Teen Read Week: Wilmington Middle School

Teen Read Week 2012: Wilmington Middle School, October & November, 2012

Dead End in Norvelt, by Jack Gantos
Jack did a really dumb thing. Then he did another really dumb thing, and now he's grounded for the entire summer. He’s allowed out of the house only when his elderly neighbor needs his help, usually transcribing the obituaries she dictates for the dead townspeople. Nearly every call means another Norvelt native is dead—and Jack gets out of the house a surprising amount for one summer. 

Epic, by Conor Kostick
Following yet another death in Epic, Erik creates a new character. On a whim, he chooses a female form, allots all her aptitude points to beauty, and chooses an unusual character class: Swashbuckler. Such an unusual character makes Epic into a whole new game--which is exactly what Erik needs, if he’s going to slay the second dragon in Epic’s history and challenge the Central Allocation government to release his father from exile.

The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
Thomas remembers nothing but his name when he’s pulled into the Glade, a strange place where the only escape means finding an exit from the Maze--not easy when the walls move every night and the mechanical beasts have a thirst for blood. When a girl shows up the day after Thomas’s arrival, the Gladers are thrown into chaos: Who is she? And what’s with her warning that “everything is going to change”?

A Diamond in the Desert, by Katherine Fitzmaurice
After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Tetsu’s family—along with thousands more Japanese-Americans—is moved to the Gila River Relocation Camp in Arizona. Tetsu misses his old life, his dad, his dog—but finds a small joy in the camp when a fellow prisoner organizes a baseball team. Baseball is the only thing that makes life in the camp tolerable, but when his sister gets sick and Tetsu knows it’s his fault, he gives up the sport to be with her.

See You At Harry’s, by Jo Knowles
Charlie is the mascot: the bright spot in their family, the smiling face in the commercial for Harry’s, their family’s diner and ice cream shop. Charlie is three years old, and wants his big sister Fern to play with him and pay attention to him, even when she has homework to do. That’s where things fall apart.  When there’s no one to blame, all you’re left with is a broken heart—and a chance to heal it.

Trash, by Andy Mulligan 
Raphael is a “dumpsite boy,” picking through mountains of trash for recyclable materials—paper, plastics, anything he can sell. What Raphael finds is a purse, stuffed with money and a key. He’s rich—and embroiled in a mystery that only gets deeper when the police come in search of that same key.  It’s up to Raphael and his friends to find out what makes the key so valuable, and fix what injustices can still be fixed.

Blizzard, by Jim Murphy
1888 had a strange winter: mild temperatures and few storms. Then, in early March, two big storms came together to become one huge storm system stretching from Virginia to Canada. Heavy rain gave way to snow. After 36 hours, the storm finally moved on—and then doubled back for a second pass. It would be three days, four feet of snow, and more than 400 deaths before the blizzard would end.

The Tanglewood Terror, by Kurtis Scaletta
Eric is sure there’s a scientific explanation for the glowing mushrooms in the woods behind his house. And there’s an explanation for the mushrooms creeping into his backyard. And through the floorboards in the house. And over the football field. There’s not a place in town that isn’t covered in the luminescent fungus—and it might not be the first time the mushrooms have swallowed a town.

Cloaked in Red, by Vivian Vande Velde
Everyone knows Little Red Riding Hood—the girl who couldn’t tell the difference between her human grandmother and a talking wolf. Maybe Red’s very young, or just not very smart, but either way, she probably shouldn’t be allowed out of the house on her own. Could she be worse off if she were a doll come to life, or a shy girl whose mother ruined her favorite cloak with crimson dye?

The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
In his quest to rescue princesses Rhyme and Reason, Milo shops for some tasty words (“they’re fine, if you have something to say,” says Tock, the ticking Watchdog), meets the Fattest Thin Man and the Thinnest Fat Man In The World (they share a house), and conducts the orchestra playing the sunrise. And unlike Alec, the boy who may never grow tall enough to reach the ground, Milo will never see things the same way again.

Anya’s Ghost, by Vera Brosgol
Anya’s pretty much given up on having any kind of social life: her Russian family is an embarrassment, she looks pudgy in her school clothes, she could really use a new friend. And she finds one—it’s just someone who’s been dead for a hundred years or so. A new friend, even a ghost-friend, really turns things around for Anya, but then things keep on turning. Maybe there’s a reason nobody found this girl when she fell in the well.

The Fairy Ring, or Elsie and Frances Fool The World, by Mary Losure
Elsie and Frances spent much of their summer on the banks of the waterfall behind Elsie’s house. Frances particularly liked it there, because she could see the fairies—not that her family believed her, until Elsie found a way to photograph them. Elsie’s photos were enough to convince their families, some researchers, even Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The photographs weren’t faked… but does that mean the fairies were real?

Ungifted, by Gordon Korman
When Donovan hit the Atlas statue with a tree branch, he didn’t know that the globe on Atlas's shoulders was held on with one single rusty bolt. He didn't mean to send the ball careening down through the glass doors and across the gym floor. So when a disciplinary screw-up sends him to the Academy for Scholastic Distinction, it's a great place to hide out for a while. Donovan obviously doesn't belong with the geniuses at his new school--but he does have some skills the geniuses don't have.

Slob, by Ellen Potter
Owen's mom puts three Oreos in his lunch every day. That's the deal: he won't sneak extra snacks, but those Oreos are something to look forward to. And he’s really looking forward to them after a sadistic gym class--only to find that someone's stolen them from his lunch bag. He'll have to come up with some way to catch the thief, but that will divert time away from the true invention he's been working on—the one that will solve all the mysteries about his past.

Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick, by Jennifer Holm
8th grade is going to be awesome. At least, it could be, except that Ginny has a lot going on: her mom just remarried, they moved into a big house, her stepfather lost his job, her little brother is still a pain... and now there's a littler brother in the picture. But there's also the cheer squad, and her grandpa is coming to visit, and even dissecting worms in science class has a bright side. 

The Girl Who Owned a City, by OT Nelson & Joelle Jones
After the virus killed nearly everyone, the remaining kids in Lisa’s neighborhood still survive—and it’s because of Lisa. She’s organized scouting missions and supply runs, set up neighborhood defenses and fended off invasions by a rival group. Now she’s moving everyone into a more secure compound, and the strength of the new city depends on how well Lisa can lead its residents—even the ones who don’t want to be led.

The Whole Story of Half a Girl, by Veera Hiranandani
Sonia's dad lost his job at the end of last school year, and to save money, Sonia switches into public school. She’s half-Indian and half-Jewish in a school where all the white kids sit together and all the black kids sit together, and when she finally finds a new activity and new friends, her mom doesn’t approve. Fitting in wasn’t this hard at her old school.

After Ever After, by Jordan Sonnenblick
Five years ago, Jeffrey's cancer went into remission, but left him with a bunch of side effects: a limp, concentration problems, an inability to do math. School is confusing and torturous at the best of times, but for Jeffrey--coping with his first girlfriend, his brother's year-long trip to Africa, his best friend’s sudden mood swings, and the knowledge that failing the standardized math test means repeating the year--it's unthinkable. And he’s really bad at math. 

Audition and Subtraction, by Amy Fellner Dominy
Tatum and Lori have always been best friends, but then Michael moves to town. Michael, the new kid. Michael, the new clarinet player. Michael, the new clarinet player who threatens Tatum's chance at getting into the District Honor Band. Michael, who asks Lori out—and then convinces her to ask Tay to throw her Honor Band audition so that Michael can claim the coveted spot.

Drama, by Raina Telgemeier
The drama club is putting on Moon Over Mississippi this year, and Callie couldn't be more excited. This year, she'll be the set designer, and she's determined to make this the best set ever. Building a cannon that can fire onstage is easy compared to everything else that's going on: a crush on a new friend, an old friend acting really strangely, and the star of the play who hates everyone (except her costar). Even when you're backstage, there's no end of drama!


Teen Read Week 2011: Wilmington Middle School, October 20 & 21, 2011

Leviathan, by Scott Westerfeld
Pulled out of bed in the middle of the night, Aleksander has very little time to learn to pilot the Stormwalker and flee Austria before Serb assassins find out he's still alive. He heads for the mountains, where Midshipman Deryn’s airship Leviathan is crashed. Deryn’s Darwinist officers want to keep the Clanker for questioning, but Alek may hold the keys to their salvation–just as they can help his escape. Deryn, Alek, and their respective crews have choices to make: do what’s best for their countries in this new war, or what’s best for their unlikely allies.

How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous, by Georgia Bragg
King Tut likely died of malaria; Edgar Allan Poe is suspected to have had rabies.  Beethoven and Galileo both met their ends due to lead poisoning. Fifteen other historical figures--world leaders, writers, scientists, and more--were felled by things as mundane as pneumonia and as unpredictable as angry mobs, and this book identifies which gruesome end each person came to.

The Boy at the End of the World, by Greg van Eekhout
His name is Fisher. The world is dangerous. And he’s the only one in it. These are the things Fisher knows immediately on waking up, on being born from the survival pod ages after all the other humans have died. The journey to find any other humans will require Fisher to outsmart robots, evade the deadly gadgets, and win over a colony of warrior prairie dogs—all in a world that has been completely destroyed.

Crossroads, by Chris Graberson
Zack is moving away from New York City, going to live in Connecticut with his dad and new stepmom in their new house in the country. He even gets a dog. He gets something else in the move, too: a really mean ghost, a ghost who wants revenge for some long-ago deeds that he thinks Zack is responsible for.

Chasing Vermeer, by Blue Balliett
When a valuable work of art goes missing on its way to a Chicago museum and the thief puts a series of clues in the newspaper, Petra and Calder team up to solve the mystery and find the missing painting.  They’ll need all their wits about them to crack the codes, solve the puzzles, and find the stolen Vermeer in this interactive mystery.

A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
After a horrible, stormy day at school, it’s a horrible, stormy night at home when Mrs. Whatsit shows up at the house and tells Meg’s mother that “there is such a thing as a tesseract.” The tesseract—a “fold” in space and time—will allow Meg and her brother Charles Wallace to travel quickly across the universe and rescue their father from IT, the telepathic brain holding the whole planet of Camazotz under its malevolent control.

Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf, by Jennifer Holm
Ginny has ten goals for the school year—things like looking good in her school picture for once (but a hair-dye disaster ruins that one) or getting her pink sweater back (from her ex-best friend, who hates her now). And there’s her always-in-trouble older brother, and her toothpaste-eating younger brother. Ginny tells her story through refrigerator notes, IM windows, cartoons, shopping receipts, and all the other stuff that makes up the narrative of a year.

Happy Kid!, by Gail Gauthier
Ever since the screwdriver incident last year, Kyle has been living in a pessimistic cloud. Concerned, his therapist mom gives him a self-help book and bribes him: a dollar for each chapter read. Kyle is surprised to find that the book tends to fall open to exactly the pages he needs--and even more surprised to find that the book's advice works. There's a chance that Kyle’s seventh-grade glass can be half-full, after all.

Power Play, by Liam O’Connell
Marcus's father is giving a talk on the importance of sharing, not selling, water at the World Leaders summit, and no sooner have they stepped off the plane than they're embroiled in controversy, vandalism, and harassment. Luckily, Marcus doesn't have to sort it all out in his own: several friends and their siblings are attending the conference, too. With the whole gang working together, they'll get to the bottom of the conspiracy in no time.

The Fourth Stall, by Chris Rylander
Sixth-graders Mac and Vince have spent years building up their business: whether you need a hall pass or entry to an R-rated movie, if you can pay (in cash or future favors), Mac can make it happen. Until a third-grader comes to their office, seeking protection from a high school crime boss and his gambling ring, and then the war is on. Mac has always been able to solve other people’s problems—but solving his own is proving much harder.

The Limit, by Kristen Landon
Matt is flipping through a magazine near the check-outs when he hears their family is over their limit. This is Bad News. By the time they get home, there's a black limo outside, waiting to take Matt to the workhouse. He’s smart, so secures a top job to earn the money his family needs to get them back under their government-mandated spending limit. And he’s smart enough to know there's something fishy going on about the work that they're doing. Luckily, he is just the computer hacker to find out what.

Scrawl, by Mark Shulman
Tod has a reputation as a bully, a criminal, and a loser, but there’s a lot more to him than that. Through two months of detentions (punishment for a pretty serious crime, but I’ll let him tell you about that), Tod writes out his entire story, from his current projects to what landed him in these never-ending detentions. He doesn’t want you to know it, but there’s more to this bully than what you see on the surface.

House of Stairs, by William Sleator
Five teenage orphans wake up to find themselves in a place without walls, floors, or ceilings—only stairs. Endless stairs, leading to landings and more stairs.  On one landing is a machine that dispenses food, but only if the five do everything right—and what’s right one day isn’t necessarily what’s right the next.  And sometimes, it was never right at all.

The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science, by Sean Connolly
What causes an avalanche? Find out when you make one. What’s happening during a lunar eclipse? Recreate it in your living room and see. How is rocket fuel different from regular fuel? Find out when you build your rocket out of a soda bottle. How long will it take a pizza to be delivered? It doesn’t matter once you’ve built a solar pizza cooker. You’ll find these experiments and explanations—and many others—in The Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science.

The Lab, by Jack Heath
Car chases, hostages, robotic fighting machines--it’s all in a day’s work for Special Agent Six of Hearts. Six is the best agent the Deck has, and he’s the Deck’s best hope for bringing down ChaoSonic, the company that has taken over what’s left of the world. But Six has a secret to protect about what makes him the Deck’s best agent, and it’s a secret that ChaoSonic is equally driven to protect--except they’re less concerned about his survival.

First Light, by Rebecca Stead
Peter is finally going to go on a research trip to Greenland with his dad, but once Peter’s on that arctic ice, his frequent headaches come with weird visions, too. Below the ice, Thea’s community is running out of space, and expansion means revisiting the surface they left long ago. Thea’s and Peter’s worlds are about to collide, and they may each be what the other needs to survive.

Enclave, by Ann Aguirre  
Deuce, a new Huntress, gets paired with Fade, the loner-outsider who hates everyone in the enclave. Together they patrol the tunnels of their subterranean world. On a recon mission to a nearby enclave, Deuce and Fade are surrounded by freaks, the mindless creatures who will kill and eat anything, and they have a troubling realization: the freaks are getting smarter. This is bad, and will get worse if the Enclave officials won't believe them.

The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z, by Kate Messner
How hard can it be to find 25 different leaves in Vermont?  Gianna’s about to find out, since she can’t compete in the cross-country meet unless she finishes her leaf collection on time. But she’s having a hard time concentrating: Nonna is getting confused and forgetting things, her dad drops her at school in the hearse he uses for the funeral home, and there’s another girl eager to take Gianna’s place in the meet. Finding 25 leaves might be easy, compared to everything else.

Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading, by Tommy Greenwald
You’ve all been very patient so far, especially those of you who don’t like reading. And not everyone does; I get that. Charlie Joe Jackson is one of those kids, and he has spent his entire school career—he’s in middle school now—avoiding reading, plotting ways to get classmates to do the reading for him. And his perfect system is about to come crashing down around him.

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword, by Barry Deutsch
Mirka is the eleven-year-old victim of her stepmother’s knitting lessons and arguments, in which she changes her position as soon as Mirka gives in and agrees with her. All Mirka wants to do is slay dragons. First she’ll need a good dragon-slaying sword, though, and the only way to do that is to challenge the troll who has it.

Teen Read Week 2010: Wilmington Middle School, October 19 & November 4, 2010

I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President, by Josh Lieb
Oliver Watson knows something the other kids don't. In fact, he knows a lot of things the other kids don't, because his dumb, pathetic seventh-grader thing is just a cover for his genius. Like, secret-lair-under-the-house genius. Oliver has one simple goal: becoming class president. It's easy for him to eliminate the competition--but how can he really win an election when there's nobody running against him?

A Crooked Kind of Perfect, by Linda Urban
Zoe dreams of playing Carnegie Hall, despite never having touched a piano. When her father braves the mall to buy one, he comes home with not the baby grand of Zoe's dreams but the vinyl-seated, wheeze-bag Perfectone organ. Nothing about the instrument–not the sound of it, not the instructor, not even the songbook–fits with Zoe’s concert pianist dream. Zoe’s hard work will take her to the Perfectone Perform-O-Rama competition–or will, if her dad can muster up the courage to drive her.

When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead
Miranda feels like 1979 will finally be her year. Except it’s a lot weirder a year than she expects: her best friend, Sal, wants to hang out with the guys instead of with her, apartment keys go missing, and Miranda’s coat pockets hide odd notes claiming to be from the future, asking her to write letters that will somehow save someone’s life. If she can make sense of it all before it’s too late.

Food Fight: a Graphic Guides Adventure, by Liam O'Donnell
Devin's mom's research into irrigation methods is being trashed--and Devin's mom is being framed for it! Someone is using her security codes to gain access to both the lab and the farm to destroy research, experiments, and the plants.  Could it have something to do with the special fertilizer they've been given--fertilizer that's messing with the soil and skewing their irrigation results?  Devin aims to find out, and clear his mom's name.

The Big Book of Gross Stuff, by Bart King
The grossest thing in your kitchen is probably the sponge. Throughout history, the bathroom has been called a water closet, necessary house, and House of Easement. Your eyes are actually made out of a kind of jelly. These facts, and many, many more, in The Big Book of Gross Stuff.

The Westing Game, by Ellen Raskin
Sam Westing is worth over two hundred million dollars. He owns the fancy apartment building near his mansion, and has rented out each apartment to specially-chosen families. Sam Westing is also dead, and has left a will behind—a will that accuses one of his tenants of his murder, and pits the sixteen tenants against each other in a competition to discover the circumstances of his death.

Harriet the Spy, by Louise Fitzhugh
Harriet intends to be a famous author someday, and she’s starting by writing down everything she sees—and she sees a lot on her daily spy route. Which is fine, until she loses her notebook and all her classmates find out just how much Harriet sees—and how she feels about them. Harriet will have to give up her spying if she even hopes to get her friends back—but is such a big sacrifice worth it?

The Giver, by Lois Lowry
At age 12, Jonas sits on a stage with his classmates and waits for his career assignment. While his friends are assigned jobs as teachers and janitors, scientists and gardeners, Jonas gets an unusual assignment: he will be the Keeper of Memories. As he meets with the previous Keeper—now the Giver—Jonas learns many joys and pains that his world has managed to forget. Slowly he understands what this well-ordered society actually costs, and must decide if it’s a price he can afford to pay.

Meanwhile, by Jason Shiga
One decision—chocolate or vanilla ice cream—spirals into a chance meeting with a mad scientist and his mind-reading helmet, doomsday device, and time machine that can only go back ten minutes. Each decision to be made is YOUR decision: follow the pipes back and forth around this unusual graphic novel to Happiness and Success—or make different decisions that will lead to Doom and Disaster. The choice is yours!

The Puzzling World of Winston Breen, by Eric Berlin
Winston loves puzzles. So when his sister finds the strips of wood with words and letters on them, he’s eager to crack the code—and surprised when he can’t. Soon his whole family and several friends are wrapped up in the a scavenger hunt for a ring that could be worth millions. Winston provides puzzles and clues throughout the book: can you solve them before he does?

Emperors of the Ice: A true story of disaster and survival in the Antarctic, 1910-13, by Richard Farr
When you have no special skills and poor vision, the last place you expect to be invited is on a scientific expedition to the South Pole, with a side trip to collect Emperor penguin eggs. But that’s where Apsley Cherry-Garrard went. Many, many things went wrong. This is the story of his Antarctic survival, based on his memoirs of collecting the three most inconvenient eggs natural history has ever seen.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, by Jacqueline Kelly
Calpurnia is an oddity, her interest in science at odds with her mother's interest in making her a debutante and, eventually, a wife. Calpurnia’s ambitions, though, are not in housewifery: she’s been working and studying with her grandfather, an avid naturalist. If the plant they’ve discovered really is a new species, it might be her salvation from cooking, knitting, and living the only kind of life for girls in 1899.

Mamba Point, by Kurtis Scaletta
One of the first things Linus sees when he steps off the plane in his new home of Liberia is a black mamba, the deadliest snake in the whole country. He notices the snake more and more, and it seems almost friendly. Linus feels himself becoming more like the snake—braver, bolder—but will his mystical connection to this spirit animal help him reinvent himself, or put his whole family in danger?

Shadow Thieves, by Anne Ursu
Charlotte’s cousin Zee is coming to stay for a little while. Back in England, each of his friends has come down with a mysterious illness, and Zee is pretty sure it’s his fault. Now that he’s here, Charlotte’s friends are getting the same illness, so it’s up to the cousins to find the cure. It’s not so easy, though, when the cure lies in the Underworld, guarded by Harpies, ghosts, and gods, and they discover that the mythical world is anything BUT a myth.

Fever 1793, by Laurie Halse Anderson
Mattie Cook has big plans, primarily to turn her mother’s little coffeehouse into a successful business. But her priorities change when yellow fever strikes close to home, and Mattie’s plans run more to survival and care-giving than growth of the family business.

Amulet, Book One: The Stonekeeper, by Kazu Kibuishi
Emily's mom moves her and her brother to their ancestral house in the middle of nowhere. When Mom gets swallowed by some kind of tentacled-monster thing, Emily has to save her and keep her little brother out of harm's way. Emily is guided by a voice from the amulet she found in the old house, and is helped by the variety of sentient toys her great-grandfather has charged with her care.

Dicey’s Song, by Cynthia Voigt
Dicey has taken excellent care of her three younger siblings, shepherding them safely all the way down to Maryland to live with their grandmother after their mother has abandoned them. But now that they’re settling into Gram’s house, Dicey is finding that a new life in a new setting doesn’t make the old problems disappear, and she just can’t let go of her old life.

Willoughbys, by Lois Lowry
The four Willoughby children consider themselves old-fashioned kids, and kids in old-fashioned books tend to be orphans; therefore, they should be orphans... and they set about a plan to become so in this screwball parody of “old-fashioned” story books.

Smile, by Raina Telgemeier
When she was in the 7th grade, Raina tripped and fell while chasing a friend, and in the fall knocked out her two front teeth. What followed was a blur of orthodontics, but also school dances, friendships, crushes, and even Nintendo. Middle school can be rough—but at least Raina still has her Smile.

Robot Dreams, by Sarah Varon
Dog is very excited when he makes a friend—starting from a kit. He and Robot have all kinds of fun, including a trip to the beach… but that’s when the fun stops. Robot rusts in the ocean, and Dog, unsure of what to do, heads home alone. Dog tries to fix his friend, but he’s too late—the beach has closed for the winter. While waiting for summer to arrive Dog plays with new friends, takes trips, and moves on with his life. By the time summer comes back around, what will have become of Robot?

Teen Read Week 2009: Wilmington Middle School, October 23, 2009

Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians, by Brandon Sanderson
Alcatraz has a knack for breaking things.  So when his 13th birthday rolls around and he accidentally smashes up his foster parents’ kitchen, is anyone really surprised?  And because it’s that kind of day, Alcatraz gets a birthday present: a bag of sand. And then someone steals his bag of sand.  Because that bag of sand is what the evil librarians need to take over the world—unless Alcatraz can catch up to them and put his klutziness to good use.

The True Meaning of Smekday, by Adam Rex
Where do you start writing an essay on what Smekday means to you, when it involves things like an alien invasion, a runaway Boov mechanic named J.Lo, and a cross-country trip in a flying car, all while on a mission to rescue your mom—whom the alien invaders kidnapped on Christmas Eve?  Gratuity “Tip” Tucci’s essay has all the hilarious details—and some photos!—from her action-packed adventure!

Gregor the Overlander, by Suzanne Collins
When Gregor’s baby sister Boots crawls through a vent in the laundry room, Gregor crawls through after her—and finds himself, and Boots, falling. Falling all the way until they reach the Underland, where the Crawlers welcome Boots as a princess and the Underland humans hail Gregor as their prophesied savior.  With the help of the Fliers and one particular Gnawer, Gregor must lead a small team of Underlanders through dangerous, Gnawer-controlled territory to rescue an imprisoned Overlander… who may be Gregor’s missing father.

Found, by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Jonah has always known he was adopted, so when he gets the first letter in the mail--you are one of the missing--he's able to tell himself it's just a prank. But when his friend Chip gets one, too, it's less funny. Especially since Chip didn't know that he, too, was adopted. As they both start asking questions, they learn that the circumstances of their adoptions were even more mysterious than they'd ever dreamed...

Mudville, by Kurtis Scaletta
When Roy gets home from baseball camp, he’s surprised to find Sturgis sitting on his couch. Even more surprising, though, is that right after Sturgis’s arrival, it stops raining in Moundville for the first time in twenty-two years. With the sky finally clear, it’s time to finish the baseball game against Sinister Bend that was rained out more than two decades ago. But two decades of rain makes for a generation of Moundville kids who don’t know the first thing about how to play baseball–and they have to start by building the new field.

The Wednesday Wars, by Gary Schmidt
Hollis is just trying to make it through the seventh grade--the year when half his class goes to Hebrew school on Wednesday afternoons, and the other half goes to catechism, leaving Hollis alone with Mrs. Baker week after week. And that wouldn't be so bad, except that Mrs. Baker hates him. After devising several plans to get rid of him in the afternoons, she finally starts assigning him Shakespeare--which leads to a number of colorful curses, an understanding of love, and a public performance in yellow tights with feathers on the butt.

Z for Zachariah, by Robert C. O'Brien
Following a nuclear war, 16-year-old Ann Burden learns to survive alone in the untouched valley—until the day a stranger wearing a radiation-proof suit comes over the hill. When the stranger makes a crucial mistake, Ann nurses him back to health—making a crucial mistake of her own.

Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
At six years old, Ender is already a military genius. Despite being the youngest child to ever attend Battle School, he rises quickly in the ranks until he’s leading his fellow students through the Battle School games meant to prepare them for the war against the Buggers.

Un Lun Dun, by China Mieville
Animals have been watching Zanna.  Staring at her, actually. And a few people have called her “the Schwazzy.” But Zanna only finds out why when she and her best friend Deeba fall through to Un Lun Dun, the reverse of their own London, and they’re suddenly in charge of saving the world—both worlds, actually—in a place where words are alive and nothing makes any sense at all.

Story Time, by Edward Bloor
George and Kate are lucky enough to be accepted into the Whittaker Magnet School. But the school’s curriculum is focused only on standardized tests: drills, dreary classrooms, and disgusting protein shakes are all part of the new school day.  Oh, and there’s also a murderous demon loose.  Can George and Kate pass the tests and make it through the year?

Uglies, by Scott Westerfeld
Pretties live in their Pretty cities and have their Pretty parties, and it’s all pretty great—no worries, no responsibilities, and best of all, no Uglies. But for those few people who don’t want to be made into Pretties, the only option is to leave society all together. Tally Youngblood wants nothing more than to be made Pretty, but her only chance to have the surgery hinges on betraying her friends who have left. 

The Name of This Book is Secret, by Pseudonymous Bosch
11-year-old misfits Cass and Max-Ernest find a mysterious box, The Symphony of Smells, filled with vials and an encoded plea for help. And from there, their troubles begin: an eccentric magician has been killed, a classmate has been kidnapped, and Cass is getting scolded on manners whenever she tells the principal what clues she has. This engaging mystery-adventure will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Do Not Open: An Encyclopedia of the World’s Best-Kept Secrets
Blackbeard’s treasure was buried near Keating Summit, Pennsylvania, and may still be there.
The average toilet contains less bacteria than the average kitchen sink—but you send up a cloud of 10 billion bacteria and viruses every time you flush. 
In Louisiana, you can be fined $500 for having a pizza (or anything else) delivered to someone without their permission.  These weird (and sometimes gross) facts and more in Do Not Open: An Encyclopedia of the World’s Best-Kept Secrets.

Unnameables, by Ellen Booraem
The foundling Medford Runyuin has a secret: instead of carving dishes and drawer handles like his foster father, he’s been carving Useless Objects, like statues of people and birds.  Useless Objects that might even be Unnameable.  Unnameable can get you banished, which is why Medford’s been careful to hide his collection.  Until the windy night when the Goatman blows in, and the Goatman could destroy everything—both for Medford, and for the rest of the Island.

Compound, by S.A. Bodeen
When a nuclear bomb is launched, Eli’s family has, at most, about 40 minutes to find shelter. Luckily, they’re not far from their underground compound that can support them for the next fifteen years while they wait for the radiation to clear. Now six years in, the food stores have been contaminated—or sabotaged. There's only one way out—and the person who knows it is the one who won't let them leave.

Runaways, by Brian K. Vaughan
When they find out that their parents make up the super-villain group The Pride, six teens do the only logical thing: run away from home and plot to overthrow their parents.  Finding a secret hideout and learning about their new powers is hard enough, but finding a traitor in their midst complicates everything.

Rapunzel's Revenge, by Shannon Hale
Rapunzel may have gotten locked in the tower, but she's hardly the helpless maiden she's made out to be. With braids long enough to escape on (and some handy training in how to use a lasso), Rapunzel is set to exact revenge on the woman who locked her away.  She’ll take down the evil witch and free her real mother from the dungeons—but first she has to get back home.

Bloody Jack, by L.A. Meyer
Mary Faber has been living in the streets of London with a gang of her fellow beggars for years.  When the leader of her gang, Rooster Charlie, is killed, it’s time for Mary to strike out on her own.  She dons his shirt and pants, cuts off her hair, calls herself Jacky, and lands herself a spot as a Ship’s Boy on the HMS Dolphin.  What follows is a series of adventures on the high seas, including storms, pirate attacks, shipwrecks, and even a touch of romance—and every adventure is another opportunity for Jacky to blow her cover.

Invention of Hugo Cabret, by Brian Selznick
After his uncle disappears, Hugo tends to the station clock and steals food to get by.  He also steals mechanical toys, and when the elderly toy-maker catches him, Hugo loses his late father’s sketches of a mechanical man.  But when the toymaker’s granddaughter offers to help him get it back, Hugo must make the decision to trust (or not) this strange girl. 

Bone Sharps, Cowboys, & Thunder Lizards, by Jim Ottaviani
In the late 1800s, as the United States busily dug and tunneled its way across the country, the diggers accidentally started the Bone Wars.  Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh, two paleontologists, found and fought for the dinosaur bones—and the credit.  How low will scientists go?  Pretty low, it turns out.  Don’t miss this graphic novel about the gilded age of paleontology!