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11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass

Amanda and Leo have celebrated their birthdays together for 10 years. They might have continued to do so, if it weren’t for some unkind words, spoken by Leo, and overheard by Amanda at the 10th birthday party. One year later, by the time of their eleventh birthday, they still haven’t spoken to each other. They have separate parties, which aren’t nearly as much fun as one big party. Amanda has such an awful day, that when she wakes up the next day, she is glad her birthday is over. But everyone else in her family seems to think it is still her birthday. And when she gets to school, everyone else does too! It’s as if her birthday is being replayed. The longer it goes on, the more confused she gets—could she be stuck in some kind of time warp? The next morning it is the same thing, again. And the next day? Again, she wakes up to her 11th birthday. By day four Amanda knows she has to do something. Not surprisingly, so does Leo.

A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck

What happens when Joey and his sister, Mary Alice -- two city slickers from Chicago -- make their annual summer visits to Grandma Dowdel's seemingly sleepy Illinois town? August 1929: They see their first corpse, and he isn't resting easy. August 1930: The Cowgill boys terrorize the town, and Grandma fights back. August 1931: Joey and Mary Alice help Grandma trespass, poach, catch the sheriff in his underwear, and feed the hungry -- all in one day. And there's more, as Joey and Mary Alice make seven summer trips to Grandma's -- each one funnier than the year before.

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Mattie Gokey has a word for everything. She collects words, stores them up as a way of fending off the hard truths of her life, the truths that she can't write down in stories. The fresh pain of her mother's death. The burden of raising her sisters while her father struggles over his brokeback farm. The mad welter of feelings Mattie has for handsome but dull Royal Loomis, who says he wants to marry her. And the secret dreams that keep her going--visions of finishing high school, going to college in New York City, becoming a writer. Yet when the drowned body of a young woman turns up at the hotel where Mattie works, all her words are useless. But in the dead woman's letters, Mattie again finds her voice, and a determination to live her own life.

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

Living under a bridge in a twelfth-century Korean village, the orphan Tree-ear dreams of becoming a potter. How can he convince master potter Min that he deserves a chance? Out of love and loyalty, the twelve-year-old hero of this Newbery Award-winning novel undertakes a dangerous mission. At every turn in the road, challenges and complications test his intelligence, courage and determination. The characters who help or hinder him--especially his lame friend Crane-man--reveal themselves gradually, just as real people do. although this story is set in a faraway time and place, with lots of information about the craft of pottery-making, Tree-ear's life involves the reader in a very personal way. The Korea of our nightly television news feels much more like a real, vital place, thanks to A Single Shard.

Young Ju leaves her small fishing village in Korea for a new life in "Mi Gook" -- America -- when she is four years old. In this place that is supposed to be "a step from heaven" her mother and father work numerous harsh physical jobs so that their daughter and American-born son might lead easier lives. A series of vignettes portrays the world of a girl caught between countries and generations, held by the power of love and the violence of despair. Young Ju's family struggles to stay afloat and the reader bears witness to the family's battles with economic hardship and physical violence as her desperate father descends into alcoholism. We are left with the courage which begins the book as Young Ju, aided by the strength of her mother, heads for a brighter future. It is Young Ju's future for which Uhmma has sacrificed and Apa has yearned. As Young Ju prepares to leave for college we know that her dreams, unlike those of her father, have not been broken.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

When an atomic physicist disappears on a secret mission, his son, daughter and their friend search for him, going on an journey through time and space. Meg and Charles Murry, along with Calvin O'Keefe embark on a dangerous quest to find their father.

A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck

When her father loses his job, Mary Alice's family has to give up their apartment in Chicago. They move into a light housekeeping room that will only fit the two of them. The Civilian Conservation Corps takes on her older brother Joey so Mary Alice is on her own. "I had to go down to live with Grandma Dowdel, till we could get on our feet as a family again. It meant I'd have to leave my school. I'd have to enroll in the hick-town school where Grandma lived. Me, a city girl, in a town that didn't even have a picture show." Grandma is a woman well known for shaking up the local populace. And all Mary Alice can know for certain is this: When trying to predict how life with Grandma might turn out . . . better not even try.

Junior is a budding cartoonist who decides to leave the Spokane Indian reservation to attend high school in the nearest farm town, where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Despite difficulties, Junior’s wit and humor help him flourish, discovering strength and depth he didn’t know he possessed.

Acceleration by Graham McNamee

Duncan's summer job is a nightmare. He's working in the subway's lost and found, in a room he calls the Dungeon, far, far below the city streets. He's bored out of his skull, until he finds the little brown book. The book is a diary filled with the dark and dirty secrets of an anonymous serial killer stalking his prey. Duncan can't stop reading, can't stop thinking. Somewhere in the city, the writer of this diary is hunting. Duncan has to stop him before it's too late. He has to anticipate the killer's next move. Stalk the stalker. Duncan knows -- it's up to him.

After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson

In the New York City borough of Queens in 1996, three girls bond over their shared love of Tupac Shakur's music, as together they try to make sense of the unpredictable world in which they live.

Alone at Ninety Foot by Katherine Holubitsky

While Pam Collins struggles to come to terms with her mother's suicide, she relates both humorous and touching stories about her life at school, her friends, her father's nerdy new girlfriend and her walks in the canyon where her mother died.

A young boy in Concord, Massachusetts, who loves superheroes and comes from a long line of brave Chinese farmer-warriors, wants to make friends, but first he must overcome his fear of everything.

American Born Chinese by Gene Yang

Three tales, linked only at the end, unfold about Jin Wang, Danyy and the Monkey King. Jin must make sense of the white subarban neighborhood where he has just moved and is the only Chinese-American student in the school. Danny is constantly shamed by his obnoxious cousin, Chin-Kee and includes the story of the Monkey King, a famous Chinese folktale about rebellious spirit among a world of rules and rulers who wants to be a god.

Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the Population Police. He's lived his entire life in hiding, and now, with a new housing development replacing the woods next to his family's, he is no longer even allowed to go outside. Then, one day Luke sees a girl's face in the window of a house where he knows two other children already live. Finally, he's met a shadow child like himself. Jen is willing to risk everything to come out of the shadows -- does Luke dare to become involved in her dangerous plan? Can he afford not to?

Colin Singleton has just graduated from high school and been dumped by his girlfriend. All nineteen of his girlfriends have been named Katherine, and all nineteen have dumped him. His best and only friend Hassan proposes a road trip and the pair end up in Gutshot, Tennessee. They befriend Lindsey Lee Wells, daughter of the owner of the local textile mill, and secure a job taking oral histories. Colin sets out to prove his Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will prove he is a genius and not just a washed up child prodigy.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl is a one of the greatest criminal minds the world has ever seen. He is heir to the Fowl family empire -- a centuries old clan of international underworld figures and con artists. He is arguably the most cunning Fowl of all. He is also twelve years old. Artemis' interest in mythology and an obsession with the Internet leads him to discover proof of the existence of "The People"- otherwise known as fairies, sprites, leprechauns and trolls. He learns every fairy has a magical Book. If he can find the Book, it will lead him to "The People's" vast treasure of gold. With his brutish sidekick, Butler, he sets his plans in motion. Artemis tricks a drunken old fairy woman into loaning him her Book, a tiny golden volume, for thirty minutes. He scans it with a digital camera and emails it to his Mac G6 computer. Back in his mansion in Ireland, he is the first human to decode the secrets of the fairies. Artemis needs a leprechaun to help him with this plan. He and Butler hunt down Holly Short, a tough, female leprechaun, part of a gung-ho fairy commando unit, who is on a reconnaissance mission. He kidnaps her, and a major battle begins. It's satyr against gnome, man against elf, and for the first time in his life, Artemis must decide what he values most.

Baby by Patricia MacLachlan

12-year-old Larkin and her family discover an abandoned baby in the driveway, just as the summer tourist season is ending on the island they live on. With only a note that reads, "This is Sophie. She is almost a year old and she is good . . . I love her. I will come back for her one day," the family is thrown into shock, but decide to keep Sophie. The family has just recently lost their own baby, so the arrival of this mystery girl is both joyful and painful. They teach Sophie words and songs while Sophie teaches the family how to love again.

Backwater by Joan Bauer

Ivy Breedlove longs to be understood, to break free from her family's expectations that she study law. All Breedloves are lawyers. Ivy is researching her family's history when she finds a Breedlove who left the family, a Breedlove who isn't a lawyer, Ivy's Aunt Josephine. No one will talk about Josephine who is a "backwater," Ivy's family's word for someone who doesn't fit in. Ivy believes she is a backwater too and is determined to locate her mysterious aunt.

Bat 6 by Virginia Euwer Wolff

Bat 6 -- that's the softball game played every year between the sixth-grade girls of Barlow and Bear Creek Ridge. All the girls - Beautiful Hair Hallie, Manzanita, the twins Lola and Lila, Tootie, Shadean -- they've been waiting for their turn at Bat 6 since they could first toss a ball. This time there's a newcomer on each team: Aki, at first base for the Ridgers, who just returned with her family from a place she's too embarrassed to talk about. And Shazam, center field for Barlow, who's been shunted around by her mother since her father was killed on December 7, 1941. The adults of the two towns would rather not speak about why Aki's family had to "go away." They can't quite admit just how "different" Shazam is. And that is why the two girls are on a collision course that explodes catastrophically on the morning of Bat 6, the day they've been preparing for all their lives.

Battle Dress by Amy Efaw

Andi Davis is looking for an escape from her disorganized, dysfunction home life, and West Point seems the only logical way out. Andi figures that given everything she has had to put up with at home, West Point will be a breeze. But nothing could have prepared her for the first six weeks of cadet training, better known as Beast. Andi is screamed at, belittled, and worn down during the long, grueling training that is designed to break cadets and then rebuild them into soldiers. The upper class cadets bark orders so fast that her head spins, and the fact that she is one of only two girls in her platoon makes things even more difficult. But Andi decides that anything is better than going home, anything.

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni has just moved to Naomi, Florida. Her mom has left their family, her father's been hiding in his old "turtle shell," and all she wants is a friend. And that's when she meets Winn-Dixie, a stray dog she rescues at the local grocery store. Having Winn-Dixie for a dog is great. She starts to meet people in town, her father starts poking out of his shell, and India Opal begins to understand why her mother may have left. All this happens because of Winn-Dixie.

Bloomability by Sharon Creech

Dinnie is used to change, since her whole life has been comprised of moving to a new town every time her father excitedly stumbles upon a new opportunity. But when Dinnie's aunt and uncle invite her to stay with them and attend an American international school in Switzerland, she wants to rebel and stay with her family. Dinnie arrives in Switzerland homesick, scared and stubbornly refusing to enjoy herself. Throughout the course of the year, however, Dinnie not only becomes comfortable in her new surroundings, but also sees the appeal of the new experiences, struggles, and opportunities presented to her.

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

When Dashti, a maid, and Lady Saren, her mistress, are shut in a tower for seven years because of Seren’s refusal to marry a man she despises, the two prepare for a very long imprisonment.

Bridge to Terabithia by Katharine Paterson

Jess Aarons' greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. He's been practicing all summer and can't wait to see his classmates' faces when he beats them all. But on the first day of school, a new kid, a new girl, boldly crosses over to the boys' side of the playground and outruns everyone. That's not a very promising beginning for a friendship, but Jess and Leslie Burke become inseparable. It doesn't matter to Jess that Leslie dresses funny, or that her family has a lot of money - but no TV. Leslie has imagination. Together, she and Jess create Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where the two of them reign as king and queen, and their imaginations set the only limits.

Bucking the Sarge by Christopher Paul Curtis

Luther T. Farrell dreams of college and becoming a philosopher. But first he has to escape "The Sarge's Evil Empire" of slum houses and group homes in which he's trapped. While taking care of "The Crew" at the Happy Neighbor Group Home and helping his friend Sparky try to get out of Flint, Luther comes up with a science fair project good enough to beat his arch rival --and the love of his life, Shalya Patrick. If he wins the science fair, just maybe his dream will come true. And, in fact, his project is so good, it provides an escape, just not necessarily what he had planned!

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

A 10-year-old orphan with nothing but an old suitcase a blanket and some flyers to his name, Bud, not Buddy Caldwell is determined to find his long lost father, no matter where it might lead him. Bud has been moving from home to home all his life due to the sudden death of his mother, and he is determined to find his real home, a place where he knows he belongs. Bud's mother left him with flyers of a talented jazz band, leaving Bud with the impression that his dad, who is featured on the front, is still performing and will be in Grand Rapids next for a show. With hopes to reconcile with his father, some flyers that his mother left him for guidance, and his precious suitcase Bud embarks on an unforgettable journey that will lead him where he never imagined.

Can of Worms by Kathy Mackel

Mike Pillsbury has built his life around the Hanzel Chronicles. From the time he could daydream, he's imagined ships from outer space and epic battles between the peace-loving Hanzels, the villainous Jongs, and other alien lifeforms. He has wanted these stories--not least of all his real Hanzel identity--to be true, and he's shared them with a spellbound audience of kids in his treehouse. Even after his unlikely friendship with Katelyn Sands complicates matters, Mike hopes there might be a home for him out there somewhere, among the stars. But when a frustrated plea to the universe attracts a motley crew of aliens determined to rescue him, Mike isn't quite ready to relinquish life on earth. Will the aliens, who all have something at stake, leave without him? From jacket copy.

Charlie Bone returns to Bloor Academy and discovers an invisible boy living in the attic. He and his friends must find a way to reunite the boy with his family without the Bloors' knowledge.

Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech

It started out as an ordinary summer. But the minute 13-year-old Zinny discovered the old, overgrown trail that ran through the woods behind her family's house, she realized that things were about to change. Right from the start, Zinny knew that uncovering the trail would be more than just a summer project. It was her chance to finally make people notice her, and to have a place she could call her very own. But more than that, Zinny knew that the trail somehow held the key to all kinds of questions. And that the only way to understand her family, her Aunt Jessie's death, and herself was to find out where it went. Here is the story of a girl who sets out in search of her place in the world and discovers it in her own backyard.

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

A famous Vermeer painting goes missing and two sixth graders set out to find it.

Children of the River by Linda Crew

Sundara fled Cambodia with her aunt's family to escape the Khmer Rouge army when she was thirteen, leaving behind her parents, her brother and sister, and the boy she had loved since she was a child. Now, four years later, she struggles to fit in at her Oregon high school and to be "a good Cambodian girl" at home. A good Cambodian girl never dates; she waits for her family to arrange her marriage to a Cambodian boy. Yet Sundara and Jonathan, an extraordinary American boy, are powerfully drawn to each other. Haunted by grief for her lost family and for the life she left behind, Sundara longs to be with him. At the same time she wonders, Are her hopes for happiness and a new life in America disloyal to her past and her people?

On March 2, 1955, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. In her own words, Claudette gives a detailed look at segregated life in 1950s Memphis and the start of the civil rights movement.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline's parents are too busy to play with her. She's on her own, and when she goes exploring in her new apartment she unlocks a door that leads to a different world. At first it looks familiar, even intriguing, but Coraline quickly learns that evil lurks there. Soon, Coraline is caught in a life or death challenge -- to save herself, her family, and three lost children. It is an experience that will forever change her.

The thirteen-year-old boy has always been called "Asta's son." But after his mother's death, he learns from the local priest that his real name is Crispin. Before Crispin can find out more about his identity, the priest is murdered and Crispin is blamed. Declared a "wolf's head," who can be killed by anyone, Crispin searches through 14th-century England to find who he really is.

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

D.J. is a farm girl in a family full of athletic boys. Brian is a quarterback from a rival high school; he’s rich, smart, and good looking. They have plenty of reasons to hate, or at least ignore each other. But when they are forced to spend a summer together working on the farm, they discover a few things they have in common: they like to talk; they both wish their dads were different; and they both have plans to try out for the boys’ football team in the fall.

Dave at Night by Gail Carson Levine

When his father dies, Dave knows nothing will ever be the same. And then it happens. Dave lands in an orphanage -- the cold and strict Hebrew Home for Boys in Harlem -- far from the life he knew on the Lower East Side. But he's not so worried. He knows he'll be okay. He always is. If it doesn't work out, he'll just leave, find a better place to stay. But it's not that simple. Outside the gates of the orphanage, the nighttime streets of Harlem buzz with jazz musicians and swindlers; exclusive parties and mystifying strangers. Inside, another world unfolds, thick with rare friendships and bitter enemies. Perhaps somewhere, among it all, Dave can find a place that feels like home.

Deadline by Chris Crutcher

Eighteen-year-old Ben Wolf has big things planned for his senior year of high school, but that all changes when a routine physical detects an aggressive blood disease. Told he has less than a year to live, Ben decides live his life in the most normal way possible and does not share his news with family or friends. Instead, he steps boldly into new adventures at school, challenges the way things run in his community, dares to ask out the prettiest girl in school, and builds stronger relationships with everyone in his family. As he strives to fill up this final year of his life, Ben learns more than he ever imagined about teamwork, strength, love, and the lives of people in his community.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Greg Heffley’s mom forces him to keep a diary, in which he records the trials and tribulations of sixth grade. Greg depicts his attempts to survive bullies, gym class, Halloween, the school play, and general middle school madness through his hilarious writing and drawings.

Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Just days before the end of winter break, sixteen-year-old Amal decides to become a “full-timer” by wearing a hijab headscarf whenever she’s around people who aren’t part of her immediate family. This means dealing with a principal who claims Amal isn’t following the school’s uniform code and putting up with the stares, sneers, comments and questions from family and strangers alike in a trendy suburb of Melbourne, Australia.

Don't Tell Anyone by Peg Kehret

Megan makes daily visits to a vacant field to feed a group of feral cats. Then she learns that an apartment complex will be built there soon. Can Megan rescue the cats before the bulldozer levels their home? Megan's efforts to save the cats lead her into danger when she inadvertently thwarts the plans of an ex-convict who had depended on the money from the construction job to cover up his criminal dealings. He kidnaps Megan and takes her with him on a perilous nighttime flight in a stolen hot-air balloon. When the balloon lands in the wilderness, Megan has only her wits to help her escape.

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

Danger is coming to the valley of the dragons - humans and their machines are drawing ever closer to what seems to be the last safe place. Now Firedrake must set out on a journey to find the Rim of Heaven -- a place that may not even exist -- for it may be the only way to save the world's last dragons.

Dreamland by Sarah Dessen

After Caitlin's older sister Cass runs away from home, Caitlin enters a dreamland, a half-sleeping state where everything and everyone can be kept at arm's length. She is unwillingly to leave it because then she'd have to face the ugly truth about her relationship with Rogerson, magnetic, fascinating -- and very dangerous- - Rogerson. What is it about Rogerson Biscoe and why can't she leave him? And while everyone in her family is worrying about Cass, no one is noticing what's happening to Caitlin.

East by Edith Pattou

A new version of Beauty and the Beast set in Scandinavia and filled with Norse superstition sends Rose on a long trek through the Arctic wilderness to save the White Bear Beast.

Elephant Run by Roland Smith

Nick endures servitude, beatings, and more after his British father's plantation in Burma is invaded by the Japanese in 1941. When his father and others are taken prisoner and Nick is stranded with his friend Mya, they plan a daring escape on elephants; risking their lives to save Nick's father and Mya's brother from a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp.

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

Sometimes hilarious, sometimes intense, sometimes sad, this book describes the adventures of twelve-year-old Elijah, the first freeborn child in Buxton. Buxton was a real settlement of runaway slaves in Canada, just over the border from Detroit, fictionalized in this historical coming-of-age novel. Elijah goes fishing, helps clear land, goes to a traveling carnival, helps welcome newly freed slaves into the community, and learns lessons at school and beyond. When a community member steals the money that was supposed to free a man’s family, it falls to Elijah to pursue the thief.

Everything On a Waffle by Polly Horvath

The town of Coal Harbour knows that Primrose Squarp's parents were lost at sea in a storm. Everyone believes this except Primrose herself. She knows deep inside her heart that they will come back. Meanwhile, she lives with her Uncle Jack. Things don't go all that smoothly. Primrose has a few accidents, and the school counselor is worried that Primrose is not facing reality about her parents. But she also has a friend who owns a restaurant where everything is served on a waffle.

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull

When Kendra and her brother Seth are left with their grandparents for a few weeks, they discover that it is a sanctuary for magical creatures and that a battle between good and evil is looming.

Fair Weather by Richard Peck

A letter has arrived from Aunt Euterpe with train tickets to Chicago! Thirteen year old Rosie, her pesky younger brother and beautiful older sister Lottie are about to make their first trip away from the family farm to visit Chicago for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. Their rascally Grandfather surprises them all when he appears on the train at the next stop. This is just the beginning of their hilarious adventures and misadventures in the big city.

Fat Kid Rules the World by K.L. Going

Seventeen-year-old Troy, depressed, suicidal, and weighing nearly 300 pounds, gets a new perspective on life when a homeless teenager who is a genius on guitar wants Troy to be the drummer in his rock band.

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

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

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Thirteen-year-old Jonah Skidmore receives a mysterious letter that reads "You are one of the missing." He thinks it's a joke from a classmate who knows he's adopted. But then his friend Chip receives the same letter and Chip's parents reveal that Chip was adopted, too. A few days later, another letter arrives that reads "Beware! They're coming back to get you." Jonah tells his sister Katherine about the letters and she becomes intrigued and involved. Then the phone number for Mr. Reardon at the FBI shows up in Chip's dad's safe and in Jonah's adoption records. Jonah's family sets up an appointment with Mr. Reardon, who doesn't give them any information, and makes vague threats. A strange man at the FBI building, who seems to appear out of thin air, leads Jonah and Katherine to a list of "survivors" and "witnesses." Thrilling and bizarre, with many twists and shocking revelations, Jonah, Chip and Katherine follow the clues to discover who sent the letters and what they meant.

Frindle by Andrew Clements

Nicholas Allen has plenty of ideas and most have gotten him into trouble at school. But now Nick's in fifth grade, and it looks like his days as a troublemaker are over. Everyone knows that Mrs. Granger, the language arts teacher, has X-ray vision, and nobody gets away with anything in her classroom. To make matters worse, she's also a fanatic about the dictionary, which is hopelessly boring to Nick. But when Nick learns an interesting tidbit about words and where they come from, it inspires his greatest plan yet: to invent a word. From now on, a pen is no longer a pen - it's a frindle. It doesn't take long for frindle to take root, and soon the excitement spreads well beyond his school and town. His parents and teacher would like Nick to put an end to all this nonsense. But frindle doesn't belong to Nick anymore. All he can do now is sit back and watch what happens.

Gossamer by Lois Lowry

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.

Great Turkey Walk by Kathleen Karr

Set in 1860, this book tells us the story of a fifteen-year-old Missouri boy named Simon (who is regarded by everyone as being somewhat "simpleminded") who has just finished the third grade for the third time. Convinced by his teacher that it is time for him to move on, he conceives and carries out a plan to drive one thousand turkeys to the gold fields in Denver in order to sell them at a profit and get a start in life.

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it -- until he realizes it's the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance. Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever.

Half-Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer

Twelve-year-old Fletcher Moon is a successful and officially certified private detective, focusing on cases for friends and schoolmates. When his newest and most serious case results in theft, arson and assault, Fletcher ends up being accused of a crime. He is forced to team up with Red Sharkey, the oldest kid in 8th grade, a member of the troublesome and potentially criminal Sharkey family and the best in school at fighting, cutting class and getting suspended. One clue leads to another as Fletcher and Red uncover a number of silly and suspicious events and suspicious and silly characters in their race to prove Fletcher is innocent and find the real guilty party.

Hanging on to Max by Margaret Bechard

It's Sam Pettigrew's senior year of high school. He should be planning for college. Trying out for the football team with his best friend, Andy. Checking out the mall with his girlfriend. Maybe even doing some fishing with his dad. Instead he's up to his ears in diapers, formula, and the challenges of caring for his baby son, Max. Can Sam keep on juggling the demands of home, school, friends, and fatherhood? Sam is starting to question himself and his convictions. Will he now have to make a gut-wrenching decision about Max's future-and his own?

Wizards and Hogwarts! Muggles and Mudbloods! Quidditch and Broomsticks! None of those things mean anything to Harry Potter, a small, skinny, bespectacled boy with an unusual lightning-bolt shaped scar on his forehead - until his eleventh birthday. That's when he starts receiving letters inviting him to The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry learns that his parents did not die in a car crash but were killed by Voldemort, the Lord of Darkness, and that he himself is famous in the world of wizardry. So Harry leaves the home of his Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon, and their hateful son Dudley, who are mere muggles (humans without one drop of magic in them), and embarks on a new life. And the changes continue as Harry spends year after year at Hogwarts, a place where he not only learns about being a wizard, but also about friendship and loyalty and fear and courage, and about his own past and future, his family, and his destiny.

Heaven by Angela Johnson

Everyone has secrets. You have them. I have them. Even your parents have them. How do you think you would feel if you found out your parents had been keeping a secret from you. I don't mean a white lie, or something small. I mean a really big secret. One that if found out, would change your whole world? How do you think you would feel if you went home today and found out your parents, the ones you have grown up with, loved, and trusted, were not really your parents. Would you laugh? Would you cry? Would you never speak to them again? Well, 14-year-old Marley isn't laughing, she isn't crying, and she's not speaking at all right now, to anyone. She has just found out the truth: that her parents are not her birth parents. But she doesn't know all of the truth. She needs to find out who her real parents are. And when the truth comes down with the rain one stormy summer afternoon, it changes everything.

Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde

When Giannine turns 14, her father, via his secretary, gives her a half-hour of total immersion virtual reality gaming at Rasmussem Enterprises. She chooses Heir Apparent where she becomes a sheepgirl who finds out that her true father, the king has chosen her to be his heir. Unfortunately her three half brothers and their mother the queen are not pleased. All she has to do is last three days to be crowned, prevent a war with barbarians, deal with dragons, magicians and treacherous advisors. Unfortunately, while she is playing, the group Citizens to Protect Our Children has damaged the equipment and the only way out of the game is to successfully complete it--and quickly, or she risks "fatal overload" and possible death.

Holes by Louis Sachar

Stanley Yelnats's family has a history of bad luck, so he isn't too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to a boys' juvenile detention center, Camp Green Lake. There is no lake -it has been dry for over a hundred years -- and it's hardly a camp. As punishment, the boys must each dig a hole a day, five feet deep, five feet across, in the hard earth of the dried-up lake bed. The warden claims that this pointless labor builds character, but she is really using the boys to dig for loot buried by the Wild West outlaw Kissin' Kate Barlow. The story of Kissin' Kate, and of a curse put on Stanley's great-great-grandfather by a one-legged Gypsy, weaves a puzzle that tangles and untangles, until it becomes clear that the hand of fate has been at work in the lives of the characters -- and their forebears -- for generations.

Homeless Bird by Gloria Whelan

Thirteen-year-old Koly, a talented embroidery artist living in modern day India, must leave her stuggling family with only precious silver earrings from her mother as a dowry to marry a man she has never met. Soon after the awkward wedding, she learns that her new husband, Hari, is a sick boy and his parents only married him off in order to get her dowry for his medical expenses. With Hari's doomed fate and the realization that she may not be welcomed into the family after his death, Koly has to learn how to survive on her own within the limits of India's society.

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

Roy Eberhardt has just moved to Florida and is hating every minute of it--until he sees the running boy. Roy has spotted him a couple of times, running away from the school bus, with no backpack, no books and no shoes. Who is he? And why is he running?

Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer

When 16-year-old Hope, waitress extraordinaire, moves cross-country to Wisconsin with her aunt Addie to run the Welcome Stairways Diner, Hope isn't sure she'll fit in. But she quickly finds herself involved in the small town's mayoral race, as G. T., owner of the diner, surprises everyone with his entry into the race. After all, G.T. has leukemia. And his opponent is the previously undefeated longtime mayor. Some think G.T. is crazy, but Hope sees the goodness and power in him. Will everyone else see it too?

House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Matteo Alacrán was not born; he was harvested. His DNA came from El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium -- a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Matt's first cell split and divided inside a petri dish. Then he was placed in the womb of a cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to fetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster -- except for El Patrón. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself, because Matt is himself. As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister cast of characters, including El Patrón's power-hungry family, and he is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards. Escape is the only chance Matt has to survive. But escape from the Alacrán Estate is no guarantee of freedom, because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn't even suspect.

How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff

Daisy, a fifteen year old New Yorker, is sent to live with her cousins in the English countryside. Aunt is a peace activist and leaves Daisy and her four cousins alone on the farm while she flies off to Oslo. While she's gone, war breaks out and she cannot get home. The children are enjoying their idyllic life despite the war, which seems to have nothing to do with them. Daisy and her cousin Edmund seem to have a telepathic bond and soon fall in love with each other. Eventually the army takes over their farm and separates the children.

Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Set in a distant future, the United States, now called Panem, is divided into 12 districts.

I Have Lived A Thousand Years by Livia Bitton-Jackson

The author, Livia Bitton-Jackson, who was imprisoned in the Nazi death camp Auschwitz as a teenager, describes her terrible experiences as one of the camp's few adolescent inmates and the miraculous twists of fates that enabled her to survive the Holocaust.

I Was a Rat by Philip Pullman

Late one night Joan and Bob, an older couple, hear a knock on the door. When they open it they find a grubby little boy who doesn't know who he is, but keeps saying, "I was a rat!" So insists a scruffy boy named Roger. Maybe it's true. But what is he now? A terrifying monster running wild in the sewers? The Daily Scourge newspaper is sure of it. A lucrative fairground freak? He is to Mr. Tapscrew. A championship wriggler and a budding thief? That's the hope of Billy and his gang. A victim of "Rodent Delusion"? So says the hospital doctor. Or just an ordinary small boy, though a little ratty in his habits? Only three people believe this version of the story. And it may take a royal intervention--and a bit of magic--to convince the rest of the world.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson

Sara Louise Bradshaw lives on Rass Island on the Chesapeake Bay with her beautiful twin sister Caroline, her parents, grandmother and best friend Call. Sara is strong and proud and often contributes to the family's income through her hard work. Her sister, on the other hand, is considered artistic and of delicate health, constantly getting more attention from everyone, except Call. When World War II breaks out, Sara gets the opportunity to work as a waterman with her father, but this alone does not fulfill her dreams. Sara will need to face leaving the island before she can find a true place for herself in the world.

Janey's Girl by Gayle Friesen

For fourteen-year-old Claire, family has always meant just the two of them -- her and her mother, Jane. All Claire knows about the small town where her mother grew up is that it was a place to get out of and never go back. Until now. This year they are spending the summer with Claire's grandmother and many secrets about the family are going to be revealed, whether they want to face them or not. Claire is going to learn the truth about her father and face a decision that will test her forgiveness and her own strength.

Jason's Gold by Will Hobbs

Within hours of his arrival in New York City, fifteen-year-old Jason Hawthorne is rushing back west with a bad case of Klondike fever. Jason is sure his brothers back in Seattle will grubstake him, then he discovers they've already taken off for the goldfields. Desperate to catch up with them, Jason stows away on a ship headed for Alaska. The Dead Horse Trail and the infamous Chilkoot Pass stand between him and the last leg of his journey. Can he make it up the Yukon River five hundred miles before it freezes? Jason seems to be always just one step behind his brothers. (taken from the book jacket)

Joey Pigza Loses Control by Jack Gantos

When Joey Pigza meets his dad, Carter, for the first time in years, he meets a grownup version of his old hyperactive self -- the way he was before his stint in special ed, the way he was before he got his new meds. During their summer visit together, Carter is eager to make up to his son for past wrongs. He wants to teach Joey how to be a winner. He wants to show Joey how to take control of his own life. And Joey is willing to do whatever his dad says, even though he fears it will do him more harm than good.

"They say I'm wired bad, or wired sad, but there's no doubt about it - I'm wired." Joey Pigza's got heart, he's got a mom who loves him, and he's got "dud meds," which is what he calls the Ritalin pills that are supposed to even out his wild mood swings. Sometimes Joey makes bad choices. He learns the hard way that he shouldn't stick his finger in the pencil sharpener, or swallow his house key, or run with scissors. Joey ends up bouncing around a lot- and eventually he bounces himself all the way downtown, into the district special-ed program, which could be the end of the line. As Joey knows, if he keeps making bad choices, he could just fall between the cracks for good. But he is determined not to let that happen.

Journey by Patricia MacLachlan

Journey is eleven the summer his mother leaves him and his sister, Cat, with their grandparents. He is sad and angry, and spends the summer looking for the clues that will explain why she left. Journey searches photographs for answers. He looks for family resemblances in Grandma's albums. Looking for happier times, he tries to put together the torn pieces of the pictures his mother shredded before her departure. And he also searches the photographs his grandfather takes as the older man attempts to provide Journey with a past. In the process, the boy learns to look and finds that, for him, the camera is a means of finding things his naked eye has missed--things like the inevitability of his mother's departure and the love that still binds his family.

Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

Colie expects the worst when she's sent to spend the summer with her eccentric aunt Mira while her mother tours Europe. Always an outcast -- first for being fat and then, after she lost weight, for being "easy" -- Colie has no friends at home and doesn't expect to find any in Colby, North Carolina. But then she lands a job at the Last Chance Bar and Grill and meets fellow waitresses Morgan and Isabel, best friends who take Colie under their collective wing and help her realize the potential that has been there all along.

King of Shadows by Susan Cooper

Nat Field has had his share of pain and loss after both his parents die. His escape is his talent for acting, and he's been picked to perform at Shakespeare's Globe, a new theater in London. But soon after arriving and getting to know the rest of the company, Nat becomes mysteriously sick. He wakes up to find he has traveled back in time to 1599, where he is to act at the original Globe with Williams Shakespeare as his co-star! Shakespeare becomes a good friend and mentor to Nat, but will he be able to help Nat get home to the present time?

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

Katie tells the story of her Japanese family's struggle to build a life in rural Georgia in the 1950s. Katie recounts her special bond with her older sister Lynn and the ongoing challenge to find beauty in the stark world surrounding them.

Kit's Wilderness by David Almond

The Watson family moves to Stoneygate, an old coal-mining town, to care for Kit's recently widowed grandfather. When Kit meets John Askew, another boy whose family had both worked and died in the mines, Askew invites Kit to join him to play a game called Death. As Kit's grandfather provides stories of the mine's past and the history of the Watson family, the boys search the mines to find the childhood ghosts of their long-gone ancestors.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Everyone is talking about the moon, and the meteor and May 18th. That’s when the meteor will hit the moon and everyone will be able to see it happen. There hasn’t been much talk though about what the consequences of this event will be and when it happens, it becomes very clear that the consequences are huge. The moon is knocked out of its orbit and the tides around the world are affected immediately. Tsunamis wipe out Rhode Island, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Long Island, and Manhattan. Communication satellites are down so there is no cell phone reception. As days turn to weeks, the devastation around the world escalates. Volcanoes begin to erupt, the atmosphere fills with ash and the climate changes from one extreme, hot, to the other, freezing cold. Miranda, her mother, and her two brothers survival is in question from the beginning and their chances grow slimmer as the weeks turn to months. Focused on what they know and staying together they make some very difficult choices. Miranda’s older brother spends the summer obsessed with cutting firewood, her mother with hoarding food and Miranda and her brother growing up a lot faster than they ever thought they would. Their world becomes so isolated that they have no idea who else is alive and whether life will be worth living if they do survive. Told in journal entries, this is the heart-pounding story of Miranda’s struggle to hold on to the most important resource of all—hope—in an increasingly desperate and unfamiliar world.

Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff

Every summer Lily and her father go to her family's house in Rockaway, near the Atlantic Ocean. But the summer of 1944 is different. World War II has called Lily's father overseas, Lily's best friend Margaret had to move with her family to a wartime factory town, and Lily is forced to live with her grandmother. But then a boy named Albert, a refugee from Hungary, comes to live in Rockaway. He has lost most of his family to the war. Soon he and Lily form a special friendship, and they have secrets to share. But they have both told lies, and Lily's lie may cost Albert his life.

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

Jack hates poetry and he thinks that only girls write it, until his teacher, Ms. Stretchberry, inspires him to read poetry including the work of Walter Dean Myers, who wrote a poem that touches his heart. As Jack attempts to read and write poetry, he realizes he does have something to say, and that others will want to hear what it is. Jack is also instrumental in getting Mr. Myers himself to come to his school to talk about his poem. After this visit, Jack will be forever changed.

Make Lemonade by Virginia Euwer Wolff

LaVaughn needed a part-time job. What she got was a babysitting gig with Jolly, an unwed teen mother. With two kids hanging in the balance, they need to make the best out of life -- and they can only do it for themselves and each other. Fourteen-year-old LaVaughn comes to love and understand her two charges, and Jolly, in a way no one else seems to want to.

Some may say that he's the world's worst dog. But those who know and love Marley understand that nothing can stop his loyalty, exuberance, and passion -- not even the Grogans' screen door! How this big, rambunctious dog becomes the heart of the Grogran family is the story of Marley.

Masterpiece by Elise Broach

Marvin, who lives with his beetle family under the Pompadays's sink in their New York City apartment, draws a tiny picture for James Pompaday on his eleventh birthday. This dangerous gift begins an amazing friendship between boy and beetle, drawing them into an adventure involving mystery, forgery, and theft at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Men of Stone by Gayle Friesen

Fifteen-year-old Ben can't make sense of his life. He lives in a house full of women, yet he can't talk to girls. He tries to be a jock, but can't even make the co-ed volleyball team. And ridicule from the guys has driven Ben to give up the one thing at which he truly excels -- dance. Now, he's being bullied by a thug named Claude who's found out about Ben's ballet classes. Ben feels his anger and frustration grow with each passing day. Then Great-Aunt Frieda comes to visit and Ben learns about the old woman's life in Russia. He's surprised at how Frieda dealt with the Men of Stone,­ Stalin's agents who terrorized her community and family. As Frieda tells her powerful story, Ben begins to understand who he is and what kind of person he wants to be. But first he must get past the rage that has taken control of his life.

Mick Harte Was Here by Barbara Park

How could someone like Mick die? He was the kid who freaked out his mom by putting a ceramic eye in a defrosted chicken, the kid who did a wild dance in front of the whole school--and the kid who, if only he had worn his bicycle helmet, would still be alive today. But now Phoebe Harte's younger twelve-year-old brother is gone, and Phoebe's world has turned upside down. Here is the story of how Phoebe and her family cope with the loss of Mick and how she is able to keep his memory alive.

When Fabrizio, servant to Mangus the Magician, hears someone knocking at their door at midnight, he knows it can only be bad news. Ever since Mangus was tried and convicted of practicing magic, no one ever comes to visit them. Only King Claudio's mercy had spared Mangus from being put to death. When Fabrizio answers the door, one of the king's soldiers says that Mangus is wanted at the castello (castle). When Mangus and Fabrizio arrive there, they find that the king has summoned them because his daughter has claimed to see a ghost and he wants Mangus to get rid of it. Mangus, though he was a magician, does not believe in ghosts, and he is determined to find out what the princess really saw.

Girl genius, Millicent Min, is 11 years old and clueless about how to make friends. When her mother makes her attend a volleyball camp she thinks her world will come to an end. But instead she makes a friend, Emily. She doesn't tell Emily she's a genius because she's afraid Emily won't like her anymore. But secrets like that are hard to keep, especially when she's forced to tutor Stanford Wong, her nemesis, in math and Stanford and Emily like each other. Can even a genius manage to keep all the lies straight?

My Louisiana Sky by Kimberly Willis Holt

Tiger Ann's parents are what some people call "slow," and after the death of her grandmother she would like nothing more than to leave the small, backward town of Saitter and live with her Aunt Dorie Kay in the big city of Baton Rouge. In Baton Rogue, she could reinvent herself, and no one would have to know about her parents. But before she is about to leave, her life takes several unexpected turns, which prompts Tiger Ann to make the most important decision of her life.

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

This book follows the difficult choices a family must make when a child is diagnosed with a serious disease, using multiple viewpoints to allow us into the conflicted emotions and wrenching decisions facing each family member. The author, who has taken on such controversial subjects as euthanasia, teen suicide and sterilization laws, turns her gaze on genetic planning, the prospect of creating babies for health purposes and the ethical and moral fallout that results.

While running a spy network from their elementary school, five unpopular misfits combine their talents and use cutting-edge gadgetry to fight evil around the world.

No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman

Ever since Wallace Wallace was little, he has faithfully told the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So when this football hero is forced to report on the book Old Shep, My Pal for his English class, he cannot tell a lie. He feels compelled to inform his teacher that it was one of the worst books he's ever read. Why does the dog in every classic book always have to croak at the end? Not pleased with this report is Wallace's English teacher, who thinks it's the best book ever written and also happens to be directing the play version at school. He orders Wallace to attend the play rehearsals until he can come to his senses. Wallace doesn't change his mind - but he does start to change the play. It begins with his suggestion to add a line, and then a pair of old Rollerblades, until the play has evolved into a rock-and-roll edition of the older classic.

No Talking by Andrew Clements

The fifth grade students at Laketon Elementary School are so loud that they are nicknamed “The Unshushables.” But everything changes when the boys and girls challenge each other to a contest: for the next two days, each side has to be as quiet as possible. “Whichever side talks less, wins.”

Nory Ryan's Song by Patricia Reilly Giff

Nory Ryan's family has lived on Maidin Bay for generations. This year, however, a terrible blight attacks the potatoes, and her family is split apart by the great hunger that overtakes Ireland. Nory's mother died years before, her older sister Maggie has gone to America, and Da is away on a fishing boat. There are no coins for food, and Lord Cunningham, the landlord, is threatening to take their home. With bold determination, Nory Ryan searches for a way to save her family from starvation and get everyone to America.

Notes From a Liar and Her Dog by Gennifer Choldenko

"Don't waste the truth on people who won't understand" is one of Ant MacPherson's rules for life. Ant lies to almost everyone. Pistachio, her tiny dog, and Harrison Emerson, a boy who draws chickens, are the only friends she has. Then a teacher at her school takes a special interest in Ant. The teacher expects Ant to tell the truth, to her and everyone else.

Notes from the Dog by Gary Paulsen

When Johanna shows up at the beginning of summer to house-sit next door to Finn, he has no idea of the profound effect she will have on his life by the time summer vacation is over.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often hink about life before the war. But it's now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching in their town. The Nazi won't stop. The Jews of Denmark are being "relocated," so Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be part of the family. Then Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission. Somehow she must find the strength and courage to save her best friend's life. There's no turning back now.

Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes

Olive Barstow had been in Martha Boyle's class until she was killed by a hit-and-run driver while riding her bicycle. Then Martha finds out that Olive, a girl she never really knew, wrote in her journal about wanting to be friends with Martha, and wanting to be a writer. Martha can't quit thinking about Olive, even when she goes with her family on vacation to the ocean, to stay with her grandmother. In the midst of experiencing first love, loneliness, embarrassment, and fears of her beloved grandmother growing old, Martha allows Olive's death to teach her lessons about living.

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