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Author & website
2013-2014
Middle School

Sunshine State
Young Readers
&
Battle of the Books
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Summary
Carl Hiaasen
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Reading Counts - Lexile 800
Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he's grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, snappers, and more in his backyard. The critters he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one. When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called "Expedition Survival!", Wahoo figures he'll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show's boneheaded star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger seems to actually believe his PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo's acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who's sporting a shiner courtesy of her old man and needs a place to hide out.

Marissa Meyer
Skype Visits
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Reading Counts - Lexile 790
In this first entry in the “Lunar Chronicles” series, author Meyer provides a new, futuristic twist on the classic Cinderella story. Living in New Beijing with her adoptive mother and two stepsisters, Cinder is a teenage cyborg with a penchant for mechanics. Quickly, her “normal” (if you can call it that) existence is turned upside down; first she meets and falls for the handsome Prince Kai, and then learns that her sister Peony's life is being threatened by a deadly plague. An additional wrench is thrown in her plans when the evil Lunar Queen Levana arrives on Earth and declares her intention to marry Prince Kai. Now, Cinder must race to save her sister and capture the heart of her prince at the same time.
Royce Buckingham
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The Dead Boys Book Trailer
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Reading Counts - Lexile 850
In the desert town of Richland, Washington, there stands a giant sycamore tree. Horribly mutated by nuclear waste, it feeds on the life energy of boys that it snags with its living roots. And when Teddy Matthews moves to town, the tree trains its sights on its next victim.
From the start, Teddy knows something is very wrong with Richland-every kid he meets disappears before his eyes. A trip to the cemetery confirms that these boys are actually dead and trying to lure him to the tree. But that knowledge is no help when Teddy is swept into the tree's world, a dark version of Richland from which there is no escape . . .

Marie Lu
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Reading Counts - Lexile 710
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to revenge. In a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
Alan Silberberg
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Milo: Sticky Notes & Brain Freeze
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Reading Counts - Lexile 1180
MILO is the funny and poignant story, told through text and cartoons, of a 13-year-old boy's struggle to come to terms with the loss that hit the reset button on his life. Loveable geek Milo Cruikshank finds reasons for frustration at every turn, like people who carve Halloween pumpkins way too soon (the pumpkins just rot and get lopsided) or the fact that the girl of his dreams, Summer, barely acknowledges his existence while next-door neighbor Hilary won't leave him alone. The truth is ever since Milo's mother died nothing has gone right. Now, instead of the kitchen being full of music, his whole house has been filled with Fog. Nothing's the same. Not his Dad. Not his sister. And definitely not him. In love with the girl he sneezed on the first day of school and best pals with Marshall, the "One Eyed Jack' of friends, Milo copes with being the new kid (again) as he struggles to survive a school year that is filled with reminders of what his life "used to be."
Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Skype Visits
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One for the Murphys Book Trailer
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Reading Counts - Lexile 510
Carley uses humor and street smarts to keep her emotional walls high and thick. But the day she becomes a foster child, and moves in with the Murphys, she's blindsided. This loving, bustling family shows Carley the stable family life she never thought existed, and she feels like an alien in their cookie-cutter-perfect household. Despite her resistance, the Murphys eventually show her what it feels like to belong--until her mother wants her back and Carley has to decide where and how to live. She's not really a Murphy, but the gifts they've given her have opened up a new future.

Lissa Price
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Image Credit: Paul Gregory
Starters Book Trailer
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In the future, teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. One girl discovers her renter plans to do more than party--her body will commit murder, if her mind can't stop it. Sixteen-year-old Callie lost her parents when the genocide spore wiped out everyone except those who were vaccinated first--the very young and very old. With no grandparents to claim Callie and her little brother, they go on the run, living as squatters, and fighting off unclaimed renegades who would kill for a cookie. Hope comes via Prime Destinations, run by a mysterious figure known only as The Old Man. He hires teens to rent their bodies to seniors, known as enders, who get to be young again. Callie's neurochip malfunctions and she wakes up in the life of her rich renter, living in her mansion, driving her cars, even dating Blake, the grandson of a senator. It's a fairy-tale new life . . . until she uncovers the Body Bank's horrible plan.
Laura L. Sullivan
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Under the Green Hill
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Reading Counts - Lexile 1030
Meg and her siblings have been sent to the English countryside for the summer to stay with elderly relatives. The children are looking forward to exploring the ancient mansion and perhaps discovering a musty old attic or two filled with treasure, but never in their wildest dreams did they expect to find themselves in the middle of a fairy war.
When Rowan pledges to fight for the beautiful fairy queen, Meg is desperate to save her brother. But the Midsummer War is far more than a battle between mythic creatures: Everything that lives depends on it. How can Meg choose between family and the fate of the very land itself?

Lisa Yee
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Warp Speed Book Trailer
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Reading Counts - Lexile 620
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Entering 7th grade is no big deal for Marley Sandelski: Same old boring classes, same old boring life. The only thing he has to look forward to is the upcoming Star Trek convention. But when he inadvertently draws the attention of Digger Ronster, the biggest bully in school, his life has officially moved from boring to far too dramatic . . . from invisible to center stage.
R.J. Palacio
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Reading Counts - Lexile 790
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Born with facial defects, Auggie Pullman has had 27 surgeries to correct the problems but still looks vastly different from other children. As such, his parents have homeschooled him his entire life; now, Auggie is ready to begin fifth grade at Beecher Prep. Although Auggie's father feels that sending him out into the real world is tantamount to bringing “a lamb to the slaughter,” Auggie holds his head up high and allows his smart, funny, and brave personality to lead the way. By dividing the narrative among Auggie, his parents, and his peers, author Palacio provides additional perspective on the story, revealing how this transition affects not only Auggie but those around him as well. “A memorable story of kindness, courage, and wonder”
Deva Fagan
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Circus Galacticus Book Trailer
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Reading Counts - Lexile 630
Fifteen-year-old Beatrix Ling (or Trix) is tough. She can deal with being an orphan charity case at a snobbish boarding school. She can even fight back against the masked stranger who tries to steal her parents' meteorite. But can she handle her life changing forever? The Circus Galacticus has come to town, and the dazzling young ringmaster has invited Trix aboard. Soon she discovers an entire universe of deadly enemies and potential friends, and she just might unravel the secrets of her own past--if she can survive that long. An action-packed intergalactic ride for science-fiction fans . .
Jennifer Nielsen
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The False Prince Book Trailer
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Lexile 710
In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.
As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together
John Gosselink
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Free Thaddeus! Book Trailer
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Designed like a case file, chock-full of notes, journal entries, letters, e-mails, illustrations, and more, Free Thaddeus! is an uproarious middle-grade novel that argues why the irreverent Thaddeus should be released from his in-school suspension and explains the unbelievable circumstances that led to his punishment. Soon readers will be chanting, "Free Thaddeus!"

Mick Cochrane
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Girl Who Threw Butterflies
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Reading Counts - Lexile 750
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For an eighth grader, Molly Williams has more than her fair share of problems. Her father has just died in a car accident, and her mother has become a withdrawn, quiet version of herself.
Molly doesn't want to be seen as "Miss Difficulty Overcome"; she wants to make herself known to the kids at school for something other than her father's death. So she decides to join the baseball team. The boys' baseball team. Her father taught her how to throw a knuckleball, and Molly hopes it's enough to impress her coaches as well as her new teammates.
Over the course of one baseball season, Molly must figure out how to redefine her relationships to things she loves, loved, and might love: her mother; her brilliant best friend, Celia; her father; her enigmatic and artistic teammate, Lonnie; and of course, baseball.
Gary Schmidt
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OKay for Now Book Trailer
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Reading Counts - Lexile 850
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In this companion novel to The Wednesday Wars, Doug struggles to be more than the "skinny thug" that some people think him to be. He finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer, who gives him the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. Schmidt expertly weaves multiple themes of loss and recovery in a story teeming with distinctive, unusual characters and invaluable lessons about love, creativity, and survival.


Last Modified: Aug 22, 2013
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