Summer Reading Suggestions 2012

Realistic Fiction

No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman
Summary:  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.

What’s Bugging Bailey Becker by Gail Donovan
Summary:  When fifth-grader Bailey, who lives on an island off the coast of Maine, suffers a series of setbacks, including a lice outbreak at school, it will take every ounce of her determination and the help of new school friends to get everything back together.

Poison Apples by Lily Archer
Summary:  Three girls at a posh boarding school plot revenge against their evil stepmothers.

Melting of Maggie Bean by Tricia Rayburn
Summary:  Hoping to make new friends and gain the attention of her crush, Peter Applewood, overweight, straight-A student Maggie Bean, decides to try out for the synchronized swim team.

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Summary:  After her mother leaves home suddenly, thirteen-year-old Sal and her grandparents take a car trip retracing her mother’s route. Along the way, Sal recounts the story of her friend Phoebe, whose mother also left.

Can You Feel the Thunder? By Lynn E. McElfresh

Summary:  Thirteen-year-old Mic Parsons struggles with mixed feelings about his deaf and blind sister while at the same time he makes his way through the turmoils of junior high.

How to Survive Middle School by Donna Gephart
Summary:  David plans to host the Daily Show someday, but for now, he has to deal with middle school!  His best friend has deserted him for a group of mean kids, his mother has disappeared, and his dad might as well have.  David keeps himself from going crazy by  filming his own Daily Show—and when friends post it on YouTube, it goes viral!  Now everyone’s mad because they look dumb on screen—but Jon Stewart wants to interview him—on the air!  This book has some really funny moments, so check it out!

Love Puppies and Corner Kicks by R. W. Krech
Summary: Thirteen-year-old Andrea is devastated when her parents announce that the family is moving to Scotland for a year-long teacher exchange program, but as she makes new friends, joins a soccer team, and her stutter improves, life does not seem so bad.

My Life in Pink and Green by Lisa Greenwald
Summary:  When the family’s drugstore is failing, seventh-grader Lucy uses her problem-solving talents to come up with a solution that might resuscitate the business, along with helping the environment.

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt
Summary:  During the summer of 1971 in a smallTexastown, thirteen-year-old Toby and his best friend Cal meet the star of a sideshow act, 600-pound Zachary, the fattest boy in the world.

Eleven by Lauren Myracle
Summary:  The year between turning eleven and turning twelve brings many changes for Winnie and her friends.

Slob by Ellen Potter
Summary:  Picked on, overweight genius Owen tries to invent a television that can see the past to find out what happened the day his parents were killed.

Peak by Roland Smith
Summary:  A fourteen-year-old boy attempts to be the youngest person to reach the top ofMount Everest.

Zen and the Art of Faking It by Jordan Sonnenblick
Summary:  When thirteen-year-old San Lee moves to a new town and school for the umpteenth time, he is looking for a way to stand out when his knowledge of Zen Buddhism, gained in his previous school, provides the answer–and the need to quickly become a convincing Zen master.

So Totally Emily Ebers by Lisa Yee
Summary:  In a series of letters to her absent father, twelve-year-old Emily Ebers deals with moving cross-country, her parents’ divorce, a new friendship, and her first serious crush.


Palace of Mirrors by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Summary:  Fourteen-year-old Cecilia has always known she is the true princess of Suala, but when she and her best friend, Harper, decide to speed up her ascendancy to the throne, they find danger and many imposters who challenge her claim.

Dodger and Me by Jordan Sonnenblick
Summary:  Miserable because his only friend moved away and he has once again caused his baseball team to lose a game, fifth-grader Willy Ryan’s life suddenly becomes a lot more interesting when he finds Dodger, a furry, blue chimpanzee that only he can see, and he has to decide what he really wishes for in life.

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer (first in a series)
Summary:  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.

Falling In by Frances O’Roark Dowell
Summary:  Middle-schooler Isabelle Bean follows a mouse’s squeak into a closet and falls into a parallel universe where the children believe she is the witch they have feared for years, finally come to devour them.

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins (first in a series)
Summary:  When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving humans, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy.

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo
Summary:  The adventures of Despereaux 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.

Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
Summary:  After learning that humans are headed toward his hidden home, Firedrake, a silver dragon, is joined by a brownie and an orphan boy in a quest to find the legendary valley known as the Rim of Heaven, encountering friendly and unfriendly creatures along the way, and struggling to evade the relentless pursuit of an old enemy.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (first in a series)
Summary:  Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father Mo, a bookbinder, can “read” fictional characters to life when an evil ruler named Capricorn, freed from the novel “Inkheart” years earlier, tries to force Mo to release an immortal monster from the story.

The Floating Island by Elizabeth Haydon (first in a series)
Summary:  While doing a presale test of one of his family ships, Charles Magnus Ven Polypheme comes under attack by pirates, is rescued by mermaid-like creatures, and travels to Floating Island, where there are heavily sought after magical waters.

How to Ditch Your Fairy by Justin Larbalestier
Summary:  In a world in which everyone has a personal fairy who tends to one aspect of daily life, fourteen-year-old Charlie decides she does not want hers–a parking fairy–and embarks on a series of misadventures designed to rid herself of the invisible sprite and replace it with a better one, like her friend Rochelle’s shopping fairy.

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
Summary:  In theKingdomofAyortha, Aza, an unattractive woman with a magical voice, learns to balance her appearance with her talent, meanwhile, her singing attracts both Prince Ijori, who cannot resist it, and Queen Ivi, who plots to use it to benefit herself.

The Pendragon series by D. J. MacHale
Summary:  Stories of fourteen-year-old Bobby Pendragon, apprentice to his Uncle Press, a Traveler responsible for solving interdimensional conflict.


Behind the Curtain by Peter Abrahams
Summary:  An avid Sherlock Holmes fan, eighth grader Ingrid Levin-Hill is kidnapped while investigating mysterious happenings in her home town.

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
Summary:  When Ted and Kat’s cousin Salim disappears from the London Eye Ferris wheel, the two siblings must work together–Ted with his brain that is “wired differently” and impatient Kat–to try to solve the mystery of what happened to Salim.

Last Shot by John Feinstein (first in a series)
Summary:  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.

Enola Holmes Mysteries by Nancy Springer
Summary:  The Enola Holmes books are some of the best YA mysteries being written today.  Enola has run away from her (much older) brother Sherlock—yes, that Sherlock Holmes—and has set herself up in business by pretending to be the secretary to a made-up detective.   Finding the crooks in 1890s London, Enola is way ahead of her time…and every bit as good at solving the case as Sherlock Holmes!

Swindle by Gordon Korman
Summary:  After unscrupulous collector S. Wendell Palamino cons him out of a valuable baseball card, sixth-grader Griffin Bing puts together a band of misfits to break into Palomino’s heavily guarded store and steal the card back, planning to use the money to finance his father’s failing invention, the Smart Pick fruit picker.

The Seventh Level by Jody Feldman
Summary:  Twelve-year-old Travis is invited to become a member of The Legend, Lauer Middle School’s most exclusive secret society, but first he must solve seven puzzles.

13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison (first in a series)
Summary:  Bedeviled by evil fairies that only she can see, thirteen-year-old Tanya is sent to stay with her cold and distant grandmother at Elvesden Manor, where she and the caretaker’s son solve a disturbing mystery that leads them to the discovery that Tanya’s life is in danger.

Heist Society by Ally Carter
Summary:  Fifteen-year-old Kat schemes her way into the best boarding school, hoping to leave the thieving antics of her family behind her, but Hal, a former co-conspirator, appears on campus to tell Kat that a powerful mobster believes her father stole art from a priceless collection, and in order to save him, Kat will have to recover the paintings.

Science Fiction

Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements
Summary:  When fifteen-year-old Bobby wakes up and finds himself invisible, he and his parents and his new blind friend Alicia try to find out what caused his condition and how to reverse it.

City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
Summary:  In the city ofEmber, 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.

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix (first in a series)
Summary:  When thirteen-year-olds Jonah and Chip, who are both adopted, learn they were discovered on a plane that appeared out of nowhere, full of babies with no adults on board, they realize that they have uncovered a mystery involving time travel and two opposing forces, each trying to repair the fabric of time.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (first in a series)
Summary:  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.


The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shulman
Summary:  New York high school student Elizabeth gets an after-school job as a page at the “New-York Circulating Material Repository,” and when she gains coveted access to its Grimm Collection of magical objects, she and the other pages are drawn into a series of frightening adventures involving mythical creatures and stolen goods.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Summary:  The orphan Bod, short for Nobody, is taken in by the inhabitants of a graveyard as a child of eighteen months and raised lovingly and carefully to the age of eighteen years by the community of ghosts and otherworldly creatures.

Hidden Talents by David Lubar
Summary:  Thirteen-year-old Martin, a new student at an alternative school for misfits and problem students, falls in with a group of boys with psychic powers and discovers something surprising about himself.

Stuck on Earth by David Klass
Summary:  Before the Gagnerians obliterate all life on earth, they send super-smart but sluglike Ketchvar to decide the fate of all humans (“the laughingstock of the universe”).  Ketchvar slides up the nose and into the brain of Tom, a bullied middle school kid, and then proceeds to decide that life on earth pretty much stinks.  His alien speech coming out of Tom’s mouth is very funny, and you’ll be rooting for Tom and the rest of the humans  as they manage to avoid the death ray!

Everlost by Neal Shusterman (first in a series)
Summary:  When Nick and Allie are killed in a car crash, they end up in Everlost, or limbo for lost souls, where, although Nick is satisfied, Allie will stop at nothing–even skinjacking–to break free.

Rewind by William Sleator
Summary:  Not long after learning that he was adopted, eleven-year-old Peter is hit by a car and then given several chances to alter events that could lead to his death.

The Reformed Vampires Support Group by Catherine Jinks
Summary:  Nina’s been in the same boring therapy group for 51 years, trying to forget the taste of blood.   The problem is that nothing else exciting ever happens…until one of the group is murdered and the rest of them have to work together to solve the case.

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
Summary:  Seventeen-year-old Lily, half-mermaid and half-human, has been living on land and attending high school, where she develops a crush on a boy but is afraid to tell him of her true destiny as the ruler of the undersea kingdom of Thalassinia.


39 Clues by various authors (series)
Summary:  Amy and Dan, members of the powerful Cahill family, try to uncover the thirty-nine clues which will reveal the secrets of their lineage – and lead them to the world’s most legendary treasure!  Of course, other members of the family are also looking for the treasure, and will stop at nothing to eliminate the competition.  Who can they trust?  Each book is written by a different famous author, including Rick Riordan, Gordon Korman, and Patrick Carman

Airman by Eoin Colfer
Summary: Conor’s easy life with best friend Princess Isabella takes a brutal turn when he’ framed for a murder and  the evil Bonvilain secretly throws him into the diamond mines as part of a murderous plot to overthrow the king.  Against steep odds, Conor survives and, several years later, engineers an aerial escape (and an alternate identity to go with it) that leads to an edge-of-your-seat climax.

Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz (series)
Summary:  What if James Bond had started spying as a teenager?  In Stormbreaker , Alex is shocked by the death of his Uncle Ian in a traffic accident. Suspicious of the official explanation, he investigates and finds Ian’s car riddled with bullet holes, then narrowly escapes being crushed in the car as it’s demolished.  Breaking into Ian’s office, he learns that his uncle was a spy, and reluctantly joins Britain’s MI6 intelligence agency, determined to avenge his uncle’s death and keep the evil villain Herod Sayles from murdering Britain’s schoolchildren through biological warfare.  There are lots of books in the series, so if you like this one, keep on reading!

Chance Fortune and the Outlaws by Shane Berryhill
Summary:  Determined to become a superhero, fourteen-year-old Joshua Blevins enlists the help of Captain Fearless in order to get into theBurlingtonAcademy for the Superhuman.

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter (first in a series)
Summary:  Genius Cammie Morgan begins the spring semester of her sophomore year with many questions about her ex-boyfriend, mother, and the last term, and intends to use her spying abilities to have them answered.

Crash Course by Matthew Reilly (first in a series)
Summary:  Fourteen-year-old Jason Chaser races hover cars. Jason and his brother, “the Bug,” have been accepted to theInternationalRaceSchool, where they race against great difficulties.

Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter (series)
Summary:  The Gallagher Academy for Girls sounds like any snooty boarding school – but it’s really a school for spies.  Cammie, daughter of the school’s headmistress, is known as the Chameleon for her ability to disappear in public places.  But when she’s spotted by a cute boy named Josh in the middle of the town fair, she begins a new mission: learning to be an ordinary girlfriend. Cammie soon leads a double life, and must decide which one is right for her.  Titles include: I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You, Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy, Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover, and Only the Good Spy Young.

The Game of Sunken Places by M.T. Anderson
Summary:  When two boys stay with an eccentric relative at his mansion in ruralVermont, they discover an old-fashioned board game that draws them into a mysterious adventure.

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins (first in a series)
Summary:  When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving humans, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy.

Maximum Ride series by James Patterson
Summary:  Max and her flock are genetic experiments: 98% human with 2% avian genes grafted on, they’re super-powerful – and they can fly! “Erasers” (violent genetic combinations of men and wolves) pursue them at every turn. Crossing the country first to save their youngest from the School’s scientific sadists and then track down their histories (were they born from parents or test tubes?), they wind up in New York City’s sewers. Max develops shattering headaches and a Voice in her head that crashes nearby computers and tells her to save the world. Is it a friend, or the flock’s betrayer?

Night of the Howling Dogs by Graham Salisbury
Summary:  Eleven Boy Scouts, their leaders, and some new friends camping at Halape, Hawaii, in 1975, find their survival skills put to the test when a massive earthquake strikes, followed by a tsunami.

Pendragon series by D.J. MacHale (series)
Summary:  Fourteen-year-old Bobby Pendragon learns that he’s a Traveler–someone who can ride “flumes” through time and space – when he finds himself in the alternative dimension of Denduron. While Bobby fights in a civil war to keep the Milago people out of slavery, an evil shape changer works behind the scenes to grab ultimate power.  Can a kid travel between dimensions and still score his first kiss?  Find out when you read the Pendragon series!

Young James Bond series by Charlie Higson (series)
Summary:  Young James Bond, a student at the Eton boarding school in the 1930s, travels to his aunt’s Scotland estate for the Easter holidays – where he becomes caught up in investigating the disappearance of a local boy, a crime allegedly linked to a madman with a plot for global domination.

Historical Fiction

Grimpow by Rafael Abalos
Summary:  After stumbling upon a dead knight, Grimpow finds remarkable treasures in the man’s pockets, including a stone that causes strange things to happen and sends Grimpow out on a quest that will change his life forever.

The Book Without Words by Avi
Summary:  Thorston, an alchemist who has spent his life trying to decipher the secret to immortality contained in the Book Without Words, is on the brink of realizing his dream when he drops dead, leaving Odo, a talking raven, and Sybil, a servant who was about to be sacrificed to Thorston’s plan, to reap the rewards of his work.

The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
Summary:  During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker’s classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns much of value about the world he lives in.

Okay for New by Gary Schmidt
Summary:  Fourteen-year-old Doug Swieteck faces many challenges, including an abusive father, a brother traumatized by Vietnam, suspicious teachers and police officers, and isolation, but when he meets a girl known as Lil Spicer, he develops a close relationship with her and finds a safe place at the local library.


Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn
Summary:  When thirteen-year-old Ali spends the summer with her aunt and cousin at the family’s vacation home, she stumbles upon a secret that her mother and aunt have been hiding for over thirty years.

Breathe by Cliff McNish
Summary:  When he and his mother move into an old farmhouse in the English countryside, asthmatic, twelve-year-old Jack discovers that he can communicate with the ghosts inhabiting the house and inadvertently establishes a relationship with a tormented, malevolent spirit that threatens to destroy both his mother and himself.

Killer Pizza by Greg Taylor
Summary:  While working as summer employees in a local pizza parlor, three teenagers are recruited by an underground organization of monster hunters.


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