Sixth Grade Reading List Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech Mary Lou’s summer journal becomes a hilarious chronicle of the circle of people and events that make her summer. There is the mysterious cousin that comes to visit; her best friend who’s recently gone boy crazy; the boy that makes Mary Lou’s brains “mushy;” and, of course, her “normally strange family.” Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer With two trusty sidekicks in tow, Artemis Fowl, the most ingenious criminal mastermind in history, hatches a cunning plot to divest the fairy folk of their pot of gold. He knows that the only way to do it is to kidnap one of them and wait for the ransom to arrive. But he doesn’t count on the appearance of Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon (Lower Elements Police Reconnaissance) Unit. Belle Prater’s Boy by Ruth White When Woodrow’s mother suddenly disappears, he moves to his grandparents’ home in a small Virginia town where he befriends his cousin, and together they find the strength to face the terrible losses and fears in their lives. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, Donna Diamond (illus.) This award‐winning novel recounts the unlikely friendship of a country boy, Jess, and his neighbor, Leslie. When Leslie is killed during a storm while trying to reach their secret hiding place, Jess must come to terms with his loss and find a way to heal. Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman Catherine, the spirited and inquisitive daughter of an English country knight, narrates in diary form the story of her 14th year – in the year 1290. Here, she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off. The Complete Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis, Chris Van Allsburg (illus.) Enter the magical land of Narnia, where enchanted creatures live and battles are fought between good and evil. The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Alton Raible (illus.) One look at April Hall convinced Melanie that she was not going to be easy to integrate into the sixth grade at Wilson School. Within a month, April and Melanie had developed a common interest in ancient Egypt and had begun to develop a land of Egypt in an abandoned storage yard. Complications arose when other people joined them, a murderer roamed the neighborhood, and an oracle predicted strange things. Hatchet by Gary Paulsen Brian Robeson, 13, is the only passenger on a small plane flying him to visit his father in the Canadian wilderness when the pilot has a heart attack. The plane drifts off course and finally crashes into a small lake. Brian is able to swim free of the plane, arriving on a sandy tree‐lined shore with only his clothing and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present. I Heard the Owl Call My Name by Margaret Craven A young vicar named Mark, is sent to a remote Kwakiutl village not knowing he has less than three years to live. In the village, Mark comes to understand the Kwakiutl Indians around him and sees how their traditions are being destroyed through the influence of white men. The Island by Gary Paulsen 15‐year‐old Wil Neuton has discovered a place where he can go to be alone. On the island he watches the loons and the fish in the lake, and he writes and paints. But Wil can’t stay away from the outside world forever. He must face the bully determined to challenge him, and his parents, who worry when Wil decides to stay on the island. Sixth Grade Reading List Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli When Jeffrey Lionel Magee wanders into Two Mills, Pennsylvania, a legend is in the making. Before too long, stories begin to circulate about how fast and how far he can run and about feats so incredible they earn him the nickname “Maniac.” The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman In medieval England, a nameless, homeless girl is taken in by a sharp‐tempered midwife and in spite of obstacles and hardship, eventually gains the three things she wants most: a full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry Ten‐year‐old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen’s lives in Copenhagen are filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching in their town. When the Nazis begin “relocating” the Jews of Denmark, Ellen pretends to be part of the family. And as Annemarie helps shelter her friend from the Nazis, she learns how to be courageous – to save her best friend’s life. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer (illus.) Milo is a bored ten‐year old who comes home to find a large tollbooth sitting in his room. Joining forces with a watchdog named Tock, Milo drives through the tollbooth’s gates and begins a memorable journey. He meets such characters as Humbug, the Mathemagician, and the not‐so‐wicked “Which,” who gives Milo the mission of returning two princesses to the Kingdom of Wisdom. The Secret School by Avi When the teacher at school must depart unexpectedly, the head of the school board decides to end the academic year a month and a half before the summer break. To his surprise, Ida Bidson protests, because without exit exams, she cannot proceed to high school in the fall. Then Ida’s friend comes up with a plan: “You’re such a know-it-all,” he tells her, “You could take over the school when Miss Fletcher leaves.” And so she does. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls 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. Together, the three of them experience danger, adventure, love, and sorrow. The Wish Giver, Three Tales of Coven Tree by Bill Brittain, Andrew Glass (illus.) The people of Coven Tree are no strangers to magic. Thaddeus Blinn was just a funny little man who drifted into town with a strange tale about being able to give people whatever they wished – for only 50 cents. There was nothing scary about him. At least, not until the wishing began... Words of Stone by Kevin Henkes While exploring the countryside outside of his home, 10-year‐old Blaze Werla spots a devastating message on the side of a hill. Ultimately, Blaze’s summer takes a turn toward mystery and adventure when he meets the boisterous and irresistible Joselle. Wringer by Jerry Spinelli As Palmer comes of age, he must either accept the violence of being a wringer at his town’s annual Pigeon Day or find the courage to oppose it. Seventh Grade Reading List Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, 101 Stories of Life, Love and Learning by Jack Canfield (ed.), Mark Victor Hansen (ed.), Kimberly Kirberger (ed.) This collection of stories guides teenagers through one of the most difficult periods in life, offering advice on the nature of friendship and love, the importance of belief in the future, and the value of respect for oneself and others. Crazy Lady! by Jane Leslie Conly Vernon joins with his friends as they ridicule the neighborhood outcasts – Maxine, an alcoholic prone to public displays of outrageous behavior, and Ronald, her retarded son. Then social services tries to put Ronald into a special home, and Vernon finds himself fighting the agency. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien Whisked away from his comfortable life by Gandalf the wizard and a company of dwarves, Bilbo Baggins finds himself caught up in a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Although quite reluctant to take part in this quest, Bilbo surprises even himself by his resourcefulness and his skill as a burglar! Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt The Tillerman kids’ mother just left them one day in a car in a mall parking lot. Their father had left them a long time ago. So, as usual, it was up to 13‐year‐old Dicey, the eldest of four, to take care of everything. But above all, she would have to make sure to avoid the authorities who would split them up and place them in foster homes. Journey of the Sparrows by Fran Leeper Buss 15‐year‐old Maria, her older sister Julia, their little brother Oscar, and a boy named Tomas endure a cruel journey to Chicago. There they struggle to find work, always careful to remain “invisible” so the authorities won’t arrest and deport them. Despite the family’s ordeals, hope and love can be found – and most of all, in the stories Maria tells to lift the family’s spirits, of a little sparrow who brings a rainbow. The Man Who Was Poe by Avi In Providence, Rhode Island, in 1848, Edgar Allan Poe reluctantly investigates the problems of 11‐year‐old Edmund, whose family has mysteriously disappeared and whose story suggests a new Poe tale with a ghastly final twist. The Maze by Will Hobbs Stowing away in the back of a pickup, Rick, a 14‐year‐old foster child, escapes from a juvenile detention facility near Las Vegas and travels to Canyonlands National Park in Utah. There, he finds himself in a dead end in the surreal landscape of redrock spires and deep canyons called the Maze. Rick is taken in by an eccentric naturalist who is working on a project to reintroduce condors to the wild. Myst, The Book of Atrus by Rand Miller, Robyn Miller, David Wingrove The ages of Myst are worlds of adventure and awe, beauty and betrayal. These pages are your link to the story of Atrus, son of Gehn, and the last of the race of D’Ni – the masters of The Art, the craft of linking to other worlds through the descriptive art of writing. For most of his young life, Atrus thought the stories his grandmother told him were just strange legends. Then his time came to explore the magnificent underground realm. Night by Elie Wiesel Night is the terrifying account of the Nazi death camp horror that turns a young Jewish boy into an agonized witness to the death of his family. Penetrating and powerful, Night awakens the shocking memory of evil at its absolute and carries with it the unforgettable message that this horror must never be allowed to happen again. Seventh Grade Reading List Nothing but the Truth, A Documentary Novel by Avi A ninth‐grader’s suspension for singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” during homeroom becomes a national news story. In this remarkable Newbery Honor book, facts, people, actions, and reactions are presented in stark documentary style. Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse In a series of free verse poems, 15‐year Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family’s wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Great Depression. Powerful and moving, this book effectively depicts both a bleak historical era and one family’s healing. Redwall by Brian Jacques When the peaceful life of ancient Redwall Abbey is shattered by the arrival of the evil rat Cluny and his villainous hordes, Matthias, a young mouse, determines to find the legendary sword of Martin the Warrior. He is convinced it will help Redwall’s inhabitants destroy the enemy. River Thunder by Will Hobbs Jessie, Troy, and the rest of the crew from Downriver have returned to the Grand Canyon for adventure on the Colorado River. For Troy, it is a chance to prove he can be a team player. For Jessie, the river is the ultimate test. Does she have what it takes to row down the mighty Colorado? The only way to find out is to get into the raft and set off to face the thundering rapids and the powerful emotions that the river unleashes. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Through the young eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores with rich humor and unswerving honesty the irrationality of adult attitudes toward race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s. The conscience of a town steeped in prejudice, violence, and hypocrisy is pricked by the stamina and quiet heroism of one man’s struggle for justice. Where the Lilies Bloom by Vera Cleaver, Bill Cleaver When her dying father makes her promise to keep her brother and sisters together forever on the mountain and take no help from strangers, Mary Call is determined to keep her word – no matter what. At first she is sure she can run the family just fine on her own. Romey and Ima Dean help her gather herbs to sell in town, using the riches of the mountains to keep the family clothed and fed. But winter sets in all too quickly. Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O'Brien Ann Burden is the only person left in the world. Nuclear radiation has destroyed the rest of the world, but not the valley where she lives. She has remained, surviving as best she knows how, for the past year. Then Ann discovers that someone else is still alive and making his way toward the valley. He asserts his will almost immediately. And as his behavior becomes more and more extreme – finally culminating in violent confrontation – Ann must choose how she will live. Eighth Grade Reading List The Cay by Theodore Taylor When the freighter on which they are traveling is torpedoed by a German submarine during World War II, an adolescent white boy, blinded by a blow on the head, and an old black man are stranded on a tiny Caribbean island where the boy acquires a new kind of vision, courage, and love from his old companion. Children of the River by Linda Crew Having fled Cambodia four years earlier to escape the Khmer Rouge army, 17-year-old Sundara is torn between remaining faithful to her own people and enjoying life in her Oregon high school as a “regular” American. Although she is forbidden to speak to any white boys, Sundara falls in love with Jonathan. Is her new life disloyal to her past? Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns The one thing you can depend on in Cold Sassy, Georgia, is that word gets around. When Grandpa announces one morning that he’s aiming to marry the young milliner, Mill Love Simpson, the news is served up all over town with that afternoon’s dinner. Boggled by the sheer audacity of it all, and not a little jealous of his grandpa’s new wife, Will nevertheless approves of this May‐December relationship. Ironman by Chris Crutcher Bo Brewster has been at war with his father for as long as he can remember. Following angry outbursts at school, Bo is sent to Mr. Nak’s Anger Management Group (which he initially believes to be populated with future serial killers and freeway snipers). There he meets a hard‐edged pack of survivors whose own defenses are as strong as his own. He meets and falls in love with Shelly, whose passion for physical challenge more than matches his. Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes, Lynn Ward (illus.) Johnny Tremain tells of the turbulent, passionate times in Boston just before the Revolutionary War. Johnny, a young apprentice silversmith, is caught up in a dramatic involvement with Otis, Hancock, and John and Samuel Adams in the exciting currents and undercurrents that were to lead to the Boston Tea Party and the Battle of Lexington. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George At 13, Miyax runs away from her husband’s parents’ home, hoping to reach San Francisco. But she becomes lost in the vast Alaskan tundra, with no food or shelter. More than ever, she must examine who she is. Is she Miyax, Eskimo girl, or is she Julie, modern teenager? When a pack of wolves begins to accept her into their community, think like a wolf as well. If she trusts her Eskimo instincts, will she stand a chance of surviving? The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara In the four most bloody and courageous days of our nation’s history, two armies fought for two dreams. One dreamed of freedom, the other of a way of life. Shattered futures, forgotten innocence, and crippled beauty were the casualties of war. A Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Killer Angels is a unique, sweeping, and unforgettable re- creation of the Battle of Gettysburg. Lone Wolf by Kristine L. Franklin, Joe Baker (illus.) When a large family moves into the house near where he and his father live in the woods, Perry’s friendship with the oldest girl helps him come to terms with his sister’s death and his parents’ divorce. Eighth Grade Reading List Lyddie by Katherine Paterson Her parents are gone, and her brother and sisters are sent to live with others. Lyddie Worthen goes to work at the mill, with the goal of earning enough money to reunite her family. Lyddie and the other girls run weaving looms in the murky factory. Lyddie learns to read – and to handle the menacing overseer. When the working conditions begin to affect her friends’ health, she has to decide whether to speak up for better working conditions, or stay quiet. Midget by Tim Bowler Subject to strange fits, physically abnormal, and psychologically disturbed from the constant torment and abuse of his older brother, 15‐year‐old Midget finds himself in control of his life for the first time when he gets his own sailboat and discovers untapped mental powers. No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman For expressing his true views of Old Shep, My Pal eighth‐grade football hero Wallace Wallace earns a detention that takes him off the team and plunks him down in the auditorium, where his English teacher is directing a theatrical version of – you guessed it. To the outrage of Drama Club President, Rachel Turner, Wallace Wallace makes a few suggestions to punch up the production. By the end, it’s a rock musical and the (stuffed) pooch actually pulls through. The River by Gary Paulsen In this exciting sequel to Hatchet, 15‐year year‐old Brian Robeson, who survived alone in the wilderness for 54 days, returns to the wilderness at the request of a government survival school. This time, however, he won’t be alone – Derek Holtzer, a government psychologist, will accompany him to observe and take notes. But during a freak storm, Derek is hit by lightning and falls into a coma. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum After being transported by a cyclone to the magical land of Oz, Dorothy and her dog, Toto, are befriended by a scarecrow, a tin man, and a cowardly lion who accompany her to the Emerald City in search of a wizard who can help Dorothy return home to Kansas. Boy Who Saved Baseball by John H. Ritter Doc Altenheimer seems to be ready to sell off a good part of Dillontown and its baseball field. He proposes that the decision ride on a baseball game between the locals and the summer camp team down the road. A mysterious boy, Cruz de la Cruz, arrives claiming to know the secret of hitting, and brings hope and spirit back to the residents. He and a friend seek out an old baseball legend, and convince him to be their coach.
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