Middle School Suggested Summer Reading
Greetings Parents and Guardians!
Reading is very important to your students’ futures. The higher their level of literacy, the greater the opportunities they will have in education. Please keep your child reading this summer by checking out the summer reading clubs at your local public library or by using the attached suggested summer reading list.
The attached Book Menu with directions and Suggested Summer Reading List may help you and your child pick out good books. We understand that our readers like to use the public library and book stores so the Book Menu may also be completed with titles of your own choosing. The Book Menu is optional but completed activities will be eligible for a reading prize the first week of school. However, we think Book Menu is going to be so much fun that the whole family might want to get in on the action! Much of the Suggested Summer Reading List was compiled from student and teacher suggestions as well as professional journals. Many of the genres are represented. If your child gets hooked on an author, you may want to check out other titles by that same author!
The list is alphabetical by book title. Book summaries are provided compliments of the publishers on the Library’s online public access catalog DESTINY and eBook platform MackinVIA. You can find directions for how to access DESTINY and MackinVIA by following the hyperlinks.
Please remember that we have not personally read each book on the list or all of the books by each author. Although these books have been recommended for middle school readers by a variety of sources, the list represents a wide range of reading levels as well as levels of sophistication. Therefore, it is very important that you screen the books personally for content that you feel might not be appropriate for your child.
Have a wonderful and relaxing summer.
Ms. McDermott, Bala Cynwyd Middle School Librarian
Dr. Markey, Welsh Valley Middle School Librarian
- Draw a map of the Setting.
- Write a short story about what the character(s) would be doing one year later.
- Interview the protagonist. What 3 questions would you ask? Answer the questions from their point of view.
- Redesign the cover.
- Write a letter to the author or the illustrator. Write a short book review.
- Choose two people or characters from two different books who you think would be great friends. Write a story about these two people or characters.
- Create a poster for your book.
- Create an iMovie book trailer for your book.
- Write a different ending for the book. Summarize the book in a comic strip.
- Write an acrostic poem about the book using the letters in the title.
- Read a book. Feel free to use the Suggested Summer Reading List (below) or other titles!
- Pick a Drink, Appetizer, Entree or Dessert and choose an activity underneath that heading. Or, make yourself a combo meal with several activities for one book!
- Email, share on Google docs (if you already have an education account), or bring your book activity/project to the Library during the first week of school. Be sure to include your name and the name of the book you read.
- Claim your prize(s) during the first week of school at the library! Each project earns a prize.
- Read as many books as you want and complete as many activities as you want!
- Have Questions? Email Ms. McDermott (BCMS) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Markey (WVMS) at email@example.com
All Together Now by Hope Larson
Bina and her friend Darcy have started a band, but when Darcy decides they need a drummer, she finds Enzo. At first Bina is excited because Enzo's a great musician, but when Darcy and Enzo start dating, Bina feels left out. Even worse, her best friend, Austin, has been acting weird ever since he broke up with his girlfriend. Soon, Bina starts to wonder if she can handle a boyfriend right now or if she should just forget about it entirely.
American as Paneer Pie by Supriya Kelkar
When a racist incident rocks her small Michigan town, eleven-year-old Lekha must decide whether to speak up or stay silent, even as she struggles to navigate her life at home, where she can be herself, and at school, where she is teased about her culture.
Any Day With You by Mae Respicio
The summer before seventh grade, Kaia, who enjoys living in Southern California, visiting the beach with her family, and creating movie make-up effects, makes a film with her friends to win a contest and hopefully prevent her beloved great-grandfather from moving back to the Philippines.
Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi
Twelve-year-old Aru stretches the truth to fit in at her private school, but when she is dared to prove an ancient lamp is cursed, she inadvertently frees an ancient demon.
The Barren Grounds by David Robertson
While living in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and trying to figure out where they fit in the world, Morgan and Eli, two indigenous children, find a doorway to a fantasy world that is struggling to find enough food to eat. As Morgan and Eli try to help the residents of Aski, they discover new things about themselves and their place in the world.
Beetle & the Hollowbones by Aliza Layne
In the town of 'Allows, some people are magical sorceresses while others have their spirits trapped in the local mall for eternity. Twelve-year-old goblin-witch Beetle and her best friend Blob Ghost are hanging out at the mall when Beetle’s best friend, Kat, arrives back in town to do a sorcery apprenticeship with her aunt Hollowbone. The friends stumble upon a plot that puts Blob Ghost in danger and while they race to save him, they find themselves falling in love.
Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson
ZJ's friends Ollie, Darry and Daniel help him cope when his father, a beloved professional football player, suffers severe headaches and memory loss that spell the end of his career.
Becoming Muhammad Ali: a Novel by James Patterson
Cassius Clay is a typical kid. He learns life lessons from his grandfather, hides his report card from his parents, and hangs out around Louisville with his friends. But after dealing with bullies, Cassius wants to learn how to box in order to fight back. Fortunately, his best friend Lucky always has his back no matter what. With the help of his family and friends, Cassius achieves more than he could have ever dreamed through boxing.
The Blackbird Girls by Anne Blankman
On a spring morning, neighbors Valentina Kaplan and Oksana Savchenko wake up to an angry red sky. A reactor at the nuclear power plant where their fathers work--Chernobyl--has exploded. Before they know it, the two girls, who've always been enemies, find themselves on a train bound for Leningrad to stay with Valentina's estranged grandmother, Rita Grigorievna. In their new lives in Leningrad, they begin to learn what it means to trust another person. Oksana must face the lies her parents told her all her life. Valentina must keep her grandmother's secret, one that could put all their lives in danger. And both of them discover something they've wished for: a best friend. But how far would you go to save your best friend's life? Would you risk your own?
Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Suspended unjustly from elite Middlefield Prep, Donte Ellison studies fencing with a former champion, hoping to put the racist fencing team captain in his place.
Blood and Germs: the Civil War Battle Against Wounds and Disease by Gail Jarrow
Explores the science and history of medicine during the Civil War. Discusses the damage inflicted by bullets and artillery shells, the microbes and parasites that were prevalent in the military camps and prisons, and the doctors and nurses who treated the soldiers. Also examines the innovations in medical care that emerged from the four-year conflict, including surgical techniques, medicines, and improved patient care.
Bloom by Kenneth Oppel
After a mysterious rain, seeds sprout overnight into black grass that takes over everything in sight. Worse yet, they bloom and release toxic pollens, and even develop carnivorous pods that swallow animals and people. Anaya, Petra, and Seth, three teens living on Salt Spring Island near Vancouver, seem immune to the toxic plants and may be the only ones who can stop this invasion.
The Bone Garden by Heather Kassner
Made from bone dust and imagination, Irreélle accidentally destroys another of Miss Vesper's creations and flees to the underside of the graveyard, seeking the magic that brings bones to life.
Brave Like That by Lindsay Stoddard
Cyrus was left on the steps of the Northfield firehouse when he was just a baby, but being taken in by brave firefighters and a football star dad hasn't made him brave. Instead, Cyrus is skittish and kind of scared of life, just like the stray dog Parker who parks his head on Cyrus's shoulder. Unfortunately, his dad has a strict no-pet rule, especially during football tryouts--but Cyrus doesn't want to try out for football. He would rather tap his feet and dance. Cyrus must find a way to live life and be brave on his own terms.
Brother’s Keeper by Julie Lee
In North Korea, 1950, twelve-year-old Sora Pak and her eight-year-old brother, Youngsoo, are left on their own when war between the North and South breaks out. To survive, Sora must get herself and Youngsoo to South Korea alone, which means crossing dangerous rivers, mountain ranges, and territory occupied by the enemy--even through Pyongyang itself.
The Canyon’s Edge by Dusti Bowling
Exactly one year after her mother died in a random public shooting, Nora and her father go rock-climbing in the desert. After they descend into a canyon, her father and all of their supplies get washed away in a flash flood. Nora is left to try to find her way to safety alone, facing dehydration, dangerous desert animals, and her PTSD.
Cast Away: Poems for Our Time by Naomi Shihab Nye
Collects eighty-four poems that explore stories of discarded rubbish, ignored persons, and trashy talk.
Class Act by Jerry Craft
African American eighth grader Drew Ellis is used to working hard, but he's starting to realize that even if he works ten times as hard as his classmates at the privileged Riverdale Academy Day School, he still won't be given the same opportunities as they are. To make things worse, Drew begins to feel that his good friend Liam is one of those privileged kids, especially after a visit to Liam's giant house. Drew wants to pretend like everything's fine, but it's hard not to treat Liam differently and their mutual friend Jordan doesn't know how to keep their group together.
Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
William Lamar, known as "Scoob," goes on a road trip through the South with his grandmother in her recreational vehicle, visiting some of the major sites in the Civil Rights movement and learning about how people like him have been treated.
Curse of the Night Witch by Alex Aster
After changing the fate he has known since birth, twelve-year-old Tor Luna, accompanied by his friends Engle and Melda, must visit the notorious NIght Witch to break the curse he now faces.
A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
Leonora's family owns a popular bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, and they are busy preparing sweets for the annual Dia de los Muertos festival. Leo wants to help but she's told she's too young. Then Leo discovers that her mother, aunt, and four older sisters are brujas, Mexican witches, and they are putting magic into their baked goods. Leo is determined to follow their example, and when her best friend Caroline has a problem, Leo tries to help with a little spell of her own.
The Deep and Dark Blue by Niki Smith
A political coup forces twins Hawke and Grayson to escape and assume new identities. They meet the Communion of Blue--an order of women who can manipulate reality. As they begin to understand the magic of the Communion, they hatch a plan to avenge their family and retake their kingdom. Hawke looks to regain his former life, but Grayson realizes she can have a new life that will allow her to live as a girl.
Dough Boys by Paula Chase
Thirteen-year-old best friends Simp and Rollie play on a basketball team in their housing project, but Rollie dreams of being a drummer and Simp wants to impress the gang leader, Coach Tez.
Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk
When twelve-year-old Ellie and her family lose their livelihood and move to a mountain cabin in 1934, she quickly learns to be an outdoors woman and, when needed, a healer.
Efren Divided by Ernesto Cisneros
While his father works two jobs, seventh-grader Efrén Nava must take care of his twin siblings, kindergartners Max and Mia, after their mother is deported to Mexico.
Everything Sad Is Untrue: (A True Story) by Daniel Nayeri
As Khosrou (whom everyone calls Daniel) stands in front of his Oklahoma middle school classmates, he tries to tell them his story from the jasmine-scented city of Isfahan to the terrifying journey out of Iran steps ahead of the secret police to the refugee camps of Italy.
Five Things About Ava Andrews by Margaret Dilloway
Eleven-year-old Ava Andrews is nervous about starting middle school because of her heart condition, social anxiety, and the reality of her best friend moving away. Shortly after starting school, however, Ava gets noticed by a school improv group and begins to find her voice with them. Ava faces challenges as she begins to grow apart from her former friend and learns that the theater she practices in is staged for demolition.
Fly on the Wall by Remy Lai
Tired of being babied by his overprotective family, twelve-year-old Henry Khoo decides to prove his independence by creating an anonymous gossip cartoon about the kids at school, and embarking on a plane trip to see his father in Singapore by himself. Henry will have to deal with several unexpected hurdles on his adventure, including an anonymous internet poster who threatens to expose him to the school principal.
From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
On her birthday, twelve-year-old aspiring baker Zoe Washington receives a letter from her biological father, who is in prison for murder, telling her he is actually innocent. Determined to discover the truth, Zoe tries to investigate herself, perform well in her baking internship, and achieve her dream of auditioning for the Food Network's Kids Bake Challenge.
The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi
When twelve-year-old Farah and her two best friends get sucked into a mechanical board game called The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand--a puzzle game akin to a large Rubik's cube--they know it's up to them to defeat the game's diabolical architect in order to save themselves and those who are trapped inside, including her baby brother Ahmed. But first they have to figure out how. Under the tutelage of a lizard guide named Henrietta Peel and an aeronaut Vijay, the Farah and her friends battle camel spiders, red scorpions, grease monkeys, and sand cats as they prepare to face off with the maniacal Lord Amari, the man behind the machine. Can they defeat Amari at his own game...or will they, like the children who came before them, become cogs in the machine?
Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen by Sarah Kapit
Eleven-year-old knuckleball pitcher Vivy Cohen, who has autism, becomes pen pals with her favorite Major League baseball player after writing a letter to him as an assignment for her social skills class.
The Girl and the Ghost by Hanna Alkaf
When Suraya inherits a pelesit, a ghostly demon, from her grandmother, she's delighted. Suraya names him Pink and they become inseparable. But pelesits have a dark side: they love to cause destruction and chaos. When Pink's dark side threatens to consume Suraya's life, her mother calls in a pawang, a type of shaman, to get rid of Pink. Suraya knows she must save him and in doing so, uncovers the truth about Pink's origin.
Ghost Squad by Claribel Ortega
Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell just before Halloween that releases evil spirits on their hometown of St. Augustine, Florida. Now they must team up with Syd's witch grandmother Babette and her cat Chunk to reverse the spell and save the town before it's too late.
A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramee
After attending a powerful protest, Shayla starts wearing an armband to school to support the Black Lives Matter movement, but when the school gives her an ultimatum, she is forced to choose between her education and her identity.
The Hero’s Guide to Saving the Kingdom by Christopher Healy
The four princes erroneously dubbed Prince Charming and rudely marginalized in their respective fairy tales form an unlikely team when a witch threatens the whole kingdom.
How We Got to the Moon: the People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure by John Rocco
Presents a guide to the people and technology of the moon landing including the designers, engineers, astronauts, and NASA specialists.
Hurricane Child by Kacen Callender
On the island of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands, twelve-year-old Caroline is known for her bad luck because she was born during a hurricane. A new student from Barbados named Kalinda arrives and becomes Caroline's only friend--and her first crush. As Caroline works through her feelings for Kalinda, the two set out in a hurricane to find Caroline's missing mother and are followed by a mysterious spirit.
Hurricane Season by Nicole Melleby
Eleven-year-old Fig enrolls in an art class to better understand her father, a composer and pianist whose mental illness she tries to conceal from classmates, neighbors, and social services.
The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
Eleven-year-old Corinne must call on her courage and ancient magic to stop an evil spirit and save her island home.
Just South of Home by Karen Strong
Twelve-year-old Sarah, her Chicago cousin Janie, brainy brother Ellis, and his best friend, Jasper, investigate a tragic event in their small Southern town's history.
Keep It Together Keiko Carter by Debbi Michiko Florence
Keiko, Audrey, and Jenna have always been best friends, but when seventh grade starts, everything changes. Audrey and Jenna like the same boy for Fall Ball, and to Audrey's dismay, Keiko likes Audrey's brother, Conner. Meanwhile, things between Keiko's parents are not going well, just when Keiko wants to adopt a dog. With all the drama, Keiko has to find a way to keep it all together.
King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender
Certain that his brother Khalid has transformed into a dragonfly after passing away, King often steals down to the bayou to search for him among the hundreds of dragonflies there. Khalid also visits King in his dreams, still, a secret King knows he has to keep--that, and the fact that he thinks he might be gay. Grief transforms King's family, but King learns how to use grief and pain to find beauty and redemption as his true self.
Land of Cranes by Ada Salazar
Nine-year old Betita and her family fled Mexico for Los Angeles to escape the cartel wars in Mexico. When her beloved father is arrested by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) and deported to Mexico, Betita and her pregnant mother are left behind. Soon they too are detained in a family detention camp. Even while enduring the cruel and inhumane conditions of the camp, Betita discovers beauty in the poetry she creates and the community she and her mother find at the camp. As the days drag on, Betita begins to wonder if her family will ever be whole again.
Leaving Lymon by Lesa Kline-Ransome
With his mother living in Chicago and his father in jail, Lymon lives with his grandparents. After his grandfather dies, Lymon and his grandmother move north to Milwaukee, where Lymon discovers a completely different world from his happy life in Mississippi. As he tries to adjust to a different way of life, he learns more about himself and family than he ever thought possible.
Letters from Cuba by Ruth Behar
In 1938, eleven-year-old Esther joins her father in tropical, multicultural Cuba, where they toil together to rescue the rest of their Jewish family from persecution in Poland. Includes notes about the author's grandmother, on whom the story is based.
Lifting As We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box by Evette Dionne
Presents the history of the black women who fought for the right to vote even as they faced racism, rejection from the white suffragists, and danger to their persons.
Lightfall: The Girl & the Galdurian by Tim Probert
After Bea's adopted grandfather, the Pig Wizard, goes on a trip to the find the Seal of the Restless Sleeper, Bea and Cad, a Galdurian, go on a quest to find him across Irpa. Meanwhile in another part of Irpa, a dangerous threat awakens and tries to put the world into eternal darkness.
The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead
Despite her parents' divorce, her father's coming out as gay, and his plans to marry his boyfriend, ten-year-old Bea is reassured by her parents' unconditional love, excited about getting a stepsister, and haunted by something she did last summer at her father's lake house.
Loretta Little Looks Back: Three Voices Go Tell It!: a Monologue Novel by Andrea Davis Pinkney
Loretta, Roly, and Aggie B. Little relate their Mississippi family's struggles and triumphs from 1927 to 1968 while struggling as sharecroppers, living under Jim Crow, and fighting for Civil Rights.
The Magnificent Monsters of Cedar Street by Lauren Oliver
Cordelia Clay and her veterinarian father live and work in their nineteenth-century Boston clinic and secretly take care of mythical creatures. One day, Cordelia wakes to discover that her father has been abducted along with most of their creatures. Following a cryptic note and mysterious clues, Cordelia and a small group of "monsters" go on a quest to rescue them.
Mananaland by Pam Munoz Ryan
After his father leaves on a trip to secure a new birth certificate for him, eleven-year-old Maximiliano Córdoba meets a refugee named Isadora from the war-torn country of Abismo and learns that the stories his grandfather has been telling him are true: his relatives are part of a secret society of guardians who lead refugees to safety through an abandoned stone tower named La Reina Gigante. Abandoning his dreams of becoming a soccer star, Max sets out on a journey to help Isadora reach safety and hopefully learn the truth behind the disappearance of his mother.
Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron
Twelve-year-old Maya is the only one in her neighborhood who sees strange things like werehyenas stalking the streets and a man made of shadows who plagues her dreams. When her father goes missing, Maya learns that he is the guardian of the veil between our world and the Dark, where the Lord of Shadows has an army waiting. Maya also discovers that she's half orisha and half human and that her neighborhood is considered a safe haven. But the veil is failing and the Lord of Shadows is determined to destroy the human world. It's up to Maya to stop him and save her father.
Middle School’s a Drag: You Better Werk! by Greg Howard
In Charleston, South Carolina, a young business entrepreneur, newly out as gay, starts his own junior talent agency and signs a thirteen-year-old aspiring drag queen as his first client.
The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
Shy twelve-year-old Nisha, forced to flee her home with her Hindu family during the 1947 partition of India, tries to find her voice and make sense of the world falling apart around her by writing to her deceased Muslim mother in the pages of her diary.
The Only Black Girls in Town by Brandy Colbert
Surfer Alberta has been the only black girl in her small California town for years. When she finds out that the new owners of the bed-and-breakfast across the street are black and that they have a daughter her age, Alberta is convinced that she and Edie will be best friends. But Edie misses her life in Brooklyn and is finding it hard to adapt to California life. When the girls find a box of old journals in Edie's attic, they team up to find out why they were left behind, uncovering painful secrets from the past.
Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
Sent with her mother to the safety of a relative's home in Cincinnati when her Syrian hometown is overshadowed by violence, Jude worries for the family members who were left behind as she adjusts to a new life with unexpected surprises.
Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices by Aisha Saeed
Contains a collection of fifteen short stories about the Muslim holiday, Eid, and the themes around it such as hope, joy, and family. Includes black-and-white illustrations.
Pearl Harbor History Smashers by Kate Messner
Examines the history of the Japanese surprise attack on the U.S. naval station in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii during World War II. Discusses the mistakes that led up to the American forces being unprepared and unwarned about the attack, in spite of some who tried to convince commanders that an attack was indeed coming, and also explores the fallout after the attack for Japanese Americans.
Pippa Park Raises Her Game by Erin Yun
Korean-American teenager Pippa Park wins a basketball scholarship to a local private school, and she hopes to reinvent herself with her wealthy new friends. But brushing off her old friends and telling a string of lies about her family catches up with her, as Pippa discovers the real reason she was recruited.
Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park
Fourteen-year-old Hanna, who is half Chinese, settles with her father in the frontier town of LaForge, in Dakota Territory in 1880. She hopes she can attend school before becoming a dressmaker in her father's dry goods shop, but first she must deal with racism from the local townspeople who are afraid to have their children attend class with her, grief from the loss of her mother, and a yearning to belong as she and her father struggle to find a place where they will be accepted.
Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse
Guided by her Navajo ancestors, seventh-grader Nizhoni Begay discovers she is descended from a holy woman and destined to become a monsterslayer, starting with the evil businessman who kidnapped her father. Includes glossary of Navajo terms.
Rick by Alex Gino
Although Rick has never thought about his identity much, when he begins middle school, he attends the Rainbow Spectrum Club where he meets kids of all genders and identities, including a girl named Melissa. Rick wants to have his life all figured out like Melissa, so he begins a quest to find his place in the world, even if it means breaking some old friendships.
Sal & Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez
In order to heal after his mother's death, thirteen-year-old Sal learns to reach into time and space to retrieve things--and people--from other universes.
Saucy by Cynthia Kadohata
When eleven-year-old Becca, a quadruplet, finds a sick piglet on the side of the road, her life is changed forever.
Show Me a Sign by Ann Claire LaZotte
Mary Lambert has felt safe and accepted on her beloved island of Martha's Vineyard, comforted by the fact that her great-great-grandfather was the first deaf islander and paved the way for many to learn sign language. However, when Mary's brother dies and her family shatters amidst land disputes with the English settlers and Wampanoag people, it paves the way for an opportunistic young scientist to come and study the island's prevalent deafness, and, without moral scruples, he begins using Mary as a "live specimen" for increasingly cruel experiments.
The Sisters of Straygarden Place by Hayley Chewins
Seven years ago the Ballastian sisters were left at the magical Straygarden Place by their parents and told to not leave the house or go into the grass. When fourteen-year-old Minnow leaves the house and goes into the grass, the sisters discover that everything they thought they knew about their home and family is not correct.
Snapdragon by Kat Leyh
When Snap finds a litter of orphaned opossums, she brings them to Jacks, a strange woman who's rumored to be a witch. In return for taking care of the opossums, Snap agrees to help Jacks with her work. As Snap gets to know Jacks, she realizes that Jacks may in fact have actual magic, as well as an unlikely connection to Snap's own family.
Something To Say by Lisa Moore Ramee
Eleven-year-old Jenae doesn't have any friends at school and she's happy about that, preferring to be out of the limelight. But when boisterous, red-headed Aubrey has an encounter with her and then won't leave her alone, he ends up as a friend by default. For a class assignment, Aubrey is paired with Jenae in a class debate about a school name change. Aubrey is excited, because he wants to join the debate team, but Jenae is terrified of speaking in front of others. Jenae will have to grapple with which scenario is worse, overcoming her fears or losing her only friend.
Spindlefish and Stars by Christiane M. Andrews
Clothilde has lived a nomadic life with her father, an art restorer and part-time thief. When it's time to leave a village, he typically signals her and they meet to move on to another place. However, one morning, her father doesn't show and she's given a mysterious ticket from a swineherd. Clo, who thinks she'll be reunited with her father, lands on a grey-cast island where she's imprisoned as a slave to an old woman who weaves a living tapestry from fish remains. Clo is desperate to escape but must figure out the mystery of the island and the power of the old woman's tapestry.
A Sporting Chance: how Ludwig Guttmann Created the Paralympic Games by Lori Alexander
Illustrated biography of Ludwig Guttmann, a Jewish doctor whose pioneering work with spinal cord injured patients eventually led to the creation of the Paralympic Games. Includes discussion of the history of how patients who had spinal cord injuries were treated, as well as profiles of famous Paralympic athletes.
Stand Up, Yumi Chung by Jessica Kim
When eleven-year-old Yumi Chung stumbles into a kids' comedy camp she is mistaken for another student, so she decides to play the part.
Tales of the Feathered Serpent by David Bowles
A magical boy from Mayan mythology faces impossible tasks and a ruthless king to save the people of Mexico.
That’s What Friends Do by Cathleen Barnhart
Samantha Goldstein and David Fischer meet on their Little League baseball team and become instant friends. However, the years pass and now their comfortable pair becomes a trio of confusion and awkwardness when Luke joins them. Luke makes comments that make Sammie feel weird, outcast, and not one of the guys anymore--but David thinks Luke is flirting with Sammie, and what's more very easily. Fearful of losing his chance to confess his crush for Sammie, David decides to make a move, and everything goes wrong. Now, David and Sammie are both hurt, confused, and unable to tell anyone about what happened.
Three Keys by Kelly Yang
As she heads into sixth grade, Mia Tang thinks it's going to be the best year ever. She and her parents now own the Calivista Motel, Mia gets to run the front desk with her best friend, Lupe, and Mia is finally getting acknowledged for her writing. But when school starts, Mia's new teacher doesn't think her writing is all that great and her whole class finds out that she lives and works in a motel. In addition, the motel is struggling and a new immigration law is on the ballot in the upcoming elections and if it passes, it will threaten everyone in Mia's life. As she deals with school trouble and difficult questions of immigration and racism, Mia will have to rely on all her determination and her friends in order to make it through.
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia
Seventh-grader Tristan Strong tumbles into the MidPass and, with allies John Henry and Brer Rabbit, must entice the god Anansi to come out of hiding and seal the hole Tristan accidentally ripped in the sky.
Twins by Varian Johnson
Maureen and Francine Carter are twins and best friends. They enjoy the same foods, participate in the same clubs, and are partners whenever there's a school project. But on the first day of sixth grade, Francine wants to be called "Fran" and she makes a point of trying to be different from Maureen: joining the chorus, dressing differently, and only having two classes with her sister. But when both girls run for class president, their relationship becomes even more strained and Maureen begins to wonder if sisters really are forever.
Village of Scoundrels: Based on a True Story of Courage During WWII by Margi Preus
In the 1940s, remote Les Lauzes, France houses Jews, unregistered foreigners, forgers, and others who take great risks to shelter refugees and smuggle them to safety in Switzerland.
Ways to Make Sunshine by Renee Watson
Ryan Hart has a lot on her mind--school, self-image, and especially family. Ryan is all about trying to see the best in people, to be a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend. But even if her life isn’t everything she would wish for, when her big brother is infuriating, her parents don’t quite understand, and the unexpected happens, she always finds a way forward, with grace and wit. And plenty of sunshine.
We Dream of Space by Erica Entrada Kelly
In 1986, Cash, Fitch, and Bird Thomas are in seventh grade. Cash loves basketball, but just broke his wrist and is in danger of failing seventh grade for the second time. Fitch spends every afternoon at the local arcade and deals with an explosive temper. His twin sister, Birdie, dreams of being NASA's first female shuttle commander, but feels like she's disappearing. They all exist in their own little orbits in their tense home, with little in common. But after the disastrous launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger, their lives change in unexpected ways.
We Had to Be Brave: Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport by Deborah Hopkinson
Details the heartwrenching experiences of Jewish children who fled Nazi Germany aboard the Kindertransport, in a collection of true accounts that includes the story of young Ruth David, who clung to hope in an unfamiliar country after being separated from her family.
What Lane? by Torrey Maldanado
Biracial sixth-grader Stephen feels like he's living in two worlds, each with different rules. He's starting to notice that strangers treat him differently than his white friends and as he learns about the Black Lives Matter movement, he discovers how to navigate race and friendships.
When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson
When Omar has the opportunity to get an education while living in a refugee camp, he must decide what is more important: education or taking care of his nonverbal brother Hassan.
When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller
When Lily, her sister Sam, and their mother move in with her sick grandmother, Lily traps a tiger and makes a deal with him to heal Halmoni.
Wink by Rob Harrell
When twelve-year-old Ross is diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer, he just wants things to be normal. But he soon discovers normal is overrated and that with music, art, and the support of his true friends, he can make it through his treatments and middle school.
* Summaries compliments of the publisher.