New Books for 6th Graders

Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams

Reading Level: Grade 6-8

This book is a creepy blend of realistic fiction and horror. Teenager Lacey lives alone with her mentally ill mother. Despite her situation, she struggles to have a normal life, even managing to get a job at the local library. However, the novel's intentional uncertainty creates a foreboding mood. At times the reader even wonders if the voice guiding Lacey's mother really exists or if it is due to her illness. All becomes clear by the novel's end, when Lacey realizes just how alone she really is.

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Hidden by Helen Frost

Reading Level: Grade 6-8

When Mrs. Abbott went into the gas station to pay for the gas, her eight-year-old daughter Wren asked to stay in the car to listen to music. It was the biggest mistake either of them would ever make.

When shots rang out, Wren hid under a blanket on the floor of the van. She was relieved when her mother came back and started the car until she smelled the smoke...her mother didn't smoke cigarettes. Wren froze. She stayed under the blanket during the long drive. She remained under the blanket for when the man left the car. Later, she cautiously sat up and discovered that she was locked in a garage with no way out.

When the Amber Alert came on the T.V. Darra's mother started yelling. Darra's father insisted he had only taken the van, not a child. When they check the van, it is empty.  But Darra is observant. She suspects the missing child is hidden somewhere in the garage. She has to get her away from the house before Darra's father gets in big trouble. Her plan doesn't work.

Six years later, at Camp Oakwood, the paths of the two girls cross again and once more their lives are changed forever.

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If you enjoy this gripping novel in verse try:

Orchards by Holly Thompson

Far FromYou by Lisa Schroeder and

Shark Girl by Kelly Bingham

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 by Evonne Tsang

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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