This psychological thriller was published in 2005, but it remains one of my favorites. Seventeen year old, Doug Hanson lacks social skills, making him a target at school. The only "perfect" relationship he has is with his next door neighbor and boyhood friend, Andy Morrow who is a popular football player.
Seventh grader, Marley Sidelski is a self-described geek and Star Trek fan. He gets a lot of practice running from school bullies. In fact, he's so good a running that he gets the attention of the gym teacher, who wants him on the track team. Finally, Marley gets a taste of popularity, in this less than believable but very funny book about surviving middle school. Recommended for grades 5-8.
May Elizabeth Bitterly lives on the Kansas frontier with her family. May wants to study and become a teacher, but her father needs her to earn some money for the familiy by living and working on the neighboring Oblinger homestead, but just until Christmas. Mr. Oblinger has made a rustic sod house for his new young bride, who is not use to the roughness of life on the frontier. May cooks, washes and offers Mrs. Oblinger lessons of life on the frontier. Mrs. Oblinger does not return May’s kindness.
Life wasn't easy for anyone during the Great Depression, but it could be even harder if you were African American. In this work of historical fiction, Hibernia a preacher's daughter, dreams of becoming a singer. Willie is recovering from a burn that will keep him from fulfilling his dream of becoming a boxer. Otis, an orphan, is struggling to find happiness but finds comfort in his family's radio and the sense of humor that was passed down to him from his father.
Author, Helen Frost elegantly hides poetic verse within a three part story told through the internal monologues of two girls whose paths will coincidentally cross twice in life. Darra and Wren, both ages 14, recognize each other at summer camp.
Georgina and her family suddenly find themselves homeless. Living out of a car with her mother and little brother while her mother works two jobs makes Georgina think about what she can do to help the situation. She comes up with a wild idea to steal a dog and claim reward money after the owner posts reward signs for the lost dog. As the story unfolds, Georgina and the reader grow fond of a mysterious man named Mookie, an old woman named Carmella, and a little dog named Willy. Sometimes, the best lessons happen in the worst of times.
Whose side do you fight for if you're a slave during the American Revolution? While our country is fighting for freedom from Britain, who will fight for the slaves' freedom? The truth is that sometimes the slaves would fight for whoever promised them their freedom after the war. This book of incredibly well researched historical fiction takes the reader through the harrowing times of a slave girl named Isabel, herlittle sister Ruth, and a slave boy named Curzon as they fight for their freedom.
It's 1872 in New York City and Horace Carpetine is a photography apprentice. Horace and a black servant girl named Peggy discover that his photographs for Mrs. Von Macht are evoking the ghost of her deceased daughter, Eleanora. Things really heat up when Horace and Peggy discover that the ghost of Eleanora is out for revenge. This book is a great chiller for those who liked to get spooked; recommended for grades 5-8.
This is really a unique book for James Patterson. It's not a graphic novel, by definition, but it is full of sketches and doodles that add a graphic novel quality to the book. This is a story about a boy named Rafe who is starting middle school and seems to only be noticed by the school bully, "Miller the Killer." After the first school assembly, Rafe makes a promise to break all the rules in the student handbook (without hurting anyone) by the end of the school year. While the story deals with some heavy issues, it does it with great humor and fun drawings along the way.
Eleven year old Delly has an impulsive nature that constantly gets her in trouble for fighting, skipping class, hacking spitballs, and more. The fact that she creates her own words like, “mysturiosity” and “bawlgrammit” is entertaining for the reader, but it also reflects a certain independent quality in Delly’s character. Unfortunately for Delly, if she does one more thing wrong, she’s going to get sent off to a school for troubled kids. To avoid more outbursts, Delly first tries counting in her head when she’s upset. Then, her attention turns to a new
It's the 1950's and Ruth's Daddy just bought a 1952 Buick! Ruth, her Mama and Daddy will be driving it from their home in Chicago to her Grandma's house in Alabama! The trip starts out pleasant, but as they continue their drive the family encounters white only restrooms and hotels. It's hard for Ruth's family to find places to rest and eat.
Forge is book two of an impressive trilogy about the African American experience during the American Revolutionary War. While this is not a subject that is typically well developed in our history lessons, it is meticulously well researched by this author and impressively executed with unforgettable characters. In book one,
Ninth Ward is a perfect choice for both avid readers and reluctant readers. Set in the ill-fated 9th Ward of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina, this story develops unique and beautiful characters while invoking a regional history of belief in magic and mysticism. Nine year old Lanesha is about to have the fight of her life. Lanesha was born with the gift of “sight”, the ability to communicate with ghosts, but has trouble communicating with her mother, who died during child birth. Mama Ya Ya, the elderly woman who has raised Lanesha, has the ability to see into the future.
Eleven year old Meli Lleshi is living a happy life with her Muslim Albanian family in Kosovo in 1998 when her life is turned upside down by the Kosovo War between the Serbs and the Albanians. The murder of fellow Albanians and the brief but terrifying disappearance of Meli's 13 year old brother, Mehmet, mark the beginning of this story. On the run from ethnic cleansing, Meli's family will abandon their home and business on a journey to escape. This journey will take them to the mountains, Uncle's farm, miles of traveling on foot while pushing Grandma in a wheelbarrow,
Thirteen year old Gen doesn't want to spend her entire summer vacation with her family at an 1890's styled frontier camp. It's her mother's idea to commit the family to this experience in living history and the owners of this camp take their social experiment very seriously. To preserve her sanity, Gen smuggles in a cell phone so that she can text her friends about every painful experience of forced frontier life, including the details of meeting Caleb, a very cute fellow camper, and Nora, the very jealous and bitter daughter of the camp owners. Gen discovers that th
This award winning non-fiction book is part of the Scientists in the Field series. It's full of amazing photographs of a variety of mostly cute frogs. There are a few exceptions. One is a photo of the Sororan Desert Toad held by Dr. Tyrone Hayes who says, "He looks like a cow turd." The Frog Scientist follows Dr.
Minli lives with her mother and father, passing their days trying to eke out a living in rice fields on Fruitless Mountain. At night, her father, a great storyteller, tells Minli adventures and magical folktales. Mother, unhappy with the family's difficult life, does not approve of Father filling Minli's head with such nonsense. After a chance encounter with a goldfish peddler, Minli decides to go on a quest to find The Old Man of the Moon to change their family fortune. Along the way, Minli befriends a dragon, encounters a talking fish and learns about the "tangled