Breakfast and Booktalks 2012
Book recommendations from Wellesley Books book buyer Margaret Aldrich
6th Grade - Historical Fiction
Dear Blue Sky by Mary Sullivan
Shortly after Cass's big brother is deployed to fight in Iraq, Cass becomes pen pals with an Iraqi girl who opens up her eyes to the effects of war
Buddy by MH Herlong
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.
Shadow by Michael Morpugo
Teenager Aman and his mother lose their loyal spaniel Shadow while escaping Afghanistan to flee to England, and they must depend on a friend and his grandfather to enable Shadow's return.
My Own Revolution by Carolyn Marsden
In 1960s Czechoslovakia, Patrik participates in and rebels against the communist regime, knowing that anyone could become an enemy in the blink of an eye.
6th Grade - Contemporary Fiction
Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead Seventh-grader Georges adjusts to moving from a house to an apartment, his father's efforts to start a new business, his mother's extra shifts as a nurse, being picked on at school, and Safer, a boy who wants his help spying on another resident of their building.
Almost Home by Joan Bauer
Sixth-grader Sugar and her mother lose their beloved house and experience the harsh world of homelessness.
Fourmile by Watt KeyA mysterious stranger arrives at a boy's rundown Alabama farm home, just as a dangerous situation is unfolding for the twelve-year-old and his widowed mother
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
Washed ashore as a baby in tiny Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, Mo LoBeau, now eleven, and her best friend Dale turn detective when the amnesiac Colonel, owner of a cafe and co-parent of Mo with his cook, Miss Lana, seems implicated in a murder
Ungifted by Gordon Korman
Due to an administrative mix-up, troublemaker Donovan Curtis is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction, a special program for gifted and talented students, after pulling a major prank at middle school.
Chomp by Carl Hiaasen
The difficult star of the reality television show, "Expedition Survival," disappears on location in the Florida Everglades, where they were filming animals from the wildlife refuge run by Wahoo Crane's family, and Wahoo and classmate Tuna Gordon set out to find him, but they must avoid Tuna's gun-happy father.
Wonder by RJ Palacio
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, which entails enduring the taunts and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.
6th Grade - Fantasy & SciFi
Splendors and Glorious by Laura Amy SchlitzWhen Clara vanishes after the puppeteer Grisini and two orphaned assistants were at her twelfth birthday party, suspicion of kidnapping chases the trio away from London and soon the two orphans are caught in a trap set by Grisini's ancient rival, a witch with a deadly inheritance to shed before it is too late.
Gods and Warriors by Michelle Paver
In the turbulent world of the Mediterranean Bronze Age, Hylas, a lowly twelve-year-old goatherd, thief, and outsider, journeys from the Greek mountains to Crete and Egypt, making allies with animals, battling tyranny, and withstanding the elemental powers of the gods of land and sea.
Under the Wildwood by Colin Meloy
Prue and Curtis are thrown together again to save themselves and the lives of their friends, and to bring unity to the divided country of Wildwood.
A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle
Mary O'Hara is a sharp and cheeky twelve-year-old Dublin schoolgirl who is bravely facing the fact that her beloved Gran is dying. But Gran can't let go of life, and when a mysterious young woman turns up in Mary's street with a message for her Gran, Mary gets pulled into an unlikely adventure.
The Peculiar by Stefan Bachman
Changeling Bartholomew Kettle, having been locked away by his mother to protect him from humans and faeries who would want him dead for being half-human and half-faery, witnesses another changeling being kidnapped by a beautiful and mysterious figure, and, after hearing of the bodies of changelings being found dead and marked with a red tattoo, he realizes he is the next target and must figure out a way to stay alive.
The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan
The Greek and Roman demigods will have to cooperate in order to defeat the giants released by the Earth Mother, Gaea. Then they will have to sail together to the ancient land--Greece itself--to find the Doors of Death.
Michael Vey: Rise of the Elgen by Richard Paul Evans
Sequel to: Michael Vey, the prisoner of cell 25. Fifteen-year-old Michael Vey, born with Tourette's syndrome and special electromagnetic powers, joins his techno-genius best friend and an alliance of other "electric" teenagers to battle powerful foes in the jungles of Peru, where Michael learns the Order of Elgen's plan to "restructure" the world.
Son by Lois Lowry
Companion book to: The Giver, Gathering blue, and Messenger. Unlike the other Birthmothers in her utopian community, teenaged Claire forms an attachment to her baby, feeling a great loss when he is taken to the Nurturing Center to be adopted by a family unit.
6th Grade - NonFiction
Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass by Russell FreedmanLooks at the lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, including their friendship and their affect on Emancipation and the Civil War.
The Fairy Ring by Mary Losure
Relates the story of Francis and Elsie, cousins who concocted a story and photographs about fairies because nobody believed Francis could see the tiny men and were surprised when their photographs were found by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who truly believed in fairies.
Bomb by Steve Sheinkin
Examines the history of the atomic bomb, discussing the discovery of the behavior of uranium when placed next to radioactive material, the race to build a bomb, and the impact of the weapon on societies around the world.
Mythmaker: the Life of JRR Tolkein by Anne Neimark
Includes index. Follows the life and work of the renowned fantasy writer, creator of hobbits, Middle Earth, and "The Lord of the Rings."
Kids of Kabul by Deborah Ellis
Examines the lives of children living in Kabul, featuring boys and girls ages ten to seventeen discussing their lives in a country at war.
Toys! Amazing Stories Behind Some Great Inventions by Don Wulffson
Describes the creation of a variety of toys and games, from seesaws to Silly Putty and toy soldiers to Trivial Pursuit.
7th and 8th Grade
titles marked with a * contain "adult" content and are included as suggestions for mature 8th graders and high school students
Shadow on the Mountain by Margi PreusIn Nazi-occupied Norway, fourteen-year-old Espen joins the resistance movement, graduating from deliverer of illegal newspapers to courier and spy.
*Personal Effects by EM KokieMatt has been sleepwalking through life while seeking answers about his brother T.J.'s death in Iraq, but after discovering that he may not have known his brother as well as he thought he did, Matt is able to stand up to his father, honor T.J.'s memory, and take charge of his own life.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
In 1943, a British fighter plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France and the survivor tells a tale of friendship, war, espionage, and great courage as she relates what she must to survive while keeping secret all that she can.
True Legend by Mike LupicaFifteen-year-old Drew "True" Robinson loves being the best point-guard prospect in high school basketball, but learns the consequences of fame through a former player, as well as through the man who expects to be his manager when True reaches the NBA.
Camo Girl by Kekla Magoon
Ella has always been friends with a boy known as Z, despite his reputation as the weird kid, but when a new boy, Bailey, moves to town and befriends Ella because they are the only two African American students in the class, she must choose between the popularity Bailey will bring to her life and her lifelong friendship with Z.
Colin Fischer by Ashley Miller
A boy with autism teams up with the high school bully to get to the bottom of a cafeteria crime.
*Ask the Passengers by AS King
Astrid Jones, who realizes that she is a lesbian, deals with the gossip and rejection she faces by sending love up to the people on airplanes as they pass over her.
*Call the Shots by Don Calame
After finding out his parents are expecting a baby, somphore Sean Hance, and his best friends Matt and Coop, decide to make their very own ultra-low-budget horror flick and enter it in TerrorFest and after they win the money Sean hopes he will be able to build an addition to his parents home but first they have to write, cast, film, and edit the movie with no equipment, no experience, and almost no budget.
Guitar Notes by Mary Amato
Tripp, who plays guitar only for himself, and Lyla, a cellist whose talent has already made her famous but not happy, form an unlikely friendship when they are forced to share a practice room at their high school.
Seconds Away by Harlan Coben
When tragedy strikes close to home, Mickey Bolitar and his new friends find themselves at the center of a murder mystery.
Fantasy and Science Fiction
Seraphina by Rachel HartmanIn a world where dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce and dragons can assume human form, Seraphina, whose mother died giving birth to her, grapples with her own identity amid magical secrets and royal scandals, while she struggles to accept and develop her extraordinary musical talents.
Long Lankin by Lindsey BarraclougWhen Cora and her younger sister, Mimi, are sent to stay with their great Auntie Ida in an isolated village in 1958, they discover that they are in danger from a centuries-old evil and, along with village boys Roger and Peter, strive to uncover the horrifying truth before it is too late.
*The Diviners by Libba BraySeventeen-year-old Evie O'Neill is thrilled when she is exiled from small-town Ohio to New York City in 1926, even when a rash of occult-based murders thrusts Evie and her uncle, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult, into the thick of the investigation.
*Every Day by David LevithanEvery morning A wakes in a different person's body, in a different person's life, learning over the years to never get too attached, until he wakes up in the body of Justin and falls in love with Justin's girlfriend, Rhiannon.
Origin by Jessica KhouryPia has grown up in a secret laboratory hidden deep in the Amazon rain forest and is genetically engineered to be immortal and be the future of the human race, but on the night of her seventeenth birthday, Pia discovers a hole in the electric fence that surrounds her sterile home and sneaks outside the compound for the first time in her life.
Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterThough she is from a family of clairvoyants, Blue Sargent's only gift seems to be that she makes other people's talents stronger, and when she meets Gansey, one of the Raven Boys from the expensive Aglionby Academy, she discovers that he has talents of his own--and that together their talents are a dangerous mix.
Magisterium by Jeff HirshIn the twenty-second century, Glennora Morgan's father has been working on a project that will allow him to penetrate the Rift border and retrieve Glennora's mother; but now that he has succeeded the Authority is suddenly trying to kill them both, and Glennora and her friend Kevin must flee into the Magisterium to escape them.
Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle ZevinIn 2083, seventeen-year-old Anya Balanchine seeks a way to make Balanchine Chocolate legitimate, and although a trip to Mexico gives her new insights and ideas, escaping her mobster family's legacy of violence may prove impossible.
*Ashen Winter by Mike Mullin
More than six months after the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano, Alex and Darla retrace their steps to Iowa hoping to find Alex's parents and bring them to the tenuous safety of Illinois, but the journey is ever more perilous as the remaining communities fight to the death for food and power.
Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis by Jim Murphy and Alison Blank
Discusses the history of tuberculosis and the attempts to find a cure.
Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the age of lies by Marc Aronson
Examines the legacy and the power held by J. Edgar Hoover during his years as the first director of the FBI and describes how his decisions affected the lives of Americans in the twentieth century.
Beyond Courage: the untold story of Jewish resistance during the Holocaust by Doreen Rappaport
Provides detailed accounts of twenty-one acts of defiance committed against Nazis in Nazi-occupied countries during World War II.
The Bronte Sisters by Catherine ReefAn exploration of the lives of the Bronte sisters and the time in which they lived.
Outcasts United by Warren St. John
American-educated Jordanian Luma Mufleh founds a youth soccer team comprised of children from Liberia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Balkan states, and elsewhere in the refugee settlement town of Clarkston, Georgia, bringing the children together to discover their common bonds as they adjust to life in a new homeland.
The Warrior's Heart by Eric Greitens
Eric Greitens shares his life journey from being an average kid to working to make a difference in the world's trouble spots and joining the Navy SEALS to protect the weak, and encourages readers to reflect on the power of choice and acts of courage.