Alexander, Kwame. THE CROSSOVER.
Twin brothers Josh and Jordan love basketball and their dad, a former professional player. Told in verse by Josh, the story’s play-by-play basketball action is interspersed with the details of how he and his brother are growing up in different ways and at different speeds. (F)
Alifirenka, Caitlin, and Martin Ganda. I WILL ALWAYS WRITE BACK: HOW ONE LETTER CHANGED TWO LIVES.
In this true story of a pen-pal correspondence between an American girl and a Zimbabwean boy, a lifelong friendship forms. Told in alternating chapters, their six-year exchange is both humbling and inspiring. (NF)
Almhjell, Tone. THE TWISTROSE KEY.
When Lin stumbles across a strange key that leads her to a portal in her cellar, she opens up a gate to the magical world of Sylver, a land of eternal winter inhabited by every dead animal ever loved by a child. Lin is reunited with Rufus, the much-loved vole who used to be her best friend. Together, Lin and Rufus must find the missing Winter Prince and work together to save this enchanted world. (F)
Angleberger, Tom. THE STRANGE CASE OF ORIGAMI YODA.
Dwight dons a puppet on his finger—an origami Yoda. His classmates soon realize that the strange advice Origami Yoda provides will help them solve their middle school problems. This is the first in the Origami Yoda series. (F)
Applegate, Katherine. CRENSHAW.
Jackson and his family have fallen under hard times and the last thing he wants is to live in the family’s minivan…again. Crenshaw the cat is Jackson’s childhood imaginary friend, and he comes back at the just the right time to provide help and comfort, despite Jackson’s protests. (F)
Applegate, Katherine. THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN.
Spectators come to see Ivan, a silverback gorilla, and other animals housed behind the glass walls in the Big Top Mall. He is content until Ruby, a baby elephant from Africa, joins the group. Ivan is now determined to find her a way out of this caged existence. This book is loosely based on a true story. (F)
Appelt, Kathi. THE UNDERNEATH.
Set in the bayou, the Underneath is the place below the front porch where Gar-Face chains up Ranger, a hound dog who befriends a cat and her kittens. The cat family is safe in the Underneath, but when one kitten ventures out, all their fates are altered. (F)
Barry, Dave. THE WORST CLASS TRIP EVER. On a plane to Washington DC, Wyatt and Matt listen to a sketchy conversation between two men sitting behind them. They also notice that those men have aerial pictures of the White House. Convinced that they must be terrorists, Matt steals a strange device from one of the men in hopes of stopping an attack. Here begins a hilarious chase through the streets of DC as the bad guys attempt to retrieve the device from a group of bumbling eighth graders. (F)
Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. THE BOY WHO DARED.
In jail awaiting his execution, a German teenager recalls Hitler’s rise to power and the courage he found to stand up against the Nazi regime. (F)
Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. HITLER YOUTH: GROWING UP IN HITLER’S SHADOW.
This is a look at the youth organizations Hitler founded and used to meet his social and military ends. (NF)
Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. TERRIBLE TYPHOID MARY: A TRUE STORY OF THE DEADLIEST COOK IN AMERICA. Once investigators identified Mary Mallon as unknowingly spreading typhoid, she was quarantined and tested against her will. What happens when a person’s reputation has been forever damaged? Can the health department go too far when protecting the public? How was an immigrant woman treated differently than other carriers who infected far more people? (NF)
Bascomb, Neal. THE NAZI HUNTERS: HOW A TEAM OF SPIES AND SURVIVORS CAPTURED THE WORLD’S MOST NOTORIOUS NAZI.
In 1945, at the end of World War II, Adolf Eichmann, the head of operations for the Nazis' Final Solution, walked into the mountains of Germany and vanished from view. Sixteen years later, an elite team of spies captured him at a bus stop in Argentina and smuggled him to Israel, resulting in one of the century's most important trials. (NF)
Baskin, Nora Raleigh. ANYTHING BUT TYPICAL.
Jason, an autistic teenager with a talent for creative writing, struggles to find acceptance in his middle school community. (F)
Baskin, Nora Raleigh. THE SUMMER BEFORE BOYS.
Julia and Eliza are lifelong friends who have shared everything until one develops her first real crush. The girls find themselves drifting apart until Eliza does something drastic to win back her best friend. (F)
Bell, Cece. EL DEAFO.
If you think going to school and making friends can be tough, try doing it with a hearing aid strapped to your chest! Cece loses her hearing from an illness at a young age. This graphic memoir recounts CeCe’s journey with her Phonic Ear, a very powerful but very awkward hearing aid. CeCe struggles to fit in and still be herself. (F)
Benjamin, Ali. THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH.
After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory. Suzy’s heartfelt journey helps her reach out to new friends and begin to find her voice. (F)
Black, Holly. DOLL BONES.
Zach, Poppy, and Alice have been playing make-believe games together for years, creating worlds of characters with their action figures and dolls. They take turns leading this continually changing game, but ruling over all is the Great Queen, a creepy bone china doll. Just when it looks like the three might be growing up and leaving the game behind, Poppy reveals that she is being haunted by a girl whose ground-up bones lie inside the Great Queen. Reality and make-believe begin to blend and the three friends head out on an adventure they will never forget. (F)
Black, Holly, and Cassandra Clare. THE IRON TRIAL.
Callum Hunt has been warned his whole life to stay away from magic. When Call is called to attend the entrance exams for The Magisterium, a school of magic, he promises his father he will deliberately fail the test. Unfortunately, magic is in Call’s blood, and he is selected to study with the greatest magician of all time, Master Rufus. Call and his new friends discover that mysteries lie deep in the Magisterium caverns, and they learn that sometimes it is hard to tell the good from the bad. (F)
Bodeen, S. A. THE COMPOUND.
Fifteen-year-old Eli has spent the last six years with his family in a massive underground shelter his father built. Nuclear war has destroyed the world he knows, including his grandmother and twin brother, who couldn’t reach the compound in time. With nine years to go before the air outside will be safe to breathe, Eli is starting to have doubts about his father's motives, explanations, and sanity. (F)
Bodeen, Stephanie A. THE RAFT.
Fifteen-year-old Robie is flying home to a small atoll in Hawaii after visiting her aunt in Honolulu. The plane crashes into the Pacific, and now she must survive in a raft with an unconscious co-pilot, circling sharks, and a bag of Skittles. (F)
Borden, Louise. THE JOURNEY THAT SAVED CURIOUS GEORGE: THE TRUE WARTIME ESCAPE OF MARGARET AND H.A. REY.
This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of Margaret and H. A. Rey and their escape from Paris during World War II. (NF)
Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker. THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE.
After suffering from neglect and abuse, Ada and her younger brother Jamie run away from London to escape the bombings of World War II. They are placed at a home in the country with a reluctant caretaker, who learns to love the children as she helps Ada learn how to walk, read, and write. (F)
Bruchac, Joseph. CODE TALKER: A NOVEL ABOUT THE NAVAJO MARINES OF WORLD WAR TWO. After being taught in a boarding school run by whites that Navajo is a useless language, Ned Begay is recruited by the Marines to become a code talker, sending urgent messages during World War II in his native tongue. (F)
Burns, Loree Griffin. THE HIVE DETECTIVES: CHRONICLE OF A HONEY BEE CATASTROPHE.
In 2006, nearly 40 percent of the honey bee population in the United States simply vanished. Bee scientists and beekeepers across the country have been working to understand “colony collapse disorder.” Photographs and scientific journals help tell the story. (NF)
Burns, Loree Griffin. TRACKING TRASH: FLOTSAM, JETSAM, AND THE SCIENCE OF OCEAN MOTION.
This book describes the work of a man who tracks trash as it travels great distances by way of ocean currents. (NF)
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans by Don Brown - On August 29, 2005, the levees in New Orleans broke under the surging water and heavy winds of Hurricane Katrina. The hurricane took the lives of over 1400 people and caused property damage of over $100 billion. This graphic novel tells stories of, heroism, courage, incompetence, and racism.
Carriger, Gail. ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE.
Far from being a proper Victorian young lady, Sophronia would rather take apart machinery, climb, and generally cause trouble than learn to curtsy. When her mother sends her off to Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality to learn how to be a proper lady, she is shocked to learn that the school is actually a floating airship where young girls are taught the skills of espionage. This steampunk mystery is filled with dirigibles, robots, werewolves, and vampires! (F)
Catmull, Katherine. SUMMER AND BIRD.
Sisters Summer and Bird wake up one morning to find that their parents are missing. A message leads the girls to the forest, where they are sucked into the magical and dangerous world of Down. While searching for their parents, the sisters go on separate quests to find the bird queen, vanquish the bird-swallowing puppeteer, and guide the birds to their true home. (F)
Choat, Beth. SOCCERLAND.
The cover says it all! Flora is such a good soccer player that she has been invited to the International Sports Academy to compete for a chance to play for the U.S. Girls’ Soccer Team. It’s her first time away from home, but she works hard to make new friends as well as to try to become the best soccer player that she can be. (F)
Choldenko, Gennifer. AL CAPONE DOES MY SHIRTS.
In 1935, Moose Flanagan and his family move to Alcatraz Island, where Moose’s father has found work in the prison housing such notorious criminals as Al Capone. Moose must balance the responsibilities of caring for his autistic sister and cope with the free-spirited warden’s daughter. This is the first of a three-book series. (F)
Clements, Andrew. THINGS NOT SEEN.
Bobby wakes up invisible. His parents and his new blind friend, Alicia, try to reverse his condition. Also, Things Hoped For and Things That Are. (F)
Condie, Ally. MATCHED. Torn between loving her best friend, Xander, who was chosen by Society as her “match,” and defying the government and opening her heart to Ky Markem, Cassia Reyes is forced to make the hardest decisions of her life—believe in the government’s system or follow her heart. This is the first book in the Matched trilogy. (F)
Connor, Leslie. WAITING FOR NORMAL.
Wanting a “normal” life, Addie is forced to make it on her own when her mother neglects to live up to her responsibilities. (F)
Cooney, Caroline B. CODE ORANGE.
While conducting research for a school paper on smallpox, Mitty finds an envelope containing 100-year-old smallpox scabs. He fears that he has infected himself and all of New York City. (F)
Cummings, Priscilla. RED KAYAK.
Brady knows that his friends are responsible for a mean prank that results in an accidental tragedy. Plagued by this guilty secret, Brady struggles with the truth and its consequences. (F)
Culbertson, Kim. CATCH A FALLING STAR.
Movie star Adam Jakes moves to a small town in California to film a movie and clean up his image. One way to do that is to pay Carter Moon, the least likely girl in town to fall for him, to be his “fake” girlfriend for the duration of the filming. Will they keep up the act or is it something real? (F)
Dashner, James. THE MAZE RUNNER. Fighting against a mysterious group named WICKED, Thomas and the other boys in the Glade must crack the secret code and find a way out of the moving maze before it’s too late. This the first book in the Maze Runner trilogy. (F)
Deem, James M. BODIES FROM THE ICE: MELTING GLACIERS AND THE REDISCOVERY OF THE PAST.
In 1991, mountain climbers found the body of Otzi, the oldest mummy recovered and thought to be over 5000 years old. (NF)
DeCristofano, Carolyn Cinami. A BLACK HOLE IS NOT A HOLE.
What is a black hole? Where do black holes come from? How do we know they exist? Will Earth fall into one? This book is an excellent introduction to an extremely complex scientific concept as it takes readers on a ride through the galaxies—ours and others. Fall into this book and learn about the phenomenon known as a black hole. (NF)
DePrince, Michaela. TAKING FLIGHT: FROM WAR ORPHAN TO STAR BALLERINA.
In an orphanage in war-torn Sierra Leone, young Michaela DePrince found a magazine cover swirling in the wind. She grabbed it and saw a ballerina on the cover. She was adopted by an American family and followed her dream born by that cover to become a professional ballerina. (NF)
Detorie, Rick. THE ACCIDENTAL GENIUS OF WEASEL HIGH.
In this hybrid novel-graphic novel, Larkin Pace faces many perils his freshman year: his parents, the bossy older sister, a bully, girl troubles, and a weird best friend. But he faces them with hilarious drawings and a sense of humor. (F)
Deuker, Carl. PAYBACK TIME.
In pursuit of a killer story, Mitch is determined to find out the truth about a new football player, Angel, at his high school. As he starts asking tough questions, everyone’s lips seemed to be sealed about the player’s true identity. Mitch will do whatever it takes to find out who Angel is and what he has done. The truth will surprise everyone! (F)
Deutsch, Barry. HEREVILLE: HOW MIRKA GOT HER SWORD.
Mirka does not fit the mold of a typical 11-year-old girl in her Orthodox Jewish community. She would rather fight dragons than learn how to knit. Mirka gets her chance to be a hero when a witch offers her a challenge. If Mirka can defeat a troll, she can obtain a dragon-slaying sword and make her dreams come true. (F)
DiPiazza, Francesca Davis. REMAKING THE JOHN: THE INVENTION AND REINVENTION OF THE TOILET.
Through this nonfiction book, learn about the ancient history of sanitation and the consequences that came from discarding toilet water right in the streets! Take a look at what it’s like for the two million people around the world who still do not have access to toilets. (NF)
DuPrau, Jeanne. THE CITY OF EMBER.
The year is 241. Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a messenger and finds part of an ancient message she feels sure will help save her decaying city. This is the first in The Books of Ember series. (F)
Ellis, Deborah. THE BREADWINNER. Parvana lives in Kabul, Afghanistan. When conditions grow desperate for her family, she poses as a boy so she can earn money to help them. (F)
Engle, Margarita. THE SURRENDER TREE: POEMS OF CUBA’S STRUGGLE FOR FREEDOM.
Follow Rosa, a healer, who nurses runaway slaves and Cuban deserters in caves and other secret hideaways. As her fame grows, Rosa's enemies relentlessly hunt her down, attempting to break the Cuban spirit of resistance. (NF)
Erskine, Kathryn. MOCKINGBIRD.
Imagine having to go to the dictionary to understand emotions and always struggling to make friends. Caitlin’s confusion and discomfort, results of her Asperger’s Syndrome, are made even worse when her brother is killed and her father is overwhelmed with grief. (F)
Farmer, Nancy. THE HOUSE OF THE SCORPION.
Matt is the young clone of El Patron, the leader of a corrupt drug empire located between Mexico and the United States. El Patron has lived 140 years with the help of transplants from a series of clones. Gradually, Matt realizes his fate, but can he escape in time? (F)
Farrell, Mary Cronk. PURE GRIT: HOW AMERICAN WORLD WAR II NURSES SURVIVED BATTLE AND PRISON CAMP IN THE PACIFIC.
In 1941, Army and Navy nurses serving in the Philippines suddenly found themselves in a war zone treating injured and dying soldiers in makeshift hospitals in the jungle. Things got worse when some were captured and kept as prisoners of war in deplorable conditions, battling disease and starvation while still treating and helping anyone (including their captors) who needed medical attention. Amazingly, all 101 captured nurses came home alive. (NF)
Feinstein, John. LAST SHOT: A FINAL FOUR MYSTERY.
Stevie and Susan Carol win a sports writing contest and have a chance to cover the NCAA Final Four games. When these teenage journalists discover a scheme to fix the games, they go undercover to stop the plot. This is the first in Feinstein’s sports mystery series. (F)
Feinstein, John. THE WALK ON.
Newcomer Alex really wants the quarterback position on his new high school’s football team; however, that position is currently filled by the coach’s son. (F)
Ferguson, Alane. THE CHRISTOPHER KILLER: A FORENSIC MYSTERY.
Interested in forensic science, 17-year-old Cameryn Mahoney assists her father in the autopsy of a local murder victim. Cameryn begins to further investigate the murder and becomes dangerously involved in finding the killer. This is the first book in the Forensic Mystery series. (F)
Flake, Sharon. THE SKIN I’M IN.
Thirteen-year-old Maleeka, an excellent student who is choosing the wrong friends, meets a new teacher, who helps her discover who she is and what she believes. (F)
Fleming, Candace. AMELIA LOST: THE LIFE AND DISAPPEARANCE OF AMELIA EARHART. This fascinating biography alternates between the story of Amelia Earhart’s life and the days surrounding her disappearance. Through photos, sidebars, maps, and letters, the author gives readers a compelling glimpse at the life of a legend. (NF)
Frederick, Heather Vogel. ABSOLUTELY TRULY.
After serving in Afghanistan and returning home with an injury, Truly’s father has a hard time finding a job. He moves his reluctant family to New Hampshire to take over a struggling bookshop. Although she feels alone and left out, Truly finds a mysterious letter in a first edition copy of Charlotte’s Web and makes new friends as she tries to solve the clues to discover the letter’s writer. (F)
Freedman, Russell. THE WAR TO END ALL WARS: WORLD WAR I.
This is a highly readable account of World War I—from the broad causes and consequences to the heartbreaking personal details of trench warfare. The technology, the battles, the leaders, and the soldiers are all included in a fascinating narrative that is accompanied by arresting photographs and helpful maps. (NF)
Frost, Helen. HIDDEN.
An accidental kidnapping in their childhood has left both Wren and Darra with deep scars. When the girls end up at the same summer camp as teenagers, they instantly recognize each other, although they have never met. The girls spend the summer searching for answers from each other and within themselves. (F)
Gaiman, Neil. THE GRAVEYARD BOOK.
After losing his family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard, where he will be raised by the groundskeeper and the ghosts that dwell there. As he grows up, he learns that his family’s killer is still out there looking for him. (F)
Gemeinhart, Dan. THE HONEST TRUTH.
Mark has suffered from cancer most of his life and resolves to take matters into his own hands after a round of failed treatment. He sets out with his dog, Beau, to achieve his life goal: climb Mount Rainer. Mark and his best friend, Jessie, tell the story in alternating chapters. Read about Mark’s dangerous adventure and Jessie’s decision to tell or not tell what she knows about Mark’s disappearance. (F)
Goodall, Jane. THE CHIMPANZEES I LOVE: SAVING THEIR WORLD AND OURS.
Imagine a curiosity and passion that compels you to live in a community of chimpanzees. Dr. Goodall tells of her discoveries about chimpanzees, her love for them, and her campaign for the protection of these amazing animals. (NF)
Graff, Lisa. LOST IN THE SUN.
During a hockey game, a player is killed in a freak accident after being hit with a puck by Trent. A few years later, Trent is still full of grief, and this grief has turned into an inner rage that he cannot shake. When he meets Fallon Little, a girl with a mysterious scar on her face, he begins to work through his guilt and anger and discovers a way to start over in middle school. (F)
Greenwald, Tom, and J.P. Coovert. CHARLIE JOE JACKSON’S GUIDE TO NOT READING.
Charlie Joe Jackson hates to read. He hates to read so much he’ll do whatever it takes to not read. Charlie Joe’s perfect record of not reading is at stake as he enters middle school. Will he finally be forced to read a book or will his streak continue? Also, Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Extra Credit. (F)
Greenwald, Tommy, and Melissa Mendes. JACK STRONG TAKES A STAND.
Have you ever wanted to go on strike against your parents? Jack is fed up with the extracurricular overload his parents have heaped on him, so he goes on strike and refuses to leave the couch until his parents give in. (F)
Grove, S. E. THE GLASS SENTENCE.
In the Great Disruption, time fragmented, stranding countries and continents in different time periods, some of them thousands of years apart. Eight years ago, Sophia’s parents disappeared on a mission, leaving her uncle, Shadrack, to raise her. When Shadrack is kidnapped, Sophia and her friend, Theo, leave their home to search for him. As they travel over oceans and new lands, they encounter pirates and hidden cities, and they must rely on Shadrack’s maps and each other to uncover the mystery and save Sophia’s family. (F)
Haddix, Margaret Peterson. FOUND.
Thirteen years after a plane mysteriously lands in an airport with 36 baby passengers and no adults on board, the children from the flight begin to receive strange, unexplained letters. Jonah and Chip must work quickly to uncover the secrets of their past. This is the first in The Missing Book series. (F)
Han, Jenny. SHUG.
A 12-year-old girl learns about friendship, first loves, and self-worth in a small town in the South. (F)
Han, Jenny. THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY.
Belly spends every summer at her mom’s best friend’s beach house. Susannah’s sons, Conrad and Jeremiah, are always there and have been like brothers to her. But that all changes the summer Belly turns pretty. (F)
Hartman, Rachel. SERAPHINA.
Fantasy lovers, take note! Four decades of peace have done little to ease the mistrust between humans and dragons in the kingdom of Goredd. A treaty is about to be renewed, but rebels are unhappy with the treaty and would love to have it abolished. Seraphina is a half-dragon, half-human music teacher who has good reason to fear both sides. She keeps her identity a secret and struggles to fit in in both worlds; she falls in love with the prince, has enlightening memories of her real mother, and communicates with other half-dragons in her dreams. (F)
Hiaasen, Carl. SKINK NO SURRENDER.
When Richard’s cousin Malley disappears, he sets out to save her from an online predator with the help of Skink, Florida’s one-eyed rogue ex-governor. (F)
Hobbs, Will. CROSSING THE WIRE.
Fifteen-year-old Victor Flores travels north in a desperate attempt to cross the Arizona border and find work in the United States to support his family in central Mexico. (F)
Holm, Jennifer L. THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH.
Ellie Cruz misses her old best friend, her dearly departed goldfish, and even her old class. Everything changes when her mother brings home a strange boy—her estranged grandfather. Melvin, a scientist, has discovered how to reverse aging and is now 13 again! While it is difficult having her teenage grandfather as a classmate, Ellie finally has the opportunity to get to know her grandfather, and her interest in science grows. She begins to question whether science can go too far. (F)
Hoose, Phillip M. THE BOYS WHO CHALLENGED HITLER: KNUD PEDERSEN AND THE CHURCHILL CLUB.
Danish brothers, Knud and Jens Pedersen, stood up to their Nazi occupiers at the onset of World War II. The two teens started a new group, The Churchill Club, which committed countless acts of vandalism and sabotage, infuriating the Nazis. Eventually captured and imprisoned, their efforts helped spark a nationwide resistance movement.
Horowitz, Anthony. STORMBREAKER.
After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, 14-year-old Alex is coerced to continue his uncle’s dangerous work for Britain’s intelligence agency, M16. This is the first book in the Alex Rider spy thriller series. (F)
Hughes, Susan. CASE CLOSED?: NINE MYSTERIES UNLOCKED BY MODERN SCIENCE.
Was Egypt’s first female pharaoh murdered? Did the city of Ubar, located on the Arabian Peninsula, just vanish into thin air? Was Anastasia, a Russian princess, murdered, or is she alive and well? With the help of DNA testing and modern-day science, uncover the truth behind these age-old mysteries. (NF)
Hunt, Lynda Mullaly. FISH IN A TREE.
Ally is smart, funny, and artistic. But she has kept a secret for all of her years in school: she can’t read. A new teacher, Mr. Daniels, suspects Ally may be dyslexic and finds ways to help her to see that reading is a possibility. (F)
Hunt, Lynda Mullaly. ONE FOR THE MURPHYS.
When she enters the foster care system, Carley Conners never imagines that she’ll find a place to call home—that is, until she meets the Murphys. Blindsided by their love, Carley finally feels like she has found a place to belong. When her mother comes to take her back, she is forced to make the biggest decision of her life. (F)
Jackson, Donna M. ER VETS: LIFE IN AN ANIMAL EMERGENCY ROOM.
Pet lovers will enjoy this real-life look into the daily world of veterinarians. (NF)
Jacobson, Jennifer Richard. PAPER THINGS.
Ari and Gage were placed in foster care after their mother’s death. When Gage decides he wants to move out and live on his own, he insists his sister come with him. Without a job or a plan, these siblings find themselves homeless and bouncing from place to place. Ari is trying hard to gain acceptance into an elite middle school but, without the stability of a home, her chance is dwindling. (F)
Jacobson, Jennifer Richard. SMALL AS AN ELEPHANT.
Jack’s mom has always been unpredictable. Now she has left him all alone in the backwoods of Maine. With only a small souvenir elephant to keep him company, Jack is on his own to find his way home before the authorities realize that he has been abandoned. (F)
Jamieson, Victoria. ROLLER GIRL.
In this modern graphic novel, Astrid’s best friend Nicole is putting ballet and boys ahead of their friendship. When Astrid witnesses the thrill of roller derby, she enrolls in roller derby camp causing her to drift even further apart from Nicole. At first the challenges of the sport outweigh the fun, but that soon changes when Astrid finds she actually has some skills in this tough game. (F)
Jurmain, Suzanne. THE SECRET OF THE YELLOW DEATH: A TRUE STORY OF MEDICAL SLEUTHING.
Fever, chills, headaches, vomiting blood, and liver failure are all symptoms of the deadly disease yellow fever. In this story, follow Walter Reed and his team of doctors as they travel to Cuba in 1900 to run lab reports, use soldiers as test subjects, and experience inevitable challenges and triumphs in an effort to unlock the secret of what once was an unsolved medical mystery. (NF)
Keyser, Amber. SNEAKER CENTURY: A HISTORY OF ATHLETIC SHOES.
The history of sneakers is anything but boring. Learn about the feud between brothers that lead to the creation of rival sneaker companies, how endorsement deals put sneakers on the map, what it really costs to manufacture a sneaker, and how companies use teenagers to make shoes cool (and then make them too expensive for teenagers to keep up with the trend they started). (NF)
Kindl, Patrice. KEEPING THE CASTLE: A TALE OF ROMANCE, RICHES, AND REAL ESTATE.
In the spirit of Jane Austen, Althea must marry a rich man in order to preserve her family’s position in society. Whom will she choose—Lord Boring or Mr. Fredericks? (F)
Knowles, Johanna. SEE YOU AT HARRY’S.
Fern feels invisible in her family. Her grumpy older sister is stuck working at the family restaurant; her older brother, Holden, is struggling with school bullies and his own identity; and adorable 3-year-old Charlie is always the center of attention. Unexpected tragedy strikes, and the fragile bond holding the family together is stretched almost to the breaking point. (F)
Korman, Gordon. UNGIFTED.
Donovan Curtis, legendary jokester and average eighth grade student, knows he has gone too far when his latest prank causes thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to the school gym. When an unexpected turn of events accidentally sends Donovan to the “gifted” school, he knows he’s in way over his head. Both Donovan and his new genius friends begin to realize that, despite their differences, they still have things to learn from one another. (F)
Kurlansky, Mark. WORLD WITHOUT FISH: HOW COULD WE LET THIS HAPPEN?
This book reveals an environmental problem that is not easily seen—the problem in the world’s oceans. Find out how climate, biology, economics, and fishing are endangering the world’s waters—and what kids can do about it. (NF)
Lai, Thanhha. INSIDE OUT & BACK AGAIN.
Ha and her family flee Vietnam and resettle in Alabama. There she struggles with grammar, customs, dress (she wears a flannel nightgown to school, for example), and cruel rejection from mean classmates. Based on the author’s experiences as a child refugee, this National Book Award and 2012 Newbery Honor winner is both humorous and heartbreaking. (F)
Lambert, Joseph. ANNIE SULLIVAN AND THE TRIALS OF HELEN KELLER.
This graphic biography tells the story of Annie Sullivan’s difficult childhood and her first years working to help Helen Keller communicate and make sense of a world she could neither see nor hear. (NF)
Larson, Hope. WRINKLE IN TIME: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL.
This is the graphic novel version of the classic story of time travel, adventure, and growing up. A Wrinkle in Time introduces us to the wonderful and unforgettable characters of Meg and Charles Wallace Murry and their friend Calvin O’Keefe, who, along with the three Mrs.—Who, Whatsit, and Which—begin an adventure to fight off a dark force and save their father, along with our universe. (F)
Law, Ingrid. SAVVY.
When Beaumont family members turn 13, they receive their “savvy,” a magical gift unique to each one of them. Mibs’ thirteenth birthday arrives when her father is out of town and becomes ill. Mibs, her savvy, and a cast of characters hit the road to save him. Also, the companion novel Scumble. (F)
Lekuton, Joseph Lemasolai. FACING THE LION: GROWING UP MAASAI ON THE AFRICAN SAVANNA.
This memoir of a young Maasai boy tells the story of Lekuton, a member of a family of nomadic cow-herders in Kenya. The story sheds light on the Massai culture and life on the savanna. Because Kenyan law required each family to send one child to school, Lekuton was chosen and school opened up his world. The story illustrates the tensions of belonging to two separate worlds. Lekuton works to preserve his Maasai heritage while taking advantage of the opportunities that education brings his way. (NF)
Levinson, Cynthia. WE’VE GOT A JOB: THE 1963 BIRMINGHAM CHILDREN’S MARCH.
Young people succeeded where adults had failed. This is the little-known story of 4,000 black elementary, middle, and high school students who voluntarily went to jail in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. These are the first-hand accounts, woven together, of four of the children who boycotted school to participate in a march to protest segregation. Their efforts for desegregation during the Civil Rights Movement are well researched and told through original interviews and photos. (NF)
Liu-Perkins, Christine. AT HOME IN HER TOMB: LADY DAI AND THE ANCIENT CHINESE TREASURES OF MAWANGDUI.
Unearth the mysteries of the Mawangdui tombs, including the best-preserved mummy in the world, silk paintings, games, and other artifacts from the Han dynasty. (NF)
Loftin, Nikki. WISH GIRL.
Peter doesn’t fit in with his loud and obnoxious family, even after they move to the country because of the “incident” at his last school. He escapes to a tranquil, enchanting valley when he needs quiet. There, he forms a friendship with Annie who is also trying to escape, but for different reasons, as she dreads upcoming cancer treatments that could alter her life forever. (F)
López, Diana. CONFETTI GIRL.
Lina Flores loves sports and science, has an obsession with socks, and might have a crush on classmate Luis. With the help of her friend Vanessa, Lina is trying to survive the drama of middle school, as well as help her father cope with the recent loss of her mother. (F)
Lupica, Mike. FANTASY LEAGUE.
Charlie loves playing football, but his real gift is playing fantasy football. As a student of the game, he has a knack for choosing players and watching his team win. When his best friend’s grandfather, owner of the new LA Bulldogs NFL team, hears Charlie’s podcast and gets a peek at Charlie’s skills on the sidelines of a real NFL game, he hires Charlie to consult. But this is the National Football League, and Charlie’s decisions become real instead of fantasy. (F)
Lupica, Mike. QB 1.
Peyton and Eli Manning meet Wyatt and Jake Cullen. Jake is a freshman quarterback in Texas where high-stakes football is not just a game. Jake must live up to his older brother Wyatt’s championship legacy and the pressure of his father, a former NFL quarterback. (F)
MacLeod, Elizabeth. ROYAL MURDER: THE DEADLY INTRIGUE OF TEN SOVEREIGNS.
From Cleopatra to Nikolay Romanov, kings and queens over the ages have been the targets of murderers or have done the targeting themselves. Read about gruesome deeds, deadly poisons, and political mysteries. (NF)
Manzano, Sonia. REVOLUTION OF EVELYN SERRANO.
Evelyn Serrano has two secrets—her true feelings about growing up in Spanish Harlem, and her attitude about Abuela, her sassy grandmother. Events erupt, such as the Young Lords setting street fires and protesting. Abuela steps in to take charge, tempers flare, loyalties are tested, and through it all Evelyn learns important truths about her Latino heritage. (F)
Martin, Ann M. RAIN REIGN.
Rose obsesses over homonyms—her name is a homonym—but has trouble following the rules that adults, including her father, set for her. Her dog, Rain (Reign), gets lost during a terrible storm, and Rain’s fate is now in Rose’s hands. (F)
Mazer, Harry. A BOY AT WAR: A NOVEL OF PEARL HARBOR.
Fourteen-year-old Adam is caught in the midst of the attack on December 7, 1941. Also, A Boy No More and Heroes Don’t Run: A Novel of the Pacific War. (F)
McCall, Guadalupe Garcia. SUMMER OF THE MARIPOSAS.
When Odilia and her four sisters find a dead body in their swimming hole, they begin a journey across the Mexican border. They have two goals—to return the drowned man to his family and to visit their Abuelita’s house and find the father who abandoned the family years ago. In mythical style, the girls, with the help of the ancient Llorona, defeat winged witches, chupacabras, and vicious half-human owls. (F)
McCall, Guadalupe Garcia. UNDER THE MESQUITE.
When her mom is diagnosed with cancer, Lupita struggles to maintain her life as a Mexican-American high school student and budding actress, while also caring for her younger siblings. Written in verse, this is an unforgettable story about family bonds, the healing power of words, and the strength it takes to face overwhelming loss. (F)
McClafferty, Carla Killough. FOURTH DOWN AND INCHES: CONCUSSIONS AND FOOTBALL’S MAKE-OR-BREAK MOMENT.
Nineteen players died as a result of injuries suffered during the 1905 football season, and public outrage almost got the game banned. However, football players, coaches, fans, and officials made changes to make the game safer. Now, football is coming under scrutiny again as scientists learn more about concussions and brain injuries sustained during football games and practices. Will these new understandings about the dangers of brain injuries and football lead to the end of the sport or safer practices for athletes? (NF)
McNeal, Tom. FAR FAR AWAY.
This is the story of a boy, a girl, and a ghost. In the land of Never Better, Jeremy Johnson Johnson is a smart, sensitive 15-year-old who hears voices, particularly the voice of Jacob Grimm (one half of the famed fairytale Brothers Grimm). Grimm tries to protect Jacob and his good friend Ginger from harm, but it seems that no matter what he does danger is headed their way. Jeremy, Ginger, and Grimm must solve the mystery of their town to save themselves as well as those they love. (F)
Meloy, Maile. THE APOTHECARY.
Janie Scott’s family has just moved from Los Angeles to London, where she meets Benjamin Burrows, the son of a mysterious apothecary. When Ben’s father is kidnapped, Janie and Ben must use the apothecary’s magical book, The Pharmacopoeia, to find him and save the world. (F)
Middaugh, Dallas. THE CITY OF EMBER: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL.
This graphic novel reintroduces Ember, the doomed city of darkness that was built to ensure that humans would continue to exist on Earth. On Assignment Day, 12-year-olds leave school and receive their lifetime job assignments. Lina becomes a messenger, and her friend Doon ends up in the pipeworks beneath the city. They unearth an evil government plot to steal precious resources from people who live in Ember. Using clues left behind by Lina’s late grandmother, they travel beneath Ember’s tunnels in a desperate attempt to find a way out. (F)
Milford, Kate. GREENGLASS HOUSE.
It’s Christmas break, and Milo and his parents are looking forward to a relaxing vacation at Greenglass House, their home and inn where they host benevolent smugglers. On the first night, they receive guest after guest. As objects go missing, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must piece together the mystery and discover the truth of the Greenglass House. (F)
Montgomery, Sy. KAKAPO RESCUE: SAVING THE WORLD’S STRANGEST PARROT.
The flightless Kakapo, found on a small island off the coast of New Zealand, is most unusual because of its size (it is not the longest, but the heaviest, parrot) and the fact that it buries its nest underground. Now 14 scientists are working to save the remaining 91 parrots of a population that once numbered in the millions. (NF)
Montgomery, Sy. The octopus scientistS: exploring the mind of a mollusk.
Octopuses are amazing and unworldly creatures. They have three hearts, blue blood, suckers than can taste and feel, and tongues that can drill through shells. They change the color and texture of their skin, fit through impossibly tiny openings, jet quickly away from predators, and are highly intelligent animals with unique personalities. Learn about these elusive mollusks as a team of scientists tracks and studies them off the island of Moorea. (NF)
Montgomery, Sy, and Temple Grandin. TEMPLE GRANDIN: HOW THE GIRL WHO LOVED COWS EMBRACED AUTISM AND CHANGED THE WORLD.
This biography explores the life and mind of Temple Grandin, a brilliant autistic woman who revolutionized the livestock industry. (NF)
Moriarty, Chris. INQUISITOR’S APPRENTICE.
Sacha Kessler lives in New York in 1896, but this New York is filled with magic. When police learn that Sacha can see witches, he’s apprenticed to the department’s Inquisitor. With their mission to stop magical crime, Sacha and fellow apprentice Lily Astral must use their wits and powers to stop the murder of Thomas Edison! Also, The Watcher in the Shadows. (F)
Morpurgo, Michael. WAR HORSE.
In 1914, Joey, a beautiful stallion with a distinctive cross on his nose, is bought by the British army. He leaves his owners and his life on an English farm and becomes a cavalry horse. He is shipped to France and witnesses horrific battle after battle with the German cavalry, always hoping to be reunited with his beloved master, Albert. (F)
Mulligan, Andy. TRASH.
Three boys live with hundreds of other families beside a city’s mountainous garbage dump site. Their days are spent picking through trash for something to use, something to sell, or something to eat. One day their lives change forever after one of them finds a bag that contains a wallet, a key, and a map. (F)
Munroe, Randall. THING EXPLAINER: COMPLICATED STUFF IN SIMPLE WORDS.
Have you ever tried to learn about some incredible thing, only to be frustrated by incomprehensible jargon? This author uses line drawings and only the ten hundred most common words to provide simple explanations for some of the most interesting stuff there is. (NF)
Murphy, Jim. INVINCIBLE MICROBE: TUBERCULOSIS AND THE NEVER-ENDING SEARCH FOR A CURE.
This is the story of a killer that has been striking down people for thousands of years—tuberculosis. This nonfiction mystery looks at the history of the disease and its treatment throughout time, as well as the search to find the cause and cure. The scientific and historical information is filled with human drama as well as photographs that bring the story to life. (NF)
Murphy, Jim. TRUCE: THE DAY THE SOLDIERS STOPPED FIGHTING.
This is a close-up view of the Great War, World War I, and the extraordinary 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. (NF)
Namioka, Lensey. TIES THAT BIND, TIES THAT BREAK.
In China in 1911, Ailin resists tradition and pressure from her family by refusing to have her feet bound to make her more attractive for her future husband. Her act of defiance alters her life forever. (F)
Nelson, Kadir. WE ARE THE SHIP: THE STORY OF NEGRO LEAGUE BASEBALL.
The early 1900s Negro Baseball League consisted of players who made great sacrifices and showed tremendous courage in the face of adversity, all for the sake of the game they loved. (NF)
Ness, Patrick. A MONSTER CALLS.
Thirteen-year-old Conor awakens one night to find a monster outside his bedroom window, but not the one from the recurring nightmare that began when his mother became ill. An ancient, wild creature wants him to face truth and loss. (F)
Nielsen, Jennifer A. THE FALSE PRINCE.
In a kingdom ravaged by civil war, a nobleman of the court seeks an impersonator to play the role of the king’s long-lost son in order to unify the people. He enlists a group of four orphans, including Sage, who must compete for the part. Can Sage win the part and pull off the role as a prince? (F)
Nielsen, Jennifer A. MARK OF THE THIEF.
Nic Calva and his sister are slaves in the mines outside of Rome. When Nic is forced to enter one of the mines to retrieve the treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds much more than anyone could have expected—a magical amulet. When Nic takes the amulet for himself, hoping to gain freedom, he becomes embroiled in a battle that could destroy Rome. (F)
O’Connell, Caitlin. THE ELEPHANT SCIENTIST.
American scientist Caitlin O’Connell studied African elephants in the wild and made many amazing discoveries about the lives of elephants and how they communicate. (NF)
Ottaviani, Jim, and Maris Wicks. PRIMATES: THE FEARLESS SCIENCE OF JANE GOODALL, DIAN FOSSEY, AND BIRUTÉ GALDIKAS.
This graphic information text follows the careers of three women who pioneered field research in primatology: Jane Goodall’s work with chimpanzees, Dian Fossey’s work with gorillas, and Biruté Galdikas’ documentation of African orangutans. These three women, working on different continents with different primates, changed not only how we view primates but how they are connected to the human species. (NF)
Palacio, R. J. WONDER.
Auggie is a normal boy. He likes Star Wars, video games, and playing with his dog, but Auggie was born with a facial deformity that until now has prevented him from going to public school. Auggie wants nothing more than to be treated like an ordinary kid, but it’s hard for his classmates to get past his extraordinary face. Wonder is Auggie’s story, but it also includes chapters from his sister, classmates, and friends. Through these multiple perspectives, we see that Auggie’s journey not only changes his life but the lives of everyone around him. (F)
Park, Linda Sue. A LONG WALK TO WATER: BASED ON A TRUE STORY.
Told in alternating points of view, these are the stories of Salva, a lost boy in 1985 Sudan who spends six years seeking refuge, and Nya, a girl in 2008 Sudan who spends eight hours a day walking to and from a water source. The two stories merge and offer a message of hope. (F)
Paulsen, Gary. LIAR, LIAR: THE THEORY, PRACTICE, AND DESTRUCTIVE PROPERTIES OF DECEPTION.
Kevin is assigned a project by his social studies teacher, and his partner is Katie. Since Kevin is a masterful teller of lies, he manufactures a disease for himself to avoid working with her. This is the first in The Theory, Practice, and Destructive Properties of Deception series. (F)
Pearsall, Shelley. ALL SHOOK UP.
Josh is mortified when he has to relocate and live with his father, who has a new profession—Elvis impersonator. (F)
Peters, Julie Anne. DEFINE NORMAL.
Outstanding student Antonia is matched up with an unusual and mysterious punker, Jazz, for a peer-counseling program. As the counseling sessions progress, the two girls discover that they have many things in common. (F)
Peters, Marilee. PATIENT ZERO: SOLVING THE MYSTERIES OF DEADLY EPIDEMICS.
More people have died in disease epidemics than in wars or other disasters. This story looks at the scientists who put the pieces of epidemic puzzles together. Patient Zero takes a closer look at seven diseases, from the Great Plague to Ebola, that have shaped our world and how epidemiologists continue to fight the battle against disease. (NF)
Pfeffer, Susan Beth. LIFE AS WE KNEW IT.
When a meteor hits the moon and knocks it off its axis, life on Earth is altered forever. High school student Miranda keeps a diary about how her family copes with food and gas shortages and extreme weather changes, and without electricity (F)
Pinkney, Andrea Davis. THE RED PENCIL.
In this novel told in verse, Amira’s Sudanese village is attacked by the Janjaweed militia. Her family loses everything and is forced to walk to a refugee camp. Amira’s dreams of attending school are crushed unless she can find a way out of the camp in a country full of conflict. (F)
Priest, Cherie. I AM PRINCESS X.
In elementary school, best friends and outsiders, Libby and May, created and wrote comics starring Princess X, a heroine with blue hair, a pink dress, red Chuck Ts, and a big sword. Libby drew the graphics, and May wrote the dragon-slaying adventures. When Libby dies in a tragic car accident, May is devastated. Several years later, May sees a sticker in a window and on it is Princess X. But Princess X died when Libby did. Or did she? (F)
Pullman, Phillip. THE GOLDEN COMPASS.
This fantasy relates Lyra’s adventures while preventing her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming victims of experiments in the Far North. This is the first in the His Dark Materials trilogy. (F)
Raasch, Sara. SNOW LIKE ASHES.
Ever since she was a baby, Meira has been a refugee. One of the six free Winterians, Meira has lived a life training to be a warrior, running from Spring’s armies, and searching for the locket that will restore magic to Winter. When the group receives news about the location of the locket, Meira goes after it, knowing that if she is caught, it would mean torture, enslavement, and death. What she finds is shaky political alliances, evil magic, and the truth. (F)
Reedy, Trent. WORDS IN THE DUST.
Zulaikha is an Afghan girl who was born with a cleft palate. She suffers merciless teasing from others in her village. She is noticed by a soldier when American forces are traveling through her village, and he offers to arrange the surgery that will repair her birth defect. Zulaikha is caught between opportunity and tradition in her culture that young American readers will find shocking but hopeful. (F)
Riordan, Rick. THE LIGHTNING THIEF.
After being kicked out of his sixth boarding school, 12-year-old Percy Jackson travels to Camp Half Blood, where his real adventures finally begin. He discovers his true identity as the son of a Greek god and embarks on a quest in search of Zeus’ most prized possession. This is the first in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. (F)
Rundell, Katherine. ROOFTOPPERS.
When a ship sinks, one-year-old Sophie is found floating in a cello case in the English Channel. She is saved by a passenger, Charles Maxwell. Sophie spends her first twelve years with Charles as he reads Shakespeare aloud to her, feeds her meals on an open atlas, and lets her wear pants. In her 19th century world, the National Childcare Agency decides that Charles is an unfit guardian. Sophie and Charles escape to Paris to search for her mother, and Sophie begins an adventure set mostly on the rooftops of Paris with an amazing gang of street kids who help her on her quest. (F)
Rusch, Elizabeth. ERUPTION!: VOLCANOES AND THE SCIENCE OF SAVING LIVES.
More than one billion people live in deadly volcanic danger zones. When one of the volcanoes starts to act up, it is up to the international volcano crisis team to get up close and personal with the awakening giant and determine whether the smoke and seismic activity indicate an imminent deadly eruption. (NF)
Ryan, Pam Muñoz. THE DREAMER.
This fictional biography is the story of a shy Chilean boy who grows up feeling and seeing poetry all around him. The story illustrates how the poetry of Pablo Neruda was shaped by his domineering father as well as the beauty of nature. (F)
Ryan, Pam Muñoz. ECHO.
Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. And ultimately, their suspenseful solo stories come together. (F)
Ryan, Pam Muñoz. ESPERANZA RISING.
After her father is murdered, Esperanza Ortega is forced to flee her beloved El Rancho de las Rosas in Mexico to a migrant camp in California. (F)
Sachar, Louis. FUZZY MUD.
Tamara and Marshall walk to and from school together every day. When a new student threatens Marshall, he and Tamara take a short cut through the woods and stumble upon an environmental mystery she calls “fuzzy mud” that ends up having deadly consequences. (F)
Sanderson, Brandon, and Ben McSweeny. THE RITHMATIST.
Joel, an underachieving scholarship student, desperately wishes he would be chosen to be one of the elite Rithmatists that keep their country safe from the dangerous chalklings. When Rithmatic students begin disappearing from his school, Joel is recruited to help the investigation. (F)
Sandler, Martin W. LINCOLN THROUGH THE LENS: HOW PHOTOGRAPHY REVEALED AND SHAPED AN EXTRAORDINARY LIFE.
This photo-biography shows how innovative and important different media, especially photography, were during the presidency and life of Lincoln. This is one of several books in Sandler’s Through the Lens series. (NF)
Say, Allen. DRAWING FROM MEMORY.
This book in graphic form chronicles Allen Say’s journey as an artist, from his childhood in World War II Japan to his apprenticeship under Noro Shinpei, Japan’s leading cartoonist. Using watercolor paintings, original cartoons, photographs, and maps, the memoir looks at Say’s strained relationship with a father who did not understand his son’s art and the difficult path that led to Say’s success. Also the companion, The Inker’s Shadow. (NF)
Schmatz, Pat. BLUEFISH.
Everyone has been labeled at some time. Thirteen-year-old Travis’ label is his secret. Mr. McQueen, a clever teacher, and Velveeta, a sassy girl with her own secret, enter into Travis’ difficult world and make an impact on his life that he never thought was possible or worth trying for. (F)
Schrefer, Eliot. ENDANGERED.
This is the story of a girl and an ape in one of the worst wars the modern world has known. Sophie's journey to escape the violence in the Congo while protecting her bonobo charge is certainly exciting, but more than that, it charts her evolution from an inexperienced and naive girl to a responsible and courageous young woman. Also, Threatened. (F)
Selznick, Brian. THE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET: A NOVEL IN WORDS AND PICTURES.
When 12-year-old Hugo, an orphan living and repairing clocks within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toy seller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are jeopardized. This novel in words and pictures is the winner of the 2008 Caldecott Medal. (F)
Senzai, N. H. SHOOTING KABUL.
Fadi is starting school in California, thousands of miles away from his home in Kabul. He can’t even think about adjusting to life in America, since his 6-year-old sister is still in Kabul after being lost as the family fled Afghanistan. Fadi learns how to maneuver through middle school in America in the days surrounding September 11, 2001, and still hold out hope that his family can be reunited. (F)
Sepetys, Ruta. BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY.
Soviet officers force Lina and her family into a labor camp in Siberia during World War II. They face great hardship, struggling to survive the horrifying conditions. (F)
Sepetys, Ruta. SALT TO THE SEA.
In 1945, a young Lithuanian nurse, a Polish teenager, and Florian, a young Prussian, are desperately trying to reach the Wilhelm Gustloff, a ship that offers a hope at freedom. Told in alternating points of view, these characters come to rely on one another for survival as the Soviets advance. What these characters do not know is that the fate of the Wilhelm Gustloff is one of the greatest tragedies in maritime history. (F)
Sheinkin, Steve. LINCOLN’S GRAVE ROBBERS.
A group of counterfeiters scheme to steal Abraham Lincoln’s body from his tomb, ransom Lincoln’s remains for money, and free a master counterfeiter from jail. Secret Service agents learn of the plot, recruit an undercover agent to infiltrate the gang, and try to catch the criminals before they can rob Lincoln’s grave. (NF)
Sheinkin, Steve. MOST DANGEROUS: DANIEL ELLSBERG AND THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE VIETNAM WAR.
One idealistic man revealed government secrets about America’s involvement in Vietnam. He leaked 7,000 pages of evidence to the press, fueling public dissatisfaction with American foreign policy. (NF)
Shevah, Emma. DREAM ON, AMBER.
Hilarious narrator Amber is a half-Japanese and half-Italian girl who is starting middle school. Amber and her younger sister have been raised by their single mother. When her sister starts asking questions about their dad, Amber devises a plan to find him and make him a part of their lives. (F)
Shull, Megan. THE SWAP.
After a magical moment in the school’s clinic, Jack and Ellie switch bodies and begin living each other’s life. Both experience what it’s like to live life as the opposite gender, and soon they both just want to “swap” back. (F)
Shusterman, Neal. DOWNSIDERS.
Talon lives in the Downside, underneath New York City. When he accidentally meets Lindsay, a Topsider from above ground, their worlds inevitably collide. (F)
Sloan, Holly Goldberg. COUNTING BY 7s.
By the age of 12, Willow Chance has suffered more loss than most people experience in a lifetime. Now at her new school, she is accused of cheating because no one has ever finished the state proficiency test in just 17 minutes, let alone received a perfect score. Her reward is behavioral counseling with an ineffectual counselor, but the bond she forms there with an unlikely cast of characters is heartfelt and transformative. Willow's story is one of renewal, and her journey of rebuilding the ties that unite people as a family is memorable long after the last page. (F)
Smith, Jennifer E. THE GEOGRAPHY OF YOU AND ME.
In a high rise in New York City, Lucy lives on the 24th floor and Owen lives in the basement. A blackout in the city brings them together, but their geography changes when Lucy moves abroad and Owen moves out West. (F)
Smith, Roland. PEAK.
Trouble with the law forces Peak Marcello to join his estranged father on a climbing adventure to the top of Mount Everest. As the story unfolds, Peak discovers his father’s true intentions and begins to realize how much danger awaits him as he climbs to the top of the mountain. (F)
Sonnenblick, Jordan. AFTER EVER AFTER.
Jeffrey Alper, an eighth grade cancer survivor, has learned a lot about life, but there’s a lot that’s brand-new, such as how to fight for himself and for the people he loves. This is a hopeful and sometimes funny story about what happens when you stop surviving and start living again. (F)
Spinelli, Jerry. STARGIRL.
Sixteen-year-old Leo tells the story of Stargirl Caraway, the free spirit who enrolls at Mica High School, not exactly the “hotbed of non-conformity.” Also, Love, Stargirl. (F)
St. John, Warren. OUTCASTS UNITED: THE STORY OF A REFUGEE SOCCER TEAM THAT CHANGED A TOWN.
Just a few miles from Atlanta, Clarkston, Georgia became a settlement for families of refugees from war-torn countries. Soccer coach Luma Mufleh formed the Fugees, a soccer team consisting of boys from various countries and backgrounds. This inspiring book explores the array of challenges the team faced on and off the field and how determination prevailed. (NF)
Stead, Rebecca. GOODBYE STRANGER.
Best friends Emily, Bridge, and Tabitha find themselves starting middle school at different stages in their lives. Emily is discovering boys. Bridge is questioning her existence after miraculously being saved in an accident, and Tabitha is actively pursuing human rights activism. Told in alternating viewpoints, these characters and others show the challenges of adolescence and the perils of growing up. (F)
Stead, Rebecca. WHEN YOU REACH ME.
Sixth grader Miranda lives in 1978 New York City with her mother and is never without her favorite book, A Wrinkle in Time. When she starts to receive a series of notes that claim to want to save her life, Miranda begins to believe they are coming from someone who knows the future. This is the 2010 Newbery Medal winner. (F)
Stevenson, Robert Louis. TREASURE ISLAND.
An innkeeper and his son find a map on the body of a deceased guest. The map promises a pirate’s fortune, and many adventures follow. (F)
Stiefvater, Maggie. SCORPIO RACES.
The Scorpio Races take place every November on the small island of Thisby. This is no usual race. In the Scorpio Races, the riders are mounted on Capaille Uisce, which are beautiful, bloodthirsty water horses. Sean Kendrick, the returning champion, is a man of few words but has a unique understanding of these creatures. Puck Connolly is the first girl to enter the competition. She has to win or her family loses everything. The unusual pair of competitors forge a unique friendship, but only one can win the race. (F)
Stone, Tanya Lee. COURAGE HAS NO COLOR: THE TRUE STORY OF THE TRIPLE NICKLES, AMERICA’S FIRST BLACK PARATROOPERS.
“What’s it like to jump out of an airplane? Imagine.” These are the opening sentences that chronicle the courage and persistence of the Triple Nickles, the African Americans who pushed through military boundaries in the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion. (NF)
Swanson, James L. CHASING LINCOLN’S KILLER.
This is a biographical account of John Wilkes Booth’s plot to kill the president and Booth’s 12 days on the run following Lincoln’s assassination. (NF)
Telgemeier, Raina. DRAMA.
In this graphic novel, Callie loves musical theater but isn't much of a singer, so she works as a set designer for the school drama club. Her second year on stage crew is filled with drama, on and off the set, as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going. (F)
Telgemeier, Raina. SMILE.
This graphic novel is based on the author’s real experience of losing her two front teeth when she was 12 years old. Her painful recovery involves extensive dental work while she survives middle school and finds out what real friends are. Also, Sisters. (F)
Tolkien, J. R. R. THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS.
In this first book of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Frodo, a hobbit, must journey to the barren wasteland of Mordor to destroy the one ring that could rule them all. A fellowship is formed to aid him on this dangerous journey. (F)
Tolkien, J. R. R. THE HOBBIT.
In this prelude to The Lord of the Rings, Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who enjoys his comfortable life, is the last person anyone would expect to head off on an adventure. But that is exactly what happens when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep. The dwarves have a plan to return to their ancestral home and reclaim a stolen fortune from the dragon Smaug, and soon Bilbo is swept into a dangerous adventure complete with giant spiders, hostile elves, and a creature named Gollum. (F)
Tunnell, Michael O. CANDY BOMBER: THE STORY OF THE BERLIN AIRLIFT’S “CHOCOLATE PILOT.”
This is the true story of Gail Halvorsen, an American pilot and real-life hero, who parachuted small bags of candy over the war-torn city of Berlin, giving hope to children and families during the aftermath of World War II. (NF)
Turnage, Sheila. THREE TIMES LUCKY.
Eleven years ago in a small town in North Carolina, Moses LoBeau was adopted into a mishmash family who discovered her floating downriver after a hurricane. Now, the family she loves is threatened when a policeman comes to town asking about a murder. Moe and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth. (F)
Van Draanen, Wendelin. FLIPPED.
In alternating chapters, Bryce and Juli describe how their feelings for each other, themselves, and their families have changed over the years. (F)
Van Draanen, Wendelin. THE RUNNING DREAM.
Track star Jessica loses a leg in a terrible car accident. Her road to recovery is a long one, but she can’t give up her dream of running again. (F)
Van Wagenen, Maya. POPULAR: A MEMOIR: VINTAGE WISDOM FOR A MODERN GEEK.
Maya is a middle school geek living in Texas in 2012. Her goal is to become popular, and she accomplishes it in a most unconventional way— she follows the advice of a 1950s guidebook for teens. This is a charming and funny memoir of how Maya finds her way and gains attention and admirers along the way. (NF)
Walker, Sally M. BLIZZARD OF GLASS: THE HALIFAX EXPLOSION OF 1917.
On December 6, 1917, two ships, one loaded with munitions and one with medical supplies, collided in Halifax Harbor. The resulting blast flattened two towns and killed nearly 2,000 people. When a blizzard hit the very next day, relief efforts were almost paralyzed. This book contains many illustrations, firsthand accounts, and other primary sources from this unbelievable tragedy. (NF)
Westerfeld, Scott. UGLIES.
Tally resists the mandatory operation that every 16-year-old must endure to change all teens into “new pretties.” Adventure is the result in this futuristic novel, the first of the Uglies trilogy. (F)
Wiles, Deborah. COUNTDOWN.
In 1962, President Kennedy faced down the Communists, causing fathers in the military to be placed on active duty, children to become used to air-raid drills, and families to have blueprints for bomb shelters. This eye-grabbing documentary novel includes Cold War-era images, lyrics, speeches, and headlines, all interspersed into the life story of narrator Franny Chapman, an Air Force brat living in suburban Maryland. (F)
Wile, Deborah. REVOLUTION.
Readers are given two viewpoints from very different worlds during the tumultuous Freedom Summer of 1964 in Greenwood, Mississippi. Sunny, a 12-year-old white girl, is worried about reports of "invaders" descending upon the sleepy Southern town and causing trouble. Meanwhile, Raymond, a black youth, is becoming increasingly aware of all the places, especially the public pool and Leflore's theater, he is barred from due to Jim Crow laws. As their worldviews expand and they begin to learn more about the sinister side of a seemingly perfect town, Sunny’s and Raymond’s stories intersect. This book is part of The Sixties trilogy. (F)
Yoo, Paula. GOOD ENOUGH.
Patti tries to balance schoolwork, band, and boys while trying to please her Korean parents by getting into an Ivy League school. (F)