Summer Reading 2023-24
by J.L. Esplin Year Published: 2020
The Lockwood brothers are supposed to be able to survive anything. Their dad, a hardcore believer in self-reliance, has stockpiled enough food and water at their isolated Nevada home to last for months. But when they are robbed of all their supplies during a massive blackout while their dad is out of town, John and Stew must walk 96 miles in the stark desert sun to get help. Along the way, they’re forced to question their dad’s insistence on self-reliance and ask just what it is that we owe to our neighbors, to our kin, and to ourselves.
by Padma Venkatraman Year Published: 2021
Kabir has been in jail since the day he was born, because his mom is serving time for a crime she didn't commit. He's never met his dad, so the only family he's got are their cellmates, and the only place he feels the least bit free is in the classroom, where his kind teacher regales him with stories of the wonders of the outside world. Then one day a new warden arrives and announces Kabir is too old to stay. He gets handed over to a long-lost "uncle" who unfortunately turns out to be a fraud, and intends to sell Kabir. So Kabir does the only thing he can--run away as fast as his legs will take him. How does a boy with nowhere to go and no connections make his way? Fortunately, he befriends Rani, another street kid, and she takes him under her wing. But plotting their next move is hard--and fraught with danger--in a world that cares little for homeless, low caste children. This is not the world Kabir dreamed of--but he's discovered he's not the type to give up. Kabir is ready to show the world that he--and his mother--deserve a place in it.
by Taryn Souders Year Published: 2020
Windy Bottom, Georgia is usually a peaceful place. Coop helps his mom at her café and bookstore, hangs out with his grandpa, bikes around with his friends Justice and Liberty, and is determined to live up to his dad's legacy. Windy Bottom is full of all kinds of interesting people, but no one has ever caused a problem. Until now.
And somehow, Gramps is taking all the blame! It seems like there are a lot of secrets that were buried in their small town after all...
Will Coop and his friends get to the bottom of the mystery and clear Gramps's name before it's too late?
by Kelly J. Baptist Year Published:
Isaiah is now the big man of the house. But it's a lot harder than his dad made it look. His little sister, Charlie, asks too many questions, and Mama's gone totally silent.
Good thing Isaiah can count on his best friend, Sneaky, who always has a scheme for getting around the rules. Plus, his classmate Angel has a few good ideas of her own--once she stops hassling Isaiah.
And when things get really tough, there's Daddy's journal, filled with stories about the amazing Isaiah Dunn, a superhero who gets his powers from beans and rice. Isaiah wishes his dad's tales were real. He could use those powers right about now!
by Lily LaMotte Year Published: 2020
Twelve-year-old Cici has just moved from Taiwan to Seattle, and the only thing she wants more than to fit in at her new school is to celebrate her grandmother, A-má’s, seventieth birthday together.
Since she can’t go to A-má, Cici cooks up a plan to bring A-má to her by winning the grand prize in a kids’ cooking contest to pay for A-má’s plane ticket! There’s just one problem: Cici only knows how to cook Taiwanese food.
And after her pickled cucumber debacle at lunch, she’s determined to channel her inner Julia Child. Can Cici find a winning recipe to reunite with A-má, a way to fit in with her new friends, and somehow find herself too?
by Stacy McAnulty Year Published: 2022
Felix Rannells and Benji Porter were never supposed to be field-trip partners. Felix is a rule follower. Benji is a rule bender. They're not friends. And they don't have anything to talk about. Until . . .
They find a wallet. A wallet that belongs to tech billionaire Laura Friendly. They're totally going to return it-but not before Benji "borrows" twenty dollars to buy hot dogs. Because twenty dollars is like a penny to a billionaire, right?
But a penny has value. A penny doubled every day for thirty days is $5,368,709.12! So that's exactly how much money Laura Friendly challenges Felix and Benji to spend. They have thirty days. They can't tell anyone. And there are LOTS of other rules. But if they succeed, they each get ten million dollars to spend however they want.
Challenge accepted! They rent cool cars, go to Disney World, buy pizza for the whole school-and that's just the beginning! But money can't buy everything or fix every problem. And spending it isn't always as easy and fun as they thought it would be. . . .
by Eden Royce Year Published: 2022
It’s 1963, and things are changing for Jezebel Turner. Her beloved grandmother has just passed away. The local police deputy won’t stop harassing her family. With school integration arriving in South Carolina, Jez and her twin brother, Jay, are about to begin the school year with a bunch of new kids. But the biggest change comes when Jez and Jay turn eleven— and their uncle, Doc, tells them he’s going to train them in rootwork.
Jez and Jay have always been fascinated by the African American folk magic that has been the legacy of their family for generations—especially the curious potions and powders Doc and Gran would make for the people on their island. But Jez soon finds out that her family’s true power goes far beyond small charms and elixirs…and not a moment too soon. Because when evil both natural and supernatural comes to show itself in town, it’s going to take every bit of the magic she has inside her to see her through.
by Jennifer L. Holm Year Published: 2022
Bell is just like any other kid. He loves cats, eats all kinds of cake, and is curious about everything. Oh, and he lives on another planet! Living on Mars comes with a ton of rules. Like don’t go outside without a buddy. Always keep a glow stick in your pocket. And no contact with the kids in the other settlements. Ever. Then a virus breaks out among the grown-ups, and the children are the only ones who can help. Suddenly it's up to Bell - a regular kid in a very different world - to uncover the truth and save his family ... and possibly unite an entire planet.
by Jasmine Warga Year Published: 2021
Cora hasn’t spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a year.
Despite living next door to each other, they exist in separate worlds of grief. Cora is still grappling with the death of her beloved sister in a school shooting, and Quinn is carrying the guilt of what her brother did.
On the day of Cora’s twelfth birthday, Quinn leaves a box on her doorstep with a note. She has decided that the only way to fix things is to go back in time to the moment before her brother changed all their lives forever—and stop him.
by Reem Faruqi Year Published: 2022
When her family moves from Pakistan to Peachtree City, all Nurah wants is to blend in, yet she stands out for all the wrong reasons. Nurah’s accent, floral-print kurtas, and tea-colored skin make her feel excluded, until she meets Stahr at swimming tryouts.
And in the water Nurah doesn’t want to blend in. She wants to win medals like her star athlete brother, Owais—who is going through struggles of his own in the U.S. Yet when sibling rivalry gets in the way, she makes a split-second decision of betrayal that changes their fates.
Ultimately Nurah slowly gains confidence in the form of strong swimming arms, and also gains the courage to stand up to bullies, fight for what she believes in, and find her place.
by Kwame Alexander Year Published: 2019
“With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . . The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. ’Cuz tonight I’m delivering,” raps twelve-year-old Josh Bell. Thanks to their dad, he and his twin brother, Jordan, are kings on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood—he’s got mad beats, too, which help him find his rhythm when it’s all on the line.
See the Bell family in a whole new light through Dawud Anyabwile’s dynamic illustrations as the brothers’ winning season unfolds, and the world as they know it begins to change.
by Jennifer Roy Year Published: 2014
“In 1945 the war ended. The Germans surrendered, and the ghetto was liberated. Out of over a quarter of a million people, about 800 walked out of the ghetto. Of those who survived, only twelve were children. I was one of the twelve.” For more than fifty years after the war, Syvia, like many Holocaust survivors, did not talk about her experiences in the Lodz ghetto in Poland. She buried her past in order to move forward. But finally she decided it was time to share her story, and so she told it to her niece, who has re-told it here using free verse inspired by her aunt. This is the true story of Syvia Perlmutter―a story of courage, heartbreak, and finally survival despite the terrible circumstances in which she grew up. A timeline, historical notes, and an author’s note are included.
by Torrey Maldonado Year Published: 2019
Tight: Lately Bryan's been feeling it in all kinds of ways. He knows what's tight for him in a good way--reading comics, drawing superheroes, and hanging out with no drama. But drama's hard to escape where he's from, and that gets him wound up tight.
And now Bryan's new friend Mike is challenging him to have fun in ways that are crazy risky. At first, it's a rush following Mike, hopping turnstiles, subway surfing, and getting into all kinds of trouble. But Bryan never feels right acting wrong. So which way will he go when he understands that drama is so not his style? Fortunately his favorite comic heroes shed light on his dilemma, reminding him that he has power--the power to choose his friends and to stand up for what he believes is right . . .
by Gordon Korman Year Published: 2019
Cooper Vega's family moves so often that he's practically invisible at any school he attends. Now they've relocated to the town of Stratford -- where nobody even makes an effort to learn Cooper's name. To them, he's just . . . whatshisface.Cooper's parents feel bad about moving him around so much, so they get him a fancy new phone. Almost immediately, it starts to malfunction. First there's a buzzing. Then there's a weird glare on the screen. Then that glare starts to take on the form of . . . a person? It's not just any person trapped inside Cooper's phone. It's a boy named Roderick, who says he lived in the time of William Shakespeare -- and had a very tangled history with the famous playwright. Cooper thinks his phone has gone haywire, but there's nothing he can do to get rid of Roderick. Then, even stranger, Roderick starts helping him. Even though his 17th-century advice isn't always the best for a 21st century middle school.
by Jeff Probst Year Published: 2013
A family vacation becomes a game of survival!
It was supposed to be a vacation--and a chance to get to know each other better. But when a massive storm sets in without warning, four kids are shipwrecked alone on a rocky jungle island in the middle of the South Pacific. No adults. No instructions. Nobody to rely on but themselves. Can they make it home alive?
A week ago, the biggest challenge Vanessa, Buzz, Carter, and Jane had was learning to live as a new blended family. Now the four siblings must find a way to work as a team if they're going to make it off the island. They're all in this adventure together--but first they've got to learn to survive one another.
by Rick Riordan Year Published: 2018
The Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard trilogy may have concluded, but we haven't heard the last of our favorite peeps from the Nine Worlds.
Join Hearthstone, Blitzen, Samirah, Alex, Jack, T.J., Mallory, Halfborn, and more on a hilarious and unforgettable journey through Rick Riordan's unique take on Norse mythology.
While Magnus is off visiting his cousin, Annabeth, his friends find themselves in some sticky, hairy, and smelly situations as they try to outwit moronic giants, murderous creatures, and meddlesome gods.
Can they stave off Ragnarok at least until Magnus gets back?
by Tom Angleberger Year Published: 2015
It takes the wisdom of Yoda to survive the sixth grade.
Meet Dwight, a sixth-grade oddball. Dwight does a lot of weird things, like wearing the same T-shirt for a month or telling people to call him "Captain Dwight." But Dwight does one cool thing. He makes origami. One day he makes an origami finger puppet of Yoda. And that's when things get mysterious. Origami Yoda can predict the future and suggest the best way to deal with a tricky situation. His advice actually works, and soon most of the sixth grade is lining up with questions.
Dwight's friend Tommy wants to know how Origami Yoda can be so smart when Dwight is so clueless. Is Yoda tapping into the Force?
by Jason Reynolds Year Published: 2017
Running. That’s all Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all started with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who sees something in Ghost: crazy natural talent. If Ghost can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed, or will his past finally catch up to him?
by Liesl Shurtliff Year Published: 2014
In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse.
To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—he just might triumph in the end.
by Lana Krumwiede Year Published: 2014
In twelve-year-old Taemon’s city, everyone has a power called psi — the ability to move and manipulate objects with their minds. When Taemon loses his psi in a traumatic accident, he is exiled to the powerless colony, where he is accepted unconditionally. But for all its openness, there are mysteries at the colony, too — dangerous secrets that would give unchecked power to psi wielders if discovered. When Taemon unwittingly leaks one of these secrets, will he have the courage to repair the damage — even if it means returning to the city and facing the very people who exiled him?