Reading List for Grades 7-12

Updated: Oct 5



How It Works

1. Each book contains a synopsis and a link to an Amazon information page where you can view an image of the book along with additional information. As an Amazon associate, any purchases from Amazon help us to create more free resources for our blog readers and students. This comes at no additional cost to you.


2. To view other reading lists, click on the link below:

Reading List for Grades 1-6



Bookmark this page

If you want to bookmark this page to use as a reference, just hold down control and click D (Command + D for Macs).


If you would like to download a PDF version of this page, please click on one of the links below:

Reading List for 7th Graders

Reading List for 8th Graders

Reading List for 9th Graders

Reading List for 10th Graders

Reading List for 11th Graders

Reading List for 12th Graders

Reading List for Grades 1-12



Seventh Grade


1. The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver is an American young adult dystopian novel that centers on a young boy named Jonas. Jonas lives with his family in what seems like an ideal world, a world of contentment and conformity. When Jonas turns twelve, he is selected as the new Receiver of Memory--a person who carries the burden of memories from all of history, and who has access to books beyond schoolbooks. During the training, Jonas discovers new emotions and sensations that no ordinary member of the community is familiar with. The more he experiences these new things, the more he learns about the dark secrets of his community, and he realizes that not everything is as it seems...


2. A Long Walk To Water by Linda Sue Park

Told in alternating sections, A Long Walk To Water is about two Sudanese children, a boy in 1985 and a girl in 2008. The boy, Salva, fights for survival and endures hunger, dangerous animals, and the sweltering heat as he tries to escape the Sudanese Civil War in 1985. The girl, Nya, begins her tale in 2008 when her family struggles to find clean, fresh water. Nya spends most of her days traveling on foot to collect water from a pond for her family. This book is a compelling tale of hope, perseverance, and courage that intertwines two remarkable stories in an emotional and powerful way.



3. An Elephant In The Garden by Michael Morpurgo

During WWII, Lizzie's mother works as a zookeeper in Dresden, Germany. In anticipation of Dresden's imminent bombing, the zoo animals will be put down as a precaution. However, Lizzie and her family have become attached to an orphaned elephant named Marlene. Her mother had convinced the zoo director to keep Marlene to stay in the family's garden. As the bombs begin to fall, Lizzie's family is forced to flee from the city. But how can they walk to safety when they have an elephant in tow? Inspired by a true story, An Elephant In The Garden is a story of hope, courage, and faith despite the darkest of times.


4. Poppy Mayberry, The Monday by Jennie K. Brown

People in the quirky town of Nova have special abilities based on the day they were born. 11-year-old Poppy was born on a Monday, which has gifted her telekinesis. Her teacher, born on a Thursday, can read minds. The kid next to her in class could turn back the clock just because he is a "Wednesday." But Poppy's Monday telekinesis isn't quite working out, and to make matters worse, she has to endure the constant teasing from her classmates Ellie and Celia. Having little confidence and struggling in school, she is sent to Power Academy, a summer school for kids who need to work on their powers. Will Poppy be able to master her gift? Poppy Mayberry, The Monday is the first in the Nova Kids series which readers are sure to enjoy and will eagerly anticipate reading the rest of the book series.


5. Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt

Set in 1968, 14-year-old Doug Swieteck struggles to deal with a dysfunctional family and adjust to life in a new town and school, where he feels out of place and unwelcome. Taking refuge at the local library and making friends with the librarian, he takes an interest in a book about birds and drawing. Despite mistrust and unfair expectations about him, that he is what his abusive father and brother are, Doug perseveres and makes positive life changes as he discovers new sides of himself. Okay For Now is both a moving and hopeful coming-of-age story that reminds us that despite hardships, we can still learn to find our best selves.


6. A Snicker Of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

Midnight Gulch was once a magical place where people could conjure thunderstorms, become invisible when sad, bake magic into pies, and even catch starlights in Mason jars--until a curse drove the magic away.

When Felicity Pickle, who has a gift of seeing words everywhere she goes, arrives in Midnight Gulch where her mother grew up, she finally feels at home. She even starts seeing words she has never seen before like, "home" and "friend." But her mother, cursed with a wandering heart, is getting ready to leave again. Felicity must return the magic to Midnight Gulch and free her family from the curse so they can finally have a place to call "home." This book is a delightful and charming tale about family, love, and home with a sprinkle of magic. This is a good book for readers who would like to improve their vocabulary as well.


7. Death On The River Of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Amazon Adventure by Samantha Seiple

In Death on The River of Doubt, readers follow Theodore Roosevelt, his son Kermit and renowned Brazilian explorer Candido Mariano da Silva Rondon and other companions as they embark on a perilous journey as they go deep into the Amazon jungle to lead an expedition and chart an unmapped river. With new dangers waiting around every corner, including raging rapids, harsh weather, bloodthirsty piranhas, cannibals, and traitors within their own ranks, it seems that not everyone will make it out alive. Amidst all of this, the indomitable spirit of Teddy Roosevelt proved unwavering through the expedition, determined to complete the mission. This fascinating narrative, non-fiction story is a fast-paced and engaging read that will surely captivate middle-grade readers, giving them an insight into the life of the former US president.


8. Bluefish by Pat Schmatz

13-year-old Travis has to move in with his alcoholic grandfather in a new town. Travis feels lonely as he misses his old home and his dog, Rosco, whom he left behind. At the new school, Travis makes friends with Velveeta, a spunky, kindhearted girl with secrets of her own. He also meets Mr. McQueen, a kind and helpful teacher who discovered Travis’ secret--he can’t read. Bluefish is beautifully written with strong and believable characters about a boy with a learning disability, a dedicated and caring teacher, and a true friend who helps him through life's ups and downs.


9. Home Of The Brave by Katherine Applegate

Kek is a young Sudanese refugee who comes to Minnesota to live with his aunt and cousin. Kek adjusts to his new life in a new land and experiences snow for the first time. An elderly woman who owns a farm, a girl in foster care, and a cow whose name means "family" in Kek's native language are among the people Kek meets along the way. As Kek anxiously awaits news about his missing mother while braving the Minnesota winter, he finds comfort in the warmth of his new friendships and faith in his new country. Home of the Brave features short, heartwarming chapters which are lighthearted and funny, beautifully written in free verse.


10. A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry

Swift, a young wolf cub, lives in the mountains with his pack, learning to hunt and compete with his siblings for hierarchy. When a rival pack attacks, Swift is separated from his family and finds himself alone and injured. As he travels through the Pacific Northwest, he endures hunger, hunters, and forest fires along the way. He's looking for a new home, but where? The story of OR-7 (or Journey), a real wolf from Oregon, has inspired this thrilling novel that will appeal to reluctant readers as well as lovers of wildlife.


11. Jeremy Fink And The Meaning Of Life by Wendy Mass

Jeremy's father died when he was eight. A month before Jeremy's 13th birthday, Jeremy received a package from his father containing a locked wooden box that requires special keys. The mysterious box is engraved with the words "The Meaning of Life: for Jeremy Fink to open on his 13th birthday." Jeremy is the kind of boy who never ventures more than four blocks from his apartment and who hates surprises. Lizzy, his best friend, is the opposite and gets into some kind of trouble every now and then. When Lizzy convinces Jeremy to look for the keys to the box, the two embark on an adventurous journey through the city with life lessons learned along the way. Lively characters, surprising twists, and thought-provoking ideas make this novel a must-read.



12. Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool

At the end of World War II, 13-year-old Jack Baker from Kansas was sent to a boy's boarding school in Maine after losing his mother to a brain aneurysm. At first, Jack had trouble adapting to his new environment until he met Early Auden, an orphan. Early reads the numbers in Pi as a story, collects clippings about the great black bear sightings in the nearby mountains, and believes in impossible things. Jack and Early soon form an unexpected friendship, and while they are on break from school, they set out on a quest for the great black bear on the Appalachian Trail. In the mountains, they will meet some strange and dangerous characters and discover some surprising truths about themselves and others. As the readers follow their incredible quest on the Appalachian Trail, Navigating Early is a tale about friendship, loss, and family that will draw readers into this beautiful and hopeful story.


13. Posted by John David Anderson

As a result of a ban on cellphones at Branton Middle School, Frost and his friends devise a new way to communicate with each other by leaving sticky notes around the school. Soon, as the idea catches on, everyone in school starts to leave notes as well. Words are more than just words, especially in middle school. You can make friends with the right words or make enemies with the wrong ones, and sometimes they can change things forever. Posted, an award-winning young adult novel, explores themes of bullying, friendship, social media, and the inherent power of words.


14. Anne Frank: The Diary Of A Young Girl by Anne Frank

When the Nazis occupied Holland in 1942, Anne Frank and her family left their Amsterdam home and went into hiding. Throughout the next two years, Anne's diary vividly described living in confined quarters as they faced constant hunger, boredom, and the imminent threat of discovery. Anne Frank's remarkable diary has become a world classic that chronicles the horrors of war and reveals the spirit of humanity in powerful and moving ways.


15. Wink by Rob Harrell

Seventh-grader Ross Maloy just wants to be a normal middle schooler. But when you have a permanent wink from rare eye cancer, goopy eyes from ointments, and wear a funny hat, it's hard to blend in. Ross has to endure cruel bullying and disappearing friends. But just as he was about to give up, he found out how music, art, and real friends can bring life to his world and can make a big difference. Based on the author's real-life experiences, this poignant novel blends humor and hope into an uplifting and unforgettable tale of survival and embracing life's quirks.


16. The Canyon’s Edge by Dusti Bowling

One year after a random restaurant shooting that changed their family forever, to escape from their grief and to find peace, Nora and her father are exploring a canyon deep in the Arizona desert. Nora wishes things could get back to normal like they did when her mother was alive. But an unthinkable happens: a flash flood separates Nora and her father. To stay alive, not only does Nora have to fight scorpions and poisonous snakes, but also the Beast, who terrorized her dreams for the past year. Readers won't be able to put this book down as they follow and root for Nora on her harrowing journey as she faces her fears, copes with grief and trauma, and finds the courage to save herself and her father.


17. The List Of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead

Bea keeps a journal to list the things that will always stay the same despite the many changes in her life. Included in this list is the fact that her Mom and Dad will always love her despite the divorce and her dad marrying his boyfriend, Jesse. Readers will get glimpses into Bea's life as she copes with changes in her family dynamics, with school, and with Jesse's daughter, who she hopes will be her sister. The List of Things That Will Not Change is a positive and uplifting tale that discusses the importance of family, support, and acceptance; it also addresses anxiety and mental health in children, making it an ideal read for kids and adults alike.


18. Tornado Brain by Cat Patrick

Tess and Frankie are twins but unlike Tess, Frankie is neurodivergent. She doesn't like loud noises, can't stand being touched, and is easily distracted. This also means that Frankie has trouble making friends and keeping them. Although she did have a friend named Colette, the two had a falling out and are now no longer friends. A few weeks before the end of seventh grade, Colette suddenly goes missing. Determined to find Colette, Frankie and Tess work together to gather clues that will help find her...before it’s too late.


19. Turtle Boy by M. Evan Wolkenstein

For Will Levine, seventh grade isn't going well. Having a funny-looking chin makes him a target of bullying at school resulting in him being called Turtle Boy. Although his chin can be fixed by surgery, Will is terrified of hospitals ever since his father died during a routine surgery when he was little. As part of his bar mitzvah community service project, his mother and Rabbi make him visit RJ, a teenager with an incurable disease, to help him overcome his fear of hospitals. Will and RJ don't get along at first. Soon, Will learns that RJ has a bucket list and realizes that he must fulfill it as RJ's illness is worsening. The bucket list tasks are accomplished with RJ's guidance, as he helps Will come out of his shell and live his life.


20. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

Sal is traveling cross country with her grandparents to find her mother. To pass the time during the long car trip, Sal entertains her grandparents with a story about a friend named Phoebe Winterbottom whose mother also vanished and who received secret messages after her disappearance. Sal narrates the stories and seems unaware of just how parallel her story is to Phoebe's story. Sal and Phoebe's stories intertwine throughout the book, which explores themes such as friendship, love, and family. A beautiful and heartfelt road trip story you won't soon forget.


21. Eleven by Tom Rogers

Alex dreamed of becoming a hero, but nothing heroic ever happened to him. He is also turning 11 on the 11th, and all he wants for his birthday is a dog. His parents, however, think he isn't responsible enough to take care of a pet, and they want him to focus on his studies. On the morning of his birthday, however, things seemed a little out of the ordinary: the school let them out early, his mom told him not to turn on the TV when he got home, and he rescued a stray dog. It is September 11, 2001, and it is the one birthday he will never forget. In Eleven, we see how the events of that day affected the world, and its message is one of hope, bravery, compassion, and kindness. It's a great book for children and adults alike


22. Shipwreck At The Bottom Of The World: The Extraordinary True Story Of Shackleton And The Endurance by Jennifer Armstrong

Sir Ernest Shackleton and 27 men left England in August 1914, hoping to become the first explorers to trek across the continent of Antarctica. This book tells the story of Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton and his crew as they desperately fight for survival after their ship, Endurance, becomes trapped in ice and is eventually destroyed. After countless close calls, Shackleton and five others reached the remote and unvisited Elephant Island where they set off to get help. In the most extraordinary adventure story in history, readers will be captivated by Shackleton's leadership and courage amidst dire circumstances, as well as how he brought every one of his men back alive.


23. The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee

A historical fiction set in the Gilded-Age Atlanta, 17-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady's maid to a vicious mistress in a grand house. But by night, Jo writes an anonymous advice column called "Dear Miss Sweetie." Using the power of her pen, she addresses some of society's ills, and challenges fixed ideas about gender and race. Despite her column's popularity and becoming the talk of the town, her opponents insist on revealing Miss Sweetie's secret identity, leading Jo to question whether it is best to remain silent or speak up. This compelling story of a Chinese-American woman living in the South during the late 19th century will surely captivate readers with its poignant portrayal of her experiences.


24. The Darkdeep by Ally Condie

Nico and his friends go to Still Cove to have fun and test out his new drone. The remote Still Cove is covered by dense fog and is off-limits due to numerous creepy sightings. However, when the local bullies arrive, things get out of hand, causing their drone to crash into the icy waters of Still Cove. Nico falls down the cliff while trying to retrieve his expensive drone. As Nico's friends rush to his rescue, not only is he safe, but they also discover a mysterious houseboat hidden in the swirling mists in the middle of the cove. As the friends explore deeper into the unknown, something ancient has awakened, and it can fulfill all their wishes and even make their nightmares come true. This supernatural thriller is fast-paced with alternating bits of humor, and is sure to captivate horror fans and those who enjoy "Stranger Things" and "The Goonies."


25. When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin

A former foster kid, Ben Coffin has never felt like he fits in, and has never been good at making friends. While at school, he keeps his head down to avoid bullies and prefers to spend his free time reading his favorite sci-fi books. In the alley beside Coney Island Library, he discovers a scruffy, neglected dog named Flip. Little did he know it would lead him to befriend a fellow book-lover named Halley--a girl with the brightest personality. Ben begins to feel as if he belongs in his own life for the first time, but then everything changes. This bittersweet book is a heartwarming tale of one boy's journey through life's ups and downs and a must-read for dog lovers as well.


26. A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Francie lives in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn to Irish parents. Despite her tough and poverty-stricken life, she tries to find beauty in it. Neighbors often criticize her family's eccentric and erratic behavior, such as her father Johnny's hard-drinking and her aunt Sissy's constant liaisons with men. The book provides a glimpse into Francie and her family's daily life and struggles in the early 1900s Brooklyn and how she eventually pulled herself out of poverty by working hard despite hardships, loneliness, and loss. This book is a timeless, beautiful work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place with an emotional, realistic, and honest voice.


27. Bloom by Kenneth Oppel

The invasion that happened wasn't where you expected it to begin. It all started with rain, which triggered a strange and life-threatening event. Thick, black vine-like plants began sprouting everywhere and releasing toxic pollens. They bloom everywhere, rapidly taking over lands and fields and swallowing animals and people. Meanwhile, three kids on a remote island didn't seem to be affected by the toxic plants. Anaya, Seth, and Petra all suffer from strange allergies--but not to these plants. Could they be the key to fighting back the invasion?


28. The Fountains Of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

Eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, a son of an oil tycoon arrives in Madrid in 1957 to connect to his mother's birth country through the lens of his camera. His love for photography introduce him to Ana--the hotel maid assigned to care for his family while staying at the luxurious Hotel Castellana Hilton. By getting to know Ana, Daniel begins to discover the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War and the deep secrets of a country where people live in fear and terror under General Franco's rule. Both gripping suspense and a well-crafted love story, this book will hold readers' attention from the first page to the last.


29. The Land (Logan Family Saga) by Mildred D. Taylor

Nine-year-old Paul-Edward Logan's life has been different from most freed slaves, as he is the son of a prosperous plantation owner. His white father acknowledged and raised him, and his white brothers treat him no differently. However, as he grows into a young man, he discovers that having a multiracial heritage is not easy, especially in post-Civil War Georgia. Black people distrust him because he looks white, and he is discriminated against when white people learn of his black heritage. So Paul, with his friend, Mitchell, leaves Georgia to fulfill his dreams of owning land. A powerful, thought-provoking story based on the author's own history, The Land will appeal to readers from 7th grade and up.


30. A Whale Of The Wild by Rosanne Parry

A gripping animal fiction story about a young orca whale named Vega who lives in the Salish Sea. Young Vega is learning how to find salmon for her group and preparing for when she becomes the matriarch of her family. As she and her brother Deneb find themselves out in the open ocean after a devastating earthquake and tsunami, the siblings must find a way to survive, as they encounter shark attacks, starvation, and polluted waters on their journey back to their family. Beautifully illustrated and powerful, this educational novel explores family bonds, survival, and the ever-present threat of climate change and its effects on marine life. Animal lovers will also enjoy the back pages, which offer additional information about orcas and their natural habitats.


Eighth Grade


1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams

It's an ordinary day for Arthur Dent--until his home gets demolished. Soon after, Earth was also destroyed to make way for an intergalactic freeway. However, Arthur's friend, Ford Prefect, reveals to him that he is an alien and saves him just in time. With only just a towel, a small yellow fish, and a book, Arthur and Ford hitch a ride on a spaceship and begin their journey through the galaxy in the company of fellow space travelers. Its strange, wonderful, and well-developed characters and its mind-boggling, suspenseful storyline make The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy a science-fiction classic that is sure to captivate readers.


2. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Spensa's world has been under attack for decades, almost driven to extinction. With the human race constantly attacked by alien starfighters called the Krell, humanity's only hope is the courageous, young pilots who fight the enemies in the skies. Seventeen-year-old Spensa has always dreamed of becoming one of them. However, her chances of becoming a pilot seem impossible due to her father's actions during the historic Battle of Alta. When Spensa discovers an ancient starship, she realizes her dream may be possible after all. For this ship, uniquely, seems to have a soul, and may be willing to help her. Skyward is an action-packed and compelling novel that will make readers eager to get their hands on the sequel, as they follow Spensa's quest to claim the stars and ultimately save humanity.


3. Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry

Calliope June has Tourette Syndrome, which can cause her to make faces or noises that she doesn't mean to make. Her mother and Calliope have been moving around a lot since her father died. After arriving in yet another town, Callie tries to hide her TS to fit in her new school but soon finds it difficult and seems to make her tics worse. Exhausted by her inability to fit in, she seeks out solace in her friendship with Jinsong, the student body president, who lives next door. He's hesitant to be seen with her at first, but then beautiful friendship blossoms between them. Written in free verse, this book beautifully reflects Calliope's strength and spirit, and its story of acceptance, self-love, and friendship will stay in the minds of readers for a long time.


4. The Witch Of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

Sixteen-year-old Katherine "Kit" Tyler had to leave her island home of Barbados to live with her aunt and her strict uncle in colonial Connecticut in 1687, after her grandfather, who raised her, passed away. In her relatives' stern Puritan community, she feels out of place, and people don't trust her. Feeling lonely and misunderstood, she finds friendship in Hannah Tupper, a Quaker shunned out of the community and believed by the colonists to be a "witch." After Kit's friendship with Hannah is discovered, she couldn't have anticipated the consequences that follow. Full of wonderful historical details and lively characters, this book is a charming classic and a must-read for any fan of historical fiction.



5. Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Jacob was raised by his grandfather and grew up hearing fantastic stories about his childhood during World War II, and about a children's home where he grew up. As Jacob grows older, he begins doubting his grandfather's tales and assumes that the old photographs that accompany them are also fake. But when Jacob's grandfather mysteriously died, this led him to embark on a journey to a mysterious island off the coast of Wales, to find the children's home from his grandfather's past and to figure out his grandfather's cryptic dying words and what they meant. A fast-paced, fascinating story characterized by unique photographs throughout the book, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children will appeal to mystery lovers.



6. Peter And The Starcatchers by Dave Barry

In 19th century London, an orphaned boy named Peter is shipped out to an island aboard the Never Land, a decrepit ship carrying a magical and mysterious trunk. Peter then meets a passenger his age named Molly Aster, a sweet but sophisticated girl who knows much more than she lets on about the magical trunk's contents. Meanwhile, when the fearsome Captain Black Stache plots to capture the magical trunk and the ship, Peter and Molly must keep the trunk safe against pirates and raging storms. This adventure story is carefully crafted, with its fast-paced chapters and unforgettable characters. It sets the stage to reveal the secrets and mysteries of the beloved story of Peter Pan and serves as a "prequel" to the original story.


7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

It is 1939 in Germany. The story follows Liesel Meminger, who moves into her foster parents' home after the death of her younger brother. Soon, she starts to settle down into her new home, makes friends with her next-door neighbor, Rudy, and develops a love for books. With the help of her foster father, Liesel learns how to read and begins to steal books wherever she can find them. As the Nazis take over Germany, her foster parents hide a Jewish man named Max Vandenburg in their basement. During their time together in the basement, Liesel would share her stolen books with Max, who would then write a story for her. However, these are dangerous times, and Liesel will bear witness to the atrocities of war, loss, and love, which will turn her life upside down.


8. Grenade by Alan Gratz

A historical fiction novel set during World War II in Japan, it is the story of Hideki from Okinawa, who was forced to join the Japanese army, and Ray, a young US Marine who just arrived on the island of Okinawa. As Hideki and Ray struggle to make it across the island, surviving gunfire, snipers, and ambushes, neither knows if they will make it out alive. When the two collide in the middle of the battle, the choices they make at that moment might be the difference between life and death. Compelling and gripping, Grenade tells the story of the Battle of Okinawa, as seen from the perspectives of Hideki and Ray. It is a riveting story of survival and bravery that would appeal to anyone interested in learning more about World War II, from middle school and up.


9. Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

Troublemaker Cole Matthews has been stealing and fighting for years. He takes his rage out on other people, and this time, he severely injured Peter Driscal, causing irreparable brain damage. In place of incarceration, Cole is sentenced to attend Circle Justice, a program that focuses on healing and changing the offender's ways based on Native American traditions. To avoid jail, Cole plays along and is then sent to live on a remote Alaskan island, where he encounters the Spirit Bear, which soon causes him to reevaluate his actions and gain a deeper understanding of himself, others, and his world.


10. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Marie-Laure is a young blind girl living with her father, who is a locksmith at the Paris Museum of Natural History. During the Nazi invasion of Paris, Marie-Laure and her father are forced to flee to Saint-Malo, where her reclusive uncle lives. Marie-Laure does not know that her father also holds a jewel that might be the museum's most valuable and dangerous treasure. Meanwhile, Werner Pfennig, an orphan from Germany, is exceptionally knowledgeable about anything electrical, especially radio transmitters. The German military recognizes Werner's skills, but Werner is not a soldier and soon sees that his talent comes at a price. Eventually, we see how Marie-Laure and Werner's paths collide in this poignant tale of secret radio broadcasts, a cursed jewel, and the power of kindness in the face of a devastating war.



11. I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Martin Ganda & Caitlin Alifirenka

A simple assignment turned into a life-long friendship between two students from two different parts of the world. Caitlin, a 12-year-old American girl, has to write a letter to an unknown student from another country for her English class. Choosing a pen pal from Zimbabwe, she matched with a bright and cheerful 14-year-old boy named Martin. Although there were only ten letters for forty students in Martin's class, he was given the first letter as his class's top student. Through their correspondence over the years, they learned about each other's cultures and way of life resulting in a more positive outlook and a new understanding of the world. Told in alternating chapters and featuring excerpts of their actual letters, this heartwarming true story will appeal to readers of all ages.



12. Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee

Luck of the Titanic is a historical fiction that tells the story of the Luck twins aboard the ill-fated ship, Titanic. Valora Luck dreams of leaving England for a better life for her and her brother in America. Despite having a ticket for the largest ocean liner in the world, she was turned away due to the Chinese Exclusion Act. Determined to make it to America, Val devises a plan to audition as an acrobat for a circus in New York. The only problem is: her twin brother Jamie doesn't share her desire to make a life in the US. Then one moonless night in the middle of the North Atlantic, the supposedly unsinkable ship is struck by disaster, and Val now has to fight to stay alive.


13. One For The Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Twelve-year-old Carley Connors finds herself in the foster care system after a violent episode with her stepfather. A caring and loving household has never been a part of Carley's life, and she doesn't believe she deserves one. However, when she moved in with the Murphys, she is treated with kindness, respect, and patience; a new experience for Carley which she finds confusing and uncomfortable. Soon, she learns to trust the Murphys until her mother wants her back. One For The Murphys is a touching and thought-provoking novel that shows how unconditional love can change a person's life. It is a quick read that will have readers rooting for Carley and the Murphys.


14. The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Ten-year-old Ada has never been outdoors. Born with a twisted foot, her cruel, abusive mother felt too embarrassed to let her outside. In addition to beating her, her mother locks her in a cabinet as a form of punishment. During World War II, the British government began evacuating children from urban areas to the countryside, however, her mother refuses to send Ada, claiming that no one will care for her. Despite this, Ada sneaks away with her little brother Jaimie to escape the war. A new adventure awaits for Ada and her brother as they are taken in by Susan, a woman who was forced to take them in and have issues of her own. Ada's spunk and determination will captivate readers as she learns to navigate the outside world and grows to trust their new guardian in Susan, despite dangerous times ahead.


15. Out Of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper

Melody Brooks, an 11-year-old born with cerebral palsy, tells her story in Out Of My Mind. Melody is unable to talk, walk or even feed herself. However, Melody is extremely intelligent and has a photographic memory, and she is determined not to let her disability define her. Although she wants to express her thoughts and feelings, most people look past her and treat her as mentally challenged, even when she is not. Through this book, readers are given a glimpse into Melody's world through an inspiring and powerful story about her quiet strength and determination, and about disabilities and the challenges they entail.



16. The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall

Following the death of his father and being traumatized by the loss, 13-year-old Arthur T. Owens, hurled a brick at a man that collects junk in his neighborhood. While the brick struck the Junk Man in the arm, it didn't matter to the judge, and Arthur was sentenced to juvenile detention. However, James Hampton (the Junk Man) offers an alternative: Arthur will complete 120 hours of community service, helping him out by collecting discarded light bulbs, foil, mirrors, pieces of wood, glass bottles, cardboard, and coffee cans. Initially, Arthur is embarrassed when he finds himself rummaging through people's trash, but it's not long before he realizes the Junk Man isn't who he seems to be. Arthur's life is shaped by each item on Mr. Hampton's list, allowing him to grow and gain a deeper understanding of the world. Involving a cast of well-rounded, interesting characters, it is a memorable read that will stay with you forever.

Based on the life of folk artist James Hampton and his work of art, "The Throne of the Third Heaven" which is now displayed in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.


17. Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams

Genesis doesn't feel comfortable in her own skin. The dark complexion of her skin makes her the target of taunts not only from kids at school but also from her own family. It has been a struggle for Genesis to cope with her father's verbal abuse and her grandmother's backward ideas about skin color, to the point where she has tried bleaching her skin. Not to mention her father's gambling habit, which threatens to evict her and her Mama from the house at every turn, destroying her sense of security and adding to her sense of self-loathing. But things aren't all bad as Genesis and her Mama move into a nice house bought by her Dad, who promises to be better. Soon, she begins attending a new school where she makes new friends and even finds a talent for singing. Yet Genesis often wonders if this change is for good and what will happen when they get evicted again?

Genesis Begins Again is the perfect middle-grade story about the pressures to fit in with a powerful message about colorism, belonging, self-love, and the power of friendship and music.



18. The Line Tender by Kate Allen

Lucy Everhart's mother, a marine biologist and shark expert passed away five years ago. Lucy, now twelve years old, lives with her father in a sleepy tourist town in Rockport, Massachusetts. In the summer, Lucy and her best friend, Fred, work on their summer assignment, a field guide that documents all living creatures they encounter along the beach. When Lucy finds out about the Great White shark caught in the harbor, it piques her interest as it reminds her of her mother's work. Suddenly another tragedy strikes and Lucy draws strength from her mother's research, determined to complete the research she left behind. Lucy's father, a local fisherman, and an elderly neighbor help Lucy with the research, and thanks to their unlikely bond, they might be able to overcome their grief and struggle with loss...simply by following the sharks.



19. Ghost by Jason Reynolds

The only thing Castle Crenshaw (a.k.a. Ghost) has ever known is running. He ran for the first time as a small boy--and it was for his life, as his father chased him and his mother with a loaded gun. Ghost, now older, uses his natural talent by joining the track team. Ghost is determined to be the fastest sprinter on his middle school team, but his past seems to be holding him back. Rather than simply a sports story, Ghost is a sensitive, realistic portrayal of a young person dealing with trauma, overcoming obstacles, and believing in oneself.


20. Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh

14-year-old Ahmed and his father flee Aleppo, Syria, after losing most of their family due to the bombing of their home. To make matters worse, Ahmed also loses his father during their perilous journey to Europe. Ahmed now finds himself all alone in Brussels, Belgium, and with no one to turn to and no one to trust, he loses hope. Then he meets an American boy named Max, who is homesick and lonely. While they both face struggles and uncertainties, they form an unlikely friendship that encourages them to be brave. Nowhere Boy is a touching story of hope, resilience, and friendship, which also promotes discussion about the difficulties refugees and immigrants face.


21. Whirligig by Paul Fleischman

After being humiliated at an after-school party, Brent Bishop tries to end it all by crashing his car. He escapes with only minor cuts and bruises, but the crash kills a young woman named Lea. As part of his sentence, Lea's mother asks Brent to create four whirligigs and place them in the four corners of the United States in honor of her daughter. Along the way, Brent learns some important lessons about himself and meets people who help him realize that he can still change for the better. Interwoven alongside Brent's story are the stories of people whose lives have been touched and changed by Brent's creations. It is a beautiful and compelling story of redemption that is well-worth reading.


22. No Summit Out Of Sight: The True Story Of The Youngest Person To Climb The Seven Summits by Jordan Romero

A remarkable account of the youngest person to climb each continents' highest mountains. Meet Jordan Romero. At the age of 13, he became the youngest person to summit Mt. Everest. At 15, he was able to reach all seven summits. Jordan recounts in this book his experiences and adventures climbing mountains, the struggles he faced, and the sacrifices he made to achieve his goals. Jordan's extraordinary story will surely inspire readers to pursue their dreams and work hard to achieve them. The perfect book for young adults and adventure lovers.


23. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who lives comfortably in an underground hole. A comfortable, peaceful life in his hobbit-hole is suddenly disturbed when Gandalf the Grey appears on his doorstep, whisking him away on an adventure with a group of dwarves seeking to get back the treasure guarded by the dragon Smaug the Magnificent. After reluctantly joining the journey, Bilbo eventually meets the tormented Gollum and finds himself in possession of a powerful and dangerous ring. As a charming and entertaining prequel to Tolkien's classic masterpiece, The Lord Of The Rings, The Hobbit is a timeless classic that is an absolute must-read for all ages.



24. When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk

Cleo and Layla have been best friends for years. As their sophomore year begins, though, they start to take different paths. When Layla began to hang out with new friends from the school chorus group, the two became increasingly distant until they ended their friendship. It hurts Cleo's feelings, because not only is she losing her best friend, she is dealing with her parent's divorce as well. Cleo desperately wants to forget everything about her ex-best friend, but it proved impossible when she was assigned to be Layla's tutor. When You Were Everything merges past and present into a deeply relatable, emotional tale about the ending of a friendship, forgiveness, and being open to new beginnings.


25. Dry by Neal Shusterman & Jarrod Shusterman

Southern California is running out of water. The drought--or the "Tap-Out", as everyone calls it, escalates to catastrophic proportions. Alyssa's neighborhood is wracked by chaos as she witnesses people turning against each other in search of water. After Alyssa's parents go missing after going out to find water, Alyssa, her brother Garrett, and their nerdy survivalist neighbor Kelton must find a way to survive. The plot of the novel is thought-provoking and realistic, keeping readers riveted as they follow the teens struggle in a world without water.


26. The Memory Of Things by Gae Polisner

16-year-old Kyle Donohue watches out the window as the first tower comes crashing down on that morning of September 11, 2001. Kyle is rushing to get to safety when he encounters a teenage girl on the Brooklyn Bridge. She is wearing a pair of angel wings and covered in ash. Kyle thinks she's going to jump, but he was able to convince the girl to come home with him and to try and help her find her family. It appears, however, that the mysterious girl has lost her memory. What follows is the story of their budding friendship despite the tragedy and chaos following the 9/11 attacks. The Memory of Things tells a gripping and moving story of loss and devastation, but also hope, healing, and love.



27. A List Of Cages by Robin Roe

Adam Blake is a high school senior with ADHD. A bright and popular student, he just landed the best elective--serving as an aide to the school psychologist. His first assignment is to track down a troubled freshman who keeps skipping his counseling sessions. Little did Adam know that the freshman was his former foster brother, Julian. Adam is excited to be reunited with Julian again. Though kind-hearted and still enjoys writing stories, Julian seems quite shy and secretive. As Adam tries to find out what is happening with Julian, he finds that his involvement could prove more dangerous than he anticipated. A List of Cages is an inspiring and powerful book filled with unforgettable characters that will make you root for them. It is a touching tale about the power of friendship and self-discovery.


28. The Kingdom Of Back by Marie Lu

Nannerl Mozart has just one wish: to be remembered. A masterful musician with a gift of music, Nannerl delights audiences with her compositions. However, as a young woman in 18th century Europe, things were different for her and her passion. Being a woman musician at the time was a forbidden profession. Having reached marriageable age, she no longer was permitted to perform alongside her brother Wolfgang, who achieved fame and recognition through his musical career. Until one day, a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer to grant her wish–but it might just cost Nannerl everything. Beautifully written historical fiction, The Kingdom of Back is a story of music and magic that will captivate readers of all ages.


29. Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai

12-year-old Mai, born and raised in California, is looking forward to spending the summer at the beach with her best friend and the boy she has a crush on. Her plans were interrupted when she was selected to accompany her grandmother to Vietnam, who wants to find out what happened to her husband during the Vietnam War. Mai's parents think that this trip will help her learn more about her Vietnamese heritage, however, Mai isn't thrilled to go. Initially, Mai finds it difficult to adjust to the hot, humid climate of Vietnam, the local customs, and even communicate with her relatives. After learning more about her heritage and becoming more aware of the richness of her culture, Mai gradually begins to see things from a different perspective. Listen, Slowly is an engaging and thoughtful story of family, heritage, and friendship.


30. The Color Of My Words by Lynn Joseph

Ana Rosa enjoys writing and expressing her feelings through it. She wants to become a writer, despite knowing that writing is a career that is fraught with danger in the Dominican Republic. However, this doesn't stop Ana Rosa from writing as she writes about her community, her family, and her struggles. When Ana Rosa attempts to find her own voice and her place in the world, she realizes how powerful her words and stories can be. A beautiful blend of poetry and prose, The Color of My Words beautifully conveys family loyalty and love, as well as a deep sense of community.


Ninth Grade


1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The story takes place in a small fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, in the 1930s, as told through the eyes of six-year-old Scout Finch. She lives with her older brother Jem and her middle-aged lawyer father, Atticus Finch. Her father was assigned to defend a wrongly accused black man named Tom Robinson. The trial sends their small Southern town into a frenzy, and Jem and Scout soon find themselves involved in the events that followed the trial and the aftermath of it. One of the most powerful and deeply moving novels about injustice, racism, and equality, and the painful process of growing up, To Kill a Mockingbird is widely regarded as a masterpiece of American literature. It is a novel that will continue to speak to future generations.


2. First Test (Protector of the Small # 1) by Tamora Pierce

Keladry of Mindelan is the first girl in the medieval realm of Tortall who dares to take advantage of a new rule permitting women to train for knighthood. Kel believes that women can be fearless warriors and aspires to be one after spending her childhood in a land where women are trained to be warriors. She is prepared to face the rigorous training of a page as well as to face harsh criticisms and discrimination. However, Lord Wyldon, the training master, who is against girls becoming knights, puts her on one-year probation in which no male page has ever had to endure. Good-natured as Kel is, she is not one to be underestimated. Will Kel rise to the challenge and prove that she is worthy?



3. Unbroken (The Young Adult Adaptation): An Olympian's Journey from Airman to Castaway to Captive by Laura Hillenbrand

Unbroken is the biography of World War II hero and former Olympian Louis Zamperini. Louis became an airman during World War II, which led to the doomed flight and his imprisonment in Japan as a POW. His experiences in the prison camp are described in the story, along with his survival and resilience in overcoming the hardships and torture he endured. Unbroken brings the story of one of history's most thrilling survival epics to life with more than a hundred photos and an exclusive interview with Zamperini. This is an amazing and inspiring book for young readers.


4. Ben Archer And The Cosmic Fall by Rae Knightly

12-year-old Ben Archer witnessed UFOs crash into the fields next to his grandfather's house. Ben also discovers he has been given an alien power, whose significance could put human lives at risk. After government agents rush in to remove all evidence of the crash, Ben is forced to flee with an alien named Mesmo, the sole survivor of the crash. Throughout the book, readers will be glued to the page as they follow Ben and his family outruns a mysterious shape-shifter while dealing with alien powers. Readers who enjoy science fiction and adventure will love this fast-paced, action-packed read.



5. Once by Morris Gleitzman

Once tells the story of a young Jewish boy named Felix, who lives in Poland in 1942. He has been hidden from the Nazis in a Catholic orphanage and believes his parents will be coming for him any day. Felix has a knack for creating stories that shield him from facing the horrible reality around him. As the story progresses, we see that Felix doesn't know anything about the war or what's happening in his Nazi-occupied town. One day, believing his parents might be in danger, he runs away to find them. Despite witnessing the reality and the true horrors of war as he travels outside the orphanage, Felix never loses hope.


6. Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck

George Milton and Lennie Small are an unlikely pair. George is small and quick, and highly protective of Lennie, while Lennie is huge and physically strong but has the mind of a young child. Affected by the Great Depression, the two are migrant ranch workers who move from place to place in California in search of work. They hope to achieve their dream of owning their own piece of land one day. The fulfillment of their dream seems within reach when they find a job on a ranch, however, Lennie, unaware of the physical strength he possesses, gets himself into trouble and their hopes and dreams begin to crumble. Of Mice and Men is a gripping and powerful classic fiction that is well worth reading.


7. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Comprised of 12 districts and a wealthy capitol, a country called Panem has emerged in the ruins of what once was North America after an unspecified apocalyptic event. As a way of keeping the districts in line and as a punishment for a past rebellion against the Capitol, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 from each district are chosen to take part in the annual Hunger Games. 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen volunteered to be a tribute at the 74th Hunger Games to replace her 12-year-old sister, Primrose. She will represent District 12 along with Peeta Mellark. Pitted against bigger and stronger contenders, Katniss and Peeta must find a way to survive.



8. The Librarian Of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

Based on the story of Dita Kraus's real-life experience as a Holocaust prisoner as a young girl. Along with her parents, fourteen-year-old Dita is imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. As Dita is adjusting to the constant terror and appalling living conditions inside the camp, she is assigned to be the protector and keeper of eight forbidden books. As Dita becomes the librarian of Auschwitz, she must find the courage to protect her family and the books at all costs, even if it means risking her own life. It is a moving and unforgettable story of courage, survival, and hope amid the darkest of times.


9. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Natasha is a Jamaican girl facing deportation and on her last day in NYC. Daniel, a Korean-American, who is on the path that his parents want whether he likes it or not, is on his way to a college interview for Yale. When Natasha--a realist and a science nerd, and Daniel--a hopeless romantic and a poet, meet by some random chance, a sweet love story unfolds as they teach each other different ways to look at life.


10. I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak

Ed Kennedy is an uninspired cab driver just living his life day by day and with nothing much of a future. Living in a shack with his coffee-drinking dog, Doorman, he prefers to play cards with his friends every week and does nothing to improve his situation. Ed also has an unrequited love for his best friend, Audrey. When he inadvertently stops a bank robbery one day, he becomes an overnight hero. His routine and mundane life are interrupted when he found himself receiving mysterious playing cards in the mail. This is when Ed becomes the messenger...but who is behind all this?


11. Goddess In The Machine by Lora Beth Johnson

Andra wakes up 1,000 years later from cryogenic sleep. She needs to figure out what went wrong as she is supposed to wake up in a hundred years, not a thousand. Now, everyone around her calls her a Goddess, and what's worse, everyone she knew-including her family and friends--are all dead hundreds of years ago. Somehow, people think that she is a deity in this strange new world, so she plays along to find out what really happened, and to get back to Earth. Goddess in the Machine is an intriguing and fast-paced novel with unique characters and shocking plot twists that makes reading this sci-fi adventure truly worthwhile.



12. Game by Walter Dean Myers

Drew Larson lives in Harlem. He is the star player of his high school basketball team. He dreams to play college basketball and getting drafted to the NBA someday. But there are some obstacles. His coach lets a new player, Tomas, be the team's new star player. As Drew starts to get less playing time, he must find a way to prove that he is serious about his goals and dreams even when things don't go as planned. Thought-provoking and with a lot of detailed court action, Game is a must-read for sports fans.



13. Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan

It is the summer before senior year and Lou is determined to make it the best and most epic summer of her life. She and her friends work at the Magic Castle Playland, an amusement park that she love since childhood. This summer, she is assigned to be the dancing hot dog--again. She works with her best friend, Seeley, who is not too thrilled about Lou's schemes to get close to her crush who plays the park's pirate. To make matters worse, it turns out that Magic Castle will be closing for good--unless they find a way to stop it. Hot Dog Girl is a cute romantic comedy and a coming-of-age story with likable characters that will make summer readings so much more enjoyable.


14. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

In this story, we follow a college freshman named Marin. Marin stays alone in her university dorm during Christmas break instead of returning home to San Francisco. Marin's best friend, Mabel, comes to visit her from California. The presence of Mabel forces Marin to confront the painful memories of her past and why she fled and left everything behind. Throughout the story, readers learn more about Marin's life and the tragedy that she tries to escape. An emotional journey awaits readers in this thought-provoking, bittersweet, and powerful novel.



15. Sleeping Freshmen Never Lie by David Lubar

Scott Hudson knows that being a high school freshman isn't easy. Bullied, trying to impress his crush, and seeing that his childhood friends are growing apart, it can be easily overwhelming. There are a lot of changes happening in Scott's life, and to top it off, his mother announces that she is pregnant. So Scott decides to make a survival journal of his freshman year for when his soon-to-be-born brother reaches his teen years and gets to high school. In the journal, he writes down his thoughts and advice for his baby brother on his view of freshman year. Scott's experiences in this quick, witty, and fun read will resonate with high school freshmen and those who are beginning high school.



16. Where She Fell by Kaitlin Ward

There is a swamp near Eliza's house that is said to hold legends, in which people have fallen into, and never to be seen again. A young aspiring geologist, Eliza knows that it is impossible for people to fall to the center of the earth. When her friends dared to go to the swamp, Eliza can't help but feel scared. As they explore the swamp, she fell into a sinkhole. Eliza soon found herself in a cave with people who have also been trapped there for years and have made the cave their home. There seems to be no way out for Eliza and the other survivors, trapped in this strange underground world full of vicious creatures and giant bugs. Will she be able to reach the surface?


17. Mirage: A Novel (Mirage Series, 1) by Somaiya Daud

18-year-old Amani is kidnapped from her family during her community's traditional coming of age ceremony. She will be taken to the imperial palace, the Ziyaana, to train as a body-double for the hated crown princess, Princess Maram, the daughter of the Vathek leader. Set on Andala, a planet conquered by the Vathek Empire, Amani must play this role to perfection, even if it means risking her life.

Mirage is a sci-fi fantasy story inspired by Moroccan culture with complex and interesting characters, and a rich, dazzling world as the backdrop. Fans of sci-fi and fantasy stories should not miss this.


18. Skyhunter by Marie Lu

The Karensa Federation invaded every country in the world except for Mara, the last free nation. Talin Kanami is a refugee working as a Striker, Mara's most elite branch of soldiers that stands as the last defense against the evil Federation and its army of mutant beasts. After Talin saves a mysterious prisoner from the Federation, she has a feeling he has secrets, and she must unravel those secrets to decide whether he is an enemy spy or an ally who could save them all.



19. Hidden Talents by David Lubar

13-year-old Martin Anderson is expelled from every other school. As his last chance, Martin is sent to Edgeview Alternative School, a boarding school for troubled kids. He begins meeting a lot of new friends in this school. He soon discovers that his friends have unique talents. They all have hidden psychic and telekinetic abilities, but none would admit it. Martin thinks it's cool having these psychic powers, but his friends think otherwise. Eventually, Martin helps them harness their superpowers, but feels sad about being the only one without them. Will he discover his own special power too?


20. The Surprising Power Of A Good Dumpling by Wai Chim

Anna Chiu has her hands full. When she's not helping out at her father's restaurant, she's looking after her younger siblings and her mother who suffers from a debilitating mental illness. Due to all her responsibilities and her struggle to juggle school and the needs of her family, Anna feels she can't be a regular teen. When she meets Rory, the delivery boy for her father's restaurant, things seem to be okay for a while. But when her mom's condition worsens, things go from bad to worse.

The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling delicately examines how mental illness intersects with Asian identity, culture, and values in a candid and honest way. This is a feel-good, yet important and insightful read about family, food, and first love.


21. Charming As A Verb by Ben Philippe

Henri Haltiwanger is a charming high-school senior and a first-generation Haitian-American. He is a popular and well-liked student at his prestigious school and a trusted dog walker for his rich New York city neighbors. He is also under a lot of pressure to achieve his ultimate dream of going to Columbia University. Henri has mastered the method of charming people, but someone seems immune to Henri's charms--his classmate and socially-awkward neighbor, Corinne Troy. When Corinne discovers Henri's not-so-honest dog-walking scheme, she blackmails him to help her change her image at school. Henri agrees to help her. What happens next is something they both didn't expect.


More than just young adult romance, this book is a witty and realistic snapshot of the pressures young people face as they navigate their way to adulthood.



22. Lily’s Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff

Every summer, Lily, her grandmother, and her father go to their summer home in Rockaway, near the Atlantic Ocean. It is the summer of 1944, and the whole world is at war. Lily's father is called to work overseas as an engineer to help the allied troops. Her best friend, Margaret, has to move with her family to Michigan, as her dad has to work in a wartime factory. Nothing seems to be like it was, and Lily is devastated. She meets a boy named Albert, a refugee from Hungary who comes to stay with Lily's neighbors. Soon after, they become friends. They both tell lies to each other, but then Lily's mischievous ways and tall tales may place her new friend Albert's life in jeopardy.



23. Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law by Haben Girma

Haben's story is an autobiographical story of Harvard's first deaf-blind law school graduate. Haben grew up with limited vision and hearing that grew worse over the years. In this book, she shares her experiences from her childhood to professional life and how she navigates life and overcomes obstacles, using her unique problem-solving skills. Her experiences climbing Alaska's Mendenhall Glacier, building a school in Mali to helping a friend are part of her moving story of hope, resilience, and determination which also brings awareness and advocacy for people with disabilities.


24. The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais

Maya has lost her hearing because of an illness. Now, Maya has to move across the country and attend a hearing school for the first time. As the only deaf student in school, Maya is struggling to adjust. However, she is determined not to let her disability hold her back. When she finds a new group of friends and when one of her classmates starts learning sign language to communicate with her, things start to look up for her. The Silence Between Us is an engaging and heartwarming story about a girl who refuses to let her deafness be an obstacle to finding herself and her place in the world.


25. Looking for Alaska by John Green

This award-winning and powerful novel follows teenage Miles Halter as he leaves for boarding school in search of the "Great Perhaps." Miles then meets Alaska Young, who will pull him into her world--and nothing will ever be the same. A brilliant and thought-provoking story of famous last words and first love, Looking for Alaska is an excellent book for teens.


26. Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

The story follows Aristotle "Ari" Mendoza and Dante Quintana as they first meet during a boring summer. Ari is an angry teen with family troubles, while Dante is articulate, confident, and has a unique perspective on life. They first seem to have nothing in common, but as they spend more time together, they develop a special friendship that will eventually help them discover their true, authentic selves. This is a beautiful, thought-provoking book about family, friendship, love, and discovering one's identity.


27. In The Key Of Nira Ghani by Natasha Deen

In this relatable, poignant coming-of-age story, a Guyanese girl has to balance her parents' expectations and traditions while finding her own path to becoming a great trumpeter. In the Key of Nira Ghani is a beautiful, well-written story that will resonate with all ages.


28. A Taste For Monsters by Matthew J. Kirby

It is 1888, and London is terrorized by Jack the Ripper. Evelyn, a young woman whose face is disfigured from her work in a matchstick factory, seeks refuge in a hospital, hoping to be a nurse. She was, instead, assigned to be a maid to Joseph Merrick, who is more well-known as the Elephant Man. Through Mr. Merrick, she finds a gentle kindred spirit who understands her. When the Ripper murders begin, Evelyn must help Mr. Merrick figure out how to help the ghosts of the Ripper's dead, who are haunting them every night. A fan of true crime and ghost stories will enjoy reading this historical fiction full of suspense and mystery.


29. The Clockwork Three by Matthew J. Kirby

This book follows three children who are brought together by extraordinary events.

Giuseppe, an orphaned street musician from Italy, discovers a mysterious green violin that may be the key to his freedom. Hannah, a strong-willed girl who works as a hotel maid, learns about a hidden treasure and is determined to find it; and Frederick, another orphan, and a talented clockmaker's apprentice is determined to build an automaton..if only he could find a mechanical head. Together, their lives became intertwined, creating a strong bond of friendship that eventually helped them conquer even their darkest fears.


30. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns is about Afghanistan's history, from the Soviet takeover in the 1980s through the post 9/11 Taliban control, told through the eyes of two brave, intelligent young women who, despite the odds, remain optimistic. It is a remarkable, heart-rending novel of an unforgiving time, devastation, and loss, as well as hope and the unbreakable bond of friendship.


Tenth Grade


1. The Car by Gary Paulsen

Terry Anders is a fourteen-year-old boy from Cleveland, Ohio. When both of his parents abandon him, he finds a car sitting in the garage for years and decides to rebuild it. When he finished the car, he decides to go on a cross-country adventure from Cleveland to Portland, to search for his uncle, whom he barely knows. Along the journey, he meets Waylon, a wise Vietnam vet, who turns the road trip into a learning experience.


2. The Boy In The Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

The book tells the story of Bruno, an 8-year-old German boy growing up during World War II. Bruno and his family leave Berlin to live near the concentration camp where his father is appointed commander. Lonely and bored, Bruno wanders out behind his house and finds Shmuel, a Jewish boy of his age. Despite the barbed-wire fence surrounding the camp, the two boys become friends, unaware of the reality of their surroundings.


3. The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

When Jessica's dreams were shattered after losing her leg in an accident, she decided not to give up and put herself back together. However, Jessica is scared of how people will look at her now, as she struggles to cope with crutches and wheelchairs. While she tries to rebuild her life, she meets Rosa--a girl with cerebral palsy who she and her friends have always overlooked. Rosa not only helps Jessica with Math but also teaches her an important lesson in life.


4. Code Talker: A Novel About The Navajo Marines Of World War II by Joseph Bruchac

As World War II ravages the Pacific, Navajo marines are using their native language to develop a secret code that is unbreakable by the enemy forces. They have braved the heaviest fighting during the war and saved countless lives. Told through the perspective of a 16-year-old Navajo boy named Ned Begay, readers will gain insights into the Navajo Code Talkers and their courage amidst the war. It is highly recommended by many for its moving and powerful story.


5. Girl Out Of Water by Laura Silverman

The summer before her senior year, Anise can't wait to spend time at the beach with her friends and surf. But when her aunt who is a single mother of three, met an accident and left her with broken legs, Anise must leave Santa Cruz and spend her entire summer in Nebraska to take care of her three young cousins. She thought this summer would be miserable, but after meeting new friends and experiencing this different side of her life, Anise realized it might not be so bad after all. Girl Out of Water is a fun, heartfelt summer read.


6. What To Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

This book is about two teens finding their place in the world. David, who is autistic and just trying to survive high school, and Kit, a popular girl who is grieving the recent death of her father. Despite their differences, the two teens form an unlikely friendship, which eventually blossoms into romance. When Kit asks David's help to find out the truth about her dad's tragic car accident, David is willing to help, but neither of them knows what they will discover.


7. Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

Hannah and Emory have been best friends for years and are next-door neighbors. They are inseparable, until one hurtful exchange severed their friendship. Now, it's senior year, and they haven't spoken in months. One fateful night, Emory's boyfriend Luke had a car accident, and Hannah is the one that finds him. In the aftermath of the accident, Hannah, Emory, and Luke struggle to understand what happened in their own ways. When a devastating secret about Hannah and Emory's argument is revealed, they will be forced to reexamine their values and beliefs.


8. The Leaving by Tara Altebrando

11 years ago, six kindergartners went missing without a trace. Now, five of those kids return. They are now 16 years old but have no memory of who took them or where they've been. They also have no memory of Max, the sixth child who was kidnapped and the only one who didn't come back. Full of twists and mystery, The Leaving will keep readers intrigued from start to finish.


9. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

This internationally acclaimed classic novel is set in a bleak, dystopian future. Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy printed books as books have become illegal. Guy carries out the book burnings without a second thought and never questions his actions until one day, he meets an eccentric young girl who changes his life forever.


10. Julius Caesar by Shakespeare

A group of jealous conspirators convinces Brutus to participate in their assassination plot against Caesar. Brutus and the conspirators kill Caesar on the Ides of March in order to prevent him from becoming a tyrant. The conspirators are driven out of Rome by Mark Antony, who fights them in a battle.



11. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, Book 2) by Suzanne Collins

Katniss Everdeen has emerged as a victor in the annual Hunger Games with her fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. However, this victory was won in defiance of the game and the Capitol. The Capitol is angry, and now President Snow, the leader of Panem, is paying a visit to Katniss. Catching Fire is the second book in the worldwide bestselling Hunger Games trilogy.


12. Far From The Tree by Robin Benway

National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature, Far From The Tree is a realistic, deeply moving novel about three teens who are raised in different homes and later on reconnect and discover that they are siblings. As they get to know each other, the siblings begin to realize how they share similarities, how they differ, and what family truly means. It is a novel about love, loss, and self-discovery, as well as about how family comes in all forms.



13. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

An aging salesman named Willy Loman has spent his life traveling from state to state selling and following his dream of being successful and wealthy. A 63-year-old man, Willy lives in a world of elaborate excuses and daydreams, trying to make sense of himself and the world that once held so much promise. His past failures and disappointments now haunt him as he contemplates his life choices.


14. Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn

16-year-old Nick Andreas is pretty much perfect--on the outside--at least. He is intelligent, handsome, and popular--but no one knows, not even his best friend, of his abusive father and the anger and terror Nick faces every time he is with him. Nick soon finds himself following in his father's footsteps when he physically abuses his girlfriend, Caitlin. When Caitlin’s parents file a restraining order against him, Nick is forced into an anger management class to confront his inner demons. Now Nick realizes that the pattern of violence must stop.


15. A Yellow Raft In Blue Water by Michael Dorris

A Yellow Raft in Blue Water weaves a moving story of three generations of Native American women, each told from their own perspectives--15-year-old Rayona, still finding her place in the world. Her mother, Christine, who raises Rayona despite being a single mother and who has gone through difficult times herself. And lastly, Ida, the seemingly stoic matriarch of the family, whose haunting secrets and struggles echo through the years.


16. Monster by Walter Dean Myers

16-year-old Steve Harmon is on trial for his alleged participation in a murder during a botched robbery. Steve, an average high school student suddenly becomes someone facing a possible life sentence in prison. As a way of coping, Steve began to write in his journal. A budding filmmaker, his journal is written like a screenplay, each journal entries documenting the trial, his life and his time in prison. Monster is a riveting and thought-provoking book that is worth reading even if you are a reluctant reader.


17. The Grapes Of Wrath by John Steinbeck

This Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration during the 1930s and tells the story of the Joads, a farming family from Oklahoma. They are evicted from their home and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. After arriving in California, which had been a promise of prosperity, they are faced with hardships and discrimination, struggling and being looked down on by locals.


18. The Crucible by Arthur Miller

A vicious witch hunt and hysteria engulf a community in The Crucible. Based on the Salem witch trials of 1692, this is a gripping story that shows the danger of superstition, ignorance, fear, and corruption.


19. The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls

The Glass Castle is a remarkable memoir of determination and resilience, in which the author recounts her unconventional and nomadic childhood. She and her siblings were forced to survive in extreme poverty and fend for themselves while growing up in rural Appalachia with neglectful and dysfunctional parents.



20. The Round House by Louise Erdrich

The Round House follows the story of Joe Coutts, a 13-year-old boy living on an Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. One afternoon, Joe's mother was brutally attacked. In frustration over the poor investigation into the crime, Joe sets out with his best friends in search of the perpetrator. Suspenseful and deeply moving, this coming-of-age story gives insight into the traditions and daily life on an Indian reservation and the love of family and friends.



21. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Told in the first-person perspective by Christopher John Francis Boone, a 15-year-old with Asperger's syndrome and a math genius, who one evening, discovers the dead body of a dog in his neighbor's yard. Christopher, who loves animals, is determined to find who did it and sets out to investigate, and while at it, he decides to write a book about his investigation.



22. Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

Matt Cruse is a cabin boy working on a huge airship that sails above the ocean. One night, he rescues a dying and injured balloonist. As the man dies, he speaks of seeing beautiful winged creatures drifting through the skies. When Matt meets the balloonist's granddaughter, Kate, he realizes that the man's words may, in fact, have been true. He also realizes later that the creatures are indeed real after all. Airborn is an adventure story that is full of suspense and twists that will keep readers engaged and leave them wanting more.


23. The Shakespeare Stealer by Gary Blackwood

Widge is an orphan who has a remarkable talent for shorthand. There is only one demand from his master: steal the script of Shakespeare's play "Hamlet" or he'll be in trouble. Forced to follow the orders, Widge attended a performance of Shakespeare's Hamlet at the Globe Theatre, to copy the text of the play. It is a fast-paced historical fiction novel full of twists and turns and is a must-read for fans of action, comedy, and suspense.


24. Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Prince Hamlet returns home to Elsinore Castle only to find his uncle Claudius already proclaimed himself king. Even more convinced that his uncle killed his father after seeing his father's ghost, Hamlet vows to avenge his father's death. Consumed with his obsession for revenge, this only brought overwhelming rage, death and grief, as he descends into madness. Throughout the centuries, Shakespeare's compelling family tragedy has captivated generations, making it one of the greatest plays of all time.


25. The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Avery Grambs just wants to finish high school. She plans on going to college and create a better future for herself. Until one fateful day when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne-a man she never met-dies and leaves Avery almost his entire fortune. The catch? Avery must move into his mansion, filled with puzzles, riddles, and secret passages. Unfortunately for Avery, Hawthorne House is also home to the family that Tobias Hawthorne just disowned. The Inheritance Games is a book filled with exciting twists and juicy secrets that keep readers guessing until the very end.


26. The Last True Poets Of The Sea by Julia Drake

Violet Larkin can't stop partying with the wrong people. But when her beloved younger brother Sam tries to take his own life, she returns to the small town of Lyric, Maine, to stay with her uncle for the summer. Her family has a long history there. Violet's great-great-great-grandmother founded Lyric after surviving a shipwreck off the coast of Maine. Violet has been haunted by her family's past--the lost shipwreck she and her brother dream of discovering one day. During her stay, she also embarks on a daring mission--to locate the shipwreck, lost to the sea for a century, while making new friends along the way. This book is about family, friendship, surviving trauma, and discovering one's self.


27. With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo

After her freshman year of high school, protagonist Emoni Santiago has a baby and her life has been about making tough decisions ever since--doing everything for her daughter and her grandmother. Nevertheless, Emoni's strong support network gives her a shot at a bright future for herself and her daughter.

.

28. Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi

YA fantasy The Beast Player is about a young girl with the ability to communicate with magical beasts. A very important responsibility falls to Elin and her family: caring for the fearsome water serpents that form their kingdom's army. However, when some of the creatures under her mother's care mysteriously die, her mother is sentenced to death as punishment...and Elin is sent away.


29. Barely Missing Everything by Matt Mendez

Juan and his best friend JD have big dreams. Juan dreams of getting out of El Paso, Texas, playing collegiate basketball, and making something of himself. JD, filled with passion and a camera, wants to be a filmmaker one day. When Juan and JD run from the police at a friend's party, their lives seem to get worse and worse--with Juan's sprained ankle and failing algebra grade, Juan's chances for a basketball scholarship are in jeopardy. Meanwhile, JD faces his own problems with this family on the brink of falling apart with lackluster grades giving him slim chances of getting accepted into any colleges. Will they ever find a way out?


30. Sorry For Your Loss by Jessie Ann Foley

The story follows an awkward teenage boy named Pup Flanagan. The youngest of eight, he is often overlooked. The only one who gave him a sense of importance and that he could be something more was his older brother, Patrick. Until Patrick's untimely passing, which left Pup drowning in his grief. His family, however, refuses to speak about Patrick's passing, and even well-meaning friends are unable to say much more than "sorry for your loss." Presented with a camera by his art teacher to help him earn a passing grade in art class, Pup learns a whole new perspective and maybe even the chance to help his broken family heal. Beautifully written with realistic characters and a relatable protagonist, this book shares the heartache of loss and grief with warmth and humor, which older teen readers will love.


Eleventh Grade


1. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead started to rise and walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania--which halted the Civil War and changed the nation forever. In this alternate version of history, Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in etiquette and weaponry to protect the wealthy families from the zombies, or "shamblers." The shamblers seem to be the least of her problems when Jane finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy. Now, she must need all her resourcefulness and strength to fight for her life against some powerful enemies.



2. The Boys In The Boat by Daniel James Brown

An uplifting and astonishing story of the University of Washington's eight rowing team and their quest for gold at the 1936 Olympics. With the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers on the team, winning the Olympics seemed impossible against the elite crew of the East Coast and Great Britain. A rower named Joe Rantz narrates the emotional story and shows how determination, optimism, and trust led to their success.



3. Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Lazlo Strange is an orphan who grew up to be a junior librarian. Ever since he was a boy, he's been obsessed with fairy tales and legends--especially the mythic, gilded faraway city of Weep. Lazlo dreamed his entire life of a chance to visit this lost city, so when Lazlo encountered a troop of warriors led by the so-called Godslayer who are from the lost city of Weep, looking for experts and scholars to help solve a problem, Lazlo seized the opportunity to join them. Now, Lazlo finally has a chance to come face to face with his wildest dream and to finally find out and unravel the secrets and mysteries surrounding Weep and its inhabitants.


4. Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Justyce McAllister is on top of his class, a good kid, and an honor student. As he is seen more for his skin color than for his character, and because of a violent incident in which he is handcuffed and thrown to the ground, Justyce begins to reflect on what it means to be a young black man today and begins to write letters to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his journal. Parents and students alike will find Dear Martin a powerful, timely, and important read.


5. The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion And The Fall Of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

This book offers a close and intimate look into the lives of Russia's last royal family and the fall of imperial Russia. The book also includes captivating pictures and powerful first-person accounts which contrast the extravagant lives of the royals with the poverty and struggles of the poor masses. A fascinating and hard-to-put-down non-fiction book about the Russian revolution and history is a must-read for everyone.


6. Midnight At The Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson

In Midnight at the Electric, three stories are told through letters from three generations, spanning three different places and eras. A book about friendships, love, grief, secrets, and betrayals. Their lives intertwined in unexpected ways, spanning generations. This quiet yet powerful book will have the readers thoroughly engrossed from beginning to end.


7. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

Raybearer follows a young girl named Tarisai. She was raised by an absent and distant mother who she only knows as "The Lady" and was sent to the capital to compete and to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince's Council of 11. However, she was bound by a curse and compelled to obey her mother's command and kill the Crown Prince. Strong-willed and kind-hearted, Tarisai is determined to find a way to break the curse and forge a different path for herself.


8. Not A Drop To Drink by Mindy McGinnis

Set in the future where water is scarce and worth more than gold, 16-year-old Lynn and her mother guard their pond against thirsty scavengers, with rifles in hand. Encountering nighttime threats, mysterious footsteps near their pond, animal attacks, and gunshots, Lynn, with the abilities her mother taught her, must defend their pond until her last dying breath.


9. The Radium Girls by Kate Moore

The Radium Girls is the story of the women who worked in radium-dial factories across the US during the early 20th century. Radium, which covers the women from head to toe, is used to paint the numbers on watch dial faces, making them sparkle and glow. This new and exciting job opportunity draws girls as young as 14--until they are suddenly afflicted by a mysterious illness.


10. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

This story follows 14-year-old Susie Salmon as she narrates her story from heaven, a place that is not at all what she expected. As life continues without her, she sees her family struggle and grieves for her unsolved murder case. Despite unspeakable loss and tragedy, The Lovely Bones builds a story filled with hope, humor, suspense, and even joy.


11. Hidden Figures (Young Readers’ Edition) by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures is the amazing true story of four dedicated African-American mathematicians--Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden. Known as "human computers," they use pencils and adding machines to calculate numbers that help launch rockets and help astronauts get into space. As a result of their work, NASA was forever changed as they helped achieve some of the key milestones in aviation and space technology. This uplifting and inspiring story is a must-read and an excellent book for all ages.


12. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Every November, the Scorpio Races take place in which the riders must keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. In the race, some riders survive while others die, and only one winner is determined. The story centers around Sean and Puck, their stories told in alternating chapters. 19-year-old Sean is a returning champion and a young man of few words. Puck Connolly is never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races and is the first girl to ever enter the competition. Action-packed, magical, and fierce, The Scorpio Races will take the readers on a wild ride.


13. Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young

17-year-old Eelyn was born and raised to be a warrior for the Aska clan. Their clan has an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. She fought alongside her Aska clansman, until that one fateful day when she lost her brother. Now, this fighting season, Eelyn sees the impossible on the battlefield--her brother, alive, and fighting with the enemy.


14. Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter

Maddie and Logan are best friends and inseparable. Logan's father is POTUS, and Maddie's father is the head of the president's security. Suddenly, before a dinner with some dignitaries, they were torn apart after a kidnapping attempt. Maddie was taken to a remote cabin in Alaska with her father for safety. After a few years, Maddie finds herself hoping to hear from Logan again--until Logan is sent to join them as an assassin closes in. This witty and fast-paced thriller will keep the reader on the edge of their seat.


15. The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

As a teenager in Florida in the 1960s, Elwood Curtis was unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory school called the Nickel Academy. An optimistic and bright young black man, Elwood finds that the school is not as it appears from the outside. The school is a chamber of horrors, rife with physical and emotional abuse, and Elwood is trapped in it. Until he meets Turner, who took him under his wing. The Nickel Boys is a powerful and an important book about two young men living under Jim Crow law in the 1960s and the suffering they had to endure inside the hellish reform school.


16. Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

High school senior and a competitive softball player, Mickey Catalan is confident that she will have a successful softball season. In order to receive college scholarships, she needs to play well. But a car crash leaves Mickey severely injured just before the start of the season. But Mickey is determined to recover quickly to hold on to her spot as the catcher for her team. As physical therapy alone won't help her, she turned to painkillers. While Mickey faces the pressure of the softball season, a destructive habit is slowly developing that could spiral out of control.


17. Jackpot by Nic Stone

Rico is a high school senior and works in the local gas station in the afternoon to help her mom with the bills. It seems Rico's fortune has changed when she sells a jackpot-winning lottery ticket, and the prize money goes unclaimed. As Rico hopes to get a share of the winnings, he enlists the help of Zan, a wealthy friend, to embark on a quest to find the winning ticket.


18. SLAY by Brittney Morris

During the day, Kiera Johnson tutors math and is an honors student at Jefferson Academy. At night, she joins hundreds of thousands of black gamers who duel online in a secret role-playing card game called SLAY. No one knows that Kiera is the game developer, not even her boyfriend. When a teen is murdered over a dispute in the SLAY world, the news about the game reached mainstream media. SLAY is all over the news and is accused of being "discriminatory" and "racist." Because of this, Kiera is determined to protect the only space where black gamers can be themselves and cultivate a safe community. But how can she protect her game while maintaining her anonymity?


19. The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Henrietta Lacks is a poor Southern tobacco farmer who succumbed after a long battle with cervical cancer in the 1950s. Her cells became one of the most valuable medical tools. She is known to scientists as HeLa. For decades, Henrietta's family had no idea that doctors had taken her cells and that some of her cells were still alive many years after her death. A fascinating and thought-provoking non-fiction tale that sheds light on a piece of history that is largely forgotten, The Immortal Tale of Henrietta Lacks will stay with readers for a long time.


20. The Paper Girl Of Paris by Jordyn Taylor

16-year-old Alice arrives in France, but she is not there for vacation. When Alice's grandmother passed away, she inherited an apartment in Paris she didn't know existed, which has remained locked for many years. When Alice explores the apartment, she discovers her great-aunt Adalyn's diary containing information that raises more questions than answers. A secret past in her family awaits Alice as she uncovers more about her great aunt, whom her grandmother never mentioned.


21. Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer

Into the Wild tells the true story of a young man named Christopher McCandless. In 1992, he hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness. He left his family and friends and abandoned most of his material possessions to live in the wild. In his final months, he lived on berries and hunted game until meeting his tragic end.


22. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Brothers Finn and Sean O'Sullivan live in a strange, little town called Bone Gap. Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps. Gaps that can trip you and gaps you can slip through that you may never find your way out. People in Bone Gap were not surprised when Roza, a beautiful girl who lives with Finn and Sean, mysteriously disappeared. After all, it wasn't the first time someone had vanished. Finn, however, knows what really happened to Roza. A man whose face he cannot remember kidnapped Roza.


23. Rules For Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall

This documentary-style tale uses found footage, video transcripts, and text messages to tell the story of a missing girl, a vengeful ghost, and a girl determined to find her sister. Sara's sister, Becca, disappeared last year while searching for Lucy Gallows, the girl haunting the woods. It is said that every year, a path appears leading into another world, where the ghost of Lucy Gallows awaits--and Sara is determined to walk this mythical path in the hopes of finding her missing sister--no matter the cost.


24. Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel by Val Emmich

Evan Hansen is an anxious and timid high school student. He has trouble making friends at school because of his anxiety. He sees a therapist and takes medication to manage it, and as a way of sorting out his feelings and building his confidence, he also writes letters to himself. His life suddenly changed when one of his letters was stolen and found with Connor, a troubled student who took his life. Evan then finds himself in the middle of a family's grief over the loss of their son, who mistakenly believes Evan was their son's best friend. Dear Evan Hansen is an emotional and compelling story about grief, belonging, and hope.


25. A Land Of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi

The story follows a Syrian teenager named Tareq and his family as they escape from war-torn Syria while facing dangers at every turn. The harrowing plight of refugees is brought to life in this gripping and unforgettable story of one family's survival and the tragic consequences of violence and war.


26. Salt To The Sea by Ruta Sepetys

This beautiful and riveting historical fiction novel follows four young refugees during WW2 as they desperately flee from the advancing Soviet forces. Thousands of refugees flock to the coast to board the ill-fated ship, Wilhelm Gustloff, that promises safety. As freedom seems within their grasp, tragedy strikes and brings the four lives together in the most unexpected ways.


27. Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys

17-year-old Josie Moraine wants more from life than she can find in New Orleans. The d