Reading at Hamlin
Great Booklists for Sixth and Seventh Grade Students
Compiled by Ms. Cardone, Head Librarian
Books on this lists have been evaluated by school librarians, Newbery Medal Committee Members, and other literary committee members that rely on recommendations from professional evaluation aids, and input from Hamlin students and teachers. A conscious effort is made to appeal to the broad range of fictional genres, interests, maturity levels, and reading abilities of students. This list is offered as one possible source of reading guidance. Most authors included on this list have written more than one good book, so please continue to read other books by writers you enjoy. Additional lists of Newbery Award winning books can be obtained on Novelist, a database on the Hamlin Library website. We hope that these suggested books will bring students many hours of enjoyment and encourage life-long reading.
Ms. Cardone, Head Librarian
CONTEMPORARY FICTION FOR SIXTH AND SEVENTH GRADE STUDENTS
Abbott, Tony. The Postcard.
Thirteen-year-old Jason finds an old postcard at his recently-deceased grandmother’s house leading him on an adventure that blends figures from an unfinished detective story with his family’s past. (7th Grade and up)
Abrahams, Peter. Down the Rabbit Hole: an Echo Falls Mystery. (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. (7th – 10th Grade, Thriller)
Allen, Thomas B. Harriet Tubman, Secret Agent: How Daring Slaves and Free Blacks Spied for the Union During the Civil War. National Geographic, 2006. Tells the story of Harriet Tubman and other slaves and free African-Americans who risked death to gather information about the Confederacy for the Union during the Civil War.
(6th Grade Level)
Alvarez, Julia. Before We Were Free.
In the early 1960s in the Dominican Republic, twelve-year-old Anita learns that her family is involved in the underground movement to end the bloody rule of the dictator, General Trujillo. (7th and up)
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Chains.
After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War. (7th and up)
Appelt Kathi. The Underneath. (Newbery Medal Winner)
An old hound that has been chained up at his hateful owner’s run-down shack and two kittens born underneath the house endure separation, danger, and many other tribulations in their quest to be reunited and free. (Character-Driven, Fantasy)
Avi. The Seer of Shadows.
In this intriguing historical ghost story, which is set in New York City in 1872, Horace Carpetine becomes an apprentice to a local society photographer and learns about deception, ghosts, and photography. (Suspenseful-6th Grade Level)
Avi. Nothing But the Truth.
A ninth-grader’s suspension for singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” during homeroom becomes a national news story.
Avi. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.
Charlotte has to cross the ocean on a merchant ship with only the men of the crew for company. (Very suspenseful) 6th and up
Balliett, Blue. Chasing Vermeer. (Series)
When seemingly unrelated and strange events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal. (Fast-paced, very suspenseful)
Barry, Dave. Peter and the Secret of Rundoon. (Series)
Fearing that the sinister Lord Ombra was not destroyed, Peter and Molly travel to the land of Rundoon, which is ruled by the evil King Zarboff. (6th grade level)
Bauer, Marion Dane. On My Honor.
The story of two friends who come into conflict about swimming in a river that flows rapidly and which they have been told not to go near. One of them drowns, and the other is having a hard time telling the truth about what happened (Excellent book) 6th and up
Bloor, Edward. Tangerine.
Twelve-year-old Paul’s family revolves around his football-hero brother, and fails to notice Paul as he fights for the right to play soccer after his bad eyesight disqualified him. (7th and up)
Bredsdorff, Bodil The Crow-Girl: the Children of Crow Cove. (Series)
After the death of her grandmother, a young orphaned girl leaves her house by the cove and begins a journey which leads her to people and experiences that exemplify the wisdom her grandmother had shared with her. (Danish fiction)
Broach, Elise. Masterpiece.
After Marvin, a beetle, makes a miniature drawing as an eleventh birthday gift for James, a human with whom he shares a house, the new friends work together to help recover a Durer drawing stolen from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Cisneros, Sandra. The House on Mango Street.
A series of related stories that take a glimpse at a young, poor, Latina’s life and neighborhood. Beautifully written. (6th and up)
Colfer, Eoin. Airman. In the late nineteenth century on an island off the Irish coast, Conor Broekhart discovers a conspiracy to overthrow the king. He is branded a traitor, imprisoned, and forced to mine for diamonds under brutal conditions while he plans a daring escape from the Little Saltee prison by way of a flying machine that he must build and design. (7th Grade and up)
Compestine, Ying Chang. Revolution is Not a Dinner Party: A Novel.
During the Cultural Revolution in China, Ling struggles to make sense of severe losses of freedom and injustices that both she and her well-educated family must endure.
Curtis, Christopher Paul. Elijah of Buxton.
In 1859, eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman, the first free-born child in Buxton, Canada, which is a haven for slaves fleeing the American south, uses his wits and skills to bring to justice the lying preacher who has stolen money that was to be used to buy a family’s freedom.
Curtis, Christopher Paul. The Watsons Go to Birmingham.
This book describes the church bombing in Alabama in 1963 in terms that students can understand and empathize with the main characters. (It mixes facts with humor of the 1960s) 5th and up
Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bud, Not Buddy.
Bud is a young boy whose mother dies. He goes in search of his real father. (Newbery Medal Winner)
Cushman, Karen. Catherine Called Birdy.
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 be married off. (6th and up)
DiCamillo, Kate. The Magician’s Elephant.
When ten-year-old orphan Peter Augustus Duchere encounters a fortune teller in the marketplace one day and she tells him that his sister, who is presumed dead, is in fact alive, he embarks on a remarkable series of adventures as he desperately tries to find her.
Dowd, Siobhan. The London Mystery.
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.
Draper, Sharon. Out of My Mind.
Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time. (Realistic Fiction 4th-6th grade)
Ellis, Deborah. The Breadwinner (Series)
Because the Taliban rulers of Kabul, Afghanistan, impose strict limitations on women’s freedom and behavior, eleven-year-old Parvana must disguise herself as a boy so that her family can survive after her father’s arrest.
Enzensberger, Hans Magnus. The Number Devil.
A fascinating fantasy explores the world of mathematics as it recounts how math-hater Robert has twelve dreams in which a Number Devil demonstrates the delights of such mathematical concepts as prime and Fibonacci numbers, delving ever deeper into mathematical theory. (6th and up)
Erdich, Louise. The Porcupine Year (Series)
In 1852, forced by the United States government to leave their beloved Island of the Golden Breasted Woodpecker, fourteen-year-old Omakayas and hr Ojibwe family travel in search of a new home. (6th grade)
Gaiman, Neil. The Graveyard Book.
Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard. (6th Grade)
Gantos, Jack. Joey Pigza Swallowed A Key. (series)
Joey is a boy with ADD that constantly gets into trouble. (4th and up)
Gardner, Sally. The Red Necklace: A Story of the French Revolution
In the late eighteenth-century, Sido, the twelve-year-old daughter of a self-indulgent marquis, and Yann, a fourteen-year-old Gypsy orphan raised to perform in a magic show, face a common enemy at the start of the French Revolution. (7th-12th grade)
George, Jessica Day. Dragon Slippers.
Creel, a poor but brave and clever orphan, befriends a dragon and selects a pair of remarkable slippers that lead her into the center of a struggle between longtime rivals. (6th Grade)
George, Jean Craighead. The Talking Earth. (Eco-Fiction)
Thirteen-year-old Billie Wind ventures out alone into the Florida Everglades to test the legends of her Indian ancestors and learns the importance of listening to the earth’s vital messages.
Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Just Ella.
The story of what happens to Cinderella after she moves to the palace as well as what REALLY happened the night of the ball. (6th and up)
Hale, Shannon. Book of a Thousand Days.
Dashti, a maid, and Lady Saren, her mistress, are shut in a tower for seven years for Saren’s refusal to marry a man she despises, and the two prepare for a long, dark imprisonment. Saren’s two suitors—one welcome, and the other decidedly less so—arrive outside the tower, bringing both hope and anger. (7th Grade and Up)
Hesse, Karen. Out of the Dust.
A young girl growing up in the Oklahoma Dust Bowl mid-20th century. (Beautifully written, poem format) 6th and up
Hiaasen, Carl. Hoot. (Eco-Fiction Series)
Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy’s attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.
Horvath, Polly. Everything on a Waffle.
Eleven-year-old Primrose living in a small fishing village in British Columbia recounts her experiences and all that she learns about human nature and the unpredictability of life in the months after her parents are lost at sea. (Humor)
Horvath, Polly. My One Hundred Adventures.
Twelve-year-old Jane, who lives at the beach in a run-down house with her mother, two brothers, and sister, has an uneventful summer accompanying her pastor on bible deliveries, meeting former boyfriends of her mother’s, and being coerced into babysitting for a family of ill-mannered children. (Witty-Fast Paced)
Ibbotson, Eva. The Secret of Platform 13.
Odge Gribbie, a young hag, accompanies an old wizard, a gentle fey, and a giant ogre on their mission through a magical tunnel from their island to London to rescue their King and Queen’s son who had been stolen as an infant. (Fantasy-Fiction)
Ibbotson, Eva. The Star of Kazan.
After twelve-year-old Annika, a foundling living in late nineteenth-century Vienna, inherits a trunk of costume jewelry, a woman claiming to be her aristocratic mother arrives and takes her to live in a strangely decrepit mansion in Germany.
Jacques, Brian. Redwall. (series)
When the peaceful life in and around ancient Redwall Abbey is shattered by the arrival of the evil rat Cluny and his villainous hordes, Matthias, a young mouse resolves to find a legendary sword that he is convinced will help Redwall’s inhabitants destroy their enemies. (6th and up)
Kadohata, Cynthia. Kira-Kira.
This is the story of a close friendship between two Japanese-American sisters growing up in rural Georgia during the late 1950s and early 1960s and the despair they feel when one sister becomes terminally ill. (Newbery Medal Winner)
Kelly, Jacqueline. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (Newbery Medal Winner)
In Central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother, learns about love from the older three of her six brothers and studies the natural world with her grandfather, the latter of which leads to an important discovery. (Historical Fiction)
Kerr, P.B. The Cobra King of Kathmandu.
Djinn twins John and Phillipa go to India to search for the cobra talisman which gives the person who wields its power over their friend Mr. Rakshasas, a very elderly djinn. (7th and Up)
Klages, Ellen. The Green Glass Sea.
In 1943 when her grandmother is incapacitated by a stroke, Dewey must move to “The Hill”, now known as Los Alamos, New Mexico, because her father is a brilliant mathematician working there on a secret army project.
Konigsburg, E.L. A View From Saturday.
Four students, with their own individual stories, develop a special bond and attract the attention of their teacher, a paraplegic, who chooses them to represent their sixth-grade class in the Academic Bowl competition.
Larson, Kirby. Hattie Big Sky.
After inheriting her uncle’s homesteading claim in Montana, sixteen-year-old orphan Hattie Brooks travels from Iowa in 1917 to make a home for herself and encounters some unexpected problems related to war being fought in Europe.
Law, Ingrid. Savvy.
Recounts the adventures of Milos Beaumont, whose thirteenth birthday has revealed her “savvy”—a magical power unique to each member of her family—just as her father is injured in a terrible accident. (Fantasy, Witty)
Lawrence, Caroline. Thieves of Ostia (Roman Mysteries #1).
This is an exciting new mystery series based on ancient Rome and Greece.
LeGuin, Ursula. The Wizard of Earthsea.
After pride causes him to unleash a demon, Zed is compelled to either chase or escape from the ever-pursuing shadow. (7th and up)
Lester, Julius. Day of Tears.
This powerful and engaging historical novel is told in dialogue and through monologues by various fictional characters as they look back at the largest slave auction in United States history. (Coretta Scott King Award)
Lin, Grace. Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. (Newbery Medal Winner)
Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River. (3-6th grade)
Lyons, Mary E. Letters from a Slave Girl: The Story of Harriet Jacobs.
A fictionalized version of the life of Harriet Jacobs, told in the form of letters that she might have written during slavery in North Carolina and as she prepared for escape to the North in 1842. (Historical Fiction 7th-9th grade)
McCaughrean, Geraldine. Peter Pan in Scarlet.
Peter Pan, the Darling children, and the fairy Fireflyer must save Neverland from the threat of nightmares and Time.
McCaughrean, Geraldine (retold by). Odysseus.
Odysseus begins his long journey home after years of fighting during the Trojan War, but he and his men encounter monsters and ghastly creatures, are imprisoned, and face raging seas that threaten their safe return.
Napoli, Donna Jo. Bound.
In a novel based on Chinese Cinderella tales, fourteen-year-old stepchild Xing-Xing endures a life of neglect and servitude as her stepmother cruelly mutilates her own child’s feet so that she alone might marry well.
Neff, Henry. The Hound of Rowan.
After glimpsing a hint of his destiny in a mysterious tapestry, twelve-year-old Max McDaniels becomes a student at Rowan Academy where he trains in “mystic and combat” in preparation for war with an ancient enemy that has been kidnapping children.
Oppel, Kenneth. Airborn.
Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an enormous airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures and to fight pirates. (7th and up)
Paolini, Christopher. Eragon. (Series)
In Alagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage called Eragon finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic, and power, peopled with dragons, elves, and monsters. (Fantasy Fiction-fast paced)
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. (6th and up)
Paulsen, Gary. The Quilt.
During World War II, while his father is in Europe fighting and his mother is working in Chicago, a five-year old boy goes to live with his grandfather in a rural Norwegian American community in Minnesota. Based on events from the author’s life) (6th and up – Historical fiction)
Paulsen, Gary. Hatchet.
Young Brian’s plane crashes in the middle of the Canadian wilderness when the pilot has a heart attack. Brian must survive on his own. He develops self-reliance and deals with his parent’s divorce. (6th and up)
Peck, Richard. A Long Way to Chicago: a Novel in stories.
A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother.
Peck, Richard. The River Between Us.
During the early days of the Civil War, the Pruitt family takes in two mysterious young ladies who have fled New Orleans to come north to Illinois.
Philbrick, W. R. (W. Rodman) The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg (Newbery Winner)
Twelve-year-old Homer, a poor but clever orphan, has extraordinary adventures after running away from his evil uncle to rescue his brother, who has been sold into service in the Civil War.
Pierce, Tamora. Trickster’s Choice.
Alianne, kidnapped and put into slavery, calls forth her mother’s courage and her father’s spying skills in order to survive on the Copper Isles in a royal court rife with political intrigue and murderous conspiracy. (7th and up)
Pratchett, Terry. The Wee Free Men.
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. (Humorous stories)
Pratchett, Terry. Nation.
After a devastating tsunami destroys all that they have ever known, Mau, an island boy, and Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, together with a band of refugees, set about rebuilding their community and all the things that are important in their lives. (7th-10th grade)
Pullman, Philip. The Golden Compass (Series)
Accompanied by her shape-shifting daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North. (Fantasy fiction-fast paced)
Ryan, Pam Munoz. Becoming Naomi Leon.
When Naomi’s absent mother resurfaces to claim her, Naomi runs away to Mexico with her great-grandmother and younger brother in search of her father. (6th grade)
Sachar, Louis. Holes.
As further evidence of his family’s bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert, where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself. (Newbery Medal)
Spinelli, Jerry. Maniac Magee.
After his parents die, Jeffrey Lionel Magee’s life becomes legendary, as he accomplishes athletic and other feats which awe his contemporaries.
Spinelli, Jerry. Stargirl.
In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever. (7th and up) Great for a discussion about cliques, loyalty and friends
Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980s television game show, “The 20,000 Pyramid”, a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.
Taylor, Mildred D. The Land.
After the Civil War, Paul, the son of a white father and a black mother, finds himself caught between two worlds of colored folks and white folks as he pursues his dream of owning land of his own.
Taylor, Theodore. The Cay.
The main character is an eleven-year-old boy who is shipwrecked with an African American Man and the boy goes blind and realizes that the color of your skin does not matter. (6th and up)
Thor, Annika. A Faraway Island.
Living with two separate host families on a small island off the coast of Sweden in order to escape the Nazis, two German Jewish sisters, Nellie and Stephanie, face daily life without their parents. Each sister adapts differently to their challengers, not knowing if they will see their parents as planned or when the war will end.
Van Draanen, Wendelin. Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief. (series)
Seventh grader Sammy’s penchant for speaking her mind gets her in trouble when she involves herself in the investigation of a robbery at the “seedy” hotel across the street from the senior’s building where she is living with her grandmother.
(Fast-paced, Character Driven, and Attention-grabbing)
Velman, Hester. Isabel of the Whales.
On a whale watch trip with her class off the coast of Cape Cod, Isabel, who has always had an affinity for whales, falls overboard and discovers, as she finds herself swimming underwater with whales around her, that she is one of the Chosen who can change shape from human to whale and back again.
Whelan, Gloria. Listening for Lions.
Left an orphan after the influenza epidemic in British East Africa in 1918, thirteen-year-old Rachel is tricked into assuming a dead girl’s identity to travel to England, where her only dream is to return to Africa and rebuild her parent’s mission hospital.
White, Ruth. Belle Prater’s Boy.
This is a coming of age story between two cousins, Gypsy Arbutus Leemaster and Woodrow Prater. They are brought closer together by the appearance of Woodrow’s mother, Belle Prater. (Full of mystery and humor, written by an Appalachian author, the mountain dialect brings everything to life) 5th and up
Yee, Lisa. Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time.
When Stanford Wong, named for dad’s alma mater, flunks 6th grade, he must attend summer school instead of basketball camp, be tutored by his arch enemy, and somehow keep all this a secret from his friends. (7th and up)
Yee, Lisa. 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. (6th and up)
CLASSICS TOO GOOD TO MISS FOR SIXTH AND SEVENTH GRADERS
These classic books represents books published during the turn of the century, in the 1950s, 1960s, and other decades have been favorites of previous generations. Overall, they have delighted generations of readers. Please enjoy reading these great books for a lifetime. Enjoy!
Alcott, Louisa May. Little Women: or, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. (series)
Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow up into young women in nineteenth-century New England. (6th and up)
Asimov, Isaac. I, Robot.
In this collection, one of the great classics of science fiction, Asimov set out the principles of robot behavior that we know as the Three Laws of Robotics. Here are stories of robots gone mad, mind-reading robots, robots with a sense of humor, robot politicians, and robots that secretly run the world. (7th and up)
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice.
Wealthy Mr. Darcy and spirited Elizabeth Bennett dislike each other at first sight, and each must contend with their pride and prejudice while Elizabeth’s mother plots economically advantageous marriages for all her daughters. (Character Driven, Romantic, Engaging) 7th and up, mature reader
Bagnold, Enid. National Velvet.
The timeless story of spirited Velvet Brown and her beloved horse has thrilled generations of readers. Fourteen-year-old Velvet is determined to turn her untamed horse into a champion and personally ride him to victory in the world’s greatest steeple chase, the Grand National.
Blume, Judy. Deenie.
A thirteen-year-old girl seemingly destined for a modeling career finds that she has a deformation of the spine called scoliosis. (7th and up) Maturity, Serious;
Bradbury, Ray. Fahrenheit 451.
A totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be destroyed, but one of the book burners suddenly realizes their merit.
Bradbury, Ray. Marian Chronicles.
In connected, chronological stories, Bradbury enthralls and challenges readers with his vision and his heart, taking them to a strange, breathtaking world where humanity does not belong.
Brink, Carol Ryrie. Caddie Woodlawn.
Chronicles the adventurers of eleven-year-old Caddie growing up with her six brothers and sisters on the Wisconsin frontier in the mid-nineteenth century. (6th and up)
Bronte, Emily. Jane Eyre.
In early nineteeth –century England, an orphaned young lady accepts employment as a governess and soon finds herself in love with her employer who has a terrible secret. (7th and up) mature reader- Gothic fiction, romantic story
Bronte, Emily. Wuthering Heights.
Against a background of English moors in the 18th century, the lives of two families become intertwined through marriage, passion, and the dominating force of a man called Heathcliff. (7th and up) mature reader, Gothic Fiction, romantic story
Carroll, Lewis. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
When a young girl falls down a rabbit hole, she discovers a strange and interesting world with fantastical, mad characters as she tries to find her way back home. (Fantasy Fiction) (6th and up)
Carroll, Lewis. Through the Looking Glass.
In this sequel to “Alice in Wonderland”, Alice goes though the looking glass to find a strange new world where she meets such characters as Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Humpty Dumpty, and the Jabberwock. (6th and up)
Carson, Rachel. The Sea Around Us.
One of the most successful books ever written about the natural world.
(7th and up)
Cohen, Barbara. The Canterbury Tales.
In 1386, Chaucer recorded, or created, the stories spun by 30 pilgrims traveling from London to Canterbury. Cohen and Hyman have responded to Chaucer’s masterpiece with lively prose and unforgettable pictures that evoke the colorful world of 14th-century England. (Middle English Poetry) 4th-6th grade
Cormier, Robert. The Chocolate War.
Jerry Renault is forced into a psychological showdown with Trinity School’s gang leader, Archie Costello, for refusing to be bullied into selling chocolates for the annual fund raising. (7th and up)
Defoe, Daniel. Robinson Crusoe.
During one of his several adventurous voyages in the 1600’s an Englishman becomes the sole survivor of a shipwreck and lives for nearly thirty years on a deserted island.
Dickens, Charles. Great Expectations.
The orphan, Pip, and the convict, Magwitch, the beautiful Estella, and her guardian, the embittered and vengeful Miss Havisham, the ambitious lawyer, Mr. Jaggers—all have a part to play in the mystery. (Dramatic-intricately plotted)
Dickens, Charles. A Tale of Two Cities.
In the early days of the French Revolution, a young Englishman determines to do the utmost to save the husband of the woman he loves from the guillotine. (7th and up) mature reader, historical fiction
Dickens, Charles. Oliver Twist.
A mistreated workhouse orphan escapes to the city only to face more cruelty by devious people, until a kind man unearths the truth of his birthright.
Dickens, Charles. A Christmas Carol.
A miser learns the true meaning of Christmas when three ghostly visitors review his past and foretell his future. (4th and up)
Doyle, Arthur. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
A collection of Sherlock Holmes mystery adventures, including “A Scandal in Bohemia”, “The Red-headed League,” and “The Adventures of the Speckled Band”
(6th and up) Mystery stories
Dumas, Alexandre. Three Musketeers. First published 1844. Young d’Artagnan comes to Paris to join the Musketeers; there he and his new friends Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, serve King Louis XIV and try to foil the evil plots of Cardinal Richelieu. Lots of swordplay! (7th and up)
Dumas, Alexandre. The Count of Monte Cristo.
Portrays Alexandre Dumas’ classic tale of Edmond Dantes’ betrayal, captivity, escape and revenge. (7th and up) French fiction; Adventure; historical fiction
Fine, Ann. Flour Babies.
When his class of underachievers is assigned to spend three torturous weeks taking care of their own “babies” in the form of bags of flour, Simon makes amazing discoveries about himself while coming to terms with his long-absent father. 5th and up)
Frank, Anne. The Diary of A Young Girl.
A young girl’s journal records her family’s struggles during two years of hiding from the Nazis in war torn Holland. (7th and up) Historical fiction
Gallico, Paul. The Snow Goose.
Against the backdrop of World War II, friendship develops between a lonely crippled painter and a village girl, when together they minister to an injured snow goose. (5th and up) War stories; romantic
Golding, William. Lord of the Flies.
A group of English boys shot down in a plane are left to survive on a deserted island without any adults and attempt to create their own civilization. (7th and up)
Greene, Bette. Summer of My German Soldier.
Sheltering an escaped prisoner of war is the beginning of some shattering experiences for a twelve-year-old girl in Arkansas. (7th and up)
Hamilton, Edith. Mythology .
A collection of Greek, Roman, and Norse mythology. (6th and up)
Hansberry, Lorraine. A Raisin in the Sun.
A play written in 1959, that portrayed a radical new representation of African-American life in theater. (7th and up) mature reading
Hunt, Irene. Across Five Aprils.
Young Jethro Creighton grows from a boy to a man when he is made to take care of the family farm in Illinois during the difficult years of the Civil War. (6th and up)
Hunter, Mollie. A Stranger Came Ashore.
Twelve-year old Robbie becomes convinced that the stranger befriended by his family is one of the Selkie Folk and tries to get help against his magical powers from the local wizard.
Keyes, Daniel. Flowers for Algernon.
Charlie Gordon, a youth with limited mental capabilities, along with a laboratory rat named Algernon become the joint objects of a scientific alteration to see if Charlie can become “normal”. (7th and up)
Keller, Helen. The Story of My Life.
The personal recollections and correspondence of Helen Keller, supplemented by the reports of her teacher Annie Sullivan, reveal the problems and obstacles that she surmounted in overcoming her handicaps. (7th and up)
Knight, Eric. Lassie Come-Home.
A collie undertakes a four hundred mile journey in order to once again meet her former master at the school gate. (6th and up)
Krumgold, Joseph. And Now Miguel.
A memorable and deeply moving story of a family of New Mexican sheepherders, in which Miguel, neither child nor man, tells of his great longing to accompany men and sheep to summer pasture, and expresses his need to be recognized as a maturing individual. (Newbery Medal Winner) 6th and up
L’Engle, Madeleine. A Wrinkle in Time. (series)
Meg and Charles Wallace set out with their friend Calvin in a search for their father. His top-secret job as a physicist for the government has taken him away and the children search through time and space for him. (6th and up)
Montgomery, L.M. (Lucy Maud). Anne of Green Gables.
Anne, a mischievous, red-haired, eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her. (6th and up)
O’Hara, Mary. My Friend Flicka.
Through his intense devotion to the colt Flicka, a young boy, living on a Wyoming ranch, begins to learn about responsibility and gains a better understanding of his brusque father. (6th and up)
Orwell, George. 1984.
Winston Smith, a member of the Party led by an all-seeing Big Brother who feeds propaganda to the people and monitors their every thought, attempts to escape its control to be with the woman he loves. (7th and up)
Peck, Robert Newton. A Day No Pigs Would Die.
To a thirteen-year-old Vermont farm boy whose father slaughters pigs for a living, maturity comes early as he learns “ doing what’s got to be done”, especially regarding his pet pig who cannot produce a litter. (7th and up)
Paterson, Katherine. Jacob Have I Loved.
Feeling deprived all her life of schooling, friends, mother, and even her name by her twin sister, Louise finally begins to find her identity. (7th and up)
Rawlings, Marjorie Kinnan. The Yearling.
A young boy living in the Florida backwoods is forced to decide the fate of fawn he has lovingly raised as a pet. (6th and up)
Smith, Betty. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
A young girl in a shabby neighborhood lives with dreams in an innocent time before the war. (7th and up)
Snyder, Zilpha Keatley. The Egypt Game.
Remembering the warnings against entering the abandoned gold mines in Pyramid Hill, fourteen-year-old Rudy and his best friend, Barney, keep far away, until Tyler Lewis comes to town with a map and a reckless sense of adventure.
Sperry, Armstrong. Call It Courage.
The Chief’s son, Mafutu, sets out on a voyage of discovery with his faithful dog, Uri, and finds his courage after being driven out of his village for showing fear. (5th and up)
Spyri, Johanna. Heidi.
A Swiss orphan is heartbroken when she must leave her beloved grandfather and their happy home in the mountains to go to school and care for a wheelchair-bounded disabled girl in Frankfurt. (4th and up)
Steinbeck, John. Of Mice and Men.
George Milton tries to protect Lenny Small, a hulking retarded man, who doesn’t understand his own strength, from trouble on the California ranch they work as migrant laborers.
Stowe, Harriet. Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
Uncle Tom’s master sells him, separating him from his wife, and he becomes attached to the gentle daughter of his new owner, but after her death, he is sold to the evil Simon Legree. (7th and up) mature reader; anti-slavery literature
Swift, Jonathan. Gulliver’s Travels.
The voyages of an Englishman carry him to such strange places as Lilliput, where people are six inches tall; Brobdingnag, a land of giants; and a country ruled by horses. (6th and up) Fantasy Fiction
Taylor, Mildred. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.
A black family living in the south during the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination that their children don’t understand. (7th and up)
Tolkien, J.R.R. (John Ronald Reuel). Roverandom
A dog who has been turned into a toy encounters rival wizards and experiences various adventures on the moon with giant spiders, dragon moths, and the Great White Dragon. (Fantasy Fiction)
Tolkien, J.R.R. The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. First published 1937. Bilbo Baggins, a respectable, well-to-do hobbit, lives comfortably in his hobbit-hole until the day the wandering wizard Gandalf chooses him to take part in an adventure from which he may never return. (6th and up)
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
The adventures and pranks of a mischievous boy growing up in a 19th-century Mississippi River town as he plays hooky on an island, witnesses a crime, hunts for pirate’s treasure, and becomes lost in a cave. (6th and up)
Twain, Mark. The Prince and the Pauper.
Two boys who look alike, one of them poor, the other heir to the English throne, decided to switch places. When young Edward VI and the poor boy exchange places, each learns something about the other’s very different station in life. (7th and up)
Twain, Mark. Puddn’head Wilson.
Switched at birth by a young slave woman who fears for her son’s life, a young light-skinned infant changes place with the master’s white son. (7th and up) Witty, Historical Fiction, Moral issues of slavery
Verne, Jules. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Retells the adventures of a French Professor and his two companions as they sail above and below the world’s oceans as prisoners on the fabulous electric submarine of the deranged Captain Nemo.
Yates, Elizabeth. Amos Fortune, Free Man.
The life of the eighteenth-century African prince who, after being captured by slave traders, was brought to Massachusetts where he was a slave until he was able to buy his freedom at the age of sixty. (Newbery Medal Winner)
Winterfield, Henry. Detectives in Togas.
In an effort to save a boy wrongly accused, a group of six young friends living in ancient Rome search for the culprit who scrawled graffiti on the temple wall. (6th and up)
Wyss, J.D. The Swiss Family Robinson.
The fortunes of a family struggling to survive after being shipwrecked on an island with an abundant plant and animal life. (Adventure stories) 6th and up
Wells, H.G. War of the Worlds. First published 1898. Martians invade late 19th century England and create havoc in this classic science fiction story. (7th and up)
Yep, Laurence. Hiroshima.
Describes the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, particularly as it affects Sachi, who becomes one of the Hiroshima Maidens. (4th-7th grade)
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