The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken 168 pages.
- Bonnie and Sylvia become the victims of wolves and their grim governess, Miss Slighcarp, when their parents go off on a sea voyage. Check our catalogue
Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez 167 pages.
- In the early 1960s in the Dominican Republic, twelve-year-old Anita learns that her family is involved in the underground movement to end the bloody rule of the dictator, General Trujillo. Check our catalogue
Blood on the River: James Town 1607 by Elisa Carbone 237 pages.
- Traveling to the New World in 1606 as the page to Captain John Smith, twelve-year-old orphan Samuel Collier settles in the new colony of James Town, where he must quickly learn to distinguish between friend and foe. Check our catalogue
Diamond of Drury Lane: A Cat Royal Adventure by Julia Golding 424 pages.
- Catherine "Cat" Royal, an orphan who lives at the Drury Lane Theater in 1790s London, tries to find the "diamond" supposedly hidden in the theater, which unmasks a treasonous political cartoonist and involves her in the street gangs of Covent Garden and the world of nobility. Check our catalogue
Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata 312 pages.
- A young soldier in Vietnam bonds with his bomb-sniffing dog. Check our catalogue
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly 340 pages.
- In central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother, learns about love from the older three of her six brothers, and studies the natural world with her grandfather, the latter of which leads to an important discovery. Check our catalogue
Jip: His Story by Katherine Paterson 181 pages.
- While living on a Vermont poor farm during 1855 and 1856, Jip learns his identity and that of his mother and comes to understand how he arrived at this place. Check our catalogue
The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander 217 pages.
- Taran, Assistant Pig-Keeper to a famous oracular sow, sets out on a hazardous mission to save Prydain from the forces of evil. Check our catalogue
The Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron 284 pages.
- A young boy who has no identity nor memory of his past washes ashore on the coast of Wales and finds his true name after a series of fantastic adventures. Check our catalogue
Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer 277 pages.
- When a twelve-year-old evil genius tries to restore his family fortune by capturing a fairy and demanding a ransom in gold, the fairies fight back with magic, technology, and a particularly nasty troll. Check our catalogue
Iris, Messenger by Sarah Deming 209 pages.
- After discovering that the immortals of Greek mythology reside in her hometown of Middleville, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Iris listens to their life stories, gaining wisdom, beauty, and startling revelations about her past. Check our catalogue
City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau 270 pages.
- In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions. Check our catalogue
Ranger's Apprentice Book One: The Ruins of Gorlan by John Flanagan 249 pages.
- Reluctant at first, Ranger's apprentice Will soon finds himself at home shooting arrows, tracking people and animals, and battling monsters to provide safety to the kingdom. Check our catalogue
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman 312 pages.
- After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own. Check our catalogue
Island of the Aunts by Eva Ibbotson 281 pages.
- As they get older, several sisters decide that they must kidnap children and bring them to their secluded island home to help with the work of caring for an assortment of unusual sea creatures. Check our catalogue
Savvy by Ingrid Law 342 pages.
- Recounts the adventures of Mibs Beaumont, whose thirteenth birthday has revealed her "savvy"--a magical power unique to each member of her family--just as her father is injured in a terrible accident. Check our catalogue
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull 359 pages.
- When Kendra and Seth go to stay at their grandparents' estate, they discover that it is a sanctuary for magical creatures and that a battle between good and evil is looming. Check our catalogue
The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas 419 pages.
- A young thief is drawn into a life of magic and adventure after picking the pocket of the powerful wizard Nevery Flinglas, who has returned from exile to attempt to reverse the troubling decline of magic in Wellmet City. Check our catalogue
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan 377 pages.
- Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson learns he is a demigod, the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea. His mother sends him to a summer camp for demigods where he and his new friends set out on a quest to prevent a war between the gods. Check our catalogue
Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede 212 pages.
- Bored with traditional palace life, a princess goes off to live with a group of dragons and soon becomes involved with fighting against some disreputable wizards who want to steal away the dragons' kingdom. Check our catalogue
The Tiger's Apprentice by Laurence Yep 224 pages.
- A tiger, a monkey, a dragon, and a twelve-year-old Chinese American boy fight to keep a magic talisman out of the hands of an enemy who would use its power to destroy the world. Check our catalogue
The Angel Factory by Terence Blacker 216 pages.
- Spurred on by his best friend, twelve-year-old Thomas uncovers two major family secrets: that he was adopted, and that his perfect-seeming family is part of an other-worldly organization. Check our catalogue
The 13th Reality: The Journal of Curious Letters by James Dashner 434 pages.
- Atticus (“Tick”) Higginbottom is experiencing the normal life of a 13-year-old until he receives a letter warning him that dangerous events have occurred which may affect reality itself! Check our catalogue
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer 380 pages.
- In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patrón, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States. Check our catalogue
The Ear, the Eye and the Arm by Nancy Farmer 311 pages.
- In 2194 in Zimbabwe, General Matsika's three children are kidnapped and put to work in a plastic mine, while three mutant detectives use their special powers to search for them. Check our catalogue
Eager by Helen Fox 280 pages.
- Eager is a special kind of robot, since he learns through his experiences, but will he be able to help determine why the new BDC4 robots are acting so strangely? Check our catalogue
Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix 153 pages.
- In a future where the Population Police enforce the law limiting a family to only two children, Luke has lived all his twelve years in isolation and fear on his family's farm, until another "third" convinces him that the government is wrong. Check our catalogue
The Giver by Lois Lowry 180 pages.
- 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. Check our catalogue
Only You Can Save Mankind by Terry Pratchett 207 pages.
- Twelve-year-old Johnny endures tensions between his parents, watches television coverage of the Gulf War, and plays a computer game called Only You Can Save Mankind, in which he is increasingly drawn into the reality of the alien ScreeWee. Check our catalogue
The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex 423 pages.
- When her mother is abducted by aliens on Christmas Eve (or "Smekday" Eve since the Boov invasion), 11- year-old Tip hops in the family car and heads south to find her and meets an alien Boov mechanic who agrees to help her and save the planet from disaster. Check our catalogue
Jumpman Rule #1: Don’t Touch Anything by James Valentine 268 pages.
- When a defective time-jumping device strands Theodore, a teen from the distant future, in the twenty-first century, he is helped by two high schoolers--Jules, who is having time problems of his own, and Gen, an old friend Jules was about to ask out. Check our catalogue
Earthborn by Sylvia Waugh 273 pages.
- Upon suddenly learning that her parents are researchers from another planet and they must leave in seven days or risk discovery, twelve-year-old Nesta decides to stay in their York, England, home, whether or not her parents go. Check our catalogue
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger 141 pages.
- Sixth-grader Tommy and his friends describe their interactions with a paper finger puppet of Yoda, worn by their weird classmate Dwight, as they try to figure out whether or not the puppet can really predict the future. Includes instructions for making Origami Yoda. Check our catalogue
Stand Tall by Joan Bauer 182 pages.
- Tree, a six-foot-three-inch twelve-year-old, copes with his parents' recent divorce and his failure as an athlete by helping his grandfather, a Vietnam vet and recent amputee, and Sophie, a new girl at school. Check our catalogue
Millions by Frank Cottrell Boyce 247 pages.
- After their mother dies, two brothers find a huge amount of money which they must spend quickly before England switches to the new European currency, but they disagree on what to do with it. Check our catalogue
Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot 238 pages.
- Fourteen-year-old Mia, who is trying to lead a normal life as a teenage girl in New York City, is shocked to learn that her father is the Prince of Genovia, a small European principality, and that she is a princess and the heir to the throne. Check our catalogue
12 Again by Sue Corbett 227 pages.
- Twelve year old Patrick's mother is missing and unless he can get her back, he faces a life of waiting on his brother. Check our catalogue
Last Shot by John Feinstein 251 pages.
- After winning a basketball reporting contest, eighth graders Stevie and Susan Carol are sent to cover the Final Four tournament, where they discover that a talented player is being blackmailed into throwing the final game. Check our catalogue
Hoot by Carl Hiaasen 292 pages.
- Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site. Check our catalogue
My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvath 260 pages.
- Twelve-year-old Jane, who lives at the beach in a run-down old house with her mother, two brothers, and sister, has an eventful summer accompanying her pastor on bible deliveries, meeting former boyfriends of her mother, and being coerced into babysitting for a family of ill-mannered children. Check our catalogue
Alabama Moon by Watt Key 294 pages.
- After the death of his father, ten-year-old Moon leaves their forest shelter home and is sent to an Alabama institution, becoming entangled in the outside world he has never known and makes good friends, a relentless enemy, and finally a new life. Check our catalogue
Silent to the Bone by E.L. Konigsburg 261 pages.
- When he is wrongly accused of gravely injuring his baby half-sister, thirteen-year-old Branwell loses his power of speech and only his friend Connor is able to reach him and uncover the truth about what really happened. Check our catalogue
No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman 180 pages.
- Eighth-grade football hero Wallace Wallace is sentenced to detention attending rehearsals of the school play where, in spite of himself, he becomes wrapped up in the production and begins to suggest changes that improve not only the play but his life as well. Check our catalogue
The Girls by Amy Goldman Koss 121 pages.
- Each of the girls in a middle-school clique reveals the strong, manipulative hold one of the group exerts on the others, and the hurt and self-doubt that it causes them. Check our catalogue
Rules by Cynthia Lord 200 pages.
- Frustrated at life with a brother with autism, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with an young paraplegic. Check our catalogue
Fire Pony by Rodman Philbrick 175 pages.
- Eleven-year-old Roy lets himself find a loving family and a new home on the horse ranch which he and his older half-brother happen to come upon. Check our catalogue
Becoming Naomi León by Pam Muñoz Ryan 246 pages.
- When Naomi's absent mother resurfaces to claim her, Naomi runs away to Mexico with her great-grandmother and younger brother in search of her father. Check our catalogue
Regular Guy by Sarah Weeks 120 pages.
- Because he is so different from his eccentric parents, twelve-year-old Guy is convinced he has been switched at birth with a classmate whose parents seem more normal. Check our catalogue
Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator by Jennifer Allison 321 pages.
- During the summer before ninth grade, intrepid Gilda Joyce invites herself to the San Francisco mansion of distant cousin Lester Splinter and his thirteen-year-old daughter, where she uses her purported psychic abilities and detective skills to solve the mystery of the mansion's boarded-up tower. Check our catalogue
The Seer of Shadows by Avi 202 pages.
- In New York City in 1872, fourteen-year-old Horace, a photographer's apprentice, becomes entangled in a plot to create fraudulent spirit photographs, but when Horace accidentally frees the real ghost of a dead girl bent on revenge, his life takes a frightening turn. Check our catalogue
The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd 322 pages.
- When Ted and Kat's cousin Salim disappears from the London Eye ferris wheel, the two siblings--Ted with his brain that is "wired differently" and impatient Kat-- must work together to try to solve the mystery of what happened to Salim. Check our catalogue
The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin 185 pages.
- The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance. Check our catalogue
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart 485 pages.
- After passing a series of mind-bending tests, four children are selected for a secret mission that requires them to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. Check our catalogue
Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen 168 pages.
- Thirteen-year-old Sammy involves herself in the investigation of a robbery at the "seedy" hotel across the street from the seniors' building where she is living with her grandmother. Check our catalogue
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi 215 pages.
- As the lone "young lady" on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious. Check our catalogue
The Palace of Laughter: The Wednesday Tales No. 1 by Jon Berkeley 427 pages.
- Orphaned eleven-year-old Miles Wednesday and his companion, a Song Angel named Little, are helped by a talking tiger as they set off to find a missing Storm Angel and Miles' beloved stuffed bear, ending up in a peculiar circus where the audience cannot stop laughing. Check our catalogue
The Remarkable & Very True Story of Lucy & Snowcap by H.M. Bouwman 270 pages.
- In 1788, thirteen years after English convicts are shipwrecked on the magical islands of Tathenland, two twelve-year-old girls, one a native Colay, the other the child-governor of the English, set out on a journey to stop the treachery from which both peoples are suffering. Check our catalogue
Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz 192 pages.
- After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is coerced to continue his uncle's dangerous work for Britain's intelligence agency, MI6. Check our catalogue
Lost At Sea by Jonathan Neale 101 pages.
- A brother and sister recount their harrowing experiences as they sail a small yacht across the Atlantic Ocean, after their mentally unstable mother's boyfriend is washed overboard. Check our catalogue
Night of the Howling Dogs by Graham Salisbury 191 pages.
- In 1975, eleven Boy Scouts, their leaders, and some new friends camping at Halape, Hawaii, find their survival skills put to the test when a massive earthquake strikes, followed by a tsunami. Check our catalogue
Laika by Nick Abadzis 205 pages.
- This is the journey of Laika, the abandoned puppy destined to become Earth's first space traveler. With the blending of fact and fiction, this story intertwines three compelling lives. Along with Laika, there is Korolev, a driven engineer at the top of the Soviet space program and Yelena, the lab technician responsible for Laika's health and life. Check our catalogue
Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale 144 pages.
- Rapunzel is raised in a grand villa surrounded by towering walls. Rapunzel dreams of a different mother than Gothel, the woman she calls Mother. She climbs over the wall and finds out the truth. Her real mother, Kate, is a slave in Gothel's gold mine. In this Old West retelling, Rapunzel uses her hair as a lasso and to take on outlaws--including Gothel. Check our catalogue
Bone: Out from Boneville by Jeff Smith 142 pages.
- Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone are run out of their home, Boneville, and become separated in the wilds, but better fortune begins when the three cousins reunite at a farmstead in a deep forested valley, where Fone meets a young girl named Thorn. Check our catalogue
Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow by James Sturm 89 pages.
- Satchel Paige began his baseball career in the Negro Leagues in Alabama in the 1920s. For years, Jim Crow laws, which segregated blacks and whites, kept him out of the major leagues. But they couldn't stop him from becoming a world-class athlete. This is a fictionalized account of a real-life sports hero. Check our catalogue
Smile by Raina Telgemeier 218 pages.
- Raina has a long and frustrating journey with braces, surgery, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there's an earthquake, boy confusion, and unfriendly friends. Check our catalogue
Robot Dreams by Sara Varon 205 pages.
- The enduring friendship between a dog and a robot is portrayed in this wordless graphic novel. Check our catalogue
Encyclopedia Horrifica: The Terrifying Truth About Vampires, Ghosts, Monsters and More by Joshua Gee 129 pages
- Joshua Gee has collected a wealth of true information about untrue entities: vampires, werewolves, merpeople, ghosts and much more. Check our catalogue
One Million Things: A Visual Encyclopedia by Kim Bryan 304 pages.
- Featuring gorgeous photographs that illustrate and educate, this visual encyclopedia is jam-packed with thousands and thousands of images that bring more than one million things to light. Check our catalogue
Corpses, Coffins and Crypts: A History of Burial by Penny Colman 212 pages.
- Documents the burial process throughout the centuries and in different cultures. Check our catalogue
An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 by Jim Murphy 165 pages.
- In August, 1793, yellow fever came to Philadelphia and started a horrific epidemic. Learn about the possible causes and cures of this disease through firsthand accounts. Check our catalogue
My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen 137 pages.
- The author describes some of the dogs that have had special places in his life, including his first dog, Snowball, in the Philippines; Dirk, who protected him from bullies; and Cookie, who saved his life. Check our catalogue
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Sixth graders lead busy lives. With sports practice, homework, weekend debate tournaments, and walking to Starbucks with friends after school, it can be hard to find time to read for pleasure. But this is a time in their changing lives when they’re seriously in need of a safe outlet like reading to help them make sense of the world and escape from the pressures of everyday life.
So, how do we get them to read? The secret to getting anyone to read, especially busy middle schoolers, is finding the book that hooks.
Here are six books that the sixth graders in my Bookoplis Book Club are raving about right now and made time in their busy schedules to read.
by Rebecca Stead
The newest book from the Newbery winning author of When You Reach Me has three intertwined storylines about friendship, loyalty, and love. At the center of the book are three seventh grade girls — Bridge, Emily, and Tabitha — who have been best friends since third grade. Their ups and downs with new friends, new interests, and family issues perfectly capture what it’s like to be in middle school. Julia, 11, says, “You have to read this book ... it’s a really funny realistic fiction book about friendship. It is SUPER good.”
The Thing About Jellyfish
by Ali Benjamin
Another great pick for fans of realistic fiction and “sad” books. Suzy learns that her best friend, Frannie, has died. In her attempt to process this horrible news, she develops a theory that Frannie’s death must have been caused by a jellyfish. It’s a story about friendship and change and dealing with hard things in life. Molly, 11, says, “This book is very good, exciting, and sad at times, too. I would recommend this book to any girls in middle school.”
The School for Good and Evil
by Soman Chainani, illustrated by Iacopo Bruno
Mio, 11, highly recommends this modern fairy tale that re-examines our assumptions about what it means to be good or evil. “It is a perfect mixture of mystery and fairy tale. I love it!” There are three books in this popular series about the adventures of Sophie and Agatha who have been selected to enter the prestigious School for Good and Evil and find themselves living in the fairy tales they’ve known since childhood.
by Kiera Cass
Charlotte, 11, declares, “This series is the best. Really, you have to read it.” A great vacation book for those who enjoy stories about princesses and love and glittering balls. In this dystopian romance, the world is divided into “castes” and a group of girls are given the chance to move up in their rank and marry the prince. Most girls see this as the chance of a lifetime, but for America it sounds like a nightmare since it would take her away from her secret love, Aspen. This YA novel is also super popular with teens (and many adults) who are fans of romance, fantasy, and fairy tales with a bit of adventure.
by Neal Shusterman
Bridget, 12, raves, “This is the best series in the entire world ... full of mystery, adventure, and a touch of creepiness.” Set in a future world where pro-choice and pro-life proponents compromise that human life cannot be touched from conception to age 13, but from ages 13 to 18 troublesome tweens can be eliminated through an “unwinding”. The series follows three teens who become runaway Unwinds and work to change the system. This twisted dystopian story is definitely best suited to more mature readers due to the subject matter and some violent scenes.
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