District 54 Summer Jr High Reading
Fiction Authors and Titles
Description: In Pittsburgh in 1933, sixth-grader Mike Costa notices a connection between several strange occurrences, but the only way he can find out the truth about what’s happening is to be nice to the class bully. Includes historical facts.
Description: In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.
Description: When best friends Chris and Win go on a cross country bicycle trek the summer after graduating and only one returns, the FBI wants to know what happened.
Description: Ten of the greatest warriors of history meet for the first time. From Viking vs. Aztec Warrior and Samurai v. Gladiator to Medieval Knight vs. Zulu, Versus explores who would triuimph and why, if these fiercest warriors were to engage in deadly battle against one another. Data files compare and contrast weaponry, armor, tactics and codes of honor, while eye-catching background scenes of arenas provide historical and cultureal context. With the computer-gamer in mind, designs brings history’s warriors into the 21st century and readers will be treated to large, gate folded pages that enhance the expereience of each battle In the end, only one can be crowned history’s ultimate warrior. Who will it be?
Description: After her parents disappear and she is turned over to the care of a strange “great-uncle,” Molly must rely on her dreams about an old Mohawk story for her safety and maybe even for her life.
Description: In journal entries to her mother, a gifted artist who died suddenly, thirteen-year-old Georgia McCoy reveals how her life changes after she receives an anonymous gift membership to a nearby art museum.
Description: When a boy and girl are drowned in the Blackwater River, thirteen-year-old Brodie must decide whether to confess that he may have caused the accident.
Description: An urchin is picked off the street by a nun and sent to war school to become a brilliant space-war strategist. He is Bean, so called because of his diminutive stature, the result of an illegal genetic experiment.
Description: As a sophomore at a secret spy school and the daughter of a former CIA operative, Cammie is sheltered from “normal teenage life” until she meets a local boy while on a class surveillance mission.
Description: In alternating passages, two Mohawk sisters describe their lives at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, established in 1879 to educate Native Americans, as they try to assimilate into white culture and one of them is falsely accused of stealing.
Description: During his lonely crusade to remove offensive mascots from his high school, a Native American teenager learns more about his heritage, his ancestors, and his place in the world.
Description: Sixteen-year-old Malencia (Cia) Vale is chosen to participate in The Testing to attend the University; however, Cia is fearful when she figures out her friends who do not pass The Testing are disappearing.
Description: Celeste, a mouse longing for a real home, becomes a source of inspiration to teenaged Joseph, assistant to the artist and naturalist John James Audubon, at a New Orleans, Louisiana, plantation in 1821.
Description: In the late nineteenth century, when Conor Broekhart discovers a conspiracy to overthrow the king, he is branded a traitor, imprisoned, and forced to mine for diamonds under brutal conditions while he plans a daring escape from Little Saltee prison by way of a flying machine that he must design, build, and, hardest of all, trust to carry him to safety.
Description: Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with her mother’s erratic behavior and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters when she and her mother go to live in a small trailer by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York.
Description: Twelve-year-old Kelley decides to cut off contact with her friends and classmates after suffering third-degree burns to her face and body in a car accident near her home on Maryland’s Kent Island.
Description: In many ways, Natalie O’Reilly is a typical 14-year-old girl. But a routine visit to the eye doctor produces devastating news: Natalie will lose her sight within a few short months. Suddenly her world is turned upside down.
Description: As developers and rich families move into the Chesapeake Bay area, Brady befriends some of them, while his parents and friends are bitter about the changes. When tragedy strikes, Brady discovers the truth behind the “accident,” which will change the lives of those he loves forever.
Description: As the child of two musicians, twelve-year-old James has no interest in music until he discovers a portal to seventeenth-century London in his uncle’s basement, and finds himself in a situation where his beautiful voice and the fact that he is biracial might serve him well.
Description: Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.
Description: When a Muslim boy is arrested at a high school on suspicion of terrorist affiliations, growing racial tensions divide the student population.
Description: Two New Zealand teenagers receive a desperate SOS from their future selves and set out on a quest to stop an impending ecological disaster that could mean the end of humanity.
Description: In a remote area of Alaska, twelve-year-old Willow helps her father with their sled dogs when she is not at school, wishing she were more popular, all the while unaware that the animals surrounding her carry the spirits of dead ancestors and friends who care for her.
Description: Unlike Grumps, their old-fashioned robot, the Bell family’s new robot, Eager, is programmed to not merely obey but to question, reason, and exercise free will.
Description: Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others.
Description: Fourteen-year-old rivals Boot Quinn and Mick Sullivan, in one fight too many, are sent to the new principal who devises the punishment of having to play games together at his office, where they learn which battles are worth fighting.
Description: Sixteen-year-old Hazel, a stage IV thyroid cancer patient, has accepted her terminal diagnosis until a chance meeting with a boy at cancer support group forces her to reexamine her perspective on love, loss, and life.
Description: Sixteen-year-old Lindsay, a former child star whose career ended when she developed the ability to hear what anyone, anywhere says about her and apparently suffered a nervous breakdown, comes to see this as an asset when, after her father’s death, she learns that she is not alone.
Description: 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.
Description: A twelve-year-old girl learns about friendship, first loves, and self-worth in a small town in the South. Shug is clever and brave and true (on the inside, anyway). And she’s about to become your new best friend. Annemarie Wilcox, or Shug as her family calls her, is beginning to think there’s nothing worse than being twelve. She’s too tall, too freckled, and way too flat-chested. Shug is sure that there’s not one good or amazing thing about her. And now she has to start junior high, where the friends she counts most dear aren’t acting so dear anymore — especially Mark, the boy she’s known her whole life through. Life is growing up all around her, and all Shug wants is for things to be like they used to be. How is a person supposed to prepare for what happens tomorrow when there’s just no figuring out today?
Description: Tyler and Lymie, eighth grade misfits, discover a dead body in a quarry and work to uncover the mystery behind it.
Description: Still mourning the death of their mother, three brothers go with their father on an extended sailing trip off the Florida Keys and have a harrowing adventure at sea.
Description: Ginny starts out with ten items on her to-do list for seventh grade, but notes, cartoons, and other “stuff” reveal what seems like a thousand things that go wrong between September and June, both at school and at home.
Description: As she turns twelve during the summer of 1953, Penny gains new insights into herself and her family while also learning a secret about her father’s death.
Description: Devastated by the loss of a second father, thirteen-year-old Bird follows her stepfather from Cleveland to Alabama in hopes of convincing him to come home, and along the way helps two boys cope with their difficulties.
Description: As three teenaged sisters struggle to cope with their father’s sudden death, they find they must reexamine friendships, lifelong dreams, and their relationships with each other and their father.
Description: After the death of his father, ten-year-old Moon leaves their forest shelter home and is sent to an Alabama institution, becoming entangled in the outside world he has never known and making good friends, a relentless enemy, and finally a new life.
Description: An English boy during World War I comes to believe that the battles he enacts with his toy soldiers control the war his father is fighting on the front.
Description: Thirteen-year-old Siena’s visions of the past intensify when her family moves to the Maine coast hoping her little brother will begin speaking, and she connects with residents of the house from many years earlier who faced a similar problem.
Description: A marine biology student reporting to his summer job on an island off Portugal finds himself at the center of a power struggle between his boss and another group of Americans.
Description: To be more like her best friend, eleven-year-old Justine decides to give up Judaism to become Catholic, but after her beloved, religious grandmother dies, she realizes that she needs to seek her own way of being Jewish.
Description: Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with an young paraplegic.
Description: Eighth-grade star quarterback Nate Brodie’s family is feeling the stress of the troubled economy, and Nate is frantic because his best friend Abby is going blind, so when he gets a chance to win a million dollars if he can complete a pass during the halftime of a New England Patriot’s game, he is nearly overwhelmed by the pressure to succeed.
Description: Even though his mother feels baseball ruined her marriage to his father, she allows fourteen-year-old Brian to become a bat boy for the Detroit Tigers, who have just drafted his favorite player back onto the team.
Description: Small but fast twelve-year-old Will Tyler, an avid football player in the down-and-out town of Forbes, Pennsylvania, takes matters into his own hands to try and finance the city’s football team, giving the whole community hope in the process.
Description: Fourteen-year-old, tongue-tied Jed spends Christmas break working on a school project filming a documentary about his East Village, New York City, neighborhood, where he is continually reminded of his older brother, Zeke, a promising poet who died the year before.
Description: The summer that Hattie turns twelve, she meets the childlike uncle she never knew and becomes friends with a girl who works at the carnival that comes to Hattie’s small town.
Description: After his anger erupts into violence, Cole, in order to avoid going to prison, agrees to participate in a sentencing alternative based on the native American Circle Justice, and he is sent to a remote Alaskan Island where an encounter with a huge Spirit Bear changes his life.
Description: One of the top young business leaders in America delivers the true story of two boys born in the same neighborhood in the same town with the same name, and their starkly different fates.
Description: Fourteen-year-olds Raphael and Gardo team up with a younger boy, Rat, to figure out the mysteries surrounding a bag Raphael finds during their daily life of sorting through trash in a third-world country’s dump.
Description: After spending her summer running the family farm and training the quarterback for her school’s rival football team, sixteen-year-old D.J. decides to go out for the sport herself, not anticipating the reactions of those around her.
Description: Sixteen-year-old “Slam” Harris is counting on his noteworthy basketball talents to get him out of the inner city and give him a chance to succeed in life, but his coach sees things differently.
Description: Twelve-year-old Ruby Miller, movie buff and aspiring screen writer, tries to resolve the mysteries surrounding her little brother’s stuffed woolly mammoth and their father’s five year absence.
Description: Seventeen-year-old Stacy awakens from a four-year coma ready to identify, locate, and prosecute the young man who murdered her mother and wounded her.
Description: Left alone on a beautiful but isolated island off the coast of California, a young Indian girl spends eighteen years, not only merely surviving through her enormous courage and self-reliance, but also finding a measure of happiness in her solitary life.
Description: With national pride and occasional fear, a brother and sister face the increasingly oppressive occupation of Korea by Japan during World War II, which threatens to suppress Korean culture entirely.
Description: Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunts and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.
Description: Recreates the mythology of U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves, a black man born into slavery who became the most successful lawman of the Wild West, bringing hundreds of fugitives to justice with such courage and honor that he became a legend.
Description: Eager to enlist, fifteen-year-old Charley has a change of heart after experiencing both the physical horrors and mental anguish of Civil War combat.
Description: In an alternate Victorian England, young Arthur and his sister Myrtle, residents of Larklight, a floating house in one of Her Majesty’s outer space territories, uncover a spidery plot to destroy the solar system.
Description: Twelve-year-old Gratuity “Tip” Tucci is left to fend for herself after Earth is colonized by aliens and her mother is abducted, and must try to stop another alien invasion with only the help of a cat named Pig and an alien named J. Lo.
Description: Eleven-year-old Ellie refuses to give up hope that her brother, Jimmy, will return from the war.
Description: Sixteen year old forensic investigator Luke Harding and his robot sidekick Malc race to discover who is behind three student murders, only to find that the evidence points to Luke himself.
Description: Fourteen-year-old Nathaniel Clark, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, tries to prove that he is a genius by writing songs for his rock band so that he can become a member of the prestigious Aldus Institute, the premier organization for the profoundly gifted.
=9781590785386=Letters From Vinnie=Sappey, Maureen Stack=A fictionalized account of the Washington, D.C., Civil War years experienced by Vinnie Ream the sculptress, best known for the statue of Abraham Lincoln that is in the Capitol building.==
Description: A group of unique sixth-graders in a tiny town called Preston prepare for a televised spelling bee; among the contestants are Jennifer, a free spirit with overbearing parents, Mutual, a home-schooled student in public school for the first time, Harlan, a class clown, and Chrissie, who thinks there is something strange going on.
Description: When twelve-year-old Gabe tries to hide his uncle’s death from the local authorities, he is not prepared for what happens when this secret is discovered.
Description: Certain that he is doing the right thing by donating his dog, Wolfie, to the Army’s scout program in Vietnam, thirteen-year-old Mark begins to have second thoughts when the Army refuses to say when and if Wolfie will ever return.
Description: Twelve-year-old genius and outsider Willow Chance must figure out how to connect with other people and find a surrogate family for herself after her parents are killed in a car accident.
Description: Nick’s father and others are taken prisoner when his plantation in Burma is invaded by the Japanese in 1941, leaving Nick and his friend Mya to risk their lives in order to free them from the POW camp.
=9780399247095=Flygirl=Smith, Sherri L.=During World War II, a light-skinned African American girl “passes” for white in order to join the Women Airforce Service Pilots.==
Description: When his younger brother is diagnosed with leukemia, thirteen-year-old Steven tries to deal with his complicated emotions, his school life, and his desire to support his family.
=9781599904351=A Whole Nother Story=Soup, Cuthbert=Ethan Cheeseman and his children, ages eight, twelve, and fourteen, hope to settle in a nice small town, at least long enough to complete work on a time machine, but spies and government agents have been pursuing them for two years and are about to catch up.==
Description: After being framed for stealing bake sale money, the five smartest boys in the eighth grade are imprisoned in a small room beneath their junior high school in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, and must use their nerdish powers to expose a conspiracy involving fast food, standardized testing, and a school full of overachieving zombies.
Description: After passing a series of mind-bending tests, four children are selected for a secret mission that requires them to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.
Description: When an unthinkable nuclear attack occurs in an alternate-reality 1962, Scott is forced into his father’s bomb shelter with his family and neighbors, where they rapidly consume limited supplies and fear the worst about the fate of the world outside.
Description: After spending her life with her mentally disabled mother and agoraphobic neighbor, twelve-year-old Heidi sets out from Reno, Nevada, to New York to find out who she is.
Description: Despite his father’s rules and his own fear of the water, fourteen-year-old Jamie joins his older cousin in taking the raft they made out onto the river, where a tragic accident leads Jamie to make the most difficult decision of his life.
Description: After fifteen-year-old Liz Hall is hit by a taxi and killed, she finds herself in a place that is both like and unlike Earth, where she must adjust to her new status and figure out how to “live.”
Description: A teenage boy and girl, high school sophomores from unhappy homes, tell of their bizarre relationship with an old man.
Description: Fifteen-year-old Loch and his younger sister join their father on a scientific expedition searching for enormous prehistoric creatures sighted in a Vermont lake, but it soon becomes obvious that the expedition’s leaders aren’t interested in preserving the creatures.
Description: Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel–a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors. Includes readers’ guide.
Non-Fiction Authors and Titles
Description: Provides a detailed account of rescue efforts to save thirty-three miners, who got trapped in a copper-gold mine in San Jose, Chile, examining the psychological, physical, and environmental factors influencing the course of the rescue, and describing the efforts of experts from around the world–drillers, astronauts, submarine specialists, and others–came together in response to the crisis.
Description: Photographer Horace Carpetine is commissioned to do a portrait for society matron Mrs. Frederick Von Macht; however, the photos evoke both the image and the ghost of the Von Macht’s dead daughter, Eleanora, who has returned to seek vengence on those who killed her.
Description: This collection of twelve original stories explores the relationships between fathers and sons, from a boy who longs for a different father, to a boy who has a digital father from the future.
Description: Describes the work of a man who tracks trash as it travels great distances by way of ocean currents.
Description: Chronicles the two weeks in July 1916 when shark attacks plagued the New Jersey shoreline.
Description: Celebrates the tones, rhythms, sounds, and experiences of growing up Latino in America. Includes works by poets such as Sandra Cisneros, Martin Espada, Gary Soto, Ed Vega, and others.
=s=0316495972=Into a New Country: Eight Remarkable Women of the West=Presents the history of the West through eight biographies of women, including Susan Magoffin, Lotta Crabtree, and Biddy Mason.==
Description: A narrative history of World War I for young readers that features archival photographs, and describes how advanced military weaponry impacted the course of the war.
Description: Using an “Everyman” player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through the decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. Illustrations from oil paintings by artist Kadir Nelson.
Description: Recalls the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis at the end of World War II, the Navy cover-up and unfair court martial of the ship’s captain, and how a young boy helped the survivors set the record straight fifty-five years later.
Description: Lt. Osborn’s flying skills were put to the test when a Chinese F-8 II fighter jet collided with his EP-3E ARIES II plane during a U.S. surveillance mission through international airspace. The impact severely damaged Osborn’s aircraft, sending it plummeting toward the ocean. With almost certain disaster looming, Osborn managed to gain control of the crippled plane and land it safely on the Chinese island of Hainan—saving the lives of his twenty-three crewmates.
Description: Baseball hero Jackie Robinson’s daughter discusses nine values that her father held dear, shares memories from her life and her father’s that illustrate those values, and profiles individuals whom she considers heroes, including Christopher Reeve and Oprah Winfrey.
Description: Best friends Bernadette and Charlie begin seventh grade and help unravel the mysterious case of the Stocking Bandit.
Description: Reports on the work of forensic scientists who are excavating grave sites in James Fort, in Jamestown, Virginia, to understand who lived in the Chesapeake Bay area in the 1600s and 1700s; and uncovers the lives of a teenage boy, a ship’s captain, a colonial officer, an African slave girl, and others.
Description: Chronicles the experiences of an orphaned Amerasian boy from his birth and early childhood in Saigon through his departure from Vietnam in the 1975 Operation Babylift and his subsequent life as the adopted son of an American family in Ohio.