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In the Middle: Great Reads for Middle School

 

  • The boy on Cinnamon Street
    The boy on Cinnamon Street
    by Phoebe Stone.
    Since a tragedy she cannot remember, thirteen-year-old Louise has changed her name, given up gymnastics, moved in with her grandparents, and locked her feelings inside but through her friends Reni and Hen and notes from a secret admirer she begins to find herself again.
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  • Wonder
    Wonder
    R.J. Palacio.
    Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.
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  • Almost home
    Almost home
    Joan Bauer.
    Sixth-grader Sugar and her mother lose their beloved house and experience the harsh world of homelessness.
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  • Warp speed
    Warp speed
    by Lisa Yee.
    Marley Sandelski has always felt invisible at school when he is not facing bullies, but a series of unexpected events gives him a taste of popularity and insights into some classmates, well-liked or greatly-feared.
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  • The lions of Little Rock
    The lions of Little Rock
    Kristin Levine.
    In 1958 Little Rock, Arkansas, painfully shy twelve-year-old Marlee sees her city and family divided over school integration, but her friendship with Liz, a new student, helps her find her voice and fight against racism.
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  • The Boy Project : (notes and observations of Kara McAllister)
    The Boy Project : (notes and observations of Kara McAllister)
    Kami Kinard.
    Eighth-grader Kara McAllister chronicles her efforts when she tries to use the scientific method to transform her social blunders into romantic victories.
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  • Middle school, the worst years of my life
    Middle school, the worst years of my life
    James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts
    When Rafe Kane enters middle school, he teams up with his best friend, "Leo the Silent," to create a game to make school more fun by trying to break every rule in the school's code of conduct.
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  • The fourth stall
    The fourth stall
    by Chris Rylander.
    Sixth-graders Mac and Vince operate a business charging schoolmates for protection from bullies and for help to negotiate conflicts peacefully, with amazing challenges and results.
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  • The girl who circumnavigated Fairyland in a ship of her own making
    The girl who circumnavigated Fairyland in a ship of her own making
    by Catherynne Valente
    Twelve-year-old September's ordinary life in Omaha turns to adventure when a Green Wind takes her to Fairyland to retrieve a talisman the new and fickle Marquess wants from the enchanted woods.
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  • The strange case of Origami Yoda
    The strange case of Origami Yoda
    Tom Angleberger
    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.
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  • Hero
    Hero
    Mike Lupica.
    Fourteen-year-old Zach learns he has the same special abilities as his father, who was the President's globe-trotting troubleshooter until "the Bads" killed him, and now Zach must decide whether to use his powers in the same way at the risk of his own life.
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  • Out of my mind
    Out of my mind
    Sharon M. Draper.
    Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.
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  • One crazy summer
    One crazy summer
    by Rita Williams-Garcia.
    In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.
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  • Scat
    Scat
    Carl Hiaasen.
    Nick and his friend Marta decide to investigate when a mysterious fire starts near a Florida wildlife preserve and an unpopular teacher goes missing.
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  • When you reach me
    When you reach me
    Rebecca Stead.
    As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.
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  • The evolution of Calpurnia Tate
    The evolution of Calpurnia Tate
    Jacqueline Kelly.
    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.
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  • All of the above
    All of the above
    Shelley Pearsall.
    Five urban middle school students, their teacher, and other community members relate how a school project to build the world's largest tetrahedron affects the lives of everyone involved.
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