Wonder by R. J. PalacioI won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid--but his new classmates can't get past Auggie's extraordinary face.
Out of My Mind by Sharon M. DraperEleven-year-old Melody is not like most people. She can't walk. She can't talk. She can't write. All because she has cerebral palsy. But she also has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She's the smartest kid in her whole school, but NO ONE knows it. Most people--her teachers, her doctors, her classmates--dismiss her as mentally challenged because she can't tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by her disability. And she's determined to let everyone know it...somehow.
Almost Home by Joan BauerWhen twelve-year-old Sugar's grandfather dies and her gambling father takes off yet again, Sugar and her mother lose their home in Missouri. They head to Chicago for a fresh start, only to discover that fresh starts aren't so easy to come by for the homeless. Nevertheless, Sugar's mother has taught her to be grateful no matter what, so Sugar does her best. With the help of a rescue dog, Shush; a foster family; a supportive teacher; a love of poetry; and her own grace and good humor, Sugar comes to understand that while she can't control the hand life deals her, she can control how she responds.
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. ArnoldFor Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises--some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat's mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter. But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he's got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet. "This sweet and thoughtful novel chronicles Bat's experiences and challenges at school with friends and teachers and at home with his sister and divorced parents. Approachable for younger or reluctant readers while still delivering a powerful and thoughtful story" (from the review by Brightly.com, which named A Boy Called Bat a best book of 2017).
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg SloanWillow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now. Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read. Holly Goldberg Sloan writes about belonging in a way I’ve never quite seen in any other book. This is a gorgeous, funny, and heartwarming novel that I’ll never forget.”John Corey Whaley, author of Where Things Come Back "Willow Chance subtly drew me into her head and her life, so much so that I was holding my breath for her by the end. Holly Goldberg Sloan has created distinct characters who will stay with you long after you finish the book."Sharon Creech, Newbery Award-winning author of Walk Two Moons "In achingly beautiful prose, Holly Goldberg Sloan has written a delightful tale of transformation that’s a celebration of life in all its wondrous, hilarious and confounding glory. Counting by 7s is a triumph."Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette .
Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks; Gita VaradarajanTwo boys - one white, one Indian American - gain strength from each other from afar as they struggle to navigate middle school, family, and friendships. Two boys - one white, one Indian American - gain strength from each other from afar as they struggle to navigate middle school, family, and friendships. Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they're both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL. Joe's lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. Ravi's family just moved to America from India, and he's finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in. Joe and Ravi don't think they have anything in common -but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.
TBH, This Is So Awkward by Lisa GreenwaldTo be honest, middle school is rough! Cecily, Gabby, and Prianka have been BFFAE since pre-K, so it's totally natural when they don't include the new girl, Victoria, in their plans and group texts. Between organizing the school Valentine's Day dance, prepping for their first boy-girl party, and trying to keep their texts so boring their moms won't use spy apps to read them, the friends only have time for each other. But when Victoria is accidentally sent a hurtful text message, the entire sixth grade gets called out for bullying, cell phones are confiscated, and the trio known as CPG4Eva is forced to figure out just how strong their friendships are IRL.
Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob BuyeaIt's the start of fifth grade for seven kids at Snow Hill School. There's . . . Jessica, the new girl, smart and perceptive, who's having a hard time fitting in; Alexia, a bully, your friend one second, your enemy the next; Peter, class prankster and troublemaker; Luke, the brain; Danielle, who never stands up for herself; shy Anna, whose home situation makes her an outcast; and Jeffrey, who hates school.Only Mr. Terupt, their new and energetic teacher, seems to know how to deal with them all. He makes the classroom a fun place, even if he doesn't let them get away with much . . . until the snowy winter day when an accident changes everything-and everyone.
Half a Chance by Cynthia LordWhen Lucy's family moves to an old house on a lake, Lucy tries to see her new home through her camera's lens, as her father has taught her - he's a famous photographer, away on a shoot. Will her photos ever meet his high standards? When she discovers that he's judging a photo contest, Lucy decides to enter anonymously. She wants to find out if her eye for photography is really special - or only good enough. As she seeks out subjects for her photos, Lucy gets to know Nate, the boy next door. But slowly the camera reveals what Nate doesn't want to see: his grandmother's memory is slipping away, and with it much of what he cherishes about hissummers on the lake. This summer, Nate will learn about the power of art to show truth. And Lucy will learn how beauty can change lives . . . including her own.
Liar and Spy by Rebecca SteadThe first day Georges (the S is silent) moves into a new Brooklyn apartment, he sees a sign taped to a door in the basement: SPY CLUB MEETING--TODAY! That's how he meets his twelve-year-old neighbor Safer. He and Georges quickly become allies--and fellow spies. Their assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer's requests become more and more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: how far is too far to go for your only friend? "Will touch the hearts of kids and adults alike." --NPR Winner of the Guardian Prize for Children's Fiction Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and more!
The Lemonade War by Jacqueline DaviesBook 1 of the series. For a full hour, he poured lemonade. The world is a thirsty place, he thought as he nearly emptied his fourth pitcher of the day. And I am the Lemonade King. Fourth-grader Evan Treski is people-smart. He's good at talking with people, even grownups. His younger sister, Jessie, on the other hand, is math-smart, but not especially good with people. So when the siblings' lemonade stand war begins, there really is no telling who will win--or even if their fight will ever end. Brimming with savvy marketing tips for making money at any business, definitions of business terms, charts, diagrams, and even math problems, this fresh, funny,emotionally charged novel subtly explores how arguments can escalate beyond anyone's intent.
Frindle by Andrew Clements; Brian Selznick (Illustrator)Nicholas Allen has plenty of ideas. Who can forget the time he turned his third-grade classroom into a tropical island, or the times he fooled his teacher by chirping like a blackbird? But now Nick's in fifth grade, and it looks like his days as a troublemaker are over. Everyone knows that Mrs. Granger, the language arts teacher, has X-ray vision, and nobody gets away with anything in her classroom. To make matters worse, she's also a fanatic about the dictionary, which is hopelessly boring to Nick. But when Nick learns an interesting tidbit about words and where they come from, it inspires his greatest plan yet: to invent a new word. From now on, a pen is no longer a pen -- it's a frindle. It doesn't take long for frindle to take root, and soon the excitement spreads well beyond his school and town. His parents and Mrs. Granger would like Nick to put an end to all this nonsense. But frindle doesn't belong to Nick anymore. All he can do now is sit back and watch what happens. This quirky, imaginative tale about creative thought and the power of words will have readers inventing their own words. Brian Selznick's black-and-white illustrations enhance the humor in this unforgettable story.
Double Dog Dare by Lisa GraffWhat would you do to win a dare war? Lisa Graff tells the story of fourth-graders Kansas Bloom and Francine Halata, who start out as archenemies, until--in a battle of wits and willpower--they discover that they have a lot more in common than either would have guessed. This dual-perspective novel will appeal to girls and boys alike--and to anyone who has ever wanted anything so badly that they'd lick a lizard to get it.
Wildfire by Rodman PhilbrickNewbery Honor author Rodman Philbrick sends listeners straight into the nightmare of a raging wildfire as 12-year-old Sam is trapped by explosive flames and deadly smoke that threaten to take his life. Can he survive? Flames race toward Sam Castine's summer camp as evacuation buses are loading, but Sam runs back to get his phone. Suddenly, a flash of heat blasts him as pine trees explode. Now a wall of fire separates Sam from his bus, and there's only one thing to do: Run for his life. Run or die. Lungs burning, Sam's only goal is to keep moving. Drought has made the forest a tinderbox, and Sam struggles to remember survival tricks he learned from his late father. Then, when he least expects it, he encounters Delphy, an older girl who is also lost. Their unlikely friendship grows as they join forces to find civilization. The pace never slows, and eventually flames surround Sam and Delphy on all sides. A powerful bond is forged that can only grow out of true hardship-as two true friends beat all odds and outwit one of the deadliest fires ever. At the end of the novel, information about wildfires and useful safety tips add to the listener's understanding of one of the US's most dangerous natural disasters.
Saving Winslow by Sharon CreechLouie doesn't have the best luck when it comes to nurturing small creatures. So when his father brings home a sickly newborn mini donkey, he's determined to save him. He names him Winslow. Taking care of him helps Louie feel closer to his brother, Gus, who is far, far away in the army. Everyone worries that Winslow won't survive, especially Louie's quirky new friend, Nora, who has experienced loss of her own. But as Louie's bond with Winslow grows, surprising and life-altering events prove that this fragile donkey is stronger than anyone could have imagined.
The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney"Amira, look at me," Muma insists. She collects both my hands in hers. "The Janjaweed attack without warning. If ever they come-- run." Finally, Amira is twelve. Old enough to wear a toob, old enough for new responsibilities. And maybe old enough to go to school in Nyala-- Amira's one true dream. But life in her peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when the Janjaweed arrive. The terrifying attackers ravage the town and unleash unspeakable horrors. After she loses nearly everything, Amira needs to dig deep within herself to find the strength to make the long journey-- on foot-- to safety at a refugee camp. Her days are tough at the camp, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind-- and all kinds of possibilities.
The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla MagoonMeet Caleb and Bobby Gene, two brothers embarking on a madcap, heartwarming, one-thing-leads-to-another adventure in which friendships are forged, loyalties are tested . . . and miracles just might happen. Caleb Franklin and his big brother Bobby Gene are excited to have adventures in the woods behind their house. But Caleb dreams of venturing beyond their ordinary small town. Then Caleb and Bobby Gene meet new neighbor Styx Malone. Styx is sixteen and oozes cool. Styx promises the brothers that together, the three of them can pull off the Great Escalator Trade--exchanging one small thing for something better until they achieve their wildest dream. But as the trades get bigger, the brothers soon find themselves in over their heads. Styx has secrets--secrets so big they could ruin everything.
Class Action by Steven B. FrankNO. MORE. HOMEWORK. That's what sixth grader Sam Warren tells his teacher while standing on top of his desk. He's fed up with doing endless tasks from the time he gets home to the time he goes to sleep. Suspended for his protest, Sam decides to fight back. He recruits his elderly neighbor/retired attorney Mr. Kalman to help him file a class action lawsuit on behalf of all students in Los Angeles. Their argument? Homework is unconstitutional. With a ragtag team--aspiring masterchef Alistair, numbers gal Catalina, sports whiz Jaesang, rebel big sister Sadie and her tech-savvy boyfriend Sean--Sam takes his case to federal court. He learns about the justice system, kids' rights, and constitutional law. And he learns that no matter how many times you get knocked down, there's always an appeal...until the nine justices have the last say. Will Sam's quest end in an epic fail, or will he be the hero who saves childhood for all time?
Falcon Wild by Terry Lynn JohnsonAn action-packed, contemporary novel about surviving in the wilderness. Thirteen-year-old Karma is desperate to become a certified falconer. At her dad's bird education center, she helps give demonstrations to guests and can fly the birds. But when her favorite rescued falcon, Stark, hurts Karma, her parents insist that they return the bird to its previous owner--in Canada. On the way to bring Stark back, a car accident in the middle of nowhere leaves Karma's dad trapped, and it's up to Karma to find a way to rescue him and her younger brother. When Karma loses her way trying to get help, she crosses paths with Cooper, a troubled teenaged boy. Lost for three days, the two figure out how to survive, and Karma teaches Stark to hunt like an actual bird of prey. Karma may be closer than she thinks to becoming a real falconer and having a real friend.
Hatchet by Gary PaulsenAfter a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.
Scar Island by Dan GemeinhartJonathan Grisby is the newest arrival at the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys -- an ancient, crumbling fortress of gray stone rising up from the ocean. It is dark, damp, and dismal. And it is just the place Jonathan figures he deserves. Because Jonathan has done something terrible. And he's willing to accept whatever punishment he has coming. Just as he's getting used to his new situation, however, a freak accident leaves the troubled boys of Slabhenge without any adult supervision. Suddenly the kids are free, with an entire island to themselves. But freedom brings unexpected danger. And if Jonathan can't come to terms with the sins of his past and lead his new friends to safety... then every boy on the island is doomed.
The Trail by Meika HashimotoAn exciting and deeply moving story of survival, courage, and friendship on the Appalachian Trail. Toby has to finish the final thing on The List. It's a list of brave, daring, totally awesome things that he and his best friend, Lucas, planned to do together, and the only item left is to hike the Appalachian Trail. But now Lucas isn't there to do it with him. Toby's determined to hike the trail alone and fulfill their pact, which means dealing with the little things -- the blisters, the heat, the hunger -- and the big things -- the bears, the loneliness, and the memories. When a storm comes, Toby finds himself tangled up in someone else's mess: Two boys desperately need his help. But does Toby have any help to give?
Everest Book One: the Contest by Gordon KormanA thrilling adventure trilogy from Gordon Korman about a number of kids competing to be the youngest person to ever reach the top of Mt. Everest Four kids. One mountain. They come from all across America to be the youngest kid ever to climb Everest. But only one will reach the top first. The competition is fierce. The preparation is intense. The challenge is breathtaking. When the final four reach the higher peaks, disaster strikes-and all that separates the living from the dead is chance, bravery, and action.
Athlete vs. Mathlete by W. C. MackOwen Evans lights up the scoreboards. His brother, Russell, rocks the school boards. These twin brothers couldn't be more different. They've long kept the peace by going their separate ways, but all that is about to change. The new basketball coach recruits Russell for the seventh grade team and a jealous Owen has to fight to stay in the game. When someone tries to steal Russell's spot as captain of the mathlete team, will the two be able to put aside their differences in order to save his position? Or will they be sidelined? A lighthearted and hilarious look at what happens when brains meets brawn meets basketball!
Game Changers by Mike LupicaBen McBain is every football team's dream player. He's a jack-of-all-trades guy that can handle almost any position. When the game is on the line, Ben's number is the one being called for the final play. But Ben wants to be the starting quarterback and the one thing standing in his way is the coach's son. Shawn O'Brien looks the part. He has been groomed by his father, a former professional quarterback. But despite his size and arm strength, Shawn is struggling. Ben is torn between being a good teammate and going after his own dream. As Ben finds out, Shawn isn't the easiest person to help. And when Ben gets an unexpected opportunity, the entire game will change for the both of them.
Pinch Hit by Tim GreenTrevor and Sam look alike. But their lives couldn't be more different. Trevor is a movie star, living the Hollywood life in a huge mansion with his own limo, pool, and bowling alley. There's nothing he doesn't have except the one thing he wants most: to play baseball for real. Sam is a regular kid who seems to have what it takes to make it to baseball's Major Leagues. He's determined to get the scouts at the big USC tournament to recognize his talent. And he really wants to see his dad, a struggling screenwriter, realize his own dream. When Sam signs up at Casting Central to make some extra money, he and Trevor come together on a movie set and see the chance to trade places--to pinch hit for each other and make everyone's dreams come true. At first, it's all good. . . . But what happens when the boys take their game too far?
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander"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 from Kwame Alexander.
Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story's heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.
Ghost by Jason ReynoldsBook 1 of the Track Series. Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. Ghost has a crazy natural talent, but no formal training. If he can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all starting with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who blew his own shot at success by using drugs, and who is determined to keep other kids from blowing their shots at life.