Recommended Reading:

  • A Week in the Woods

    by Andrew Clements Year Published: Average
    Mark didn't ask to move to New Hampshire. Or to go to a hick school like Hardy Elementary. And he certainly didn't request Mr. Maxwell as his teacher. Mr. Maxwell doesn't like rich kids, or slackers, or know-it-alls. And he's decided that Mark is all of those things. Now the whole school is headed out for a week of camping -- Hardy's famous Week in the Woods. At first it sounds dumb, but then Mark begins to open up to life in the country, and he decides it might be okay to learn something new. It might even be fun. But things go all wrong for Mark. The Week in the Woods is not what anyone planned. Especially not Mr. Maxwell. With his uncanny knack to reach right to the heart of kids, Andrew Clements asks -- and answers -- questions about first impressions, fairness, loyalty, and courage -- and exactly what it takes to spend a Week in the Woods.

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  • Artemis Fowl

    by Eoin Colfer Year Published: Challenging
    After his last run-in with the faeries, Artemis Fowl had his mind wiped of his memories of the world belowground. Any goodness he had grudgingly learned is now gone, and the young genius has reverted to his criminal lifestyle. Artemis is in Berlin preparing to steal a famously well-guarded painting from a German bank. Little does he know that his every move is being watched by his cunning old rival, Opal Koboi. The evil pixie has spent the last year in a self-induced coma, plotting her revenge on all those who foiled her attempt to destroy the LEPrecon fairy police. And Artemis is at the top of her list.

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  • Best School Year Ever

    by Barbara Robinson Year Published: Average
    The Worst Kids in the History of the World! When anything goes wrong at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, from the hexing of Bus Six to the mysterious disappearance of the kindergarten gerbil, it's sure to have a Herdman behind it. The Herdmans are more than famous -- they're outlaws. They smoke cigars, lie, and set fire to things, and that's only when they bother to come to school! Then a school project forces the students to think of compliments for all their classmates -- including the Herdmans. Is it possible that behind their outrageous pranks there may be something good about this crazy clan after all?

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  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid

    by Jeff Kinney Year Published: Average
    Boys don't keep diaries or do they? The launch of an exciting and innovative illustrated new series narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to Its a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you're ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary. In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowleys star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friends newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion.

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  • Dogs Don't Tell Jokes

    by Louis Sachar Year Published: Average
    Twelve-year-old jokester Gary Boone knows he was born to be a comedian, it's the kids in his class who think he's just a goon. Winning the school talent show would be Gary's dream come true, but on the big night his dream nearly backfires--with hilarious results. "With its strong, realistic characterization, Sachar's gracefully told story will please his longtime fans and gain him new followers as well"

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  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

    by J. K. Rowling Year Published: Challenging
    Read about the wonderful adventures of Harry and his friends as they unravel each mystery in their quest to destroy the dark wizard, Voldemort.

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  • Hatchet

    by Gary Paulson Year Published: Challenging
    Alone Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother has given him as a present -- and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart ever since his parents' divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self-pity, or despair -- it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.

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  • Indian in the Cupboard

    by Lynne Reid Banks Year Published: Challenging
    A young man receives two presents that will change his life: a plastic miniature Indian that magically comes to life inside a mysterious old cupboard.

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  • Inkheart

    by Cornelia Funke Year Published: Challenging
    One night Meggie's father, Mo, reads aloud from a book called 'Inkheart', and an evil ruler named Capricorn escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about!

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  • Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher

    by Bruce Coville Year Published: Average
    When Jeremy Thatcher stumbles into Mr. Elives' magic shop, he leaves with a small marbled dragon's egg. When it hatches, Jeremy's wildest dreams take wing.

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  • Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key

    by Jack Gantos Year Published: Average
    Wired bad, wired mad, wired sad, or wired glad . . . there's no doubt about it -- Joey Pigza is wired. He can't sit still, he can't pay attention, and he can't follow the rules. And lately his behavior is so off-the-wall his teachers are threatening to send him to a special ed center downtown. Joey knows he's really a good kid, but no matter how hard he tries to do the right thing, something always seems to go wrong. Will he ever get anything right? A seriously comic tale of life in the hyperfast lane, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, now with a great new cover by Brian Selznick, will make readers stand up and cheer.

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  • Justin Morgan Had a Horse

    by Margurite Henry Year Published: Average

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  • Loser

    by Jerry Spinelli Year Published: Average
    Just like other kids, Zinkoff rides his bike, hopes for snow days, and wants to be like his dad when he grows up. But Zinkoff also raises his hand with all the wrong answers, trips over his own feet, and falls down with laughter over a word like "Jabip." Other kids have their own word to describe him, but Zinkoff is too busy to hear it. He doesn't know he's not like everyone else. And one winter night, Zinkoff's differences show that any name can someday become "hero."

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  • Matilda

    by Roald Dahl Year Published: Average
    His heroine is five-year-old Matilda, a genius whose mathematical abilities, as well as her impressive reading list (Hemingway, Steinbeck, etc.), are totally unappreciated by her father--a dishonest used-car salesman--and her mother, a devotee of bingo and TV soaps. Only when the girl enters school does she find an understanding ally, Miss Honey, a paragon of virtue who attempts to defend her pupils against unbelievably cruel headmistress Miss Trunchbull.

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  • Midnight for Charlie Bone

    by Jenny Nimmo Year Published: Average
    Charlie doesn't want to believe it when he discovers that he can hear the thoughts of people in photographs. But his horrible aunts are delighted -- it means he is one of the chosen, and must change schools and attend the Bloor's Academy for gifted children. Once there, Charlie realizes that some of his classmates have equally mysterious powers. Soon Charlie is involved in uncovering the mysterious past of one of them. With the help of this friend Benjamin and his eccentric, gifted Uncle Paton, they discover the truth despite all the dangers that lie ahead.

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  • Molly Moon's Incredible Book of Hypnotism

    by Georgia Byng Year Published: Average
    Molly Moon is no ordinary orphan. When she finds a mysterious old book on hypnotism, she discovers she can make people do whatever she wants. But a sinister stranger is watching her every move and he'll do anything to steal her hypnotic secret.

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  • My Side of the Mountain

    by Jean Craighead George Year Published: Average
    Have you ever wanted to abandon your chaotic life and move to the wilderness? That is exactly what Sam Gribley does when his dad gives him permission to leave his family's crowded New York City apartment and live on his great-grandfather's long unused hill farm, deep in the Catskill Mountains. This is the story of Sam's survival and maturation during that long and wonderful year alone in the mountains. We meet Sam's peregrine falcon, Frightful, who has known only Sam as a parent figure since he captured her from her nest. Through his journal, Sam introduces us to Jesse Coon James and Baron Weasel, and his other wild animals friends. Sam steers clear of most people, except for visits from the mysterious Bando and trips to the local library to read up on roughing it. Learn how Sam makes a home in the giant hollowed-out hemlock tree, hunts with Frightful for meat, and discovers the delicious, and not-so-delicious wild plants that keep him alive during his adventure. Best of all, the last page of this book is not the end of the story! Jean Craighead George has given us two sequels: ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN (1990) and FRIGHTFUL'S MOUNTAIN (1999).

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  • No Flying in the House

    by Betty Brock Year Published: Average
    Most little gifts have parents to look after them, but not Annabel Tippens. She has Gloria, a tiny white dog who talks and wears a gold collar. And that's not the only thing that makes Annabel different: She can do all kinds of things that other kids can't do, like kiss her own elbow and fly around the house! Could it be true that Annabel is not a little girl at all, but a fairy? Soon Annabel will have to decide. If she chooses to be a fairy, she'll have to say good-bye to Gloria forever. But how can she decide between her newly found magic and her dearest friend?
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  • Peter and the Starcatchers

    by Dave Barry Year Published: Challenging
    Don't even think of starting this book unless you're sitting in a comfortable chair and have lots of time. A fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventure awaits as the young orphan Peter and his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk in its cargo hold, and the journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement and danger. Discover richly developed characters in the sweet but sophisticated Molly, the scary but familiar Black Stache, and the fearless Peter. Treacherous battles with pirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, and evocative writing immerses the reader in a story that slowly and finally reveals the secrets and mysteries of the beloved Peter Pan.

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  • Redwall

    by Brian Jacques Year Published: Challenging
    To mark the 20th Anniversary of the wonderful Redwall adventures Philomel (Brian's USA publisher) have produced this superb new edition. It is the Summer of the Late Rose, and the gentle mice of Mossflower Wood gather to celebrate a year of peace and abundance at Redwall. But a sinister shadow has fallen across the ancient stone abbey. For it is rumoured that Cluny is coming—Cluny, the menacing one-eyed rat and his battle-seasoned horde—Cluny, who has vowed to conquer Redwall Abbey! The woodland creatures rush to a desperate defense. But what can an abbey of peace-loving mice do against Cluny the Scourge and his evil band of rats? If only they had the sword of Martin the Warrior, they might stand a chance of saving their beloved Abbey. But the hiding place of the legendary sword has been long forgotten. It is the bumbling, young Matthias who sets out to find the sword, fights for his abbey, and who becomes a most unlikely hero. Teeming with riddles and mysteries, humor and pathos, this now-classic first book in the Redwall epic is woven by a cast of rich and spirited characters into an unforgettable tapestry of high drama, a novel to be savoured by readers of any age.

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  • Ruby Holler

    by Sharon Creech Year Published: Average
    "Trouble twins" Dallas and Florida are orphans who have given up believing there is such a thing as a loving home. Tiller and Sairy are an eccentric older couple who live in the beautiful, mysterious Ruby Holler, but they're restless for one more big adventure. When they invite the twins to join them on their journeys, they first must all stay together in the Holler, and the magic of the place takes over. Two pairs of lives grow closer, and are changed forever.

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  • Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief

    by W. Vandraanen Year Published: Average
    With this debut book of a new mystery series, Wendelin Van Draanen establishes Samantha Keyes as a crime fighter to watch. Though, actually, the book opens with Sammy watching...a crime in progress. And when the man with the wad of cash in one hand and the open purse in the other catches Sammy watching him, the chase is on--but is Sammy on the trail of the thief, or is he on hers? If the police don't believe Sammy's story about a thief with black gloves, black glasses, and a black beard, she isn't too surprised. Vice principal Caan didn't exactly believe her either when she explained that she couldn't possibly have broken Heather's nose. Well, Sammy's not putting up with this. Does she look like a liar? She knows what she saw and how hard she can hit. And somehow she's going to prove it.

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  • Shiloh

    by Phyliss Naylor Year Published: Average
    When Marty Preston comes across a young beagle in the hills behind his home, it's love at first sight -- and also big trouble. It turns out the dog, which Marty names Shiloh, belongs to Judd Travers, who drinks too much and has a gun -- and abuses his dogs. So when Shiloh runs away from Judd to Marty, Marty just has to hide him and protect him from Judd. But Marty's secret becomes too big for him to keep to himself, and it exposes his entire family to Judd's anger. How far will Marty have to go to make Shiloh his?

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  • Skateboard Tough

    by Matt Christopher Year Published: Average
    The first time Brett steps on "The Lizard, " the mysterious skateboard unearthed in his backyard, he can feel its power. He can do amazing tricks on it that he was never able to do on his old board. Brett should be on top of the world -- so why can't he shake the feeling that there's something evil about The Lizard?

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  • Summer of the Monkeys

    by Wilson Rawls Year Published: Average
    "Monkeys Out In The Middle Of Nowhere Staring At Him!" A tree full of monkeys the last thing fourteen-year-old Jay Berry Lee thought he'd find on one of his treks through Oklahoma's Cherokee Ozarks. Jay learns from his grandfather that the monkeys have escaped from a circus and there is a big reward for anyone who finds them. He knows how much his family needs the money. Jay is determined to catch the monkeys. It's a summer of thrills and dangers no one will ever forget.

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  • Tale of Despereaux

    by Kate DiCamillo Year Published: Average
    WINNER OF THE NEWBERY MEDAL! Kate DiCamillo introduces a hero for all time! Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives. And what happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.

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  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

    by Judy Blume Year Published: Average
    Peter finds his demanding two-year-old brother an ever increasing problem.

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  • The Bad Beginning

    by Lemony Snickett Year Published: Average
    The Baudelaire children--Violet, 14, Klans, 12, and baby Sunny--are exceedingly ill-fated; Snicket extracts both humor and horror from their situation, as he gleefully puts them through one terrible ordeal after another.

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  • The Chocolate Touch

    by Patrick Catling Year Published: Easy Reading
    John Midas loves chocolate. He loves it so much that he'll eat it any hour of any day. He doesn't care if he ruins his appetite. He thinks chocolate is better than any other food! But one day, after wandering into a candy store and buying a piece of their best chocolate, John finds out that there might just be such a thing as too much chocolate.

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  • The City of Ember

    by Jeanne DuPrau Year Published: Average
    This promising debut is set in a dying underground city. Ember, which was founded and stocked with supplies centuries ago by "The Builders," is now desperately short of food, clothes, and electricity to keep the town illuminated. Lina and Doon find long-hidden, undecipherable instructions that send them on a perilous mission to find what they believe must exist: an exit door from their disintegrating town. In the process, they uncover secret governmental corruption and a route to the world above. Well-paced, this contains a satisfying mystery, a breathtaking escape over rooftops in darkness, a harrowing journey into the unknown and cryptic messages for readers to decipher.

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  • The Dark is Rising

    by Susan Cooper Year Published: Challenging
    On the Midwinter Day that is his eleventh birthday, Will Stanton discovers a special gift-- that he is the last of the Old Ones, immortals dedicated to keeping the world from domination by the forces of evil, the Dark. At once, he is plunged into a quest for the six magical Signs that will one day aid the Old Ones in the final battle between the Dark and the Light. And for the twelve days of Christmas, while the Dark is rising, life for Will is full of wonder, terror, and delight.

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  • The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

    by C. S. Lewis Year Published: Average
    Journeys to the ends of the world, fantastic creatures, betrayals, heroic deeds and friendships won and lost -- all come together in an unforgettable world of magic. So join the battle to end all battles. The second volume in The Chronicles of Narnia® The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Narnia .... a land frozen in eternal winter ... a country waiting to be set free. Four adventurers step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia -- a land enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change ... and a great sacrifice.

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  • True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

    by Avi Year Published: Challenging
    Charlotte Doyle is just such a girl and she swears to tell the truth in all its detail. It happened during the summer of 1832 aboard a ship called the "Seahawk." The only passenger on the long Atlantic Ocean crossing, Charlotte found herself caught between the madness of a ruthless captain and the rage of a mutinous crew. This is her terrifying account of that fateful voyage.

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  • Upchuck and the Rotten Willy

    by Bill Wallace Year Published: Average
    Life is great for Chuck until his best cat friend, Louie, gets hit by a car, then Tom, his other cat friend moves, then finally his owner Katie goes to college. Chuck is a very lonely cat that only wants a friend. One night he is up in a tree with two pretty nasty poodles waiting for him at the bottom. If he climbs down he will be lunch. Those poodles won’t move until he comes down, so Chuck is stranded there for many nights with no food or water. He decides to take a chance by balancing on a fence with two other dogs on either side of him. He is almost across when suddenly; he falls into the yard of a humungous beast. He knew it will be the end of his life when the big beast puts him in his mouth, but when he opens his eyes he isn’t in cat heaven, he is in a water bowl! This can't be so! “Dogs don’t rescue cats!” Chuck thinks, “They can’t be friends!” …or can they?U

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  • Where the Red Fern Grows

    by Wilson Rawls Year Published: Average
    This story of a 10 year old boy and his pair of hunting dogs should appeal to the animal loving audience as well as those with a natural bent for the great outdoors. Billy employs superhuman efforts to live up to his dogs and they in turn reward him with their uncanny abilities. The rapport between the boy and his companions and the simplicity of the Oklahoma Ozark life make this a good choice.

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