Required Read (must be read
by all students entering 6th grade)
Korman, Gordon. Ungifted
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Gordon Korman comes a hilarious and heartfelt novel in which one middle-school troublemaker accidentally moves into the gifted and talented program—and changes everything. For fans of Louis Sachar and Jack Gantos, this funny and touching underdog story is a lovable and goofy adventure with robot fights, middle-school dances, live experiments, and statue-toppling pranks!
Applegate, Katharine. The One and Only Ivan
Newbery Award. When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life. “In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.”(from the publisher)
Clements, Andrew. The Report Card.
Fifth-grader Nora Rowley has always hidden the fact that she is a genius. All she wants is to be normal. When she comes up with a plan to prove that grades are not important, things begin to get out of control. Also try Frindle, Lunch Money, The Landry News.
Creech, Sharon. Absolutely Normal Chaos
A prequel to the Newbery Medal-winning Walk Two Moons, Mary Lou's summer journal which she begins grudgingly as a dreaded assignment for school, becomes a hilarious chronicle of the circle of people and events that make her summer a time filled with lessons and observations on love, death, friendship, and family. Also try The Wanderer, Replay and Love That Dog!
Giff, Patricia Reilly. Pictures of Hollis Wood.
A troublesome twelve-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her. Others are: Lilly’s Crossing, Gift of the Pirate Queen, House of Tailors, Water Street.
Spinelli, Jerry. Stargirl.
“Did you see her? You see her?” This is all Leo hears as he walks the halls, and he soon meets the infamous new girl, Stargirl. With her ukulele in the cafeteria, flowers on her desk, strange pets and even stranger ideas about happiness she certainly gets their attention, and yours too! Also try Loser, Maniac Magee, Crash, Wringer, Eggs and the latest Love, Stargirl! !
Vail, Rachel. Lucky.
As Phoebe and her clique of privileged girlfriends get ready to graduate from eighth grade, a financial scandal threatens her family's security--as well as Phoebe's social status--but ultimately it teaches her the real meaning of friendship. Next in the series, Gorgeous and Brilliant.
Cowley, Marjorie. The Golden Bull
Brother and sister Jomar and Zefa must learn to respect each others’ strengths and build a new relationship when they are sent from their home by their father to the city of Ut in ancient Mesopotamia, where Jomar becomes an apprentice to a master goldsmith who is embellishing a magnificent lyre to be used in the temple.
Lunge-Larsen, Lise. Gifts from the Gods
Ancient words and wisdom from Greek and Roman Mythology. Ancient names come to rich and fascinating life in this lavishly illustrated book for mythology fans and word lovers.
Avi, Crispin: the Cross of Lead
Set in 14th century England, a boy known as “Asta’s son” is fingered for the village priest’s murder and is wanted dead or alive. A real page-turner.
Feinstein, John. The Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery
Two teenage sportswriters try to uncover a blackmail scheme at the NCAA Final Four. “Young basketball fans will most appreciate the caper, but mystery buffs will also turn these pages eagerly,” (Publisher’s Weekly)
Riordan, Rick. 39 Clues: the Maze of Bones
Orphans Amy and Dan belong to a rich and powerful family related to nearly everyone important in history. When their grandmother dies, she leaves 39 clues, spread across the planet, to a treasure that will make the finder immensely powerful. So all the relatives, none of them decent or honest (except Amy and Dan, of course), compete to find and solve the clues while trying to eliminate their competition.
Korman, Gordon. Swindle
Griffin Bing’s family needs money and he discovers the solution to all of their problems- a 1920 Babe Ruth baseball card found in an abandoned home. Unfortunately, the local pawn shop swindles him out of the card, and he and his friends set out to right the wrong.
Science Fiction / Fantasy
Colfer, Eoin. Artemis Fowl.
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. (Available on CD in the school library.) Read what follows: Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident, Artemis Fowl: Eternity Code, and Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception. Also try Wish List, and Supernaturalist.
DuPrau, Jeanne. City of Ember .
In the year 241, 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 and to try to save her world. Then catch the sequel People of Sparks or the prequel Prophet of Yonwood.
Funke, Cornelia. Thief Lord.
Welcome to the magical underworld of Venice, Italy, where hidden canals and crumbling rooftops shelter runaways and children with incredible secrets. Don’t forget Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath and Dragon Rider!
MacHale, D.J. Merchant of Death – Book 1 in the Pendragon Series .
Fourteen-year-old Bobby Pendragon, having learned he is a Traveler--someone who can ride "flumes" through time and space-- is soon off to the alternative dimension of Denduron where he teams up with Loor, a girl his age from the warrior-territory of Zadaa, in an attempt to save the gentle Milago people from slavery. Lots of adventure, and the series continues. Be sure to read them all!
Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief.
What if the gods of Olympus were alive in the 21st century? What if they fell in love with mortals and had children who might become great heroes – like Theseus, Jason and Hercules. What if you were one of those children? Such is the discovery that launches 12 year old Percy Jackson on the most dangerous quest of his life. More books follow in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.
Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
Even though Greg Heffley would rather play video games with his friend Rowley than write in the journal that his mother gives him, he uses it to record, in pictures and in text, the harrowing and clever ways in which he navigates the middle school social scene. Undersized and skinny, Greg has adventures that center on how he manages to separate himself from the geeks and how he evades bigger bullies by employing quick wit and harebrained ideas.
Runton, Andy. Owly, Volume 1: The Way Home and the Bittersweet Summer.
Owly is a kind, yet lonely, little owl who's always on the lookout for new friends and adventure. In this comic Owly discovers the meaning of friendship, and that saying goodbye doesn't always mean forever.
Siegel, Siena Cherson. To Dance: A Memoir.
Dancers are young when they first dream of dance. Siena was six -- and her dreams kept skipping and leaping, circling and spinning, from airy runs along a beach near her home in Puerto Rico, to dance class in Boston, to her debut performance on stage with the New York City Ballet.
Smith, Jeff. Bone: Out from Boneville.
Meet Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone, three cousins who are run out of their home, Boneville, and become separated in the wilds, but reunite at a farmstead in a deep forested valley, where Fone meets a young girl named Thorn.
Sports : Fiction
Lupica, Mike. Travel Team
Danny is crushed when he is cut from the travel basketball team because he is too short, but he suspects that it is really because of bad blood between his father and the coach. So, he and the others who were cut from their own squad, coached by Danny’s father, but really under Danny’s leadership, head to the climactic game against their arch rivals. Summerball is the sequel. He’s also written Heat, Wild Pitch, Miracle on 49th Street.