Suggested Hi- Lo and Quick Pick Titles from Pollard Summer Reading List
Internal reference list for Needham Teachers helping students with book selection
Anne Frank case: Simon Wiesenthal's search for the truth by Susan Goldman Rubin
In 1958, in Linz, Austria, demonstrators interrupted a performance of The Diary of Anne
Frank, claiming that Anne Frank never existed. Determined to prove otherwise, Simon
Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor, set out to find the Gestapo officer who arrested the
Franks years before.
Bull Rider by Marilyn Halvorson
Sixteen-year-old Layne faces a dangerous challenge when he defies his mother and enters
himself in a bull riding contest – the same rodeo event in which his father was killed.
The Bully by Paul Langan (or other books in the Bluford High series)
Darrell has just moved to California from Philadelphia in the middle of his freshman
year, leaving behind his best friends and everything he’s ever known. Now, he’s a new
student at Bluford High, is short and skinny, and has no one to talk to. Things go from
bad to worse when the school bully, Tyray begins picking on Darrell, making him pay
him $10 every week, and pushing him around every day. Darrell is scared every single
day, and has to make a decision – should he keep running away from the bully or find
some way to fight back.
Burning secrets by Steve Brezenoff
While cleaning up their great-great-uncle's house in preparation for selling it, thirteen-
year-old Roy and his eleven-year-old brother, Jason, find two strange little doors and
learn that someone is trying to open them to get what lies between.
Christina's ghost by Betty Ren Wright
Christina's summer in a spooky, isolated Victorian house with her grumpy uncle turns
into a ghostly adventure.
MP3 mind control by Jonny Zucker
Keisha's new MP3 player is really cool, but it seems to have a mind of its own.
Maximum Ride by James Patterson (Graphic Novel)
Fourteen-year-old Maximum Ride knows what it's like to soar above the world. She and
all the members of her 'flock'-- Fang, Iggy, Nudge, Gasman, and Angel-- are just like
ordinary kids, except they have wings and can fly! It may seem like a dream come true to
some, but for the flock it's more like a living nightmare when the mysterious lab known
as the 'School' turns up and kidnaps their youngest member. Now it's up to Max to
organize a rescue, but will help come in time?
Middle row by Sylvia Olsen
In the face of ignorance and racism, Vince and Raedawn try to find out what has
happened to a missing classmate.
Mystery at Manzanar: A WWII internment camp story by Eric Fein
Told in part Graphic Novel format. During World War II, fifteen-year-old Tommy
Yamamoto and his family are forced into the Manzanar internment camp for Japanese
Americans, and while there, an elderly man is attacked, and a camp guard is charged with
Responsible by Darlene Ryan
Kevin moves a lot, and has always been the new boy in school. Now, he has a chance to
be with a group – even if it’s a group of boys led by Nick who bully everyone who gets in
their way. Kevin thinks it’s ok to be with Nick and the guys. He doesn’t like what Nick
does, but he doesn’t get too involved with it. But when Erin refuses to go out with Nick,
and isn’t intimidated by his bullying tactics, Nick takes things way too far. Now Kevin
has to make a big decision before it’s too late.
Ropes of Revolution: The tale of the Boston Tea Party by J. Gunderson (Graphic
Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty are planning a protest on British taxes. On December
16, 1773, they're going to dump shiploads of British tea into the Boston harbor. Fifteen-
year-old Benjamin and his friend, Joseph, want a part of the action! Unfortunately,
Benjamin's boss won't let him leave the rope-making shop. If Benjamin can't escape, he'll
miss the start of the American Revolution.
The Savage by David Almond
Blue’s father dies, Hopper the town bully begins to knock him around, and the counselor
advises him to write about his feelings. He decides to write a blood, guts and adventure
story about a Savage who lives in the woods. As Blue writes, he finds himself drawn into
the story, and his life begins to mix into the Savage’s life. Strange things begin to happen,
and Blue begins to wonder if the Savage really does exist. When the Savage visits
Hopper at night, Blue starts to wonder where he ends and where the savage begins.
Sewer Rats by Sigmund Brouwer
A group of misfit students, who have been called “losers,” have formed a gang called the
Sewer Rats. Their territory is a large maze of underground tunnels, where other groups
challenge them to paintball wars. They have never lost, and are ready to take on a new
challenge. Jim tells the story of their battles, and shares his fear of being stuck inside one
of the tunnels if it rains. One day, his fears come true.
Stompin' at the Savoy: The story of Norma Miller by Alan Govenar
The vitality, wry humor, and indomitable spirit of jazz dancer Norma Miller, one of the
premier dancers during the Harlem Renaissance, is captured in this text which chronicles
her early life and rise to fame as one of the original performers of the Lindy Hop.
To dance: A memoir by Siena Cherson Siegel (Graphic Novel)
The author describes how she first decided she wanted to be a ballerina at the age of six,
and how that dream carried her from her home in Puerto Rico to dance class in Boston to
performing with the New York City Ballet.
Twelve Rounds to Glory: The story of Muhammad Ali by Charles R. Smith, Jr.
A brief biography in verse of boxer Muhammad Ali, from his birth to his fight with
Parkinson’s Disease to his lighting of the torch at the 1996 Los Angeles Olympics.
Whaleship Essex: The true story of Moby Dick by Jil Fine
Recounts the 1820 sinking of the whaleship "Essex" by an enraged sperm whale and how
the crew of young men survived against impossible odds.
Wolverine: Worst day ever by Barry Lyga (Graphic Novel)
Thirteen-year-old Eric Mattias is new to Xavier's Institute for Gifted Students, aka X
Men training ground. Though with the world's lamest mutant power, it is highly unlikely
that he will ever become an X-Man. For Eric, it is not just an exaggerated complaint or
cry for attention when he says no one notices him. He can scream his head off, be tripped
over, sat on (even on a toilet), and still, no one notices. The few perks to this anonymity
include being able to write a tell-all blog without getting in trouble and shadowing lone
hero Wolverine on his adventures.