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The Year Money Grew on Trees
Although marketed for middle school, this is really more of a sweet story for adults with a sentimental attachment to the work ethic of kids of the ea ...more
Jun 11, 2012
Feb 02, 2012
Erskine deftly blends humor into a novel about a middle-school shooting that took the lives of a teacher and two students, including Devon, the protag ...more
Jul 03, 2010
Apr 03, 2010
Shusterman is one of my favorite YA authors, but this book was somewhat better in concept than execution. Tennyson and Bronte are twins whose parents ...more
Jul 06, 2011
Jun 28, 2011
A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story
Two stories told in alternating chapters that intersect in a predictable way at the end, although the connection may come as a surprise to some middle ...more
Mar 17, 2011
Mar 19, 2011
Forge (Seeds of America, #2)
For the most part, I liked this sequel to Chains and think my sixth-grade students will, too. Once again, Anderson has done meticulous research -- thi ...more
Dec 12, 2010
Dec 12, 2010
The Danger Box
The Danger Box is the third middle school/YA book that I've read this year that relates to the life of Charles Darwin. This book introduces two new ki ...more
Sep 09, 2010
Sep 09, 2010
The Clockwork Three
The Clockwork Three offers three intersecting stories: of Guiseppe, who hoards money earned as a street musician playing a magical green violin to buy ...more
Aug 10, 2014
Oct 27, 2010
Out of My Mind
I had heard much good buzz about this book, so I was disappointed when it didn't measure up to my high expectations. The novel's main character, Melod ...more
Jul 06, 2010
Apr 03, 2010
One Crazy Summer (Gaither Sisters, #1)
The light, amusing tone is sure to make this book a favorite of fifth- and sixth-grade girls who enjoy realistic fiction with a historical setting. Se ...more
Jun 27, 2010
Apr 03, 2010
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3)
I agree with those who have already posted reviews of Mockingjay that it is the darkest of the three books in the "Hunger Games" trilogy, particularly ...more
Oct 17, 2010
Feb 27, 2010
This three stars is really closer to two and a half stars. It's hard to know what to make of this book set in a trash-infested slum of an unnamed deve ...more
Mar 11, 2012
Feb 02, 2012
How to Survive Middle School
One of my students raved about this book last fall, and when I saw it listed as a 2013 Caudill, I decided I should read it right away. The main charac ...more
Feb 19, 2012
Feb 02, 2012
After Ever After (Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie, #2)
This book continues the story of Jeffrey Alper, the adorable five year-old struggling with leukemia in Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie. Jeffrey is now ...more
Feb 16, 2010
Jan 20, 2010
Five Flavors of Dumb
Five Flavors of Dumb has a unique premise. Piper, who is deaf, must find a rock band a paying gig in order to remain the band's manager. The book make ...more
Jul 09, 2011
Jun 28, 2011
The Brave Escape of Edith Wharton
An engaging, informative biography with lots of photos. I am a huge Wharton fan, but I still learned many new facts from this book. I particularly lik ...more
Jun 18, 2012
Jun 18, 2012
Shooting Kabul
A powerfully told story about Fadi, an eleven year-old Muslim boy whose family escapes Afghanistan in the summer of 2001. Unfortunately, in the chaos ...more
Mar 18, 2012
Feb 02, 2012
Will Grayson, Will Grayson
The premise of this story about two characters named Will Grayson whose lives intersect and the Chicago setting pulled me in right away. I warmed imme ...more
Jan 16, 2011
Jul 03, 2010
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Origami Yoda #1)
My four stars are for all of the boys in my sixth-grade classroom, still bridging the gap from early chapter books to longer kids' books, who will lov ...more
Apr 03, 2012
Jul 03, 2010
Woods Runner
Historical fiction set during the Revolutionary War. Samuel is in the woods hunting bear when Iroquois Indians burn his parents' frontier cabin and ta ...more
Jun 13, 2011
Apr 03, 2010
Moon Over Manifest
Well-written historical fiction set in 1936 with alternating chapters set in 1918. Abilene, a twelve year-old girl, is sent to her father's boyhood to ...more
Mar 13, 2011
Jan 10, 2011
The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles, #1)
I'm not sure that this book needed to be 514 pages, but it is sure to please the same kids who adore Riordan's Percy Jackson series because it follows ...more
Jun 23, 2010
May 25, 2010
This graphic novel memoir humorously yet poignantly captures the awkwardness of adolescence. Raina not only needs braces, but she must undergo several ...more
Sep 06, 2010
Aug 22, 2010
Bamboo People
Chiko, a fifteen year-old Burmese boy whose father has been arrested, dreams of becoming a teacher when he responds to a false advertisement and is fo ...more
May 04, 2013
Feb 01, 2013
The Red Umbrella
One of the better historical fiction novels of 2010, The Red Umbrella tells the story of fourteen year-old Lucia and her younger brother Frankie who a ...more
Sep 05, 2010
Jul 03, 2010
Turtle in Paradise
A sweet, entertaining, well-paced historical fiction novel set in Key West in 1935. Turtle is sent to live with a clan of relatives she has never met ...more
Sep 30, 2011
Jun 27, 2010
Dark Life (Dark Life, #1)
My middle school students will love this first book in a futuristic new series set among pioneers on the ocean floor. Flooding from global warming has ...more
May 28, 2012
Feb 02, 2012
Readers who liked Appelt's blend of animal fiction and magical realism in The Underneath likely will appreciate this book, too. Keeper blends multiple ...more
Dec 13, 2010
Aug 12, 2010
Matched (Matched, #1)
This would have been a good book, if I hadn't already read about most of the "unique" features of Cassia's dystopian world in The Giver. Teens are ass ...more
Jul 09, 2012
Dec 31, 2010
I, Emma Freke
I loved the first half of this book about Emma Freke, a too-tall, gangly, red-haired girl who does not fit in with either her mainstream peers or quir ...more
Mar 27, 2013
Feb 01, 2013
Ninth Ward
I really liked Rhodes' story of a twelve year-old girl, Lanesha, and her elderly caregiver, Mama Ya-Ya, who find themselves stuck talking to "ghosts" ...more
Mar 30, 2012
Feb 02, 2012
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