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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.
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?
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.
I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse. August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid--but his new classmates can't get past Auggie's extraordinary face. (publisher's description)
Recommended by Emma Macintire and Ivy Dowdle
Long Way Down by
Jason Reynolds's fiercely stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds--the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he's going to murder the guy who killed his brother.
-- Recommended by Ms. Iaccarino
Julia is very short for her age, but by the end of the summer run of The Wizard of Oz, she'll realize how big she is inside, where it counts. She hasn't ever thought of herself as a performer, but when the wonderful director of Oz casts her as a Munchkin, she begins to see herself in a new way. Bubbling over with humor and tenderness, this is an irresistible story of self-discovery and of the role models who forever change us.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by
Frankie Landau-Banks at age 14: Debate Club. Her father's "bunny rabbit." A mildly geeky girl attending a highly competitive boarding school. Frankie Landau-Banks at age 15: A knockout figure. A sharp tongue. A chip on her shoulder. And a gorgeous new senior boyfriend: the supremely goofy, word-obsessed Matthew Livingston. Frankie Landau-Banks. No longer the kind of girl to take "no" for an answer. Especially when "no" means she's excluded from her boyfriend's all-male secret society. Not when her ex-boyfriend shows up in the strangest of places. Not when she knows she's smarter than any of them. When she knows Matthew's lying to her. And when there are so many, many pranks to be done. Frankie Landau-Banks, at age 16: Possibly a criminal mastermind. This is the story of how she got that way.
-- Recommended by Ms. Iaccarino
The Thing about Jellyfish by
Everyone says that it was an accident... that sometimes things "just happen". But Suzy won't believe it. Ever. After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy was a rare jellyfish sting. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory--even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door.
-- Recommended by Ms. Iaccarino
Dead End in Norvelt by
Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is a novel about an incredible two months for a kid named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is "grounded for life" by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets. But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack's way once his mom loans him out to help a feisty old neighbor with a most unusual chore--typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his utopian town.
-- Recommended by Ms. Yacono
One for the Murphys by
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.
-- Recommended by Ms. Yacono
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 and Ms. Iaccarino
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.
-- Recommended by Ms. Yacono
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
Nine, Ten: A September 11 Story by
Ask anyone: September 11, 2001, was serene and lovely, a perfect day--until a plane struck the World Trade Center. But right now it is a few days earlier, and four kids in different parts of the country are going about their lives. Sergio, who lives in Brooklyn, is struggling to come to terms with the absentee father he hates and the grandmother he loves. Will's father is gone, too, killed in a car accident that has left the family reeling. Naheed has never before felt uncomfortable about being Muslim, but at her new school she's getting funny looks because of the head scarf she wears. Aimee is starting a new school in a new city and missing her mom, who has to fly to New York on business. These four don't know one another, but their lives are about to intersect in ways they never could have imagined.
Moon over Manifest by
Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was. Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it's just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to "Leave Well Enough Alone."
Mildred H. McEvoy Library at Worcester Academy | 81 Providence Street | Worcester, MA 01604