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Chenery 7th & 8th Grade Reading List 2014


Entering 7th & 8th graders are to read one required title, and one suggested.  Seventh graders have four choices for required reading (see below); all eigth graders will read The Giver by Lois Lowry.  Each required text will be used in the fall to begin the school year.

Suggested titles for seventh & eighth graders are listed below required titles.  The choice of this title is up to students and parents.  Students may use the audiotape of a book to enhance their understanding.


All 8th graders must read The Giver by Lois Lowry; available in HCpbpbdownloadable ebookbook on cd


Seventh Grade Choices for Required Reading (pick one!) --

Rules / Cynthia Lord; available in pb or HC

Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with an young paraplegic.

Legend / Marie Lu; available in HC, pb or YA kindle

In a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations, fifteen-year-old Day--a famous criminal, and prodigy June--the brilliant soldier hired to capture him, discover that they have a common enemy.

Running Dream / Wendelin Van Draanen; available in pb, HC, YA Kindle or book on cd

When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again.

Crash / Jerry Spinelli; available in pb, pb, or YA Kindle

Seventh-grader John "Crash" Coogan has always been comfortable with his tough, aggressive behavior, until his relationship with an unusual Quaker boy and his grandfather's stroke make him consider the meaning of friendship and the importance of family.


Suggested Reading for Both Grades (pick one more!) --

The hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy / Douglas Adams; available in pb, pb, pb, ebook, book on cd

After Earth is demolished to make way for a new hyperspatial expressway, Arthur Dent begins to hitch-hike through space. 

Little women / Louisa May Alcott; available in pb, HC, pb, or pb,

Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in nineteenth-century New England.

The true confessions of Charlotte Doyle / Avi; available in HC, pb or pb

As the lone "young lady" on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious.

Nothing but the truth / Avi; available in HC, or pb,

A 9th grader's suspension for singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" during homeroom becomes a national new story.

Chasing Vermeer / Blue Balliet

When strange and seemingly unrelated 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.

Hold Fast / Blue Balliet

On a cold winter day in Chicago, Early's father disappeared, and now she, her mother and her brother have been forced to flee their apartment and join the ranks of the homeless--and it is up to Early to hold her family together and solve the mystery surrounding her father.

Hitler Youth : growing up in Hitler's shadow / Susan Campbell Bartoletti

The story of a generation of German young people who devoted all their energy to the Hitler Youth and the propaganda that brought Hitler his power, and the youths that resisted the Nazi movement.

The Shakespeare stealer / Gary Blackwood; available in HC or pb

A young orphan boy is ordered by his master to infiltrate Shakespeare's acting troupe in order to steal the script of "Hamlet," but he discovers instead the meaning of friendship and loyalty.

Tangerine / Edward Bloor; available in HC or audiobook

Twelve-year-old Paul, who lives in the shadow of his football hero brother Erik, fights for the right to play soccer despite his near blindness and slowly begins to remember the incident that damaged his eyesight.

Flags of our fathers : heroes of Iowa Jima / James Bradley with Ron Powers ; adapted for young people by Michael French

Now abridged for young people,Flags of Our Fathersis the unforgettable chronicle of perhaps the most famous moment in American military history: the raising of the U. S. flag at Iwo Jima.

The unthinkable thoughts of Jacob Green : a novel / by Joshua Braff

It's 1977. Jacob Green, a Jewish kid from suburban New Jersey, sits on the stairs during his family's housewarming party, waiting for his father, Abram--charming host, everyone's best friend, and amateur emcee--to introduce him to the crowd.  But when the confetti settles and the drapes are drawn, the affable Abram Green becomes an egotistical tyrant whose emotional rages rupture the lives of his family.

The sisterhood of the traveling pants / Ann Brashares

During their first summer apart, four teenage girls, best friends since earliest childhood, stay in touch through a shared pair of secondhand jeans that magically adapts to each of their figures and affects their attitudes to their different summer experiences.

Jane Eyre / Charlotte Bronte; available in pb, pb, or pb

An orphan girl's progress from the custody of cruel relatives to an oppressive boarding school culminates in a troubled career as a governess with the enigmatic Mr. Rochester.

Flight of passage / Rinker Buck

In the Summer of 1966, Rinker and Kernahan Buck - two teenaged schoolboys from New Jersey - bought a dilapidated Piper Cub airplane for $300, rebuilt it, and piloted it on a record breaking flight across America - navigating all the way to California without a radio, because they couldn't afford one.

Adrift : seventy-six days lost at sea / Steven Callahan; available in HC or ebook

Before The Perfect Storm, before In the Heart of the Sea, Steven Callahan’s dramatic tale of survival at sea was on the New York Times bestseller list for more than thirty-six weeks.  A riveting firsthand account by the only man known to have survived more than a month alone at sea, fighting for his life in an inflatable raft after his small sloop capsized only six days out.

Ender's game / Orson Scott Card; available on YA kindle, in pb, pb or pb

Child-hero Ender Wiggin must fight a desperate battle against a deadly alien race if mankind is to survive.  Also known as sci-fi for non-science fiction fans!

Graceling / Kristin Cashore; available in HC, pb, ebook or downloadable audiobook

In a world where some people are born with a unique and sometimes uncanny gift, Katsa was certainly no exception. At an early age, she demonstrated an uncomfortable gift for killing. This makes her the perfect tool for her uncle, King Randa. But Katsa detests being used and decides to stand against the injustice surrounding her.

And then there were none / Agatha Christie; available in ebook, pb, book on cd, downloadable audiobook, or downloadable audiobook

Considered the best mystery novel ever written by many readers, And Then There Were None is the story of 10 strangers, each lured to Indian Island by a mysterious host. Once his guests have arrived, the host accuses each person of murder. Unable to leave the island, the guests begin to share their darkest secrets--until they begin to die.

Murder on the Orient Express / Agatha Christie

Classic Agatha Christie murder mystery starring Hercule Poirot

The Reluctant Assassin / Eoin Colfer; available in HC, book on cd, or downloadable audiobook

This first book in a new series by the internationally bestselling creator of Artemis Fowl is a high-stakes, high-tech pursuit through time. Think "Oliver Twist" meets "The Matrix."

The dark is rising series / Susan Cooper; available in pb, pb, pb, pb, book on cd, or downloadable audiobook

On his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones, destined to seek the six magical Signs that will enable the Old Ones to triumph over the evil forces of the Dark.

The red badge of courage / Stephen Crane; available in HC, pb, pb, pb or HC

During his service in the Civil War a young Union soldier matures to manhood and finds peace of mind as he comes to grips with his conflicting emotions about war.

Jurassic Park : a novel / by Michael Crichton; available in pb, HC

An astonishing technique for recovering and cloning dinosaur DNA has been discovered. Creatures once extinct now roam Jurassic Park, soon-to-be opened as a theme park. Until something goes wrong . . . .

Timeline / Michael Crichton

A Yale history professor travels back in time to 15th century France and gets stuck, unable to return to the present, so his colleagues organize a rescue and on landing in France become involved in the Hundred Years War.

Bucking the Sarge / Christopher Paul Curtis; available in book on cd or HC

Deeply involved in his cold and manipulative mother's shady business dealings in Flint, Michigan, fourteen-year-old Luther keeps a sense of humor while running the Happy Neighbor Group Home For Men, all the while dreaming of going to college and becoming a philosopher.

The midwife's apprentice / by Karen Cushman; available in HC, pb or ebook

In medieval England, a nameless, homeless girl is taken in by a sharp-tempered midwife, and in spite of obstacles and hardship, eventually gains the three things she most wants: a full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world.

Oliver Twist / Charles Dickens; available in pb, book on cd, ebook

The tale of a waif's unwilling but inevitable recruitment into a scabrous gang of thieves, this novel offers a realistic portrait of the correlation between poverty and crime.

David Copperfield / Charles Dickens; available in HC, pb, pb, or ebook

Orphaned as an infant, David must suffer the privation and cruelties of his evil stepfather, Mr. Murdstone--who packs David away to a workhouse at the age of ten. A trusting but vulnerable boy, David finds himself at the mercy of a rogue's gallery of characters: the dashing but deceitful Steerforth, the detestable clerk Uriah Heep, and, last but not least, the beautiful but ditzy Dora.

The London Eye mystery / Siobhan Dowd; available in HC, pb, ebook, downloadable audiobook or downloadable audiobook

When Ted and Kat's cousin Salim disappears from the London Eye ferris wheel, the two siblings must work together--Ted with his brain that is "wired differently" and impatient Kat--to try to solve the mystery of what happened to Salim.

Sherlock Holmes / Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Adventures of the greatest detective of all time!

The City of Ember / Jeanne DuPrau; availlabe in pb, book on cd or ebook

In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.

The neverending story / by Michael Ende; available in HC or pb

Shy, awkward Bastian is amazed to discover that he has become a character in the mysterious book he is reading and that he has an important mission to fulfill.

Love among the walnuts / Jean Ferris

Born and raised in isolation in a wealthy, eccentric family, Sandy is shocked when he, his parents, and their servants become victims of a vicious plot by his greedy uncles to incapacitate them and take their money.

Hole in my life / Jack Gantos

The author relates how, as a young man, he became a drug use and smuggler, was arrested, did time in prison, and eventually got out and went to college, all the while hoping to become a writer.

Shattering Glass / Gail Giles

When Rob, the charismatic leader of the senior class, turns the school nerd into Prince Charming, his actions lead to unexpected violence.

Black Hole Sun / David Macinnis Gill

On the planet Mars, sixteen-year-old Durango and his crew of mercenaries are hired by the settlers of a mining community to protect their most valuable resource from a feral band of marauders.

The curious incident of the dog in the night-time / Mark Haddon; available in HC, pb or book on cd

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.

Out of the dust / Karen Hesse; available in HC or pb

In a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family's wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Depression.

Hoot / Carl Hiaasen; available in pb, pb, pb, ebook, or book on cd

Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.

Flush / Carl Hiaasen; available in HC or ebook

Noahs dad is sure that the owner of theCoral Queencasino boat is flushing raw sewage into the harbor&–which has made taking a dip at the local beach like swimming in a toilet. He cant prove it though, and so he decides that sinking the boat will make an effective statement. Right. The boat is pumped out and back in business within days and Noahs dad is stuck in the clink.

Scat / Carl Hiaasen;available in HC, pb, book on cd, downloadable audiobook, or ebook

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

Chomp / Carl Hiaasen; available in HC, book on cd, playaway, downloadable audiobook, or ebook

When the difficult star of the reality television show "Expedition Survival" disappears while filming an episode in the Florida Everglades using animals from the wildlife refuge run by Wahoo Crane's family, Wahoo and classmate Tuna Gordon set out to find him while avoiding Tuna's gun-happy father.

Rocket boys : a memoir / Homer H. Hickam, Jr; available in HC or ebook

The life and times of aerospace engineer Home Hickman and his friends in Big Creek, West Virginia.

Bearstone / Will Hobbs

A troubled Indian boy goes to live with an elderly rancher whose caring ways help the boy become a man.

Downriver / Will Hobbs

Jessie and the other rebellious teenage members of a wilderness survival school team abandon their adult leader, hijack his boats, and try to run the dangerous white water at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.

Far north / Will Hobbs

After the destruction of their floatplane, sixteen-year-old Gabe and his Dene friend, Raymond, struggle to survive a winter in the wilderness of the Northwest Territories.

When Zachary Beaver came to town / Kimberly Willis Holt; available in pb or downloadable audiobook

During the summer of 1971 in a small Texas town, thirteen-year-old Toby and his best friend Cal meet the star of a sideshow act, 600-pound Zachary, the fattest boy in the world.

The race to save the Lord God bird / Phillip Hoose

Tells the story of the ivory-billed woodpecker's extinction in the United States, describing the encounters between this species and humans, and discussing what these encounters have taught us about preserving endangered creatures.

New boy / Julian Houston

As a new sophomore at an exclusive boarding school, a young black man is witness to the persecution of another student with bad acne.

Soldier boys / Dean Hughes

Two boys, one German and one American, are eager to join their respective armies during World War II, and their paths cross at the Battle of the Bulge.

Toning the sweep / Angela Johnson

On a visit to her grandmother Ola, who is dying of cancer in her house in the desert, fourteen-year-old Emmie hears many stories about the past and her family history and comes to a better understanding of relatives both dead and living.

Howl's moving castle / Diana Wynne Jones; available in HC or pb

Eldest of three sisters in a land where it is considered to be a misfortune, Sophie is resigned to her fate as a hat shop apprentice until a witch turns her into an old woman and she finds herself in the castle of the greatly feared wizard Howl.

Geeks : how two lost boys rode the Internet out of Idaho / Jon Katz

Geeks is the story of how Jesse and Eric—and others like them—used technology to try and change their lives and alter their destiny.

Alabama moon / Watt Key; available in HC or pb

After the death of his father, ten-year-old Moon leaves their forest shelter home and is sent to an Alabama institution, becoming entangled in the outside world he has never known and making good friends, a relentless enemy, and finally a new life.

The road from home : the story of an Armenian girl / by David Kherdian

A biography of the author's mother, concentrating on her childhood in Turkey before the Turkish govennment deported its Armenian population.

Keeping the castle : a tale of romance, riches, and real estate / Patrice Kindl

In order to support her family and maintain their ancient castle in Lesser Hoo, seventeen-year-old Althea bears the burden of finding a wealthy suitor who can remedy their financial problems.

See You at Harry's / Jo Knowles

Starting middle school brings all the usual challenges — until the unthinkable happens, and Fern and her family must find a way to heal.

Silent to the bone / E.L. Konigsburg

Connor is sure his best friend, Branwell, couldn't have hurt Branwell's baby half sister, Nikki. But Nikki lies in a coma, and Branwell is in a juvenile behavioral center, suspected of a horrible crime and unable to utter the words to tell what really happened.

See you at Harry's / Jo Knowles; available in HC or ebook

Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible in her family, where grumpy eighteen-year-old Sarah is working at the family restaurant, fourteen-year-old Holden is struggling with school bullies and his emerging homosexuality, and adorable, three-year-old Charlie is always the center of attention, and when tragedy strikes, the fragile bond holding the family together is stretched almost to the breaking point.

Into thin air : a personal account of the Mount Everest disaster / Jon Krakauer, available in HC, or ebook

The author describes his spring 1996 trek to Mt. Everest, a disastrous expedition that claimed the lives of eight climbers, and explains why he survived.

A wizard of Earthsea series / Ursula K. Le Guin; available in HC or pb 

Ged was the greatest sorcerer in all Earthsea,  but once he was called Sparrowhawk, a reckless  youth, hungry for power and knowledge, who tampered  with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow  upon the world. This is the tale of his testing,  how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an  ancient dragon, and crossed death's threshold to  restore the balance.

Black duck / Janet Taylor Lisle; available in HC or book on cd

Years afterwards, Ruben Hart tells the story of how, in 1929 Newport, Rhode Island, his family and his best friend's family were caught up in the violent competition among groups trying to control the local rum-smuggling trade.

No pretty pictures : a child of war / Anita Lobel; available in HC or pb

A finalist for the National Book Award, Lobel's unforgettable memoir paints a disturbing picture of a child hiding from the Nazis in World War II.

Proxy / Alex London

Privileged Syd and and his proxy, Knox, are thrown together to overthrow the system

The call of the wild / Jack London; available in pb, pb, book on cd or downloadable audiobook

This masterpiece of American fiction recounts the gripping adventures of Buck, a courageous creature forced into the brutal life of sled-dog during the Alaskan gold rush. Forced to relinquish the safety of his familiar world, Buck survives and ultimately prevails in the harsh realities of the Far North through the discovery of his own primitive nature.

White fang / Jack London; available in pb, HC or pb

Born in the wilds of the freezing Yukon, the wolf-cub White Fang soon learns the harsh laws of nature, growing fiercer and more independent in his struggle to survive. Yet buried deep inside him are distant memories of affection and love - can he learn to trust man again?

Chinese Cinderella : the true story of an unwanted daughter / Adeline Yen Mah; available in HC or ebook

A riveting memoir of a girl's painful coming-of-age in a wealthy Chinese family during the 1940s.

Summer of the Mariposas / Guadalupe Garcia McCall

In an adventure reminiscent of Homer's Odyssey, fifteen-year-old Odilia and her four younger sisters embark on a journey to return a dead man to his family in Mexico, aided by La Llorona, but impeded by a witch, a warlock, chupacabras, and more.

Never fall down : a boy soldier's story of survival / Patricia McCormick; available in HC or downloadable audiobook

From National Book Award finalist McCormick ("Sold") comes a raw, powerful novel based on the true story of Arn Chorn Pond, a boy who survived the Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia to become a human rights activist.

Cinder / Marissa Meyer; availble in HC or on YA kindle

As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story.

Tree Girl / Ben Mikaelsen; available in pb or downloadable audiobook

One day from the safety of a tree, Gabi witnesses the sights and sounds of an unspeakable massacre. She vows to be Tree Girl no more and joins the hordes of refugees struggling to reach the Mexican border.

Anne of Green Gables / L.M. Montgomery; available in HC, pb, ebook, downloadable audiobook

Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her.

Private Peaceful / Michael Morpurgo

When Thomas Peaceful's older brother is forced to join the British Army, Thomas decides to sign up as well, although he is only fourteen years old, to prove himself to his country, his family, his childhood love, Molly, and himself.

My dog Skip / Willie Morris

In 1943 in a sleepy town on the banks of the Yazoo River, a boy fell in love with a puppy with a lively gait and an intellingent way of listening.  The two grew up together having the most wonderful adventures.

Zazoo / by Richard Mosher

Amid old secrets revealed and rifts healed, a thirteen-year-old Vietnamese orphan raised in rural France by her aging "Grand-Pierre" learns about life, death, and love.

The great fire / Jim Murphy

By weaving personal accounts of actual survivors together with the carefully researched history of Chicago and the disaster, the author constructs a narrative of the Great Fire of Chicago. He goes on to show how, even in a time of deepest despair, the human spirit triumphed, as the people of Chicago found the courage and strength to build their city once again.

Hoops / Walter Dean Myers

A teenage basketball player from Harlem is befriended by a former professional player who, after being forced to quit because of a point shaving scandal, hopes to prevent other young athletes from repeating his mistake.

Scorpions / by Walter Dean Myers

After reluctantly taking on the leadership of the Harlem gang, the Scorpions, Jamal finds that his enemies treat him with respect when he acquires a gun--until a tragedy occurs.

Fallen angels / Walter Dean Myers; available in pb or pb

Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.

The greatest : Muhammad Ali / Walter Dean Myers

Through the story of Ali's childhood, his rise as a champion, his politics, and his battle against Parkinsons' disease, readers will come to know the man behind the brash public persona -- the man whose talent and legacy will stir and inspire a new generation of fans.

145th Street : short stories / Walter Dean Myers; available in HC or pb

Ten stories portray life on a block in Harlem.

The other side of truth / Beverley Naidoo

Smuggled out of Nigeria after their mother's murder, Sade and her younger brother are abandoned in London when their uncle fails to meet them at the airport and they are fearful of their new surroundings and of what may have happened to their journalist father back in Nigeria.

The tree is older than you are : a bilingual gathering of poems & stories from Mexico with paintings by Mexican artists / selected by Naomi Shihab Nye

English translations appear alongside the Spanish poems and tales that explore everything from a table set for supper to a peach tree to a legend of rabbit's long ears.

Habibi / Naomi Shihab Nye; available in pb or book on cd

The day after Liyana got her first real kiss, her life changed forever. Not because of the kiss, but because it was the day her father announced that the family was moving from St. Louis all the way to Palestine.

In my hands : memories of a Holocaust rescuer / Irene Gut Opdyke; available in pb or HC

In My Handsbegan as one non-Jew’s challenge to any who would deny the Holocaust. Much likeThe Diary of Anne Frank,it has become a profound document of an individual’s heroism in the face of the greatest evil mankind has known.

Airborn / Kenneth Oppel; available in HC, large print, book on cd, or downloadable audio

Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportedly living hundreds of feet above the Earth's surface.

Wonder / R.J. Palacio; available in HC, Children's Kindle, book on cd, ebook

Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.

Inheritance series / Christopher Paolini

1st book in series - Eragon; available in HC, pb, ebook, book on cd, downloadable audio Children's Kindle or playaway

John Lennon : all I want is the truth : a photographic biography / by Elizabeth Partridge

Award-winning biographer Elizabeth Partridge dives into Lennon’s life from the night he was born in 1940 during a World War II air raid on Liverpool, deftly taking us through his turbulent childhood and his rebellious rock’n’roll teens to his celebrated life writing, recording, and performing music with the Beatles.

Rosa Parks : my story / by Rosa Parks

Even those familiar with her name will realize on reading this engrossing account how little they really know of Parks's life and the events that surrounded the dawning Civil Rights movement.

The same stuff as stars / Katherine Paterson

When Angel's self-absorbed mother leaves her and her younger brother with their poor great-grandmother, the eleven-year-old girl worries not only about her mother and brother, her imprisoned father, the frail old woman, but also about a mysterious man who begins sharing with her the wonder of the stars.

Nightjohn / Gary Paulsen

Twelve-year-old Sarny's brutal life as a slave becomes even more dangerous when a newly arrived slave offers to teach her how to read.

Soldier's heart : a novel of the Civil War / Gary Paulsen; available in HC, pb or book on cd

Eager to enlist, fifteen-year-old Charley Goddard has a change of heart after experiencing both the physical horrors and mental anguish of Civil War combat. A powerful novel that re-creates the agony of the Civil War, based on the real-life experiences of a Union soldier who was only 15 when he went to war.

Criss cross / by Lynne Rae Perkins

Teenagers in a small town in the 1960s experience new thoughts and feelings, question their identities, connect, and disconnect as they search for the meaning of life and love. Newbery Medal winner.

Freak the Mighty / Rodman Philbrick; available in pb or book on cd

Two boys – a slow learner stuck in the body of a teenage giant and a tiny Einstein in leg braces – forge a unique friendship when they pair up to create one formidable human force.

The last book in the universe / Rodman Philbrick

After an earthquake has destroyed much of the planet, an epileptic teenager nicknamed Spaz begins the heroic fight to bring human intelligence back to the Earth of a distant future.

Protector of the Small series / Tamora Pierce

1st book in series - First test; available in pb or book on cd

In the medieval and fantastic realm of Tortall, Keladry of Mindelan (known as Kel) is the first girl to take advantage of the decree that permits females to train for knighthood.

His Dark Materials trilogy / Philip Pullman

1st book in series - The Golden Compass, available in HC, pb, pb, book on cd or downloadable audio

In this first book of a fantasy trilogy, young Lyre & her alter ego, a protective animal named Pantalaimon, escape from the child-stealing Gobblers & join a group heading north to rescue a band of missing children.

Sally Lockhart series / Philip Pullman

1st book in series - Ruby in the smoke; available in HC or pb

In nineteenth-century London, sixteen-year-old Sally, a recent orphan, becomes involved in a deadly search for a mysterious ruby.

Hungry City Chronicles / Philip Reeve

1st book in series - Mortal Engines

In the distant future, when cities move about and consume smaller towns, a fifteen-year-old apprentice is pushed out of London by the man he most admires and must seek answers in the perilous Out-Country, aided by one girl and the memory of another.

The fifth of March : a story of the Boston Massacre / Ann Rinaldi

Fourteen-year-old Rachel Marsh, an indentured servant in the Boston household of John and Abigail Adams, is caught up in the colonists' unrest that eventually escalates into the massacre of March 5, 1770.

Hang a thousand trees with ribbons : the story of Phillis Wheatley / Ann Rinaldi

A fictionalized biography of the eighteenth-century African woman who, as a child, was brought to New England to be a slave, and after publishing her first poem when a teenager, gained renown throughout the colonies as an important black American poet.

Choosing up sides / John H. Ritter

In 1921 thirteen-year-old Luke finds himself torn between accepting his left-handedness or conforming to the belief of his preacher-father that such a condition is evil and must be overcome.

Steelheart / Brandon Sanderson; available in HC or book on cd

At age eight, David watched as his father was killed by an Epic, a human with superhuman powers. Now, 10 years later, he joins the Reckoners, people who are trying to kill the Epics and end their tyranny.

Shooting Kabul / N.H. Senzai

Escaping from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in the summer of 2001, eleven-year-old Fadi and his family immigrate to the San Francisco Bay Area, where Fadi schemes to return to the Pakistani refugee camp where his little sister was accidentally left behind.

Bomb : the race to build - and steal - the world's most dangerous weapon / Steve Sheinkin; available in HC, book on cd, and downloadable audiobook

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.

The Schwa was here / Neal Shusterman; available in HC or pb

A Brooklyn eighth-grader nicknamed Antsy befriends the Schwa, an "invisible-ish" boy who is tired of blending into his surroundings and going unnoticed by nearly everyone.

The dark side of nowhere / Neal Shusterman

Fourteen-year-old Jason faces an identity crisis after discovering that he is the son of aliens who stayed on earth following a botched invasion mission.

A tree grows in Brooklyn / Betty Smith; available in HC, pb

Young Francie Nolan, having inherited both her father's romantic and her mother's practical nature, struggles to survive and thrive growing up in the slums of Brooklyn in the early twentieth century.

Drums, girls, & dangerous pie / Jordan Sonnenblick; available in HC, pb on YA Kindle or downloadable audio

Steven has a totally normal life: he plays drums in the All-Star Jazz band, has a crush on the hottest girl in the school, and is constantly annoyed by his five-year-old brother, Jeffrey. But when Jeffrey is diagnosed with leukemia, Steven's world is turned upside down.

Zen and the art of faking it / by Jordan Sonnenblick; available in HC, or downloadable audiobook

When eighth-grader San Lee moves to a new town and a new school for the umpteenth time, he doesn't try to make new friends or be a loner or play cool. Instead he sits back and devises a plan to be totally different. And just when he thinks everyone (including the cute girl he can't stop thinking about) is on to him, everyone believes him . . . in a major Zen way.

The Little Prince / Antoine de St. Exupery

An aviator whose plane is forced down in the Sahara Desert encounters a little prince from a small planet who relates his adventures in seeking the secret of what is important in life. Howard's new translation of this beloved classic beautifully reflects Saint-Exupery's unique, gifted style.

Under the persimmon tree / Suzanne Fisher Staples

During the 2001 Afghan War, the lives of Najmal, a young refugee from Kunduz, Afghanistan, and Nusrat, an American-Muslim teacher who is awaiting her huband's return from Mazar-i-Sharif, intersect at a school in Peshawar, Pakistan.

The hobbit, or, There and back again / J.R.R. Tolkien; available in HC, HCpb, pb, pb or pb

Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit-hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to take part in an adventure from which he may never return.

Queen's Thief Trilogy / Megan Whalen Turner

The thief; available in pb or pb

"I can steal anything." After Gen's bragging lands him in the king's prison, the chances of escape look slim. Then the king's scholar, the magus, needs the thief's skill for a seemingly impossible task -- to steal a hidden treasure from another land. To the magus, Gen is just a tool. But Gen is a trickster and a survivor with a plan of his own.

The Queen of Attolia; available in HC pb or pb

Forsaken by the gods and left to his own devices, Eugenides, Royal Thief of Eddis, summons all his wit and wiles in an attempt to conquer the rival Queen of Attolia.

The king of Attolia

Eugenides, still known as a Thief of Eddis, faces palace intrigue and assassins as he strives to prove himself both to the people of Attolia and to his new bride, their queen.

The adventures of Tom Sawyer / Mark Twain; available in pb, pb 

The classic story of a mischievous nineteenth-century boy in a Mississippi River town and his friends, Huck Finn and Becky Thatcher, as they run away from home, witness a murder, and find a treasure in a cave.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's court / Mark Twain

The prince and the pauper; available in pb, pb, pb

When young Edward VI of England and a poor boy who resembles him exchange places, each learns something about the other's very different station in life.

Izzy, willy-nilly / Cynthia Voigt; available in HC or pb

A car accident causes fifteen-year-old Izzy to lose one leg and face the need to start building a new life as an amputee.

The Final Four / Paul Volponi

As the last moments tick down on the game clock, you'll learn how each of four players went from being a kid who loved to shoot hoops to a powerful force in one of the most important games of the year. Which team will leave the Superdome victorious? In the end it will come down to which players have the most skill, the most drive, and the most heart.

Homeless bird / Gloria Whelan; available in HC, pb or book on cd

When thirteen-year-old Koly enters into an ill-fated arranged marriage, she must either suffer a destiny dictated by India's tradition or find the courage to oppose it.

Now is the time for running/ Michael Williams

When soldiers attack a small village in Zimbabwe, Deo goes on the run with Innocent, his older, mentally disabled brother, carrying little but a leather soccer ball filled with money, and after facing prejudice, poverty, and tragedy, it is in soccer that Deo finds renewed hope.

Adam Canfield of the Slash / Michael Winerip; available in HC or pb

Extra! Extra! Middle-school reporters stand up to authority to expose a school scandal in this funny, inspiring story set behind the scenes at a student newspaper.

Briar Rose / Jane Yolen; available in pb or pb

It is an old, old tale, the German story of Briar Rose, the Sleeping Beauty. Now one of America's most celebrated writers tells it afresh, set this time in the forests patrolled by the German army during World War II. A tale of castles, of mists and thorns, of a beautiful sleeping princess, and an astonishing revelation of death and rebirth.

Sword of the rightful king : a novel of King Arthur / Jane Yolen

The newly crowned King Arthur is unsure of himself; worse, the people are unsure of him. Too many people want the throne, and treachery is everywhere. Merlin must do something before the king is betrayed, or murdered, or--worst of all--gets married.

I am the messenger / Markus Zusak; available in HC or pb

Ed Kennedy is a nineteen-year-old cab driver who doesn't think much of his life. He inadvertently helps stop a bank robbery, and that is when his life starts to change. He begins to receive mysterious messages that instruct him to go to addresses where people need help. Ed becomes the messenger, but who is behind the messages?

The book thief / by Markus Zusak; available in pb, ebook, YA kindle, book on cd, downloadable audiobook

It's just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . . On the NY Times bestseller list for almost five years!