYSTERY, ADVENTURE,
As further evidence of his family’s bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a horrible correctional camp where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of self.

Selznick, Brian. Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures*
MYSTERY, ADVENTURE,
Having lost his mother and his hearing in a short time, twelve-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City, and meets Rose. Just who is she, and what does she have to do with Ben?

Smith, Roland. Storm Runners (or any in the series)*
ADVENTURE, SURVIVAL
Twelve-year-old Chase Masters travels the country with his father, a "storm runner," but he is tested in ways he never could have imagined when he and a new friend are caught in a hurricane near St. Petersburg, Florida.

Snicket, Lemony. A Series of Unfortunate Events (or any in the series)*
FANTASY
Join Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire as they try to evade the evil plots of the treacherous villain, Count Olaf.

Speare, Elizabeth George. The Sign of the Beaver
HISTORICAL FICTION, ADVENTURE
Left alone to guard the family's wilderness home in eighteenth-century Maine, a boy is hard-pressed to survive until local Indians teach him their skills.

Springstubb, Tricia. Moonpenny Island
FRIENDS, REALISTIC FICTION
On Moonpenny Island, eleven-year-old Flor O'Dell experiences a series of life changes after her best friend's sent away to a private school.

Sternberg, Julie. Like Bug Juice on a Berger
REALISTIC FICTION, SUMMER CAMP
At first she's excited to carry on the family tradition at Camp Wallumwahpuck, but when she gets there she finds icky bugs, terrible food, and worst of all: swim class, where she just can't seem to keep up with everyone else. But as the days go on, Eleanor realizes that even the most miserable situations can be full of special surprises.

Vernon, Ursula. Dragonbreath
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
Danny Dragonbreath and his friend Wendell get an up-close underwater tour of the Sargasso Sea from Danny's sea-serpent cousin, encountering giant squid and mako sharks--and learn about standing up to bullies in the process.

Weston, Carol. Ava and Pip
REALISTIC, FRIENDS, SIBLINGS
When ten-year-old Ava uses her writing talents to help her older sister overcome her shyness, both girls learn the impact their words and stories can have on the world around them.

Winthrop, Elizabeth. The Castle In The Attic
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
When William receives the gift of a toy castle, complete with silver knight, he is excited. But it is not until he holds the toy knight in his hand and it comes to life that the adventure begins.

*Denotes a book available as an ebook.

Incoming Grade 6 Students

Reading Recommendations

If a series is listed, it is the first book in the series that is described. Read “any in the series” as long as you are reading the books in their correct sequence.

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Fever 1793
HISTORICAL FICTION
Fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook is ambitious with plans, but life in Philadelphia is about to change as sickness grips the area. Her fight to build a better life gives way to a fight just to live.

Avi. Crispin: The Cross of Lead (or any in the series)*
HISTORICAL FICTION, ADVENTURE
Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.

Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker. The War that Saved My Life
HISTORICAL FICTION, WWII, ADVENTURE
A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.

Carter, Ally. I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You
SPIES, FICTION
How can Cammie hope to have a boyfriend when everything about her own life has to be kept secret?

Cody, Matthew. Powerless
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
Soon after moving to Noble's Green, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Daniel learns that his new friends have super powers that they will lose when they turn thirteen. Can he use his brain power to protect them?

Coerr, Eleanor. Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
HISTORICAL, NONFICTION
Hospitalized with the dreaded atom bomb disease, leukemia, a child in Hiroshima races against time to fold one thousand paper cranes to verify the legend that by doing so a sick person will become healthy.

Colfer, Chris. The Wishing Spell*
FAIRY TALES, ADVENTURE, FANTASY FICTION
Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, twins Alex and Conner leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

Colfer, Eoin. Artemis Fowl (or any in the series)*
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
A genius, criminal mastermind, and millionaire, Artemis Fowl, is crafty. His plot to steal the richest treasure the world has ever known is matched by Captain Holly Short – an elf from Special Forces.

D'Lacey, Chris. The Fire Within (or any in the series)*
FANTASY ADVENTURE
College student David Rain rents a room in an unusual boarding house full of clay dragons. Soon, he wonders if it possible that these sculptures come to life at night. If you’ve read this already, and you liked the series, read the second: Icefire.

DiCamillo, Kate. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Toulane
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
Edward Tulane, a cold-hearted and proud toy rabbit, loves only himself until he is separated from the little girl who adores him and travels across the country, acquiring new owners and listening to their hopes, dreams, and histories.

Condie, Allie. Summerlost
REALISTIC FICTION, FAMILY, LOSS
Following the sudden deaths of her father and autistic younger brother, Cedar Lee spends the summer working at a Shakespearean theater festival, making a new friend, and coming to terms with her grief.

Draper, Sharon. Out of My Mind
REALISTIC FICTION
This is a personal narrative of a brilliant fifth-grader, considered by many to be mentally retarded, who discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.

DeFelice, Cynthia. Wild Life
REALISTIC, ADVENTURE
When twelve-year-old Eric's parents are deployed to Iraq, he goes to live with grandparents he hardly knows in a small town in North Dakota, but his grandfather's hostility and the threat of losing the dog he has rescued are too much, and Eric runs away.

DuPrau, Jeanne. The City of Ember (or any in the series)*
SCIENCE FICTION, ADVENTURE,
In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a messenger and to run to new places in her beloved but decaying city. She discovers a stunning secret that completely changes her future.

Feinstein, John. Cover-Up (or any in the series)*
MYSTERY, SPORTS, FICTION
Fledgling fourteen-year-old sports reporters Susan Carol and Stevie investigate suspicious activities at the Super Bowl after Stevie gets fired from his co-anchor job on a groundbreaking teen sports show.

Flanagan, John. The Ruins of Gorlan, (or any in the series)*
HISTORICAL FICTION, ADVENTURE
When fifteen-year-old Will is rejected by battle school, he becomes the reluctant apprentice to the mysterious Ranger Halt and winds up protecting the kingdom from danger.

Fleischman, Sid. Escape! The Story Of The Great Houdini
BIOGRAPHY, NONFICTION
This is a biography of the magician, ghost chaser, aviator, and king of escape artists whose amazing feats are remembered long after his death in 1926. Profiling his early years, personal life, and great accomplishments in show business, the story of the famous magician, Harry Houdini, comes to life through a review of his greatest tricks and most amazing feats complete with index, photos, and author's notes.

Flinn, Alex. Beastly
FANTASY, ROMANCE
This is a modern retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" from the point of view of the Beast, a vain Manhattan private school student who is turned into a monster and must find true love before he can return to his human form.

Gibbs, Stuart. Belly Up
MYSTERY, REALISTIC
Twelve-year-old Teddy investigates when a popular Texas zoo's star attraction--Henry the hippopotamus--is murdered.

Giff, Patricia Reilly. Pictures of Hollis Woods
REALISTIC FICTION
A troublesome twelve-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home with a family that truly seemed to care about her.

Gipson, Fred. Old Yeller
HISTORICAL FICTION
Fourteen year old Travis tells the story of Old Yeller, “a thieving yellow dog that turned up the summer his dad was away on a cattle drive in Kansas." This great dog story was probably on your parents’ reading list.

Gratz, Alan, Projekt 1065
HISTORICAL FICTION, SPIES, WWII
It is 1943, and thirteen-year-old Michael O'Shaunessey, son of the Irish ambassador to Nazi Germany in Berlin, is also a spy for the British Secret Service, so he has joined the Hitler Youth, and pretending that he agrees with their violence and book-burning is hard enough--but when he is asked to find out more about "Projekt 1065" both his and his parents' lives get a lot more dangerous.

Gutman, Dan. Honus and Me: A Baseball Card Adventure (or any in the series)*
TIME-TRAVEL, SPORTS, FANTASY
Joey, who loves baseball but is not very good at it, finds a valuable 1909 Honus Wagner card that helps him travel back in time to meet Honus. If you read this and liked it, try any of the others in the series.

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Found (or any in the series)*
FUTURISTIC, SUSPENSE, FICTION
Thirteen-year-olds Jonah and Chip, who are both adopted, learn they were discovered on a plane that appeared out of nowhere, full of babies with no adults on board. They unknowingly have uncovered a mystery involving time travel and two opposing forces, each trying to repair the fabric of time.

Hahn, Mary Downing. All the Lovely Bad Ones
GHOSTS, FICTION
While spending the summer at their grandmother’s supposedly haunted Vermont Inn, two prankster siblings decide to give the guests a real scare but accidentally awaken the ghosts from a distant past.

Herlong, M. H. Buddy
DOG STORY, NATURAL DISASTER, FICTION
Twelve-year-old Li'l T and his family face great losses caused by Hurricane Katrina, including leaving Buddy, their very special, three-legged dog, behind when they must evacuate.

Horowitz, Anthony. Stormbreaker (or any in the series)*
MYSTERY, SPIES, FICTION
When his uncle dies in a car accident, Alex’s suspicions are raised when he sees a man at the funeral carrying a gun and when he finds his uncle’s office mysteriously emptied of all his papers. He realizes he has uncovered major criminal activity when he goes to inspect his uncle’s car, and, rather than finding it crushed, he finds a neat row of bullet holes in the driver’s side. If you read this, read on. Point Blank is the second in the series.

Holm, Jennifer L. Our Only May Amelia
HISTORICAL FICTION
As the only girl in a Finnish American family of seven brothers, May Amelia Jackson resents being expected to act like a lady while growing up in Washington state in 1899.

Hunt, Lynda Mullaly. Fish in a Tree.
SCHOOL, REALISTIC FICTION
Hiding the truth about her inability to read, Ally eventually discovers that her dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of and gains new confidence as she finds alternative ways to learn.

Kadohata, Cynthia. Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam
REALISTIC FICTION
Rick, a young soldier sent Vietnam, must train with his dog, Cracker, to sniff out bombs. Can Rick train the seemingly untrainable dog and ensure the safety of his unit?

Korman, Gordon. MasterMinds
SCIENCE FICTION, CLONING
A group of kids discovers they were cloned from the DNA of some of the greatest criminal masterminds in history for a sociological experiment.

Levine, Gail. Ella Enchanted
HUMOROUS, FANTASY FICTION
Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her.

Lin, Grace. Where The Mountain Meets The Moon
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, goes on a quest to meet Old Man of the Moon in hopes that he can help her parents out of their desperate poverty. She luckily has the help of a magical goldfish and a helpful dragon.

Lord, Cynthia. Rules
SPECIAL NEEDS, REALISTIC FICTION
Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence and worries that his behavior will ruin her chances of becoming friends with their new neighbor.

Lundquist, Jenny. Seeing Cinderella
SCHOOL, FANTASY FICTION
Struggling with frizzy hair, new glasses, and a best friend's weird behavior at the start of sixth grade, Callie is astonished to discover that her glasses give her the power to read people's thoughts.

Lupica, Mike. Heat (any by this author)
SPORTS, REALISTIC FICTION
Michael Arroyo has a pitching arm that throws serious heat, but his firepower is nothing compared to the heat Michael faces in his day to day life. Orphaned by their father after escaping Cuba, Michael and his brother Carlos are now growing up alone. If their secret is discovered, they fear being sent into the foster care system, or worse, being sent back to Cuba.

Malone, Marianne. The Sixty-Eight Rooms
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
When Ruthie's sixth-grade class visits the Art Institute of Chicago, she and her friend Jack discover a magic key that shrinks them to the size of gerbils and allows them to explore a collection of sixty-eight miniature rooms.

Mazer, Harry. A Boy at War
HISTORICAL FICTION, WORLD WAR II, ADVENTURE
While fishing with his friends off Honolulu on December 7, 1941, teenaged Adam is caught in the midst of the Japanese attack and through the chaos of the subsequent days tries to find his father, a naval officer who was serving on the U.S.S. Arizona when the bombs fell.

Meyer, Marissa. Cinder
SCIENCE FICTION, ADVENTURE
Cinder, a cyborg and a brilliant techie, must financially support her cruel stepmother. Life is ok but not wonderful. When the country’s prince hires her to repair a robot, he finds her irresistible, and Cinder is terrified that he will discover that she is a lowly cyborg.

Murphy, Jim. The Great Fire
NONFICTION
This is an account of the Great Chicago Fire combines archival photographs and drawings with personal accounts by its survivors and historical documents.

Napoli, Donna Jo. North
SURVIVAL, ADVENTURE, FICTION
Tired of his mother's overprotectiveness and intrigued by the life of African American explorer Matthew Henson, twelve-year-old Alvin travels north and spends a season with a trapper near the Arctic Circle.

O’Dell, Scott. Island of the Blue Dolphins
HISTORICAL FICTION, ADVENTURE
A lone survivor on a rocky island off the California coast, a young Indian girl, through her enormous courage and self-reliance, struggles daily to stay alive. Based on actual events.

Palacio, R. J. Wonder
SPECIAL NEEDS, REALISTIC FICTION
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan. Will he be able to endure the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student?

Patterson, James. Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment
SCIENCE FICTION, ADVENTURE After the mutant Erasers abduct the youngest member of their group, the "birdkids," who are the result of genetic experimentation, take off in pursuit and find themselves struggling to understand their own origins and purpose.

Reynolds, Jason. Miles Morales: a spider-man story
MYSTERY, FANTASY
Miles Morales is just an average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He's even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he's Spider Man.

Ritter, William. Jackaby
MYSTERY FICTION, CRIME, CLAIRVOYANCE
Newly arrived in 1892 New England, Abigail Rook becomes assistant to R.F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with the ability to see supernatural beings, and she helps him delve into a case of serial murder which, Jackaby is convinced, is due to a non human creature.

Scattergood, Augusta. Glory Be
HISTORICAL FICTION
In the summer of 1964, as she is about to turn twelve, Glory's town of Hanging Moss, Mississippi, is beset by racial tension when town leaders close her beloved public pool rather than desegregating it.

Stephens, John. The Emerald Atlas
SUSPENSE, ADVENTURE, FANTASY
Kate, Michael, and Emma have passed from one orphanage to another in the ten years since their parents disappeared to protect them, but now that they find a magical book that helps them travel through time maybe they can defeat their fearsome enemy.

Swanson, James L. Chasing Lincoln’s Killer
LINCOLN, NONFICTION
Tells the story of the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth and gives a day-by-day account of the wild chase to find this killer and his accomplices.

Taylor, Theodore. The Cay
SURVIVAL, ADVENTURE, FICTION
When the freighter on which they are traveling is torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II, a twelve-year-old white boy, blinded by a blow on the head, and an old black man are stranded on a small desert island in the Caribbean where the boy acquires a new kind of vision, courage, and love from his old companion.

Weeks, Sarah. Honey
FAMILY, ROMANCE, REALISTIC FICTION
It's been just Melody and her father, and she's okay with that. But then she overhears him calling someone Honey -- and suddenly it feels like everyone in town has a secret.

Wilson, N.D. 100 Cupboards
MYSTERY, FANTASY, ADVENTURE
After his parents are kidnapped, timid twelve-year-old Henry York leaves his sheltered Boston life and moves to small-town Kansas, where he and his cousin Henrietta discover and explore hidden doors in his attic room that open onto other worlds.

*Denotes a book available as an ebook.

Incoming Grade 7 Students

Reading Recommendations

If a series is listed, it is the first in the series that is described. Read “any in the series” as long as you are reading the books in their proper sequence.

Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women (or Little Men)
HISTORICAL FICTION, CLASSIC
This story chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in nineteenth-century New England. See if you can brave a tried and true classic! This one may have been on your grandparents’ reading list.

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Chains
HISTORICAL FICTION
After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.

Avi. Crispin: The Cross of Lead (any by this author)
HISTORICAL FICTION, ADVENTURE
Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.

Balliet, Blue. The Danger Box
REALISTIC FICTION, DISABILITIES, MYSTERY
In small-town Michigan, twelve-year-old Zoomy and his new friend Lorrol investigate the journal found inside a mysterious box and find family secrets and a more valuable treasure, while a dangerous stranger watches and waits.

Barron, T.A. The Lost Years of Merlin (or any in the series)*
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
To discover his identity and the secret of his powers, a nameless boy must escape to the mist shrouded isle of Fincayra, the enchanted land between earth and sky.

Benjamin, Ali. The Thing About Jellyfish
REALISTIC FICTION, FRIENDSHIP
Twelve-year-old Suzy Swanson wades through her intense grief over the loss of her best friend by investigating the rare jellyfish she is convinced was responsible for her friend's death.

Bloor, Edward. Tangerine
REALISTIC, SPORTS, SUSPENSE, DISABILITIES, BULLIES
Twelve-year-old Paul, who lives in the shadow of his football hero brother Erik, fights for the right to play soccer despite his near blindness and slowly begins to remember the incident that damaged his eyesight.

Bosch, Pseudonymous. The Name of This Book is Secret (or any in the series)*
MYSTERY FICTION
The story is secret too, but the secret about the mysterious vials and vanishing magicians may be revealed!

Burnett, Frances Hodgson. The Secret Garden
HISTORICAL FICTION, CLASSIC
Ten-year-old Mary comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors and discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden. If this one doesn’t interest you, try another great by this author: The Little Princess. May have been on grandma’s reading list! Both have been made into movies. Read before you watch!

Colfer, Eoin. The Eternity Code: Artemis Fowl (or any in the series)*
FANTASY
Artemis Fowl’s father has made him promise to give up his life of crime and Artemis must go along with it, but not before he completes one last scheme; a super computer that will render all human technology obsolete.

Dashner, James. The Maze Runner (or any in the series)*
SCIENCE FICTION,
Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.

DeFelice, Cynthia. Wild Life
REALISTIC FICTION, ADVENTURE
When twelve-year-old Eric's parents are deployed to Iraq, he goes to live with grandparents he hardly knows in a small town in North Dakota, but his grandfather's hostility and the threat of losing the dog he has rescued are too much and Eric runs away.

Draper, Sharon. Out of My Mind
REALISTIC, DISABILITIES, FAMILY
Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.

DuPrau, Jeanne. The City of Ember (or any in the series)*
SCIENCE FICTION ADVENTURE
In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a messenger, to run to new places in her beloved but decaying city.

Feinstein, John. Cover –Up (or any in the series)*
MYSTERY, SPORTS, FICTION
Fledgling fourteen-year-old sports reporters Susan Carol and Stevie investigate suspicious activities at the Super Bowl after Stevie gets fired from his co-anchor job on a groundbreaking teen sports show.

Flanagan, John. The Ruins of Gorlan (or any in the series)*
HISTORICAL FICTION, ADVENTURE When fifteen-year-old Will is rejected by battle school, he becomes the reluctant apprentice to the mysterious Ranger Halt, and winds up protecting the kingdom from danger.

Flinn, Alex. Beastly
FANTASY, ROMANCE
A modern retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" from the point of view of the Beast, a vain Manhattan private school student who is turned into a monster and must find true love before he can return to his human form.

Gaiman, Neil. The Graveyard Book
FANTASY, MYSTERY, GHOSTS
After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Gratz, Alan. Refugee
REALISTIC FICTION, SURVIVAL
Separated by continents and decades, Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud embark on harrowing journeys in search of refuge, discovering shocking connections that tie their stories together. Josef is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel is a Cuban girl trying to escape the riots and unrest plaguing her country in 1994; and Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence and destruction.

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Found (or any in series)*
SUSPENSE, FICTION
Thirteen-year-olds Jonah and Chip, who are both adopted, learn they were discovered on a plane that appeared out of nowhere, full of babies with no adults on board. They unknowingly have uncovered a mystery involving time travel and two opposing forces, each trying to repair the fabric of time.

Hiaasen, Carl. Flush
REALISTIC FICTION, MYSTERY
On Father’s Day, Noah visits his dad at the local jail. Dad is a feisty environmentalist with a short fuse. Convinced that the Coral Queen was dumping raw sewage into the harbor, he decides to take matters into his own hands.

Higson, Charlie Silverfin: Young James Bond Series (or any in series)*
MYSTERY, FICTION
In this thrilling prequel to the adventures of James Bond, 007, readers meet a young boy whose inquisitive mind and determination set him on a path that will someday take him across the globe in pursuit of dangerous criminals.

House, Silas. Same Sun Here
REALISTIC FICTION, FRIENDS
A twelve-year-old Indian immigrant in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner's son become pen pals, and eventually best friends, through a series of revealing letters exploring such topics as environmental activism, immigration, and racism.

Hunt, Lynda Mullaly, One For the Murphys
REALISTIC, FAMILY, FOSTER HOME
After heartbreaking betrayal, Carley is sent to live with a foster family and struggles with opening herself up to their love.

Jansen, Hanna. Over A Thousand Hills I Walk With You Based on Actual Events
NONFICTION
Jeanne, the only member of her family not murdered in the Rwandan genocide, struggles to start a new life without her family while coping with the violent memories that haunt her. Her foster mother helps her write down her story and come to terms with her grief.

Korman, Gordon. MasterMinds
SCIENCE FICTION, CLONING
A group of kids discovers they were cloned from the DNA of some of the greatest criminal masterminds in history for a sociological experiment.

Levine, Gail Carson. The Wish (or any by author)
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
When granted her wish to be the most popular girl in school, Wilma, an eighth grader, forgets that she will graduate in three weeks and her popularity will vanish.

Larson, Kirby. Hattie Big Sky
HISTORICAL FICTION, ADVENTURE
After inheriting her uncle's homesteading claim in Montana, sixteen-year-old orphan Hattie Brooks travels from Iowa in 1917 to make a home for herself and faces many seemingly insurmountable problems.

Lu, Marie. Legend
MYSTERY, SUSPENSE, SCIENCE FICTION
In a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations, fifteen-year-olds Day, a famous criminal, and prodigy June, the brilliant soldier hired to capture him, discover that they have a common enemy.

Lupica, Mike. Travel Team (or any by author)
REALISTIC FICTION, SPORTS
After he is cut from his travel basketball team—the very same team that his father once led to national prominence—Danny Walker forms his own team of cast-offs that might have a shot at victory.

Nimmo, Jenny. Charlie Bones and the Time Twister
FANTASY, MYSTERY
The new semester at Bloors Academy holds a nasty surprise for Charlie when Henry Yewbeam appears, twisted through time from 1916.

MacHale, D.J. The Merchant Of Death (or any in series)*
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
When Bobby completely disappears, it is up to his friends to discover his whereabouts. This seems to be nearly impossible as when they begin their search, his friends find that even the house he lived in has disappeared.

Malone, Marianne. The Sixty-Eight Rooms
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
When Ruthie's sixth-grade class visits the Art Institute of Chicago, she and her friend Jack discover a magic key that shrinks them to the size of gerbils and allows them to explore a collection of sixty-eight miniature rooms.

Mass, Wendy. Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
REALISTIC FICTION, ADVENTURE
Just before his thirteenth birthday, Jeremy Fink receives a keyless locked box set aside by his father before his death five years earlier. Jeremy feels compelled to open it, but five different keys are needed and they all happen to be missing. The box is said to contain the meaning of life.

Meyer, Marissa. Cinder (or any in series)*
SCIENCE FICTION, ADVENTURE
Cinder, a cyborg and a brilliant techie, must financially support her cruel stepmother. Life is ok but not wonderful. When the country’s prince hires her to repair a robot, he finds her irresistible and Cinder is terrified that he will discover that she is a lowly cyborg.

Mikaelsen, Ben. Touching Spirit Bear (or any in the series)*
REALISTIC FICTION, ADVENTURE
After his anger erupts into violence, Cole, in order to avoid going to prison, agrees to participate in a sentencing alternative based on the Native American Circle Justice, and he is sent to a remote Alaskan Island where an encounter with a huge Spirit Bear changes his life.

Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. Dairy Queen
REALISTIC FICTION, SPORTS, ROMANCE
After spending her summer running the family farm and training the quarterback for her school's rival football team, sixteen-year-old D.J. decides to go out for the sport herself, not anticipating the reactions of those around her.

Napoli, Donna Jo. North
SURVIVAL, ADVENTURE, FICTION
Tired of his mother's overprotectiveness and intrigued by the life of African American explorer Matthew Henson, twelve-year-old Alvin travels north and spends a season with a trapper near the Arctic Circle.

Palacio, R. J. Wonder
REALISTIC FICTION
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan. Will he be able to endure the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student?

Paterson, Katherine. Of Nightingales that Weep
HISTORICAL FICTION
The vain daughter of a Samurai finds her comfortable life ripped apart when opposing warrior clans begin a struggle for imperial control of Japan.

Patterson, James. Maximum Ride: the Angel Experiment
SCIENCE FICTION, ADVENTURE
After the mutant Erasers abduct the youngest member of their group, the "birdkids," who are the result of genetic experimentation, take off in pursuit and find themselves struggling to understand their own origins and purpose.

Paulson, Gary. Nightjohn
HISTORICAL FICTION
Twelve-year-old Sarny’s brutal life as a slave becomes even more dangerous when a newly arrived slave offers to teach her how to read.

Philbrick, W. R. Wildfire
REALISTIC FICTION, ADVENTURE, COURAGE
When summer camp is evacuated ahead of a fast moving wildfire, Sam Castine makes the mistake of going back for his phone. He finds himself left behind, disoriented, and running for his life, together with a girl, Delphy, from a different camp--finding an old jeep keeps them going, but in the wilds of Maine, there are only logging roads and the deadly crown fire is everywhere.

Preus.Margi. Heart of a Samurai: Based on True Story of Nakahama Manjiro
ADVENTURE HISTORICAL, NONFICTION
In 1841, after he is lost a sea during a fishing expedition, teenage Manjiro is rescued by an American whaling ship. He dreams of becoming a samurai, but instead he must learn new law and customs as he becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States.

Reynolds, Jason. Ghost
REALISTIC FICTION, SPORTS
Ghost, a naturally talented runner and troublemaker, is recruited for an elite middle school track team. He must stay on track, literally and figuratively, to reach his full potential.

Ritter, William. Jackaby
MYSTERY FICTION, CRIME, CLAIRVOYANCE
Newly arrived in 1892 New England, Abigail Rook becomes assistant to R.F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with the ability to see supernatural beings, and she helps him delve into a case of serial murder which, Jackaby is convinced, is due to a nonhuman creature.

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potterand the Sorcerer’s Stone(or any in the series)*
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
Forget the movies. Read them in order.

Sonnenblick, Jordan. Drums, Girls, & Dangerous Pie
REALISTIC FICTION
When his younger brother is diagnosed with leukemia, thirteen-year-old Steven tries to deal with his complicated emotions, his school life, and his desire to support his family.

Stone, Tanya Lee. Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America's First Black Paratroopers
NONFICTION
This is the story of the role of African-Americans in the military through the history of the Triple Nickles, America's first black paratroopers, who fought against attacks perpetrated on the American West by the Japanese during World War II.

Van Draanen, Wendelin. The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones
REALISTIC FICTION, FRIENDS
Lincoln Jones is always working on the latest story he's got going in his notebook. Those stories are his refuge. A place where the hero always prevails and the bad guy goes to jail. Real life is messy and complicated, so Lincoln sticks to fiction and keeps to himself. Which works fine until a nosy girl at his new school starts prying into his private business. She wants to know what he's writing, where he disappears to after school, and why he never talks to anybody.

Westerfeld, Scott. Uglies, (or any in the series)*
SCIENCE FICTION, ADVENTURE
When Tally's friend Shay risks joining a non-conforming community, rather than participate in the surgery to become a “pretty,” Tally questions the ethics involved in the society’s demand that all attain the "pretty" status she herself been enthusiastically anticipating.

Wilson, N.D. 100 Cupboards
MYSTERY, FANTASY, ADVENTURE
After his parents are kidnapped, timid twelve-year-old Henry York leaves his sheltered Boston life and moves to small-town Kansas, where he and his cousin Henrietta discover and explore hidden doors in his attic room that open onto other worlds.

Winthrop, Elizabeth. Counting on Grace
FRIENDS, CHILD LABOR, HISTORICAL FICTION
In 1910, twelve-year-old Grace and her friend Arthur go to work in the textile mills of Pownal, Vermont, and experience the dangerous working conditions that led to the arrival of a photographer from the Child Labor Board.

Wright, Barbara. Crow
DISCRIMINATION, HISTORICAL FICTION
In 1898, Moses Thomas's summer vacation does not go exactly as planned as he contends with family problems and the ever-changing alliances among his friends at the same time as he is exposed to the escalating tension between the African-American and white communities of Wilmington, North Carolina.

*Denotes a book available as an ebook.

Incoming Grade 8 Students

Reading Recommendations

If a series is listed, it is the first in the series that is described. Read “any in the series” as long as you are reading the books in their proper sequence.

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Chains
HISTORICAL FICTION, SLAVERY
After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.

Anthony, Lawrence. Spence, Graham. The Elephant Whisperer
NONFICTION, ELEPHANTS
When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them.

Avi. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
HISTORICAL FICTION, DISGUISE
As the lone "young lady" on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious.

Bloor, Edward. London Calling
WORLD WAR II, TIME TRAVEL, HISTORICAL FICTION
Seventh-grader Martin Conway believes that his life is monotonous and dull until the night the antique radio he uses as a night-light transports him to the bombing of London in 1940.

Bradbury, Ray. The Martian Chronicles
SCIENCE FICTION, CLASSIC
This book contains some of the scariest and most imaginative science-fiction stories ever, by the master science-fiction writer himself. Another from your grandparents reading list!

Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre
CLASSIC, ROMANCE, FICTION
Young Jane Eyre was orphaned and sent to live with her uncle, who dies shortly after her arrival. Her step-aunt despises her and sends her to Lowood School so that she can become a governess. This one is great! Grandma knew some good books.

Bruchac, Joseph. Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of WWII
HISTORICAL NONFICTION
After being taught that Navajo is a useless language, Ned Begay and other Navajo men learn how necessary their language is when they are recruited by the Marines to become Code Talkers.

Carter, Ally. Heist Society(or any in the series)*
MYSTERY, ADVENTURE, FICTION
A group of teenagers uses their combined talents to re-steal several priceless paintings from a vengeful collector and save fifteen-year-old Kat Bishop's father, who has been accused of the theft.

Clements, Andrew. Things Not Seen
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
When fifteen-year-old Bobby wakes up and finds that he is invisible, he, his parents, and his new blind friend, Alicia, try to find out what caused his condition and how to reverse it.

Dashner, James. The Eye of Minds*
SUSPENSE, GAMING, SCIENCE FICTION
Michael is a skilled internet gamer in a world of advanced technology. When a cyber-terrorist begins to threaten players, Michael is called upon to seek out him and his secrets.

Denenberg, Barry. Ali: An American Champion
BIOGRAPHY, NONFICTION
This book puts the famous world heavyweight champion boxer in to historical context with gripping immediacy through the use of newspaper articles, interviews, opinion pieces, and photographs.

Evans, Richard Paul. Michael Vey: The prisoner of cell 25
FANTASY, SUPERPOWERS, ADVENTURE, FRIENDS
Michael Vey, a fourteen-year-old with Tourette's syndrome who possesses special electric powers, discovers that a cheerleader named Taylor also has special powers. With the help of Michael's friend, Ostin, the three of them set out to discover how Michael and Taylor ended up this way, but their investigation brings them to the attention of a powerful group who wants to control the electric children.

Flanagan, John. The Hunters (Brotherband Chronicles)
ADVENTURE, FICTION
Determined to recover the Adomal and to prevent the pirate Zavac from doing more damage, Hal and his brotherband crew pursue Zavac to the lawless fortress of Ragusa where, if Hal is to succeed, he will have to go beyond his brotherband training and face the pirate one-on-one in a fight to the finish.

Fleming, Candace. The Family Romanov: murder, rebellion, and the fall of Imperial Russia.
RUSSIAN CZARS, WORLD WAR I, NONFICTION
Here is the riveting story of the Russian Revolution as it unfolded. When Russia's last tsar, Nicholas II, inherited the throne in 1894, he was unprepared to do so. With their four daughters (including Anastasia) and only son, a hemophiliac, Nicholas and his reclusive wife, Alexandra, buried their heads in the sand, living a life of opulence as World War I raged outside their door and political unrest grew.

Freedman, Russell. Because They Marched
NONFICTION, CIVIL RIGHTS
An account of the 1965 civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, is presented. This event sparked the signing of the Voting Rights Act and is the event upon which the recent movie, Selma, is based.

Littman, Sarah. Anything But Okay
REALISTIC FICTION, PTSD, FRIENDS
Life has suddenly turned chaotic for high school student Stella since her brother, Rob, got home from his second tour of duty in Afghanistan: her school is on edge with ethnic tensions and her brother seems to be suffering from post-traumatic stress but will not talk about it. But when Rob's anger finally spirals out of control, Stella realizes she has to find the courage to take a stand against the forces of hate in her hometown.

London, Jack. White Fang
CLASSIC, ADVENTURE, FICTION
This is the story of a wolf born in the frozenhearted Northland wild, and how he became known as “the Blessed Wolf.”

Lore, Pittacus. I Am Number Four (or any in series)*
SCIENCE FICTION, ROMANCE, SUPERPOWERS
In rural Ohio, friendships and a beautiful girl prove distracting to a fifteen-year-old who has hidden on Earth for ten years waiting to develop the Legacies, or powers, he will need to rejoin the other six surviving Garde members and fight the Mogadorians who destroyed their planet, Lorien.

Lowry, Lois. A Summer to Die
REALISTIC FICTION, SIBLINGS, ILLNESS
Thirteen-year-old Meg envies her sister Molly’s beauty and popularity. Her feelings don’t make it any easier for her to cope with Molly’s strange illness and eventual death.

Lu, Marie. Warcross
FANTASY FICTION, COMPUTER CRIME, SUSPENSE
When teenage coder Emika Chen hacks her way into the opening tournament of the Warcross Championships, she glitches herself into the game as well as a sinister plot with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

Marsh, Katherine. The Night Tourist
FANTASY, MYTHOLOGY, FRIENDS
Fourteen-year-old Jack Perdu, a prodigy of classical mythology, suffers a near-fatal accident after which he meets Euri, a young ghost who introduces him to New York's ghostly underworld, eight levels below Grand Central Station, where Jack decides to look for his mother who disappeared years earlier.

McManus, Karen M. One of Us is Lying
REALISTIC FICTION, MYSTERY
When the creator of a high school gossip app mysteriously dies in front of four high-profile students all four become suspects. It's up to them to solve the case.

Mikaelsen, Ben. Touching Spirit Bear (or any in the series)*
REALISTIC FICTION, ADVENTURE
After his anger erupts into violence, Cole, in order to avoid going to prison, agrees to participate in a sentencing alternative based on the Native American Circle Justice, and he is sent to a remote Alaskan Island where an encounter with a huge Spirit Bear changes his life.

Murdock, Catherine Gilbert. Dairy Queen
REALISTIC FICTION, SPORTS, ROMANCE
After spending her summer running the family farm and training the quarterback for her school's rival football team, sixteen-year-old D.J. decides to go out for the sport herself, not anticipating the reactions of those around her.

Nielsen, Jennifer A. A Night Divided
HISTORICAL FICTION, WWII, FAMILY
When the Berlin Wall went up, Gerta, her mother, and her brother Fritz are trapped on the eastern side where they were living, while her father, and her other brother Dominic are in the West--four years later, now twelve, Gerta sees her father on a viewing platform on the western side and realizes he wants her to risk her life trying to tunnel to freedom.

Oppel, Kenneth. Airborn
MYSTERY, ADVENTURE, SCIENCE FICTION
Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportedly living hundreds of feet above the Earth's surface.

Pratchett, Terry. Nation
HISTORICAL FICTION, SURVIVAL
After a tsunami destroys all that they have ever known, Mau, an island boy, and Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, together with a small band of refugees, set about rebuilding their community and the things that matter to them.

Reynolds, Jason. Ghost
REALISTIC FICTION, SPORTS,
Ghost, a naturally talented runner and troublemaker, is recruited for an elite middle school track team. He must stay on track, literally and figuratively, to reach his full potential.

Ritter, William. Jackaby
MYSTERY FICTION, CRIME, CLAIRVOYANCE
Newly arrived in 1892 New England, Abigail Rook becomes assistant to R.F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with the ability to see supernatural beings, and she helps him delve into a case of serial murder which, Jackaby is convinced, is due to a non human creature.

Scattergood, Augusta. Glory Be
CIVIL RIGHTS, HISTORICAL FICTION
In the summer of 1964 as she is about to turn twelve, Glory's town of Hanging Moss, Mississippi, is beset by racial tension when town leaders close her beloved public pool rather than desegregating it.

Sepetys, Ruta. Salt to the Sea
HISTORICAL FICTION, WWII
As World War II draws to a close, refugees try to escape the war aboard ship, only to find themselves in more danger.

Sheinkin, Steve. Bomb: The Race To Build And Steal The World's Most Dangerous Weapon
NONFICTION, WORLD WAR II,
The scientific discoveries that enabled atom splitting, the military intelligence operations that occurred in rival countries, and the work of brilliant scientists hidden at Los Alamos is recounted.

Sonnenblick, Jordan. Drums, Girls, & Dangerous Pie
REALISTIC FICTION
When his younger brother is diagnosed with leukemia, thirteen-year-old Steven tries to deal with his complicated emotions, his school life, and his desire to support his family.

Spiegelman, Art. Maus
MEMOIR, WORLD WAR II, HOLOCAUST, GRAPHIC NOVEL
The author-illustrator traces his father's imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp through a series of disarming and unusual cartoons arranged to tell the story as a novel.

Stone, Tanya Lee. Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream
NONFICTION, ASTRONAUTS
When America created NASA in 1958, there was an unspoken rule in place: astronauts must be white and male. However, thirteen women challenged the U.S. government and proved their strength and valor. Their passage to space was blocked by prejudice, jealousy, and one of the most powerful men in Washington. In the end, though, their inspiring example empowered young women to take their rightful place in the sky, piloting jets, and commanding space capsules.

Smith, Betty. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
HISTORICAL FICTION,CLASSIC, ROMANCE
Francie Nolan and her family lived in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn from 1902 until 1919. This is the story of Francie, her resourcefulness, and her wisdom, as she grows up.

Stewart, Trenton Lee. The Mysterious Benedict Society (or any in the series)*
REALISTIC FICTION, MYSTERY
After passing a series of mind-bending tests, four children are selected to go on a secret mission that requires them to go undercover at the Institute for the Very Enlightened where the only rule is that there are no rules.

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit (or any in Lord of the Rings series)*
FANTASY, ADVENTURE
This is the story of the adventures of Bilbo Baggins including his encounters with trolls, goblins, dwarves, and elves.

Van Draanen, Wendelin. The Running Dream
REALISTIC FICTION, SPORTS, COURAGE
When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again

Verne, Jules. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
CLASSIC, FICTION
This is the tale of the mysterious Captain Nemo, his electric submarine, and the crew that farmed the bottom of the sea.

Westerfeld, Scott. Uglies (or any by author)
SCIENCE FICTION, ADVENTURE
In Tally’s world, your sixteenth birthday brings an operation that turns you from a repellant ugly into a stunningly attractive pretty. But Shay isn’t sure she wants to be pretty. She’d rather risk her life on the outside.

Woodson, Jacqueline. Brown Girl Dreaming
MEMOIR, FAMILY, CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT
Moving story of the author’s childhood told in verse. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.

Yancey, Rick. The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp (or any in the series)*
FANTASY, KING ARTHUR LEGEND
Through a series of dangerous and violent misadventures, teenage loser Alfred Kropp rescues King Arthur's legendary sword Excalibur from the forces of evil. Who is he and why can he do the impossible?

Zentner, Jeff. The Goodbye Days
REALISTIC FICTION, LOSS
Looks at a teen's life after the death of his best friend and how he navigates through the guilt and pain by celebrating their lives--and ultimately learning to forgive himself.

Zusak, Michael. The Book Thief
WORLD WAR II, HISTORICAL FICTION
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel - a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.

*Denotes a book available as an ebook.