Books for 5th and 6th Graders
The Evolution of Calpernia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
In central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother, learns about love from the older three of her six brothers, and studies the natural world with her grandfather, the latter of which leads to an important discovery.
All the Broken Pieces by Ann E. Burg (novel in verse)
Two years after being airlifted out of Vietnam in 1975, Matt Pin is haunted by the terrible secret he left behind and, now, in a loving adoptive home in the United States, a series of profound events forces him to confront his past.
Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller
At age twenty-one, partially-blind, lonely but spirited Annie Sullivan travels from Massachusetts to Alabama to try and teach six-year-old Helen Keller, deaf and blind since age two, self-discipline and communication skills.
A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck
A companion novel to: A long way from Chicago and A year down yonder. Relates the surprising gifts bestowed on twelve-year-old Bob Barnhart and his family, who have recently moved to a small Illinois town in 1958, by their larger-than-life neighbor, Mrs. Dowdel.
Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Jennifer Choldenko
Moose Flanagan, who lives on Alcatraz along with his family and the families of the other prison guards, is frightened when he discovers that noted gangster Al Capone, a prisoner there, wants a favor in return for the help that he secretly gave Moose.
The Brooklyn Nine by Alan M. Gratz
Follows the fortunes of a German immigrant family through nine generations, beginning in 1845, as they experience American life and play baseball.
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.
11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
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.
Today I Will: A Year of of Quotes, Notes and Promises by Eileen and Jerry Spinelli
Collects quotations for daily inspiration for young readers, and features excerpts from children's literature and advice with each entry.
Scat by Carl Hiassen
Nick and Marta are both suspicious when their biology teacher, the feared Mrs. Bunny Starch, disappears, and try to uncover the truth despite the police and headmaster's insistence that nothing is wrong.
The Last Newspaper Boy in America by Sue Corbett
Wil's paper route is canceled when a large newspaper stops delivery to Wil's small town, but with the help of his clueless brother, a neighborhood friend, and the basic principles of physics, Wil finds a way to save his route and help his customers.
Million-Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica
Eighth-grade star quarterback Nate Brodie's family is feeling the stress of the troubled economy, and Nate is frantic because his best friend Abby is going blind, so when he gets a chance to win a million dollars if he can complete a pass during the halftime of a New England Patriot's game, he is nearly overwhelmed by the pressure to succeed.
Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell in Love by Lauren Tarshis (and Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree)
Seventh-grader Emma-Jean Lazarus uses her logical, scientific mind to navigate the mysteries of the upcoming Spring Fling, her friend Colleen's secret admirer, and other love-related dilemmas.
Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan (short stories)
Contains fifteen illustrated short stories, some humorous and some haunting, set in the Australian suburbs.
Lost Worlds by John Howe
Presents a visual journey and exploration of ancient historic cities, combining facts and mythologies pertaining to Babylon, Atlantis, Pompeii, and other settings that are both real and imaginary.
The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
When ten-year-old orphan Peter Augustus Duchene encounters a fortune teller in the marketplace one day who tells him that his sister, who is presumed dead, is in fact alive, he embarks on a remarkable series of adventures in an attempt to find her.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (2009 Newbery winner)
The orphan Bod, short for Nobody, is taken in by the inhabitants of a graveyard as a child of eighteen months and raised lovingly and carefully to the age of eighteen years by the community of ghosts and otherworldly creatures.
The Doom Machine by Mark Teague
When a spaceship lands in the small town of Vern Hollow in 1956, juvenile delinquent Jack Creedle and prim, studious Isadora Shumway form an unexpected alliance as they try to keep a group of extraterrestrials from stealing eccentric Uncle Bud's space travel machine.
Tentacles by Roland Smith
After the mysterious disappearance of their parents, Marty and Grace go to live with their scientist uncle and accompany him on, what soon becomes, an increasingly dangerous expedition to New Zealand to track a giant squid. (Code Red series)
The Ranger's Apprentice, Book 6: The Siege of Macindaw by John Flanagan
Will, who has become a protector of his first fief after many years as a Ranger's apprentice, is faced with many challenges when Keren, a renegade knight, takes over Castle Macindaw and forges a secret alliance with Scotti.
The Last Apprentice, Book 6: Clash of the Demons by Joseph Delaney
Tom is reunited with his mother and must return to Greece to face a new and terrible threat from the dark forces, and a momentous decision must be made, causing a serious rift between Tom and the Spook that threatens to separate them forever.
The Mysterious Benedict Society & the Prisoner's Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart (3rd in series)
Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance investigate when an unexplained blackout engulfs Stonetown.
Cat Burglar Black by Richard Sala (graphic novel)
K. Westree arrives at Bellsong Academy, where she hopes to leave her past as a cat-burglar behind, but she quickly learns that the school contains a hidden treasure left by its founder, and as she resumes her old habits, she starts to question whether she really wants a normal life.
Amulet, Book 2: The Stonekeeper's Curse by Kazu Kibuishi
Emily and her brother, Navin, head for Kanalis in order to find the antidote for the poison that has sickened their mother.
Three Cups of Tea (Young Reader's Edition) by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Adapts for young readers Greg Mortenson's book in which he recounts the experiences he had while trying to help impoverished villages in Pakistan's Karakoram Himalaya build schools for their children.
Anne Frank: Her Life in Words and Pictures from the archives of The Anne Frank House
A photographic introduction to the life and experiences of Anne Frank, who along with her family and others lived in hiding from the Nazis in a secret annex from July 1942 until their capture in August 1944.
Truce: the day the soldiers stopped fighting by Jim Murphy
Tells the story of the December 25, 1914 truce between German and British soldiers as they laid down their weapons and met in No Man's Land to celebrate Christmas.
A Really Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson
Draws from the science fields of cosmology, astronomy, paleontology, geology, chemistry, physics, and others to examine key events in the history of science, beginning with the Big Bang.
109 Forgotten American Heroes by DK and McSweeney's
Examines various stories about little known American heroes, such as John Russell Bartlett, who was the first to compile American words and their etymology; and Charles F. Brannock, who invented a tool to accurately measure the size of feet.
Books for 7th and 8th Graders
Treasure Island illustrated by John Lawrence
Graphic novel version of the classic.
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
In an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service, is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts.
Newsgirl by Liza Ketchum
Twelve-year-old Amelia Forrester arrives in San Francisco with her family in 1851 and dresses like a boy in the mostly-male town, cutting her hair and wearing a cap to work as a newsboy in order to sell Eastern newspapers and participate in the biggest stories of the day.
The Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper
On her sixteenth birthday in 1936, Sophia begins a diary of life in a fictional island country off the coast of Spain, where she is among the last descendants of an impoverished royal family trying to hold their nation together on the eve of the second World War.
Nation by Terry Pratchett
A tsunami destroys everything leaving Mau, an island boy, Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, and a small group of refugees responsible for rebuilding their village and their lives.
*Bloody Jack (series) by LA Meyer
Reduced to begging and thievery in the streets of London, a thirteen-year-old orphan disguises herself as a boy and connives her way onto a British warship set for high sea adventure in search of pirates.
Change-Up: Mystery at the World Series by John Feinstein
While covering the World Series, teen reporters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol uncover some inconsistencies in the life story of a popular, new pitcher and begin to investigate.
A Pack of Lies by Gerladine McCaughrean
As MCC Berkshire, the mysterious, book-obsessed man helping in Ailsa's mother's antique shop, tells wild stories that persuade customers to buy various items, teenaged Ailsa believes he is a liar but fears that he is not.
The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
Belly spends the summer she turns sixteen at the beach just like every other summer of her life, but this time things are very different as she finds herself falling for a boy she has known since childhood.
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
Terra, a sensitive, artistic high school senior born with a facial port-wine stain, struggles with issues of inner and outer beauty with the help of her Goth classmate Jacob.
Peace, Love and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle
Fifteen-year-old Carly's summer volunteer experience makes her feel more real than her life of privilege in Atlanta ever did, but her younger sister starts high school pretending to be what she is not, and both find their relationships suffering.
*The Pricker Boy by Reade Scott Whinnem
After finding a mysterious package in the spooky woods where they have grown up, fourteen-year-old Stucks Cumberland and his friends are forced to consider that their childhood bogeyman might be all too real.
*Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X Stork
Marcelo Sandoval, a seventeen-year-old boy on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, faces new challenges, including romance and injustice, when he goes to work for his father in the mailroom of a corporate law firm.
*This Full House by Virginia Euwer Wolff (sequel to Make Lemonade and True Believer)
LaVaughn, having overcome many obstacles to obtain admission to the Women in Science program, a stepping-stone to college, finds her dreams jeopardized by her attempts to resolve a difficult situation involving people she cares about.
*Swim the Fly by Don Calame
Swim team members and best friends Matt, Sean, and Coop, set themselves the summertime goal of seeing a live girl naked, and while the chances of that happening seem very dim, Matt's personal goal to swim the one-hundred-yard butterfly to impress the new girl on the team seems even less likely to happen.
*Flash Burnout by LK Madigan
Fifteen-year-old amateur photographer Blake gains self-awareness through his relationships with a girlfriend and a friend who he helps come to terms with her feelings about her homeless, methamphetamine-addicted mother.
*Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
Eighteen-year-old Lia comes to terms with her best friend's death from anorexia as she struggles with the same eating disorder.
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (sequel to The Hunger Games)
By winning the annual Hunger Games, District 12 tributes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have secured a life of safety and plenty for themselves and their families, but because they won by defying the rules, they unwittingly become the faces of an impending rebellion.
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
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.
*Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
In all the years she has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house, Grace has been particularly drawn to an unusual yellow-eyed wolf who, in his turn, has been watching her with increasing intensity.
*Fire by Kristin Cashore (companion novel to Graceling)
In a kingdom called the Dells, Fire is the last human-shaped monster, with unimaginable beauty and the ability to control the minds of those around her, but even with these gifts she cannot escape the strife that overcomes her world.
Fallen by Lauren Kate (early Dec 2009)
Suspected in the death of her boyfriend, seventeen-year-old Luce is sent to a Savannah, Georgia, reform school where she meets two intriguing boys and learns the truth about the strange shadows that have always haunted her.
The Dark Divine by Bree Despain (late Dec 2009)
Grace Divine, almost seventeen, learns a dark secret when her childhood friend--practically a brother--returns, upsetting her minister-father and the rest of her family, around the time strange things are happening in and near their small Minnesota town.
*Stitches by David Small (graphic novel)
A graphic novel that chronicles the life of American author and illustrator David Small, detailing his sickly childhood and teenage years, relationship with his parents, his cancer, and more.
Leaving Glorytown: one boy’s struggle under Castro by Eduardo F Calcines
The author reflects on his childhood growing up in 1960s Cuba, discussing how his family was treated for applying for an exit visa to the United States, his fears of being drafted into the Army, the conditions of his poor neighborhood, and more.
Alive in the killing fields : surviving the Khmer Rouge genocide by Nawuth KeatNawuth Keat, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge invasion of Cambodia, describes his experiences, discussing the killings of his family members, his enslavement, the relationships that were formed between people from his community, and more.
If I Had a Hammer: building homes and hope with Habitat for Humanity by David Rubel
The author describes his experiences working with Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization that builds housing with volunteer laborers.
The great and only Barnum : the tremendous, stupendous life of showman P.T. Barnum by Candace FlemingChronicles the life of showman P. T. Barnum, discussing how he created his legendary circus, the people and events that shaped his life, and the impact Barnum had on the entertainment industry.