8th Grade

Somewhere There is Still a Sun: A Memoir of the Holocaust

Author: 
Michael Gruenbaum
Todd Hasak-Lowy

Reading Level: Grades 4 - 8

This book was 70 years in the making.  It is the story of Michael Gruenbaum and his family, Jews who lived in Prague in 1939 when the Nazis marched in.  Written by gifted writer, Todd Hasak-Lowry, it chronicles life for 10- year-old Michael under the Nazis and the family's relocation to Terezin.  Told in the first person by a young Michael, it speaks volumes about courage, determination, and humanity.

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Deadly Design

Author: 
Debra Dockter

Reading Level: Grades 8+

Connor was two years old when the embryo for his identical twin was thawed and implanted.  Kyle resents being Connor’s younger brother instead of his contemporary.  He can never measure up to Connor’s perfectness.  Their parents…everyone in town knows Connor is destined for greatness.  The whole community mourns when Connor’s heart stops beating one week before his high school graduation.

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Seriously Wicked

Author: 
Tina Connolly

Reading Level: Grades 6+

Every morning, before she can go to school, Camille has to walk the puppy (which happens to be a werewolf) and clean out the garage (which houses a dragon.)  In addition to her high school homework, she also has to memorize spells.  Her “mother” (the evil witch who kidnapped Camilla from her parents) insists on it.  But Camille has no magic.  And she has no desire to be a witch. 

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Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx

Author: 
Sonia Manzano

Reading Level: Grades 8 and older

Sonia Manzano, otherwise known as Maria on Sesame Street, tells the story of her childhood in the Bronx. Detailing everything from her mysteriously appearing older sister, through her father's drunken rages, to her first roll on Broadway, Sonia's story is not for younger, or more sensitive readers.

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Rhyme Schemer

Author: 
K. A. Holt

Reading Level: ages 10 - 14

In this novel in verse, Kevin, who feel he's "king of seventh grade" enjoys being a bully at school.  Home is a different matter.  His physician parents are too busy to pay attention to their five sons.  Kevin is himself bullied by his next oldest brother.  When one of the school victims finds a notebook of poetry that Kevin has written, he uses the discovery to humiliate and bully Kevin in turn.

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