Recommended Reading List
Abouzeid, Chris. Anatopsis. J ABO
Immortal Princess Anatopsis’s new tutor, the demi-god Mr. Pound, is searching for a relic that grants unlimited power to its bearer. It is up to Ana — with the help of a surprising gift, a rebel mortal army, a shockingly powerful metal, and the last dog in the Universe — to stop his evil plan in this fantasy, influenced by Greek mythology.
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Fever, 1793. J AND SR
In Philadelphia in 1793, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook, who is separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.
Balliett, Blue. Chasing Vermeer. J BAL
A precious Vermeer painting disappears, and eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal.
Barry, Dave. Peter and the Starcatchers. J BAR
Peter, an orphan boy, and his friend Molly fight off thieves and pirates in order to keep a secret trunk full of “starstuff” from falling into the hands of the diabolical Black Stache and his evil associate Mister Grin.
Blume, Judy. Here’s to You, Rachel Robinson. J BLU
After his expulsion from boarding school, Charles’ presence at home proves disruptive, especially for sister Rachel, a gifted seventh grader juggling friendships and school activities.
Cooper, Susan. Victory. J COO
Molly, upset by her family’s move from London to the U.S., is strangely drawn to an old book about the life of Admiral Lord Nelson, and soon finds her life intertwined with that of Sam, a boy her age who served with Nelson aboard the HMS Victory a century earlier.
Cushman, Karen. The Midwife’s Apprentice. J CUS
In medieval England, a nameless, homeless girl is taken in by a sharp-tempered midwife, and in spite of obstacles and hardship, eventually gains the three things she most wants: a full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world.
Dahl, Roald. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. J DAH
Each of five children lucky enough to discover an entry ticket into Mr. Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory takes advantage of the situation in his own way.
Fitzhugh, Louise. Harriet the Spy. J FIT
Eleven-year-old Harriet keeps notes on her classmates and neighbors in a secret notebook, but when some of the students read the notebook, they seek revenge.
Fox, Paula. The Slave Dancer. J FOX
Kidnapped by the crew of an Africa-bound ship, a thirteen-year-old boy discovers to his horror that he is on a slaver, and his job is to play music for the exercise periods of the human cargo.
Funke, Cornelia. Inkspell. J FUN
Meggie finds herself more and more drawn to the world of the book Inkheart, and longs to go there. She gets a chance when the fire-eater’s apprentice, Faird, comes to her with a request to read him into the story using the script written by a mysterious man named Orpheus.
Haddix, Margaret. Double Identity. J HAD
Thirteen-year-old Bethany’s parents have always been overprotective, but when they suddenly drop out of sight with no explanation, leaving her with an aunt she never knew existed, Bethany uncovers shocking secrets that make her question everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.
Hiaasen, Carl. Flush. J HIA
With their father jailed for sinking a river boat, Noah and his younger sister, Abbey, must gather evidence that the owner of this floating casino is emptying his bilge tanks into the protected waters around their Florida Keys home.
Juster, Norton. The Phantom Tollbooth. J JUS PBK
A journey through a land where Milo learns the importance of words and numbers provides a cure for his boredom.
Kadohata, Cynthia. Kira-Kira. J KAD
This is the story of a close friendship between two Japanese-American sisters growing up in rural Georgia during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the despair when one sister becomes terminally ill.
Klages, Ellen. The Green Glass Sea. J KLA
In 1943 when her grandmother is incapacitated by a stroke, Dewey must move to “The Hill”, now known as Los Alamos, New Mexico, because her father is a brilliant mathematician working there on a secret army project.
Lawrence, Caroline. The Pirates of Pompeii. J LAW
At a refugee camp following the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, which buried Pompeii, Flavia and her friends discover that children are disappearing and a very powerful citizen might be involved.
L’Engle, Madeleine. A Wrinkle In Time. J LEN
Meg, Charles, and a friend, Calvin, take off in search of Meg’s father, who mysteriously disappeared.
Lowry, Lois. Number the Stars. J LOW
In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-year-old Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Shiloh. J NAY
When he finds a lost beagle in the hills behind his West Virginia home, Marty tries to hide it from his family and the dog’s real owner, a mean-spirited man known to shoot deer out of season and to mistreat his dogs.
O’Brien, Robert C. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh. J OBR
Having no one to help her with her problems, a widowed mouse visits the rats whose former imprisonment in a laboratory made them wise and long lived.
Paolini, Christopher. Eragon. J PAO
In Aegaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic, and power, peopled with dragons, elves, and monsters.
Paterson, Katherine. Bridge to Terabithia. J PAT
The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm.
Peck, Richard. The Teacher’s Funeral: A Comedy in Three Acts. J PEC
In rural Indiana in 1904, fifteen-year-old Russell’s dreams of quitting school and joining a wheat-threshing crew are disrupted when mean old Myrt Arbuckle “hauls off and dies” and Russell’s older sister takes over the teaching at his one-room schoolhouse.
Rex, Adam. The True Meaning of Smekday. J REX
Aliens called “The Boov” abduct Gratuity “Tip” Tucci’s mother, leading Tip to begin a wild adventure to rescue her mother with the help of her cat named “pig” and a friendly Boov named J.Lo.
Skye, Obert. Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo. J SKY
Fate brings fourteen-year-old Leven Thumps and thirteen-year-old Winter together as they discover that, for mankind to continue dreaming, the gateway between reality and the land of dreams and hopes must be found and demolished.
Speare, Elizabeth. The Witch of Blackbird Pond J SPE
In 1687 in Connecticut, Kit Tyler, feeling out of place in the Puritan household of her aunt, befriends an old woman considered a witch by the community and suddenly finds herself standing trial for witchcraft.
Stevenson, Robert Louis. Treasure Island. J STE
While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads them to a pirate’s fortune.
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. J TWA
The adventures of a mischievous boy and his friends growing up in a Mississippi River town in the nineteenth century.