Recommended Reading List
Abrahams, Peter. Down the Rabbit Hole: An Echo Falls Mystery. J ABR
Eighth-grader Ingrid Levin-Hill idolizes Sherlock Holmes, so it is not surprising when, stumbling across a murder, she opts to keep what she knows a secret and tries to solve the crime herself.
Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women. J ALC
Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young women in mid-nineteenth-century New England.
Alexander, Loyd. Jedera Adventure. J ALE
The further adventures of Vesper Holly and her faithful guardian Brinny as they travel to the remote country of Jedera where they brave many dangers trying to return a valuable book borrowed many years ago by Vesper's father.
Armstrong, William. Sounder. J ARM
Angry and humiliated when his sharecropper father is jailed for stealing food for his family, a young black boy grows in courage and understanding by learning to read and with the help of the devoted dog Sounder.
Avi. Crispin: The Cross of Lead. J AVI
Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.
Avi. Something Upstairs. J AVI
When he moves from Los Angeles to Providence, Rhode Island, Kenny discovers that his new house is haunted by the spirit of a black slave boy who asks Kenny to return with him to the early nineteenth century and prevent his murder by slave traders.
Baker, E.D. Dragon’s Breath. J BAK
Having recovered their human shape, Emeralda and Eadric try to help Aunt Grassina find the special objects needed to break the spell that turned Grassina's true love, Haywood, into an otter.
Bawden, Nina. Outside Child. J BAW
Thirteen-year-old Jane, whose quiet life with her two aunts is interrupted by sporadic visits from her seafaring father, tries to learn more about her half brother and sister after discovering that her father remarried ten years ago.
Bell, Hilari. A Matter of Profit. J BEL
Sick of the horrors of conquering beings on other planets, Ahvrem will end his service as a soldier and save his sister from an unhappy marriage if he can discover who is behind a rumored plot to assassinate the Emperor.
Bellairs, John. The Curse of the Blue Figurine. J BEL
Johnny Dixon is plunged into a terrifying mystery-adventure when he removes a blue figurine called a ushabt. from church.
Bellairs, John. The Mummy, the Will, and the Crypt. J BEL
Twelve-year old Johnny Dixon and his friend Professor Childermass look for the hidden will left by an eccentric cereal tycoon who wished to make life difficult for his heirs after his own death by suicide.
Blackwood, Gary. The Shakespeare Stealer. J BLA
A young orphan boy is ordered by his master to infiltrate Shakespeare’s acting trouple in order to steal the script of Hamlet.
Brady, Philip. Reluctant Hero. J BRA
In 1802, a thirteen-year-old farm boy, Cutting Favour, journeys to Salem, Massachusetts, to sell shingles and furs to provide food for his family and encounters many dangers along the way.
Broach, Elise. Shakespeare’s Secret. J BRO
Hero, named after the character in a Shakespeare play, moves into a new home and suddenly finds a connection between Shakespeare, her new home, and a diamond hidden in the house, with the help of a neighbor and a popular boy from school.
Buck, Pearl S. The Big Wave. J BUC
His family and village swept away by a tidal wave, Jiya learns to live with the ever-present dangers from the sea and volcano.
Bunting, Eve. Spying on Miss Muller.
At Alveara boarding school in Belfast at the start of World War II, thirteen-year-old Jessie must deal with her suspicions about a teacher whose father was German and with her worries about her own father's drinking problem.
Carbone, Elisa. Blood on the River: Jamestown 1607. J CAR
Samuel Collier comes to the New World as Captain John Smith’s page. His experiences in the founding of Jamestown and the evolving relationship with the Algonquin tribes nearby, make for a fascinating book with many details culled from the first-hand accounts.
Card, Orson Scott. Ender’s Game. J CAR
Andrew “Ender” Wiggins, who spends his childhood at military school in outer space, believes he is playing computer-simulated war games; in fact, he is commanding the last great fleet of Earth.
Colfer, Eoin. Supernaturalist. J COL
In the futuristic Satellite City, Cosmo Hill escapes from an orphanage, teams up with three other teens, and tries to determine the nature of swarming blue creatures that no one else seems to be able to see.
Conly, Jane. Crazy Lady. J CON
As he tries to come to terms with his mother's death, Vernon finds solace in his growing relationship with the neighborhood outcasts, an alcoholic and her retarded son.
Creech, Sarah. Walk Two Moons. J CRE
After her mother leaves home suddenly, thirteen-year-old Sal and her grandparents take a car trip retracing her mother's route. Along the way, Sal recounts the story of her friend Phoebe, whose mother also left.
Cushman, Karen. The Ballad of Lucy Whipple. J CUS
In 1849, twelve-year-old California Morning Whipple, who renames herself Lucy, is distraught when her mother moves the family from Massachusetts to a rough California mining town.
Dahl, Roald. Boy: Tales of Childhood. J DAH
Presents humorous anecdotes from the author's childhood which includes summer vacations in Norway and an English boarding school.
Ewing, Lynne. Goddess of the Night. J EWI
Vanessa, who has always had the special power to become invisible, discovers that she and her best friend Catty, a time-traveler, are goddesses of the moon who must fight together to overcome the evil Atrox.
Farmer, Nancy. House of the Scorpion. J FAR
In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patron, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.
Feinstein, John. Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery. J FEI
Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson, eighth grade sports writers, uncover a blackmail mystery while covering the Final Four College Basketball Tournament.
Fisher, Catherine. The Oracle Betrayed. J FIS
After she is chosen to be "Bearer-of-the-god," Mirany questions the established order and sets out, along with a musician and a scribe, to find the legitimate heir of the religious leader known as the Archon.
Fletcher, Susan. Shadow Spinner. J FLE
When Marjan, a thirteen-year-old crippled girl, joins the Sultan’s harem in ancient Persia, she gathers for Scheherazade the stories which will save the queen’s life.
Fleischman, Paul. Whirligig. J FLE
Brian travels to the four corners of the US to build a whirligig in memory of a girl he killed while he was driving drunk.
Forbes, Esther. Johnny Tremain. J FOR
After injuring his hand, a silversmith's apprentice in Boston becomes a messenger for the Sons of Liberty in the days before the American Revolution.
Gardner, Sally. I, Coriander. J GAR
Coriander, a seventeenth-century Londoner, finds herself friendless after her mother dies, and her father leaves her to her Puritanical stepmother – or is she really a fairy like her mother?
Greene, Betty. The Summer of My German Soldier. J GRE
When German prisoners of war are brought to her Arkansas town during World War II, twelve-year-old Patty, a Jewish girl, befriends one of them and must deal with the consequences of that friendship.
Hale, Shannon. The Goose Girl. J HAL
On her way to marry a prince she's never met, Princess Anidori is betrayed by her guards and her lady-in-waiting and must become a goose girl to survive until she can reveal her true identity and reclaim the crown that is rightfully hers.
Hale, Shannon. Princess Academy. J HAL
The king’s priests divine that the prince must choose his bride from among the young girls who live in a small mountain village, so the girls are ordered to attend a special academy established to train them in the ways of royalty. When bandits attempt to kidnap and hold the future princess for ransom, Miri, one of the mountain girls, realizes that she can mindspeak, and saves herself and the others from harm.
Holt, Kimberly Willis. Keeper of the Night. J HOL
Thirteen-year-old Isabel and her family, living on the island of Guam, try to cope with the death of Isabel’s mother, who committed suicide.
Hughes, Dean. Soldier Boys. J HUG
Two boys, one German and one American, eager to join their respective armies during World War II, cross paths at the Battle of the Bulge.
Hunt, Irene. Up A Road Slowly. J HUN
After her mother's death, Julie goes to live with Aunt Cordelia, a spinster schoolteacher, where she experiences many emotions and changes as she grows from seven to eighteen.
Kerr, P.B. The Akhenaten Adventure. J KER
Can John and Philippa Gaunt, twelve-year-old twins who have just discovered they are from a long line of djinn, be strong, skilled, and clever enough to outwit the most evil djinn in the universe?
Konigsburg, E.L. Silent to the Bone. J KON
When he is wrongly accused of gravely injuring his baby half-sister, thirteen-year-old Branwell loses his power of speech, and only his friend Connor is able to reach him and uncover the truth about what really happened.
Koss, Amy Goldman. The Girls. J KOS
Individually, the girls are proud to be part of the “in” clique, but some of them question the benefits of belonging to the group when they see through the charming but manipulative leader.
L’Engle, Madeleine. Wind in the Door. J LEN
With Meg Murry's help, the dragons her six-year-old brother saw in the vegetable garden play an important part in his struggle between life and death.
Levine, Gail Carson. Fairest. J LEV
Aza, who is not the fairest, is valued for her beautiful singing voice in theis fairy tale that includes gnomes, magic mirrors, and a bumbling good fairy, Lucinda.
London, Jack. The Call of the Wild. J LON
Set during the Gold Rush, this is the story of Buck, a dog stolen from his home and transported to Alaska, where he must survive in a pack of wolves.
Lupica, Mike. Heat. J LUP
Pitching prodigy Michael Arroyo is on the run from social services after being banned from playing Little League baseball, because rival coaches doubt he is only twelve years old, and he has no parents to offer them proof.
Martin, Ann M. A Corner of the Universe. J MAR
The summer Hattie turns twelve she meets Adam, a childlike uncle she never knew existed, who lifts the corners of her universe.
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Including Alice. J NAY
Fifteen-year-old Alice finds it hard to adjust to the changes in her life when her father gets married and her brother moves to his own apartment.
Nix, Garth. Abhorsen. J NIX
Abhorsen-in-waiting Lirael and Prince Sameth, a Wallmaker, must confront and bind the evil spirit Oranis before it can destroy all life.
Oppel, Kenneth. Airborn. J OPP
Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an enormous airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures and to fight pirates.
Paolini, Christopher. Eragon. J PAO
In Aagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage called Eragon finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic, and power, peopled with dragons, elves, and monsters.
Park, Linda Sue. Project Mulberry, a Novel. J PAR
Korean-American seventh grader Julia Song learns about friendship, prejudice, patriotism and biology as she and best friend Patrick develop an original silkworm project on her suburban townhouse porch for the State Fair.
Patterson, James. Maximum Ride, the Angel Experiment. J PAT
After the mutant Erasers abduct the youngest member of their group, the “birdkids” take off in pursuit and find themselves battling their seemingly evil creators.
Paulsen, Gary. The Rifle. J PAU PBK
A priceless, handcrafted rifle, fired throughout the American Revolution, is passed down through the years until it fires on a fateful Christmas Eve in 1994
Philbrick, Rodman. The Young Man and the Sea. J PHI
Motherless Skiff Beaman embarks alone on a dangerous trip to catch a giant bluefin tuna in order to earn enough money to buy a new engine for his father’s boat.
Pierce, Tamora. Trickster’s Choice. J PIE
Alianne, kidnapped and put into slavery, calls forth her mother’s courage and her father’s spying skills in order to survive on the Copper Isles in a royal court rife with political intrigue and murderous conspiracy.
Reuter, Bjarne. The Ring of the Slave Prince. J REU
Fourteen-year-old Tom O'Connor discovers shipwrecked slave Boto, who claims to be an African prince, near a Caribbean island. When Boto disappears, Tom pursues him, hoping to make his fortune. His wild quest leads to several near-death encounters until his passion for gold is replaced by a passion to stay alive.
Riordan, Rick. Lightning Thief. J RIO
Percy Jackson can’t figure out why he has such problems with his anger, or why some people seem to be trying to destroy him, until he learns that his father is a Greek god.
Ritter, John H. Under the Baseball Moon. J RIT
Andy Ramos dreams of making it big with his trumpet on the jazz scene, but is it worth giving up an unexpected first love with potential soul mate Glory Martinez, an Olympic-hopeful softball pitcher?
Shusterman, Neal. The Schwa Was Here. J SHU
A Brooklyn eighth-grader nicknamed Antsy befriends the Schwa, an “invisible-ish” boy who is so nondescript that he blends into his surroundings and goes unnoticed by nearly everyone.
Spinelli, Jerry. Stargirl. J SPI
Stargirl, a teen who animates quiet Mica High with her colorful personality, suddenly finds herself shunned for her refusal to conform.
Spinelli, Jerry. There’s a Girl in My Hammerlock. J SPI
Thirteen-year-old Maisie joins her school's formerly all-male wrestling team and tries to last through the season, despite opposition from other students, her best friend, and her own teammates.
Stroud, Jonathan. Amulet of Samarkand. J STR
Nathaniel, a young magician’s apprentice, calls up the djinni Bartimaeus to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from another magician, which gets them both caught up in a vast conspiracy of treason and murder.
Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit. J TOL
Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit-hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to take part in an adventure from which he may never return.
Updale, Eleanor. Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman? J UPD
In Victorian London, after his life is saved by a young physician, a thief utilizes the knowledge he gained in prison and from scientific lectures he attended as the physician’s case study exhibit to create a new, highly successful, double life for himself.
Wolff, Virginia Euwer. True Believer. J WOL
Living in the inner city amid guns and poverty, fifteen-year-old LaVaughn finds that life is what you make of it – an occasion to rise to.
Wynne-Jones, Tim. A Thief in the House of Memory. J WYN
The death of an apparent stranger in the Steeple familyl’s old home triggers troubling questions for sixteen-year-old Declan as he tries to make sense of his fragmented dreams, random memories, and unexplained coincidences, hoping to learn the truth about the mother who suddenly left when he was ten.
Wrede, Patricia. Sorcery & Cecelia, or, The Enchanted Chocolate Pot. J WRE
In 1817 in England, two young cousins, Cecelia living in the country and Kate in London, write letters to keep each other informed of their exploits, which take a sinister turn when they find themselves confronted by evil wizards.
Yolen, Jane. Girl in a Cage. J YOL
Marjorie Bruce, daughter of Robert the Bruce of Scotland, has been captured in 1306 by Edward I (Longshanks) of England and placed in a cage on public display for months.