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2015 Summer Reading List

PAUSD Middle School Summer Reading Suggestions 2015

YA = Young Adult (Mature Content)


image28Austen, Jane ***eBook*** Pride and Prejudice (1813) (or any of her other books)In early nineteenth-century England, a spirited young woman, Elizabeth Bennett, copes with the suit of the snobbish gentleman, Mr. Darcy, as well as the romantic entanglements of her four sisters. image21Dickens, Charles   ***eBook*** David Copperfield (1850) (or any of his other books)A classic story of growing up.  A  story of a gentle orphan discovering life and love in an indifferent adult world.
image06Lewis, C. S. Chronicles of Narnia (1950-56)(The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe series)   Four English school children enter the magic land of Narnia through the back of a wardrobe and assist Aslan, the golden lion, in defeating the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter.  image39Orwell, George Animal Farm (YA) (1945)   A satire on communism in which the animals revolt against their master, and the pigs become the leaders.
image69Sewell, Anna      ***eBook*** Black Beauty (1877)   A horse in nineteenth century England has both good and bad masters. (Recommend original unabridged version)  image80Wells, H.G. War of the Worlds (1898)   (or any of his books)   Martians armed with death-rays invade the Earth and humans fight back to save their civilization.


image15Amato, Mary Guitar Notes (YA)Gr 8-Up 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. image62Bell, Cece El Deafo  (2015 Newbery Award Honor)The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear–sometimes things she shouldn’t–but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for.  
image27Crutcher, Chris Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes  (YA)Gr 8-Up The daily class discussions about the nature of man, the existence of God, abortion, organized religion, suicide and other contemporary issues serve as a backdrop for a high-school senior’s attempt to answer a friend’s dramatic cry for help.  image33Draper, Sharon            Out of My Mind  (2013 CA Young Reader Medal Winner)  Gr 5-7 Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.
image01Federle, Tim        Five, Six, Seven, Nate!  (Encore to Better Nate Than Ever)Gr 5-8 Armed with a one-way ticket to New York City, small-town theater geek Nate is off to start rehearsals for E.T.: The Broadway Musical. It’s everything he ever practiced his autograph for! But as thrilling as Broadway is, rehearsals are nothing like Nate expects: full of intimidating child stars, cut-throat understudies, and a director who can’t even remember Nate’s name.  image13Polonsky, Ami Gracefully Grayson Gr 6-Up What if who you are on the outside doesn’t match who you are on the inside?Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: “he” is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender’s body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson’s true self itches to break free. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher’s wisdom be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit?
image45Smith, Jennifer E.            This is What Happy Looks Like (YA)Gr 8-Up Perfect strangers Graham Larkin and Ellie O’Neill meet online when Graham accidentally sends Ellie an e-mail about his pet pig, Wilbur. The two 17-year-olds strike up an e-mail relationship from opposite sides of the country and don’t even know each other’s first names. What’s more, Ellie doesn’t know Graham is a famous actor, and Graham doesn’t know about the big secret in Ellie’s family tree. When the relationship goes from online to in-person, they find out whether their relationship can be the real thing. (author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and  The Geography of You and Me.  image25Tolan, Stephanie Surviving the Applewhites  (2003 Newbery Honor)Gr 5-8 In this laugh-out-loud novel, a young teen on the fast track to the juvenile detention center suddenly finds himself living in rural North Carolina with the outrageously eccentric Applewhite clan. Jake Semple, 13, has been expelled from a long line of schools before coming to the Applewhites to be homeschooled.

Fantasy/Science Fiction/Dystopian

image29Black, Holly and Cassandra C. ***digital audiobook***   The Iron Trial (1st in Magisterium Series)Gr 5-8 Warned away from magic all of his life, Callum endeavors to fail the trials that would admit him to the Magisterium only to be drawn into its ranks against his will and forced to confront dark elements from his past.(Black is author of Doll Bones and Clare of the Bane Chronicles, Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series) image20Cashore, Kristin ***eBook***  ***digital audiobook*** Graceling  (Sequels: Fire and Bitterblue)  (YA)Gr 8-Up In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace of killing and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king.
image37Cass, Kiera             The Selection Series (Book 1: The Selection, Book 2: The Elite, Book 3: The One) (YA)Gr 8-Up Sixteen-year-old America Singer is living in the caste-divided nation of Illea, which formed after the war that destroyed the United States. America is chosen to compete in the Selection–a contest to see which girl can win the heart of Illea’s prince–but all she really wants is a chance for a future with her secret love, Aspen, who is a caste below her.  image49Chainani, Soman       The School for Good and Evil  ( Book 2: A World Without Princes  Book 3: The Last Ever)Gr 5-8 Best friends Sophie and Agatha discover their true identities when they enter The School for Good and Evil, a school where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains.
image04De los Santos, Marisa Saving Lucas Biggs Gr 5-8 When thirteen-year-old Margaret’s father is sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit, she knows the only way to save him is to use the forbidden family power of time travel.  image65Gratz, Alan         League of Seven Gr 4-7 When an alternate 1875 steam-driven America rediscovers electricity, the lifeblood of the Mangleborn monsters, and the secret society to protect humanity from the Mangleborn is comprised, twelve-year-old Archie must assemble a team of seven young heroes to save the world.
image14Hale, Shannon            Dangerous     Gr 7 Up When aspiring astronaut Maisie Danger Brown, who was born without a right hand, and the other space camp students get the opportunity to do something amazing in space, Maisie must prove how dangerous she can be and how far she is willing to go to protect everything she has ever loved.  image03Johnson, Jaleigh             The Mark of the Dragonfly  Gr 5-8 Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields. The girl doesn’t remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she’s from the Dragonfly Territories and that she’s protected by the king. Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home. The one sure way to the Territories is the 401, a great old beauty of a train. But a ticket costs more coin than Piper could make in a year.
image11Kincaid, S.J. ***digital audiobook***         Insignia   (Sequels: Vortex and  Catalyst)Gr 7-Up Tom, a fourteen-year-old genius at virtual reality games, is recruited by the United States Military to begin training at the Pentagon Spire as a Combatant in World War III, controlling the mechanized drones that do the actual fighting off-planet.  image42Knudsen, Michelle               Evil Librarian (YA)Gr 8-Up When Cynthia Rothschild’s best friend, Annie, falls head over heels for the new high-school librarian, Cyn can totally see why. He’s really young and super cute and thinks Annie would make an excellent library monitor. But after meeting Mr. Gabriel, Cyn realizes something isn’t quite right. Maybe it’s the creepy look in the librarian’s eyes, or the weird feeling Cyn gets whenever she’s around him. Before long Cyn realizes that Mr. Gabriel is, in fact . . . a demon.
image46Lewis, R.C.          Stitching Snow Gr 7-Up A futuristic retelling of Snow White in which 17-year-old Essie, a master at repairing robots and drones on the frozen mining planet Thanda, is pulled into a war by handsome and mysterious Dane after his shuttle crash-lands nearby.  image57Lu, Marie          The Young Elites (YA)Gr 8-Up Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood plague: marked by a jagged scar, snow-white hair and lashes. Cast out by her family, Adelina has finally found a place to belong within the secret society of Young Elites. To some, the Elites are heroes, here to save innocents in desperate situations. But to the Inquisition Axis, the white-robed soldiers of Kenettra, they are monsters with demonic powers who must be brought to justice. As Adelina learns more about this perilous world where politics and magic clash, she soon realizes that her own powers may be in danger of bringing on an era of panic such as the world has never seen.
image74McMann, Lisa ***digital audiobook***        The Unwanteds    (first book winner of CYRM for 2014)Gr 4-7 In a society that purges thirteen-year-olds who are creative, identical twins Aaron and Alex are separated, one to attend University while the other, supposedly eliminated, finds himself in a wondrous place where youths hone their abilities and learn magic.  (Sequels: Island of Silence, Island of Fire, Island of Legends, Island of Shipwrecks) image66Meloy,  Maile                       The Apprentices     (Sequel to The Apothecary) Gr 5-9 It’s 1954, and Janie Scott is in boarding school in New Hampshire, trying to make a new life. Two years have passed since she last saw the mysterious apothecary—or his defiant son, Benjamin. All she knows is that her friends are out there somewhere, trying to keep the world safe in an age of mounting atomic power. On the other side of the world, Benjamin is treating the wounded in a jungle war, and experimenting with a magical new formula that will let him communicate with Janie across the globe.
image67Meyer, Marissa        ***digital audiobook***       Cinder  (2015 CYRM nominee) (YA)Gr 7-Up Cinder, a gifted mechanic and a cyborg with a mysterious past, is blamed by her stepmother for her stepsister’s illness while a deadly plague decimates the population of New Beijing, but when Cinder’s life gets intertwined with Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle.  image70Meyer, Marissa               Fairest  (Lunar Chronicles book 4, Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter is coming) (YA)Gr 7-Up Mirror, mirror on the wall, Who is the fairest of them all? Queen Levana is a ruler who uses her “glamour” to gain power. But long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress, Levana lived a very different story – a story that has never been told . . . until now.  Another unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death.
image24Nielsen, Jennifer A.         The Shadow Throne  (3rd in Ascendancy  series, The False Prince, The Runaway King) Gr 5-8 Young King Jaron has had nothing but trouble with his advisors and regents since he ascended the throne of Carthya, and now King Vargan of Avenia has invaded the land and captured Imogen–and Jaron must find some way to rescue her and save his kingdom.  image76Sanderson, Brandon  ***digital audiobook***        The Rithmatist  Gr 6-10 As Wild Chalklings threaten the American Isles and Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students learn the magical art that he would do anything to practice.
image77Sanderson, Brandon ***eBook***       Steelheart (first in the Epics series, Sequel: Firefight) (YA)Gr 8-Up At age eight, David watched as his father was killed by an Epic, a human with superhuman powers, and now, ten years later, he joins the Reckoners–the only people who are trying to kill the Epics and end their tyranny.  image09Stanley, Diane          The Princess of Cortova  (Sequel to The Silver bowl and The Cup and the Crown)Gr 5-8 With tensions rising between the kingdoms of Westria and Austlind, Molly and Tobias accompany King Alaric to Cortova, where he hopes to form an alliance with the powerful King Gonzalo–an alliance that would be sealed by Alaric’s marriage to Gonzalo’s daughter, the beautiful princess Elizabetta.
image41Tripp, Ben           The Accidental Highwayman (YA)Gr 6-Up In eighteenth-century England, young Christopher “Kit” Bristol unwittingly takes on the task of his dead master, notorious highwayman Whistling Jack, who pledged a fairy he would rescue feisty Princess Morgana from an arranged marriage with King George III.  image73Zinn, Bridget               Poison Gr 6-9 When 16-year-old Kyra, a potions master, tries to save her kingdom by murdering the princess, who is also her best friend, the poisoned dart misses its mark and Kyra becomes a fugitive, pursued by the King’s army and her ex-boyfriend.

Historical Fiction

image63Cooper, Susan             Ghost Hawk    (2015 CYRM nominee)Gr 6-8 At the end of a winter-long journey into manhood, Little Hawk returns to find his village decimated by a white man’s plague and soon, despite a fresh start, Little Hawk dies violently but his spirit remains trapped, seeing how his world changes. image48Kephart, Beth            Going Over Gr 6-9 In the early 1980s Ada and Stefan are young, would-be lovers living on opposite sides of the Berlin Wall–Ada lives with her mother and grandmother and paints graffiti on the Wall, and Stefan lives with his grandmother in the East and dreams of escaping to the West.
image60Lindelauf, Benny        Nine Open Arms    (2015 Batchelder Award Honor)Gr 5-8 The Boon family story and their indefatigable gallows humor are Benny Lindelauf’s literary memorial to those persecuted by history. A ghost story, a fantasy, a historical novel, and literary fiction all wrapped into one, this highly awarded novel for young readers begins with the Boon family’s move to an isolated, dilapidated house. Is it the site of a haunting tragedy, as one of the daughters believes, or an end to all their worries, as their father hopes? The novel’s gripping language, enriched by Yiddish, German, and Dutch dialect, plunges the reader into the world of a large, colorful, motherless family.  image22Longshore, Katherine        Manor of Secrets (YA)Gr 7-Up Beautiful, wealthy, and sheltered Lady Charlotte Edmonds, sixteen, and hardworking, clever kitchen maid Janie Seward are both ready for change, and as their paths overlap in The Manor, rules are broken and secrets revealed that will alter the course of their lives forever.
image51Maguire, Gregory         Egg & Spoon (YA)Gr 7-Up Impoverished Russian country girl Elena Rudina and the aristocratic Ekatrina meet and set in motion an escapade that includes mistaken identity, a monk locked in a tower, a prince traveling incognito, and the witch Baba Yaga.  image23Oppel, Kenneth          The Boundless Gr 5-8 The Boundless, the greatest train ever built, is on its maiden voyage across the country, and first-class passenger Will Everett is about to embark on the adventure of his life! When Will ends up in possession of the key to a train car containing priceless treasures, he becomes the target of sinister figures from his past. n order to survive, Will must join a traveling circus, enlisting the aid of Mr. Dorian, the ringmaster and leader of the troupe, and Maren, a girl his age who is an expert escape artist. With villains fast on their heels, can Will and Maren reach Will’s father and save The Boundless before someone winds up dead?
image78Wiles, Deborah          Revolution (2014 National Book Award)Gr 5-8 It’s 1964 in Greenwood, Mississippi, and Sunny’s town is being invaded by people from up north who are coming to help people register to vote. Her personal life isn’t much better, as a new stepmother, brother, and sister are crowding into her life, giving her little room to breathe.  (Author also of Countdown)  image26Yelchin, Eugene              Breaking Stalin’s Nose  (2012 Newbery Honor)Gr 5-7 In the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union, ten-year-old Sasha idolizes his father, a devoted Communist. When police take his father away and leave Sasha homeless, he is forced to examine his own perceptions, values, and beliefs.


image32Angleberger, Tom          Emperor Pickletine Rides the Bus  (Last in the Origami Yoda series)Gr 4-6 The final Origami Yoda case file from the kids at McQuarrie Middle School! After successfully fighting to save their field trip in Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue!, Tommy and the gang prepare for a well-earned day of fun and adventure in Washington, DC . . . but of course it won’t be that easy! This trip to the nation’s capital will be full of shifting alliances and betrayals, carsickness and sugar rushes. image18Brown, Jeffrey        Star Wars: Jedi Academy #3  (3rd in the Trilogy)Gr 4-6 This incredible, original story captures all of the humor, awkwardness, fun, and frustrations of middle school–all told through one boy’s comics, journal entries, letters, doodles, and newspaper clippings. The setting? A galaxy far, far away…After last year, Roan will attempt to redeem himself, avoid the Dark Side, be a better student, and a better friend. But as he and his friends deal with substitute teachers, new aliens, more robots, vegan food, braces, final exams, and more middle school awkwardness, will Roan be able to stay the path of the Jedi?
image00Ibbotson, Eva        Island of the Aunts Gr 4-6 As they get older, several sisters decide that they must kidnap children and bring them to their secluded island home to help with the work of caring for an assortment of unusual sea creatures.  image79Patterson, James      I Totally Funniest  (3rd in the I Funny series) Gr 4-7 As the Planet’s Funniest Kid Comic finals near, Jamie faces a whirlwind of attention at school and in the media and the fame starts to go to his head, but in Hollywood with Uncle Frankie, some of his fellow comedians quickly show him what competition and pressure are all about.  Also try James Patterson’s Middle School, the Worst Years of my Life series
image16Tashjian, Janet              My Life as a Cartoonist  (The My Life series, As a Book, As a Stunt)Gr 4-8 Twelve-year-old Derek wants to train his pet monkey, who is going to be a service animal, to help Umberto, a new student who uses a wheelchair, but Umberto would rather steal Derek’s cartoon ideas.  image43Telgemeier, Raina         Sisters (3rd in the graphic novel series, Smile and Drama)Gr 4 Up Raina can’t wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren’t quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she’s also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn’t improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something doesn’t seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all.


image53Agosin, Marjorie       I Lived on Butterfly Hill (2015 Belpre Award Winner)Gr 5-8 When warships appear, in “I Lived on Butterfly Hill,” Celeste’s idyllic life is shattered. As people disappear, Celeste’s parents go into hiding, and she is sent into exile. When she returns home, she works to reunite people she loves and to move her country forward. Lyrically written by acclaimed poet, Marjorie Agosín, this Chilean story offers a refreshing perspective on resiliency. “I Lived on Butterfly Hill” was illustrated by Lee White and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division. image38Burg, Ann E. Serafina’s Promise  Gr 5-7 A novel in verse. In a poor village outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Serafina works hard to help her family, but dreams of going to school and becoming a doctor–then the earthquake hits and Serafina must summon all her courage to find her father and still get medicine for her sick baby brother as she promised.
image17Lai, Thanhha Inside Out and Back Again  (2012 Newbery Award Honor)Gr 4-8 Inside Out and Back Again is a New York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor Book, and a winner of the National Book Award! Inspired by the author’s childhood experience of fleeing Vietnam after the Fall of Saigon and immigrating to Alabama, this coming-of-age debut novel told in verse has been celebrated for its touching child’s-eye view of family and immigration. image44Partridge, Elizabeth Dogtag Summer  (2015 CYRM nominee)Gr 6-8 In the summer of 1980 before she starts junior high school in Santa Rosa, California, Tracy, who was adopted from Vietnam when she was six years old, finds an old ammo box with a dog tag and picture that bring up painful memories for both her Vietnam-veteran father and her.
image72Testa, Maria Something About America (2015 Silicon Valley reads selection)Gr 6-8 The 13-year-old from Kosova thinks of herself as a typical American schoolgirl. But for her parents, moving to Maine was just a sad necessity, a way to escape from war and find medical care for a daughter scarred up to her chin. But then a hateful event changes everything — forcing residents old and new to reexamine what it means to be an American. image19Woodson, Jacqueline Brown Girl Dreaming  (2014 National Book Award) (2015 Newbery Award Honor)Gr 4-7 The author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South.
image02Yousafzai, Malala I Am Malala   (Young Reader’s Edition)Gr 6-Up Malala Yousafzai was only ten years old when the Taliban took control of her region. They said music was a crime. They said women weren’t allowed to go to the market. They said girls couldn’t go to school.Raised in a once-peaceful area of Pakistan transformed by terrorism, Malala was taught to stand up for what she believes. So she fought for her right to be educated. And on October 9, 2012, she nearly lost her life for the cause: She was shot point-blank while riding the bus on her way home from school. No one expected her to survive.


image05Auxier, Jonathan The Night Gardener Gr 4-6 This much-anticipated follow-up to Jonathan Auxier’s exceptional debut, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, is a Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling. The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. image12Black, Holly ***eBook*** Doll Bones  (2015 CYRM nominee)Zach, Alice, and Poppy, friends from a Pennsylvania middle school who have long enjoyed acting out imaginary adventures with dolls and action figures, embark on a real-life quest to Ohio to bury a doll made from the ashes of a dead girl.
image68Bodeen, S.A. Shipwreck Island Gr 4-7 When her father remarries, Sarah Robinson gets a new stepmom and two stepbrothers, and when the new family takes a vacation to get to know each other by sailing for a few days near Fiji things go horribly wrong. image50Carter. Ally             All Fall Down (1st in Embassy Row series) (YA)Gr 8-Up There are many powerful people along Embassy Row who want Grace to block out all her unpretty thoughts. But Grace will not stop. Grace Blakely is absolutely certain of three things:1. She is not crazy. 2. Her mother was murdered. 3. Someday she is going to find the killer and make him pay.
image07Gaiman, Neil                        The Graveyard Book (2009 Newbery Award Winner)Gr 5-8 The orphan Bod, short for Nobody, is taken 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 other worldly creatures. image75Garcia, Kami Unbreakable (YA) (1st in Trilogy) & Unmarked (YA) (2nd in Trilogy)Gr 8-Up Seventeen-year-old Kennedy Waters discovers she is a member of an ancient secret society formed to protect the world from a powerful demon determined to find a way out of his dimension and into ours. She joins the Legion on a mission to find a weapon that can defeat the demon.
image30Gleason, Colleen The Clockwork Scarab (YA)Gr 8-Up In 1889 London, young women are turning up dead. Evaline Stoker, relative of Bram, and Mina Holmes, niece of Sherlock, are called  to investigate the clue of the not-so-ancient Egyptian scarabs–but where does a time traveler fit in? Nadol, Jen     image47This is How it Ends (YA)Gr 7-Up After Riley and his friends see some disturbing visions through a mysterious pair of binoculars, they soon realize these hallucinations are coming true, especially when one of Riley’s closest friends becomes the prime suspect of a gruesome murder.  
image58Riggs, Ransom     Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children    (2015 CYRM nominee) (YA)Gr 8-Up Sixteen-year-old Jacob, having traveled to a remote island after a family tragedy, discovers an abandoned orphanage, and, after some investigating, he learns the children who lived there may have been dangerous and quarantined and may also still be alive. image40Stolarz, Laurie Faria    Welcome to the Dark House (YA)Gr 6-9 Seven super fans have won the trip of a lifetime to meet the master of horror, legendary film director Justin Blake. But things quickly go from delightfully dark to dangerously deadly, when Ivy, Parker, Shayla, Natalie, Frankie, and Garth find themselves trapped in an abandoned amusement park. To earn a ticket out, they must face their darkest demons one ride at a time.
image10Turnage, Sheila    The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing (sequel to Three Times Lucky)Gr 4-6 When Miss Lana accidentally buys a haunted inn at the Tupelo Landing town auction, Desperado Detectives–aka Mo LoBeau and her best friend Dale–opens up a paranormal division to solve the ghost’s identity before the town’s big 250th anniversary bash. image54Walker, Melissa Ashes to Ashes (YA)Gr 7-Up Sixteen-year-old Callie McPhee, a ghost existing in The Prism between Earth and the next dimension, is torn between Nick, the boyfriend she left behind when she died, and Thatcher, the spirit who is teaching her how to haunt.
image59Watson, Jude ***digital audiobook*** Loot: How to Steal a Fortune Gr 5-7 When Alfie McQuinn, the notorious jewel thief, is killed on a job, his last words to his son, March, are to “find jewels” and this instruction leads the boy to Jules, the twin sister he never knew he had–and the perfect partner to carry on the family business.


image08Albee, Sarah Bugged: How Insects Changed History  (author of Poop Happened)Gr 5-8 There are about ten quintillion insects in the world—and some of them have affected human history in tremendous ways! For as long as humans have been on earth, we’ve co-existed with insects . . . for better or for worse. Once you begin to look at world history through fly-specked glasses, you begin to see the mark of these minute life forms at every turn. Beneficial bugs have built empires. Bad bugs have toppled them. image55Atkinson, Rick D-Day: The Invasion of Normandy  Gr 6-9 Adapted for young readers from the #1 New York Times–bestselling The Guns at Last Light, D-Day captures the events and the spirit of that day—June 6, 1944—the day that led to the liberation of western Europe from Nazi Germany’s control. They came by sea and by sky to reclaim freedom from the occupying Germans, turning the tide of World War II.
image35Bragg, Georgia How They Choked: Failures, Flops, and the Flaws of the Awfully Famous Gr 5-Up Everyone makes mistakes. Sometimes, epic failures even lead to super successes . . . sometimes they become deep dark secrets. But remember—to fail is human, to laugh about our shortcomings divine. From Montezuma II’s mistaking a conqueror for a god to Isaac Newton turning from science to alchemy to J. Bruce Ismay’s jumping the lifeboat line on the Titanic, How They Choked knocks fourteen famous achievers off their pedestals to reveal the human side of history. (Also How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous) image61Bryant, Jen             The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus   (2015 Sibert Informational Winner)Gr 4-6 For shy young Peter Mark Roget, books were the best companions — and it wasn’t long before Peter began writing his own book. But he didn’t write stories; he wrote lists. Peter took his love for words and turned it to organizing ideas and finding exactly the right word to express just what he thought. His lists grew and grew, eventually turning into one of the most important reference books of all time.
image34Fleming, Candace The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and The Fall of Russia Gr 9-Up In these thrilling, highly readable pages, we meet Rasputin, the shaggy, lecherous mystic…; we visit the gilded ballrooms of the doomed aristocracy; and we pause in the sickroom of little Alexei, the hemophiliac heir who, with his parents and four sisters, would be murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918. image31Kamkwamba, William The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind Gr 4-7 When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba’s tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season’s crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family’s life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William’s windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land.
image36Rubin, Susan Goldman     Freedom Summer : the 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi Gr 8-Up An award-winning author offers a riveting account of the civil rights crusade in Mississippi 50 years ago that brought on shocking violence and the beginning of a new political order. image71Sheinkin, Steve     The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny and the Fight for Civil Rights Gr 7-Up On July 17, 1944, a massive explosion rocked the segregated Navy base at Port Chicago, California, killing more than 300 sailors who were at the docks, critically injuring off-duty men in their bunks, and shattering windows up to a mile away. On August 9th, 244 men refused to go back to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. When the dust settled, fifty were charged with mutiny, facing decades in jail and even execution.This is a fascinating story of the prejudice that faced black men and women in America’s armed forces during World War II, and a nuanced look at those who gave their lives in service of a country where they lacked the most basic rights.


image64Alexander, Kwame    The Crossover  (2015 Newbery Award Winner)Gr 6-10 “With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I’m delivering,” announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood. image52Feinstein, John    The Walk On Gr 6-Up After moving to a new town his freshman year in high school, Alex Myers is happy to win a spot on the varsity team as a quarterback but must deal with the idea of not playing for two years since the first-string quarterback is not only a local hero, he is also son of the corrupt head coach.
image56Green, Tim New Kid Gr 5-8 Tommy’s the new kid in town, like he’s been so many times before. Now he goes by the name Brock, and he’s having a hard time fitting in, especially when his new friend is the bully from the wrong side of the tracks. Thanks to a prank gone wrong, the baseball coach notices Brock and offers him a place on his failing baseball team. But can Brock prove himself on and off the field before he becomes a new kid…again?