PSB SR12 7-8 published - Brookline Summer Reading



PSB SR12 7-8 published - Brookline Summer Reading
SUMMER READING 2012 PK-­‐12 Reference List Public Schools of Brookline, Massachuse5s The Public Schools of Brookline, Massachusetts
Educational Technology and Library Department
Scott Moore, Director
Dear Parents, Guardians, and Students,
Creating a school-wide culture of reading has always been a priority for the teachers, librarians, and
literacy specialists in the Brookline Public Schools. In each school that culture is built and nurtured in
myriad ways—through the study of literary elements, read-alouds, book talks, literature circles, genre
studies, author visits, evening parent/child book events, independent reading projects, participation in
Massachusetts Book Awards and summer reading.
Summer is a perfect time to find books to read for pleasure. This list is a starting point to help you select
books that match your interests and includes a variety of titles across many genres, levels, and lengths.
Students are encouraged to read at least 5 or 6 books. Our goal is to develop readers who not only can
read, but who choose to read for enjoyment.
Summer reading is also a great opportunity to hone your reading skills and maintain your fluency.
According to a recent report from John Hopkins University’s Center for Summer Learning children who do
not read over the summer actually lose ground in reading proficiency. The report concludes that the effect
of reading four or five books during the summer is large enough to prevent a decline in reading scores
from spring to fall.
In addition to this list, Brookline’s public libraries and bookstores offer a wealth of titles and suggestions to
help you find just the right book for your enjoyment.
Explore. Read. Enjoy,
Brookline K-8 School Librarians
Deb Abner, Lincoln School
Rusty Browder, Lawrence School
Colleen Carney, Heath School
Paula Ewenstein, Baker School
Teresa Gallo-Toth, Runkle School
Amanda Kretschmar, Pierce School
Christine McDonnell, Devotion School
Amy Neale, Driscoll School
Scott Moore, Director of Educational Technology and Libraries.
Downloadable copies of the list are available at
Cover Graphic: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / mkoudis!
SUMMER READING 2012 Entering PK-­‐K Public Schools of Brookline, Massachuse5s Entering PK – K
Hot Off the Presses: New and Noteworthy
Baker, Keith. No Two Alike
Follows a pair of birds on a snowflake-filled journey through a
winter landscape, where everything everywhere, from
branches and leaves to forests full of trees, is unique.
Haughton, Chris. Oh No, George
George wants to be good; but it's so hard to be a good dog
when there are cats to chase and flowers to dig up!
Lichtenheld, Tom. Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
After a hard day's work, it's bedtime for these adorable
construction trucks.
Lyan, George Ella. All the Water in the World
A beautifully illustrated introduction to the water cycle.
Martin Jr., Bill. Ten Little Caterpillars
Watch ten different caterpillars in their various habitats, and
see what happens to the last one in the end.
McDonnell, Patrick. Me, Jane
Holding her stuffed toy chimpanzee, young Jane Goodall
observes nature, reads Tarzan books, and dreams of living in
Africa and helping animals.
Na, Il Sung. A Book of Sleep
While other animals sleep at night, some quietly and others
noisily, some alone and others huddled together, a wide-eyed
owl watches.
Raschka, Chris. Ball for Daisy
A wordless picture book showing the fun a dog has with her
ball, and what happens when it is lost.
Savage, Stephen. Where's Walrus?
Follows Walrus on a journey through the city, as he tries to
disguise himself from a persuing zookeeper.
Srinivasan, Divya. Little Owl's Night
Little Owl enjoys a lovely night in the forest visiting his friend
the raccoon, listening to the frogs croak and the crickets chirp,
and watching the fog that hovers overhead.
Eric Carle.
Nobody does animals like this iconic author/illustrator. Try one
of his famous books like "The Very Hungry Caterpillar", or
some of his lesser-known gems like "10 Little Rubber Ducks"
or "Head to Toe."
Lois Ehlert.
In stories such as Growing Vegetable Soup and Snowballs,
Lois Ehlert explores nature through colorful collage illustrations
and spare text.
Denise Fleming.
Fleming employs an unusual technique called pulp painting to
create her color-saturated illustrations of adorable children and
animals. Many of her books focus on nature, such as Time to
Sleep or In the Tall Tall Grass.
Kevin Henkes.
Kevin Henkes has that midas touch both as an author and
illustrator; everything he does comes off beautifully. He has
written and illustrated so many beloved books for children, but
for PreK-K, his simple ones such as Kitten's First Full Moon or
Old Bear are the best.
Grace Lin.
Grace Lin draws on her Chinese-American background to write
and illustrate wonderful stories about simple joys and everyday
things; a Dim Sum meal, flying a kite, or the unfortunate result
of sneezing during a haircut.
Jerry Pinkney.
Caldecott award winner Jerry Pinkney's watercolor illustrations
bring folktales such as The Little Red Hen and The Lion and
the Mouse vividly to life.
Anne Rockwell.
Anne Rockwell writes and illustrates nonfiction treasures about
everything from apples and pumpkins to fire trucks.
Rosemary Wells.
Author and illustrator Rosemary Wells has created some of the
best-loved characters in children's literature. Don't miss her
Max and Ruby or McDuff series, as well as her Yoko and
Mother Goose books.
Tullet, Herve. Press Here
Press the yellow dot on the cover of this book, follow the
instructions within, and embark upon a magical journey! Each
page of this surprising book instructs the reader to press the
dots, shake the pages, tilt the book, and who knows what will
happen next!
Take a Look: Picture Books
Authors to Explore
Becker, Bonny. A Visitor for Bear
Bear gets more than he bargains for when a friendly mouse
ignores his NO VISITORS sign.
Donald Crews.
Drawing on his background as a graphic artist, Donald Crews
accompanies his simple stories about trains, trucks, school
buses and planes with bold, colorful illustrations. If your little
reader likes anything that goes, make sure to introduce him or
her to these books.
Banks, Kate. The Night Worker
Every night, Alex asks to go to work with his father, a
construction worker on the late shift. Finally, Papa gives Alex a
hard hat, and together they "head quietly into the night."
Broach, Elise. When Dinosaurs Came with Everything
Errand day is a little more exciting when every shop in town is
giving away real dinosaurs to their customers.
Entering PK – K
Burningham, John. Mr. Gumpy's Outing (series)
When Mr. Gumpy takes his boat for an outing, it gets more and
more crowded with children and animals who want to join him,
until the inevitable occurs.
Cousins, Lucy. Maisy Goes to Preschool (series)
Preschool for Maisy means a day filled with friends and things
to do, from the time she hangs her coat on a special peg to the
time she says good-bye.
Daly, Niki. What's Cooking, Jamela? (series)
Jamela is responsible for fattening up the chicken intended for
Christmas dinner, but instead she gives it a name and makes it
her friend.
dePaola, Tomie. The Knight and the Dragon
What happens when a sheepish knight and a not-so-fierce
dragon fight for the very first time? Well, it's no ordinary battle
since the knight has to go to the castle library to learn about
dragon-fighting and the dragon must dig through his ancestor's
things to find out how to fight a knight!
Johnson, Angela. Julius
Maya and Julius, the pig her grandfather brings her from
Alaska, learn about fun and sharing together.
Jonas, Ann. Round Trip
Black and white illustrations record the sights on a day trip to
the city and back home again to the country.
Katz, Karen. The Colors of Us
Lena and her mom observe the variations in the color of their
friends' skin comparing them to foods and things found in
LaRochelle, David. The Best Pet of All
A clever boy enlists the help of a dragon to persuade his
mother to let him have a dog as a pet.
London, Jonathan. Froggy Gets Dressed
Rambunctious Froggy hops out into the snow for a winter frolic
but is called back by his mother to put on some necessary
articles of clothing.
Dorros, Arthur. Abuela
While riding on a bus with her grandmother, a little girl
imagines that they are carried up into the sky and fly over the
sights of New York City.
McMullan, Kate. I Stink! (series)
A big city garbage truck makes its rounds consuming
everything from apple cores and banana peels to leftover ziti
with zucchini.
Elya, Susan Middleton. Bebe Goes Shopping (series)
Rhyming text describes a trip to the grocery store for a Mama
and her baby boy. Includes Spanish words.
Nakagawa, Chihiro. Who Made this Cake?
An army of little people and their fantastic baking equipment
make a delicious birthday cake for a truck-loving little boy.
Feiffer, Jules. Bark, George
George's mother tries to teach him how to bark like a proper
dog, but it takes a trip to the doctor to find out what is really
going on with the strange noises George is making.
Sharmat, Mitchell. Gregory, the Terrible Eater
Gregory's parents don't know what to do with him; he won't eat
perfectly good garbage like the other goats. On the advice of
Dr. Ram, they decide to slowly introduce him to a balanced
Fraze, Marla. Roller Coaster
Twelve people set aside their fears and ride a roller coaster,
including one who has never done so before.
Gall, Chris. Dinotrux (series)
Millions of years ago, the prehistoric ancestors of today's
trucks, such as garbageadon, dozeratops, and craneosaurus,
roamed the Earth until they became extinct.
Fox, Mem. Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes
No one does babies like Helen Oxenbury. Here, she
compliments Mem Fox's rhyming text describing babies from
around the world with her endearing portraits.
Graham, Bob. Max
Max, the young son of superheroes, is a late bloomer when it
comes to flying until he is inspired to save a falling baby bird.
Hest, Amy. In the Rain with Baby Duck (series)
Although her parents love walking in the rain, Baby Duck does
not--until Grandpa shares a secret with her.
James, Simon. Baby Brains (series)
Baby Brains is so smart he joins a space mission while he is
still in diapers! Is he really ready for his first space walk?
Simmons, Jane. Come Along Daisy
Daisy the duckling becomes so engrossed in playing with
dragonflies and lily pads that she temporarily loses her mother.
Simont, Marc. The Stray Dog
On picnic in the country, a family befriends a wonderful dog
they name Willy. When it's time to go home, they worry that
maybe Willy doesn't belong to anyone. Will they ever see him
Sis, Peter. Fire Truck
Matt loves fire trucks, and one morning when he wakes up, he
is a fire truck--right down to his hoses, hooks, and ladders.
Taback, Simms. Joseph Had a Little Overcoat
A charming book about a resourceful man and his shrinking
Tucker, Kathy. Seven Chinese Sisters
When a dragon snatches the youngest of seven talented
Chinese sisters, the other six come to her rescue.
Wells, Rosemary. Bunny Cakes (series)
Max wants to help Ruby with Grandma's birthday cake, but his
well-meant interference gets him banned from the kitchen.
Good thing he knows a really good mud pie recipe.
Entering PK – K
Williams, Vera B. More More More Said the Baby
Enjoying the tickles, kisses, and unfettered affection showered
on them by grownups, three children cry out for "more more
Burningham, John. Mr. Gumpy's Outing (series)
When Mr. Gumpy takes his boat for an outing, it gets more and
more crowded with children and animals who want to join him,
until the inevitable occurs.
Zimmerman, Andrea. Trashy Town
Little by little, can by can, Mr. Gillie, the trash man, cleans up
his town.
Burton, Virginia Lee. The Little House
The little house was built in the country, but gradually the city
moves closer and closer.
Beginning Reading Books
Cooney, Barbara. Miss Rumphius
The life story of Miss Rumphius, who finds a way to make the
world a more beautiful place, just as her grandfather told her
Brown, Margaret Wise. I Like Bugs
A charmingly illustrated, simple homage to these often
maligned creatures.
Buck, Nola. Sid and Sam
Sam and Sid sing, but Sid will not stop. Sid's song is so long
that Sam says "so long."
Capucilli, Alyssa. Biscuit (series)
A little yellow dog always wants one more thing before he'll go
to sleep.
Cohan, Caron Lee. How Many Fish?
A school of fish and a group of children frolic in the bay.
Coxe, Molly. Hot Dog
A dog tries to cool off on a hot summer day on the farm.
Eastman, P.D. Are You My Mother?
A baby bird emerges from his egg to find himself alone in his
nest and sets out on a amusingly confusing journey to find his
Haskins, Lori. Ducks in Muck
The author uses a few simple words to tell a cute little story
about a duck escape from some marooned trucks.
Meister, Cari. Tiny Goes to the Library (series)
Tiny the Dog is a big help at the library when his owner takes
out too many books to carry home.
Nodset, Joan. Go Away, Dog
An old dog's friendly persistence slowly convinces a young boy
to take him home.
Schaefer, Lola. Loose Tooth
A young child eagerly waits for his first loose tooth to fall out.
Hoban, Russell. Bread and Jam for Frances
Frances decides she likes to eat only bread and jam at every
meal--until to her surprise--her parents grant her wish.
Isadora, Rachel. Ben's Trumpet
Ben wants to be a trumpeter, but plays only an imaginary
instrument until one of the musicians in a neighborhood night
club discovers his ambition.
Keats, Ezra Jack. Peter's Chair
When Peter discovers his blue furniture is being painted pink
for a new baby sister, he rescues the last unpainted item and
runs away.
Kraus, Robert. Leo the Late Bloomer
Leo is not reading, or writing, or drawing, or even speaking,
and his father is concerned, but Leo's mother is not. She
knows her son will do all those things, and more, when he's
Lionni, Leo. Swimmy
A little black fish in a school of red fish figures out a way of
protecting them all from their natural enemies.
McCloskey, Robert. Blueberries for Sal
Little Sal and Little Bear both lose their mothers while eating
blueberries and almost end up with the other's mother.
Slobodkina, Esphyr. Caps for Sale
A band of mischievous monkeys steals every one of a
peddler's caps while he takes a nap under a tree.
Wood, Audrey. The Napping House
At the napping house, everyone is sleeping until a wakeful flea
causes a commotion with just one bite.
Willems, Mo. Happy Pig Day
Piggie celebrates her favorite day of the year, but Gerald feels
left out until he learns that Pig Day is not just for pigs.
Zion, Gene. Harry the Dirty Dog
Harry, a white dog with black spots, loves to get dirty, but when
he gets so dirty that he becomes a black dog with white spots,
will his familiy recognize him?
Too Good to Miss: Classics
Folklore & Mythology
Bemelmans, Ludwig. Madeline (series)
Madeline, smallest and naughtiest of the twelve little charges of
Miss Clavel, wakes up one night with an attack of appendicitis.
Aardema, Verma. Borreguita and the Coyote
In this funny trickster tale from Mexico, a little lamb uses her
clever wiles to keep a coyote from eating her up.
Entering PK – K
Bryan, Ashley. Beautiful Blackbird
The colorful birds of Africa ask Blackbird, whom they think is
the most beautiful of birds, to decorate them with some of his
"blackening brew."
Davies, Nicola. Surprising Sharks
Most sharks aren't at all what people expect, as we learn
through this compelling narrative with its colorful illustrations.
Emberley, Rebecca. Chicken Little
A fresh, fun, and delightfully illustrated retelling of the classic
story of Chicken Little, who sets off quite a panic when she
thinks the sky is falling when an acorn knocks her on the head.
Floca, Brian. Lightship
Lightships were floating beacons where lighthouses could not
be built. Through all sorts of weather, the lightship in this book
shines its light and holds its place, guiding other ships to
Galdone, Paul. The Three Bears
The classic fairy tale told by master folklore author Paul
French, Vivian. T. Rex
As a boy and his grandfather visit the museum, they learn
more about this most famous of all dinosaurs.
Isadora, Rachel. Twelve Dancing Princesses
A retelling, set in Africa, of the story of twelve princesses who
dance secretly all night long and how their secret is eventually
Gibbons, Gail. Ice Cream
This basic introduction to everyone's favorite frozen treat is
perfect summer reading!
Mosel, Arlene. Tikki Tikki Tembo
When the eldest son fell in the well and most of the time getting
help was spent pronouncing the name of the one in trouble, the
Chinese, according to legend, decided to give all their children
short names.
Sturges, Philemon. The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza
In this version of the traditional tale, the duck, the dog, and the
cat refuse to help the Little Red Hen make a pizza but do get to
participate when the time comes to eat it.
Tolstoy, Aleksei. The Gigantic Turnip
A tale from Russia about a turnip that is too big to be picked,
even by an entire barnyard of animals, until a surprisingly
strong little mouse steps up to save the day.
Get Real: Nonfiction
Adler, David. America's Champion Swimmer: Gertrude
The compelling story of Gertrude Ederle, who catapulted to
fame after becoming the first woman to successfully swim the
English Channel.
Aliki. Feelings
Pictures, dialogs, poems and stories. Portrays various
emotions we all feel: jealousy, sadness, fear, anger, joy love …
Barton, Byron. Building a House
A simple introduction to the steps involved in constructing a
dePaola, Tomi. Charlie Needs a Cloak
Charlie definitely needs a cloak to replace his ragged old one
the sheep have been munching on. We get to watch him go
through the whole process of making one, from sheering the
sheep, to sewing the last stitches.
Cowley, Joy. Chameleon, Chameleon
Up-close photographs and text capture the many moods and
colors of chameleons as they hunt for food, search for a new
home, brave dangerous strangers, and even make friends.
Jenkins, Steve. Move!
Steve Jenkin's uses his signature cut-paper illustrations to
demonstrated how different animals get from point A to point B.
Lunde, Darrin. Hello, Bumblebee Bat
Meet the bumblebee bat, a tiny bat about the size of a bee!
Through a series of questions, we learn about the bat's
characteristics, habitat, and habits.
Winter, Jeanette. Wangari's Trees of Peace
This true story of Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai
shows how one woman's passion, vision, and determination
inspired great change.
Winters, Kay. Abe Lincoln: The Boy Who Loved Books
Abraham Lincoln was a book fiend, and this biography tells
how he used books to change his life, and how he, in turn,
changed the world.
Yaccarino, Dan. The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques
Describes the life and accomplishments of the French
oceanographer, and describes his work studying and filming
the undersea world.
A Way with Words: Poetry
Ahlberg, Janet & Allan. Each Peach Pear Plum
Have fun finding Tom Thumb, Cinderella, and the Three Bears
in the illustrations that accompany this rhyming story.
Crews, Nina. The Neighborhood Mother Goose
In this modern Mother Goose, Crews sets the familiar rhymes
in her Brooklyn neighborhood.
Field, Eugene; Giselle Potter, ill. Wynken, Blynken, and Nod
A classic lullaby poem about three fishermen who try to catch
the stars in nets of silver and gold.
Hillenbrand, Will. Down by the Station
Join these mischievous, playful, and sleepy baby animals on
their way to the children's zoo. You'd better hurry, though ...
they can't be late to greet the first busload of children!
Entering PK – K
Hoberman, Mary Ann. Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers
There is something for everyone in this wise and witty
celebration of families-poems about the only child, brothers,
uncles, adopted babies, stepsiblings, and moms and dads.
Johnson, Stephen. Alphabet City
As Stephen T. Johnson demonstrates in a series of strikingly
realistic pastels and watercolors, a simple sawhorse can
contain the letter "A," while lampposts alongside a highway can
form a row of elegant, soaring Ys.
Hort, Lenny. The Seals on the Bus
In this twist on the traditional song, different animals--including
seals, tigers, geese, rabbits, and monkeys--make a cacophony
of sounds as they ride all around the town on a bus.
Krebs, Laurie. We All Went on Safari
Join Arusha, Mosi, Tumpe and their Maasai friends as they set
out on a counting journey through the grasslands of Tanzania.
Hughes, Langston. My People
Charles R. Smith illustrates the classic Lanston Hughes poem
with beautiful black and white photographs.
Lobel, Arnold. On Market Street
See what there is to buy from A to Z in the shops along Market
Opie, Iona. My Very First Mother Goose
A collection of nursery rhymes featuring the delightful
illustrations of Rosemary Wells.
Martin, Bill. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
In this lively alphabet rhyme, all the letters of the alphabet race
each other up the coconut tree. Will there be enough room?
Prelutsky, Jack. Read-Aloud Rhymes for the Very Young
A collection of more than 200 short poems by American and
English authors.
Sierra, Judy. The Sleepy Little Alphabet
Written in rhyming verse accompanied by Melissa Sweet's
clever and charming illustrations, this book lets us watch the
sleepy little letters of the alphabet get ready for bed.
Scanlon, Elizabeth. All the World
A day in the life of a group of family and friends, told in a
simple poem accompanied by Marla Frazee's wonderful
Sidman, Joyce. Red Sings from the Treetops
A delightful collection of poetry that highlights the colors of the
seasons, combining the senses of sight, sound, smell and
Westcott, Nadine Bernard. The Lady with the Alligator Purse
An ailing young Tiny Tim. Includes activities.
ABCs and 123s: Alphabet and Counting
Ada, Alma Flor. Gathering The Sun: An Alphabet in Spanish
and English
Anno, Mitsumasa. Anno's Counting Book
Watch the seasons change and a town grow as you count the
twelve months of the year.
Baker, Keith. LMNO Peas
Peas take on a whole new personality in this fun alphabet
Bang, Molly. Ten, Nine, Eight
A father and his little "big" girl turn bedtime into playtime with a
rhyming game.
Crews, Donald. 10 Dots
A counting book that shows what can be done with ten black
dots and a little imagination.
Elhert, Lois. Eating the Alphabet
An alphabetical tour of the world of fruits and vegetables, from
apricot and artichoke to yam and zucchini.
A Note About Availability
These titles are only a suggested starting point.
Students are not expected to read every book
on this list. Availability of these titles from local
libraries may be limited. Please be considerate
to others by borrowing only a few titles off this
list at a time. Exploring other titles at
Brookline’s libraries and bookstores is also
SUMMER READING 2012 Entering 1-­‐2 Public Schools of Brookline, Massachuse5s Entering 1 – 2
Hot Off the Presses: New and Noteworthy
Barnett, Mac. Extra Yarn
With a supply of yarn that never runs out, Annabelle knits for
everyone and everything in town until an evil archduke decides
he wants the yarn for himself.
Carnesi, Monica. Little Dog Lost: The True Story of a Brave
Dog Named Baltic
Recounts the dramatic sea rescue of a curious dog who
wandered onto a frozen river only to be swept out to the Baltic
Sea on a broken piece of ice.
Davies, Nicola. Outside Your Window: A First Book of
This beautifully illustrated book of poetry captures all the sights
and sounds of a child's interactions with nature, from planting
acorns or biting into crisp apples to studying tide pools or lying
back and watching the birds overhead.
Sidman, Joyce. Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature
This collection of poems celebrates the shape of a spiral in
nature, from rushing rivers to flower buds and even the shape
of an ear.
Smith, Lane. Grandpa Green
A child explores the ordinary life of his extraordinary
grandfather, as expressed in his topiary garden.
Sweet, Melissa. Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of
the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade
Meet puppeteer Tony Sarg, the man who first invented the
helium balloons that have become the trademark of the annual
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Vamos, Samantha R.The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden
This is a cumulative tale about a farm maiden who, aided by a
group of animals, prepares "Arroz con Leche," or rice pudding.
Henkes, Kevin. Penny and Her Song
Penny comes home from school eager to share her very own
song, but must wait until the time is right to teach it to her
parents and the babies.
Listen to This:
Books for Families to Read Aloud
Jeffers, Oliver. Stuck
When a young boy gets his kite stuck in a tree, he throws up
many unusual objects to get it down.
Beaumont, Karen. Move Over, Rover
Rover's safe and dry doghouse gets quite crowded with
animals waiting out a storm until one very, unwelcome surprise
visitor appears.
Juster, Norton. Neville
When a boy and his family move to a new house, he devises
an ingenious way to meet people in the neighborhood.
King-Smith, Dick. Martin's Mice
Martin is a farm kitten who likes to keep mice as pets until he
experiences for himself what it means to be owned by another.
Lyon, George Ella. All the Water in the World
This beautifully illustrated book introduces the water cycle and
lyrically emphasizes the importance of water conservation.
McDonald, Betty. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle lives in an upside-down house and has a
magical way of curing such childhood ailments as "won't-putaway-toys-itis."
Klassen, Jon. I Want My Hat Back
A bear almost gives up his search for his missing hat until he
remembers something important.
McDonnell, Patrick. Me. . . Jane
Holding her stuffed toy chimpanzee, young Jane Goodall
observes nature, reads Tarzan books, and dreams of living in
Africa and helping animals.
Take a Look: Picture Books
Bennett, Kelly. Not Norman: A Goldfish Story
This story is about a little boy who is at first disappointed
receiving a goldfish but eventually he learns to love his special
Ray, Mary Lyn. Stars
Explores the wonder of stars, whether they are in the night sky,
on a plant as a promise of fruit to come, or in one's pocket for
those days when one does not feel shiny.
Broach, Elise. When Dinosaurs Came with Everything
Errand day is a little more exciting when every shop in town is
giving away real dinosaurs to their customers.
Rocco, John. Blackout
When a busy family's activities come to a halt because of a
blackout, they find they enjoy spending time together and not
being too busy for once.
Bryan, Ashley. Beautiful Blackbird
In a story of the Ila people, the colorful birds of Africa ask
Blackbird, whom they think is the most beautiful of birds, to
decorate them with some of his "blackening brew."
Schneider, Josh. Tales for Very Picky Eaters
A father tells outlandish stories while trying to get his young
son, who is a very picky eater, to eat foods he thinks he will not
Collier, Bryan. Uptown
Illustrator Bryan Collier uses wonderful collage illustrations to
give us a tour of his neighborhood in Harlem.
Entering 1 – 2
Cronin, Doreen. Click Clack Moo, Cows that Type
Farmer Brown's cows drive him crazy with their type-written
Feiffer, Jules. Bark, George
George is a puppy who does not sound like a puppy should,
despite the efforts of his mother.
Fleming, Candace. Muncha! Muncha! Muncha!
In this story, Mr. McGreely goes to some amazing lengths to
prevent some hungry bunnies from muncha-ing all his
Greenfield, Eloise. Africa Dream
A black child's dreams are filled with the images of the people
and places of Africa.
Henkes, Kevin. Wemberly Worried
A mouse named Wemberly, who worries about everything,
finds that she has a whole list of things to worry about when
she faces the first day of nursery school.
Sturges, Philemon. The Little Red Hen Makes Pizza
In this version of a traditional tale, the duck, the dog, and the
cat refuse to help the Little Red Hen make a pizza but do get to
taste it when the time comes to eat it.
Van Dusen, Chris. If I Built a Car
Jack describes the kind of car he would build--one with
amazing accessories and with the capability of traveling on
land, in the air, and on and under the sea.
Williams, Karen Lynn. A Beach Tail
When his father tells him not to leave the lion he is drawing on
the beach, a little boy starts making a very, very long tail.
Beginning Reading Books
Arnold, Tedd. Hi! Fly Guy! (series)
When Buzz captures a fly to enter in The Amazing Pet Show,
his parents and the judges tell him that a fly cannot be a pet,
but Fly Guy proves them wrong.
Hest, Amy. Mr. George Baker
Harry sits on the porch with Mr. George Baker, an African
American who is one hundred years old, waiting for the school
bus that will take them both to the class where they are
learning to read.
Coerr, Eleanor. Chang's Paper Pony
In San Francisco during the 1850s gold rush, Chang, the son
of Chinese immigrants, wants a pony but cannot afford one
until his friend Big Pete finds a solution.
Hills, Tad. How Rocket Learned to Read
A little yellow bird teaches Rocket the dog how to read by first
introducing him to the alphabet.
Guest, Elissa Haden. Iris and Walter
Together Iris and Walter discover that anything from adjusting
to a new home to facing the first day of school is easier when
you have a best friend to help you.
Johnson, Angela. Just Like Josh Gibson
A young girl's grandmother tells her of her love for baseball
and the day they let her play in the game even though she was
a girl.
Howe, James. Houndsley and Catina
A fun series about an unlikely pair of friends, a dog and a cat.
Meddaugh, Susan. Martha Speaks
When Helen Finney feeds alphabet soup to Martha, her dog,
Martha begins to speak, jabbering throughout Helen's favorite
television programs and asking embarrassing questions.
Ogburn, Jacqueline K. The Bake Shop Ghost
Miss Cora Lee Meriweather haunts her bake shop after her
death, sure that no one can bake a cake that will live up to her
high standards, but Annie Washington is determined to try.
Peet, Bill. Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent
Cyrus, a shy and friendly serpent, finally realizes his ambition
by heroically helping some voyagers through a storm and
foiling some dastardly pirates.
Smalls, Irene. Don't Say Ain't
In 1957, a young girl is torn between life in the neighborhood
where she grew up and fitting in at the school she now attends.
Steig, William. Amos and Boris
Amos the mouse and Boris the whale are a devoted pair of
friends with nothing in common, except good hearts and a
willingness to help their fellow mammal.
Lin, Grace. Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same!
The daily adventures of two identical twins are told through six
stories as they get haircuts, make dumplings, perform magic
and take a trip to the library.
O'Connor, Jane. Fancy Nancy at the Museum (series)
A bumpy bus ride on her class trip to the museum leaves
Nancy feeling not-so-fancy.
Rylant, Cynthia. Henry and Mudge the First Book
Henry, feeling lonely on a street without any other children,
finds companionship and love in a big dog named Mudge.
Silverman, Erica. Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa
This story describes life on the range with Cowgirl Kate and her
ever-hungry horse cocoa.
VanLeeuwen, J. Amanda Pig and Her Best Friend Lollipop
Amanda Pig and her friend Lollipop share fun times at each
other's houses and experience their very first sleepover party.
Willems, Mo. I Broke My Trunk (Elephant and Piggy series)
Gerald the elephant tells his best friend Piggie a long, crazy
story about how he broke his trunk.
Entering 1 – 2
Adler, David. Cam Jansen (series) **
A fifth-grader with a photographic memory help solve
McDonald, Megan. Judy Moody Declares Independence
(series) ***
After learning about the American Revolution on a family trip to
Boston, Massachusetts, Judy Moody makes her own
Declaration of Independence and tries to prove that she is
responsible enough to have more freedoms.
Atinuke. Anna Hibiscus (series) ***
Anna Hibiscus has lots of stories to share while growing up in
Africa with her mother, her father, her baby twin brothers, and
lots and lots of her family.
McDonald, Megan. Stink and the World's Worst SuperStinky Sneakers (series) **
Stink is inspired to create a variety of terrible smells to put on
sneakers for a contest.
Brown, Jeff. Flat Stanley (series) ***
A bulletin board fell on Stanley. It didn't hurt him; it just made
him flat. When he got used to being only 14 mm thick, Stanley
enjoyed it. He did things no one else could do.
McMullan, Kate. Pearl and Wagner: Two Good Friends
(series) *
Pearl and Wagner, a rabbit and a mouse, work together to
build a robot for their science project.
Chaconas, Dori. Cork and Fuzz: Best Friends (series) **
Short-legged Cork is upset when tall Fuzz wins every game
they play, until he learns that their friendship is more important
than winning.
Parish, H. Amelia Bedelia, Rocket Scientist? (series) *
Housekeeper Amelia Bedelia wreaks havoc when she
volunteers to help out at the school science fair.
Chapter Books
Cole, Joanna. Norma Jean Jumping Bean **
Kangaroo child Norma Jean loves to jump, but her jumping
becomes a problem when it starts to cause accidents and bad
feelings between her friends.
DiCamillo, Kate. Mercy Watson to the Rescue (series) **
After Mercy the pig snuggles to sleep with the Watsons, all
three awaken with the bed teetering on the edge of a big hole
in the floor.
Fienberg, Anna. Tashi and the Big Stinker (Tashi series) **
In this exciting new quest, Tashi plots with the wife of Chintu
the giant to rid the village of his only brother another giant who
will eat anything in sight, including the villagers, unless Tashi
can stop him.
Hurwitz, Joanna. Pee Wee's Tale (Park Pal Adventure
Series) ***
When his owner's parents let him go in Central Park, a young
guinea pig learns to survive in the natural world with the help of
a "park-wise" squirrel while trying to find his way back home.
Kerrin, J. S. Martin Bridge: Blazing Ahead (series) ***
Martin's first overnight camping trip with the Junior Badgers is
going to be a weekend with the works! There are badges to
earn, gooey campfire treats to eat, hiking trails to explore and
Alex's pranks to avoid.
Lobel, Arnold. Owl at Home **
Owl has some strange night time adventures.
Lowry, Louis. Gooney, Bird Green (series) ***
A most unusual new student entertains her teacher and fellow
second graders by telling absolutely true stories about herself,
including how she got her name.
Peterson, John. The Littles (series) ***
This series features the adventures of a miniature family who
lives in the walls of the Bigg family's house.
Sharmat, Marjorie. Nate the Great (series) **
Nate the Great solves the mystery of the missing picture.
Yee, Wong Herbert. Upstairs Mouse, Downstairs Mole *
Mouse and his downstairs neighbor, Mole, discover that when
they help each other, housecleaning and other daily tasks are
much easier.
Too Good to Miss: Classics
Barrett, Judi. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
In the land of Chewandswallow, meals rain from the sky and
change with the weather.
Burton, Virginia Lee. Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel
When Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, Mary Ann, lose
their jobs to the gasoline, electric, and diesel motor shovels,
they go to a little country town where they find that one new job
leads to another.
dePaola, Tomie. Strega Nona (series)
Find out what happens when Strega Nona leaves Big Anthony
with her magic pasta pot.
Hutchins, Pat. Rosie's Walk
Unaware that a fox is after her as she takes a walk around the
farmyard, Rosie the hen still manages to lead him into one
accident after another.
Keats, Ezra Jack. Peter's Chair
When Peter discovers his blue furniture is being painted pink
for a new baby sister, he rescues the last unpainted item, a
chair, and runs away.
Entering 1 – 2
Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad are Friends
Five tales recounting the adventures of two best friends - Frog
and Toad.
Lester, Julius. John Henry
Retells the life of the legendary African American hero who
raced against a steam drill to cut through a mountain.
McCloskey, Robert. Time of Wonder
Follow two children spending their summer vacation on an
island off the coast of Maine.
McDermott, Gerald. Raven
Raven, the hero of this trickster tale from the Pacific Northwest,
tricks the Great Chief to bring light to the people.
Rathmann, Peggy. Officer Buckle and Gloria
Officer Buckle and his dog bring safety lessons to the children
at Napville Elementary School.
Nolan, Jerdine. Thunder Rose
The tall tale adventures of Thunder Rose describes how she
turns aside a tornado.
Ringold, Faith. Tar Beach
A young girl dreams of flying above her Harlem home, claiming
all she sees for herself and her family.
Pinkney, Jerry. The Lion and the Mouse
Vibrant illustrations bring to life this wordless adaptation of this
classic Aesop fable about a merciful lion who spared a
mouse's life and the unexpected reward he received for his
good deed from the tiny hero.
Steig, William. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
In a moment of fright, Sylvester the donkey asks his magic
pebble to turn him into a rock, but then can not hold the pebble
to wish himself back to normal again.
Van Allsburg, Chris. Jumanji
Trapped in a mysterious game, a young boy is discovered
years later by two new players.
Williams, Vera. A Chair for My Mother
A child, her mother, and her grandmother save dimes to buy a
comfortable armchair after all their furniture is lost in a fire.
Folklore & Mythology
Aardema, Verna. Why Mosquitoes Buzz In People's Ears
A West African tale which explains why the mosquito,
responsible for the death of Mother Owl's baby, buzzes in
people's ears looking for forgiveness.
Clements, Andrew. Brave Norman
When Norman the Labrador retriever loses his sight, he
surprises his owners when he saves a young girl's life. Based
on a true story.
Cooper, Susan. The Silver Cow
The father of a young Welsh boy gifted with a magic cow
manages to destroy all the good things the cow has brought to
their lives.
DePaola, Tomie. Adelilta, a Mexican Cinderella Story
After the death of her mother and father, Adelita is badly
mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters until she finds
her own true love at a grand fiesta.
Haley, Gail. A Story, A Story
This story recounts how most African folk tales came to be
called "Spider Stories."
Hodges, M. The Kitchen Knight: A Tale of King Arthur
This beautifully illustrated retelling of the Arthurian legend tells
how Sir Gareth becomes a knight and rescues the lady
imprisoned by the fearsome Red Knight of the Red Plain.
Tucker, Kathy. The Seven Chinese Sisters
When a dragon snatches the youngest of seven talented
Chinese sisters, the other six come to her rescue.
Young, Ed. Lon Po Po
Stunning illustrations grace this Chinese version of Little Red
Riding Hood.
Get Real: Nonfiction
Bishop, Nic. Frogs
Describes frogs, their habitat, the difference between them and
toads, physical characteristics, diet, different types, defenses,
calls, and life cycle.
Bradley, K. Brubaker. Forces Make Things Move
Simple language and humorous illustrations show how forces
make things move, prevent them from starting to move, and
stop them from moving.
Campbell, Sarah C. Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator HC
Close-up photographs and simple text describe how a wolf
snail hunts, attacks, and eats its prey.
Cowley, Joy. Chameleon, Chameleon
Up-close photographs and text capture the many moods and
colors of chameleons as they hunt for food, search for a new
home, brave dangerous strangers, and even make friends.
Jenkins, Steve. What Do You Do with a Tail Like This?
Explore the many amazing things animals can do with their
ears, eyes, mouths, noses, and feet, in a beautifully illustrated,
interactive guessing book.
Karas, G. Brian. On Earth
Explores the earth's rotation, seasons, weather patterns and
Lin, Grace. Our Seasons
Young readers follow Ki-Ki, Owen, Lily, and Kevin through the
year as they explore the four seasons.
Entering 1 – 2
Markle, Sandra. Little Lost Bat
This book chronicles the early life of an orphaned Mexican
free-tailed bat, from its birth to its adoption by a new mother.
Pfeffer, Wendy. Wiggly Worms at Work
This author explains how earthworms eat, move, and
reproduce and how they help plants to grow.
Ryder, Joanne. Little Panda
This book chronicles the birth and first year of Hua Mei, a
panda born at the San Diego Zoo in 1999.
Simon, Seymour. Destination: Space
Seymour explains new discoveries about the universe made
possible by the Hubble Telescope.
Thomson, Sarah L. Amazing Snakes
Discover the facts about these slithery reptiles.
Zoehfeld, Kathleen Weidner. Dinosaur Tracks
Learn what dinosaur footprints tell scientists about the animals
that made them.
one woman's passion, vision, and determination inspired great
Wishinsky, Freida. The Man Who Made Parks: The Story of
Park Builder Frederick Law Olmsted
The story of the first North American landscape architect and
the man behind the creation of Boston's Emerald Necklace and
New York City's Central Park is told in this informative book.
A Way with Words: Poetry
Bryan, Ashley. Sing to the Sun
Poems that celebrate the beauty of nature and the joys of
everyday life are found in the delightful book.
Carle, Eric. Animals, Animals
This book is an illustrated collection of poems by a variety of
authors describing the peculiarities of pets and wild and
domestic animals.
Life Stories: Biography
Dotlich, Rebecca Kai. Lemonade Sun and Other Summer
This collection of poems celebrates summer sights and
Adler, David. Picture Book of Jackie Robinson
A biography of the first African-American player in the major
Elliot, David. In the Wild
Animals from every continent are celebrated in this enjoyable
collection of poems.
Brown, Don. Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein
An introduction to the work and early life of the twentiethcentury physicist whose theory of relativity revolutionized
scientific thinking.
Florian, Douglas. Comets, Stars, the Moon and Mars
A whimsical collection of poems about the stars, moon,
planets, and other heavenly bodies.
Coerr, Eleanor. Buffalo Bill and the Pony Express
Sixteen-year-old Bill finds adventure when he becomes a rider
for the Pony Express (though his letters home never hint at the
dangers he encounters).
Hopkinson, Deborah. Fannie in the Kitchen
While Fannie Farmer is employed as a mother's helper, she
writes down precise instructions for measuring and cooking for
the family's little girl, thus modern cookbooks are born.
Jurmain, Suzanne Tripp. George Did It!
This book contains little known and funny facts about our
nation's first president.
Krull, Kathleen. Wilma Unlimited
When Wilma contracts polio as a child, doctors say she'll never
walk again. Not only does she walk, she runs her way to three
Olympic gold medals.
Gottfield, Maya. Good Dog
The playfulness and companionship of dogs are expressed
through poetry.
Hopkins, Lee Bennett. Good Books, Good Times!
Children will enjoy reading these poems that celebrate reading.
Janeczko, Paul. Dirty Laundry Pile: Poems in Different
Animals and objects express themselves in this collection of
Prelutsky, Jack. Awful Ogres, Awful Day
In a series of poems, Awful Ogre rises, grooms himself,
dances, pens a letter, and goes through other activities as the
day passes.
Books on Summer Math Calendar
Marzollo, Jean. Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King
An introduction to a great civil rights leader. In simple words
and beautiful scratchboard illustrations, the story of King's life
and his commitment to an understanding between races is told.
Crews, Donald. Ten Black Dots
How many black dots? One? Two? Three? Read this book and
Winter, Jeanette. Wangari's Trees of Peace
This true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and
winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how
Burns, Marilyn. The Greedy Triangle
Bored and dissatisfied with his life, a triangle visits a local
shapeshifter to add another angle to his shape. Poof! He
Entering 1 – 2
becomes a quadrilateral. But then he gets greedy and keeps
adding angles until he's completely transformed.
Leonni, Leo. Inch by Inch
A small green inchworm is proud of his skill at measuring
anything, a robin's tail, a flamingo's neck, a toucan's beak.
Then one day a nightingale threatens to eat him if he cannot
measure his song. Children will enjoy the clever inchworm?s
solution and delight in finding the tiny hero on every page.
Reid, Margarette. The Button Box
An imaginative little boy explores the many pleasures that can
be found in, and made from, his grandmother's button box.
Dee, Ruby. Two Ways to Count to Ten
A retelling of a traditional Liberian tale, in which King Leopard
invites all the animals to a spear-throwing contest, whose
winner will marry his daughter and succeed him as king.
Myller, Rolf. How Big is a Foot?
The King wants to give the Queen something special for her
birthday. The Queen has everything, everything except a bed.
The trouble is that no one in the Kingdom knows the answer to
a very important question: How Big is a Bed, because beds at
the time had not yet been invented. The Queen's birthday is
only a few days away. How can they figure out what size the
bed should be?
Hoban, Tana. Shape, Shape, Shape
Photographs of familiar objects such as chair, barrettes, and
manhole cover present a study of rounded and angular
Greene, Rhonda G. When a Line Bends, A Shape Begins
A line is thin. A line is narrow, curved like a worm, straight as
an arrow. Squares, circles, triangles, and many more shapes
abound in this lively book. With jaunty, rhyming text, young
readers are invited to find different shapes on each busy,
vibrant page. Once you start looking, you won't be able to stop!
Mitsumasa, Anno. Anno?s Magic Seeds
A gift from a wizard makes Jack's fortune grow by ones and
twos, then threes and fours, then faster and faster, challenging
you to keep track of his riches.
Hutchins, Pat. Ten Red Apples
Ten red apples hanging on a tree. Yippee, fiddle-dee-fee! But
they are not there for long. Horse, cow, donkey, pig, hen, and
the other farm animals each eat one. "Save one for me," calls
the farmer, but what about the farmer's wife?
Baker, Keith. Quack and Count
Slip, slide, leap, and dive with a family of seven lively ducklings
as they get ready to fly for the very first time. Keith Baker's
playful, rhyming text and bold collage illustrations capture the
excitement of a day's adventures--and gently introduce
Young, Ed. Seven Blind Mice
It's a pillar," says one. "It's a fan," says another. One by one,
the seven blind mice investigate the strange Something by the
pond, and one by one, they come back with a different theory.
It's only when the seventh mouse goes out-and explores the
whole Something that the mice see the whole truth.
Schwartz, David. Millions to Measure
There are millions of things to measure . . . and almost as
many ways to measure them! Marvelosissimo the
Mathematical Magician is back -- and ready to explore the
invention of length, weight, and volume measurements. After
that, with another wave of his wand, the wizard introduces the
world of metrics and makes it easy to understand the basic
pattern of meters, liters, and grams.
A Note About Availability
These titles are only a suggested starting
point. Students are not expected to read every
book on this list. Availability of these titles
from local libraries may be limited. Please be
considerate to others by borrowing only a few
titles off this list at a time. Exploring other titles
at Brookline’s libraries and bookstores is also
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SUMMER READING 2012 Entering 3-­‐4 Public Schools of Brookline, Massachuse5s Entering 3 – 4
Hot Off the Presses: New and Noteworthy
journey back to their home after they are placed temporarily
with friends of their owners.
Aguilar, David. 13 Planets: The Latest View of the Solar
System ***
Discovery comes alive as this book profiles all 13 planets in
their newly created categories. It used to seem simple but it
became quite complex: for now, there are eight classical
planets and five dwarf planets, making thirteen!
Dahl, Roald. Danny, Champion of the World ***
A father and son join forces to get revenge on the evil Victor
Davies, Jacqueline. The Bell Bandit **
Jesse and Evan travel to upper NY state to take care of their
sick grandmother and team up to solve a crime.
Deedy, Carmen Agra and Randall Wright. The Cheshire
Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale ***
Perfect for reading out loud. Skilley, an alley cat longs to
escape his hard life and trade his damp alley for the warmth of
the Cheshire Cheese Inn. When he learns that the innkeeper is
looking for a new mouser, Skilley comes up with an audacious
scheme to install himself in the famous tavern.
Duffy, Chris. Nursery Rhyme Comics **
As Leonard Marcus says in his introduction: “Two art forms
that kids love come together in this inspired collection of classic
nursery rhymes interpreted as comics.”
Hoberman, Mary Ann. Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by
Heart *
Former poet laureate Mary Ann Hoberman provides over 120
wonderful classic and contemporary poems, suggesting to
readers to “invite them to live in the house of your head.”
Hopkinson, Deborah. Titanic: Voices from the Disaster ***
This is the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster and this
non-fiction book is a collection of witness accounts and
survivor tales. Primary sources and photographs with gripping
accounts of this legendary disaster will captivate readers.
Lin, Grace. Dumpling Days (series) **
Pacy visits her relatives in Taiwan, and she struggles with the
language and customs. However the dumplings are delicious!
Peck, Richard. Secrets at Sea ***
This is a charming novel about the Cranston mouse family who
travel with their human family abroad to England and attempt
to help the Cranston daughters find love.
DiCamillo, K. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane ***
Edward the china bunny has many lessons to learn about life
and love.
Ende, Michael. The Neverending Story ***
This fantasy book is a crowd pleaser as our hero Bastian
embarks on the journey to save Fantastica from the evil
dragons, giants and monsters.
Jenkins, Emily. Toys Go Out **
Here is a peek into the secret lives of toys as Stingray, Lumphy
and Plastic participate in a series of adventures.
Rylant, Cynthia. Thimbleberry Stories **
These adventures of Nigel the Chipmunk, Dipper, Copper,
Claudius, Little Owl and Mudpuppy may remind you of Beatrix
Potter's affectionate animal escapades.
Take a Look:
Picture Books for Older Readers
Dorros, Arthur. Radio Man: A Story in English and Spanish
As Diego travels for work with his family, he keeps his radio by
his side to help stay connected with cousins and friends.
Pinkney, Jerry. Lion and Mouse
This visual re-telling of the Aesop tale is stunning. The
landscape of the Serengeti brings added richness to this
Scieszka, Jon. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly
Stupid Tales
This amusing fractured fairy tale will tickle the funny bone and
inspire readers to invent their own tales.
Steptoe, John. Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters
A beautiful retelling of the African version of Cinderella with
magnificent illustrations of the Zimbabwe landscape.
Silvey, Anita. Henry Knox, Bookseller, Soldier, Patriot **
This beautifully illustrated biography of a Colonial figure
captures the story of the arduous and amazing transport of
artillery from Fort Ticonderoga to Boston, a strategic episode in
the American Revolution.
Wiesner, David. Tuesday
A visual story that will be read over and over again.
Listen to This:
Books for Families to Read Aloud
DiCamillo, K. Mercy Watson (series) **
Lovable porcine wonder Mercy Watson is a crowd pleaser and
makes us all appreciate hot buttered toast as we enjoy her
Burnford, Sheila. The Incredible Journey ***
This is an amazing, heartbreaking tale about a dog, a bulldog
and a Siamese cat who brave the Canadian wilderness on their
Beginning Reading Books
Entering 3 – 4
Egan, Tim. Dodsworth in New York City (series) *
Dodsworth wanted adventure; he wanted to see the world. He
especially wanted to visit New York City. What he didn’t want
was to be joined by a crazy duck.
Look, Lenore. Ruby Lu, Brave and True (series) **
Ruby Lu is an Asian American girl who is passionate about her
friends and activities but sometimes forgets about her
responsibilities which create momentary problems.
Jacobsen, Jennifer. Andy Shane (series) *
Andy Shane comes up with many methods to deal with his
nemesis Dolores Starbuckle with the help of his grannie.
Soto, Gary. The Cat’s Meow *
Graciela discovers that her cat Pip speaks in Spanish.
Lobel, Arnold. Owl at Home *
Owl is a little foolish and a little melancholic; he is also goodtempered and kind. Created by the author of the Frog and
Toad books, these five whimsical stories will bring huge smiles
to readers’ faces.
Too Good to Miss: Classics
Willems, Mo. There is a Bird On Your Head! (Elephant and
Piggie series) *
Elephant and Piggie offer life lessons for all readers. Charming
illustrations with a lot of humor.
Chapter Books
Alvarez, Julia. How Tia Lola Came to Stay (series) **
Miguel's Tia comes from Dominican Republic to help after his
parents divorce. Is she magical?
Barrows, Annie. Ivy & Bean (series) **
Ivy and Bean are the opposite of each other in every way. Yet
much to their amazement, become best friends.
Birney, Betty. The World According to Humphrey (series) **
Humphrey is the class hamster who is the sage and helpmate
for the classroom.
Blume, Judy. The Pain and the Great One **
A realistic, humorous story of two siblings who struggle to get
along but deep inside love each other.
Cameron, Ann. Julian, Dream Doctor (series) **
Julian, Huey and Gloria set out to capture snakes in order to
give Julian's dad the birthday present they think he really
Clements, Andrew. Jake Drake, Bully Buster (series) **
Jake often feels like a "bully magnet" but working on a school
project with super bully Link Baxter, he figures out how to make
the most and best of it.
Fienberg, Ann and Barbara Fiendberg. Tashi (series) **
Tashi is clever enough to outsmart giants, demons, and
witches in adventurous stories.
Gutman, Dan. Weird School #1: Miss Daisy is Crazy!
(series) *
A boy who hates school discovers that school actually might be
King-Smith, Dick. The Invisible Dog **
Missing her old dog terribly, Janie begins an elaborate game of
pretending to have an imaginary dog, meeting an elderly
neighbor who enters into the fun.
Brooks, Walter R. Freddy Goes to Florida (series) ***
In this first volume of a classic series, animals on Mr. Bean's
farm decide to migrate from upstate New York to Florida for the
winter, causing quite a stir.
Burton, Virginia Lee. Life Story **
This classic book presents, visually and informationally, the
history of the Earth as a dramatic stage performance.
Enright, E. The Saturdays (Melendy Quartet series) ***
The Melendy Quartet has a Independent Saturday Afternoon
Adventure Club (I.S.A.A.C.), and readers vicariously
experience all of their fabulous adventures.
Kipling, Rudyard. Just So Stories ***
Inventive tales from Indian mythology will delight any reader.
Wilder, Laura Ingalls. Little House on the Prairie (series) **
This classic historical fiction series provides rich history about
westward expansion through the eyes of the Wilder family.
Folklore & Mythology
Hausman, Gerald. How Chipmunk Got Tiny Feet: Native
American Animal Origin Stories **
Native American legends relate the origins of animals and
invites readers' participation.
Lobel, Arnold. Fables **
Twenty-one memorable fables are depicted in a humorous
manner in the classic Lobel style.
Osborne, Mary Pope. Tales from the Odyssey (series) ***
Mythology lovers will be thrilled with these beautiful
adaptations from the Odyssey.
San Souci, Robert D. Cut from the Same Cloth: American
Women in Myth, Legend and Tall Tale ***
A fabulous compilation of female characters from North
America. These heroines include Native American, African
American, Mexican American and Canadian women.
Williams, Marcia. Greek Myths **
Eight Greek myths are told in a stylized cartoon style with
bright colors and captivating text. This is a great introduction to
Greek mythology.
Entering 3 – 4
Get Real: Nonfiction
Rockwell, Ann. Clouds, Let's Read About Science *
What kinds of cloud formations are associated with different
kinds of weather?
Schreiber, Ann. National Geographic Readers: Dinosaurs
(series) *
These giants may have roamed the earth in your own
Kramer, Stephen. Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a
Scientist's Microscope (Scientists in the Field series) ***
The excitement of scientific exploration, in this case of the
world of very tiny creatures, is conveyed through the dazzling
images of microscopy,
Osborne, Mary Pope. Magic Tree House Fact Tracker #10:
Ancient Greece and the Olympics **
This non-fiction companion to (Hour of the Olympic)s has lots
of factual information about the Olympics past and present.
It Could Happen: Realistic Fiction
Merrill, Jean. The Toothpaste Millionaire **
Clever, inventive sixth-graders Rufus and Kate develop and
sell toothpaste to become millionaires in just one year, by
solving real math problems!
Barnes, Derrick D. Ruby and the Booker Boys (series) **
Spirited and sassy and at a school where her three older
brothers shine, Ruby figures out how to let folks know what a
special individual she is.
Barshaw, R. Ellie McDoodle: New Kid in School (series) ***
This series is a crowd pleaser. The very appealing 11-year-old
Ellie captures her day to day life in journal entries and simple
Davies, Jacqueline. The Lemonade War ***
Normally buddies, brother and sister Evan and Jessie find
themselves at odds over trifles and increasingly determined to
earn more money than the other before school starts.
Harper, Charise Mericle. Just Grace (series) **
There are four Graces in Grace Stewart's class, but she proves
to be a true original as her funny, mischievous self.
Lin, Grace. The Year of the Dog **
Grace is Asian, and she hopes the Year of the Dog is a lucky
one. Embark on the year's journey with this spunky girl, and
share the adventure.
Martin, Anne. A Dog's Life: Autobiography of a Stray ***
Animal lovers will love this tender story about a stray.
Mills, Claudia. How Oliver Olson Changed the World **
How can Oliver change the world when his parents won't even
let him go on a sleepover?
Perkins, Mitali. Rickshaw Girl **
Unexpected things happen when, with the help of her friend
Saleem, Naima disguises herself as a boy in order to drive the
family rickshaw.
Life Stories: Biography
Brown, D. American Boy: The Adventures of Mark Twain **
Samuel Clemen's boyhood is captured with punch and
substance, with adventures of the "dreamer and prankster"
filling the pages.
Davidson, Margaret. Louis Braille: The Boy Who Invented
Books for the Blind **
Blind at the age of three, Louis Braille created a system of
reading for the blind when he was fifteen.
Editors of Time for Kids. Presidents of the United States **
Informative reference book about our President's past and
present. Hundreds of interesting of facts with photographs.
Ehrlich, Amy. Rachel: The Story of Rachel Carson **
Rachel Carson was fascinated by the fossil of a sea creature
she found near her home as a child; she grew up to be an
activist and writer who, by warning people about pesticides,
inspired the environmental movement.
Kimmel, Eric. A Horn for Louis **
The culture of New Orleans in the early 1900s comes alive in
this story of how Louis Armstrong came to have his first real
Lee, Paula. Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds ***
Sixteen seconds: the moment of a three-and-a-half somersault
dive! Sammy Lee overcame formidable odds to become an
Olympic diving champion in 1948.
Pollack, Belviso, O'Brien, and Harrison. Who was Steve
Jobs? (series) **
Learn all about the legendary founder of Apple.
Winter, Jonah. Diego **
This colorful short biography of famous Mexican muralist Diego
Rivera conveys the support his parents gave him, and his pride
in his heritage.
Out of This World:
Fantasy & Science Fiction
Abbott, Tony. Underworld #1: The Battle Begins (series) **
This new mythology based adventure series by the author of
the Secrets of Droon series is sure to be a hit because of the
fast pace and humor.
Bosch, Pseudonymous. The Name of This Book is Secret
(series) ***
This is the story about a secret, but it also contains a secret
story. When adventurous detectives, Cass and Max-Ernest
discover the Symphony of Smells, a box filled with smelly vials
Entering 3 – 4
of colorful ingredients, they accidentally stumble upon a
mystery surrounding a dead magician's diary and the hunt for
Jansson, Tove. Comet in Moominland (series) **
Moomintroll and his friend Sniff travel to the Observatory on the
Lonely Mountains to consult the Professors, worrying that the
comet will hit their home.
LeGuin, Ursula. Catwings (series) **
Four young cats with wings leave the city slums in search of a
safe place to live, finally meeting two kind children.
Levine, Gail Carson. The Princess Tales (series) **
Readers will recognize elements of classic fairy tales in these
humorous new versions.
Osborne, Mary Pope. Hour of the Olympics (Magic
Treehouse series) **
Jack and Annie travel back to ancient Greece. Will Annie be
allowed to watch the games?
Page-turners: Mystery & Adventure
Babbitt, Natalie. The Search For Delicious ***
When the court can’t agree on a meaning for the word
delicious in the King’s dictionary, young Galen is sent out to
poll the kingdom and has unexpected adventures.
Berends, Polly. The Case of the Elevator Duck **
Eleven-year-old Gilbert, self-styled private eye, takes on his
toughest case when he finds a duck in the elevator of his
housing project.
Buckley, Michael. The Fairy-Tale Detectives (Sisters Grimm
series) ***
Daphne and Sabrina Grimm arrive in the New England town of
Ferryport Landing to stay with a suspicious grandma they’ve
never met before.
Butler, Dori Hillsetad. The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost
Boy (series) *
Meet King, loyal dog detective. Dog lovers will appreciate this
Sobol, D. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective (series) **
Leroy Brown is his neighborhood's star detective and helps his
police chief dad solve big crimes. Readers are given clues
along the way in order to join in the solutions.
Van Draanen, Wendelin. Shredderman: Secret Identity
(series) ***
Bubba is the bane of Nolan’s existence. When Nolan is tapped
to write articles for the school newspaper he chooses to write
about the evil bubba, but smartly he does it through the
creation of an alternate identity: Shredderman! A laugh out
loud choice.
Play Ball!: Sports Books
Barber, Tiki. Go Long! *
The winning stars move up to middle school and there are
many adjustments. Will Tiki and Ronde learn to work together
with their new coach and team?
Gutman, Dan. Baseball Card Adventures: Roberto & Me ***
Stosh travels in time to meet Roberto Clemente, legendary
ballplayer and humanitarian.
Hunter, Nick. The 2012 London Olympics **
Fabulous source of information about the upcoming London
games. Going for Gold fact boxes, map of Olympic venues
and a timeline of Olympic history.
Time for Kids. Jackie Robinson: Strong Inside and Out *
Learn all about the first African American to play in the modern
major leagues.
Wallace, Rich. Kickers #1: Ball Hogs (series) **
Brand new soccer player Ben has to learn how to deal with the
Ball Hog on his soccer team.
Way Back When: Historical Fiction
Avi. The Secret School **
Ida and her classmates decide to keep their one-room
schoolhouse open in secret after it is closed by the school
Fritz, Jean. And Then What Happened, Paul Revere?
(series) **
Learn the authentic story of a famous American figure by
asking "And then…?"
McKissack, Patricia. Away West (Scraps of Time series) **
In 1879, young Everett Turner leaves hard times on his family's
farm and runs away to St. Louis, where he works in a livery
stable before heading to the all-Black town of Nicodemus,
McSwigan. Marie. Snow Treasure **
An exciting, suspenseful tale of Norwegian children who hide
their town's gold during the German occupation in 1940.
Ryan, Pam Munoz. Riding Freedom **
Disguised as a man her whole life, Charley Parkhurst became
an expert horse rider and a legendary stagecoach driver at a
time such things were outlawed for women.
Stone, Phoebe. The Romeo and Juliet Code ***
A lyrical historical novel set in WW II coastal Maine. Felicity is
distracted by the discovery of a mysterious code.
Entering 3 – 4
Just for Fun: Humor
Applegate, Katherine. Rosco Riley Rules #1: Never Glue
Your Friends to Chairs (series) **
Good-hearted Rosco tries to help his friend's costume dilemma
with Super-Mega-Gonzo Glue, a too-successful solution that
attaches antennas to chairs and brings chaos.
Cleary, Beverly. The Mouse and the Motorcycle (series) **
Ralph and Keith enjoy hilarious mouse-and-boy adventures in
this series by a beloved author.
Holm, Jennifer. Babymouse (series) *
Babymouse – a little mouse with a big personality – gets
through many troubles with the aid of her wild imagination.
Krosoczka, Jarrett. Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp
Shakedown (series) **
Dee, Hector and Terrance must help Lunch Lady prevail
against a secret enemy threatening their peaceful summer in
this graphic chapter book.
McDonald, Megan. Judy Moody and Stink (series) **
Judy Moody is irrepressible, temperamental and a bit goofy
and she finds her little brother Stink both irritating and lovable.
A Way With Words: Poetry
Sidman, Joyce. Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature **
Why does a spiral shape appear again and again in nature?
Everyday occurrences become fascinating when portrayed in
poetry and illuminating illustrations.
Florian, Douglas. Insectlopedia
Here are 21 nifty portraits of insects and their antics in verse
and inventive paintings.
Gollub, Matthew and Kazuko G. Stone. Cool Melons-Turn to
The title of the book comes from haiku by the Japanese poet,
Issa. Told in prose interspersed with 33 of Issa's most
delightful poems, the book is both a biography of the famed
poet and an introduction to haiku.
Worth, Valerie. All the Small Poems and Fourteen More
These beautifully simple poems will stir your imagination in
remarkable ways, as will the deft pen-and-ink illustrations.
Books on Summer Math Calendar
Adler, David. Fraction Fun
This book takes the fear out of math and fractions and puts the
fun back in!
Burns, Marilyn. Spaghetti and Meatballs for All
Mr. and Mrs. Comfort are having a family reunion! Mr. Comfort
starts cooking up his famous spaghetti and meatballs, while
Mrs. Comfort carefully arranges eight tables and thirty-two
chairs so that everyone will have a seat. The tables look lovely,
the food is ready, and here come the guests--with their own
seating plans!
Friedman, Aileen. The King’s Commissioners
A delightful beginning for those learning the concepts of
counting, addition, and the place value system. This story
encourages children to have fun while learning important math
Hutchins, Pat. The Doorbell Rang
Every time the doorbell rings, more people come to share Ma's
wonderful cookies. Will there be enough to go around?
Leedy, Loreen. Measuring Penny
Lisa has an important homework assignment--to measure
something in several different ways. She has to use standard
units like inches and nonstandard units like paper clips to find
out height, width, length, weight, volume, temperature, and
time. Lisa decides to measure her dog.
Murphy, Stuart. Jump, Kangaroo, Jump!
Kangaroo is back! In this story he and his friends at camp
divide into halves, thirds, and fourths to form teams at field day.
Murphy, Stuart. Sluggers’ Car Wash
The 21st Street Sluggers’ t-shirts are worn-out and dirty. They
need new ones, but they have no money. How can they raise
some cash, and fast? By having a car wash! Learning to count
money and make change are important real-life math skills, but
teamwork is the most valuable player in this sports story.
Murphy, Stuart. The Sundae Scoop
How many different ice-cream sundaes can you make? With 6
ingredients to choose from, there are so many combinations.
Read all about the sundaes they're making at the school picnic.
Math has never been so delicious!
Neuschwander, C. Amanda Bean’s Amazing Dream
Amanda Bean loves to count everything, from the books in the
library to the popcorn in her bowl. If only she could count
faster! Her teacher tries to persuade her of the virtues of
multiplication, but Amanda remains unconvinced--until she has
an amazing dream.
Pinczes, Elinor. A Remainder of One
When the queen of her bugs demands that her army march in
even lines, Private Joe divides the marchers into more and
more lines so that he will not be left out of the parade.
Pinczes, Elinor. One Hundred Hungry Ants
Hi dee ho! It's off to a picnic we go! One hundred very hungry
ants hurry to sample the delights of a picnic, but marching in
single file seems too slow for 100 empty tummies. The
smallest ant of all suggests they travel in 2 rows of 50, four
rows of 25 . . . and the division begins.
Tang, Greg. Math for All Seasons: Mind-Stretching Math
Teach children how to solve math problems intuitively, rather
than relying solely upon formulas and memorization. Colorful
illustrations will capture kids attention, and fun rhymes present
Entering 3 – 4
addition/subtraction problems that kids will be able to solve
with the help of clues in the verse!
Tang, Greg. The Best of Times
Greg Tang takes on the times tables, teaching kids innovative
ways to multiply numbers and derive answers without
Viorst, Judith. Alexander Who Used to be Rich Last Sunday
Last Sunday, Alexander's grandparents gave him a dollar, and
he was rich. There were so many things that he could do with
all of that money. He could buy as much gum as he wanted, or
even a walkie-talkie, if he saved enough, but somehow the
money began to disappear.
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SUMMER READING 2012 Entering 5-­‐6 Public Schools of Brookline, Massachuse5s Entering 5 – 6
Hot Off the Presses: New and Noteworthy
Brown, Don. America is Under Attack: September 11, 2001:
The Day the Towers Fell *
The events of September 11, 2001 changed the world forever.
This account moves chronologically through the morning, from
the plane hijackings, to the crashes at the World Trade Center,
the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania; from the rescue operations at
the WTC site to the collapse of the buildings.
Fleming, Candace. Amelia Lost: The Life and
Disappearance of Amelia Earhart ***
The thrilling story of America's most celebrated flyer, Amelia
Earhart. Alternating chapters move back and forth between
Amelia's life (from childhood up until her last flight) and the
exhaustive search for her and her missing plane. With
incredible photos, maps, and handwritten notes from Amelia
Gantos, Jack. Dead End in Norvelt ***
In this hilarious adventure, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos
spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until
he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual
chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises,
Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history,
typewriting, and countless bloody noses.
mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook.
When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and
Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both
children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they
are missing. Set fifty years apart, these two independent
stories weave back and forth --Ben's told in words, Rose's in
Ursu, Anne. Breadcrumbs ***
Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. But that
was before he stopped talking to her and disappeared into a
forest with a mysterious woman made of ice. Now it's up to
Hazel to go in after him. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's
"The Snow Queen," this is a story of the struggle to hold on,
and the things we leave behind.
Take a Look:
Picture Books for Older Readers
Hale, Dean and Shannon Hale. Calamity Jack *
Jack likes to think of himself as a criminal mastermind…with an
unfortunate amount of bad luck. A schemer, plotter, planner,
trickster, swindler...maybe even thief? One fine day Jack picks
a target a little more giant than the usual, and one little bean
turns into a great big building-destroying beanstalk.
Lai, Thanhha. Inside Out & Back Again **
“No one would believe me but at times I would choose wartime
in Saigon over peacetime in Alabama. "For all the ten years of
her life, HÀ has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets,
the joy of its traditions, the warmth of her friends close by . . .
and the beauty of her very own papaya tree. But now the
Vietnam War has reached her home. HÀ and her family are
forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed
toward hope. In America, HÀ discovers the foreign world of
Alabama: the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food,
the strange shape of its landscape . A novel told in poems.
Hill, Laban Carrick. Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave *
Dave was an extraordinary artist, poet, and potter living in
South Carolina in the 1800s. He combined his superb artistry
with deeply observant poetry carved onto his pots,
transcending the limitations he faced as an enslaved person.
Meloy, Maile. The Apothecary ***
New to London, fourteen-year-old Janie meets a mysterious
apothecary and his son, Benjamin Burrows—a boy who’s not
afraid to stand up to authority and dreams of becoming a spy.
When Benjamin’s father is kidnapped, Janie and Benjamin
must uncover the secrets of the apothecary’s sacred book, the
Pharmacopoeia, in order to find him, all while keeping it out of
the hands of their enemies—Russian spies in possession of
nuclear weapons. Discovering and testing potions they never
believed could exist, Janie and Benjamin embark on a
dangerous race to save the apothecary and prevent impending
Rave, Margot Theis. Let Them Play *
Segregated Charleston, SC, 1955: There are 62 official Little
League programs in South Carolina - all but one of the leagues
is composed entirely of white players. The Cannon Street
YMCA All-Stars, an all-black team, is formed in hopes of
playing in the state's annual Little League Tournament. What
should have been a time of enjoyment, however, turns sour
when all of the other leagues refuse to play against them and
even pull out of the program. "Let Them Play" takes its name
from the chant shouted by the spectators who attended the
World Series final.
Schmidt, Gary. Okay for Now ***
Fourteen-year-old Doug Swieteck faces many challenges,
including an abusive father, a brother traumatized by Vietnam,
suspicious teachers and police officers, and isolation, but when
he meets a girl known as Lil Spicer, he develops a close
relationship with her and finds a safe place at the local library.
Selznick, Brain. Wonderland **
Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben
longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a
Mochizuki, Ken. Baseball Saved Us **
During World War II, a young Japanese-American boy and his
family are sent to an internment camp after the attack on Pearl
Harbor. Father and son pull the camp together to build a
baseball diamond and form a league.
Selznick, Brian. The Invention of Hugo Cabret *
When twelve-year-old Hugo, an orphan living and repairing
clocks within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a
mysterious toyseller and his goddaughter, his undercover life
and his biggest secret are jeopardized.
Sweet, Melissa. Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of
the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade *
On Thanksgiving Day, young and old rise early to see what
giant new balloons will fill the skies for Macy’s Thanksgiving
Day Parade. Who first invented these “upside-down puppets”?
Entering 5 – 6
Meet Tony Sarg, puppeteer extraordinaire! Learn how he first
created the helium balloons that would become the trademark
of Macy’s Parade.
Yezerski, Thomas. Meadowlands: A Wetlands Survival
Story *
People have dammed up, drained, built over, and polluted this
formerly vibrant ecosystem and all but destroyed it. Still signs
of life remain under bridges, on the edge of parking lots, and
besides train tracks. Slowly but surely the resilient creatures of
the Meadowlands are making a comeback, and the wetlands
are recovering.
Steig, William. Abel’s Island **
Castaway on an uninhabited island, Abel, a very civilized
mouse, finds his resourcefulness and endurance tested to the
limit as he struggles to survive and return to his home.
Stevenson, Robert Louis. Treasure Island **
When an old sea captain arrives at the Admiral Benbow Inn
with a mysterious sea chest and fearful talk of a man with one
leg, the scene is set for one of the most popular adventure
stories of all time.
Folklore & Mythology
Too Good to Miss: Classics
Burnett, Frances Hodgson. The Secret Garden ***
Orphaned Mary Lenox goes to live with her hermit uncle in
gloomy, mysterious Misselthwaite Manor. There, she discovers
all sorts of secrets, including a cousin she’s never heard of and
a garden everyone has forgotten.
Burnford, Sheila. The Incredible Journey **
A young Labrador retriever, a bull terrier and a Siamese cat set
out through the Canadian wilderness. Together, the three
house pets face starvation, exposure, and wild forest animals
as they attempt to make their way home to the family they love.
Christopher, John. The White Mountains (series) **
Long ago, the Tripods--huge, three-legged machines-descended upon Earth and took control. Now people
unquestioningly accept the Tripods' power. They have no
control over their thoughts or their lives. But for a brief time in
each person's life--in childhood--he is not a slave. For Will, his
time of freedom is about to end--unless he can escape to the
White Mountains, where the possibility of freedom still exists.
Lewis, C. S. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
(series) **
Four children travel repeatedly to a world in which they are far
more than mere children, and everything is far more than it
O’Dell, Scott. The Island of the Blue Dolphins **
Left alone on a beautiful but isolated island off the coast of
California, a young Indian girl spends eighteen years, not only
merely surviving through her enormous courage and selfreliance, but also finding a measure of happiness in her solitary
Paterson, Katherine. Bridge to Terabithia **
The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he
becomes friends with a newcomer. Together they create
Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods.
Paulsen, Gary. Hatchet (series) ***
Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is the only survivor when the
single-engine plane crashes. His body battered, his clothes in
shreds, Brian must now stay alive in the Canadian wilderness
with only a small hatchet as a tool. It will take all his know-how
and determination, and more courage than he knew he
possessed to survive.
Barron, T. A. Lost Years of Merlin (series) **
The first book in this series is about Merlin's boyhood and
coming of age. From the moment young Merlin is washed
ashore on a beach in ancient Wales to his exciting journey to
the enchanted land of Fincayra, the action never wavers.
D’Aulaire, Ingri and Edgar. D’Aulaires Book of Greek Myths *
An introduction to the gods and goddesses of ancient Greece.
Morpurgo, Michael. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight *
When a mysterious green knight rides into King Arthur's court,
interrupting a New Year's feast, he issues a challenge. Sir
Gawain accepts and decapitates the green knight, only to see
him pick up his severed head. The enchanted knight
announces that Gawain must, on his honor, meet him on the
next New Year's Day to receive the same blow.
Napoli, Donna Jo. Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic
Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes & Monsters **
The tales of gods and goddesses such as Zeus, Aphrodite,
Apollo, and Athena and heroes and monsters such as Helen of
Troy, Perseus, and Medusa.
O'Connor, George. Zeus: King of the Gods (series) **
Fast-paced, high-drama adventures, with monsters, romance,
and a few huge explosions. O'Connor's art brings ancient tales
to life in this book about the father of the gods.
Osborne, Mary Pope. Tales From the Odyssey *
When Odysseus must leave his home to fight the Trojan War,
he never imagines that he’ll be away from his family for so
many years. At long last, he is leading his men home across
the seas, but many dangers await them, none more terrifying
than Polyphemus, the one-eyed giant.
Get Real: Nonfiction
Burns, Loree Griffin. Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and
the Science of Ocean Motion **
Through floating sneakers and bath toys that accidentally fell
off container ships and a computer program named OSCURS,
scientists tracked the currents of the ocean. These
experiments led to a discussion of how debris is polluting our
oceans and causing harm to marine life.
Entering 5 – 6
Chaikin, Andrew. Mission Control, This is Apollo: The Story
of the First Voyages to the Moon **
Space history from the Mercury missions through Apollo 17
and beyond. This book is illustrated with full-color paintings by
astronaut Alan Bean.
Fleischman, John. Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True
Story about Brain Science **
The true story of Phineas Gage, whose brain had been pierced
by an iron rod in 1848. He survived and became a case study
in how the brain functions.
Macaulay, David. Built to Last **
This book reveals the how and why behind some of the most
fascinating and enduring structures humankind has ever
created: the castle, the cathedral and the mosque.
Murphy, Claire Rudolf. Children of Alcatraz: Growing Up on
the Rock **
Imagine playing hide-and-seek in the prison morgue, having a
convict as your babysitter, or having Al Capone as your
neighbor. Alcatraz Island is the maximum-security prison on
the "Rock," once home to criminals like Al Capone, Machine
Gun Kelly, and the Birdman of Alcatraz. Alcatraz was not only
home to criminals--it was home to many children, too.
Pollan, Michael (Chevat, adaptor). Omnivore's Dilemma: the
Secrets Behind What You Eat (Young Readers Edition) **
From fast food and big agriculture to small farms and oldfashioned hunting and gathering, Pollan’s famous food-chain
exploration encourages kids to consider the personal and
global health implications of their food choices.
Ross, Stewart. Into the Unknown: How Great Explorers
Found Their Way By Land Sea and Air **
Discover how the greatest explorers in history — from Marco
Polo to Neil Armstrong — plunged into the unknown and boldly
pieced together the picture of the world we have today.
Stone, Tanya Lee. The Good, the Bad and the Barbie: A
Doll's History and Her Impact on Us ***
During her unparalleled fifty-year history, Barbie has been the
doll that some people love-and some people love to hate. An
unbiased look at how Barbie became the icon that she is, and
at the impact that she's had on our culture (and vice versa).
Tunnell, Michael O. Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin
Airlift's "Chocolate Pilot" **
A little-known post-World War II story of an international
campaign to help lighten the suffering of the children of West
Berlin. An airlift of food and fuel continued for almost two years;
tons of candy were dropped (using tiny parachutes) for the
children who waited in the flight path below.
It Could Happen: Realistic Fiction
Applegate. Home of the Brave *
Kek, an African refugee, is confronted by many strange things
at the Minneapolis home of his aunt and cousin, as well as in
his fifth grade classroom, and longs for his missing mother, but
finds comfort in the company of a cow and her owner. A novel
told in verse.
Baker, Deidre. Becca at Sea **
After Becca's mom becomes pregnant, Becca visits her
grandmother at her rustic cabin by the sea alone, and although
she dreads it at first, she finds adventures and friendship and
returns to the island again and again.
Birdsall, Jeanne. The Penderwicks (series) **
The Penderwick sisters have a holiday on a beautiful estate
called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the
summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasurefilled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best
gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is
Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be
the perfect companion for their adventures.
Erskine, Kathryn. Mockingbird **
Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger's Syndrome, struggles
to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at
school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a
project with her father.
Gantos, Jack. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (series) **
To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers,
Joey has trouble paying attention and controlling his mood
swings when his prescription medications wear off, and he
starts getting worked up and acting wired.
Gutman, Dan. The Homework Machine ***
Four fifth-grade students--a geek, a class clown, a teacher's
pet, and a slacker--as well as their teacher and mothers, each
relate events surrounding an amazing computer programmed
to complete homework assignments.
Hiaasen, Carl. Scat ***
Bunny Starch, the most feared biology teacher ever, is missing.
She disappeared after a school field trip to Black Vine Swamp,
but when the principal tries to tell the students that Mrs. Starch
has been called away on a "family emergency," Nick and Marta
just don't buy it. They figure the class delinquent, Smoke, has
something to do with her disappearance. He does, but not in
the way they think. There's a lot more going on in Black Vine
Swamp than any one player in this twisted tale can see.
Jacobson, Jennifer. Small as an Elephant **
Ever since Jack can remember, his mom has been
unpredictable, sometimes loving and fun, other times caught in
a whirlwind of energy and "spinning" wildly until it's over. But
Jack never thought his mom would take off during the night
and leave him at a campground in Acadia National Park. Any
other kid would report his mom gone, but Jack knows by now
that he needs to figure things out for himself - starting with how
to get from the backwoods of Maine to his home in Boston
before Social Services catches on. Jack begins the long
journey south, a journey that will test his wits and his loyalties.
Kodohata, Cynthia. Kira-Kira ***
Chronicles the close friendship between two JapaneseAmerican sisters growing up in rural Georgia during the late
1950s and early 1960s, and the despair when one sister
becomes terminally ill.
Entering 5 – 6
Marsden, Carolyn. The Gold-Threaded Dress *
In Thailand she was named Oy, but here in America the
teachers call her Olivia. Other things are not so easy to
change. One classmate makes fun of her and calls her
Chinese. And the popular girl Liliandra barely speaks to her,
until she learns that Oy has something very special: a Thai
dancing dress from her grandmother. Will Oy risk shaming her
family to win Liliandra's approval - and be part of the club she
has envied from afar?
Mass, Wendy. A Mango-Shaped Space **
Mia Winchell has synesthesia, the mingling of perceptions
whereby a person can see sounds, smell colors, or taste
shapes. Forced to reveal her condition, she must look to
herself to develop an understanding and appreciation of her
Park, Linda Sue. A Long Walk to Water **
Nya goes to the pond to fetch water for her family. She walks
eight hours every day. Salva walks away from his war-torn
village. He is a “lost boy” refugee, destined to cover Africa on
foot, searching for his family and safety. Two young people . . .
two stories. One country: Sudan. Even in a troubled country,
determined survivors may find the future they are hoping for.
Weeks, Sarah. So B. It **
Although she lives an unconventional lifestyle with her mentally
disabled mother, Heidi has a lucky streak. When a mysterious
word in her mother's vocabulary begins to haunt her, Heidi's
thirst for the truth leads her on a cross-country journey in
search of the secrets of her past.
Yee, Lee. Millicent Min, Girl Genius **
In a series of journal entries, eleven-year-old child prodigy
Millicent Min records her struggles to learn to play volleyball,
tutor her enemy, deal with her grandmother's departure, and
make friends over the course of a tumultuous summer.
Life Stories: Biography
Blumenthal, Karen. Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought
Differently ***
Steve Jobs was given up for adoption at birth, dropped out of
college after one semester, and at the age of twenty, created
Apple in his parents' garage with a friend. A devoted husband,
father, and Buddhist, he battled cancer for over a decade,
became the ultimate CEO, and made the world want every
product he touched.
Buckley, James. Pele *
This book introduces soccer legend Pelé and describes his life
from his Brazilian youth, when he honed his soccer skills with
homemade balls, through his astonishing career and his
current retirement with thrilling play-by-play accounts of key
Burleigh, Robert. Tiger of the Snows: Tenzing Norgay: The
Boy Whose Dream Was Everest *
A Sherpa boy named Tenzing Norgay dreamed about one day
being the first to climb Mt. Everest. For years he practiced,
carrying loads of rocks in his backpack to grow stronger,
prowling the mountain's lower levels; later, carrying loads of
equipment for other adventurers, but always, always, wanting
to climb himself. His dream never seemed possible until he
met Edmund Hillary. By working together, two men from
entirely different backgrounds climbed into the clouds, to the
peak of Mount Everest.
Fleischman, Sid. Escape!: The Story of Great Houdini ***
Who was this man who could walk through brick walls and,
with a snap of his fingers, vanish elephants? Houdini—
magician, ghost chaser, daredevil, pioneer aviator, and king of
escape artists. No jail cell or straitjacket could hold him! He
shucked off handcuffs as easily as gloves. Did Houdini really
pick the jailhouse lock to let a fellow circus performer escape?
Were his secrets buried with him? Here are the stories of how
a knockabout kid named Erich Weiss, the son of an
impoverished rabbi, changed himself into the legendary Harry
Hampton, Wilborn. Babe Ruth ***
Unlike the approach in other books about Ruth, the focus here
is on Ruth’s sad early life and his career as a pitcher with the
Boston Red Sox. Some of the more tawdry aspects of Ruth’s
life are not glossed over, but throughout an attempt is made to
give some sense of the grace, power, and skill of Ruth on the
Hoose, Phillip. Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice ***
Nine months before Rosa Parks’ history-making protest on a
city bus, Claudette Colvin, a 15-year-old Montgomery,
Alabama high school student, was arrested and jailed for
refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger. Hoose draws
from numerous personal interviews with Colvin in this
exceptional title that is part historical account, part memoir.
Krull, Kathleen. Marie Curie **
Marie Curie coined the term radioactivity and won not just one
Nobel prize but two—in physics and in chemistry.
Levine, Ellen. Rachel Carson: a Twentieth-Century Life **
In her award winning and controversial book, "Silent Spring,"
environmentalist Rachel Carson revealed the dangers of
pesticide use and made us aware of man’s contamination of
the environment.
Myers, Walter Dean. The Greatest: Muhammad Ali ***
An introduction to Ali's life from his childhood to the present
day, focusing on his career and the controversies surrounding
him. Both his talent in the boxing ring and his showmanship
earned him fame, while his refusal to accept the stereotypical
role of a black athletic star in the 1960s brought him notoriety.
Out of This World:
Fantasy & Science Fiction
Lowry, Lois. Gossamer **
Littlest One is slowly learning her job of giving dreams to
humans. Each night she and her teacher, Thin Elderly, visit an
old woman’s home where she softly touches beloved objects,
gathering happy memories, and drops of old scents and
sounds to create pleasant dreams. But the dreaded Sinisteeds,
Entering 5 – 6
dark fearsome creatures that plague their victims with
nightmares, are always at work against the dreamgivers. When
the old woman takes in John, an angry foster child with a
troubled past, the Sinisteeds go after him with their horrifying
nightmares. Can Littlest One, and her touch light as gossamer,
protect John’s heart and soul from the nightmare of his dark
Bredsdorff, Bodil. The Crow Girl: The Children of Crow Cove
(series) *
Crow-Girl lives happily with her grandmother in a cove far from
any neighbors. When the old woman dies, Crow-Girl buries her
and leaves to make her way in the world. Taken in by a greedy
woman who demands her labor and steals her belongings,
Crow-Girl eventually escapes and finds new friends with
troubles and talents of their own. She goes on to create her
own family from those whom she befriends and grows to love.
Duprau, Jeanne. The City of Ember (series) **
Lina and Doon live in Ember, an isolated city whose only light
comes from the electricity supplied by a huge underground
generator—a generator that is beginning to fail. Can Lina and
Doon find a way to save themselves and their city?
Farmer, Nancy. The Sea of Trolls (series) ***
The year is 793, and fierce Vikings pass through a Saxon
village and enslave two of its residents: Jack, an 11-year-old
apprentice Mage and his 5-year-old sister Lucy. Jack and Lucy
must embark on a perilous journey through lands filled with
trolls, dragons, giant spiders, and talking crows to get back
Flanagan, John. The Ruins of Gorlan (series) **
The villagers believe the Rangers practice magic that makes
them invisible to ordinary people. Now fifteen year-old Will,
always small for his age, has been chosen as a Ranger’s
apprentice. Highly trained in the skills of battle and
surveillance, the Rangers fight the battles before the battles
reach the people, and as Will is about to learn, there is a large
battle brewing.
Fox, Helen. Eager (series) **
In late twenty-first century England, the Bell family’s new robot,
Eager, is programmed to learn about the world as a human
would, by making mistakes and searching for the answers to
life's questions. Most of this novel centers on Eager's often
funny efforts to come to grips with a many of life’s problems,
although he and the Bell children also uncover a rebellion by
highly sophisticated, human like robots.
Landy, Derek. Skullduggery Pleasant: Scepter of the
Ancients (series) ***
Twelve-year-old Stephanie Edgley inherits her uncle Gordon's
estate and is promptly attacked on her first visit to the property.
A mysterious skeleton detective, Skullduggery Pleasant,
comes to her rescue, explaining that he thinks Gordon was
murdered and that she may be next. The two join forces and
set off to solve the crime in a series of magical, often violent
adventures that take them into a world filled with ancient evil
Martin, Ann. The Doll People (series) *
A family of porcelain dolls that has lived in the same house for
one hundred years is taken aback when a new family of plastic
dolls arrives and doesn't follow The Doll Code of Honor.
Mass, Wendy. 11 Birthdays **
Amanda and Leo discover that they are caught in a time loop,
waking up each morning to find themselves repeating their
eleventh birthdays. What is going on? How can they fix it? Only
time, friendship, and a little luck will tell.
O'Brien, R. C. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nihm (series) **
There's something very strange about the rats living under the
rosebush at the Fitzgibbon farm. But Mrs. Frisby, a widowed
mouse with a sick child must turn to these exceptional
creatures for assistance. Soon she finds herself flying on the
back of a crow, slipping sleeping powder into a ferocious cat's
dinner dish, and helping 108 brilliant, laboratory-enhanced rats
escape to a better place.
Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief (series) ***
In this first book in the exciting Percy Jackson series, twelveyear old Percy learns that he is the son of a mortal woman and
Poseidon, god of the sea. Sent to a summer camp for
demigods like himself, Percy joins his new friends on a crosscountry quest to prevent a war between the gods.
Riordan, Rick. The Throne of Fire: The Kane Chronicles
(series) ***
In this exciting second installment of the three-book series,
Carter and Sadie embark on a worldwide search for the Book
of Ra, but the House of Life and the gods of chaos are
determined to stop them.
Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me **
Shortly after sixth-grader Miranda and her best friend Sal part
ways, for some inexplicable reason her once familiar world
turns upside down. Maybe it's because she's caught up in
reading "A Wrinkle in Time" and trying to understand time
travel, or perhaps it's because she's been receiving mysterious
notes which accurately predict the future.
Winthrop, Elizabeth. Castle in the Attic **
William receives the best present of his life, a realistic model of
a castle, with a drawbridge, moat, and a finger-high knight to
guard the gates. When he picks up the tiny silver knight, it
comes alive in his hand!
Page-turners: Mystery & Adventure
Abrahams, Peter. Down the Rabbit Hole (series) **
Like her idol Sherlock Holmes, eighth grader Ingrid Levin-Hill
uses her intellect to solve a murder case in her hometown of
Echo Falls.
Avi. True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle ***
"Not every thirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought
to trial and found guilty," Charlotte states, beginning an
account of her 1832 transatlantic crossing.
Entering 5 – 6
Beil, Mildred D. The Red Blazer Girls: The Vanishing Violin
(series) **
Seventh-graders Sophie, Margaret, Rebecca, and Leigh Ann
follow a trail of cryptic clues to locate a rare violin, catch the
person sneaking into St. Veronica's School for late-night
cleaning and redecorating, and outsmart a conniving
Clements, Andrew. We the Children (series) **
The school janitor gives sixth-grader Ben a tarnished coin with
some old engravings and then mysteriously dies. As a result,
Ben is drawn into a plot to keep his school from taken over by
unscrupulous investors.
Dowd, Siobhan. The London Eye Mystery **
While Ted, his sister Kat, and their cousin Salim wait in line to
ride the London Eye, a huge ferris wheel, a stranger from the
front of the line offers one free ticket and Salim takes it. Ted
and Kat see him enter the capsule and follow his ride, but to
their shock, he doesn't exit with his fellow riders. It's up to them
to find him.
Feinstein, John. Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery (series) **
Two lucky aspiring sports journalists win a trip to the Final
Four. The games going on behind the scenes between the
coaches, the players, the media, the money-men, and the fans
turn out to be even more fiercely competitive than those on the
court. Steven and Susan overhear what sounds like a threat to
throw the championship game. What should they do?
Horowitz, Anthony. Stormbreaker (series) ***
When his uncle and guardian dies in a mysterious accident,
fourteen year-old Alex Rider finds out that he was a spy for the
MI6, Britain’s equivalent of the CIA. Alex is recruited by the
agency to continue his uncle’s mission, kicking off his career as
the youngest-ever international British spy.
Key, Watt. Alabama Moon ***
For as long as ten-year-old Moon can remember, he has lived
out in the forest in a shelter with his father, their only contact
with other human beings an occasional trip to the nearest
general store. When Moon’s father dies, Moon follows his
father’s last instructions: to travel to Alaska to find others like
themselves. But Moon is soon caught and entangled in a world
he doesn’t know or understand; he’s become property of the
government he has been avoiding all his life. Moon must adapt
his wilderness survival skills and learns to survive in the
outside world, and even, perhaps, make his home there.
Smith, Roland. I, Q: Independence Hall (series) **
Thirteen-year-old Quest, Q, along with new stepsister Angela,
takes a year off from school to travel with his parents’ band.
Home will be a luxury motor coach and homework will be a
Web site diary of their travels. Perfect--Q can practice his
magic tricks and Angela can read her spy novels. What can go
Stewart, T.L. Mysterious Benedict Society (series) ***
Reynie and three other gifted children are recruited to go
undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened
and use their intellect, imagination, and resourcefulness to
derail a plot to take over the world.
Wood, Maryrose. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place:
The Mysterious Howling (series) **
Set in 19th-century England, the novel tells the story of 15year-old Penelope Lumley. A newly hired governess to
Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia. Previously raised by
wolves, the three children are now the trophies and property of
the shady Lord Fredrick of Ashton Place. Humorous antics and
a climactic cliff-hanger ending will keep you turning pages and
clamoring for the next volume.
Young, E. L. Storm: The Infinity Code (series) ***
By the time they reach Philadelphia, Q and Angela realize this
tour is definitely not the trip their parents had planned and that
the “City of Brotherly Love” is full of mysteries and secrets that
could threaten their new life together.
Play Ball!: Sports Books
Barber, Tiki. Kickoff!! (series) *
Inspired by the childhood of NFL superstars Tiki and Ronde
Barber, Kickoff! is a story of teamwork, perseverance, and
what it takes to be a champion.
Bowen, Fred. Hardcourt Comeback *
Brett blew a key play in an important game. Now he feels like a
loser for letting his teammates down and he keeps making
mistakes. How can Brett become a winner again?
Coy, John. Top of the Order **
Ten-year-old Jackson lives for baseball, but becomes
distracted by the approach of middle school, his mother's latest
boyfriend, and the presence of a girl.
Green, Tim. Football Genius (series) ***
Troy White can predict any football play before it happens. And
when his single mom gets a job with the Atlanta Falcons, Troy
knows it's his big chance to help them out of their slump—and
finally prove his football genius. But unless Troy can convince
star linebacker that he's telling the truth, the Falcons'
championship—and Troy's mom's job—are in serious
Gutman, Dan. Ray and Me (series) **
Joe can travel back in time using baseball cards with magic
powers. This time, Joe goes back to try to save Ray Chapman,
the only player in major league history to get hit by a pitched
ball and die.
Lupica, Mike. Batboy ***
Even though his mother feels baseball ruined her marriage to
his father, she allows fourteen-year-old Brian to become a bat
boy for the Detroit Tigers, who have just drafted his favorite
player back onto the team.
Lupica, Mike. Shoot-Out: Mike Lupica's Comeback Kids
(series) **
What happens when a star player ends up on the worst team?
He either learns to lose or he stops playing the game he loves.
These are the choices facing Jake, who has gone from
champion to last place, testing his sportsmanship every time
his soccer team gets soundly beaten.
Entering 5 – 6
McKinley, Michael. Ice Time: The Story of Hockey **
This traces the sport from its hotly contested origins to the
first-ever lockout of players by the one remaining league. It
covers the sport’s surge in popularity after 1875, when it
moved to inside rinks; the rise and fall, and rise again, of
women’s hockey; the sagas of long-lost league and more
recently the World Hockey Association.
Wolff, Virginia Euwer. Bat 6 ***
Each year the girls’ softball teams of Bear Creek Ridge and
Barlow compete to the friendly cheers of townspeople. This
year Shazam’s racial hatred of Aki Mikami explodes in this
riveting novel set in post-World War II Oregon.
Way Back When: Historical Fiction
Avi. Crispin: the Cross of Lead (series) **
Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy
in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a
larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.
Berg, Ann E. All the Broken Pieces: A Novel in Verse ***
Vietnamese war orphan Matt Pin, now living in the Unites
Sates, is haunted by the terrible secret he left behind in
Vietnam. He also must confront the abuse heaped upon him
by teammates who have lost family members in the war.
Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Shirts (series) ***
It’s 1935. Moose Flanagan lives on Alcatraz with his family, the
other families of the guards, and a few hundred hit men, con
men, mad dog murderers and a handful of bank robbers too.
Erdrich, Louise. Birchbark House (series) **
In this account of a year in the life of a 19th-century Ojibwa
family, Omakayas works and plays through the summer and
fall, learning the ways of her people until a deadly illness
strikes the tribe.
Hoberman, Mary Ann. Strawberry Hill *
Ten-year-old Allie's family moves from urban New Haven to
rural Stamford, Connecticut, in the midst of the Great
Depression. Allie learns what makes a true friend and comes to
realize that people can change, even adults.
Klages, Ellen. The Green Glass Sea (series) **
In 1943, eleven-year-old Dewey Kerrigan lives with her
scientist father in Los Alamos, New Mexico, as he works on a
top-secret government program. The mystery and tension
surrounding what Dewey knows only as "the gadget" trickles
down to the kids on the compound who often do without adult
Lowry, Lois. Number the Stars *
In 1943, during the German occupation of Denmark, ten-yearold Annemarie learns how to be brave and courageous when
she helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis.
Park, Linda Sue. When My Name Was Keoko ***
With national pride and occasional fear, a brother and sister
face the increasingly oppressive occupation of Korea by Japan
during World War II, which threatens to suppress Korean
culture entirely.
Peck, Richard. A Long Way From Chicago **
Sent to spend the summer with their quirky grandmother, Joey
and Mary Alice meet some memorable characters and have
hilarious adventures. It’s a summer to remember!
Philbrick, Rodman. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P.
Figg **
Homer P. Figg escapes from his wretched foster home in Pine
Swamp, Maine, and sets out to find his beloved older brother,
Harold, who has been illegally sold into the Union Army.
Porter, Pamela. Crazy Man (series) **
After Emaline is crippled by an accident with her father's tractor
in 1965, her father leaves the farm. Her mother takes in Angus
from the local mental hospital to help with the farm work, but
the neighbors jeer and complain. Emaline never denies Angus'
illness, but she sees his kindness and strength.
Preus, Margi. Heart of a Samurai: Based on the True Story
of Nakahama Manjiro ***
In 1841 a Japanese fishing vessel sinks. Its crew is forced to
swim to a small, unknown island, where rescued by a passing
American ship, they set off to America, learning English on the
way. Manjiro, a 14-year-old boy, is curious and eager to learn
everything he can about this new culture. After many years, he
makes it back to Japan, only to be imprisoned as an outsider.
With his hard-won knowledge of the West, Manjiro is in a
unique position to persuade the emperor to ease open the
boundaries around Japan; he may even achieve his unlikely
dream of becoming a samurai.
Ryan, Pam Munoz. Esperanza Rising ***
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.
Ryan, Pam Munoz. The Dreamer **
From the time he is a young boy, Neftali hears the call of a
mysterious voice. He knows he must follow it--even when the
neighborhood children taunt him, and when his harsh,
authoritarian father ridicules him, and when he doubts himself.
It leads him under the canopy of the lush rain forest, into the
fearsome sea, and through the persistent Chilean rain, until
finally, he discovers its source.
Vanderpool, Clare. Moon Over Manifest ***
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.”
White, Ruth. Way Down Deep **
Although Ruby seemed to just appear out of thin air on the
steps of the courthouse on the first day of summer in 1944, no
one in Way Down Deep, West Virginia, ever worried too much
Entering 5 – 6
about where the toddler came from. So even though Ruby can’t
help but wonder where she came from, she has led a joyful
and carefree life in Way Down Deep, loved and watched over
by Miss Arbutus – proprietor of The Roost, the local
boardinghouse – the residents of The Roost, and the rest of
the town. But when Ruby is twelve, a new family moves to Way
Down Deep, and they provide enough clues about Ruby’s past
that she is able to find her own people.
Williams-Garcia, Rita. One Crazy Summer **
In the summer of 1968, Delphine’s father decides that it’s time
the girls got to know their mother. Delphine boards a plane with
her sisters to Cecile’s home in Oakland. What they find there is
far from their California dreams of Disneyland and movie stars.
Just for Fun: Humor
Allison, J. Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator (series) **
Ever since her father died, quirky Gilda Joyce has been
determined to communicate with spirits and become a crack
investigator of spooky, twisted mysteries. Hair-raising and
hilarious, this is a behind-the-scenes, tell-all account of her
very first case.
Angleberger, Tom. Strange Case of Origami Yoda *
Is Origami Yoda real? Of course he's real as a small puppet on
Dwight's finger. But does the oracle possess magic power? Is
this puppet really Yoda? Or is Dwight a bit more together than
he seems?
Gantos, Jack. Jack on the Tracks (series) ***
Fascinated with all things disgusting, Jack is constantly
struggling to sort out how boys are supposed to behave.
Between picking a hookworm (his secret "pet'') out of his arm
and lying in a hole with a screaming locomotive passing
overhead, Jack is no role model, but he is real.
Lowry, Lois. The Willoughbys **
Timothy; his twin brothers, Barnaby A and Barnaby B; and their
little sister, Jane, are old-fashioned children who adore oldfashioned adventures. Unfortunately, the Willoughby parents
are not very fond of their children, and the truth is that the
siblings are not too keen on their parents either. Little do the
Willoughby kids know that their neglectful mother and father
are hatching an evil plan to get rid of them!
Van Draanen, Wendelin. Shredderman: Secret Identity
(series) *
Bullies got you down? Never fear, Shredderman is here! Fifthgrader Nolan Byrd, sick of being picked on by class bully
Bubba Bixby, uses his brains and creativity to outsmart the
Bubba and end his reign of playground terror.
A Way With Words: Poetry
Giovanni, Nikki. Hip Hop Speaks to Children: A Celebration
of Poetry With a Beat *
Compiler Giovanni states “Poetry with a beat. Hip Hop Speaks
to Children is a delightful and enlightening collection of poetry
from various poets.
Hughes, Langston. The Dream Keeper and Other Poems **
A collection of sixty-six poems selected by the author for young
readers, including lyrical poems, songs, and blues, many
exploring the black experience.
Janeczko, Paul B. (ed.). A Kick in the Head *
A fun selection of children's poetry which illustrates the
different forms of poetry, including sonnet, couplet, ballad,
elegy, and ode.
Kennedy, Caroline. A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry
for Children **
Caroline Kennedy has assembled a collection of poems
families are sure to enjoy for years to come.
Rosen, Michael J. The Cuckoo's Haiku: And Other Birding
Poems *
In sparse and graceful words, poet and birder Michael J.
Rosen captures essential characteristics of more than twenty
commonly seen North American birds.
Sidman, Joyce. Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature *
Poems and lush illustrations celebrate the shape of a spiral in
nature, from rushing rivers to flower buds and even the shape
of an ear.
Wardlaw, Lee. Won-Ton: a Cat Tale Told in Haiku *
Won-Ton’s story is told in haiku. This title shows that poetry
can be fun, free, and immediate, even as it follows traditional
Peck, Richard. Soup (series) **
Peck tells stories from a boyhood filled with barrels to roll in,
apples to whip, windows to break, ropes to bind prisoners,
acorn pipes, and ten-cent Saturday movies. Back then, as
always, nothing was quite as important as a best friend.
Wong, Janet S. A Suitcase of Seaweed and Other Poems *
With a sense of pride in her Korean, Chinese, and American
background, Janet Wong's poetry reflects some of the
differences between Chinese and Korean customs and culture
and the American way of life.
Scieszka, Jon. Knucklehead : Tall Tales & Mostly True
Stories of Growing Up Scieszka ***
A memoir about growing up as one of six brothers with lots of
comic books, lazy summers at the lake, babysitting
misadventures, TV shows, and plenty of jokes and pranks.
Worth, Valerie. All the Small Poems and Fourteen More *
These small poems celebrate ordinary things. In lines of one
or two words, Worth captures the essence of a thing, and with
her keen observations, makes us see it sharp and fresh.
Entering 5 – 6
Books on Summer Math Calendar
Demi. One Grain of Rice
This is the story of Rani, a clever girl who outsmarts a very
selfish raja and saves her village. When offered a reward for a
good deed, she asks only for one grain of rice, doubled each
day for 30 days.
Mitsumasa, Anno. Anno’s Mysterious Multiplying Jar
Simple text and pictures introduce the mathematical concept of
Murphy, Stuart. Divide and Ride
Scream down the Dare-Devil Coaster and whirl around in the
Twin Spin cars! Join in the carnival fun as 11 friends divide up
to fit on the 2-to-a-seat roller coaster and the 4-to-a-cup
teacups ride. Making new friends and practicing predivision
skills have never been so exciting!
Murphy, Stuart. Lemonade Sale
Four kids and their sidekick, Petey the parrot, run a sometimes
thriving lemonade stand whose patrons include all kinds of
wacky neighbors—even a juggler. They create a bar graph to
track the rise and fall of their lemonade sales.
Schwartz, David. How Much is a Million?
Ever wonder just what a million of something means? How
about a billion? Or a trillion?
Schwartz, David. On Beyond a Million
Professor X and his dog, Y, teach kids how to count
exponentially by powers of 10 (1, 10, 100, 1,000, 10,000, etc.),
beginning at 1 and working all the way up to a googol (a 1
followed by 100 zeros) and beyond. Children fascinated by
large numbers will be amazed how quickly they can count to
really BIG numbers, and they’ll also find answers to questions
like “What comes after a trillion?” or “What’s the biggest
number in the world?”
SUMMER READING 2012 Entering 7-­‐8 Public Schools of Brookline, Massachuse5s Entering 7 – 8
Hot Off the Presses: New and Noteworthy
Bowers, Richard. Superman versus the Ku Klux Klan: The
True Story of How the Iconic Superhero Battled the **
Bowers presents a group of interconnected stories that come
together in the 1947 collision of the Superman Radio Show and
the Ku Klux Klan, following the two Cleveland teenagers who
invented Superman as a defender of the powerless, the people
who made Superman a media sensation, and the club that
spread fear and hate.
Frost, Helen. Hidden *
When fourteen-year-olds Wren and Darra meet at a Michigan
summer camp, both are overwhelmed by memories from six
years earlier when Darra's father stole a car, unaware that
Wren was hiding in the back.
Mccall, Guadalupe Garcia. Under the Mesquite **
In this young adult novel in verse, Lupita, a budding actor and
poet, learns Mami has cancer. She is terrified by the
possibility of losing her mother, the anchor of her close-knit
Mexican-American family. Suddenly, being a high school
student, starring in a play, and dealing with friends who don't
always understand, become less important than doing
whatever she can to save Mami's life.
Schmidt, Gary. Okay for Now **
As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no
friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has
everything stacked against him. As Doug struggles to be more
than the “skinny thug” that his teachers and the police think
him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer. In Lil, Doug
finds the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions
of a whole town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever
scarred, from Vietnam.
Schmatz, Pat. Bluefish **
Thirteen-year-old Travis, living in cramped quarters with his
alcoholic grandfather, longs for his old life in the country, and
struggles in school to hide the fact that he cannot read, but a
persistent teacher and a special girl open his eyes to a new
Schanzer, Rosalyn. Witches!: The Absolutely True Tale of
Disaster in Salem. **
The riveting, true story of the victims, accused witches,
crooked officials, and mass hysteria that turned a mysterious
illness affecting two children into a witch hunt that took over a
dozen people’s lives and ruined hundreds more unfolds in
chilling detail in this young adult book by award-winning author
and illustrator Rosalyn Schanzer.
Sheinkin, Steve. Notorious Benedict Arnold ***
Most people know that Benedict Arnold was America’s first,
most notorious traitor. Few know that he was also one of its
greatest war heroes. This accessible biography introduces
young readers to the real Arnold: reckless, heroic, and driven.
Packed with first-person accounts, astonishing battle scenes,
and surprising twists, this is a gripping and true adventure tale.
Silvey, Craig. Jasper Jones ***
Charlie Bucktin, a bookish thirteen year old, is startled one
summer night when Jasper Jones, an outcast in their small
Australian mining town, comes to ask for Charlie's help. Charlie
follows him into the night where Charlie witnesses Jasper's
horrible discovery. In the simmering summer where everything
changes, Charlie learns why the truth of things is so hard to
know, and even harder to hold in his heart.
Sonnenblick, Jordan. Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip **
Meet Peter Friedman, high school freshman, yalented
photographer, and former baseball star. When a freakish injury
ends his pitching career, Peter has some major things to figure
out. Is there life after sports?
Volponi, Paul. Final Four **
Four players at the Final Four of the NCAA basketball
tournament struggle with the pressures of tournament play and
the expectations of society at large.
Take a Look:
Picture Books for Older Readers
Brosgol, Vera. Anya's Ghost *
Anya, embarrassed by her Russian immigrant family and selfconscious about her body, has given up on fitting in at school
but falling down a well and making friends with the ghost there
just may be worse.
Hicks, Faith Erin. Friends with Boys *
After an idyllic childhood of homeschooling with her mother and
three older brothers, Maggie enrolls in public high school,
where interacting with her peers is complicated by the
melancholy ghost that has followed her throughout her entire
Hinds, Gareth. Odyssey ***
In graphic novel format, Homer's epic tale of Odysseus is
retold, the ancient Greek hero who encounters witches and
other obstacles on his journey home after fighting in the Trojan
Tennapel, Doug. Ghostopolis *
Garth Hale, accidentally zapped into the ghost world by ghost
wrangler Frank Gallows, teams up with Cecil, his grandfather's
ghost, in an effort to save him from the evil ruler of Ghostopolis
and get him back home again.
Too Good To Miss: Classics
Picture Books for Older Readers
Smith, Betty. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn **
Young Francie Nolan, having inherited both her father's
romantic and her mother's practical nature, struggles to survive
and thrive growing up in the slums of Brooklyn in the early
twentieth century.
Entering 7 – 8
Austen, Jane. Emma ***
A novel of Regency England that centers upon a self-assured
young lady who is determined to arrange her life and the lives
of those around her into a pattern dictated by her romantic
Dumas, Alexandre. The Three Musketeers (series) ***
The journal of a Jewish girl in her early teens describing both
the joys and torments of daily life, as well as typical adolescent
thoughts, throughout two years spent in hiding with her family
during the Nazi occupation of Holland.
Frank, Anne. Diary of a Young Girl ***
In 1942, in Nazi-occupied Holland, thirteen-year-old Anne and
her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding to
avoid being captured. For the next two years, they lived
cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old office building. In her
diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her
experiences during this period.
Herbert, Frank. Dune ***
Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy
Paul Atreides, who would become the mysterious man known
as Maud'dib. He would avenge the traitorous plot against his
noble family--and would bring to fruition humankind's most
ancient and unattainable dream.
Martel, Yann. The Life of Pi ***
Pi Patel, a young man from India, tells how he was
shipwrecked and stranded in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger for
227 days. This outlandish story is only the core of a deceptively
complex three-part novel about, ultimately, memory as a
narrative and about how we choose truths.
Taylor, Mildred. The Land (series) **
The prequel to Newbery Medal winner, Roll of Thunder, Hear
My Cry, begins the saga of the Logan family and depicts the
cruel racism in the Deep South during and after the Civil War.
Get Real: Nonfiction
Bragg, Georgia. How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the
Awfully Famous *
This fascinating collection of remarkable deaths relays all the
gory details of how 19 world figures gave up the ghost,
including King Tut, Julius Caesar, George Washington, Edgar
Allan Poe, and Henry VIII.
Kettlewell, Caroline. Electric Dreams ***
This book recounts the true story of a group of rural North
Carolina high school students who entered a high-tech contest
and, against all odds, build an award-winning electric car.
Meserole, Mike. The Great Escape **
Spring, 1943; Stalag Luft III, Germany: every prisoner in the
Nazi camps had one thought in mind—to get out.
Nelson, Pete. Left for Dead: A Young Man's Search for
Justice for the U.S.S. Indianapolis **
This story explains how the research of 11-year-old Hunter
Scott uncovered the truth behind a historic WWII naval disaster
aboard the USS Indianapolis which led to the reversal of the
wrongful court martial of the ship's captain.
Preston, Richard. Hot Zone ***
This is the dramatic, hair-raising, and chilling story of an Ebola
virus outbreak in a suburban Washington, D.C. laboratory, with
descriptions of frightening historical epidemics of rare and
lethal viruses.
Paulson, Gary. Guts *
Paulsen relates the nature lore and autobiographical incidents
behind the wilderness survival scenario of Hatchet and many of
his other popular books.
Simpson, Joe. Touching the Void ***
Joe Simpson shares the story of his miraculous survival after
he was injured while climbing in the Andes in 1985 and left for
dead by his partner.
Stone, Tanya Lee. Almost Astronauts **
“Space gals. Astronettes. Astrodolls...Who do these women
think they are?” The media mocked them. Male astronauts did
not want them, and neither did then vice-president Lyndon
Johnson. Nearly 20 years before the U.S. officially admitted
women into the astronaut program, 13 women, known as the
Mercury 13, fought for the right to soar into space. This photoessay tells their story.
It Could Happen: Realistic Fiction
Bauer, Joan. Close to Famous *
Foster has a big secret; she can't read. With the help of a
retried movie star, she overcomes her struggles and wins over
hearts with her exceptional baked goods.
Berk, Josh. The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin **
Having left a school for the deaf, Will survives at his first public
school with a lot of lip-reading, texting, and the friendship of
another social outcast, Devon Smiley. Together, the two
students investigate the mystery surrounding the death of a
classmate while on a field trip.
Budhos, Marina. Tell Us We're Home **
Three immigrant girls from different parts of the world meet
and become close friends in a small New Jersey town where
their mothers have found domestic work, but their relationships
are tested when one girl's mother is accused of stealing a
precious heirloom.
Cofer, Judith Ortiz. Call Me Maria *
Fifteen-year-old Maria leaves her mother and their Puerto
Rican home to live in the barrio of New York with her father,
feeling torn between the two cultures in which she has been
Entering 7 – 8
Dessen, Sarah. Keeping the Moon **
Fifteen-year-old Colie, a former fat girl, spends the summer
working as a waitress in a beachside restaurant, staying with
her overweight and eccentric Aunt Mira, and trying to explore
her sense of self.
Hinton, S.E. Outsiders **
Ponyboy can count on his brothers and his friends, but not on
much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich
kids who get away with everything, including beating up
greasers like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect--until
the night someone takes things too far.
Kent, Rose. Kimchi and Calamari *
After getting caught lying on a school project about who his
grandfather was, fourteen-year-old Joseph Calderno is forced
to redo the assignment and learns more about his adopted
Italian-American family and Korean heritage than he ever
thought possible.
Mass, Wendy. Heaven Looks a Lot Like the Mall **
When high school junior Tessa Reynolds falls into a coma after
getting hit in the head during gym class, she experiences
heaven as the mall where her parents work, and she revisits
key events from her life, causing her to reevaluate herself and
how she wants to live.
Mass, Wendy. Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life **
Just before his thirteenth birthday, Jeremy Fink receives a
keyless locked box--set aside by his father before his death
five years earlier--that purportedly contains the meaning of life.
Life Stories: Biography
Bernstein, Richard. A Girl Named Faithful Plum: The True
Story of a Dancer from China and How She Achieved Her
Dream **
This book tells the true story of Zhongmei Lei, an eleven-yearold girl in 1977 who won one of twelve spots at the prestigious
Beijing Dance Academy, and whose determination to remain in
the school impressed teachers and students alike.
Busby, Maya. The Year We Disappeared: A FatherDaughter Memoir ***
Father and daughter, Cylin and John Busby, share their
memories of the challenges they faced after their family was
forced to go into hiding in order to protect themselves from a
killer who had already shot John, a police officer, once and was
determined to finish the job.
Engle, Margarita. The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of
Juan Francisco Manzano **
Juan Francisco Manzano was born in 1797 into the household
of wealthy slave-owners in Cuba. He spent his early years at
the side of his owner's wife, entertaining her friends. His poetry
was his outlet, reflecting the beauty and cruelty of his world.
Herriot, James. All Creatures Great and Small ***
Take an unforgettable journey through the English countryside
and into the homes of its inhabitants--four-legged and
otherwise--with the world's best-loved animal doctor.
McCormick, Patricia. Purple Heart **
While recuperating in a Baghdad hospital from a traumatic
brain injury sustained during the Iraq War, eighteen-year-old
soldier Matt Duffy struggles to recall what happened to him and
how it relates to his ten-year-old friend, Ali.
Hoose, Phillip. Claudette Colvin:Twice Toward Justice **
This book presents an account of fifteen-year-old Claudette
Colvin, an African-American girl who refused to give up her
seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, nine
months before Rosa Parks, and covers her role in a crucial civil
rights case.
Mulligan, Andy. Trash **
Fourteen-year-olds Raphael and Gardo team up with a
younger boy, Rat, to figure out the mysteries surrounding a bag
Raphael finds during their daily life of sorting through trash in a
third-world country's dump.
Kamkwamba, William. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind **
Forced to drop out of school when famine hits his village, which
has no electricity or running water, a Malawi boy tinkers with
scrap metal and builds a windmill that lights a few bulbs and
catches the world's attention.
Silberberg, Alan. Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze *
Loveable thirteen-year-old geek Milo Cruikshank finds reasons
for frustration at every turn, from the annoying habits of his
neighbors to his futile efforts to get Summer Goodman to
realize his existence. The truth is, ever since Milo’s mother
died, nothing has gone right.
Paulsen, Gary. How Angel Peterson Got His Name *
When you grow up in a small town in the north woods, you
have to make your own excitement. High spirits, idiocy, and
showing off for the girls inspire Gary Paulsen and his friends to
attempt a number of wreckless stunts.
Sonnenblink, Jordan. After Ever After *
This sequel to Drums, Girls, & Dangerous Pie focuses on
Jeffrey’s year in eighth grade and his determination to adjust to
a learning disability and a physical handicap, as well as
changes in his family structure.
Out of This World:
Fantasy & Science Fiction
Sonnes, Sonya. Stop Pretending *
In a story based on real events, and told in poems, Sonnes
explores what happened and how she reacted when her
adored older sister suddenly began screaming and hearing
voices in her head, and was ultimately hospitalized.
Adams, Douglas. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
(series) **
Seconds before Earth is demolished to make room for a
galactic freeway, an earthman is saved by his friend. Together
they journey through the galaxy.
Entering 7 – 8
Christopher, John. The White Mountains (series) **
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.
Clayton, Emma. The Roar (series) **
In an overpopulated world where all signs of nature have been
obliterated and a wall has been erected to keep out plagueridden animals, twelve-year-old Mika refuses to believe that his
twin sister was killed after being abducted, and continues to
search for her in spite of the dangers he faces in doing so.
Condie, Ally. Matched (series) **
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right
choices for her, so when Xander appears on-screen at her
Matching ceremony, Cassia knows he is her ideal mate--until
Ky Markham's face appears for an instant before the screen
fades to black.
Croggon, Alison. The Naming: the First Book of Pellinor
(series) ***
A manuscript from a lost civilization tells the story of sixteenyear-old Maerad, a girl with a growing gift for magic, as she
escapes slavery and, with the help of Cadvan, a mysterious
traveler, embarks on a dangerous journey to save her world.
Dashner, James. The Maze Runner (series) **
Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the
middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the
community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.
Farmer, Nancy. Sea of Trolls (series) **
After Jack becomes apprenticed to a Druid bard, he and his
little sister Lucy are captured by Viking Berserkers and taken to
the home of King Ivar the Boneless and his half-troll queen,
leading Jack to undertake a vital quest to Jotunheim, home of
the trolls.
Fisher, Catherine. Incarceron (series) ***
Incarceron is a prison so vast that it contains not only cells, but
also metal forests, dilapidated cities, and vast wilderness. Finn,
a seventeen-year-old prisoner, has no memory of his childhood
but is sure that he came from Outside Incarceron. Escape
seems impossible until Finn meets Claudia, the daughter of the
Hautman, Pete. Rash **
When fifteen-year-old Ty, who has always lived on the ocean
floor, joins Topside girl Gemma in the frontier's underworld to
seek and stop outlaws who threaten his home, they learn that
the government may pose an even greater threat.
Nix, Garth. Sabriel (series) ***
Sabriel, daughter of the necromancer Abhorsen, must journey
into the mysterious and magical Old Kingdom to rescue her
father from the Land of the Dead.
Falls, Kat. Dark Life (series) **
Ty has spent his whole life living deep undersea. When
outlaws attack his homestead, he finds himself in a fight to
save the only home he has ever known. Joined by Gemma, a
girl from Topside, Ty ventures into the frontier's rough
underworld and discovers some dark secrets to Dark Life.
Secrets that threaten to destroy everything.
Pfeffer, Susan Beth. Life As We Knew It (series) ***
Through journal entries, sixteen-year-old Miranda describes
her family's struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon,
causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic
Walden, Mark. H.I.V.E. (Higher Institute of Villainous
Education) *
When they are swept away to a hidden academy for training
evil geniuses, Otto, a brilliant orphan; Wing, a sensitive warrior;
Laura, a shy computer specialist; and Shelby, an infamous
jewel thief, plot to beat the odds and escape.
Westerfeld, Scott. Uglies (series) **
Just before their sixteenth birthdays in a futuristic society, when
they will be transformed into beauties whose only job is to have
a great time, Tally's best friend runs away and Tally must find
her and turn her in or never become pretty at all.
Wrede, Patricia. Sorcery and Cecelia, or the Enchanted
Chocolate Pot **
In 1817 in England, two young cousins, Cecilia living in the
country and Kate in London, write letters to keep each other
informed of their exploits, which take a sinister turn when they
find themselves confronted by evil wizards. (series)
Page-turners: Mystery & Adventure
Abrahams, Peter. Down the Rabbit Hole (series) **
Like her idol Sherlock Holmes, eighth grader Ingrid Levin-Hill
uses her intellect to solve a murder case in her home town of
Echo Falls.
Bedford, Martyn. Flip ***
A teenager wakes up inside another boy's body and faces a
life-or-death quest to return to his true self or be trapped
forever in the wrong existence.
Bradley, Alan. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie **
Flavia, an 11-year-old with a chemistry lab, finds a corpse in a
cucumber patch and applies the detective skills she learned
plotting against her older sisters.
Carey, Benedict. The Island of the Unknowns: A Mystery **
When people start vanishing from a godforsaken trailer park
next to the Folsom Energy Plant, two eleven-year-olds
investigate using mathematical clues that were hastily planted
by their friend Mrs. Clarke before she disappeared.
Cummings, Priscilla. Red Kayak *
Tragedy strikes when a kayak turns over in the Chesapeake
Bay. Thirteen year old Brady who is on the rescue team,
investigates the cause of the accident and he doesn't like what
he finds out.
Entering 7 – 8
Hoobler, Dorothy. The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn (series) *
Fourteen-year-old Seikei, a tea merchant's son, dreams of
being a samurai, and he gets a chance to prove his worth
when, as the only witness to the theft of a priceless ruby
intended for the shogun, he is asked to assist the samurai
magistrate in solving the crime.
Lane, Andrew. Death Cloud: Sherlock Holmes-The Legend
Begins **
In 1868, with his army officer father suddenly posted to India,
and his mother mysteriously "unwell," fourteen-year-old
Sherlock Holmes is sent to stay with his eccentric uncle and
aunt in their vast house in Farnham, where he uncovers his
first murder and a diabolical villain.
Lee, Y. S. The Agency: A Spy in the House (series) **
Rescued from the gallows in 1850s London, young orphan and
thief Mary Quinn is offered a place at Miss Scrimshaw's
Academy for Girls where she is trained to be part of an allfemale investigative unit called The Agency.
London, Jack. The Call of the Wild **
The adventures of an unusual dog, part St. Bernard, part
Scotch shepherd, that is forcibly taken to the Klondike gold
fields where he eventually becomes the leader of a wolf pack.
Morton-Shaw, Christine. The Hunt for the Seventh **
"Find the Seventh." That whispered phrase haunts Jim in this
eerie mystery of death, ghosts, family secrets, and ancient rites
and prophecy.
Roberts Willo Davis. Twisted Summer *
Cici is devastated when she learns that her friend, Brody, is
being considered the prime suspect in the murder of a young
girl in town and begins her own search to find the real
Sedgwick, Marcus. Revolver *
Teenaged Sig Andersson, who lives in an isolated cabin in the
Arctic Circle, confronts a stranger who has come to take
revenge on Sig's dead father for his actions when the two men
knew each other during the Alaska Gold Rush.
Werlin, Nancy. Black Mirror **
Convinced her brother's death was murder rather than suicide,
sixteen-year-old Frances begins her own investigation into
suspicious student activities at her boarding school.
Play Ball!: Sports Books
boarding school and plays for their team, he finds that Coach
Scott is feeding untruths to his team about the game.
Burg, Ann E. All the Broken Pieces **
Two years after being airlifted out of Vietnam in 1975, Matt Pin
is haunted by the terrible secret he left behind and, now, in a
loving adoptive home in the United States, a series of profound
events forces him to confront his past.
Carlin, John. Invictus: Nelson Mandela and the Game that
Made a Nation ***
This book describes how the 1995 rugby World Cup helped
Nelson Mandela unite the country of South Africa and bring
about the end to the country's apartheid and bitter racial
Deuker, Carl. Payback Time ***
Student sports reporter Mitch investigates his football coach on
suspicion of corruption in order to determine why the best
athlete at his high school, Angel, does nothing but stand on the
D'Orso, Michael. Eagle Blue: A Team, a Tribe, and a High
School Basketball Season in Arctic Alaska ***
Author Michel D'Orso shadows the Fort Yukon Eagles through
an Arctic winter of fifty-below-zero temperatures and nearround-the-clock darkness as the Eagles criss-cross Alaska in
pursuit of their--and their village's--dream - to win the
basketball championship.
Feinstein, John. Change-up: Mystery at the World Series
(series) **
While covering the World Series, teen reporters Stevie Thomas
and Susan Carol uncover some inconsistencies in the life story
of a popular new pitcher and begin to investigate.
Hawk, Tony. Tony Hawk: Professional Skateboarder *
In this autobiography, Tony Hawk shares the stories from his
life that have helped him become a skateboarding hero.
Kephart, Beth. Undercover **
High school sophomore Elisa is used to observing while going
unnoticed except when classmates ask her to write love notes
for them, but when she falls for one of those classmates, her
life takes an unexpected turn.
Lee, Marie. Necessary Roughness **
Sixteen-year-old Korean American Chan moves from Los
Angeles to a small town in Minnesota, where he must cope not
only with racism on the football team but also with the tensions
in his relationship with his strict father.
Brooks, Bruce. The Moves Make the Man **
This book recounts the extraordinary friendship between
Jerome Foxworthy, a top student, loving son, basketball star,
and first Black to integrate his southern high school, and Bix, a
white athlete facing problems in his life.
Roberts, Kristi. My Thirteenth Season *
Already downhearted due to the loss of her mother and her
father's overwhelming grief, thirteen-year-old Fran decides to
give up her dream of becoming the first female in professional
baseball after a coach attacks her just for being a girl.
Bruchac, Joseph. Warriors *
As a member of the lacrosse team and of the Iroquois heritage,
Jake knows how sacred the game is, but when he moves to a
Van Draanen, Wendelin. The Running Dream **
When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica
an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and
Entering 7 – 8
her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her
dream of running again.
Way Back When: Historical Fiction
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Chains (series) **
At the start of the Revolutionary War, Isabel is sold to a cruel
loyalist family, even though she has been promised freedom by
her former owner. Soon faced with the choice of working for or
against the British, Isabel chooses to work with anyone who
can help her.
Cushman, Karen. Catherine, Called Birdy **
The thirteen-year-old daughter of an English country knight
keeps a journal in which she records the events of her life,
particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of
women and her efforts to avoid being married off.
Davis, Tanita. Mare's War **
Teens Octavia and Tali learn about strength, independence,
and courage when they are forced to take a car trip with their
grandmother, who tells about growing up Black in 1940s
Alabama and serving in Europe during World War II as a
member of the Women's Army Corps.
Gonzalez, Christina Diaz. The Red Umbrella *
In 1961 after Castro has come to power in Cuba, fourteenyear-old Lucia and her seven-year-old brother are sent to the
United States when her parents fear that the children will be
taken away from them as others have been.
Fleischman, Paul. Bull Run **
Northerners, Southerners, generals, couriers, dreaming boys,
and worried sisters describe the glory, the horror, the thrill, and
the disillusionment of the first battle of the Civil War.
Hughes, Dean. Soldier Boys **
Two boys, one German and one American, are eager to join
their respective armies during World War II, and their paths
cross at the Battle of the Bulge.
Levine, Kristin. Best Bad Luck I Ever Had **
In Moundville, Alabama, in 1917, twelve-year-old Dit hopes the
new postmaster will have a son his age, but instead he meets
Emma, who is black, and their friendship challenges accepted
ways of thinking and leads them to save the life of a
condemned man.
Myers, Walter Dean. Fallen Angels **
Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high
school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends
a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam.
Paulsen, Gary. Woods Runner *
From his 1776 Pennsylvania homestead, thirteen-year-old
Samuel, who is a highly-skilled woodsman, sets out toward
New York City to rescue his parents from the band of British
soldiers and Indians who kidnapped them after slaughtering
most of their community. Includes historical notes.
Perkins, Mitali. Secret Keeper **
In 1974 when her father leaves New Delhi, India, to seek a job
in New York, Ashi, a tomboy at the advanced age of sixteen,
feels thwarted in the home of her extended family in Calcutta
where she, her mother, and sister must stay, and when her
father dies before he can send for them, they must remain with
their relatives and observe the old-fashioned traditions that
Ashi hates.
Preus, Margi. Heart of a Samurai **
It is 1841 a freak storm washes Manjiro and his four fishing
companions onto a tiny island far from their Japanese
homeland where they are rescued by an American whaling
ship. Based on a true story of the first Japanese person to
enter the United States.
Stuber Barbara. Crossing the Tracks **
In Missouri in 1926, fifteen-year-old Iris Baldwin discovers what
family truly means when her father hires her out for the
summer as a companion to a country doctor's invalid mother.
Weyn, Suzanne. Distant Waves: A Novel of the Titanic **
In the early twentieth century, four sisters and their widowed
mother, a famed spiritualist, travel from New York to London,
and as the Titanic conveys them and their acquaintances,
journalist W.T. Stead, scientist Nikola Tesla, and industrialist
John Jacob Astor, home, Tesla's inventions will either doom or
save them all.
Zusak, Markus. The Book Thief ***
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death
relates the story of Liesel, a young German girl whose bookstealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the
Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.
Williams-Garcia, Rita. One Crazy Summer *
It is the summer of 1968, and three black sisters from Brooklyn
are put on a California-bound plane by their father to spend a
month with their mother, a poet who ran off years before and is
living in Oakland.
Just For Fun: Humor
Gantos, Jack. Jack's Black Book: What Happens When You
Flunk an IQ Test? (series) **
In just a few months, Jack is humiliated by a gorgeous
syncronized swimmer, gets a tattoo the size of an ant on his
big toe, flubs an IQ test and nearly fails wood shop, and has to
dig up his dead dog not once but twice. It's all here in Jack's
black book.
Korman, Gordon. Born to Rock (series) **
High school senior Leo Caraway, a conservative Republican,
learns that his biological father is a punk rock legend.
Korman, Gordon. Schooled *
After his hippie grandmother ends up in the hospital, Cap
Anderson is forced to leave the commune where he is
homeschooled and attend Claverage Middle School, where his
odd looks and behavior make him the target of bullies.
Entering 7 – 8
Peck, Richard. Year Down Yonder (series) *
In this Newbery Honor book, Chicago-bred Mary Alice has
been sentenced to a year-long stay in rural Illinois with her
irrepressible, rough and gruff grandmother. Soon, however,
she becomes Grandma's partner in crime, helping to carry out
madcap schemes to benefit friends and avenge enemies.
Prachett, Terry. Wee Free Men: A Story of Discworld
(series) **
A young witch-to-be named Tiffany teams up with the Wee
Free Men, a clan of six-inch-high blue men, to rescue her baby
brother and ward off a sinister invasion from Fairyland.
Rex, Adam. The True Meaning of Smekday **
Twelve-year-old Gratuity "Tip" Tucci is left to fend for herself
after Earth is colonized by aliens and her mother is abducted,
and must try to stop another alien invasion with only the help of
a cat named Pig and an alien named J. Lo.
A Way with Words: Poetry
Aquado, Bill and Richard Newirth. Paint Me Like I Am *
Teens who have taken part in writing programs run by a
national nonprofit organization called WritersCorps are
represented in this collection of poems which convey the words
in the diverse voices of teenagers everywhere.
Koertge, Ron. Shakespeare Bats Cleanup (series) **
When a fourteen-year-old baseball player catches
mononucleosis, he discovers that keeping a journal and
experimenting with poetry not only helps fill the time, it also
helps him deal with life, love, and loss.
Nye, Naomi Shihab. What Have You Lost? **
What have you lost? A friend? A brother? A wallet? A
memory? A meaning? A year? Each Night Images, dream
news, fragments, flash then fade. These darkened walls. Here,
I say. Climb into this story. Be remembered!
Myers, Walter Dean. Street Love **
This story, told in free verse, is set against a background of
street gangs and poverty in Harlem in which seventeen-yearold African-American Damien takes a bold step to ensure that
he and his new love will not be separated.
BHS Summer Reading 2012
Brookline High School
115 Greenough Street
Brookline, Massachusetts 02445
John Ritchie
Mary Burchenal
English Department Chair
May 17, 2012
Dear Brookline High Students:
The English department is happy to announce the title of our 2012 school-wide
summer read: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.
Guy Montag lives in the suburbs with a pill-popping wife and a living room with TV
screens for walls. He is a fireman whose job it is to burn books. One night he
meets Clarisse, a seventeen year old who smells of strawberries and apricots. She
asks him, “Are you happy?” Montag’s life will never be the same.
Bradbury creates a futuristic world that looks a lot like ours. (In fact, Bradbury
claims that a manager at Sony got the idea for the Walkman—a precursor to the
iPod—from Fahrenheit 451.) The New York Times called this story “frightening in its
implications.” What happens to a society when entertainment is plenty and thinking
is scarce?
The Brookline Public Library will have copies on reserve, or you can buy your own
at a local bookstore. If you receive a free or reduced-price lunch, please see your
guidance counselor or program coordinator for a copy. In addition, the Brookline
High School librarians have prepared a summer reading list that features a special
section of books with dystopian themes.
Be ready to discuss this provocative book with your friends and teachers in class
and in community forums when you come back in September.
The BHS English Department
REQUIRED BOOK: Fahrenheit 451
The classic Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury, was chosen by the English Department at BHS. In Bradbury's frightening vision of the
future, firemen don't put out fires-- they start them in order to burn books. After years of working as a fireman-- and enjoying his work-Guy Montag meets a young girl who makes him question his profession and the values of the society in which he lives.
Additional titles, both fiction and non-fiction, in a variety of genres, are recommended by Brookline High School Librarians, with input from
BHS English Department and Brookline Public Library. There are thousands of great books out there—try a different book by any of the
authors below—and don’t forget the classics! Come see us in September and let us know what you recommend.
Science Fiction, Fantasy and Dystopia
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Originally published in 1932, this darkly satiric vision of a "utopian" future-- where humans are genetically bred and pharmaceutically
anesthetized to passively serve a ruling order-- remains remarkably relevant to this day.
Divergent by Veronica Roth
In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of
her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the
society she lives in is not perfect after all.
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
Ender, who is the result of genetic experimentation, may be the military genius Earth needs in its war against an alien enemy.
Feed by M.T. Anderson
In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in
serious trouble.
Fledgling by Octavia Butler
Butler takes on the vampire theme and cleverly develops her favorite themes of prejudice, power and transformation.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The orphan Bod, short for Nobody, is taken in by the inhabitants of a graveyard as a child of eighteen months and raised lovingly and
carefully to the age of eighteen years by the community of ghosts and otherworldly creatures.
Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Offred is a Handmaid in the utopian Republic of Gilead. Her life consists of serving the Commander, trying to bear him children, and
walking to the supermarket where signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read.
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patrón, the 142-year-old leader of a
corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.
The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Set in a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting
young people from each of the twelve districts against one another.
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Todd and Viola are pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron as they set out across New World, searching for
answers about their colony's true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing settlers from Old World.
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Set in the near future, Doctorow’s novel blurs the lines between current and potential technologies in this Orwellian infused tale of a
cyber-savvy teen caught in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.
Neuromancer by William Gibson
Case, a nerve-damaged data thief, is recruited by a new employer for a last-chance run against a powerful artificial intelligence.
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
There’s a dark secret at the Hailsham School, where the students live in ordered, idyllic isolation, ignorant of their planned future.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
This powerful post-apocalyptic story imagines a future in which father and son, sustained by love for each other, walk through a burned
out America, destined for the coast, not knowing what lies ahead.
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
This 2011 Printz Award winner is a fast-paced post-apocalyptic adventure set on the American Gulf Coast.
The Telling by Ursula LeGuin
Quiet humor, references to the dangers of restricting freedoms, and beautifully visualized worlds continue the Hainish cycle story.
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
In a future world where those between the ages of thirteen and eighteen can have their lives “unwound” and their body parts harvested
for use by others, three teens go to extreme lengths to uphold their beliefs—and, perhaps, save their own lives.
Adventure, Survival and Mystery
American Rust by Philipp Meyer
Compelling literary fiction with the engine of a gripping thriller. The story of the fallout of a murder on a group of connected characters is
set in an economically depressed region of Pennsylvania is not for the faint of heart.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston
In a personal account of strength in the face of adversity, Ralston presents the shocking story of the self-amputation of his right arm
after it was caught between a boulder and a canyon wall during what began as a routine day hike in the Utah Canyons. Made into the
film 127 Hours.
Blood River: the Terrifying Journey through the World’s Most Dangerous Country by Tim Butcher
British journalist recounts his devastating yet strangely exhilarating account of his six-week ordeal during which he retraced the steps of
19th-century explorer H.M. Stanley's Victorian-era travels in a journey through present-day Republic of Congo.
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
The true dark underside of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, where evil and murder mixed with optimism, invention and wonder.
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
This is the chilling true tale of the Essex, a whaling ship that was sunk in the middle of the Pacific by an 80-foot sperm whale in 1820.
London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
When Ted and Kat's cousin Salim disappears from the London Eye Ferris wheel, the two siblings must work together--Ted with his
brain that is "wired differently" and impatient Kat--to try to solve the mystery of what happened to Salim.
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
When her best friend, whom she secretly loves, betrays her and then dies under mysterious circumstances, high school senior Vera
Dietz struggles with secrets that could help clear his name.
True Grit by Charles Portis
14 year old Mattie Ross, accompanied by the one-eyed Rooster Cogburn -- the meanest available US Marshall, sets out to avenge her
father's death and to pursue his killer into Indian Territory.
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillebrand
The inspiring true story of a man who lived through a series of catastrophes almost too incredible to be believed. Louie Zamperini was a
juvenile delinquent-turned-Olympic runner-turned-WWII Army hero. During a routine search mission over the Pacific, Louie’s plane
crashed into the ocean; what happened to him over the next three years of his life is a story that will keep you glued to your seat.
Against All Odds
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Through the unblinking eyes of Trudi, we witness the growing impact of Nazism on ordinary folk of a German town as they are thrust
onto a larger moral stage and are forced to make choices about prejudice and exclusion, secrets that will forever mark their lives.
Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama
President Obama tells the story of his life as the son of a black African father and a white American mother, and his personal search for
a workable meaning to his life as an African American.
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
It's August of 1974, and Watergate and the Vietnam War make the world feel precarious: a man on a cable walks (repeatedly) between
the World Trade Center towers. This extraordinary real-life feat by French wirewalker Philippe Petit becomes the touchstone for stories
that briefly submerge you in ten varied and intense lives.
What is the What? by Dave Eggers
Fictionalized memoir of real-life hero Valentino Achak Deng, a refugee from the Sudanese civil war-the bloodbath of the 1980’s.
Choices, Ethics and Philosophy
Dive from Clausen’s Pier by Ann Packer
A riveting novel that examines one woman’s struggles with loyalty, betrayal and love.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
In 1951, a poor African American woman named Henrietta Lacks dies of cervical cancer, but pieces of the tumor that killed her--taken
without her knowledge or consent--live on, first in one lab, then in hundreds, then thousands, then in giant factories churning out polio
vaccines, then aboard rocket ships launched into space. The author spent ten years answering questions about her life and family.
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
A memorable tale of one taxi driver’s hellish experience in modern day India.
Tunes for Bears to Dance To by Robert Cormier
Conveys the devastating effects of evil, whether as huge and incomprehensible as the Holocaust, or as small and personal as another
human being.
Coming of Age: Literature about Adolescents
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one
another, to combat the island's other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the
Boy Meets Boy by David Levitan
In this humorous, hopeful story about life in a town gloriously accepting of differences, the author only occasionally verges on magic
realism in his first novel in which same sex preference is not a problem.
Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
The story of lonely outsider Oscar, an unattractive, overweight teen growing up in a Dominican neighborhood NJ. Reading SF and
Fantasy give him his only pleasure. He really wants love, and, though his romantic overtures are constantly rejected, he perseveres
First Part Last by Angela Johnson
Bobbie’s carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care for his adored baby daughter.
Grind by Eric Walters
Philip, obsessed with skateboarding, finds himself pushed to perform more and more dangerous stunts when he begins taping himself
and posting the movies on a Website to make money.
Jumped by Rita Williams-Garcia
The lives of Leticia, Dominique, and Trina are irrevocably intertwined through the course of one day in an urban high school after Leticia
overhears Dominique's plans to beat up Trina and must decide whether or not to get involved.
Looking for Alaska by John Green
Tired of his boring existence, 16-year-old Miles “Pudge” Halter heads off to seek his Great Perhaps at an Alabama boarding school,
where new-found freedom, guilty pleasures and an enigmatic girl named Alaska hurl him into life.
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork
Marcelo Sandoval, a seventeen-year-old boy on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, faces new challenges, including
romance and injustice, when he goes to work for his father in the mailroom of a corporate law firm.
Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger
Wittlinger untangles the complexities of gender identity and shows the person behind labels like "gender dysphoria” in this novel about
transgendered high-school junior Angela McNair, who knows that she's a boy and finds the courage to change her hair, clothing and
name and, in doing so, finds an identity he can live with.
Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
We learn about high school freshman Charlie’s friendships, family relationships and experimentation with drugs and sexuality through
letters to someone of undisclosed name, age and gender.
Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
Three years after being discovered in the back seat of a car with an older boy, Deanna’s life is crumbling around her and school has
become a nightmare. Trying to escape with her brother, she finds the meaning of forgiveness.
Townie by Andre Dubus IV
This beautifully crafted memoir, by the author of House of Sand and Fog, describes his childhood in a depressed Massachusetts mill
town, saturated with drugs and crime, and his weekly visits with his father, an eminent author who taught on a college campus.
Tyrell by Coe Booth
Fifteen-year-old Tyrell, who is living in a Bronx homeless shelter with his spaced-out mother and younger brother, tries to avoid
temptation so he does not end up in jail like his father.
What They Found: Love on 145 Street by Walter Dean Myers
A neighborhood beauty salon is the setting for lots of the fast, funny talk in these stirring contemporary stories, which nonetheless give
a grim view of being "poor and black," whether on the streets of Harlem, in prison, or on the war front in Afghanistan.
Hope lies in what the book title says, finding love and community.
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
In the remarkable, bizarre, and heart-wrenching summer before Cullen Witter’s senior year of high school, he is forced to examine
everything he thinks he understands about his small and painfully dull Arkansas town. His cousin overdoses and his sensitive, gifted
fifteen-year-old brother, Gabriel, suddenly and inexplicably disappears. This novel won the 2012 Printz Award for YA Fiction.
Contemporary Issues
Columbine by Dave Cullen
In this remarkable account of the April 20, 1999, Columbine High School shooting, journalist Cullen not only dispels several of the
prevailing myths about the event but tackles the hardest question of all: why did it happen?
Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
In Freakonomics, the co-authors develop a convincing argument: many apparent mysteries of everyday life don't need to be so
mysterious: they could be illuminated and made even more fascinating by asking the right questions and drawing connections.
Global Values 101: a Short Course by Kate Holbrook
Student interviews with Howard Zinn, Lani Guinier, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein, Katha Pollitt, Robert Reich, and others touch on such
subjects as gender, race, inequality and affluence, courage, free speech, and social responsibility.
Hamlet’s Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age by William Powers
In this well-researched, thought-provoking book, Powers presents a sobering look at how we have let technology impact our views
about the world and our relationship to it.
How Soccer Explains the World: an Unlikely Theory of Globalization by Franklin Foer
Analyzes soccers modern influence and explains how factors such as terrorism, poverty, racism and religion contribute to how the
game is played today.
Spark: the Revolutionary new Science of Exercise and the Brain by John J. Ratey
Latest research shows that exercise charges your mental circuits to sharpen thinking, lift your mood, boost memory and beat stress.
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Through case studies, the best-selling author of The Tipping Point and Blink poses a provocative question: why do some people
succeed, living remarkably productive lives, while so many more never reach their potential?
Packing for Mars by Mary Roach
From the space shuttle training toilet to a crash test of NASA’s new space capsule (cadaver filling in for astronaut), Roach takes us on a
surreally entertaining trip into the science of life in space and space on Earth.
War by Sebastian Junger
A combat narrative based on journalist Junger’s experience in Afghanistan in 2007 and 2008, during which he spent time with a platoon
of the 173 Airborne brigade in Korengal Valley.
Where Men Win Glory: Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Kraukauer
Traces the controversial story of NFL player and soldier Pat Tillman, describing the military's efforts to hide the truth about his death by
friendly fire, in an account that draws on Tillman's journals, letters and interviews with family members and fellow soldiers.
Historical Fiction
Day of Tears: a novel in dialogue by Julius Lester
A look at slavery in the United States in a way that depicts the human casualties of the institution. Broken families and friendships that
were destroyed or the moral and spiritual consequences for slave owners and sellers are all examined here.
Flygirl by Sherri Smith
When World War II breaks out, Ida Mae crosses racial and gender boundaries to join the Women’s Air Service Pilots.
Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
The subject of a famous Vermeer painting tells her own story of the tensions of working in the artist’s house and learning secrets.
Incantation by Alice Hoffman
During the Spanish Inquisition, sixteen-year-old Estrella, brought up a Catholic, discovers her family's true Jewish identity, and when
their secret is betrayed by Estrella's best friend the consequences are tragic.
Inés of my Soul by Isabel Allende
This well-researched work of historical fiction recounts the astonishing life of Inés Suarez, a daring Spanish conquistadora who toiled to
build the South American nation of Chile. Tells of the difficulty of subduing the ingenious and fierce Mapuche people.
The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara
This fictional account of four days in July 1863 at the Battle of Gettysburg discusses tactics and battle plans of the North and the South.
Monkey Hunting by Cristina Garcia
Chen Pan, having signed a contract in 1857 that takes him from China to Cuba where he is enslaved on a sugar plantation, manages to
escape his bonds, find love, and create a life for himself and successive generations in the foreign land.
Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay
On the anniversary of the roundup of Jews by the French police in Paris, Julia is asked to write an article on this dark episode and
embarks on an investigation that leads her to long-hidden family secrets and to the ordeal of Sarah.
The Watch That Ends the Night by Allan Wolf
Wolf's novel in verse gives voice, through first-person accounts, to a cross section of passengers and crew on the Titanic: how they
boarded, why they're there, and how they face the disaster. The themes of natural disaster, technology, social class, survival, and death
all play out in this unusual book.
Math Stories
A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar
This biography charts the descent into paranoid schizophrenia of mathematical genius John Forbes Nash, a founder of game theory, a
RAND Cold War strategist and winner of a 1994 Nobel Prize in economics. Nash’s disintegration began at age 30 and lasted for decades
until his spontaneous recovery in the early 1990s. Basis for award winning film of the same name.
Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet
This unique first-person account offers a window into the mind of a high-functioning, 27-year-old British autistic savant with Asperger's
syndrome. Besides being able to effortlessly multiply and divide huge sums in his head with the speed and accuracy of a computer,
Tammet is capable of incredible feats of memorization and mental calculation.
Breaking the Code by Hugh Whitemore
This new play revolves around the life of Math Genius Alan Mathison Turing, who was able to break the Nazi Enigma Code for the British
Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich
A group of math whizzes from MIT used the art of counting cards, worked as teams, and legally won as much as 4 million dollars during
the few years they spent their weekends in the Vegas casinos. Basis of the movie “21”.
A Certain Ambiguity: A Mathematical Novel by Gaurav Suri and Hartosh Singh Bal
Suri and Bal's unconventional book praises the beauty of mathematics and the logical inevitability of its proofs.
Einstein in Love: A Scientific Romance by Dennis Overbye
A biography of the physicist reveals Einstein as a passionate man, lovelorn teen, draft dodger, bohemian, poet, and ultimately a scientist.
Five Equations that Changed the World: The Power and Poetry of Mathematics by Michael Guillen
Harvard mathematician Guillen looks at five mathematical breakthroughs and the theorists behind them, among them Isaac Newton and
Albert Einstein.
Proof by David Auburn
After the death of her mathematical genius father, Catherine, who gave up her own study of mathematics to tend to him, claims that she
is the author of a proof found in the attic among his unpublished notebooks. But what "proof" does Catherine have that she, and not her
father, is the author? This play won both a Tony and a Pulitzer Prize.
Pythagoras’ Revenge: A Mathematical Mystery by Arturo Sangalli
Who would have guessed that a murder-treasure mystery lay hidden behind a geometric formula familiar to every high-schooler?
Weaving a wealth of mathematical scholarship into a compellingly plotted novel, Sangalli recounts a fascinating tale of ancient arson and
modern sleuthing.
Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea by Charles Seife
Seife provides readers with a clear window to both the powerful techniques of calculus and the conundrums of modern physics in his
entertaining, insightful book.
Mirrors and Windows: Exploring Cultures
All Rivers Run to the Sea: Memoirs by Elie Wiesel.
Elie Wiesel recounts his life story, telling of his childhood in the Carpathian Mountains, his imprisonment at Auschwitz and Buchenwald,
and his career as a journalist.
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang
A graphic novel tells three interrelated stories about the problems of young Chinese Americans trying to participate in popular culture.
American Son by Brian Ascalon Roley
A divorced mother from the Philippines looks on sadly as her teenage sons are swallowed up by the American dream, the lure of
gangs, and the promise of the prosperous life. Told from one son’s viewpoint, the vicious tug of wills between brothers rings true.
After This by Alice McDermott
An Irish Catholic family loses a son in Vietnam and struggles to hold their values and their teenage children, doubtful and rebellious.
Caucasia by Danzy Senna
Two sisters, one light-skinned like their mother, the other dark like their father, are separated after their parents divorce and go on to
lead very different lives while hoping for a reunion with each other. Written by a BHS graduate.
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Twin brothers born from a secret love affair between an Indian nun and a British surgeon in Addis Ababa, Marion and Shiva Stone
come of age in Ethiopia, where their love for the same woman drives them apart. Although their paths diverge, they both choose to
dedicate their lives to medicine.
Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Year Eleven at an exclusive school in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, would be tough enough, but it is further complicated for
Amal when she decides to wear the hijab, the Muslim head scarf, full-time as a badge of her faith.
Getting Away With Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case by Chris Crowe
Presents a true account of the murder of fourteen-year-old, Emmett Till, in Mississippi, in 1955.
A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League by Ron Suskind
Cedric Jennings’ life is not only one of struggle and success in arriving at Brown, but of the reality of his unrealized dream of belonging.
New Kids by Brooke Hauser
The New Kids chronicles a year in the true lives of teenage newcomers who are at once ordinary and extraordinary, on their paths to
the American Dream. The students deal with enormous obstacles-- they aren’t just jostling for their places in the high school pecking
order—they are carving out new lives for themselves in America.
When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park
With national pride and occasional fear, a brother and sister face the increasingly oppressive occupation of Korea by Japan during
World War II, which threatens to suppress Korean culture entirely.
Zahra’s Paradise by Amir and Khalil
Extraordinary graphic novel presents modern life in Iran, focusing on the story of one family caught up in the outcry after the 2009
Sports Stories
The Assist by Neil Swidey
A riveting basketball story about two African-American players at state champion Charlestown High School.
The Beautiful Game by Jonathan Littman.
Littman describes a soccer season that changed everything for the girls on the team.
The Blind Side by Michael Lewis
Tells the story of University of Mississippi football player Michael Oher, who was raised by a crack addicted mother and adopted at the
age of sixteen by a wealthy family.
Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger
Chronicles a football season in Odessa, Texas, exploring the role of high school sports in America, uniting and destroying communities.
In These Girls Hope is a Muscle by Madeleine Blais
Follows the Amherst Massachusetts Lady Warriors basketball team during the season which led up to their state championship.
The Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball Dreams by Darcy Frey
A story of dreams and cynicism, the often naive hopes of youth played out against the realities of SATs, the NCAA, and the brutal world
of college athletic sports recruitment.
Moneyball by Michael Lewis
This book is a quest for the secret of success in baseball and has found it in numbers. Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics paid close
attention to statistics rather than money and built a winning team.
Shattering the Glass: the Remarkable History of Women’s Basketball by Pamela Grundy
A history of women’s basketball in the United States traces its invention in the late nineteenth century through its current high profile
position today.
The Public Schools of Brookline, Massachusetts
Educational Technology and Library Department

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