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Poppy and Rye by Avi

(182 pages)

When their home next to a brook is destroyed by beavers, a large family of golden mice is aided by Poppy the deer mouse and her grumpy porcupine friend, who in the process forges a relationship with the son he had abandoned.

 

The Secret School by Avi

(153 pages) Audiobook available

In 1925, fourteen-year-old Ida Bidson secretly takes over as teacher when the one-room schoolhouse in her remote Colorado area closes unexpectedly.

 

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt

(139 pages) Audiobook available

The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing any older.

 

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

(254 pages) Audiobook available

When seemingly unrelated and strange events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal. 

 

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall

(262 pages)

While vacationing with their widowed father in the Berkshire Mountains, four lovable sisters, ages four through twelve, share adventures with a local boy, much to the dismay of his snobbish mother.

 

Shakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach

(250 pages) Audiobook available

Named after a character in a Shakespeare play, misfit sixth-grader Hero becomes interested in exploring this unusual connection because of a valuable diamond supposedly hidden in her new house, an intriguing neighbor, and the unexpected attention of the most popular boy in school.

 

Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hypnotism by Georgia Byng

(371 pages) First in a series

Unlucky and unloved, Molly Moon, living in a dreary orphanage in a small English town, discovers a hidden talent for hypnotism and hypnotizes her way to stardom in New York City.

 

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

(228 pages) Audiobook available

A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards' families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister. 

 

The White Mountains by John Christopher

(164 pages) Tripods trilogy

Young Will Parker and his companions make a perilous journey toward an outpost of freedom where they hope to escape from the ruling Tripods, who capture mature human beings and make them docile, obedient servants.

 

A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements

(190 pages)

The fifth grade's annual camping trip in the woods tests Mark's survival skills and his ability to relate to a teacher who seems out to get him.

 

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

(311 pages) Audiobook available — The Underland Chronicles

Eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world. They trigger an epic battle involving men, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy.

 

The Boggart and the Monster by Susan Cooper

(185 pages) Audiobook available

In this companion volume to The Boggart, the invisible and mischievous spirit living in the Scottish Castle Keep sets out to help save Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, one of its few remaining cousins.

 

Free Baseball by Sue Corbett

(152 pages)

Angry with his mother for having too little time for him, eleven-year-old Felix takes advantage of an opportunity to become bat boy for a minor league baseball team, hoping to someday be like his father, a famous Cuban outfielder.

 

Jennifer Murdley’s Toad by Bruce Coville

(159 pages) Magic Shop series

When an ordinary-looking fifth grader purchases a talking toad, she embarks on a series of extraordinary adventures.

 

Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

(86 pages)

A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem.

 

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

(182 pages) Audiobook available

Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie. 

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

(267 pages) Audiobook available

The adventures of Despereaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, a servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.

 

Neela, Victory Song by Chitra Divakaruni

(196 pages) — Girls of Many Lands series

In 1939, twelve-year-old Neela meets a young freedom fighter who helps her look for her missing father.

 

The Black Stallion by Walter Farley

(275 pages)

Pulled to a desert island by a wild black stallion he has freed during a shipwreck at sea, then rescued by a southbound freighter, a seventeen-year-old boy befriends the horse, trains him by night, and rides him to victory in a match race.

 

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

(300 pages)  

Eleven-year-old Harriet keeps notes on her classmates and neighbors in a secret notebook, but when some of the students read the notebook, they seek revenge.

 

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes

(293 pages) Audiobook available

After injuring his hand, a young silversmith’s apprentice becomes active in the Revolutionary War.

 

Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff

(166 pages)

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.

 

Falcon’s Egg by Luli Gray

(133 pages) Sequel: Falcon and the Charles Street Witch

Taking care of her younger brother has made Falcon very responsible for a eleven-year-old, but she needs the help of her great-great aunt, a friendly neighbor, and an ornithologist when she finds a unusual egg in Central Park.

 

Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm

(274 pages)

As she turns twelve during the summer of 1953, Penny gains new insights into herself and her family while also learning a secret about her father's death.

 

Boston Jane: An Adventure by Jennifer L. Holm

(273 pages) First in a series

Schooled in the lessons of etiquette for young ladies of 1854, Miss Jane Peck of Philadelphia finds little use for manners during her long sea voyage to the Pacific Northwest and while living among the American traders and Chinook Indians of Washington Territory.

 

Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt

(223 pages) Audiobook available

This is the unforgettable story of nine-year-old Jethro Creighton, who comes of age during the turbulent years of the Civil War and who must run the family farm in southern Illinois almost alone.

 

Redwall by Brian Jacques

(351 pages) Audiobook available — Redwall series

The peaceful life of ancient Redwall Abbey is shattered by the arrival of the evil rat Cluny and his villainous hordes. Matthias, a young mouse, determines to find the legendary sword of Martin the Warrior which, he is convinced, will help Redwall's inhabitants destroy the enemy.

 

The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child by Francisco Jimenez

(232 pages) Audiobook available in Spanish — Sequel: Breaking Through

This is the autobiography of a migrant farm worker who grew up to become a college professor.

 

The Tail of Emily Windsnap by Liz Kessler

(209 pages) First in a series

After finally convincing her mother that she should take swimming lessons, twelve-year-old Emily discovers a terrible and wonderful secret about herself that opens up a whole new world.

 

Deliver us from Normal by Kate Klise

(226 pages) Audiobook available

With a mother who buys Christmas cards in August and a younger brother who describes the Trinity as a toasted marshmallow on a graham cracker, life for eleven-year-old Charles Harrisong is anything but normal in Normal, Illinois.

 

Stop the Train by Geraldine McCaughrean

(289 pages)

Despite the opposition of the owner of the Red Rock Runner railroad in 1893, the new settlers of Florence, Oklahoma, are determined to build a real town.

 

The Sisters Club by Megan McDonald

(196 pages)

In Acton, Oregon, sisters Alex, Stevie, and Joey take turns telling about their lives, including their long line of actor ancestors.

 

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

(128 pages) Audiobook available

The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a new girl.

 

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

(142 pages) Audiobook available

After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.

 

White Water by P. J. Petersen

(107 pages)

Greg confronts his own fears and assumes a leadership role when his father is bitten by a rattlesnake during a white-water rafting trip.

 

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson

(80 pages) Audiobook available

The six mean Herdman kids all lie, steal, smoke cigars and then become involved in the community Christmas pageant.

 

Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan

(262 pages)

Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.

 

Magyk by Angie Sage

(564 pages) Audiobook available — Septimus Heap series

After she learns that she is the Princess, Jenna is whisked from her home and carried toward safety by the Extraordinary Wizard, those she always believed were her father and brother, and a young guard known only as Boy 412 -- pursued by agents of those who killed her mother ten years earlier.

 

The Circus Lunicus by Marilyn Singer

(168 pages)

Solly’s evil stepmother forbids him to go to the mysterious Circus Lunicus, but gives him a toy lizard that changes his life.

 

Among the Dolls by William Sleator

(70 pages)

When her parents give her a gloomy old dollhouse for her birthday instead of the ten speed bike she’s expecting, Vicky is disappointed. But she soon becomes fascinated by the small shadowy world and its inhabitants.

 

Taking Sides by Gary Soto

(138 pages)

Fourteen-year-old Lincoln Mendoza, an aspiring basketball player, must come to terms with his divided loyalties when he moves from the Hispanic inner city to a white suburban neighborhood.

 

Cat Running by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

(168 pages) Audiobook available

Cat’s fantastic running saves a life in this book set in the 1930’s.

 

Gib Rides Home by Zilpha Keatley Snyder

(246 pages) Audiobook available

Despite the harsh treatment he has endured at the Lovell House orphanage, ten-year-old Gib Whittaker manages to maintain his hopeful outlook when he is "farmed out" to help with the horses of a wealthy banker in 1908.

 

Dragonwings by Laurence Yep

(248 pages) Audiobook available

In early twentieth century San Francisco, a young Chinese boy helps his father make a flying machine.

 

When the Circus Came to Town by Laurence Yep

(113 pages)

An Asian cook and a Chinese New Year celebration help a ten-year-old girl at a Montana stagecoach station to regain her confidence after smallpox scars her face.

 

Paperback Series

 

Amazing Days of Abby Hayes by Anne Mazer

Animal Ark by Ben Baglio

Animorphs by Katherine Applegate

From the Files of Madison Finn by Laura Dower

Girls of Many Lands by various authors

National Parks Mysteries by Gloria Skurzynski

Princess School by Jane Mason            

Remnants by Katherine Applegate

Replica by Marilyn Kaye

Royal Ballet School Diaries by Alexandra Moss

Warriors by Erin Hunter

Winning Season by Rich Wallace