• Absolutely Normal Chaos by Sharon Creech

    Mary Lou Finney is less than excited about her assignment to keep a journal over the summer. Boring! Then cousin Carl Ray comes to stay with her family, and what starts out as the dull dog days of summer quickly turns into the wildest roller-coaster ride of all time. How was Mary Lou supposed to know what would happen with Carl Ray and the ring? Or with her boy-crazy best friend Beth Ann? Or with (sigh) the permanently pink Alex Cheevey? Suddenly a boring school project becomes a record of the most exciting, incredible, unbelievable summer of Mary Lou's life.

    Bloomability by Sharon Creech

     Thirteen-year-old Domenica Santolina Doone, better known as Dinnie, is accustomed to change. Her family is constantly moving from town to town as her father searches for “opportunity.” But when her aunt and uncle whisk her away to an international school in Switzerland, she’s not sure she’s ready to face this “opportunity” alone.

     

    Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah

     A Chinese proverb says, "Falling leaves return to their roots." In Chinese Cinderella, Adeline Yen Mah returns to her roots to tell the story of her painful childhood and her ultimate triumph and courage in the face of despair. Adeline's affluent, powerful family considers her bad luck after her mother dies giving birth to her. Life does not get any easier when her father remarries. She and her siblings are subjected to the disdain of her stepmother, while her stepbrother and stepsister are spoiled. Although Adeline wins prizes at school, they are not enough to compensate for what she really yearns for -- the love and understanding of her family.

     Call of the Wild by Jack London

     The Call of the Wild is a novel by Jack London published in 1903. The story is set in the Yukon during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush—a period when strong sled dogs were in high demand. The novel's central character is a dog named Buck, a domesticated dog living at a ranch in the Santa Clara Valley of California as the story opens. Stolen from his home and sold into the brutal existence of an Alaskan sled dog, he reverts to atavistic traits. Buck is forced to adjust to, and survive, cruel treatments and fight to dominate other dogs in a harsh climate.

    Heat by Mike Lupica

    Michael Arroyo grows up in the shadows of hallowed Yankee Stadium, a boy forever on the outside looking in. He realized that he will have his only change to see his field of dreams, pitch his Bronx all-star team to the district finals, and take a shot at the Little League World Series. But there is a problem. Michel is good-too good. Rival coaches and players can’t believe a boy could be this good and be only 12 years old, and Michael has no way to prove it-no mother, no father, and a birth certificate that is stuck at home in his native Cuba.

    QB1 by Mike Lupica

     Jake Cullen is a freshman quarterback playing high school football in Texas, the high-pressure land of Friday Night Lights. He is also the brother of Wyatt Cullen, who quarterbacked his team to the Texas State Championship last season--not to mention the son of former NFL quarterback and local legend, Troy Cullen. To be a Cullen in Texas is to be football royalty . . . which leaves 14-year-old Jake in a Texas-sized shadow. Being a good teammate comes naturally to Jake; being a winner and a celebrity does not. Jake may be a Cullen, and he may play quarterback, but he is not his brother or his father.  Inspired by the real-life Manning family of quarterbacks and set amid the football-crazy culture of Texas, QB 1 is a coming-of-age story perfect for the fan of Million Dollar Throw and Heat.

     

    House of Robots by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

     Sammy Hayes-Rodriguez and his "bro-bot" E are making new friends every day as E works as his bedridden sister Maddie's school proxy. But disaster strikes when E malfunctions just in time to be upstaged by the super-cool new robot on the block--and loses his ability to help Maddie. Now it's up to Sammy to figure out what's wrong with E and save his family!

     

    I Funny: A Middle School Story by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein

    Jamie Grimm is a middle schooler on a mission: he wants to become the world's greatest stand-up comedian--even if he doesn't have a lot to laugh about these days. He's new in town and stuck living with his aunt, uncle, and their evil son Stevie, a bully who doesn't let Jamie's wheelchair stop him from messing with Jamie as much as possible. But Jamie doesn't let his situation get him down. When his Uncle Frankie mentions a contest called “The Planet's Funniest Kid Comic,” Jamie knows he has to enter.