The following is a list of titles (alphabetized by author) that
Mrs. B has read and rated by a STAR method in order for students
to get an idea of what she thought about the book. There is a
brief summary provided about the book which was not written by
Mrs. B. If you would like Mrs. B to give her own summary of the
book, just e-mail her or stop in at the library and she would be
happy to give her views!
Alexie, Sherman. The absolutely true diary of a part-time
New York : Little, Brown, 2007. Budding
cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on
the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-
white farm town school
where the only other Native American is the
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Fever, 1793. *****
New York : Aladdin Paperbacks, 2002. In 1793
Philadelphia, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook,
separated from her sick mother, learns about
self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the
horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak. *****
New York : Puffin, 2001. A traumatic event near
the end of the summer
has a devastating effect on Melinda's freshman
year in high
Balliett, Blue. The Calder game. ***
New York: Scholastic Press, 2008. When
seventh-grader Calder Pillay disappears from
a remote English village--along with an
Alexander Calder sculpture to which he has
felt strangely drawn--his friends Petra and
Tommy fly from Chicago to help his father
Bell, Ted. Nick of time. ****
New York: St. Martin's Griffin, 2008. Twelve-
year-old Nick McIver tries to help his father and
sister send vital information to England about
imminent Nazi invasion, until he finds
himself transported through time to help his
ancestor stop a mutinous captain who is aiding
the French fleet endangering British sailors.
Bloor, Edward. London calling. ***
New York : Knopf, 2008. Seventh-grader Martin
Conway believes that his life is monotonous and
dull until the night the antique radio he uses as
a night-light transports
him to the bombing of London in 1940.
Boyne, John. The boy in the striped pajamas : a fable. *****
New York : David Fickling Books, 2006.
Bored and lonely after his family moves from
Berlin to a place called "Out-With" in 1942,
Bruno, the son of a Nazi officer, befriends a boy
in striped pajamas who lives behind a wire fence.
Brashares, Ann. The second summer of the sisterhood. *****
New York: Delacorte, 2003. A sequel to "The
Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants" in which the
four girls, now sixteen, embark on another
summer of travels and life lessons charmed
by a shared pair of seemingly magical thrift-
Brashares, Ann. The sisterhood of the traveling
New York : Delacorte, , c2001. Carmen
decides to discard an old pair of jeans, but
Tibby, Lena, and Bridget think they
are great and decide that whoever the pants fit
best will get them. When the jeans fit everyone
perfectly, a sisterhood and a memorable summer
Brooks, Kevin. Martyn Pig : a novel. ***
New York : PUSH, 2003, c2002.
Faced with the
possibility of living with a
dreadful aunt, fifteen-year-old Martyn Pig decides not to tell
authorities when his alcoholic father dies accidentally,
instead asking a friend for her help in disposing of the
Butler, Dori Hillestad. The Truth About Truman School. ****
Morton Grove, Ill. : Albert Whitman & Co., 2008.
Tired of being told what to write by the school newspaper's
advisor, Zibby and her friend Amr start an underground newspaper
online where everyone is free to post anything, but
things spiral out of control when a cyberbully starts using the
site to harrass one popular girl.
Carter, Ally. I'd tell you I love you, but then I'd have to kill you. ****
New York : Hyperion Paperbacks, 2007.
As a sophomore at a secret spy school and the daughter of a former CIA
operative, Cammie is sheltered from "normal teenage life" until she
meets a local boy while on a class surveillance mission.
Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does my Shirts. *****
Creech, Sharon. Granny Torrelli Makes Soup. ****
New York : Joanna Cotler Books, c2003.
With the help of her wise old grandmother, twelve-year-old Rosie manages to
work out some problems in her relationship with her best
friend, Bailey,the boy next door.
DiCamillo, Kate. The Tale of Despereaux : being the
story of a mouse, a princess, some soup, and a spool of thread. *****
Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press, 2003.
The adventures of Desperaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual
talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who
longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring
them all to ruin.
Gantos, Jack. Joey Pigza Loses Control. ***
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2000.
Joey, who is still taking medication to keep him from getting too wired,
goes to spend the summer with the hard-drinking father he has
never known and tries to help the baseball team he coaches
win the championship.
Geary, Rick. The Fatal Bullet : a true account of
assassination, lingering pain, death, and burial
of James A.
Garfield, twentieth president of the United
including the inglorious life and career of the
assassin Guiteau. New York : NBM, 1999.
A true account of the assassination and
death of President James A.
Garfield, presented in comic art.
Hale, Shannon. Book of a Thousand Days. *****
New York: [S.l.] : Holtzbrinck Publishers, 2007.
Fifteen-year-old Dashti, sworn to obey her
sixteen-year-old mistress, the Lady
Saren, shares Saren's years of punishment locked
in a tower, then
brings her safely to the lands of her true love,
must hide who they are as they work as kitchen
Hart, Christopher. Kids draw Manga. ***
New York : Watson-Guptill, 2004.
Introduces the basics of manga sketching and shows
how to draw twenty-two types of manga characters,
Henkes, Kevin. Bird Lake Moon. ***
New York : Greenwillow Books, 2008.
Twelve-year-old Mitch, spending the summer
with his grandparents at Bird Lake after his
separation, becomes friends with ten-year-old
has returned with his family to the lake where
brother drowned years earlier, and as the boys
together and their friendship grows, each of them
Johnston, Tony. Bone by bone by bone *****
Korman, Gordon. No more dead dogs. ****
New York : Hyperion Books for Children, c2000.
Eighth-grade football hero
Wallace Wallace is sentenced to detention
rehearsals of the school play where, in spite of
becomes wrapped up in the production and begins
changes that improve not only the play but his
life as well.
Law, Ingrid. Savvy. ***
New York : Boston: Dial Books for Young Readers ;
Walton Media, c2008.
Recounts the adventures of Mibs Beaumont, whose
thirteenth birthday has
revealed her "savvy"--a magical power unique to
of her family--just as her father is injured in a
Levine, Gail Carson. Ella Enchanted. ****
New York, NY : Harper Collins Publishers, 1997.
In this novel based on the story of Cinderella,
against the childhood curse that forces her to
obey any order given to her.
Mackler, Carolyn. The earth, my butt, and other big,
round things. ***
Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press,
c2003. Feeling like she does not fit in with the
members of her family, who are all thin,
good-looking, fifteen-year-old Virginia tries to
her self-image, her first physical relationship,
disillusionment with some of the people closest
Meyer, Stephanie. Twilight. *****+
A vampire tale. You will also want to read the
sequels. New Moon, Eclipse and
Myers, Walter Dean. Sunrise over Fallujah. ****
New York : Scholastic Press, 2008. Robin Perry,
from Harlem, is
sent to Iraq in 2003 as a member of the Civilian
Battalion, and his time there profoundly changes
Park, Linda Sue. A Single Shard. ****
New York : Clarion Books, 2001. Tree-ear, a
orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in
a potters' village, and longs
to learn how to throw the delicate celadon
Park, Linda Sue. When My Name was Keoko. ****
New York : Clarion Books, 2002.
With national pride and occasional fear, a
brother and sister face the increasingly
occupation of Korea by Japan during World War II,
threatens to suppress Korean culture entirely.
Pearson, Mary (Mary E.). The Adoration of Jenna Fox. ****
New York : Henry Holt, 2008. In the not-too-
when biotechnological advances have made
and brains possible but illegal, a seventeen-year-
recovering from a serious accident and suffering
lapses, learns a startling secret about her
Peck, Richard. The Teacher's Funeral. ****
Peck, Richard, 1934-. A Year Down Yonder. ***
New York : Dial Books for Young Readers, 2000.
During the recession of 1937,
fifteen-year-old Mary Alice is sent to live with
larger-than-life grandmother in rural Illinois
and comes to
a better understanding of this fearsome woman.
Sachar, Louis, 1954-. Holes. ***
New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998.
As further evidence of his family's bad
fortune which they attribute to a curse on a
relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish
camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first
friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.
Sachar, Louis. Small Steps. *****
Sequel to Holes.
Snicket, Lemony. The bad beginning. ****
New York : HarperCollins, 1999.
After the sudden death of their parents, the three
Baudelaire children must depend on each other and
when it turns out that the distant relative who
their guardian is determined to use any means
get their fortune.
Sones, Sonya. What my mother doesn't know. ***
New York : Simon Pulse, 2003. Sophie describes
relationships with a series of boys as she
searches for Mr.
Spiegelman, Art. Maus : a survivor's tale. ***
New York : Pantheon Books, 1986.
A memoir about Vladek Spiegleman, a Jewish
survivor of Hitler's Europe, and about his son, a
who tries to come to terms with his father, his
with history itself. Cartoon format portrays Jews
and Nazis as cats.
Spinelli, Jerry. Stargirl. *****
New York : A. Knopf, 2000.
Stargirl, a teen who animates quiet Mica High with her colorful personality, suddenly
finds herself shunned for her refusal to conform.
Stewart, Trenton Lee. The Mysterious Benedict Society. ***
New York : Little, Brown, 2007.
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.
Van Draanen, Wendelin. Flipped. *****
New York : A.A. Knopf, 2001.
In alternating chapters, two 8th graders describe how their
feelings about themselves, each other, and their families have
changed over the years.
Van Draanen, Wendelin. Sammy Keyes Series. *****
Wells, Rosemary. Red Moon at Sharpburg. ***
Zusack, Markus. The Book Thief. *****+