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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Twelve Days of Christmas: Gift Books: 6th-8th Grades

On the fifth day of Christmas...

We move on to great books for the middle school crowd. I could talk about these books for quite some time, so it was tough narrowing it down to just these titles. But I wanted to make sure to have a variety of options for every reader.



 (1) House of Secrets by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini.
I always tell the kids, "no, not that Columbus," but he is the genius behind MANY of your favorite movies (look him up, you'll agree!). And Vizzini is no slouch in his own right. Pair the two together and you have two creative geniuses working on a terrific new series for middle school. I highlighted it here earlier this year (briefly).

From the publisher:
Brendan, Eleanor, and Cordelia Walker once had everything: two loving parents, a beautiful house in San Francisco, and all the portable electronic devices they could want. But everything changed when Dr. Walker lost his job in the wake of a mysterious incident. Now in dire straits, the family must relocate to an old Victorian house that used to be the home of occult novelist Denver Kristoff—a house that feels simultaneously creepy and too good to be true.

(2) Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle.
I've been gushing about this one all year. You can read about it here and here.

(3) Lincoln’s Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin (HS & adult also).
A true crime thriller -- the first book for teens to tell the nearly unknown tale of the brazen attempt to steal Abraham Lincoln's body! You can't make this stuff up!


(4) Star Wars: Jedi Academy by Jeff Brown.
This has been popular at my school since I started book talking it. I describe it as Wimpy Kid meets Star Wars meets middle school.

From the publisher:
Roan's one dream is to leave home and attend Pilot Academy like his older brother, father, and grandfather. But just as Roan is mysteriously denied entrance to Pilot School, he is invited to attend Jedi Academy--a school that he didn't apply to and only recruits children when they are just a few years old. That is, until now...

(5) 45 Pounds, More or Less by K. A. Barson.
I have talked about this one a lot this year also. I really love this one. SO MUCH. 

From the publisher:
Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi's life:
She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 2 months, and wants Ann to be a bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less).



(6) Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington.
This is a quiet gem of a novel. I have talked about it a lot. I've forced it on teachers and students alike. Everyone that reads it comes back and says, "amazing!" I would love for this to be a classroom novel...or all school read...someday.

From the publisher:
You've never met anyone exactly like twelve-year-old Sarah Nelson. While most of her friends obsess over Harry Potter, she spends her time writing letters to Atticus Finch. She collects trouble words in her diary. Her best friend is a plant. And she's never known her mother, who left when Sarah was two.

Since then, Sarah and her dad have moved from one small Texas town to another, and not one has felt like home.


Everything changes when Sarah launches an investigation into her family's Big Secret. She makes unexpected new friends and has her first real crush, and instead of a "typical boring Sarah Nelson summer," this one might just turn out to be extraordinary.


(7) Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan.
Another quiet gem that needs just the right reader, but is AMAZING! I also highlighted it here.

From the publisher:
Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn't kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now.

(8) Road Trip by Gary Paulsen.
Fans of Gary Paulsen are everywhere. This is a quick read, but a terrific book that works well for boys and girls. Another one I've been recommending a lot, as you can see here.



(9) Lost Kingdom by Matthew Kirby.
Terrific for fans of history, fantasy, science fiction...it has a little bit of everything. And is really hard for me to explain. But I think that you will really enjoy the adventure.

From the publisher:
Billy Bartram, his father, and a secret society of philosophers and scientists venture into the American wilderness in search of the lost people of the Welsh Prince Madoc, seeking aid in the coming war against the French. Traveling in a flying airship, the members of the expedition find their lives frequently endangered in the untamed American West by terrifying creatures, a party of French soldiers hot on their trail, and the constant threat of traitors and spies. Billy will face hazards greater than he can ever imagine as, together with his father, he gets caught up in the fight for the biggest prize of all: America.


(10) Battling Boy by Paul Pope.
A great book! Starred reviews abound!

From the publisher:
Monsters roam through Arcopolis, swallowing children into the horrors of their shadowy underworld. Only one man is a match for them - the genius vigilante Haggard West.

Unfortunately, Haggard West is dead. Arcopolis is desperate, but when its salvation comes in the form of a twelve-year-old demigod, nobody is more surprised than Battling Boy himself.


(11) Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg.
I highlighted this one earlier in the year here.  Really enjoyed this one!








And remember, if you want an immediate link to the entire list, see this post.

Happy Reading! And Gifting!






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