The Liberation of Gabriel King by K.L. Going
In a small town in Georgia in 1976, Gabe King, who is white, and his friend Frita Wilson, who is African-American, take on a special project. Gabe is determined not to go to fifth grade in the fall, in the "big kids" wing of the school where he will be one of the smallest students and at the mercy of bullies Duke Evans and Frankie Carmen. Frita, however, has determined to use the summer to liberate her friend from his fears and make sure he moves up with her.
Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis*
The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African-American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963
Airball: My Life in Briefs by Lisa Harkrader
Kirby Nickel, interested in every facet of basketball--except actually playing the game, takes a chance and tries out for the team in order to get the opportunity to meet Brett McGrew, an NBA star who might be his father.
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.
Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages
While her father works on the Manhattan Project, eleven-year-old gadget lover and outcast Dewey Kerrigan lives in Los Alamos Camp, and becomes friends with Suze, another young girl who is shunned by her peers.
Olive’s Ocean by Kevin Henkes
On a summer visit to her grandmother's cottage by the ocean, twelve-year-old Martha gains perspective on the death of a classmate, on her relationship with her grandmother, on her feelings for an older boy, and on her plans to be a writer.
A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements*
It’s a tradition at Hardy School to spend a week at the end of the school in the woods with classmates. Mark plans to use the trip as an opportunity to prove to his teacher, Mr. Maxwell, that he’s not a rich slacker just waiting for the school year to end. But on the first day away, Mr. Maxwell accuses Mark of a crime he didn’t commit, and Mark runs into the woods in anger and frustration. Will he survive, and will he be found?
Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf by Jennifer Holm
Ginny makes a to do list for her seventh grade year, which includes landing a role in the school play, trying to make friends, ignoring her horoscope, and going to see her grandpa Joe in Florida; but she always seems to come up short in accomplishing any of it.
The Homework Machine by Dan Gutman*
Four fifth-grade students--a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker--as well as their teacher and mothers, each relate events surrounding a computer programmed to complete homework assignments.
Airborn by Kenneth Oppel*
In an different, yet similar world 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.
Princess Academy by Shannon Hale*
Miri’s family lives on the slopes of Mount Eskel, where every child dreams of someday working in the quarry. Then word comes from the lowlands: the king’s priests have predicted that the next princess will come from Mount Eskel. Suddenly all the eligible young girls of Miri’s village are sent to a makeshift academy to prepare for life in the lowland--and Miri must go too.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
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 Man-Eating Tigers of Sundarbans by Sy Montogmery
About three hundred people a year are killed by the man-eating tigers of the Sundarbans Reserve. a swamp in Bengal. No where else do tigers live in a swamp, and no where else do tigers kill humans. Sy Montogmery, author of this exciting, true story, sets out to unravel the mystery of the Sundarbans tigers’ unusual behavior.
Children of the Great Depression by Russell Freedman
"It's my sister's turn to eat," a hungry child tells her teacher. Quotations like this bring home what it was like to be young and poor in Depression America. This stirring photo-essay combines such unforgettable personal details with a clear historical overview of the period and black-and-white photos by Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and many other famous photographers of the period.
The Wright Brothers: How They Invented the Airplane by Russell Freedman
What unusual people the Wright brothers were! Despite a four-year difference in age, the two grew up to be as close as twins, a patient pair who methodically set out to prove the possibility of powered, controlled human flight. Just as methodically, they promoted their new flying machine, made lots of money, and overcame the U. S. government's stubborn lack of interest. Freedman takes readers back to that exciting time, using not only the Wrights' written descriptions and the accounts of awed observers, but also a large selection of the careful photographs that Wilbur and Orville took to document their experiments.
Six Million Paper Clips : The Making of a Children’s Holocaust Memorial by Peter W. Schroeder and Dagmar Schoeder-Hildebrand
In rural Whitwell, Tennessee, all 1,600 residents are alike, "white, Anglo-Saxon, and Protestant." When the community middle school decided to teach diversity by focusing on the Holocaust, the students did not believe that the Nazis had killed six million Jews and five million others. To help them grasp the numbers, they collected 11 million paper clips, which they placed in a memorial made from a German World War II railcar. A moving , true story.
Blizzard by Jim Murphy
On March 10, 1888, the weather on the eastern coast of the U.S. was so pleasant that families were picnicking. By Monday morning, however, a huge, destructive blizzard--actually two storms--stretched from Delaware north to Maine and as far west as the Mississippi River. New York City had 21 inches of drifting snow; Troy, New York, was blanketed under 55 inches. Supplies of fuel, food, and milk dwindled; power lines snapped; trains were trapped; nearly 200 ships were lost at sea; and an estimated 800 people died in New York City alone. No wonder some called the storm "The Great White Hurricane."
Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini by Sid Fleischman
Who was this man who could walk through brick walls and, with the snap of his fingers, vanish elephants? In this biography, Fleischman introduces readers to the amazing Houdini--magician, ghost chaser, daredevil, pioneer aviator, and king of escape artists. No jail cell or straitjacket could hold him!
Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka
In comic book-esq format, this book presents a memoir of what it was like to grow up in the 1950s. Includes true and “almost true stories” by American children's author Jon Scieszka.
Oh, Rats! : the story of rats and people by Albert Marrin
Describes rat behavior and survival skills and aspects of their relationship with humans, including disease, rats as food, rats as pests, and the training of rats as rescuers.
*or another book by this author
Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choledenko
A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards' families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister.
Black Duck by Janet Taylor Lisle
Years afterwards, Ruben Hart tells the story of how, in 1929 Newport, Rhode Island, his family and his best friend's family were caught up in the violent competition among groups trying to control the local rum-smuggling trade.
Cover Up by John Feinstein (or other book by the author)
wo teenagers learn that every player on a professional football team--which is supposed to play in the Super Bowl--has failed their drug test and the owner has covered up the results, and now they must find a way to prove it. Sequel to Last Shot and Vanishing Act.
I Wanna be Your Shoe Box by Cristina Garca
Thirteen-year-old, Southern California surfer Yumi Ruiz-Hirsch is a unique mix of Jewish, Japanese, and Cuban heritage; and when her grandfather, Saul, is diagnosed with terminal cancer, she asks him to tell her his life story in order to better understand her own history.
Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan
Left an orphan after the influenza epidemic in British East Africa in 1919, thirteen-year-old Rachel is tricked into assuming a deceased neighbor's identity to travel to England, where her only dream is to return to Africa and rebuild her parents' mission hospital.
London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
When Ted and Kat's cousin Salim disappears from the London Eye ferris wheel, the two siblings must work together--Ted with his brain that is "wired differently" and impatient Kat--to try to solve the mystery of what happened to Salim.
Peak by Roland Smith
A fourteen-year-old boy attempts to be the youngest person to reach the top of Mount Everest and build a relationship with his estranged father.
Ruby in the Smoke by Phillip Pullman
In1872 England, recently orphaned Sally Lockhart is looking for facts about death of her Father and becomes involved in a deadly search for a mysterious ruby.
Satchel Page: Striking Out Jim Crow by James Sturm
A graphic novel account of the career of Negro League pitcher Satchel Paige, discussing the show he put on as a popular player, as well as the respect he demanded as an African-American. (Graphic Novel)
Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
Fifteen short texts, each accompanied by Tan's signature black-and-white and full-color artwork, take the mundane world and transform it into a place of magical wonders. (Graphic Novel)
Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor
Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with her mother's erratic behavior and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters when she and her mother go to live in a small trailer by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York.
Zen and the Art of Faking it by Jordan Sonnenblick
When thirteen-year-old San Lee moves to a new town and school for the umpteenth time, he is looking for a way to stand out when his knowledge of Zen Buddhism, gained in his previous school, provides the answer--and the need to quickly become a convincing Zen master.
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
After the suspicious death of her mother in 1895, sixteen-year-old Gemma returns to England, after many years in India, to attend a finishing school where she becomes aware of her magical powers and ability to see into the spirit world.
Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer (fantasy)
When sixteen-year-old Hope and the aunt who has raised her move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner's political campaign to oust the town's corrupt mayor.
Monster by Walter Dean Myers (realistic)
While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.
Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen (or another book by this author) (realistic)
After his anger erupts into violence, fifteen year-old 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.
After Tupac and D Foster by Jacquenline Woodson (realistic)
In the New York City borough of Queens in 1996, three girls bond over their shared love of Tupac Shakur's music, as together they try to make sense of the unpredictable world in which they live..
Clay by David Almond (fantasy)
The developing relationship between teenager Davie and a mysterious new boy in town morphs into something darker and more sinister when Davie learns firsthand of the boy's supernatural powers.
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (fantasy)
Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizzare world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.
New Boy by Julian Houston (historical)
As a new sophomore at an exclusive boarding school in the 1950s, Rob Garrett, a young black man, is witness to the persecution of other students and wonders about the growing civil rights movement back home in Virginia.
So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld (realistic)
Hunter Braque, a New York City teenager who is paid by corporations to spot what is "cool," combines his analytical skills with girlfriend Jen's creative talents to find a missing person and thwart a conspiracy directed at the heart of consumer culture.
Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (fantasy)
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen accidentally becomes a contender in the annual Hunger Games, a grave competition hosted by the Capitol where young boys and girls are pitted against one another in a televised fight to the death.
Real Time by Pnina Kass (realistic)
Sixteen-year-old Tomas Wanninger persuades his mother to let him leave Germany to volunteer at a kibbutz in Israel, where he experiences a violent political attack and finds answers about his own past.
Alphabet of Dreams by Susan Fletcher (historical)
Exiled from their home country because of their father's plot against King Phraates, fourteen-year-old Mitra and five-year-old Babak, who are of royal descent, live as beggars until it is discovered that the boy can tell the future through his dreams, and the magus Melchoir and two other Zoroastrian priests take the children with them to Bethlehem to witness the coming of a new king.
My Mother the Cheerleader by Rob Sharenow (historical)
Thirteen-year-old Louise uncovers secrets about her family and her neighborhood during the violent protests over school desegregation in 1960 New Orleans.
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang (realistic)
Graphic Novel - In a series of three linked tales, the central characters are introduced: Jin Wang, a teen who meets with ridicule and social isolation when his family moves from San Francisco's Chinatown to an exclusively white suburb; Danny, a popular blond, blue-eyed high school jock whose social status is jeopardized when his goofy, embarrassing Chinese cousin, Chin-Kee, enrolls at his high school; and the Monkey King who, unsatisfied with his current sovereign, desperately longs to be elevated to the status of a god.
Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang
The author tells about the happy life she led in China up until she was twelve-years-old when her family became a target of the Cultural Revolution, and discusses the choice she had to make between denouncing her father and breaking with her family, or refusing to speak against him and losing her future in the Communist Party.
Secrets, Lies, Gizmos, and Spies: A History of Spies and Espionage by Janet Wyman Coleman
Published in association with the Spy Museum, this book is an illustrated exploration of espionage that discusses famous and notorious spies, spy technology, tactics, and notable missions in history.
Letters to a Bullied Girl by Olivia Gardner with Emily and Sarah Buder
Presents a selection from the thousands of letters written to offer comfort and support to Olivia Gardner, a girl who became the victim of bullying after suffering an epileptic seizure in school, and whose story was heard by sisters Emily and Sarah Buder who took it upon themselves to start the letter writing campaign.
Radioactive Boy Scout by Ken Silverstein
Tells the story of David Hahn, the Michigan teenager who built a nuclear breeder reactor in his backyard in 1994, endangering the residents of his Michigan hometown and raising the ire of the federal government.
Pedro and Me by Judd Winick
In graphic art format, describes the friendship between two roommates on the MTV show "Real World," one of whom died of AIDS.
An Inconvenient Truth by Albert Gore
An adaptation of the book in which former Vice President Al Gore examines the climate crisis that is threatening the future of the planet, describes what the world's governments are doing to correct the problem, and explains why the problem should be taken more seriously.
The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights by Russell Freedman
Tells the life story of singer Marian Anderson, describing her famous 1939 Lincoln Memorial performance and explaining how she helped end segregation in the American arts after being refused the right to perform at Washington's Constitution Hall because of the color of her skin.
19 Varieties of Gazelle : Poems of the Middle East by Naomi Shihab Nye
Sixty poems present a balanced yet intimate view of both the Middle East and Arab Americans. Many poems are autobiographical in nature.
Almost Astronauts : 13 women who dared to dream by Stone, Tanya Lee
Chronicles the efforts of 13 women to win admission into NASA's initial astronaut training program in the early 1960s. They were resisted from all directions-including NASA regulations, which were weighted toward men; media coverage that reflected contemporary gender expectations; political maneuvering by then vice president LBJ and other officials; and the crushing opposition expressed by renowned aviatrix Jackie Cochran in a 1962 Congressional hearing.
Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
A biography of English naturalist Charles Darwin that provides an account of the personality behind evolutionary theory and the affect of his work on his personal life, such as his relationship with his religious wife.
Let Me Play : the Story of Title IX, the Law that Changed the Future of Girls in America by Karen Blumenthal
Examines Title IX, the 1972 legislation which mandated that schools receiving federal funds could not discriminate on the basis of gender. and focuses on its effects in schools, politics, sports and the culture as a whole.
Three Wishes : Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak by Deborah Ellis
Presents the words of young people between the ages of eleven and eighteen in which they share what it is like to live in the midst of the upheaval and violence of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.
Twelve Rounds to Glory : the Story of Muhammad Ali by Charles R. Smith
Rap-inspired verse and illustrations describe the life of Muhammed Ali, discussing his bouts, struggles with societal prejudice, Islamic faith, Olympic glory, and more.
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose
Presents an account of fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin, an African-American girl who refused to give up her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, nine months before Rosa Parks, and covers her role in a crucial civil rights case.