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Polson's Favorite Authors
Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson
As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel's little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state.The Boy at the Top of the Mountain by John Boyne
A young orphan ends up living in Hitler's home during WWII.
The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox
In 1940, during the Blitz, Katherine, Robbie and Amelie Bateson are sent north to a private school in Rookskill Castle in Scotland, a brooding place, haunted by dark magic from the past--but when some of their classmates disappear Katherine has to find out if the cause is hidden in the past or very much in the present.Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz
Based on the life of Jack Gruener, this book relates his story of survival from the Nazi occupation of Krakow, when he was eleven, through a succession of concentration camps, to the final liberation of Dachau.
Projekt 1065 by Alan Gratz
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.Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix
In 1927, at the urging of twenty‐one‐year‐old Harriet, Mrs. Livingston reluctantly recalls her experiences at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory. She includes the miserable working conditions that led to a strike, and the fire that took the lives of her two best friends, when Harriet, the boss's daughter, was only five years old.Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham
When Rowan finds a skeleton on her family's property, investigating the brutal, century-old murder leads to painful discoveries about the past. Alternating chapters tell the story of William, another teen grappling with the racial firestorm leading up to the 1921 Tulsa race riot, providing some clues to the mysteryThe Bicycle Spy by Yona McDonough
Twelve-year-old Marcel loves riding his bicycle, and dreams of competing in the Tour de France, but it is 1942 and German soldiers are everywhere, stopping him as he delivers bread from his parents' bakery around Aucoin--then one day he discovers that it is not just bread he is delivering, and suddenly he finds himself in possession of dangerous secrets about his parents and his new friend from Paris, Delphine.A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen
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.Rise of the Wolf by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Now a driver in the chariot races, Nic is still a target of the Praetors because of the magical amulet he found, and they will do anything to get their hands on it--and meanwhile Atroxia is beginning to wake up.Shadow on the Mountain by Matthew Preus
In Nazi-occupied Norway, fourteen-year-old Espen joins the resistance movement, graduating from deliverer of illegal newspapers to courier and spy.
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
Lost in the Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and finds himself entwined in a prophecy, a promise, a harmonica--and decades later three children. Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California find themselves caught up in the same thread of destiny during WWII, struggling to keep their families intact, and tied together by the music of the same harmonica.Hunt for the Bamboo Rat by Salisbury, Graham:
Zenji Watanabe, seventeen, is sent from Hawaii to the Philippines to spy on the Japanese during World War II. After he is captured and tortured, he must find a way to survive months of being lost in the jungle behind enemy lines.The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh‐grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker's classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare.Between Shades of Gray by Sepetys, Ruta
In 1941, fifteen‐year‐old Lina, her mother, and brother are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia. There her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life. She vows to honor her family and the thousands like her by burying her story in a jar on Lithuanian soil.Berlin Boxing Club by Robert Sharenow
In 1936 Berlin, fourteen‐year‐old Karl Stern, considered Jewish despite a non‐religious upbringing, learns to box from the legendary Max Schmeling while struggling with the realities of the Holocaust.The Warden's Daughter by Jerry Spinelli
A teenage girl who lives with her father, a prison warden, looks to inmates for a mother figure, only to find herself in the process.
Revolution by Deborah Wiles
It's 1964 in Greenwood, Mississippi, and Sunny's town is being invaded by people from up north who are coming to help people register to vote. Her personal life isn't much better, as a new stepmother, brother, and sister are crowding into her life, giving her little room to breathe.Woodson, Jacqueline: Brown Girl Dreaming
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.
Zusak, Mark: The Book Thief
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel‐‐a young German girl whose bookstealing and story‐telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.
The Leaving by Tara Altebrando
Six kindergarteners were taken. Eleven years later, five come back--with no idea of where they've been. No one remembers the sixth victim, Max. Avery, Max's sister, needs to find her brother--dead or alive--and isn't buying this whole memory-loss storyThe Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry
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 themBodeen, S.A: The Compound and Fallout
Fifteen‐year‐old Eli, locked inside a radiation‐proof compound built by his father to keep them safe following a nuclear attack, begins to question his future, as well as his father's grip on sanity as the family's situation steadily disintegrates over the course of six years.
Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter
Desperate to protect her younger brother Jamie, Grace Blakely, her brother, and her friend Alexei are on the run from the forces in Adria who threaten them because Jamie is the true heir to the throne--but it is hard to hide from Prime Minister Alexandra Petrovic and the the secret society that is part of Grace's family heritage, and even harder to know who to trust.
No Such Person by Caroline Cooney
A murder mystery in a small town on the Connecticut River raises suspicions when a member of a well-regarded family in the community is implicated.
Janie Face to Face by Caroline Cooney
Book 5 of Face on the Milk Carton series. At college in New York City, Janie Johnson, aka Jennie Spring, seems to have successfully left behind her past as "The face on the milk carton," but soon she is pursued by a true‐crime writer who wants her help in telling her kidnapper's tale.
Effie Starr Has One More Question by Martha Freeman
City girl Effie Starr Zook is not excited about spending the summer on her aunt and uncle's farm in Nowheresville, Pennsylvania, until she stumbles across a mystery that leads her smack into an old family feud.Belly Up series by Stuart Gibbs
The first of the FunJungle series. Twelve-year-old Teddy investigates when a popular Texas zoo's star attraction--Henry the hippopotamus--is murdered.
Followed by Poached and Big Game
Girl, Stolen by April Henry
When an impulsive carjacking turns into a kidnapping, Griffin, a high school dropout, finds himself more in sympathy with his wealthy, blind victim, sixteen-year-old Cheyenne, than with his greedy father.
The Body in the Woods by April Henry
While helping the Portland County Sheriff's Search and Rescue to seek a missing autistic man, teens Alexis, Nick, and Ruby find instead, a body and join forces to find the girl's murderer, forming an unlikely friendship, as well.
Blood Will Tell by April Henry Sequel to The Body in the Woods
Teen Portland Search and Rescue team member Nick Walker becomes a prime suspect in a murder
Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.
Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz: The Alex Rider 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.
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Rory, from Louisiana, is spending a year at a London boarding school when she witnesses a murder by a Jack the Ripper copycat and becomes involved with the very unusual investigation.
Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham
When Rowan finds a skeleton on her family's property, investigating the brutal, century-old murder leads to painful discoveries about the past. Alternating chapters tell the story of William, another teen grappling with the racial firestorm leading up to the 1921 Tulsa race riot, providing some clues to the mystery.
Rescued from the gallows in 1850s London, young orphan and thief Mary Quinn is offered a place at Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls where she is trained to be part of an all‐female investigative unit called The Agency. Titles: A Spy in the House; The Body at the Tower
Click Here to Start by Denis Markell
When Ted inherits his uncle's apartment "and all the treasure within," he realizes the apartment is set up like a real-life video game and must solve the puzzles with his friends to discover the treasure.
At Greenglass House, a smuggler's inn, twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers' adopted son, plans to spend his winter holidays relaxing, but soon guests are arriving with strange stories about the house that send Milo and Meddy, the cook's daughter, on an adventure.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Sixteen-year-old Jacob, having traveled to a remote island after a family tragedy, discovers an abandoned orphanage, and, after some investigating, he learns the children who lived there may have been dangerous and quarantined and may also still be alive.
The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
In 1665 London, fourteen-year-old Christopher Rowe, apprentice to an apothecary, and his best friend Tom try to uncover the truth behind a mysterious cult, following a trail of puzzles, codes, pranks, and danger toward an unearthly secret with the power to tear the world apart.
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.
Viola in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani
Fourteen year old Viola is sent from her beloved Brooklyn to boarding school in Indiana for ninth grade. She must overcome her initial reservations as she makes friends with her roommates, goes on a real date, and uses the unsettling ghost she keeps seeing as the subject of a short film‐‐her first.
The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage (Book 2 of Mo & Dale Mysteries)
When Miss Lana accidentally buys a haunted inn at the Tupelo Landing town auction, Desperado Detectives--aka Mo LoBeau and her best friend Dale--opens up a paranormal division to solve the ghost's identity before the town's big 250th anniversary bash
Bowers, Rick: Spies of Mississippi: The True Story of the Spy Network that Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement
Chronicles how the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission attempted to halt racial integration in the 1950s and 1960s through an extensive propaganda effort to label civil rights leaders and their followers as communists.
Brown, Daniel James Boys in the Boat: A True Story of an American Team's Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics. Out of the depths of the Great Depression comes the astonishing tale of nine working-class boys from the American West who at the 1936 Olympics showed the world what true grit really meant. With rowers who were the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington's eight-oar crew was never expected to defeat the elite East Coast teams, yet they did, going on to shock the world by challenging the German boat rowing for Adolf Hitler.
Fleming, Candace: The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia
Details the history of Russia's last royal family, the Romanovs.
Freedman, Russell: Because They Marched: The People's Campaign for Voting Rights That Changed America Provides an account of the march for African American voting rights led by Dr. Martin Luther King in January 1965.
Freedman, Russell: War to End All Wars: World War I
This book examines World War I, the first global war in which modern weapons inflicted mass slaughter and an estimated 20 million people were killed.
Hillenbrand, Laura: Unbroken: An Olympian's Journey From Airman to Castaway to Captive A biography of Olympic runner and World War II bombardier, Louis Zamperini, who had been rambunctious in childhood before succeeding in track and eventually serving in the military, which led to a trial in which he was forced to find a way to survive in the open ocean after being shot down.
Hopkins, Deborah: Dive: World War II stories of sailors and submarines
The story of America's little known war-within-a war -- that of the "silent service" -- U.S. submarine warfare during World War II.
Janeczko, Paul: The Dark Game: True Spy Stories
This book is a collection of true spy stories from throughout the history of the United States, discussing personalities, missions, traitors, technological advances, and more.
McPherson, Stephanie: Iceberg, Right Ahead!: The Tragedy of the Titanic
McPherson explores the lasting legacy of the "Titanic" tragedy, and discusses how the sinking of the ship led to new regulations and the formation of an ice patrol that later became the U.S. Coast Guard.
Osborne, Linda Barret: This Land is Our Land: a history of American Immigration This book explores the way government policy and popular responses to immigrant groups evolved throughout U.S. history, particularly between 1800 and 1965.
Prins, Marcel and Peter Henk Steenhuis: Hidden Like Anne Frank: 14 true stories of survival
Presents a collection of fourteen first-person accounts that share what it was like to go into hiding during World War II.
Rappaport, Doreen: Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance During the Holocaust
Provides detailed accounts of twenty-one acts of defiance committed against Nazis in Nazi-occupied countries during World War II.
Rivera, Mariano: The Closer, YA edition
A young readers adaptation of the life and professional baseball career of Mariano Rivera, who played nineteen seasons in the major leagues.
Sandler, Martin: How the Beatles Changed the World
Examines The Beatles' dramatic rise to fame and their impact on rock and roll music and American culture.
This is the riveting story of the victims, accused witches, crooked officials, and mass hysteria that turned a mysterious illness affecting two children into a witch hunt that took over a dozen people’s lives and ruined hundreds more.
Sheinkin, Steve: Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny and the Fight for Civil Rights
Describes the fifty black sailors who refused to work in unsafe and unfair conditions after an explosion in Port Chicago killed 320 servicemen, and how the incident influenced civil rights.
Stone, Tanya: Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers
Tanya Lee Stone reveals the story of the first black paratroopers, the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, nicknamed the Triple Nickles.
Tougias, Michael J: The Finest Hours: the true story of a heroic sea rescue
On the night of February 18, 1952, during one of the worst winter storms that New England has ever seen, two oil tankers just off the shore of Cape Cod were torn in half by the force of the storm. Tells the story of a harrowing CoastGuard rescue when four men in a tiny lifeboat overcame insurmountable odds and saved more than 30 stranded sailors.
Walker, Sally: Secrets of a Civil War Submarine
This is the story of the H. L. Hunley, the Confederate submarine that became the first to ever sink an enemy ship but lay missing on the ocean floor for more than a century. The book describes its creation, its discovery, skeletons and objects found on board, and facial reconstructions of crew members by forensic anthropologists.
Weinstein, Bruce: Is It Still Cheating If I Don’t Get Caught?
This book uses real‐life examples and five basic moral principles to encourage teens to make the right choices in various situations related to friends, family, school, and relationships.
Zinczenko, David: Eat This, Not That for Kids: Be the Leanest, Fittest Family on the Block
Learn nutritional information that addresses the growing trend in childhood weight disorders, and discover tips on how to make informed choices.
Bascomb, Neal: The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi
Presents the history of the group of spies, Holocaust survivors, and lawyers who persued Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi war criminal, for fifteen years in order to bring him to justice for his leadership role in the killing of thousands of Jews during World War II.
Copeland, Misty: Life in Motion: an unlikely ballerina
Misty Copeland describes her life, ballet training, and becoming the only African American soloist at the American Ballet Theatre.
Hartland, Jessie: Steve Jobs: insanely great
A biography in graphic novel format of computer pioneer Steve Jobs, from his childhood in San Francisco through his creation of and success with Apple Computer to his death in 2011 at the age of 56.
Hickam, Homer: October Sky:
Homer Hickam, the son of a miner and a mother determined to get him out of Coalwood, West Virginia, nurtures a dream to send rockets into outer space‐‐an ambition that changes his life and the lives of everyone living in Coalwood in 1957.
James, Lebron and Buzz Bissinger: LeBron’s Dream Team: How Five Friends Made History
Basketball superstar James and Bissinger, the Pulitzer Prize‐winning author ofFriday Night Lights, tell this poignant, thrilling account of the power of teamwork to transform young lives, including James's own. Also published under the title:Shooting Stars
Metselaar, Menno: Anne Frank: Her Life in Words and Pictures
Highlighting the life and trials of the Jewish girl who spent two years hiding from the Nazis in a secret apartment in the Netherlands, this book also includes photos of Anne Frank’s famous diary, her hiding place, and school pictures.
Nagle, Jean: Archie, Peyton and Eli
This book provides an overview of the careers of professional football players Archie, Peyton, and Eli Manning.
Rivera, Mariano: The Closer, young readers edition.
The greatest relief pitcher of all time shares his extraordinary story of survival, love, and baseball.
Welcome to Polson Middle School Suggested Summer Reading List
Students entering grades 7 and 8 are asked to read regularly this summer and complete a minimum of four titles by the time they enter Polson in the fall.
What should you read? Anything you want! Check out the lists on this site -- created almost entirely by Polson Students. They include a variety of genres, media, audiobooks, and websites that may pique your interest.
Our students like to use Goodreads, our Destiny library catalog, Scranton Library's Teen website, Polson Library Twitter @polsonlmc, Nutmeg Nominee Lists, Commonsense Media and Amazon to connect with other readers and recommendations.
Read what interests you! Just read! And then complete a Summer Reading Recording Sheet to return to your Language Arts teacher in September or submit titles as you finish them throughout the summer via the online version.