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Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/eyes fixed/on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/can't nobody stop you/ can't nobody cop you. Twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read.
Fish in a Tree by
Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there's a lot more to her--and to everyone--than a label, and that great minds don't always think alike.
From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of "Stargirl, Stargirl." She captures Leo Borlock' s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first. Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In this celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity and the thrill and inspiration of first love.
Travel Team by
Twelve-year-old Danny Walker may be the smallest kid on the basketball court -- but don't tell him that. Because no one plays with more heart or court sense. But none of that matters when he is cut from his local travel team, the very same team his father led to national prominence as a boy. Danny's father, still smarting from his own troubles, knows Danny isn't the only kid who was cut for the wrong reason, and together, this washed-up former player and a bunch of never-say-die kids prove that the heart simply cannot be measured.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, Will Grayson crosses paths with . . . Will Grayson. Two teens with the same name, running in two very different circles, suddenly find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, and culminating in epic turns-of-heart and the most fabulous musical ever to grace the high school stage. Told in alternating voices from two YA superstars, this collaborative novel features a double helping of the heart and humor that have won them both legions of fans.
An Abundance of Katherines by
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy; loving best friend riding shotgun; but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by
This book is very insightful and fun to read because it is in the point of view from the dog. I enjoyed it because I love dogs. It is about the life of a more than average dog.
Recommended by Zach Stolberg
Behind the Scenes by
High school senior Ally Duncan's best friend may be the Vanessa Park - star of TV's hottest new teen drama - but Ally's not interested in following in her BFF's Hollywood footsteps. In fact, the only thing Ally's ever really wanted is to go to Columbia and study abroad in Paris. But when her father's mounting medical bills threaten to stop her dream in its tracks, Ally nabs a position as Van's on-set assistant to get the cash she needs. Spending the extra time with Van turns out to be fun, and getting to know her sexy co-star Liam is an added bonus. But when the actors' publicist arranges for Van and Liam to date for the tabloids just after he and Ally share their first kiss, Ally will have to decide exactly what role she's capable of playing in their world of make believe. If she can't play by Hollywood's rules, she may lose her best friend, her dream future, and her first shot at love.
A Dog's Way Home by
Miles, months, and mountains can't possibly keep them apart. Eleven-year-old Abby and her Shetland sheepdog, Tam, are each other's everything -- best friends, a championship-winning agility team, and loyal beyond either of their imaginings. But then the unthinkable happens and Abby and Tam are separated by a tragic accident. As their days apart turn to weeks and then months, dangers and changes fill up Abby's and Tam's lives. Will they ever find their way back home to each other?
Million Dollar Arm by
It really is a tremendous novel. Worldwide appeal and not just for baseball fans.
Recommended by Brian Eddy
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a very refreshing story of a young boy and his complicated journey throughout high school, and can teach anyone a lesson on growing up and having good friends to do it with.
Recommended by James Marculitis. Recommended for 8th grade and up.
We Are All Made of Molecules by
Thirteen-year-old Stewart is academically brilliant but socially clueless. Fourteen-year-old Ashley is the undisputed "It" girl in her class, but her grades stink. Their worlds are about to collide when Stewart and his dad move in with Ashley and her mom. Stewart is trying to be 89.9 percent happy about it, but Ashley is 110 percent horrified. She already has to hide the real reason her dad moved out; "Spewart" could further threaten her position at the top of the social ladder. They are complete opposites. And yet, they have one thing in common: they--like everyone else--are made of molecules.
Recommended for 8th grade and up.
The Book Thief by
I'm sure that we're all familiar with the premise of "The Book Thief," but I believe its a book that students will feel affected by and also enjoy reading. The language and situation are what drives it along, and it has subtle social undertones.
Recommended by Daviana Perez
A Painted House by
Using a young boy as narrator, Grisham explores interactions between rich and poor, races, and people in a fast, easy read with good insight.
Recommended by Mr. Glassmire
Between Shades of Gray by
It is the story of a girl named Lina who is Lithuanian. This story takes place in 1941 and is the journey of her family and friends getting displaced to Siberian work camps during World War II. Although the topics are quite unpleasant the story is beautiful.
Recommended by Maggie Reiter
Bud, Not Buddy by
Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud's got a few things going for him: 1. He has his own suitcase full of special things. 2. He's the author of Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself. 3. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: flyers advertising Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!! Bud's got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road to find this mystery man, nothing can stop him--not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.
The War That Saved My Life by
Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada's twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn't waste a minute--she sneaks out to join him.
Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. And ultimately, pulled by the invisible thread of destiny, their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo.
An Elephant in the Garden by
This book is about Elizabeth who lives in Dresden, Germany, with her Brother, Karl and Mother, Muni during world war II. Her mom is a zookeeper for an elephant in the Dresden Zoo. The zoo plans to shoot the large animals if there is a bombing, but Elizabeth's mom asks the director if she can bring home Marlene the baby orphan elephant she takes care of. When the city is bombed Elizabeth, Muni, Karl, and Marlene must find their way to safety together. (based on a real story)
Recommended by Anaya Kaul
Mildred H. McEvoy Library at Worcester Academy | 81 Providence Street | Worcester, MA 01604