Brown Middle School

Welcome Message

Welcome to the Brown Middle School Suggested Summer Reading List!

If you are a student entering fifth or sixth grade you are asked to read regularly this summer and complete a minimum of four titles by the time you enter Brown in the fall.

You are pros at choosing "just right" books from fiction and nonfiction genres and have built stamina for reading. We hope you will take charge of your reading lives and develop a list of books, authors, or topics that you plan to read and explore this summer.

You've been developing the skills to talk about your reading with your peers and adults and we hope that you will continue to have opportunities to do so during the summer. The Scranton Library is an invaluable resource to help you find books, audiobooks, magazines and library programs to connect with other readers.

The Brown Suggested Summer Reading list is a compilation of our students’ favorite titles, authors, genres, and resources that we hope will help guide your reading all summer long! However, you are free to read whatever you may enjoy!

Please use the menu above to navigate through the many genres. In September, please submit a list of books that you have read to your Language Arts teacher.

Happy Reading!

Recording Sheet


Brown Middle School's Rainbow of Reading color book covers arranged in a rainbow of shades

Ghost by Reynolds, Jason

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

Ms. Bixby's Last Day by Anderson, John David

Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she is very sick and won't be able to finish the school year, and Topher, Brand and Steve come up with a plan to tell her how much she means to them.

Cloud and Wallfish by Nesbet, Anne

A lonely boy in East Germany meets a girl one floor below him, and together, they find their way in the world as the Wall--and walls--close in on them.

The Charming Life of Izzy Malone by Lundquist, Jenny

Izzy Malone is challenged to participate in unconventional manners-themed exercises after being enrolled in a home-study etiquette school

A Bandit's Tale : The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket by Hopkinson, Deborah

In March of 1887, Rocco, an eleven-year-old from an Italian village, arrives in New York City where he is forced to live in squalor and beg for money as a street musician, but he finds the city's cruelty to children and animals intolerable and sets out to make things better, whatever the cost to himself.

Stella by Starlight by Draper, Sharon M

When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.

Raymie Nightingale by DiCamillo, Kate

Hoping that if she wins a local beauty pageant her father will come home, Raymie practices twirling a baton and performing good deeds as she is drawn into an unlikely friendship with a drama queen and a saboteur.

The Flinkwater factor : a novel in five thrilling episodes by Hautman, Pete

Thirteen-year-old Ginger investigates a series of weird events taking place in her home town of Flinkwater, Iowa, beginning with people falling into comas while using their computers.

Nutmeg Nominees



How They Croaked by Georgia Bragg

Bragg, Georgia: How they croaked : the awful ends of the awfully famous
This fascinating collection of remarkable deaths relays all the gory details of how 19 world figures gave up the ghost, including King Tut, Julius Caesar, George Washington, Edgar Allan Poe, and Henry VIII. Illustrations.

Phineas Gage by John Fleischman

Fleischman, John: Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science
This is the true story of Phineas Gage, whose brain had been pierced by an iron rod in 1848, and who survived and became a case study in how the brain functions.

Lafayette and the American Revolution by Russell Freedman

Freedman, Russell: Lafayette and the American Revolution
Freedman examines the role of the Marquis de Lafayette in the American Revolution, and discusses how the nineteen-year-old defied the king of France to join the fight for liberty in the United States.

Mysterious Bones by Katherine Kirkpatrick

Kirkpatrick, Katherine: Mysterious Bones: The Story of Kennewick Man
This book looks at the 1996 discovery of a nearly complete ancient human skeleton along a bank of the Columbia River in Kennewick, Washington, the legal battle that followed over the status of the remains, the methods used to study them, and the surprises that they revealed.

Lincoln's Spymaster by Samantha Seiple

Seiple, Samantha: Lincoln's Spymaster: Allan Pinkerton, America's First Private Eye
A biography of the Scottish immigrant barrel-maker whose side line detective work developed into the oldest and most famous detective agency in the United States.

Other Suggested Authors

James Lincoln Collier, Tomie De Paola, Dennis B. Fradin, Jean Fritz, Nikki Grimes, Eric A. Kimmel, Walter Dean Myers, Andrea Davis Pinkney

Fantasy and Science Fiction

Fantasy & Science Fiction

Both Fantasy and Science Fiction are popular genres for our readers. They are tales of magic, amazing creatures, possibilities of the fantastic...or all of the above!

Fforde, Cornelia: The Last Dragonslayer
Orphaned brothers Prosper and Bo, having run away from their cruel aunt and uncle, decide to hide out in Venice where they fall in with the Thief Lord, a thirteen-year-old boy who leads a crime ring of street children. Book two: Song of the Quarkbeast . 2015 Teen Nutmeg Nominee

Hale, Shannon: Book of a Thousand Days
Fifteen-year-old Dashti, sworn to obey her sixteen-year-old mistress, the Lady Saren, shares Saren's years of punishment locked in a tower, then brings her safely to the lands of her true love, where both must hide who they are as they work as kitchen maids.

Mike Stellar:  Nerves of Steel by K.A. Holt

Holt, K. A.: Mike Stellar: nerves of steel
Mike is suspicious when his family joins an expedition to Mars at the last minute, and his fears are confirmed when all of the adults on the colonizing mission, including his parents, begin to act strangely.

Mossflower by Brian Jacques

Jacques, Brian: Mossflower
Martin the warrior mouse and Gonff the mouse thief set out to find the missing ruler of Mossflower, while the other animal inhabitants of the woodland prepare to rebel against the evil wildcat who has seized power. This is the beginning of a famous and favorite series.

The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill

Barnhill, Kelly Regan: The Witch's Boy
When a Bandit King comes to take the magic that Ned's mother, a witch, is meant to protect, the stuttering, weak boy villagers think should have drowned rather than his twin summons the strength to protect his family and community, while in the woods, the bandit's daughter puzzles over a mystery that ties her to Ned.

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

Funke, Cornelia Caroline: Inkheart
Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father Mo, a bookbinder, can "read" fictional characters to life when an evil ruler named Capricorn, freed from the novel "Inkheart" years earlier, tries to force Mo to release an immortal monster from the story.

The Unwanteds by Lisa McMinn

McMinn, Lisa: The Unwanteds
In a society that purges thirteen-year-olds who are creative, identical twins Aaron and Alex are separated, one to attend University while the other, supposedly Eliminated, finds himself in a wondrous place where youths hone their abilities and learn magic. Book two: Island of Silence. 2015 Teen Nutmeg Nominee

Virals by Kathy Reichs

Reichs, Kathy: Virals
Tory Brennan and her friends are exposed to a canine parvovirus when they rescue a dog from a medical testing facility and soon realize they have heightened senses, which they use to solve a cold case murder.

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Riordan, Rick: The Lightning Thief
Percy, expelled from six schools for being unable to control his temper, learns the truth from his mother that his father is the Greek god Poseidon, and is sent to Camp Half Blood where he is befriended by a satyr and the demigod daughter of Athena who join him in a journey to the Underworld to retrieve Zeus's lightning bolt and prevent a catastrophic war.

Golden Door by Emily Rodda

Rodda, Emily: Golden Door
At night the skimmers fly over the Wall looking for human prey and the people of Weld huddle in their houses, but after his two brothers set out through the magic doors in an attempt to find the Enemy and do not come back, young Rye knows that he must follow and find them.

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

Scott, Michael: The Alchemyst: Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel
Fifteen-year-old twins, Sophie and Josh, find themselves caught up in the deadly struggle between rival alchemists, Nicholas Flamel and John Dee, over the possession of an ancient book that holds the secret formulas for alchemy and everlasting life. Book number one of Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel series.

Michael Vey by Richard Paul Evans

Evans, Richard Paul: Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25
Fourteen-year-old Michael discovers he has special electrical powers and, with the help of his best friends, becomes aware that there are other teens with similar powers, but something or someone is hunting them and, after Michael's mother is kidnapped, he will need to rely on his powers and his friends to rescue his mom, protect himself, and save the others.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Dashner, James: The Maze Runner
Sixteen-year-old Thomas wakes up with no memory in the middle of a maze and realizes he must work with the community in which he finds himself if he is to escape.

I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore

Pittacus, Lore: I am Number Four
In rural Ohio, friendships and a beautiful girl prove distracting to a fifteen-year-old who has hidden on Earth for ten years waiting to develop the Legacies, or powers, he will need to rejoin the other six surviving Garde members and fight the Mogadorians who destroyed their planet, Lorien.

Legend by Marie Lu

Lu, Marie: Legend
In a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations, fifteen-year-olds Day, a famous criminal, and prodigy June, the brilliant soldier hired to capture him, discover that they have a common enemy.

The Silver Bowl by Diane Stanley

Stanley, Diane: The Silver Bowl
From the age of seven when she became scullery maid in a castle, Molly has seen visions of the future which, years later, lead her and friend Tobias on an adventure to keep Alaric, the heir to the throne, safe from a curse.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Tolkien. J. R. R. : The Hobbit
Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, becomes a thief for a band of dwarves and soon finds himself in the midst of a war with the evil goblins and wargs, and forced to make a decision between the call of duty and the pull of the simple life.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Applegate, Katherine: The One and Only Ivan
When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.

Powerless by Matthew Cody

Cody, Matthew: Powerless
Soon after moving to Noble's Green, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Daniel learns that his new friends have super powers that they will lose when they turn thirteen, unless he can use his brain power to protect them.

Keeper of Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger

Messenger, Shannon: Keeper of the Lost Cities
Twelve-year-old Sophie discovers the abilities that have always caused her to stand out are because she is actually an elf and, after she is brought to Eternalia where she can hone her skills, Sophie learns she harbors certain secrets that others would kill to learn.

Five Kingdom by Brandon Mull

Mull, Brandon: Five Kingdoms: Sky Raiders
Whisked through a portal to The Outskirts, an in-between world, sixth-grader Cole must rescue his friends and find his way back home--before his existence is forgotten.

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass

Mass, Wendy: 11 Birthdays
After celebrating their first nine same-day birthdays together, Amanda and Leo, having fallen out on their tenth and not speaking to each other for the last year, prepare to celebrate their eleventh birthday separately but peculiar things begin to happen as the day of their birthday begins to repeat itself over and over again.

Unwanteds by Lisa McMann

McMann, Lisa: The Unwanteds
In a society that purges thirteen-year-olds who are creative, identical twins Aaron and Alex are separated, one to attend University while the other, supposedly Eliminated, finds himself in a wondrous place where youths hone their abilities and learn magic.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Pfeffer, Susan Beth: Life as We Knew It
Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family's struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Aveyard, Victoria: Red Queen
In a world divided by blood--those with common, Red blood serve the Silver-blooded elite, who are gifted with superhuman abilities--seventeen-year-old Mare, a Red, discovers she has an ability of her own. To cover up this impossibility, the king forces her to play the role of a lost Silver princess and betroths her to one of his own sons. But Mare risks everything and uses her new position to help the Scarlet Guard--a growing Red rebellion--even as her heart tugs her in an impossible direction.

Graphic Novels

Graphic Novels

Graphic novels were once considered only comic books, but now encompass children and teen fiction and nonfiction. The author has made a concious effort to use art to help tell the story.

Popular Student Choices!

Asterix the Gladiator by R. Goscinny and A. Uderzo

Goscinny, R. and Uderzo, A.: Asterix and Obelix All at Sea
After Obelix drinks a potion that turns him to stone, Asterix sets out to find a cure, and along the way he finds himself on the continent of Atlantis.

Adventures of Tintin by Herge

Hergé: The Adventures of Tintin
This wildly popular series is about the global adventures of a boy and his dog, Fluffy. The series has been translated into dozens of languages.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Kinney, Jeff: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: the third wheel
As the day of the Valentine's Day dance approaches, Greg Heffley worries he will be left out until a twist of fate lands Greg with a date, but leaves his best friend, Rowley, on his own.


Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick

Selznick, Brian: Wonderstruck
This book relates the stories of twelve-year-old Ben, who loses his mother and his hearing and decides to leave his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he has never known in New York City, and Rose, who lives with her father but feels compelled to search for what is missing in her life. Ben's story is told in words; Rose's in pictures.

Bone by Jeff Smith

Smith, Jeff: Bone 1: Out From Boneville
Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone are run out of their home, Boneville, and become separated in the wilds, but better fortune begins when the three cousins reunite at a farmstead in a deep forested valley, where Fone meets a young girl named Thorn. Start here!

Desmond Pucket Makes Monster Magic by Mark Tatulli

Tatulli, Mark: Desmond Pucket makes Monster Magic
Meet Desmond Pucket--master of mayhem! Will his monster-y special effects pranks get him kicked out of middle school before the class trip to Crab Shell Pier? Or will Desmond be able to keep his monster magic in check?

I Funny by James Patterson

Patterson, James: I Funny: A Middle School Story

Jamie Grimm tries to win the Planet's Funniest Kid Comic Contest, while also dealing with his stepfamily, friends, and a school bully.

Timmy Failure by Stephen Pastis

Pastis, Stephen: Mistakes were Made

Meet Timmy Failure, the founder, president, and CEO of the best detective agency in town, probably the nation. And his lazy sidekick, Total, a 1,500-pound polar bear.

Dork Diaries by Rachel Renee Russell

Russell, Rachel Renee: Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-so-Fabulous Life

Fourteen-year-old Nikki Maxwell writes and sketches in her diary about her struggle to be popular at her exclusive new private school, and about giving up on being part of the elite group, before figuring out a way to simply be herself.

Amulet by Kazu Kabiushi

Kibuishi, Kazu: Amulet

After moving to their ancestral home, Emily and Navin's mother is kidnapped by a tentacled creature in the basement that leads the children on a deadly chase into the magical world below their home.

The Worst Years of My Life by James Patterson

Patterson, James: Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life

When Rafe Kane enters middle school, he teams up with his best friend, "Leo the Silent," to create a game to make school more fun by trying to break every rule in the school's code of conduct.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

Telgmeier, Raina: Smile

The author relates, in graphic form, her experiences after she injured her two front teeth and had to have surgeries and wear embarrassing braces and headgear, all while also dealing with the trials and tribulations of middle school.

Historical Fiction

Historical Fiction

Stories set in times and places of long ago, sometimes based on actual events.

Popular Student Choices!

The Great Trouble by Deborah Hopkinson

Hopkinson, Deborah: The Great Trouble: a mystery of London, the blue death, and a boy called Eel
For Eel, things aren't so bad until that fateful August day in 1854--the day the Great Trouble begins. Soon it's clear that the deadly cholera--the "blue death"--has come to Broad Street, London. Everyone believes that cholera is spread through poisonous air. But one man, Dr. John Snow, has a different theory. As the epidemic surges, it's up to Eel and his best friend Florrie to gather evidence to prove Snow's theory before the entire neighborhood is wiped out. Part medical mystery, part survival story, and part Dickensian adventure, Deborah Hopkinson's The Great Trouble is a celebration of a fascinating pioneer in public health and a gripping novel about the 1854 London cholera epidemic.

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Nielsen, Jennifer: A Night Divided
When the Berlin Wall went up, Gerta, her mother, and her brother Fritz were trapped on the eastern side where they were living, while her father, and her other brother Dominic were in the West--four years later, now twelve, Gerta sees her father on a viewing platform on the western side and realizes he wants her to risk her life trying to tunnel to freedom.

Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt

Schmidt, Gary: Okay for Now
Fourteen-year-old Doug Swieteck faces many challenges, including an abusive father, a brother traumatized by Vietnam, suspicious teachers and police officers, and isolation, but when he meets a girl known as Lil Spicer, he develops a close relationship with her and finds a safe place at the local library.


Iron Thunder by Avi

Avi: Iron Thunder
Thirteen-year-old Tom Carroll takes his place as head of the family after his father dies fighting for the Union; but his job at the local ironworks, where he helps build an iron ship for the Union army, and his loyalty come into question when he is approached by Confederate spies to sell secrets about the ship to the South.

Shadow of the Mountain by Margi Preus

Preus, Margi: Shadow of the Mountain
In Nazi-occupied Norway, fourteen-year-old Espen joins the resistance movement, graduating from deliverer of illegal newspapers to courier and spy.

Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

Gantos, Jack: Dead End in Norvelt
In the historic town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.

An Elephant in the Garden by Michael Morpurgo

Morpurgo, Michael: An Elephant in the Garden
Lizzie and Karl's mother, Mutti, working at a local zoo in Dresden, Germany, during World War II while their father is away fighting in France, brings home Marlene, a baby elephant that is slated to be destroyed as the Allied bombing grows closer, and when they are forced to flee, Mutti feels they must take Marlene with them, adding even more danger to their journey.

Gods and Warriors by Michelle Paver

Paver, Michelle: Gods & Warriors
In the turbulent world of the Mediterranean Bronze Age, Hylas, a lowly twelve-year-old goatherd, thief, and outsider, journeys from the Greek mountains to Crete and Egypt, making allies with animals, battling tyranny, and withstanding the elemental powers of the gods of land and sea.

The Yard War by Taylor Kitchings

Kitchings, Taylor: Yard War
Twelve-year-old Trip Westbrook lives in Jackson, Mississippi, in 1964 and discovers the underlying racism in his family and neighborhood when he invites his maid's son Dee to play football in the yard.

The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Baker Bradley

Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker: The War that Saved My Life
A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.


Karen Cushman, Patricia Reilly Giff, Karen Hesse, Mary Hooper, Kathryn Lasky, Donna Jo Napoli, Gary Paulsen, Ann Rinaldi, Cynthia Rylant, Jean Van Leeuwen, Gloria Whelan, Elvira Woodruff.

Mystery & Suspense

Mystery & Suspense

Stories that unfold...sometimes suspenseful, sometimes scary!
Popular Student Choices!

Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn

Hahn, Mary Downing: Closed for the Season
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.

Spy School by Stuart Gibbs

Gibbs, Stuart: Spy School
Twelve-year-old Ben Ripley leaves his public middle school to attend the CIA's highly secretive Espionage Academy, which everyone is told is an elite science school.

Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Haddix, Margaret Peterson: Double Identity
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.


Baccalario, Pierdomenico: Ring of Fire, Book 1, Star of Stone, Book 2, City of Wind, Book 3.
In their continuing quest to save the world from evil forces, Mistral, Elettra, Harvey, and Sheng meet again in Paris where they must search for the mysterious veil of Isis reportedly hidden in the heart of the city.

The Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch

Bosch, Pseudonymous: The Name of this Book is Secret
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."

The Fire Within by Chris D' Lacey

D'Lacey, Chris: The Fire Within
College student David Rain rents a room in an unusual boardinghouse full of clay dragons, not realizing that they, along with some lively squirrels, will help jumpstart his writing career.

Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

Horowitz, Anthony: Alex Rider: Stormbreaker
Book number one of this fantastic adventure series
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.

Kingdom Keepers I:  Disney after Dark

Pearson, Ridley: Kingdom Keepers I: Disney after Dark
Thirteen-year-old Finn Whitman and four other young teens have been transformed into holograms to be guides for visitors to Disney World, but now they must do battle with the evil witch, Maleficent, and her Overtakers to save Walt Disney World.

Poached by Stuart Gibbs

Gibbs, Stuart: Poached
Twelve-year-old Teddy Fitzroy is the prime suspect when FunJungle's newly-acquired koala goes missing, thanks to a prank staged by middle school bully Vance Jessup.

The Genius Files by Dan Gutman

Gutman, Dan :Mission Unstoppable
On a cross-country vacation with their parents, twins Coke and Pepsi, soon to be thirteen, fend off strange assassins as they try to come to terms with their being part of a top-secret government organization known as The Genius Files.

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel

Oppel, Kenneth: Airborn
Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportedly living hundreds of feet above the Earth's surface.

Theodore Boon: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham

Grisham, John: Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer
Thirteen-year-old Theodore Boone, who knows every judge, police officer, and court clerk in the small town of Strattenburg, finds himself involved in a murder trial because of knowledge he might have about a cold-blooded killer.


Caroline B. Cooney, Cynthia C. DeFelice, Bruce Hale, F.E. Higgins, Odo Hirsch, James Howe, Gloria Skurzynski,

Realistic Fiction

Realistic Fiction

Stories about kids like you!

Counting by 7s by Holly Sloan Sloan, Holly Goldberg: Counting by 7s
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.

Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

Connor, Leslie: Waiting for Normal
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. 2012 Nutmeg Book Award Nominee

The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies

Davies, Jacqueline: The Lemonade War
Evan and his younger sister, Jesse, react very differently to the news that they will be in the same class for fourth grade and as the end of summer approaches, they battle it out through lemonade stands, each trying to be the first to earn 100 dollars. Includes mathematical calculations and tips for running a successful lemonade stand.

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Spinelli, Jerry: Stargirl
At first the students at Arizona's Mica High School are captivated by Stargirl Caraway's unusual, carefree behavior; however, she is soon shunned for everything that makes her unique in this story that pits individuality against conformity.

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

Van Draanen, Wendlin: The Running Dream
When a school bus accident leaves sixteen-year-old Jessica an amputee, she returns to school with a prosthetic limb and her track team finds a wonderful way to help rekindle her dream of running again.

Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

Sonnenblick, Jordan: Drums, Girls, + Dangerous Pie
When his younger brother is diagnosed with leukemia, thirteen-year-old Steven tries to deal with his complicated emotions, his school life, and his desire to support his family.

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Palacio, R.J.: Wonder
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

Schmidt, Gary: Orbiting Jupiter
Jack, 12, tells the gripping story of Joseph, 14, who joins his family as a foster child. Damaged in prison, Joseph wants nothing more than to find his baby daughter, Jupiter, whom he has never seen. When Joseph has begun to believe he'll have a future, he is confronted by demons from his past that force a tragic sacrifice




Steampunk is similar to science fiction but it is often set in Victorian England or the American Wild West. It often use steam-powered machinery and is frequently action-packed and suspenseful. Jules Verne was an old master of the Steampunk genre which today includes authors such as Matt Kirby, Eoin McNamee, Phillip Pullman, and Phillip Reeve,

The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer

Colfer, Eoin: The Reluctant Assassin (Book #1 W.A.R.P. Series)
In Victorian London, Albert Garrick, an assassin-for-hire, and his reluctant young apprentice, Riley, are transported via wormhole to modern London, where Riley teams up with a young FBI agent to stop Garrick from returning to his own time and using his newly acquired scientific knowledge and power to change the world forever.

The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

Bachmann, Stefan: The Peculiar
Changeling Bartholomew Kettle, having been locked away by his mother to protect him from humans and faeries who would want him dead for being half-human and half-faery, witnesses another changeling being kidnapped by a beautiful and mysterious figure, and, after hearing of the bodies of changelings being found dead and marked with a red tattoo, he realizes he is the next target and must figure out a way to stay alive. Book one of a new series.

The Clockwork Three by Matthew Kirby

Kirby, Matthew: The Clockwork Three
As mysterious circumstances bring Giuseppe, Frederick, and Hannah together, their lives soon interlock like the turning gears in a clock and they realize that each one holds a key to solving the others' mysteries.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Selznick, Brian: The Invention of Hugo Cabret
When twelve-year-old Hugo, an orphan living and repairing clocks within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toy seller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are jeopardized. Caldecott Medal 2008

Student Picks

Brown Student Picks: popular at Brown all school year!

Because of Mr. Terupt by Ron Buyea

Buyea, Rob: Because of Mr. Terupt (series)
Seven fifth-graders at Snow Hill School in Connecticut relate how their lives are changed for the better by "rookie teacher" Mr. Terupt. 2013 Nutmeg Book Award Winner Sequel: Mr. Terupt Falls Again

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper Draper, Sharon: Out of My Mind
Eleven-year-old Melody has a photographic memory. Her head is like a video camera that is always recording. She's the smartest kid in her whole school—but no one knows it. If only she could speak up, if only she could tell people what she thinks and knows . . . but she can't, because Melody can't talk. She can't walk. She can't write. Being stuck inside her head is making Melody go out of her mind—that is, until she discovers something that will allow her to speak for the first time ever. From multiple Coretta Scott King Award winner Sharon M. Draper comes a story full of heartache and hope. Get ready to meet a girl whose voice you'll never, ever forget.

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg SloanSloan, Holly Goldberg: Counting by 7s
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.

Michael Vey:  The prisoner of cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans Evans, Richard Paul: Michael Vey : the prisoner of cell 25 (series)
Fourteen-year-old Michael discovers he has special electrical powers and, with the help of his best friends, becomes aware that there are other teens with similar powers, but something or someone is hunting them and, after Michael's mother is kidnapped, he will need to rely on his powers and his friends to rescue his mom, protect himself, and save the others.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Rowling, J.K.: Harry Potter
Any of these books are terrific, but if they are new to you, start with The Sorcerer’s Stone, the one where it all begins. Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry



Often readers are more attracted to nonfiction for pleasure reading. We offer these titles as a possible foray into new territories.

Popular Student Choices!

Ancient Civilizations

Fullman, Joseph: Ancient Civilizations
The most trusted nonfiction series on the market, Eyewitness Books provide an in-depth, comprehensive look at their subjects with a unique integration of words and pictures. From the intriguing world of pharaohs in Ancient Egypt, to the arts of Greece and Rome, to the amazing culture of the Mayans, Eyewitness: Ancient Civilizations looks at the world's most fascinating societies and the legacies they left behind.

Myths Busted by Emily Krieger

Krieger, Emily: Myths Busted! Just when you thought you knew what you knew
Did you know fortune cookies aren't even found in China? Or that alligators don't actually live in the sewers of New York City? Want to prove it to your friends? This book gives kids the tools to break and bust wild and wacky myths from around the world. These myths reveal a broad range of historical and scientific truths that keep kids learning while interacting with their favorite fictional "facts."

How to Speak Dog by Aline Alexander Newman

Newman, Aline Alexander: How to Speak Dog: a guide to decoding dog language
How to Speak Dog is a fun, informative, and photographically driven book that helps kids understand what their dog is trying to tell them through body language and behavior. Readers young and old will respond to the irresistible call of the canine in this delightful book that will warm hearts and wag tails everywhere--a must-have in every home where pups are looking for love and understanding.


The Chronicles of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg

The Chronicles of Harris Burdick: 14 Amazing Authors Tell the Tales (short stories)
This book presents fourteen short stories from award-winning authors based on the illustrations in Chris Van Allsburg's The Mysteries of Harris Burdick with an introduction by Lemony Snicket.

The Skull in the Rock by Lee R. Burger

Berger, Lee R.: The skull in the rock : how a scientist, a boy, and Google Earth opened a new window on human origins
Tells the story of how Professor Lee Berger and his nine-year-old son used Google Earth to find a new way to study the history of human evolution.

Better Than a Lemonade Stand by Daryl Burger

Bernstein, Daryl: Better than a Lemonade Stand: Small Business Ideas for Kids
Presents fifty-five small business ideas for kids, from creating a business plan to collecting payment, and includes supplies needed, time required, marketing, determining what to charge, success tips, and more.

D'aulaire's Book of Greek Myths

D’Aulaire, Ingrid and Edgar Parin: Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths
Presents illustrated retellings of the myths of the gods and godesses of ancient Greece and their mortal descendants.

Faces from the Past by James Deem

Deem, James M. : Faces from the Past: Forgotten People of North America
Describes the discovery of bodies in North America from fifteen to twenty thousand years ago, and discusses the evidence their remains reveal about themselves and the civilizations in which they lived.

The World in Your Lunch Box by Claire Eamer

Eamer, Claire: The World in Your Lunch Box
Explore a week of lunches--from apples to pizza--by taking a romp through thousands of years of extraordinary events. Some are amusing, like the accidental invention of potato chips. Others are tragic, such as the Spice Wars, which killed thousands of people.

Who Was First? by Russell Freedman

Freedman, Russell: Who Was First?
Examines the evidence that indicates others may have traveled to the Americas before Columbus in 1492 including Viking ruins, Mayan stonework, and other mysterious objects found in New England that date before Columbus.

Wild Horse Scientists by Kay Frydenborg

Frydenborg, Kay : Wild Horse Scientists
Descriptive prose meets solid science as author Kay Frydenborg offers a rare glimpse into the wild herds of Assateague, sharing beautiful photos of the Assateague herds in their island home and of both of the scientists at work—some of them never seen before.

The Great Global Challenge by Clive Gifford

Gifford, Clive: The Great Global Puzzel Challenge with Google Earth
Encourages the reader to solve historic and geographic puzzles by finding specific locations using Google Earth coordinates and then searching for clues to ultimately discover the final location.

Unbored by Glenn Joshua

Glenn, Joshua: Unbored : the essential field guide to serious fun
A collection of games for the entire family.

Alien Deep by Bradley Hague

Hague, Bradley: Alien deep : revealing the mysterious living world at the bottom of the ocean
This engaging reference book depicts adventurous and thrilling elements in oceanographic fieldwork.

Super Nature by Derek Harvey

Harvey, Derek: Super nature encyclopedia: the 100 most incredible creatures on the planet
Introduces one hundred animals, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates, and addresses anatomy, senses, and animal lifestyles.

Zombie Makers by Rebecca Johnson

Johnson, Rebecca L.: Zombie makers: true stories of nature's undead
Zombie Makers: why and how -- Glossary. Examines real-life accounts of zombies in nature, including a fly-enslaving fungus, a suicide worm, and a cockroach-taming wasp, and related topics.

Book of Blood by H.P. Newquist

Newquist, H. P.: The book of blood : from legends and leeches to vampires and veins
This is an engaging tour of the world of blood, from ancient history to modern science—with an occasional trip to the very strange side of the most important tissue in our bodies. And if this account is a little bloodcurdling, well, that's half the fun!

Seymour Simon's Extreme Earth

Simon, Seymour: Seymour Simon's extreme earth records
Examines extreme weather conditions throughout the world, discussing the hottest, coldests, rainiest and driest places on Earth.

Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson

Swanson, James L.: Chasing Lincoln’s Killer
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.

This is Rocket Science by Gloria Skurzinski

Skurzinski, Gloria: This is Rocket Science
Shares the stories of scientists throughout history who have contributed to the field of space exploration, and provides information about developments in the field.