Reading Olympics 2020 List: Middle School

Almost home -- Bauer, Joan.  (RL 3.7, 264p)

Sixth-grader Sugar and her mother lose their beloved house and experience the harsh world of homelessness.

The angel experiment -- Patterson, James.  (YA, 422p)

After the mutant Erasers abduct the youngest member of their group, the "birdkids," who are the result of genetic experimentation, take off in pursuit and find themselves struggling to understand their own origins and purpose.

Audacity -- Crowder, Melanie.  (YA, 389p)

A historical fiction novel in verse detailing the life of Clara Lemlich and her struggle for women's labor rights in the early 20th century in New York.

Bomb: the race to build and steal the world's most dangerous weapon -- Sheinkin, Steve.  (RL YA, 298p)

Examines the history of the atomic bomb, discussing the discovery of the behavior of uranium when placed next to radioactive material, the race to build a bomb, and the impact of the weapon on societies around the world.

The boy who reversed himself -- Sleator, William.  (RL 4.7, 167p)

When Laura discovers that the unpopular boy living next door to her has the ability to go into the fourth dimension, she makes the dangerous decision to accompany him on his journeys there.

The breadwinner -- Ellis, Deborah.  (RL 5, 146p)

Conscious of the strict limitations imposed by the Taliban rulers of Kabul, Afghanistan, on women's freedom and behavior, eleven-year-old Parvana disguises herself as a boy in order to earn money so that her family can survive after her father's arrest.

Brown girl dreaming -- Woodson, Jacqueline.  (RL 5.3, 349p)

The author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South"--Provided by publisher.

Catch you later, traitor: a novel – Avi.  (RL 4.6, 296p)

It's 1951, and twelve-year-old Pete Collison is a regular kid in Brooklyn, New York, who loves Sam Spade detective books and radio crime dramas. But when an FBI agent shows up at Pete's doorstep, accusing Pete's father of being a Communist, Pete is caught in a real-life mystery. Could there really be Commies in Pete's family?

Chasing Lincoln's killer -- Swanson, James L.  (YA, 194p)

Recounts the twelve-day pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth, covering the chase through Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, with a discussion of Abraham Lincoln as a father, husband, and friend that examines the impact of his death on those close to him.

Claudette Colvin: twice toward justice -- Hoose, Phillip M.  (YA, 150p)

Presents an account of fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin, an African-American girl who refused to give up her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, nine months before Rosa Parks, and covers her role in a crucial civil rights case.

Closed for the season -- Hahn, Mary Downing.  (RL 4.3, 182p)

When thirteen-year-old Logan and his family move into a run-down old house in rural Virginia, he discovers that a woman was murdered there and becomes involved with his neighbor Arthur in a dangerous investigation to try to uncover the killer.

Code orange -- Cooney, Caroline B.  (YA, 200p)

While conducting research for a school paper on smallpox, Mitty finds an envelope containing 100-year-old smallpox scabs and fears that he has infected himself and all of New York City.

Courage has no color: the true story of the Triple Nickles: America's first black paratroopers -- Stone, Tanya Lee.  (RL 8, 147p)

Tells the story of America's first black paratroopers during World War II.

The crossing: how George Washington saved the American Revolution -- Murphy, Jim.  (RL 7.8, 96p)

A narrative prose that details George Washington's transformation from a farmer to a military general and describes how he led the Americans against the British.

The crossover -- Alexander, Kwame.  (RL 4.3, 251p)

Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

Double identity -- Haddix, Margaret Peterson.  (RL 5.4, 218p)

Thirteen-year-old Bethany's parents have always been overprotective, but when they suddenly drop out of sight with no explanation, leaving her with an aunt she never knew existed, Bethany uncovers shocking secrets that make her question everything she thought she knew about herself and her family.

Eragon -- Paolini, Christopher.  (YA, 503p)

In Aagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage called Eragon finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic, and power, peopled with dragons, elves, and monsters.

The fairy-tale detectives -- Buckley, Michael.  (RL 5.2, 257p)

Orphans Sabrina and Daphne Grimm are sent to live with an eccentric grandmother that they have always believed to be dead.

Fish in a tree -- Hunt, Lynda Mullaly.  (RL 4.2, 276p)

Ally's greatest fear is that everyone will find out she is as dumb as they think she is because she still doesn't know how to read.

Flipped -- Van Draanen, Wendelin.  (RL 5.9, 212p)

In alternating chapters, two teenagers describe how their feelings about themselves, each other, and their families have changed over the years.

The great wide sea -- Herlong, Madaline.  (YA, 283p)

Still mourning the death of their mother, three brothers go with their father on an extended sailing trip off the Florida Keys and have a harrowing adventure at sea.

Hero -- Lupica, Mike.  (RL 4.6, 289p)

Fourteen-year-old Zach learns he has the same special abilities as his father, who was the president's globe-trotting troubleshooter until "the Bads" killed him, and now Zach must decide whether to use his powers in the same way at the risk of his own life.

Holes -- Sachar, Louis.  (RL 5.8, 289p)

As further evidence of his family's bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.

Home of the brave -- Applegate, Katherine.  (RL 4, 267p)

Kek, an African refugee, is confronted by many strange things at the Minneapolis home of his aunt and cousin, as well as in his fifth-grade classroom, and longs for his missing mother, but finds comfort in the company of a cow and her owner.

The honest truth -- Gemeinhart, Dan.  (RL 4, 229p)

A boy named Mark, tired of being sick with cancer, conceives a plan to climb Mount Rainier, and runs away from home with his dog, Beau--but with over two hundred miles between him and his goal, and only anger at his situation to drive him on, nothing will be easy, and only his best friend, Jessie, suspects where he is heading.

House arrest -- Holt, K. A.  (RL 4, 302p)

Timothy, sentenced to house arrest for stealing, keeps a journal into which he documents his fears and frustrations.

I am Malala: how one girl stood up for education and changed the world -- Yousafzai, Malala.  (RL 5.8, 240p)

Malala Yousafzai's describes her fight for education for girls under Taliban rule, the support she received from her parents to pursue an education, and how the Taliban retaliated against her by trying to kill her.

Invisible Emmie -- Libenson, Terri.  (RL 4.2, 185p)

Crushes. Humiliation. Drama. Middle school. This is the story of two totally different girls--quiet, shy, artistic Emmie and popular, outgoing, athletic Katie--and how their lives unexpectedly intersect one day, when an embarrassing note falls into the wrong hands.

Masterpiece -- Broach, Elise.  (RL 5.3, 292p)

After Marvin, a beetle, makes a miniature drawing as an eleventh birthday gift for James, a human with whom he shares a house, the two new friends work together to help recover a Durer drawing stolen from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The night gardener -- Auxier, Jonathan.  (RL 5.3, 350p)

Irish orphans Molly, fourteen, and Kip, ten, travel to England to work as servants in a crumbling manor house where nothing is quite what it seems to be, and soon the siblings are confronted by a mysterious stranger and secrets of the cursed house.

On the Blue Comet -- Wells, Rosemary.  (RL 4.8, 329p)

When the Depression hits in Cairo, Illinois, and Oscar Ogilvie's father must sell their home and vast model train set-up to look for work in California, eleven-year-old Oscar is left with his dour aunt, where he befriends a mysterious drifter, witnesses a stunning bank robbery, and is suddenly catapulted onto a train that takes him to a different time and place.

Peter and the Starcatchers -- Barry, Dave.  (RL 5.6, 451p)

Peter, an orphan boy, and his friend Molly fight off thieves and pirates in order to keep the secret safe away from the diabolical Black Stache and his evil associate Mister Grin.

Projekt 1065 -- Gratz, Alan.  (RL 5, 309p)

It is 1943, and thirteen-year-old Michael O'Shaunessey, son of the Irish ambassador to Nazi Germany in Berlin, is also a spy for the British Secret Service, so he has joined the Hitler Youth, and pretending that he agrees with their violence and book-burning is hard enough--but when he is asked to find out more about "Projekt 1065" both his and his parents' lives get a lot more dangerous.

Resistance -- Nielsen, Jennifer A.  (RL 5.8, 385p)

In 1942 sixteen-year-old Chaya Lindner is a Jewish girl living in Nazi-occupied Poland, a courier who smuggles food and documents to the isolated Jewish ghettos in southern Poland, depending on her forged papers and "Aryan" features--but when a mission goes wrong and many of her colleagues are arrested she finds herself on a journey to Warsaw, where an uprising is in the works.

Restart -- Korman, Gordon.  (RL 5.1, 243p)

Chase does not remember falling off the roof, in fact he does not remember anything about himself, and when he gets back to middle school he begins to learn who he was through the reactions of the other kids--trouble is, he really is not sure he likes the Chase that is being revealed, but can he take the opportunity amnesia has provided and restart his life?

Stanford Wong flunks big-time -- Yee, Lisa.  (RL 5.3, 296p)

After flunking sixth-grade English, basketball prodigy Stanford Wong must struggle to pass his summer-school class, keep his failure a secret from his friends, and satisfy his academically demanding father.

Surviving Hitler: a boy in the Nazi death camps -- Warren, Andrea.  (RL 6.3, 146p)

A biography of Jack Mandelbaum, who survived Nazi concentration camps when he was a teenager.

SYLO -- MacHale, D. J.  (YA, 407p)

They came from the sky parachuting out of military helicopters to invade Tucker Pierce's idyllic hometown on Pemberwick Island, Maine. They call themselves SYLO and they are a secret branch of the U.S. Navy. SYLO's commander, Captain Granger, informs Pemberwick residents that the island has been hit by a lethal virus and must be quarantined. Now Pemberwick is cut off from the outside world.

The Thickety. A path begins -- White, J. A.  (RL 5.3, 488p)

When twelve-year-old Kara discovers her mother's grimoire in the dangerous forest, she must decide if she'll use it, even though such magic is forbidden.

Uglies -- Westerfeld, Scott.  (YA, 406p)

Tally is faced with a difficult choice when her new friend Shay decides to risk life on the outside rather than submit to the forced operation that turns sixteen year old girls into gorgeous beauties, and realizes that there is a whole new side to the pretty world that she doesn't like.

Waiting for normal -- Connor, Leslie.  (RL 5.8, 290p)

Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with her mother's erratic behavior and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters when she and her mother go to live in a small trailer by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York.

Wild things -- Carmichael, Clay.  (RL 5.3, 245p)

Stubborn, self-reliant, eleven-year-old Zoe, recently orphaned, moves to the country to live with her prickly half-uncle, a famous doctor and sculptor, and together they learn about trust and the strength of family.

Woods runner -- Paulsen, Gary.  (RL 5.5, 164p)

From his 1776 Pennsylvania homestead, thirteen-year-old Samuel, who is a highly-skilled woodsman, sets out toward New York City to rescue his parents from the band of British soldiers and Native Americans who kidnapped them after slaughtering most of their community. Includes historical notes.

Zane and the hurricane: a story of Katrina -- Philbrick, W. R.  (RL 5.7, 181p)

A twelve-year-old boy and his dog become trapped in New Orleans during the horrors of Hurricane Katrina.