Social Issues

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Author: 
Sherman Alexie

Reading Level: Grades 7+

Life on a reservation isn't great to begin with, but when Arnold (Junior) sees his mother's name written in his geometry textbook, it's the last straw. He flings the book angrily across the classroom... hitting the teacher square in the face.

Realizing that as long as he stayed on the reservation, he was doomed to live a depressing, boring reservation life with no opportunities, Arnold tells his parents he is going to transfer schools - to the all-white, all-rich high school twenty-two miles away.

And so it begins.

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Fat Kid Rules the World

Author: 
K. L. Going

Reading level: Grades 7+

Troy, a three hundred pound high school boy, is standing on the edge of a train platform, mock headlines running through his head (FAT KID MESSES UP) as he realizes he probably wouldn't even totally succeed at his own suicide, when a homeless drug addict legend from Troy's high school, saves his life. Obviously Troy owes Curt lunch after his rescue (according to Curt), and the odd pair strike up an awkward friendship. Curt, it seems, has decided that Troy is to be the new drummer for Curt's band. Only one problem.

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School for Bandits

Author: 
Hannah Shaw

Reading Level: PreK-1

Ralph isn't a normal raccoon - he doesn't like being messy, or rude. So his parents ship him off to Bandit School, where Ralph is the worst student of all. He's just awful at everything, and when the term ends, his teacher assigns a competition - whoever has the largest sack of loot after vacation wins the Best Bandit prize. Ralph isn't interested, not one bit. He stays in his room reading over the break, not wanting to get in anyone's way. But then something happens on his way back to school, and Ralph becomes the best!

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Every You, Every Me

Author: 
David Levithan
Illustrator: 
Jonathan Farmer

Reading Level: Grades 7+

"If I ever ask you to get me a gun, don't. Whatever I say, don't." Looking right into my eyes. "Listen to me, Evan. If I ever ask for that, go get help. If I ever ask for that, you're going to have to save me."

Evan, struggling with the disappearance of his crush (and best friend's girlfriend) Ariel, is thrust into even more emotional turmoil when he begins to receive a series of mysterious photographs.

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Snake and Lizard

Author: 
Joy Cowley
Illustrator: 
Gavin Bishop

Reading Level: Grades K-3

Though Snake and Lizard have their differences, friendship prevails and the two are best of friends, going on short adventures from story to story.

Snake and Lizard is a charming and hilarious episodic entry into the chapter book world not to be missed by animal and humor lovers of all ages. A step up (in every way) from classics like Frog and Toad, this short chapter book is great for independent readers or as a bedtime serial.  This book is not to be missed.

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The Future of Us

Author: 
Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Reading Level: Grades 7+

When Emma gets a computer for her birthday, her friend Josh gives her a free CD good for 100 hours of AOL time - totally cool, since it's 1996. Emma signs herself up for her very first AOL account, and logs on to the Internet for the first time. 

The very first page she goes to is called "Facebook," something Emma has never heard of before, but then again she's never been online before - so she begins to explore the site.  What she finds is herself... thirty years in the future - and it's not a pretty one.

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Because of Mr. Terupt

Author: 
Rob Buyea

Reading Level: 3rd-6th

New teacher Mr. Terupt has a handful this year in his fifth grade class - but his abnormal teaching methods are a good fit for helping the students grow and work together. The school year is going great, until the accident. Then everything changes.

A heartwarming book about the profound influence of Mr. Terupt, this is a tale for students of all ages.

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Bluefish

Author: 
Pat Schmatz

Grades 5+

You probably learned to read in kindergarten or first grade, maybe even sooner. Maybe it's a little hard for you, maybe it got easier as you read more and more, maybe you can't stop reading. 

But you did learn to read - good at it or not, loving it or not.

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