• SUMMER 2024 MIDDLE SCHOOL SUGGESTIONS

  • A WORK IN PROGRESS

    by Jarrett Lerner Year Published: 2023

    Will is the only round kid in a school full of thin ones. So, he hides…in baggy jeans and oversized hoodies, in the back row during class, and anywhere but the cafeteria during lunch. But shame isn’t the only feeling that dominates Will’s life. He’s also got a crush on a girl named Jules who he knows he doesn’t have a chance with, because of his size—but he can’t help wondering what if?

    Will’s best shot at attracting Jules’s attention is by slaying the Will Monster inside him by changing his eating habits and getting more exercise. But the results are either frustratingly slow or infuriatingly unsuccessful, and Will’s shame begins to morph into self-loathing.

    As he resorts to increasingly drastic measures to transform his appearance, Will meets skateboarder Markus, who helps him see his body and all it contains as an ever-evolving work in progress.

     

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  • BASEBALL AROUND THE WORLD

    by Chris Singleton Year Published: 2022

    From Cuba to Japan, Australia to Italy, a diverse melting pot of countries and cultures have embraced the ole ballgame. In Baseball Around the World, you’ll take a multicultural world tour to meet the nations and players who have pushed baseball to international popularity—with a twist, of course.

    Find out what they eat at Japanese baseball stadiums, how a gold rush brought baseball to Australia, why South Korean games are allowed to end in a tie, and much more in this home run of a book!

     

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  • FARTHER THAN THE MOON

    by Lindsay Lackey Year Published: 2023

    All thirteen-year-old Houston Stewart has ever wanted is to become an astronaut. His dreams feel like they're finally coming true when he's accepted to the highly-competitive Junior Astronaut Recruitment Program – if only he could bring his little brother, Robbie, with him.

    Ever since their dad left, Houston and Robbie have been inseparable. It's hard to tell where Houston's love of space ends and where Robbie's begins. But Robbie's cerebral palsy and epilepsy mean he needs medical attention at home, so Houston is forced to take this giant leap for the two of them all on his own.

    At camp, Houston is quickly drawn into the orbit of new friends, cosmic adventures, and a long-lost grandfather. But as Houston struggles to meet the program's rigorous demands, he’s forced to reckon with the truth that Robbie may never visit space like the brothers have always hoped. But Houston is determined to honor Robbie’s dream, even if it seems like an impossible mission. So, like a good astronaut, he dares to make a new plan — one that shoots for the stars.

     

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  • HOOPS

    by Matt Tavares Year Published: 2023

    It is 1975 in Indiana, and the Wilkins Regional High School girls’ basketball team is in their rookie season. Despite being undefeated, they practice at night in the elementary school and play to empty bleachers. Unlike the boys’ team, the Lady Bears have no buses to deliver them to away games and no uniforms, much less a laundry service. They make their own uniforms out of T-shirts and electrical tape. And with help from a committed female coach, they push through to improbable victory after improbable victory. Illustrated in full color, this story about the ongoing battle of women striving for equality in sports rings with honesty, bravery, and heart.

     

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  • THE ASTROCHIMPS : AMERICA'S FIRST ASTRONAUTS

    by Dawn Cusick Year Published: 2024

    Meet Ham, Minnie, Enos, Roscoe, Tiger, and Rocky.

    When the United States was scrambling to catch up to the Soviets after their successful launch of Sputnik, they didn’t turn to Mercury Seven astronauts Alan Shepard and John Glenn. Rather, they began bringing chimpanzees to Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico for a top-secret program. The goal? To do everything America needed to make space travel safe for humans and beat the Soviets.

    Based on extensive research and interviews with living members of the team of veterinarians, handlers, and psychologists who worked with the animals, The Astrochimps offers a fresh perspective on animal intelligence and the rise of the space age. Detailed back matter provides resources, space mission stats, and calls to action for young readers to honor the astrochimps’ legacy and advocate for the humane treatment of chimpanzees today.

     

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  • THE LABORS OF HERCULES BEAL  By Gary D. Schmidt 

    by Gary D. Schmidt  Year Published: 2023

    Herc Beal knows who he's named after—a mythical hero—but he's no superhero. He's the smallest kid in his class. So, when his homeroom teacher at his new middle school gives him the assignment of duplicating the mythical Hercules's amazing feats in real life, he's skeptical. After all, there are no Nemean Lions on Cape Cod—and not a single Hydra in sight.

    Missing his parents terribly and wishing his older brother wasn't working all the time, Herc figures out how to take his first steps along the road that the great Hercules himself once walked. Soon, new friends, human and animal, are helping him. And though his mythical role model performed his twelve labors by himself, Herc begins to see that he may not have to go it alone.

     

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  • THE PATRON THIEF OF BREAD

    by Lindsay Eager Year Published: 2023

    Fished from the river as an infant and raised by a roving band of street urchins who call themselves the Crowns, eight-year-old Duck keeps her head down and her mouth shut. It’s a rollicking life, always thieving, always on the run—until the ragtag Crowns infiltrate an abandoned cathedral in the city of Odierne and decide to set down roots. It’s all part of the bold new plan hatched by the Crowns’ fearless leader, Gnat: one of their very own will pose as an apprentice to the local baker, relieving Master Griselde of bread and coin to fill the bellies and line the pockets of all the Crowns. But no sooner is Duck apprenticed to the kindly Griselde than Duck’s allegiances start to blur.

    Who is she really—a Crown or an apprentice baker? And who does she want to be? Meanwhile, high above the streets of Odierne, on the roof of the unfinished cathedral, an old and ugly gargoyle grows weary of waiting to fulfill his own destiny—to watch and protect. 

     

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  • TWO TRIBES 

    by Emily Bowen Cohen Year Published: 2023

    Mia is still getting used to living with her mom and stepfather, and to the new role their Jewish identity plays in their home. Feeling out of place at home and at her Jewish day school, Mia finds herself thinking more and more about her Muscogee father, who lives with his new family in Oklahoma. Her mother doesn’t want to talk about him, but Mia can’t help but feel like she’s missing a part of herself without him in her life.

    Soon, Mia makes a plan to use the gifts from her bat mitzvah to take a bus to Oklahoma—without telling her mom—to visit her dad and find the connection to her Muscogee side she knows is just as important as her Jewish side.

     

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    Summer Reading Suggestions

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