Events

Scranton School District Intermediate Reading List

SIXTH GRADE

1)    Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 4.7 Thirteen-year-old Mary Lou keeps a summer journal which chronicles her first experiences with romance, homesickness, and death.

2)    Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller by Joseph Lambert (Non-fiction)

AR: 4.4 Helen Keller lost her ability to see and hear before she turned two years old. But in her lifetime, she learned to ride horseback and dance the foxtrot. She graduated from Radcliffe. She became a world famous speaker and author. She befriended Mark Twain, Charlie Chaplin, and Alexander Graham Bell. And above all, she revolutionized public perception and treatment of the blind and the deaf.

3)    The Big Field by Mike Lupica (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 5.3 Hutch feels threatened when Darryl becomes the shortstop and Hutch is relegated to second base. He tries to work through his insecurities about both Darryl and his remote and silent father, who was once a great ballplayer too.

4) The Boy Who Saved Baseball by John H. Ritter (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 4.4 The fate of a small California town rests on the outcome of one baseball game, and

Tom Gallagher hopes to lead his team to victory with the secrets of the now disgraced player, Dante Del Gato.

5) Breathing Room by Marsha Hayles (Fiction)

AR: 5.3 Evvy Hoffmeister is thirteen years old when her family brings her to Loon Lake Sanatorium to get cured of tuberculosis (TB). Evvy is frightened by her new surroundings; the rules to abide are harsh and the nurses equally rigid. But Evvy soon falls into step with the other girls in her ward. There’s Sarah, quiet but thoughtful; Pearl, who adores Hollywood glamour; and Dina, whose harshness conceals a deep strength. Together, the girls brave the difficult daily routines. Set in 1940 at a time of political unrest throughout the U.S. and Europe, this thought-provoking novel sheds light on a much feared worldwide illness. Hundreds of thousands of people died each year of TB, and many ill children were sent away to sanatoriums to hopefully recover.

6)    Cardboard by Doug TenNapel (Non-Fiction) (Graphic Novel)

AR: 2.2 Cam gets a cardboard box for a birthday present that he makes into a man which comes to life, but when his neighbor Marcus takes the cardboard box, he creates his own evil creations that threaten to destroy them all.

7)    Chasing Lincoln’s Killer by James Swanson (nonfiction)

AR: 7.5 This book recounts the twelve-day pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth, covering the chase through Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, with a discussion of Abraham Lincoln as a father, husband, and friend that examines the impact of his death on those close to him.

8)    Chasing Vermeer (series) by Blue Balliett (Mystery, Adventure)

AR: 5.4 When seemingly unrelated and strange events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal.

9)    Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn (Mystery)

AR: 4.4 When thirteen-year-old Logan and his family move into a run-down old house in rural Virginia, he discovers that a woman was murdered there and becomes involved with his neighbor Arthur in a dangerous investigation to try to uncover the killer.

10) Coraline by Neil Gaiman (Fantasy, Adventure)

AR: 5.1 Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others.

11) Dealing With Dragons (series) by Patricia C. Wrede (Fantasy, Adventure)

AR: 5.5 Bored with traditional palace life, a princess goes off to live with a group of dragons and soon becomes involved with fighting against some disreputable wizards who want to steal away the dragons’ kingdom.

12) The Death-Defying Pepper Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean (Historical Adventure) AR: 6.4 Having been raised believing he will die before he reaches the age of fourteen,

Pepper Roux runs away on his fourteenth birthday in an attempt to elude his fate, assumes another identity, and continues to try to outrun death, no matter the consequences.

13) Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix (adventure/mystery)

AR: 5.0 Thirteen-yearold Bethany’s parents have always been overprotective, but when they suddenly drop out of sight with no explanation, leaving her with an aunt she never knew existed; Bethany uncovers shocking secrets that make her question everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

14) Eleven (series) by Lauren Myracle (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 4.1 The year between turning eleven and turning twelve bring many changes for Winnie and her friends.

15) The Extra Yard (Mike Lupica) (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 4.9 Until his mom drops a bomb: his father—who left them a long time ago—is back in Walton and back in their lives. And Teddy isn’t happy about it. As a former star football player at the school, Teddy’s dad is thrilled to find out his son is going out for the team, but Teddy begins to wonder if his father only cares about him now because he’s putting on the helmet. Can Teddy find a way to go the extra yard for the team and for himself, or is the distance between him and his father too much to overcome?

16) Fire Chronicle by John Stephens (Fiction)

AR: 5.2 After the tumultuous events of last winter, Kate, Michael, and Emma long to continue the hunt for their missing parents. But they themselves are now in great danger, and so the wizard Stanislaus Pym hides the children at the Edgar Allan Poe Home for Hopeless and Incorrigible Orphans. There, he says, they will be safe. How wrong he is.

17) First Robotics (Nancy Benovich Gilby) R.L. 4.1 (Biography) “Makers of all ages are using LEGO bricks to create robots. In this book, students learn more about this recent innovation through detailed explanations built to foster creativity and critical thinking. Fun, engaging text introduces readers to new ideas and builds on maker-related concepts they may already know. Additional tools, including a glossary and an index, help students learn new vocabulary and locate information.”–

18) Flying Solo by Ralph Fletcher (realistic fiction)

AR: 4.3 When the substitute for Mr. “Fab” Fabiano never shows up and his sixth-grade students are on their own, they set out to prove that they can run the class by themselves. With a little ingenuity and some careful planning, they might just succeed. But when a fight breaks out between Bastian Fauvell and Rachel White over a classmate, Tommy Feathers, who died six months earlier, everything begins to fall apart. Can Rachel deal with the anxieties that plunged her into silence the day Tommy died? Inventive and uniquely constructed, “Flying Solo” follows Mr. Fab’s students hour by hour as they tackle the challenges of an unusual school day.

19) Football Genius by Tim Green (realistic fiction)

AR: 4.8 Troy, a sixth-grader with an unusual gift for predicting football plays before they occur, attempts to use his ability to help his favorite team, the Atlanta Falcons, but he must first prove himself to the coach and players.

20) The Frog Princess (series) by E.D. Baker (Fantasy, Adventure)

AR: 4.8 After reluctantly kissing a frog, an awkward, fourteen-year-old princess suddenly finds herself a frog, too, and sets off with the prince to seek the means, and the self-confidence, to become human again.

21) The Frog Scientist by Pamela S. Turner (Non-Fiction)

AR: 6.3 A professor in Berkeley, California, Dr. Tyrone Hayes studies the effects of pesticides

22) From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg (Mystery, Adventure) AR: 4.7 When Claudia decided to run away, she planned very carefully. She would be gone just long enough to teach her parents a lesson in Claudia appreciation. And she would go in comfort-she would live at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She saved her money, and she invited her brother Jamie to go, mostly because be was a miser and would have money. Claudia was a good organizer and Jamie bad some ideas, too; so the two took up residence at the museum right on schedule. But once the fun of settling in was over, Claudia had two unexpected problems: She felt just the same, and she wanted to feel different; and she found a statue at the Museum so beautiful she could not go home until she bad discovered its maker, a question that baffled the experts, too. The former owner of the statue was Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

23) Great Hitters of the Negro Leagues by Paul Hoblin (Non-Fiction)

AR: 5.8 Great Hitters of the Negro Leagues covers the best batters in black baseball. Step up to the plate for vivid accounts of legendary players such as John Henry Lloyd, Dick Lundy, Willie Wells, Oscar Charleston, Oliver Marcelle, James Bell, etc.

24) Hip-hop Dancing by Joan Freese (Non – fiction)

AR: 4.8 Describes hip-hop dancing, including history, training, moves, and competition.

25) Hokey Pokey by Jerry Spinelli (Fiction)

AR: 3.6 Welcome to Hokey Pokey. A place and a time, when childhood is at its best: games to play, bikes to ride, experiences to be had. There are no adults in Hokey Pokey, just kids, and the laws governing Hokey Pokey are simple and finite. But when one of the biggest kids, Jack, has his beloved bike stolen—and by a girl, no less—his entire world, and the world of Hokey Pokey, turns to chaos. Without his bike, Jack feels like everything has started to go wrong. He feels different, not like himself, and he knows something is about to change. And even more troubling he alone hears a faint train whistle. But that’s impossible: every kid knows there no trains in Hokey Pokey, only tracks.

26) How to Catch a Bogle by Catherine Jinks (Fantasy)

AR: 5.2 Birdie McAdam, a ten-year-old orphan, is tougher than she looks. She’s proud of her job as apprentice to Alfred the Bogler, a man who catches monsters for a living. Birdie lures the bogles out of their lairs with her sweet songs, and Alfred kills them before they kill her. On the mean streets of Victorian England, hunting bogles is actuallylessdangerous work than mudlarking for scraps along the vile river Thames. Or so it seems—until the orphans of London start to disappear . . .

27) Ice!: the Amazing History of the Ice Business by Laurence Pringle (Non-Fiction)

AR: 6.7 In the early 1800s, people began to harvest ice, store it in ways that limited melting, and transport it to homes and businesses. Eventually, almost everyone had an icebox, and a huge, vital ice business grew. In this riveting book, acclaimed writer Laurence Pringle describes the key inventions and ideas that helped the ice business flourish. He points to the many sources of ice throughout the East and Midwest and spotlights Rockland Lake, “the icebox of New York City,” to offer a close-up look at the ice business in action. Pringle worked closely with experts and relied on primary documents, including archival photographs, postcards, prints, and drawings, to capture the times when everyone waited for the ice man and his wagon to deliver those precious blocks of ice.

28) Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (fantasy)

AR: 4.3 Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father Mo, a bookbinder, can “read” fictional characters to life when an evil ruler named Capricorn, freed from the novel “Inkheart” years earlier, tries to force Mo to release an immortal monster from the story.

29) Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know (Alexander Horowitz) (Non-Fiction)

AR: 5.9 From an animal behaviorist and dog enthusiast comes an adorable and informative guide to understanding how our canine friends see the world based on the #1New York Times bestselling phenomenon, Inside of a Dog—now adapted for a younger audience!

Have you ever wondered what your dogs are thinking? What they’re feeling? Now you finally can! The answers will surprise and delight you as scientist and dog-owner Alexandra Horowitz explains how our four-legged friends perceive their daily worlds, each other, and that other quirky animal, the human.

30) Knots in My Yo-Yo String: The Autobiography of a Kid by Jerry Spinelli (nonfiction/autobiography)

 AR: 6.0 This Italian-American Newbery Medalist presents a humorous account of his childhood and youth in Norristown, Pennsylvania

31) The Last Bogler by Catherine Jinks(Fantasy)

AR: 5.6 With the plague of bogles in Victorian London barely contained, bogle hunter Alfred Bunce needs all the help he can get. So Ned Roach becomes a bogler’s apprentice, luring child-eating monsters from their lairs just like his friends Jem and Birdie. It’s dangerous work that takes Ned into mysterious and hidden parts of the city. Yet times in London are changing; as the machine age emerges, the very existence of bogles is questioned, and the future of bogling is in jeopardy. And the stakes get even higher for the team of boglers when an old enemy appears–a threat that may be deadlier than any bogle.

 32) Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine (Fiction)

AR: 4.1 Twelve-year-old Marlee develops a strong friendship with Liz, the new girl in school, but when Liz suddenly stops attending school and Marlee hears a rumor that her friend is actually an African American girl passing herself off as white, the two young girls must decide whether their friendship is worth taking on integration and the dangers it could bring to their families.

33) Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson (Realistic Fiction, Poetry)

AR: 4.7 In a series of poems, eleven-year-old Lonnie writes about his life after the death of his parents, separated from his younger sister, living in a foster home, and finding his poetic voice at school.

34) Loser by Jerry Spinelli (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 4.3 Even though his classmates from first grade on have considered him strange and a loser, Donald Zinkoff’s optimism and exuberance and the support of his loving family do not allow him to feel that way about himself.

35) Malice by Chris Wooding (Fantasy)

AR: 4.5 Everyone has heard the rumors that if you gather the right things and say the right words, you’ll be taken to Malice, a world that exists inside a horrifying comic book. Seth and Kady think it’s all a silly myth until one of their friends disappears.

36) Masterminds Series by Gordon Korman (Adventure) Criminal Destiny

Criminal Destiny

AR 5.0 A group of kids discovers they were cloned from the DNA of some of the greatest criminal masterminds in history for a sociological experiment, and they must find a way to prove it to the rest of the world.

 Payback

AR 5.1 Fighting for survival after being separated into pairs in the aftermath of a betrayal, the Project Osiris clones search for notorious mob boss Gus Alabaster while tracking down Eli’s elusive DNA donor alongside a surprising new ally.

37) Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli (historical fiction)

AR: 3.6 This book follows a young Jewish orphan in the Warsaw ghetto during World War II as he slowly understands the horrible reality that surrounds him and attempts to steal in order to help others survive.

38) Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo (Adventure)

AR: 4.4 Edward Tulane, a cold-hearted and proud toy rabbit, loves only himself until he is separated from the little girl who adores him. He travels across the country, acquiring new owners and listening to their hopes, dreams, and histories.

39) Missing May by Cynthia Rylant (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 5.3 After the death of the beloved aunt who has raised her, twelve-year-old Summer and her Uncle Ob leave their West Virginia trailer in search of the strength to go on living.

40) The Name of This Book Is Secret (series) by Pseudonymous Bosch (Mystery, Adventure)

AR: 5.6 When Cass and Max-Ernest find a mysterious case containing vials of liquid and an encoded message asking for help, the two friendless eleven-year olds decide to investigate.

41) Navy: Civilian to Sailor by Meish Goldish (Non-Fiction)

AR: 6.2 What does it take to become a member of the United States Navy? Kids will find out in this exciting look inside the U.S. Navy’s training program. Readers will learn all about the Recruit Training Command training facility in Great Lakes, Illinois, where all Navy recruits go for boot camp

42) The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour by Michael D. Beil (Mystery)

AR: 4.4 Catholic-schooled seventh-graders Sophie, Margaret, Rebecca, and Leigh Ann help an elderly neighbor solve a puzzle her father left for her estranged daughter twenty years before.

43) Road Trip by Jim Paulsen (Fiction)

AR: 4.3 Dad and Ben haven’t been getting along recently and Dad hopes a road trip to rescue a border collie will help them reconnect. But Ben is on to Dad’s plan and invites Ben’s thuggish buddy, Theo. The family dog, Atticus, comes along too and the story is told by Ben and Atticus. When their truck breaks down, they commandeer an old school bus, along with its mechanic, Gus. Next, they pick up Mia, a waitress escaping a tense situation. Only sharp-eyed Atticus realizes that Theo is on the run—and someone is following them.

44) Saving Zasha by Randi G. Barrow (Fiction)

AR: 4.4 In post WWII Russia, one boy dares to save an entire race of outlawed dogs –the German shepherd! World War II has just ended when thirteen-year-old Mikhail finds a dying man and his German shepherd, Zasha, in the woods. It’s dangerous –some say traitorous –to own a German dog after Germany attacked Russia, so Mikhail must keep Zasha a secret to keep her alive. But Mikhail’s rival, Katia, is determined to find the dog she is sure he’s hiding.

45) The Secret of Zoom by Lynne Jonell (Fantasy)

AR: 5.1 Ten-year-old Christina lives a sheltered life until she discovers a secret tunnel, an evil plot to enslave orphans, and a mysterious source of energy known as zoom.

46) A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park (historical fiction)

AR: 6.6 Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge near a potters’ village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself.

47) Signal by Cynthia DeFelice (Fiction)

AR: 4.7 After moving with his emotionally distant father to the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, twelveyear-old Owen faces a lonely summer until he meets an abused girl who may be a space alien.

48) Soldier’s Secret: the Incredible True Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero by Marissa Moss (Fiction)

AR: 5.6 Historical fiction at its best, this novel by bestselling author Marissa Moss tells the story of Sarah Emma Edmonds, who masqueraded as a man named Frank Thompson during the Civil War. Among her many adventures, she was a nurse on the battlefield and a spy for the Union Army, and was captured by (and escaped from) the Confederates. The novel is narrated by Sarah, offering readers an in-depth look not only at the Civil War but also at her journey to self-discovery as she grapples with living a lie and falling in love with one of her fellow soldiers.

49) Spirit Animals Series by Tui Sutherland (Adventure) Against the Tide

AR 6.3 Four children have discovered that they have spirit animals, a rare bond between human and animal that has launched them on a quest to save their world, but now they realize that there is a traitor in their midst who has been helping their pursuers and they’re heading for a deadly trap.

50) Stealing Freedom by Elisa Carbone (historical fiction)

AR: 4.3 A novel based on the events in the life of a young slave girl from Maryland who endures all kinds of mistreatment and cruelty, including being separated from her family, but who eventually escapes to freedom in Canada.

51) The Story of the New York Yankees by Michael E. Goodman (non-fiction)

AR: 7.2 Includes index. Provides an overview of the history of the New York Yankees professional baseball team since its inaugural 1903 season, spotlighting the team’s significant players and memorable moments.

52) Swindle by Gordon Korman (Adventure)

AR: 4.9 After unscrupulous collector S. Wendell Palomino cons sixth-grader Griffin Bing out of a valuable baseball card, Griffin puts together a band of misfits to break into Palomino’s heavily guarded store and steal the card back.

53) Talking Leaves by Joseph Bruchac (Historical Fiction)

AR: 4.8 “Thirteen-year-old Uwohali has not seen his father, Sequoyah, for many years. So when Sequoyah returns to the village, Uwohali is eager to reconnect. But Sequoyah’s new obsession with making strange markings causes friends and neighbors in their tribe to wonder whether he is crazy, or worse-practicing witchcraft. What they don’t know, and what Uwohali discovers, is that Sequoyah is a genius and his strange markings are actually an alphabet representing the sounds of the Cherokee language. The story of one of the most important figures in Native American history is brought to life for middle grade readers.”

54) The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (Adventure)

AR: 4.7 This story tells the adventures of Despereaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.

55) The Tiger Rising by Kate DiCamillo (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 4.0 Rob, who passes the time in his rural Florida community by wood carving, is drawn by his spunky but angry friend Sistine into a plan to free a caged tiger.

56) When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (Historical Fiction, Fantasy)

AR: 4.5 A twelve-year-old New York City girl living in the 1980s tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seem to defy the laws of time and space.

57) The Wild Girls by Pat Murphy (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 4.1 When thirteen-year-old Joan moves to California in 1972, she becomes friends with Sarah. After winning a writing contest together, they are recruited for an exclusive summer writing class that gives them new insights into themselves and others.

58) Wild Women of the Wild West by Jonah Winter (Non-Fiction)

AR: 6.0 From Annie Oakley to Polly Pry, biographical sketches, color portraits, and sepia line drawings reveal the accomplishments of 15 amazing women whose adventurous spirit helped build our nation.

59) Who is Helen Keller? By Gare Thompson

AR: 4.1 Tells Helen Keller’s life story, describing her loss of her sight and hearing in childhood, her learning of language skills with the help of Annie Sullivan, her work to earn her college degree, her fame, and her efforts to help others with disabilities.

 

SEVENTH GRADE

1) A Voice of Her Own by: The Story of Phillis Wheatley,Slave Poet by : Kathryn Lasky (Biography) AR: 5.9

In 1761, a young African girl was sold to the Wheatley family in Boston, who named her Phillis after the slave schooner that had carried her. Kidnapped from her home in Africa and shipped to America, she’d had everything taken from her – her family, her name, and her language. But Phillis Wheatley was no ordinary young girl. She had a passion to learn, and the Wheatleys encouraged her, breaking with unwritten rule in New England to keep slaves illiterate. Amid the tumult of the Revolutionary War, Phillis Wheatley became a poet and ultimately had a book of verse published, establishing herself as the first African American woman poet this country had ever known. She also found what had been taken away from her and from slaves everywhere: a voice of her own.

2) Amazing Adventures of John Smith, Jr., AKA Houdini by  Peter Johnson (Non-Fiction)

AR: 5.7 Houdini chronicles his life as he and his friends start a leaf-raking business, befriend Old Man Jackson, a Vietnam War veteran with a seriously intimidating dog, and get even with the neighborhood bully, Angel. But it’s hard to find a way to write about his dad losing his job or his brother, Franklin, who is first reported missing in action in Iraq and then still seems to be missing when he Comes home.

3) American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang (Graphic Novel)

AR: 3.3 Three seemingly unrelated tales combine the problems of young Chinese Americans with traditional Chinese fables.

4) Among the Hidden (series) by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Science Fiction)

AR: 4.8 In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family’s farm, until another “third” convinces him that the government is wrong.

5) Aquamarine by Alice Hoffman (Fantasy)

AR: 5.6 On the edge of growing up, during a summer that is the hottest on record, Hailey and Claire learn that life can take an unpredictable course, that friendship is forever, and that magic can be found in the most unexpected places.

6) Bad Boy: A Memoir by Walter Dean Meyers (nonfiction)

AR: 6.5 Author Walter Dean Myers describes his childhood in Harlem in the 1940s and 1950s, discussing his loving stepmother, his problems in school, his reasons for leaving home, and his beginnings as a writer.

7) Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys (Fiction)

A.R. 3.6 Lexile 490 Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

8) Bomb: the Race to Build and Steal the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin (Non Fiction)

A.R. 6.9 Lexile 920 In December of 1938, a chemist in a German laboratory made a shocking discovery: When placed next to radioactive material, a Uranium atom split in two. That simple discovery launched a scientific race that spanned 3 continents. In Great Britain and the United States, Soviet spies worked their way into the scientific community; in Norway, a commando force slipped behind enemy lines to attack German heavy-water manufacturing; and deep in the desert, one brilliant group of scientists was hidden away at a remote site at Los Alamos. This is the story of the plotting, the risk-taking, the deceit, and genius that created the world’s most formidable weapon. This is the story of the atomic bomb.

9) Born to Rock by Gordon Korman (realistic fiction)

AR: 5.3 Leo Caraway—high school senior, president of the Young Republicans Club, 4.0 GPA, future Harvard student—had his entire future perfectly planned out. That was, until the X factor. As in Marion McMurphy, aka King Maggot, the lead singer of Purge, the most popular, most destructive band punk rock has ever seen. He’s also Leo’s biological father.

10) Capture the Flag by Kate Messner (Fiction)

A.R. 4.5 Lexile 700 Stranded in the D.C. airport in a snowstorm, three seventh-grade strangers meet. At first glance, Anna the reporter, Henry the gamer, and José the reader don’t seem to have much in common. But all three attended a gala event at the Smithsonian the previous evening. And all are descended from historic American families who belong to a secret sleuthing society. When news comes through that the original “Star Spangled Banner” was stolen from the museum while they were there, the new friends deduce that the flag just might be trapped at the airport and set off to catch the culprit and restore the national treasure. Along the way, they encounter a comical variety of characters and ponder questions of immigration policy, campaign integrity, and national culture. With tidy detecting and earnest characterizations, this is a mystery that frolics more than it frightens. But the respectful integration of current events and the three heroes’ thoughtful consideration of the cultural clues make the location of the flag just the beginning of the discoveries.

11) The City of Ember (series) by Jeanne DuPrau (Science Fiction)

AR: 5.0 The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race, but two hundred years later the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. It’s up to Lina and Doon to decipher a hidden message before the lights go out on Ember forever.

12) Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata (Historical Fiction)

AR: 4.9 An action-packed glimpse into the Vietnam War as seen through the eyes of a bomb sniffing German shepherd named Cracker and her handler, a young soldier.

13) Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi (mystery)

AR: 5.0 Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.

14) The Day of the Pelican by Katherine Paterson (Fiction)

A.R. 5.2 Lexile 770 Meli Lleshi is positive that her drawing of her teacher with his pelican nose started it all. The Lleshis are Albanians living in Kosovo, a country trying to fight off Serbian oppressors, and suddenly they are homeless refugees. Old and young alike, they find their courage tested by hunger, illness, the long, arduous journey, and danger on every side. Then, unexpectedly, they are brought to America by a church group and begin a new life in a small Vermont town. The events of 9/11 bring more challenges for this Muslim family–but this country is their home now and there can be no turning back.

15) The Devil and His Boy by Anthony Horowitz (Adventure)

AR: 4.6 In 1593, thirteen-year old Tom travels through the English countryside to London, where he falls in with a troupe of actor and finds himself in great danger from several sources.

16) Dogs On Duty: Soldiers’ Best Friends On the Battlefield and Beyond by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent (Non Fiction)

AR 7.1 Lexile 1190 When the news of the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound broke, the SEAL team member that stole the show was a highly trained canine companion. Throughout history, dogs have been key contributors to military units. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent follows man’s best friend onto the battlefield, showing readers why dogs are uniquely qualified for the job at hand, how they are trained, how they contribute to missions, and what happens when they retire. With full-color photographs throughout and sidebars featuring heroic canines throughout history.

17) Downsiders by Neal Shusterman (Science Fiction)

AR: 7.2 When fourteen-year-old Lindsay meets Talon and discovers the Downsiders world which had evolved from the subway built in New York in 1867 by Alfred Ely Beach, she and her new friend experience the clash of their two cultures.

18) Entertainer and the Dybbuk by Sid Fleischman (Fiction)

AR: 3.7 Lexile 610 A struggling American ventriloquist in post-World War II Europe is possessed by The mischievous spirit of a young Jewish boy killed in the Holocaust.

19) Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini by Sid Fleischman (Non-Fiction)

AR: 6.6 This book is a biography of the magician, ghost chaser, aviator, and king of escape artists whose amazing feats are remembered long after his death in 1926.

20) Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 5.3 Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California on the eve of the Great Depression.

 21) Fast Break by Mike Lupica (Realistic Fiction/Sports)

AR: 5.2 Since his mother’s death, Jayson, twelve, has focused on basketball and surviving but he is found out and placed with an affluent foster family of a different race, and must learn to accept many changes, including facing his former teammates in a championship game.

22) First Boy by Gary Schmidt (realistic fiction)

AR: 5.5 Dragged into the political turmoil of a presidential election year, fourteen-year-old Cooper Jewett, who runs a New Hampshire dairy farm since his grandfather’s death, stands up for himself and makes it clear whose first boy he really is.

23) Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 4.8 In alternating chapters, Juli and Bryce describe how their feelings about themselves, each other, and their families have changed over the years.

 24) Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books by Gary Paulsen (nonfiction)

AR: 6.5 The author relates incidents in his life and how they inspired parts of his books about the character, Brian Robeson.

 25) Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 5.2 When fourteen-year-old Liyana and her younger brother move from St. Louis to a new home in Jerusalem where her father was born, they must face many changes.

26) How Angel Peterson Got His Name by Gary Paulsen (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 6.0 A compilation of humorous, short stories about 13 year-old boys trying to ride a waterfall in a barrel, break the world record for speed on skis, and perform other daredevil stunts that are based on Paulsen’s own life.

27) Irena Sendler and the Children of Warsaw Ghetto by Susan G. Rubin (non-fiction)

AR: 5.9 Rubin and Farnsworth tell the story of Irena Sendler, a diminutive Polish social worker who helped spirit more than 400 children out of the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. A.R. 5.9

28) Irena’s Jars of Secrets by Marcia K. Vaughn (non-fiction)

AR: 5.9 The illustrated biography of Irena Sendler, a Polish social worker who saved nearly 2500 Jewish children from the ghetto. She began by smuggling food, clothing and medicine into the ghetto, then turned to smuggling children out of the ghetto. Using false papers and creative means of escape, Irena risked her own life to rescue Jewish children and hide them safely in orphanages, convents and foster homes. Hoping to reunite families after the war, Irena kept secret lists of the children’s identities, which were buried in jars under an apple tree.

29) Jackie’s Nine: Jackie Robinson’s Values to Live by Sharon Robinson (Non-Fiction)

AR: 7.3 This is an inspiring collection that pays tribute to baseball legend and civil rights hero Jackie Robinson.

30) Janie Face to Face by Caroline B. Cooney (Fiction)

A.R. 4.8 In this riveting and emotional conclusion to the thriller-romance Janie series, that started with The Face on the Milk Carton, all will be revealed as readers find out if Janie and Reeve’s love has endured, and whether or not the person who brought Janie and her family so much emotional pain and suffering is brought to justice.

31) Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (series) by Jack Gantos (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 4.9 To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble Paying attention or controlling his mood swings when his prescription meds wear off and he starts getting worked up and acting wired.

 32) The Landry News by Andrew Clements (realistic fiction)

AR: 6.0 A fifth-grader starts a newspaper with an editorial that prompts her burnt-out classroom teacher to really begin teaching again, but he is later threatened with disciplinary action as a result.

 33) Marching For Freedom by Elizabeth Patridge (Non-Fiction)

AR: 6.6 This book recounts the three months of protest that took place before Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s landmark march from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery to promote equal rights and Help African-Americans earn the right to vote.

34) Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff by Jennifer L. Holm (realistic fiction)

AR: 4.7 Ginny has ten items on her big to-do list for seventh grade. None of them, however, include accidentally turning her hair pink. Or getting sent to detention for throwing frogs in class. Or losing the lead role in the ballet recital to her ex-best friend. Or the thousand other things that can go wrong between September and June. But it looks like it’s shaping up to be that kind of a year! Here’s the story of one girl’s worst school year ever –told completely through her stuff.

35) The Misfits by James Howe (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 5.2 Four students who do not fit in at their small-town middle school decide to create a third party for the student council elections to represent all students who have ever been called names.

36) Monster by Walter Dean Myers (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 5.1 While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.

37) The Mysterious Benedict Society (series) by Trenton Lee Stewart (Adventure, Mystery)

AR: 5.6 After passing a series of mind-bending tests, four children are selected for a secret mission that requires them to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where their mission is to stop the plan of the evil Ledroptha Curtain.

38) Peak by Roland Smith (Adventure)

AR: 5.0 A fourteen-year-old boy attempts to be the youngest person to reach the top of Mount Everest.

39) Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science by John Fleischman (Non Fiction)

AR: 7.4 Phineas Gage was truly a man with a hole in his head. In 1948, when a thirteen-pound iron rod was shot through his brain, he miraculously survived to live another eleven years and become a textbook case in brain science.

40) Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff (realistic fiction)

AR: 4.4 A troublesome twelve-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her.

41) The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour by Michael D. Bell (series) (mystery)

AR: 4.4 Catholic-schooled seventh-graders Sophie, Margaret, Rebecca, and Leigh Ann help an Elderly neighbor solve a puzzle her father left for her estranged daughter twenty years ago.

42) The Ruins of Gorlan (series) by John Flanagan (Fantasy, Adventure)

AR: 7.0 When fifteen-year-old Will is rejected by battleschool, he becomes the reluctant apprentice to the mysterious Ranger Halt and winds up protecting the kingdom from danger.

 43) Savvy by Ingrid Law (Fantasy)

AR: 6.0 Mibs Beaumont’s thirteenth birthday has revealed her “savvy,” a magical power unique to each member of her family, just as her father is injured in a terrible accident.

44) Scat by Carl Hiaasen (Realistic Fiction, Mystery)

AR: 5.5 Nick and his friend Marta decide to investigate when a mysterious fire starts near a Florida wildlife preserve and an unpopular teacher goes missing.

45) Schooled by Gordon Korman (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 4.9 Cap lives in isolation with his grandmother, a former hippie, but when she falls from a tree and breaks her hip, Cap is sent to a foster home where he has his first experience in a public school.

46) So B. It by Sarah Weeks (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 5.0 After spending her life with her mentally retarded mother and agoraphobic neighbor, twelve-year-old Heidi sets out from Reno, Nevada, to New York to find out who she is.

47) Soldier Bear by Bibi Tak Dumon (Fiction)

AR: 5.2 Lexile 780 An orphaned Syrian brown bear cub is adopted by Polish soldiers during World War II and serves for five years as their mischievous mascot in Iran and Italy. Based on a true story.

48) Stonewall by Jean Fritz (nonfiction/biography)

AR: 7.5 A biography of the brilliant southern general who gained the nickname Stonewall by his stand at Bull Run during the Civil War.

49) Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery (Non-Fiction)

AR: 7.0 From the Publisher: When Temple Grandin was born, her parents knew that she was different. Years later she was diagnosed with autism. While Temple’s doctor recommended a hospital, her mother believed in her. Temple went to school instead. Today, Dr. Temple Grandin is a scientist and professor of animal science at Colorado State University. Her world-changing career revolutionized the livestock industry. As an advocate for autism, Temple uses her experience as an example of the unique contributions that autistic people can make.

50) The Road From Home: The Story of an Armenian Girl by David Kherdian (Non-Fiction)

AR: 5.7 A biography of the author’s mother, concentrating on her childhood in Turkey before the Turkish government deported its Armenian population.

51) Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements (Fantasy)

AR: 4.5 When fifteen-year-old Bobby wakes up and finds himself invisible, he and his parents and his new blind friend Alicia try to find out what caused his condition and how to reverse it.

 52) Thirteenth Child by Patricia Wrede (Fantasy)

AR: 6.0 Eighteen-year-old Eff must accept that her special training in Aphrikan magic and being the twin of the seventh son of a seventh son give her extraordinary power to combat magical creatures that threaten the western frontier.

53) Through My Eyes by Ruby Bridges (nonfiction/autobiography)

AR: 5.9 Ruby Bridges recounts the story of her involvement, as a 6-year-old, in the integration of her school in New Orleans in 1960. An icon of the Civil Rights movement, Ruby chronicles each dramatic step of this pivotal event in history.

54) Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata (Fiction)

AR: 4.8 Lexile 750 Twelve-year-old Sumiko feels her life has been made up of two parts: before Pearl Harbor and after it. The good part and the bad part. Raised on a flower farm in California, Sumiko is used to being the only Japanese girl in her class. Even when the other kids tease her, she always has had her flowers and family to go home to.

55) What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones (Realistic Fiction, Poetry)

AR: 5.3 Sophie uses poems to describe her relationships with a series of boys as she searches for Mr. Right.

56) Women Explorers: Perils, Pistols and Petticoats by Julie Cummins (Non-Fiction)

AR: 7.9 Meet ten inspiring women whose passions for exploration made them push the boundaries Though most people have heard of explorers like Henry Hudson and Christopher Columbus, few have heard names like Nellie Cashman and Annie Smith Peck. Unfortunately, most of the brave women explorers have never made it into history books because they lived in times when it was taboo for women to go off on their own. Luckily, the daring women in this book didn’t let those taboos slow them down as they climbed treacherous mountains, studied Aboriginal cultures, and lived with Pygmy tribes! With engaging text and bold illustrations, Women Explorers will finally properly introduce these adventurous women to the world.

57) A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck (historical fiction)

AR: 4.5 Sequel to: A long way from Chicago. During the recession of 1937, fifteen-year-old Mary Alice is sent to live with her feisty, larger-than life grandmother in rural Illinois and comes to a better understanding of this fearsome woman.

58) Your Food Is Fooling You; How Your Brain Is Hijacked By Sugar, Fat, and Salt by David A. Kessler (Non – Fiction)

AR: 5.9 Explains that processed foods’ combinations of sugar, fat, and salt caused our bodies to crave more and provides practical advice for developing healthy eating habits.

59)  Anti-Semitism: Jewish Immigrants Seek Safety in America (1881-1914) by Dara Pressberg  (Immigration)

AR: 6.2  Includes index.;Freedom in the United States — Anti-Semitism in Russia — Temporary laws — Fleeing Russia — Reaching America — Help for immigrants — Finding work — Making a new home — Looking toward the future — A better life in America. Examines the immigration of Russian Jews to America, discussing the reasons they immigrated, where they lived and more.

60) The Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. by Valerie Boden (Civil Rights)

AR: 6.8 Includes bibliographical references (pages 46-47) and index. “A historical account of Martin Luther King’s assassination, including the events leading up to it, the people involved, the conditions of racial tension, and the lingering aftermath”

61) The Boys in the Boat: the True Story of an American Team’s Epic Journey to Win Gold At the 1936 Olympics by Gregory Mone (Narrative Non-Fiction)

AR: 6.9 Includes index. “Out of the depths of the Great Depression comes the astonishing tale of nine working-class boys from the American West who at the 1936 Olympics showed the world what true grit really meant. With rowers who were the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew was never expected to defeat the elite East Coast teams, yet they did, going on to shock the world by challenging the German boat rowing for Adolf Hitler.

 62) The Captain’s Dog: My journey with the Lewis and Clark Tribe: by Roland Smith (Historical Fiction)

AR: 5.8 Captain Meriwether Lewis’s dog Seaman describes his experiences as he accompanies his master on the Lewis and Clark Expedition to explore the uncharted western wilderness.

 63) Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar (Bullying/Mystery)

AR: 5.0 Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chad Hilligas challenges Marshall to a fight. To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya, unaware of the reason for the detour, reluctantly follows. They soon get lost. And then they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined.

64) The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo (Adventure)

AR: 5.0 When ten-year-old orphan Peter Augustus Duchene encounters a fortune teller in the marketplace one day who tells him that his sister, who is presumed dead, is in fact alive, he embarks on a remarkable series of adventures in an attempt to find her.

65) Wings of Fire Series by Tui Sutherland

Escaping Peril

AR: 5.3 Peril is possibly the most dangerous dragon in Pyrrhia, because she has firescales that can kill an opponent with a touch, but now she has a mission–find her former queen, Scarlet, who is threatening the Jade Mountain Academy, and then stop her, and she is not sure if the persistent SeaWing, Turtle, who is accompanying her, will be a help or a hindrance. 

Talons of Power

AR: 5.2 “The war is over. The false prophecy has been fulfilled. But the dragonets still have enemies. A dark evil, buried for centuries, is stirring. And a young NightWing may have had the first true prophecy in generations…”

EIGHTH GRADE

1) Airman by Eoin Colfer (Historical Fiction, Adventure)

AR: 5.8 In the late nineteenth century, when Conor discovers a conspiracy to overthrow the king, he is branded a traitor, imprisoned, and forced to mine for diamonds under brutal conditions while planning a daring escape by way of a flying machine.

2) Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko (Historical Fiction)

AR: 3.5 A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards’ families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister.

3) The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (series) by Michael Scott (Fantasy)

AR: 6.4 While working at summer jobs, 15-year-old twins, Sophie and Josh, find themselves caught up in a deadly, centuries-old struggle between rival alchemists, Nicholas Flamel and John Dee, over the possession of an ancient book containing secret formulas.

4) The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud (Fantasy)

AR: 5.9 Nathaniel, a young magician’s apprentice, becomes caught in a web of magical espionage, murder, and rebellion, after he summons the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from the powerful magician Simon Loveland.

 5) The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation (series) by M.T. Anderson (Historical Fiction)

AR: 8.0 Various diaries, letters, and other manuscripts chronicle the experiences of Octavian, a young African American, from birth to age sixteen as he is brought up as part of a science experiment in the years leading up to and during the Revolutionary War.

6) Beyond Courage: the Untold story of Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust by  Doreen Rappaport (nonfiction)

AR: 7.4 In a stirring chronicle, Doreen Rappaport brings to light the courage of countless Jews who organized to sabotage the Nazis and help other Jews during the Holocaust.

7) The Big Field by Mike Lupica (realistic fiction)

AR: 5.3 When fourteen-year-old baseball player Hutch feels threatened by the arrival of a new teammate named Darryl, he tries to work through his insecurities about both Darryl and his remote and silent father, who was once a great ballplayer too.

8) Bloody Jack (series) by L.A. Meyer (Historical Fiction)

AR: 5.6 Reduced to begging and thievery in the streets of London, a thirteen-year-old orphan disguises herself as a boy and connives her way onto a British warship set for high sea adventure in search of pirates.

 9) Book Thief by Markus Zusak (Historical Fiction)

AR: 5.1 Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel, a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding.

 10) The Boy Who Saved Baseball by John H. Ritter (realistic fiction)

AR: 4.4 The fate of a small California town rests on the outcome of one baseball game, and Tom Gallagher hopes to lead his team to victory with the secrets of the now disgraced player, Dante Del Gato.

11) Brian’s Song by William Blinn (nonfiction)

AR: 5.1 Two men. One named Gale Sayers, the other Brian Piccolo. They came from different parts of the country. They competed fiercely for the same job. One liked to talk; the other was shy. One was white; the other black. This is the story of how they came to know each other, fight each other, and help each other…

12) Buried Alive!: How 33 Miners Survived 69 Days Deep Under the Chilean Desert by Elaine Scott (Non-Fiction)

AR: 7.3 Lexile 1060 In August 2010, thirty-three miners were buried alive, two thousand feet below the surface of the earth. After seventeen tense days, just as hope was nearly gone, rescuers made contact with the men. Joy broke out around the world—all thirty-three men were alive! But it would be long weeks before they emerged from the mine.

13) Burning Up: A Novel by Caroline B. Cooney (realistic fiction)

AR: 5.0 When a girl she had met at an inner-city church is murdered, fifteen-year-old Macey channels her grief into a school project that leads her to uncover prejudice she had not imagined in her grandparents and their wealthy Connecticut community.

 14) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (Fiction)

AR: 5.7 In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street—and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.

 15) Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (historical fiction)

AR: 6.5 Oct. 11th, 1943—A British spy plane crashes in Nazi-occupied France. Its pilot and passenger are best friends. One of the girls has a chance at survival. The other has lost the game before it’s barely begun.

16) Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney (Adventure)

AR: 6.2 While conducting research for a school paper on smallpox, Mitty finds an envelope containing 100-yearold smallpox scabs and fears that he has infected himself and could infect all of New York City.

 17) A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 4.5 During the summer that Hattie turns twelve, her world is turned upside down with the startling arrival of an uncle no one has ever spoken about. Adam’s “school” –an institution for the mentally disabled –is being closed.

18) Courage Has No Color, The True Story of the Triple Nickels by Tanya Lee Stone (Non-Fiction)

AR: 8.0 They became America’s first black paratroopers. Why was their story never told? Sibert Medalist Tanya Lee Stone reveals the history of the Triple Nickles during World War II.

19) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 5.4 Despite his overwhelming fear of interacting with people, Christopher, a mathematically gifted, autistic fifteen-year-old boy, decides to investigate the murder of a neighbor’s dog and uncovers secret information about his mother.

 20) Dead Girls Don’t Write Letters by Gail Giles (mystery)

AR: 4.0 Fourteen-year-old Sunny is stunned when a total stranger shows up at her house posing as her older sister Jazz, who supposedly died in a fire months earlier.

21) The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 5.5 Frankie Landau-Banks attempts to take over a secret, all-male society at her exclusive prep school, and her antics with the group soon draw some unlikely attention and have unexpected consequences that could change her life forever.

22) Does My Head Look Big in This? By Randa Abdel-Fattah (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 4.9 Year Eleven at an exclusive prep school in the suburbs of Melbourne would be tough enough, but it is further complicated for Amal when she decides to wear the hijab, the Muslim head scarf, full-time as a badge of her faith.

23) Downriver by Will Hobbs (realistic fiction)

AR: 4.9 Jessie and the other rebellious teenage members of a wilderness survival school team abandon their adult leader and try to run the dangerous white water of the Grand Canyon.

24) An Elephant In the Garden by Michael Murporgo (Fiction)

AR: 5.2 Lexile 750 Lizzie and Karl’s mother is a zoo keeper; the family has become attached to an orphaned elephant named Marlene, who will be destroyed as a precautionary measure so she and the other animals don’t run wild should the zoo be hit by bombs. The family persuades the zoo director to let Marlene stay in their garden instead. When the city is bombed, the family flees with thousands of others, but how can they walk the same route when they have an elephant in tow, and keep themselves safe? Along the way, they meet Peter, a Canadian navigator who risks his own capture to save the family.

25) Fake ID by Walter Sorrells (series) (mystery)

AR: 4.0 After a lifetime of moving and assuming new identities, sixteen-year-old Chass begins to piece together the disturbing past that haunts her and her mother and which involves a mysterious tape, a deceased popular singer, and the secrets of several people in a small Alabama town.

26) Farming and the Environment by Richard Spilsbury (Non-Fiction)

AR: 7.6 Explains the relationship between farming and the environment, the impact of global warming, and environmentally-friendly ways of producing food.

27) Feed by M.T. Anderson (Science Fiction)

AR: 4.4 In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.

28) Fever, 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson (Historical Fiction)

AR: 4.4 In 1793 Philadelphia, fourteen-year-old Matilda Cook, separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.

 29) The Fire by James Paterson (Fiction)

AR: 5.7 Whit and Wisty Allgood have sacrificed everything to lead the resistance against the merciless totalitarian regime that governs their world. Its supreme leader, The One Who Is The One, has banned everything they hold dear: books, music, art, and imagination. But the growing strength of the siblings’ magic hasn’t been enough to stop the One’s evil rampage, and now he’s executed the only family they had left.

30) Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen (realistic fiction)

AR: 4.8 In alternating chapters, two teenagers describe how their feelings about themselves, each other, and their families have changed over the years.

31) Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H. G. Bissinger (nonfiction)

AR: 8.0 Follows the 1988 season of the Permian Panthers, a high school football team in Odessa, Texas, exploring the lives of the players and the impact of the championship team on the small town.

32) The Gatekeepers by Anthony Horowitz (series) (adventure/fantasy)

AR: 5.0 Sent to live in a foster home in a remote Yorkshire village, Matt, a troubled fourteen-year-old English boy, uncovers an evil plot involving witchcraft and the site of an ancient stone circle.

33) Getting Away With Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case by Chris Crowe (Non-Fiction)

AR: 8.7 This book presents a true account of the murder of fourteen-year-old Emmett Till in Mississippi in 1955.

34) A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer (Fiction, Adventure)

AR: 5.1 While journeying to Zimbabwe, eleven-year-old Nhamo struggles to escape drowning and starvation and in so doing comes close to the luminous world of the African spirits.

35) Gossamer by Lois Lowry (fantasy)

AR: 4.4 While learning to bestow dreams, a young dream giver tries to save an eight-year-old boy from the effects of both his abusive past and the nightmares inflicted on him by the frightening Sinisteeds.

36) Harper Lee: a Twentieth-Century Life by Kerry Madden (Non-Fiction)

A.R. 7.5 Nelle Harper Lee’sTo Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960 and became an instant bestseller. Two years later it was an Academy Award– winning film. Today, it remains standard—and beloved—reading in English classes. But Lee never wanted “the book” to define who she was, which explains her aversion to any kind of publicity. Kerry Madden conducted extensive research for this Up Close biography, which reveals Lee to be a down-to-earth Southern woman who enjoys baseball games and playing golf—and whose one and only published book happened to win the Pulitzer Prize.

37) High Exposure: An Enduring Passion for Everest and Unforgiving Places by David Breashears (Non-Fiction)

AR: 7.7 This is the story of the famed IMAX cinematographer, adventurer, and mountaineer, whose terrifying experiences during the 1996 season on Mt. Everest became the defining moment of his life.

38) His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg: Courage, Rescue, Mystery During World War II by Louise Borden (nonfiction)

AR: 7.2 An amazing and inspirational World War II story about how one man saved the lives of many. Raoul Wallenberg’s name may not be a universally familiar one, but the impact he had is immeasurable. Wallenberg was a Swedish humanitarian who worked in Budapest during World War II to rescue Jews from the Holocaust. He did this by issuing protective passports and housing Jews in buildings established as Swedish territory, saving tens of thousands of lives. Louise Borden researched Wallenberg’s life for many years, visiting with his family and the site of his childhood home, and learned his story from beginning to end. Wallenberg himself has not been heard from since 1945. It is suspected he died while in Russian custody, though this has never been proven. Raoul Wallenberg . . . it’s a name you may not have known, but you’ll never forget his story.

39) Hoops by Walter Dean Myers (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 4.6 Seventeen-year-old Lonnie Jackson hopes that basketball will be his ticket out of the Harlem ghetto.

40) Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Fantasy)

AR: 5.5 In this continuation of the Cinderella story, fifteen-year-old Ella finds that accepting Prince Charming’s proposal ensnares her in a suffocating tangle of palace rules and royal etiquette, so she plots to escape.

41) Lincoln’s Last Days: the Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever by  Bill O’Reilly (Non-Fiction)

AR: 7.5 Lincoln’s Last Days is a gripping account of one of the most dramatic nights in American history—of how one gunshot changed the country forever.

42) Little Brother by Cory Doctorow (Adventure)

AR: 5.9 Interrogated for days by the Department of Homeland Security in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on San Francisco, 17-year-old Marcus is released into what is now a police state and decides to use his expertise in computer hacking to set things right.

43) Little Women (unabridged) by Louisa May Alcott (historical fiction)

AR: 7.9 Chronicles the joys and troubles of the four March sisters–Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth–as they grow into young ladies and marry in nineteenth-century New England.

44) The Lost Stories by John Flanagan (Fiction)

AR: 6.0 Unconfirmed accounts of a group of Araluen warriors -tales of adventure, battle, and triumph over evil -have spread for centuries throughout the known world. Most notable is a clan shrouded in mystery, phantom warriors known as the Rangers.

45) The Many Faces of George Washington: Remaking a Presidential Icon by Carla Killough McClafferty (Non-Fiction)

AR: 8.2 Veteran children’s author McClafferty takes a look at the life of George Washington by chronicling the fascinating process of creating life-sized statues of Washington using the latest modeling techniques.

46) My Family For the War by Anne C. Voorhoeve (Fiction)

AR: 6.2 Lexile 900 Escaping Nazi Germany on the kindertransport changes one girl’s life forever At the start of World War II, ten-year-old Franziska Mangold is torn from her family when she boards the kindertransport in Berlin, the train that secretly took nearly 10,000 children out of Nazi territory to safety in England. Taken in by strangers who soon become more like family than her real parents, Frances (as she is now known) courageously pieces together a new life for herself because she doesn’t know when or if she’ll see her true family again.

 47) The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy by Diane Stanley (Mystery)

AR: 5.6 Eighth-grader Franny and her friends investigate why most of the students at their exclusive boarding school are brilliant, beautiful, and perfectly behaved.

48) Never Fall Down: A Novel by Patricia McCormick (Fiction based on a true story)

AR: 4.5 When soldiers arrive in his hometown in Cambodia, Arn Chorn Pond is separated from his family and sent to a labor camp, where he works in the rice paddies until he volunteers to learn to play an instrument- a decision that both saves his life and lands him in battle.

49) Nothing but the Truth by Avi (realistic fiction)

AR: 3.6 A ninth-grader’s suspension for humming “The Star-Spangled Banner” during homeroom becomes a national news story, and leads to him and his teacher both leaving the school.

50) Over a Thousand Hills I Walk With You by Hanna Jensen (Fiction)

AR: 5.2 Jeanne and her family, who are Tutsis living in Rwanda during a time of civil war, flee their home in hopes of evading Hutu soldiers as political events threaten to overtake them.

51) Paper Towns by John Green (mystery)

AR: 5.4 One month before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin “Q” Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life until the beautiful and exciting Margo Roth Spiegelman, Q’s neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure and then mysteriously disappears.

 52) Salt by Maurice Gee (Fantasy)

AR: 4.4 Hari, a downtrodden underclass boy, and Pearl, a privileged girl, both develop a talent to speak to animals and humans through mind control and find themselves thrown together on a quest to save mankind from a terrible weapon.

53) Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman (Fiction)

AR: 4.8 Vince Luca is just like any other high-school guy, except that his father is the head of a powerful crime organization.

54) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 4.5 A traumatic event near the end of the summer has a devastating effect on Melinda’s freshman year in high school.

55) Titanic: Voices From the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson (Non-Fiction)

AR: 7.4 Draws on stories from survivors and archival photographs to describe the history of the “Titanic” from its launch to its sinking.

56) Uglies (series) by Scott Westerfeld (Science Fiction)

AR: 5.2 In Tally’s world, reaching 16 brings an operation that turns you from ugly to pretty and Tally’s almost there, but when her friend runs away, Tally learns about a new side of pretty world and must choose between betrayal and never turning pretty.

57) Under Pressure by Emma Carlson Berne (Non-Fiction)

AR: 4.5 Elise comes from a long line of college athletes. More than anything else, she wants to wear the University of North Carolina uniform and play for the college where her parents went. It’s a lot of pressure, but if she works hard, she just might make it. At least that’s what Elise thinks before she notices that some of her teammates are outplaying her. And a UNC scout is visiting in a few weeks. That’s where the pills come in. Taking performance supplements makes Elise feel great, and soon she’s playing like a powerhouse. But will it last? And can she keep her secret without getting caught?

58) Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Historical Fiction)

AR: 5.6 In 1927, at the urging of twenty-one-year-old Harriet, Mrs. Livingston reluctantly recalls her experiences at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory, including miserable working conditions that led to a strike and the fire that took the lives of her friends.

 59) Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher (Realistic Fiction)

AR: 6.1 An intellectually and athletically gifted multiracial, adopted teenager, shuns organized sports at his high school until he agrees to form a swimming team and recruits some of the school’s less popular students.

60) I Am Helen Keller by Grace Norwich (Biography)

AR: 6.8 Includes biographical references (page 125) and index. A biography of deaf and blind human rights activist Helen Keller.

61) The Fight Against Germs by Marguax Baum (Biology/Life Science)

AR 7.6 Includes bibliographical references (pages 44-45) and index.;Germs: what are they? — The early history of the fight against germs — Milestones in germ fighting — The modern era and beyond. Explains what germs are, examines the history of battling disease, and discusses possible future developments in the fight against germs.

 62) Theodore Boone Series by John Grisham (Adventure/Mystery) The Scandal

AR: 5.3 “When an anonymous tip leads the school board to investigate a suspicious increase in scores at another local middle school, Theo finds himself thrust in the middle of a cheating scandal. With insider knowledge and his future on the line, Theo must follow his keen instincts to do what’s right.”

 63) Last Man Out by Mike Lupica (Realistic Fiction/Sports)

AR: 5.2 Twelve-year-old Tommy Gallagher, the bravest and toughest football player on the field, faces his biggest battle ever when his father, a Boston firefighter, is fatally injured while rescuing a child.

64) Ranger’s Apprentice Series by: John Flanagan (Fantasy)

The Burning Bridge

AR: 6.3 Will is forced to overcome his fear of Wargals, the foot soldiers of rebel warlord Morgarath, as Araluen’s army prepares to battle Morgarath’s forces.

Battle of Hackham Heath

AR: 6.3 “As Morgarath recruits an army of Wargals, Halt ventures into enemy territory to uncover the extent of Morgarath’s plan of attack.”

The Emperor of Nihon-Ja

AR: 6.3 In a faraway land, a young warrior must protect an emperor from an uprising and train an inexperienced army, with assistance from his Ranger friends.

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