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A Monster Calls: Inspired from an Idea by Siobhan Dowd

Author: 
Patrick Ness
Illustrator: 
Jim Kay

Grades 5+

Have you ever read a book that made you cry?  Ever read a book that, once you were finished, you just sat with and held for a while, letting the words sink into you, not wanting to have finished it?  Ever read a book that you couldn't stop thinking about after you finished?  Ever read a book that was so true and real you experienced the whole thing in your mind as you read?  This is one of those books.

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Jefferson's Sons

Author: 
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Grades 5-9
Third U.S. President Thomas Jefferson lived at the plantation Monticello and kept slaves to work in his fields, farm and home. One of his slaves was a woman named Sally Hemings, mother to four of Jefferson's children - Beverly, Harriet, Maddy, and Eston.  Though slaves, the children and their mother were given special treatment by Jefferson because of his discreet relationship to them - but nevertheless, slaves they remained. 

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Your Friend in Fashion, Abby Shapiro

Author: 
Amy Axelrod

Reading Level: Grade 5-7

Abby Shapiro is an eleven-year-old Jewish girl who desperately wants two things, her first bra and the hot new doll of 1959, the Barbie doll, the one with the bosoms! Her mom says no to the bra and that she can earn her own money to buy the doll. Abby comes up with the idea of designing clothes and sellling her fashion designs to Jackie Kennedy, the "possible future first lady of the United States. Thus Abby begins sending letters to "her friend in fashion."

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Captured

Author: 
Maggie L. Wood

Reading Level: Grade 6-8

It has always been just Willow and her Nana. 15-year-old Willow has grown up listening to her grandmother's fairy tales about a magical realm called Mistolear. Willow used to enjoy the stories but as her grandmother slips further and further into Alzheimer's, hearing Nana talk of a fantasy world as if IT is the reality hurts.

One of her grandmother's fantasies was the "summoning spell" game where you could touch a special crystal and travel to another world. Willow had believed in the game with all her heart...when she was seven.

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My Boyfriend is a Monster #1: I Love Him to Pieces: or My Date is Dead Weight: or He Only Loves Me For My Brains

Author: 
Evonne Tsang
Illustrator: 
Janina Gorrissen

Reading Level: Grades 6+

Athletic baseball star Dicey Bell and quiet, nerdy Jack Chen are assigned to a school project together - care for an egg as if it were a real baby. Over the course of the project, the two bond over the egg, finding that they have much more in common than they initially thought. At the conclusion of the project, Jack musters up the nerve to ask Dicey out on a date.

A typical, perky-yet-enjoyable realistic high school romance, right?

Wrong. While on their date, Jack and Dicey learn that a zombie outbreak has begun in their town.

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Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie

Author: 
Julie Sternberg
Illustrator: 
Matthew Cordell

Reading Level: Grades 1-3

When Eleanor's babysitter Bibi moves far away, Eleanor is devastated. Life without her favorite person is hard. Everything Eleanor used to like to do is now unpleasant and sad because it reminds her of Bibi. It's awful - way worse than pickle juice on a cookie. Things get even worse when Eleanor's parents hire a NEW babysitter.

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Okay For Now

Author: 
Gary D. Schmidt

Reading Level: Grades 6+

Doug Swieteck and his lousy older brother just moved to a brand-new town that will be probably just as lousy as the old one - and with less baseball. And, just like in his old town, everyone who's anyone (teachers, the police, his dad, Lil Spicer down the street) thinks that Doug's just a skinny good-for-nothing kid who won't ever amount to anything except for trouble.

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