Special Collections

Battle of the Books

Description: The Battle of the Books is a voluntary reading incentive program used by many school districts across the country. Bookshare updates our collection annually to include the books for the current school year. #teens #kids


Showing 1 through 25 of 175 results
 

Our Only May Amelia

by Jennifer L. Holm

It isn't easy being a pioneer in the state of Washington in 1899, but it's particularly hard when you are the only girl ever born in the new settlement.

With seven older brothers and a love of adventure, May Amelia Jackson just can't seem to abide her family's insistence that she behave like a Proper Young Lady.

She's sure she could do better if only there were at least one other girl living along the banks of the Nasel River.

And now that Mama's going to have a baby, maybe there's hope.

Inspired by the diaries of her great-aunt, the real May Amelia, first-time novelist Jennifer Holm has given us a beautifully crafted tale of one young girl whose unique spirit captures the courage, humour, passion and depth of the American pioneer experience.

Newbery Honour Book

Date Added: 01/15/2019


Category: Middle Grade

Breaker Boys

by Michael Burgan

Little boys, some as young as 6, spent their long days, not playing or studying, but sorting coal in dusty, loud, and dangerous conditions. Many of these breaker boys worked 10 hours a day, six days a week all for as little as 45 cents a day. Child labor was common in the United States in the 19th century. It took the compelling, heart breaking photographs of Lewis Hine and others to bring the harsh working conditions to light. Hine and his fellow Progressives wanted to end child labor. He knew photography would reveal the truth and teach and change the world. With his camera Hine showed people what life was like for immigrants, the poor, and the children working in mines, factories, and mills. In the words of an historian, the more than 7,000 photos Hine took of American children at work aroused public sentiment against child labor in a way that no printed page or public lecture could.

Date Added: 05/15/2018


Category: Middle Grade

A Long Way From Chicago

by Richard Peck

A summer they'll never forget.

Each summer Joey and his sister, Mary Alice—two city slickers from Chicago—visit Grandma Dowdel's seemingly sleepy Illinois town. Soon enough, they find that it's far from sleepy...and Grandma is far from your typical grandmother. From seeing their first corpse (and he isn't resting easy) to helping Grandma trespass, catch the sheriff in his underwear, and feed the hungry—all in one day—Joey and Mary Alice have nine summers they'll never forget!

A Newbery Honor Book

A National Book Award Finalist

An ALA Notable Book

An ALA Best Book for Young Adults

Date Added: 07/20/2017


Category: Middle Grade

The Lottery Rose

by Irene Hunt

Georgie Burgess lay in the clean white bed, relaxed and contented, glad to be alone and able to have a waking dream of what it would be like when he could be close to his rosebush again. After pain and a fear that had stayed with him con stantly until it wore him out and made his body sick, after all the terrible days, his rosebush was safe and because of that, it was safe for him to rest. Sister Mary Angela did not lie. He should have known she was not like his mother. She did not lie and he felt safe in believing that his rose was now where it belonged in the beautiful garden that was like a page in his flower book. Before Georgie Burgess came to live in the home for boys, his world had been a world of terror, anxiety, shame, and mistrust. The ugly scars and bruises that cov ered his body had not been inflicted by "some big kids" as he claimed, but at home, where he was regularly beaten and battered. The psychic wounds of that abuse were more devastating than the welts and broken bones. A powerful, timely novel about a young boy, who victimized by child abuse, makes his way back to a point where he can accept and give love, replacing suspicion with trust and friendship.

Date Added: 07/20/2017


Category: Middle Grade

The Incredible Journey

by Carl Burger and Sheila Burnford

Instinct told them that the way home lay to the west. And so the doughty young Labrador retriever, the roguish bull terrier and the indomitable Siamese set out through the Canadian wilderness. Separately, they would soon have died. But, together, the three house pets faced starvation, exposure, and wild forest animals to make their way home to the family they love. The Incredible Journey is one of the great children's stories of all time--and has been popular ever since its debut in 1961.

Winner of Pacific Northwest Library Association’s Young Reader’s Choice Award

Date Added: 07/20/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Walk Two Moons

by Sharon Creech

"How about a story? Spin us a yarn."

Instantly, Phoebe Winterbottom came to mind.

"I could tell you an extensively strange story," I warned.

"Oh, good!" Gram said. "Delicious!"

And that is how I happened to tell them about Phoebe, her disappearing mother, and the lunatic.

As Sal entertains her grandparents with Phoebe's outrageous story, her own story begins to unfold--the story of a thirteen-year-old girl whose only wish is to be reunited with her missing mother.

In her own award-winning style, Sharon Creech intricately weaves together two tales, one funny, one bittersweet, to create a heartwarming, compelling, and utterly moving story of love, loss, and the complexity of human emotion.

Newbery Medal Winner

Date Added: 07/07/2017


Category: Middle Grade

The Young Man and the Sea

by Rodman Philbrick

Twelve-year-old Skiff Beaman's mom just died, and his fisherman dad is too depressed to drag himself off the couch and go to work. So these days Skiff has to take care of everything himself. But when his dad's boat sinks, Skiff discovers it will cost thousands to buy a new engine. Skiff's lobster traps won't earn him enough, but there are bigger fish in the sea -- bluefin tuna. If he can catch one of those monster fish, Skiff just might save the boat -- and his family.

Date Added: 07/07/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief

by Wendelin Van Draanen

Although she's a girl detective starring in a new series, Sammy is not Nancy Drew. She's smart-mouthed & hard-hitting, unpopular at school & on the outs with the law.

Readers follow the sleuth through her saucy first-person narrative as she tries to find a burglar who's made a number of hits in her neighborhood, one of which she witnessed while spying on her neighbors with binoculars.

Date Added: 07/07/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Rush Revere and the American Revolution

by Rush Limbaugh

THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION HAS BEGUN--AND RUSH REVERE, LIBERTY THE HORSE, AND THE TIME-TRAVELING CREW ARE READY TO RIDE INTO THE ACTION!Join us on this incredible time-travel adventure! Liberty, my wisecracking horse, our old friends Cam, Tommy, Freedom, and I are off to meet some super-brave soldiers in the year 1775. Yep, that's right. We'll be visiting with the underdog heroes who fought for American independence, against all odds--and won! But not before eight very real years of danger and uncertainty. Be a part of Rush Revere's crew as we rush, rush, rush into a time when British rule had become a royal pain, and rebellion was in the air. We'll be on hand to see two lanterns hung in the Old North Church, prevent a British spy from capturing Paul Revere, and grapple with danger at the battles of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill. The extra special part of this trip is that right here in the twenty-first century, Cam's dad is a soldier fighting in Afghanistan, and Cam has been pretty angry that he is away. Visiting with exceptional American heroes like Dr. Joseph Warren and George Washington, racing along after Paul Revere on his midnight ride, and seeing the Declaration of Independence signed make Cam see his own dad in a new and special way. But don't worry. Along with the danger, excitement, and patriotism, there will still be time to stop for a delicious spinach, oats, and alfalfa smoothie. No, wait--that one's for Liberty. The kids and I voted for strawberries. Now let's open the magic portal to the past!

Date Added: 07/07/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Middle School #1

by Laura Park and Chris Tebbetts and James Patterson

Rafe Khatchadorian has enough problems at home without throwing his first year of middle school into the mix. Luckily, he's got an ace plan for the best year ever, if only he can pull it off: With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to break every rule in his school's oppressive Code of Conduct. Chewing gum in class-5,000 points! Running in the hallway-10,000 points! Pulling the fire alarm-50,000 points! But when Rafe's game starts to catch up with him, he'll have to decide if winning is all that matters, or if he's finally ready to face the rules, bullies, and truths he's been avoiding.Blockbuster author James Patterson delivers a genuinely hilarious-and surprisingly poignant-story of a wildly imaginative, one-of-kind kid that you won't soon forget.

Date Added: 07/07/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Elephant Run

by Roland Smith

In 1941, bombs drop from the night skies of London, demolishing the apartment Nick Freestone lives in with his mother. Deciding the situation in England is too unstable, Nick's mother sends him to live with his father in Burma, hoping he will be safer living on the family's teak plantation. But as soon as Nick arrives, trouble erupts in the remote Burmese elephant village. Japanese soldiers invade, and Nick's father is taken prisoner. Nick is left stranded on the plantation, forced to work as a servant to the new rulers. As life in the village grows more dangerous for Nick and his young friend, Mya, they plan their daring escape. Setting off on elephant back, they will risk their lives to save Nick's father and Mya's brother from a Japanese POW camp.

Date Added: 07/07/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

by Mark Twain

One of the most popular books of all-time, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn has been both venerated and vilified since it was first published in 1885. The story of a young abused boy on the run and his friendship with a runaway slave is about loyalty, compassion, and doing what is right, and it remains one of Mark Twain's greatest achievements.

Date Added: 07/07/2017


Category: Middle Grade

A Ring of Endless Light

by Madeleine L'Engle

"This wasn't the first time that I'd come close to death, but it was the first time I'd been involved in this part of it, this strange, terrible saying goodbye to someone you've loved."

These are Vicky Austin's thoughts as she stands near Commander Rodney's grave while her grandfather, who himself is dying of cancer, recites the funeral service. Watching his condition deteriorate over that long summer is almost more than she can bear. Then, in the midst of her struggle, she finds herself the center of attention for three young men. Leo, Commander Rodney's son, turns to her as an old friend seeking comfort but longing for romance. Zachary, whose attempted suicide inadvertently caused Commander Rodney's death, sees her as the one sane and normal person who can give some meaning to his life. And Adam, a serious young student working at the nearby marine-biology station, discovers Vicky, his friend's little sister, incipient telepathic powers that can help him with his experiments in dolphin communications. Vicky finds solace and brief moments of peace in her poetry, but life goes on around her, and the strain intensifies as she confronts matters of love and of death, of dependence and of responsibility, universal concerns that we all must face. The inevitable crisis comes and Vicky must rely on openness, sensitivity, and the love of others to overcome her private grief. Once again, Madeleine L'Engle has written a story that revels in the drama of vividly portrayed characters and events of the spiritual and moral dimensions of common human experiences.

Newbery Medal Honor book

Date Added: 07/07/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Maniac Magee

by Jerry Spinelli

Jeffrey Lionel "Maniac" Magee might have lived a normal life if a freak accident hadn't made him an orphan. After living with his unhappy and uptight aunt and uncle for eight years, he decides to run--and not just run away, but run. This is where the myth of Maniac Magee begins, as he changes the lives of a racially divided small town with his amazing and legendary feats.

Newbery Medal Winner

Winner of Pacific Northwest Library Association’s Young Reader’s Choice Junior Award

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Middle Grade

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

by John Boyne

Berlin 1942When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance.But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Counting by 7s

by Holly Sloan

In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn't kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now. Suddenly Willow's world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Middle Grade

The Pinballs

by Betsy Byars

"Three unwanted kids--Pinballs, as wisecracking Carly dubs them--collide in a warm and caring foster home and learn to pin their hopes on each other". --School Library Journal. ALA Notable Children's Book; School Library Journal Best Books of 1977.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Middle Grade

On the Far Side of the Mountain

by Jean Craighead George

This book is the sequel to My Side of the Mountain. My Side of the Mountain was a Newbery Honor Book, an ALA Notable Book, a Hans Christian Andersen Award Honor Book, and was made into a major motion picture.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Bridge to Terabithia

by Donna Diamond and Katherine Paterson

All summer, Jess pushed himself to be the fastest boy in the fifth grade, and when the year's first school-yard race was run, he was going to win.

But his victory was stolen by a newcomer, by a girl, one who didn't even know enough to stay on the girls' side of the playground.

Then, unexpectedly, Jess finds himself sticking up for Leslie, for the girl who breaks rules and wins races.

The friendship between the two grows as Jess guides the city girl through the pitfalls of life in their small, rural town, and Leslie draws him into the world of imaginations world of magic and ceremony called Terabithia.

Here, Leslie and Jess rule supreme among the oaks and evergreens, safe from the bullies and ridicule of the mundane world. Safe until an unforeseen tragedy forces Jess to reign in Terabithia alone, and both worlds are forever changed.

In this poignant, beautifully rendered novel, Katherine Paterson weaves a powerful story of friendship and courage.

Newbery Medal Winner

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Eight Cousins

by Louisa May Alcott

Rose, a shy orphan, blossoms in the company of her spirited relatives when she takes up residence at "The Aunt Hill." This captivating novel by the author of Little Women offers readers of all ages endearing, inspiring stories about growing up, making friends, and facing life with kindness and courage.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Middle Grade

City of Orphans

by Greg Ruth and Avi

As a newsboy on the streets of 1893 New York, thirteen-year-old Maks Geless has a hard enough time evading the grasp of the Plug Ugly gang, whose sinister boss wants to control all the newsies on the Lower East Side. But now Maks is burdened with a new challenge: proving the innocence of his sister, Emma--in just four days. While Emma's confined to the city jail for allegedly stealing a watch at the glamorous new Waldorf Hotel, Maks teams up with Willa, a strange but loyal girl who lives alone in an alley, and Bartleby Donck, an eccentric lawyer (among other employments), to do some urgently needed detective work. The vividly described sights and sounds of tenement New York--and Avi's trademark plot twists and turns--thrust the reader alongside Maks as he confronts a world teeming with wealth and crime and struggles against powerful forces that threaten new immigrants and the fabric of family love.forces threatening new immigrants and the fabric of family love.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Kennedy's Last Days

by Bill O'Reilly

On a sunny day in Dallas, Texas, at the end of a campaign trip, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy is assassinated by an angry, lonely drifter named Lee Harvey Oswald. The former Marine Corps sharpshooter escapes briefly, but is hunted down, captured, and then shot dead while in police custody. Kennedy's Last Days is a gripping account of the events leading up to the most notorious crime of the twentieth century Author Bill O'Reilly vividly describes the Kennedy family's life in the public eye, the crises facing the president around the world and at home, the nation's growing fascination with their vigorous, youthful president, and finally, the shocking events leading up to his demise. Adapted from Bill O'Reilly's best-selling historical thriller Killing Kennedy, with an unforgettable cast of characters, page-turning action, and art on every spread, Kennedy's Last Days is history that reads like a thriller. This exciting book will captivate adults and young readers alike

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Everything On A Waffle

by Polly Horvath

Primrose Squarp simply knows her parents did not perish at sea during a terrible storm, but try convincing the other residents of Coal Harbour on that score. For all practical purposes, at least for the time being, Primrose is an orphan, and there's no great clamoring of prospective adopters. After realizing the impracticality of continuing to pay Miss Perfidy (a mothball-scented elderly lady) an hourly wage to baby-sit her, the town council is able to locate a relative, Uncle Jack, who reluctantly takes Primrose into his care. Primrose does warm up to living with him and in his home, despite the eerie noises resembling a hockey game that haunt her in the night. But true sanctuary can always be found at a restaurant called The Girl in the Swing, where everything--including lasagna--is served on a waffle, and where the proprietor, Miss Bowzer, offers a willing ear, as well as sage advice. Through a mixture of eccentric humor and probing philosophy, author Polly Horvath makes Primrose's search for peace and understanding a most memorable one.

Everything on a Waffle is a 2001 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award Honor Book for Fiction and Poetry and a 2002 Newbery Honor Book.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Becoming Ben Franklin

by Russell Freedman

In 1723 Ben Franklin arrived in Philadelphia as a poor and friendless seventeen-year-old who had run away from his family and an apprenticeship in Boston. Sixty-two years later he stepped ashore in nearly the same spot but was greeted by cannons, bells, and a cheering crowd, now a distinguished statesman, renowned author, and world-famous scientist. Freedman's riveting story of how a rebellious apprentice became an American icon comes in an elegantly designed book filled with art and includes a timeline, source notes, bibliography, and index

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Stormbreaker

by Anthony Horowitz

Ten years ago, Anthony Horowitz introduced the world to Alex Rider . . . and now his debut mission is back in a special fully loaded anniversary edition! Packed with bonus material - including a brand new Alex Rider short story, a letter from Anthony Horowitz, and much more!

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Category: Middle Grade


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