|Title ||Author ||Available Guides ||Recommended Grade Level ||Lexile ||GRL |
|Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day ||Judith Viorst ||TG, LG ||1-3 ||970 ||L |
|Mother warned us there’d be days like this! In this picture book, Alexander learns that some days start off bad and just get worse. |
|Because of Winn Dixie ||Kate DiCamillo ||TG ||3-5 ||610 ||R |
|The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket and comes out with a dog. A big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor. A dog she dubs Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher tells Opal ten things about her absent mother, one for each year Opal has been alive. Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever known, and together they meet the local librarian, Miss Franny Block, who once fought off a bear with a copy of War and Peace. They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly blind but sees with her heart, and Otis, an ex-con who sets the animals in his pet shop loose after hours, then lulls them with his guitar. Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends, and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship-and forgiveness-can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm.
Subject: Friends, single parents, understanding self and others
Awards: Newbery Honor Book
|Bridge to Terabithia ||Katherine Paterson ||TG ||4-7 ||810 ||T |
|Newbery Award-winning story of Jess, a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia, who befriends a newcomer. Together they create the secret kingdom of Terabithia. Leslie subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway. |
|The Book Thief ||Markus Zusak ||TG ||9-12 ||730 || |
|The Book Thief is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.
Subject: Holocaust, WWII, friendship, compassion
Awards: Printz Honor
|The Boy in the Striped Pajamas ||John Boyne ||TG ||7-10 ||1080 || |
|Berlin, 1942: When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far, far away, to a place called “Out-With” where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance. But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.
Subject: Holocaust, WWII, friendship.
|Bud, Not Buddy ||Christopher Paul Curtis || ||3-6 ||950 ||T |
|Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of a man he believes to be his father--the renowed bandleader, H. E. Calloway of Cedar Rapids. |
|Bull Run ||Paul Fleischman ||TG ||5-8 ||810 || |
|This brilliant fictional story by Newbery Award-winning author, Paul Fleischman tells of Northerners, Southerners, generals, couriers, dreaming boys, worried sisters, blacks and whites describing the glory, the horror, the thrill, and the disillusionment of the first battle of the Civil War. |
|Caddie Woodlawn ||Carol R. Brink ||TG ||4-5 ||890 ||R |
|Based upon the recollections of the author’s grandmother, this is the story of an eleven-year-old outspoken tomboy named Caddie, growing up on the Wisconsin frontier in the mid-nineteenth century. |
|Castle in the Attic ||Elizabeth Winthrop ||TG ||4-6 ||750 || |
|William is sure there’s something magical about his new present. And he is right. The castle leads to another place and time when he must battle sorcerers, dragons, and wizards. This quest fantasy is perfect for those not yet ready for C.S. Lewis or Lloyd Alexander. |
|Charlotte's Web ||E. B. White ||TG, LG ||3-5 ||680 ||R |
|“A pig’s life is hanging by a thread…” Wilbur, a lovable pig, is rescued from a cruel fate by a beautiful and intelligent spider named Charlotte. Told with delicacy, humor, and wisdom…a perfect blend of fantasy and realism. |
|A Christmas Carol ||Charles Dickens ||TG ||6+ ||1080 ||U |
|18 copies available.
A miser learns the true meaning of Christmas when three ghostly visitors review his past and foretell his future.
|A Cricket in Times Square ||George Selden ||TG, LG ||3-5 ||780 ||S |
|Chester the cricket inhabits a Times Square subway station and befriends a mouse, a cat and a little boy named Mario. |
|Freak the Mighty (see The Mighty) |
|Freedom Writers Diary
Also available in Spanish.
|Erin Gruwell ||TG ||5+ ||900 || |
|Told through anonymous entries to protect their identities and allow for complete candor, The Freedom Writers Diary is filled with astounding vignettes from 150 students who, like civil rights activist Rosa Parks and the Freedom Riders, heard society tell them where to go - and refused to listen. |
|Frindle ||Andrew Clements ||TG ||2-5 ||830 ||R |
|When he decides to turn his fifth grade teacher’s love of the dictionary around on her, clever Nick Allen invents a new word and begins a chain of events that quickly moves beyond his control. |
|The Giver ||Lois Lowry ||TG, LG ||5-8 ||760 ||Y |
|Set in a futuristic society, this Newbery winner tells the story of Jonas. Given his lifetime assignment at the Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas becomes the receiver of memories shared by only one other in his community and discovers the terrible truth about the society in which he lives. |
|The Great Fire ||Jim Murphy ||LG ||3-6 ||1130 ||R |
|Vivid firsthand descriptions by persons including a 12-year -old girl and a newspaper editor who lived through the 1871 Chicago fire are woven into this gripping account. Murphy charts both the 31-hour spread of the fire and conveys the atmosphere in the streets. |
|Harriet, the Spy ||Louise Fitzhugh ||TG ||4-6 ||760 || |
|The story about eleven-year-old Harriet, who is a spy, plans to be a writer, and keeps a secret notebook filled with thoughts and notes on her schoolmates and people she observes on her after-school "spy route". However, when her classmates find and read her notebook, their anger and retaliation and Harriet's unexpected responses explode in a hilarious and often touching way. |
|Harriet Tubman, Secret Agent ||Thomas B. Allen || ||4-6 ||1120 || |
|It's 1863. Harriet Tubman is facing one of the biggest and most dangerous challenges of her life. She has survived her master's lash, escaped from slavery, and risked her life countless times to lead runaway slaves to freedom along the Underground railroad. Now she has a new role - that of a Union spy. |
|Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Also available in Spanish.
|J. K. Rowling ||TG ||4+ ||880 ||V |
|In this first book in the deservedly popular series, Harry is rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle and leaves his miserable existence in the “Muggle” world to begin his education in wizardry at Hogwarts. |
Also available in Spansh.
|Gary Paulsen || ||4-8 ||1020 ||R |
|In this Newbery Honor book, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the Canadian wilderness after a plane crash learning to survive with only the aid of a hatchet, given to him by his mother. He is also struggling to survive his parents' divorce. |
Also available in Spanish.
|Louis Sachar ||TG ||5+ ||660 ||V |
|As further evidence of his family's bad fortune, which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert. There he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself. |
|The Houdini Box ||Brian Selznick ||TG ||2-5 ||840 || |
|A chance encounter with Harry Houdini leaves a small boy in possession of a mysterious box - one that might hold the secrets to the greatest magic tricks ever performed. |
|The Hunger Games ||Suzanne Collins || ||7-12 ||810 || |
|In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games," a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed.
Subject: Survival, dystopia, courage, determination
|Iceberg Hermit ||Arthur Roth || ||5-7 ||1060 ||X |
|Shipwrecked in 1757 on an iceberg in the Arctic seas with only an orphaned polar cub for companionship, seventeen-year-old Allan begins a seemingly hopeless struggle for survival. Based on a true arctic survival incident. |
|If You Lived at the Time of the American Revolution ||Kay Moore ||TG ||2-5 ||860 ||Q |
|In a lively question-and-answer format, this book reveals what life was like, especially for children, during the Revolutionary War. |
|The Indian in the Cupboard ||Lynn Reid Banks ||TG ||3-5 ||780 ||R |
|A nine-year-old boy receives a plastic Indian, a cupboard, and a little key for his birthday and finds himself involved in adventure when the Indian comes to life in the cupboard and befriends him. |
|James and the Giant Peach ||Roald Dahl ||TG ||4-7 ||870 ||Q |
|A young boy escapes from two wicked aunts and embarks on a series of adventures with six giant insects he meets in a giant peach. |
|Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key ||Jack Gantos ||TG ||4-7 ||970 ||T |
|To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention or controlling his mood swings. When his prescription medication wears off, he starts getting worked up and acting wired. |
|The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ||C. S. Lewis ||TG, LG ||4-6 ||940 ||T |
|Four English school children enter the magic land of Narnia through the back of a wardrobe and assist Aslan, the golden lion, in defeating the White Witch who has cursed the land with eternal winter. |
|Loser ||Jerry Spinelli ||TG ||4+ ||650 || |
|Even though his classmates from first grade on have considered him strange and a loser, Daniel Zinkoff’s optimism and exuberance and the support of his loving family do not allow him to feel that way about himself. Newbery Medal-winning author Jerry Spinelli again explores the cruelty of a student body and how it does and doesn’t affect one student, pure of spirit. |
|Mai Ya's Long Journey ||Sheila Cohen || ||3+ || || |
|The story of Mai Ya Xiong and her family and their journey from the Ban Vinai refugee camp in Thailand to a new life in Madison, Wisconsin, is extraordinary. Yet it is typical of the stories of the 200,000 Hmong people who now live in the United States and who struggle to adjust to American society while maintaining their own culture as a free people. Mai Ya's Long Journey follows Mai Ya Xiong, a young Hmong woman, from her childhood in Thailand's Ban Vinai Refugee Camp to her current home in Wisconsin. Mai Ya's parents fled Laos during the Vietnam War and were refugees in Thailand for several years before reaching the United States. But the story does not end there. Students will read the challenges Mai Ya faces in balancing her Hmong heritage and her adopted American culture as she grows into adulthood.
Subject: Ethnic differences, Hmong culture, immigrants
Awards: 2005 Winner in the Juvenile Non-fiction Category from the Council for Wisconsin Writers
|Maniac Magee ||Jerry Spinelli ||TG, LG ||5-8 ||820 ||W |
|The twice homeless, legendary Jeffrey “Maniac” Magee is a white boy who runs faster and hits the ball farther than anyone. When he innocently crosses from the white East end to the black West end of town, he confronts racism. This 1991 Newbery Medal winner is part tall tale and part contemporary realistic fiction. |
|The Mighty ||Rodney Philbrick ||TG ||5+ ||1000 ||W |
|At the beginning of eighth grade, learning-disabled Max and his new friend Freak, whose birth defect has affected his body but not his brilliant mind, find that when they combine forces they make a powerful team. Max compensated for Freak’s small body while Freak compensates for Max’s small brain. Together they form a unique and empowering friendship and become, “Freak the Mighty.” |
|Molly's Pilgrim ||Barbara Cohen ||LG ||2-4 ||450 ||M |
|Molly is told to make a doll like a pilgrim for the Thanksgiving display at school. Much to Molly’s embarrassment, her Jewish mother dresses the doll as she herself dressed before leaving Russia to seek religious freedom. |
|Mummies in the Morning ||Mary Pope Osborne ||TG ||2-4 ||230 ||N |
|Jack and his younger sister, Annie, take a trip in their tree house back to ancient Egypt, where they help a queen's mummy continue her voyage to the Next Life. Beginning readers making the transition to chapter books will welcome this. |
|Night ||Elie Wiesel ||TG ||8+ ||590 ||Z |
|"Night" is a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of Elie Wiesel’s survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man’s capacity for inhumanity to man. |
|Nothing but the Truth ||Avi ||TG ||8-10 || ||M |
|Students, teachers, parents and the media become involved when ninth-grader Philip Malloy is suspended for humming along with a tape of “The Star-Spangled Banner" during homeroom. |
|Number the Stars ||Lois Lowry ||TG ||4-7 ||670 || |
|In this Newbery award-winning book set 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. |
|Of Beetles and Angels ||Mawi Asgedom ||TG ||5+ || || |
|An autobiography of a boy who, at the age of three, fled civil war in Ethiopia by walking with his mother and brother to a Sudanese refugee camp, and later moved to Chicago and earned a scholarship to Harvard University. Includes recipes and discussion questions. |
|Out of My Mind ||Sharon Draper ||TG ||4-6 || || |
|Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow. In this breakthrough story—reminiscent of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly—from multiple Coretta Scott King Award-winner Sharon Draper, readers will come to know a brilliant mind and a brave spirit who will change forever how they look at anyone with a disability.
Subject: Disabilities, special needs, prejudice and tolerance
|The Outsiders ||S. E. Hinton ||TG, LG ||7+ ||750 ||Z |
|A gang of underprivileged teenagers directs their anger toward a group of more fortunate kids. |
|Petunia ||Roger Duvoisin ||TG ||1-3 ||510 || |
|Petunia, a goose, finds a book in a meadow. She remembers hearing a man tell a young boy that owning and loving a book makes you wise. Petunia learns that to be wise you must be able to read the books and not just carry them around under your wings. |
|Pink and Say ||Patricia Polacco ||TG ||4-7 ||590 ||S |
|Say Curtis describes his meeting with Pinkus Aylee, a black soldier, during the Civil War, and their capture by Southern troops. Based on a true story about the author’s great-great-grandfather. |
|The Red Badge of Courage ||Stephen Crane ||TG ||8-12 ||900 || |
|In this well-known classic novel of the Civil War, a young soldier’s dreams of glory on the battlefields are shattered by reality. |
|Sarah, Plain and Tall
Also available in Spanish.
|Patricia MacLachlan || ||3-4 ||560 ||R |
|When their father invites a mail-order bride to come live with them in their prairie home, Caleb and Anna are captivated by their new mother and hope that she will stay.
Awards: Newbery Medal
|Shiloh ||Phyllis Reynolds Naylor ||TG ||3-6 ||890 ||R |
|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 mistreat his dogs.
Awards: Newbery Medal
|Sign of the Beaver ||Elizabeth George Speare ||TG, LG ||5-7 ||770 ||U |
|Left alone to guard the family's wilderness home in eighteenth-century Maine, a boy is hard-pressed to survive until local Indians teach him their skills.
|Speak ||Laurie Halse Anderson || ||9-12 ||690 || |
|Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something she's trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth.
Subject: Sexual abuse, social issues, coping with traumatic experiences
Awards: Printz Honor
|Stargirl ||Jerry Spinelli ||TG ||6+ ||590 || |
|In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever. |
Also available in Spanish.
|John Gardiner || ||2-3 ||550 ||P |
|Ten year old Little Willy hopes to pay the back taxes on his grandfather's farm with the purse from a dog sled race he enters. Can his dog Searchlight defeat the legendary Samoyeds of Stone Fox in the dogsled races? |
|The Tale of Despereaux ||Kate DiCamillo ||TG ||3-5 ||670 ||U |
Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other's lives. And what happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: "Reader, it is your destiny to find out."
Subject: Courage and honor, honesty, pride and self-esteem
Awards: Newbery Award
|13 Reasons Why ||Jay Asher || ||8-12 ||550 || |
|Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker - his classmate and crush - who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah's voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out why. Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah's pain, and learns the truth about himself-a truth he never wanted to face.
Subject: Teen suicide, depression, understanding self and others
|The Titanic Lost ... and Found ||Judy Donnelly || ||2-3 || || |
|A simple account of the sinking of the Titanic and the discovery of its remains many years later. A well-illustrated “Step into Reading Step 3 Book.” |
|To Kill a Mockingbird ||Harper Lee ||TG ||9+ ||870 ||Z |
|Two children in the South are introduced to the subject of prejudice when their father defends a falsely accused black man. A timeless classic of prejudice, humor, family, love and hatred in a small southern town, told through the eyes of a child.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
|Trouble ||Gary D. Schmidt || ||7-10 ||930 || |
|Henry Smith's father told him that if you build your house far enough away from Trouble, then Trouble will never find you. But Trouble comes careening down the road one night in the form of a pickup truck that strikes Henry's older brother, Franklin. In the truck is Chay Chouan, a young Cambodian from Franklin's preparatory school, and the accident sparks racial tensions in the school-and in the well-established town where Henry's family has lived for generations. Caught between anger and grief, Henry sets out to do the only thing he can think of: climb Mt. Katahdin, the highest mountain in Maine, which he and Franklin were going to climb together. Along with Black Dog, whom Henry has rescued from drowning, and a friend, Henry leaves without his parents' knowledge. The journey, both exhilarating and dangerous, turns into an odyssey of discovery about himself, his older sister, Louisa, his ancestry, and why one can never escape from Trouble.
Subject: Coping with death, grief and loss, prejudices, family and friendships
|True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle ||Avi ||TG ||4-8 ||740 ||V |
|As the lone "young lady" on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious.
Historical fiction at its suspenseful best.
|Tuck Everlasting ||Natalie Babbit ||TG, LG ||4-6 ||770 || |
|The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing any older. |
|The View from Saturday ||E. L. Konigsburg ||TG ||5-7 ||870 ||U |
|Four students, with their own individual stories, develop a special bond and attract the attention of their teacher, a paraplegic, who chooses them to represent their sixth-grade class in the Academic Bowl competition. For the first time in the history of Epiphany Middle School, there was a chance that the sixth grade academic bowl team might beat the seventh grade team.
Awards: Newbery Medal
|Walk Two Moons ||Sharon Creech ||TG ||7-9 ||770 || |
|Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle’s mother has disappeared. While tracing her steps on a car trip from Ohio to Idaho with her grandparents, Salamanca tells a story to pass the time. The story about her friend Phoebe Winterbottom, tells of Phoebe’s mothers disappearance and the secret messages received after she vanishes.
Awards: Newbery Medal
|The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 ||Christopher Paul Curtis ||TG ||4-8 ||1000 ||U |
|The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963. Told by 10 year old Kenny this is the comic, tragic and touching story of the Watson family. |
|The Wednesday Wars ||Gary D. Schmidt || ||6-8 ||990 || |
|Holling Hoodhood is really in for it. He’s just started seventh grade with Mrs. Baker, a teacher he knows is out to get him. Why else would she make him read Shakespeare . . . outside of class? The year is 1967, and everyone has bigger things than homework to worry about. There’s Vietnam for one thing, and then there’s the family business. As far as Holling’s father is concerned, nothing is more important than the family business. In fact, all of the Hoodhoods must be on their best behavior at all times. The success of Hoodhood and Associates depends on it. But how can Holling stay out of trouble when he has Mrs. Baker to contend with?
Subject: Understanding self and others, achievement and success, family, coming of age
Awards: Newbery Honor
|What's the Big Idea, Ben Franklin? ||Jean Fritz ||TG ||3-5 ||830 ||O |
|A brief biography of the eighteenth-century printer, inventor, and statesman who played an influential role in the early history of the United States. Readable, well-illustrated story that brings history to life. |
|Where the Red Fern Grows ||Wilson Rawls ||TG, LG ||6-9 ||700 || |
|A young boy living in the Ozarks achieves his heart's desire when he becomes the owner of two redbone hounds and teaches them to be champion hunters. |