Reading Olympics 2019 List: Middle School
Al Capone Does My Shirts — Choldenko, Gennifer (RL 3.5, 228p)
A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards' families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister.
The Boy Who Dared — Bartoletti, Susan Campbell (RL 4.9, 202p)
In October 1942, seventeen-year-old Helmuth Hubener, imprisoned for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets, recalls his past life and how he came to dedicate himself to bring the truth about Hitler and the war to the German people.
Call of the Klondike: a true gold rush adventure — Meissner, David (RL 7, 167p)
Through telegrams, letters, diary entries, and newspaper articles, retells the true story of Will Stanley Pearce and Marshall Bond's adventure as prospectors in Dawson City, Canada, during the Klondike gold rush.
Chains — Anderson, Laurie Halse (RL 5.2, 316p)
After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.
The City of Ember — DuPrau, Jeanne (RL 5, 270p)
In the city of Ember, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions.
Counting by 7s — Sloan, Holly Goldberg (RL 5.3, 380p)
Twelve-year-old genius and outsider Willow Chance must figure out how to connect with other people and find a surrogate family for herself after her parents are killed in a car accident.
Doll Bones — Black, Holly (RL 5.4, 244p)
Zach, Alice, and Poppy, friends from a Pennsylvania middle school who have long enjoyed acting out imaginary adventures with dolls and action figures, embark on a real-life quest to Ohio to bury a doll made from the ashes of a dead girl.
Dovey Coe — Dowell, Frances O'Roark (RL 5.4, 181p)
Accused of murder in her North Carolina mountain town in 1928, Dovey Coe, a strong-willed twelve-year-old girl, comes to a new understanding of others, including her deaf brother, as she attempts to clear her name.
Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library — Grabenstein, Chris (RL 4.5, 291p)
Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous game maker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.
Esperanza Rising — Ryan, Pam Munoz (RL 6.2, 262p)
Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.
Flying Lessons & other stories (RL 4.5, 218p)
From basketball dreams and family fiascos to first crushes and new neighborhoods, this anthology, written by award-winning children's authors, celebrates the uniqueness and universality in all of us.
Flying Solo — Fletcher, Ralph J. (RL 5.8, 138p)
Rachel, having chosen to be mute following the sudden death of a classmate, shares responsibility with the other sixth-graders who decide not to report that the substitute teacher failed to show up.
Found — Haddix, Margaret Peterson (RL 5, 314p)
When thirteen-year-olds Jonah and Chip, who are both adopted, learn they were discovered on a plane that appeared out of nowhere, full of babies with no adults on board, they realize that they have uncovered a mystery involving time travel and two opposing forces, each trying to repair the fabric of time.
George — Gino, Alex (RL 5, 195p)
When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl. George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part... because she's a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.
Ghost — Reynolds, Jason (RL 4.6, 181p)
Ghost, a naturally talented runner and troublemaker, is recruited for an elite middle school track team. He must stay on track, literally and figuratively, to reach his full potential.
Goose Chase — Kindl, Patrice (RL 6.5, 214p)
Rather than marry a cruel king or a seemingly dim-witted prince, an enchanted goose girl endures imprisonment, capture by several ogresses, and other dangers, before learning exactly who she is.
The Green Bicycle — Al-Mansour, Haifaa (RL 5.6, 346p)
Since girls do not ride bikes in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, eleven year old Wadjda has to scheme to get her own.
Heir Apparent — Vande Velde, Vivian (RL 7.6, 315p)
While playing a total immersion virtual reality game of kings and intrigue, fourteen-year-old Giannine learns that demonstrators have damaged the equipment to which she is connected, and she must win the game quickly or be damaged herself.
Homeless Bird — Whelan, Gloria (RL 5.3, 186p)
When thirteen-year-old Koly enters into an ill-fated arranged marriage, she must either suffer a destiny dictated by India's tradition or find the courage to oppose it.
Hope Was Here — Bauer, Joan (RL 5.1, 186p)
When sixteen-year-old Hope and the aunt who has raised her move from Brooklyn to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, to work as waitress and cook in the Welcome Stairways diner, they become involved with the diner owner's political campaign to oust the town's corrupt mayor.
The House of the Scorpion — Farmer, Nancy (RL 5.1, 380p)
In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patron, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus — Bowling, Dusti (RL 6.5, 262p)
Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she'll have to answer the question over and over again. Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. It's hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven's about to discover she can do it all...even without arms.
The King of Mulberry Street — Napoli, Donna Jo (RL 4, 245p)
Dom, a nine-year old stowaway from Naples, Italy, arrives in New York and must learn to survive the perils of street life in the big city.
The Lions of Little Rock — Levine, Kristin (RL 3.9, 298p)
Twelve-year-old Marlee develops a strong friendship with Liz, the new girl in school, but when Liz suddenly stops attending school and Marlee hears a rumor that her friend is actually an African American girl passing herself off as white, the two young girls must decide whether their friendship is worth taking on integration and the dangers it could bring to their families.
The Maze — Hobbs, Will (RL 4.2, 248p)
Rick, a fourteen-year-old foster child, escapes from a juvenile detention facility near Las Vegas and travels to Canyonlands National Park in Utah where he meets a bird biologist working on a project to reintroduce condors to the wild.
The Name of This Book is Secret — Bosch, Pseudonymous (RL 5.6, 360p)
Cassandra and Max find a missing magician's notebook and start to investigate the fire which burnt down his house and his mysterious "symphony of smells."
One Came Home — Timberlake, Amy (RL 4.8, 257p)
In 1871 Wisconsin, thirteen-year-old Georgia sets out to find her sister Agatha, presumed dead when remains are found wearing the dress she was last seen in, and before the end of the year gains fame as a sharpshooter and foiler of counterfeiters.
Paperboy — Vawter, Vince (RL 5.1, 224p)
When an eleven-year-old boy takes over a friend's newspaper route in July, 1959, in Memphis, his debilitating stutter makes for a memorable month.
Refugee — Gratz, Alan (RL 6.1, 338p)
Although separated by continents and decades, Josef, a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a Cuban girl trying to escape the riots and unrest plaguing her country in 1994; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence and destruction, embark on harrowing journeys in search of refuge, discovering shocking connections that tie their stories together.
Salt: a story of friendship in a time of war — Frost, Helen (RL 4.3, 138p)
Twelve-year-olds Anikwa, of the Miami village of Kekionga, and James, of the trading post outside Fort Wayne, find their friendship threatened by the rising fear and tension brought by the War of 1812.
Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World: the extraordinary true story of Shackleton and the Endurance — Armstrong, Jennifer (RL 6.5, 134p)
Describes the events of the 1914 Shackleton Antarctic expedition when, after being trapped in a frozen sea for nine months, their ship, Endurance, was finally crushed, forcing Shackleton and his men to make a very long and perilous journey to reach inhabited land.
Smiles to Go — Spinelli, Jerry (RL 6.9, 248p)
Will Tuppence's life has always been ruled by science and common sense but in ninth grade, shaken up by the discovery that protons decay, he begins to see the entire world differently and gains new perspective on his relationships with his little sister and two closest friends.
SOS Titanic — Bunting, Eve (RL 6, 243p)
Fifteen-year-old Barry O'Neill, traveling from Ireland to America on the maiden voyage of the Titanic, finds his life endangered when the ship hits an iceberg and begins to sink.
Stolen Into Slavery: the true story of Solomon Northup, free Black man — Fradin, Judith Bloom (RL 7.1, 120p)
Recounts the experiences of Solomon Northup, an African American man who was kidnapped into slavery and suffered through twelve years of bondage before being rescued from the Louisiana cotton plantation by friends from New York.
Stormbreaker — Horowitz, Anthony (RL 5.5, 234p)
After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is coerced to continue his uncle's dangerous work for Britain's intelligence agency, MI6.
The Thief — Turner, Megan Whalen (RL 6, 219p)
Gen flaunts his ingenuity as a thief and relishes the adventure which takes him to a remote temple of the gods where he will attempt to steal a precious stone.
The Thing About Luck — Kadohata, Cynthia (RL 4.7, 269p)
Just when twelve-year-old Summer thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong in a year of bad luck, an emergency takes her parents to Japan, leaving Summer to care for her little brother while helping her grandmother cook and do laundry for harvest workers.
The Third Eye — Duncan, Lois (YA, 254p)
High school senior Karen, who worries that her psychic powers will make her seem different from other people, is frightened when a young policeman asks her to use her gift to help locate missing children.
The Trial: a novel — Bryant, Jennifer (RL 6.7, 169p)
Living in Flemington, New Jersey, in 1935, twelve-year-old Katie Leigh Flynn describes, in a series of poems, the effect on her small town of the ongoing trial of Bruno Hauptmann for the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh's baby son.
Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team — Sheinkin, Steve (RL 6.8, 280p)
A great American sport and Native American history come together in this true story of how Jim Thorpe and Pop Warner created the legendary Carlisle Indians football team.
The Water Castle — Blakemore, Megan Frazer (RL 4.9, 344p)
Moving into an inherited mansion in Maine with their mother and stroke-afflicted father, three siblings uncover a mystery involving hidden passageways, family rivalries, and healing waters.
The Wishing Spell — Colfer, Chris (RL 5, 438p)
Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, twins Alex and Conner leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.
Wolf Hollow: a novel — Wolk, Lauren (RL 4.6, 291p)
Twelve-year-old Annabelle must learn to stand up for what's right in the face of a manipulative and violent new bully who targets people Annabelle cares about, including a homeless World War I veteran.
The Worst Class Trip Ever — Barry, Dave (RL 4.8, 214p)
When the eighth grade civics class of Miami's Culver Middle School goes on a trip to Washington, D.C., Wyatt Palmer finds himself in deep trouble before the plane even lands because his best friend, Matt, has decided the men sitting behind them are terrorists and it is up to the boys to stop them.
A Wrinkle in Time: the graphic novel — Larson, Hope (RL 4.4, 392p)
A graphic novel adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time in which Meg Murry, her brother Charles, and their friend Calvin, embark on a journey through space and time, assisted by three otherworldly women, when they set out to find Meg's father, a physicist who disappeared while experimenting with time travel.