Divide the following 10 titles among your team members so that someone is responsible for reading each book on the list. Each team member should read 2 different books. You are encouraged to read more than your assigned titles.
- What Goes Up – Wen Jane Baragrey
- Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus – Dusti Bowling
- Positively Izzy – Terri Libenson
- No Slam Dunk – Mike Lupica
- BOB – Wendy Mass
- Hello, Universe – Erin Entrada Kelly
- A Night Divided – Jennifer Nielsen
- Pax – Sara Pennypacker
- Story Thieves – James Riley
- Betty Before X – Ilyasah Shabazz
What goes up . . . comes down on Robyn Tinkerbell Goodfellow’s roof! Will a rogue NASA satellite crush her house before Robyn can set things right?
Robyn Tinkerbell Goodfellow (yes, that’s actually her name) has a target on her roof. Well, not a real one, but everything seems to land there: paper airplanes, lost kites, socks, cats, and once even a skydiver! In the town of Calliope, Robyn and her magnet roof are famous–for being weird. That wasn’t such a big deal . . . until now!
A rogue NASA satellite is falling out of orbit and is going to hit Earth. NASA says it will probably land in the ocean, but Robyn knows better–that satellite is headed for her roof. To make matters worse, Robyn discovers that she doesn’t just have a fairy middle name. When her class reads A Midsummer Night’s Dream, she learns that Robin Goodfellow is a fairy! Which means if the satellite flattens her, everyone will laugh at her name in the news stories. Robyn realizes what she needs to do: find her long-lost dad so he can help her change her name and protect her from the satellite!
Both surprising and relatable, this middle-grade novel will have readers wishing they could move to the small town of Calliope, laugh with the larger-than-life characters, and race against the clock to save Robyn from NASA’s mistake.
Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she’ll have to answer the question over and over again.
Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. It’s hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven’s about to discover she can do it all . . . even without arms.
Middle school is all about labels.
Izzy is the dreamer. There’s nothing Izzy loves more than acting in skits and making up funny stories. The downside? She can never quite focus enough to get her schoolwork done.
Bri is the brain. But she wants people to see there’s more to her than just a report card full of As. At the same time, she wishes her mom would accept her the way she is and stop bugging her to “break out of her shell” and join drama club.
The girls’ lives converge in unexpected ways on the day of a school talent show, which turns out to be even more dramatic than either Bri or Izzy could have imagined.
Miguel Dinero wants to dominate on the court because he’s heard his whole life that it’s his destiny. The country’s #1 pre-varsity recruit with a pre-written path all the way to the NBA, rendering everything else, such as school, secondary. He expects the ball in his hand at crunch time, expects the spotlight, expects to win.
Wes, on the other hand, NEEDS all of this. For him, success in basketball, becoming the player his dad told him to be before dad shipped out to serve in the military, is a mission. No one on the court takes the game as seriously as Wes.
Both kids, friends and friendly rivals for years, are ready to take over the team. The problem? There’s only one ball.
A classic middle-grade tale of magic and friendship, about a girl who helps an old friend find home, by two New York Times–bestselling authors Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead.
It’s been five years since Livy and her family have visited Livy’s grandmother in Australia. Now that she’s back, Livy has the feeling she’s forgotten something really, really important about Gran’s house.
It turns out she’s right.
Bob, a short, greenish creature dressed in a chicken suit, didn’t forget Livy, or her promise. He’s been waiting five years for her to come back, hiding in a closet like she told him to. He can’t remember who—or what—he is, where he came from, or if he even has a family. But five years ago Livy promised she would help him find his way back home. Now it’s time to keep that promise.
Clue by clue, Livy and Bob will unravel the mystery of where Bob comes from, and discover the kind of magic that lasts forever.
Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead, two masterminds of classic, middle-grade fiction come together to craft this magical story about the enduring power of friendship.
In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his loud and boisterous family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister Gen is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just act normal so that he can concentrate on basketball. They aren’t friends — at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find the missing Virgil. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms.
From NYT bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen comes a stunning thriller about a girl who must escape to freedom after the Berlin Wall divides her family between east and west.
With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family suddenly divided. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can’t help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city.
But one day, while on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Then, when she receives a mysterious drawing, Gerta puts two and two together and concludes that her father wants Gerta and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted. Will Gerta and her family find their way to freedom?
Pax was only a kit when his family was killed, and “his boy” Peter rescued him from abandonment and certain death. Now the war front approaches, and when Peter’s father enlists, Peter has to move in with his grandpa. Far worse than being forced to leave home is the fact that Pax can’t go. Peter listens to his stern father—as he usually does—and throws Pax’s favorite toy soldier into the woods. When the fox runs to retrieve it, Peter and his dad get back in the car and leave him there—alone. But before Peter makes it through even one night under his grandfather’s roof, regret and duty spur him to action; he packs for a trek to get his best friend back and sneaks into the night. This is the story of Peter, Pax, and their independent struggles to return to one another against all odds. Told from the alternating viewpoints of Peter and Pax.
Life is boring when you live in the real world, instead of starring in your own book series. Owen knows that better than anyone, what with the real world’s homework and chores.
But everything changes the day Owen sees the impossible happen—his classmate Bethany climb out of a book in the library. It turns out Bethany’s half-fictional and has been searching every book she can find for her missing father, a fictional character.
Bethany can’t let anyone else learn her secret, so Owen makes her a deal: All she has to do is take him into a book in Owen’s favorite Kiel Gnomenfoot series, and he’ll never say a word. Besides, visiting the book might help Bethany find her father…
…Or it might just destroy the Kiel Gnomenfoot series, reveal Bethany’s secret to the entire world, and force Owen to live out Kiel Gnomenfoot’s final (very final) adventure.
In Detroit, 1945, eleven-year-old Betty’s house
doesn’t quite feel like home. She believes her mother loves her, but she can’t
shake the feeling that her mother doesn’t want her. Church helps those worries
fade, if only for a little while. The singing, the preaching, the speeches from
guest activists like Paul Robeson and Thurgood Marshall stir African Americans
in her community to stand up for their rights. Betty quickly finds confidence
and purpose in volunteering for the Housewives League, an organization that supports
black-owned businesses. Soon, the American civil rights icon we now know as Dr.
Betty Shabazz is born.
Collaborating with novelist Renée Watson, Ilyasah Shabazz illuminates four poignant years in her mother’s childhood, painting a beautiful and inspiring portrait of a girl overcoming the challenges of self-acceptance and belonging that will resonate with young readers today.