Middle School Reading List

 

Books about Persistence/perseverance

The Ballad of Lucy Whipple by Karen Cushman. Lucy’s life in a boardinghouse in a California gold rush mining town provides a glimpse of the strength and fortitude needed on the western frontier in this down to earth story.

The Cay by Theodore Taylor. When Phillip finds himself blind after a shipwreck, and dependent on Timothy, a West Indian man, he must come to terms with his racial prejudice.

Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech. Zinny discovers herself and some family secrets by restoring an old trail and unearthing fascinating family information.

Far North by Will Hobbs. Two boys from different cultures struggle to form an alliance when they are stranded in the frozen wilderness following a plane crash and must survive bears, wolves and moose attacks.

Holes by Louis Sachar. In this book full of plot twists, Stanley is sent to Camp Green Lake, where there may be no lake but there sure are some interesting characters, past and present that help him find his destiny.

Letters From Rifka by Karen Hesse. Rifka and her family ran away from the pogroms in Russia in 1919 to cross the Atlantic and arrive at Ellis Island. She shares her memories through a series of letters.

Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman. A young homeless girl in medieval England endures hardships as she tries to find a life for herself.

Monkey Island by Paula Fox. Abandoned by his father, now Clay’s mother has disappeared. Living on the street gets easier with some new friends to help him.

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. A boy decides to live alone in the woods for a year. He discovers the value of interdependence as he struggles to survive.

Nothing But the Truth by Avi. Chaos results from miscommunication and the misuse of authority when a school rule is broken. The ironic chain of events demonstrates how emotions can define and distort truth.

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. Billie Jo fights to hold on to dreams and survival despite tragedy during the hardships of the Oklahoma dust-bowl years.

Randall’s Wall by Carol Fenner. Randall has built an emotional wall around himself for protection but a caring schoolmate tears it down with her compassion for him.

Search for the Shadowman by Joan Lowery Nixon. While doing a genealogy project, a boy uncovers a family secret and resolves a mystery by using information resources including libraries and the internet.

Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury. The lives of two Honolulu boys, one a Japanese-American, are disrupted by the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. Sal has an unsatisfied quest – to find her mother who left with too many unanswered questions.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Curtis. The return of the Watsons to Birmingham in 1963 places them in the middle of the struggle for desegregation.

 

Books about Managing Impulsivity

The Ballad of Lucy Whipple by Karen Cushman. Lucy’s life in a boardinghouse in a California gold rush mining town provides a glimpse of the strength and fortitude needed on the western frontier in this down to earth story.

Crazy Lady by Jane Conly. The neighborhood outcasts are laughed at by everyone, but Vernon seems to be developing a conscience.

Cuckoo’s Child by Suzanne Freeman. A young girl who has longed to return to America from Beirut find herself in a small town in Tennessee following the disappearance of her parents. Her new life is less perfect than she had envisioned.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. Ella’s real problem isn’t her stepmother or stepsisters; it’s the curse of obedience placed on her in this world of fairies, elves, ogres and, of course, the handsome prince.

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. A novel about a powerful friendship of two boys: Freak who is smart but physically handicapped; and Max the Mighty who is big and strong but doesn’t yet know the strength of his mind. Together, they are almost invincible.

Go Ask Alice (Anonymous). The story, in diary format, of a teenage girl’s attraction to and involvement in the drug world.

Jip: His Story by Katherine Paterson. Jip was abandoned when very young for unknown reasons. His freedom is jeopardized when the secret of his origins is revealed.

Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman. A young homeless girl in medieval England endures hardships as she tries to find a life for herself.

On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer. How will Joel be able to tell the tragic consequences of breaking a rule?

P.S. Longer Letter Later by Paula Danziger and Ann M. Martin. Elizabeth and Tara*Starr keep their friendship going through letters which reflect their family situations and their growing up.

Spying on Miss Muller by Eve Bunting. A teacher arouses suspicion in a British boarding school during World War II. Her mysterious behavior seems to coincide with German air attacks.

 

Books about Listening with Understanding and Empathy

Belle Prater’s Boy by Ruth White. In this novel set in 1960s Appalachia, Woodrow moves in with his grandparents after his mother’s disappearance and becomes friends with his cousin Gypsy who also has to face up to a loss. What really happened to Gypsy’s father and Woodrow’s mother?

Cracker Jackson by Betsy Byars. Jackson has become friends with his former babysitter and is deeply disturbed when he realizes that she is being abused by her husband. Despite the possible danger to himself, he is determined to help her.

Crazy Lady by Jane Conly. The neighborhood outcasts are laughed at by everyone, but Vernon seems to be developing a conscience.

Cuckoo’s Child by Suzanne Freeman. A young girl who has longed to return to America from Beirut find herself in a small town in Tennessee following the disappearance of her parents. Her new life is less perfect than she had envisioned.

The Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck. This story of a boy, his father and a prize winning pig intertwines the depth of a family’s love and Rob’s coming of age on a 1920s Shaker farm.

Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War by Yukio Tsuchiya. Japan is anticipating being bombed during World War II so orders are given to kill the zoo animals for public safety. This is a deeply affecting story of how war results in more than human victims.

How Do You Spell Geek? by Julie Ann Peters. New to the school, Lurlene just doesn’t fit in but Ann has been assigned to be her guide. Ann and Kimberly, long-time friends, have been studying for the spelling bee. What effect will Lurlene have on their friendship and their competitive quest?

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. Marvelous athletic feats make Jeffery Lionel Magee’s life a legend as he tries to find a home for himself despite the divisive attitudes of some of those around him.

Mick Harte Was Here by Barbara Park. When a bike accident claims the life of her brother, a young girl must find ways to cope with the tragedy.

Missing May by Cynthia Rylant. Following the death of her beloved aunt, twelve-year-old Summer and her Uncle Ob embark on a journey to find a way to contact her through a psychic medium.

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. Billie Jo fights to hold on to dreams and survival despite tragedy during the hardships of the Oklahoma dust-bowl years.

Protecting Marie by Kevin Henkes. Marie is upset with her father who will not allow her to have a pet dog. Eventually they both grow in their understanding and love of each other.

P.S. Longer Letter Later by Paula Danziger and Ann M. Martin. Elizabeth and Tara*Starr keep their friendship going through letters which reflect their family situations and their growing up.

Randall’s Wall by Carol Fenner. Randall has built an emotional wall around himself for protection but a caring schoolmate tears it down with her compassion for him.

Search for the Shadowman by Joan Lowery Nixon. While doing a genealogy project, a boy uncovers a family secret and resolves a mystery by using information resources including libraries and the internet.

Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman. An empty lot becomes a garden as neighbors formerly divided by ethnicity, economy and age gradually come together to make a change.

Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury. The lives of two Honolulu boys, one a Japanese-American, are disrupted by the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Curtis. The return of the Watsons to Birmingham in 1963 places them in the middle of the struggle for desegregation.

 

Books about Flexibility of Thinking

Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker by Cynthia DeFelice. An orphaned boy becomes apprenticed to a local doctor in the mid-1800s and must choose between the new science of medical knowledge and the grisly superstitions of the time.

Belle Prater’s Boy by Ruth White. In this novel set in 1960s Appalachia, Woodrow moves in with his grandparents after his mother’s disappearance and becomes friends with his cousin Gypsy who also has to face up to a loss. What really happened to Gypsy’s father and Woodrow’s mother?

The Cay by Theodore Taylor. When Phillip finds himself blind after a shipwreck, and dependent on Timothy, a West Indian man, he must come to terms with his racial prejudice.

Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech. Zinny discovers herself and some family secrets by restoring an old trail and unearthing fascinating family information.

Crazy Lady by Jane Conly. The neighborhood outcasts are laughed at by everyone, but Vernon seems to be developing a conscience.

Cuckoo’s Child by Suzanne Freeman. A young girl who has longed to return to America from Beirut find herself in a small town in Tennessee following the disappearance of her parents. Her new life is less perfect than she had envisioned.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. Ella’s real problem isn’t her stepmother or stepsisters; it’s the curse of obedience placed on her in this world of fairies, elves, ogres and, of course, the handsome prince.

Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney. Janie begins to search for her own identity when she sees a photo on a milk carton. Who are these people who say they are her parents?

Far North by Will Hobbs. Two boys from different cultures struggle to form an alliance when they are stranded in the frozen wilderness following a plane crash and must survive bears, wolves and moose attacks.

Holes by Louis Sachar. In this book full of plot twists, Stanley is sent to Camp Green Lake, where there may be no lake but there sure are some interesting characters, past and present that help him find his destiny.

Missing May by Cynthia Rylant. Following the death of her beloved aunt, twelve-year-old Summer and her Uncle Ob embark on a journey to find a way to contact her through a psychic medium.

Morning Girl by Michael Dorris. A young girl swimming off the shore of her Bahamian island encounters the landing party of Christopher Columbus.

Nothing But the Truth by Avi. Chaos results from miscommunication and the misuse of authority when a school rule is broken. The ironic chain of events demonstrates how emotions can define and distort truth.

The Phantom Toolbooth by Norton Juster. Milo finds himself in a world where numbers and words make a very big difference.

Protecting Marie by Kevin Henkes. Marie is upset with her father who will not allow her to have a pet dog. Eventually they both grow in their understanding and love of each other.

Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman. An empty lot becomes a garden as neighbors formerly divided by ethnicity, economy and age gradually come together to make a change.

Shiuzuko’s Daughter by Kyoto Mori. A Japanese girl is troubled by the memories of her mother who committed suicide.

Tangerine by Edward Bloor. All Paul Fisher wants to do in Tangerine, Florida is to play soccer – despite his thick glasses, his indifferent parents, an evil brother and a sinkhole that swallows his middle school.

 

Books about Metacognition

Cuckoo’s Child by Suzanne Freeman. A young girl who has longed to return to America from Beirut find herself in a small town in Tennessee following the disappearance of her parents. Her new life is less perfect than she had envisioned.

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. A novel about a powerful friendship of two boys: Freak who is smart but physically handicapped; and Max the Mighty who is big and strong but doesn’t yet know the strength of his mind. Together, they are almost invincible.

Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman. A young homeless girl in medieval England endures hardships as she tries to find a life for herself.

The Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse. Mila was adopted by dolphins at age four. Years later after being rescued, she tries to hold on to her memories while scientists study and try to “civilize” her.

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. A boy decides to live alone in the woods for a year. He discovers the value of interdependence as he struggles to survive.

Nothing But the Truth by Avi. Chaos results from miscommunication and the misuse of authority when a school rule is broken. The ironic chain of events demonstrates how emotions can define and distort truth.

The Phantom Toolbooth by Norton Juster. Milo finds himself in a world where numbers and words make a very big difference.

Shiuzuko’s Daughter by Kyoto Mori. A Japanese girl is troubled by the memories of her mother who committed suicide.

Tangerine by Edward Bloor. All Paul Fisher wants to do in Tangerine, Florida is to play soccer – despite his thick glasses, his indifferent parents, an evil brother and a sinkhole that swallows his middle school.

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. Sal has an unsatisfied quest – to find her mother who left with too many unanswered questions.

 

Books about Checking for Accuracy and Precision

Anastasia’s Album by Shelly Tanaka and Hugh Brewster. This is a collection of reproduced letters and exquisite photographs that were taken of the family of Tsar Nicholas II before their execution and centers on their youngest and still-intriguing daughter.

Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker by Cynthia DeFelice. An orphaned boy becomes apprenticed to a local doctor in the mid-1800s and must choose between the new science of medical knowledge and the grisly superstitions of the time.

Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech. Zinny discovers herself and some family secrets by restoring an old trail and unearthing fascinating family information.

Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney. Janie begins to search for her own identity when she sees a photo on a milk carton. Who are these people who say they are her parents?

How Do You Spell Geek? by Julie Ann Peters. New to the school, Lurlene just doesn’t fit in but Ann has been assigned to be her guide. Ann and Kimberly, long-time friends, have been studying for the spelling bee. What effect will Lurlene have on their friendship and their competitive quest?

Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman. A young homeless girl in medieval England endures hardships as she tries to find a life for herself.

Nothing But the Truth by Avi.Chaos results from miscommunication and the misuse of authority when a school rule is broken. The ironic chain of events demonstrates how emotions can define and distort truth.

The Phantom Toolbooth by Norton Juster. Milo finds himself in a world where numbers and words make a very big difference.

Search for the Shadowman by Joan Lowery Nixon. While doing a genealogy project, a boy uncovers a family secret and resolves a mystery by using information resources including libraries and the internet.

Spying on Miss Muller by Eve Bunting. A teacher arouses suspicion in a British boarding school during World War II. Her mysterious behavior seems to coincide with German air attacks.

Tangerine by Edward Bloor. All Paul Fisher wants to do in Tangerine, Florida is to play soccer – despite his thick glasses, his indifferent parents, an evil brother and a sinkhole that swallows his middle school.

View From Saturday by Konigsburg, E. L. Four students are chosen to be in an academic bowl competition by their very special teacher for reasons even she can’t explain. Their individual stories are interwoven in this inventive novel.

 

Books about Questioning and Problem Posing

Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker by Cynthia DeFelice. An orphaned boy becomes apprenticed to a local doctor in the mid-1800s and must choose between the new science of medical knowledge and the grisly superstitions of the time.

The Ballad of Lucy Whipple by Karen Cushman. Lucy’s life in a boardinghouse in a California gold rush mining town provides a glimpse of the strength and fortitude needed on the western frontier in this down to earth story.

Belle Prater’s Boy by Ruth White. In this novel set in 1960s Appalachia, Woodrow moves in with his grandparents after his mother’s disappearance and becomes friends with his cousin Gypsy who also has to face up to a loss. What really happened to Gypsy’s father and Woodrow’s mother?

The Cay by Theodore Taylor. When Phillip finds himself blind after a shipwreck, and dependent on Timothy, a West Indian man, he must come to terms with his racial prejudice.

Cracker Jackson by Betsy Byars. Jackson has become friends with his former babysitter and is deeply disturbed when he realizes that she is being abused by her husband. Despite the possible danger to himself, he is determined to help her.

The Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck. This story of a boy, his father and a prize winning pig intertwines the depth of a family’s love and Rob’s coming of age on a 1920s Shaker farm.

Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney. Janie begins to search for her own identity when she sees a photo on a milk carton. Who are these people who say they are her parents?

Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War by Yukio Tsuchiya. Japan is anticipating being bombed during World War II so orders are given to kill the zoo animals for public safety. This is a deeply affecting story of how war results in more than human victims.

Far North by Will Hobbs. Two boys from different cultures struggle to form an alliance when they are stranded in the frozen wilderness following a plane crash and must survive bears, wolves and moose attacks.

Go Ask Alice (Anonymous). The story, in diary format, of a teenage girl’s attraction to and involvement in the drug world.

Jip: His Story by Katherine Paterson. Jip was abandoned when very young for unknown reasons. His freedom is jeopardized when the secret of his origins is revealed.

Mick Harte Was Here by Barbara Park. When a bike accident claims the life of her brother, a young girl must find ways to cope with the tragedy.

Missing May by Cynthia Rylant. Following the death of her beloved aunt, twelve-year-old Summer and her Uncle Ob embark on a journey to find a way to contact her through a psychic medium.

Morning Girl by Michael Dorris. A young girl swimming off the shore of her Bahamian island encounters the landing party of Christopher Columbus.

On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer. How will Joel be able to tell the tragic consequences of breaking a rule?

Protecting Marie by Kevin Henkes. Marie is upset with her father who will not allow her to have a pet dog. Eventually they both grow in their understanding and love of each other.

Search for the Shadowman by Joan Lowery Nixon. While doing a genealogy project, a boy uncovers a family secret and resolves a mystery by using information resources including libraries and the internet.

Spying on Miss Muller by Eve Bunting. A teacher arouses suspicion in a British boarding school during World War II. Her mysterious behavior seems to coincide with German air attacks.

Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury. The lives of two Honolulu boys, one a Japanese-American, are disrupted by the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. Sal has an unsatisfied quest – to find her mother who left with too many unanswered questions.

 

Books about Drawing on Past Knowledge/ Application to New Situations

Anastasia’s Album by Shelly Tanaka and Hugh Brewster. This is a collection of reproduced letters and exquisite photographs that were taken of the family of Tsar Nicholas II before their execution and centers on their youngest and still-intriguing daughter.

The Ballad of Lucy Whipple by Karen Cushman. Lucy’s life in a boardinghouse in a California gold rush mining town provides a glimpse of the strength and fortitude needed on the western frontier in this down to earth story.

Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech. Zinny discovers herself and some family secrets by restoring an old trail and unearthing fascinating family information.

Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney. Janie begins to search for her own identity when she sees a photo on a milk carton. Who are these people who say they are her parents?

Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War by Yukio Tsuchiya. Japan is anticipating being bombed during World War II so orders are given to kill the zoo animals for public safety. This is a deeply affecting story of how war results in more than human victims.

The Giver by Lois Lowry. Jonas has been chosen to be given the powerful responsibility of receiving and keeping all the memories from the past.

Holes by Louis Sachar. In this book full of plot twists, Stanley is sent to Camp Green Lake, where there may be no lake but there sure are some interesting characters, past and present that help him find his destiny.

I Am the Mummy Heb-Nefert by Eve Bunting. In this picture book for older readers, an Egyptian mummy’s recollections of her life are full of visual and textual imagery.

Jip: His Story by Katherine Paterson. Jip was abandoned when very young for unknown reasons. His freedom is jeopardized when the secret of his origins is revealed.

Lyddie by Katherine Paterson. Lyddie Worthen, a mill worker in the 1840s, is struggling to cope with changes and find her place in the world in this moving depiction of those times.

Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman. A young homeless girl in medieval England endures hardships as she tries to find a life for herself.

The Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse. Mila was adopted by dolphins at age four. Years later after being rescued, she tries to hold on to her memories while scientists study and try to “civilize” her.

Search for the Shadowman by Joan Lowery Nixon. While doing a genealogy project, a boy uncovers a family secret and resolves a mystery by using information resources including libraries and the internet.

Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman. An empty lot becomes a garden as neighbors formerly divided by ethnicity, economy and age gradually come together to make a change.

Shiuzuko’s Daughter by Kyoto Mori. A Japanese girl is troubled by the memories of her mother who committed suicide.

Tangerine by Edward Bloor. All Paul Fisher wants to do in Tangerine, Florida is to play soccer – despite his thick glasses, his indifferent parents, an evil brother and a sinkhole that swallows his middle school.

Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury. The lives of two Honolulu boys, one a Japanese-American, are disrupted by the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

View From Saturday by Konigsburg, E. L. Four students are chosen to be in an academic bowl competition by their very special teacher for reasons even she can’t explain. Their individual stories are interwoven in this inventive novel.

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. Sal has an unsatisfied quest – to find her mother who left with too many unanswered questions.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Curtis. The return of the Watsons to Birmingham in 1963 places them in the middle of the struggle for desegregation.

 

Books about Precision of Language and Thought

Crazy Lady by Jane Conly. The neighborhood outcasts are laughed at by everyone, but Vernon seems to be developing a conscience.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. Ella’s real problem isn’t her stepmother or stepsisters; it’s the curse of obedience placed on her in this world of fairies, elves, ogres and, of course, the handsome prince.

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. A novel about a powerful friendship of two boys: Freak who is smart but physically handicapped; and Max the Mighty who is big and strong but doesn’t yet know the strength of his mind. Together, they are almost invincible.

The Giver by Lois Lowry. Jonas has been chosen to be given the powerful responsibility of receiving and keeping all the memories from the past.

Holes by Louis Sachar. In this book full of plot twists, Stanley is sent to Camp Green Lake, where there may be no lake but there sure are some interesting characters, past and present that help him find his destiny.

How Do You Spell Geek? by Julie Ann Peters. New to the school, Lurlene just doesn’t fit in but Ann has been assigned to be her guide. Ann and Kimberly, long-time friends, have been studying for the spelling bee. What effect will Lurlene have on their friendship and their competitive quest?

I Am the Mummy Heb-Nefert by Eve Bunting. In this picture book for older readers, an Egyptian mummy’s recollections of her life are full of visual and textual imagery.

Letters From Rifka by Karen Hesse. Rifka and her family ran away from the pogroms in Russia in 1919 to cross the Atlantic and arrive at Ellis Island. She shares her memories through a series of letters.

The Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse. Mila was adopted by dolphins at age four. Years later after being rescued, she tries to hold on to her memories while scientists study and try to “civilize” her.

Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen. Sarny is curious about reading and writing. Nightjohn left his freedom in the north to return to the south and teach slaves these forbidden skills.

Nothing But the Truth by Avi. Chaos results from miscommunication and the misuse of authority when a school rule is broken. The ironic chain of events demonstrates how emotions can define and distort truth.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. Annemarie learns the meaning of courage when she saves her Jewish friend from the Nazis during the German occupation of Denmark.

On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer. How will Joel be able to tell the tragic consequences of breaking a rule?

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. Billie Jo fights to hold on to dreams and survival despite tragedy during the hardships of the Oklahoma dust-bowl years.

The Phantom Toolbooth by Norton Juster. Milo finds himself in a world where numbers and words make a very big difference.

P.S. Longer Letter Later by Paula Danziger and Ann M. Martin. Elizabeth and Tara*Starr keep their friendship going through letters which reflect their family situations and their growing up.

Search for the Shadowman by Joan Lowery Nixon. While doing a genealogy project, a boy uncovers a family secret and resolves a mystery by using information resources including libraries and the internet.

 

Books about Using All the Senses

The Cay by Theodore Taylor. When Phillip finds himself blind after a shipwreck, and dependent on Timothy, a West Indian man, he must come to terms with his racial prejudice.

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. A novel about a powerful friendship of two boys: Freak who is smart but physically handicapped; and Max the Mighty who is big and strong but doesn’t yet know the strength of his mind. Together, they are almost invincible.

I Am the Mummy Heb-Nefert by Eve Bunting. In this picture book for older readers, an Egyptian mummy’s recollections of her life are full of visual and textual imagery.

Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman. A young homeless girl in medieval England endures hardships as she tries to find a life for herself.

Monkey Island by Paula Fox. Abandoned by his father, now Clay’s mother has disappeared. Living on the street gets easier with some new friends to help him.

The Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse. Mila was adopted by dolphins at age four. Years later after being rescued, she tries to hold on to her memories while scientists study and try to “civilize” her.

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. A boy decides to live alone in the woods for a year. He discovers the value of interdependence as he struggles to survive.

Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen. Sarny is curious about reading and writing. Nightjohn left his freedom in the north to return to the south and teach slaves these forbidden skills.

Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse. Billie Jo fights to hold on to dreams and survival despite tragedy during the hardships of the Oklahoma dust-bowl years.

The Phantom Toolbooth by Norton Juster. Milo finds himself in a world where numbers and words make a very big difference.

Winter Camp by Kirkpatrick Hill. Toughboy and his sister have to live with Natasha, an old Native American woman, after their parents have died. From her, they learn real-life skills and come to appreciate the wisdom of the past.

The Wrecker by David Skinner. A boy who builds things out of junk from instructions given by the pieces of junk themselves turns this unusual skill to defeat the school bully.

 

Books about Ingenuity, Creativity, Originality, Insight

Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker by Cynthia DeFelice. An orphaned boy becomes apprenticed to a local doctor in the mid-1800s and must choose between the new science of medical knowledge and the grisly superstitions of the time.

The Ballad of Lucy Whipple by Karen Cushman. Lucy’s life in a boardinghouse in a California gold rush mining town provides a glimpse of the strength and fortitude needed on the western frontier in this down to earth story.

Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech. Zinny discovers herself and some family secrets by restoring an old trail and unearthing fascinating family information.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. Ella’s real problem isn’t her stepmother or stepsisters; it’s the curse of obedience placed on her in this world of fairies, elves, ogres and, of course, the handsome prince.

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. A novel about a powerful friendship of two boys: Freak who is smart but physically handicapped; and Max the Mighty who is big and strong but doesn’t yet know the strength of his mind. Together, they are almost invincible.

Holes by Louis Sachar. In this book full of plot twists, Stanley is sent to Camp Green Lake, where there may be no lake but there sure are some interesting characters, past and present that help him find his destiny.

I Am the Mummy Heb-Nefert by Eve Bunting. In this picture book for older readers, an Egyptian mummy’s recollections of her life are full of visual and textual imagery.

Letters From Rifka by Karen Hesse. Rifka and her family ran away from the pogroms in Russia in 1919 to cross the Atlantic and arrive at Ellis Island. She shares her memories through a series of letters.

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. Marvelous athletic feats make Jeffery Lionel Magee’s life a legend as he tries to find a home for himself despite the divisive attitudes of some of those around him.

The Phantom Toolbooth by Norton Juster. Milo finds himself in a world where numbers and words make a very big difference.

Randall’s Wall by Carol Fenner. Randall has built an emotional wall around himself for protection but a caring schoolmate tears it down with her compassion for him.

Tangerine by Edward Bloor. All Paul Fisher wants to do in Tangerine, Florida is to play soccer – despite his thick glasses, his indifferent parents, an evil brother and a sinkhole that swallows his middle school.

The Wrecker by David Skinner. A boy who builds things out of junk from instructions given by the pieces of junk themselves turns this unusual skill to defeat the school bully.

Wringer by Jerry Spinelli. Torn between his conscience and wanting to please his father and his bullying friends, Palmer isn’t looking forward to his tenth birthday when he’ll be eligible to participate in the town pigeon shoot. And what about Nipper – his pet pigeon?

 

Books about Wonderment, Inquisitiveness, Curiosity

Anastasia’s Album by Shelly Tanaka and Hugh Brewster. This is a collection of reproduced letters and exquisite photographs that were taken of the family of Tsar Nicholas II before their execution and centers on their youngest and still-intriguing daughter.

Chasing Redbird by Sharon Creech. Zinny discovers herself and some family secrets by restoring an old trail and unearthing fascinating family information.

Crazy Lady by Jane Conly. The neighborhood outcasts are laughed at by everyone, but Vernon seems to be developing a conscience.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. Ella’s real problem isn’t her stepmother or stepsisters; it’s the curse of obedience placed on her in this world of fairies, elves, ogres and, of course, the handsome prince.

Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney. Janie begins to search for her own identity when she sees a photo on a milk carton. Who are these people who say they are her parents?

The Giver by Lois Lowry. Jonas has been chosen to be given the powerful responsibility of receiving and keeping all the memories from the past.

Holes by Louis Sachar. In this book full of plot twists, Stanley is sent to Camp Green Lake, where there may be no lake but there sure are some interesting characters, past and present that help him find his destiny.

I Am the Mummy Heb-Nefert by Eve Bunting. In this picture book for older readers, an Egyptian mummy’s recollections of her life are full of visual and textual imagery.

Morning Girl by Michael Dorris. A young girl swimming off the shore of her Bahamian island encounters the landing party of Christopher Columbus.

The Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse. Mila was adopted by dolphins at age four. Years later after being rescued, she tries to hold on to her memories while scientists study and try to “civilize” her.

Search for the Shadowman by Joan Lowery Nixon. While doing a genealogy project, a boy uncovers a family secret and resolves a mystery by using information resources including libraries and the internet.

View From Saturday by Konigsburg, E. L. Four students are chosen to be in an academic bowl competition by their very special teacher for reasons even she can’t explain. Their individual stories are interwoven in this inventive novel.

 

Books about Responsible Risk-taking

The Ballad of Lucy Whipple by Karen Cushman. Lucy’s life in a boardinghouse in a California gold rush mining town provides a glimpse of the strength and fortitude needed on the western frontier in this down to earth story.

Cracker Jackson by Betsy Byars. Jackson has become friends with his former babysitter and is deeply disturbed when he realizes that she is being abused by her husband. Despite the possible danger to himself, he is determined to help her.

Dealing With Dragons by Patricia Wrede. This fairy tale novel of a dangerous dragon, a bored princess, two princes (one dull and one enchanted) plus assorted other witches, wizards and giants provides humor and excitement with a twist.

Far North by Will Hobbs. Two boys from different cultures struggle to form an alliance when they are stranded in the frozen wilderness following a plane crash and must survive bears, wolves and moose attacks.

Go Ask Alice (Anonymous). The story, in diary format, of a teenage girl’s attraction to and involvement in the drug world.

Holes by Louis Sachar. In this book full of plot twists, Stanley is sent to Camp Green Lake, where there may be no lake but there sure are some interesting characters, past and present that help him find his destiny.

Jip: His Story by Katherine Paterson. Jip was abandoned when very young for unknown reasons. His freedom is jeopardized when the secret of his origins is revealed.

Letters From Rifka by Karen Hesse. Rifka and her family ran away from the pogroms in Russia in 1919 to cross the Atlantic and arrive at Ellis Island. She shares her memories through a series of letters.

Middle School Blues by Lou Kessem. Cindy dreads going to middle school, but eventually finds new friends, new enemies and her own self-confidence after a disastrous beginning.

Missing May by Cynthia Rylant. Following the death of her beloved aunt, twelve-year-old Summer and her Uncle Ob embark on a journey to find a way to contact her through a psychic medium.

Monkey Island by Paula Fox. Abandoned by his father, now Clay’s mother has disappeared. Living on the street gets easier with some new friends to help him.

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. A boy decides to live alone in the woods for a year. He discovers the value of interdependence as he struggles to survive.

Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen. Sarny is curious about reading and writing. Nightjohn left his freedom in the north to return to the south and teach slaves these forbidden skills.

Nothing But the Truth by Avi. Chaos results from miscommunication and the misuse of authority when a school rule is broken. The ironic chain of events demonstrates how emotions can define and distort truth.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. Annemarie learns the meaning of courage when she saves her Jewish friend from the Nazis during the German occupation of Denmark.

Wringer by Jerry Spinelli. Torn between his conscience and wanting to please his father and his bullying friends, Palmer isn’t looking forward to his tenth birthday when he’ll be eligible to participate in the town pigeon shoot. And what about Nipper – his pet pigeon?

 

Books about Displaying a Sense of Humor

The Ballad of Lucy Whipple by Karen Cushman. Lucy’s life in a boardinghouse in a California gold rush mining town provides a glimpse of the strength and fortitude needed on the western frontier in this down to earth story.

Crazy Lady by Jane Conly. The neighborhood outcasts are laughed at by everyone, but Vernon seems to be developing a conscience.

Cuckoo’s Child by Suzanne Freeman. A young girl who has longed to return to America from Beirut find herself in a small town in Tennessee following the disappearance of her parents. Her new life is less perfect than she had envisioned.

Dealing With Dragons by Patricia Wrede. This fairy tale novel of a dangerous dragon, a bored princess, two princes (one dull and one enchanted) plus assorted other witches, wizards and giants provides humor and excitement with a twist.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. Ella’s real problem isn’t her stepmother or stepsisters; it’s the curse of obedience placed on her in this world of fairies, elves, ogres and, of course, the handsome prince.

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick. A novel about a powerful friendship of two boys: Freak who is smart but physically handicapped; and Max the Mighty who is big and strong but doesn’t yet know the strength of his mind. Together, they are almost invincible.

Holes by Louis Sachar. In this book full of plot twists, Stanley is sent to Camp Green Lake, where there may be no lake but there sure are some interesting characters, past and present that help him find his destiny.

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli. Marvelous athletic feats make Jeffery Lionel Magee’s life a legend as he tries to find a home for himself despite the divisive attitudes of some of those around him.

Middle School Blues by Lou Kessem. Cindy dreads going to middle school, but eventually finds new friends, new enemies and her own self-confidence after a disastrous beginning.

The Phantom Toolbooth by Norton Juster. Milo finds himself in a world where numbers and words make a very big difference.

 

Books about Interdependent Thinking

Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker by Cynthia DeFelice. An orphaned boy becomes apprenticed to a local doctor in the mid-1800s and must choose between the new science of medical knowledge and the grisly superstitions of the time.

Belle Prater’s Boy by Ruth White. In this novel set in 1960s Appalachia, Woodrow moves in with his grandparents after his mother’s disappearance and becomes friends with his cousin Gypsy who also has to face up to a loss. What really happened to Gypsy’s father and Woodrow’s mother?

The Cay by Theodore Taylor. When Phillip finds himself blind after a shipwreck, and dependent on Timothy, a West Indian man, he must come to terms with his racial prejudice.

Crazy Lady by Jane Conly. The neighborhood outcasts are laughed at by everyone, but Vernon seems to be developing a conscience.

Dealing With Dragons by Patricia Wrede. This fairy tale novel of a dangerous dragon, a bored princess, two princes (one dull and one enchanted) plus assorted other witches, wizards and giants provides humor and excitement with a twist.

Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War by Yukio Tsuchiya. Japan is anticipating being bombed during World War II so orders are given to kill the zoo animals for public safety. This is a deeply affecting story of how war results in more than human victims.

Far North by Will Hobbs. Two boys from different cultures struggle to form an alliance when they are stranded in the frozen wilderness following a plane crash and must survive bears, wolves and moose attacks.

Holes by Louis Sachar. In this book full of plot twists, Stanley is sent to Camp Green Lake, where there may be no lake but there sure are some interesting characters, past and present that help him find his destiny.

How Do You Spell Geek? by Julie Ann Peters. New to the school, Lurlene just doesn’t fit in but Ann has been assigned to be her guide. Ann and Kimberly, long-time friends, have been studying for the spelling bee. What effect will Lurlene have on their friendship and their competitive quest?

Middle School Blues by Lou Kessem. Cindy dreads going to middle school, but eventually finds new friends, new enemies and her own self-confidence after a disastrous beginning.

Missing May by Cynthia Rylant. Following the death of her beloved aunt, twelve-year-old Summer and her Uncle Ob embark on a journey to find a way to contact her through a psychic medium.

Monkey Island by Paula Fox. Abandoned by his father, now Clay's mother has disappeared. Living on the street gets easier with some new friends to help him.

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. A boy decides to live alone in the woods for a year. He discovers the value of interdependence as he struggles to survive.

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. Annemarie learns the meaning of courage when she saves her Jewish friend from the Nazis during the German occupation of Denmark.

Protecting Marie by Kevin Henkes. Marie is upset with her father who will not allow her to have a pet dog. Eventually they both grow in their understanding and love of each other.

Randall’s Wall by Carol Fenner. Randall has built an emotional wall around himself for protection but a caring schoolmate tears it down with her compassion for him.

Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman. An empty lot becomes a garden as neighbors formerly divided by ethnicity, economy and age gradually come together to make a change.

Under the Blood Red Sun by Graham Salisbury. The lives of two Honolulu boys, one a Japanese-American, are disrupted by the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

View From Saturday by Konigsburg, E. L. Four students are chosen to be in an academic bowl competition by their very special teacher for reasons even she can’t explain. Their individual stories are interwoven in this inventive novel.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Curtis. The return of the Watsons to Birmingham in 1963 places them in the middle of the struggle for desegregation.

 

Books about the Humility of Continuous Learning

Apprenticeship of Lucas Whitaker by Cynthia DeFelice. An orphaned boy becomes apprenticed to a local doctor in the mid-1800s and must choose between the new science of medical knowledge and the grisly superstitions of the time.

Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney. Janie begins to search for her own identity when she sees a photo on a milk carton. Who are these people who say they are her parents?

Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People, and War by Yukio Tsuchiya. Japan is anticipating being bombed during World War II so orders are given to kill the zoo animals for public safety. This is a deeply affecting story of how war results in more than human victims.

The Giver by Lois Lowry. Jonas has been chosen to be given the powerful responsibility of receiving and keeping all the memories from the past.

Go Ask Alice (Anonymous). The story, in diary format, of a teenage girl’s attraction to and involvement in the drug world.

Lyddie by Katherine Paterson. Lyddie Worthen, a mill worker in the 1840s, is struggling to cope with changes and find her place in the world in this moving depiction of those times.

Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman. A young homeless girl in medieval England endures hardships as she tries to find a life for herself.

Missing May by Cynthia Rylant. Following the death of her beloved aunt, twelve-year-old Summer and her Uncle Ob embark on a journey to find a way to contact her through a psychic medium.

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. A boy decides to live alone in the woods for a year. He discovers the value of interdependence as he struggles to survive.

Nightjohn by Gary Paulsen. Sarny is curious about reading and writing. Nightjohn left his freedom in the north to return to the south and teach slaves these forbidden skills.

Search for the Shadowman by Joan Lowery Nixon. While doing a genealogy project, a boy uncovers a family secret and resolves a mystery by using information resources including libraries and the internet.

Winter Camp by Kirkpatrick Hill. Toughboy and his sister have to live with Natasha, an old Native American woman, after their parents have died. From her, they learn real-life skills and come to appreciate the wisdom of the past.