Special Collections

High Interest Books for Young Readers

Description: High interest, low vocabulary books that will entice even the most book-averse. Ideal for elementary and middle grade readers.


Showing 26 through 50 of 67 results
 

Stick Cat: A Tail of Two Kitties

by Tom Watson

There's a new pet in town: Stick Cat! Perfect for fans of Big Nate, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and the Stick Dog books, Stick Cat features Tom Watson's trademark combination of laughs, adventure, and hilarious stick-figure drawings.It's a big day in the big city for Stick Cat and his best friend, Edith. There are treasures to hunt, songs to sing, pigeons to catch, and naps to take. But way up on the twenty-third floor, danger lurks just around the corner. Terrible noises and violent crashes trap a desperate man in the building across the alley. Stick Cat will need to navigate his way across the alley--and around Edith's peculiar ways--to attempt a rescue.Stick Cat's high-wire act is sure to please cat lovers and Stick Dog fans everywhere.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Elementary

Stick Cat: Cats in the City

by Tom Watson

Join Stick Cat and his incomparable sidekick Edith on another dangerous, epic, and hilarious rescue mission in Tom Watson’s Stick Cat: Cats in the City!With over-the-top fun and humor, this scrumptious story features Tom Watson’s trademark laughs, adventure, and hilarious stick-figure drawings, perfect for fans of the Stick Dog, Big Nate, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.Stick Cat is going somewhere he’s never been before—his best friend Edith’s apartment. It’s got everything: donut crumbs in the sink, a fire escape, and a window with a great view of the big city. While admiring the view, Stick Cat sees trouble. Hazel, the bagel maker, is in serious danger in the building across the alley. Stick Cat will use his smarts—and Edith’s appetite—to devise a rescue plan. But can Hazel hang on long enough for this dynamic duo to save her?

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Elementary

The Adventures of Captain Underpants

by Dav Pilkey

George and Harold have created the greatest superhero in the history of their elementary school - and now they're going to bring him to life! Meet Captain Underpants! His true identity is so secret, even he doesn't know who he is!

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Elementary

Bookmarks Are People Too!

by Scott Garrett and Lin Oliver and Henry Winkler

Hank stars the same Hank as in the bestselling Hank Zipzer series, only this time he's in 2nd grade! Hank is a kid who doesn't try to be funny, but he somehow always makes the kids in his class laugh. He's pretty bad at memorizing stuff, and spelling is his worst subject. (But so are math and reading!) In the first book in this new series, Hank's class is putting on a play, and Hank wants the lead part: Aqua Fly. But he freezes in his audition and can only buzz like a fly. His teacher creates a special part for Hank, a silent bookmark. This may seem like an insignificant role, but when his enemy, Nick McKelty, freezes during the performance, it's up to Hank to save the play!

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Elementary

Fantastic Mr. Fox

by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake

Nobody outfoxes Fantastic Mr. Fox!Someone's been stealing from the three meanest farmers around, and they know the identity of the thief--it's Fantastic Mr. Fox! Working alone they could never catch him; but now fat Boggis, squat Bunce, and skinny Bean have joined forces, and they have Mr. Fox and his family surrounded. What they don't know is that they're not dealing with just any fox--Mr. Fox would rather die than surrender. Only the most fantastic plan can save him now.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Elementary

The Honest Truth

by Dan Gemeinhart

The debut of a phenomenal new middle-grade talent.

In all the ways that matter, Mark is a normal kid. He's got a dog named Beau and a best friend, Jessie. He likes to take photos and write haiku poems in his notebook. He dreams of climbing a mountain one day.

But in one important way, Mark is not like other kids at all. Mark is sick. The kind of sick that means hospitals. And treatments. The kind of sick some people never get better from.

So Mark runs away. He leaves home with his camera, his notebook, his dog, and a plan to reach the top of Mount Rainier--even if it's the last thing he ever does.

The Honest Truth is a rare and extraordinary novel about big questions, small moments, and the incredible journey of the human spirit.

Date Added: 04/20/2018


Category: Middle Grade

Salt to the Sea

by Ruta Sepetys

The author of Between Shades of Gray returns to WWII in this epic novel that shines a light on one of the war's most devastating--yet unknown--tragedies.

In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety. Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

Told in alternating points of view, and perfect for fans of Anthony Doerr's Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See, Erik Larson's critically acclaimed #1 New York Times bestseller Dead Wake, and Elizabeth Wein's Printz Honor Book Code Name Verity, this masterful work of historical fiction is inspired by the real-life tragedy that was the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff--the greatest maritime disaster in history. As she did in Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys unearths a shockingly little-known casualty of a gruesome war, and proves that humanity can prevail, even in the darkest of hours.

Date Added: 04/20/2018


Category: Middle Grade

The War that Saved My Life

by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada's twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn't waste a minute--she sneaks out to join him.

So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan--and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother? This masterful work of historical fiction is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity--a classic in the making.

Winner of the Newbery Medal

Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award

Nominee for the 2018 Young Reader's Choice Award (Pacific Northwest Library Association)

Date Added: 04/20/2018


Category: Middle Grade

Twerp

by Mark Goldblatt

It's not like I meant for Danley to get hurt. . . . Julian Twerski isn't a bully. He's just made a big mistake.

So when he returns to school after a weeklong suspension, his English teacher offers him a deal: if he keeps a journal and writes about the incident that got him and his friends suspended, he can get out of writing a report on Shakespeare. Julian jumps at the chance.

And so begins his account of life in sixth grade--blowing up homemade fireworks, writing a love letter for his best friend (with disastrous results), and worrying whether he's still the fastest kid in school. Lurking in the background, though, is the one story he can't bring himself to tell, the one story his teacher most wants to hear.

Inspired by Mark Goldblatt's own childhood growing up in 1960s Queens, Twerp shines with powerful writing that will have readers laughing and crying right along with these flawed but unforgettable characters.

Date Added: 04/20/2018


Category: Middle Grade

Holes

by Louis Sachar

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnats.

Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys' detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the warden makes the boys "build character" by spending all day, every day, digging holes: five feet wide and five feet deep. It doesn't take long for Stanley to realize there's more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment--and redemption

Newbery Medal Winner

National Book Award

Date Added: 04/20/2018


Category: Middle Grade

Speak

by Laurie Halse Anderson

I am clanless. I wasted the last weeks of August watching bad cartoons. I didn't go to the mall, the lake, or the pool, or answer the phone. I have entered high school with the wrong hair, the wrong clothes, the wrong attitude. And I don't have anyone to sit with.

From her first moment at Merryweather High, Melinda Sordino knows she's an outcast. She busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops-a major infraction in high-school society-so her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't know glare at her.

She retreats into her head, where the lies and hypocrisies of high school stand in stark relief to her own silence, making her all the more mute.

But it's not so comfortable in her head, either-there's something banging around in there that she doesn't want to think about. Try as she might to it won't go away, until there is a particular confrontation.

Once that happens, she can't be silent-she must speak the truth. In this powerful novel, an utterly believable, bitterly ironic heroine speaks for many a disenfranchised teenager while learning that, although it's hard to speak up for yourself, keeping your mouth shut is worse.

Date Added: 04/20/2018


Category: Middle Grade

Monster

by Walter Dean Myers

Sometimes I feel like I have walked into the middle of a movie. Maybe I can make my own movie. The film will be the story of my life. No, not my life, but of this experience. I'll call it what the lady who is the prosecutor called me. MONSTER.FADE IN: INTERIOR COURT. A guard sits at a desk behind Steve. Kathy O'Brien, Steve's lawyer, is all business as she talks to Steve.O'BRIENLet me make sure you understand what's going on. Both you and this king character are on trial for felony murder. Felony Murder is as serious as it gets. . . . When you're in court, you sit there and pay attetion. You let the jury know that you think the case is a serious as they do. . . .STEVEYou think we're going to win ?O'BRIEN (seriously)It probably depends on what you mean by "win."Sixteen-year-old Steve Harmon is on trial for murder. A Harlem drugstore owner was shot and killed in his store, and the word is that Steve served as the lookout.Guilty or innocent, Steve becomes a pawn in the hands of "the system," cluttered with cynical authority figures and unscrupulous inmates, who will turn in anyone to shorten their own sentences. For the first time, Steve is forced to think about who he is as he faces prison, where he may spend all the tomorrows of his life.As a way of coping with the horrific events that entangle him, Steve, an amateur filmmaker, decides to transcribe his trial into a script, just like in the movies. He writes it all down, scene by scene, the story of how his whole life was turned around in an instant. But despite his efforts, reality is blurred and his vision obscured until he can no longer tell who he is or what is the truth. This compelling novel is Walter Dean Myers's writing at its best. 2000 Coretta Scott King Honor Book, 2000 Michael L. Printz Award, 1999 National Book Award Finalist, 01 Heartland Award for Excellence in YA Lit Finalist, 00-01 Tayshas High School Reading List, and 00-01 Black-Eyed Susan Award Masterlist 2000 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA), Hornbook Fanfare 2000, Michael L. Printz Award 2000, 2000 Coretta Scott King Award Author Honor Book, 2000 Quick Picks for Young Adults (Recomm. Books for Reluctant Young Readers), and 2000 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA)

Date Added: 04/20/2018


Category: Middle Grade

The Name of This Book Is Secret (Secret Series, Book 1)

by Pseudonymous Bosch

If this were a normal cover for a normal book, I would tell you that this book is fantastic! Gripping! (According to their covers, all books are fantastic and gripping.) You'd meet the brave young heroes, Cass and Max Ernest. And you'd hear about how a mysterious box of vials, The Symphony of Smells, sends them on the trail of a magician who was vanished under strange (and stinky) circumstances. If this were a normal book, I would brag about the hair-raising adventures that follow-- about the brain-twisting riddles Cass and Max-Ernest solve and the nefarious villains they face. But sadly, I can't tell you about any of those things; they might make you want to read the book. You see, not only is the name of this book secret, the story is too. For it concerns a secret-- a big secret-- that has been tormenting people like you for over... oh no! Did I just mention the secret? Then it's too late. I'm afraid nothing will stop you now. Open the book if you must. But, please, tell no one. With apologies, Pseud. Bosch. *Not their real names.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Middle Grade

The Maze of Bones

by Rick Riordan

Minutes before she died Grace Cahill changed her will, leaving her decendants an impossible decision: "You have a choice - one million dollars or a clue."

Grace is the last matriarch of the Cahills, the world's most powerful family. Everyone from Napoleon to Houdini is related to the Cahills, yet the source of the family power is lost. 39 Clues hidden around the world will reveal the family's secret, but no one has been able to assemble them. Now the clues race is on, and young Amy and Dan must decide what's important: hunting clues or uncovering what REALLY happened to their parents.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Middle Grade

The Tail of Emily Windsnap

by Liz Kessler

Young Emily Windsnap learns a magical secret about herself, and plunges into a scheme to solve the mystery of her heritage and to reunite with her father in this entrancing, satisfying tale that beckons readers far below the waves. For as long as she can remember, twelve-year-old Emily Windsnap has lived on a boat. And, oddly enough, for just as long, her mother has seemed anxious to keep Emily away from the water. But when Mom finally agrees to let her take swimming lessons, Emily makes a startling discovery--about her own identity, the mysterious father she's never met, and the thrilling possibilities and perils shimmering deep below the water's surface. With a sure sense of suspense and richly imaginative details, author Liz Kessler lures us into a glorious undersea world where mermaids study shipwrecks at school and Neptune rules with an iron trident--an enchanting fantasy about family secrets, loyal friendship, and the convention-defying power of love.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Al Capone Does My Shirts

by Gennifer Choldenko

Today I moved to a twelve-acre rock covered with cement, topped with bird turd and surrounded by water. I'm not the only kid who lives here.

There's my sister, Natalie, except she doesn't count. And there are twenty-three other kids who live on the island because their dads work as guards or cooks or doctors or electricians for the prison, like my dad does. Plus, there are a ton of murderers, rapists, hit men, con men, stickup men, embezzlers, connivers, burglars, kidnappers and maybe even an innocent man or two, though I doubt it.

The convicts we have are the kind other prisons don't want. I never knew prisons could be picky, but I guess they can. You get to Alcatraz by being the worst of the worst. Unless you're me. I came here because my mother said I had to.

A Newbery Honor Book

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key

by Jack Gantos

"They say I'm wired bad, or wired sad, but there's no doubt about it -- I'm wired."Joey Pigza's got heart, he's got a mom who loves him, and he's got "dud meds," which is what he calls the Ritalin pills that are supposed to even out his wild mood swings. Sometimes Joey makes bad choices. He learns the hard way that he shouldn't stick his finger in the pencil sharpener, or swallow his house key, or run with scissors. Joey ends up bouncing around a lot - and eventually he bounces himself all the way downown, into the district special-ed program, which could be the end of the line. As Joey knows, if he keeps making bad choices, he could just fall between the cracks for good. But he is determined not to let that happen.In this antic yet poignant new novel, Jack Gantos has perfect pitch in capturing the humor, the off-the-wall intensity, and the serious challenges that life presents to a kid dealing with hyper-activity and related disorders.Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key is a 1998 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Middle Grade

The Search for WondLa (Search of Wondla #1)

by Tony Diterlizzi

When a marauder destroys the underground sanctuary that Eva Nine was raised in by the robot Muthr, the twelve-year-old girl is forced to flee aboveground. She is searching for anyone else like her, for she knows that other humans exist because of an item she treasures--a scrap of cardboard on which is depicted a young girl, an adult, and a robot, with the strange word, "WondLa." In these alien surroundings, Eva Nine befriends Rovender Kitt, a curmudgeonly wanderer, with whom she travels in search of other humans. But Besteel, who invaded Eva Nine's sanctuary, is following them and wants to capture Eva Nine. With its classic prose and breathtaking illustrations, The Search for WondLa begins a trilogy that is sure to inspire dreams. As a bonus, the maps in this book are revealed in three-dimensions, with audio, through Augmented Reality. In his vision of a future forged by centuries of tradition, Caldecott Honor Winner Tony DiTerlizzi, co-creator of the New York Times-bestselling Spiderwick series, honors traditional children's literature in this space-age adventure: one that is as complex as an alien planet, but as simple as a child's wish for a place to belong.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Middle Grade

The London Eye Mystery

by Siobhan Dowd

When Ted and Kat watched their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye, he turned and waved before getting on. But after half an hour it landed and everyone trooped off - and no Salim. Where could he have gone? How on earth could he have disappeared into thin air? So Ted and his older sister, Kat, become sleuthing partners, since the police are having no luck. Despite their prickly relationship, they overcome their differences to follow a trail of clues across London in a desperate bid to find their cousin. And ultimately it comes down to Ted, whose brain works in its own very unique way, to find the key to the mystery. This is an unputdownable spine-tingling thriller - a race against time.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Middle Grade

THE FIVE ANCESTORS: Tiger

by Jeff Stone

“Tigerclips along at a lightning pace!”—Eoin Colfer Twelve-year-old Fu and his temple brothers Malao, Seh, Hok, and Long don’t know who their parents were. Raised from infancy by their grandmaster, they think of their temple as their home and their fellow warrior monks as their family. Then one terrible night, the temple is destroyed by an army led by a former monk named Ying, whose heart is bent on revenge. Fu and his brothers are the only survivors. Charged by their grandmaster to uncover the secrets of their past, the five flee into the countryside and go their separate ways. Somehow, Grandmaster has promised, their pasts are connected to Ying’s. Understanding that the past is the key to shaping the future, the first book in the series follows Fu as he struggles to find out more and prove himself in the process. Fu’s name literally means “tiger,” for he is the youngest-ever master of the fierce fighting style modeled after that animal. From the Hardcover edition.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Spy School

by Stuart Gibbs

Can an undercover nerd become a superstar agent? Ben Ripley sure hopes so--and his life may depend on it!Ben Ripley may only be in middle school, but he's already pegged his dream job: C.I.A. or bust. Unfortunately for him, his personality doesn't exactly scream "secret agent." In fact, Ben is so awkward, he can barely get to school and back without a mishap. Because of his innate nerdiness, Ben is not surprised when he is recruited for a magnet school with a focus on science--but he's entirely shocked to discover that the school is actually a front for a junior C.I.A. academy. Could the C.I.A. really want him? Actually, no. There's been a case of mistaken identity--but that doesn't stop Ben from trying to morph into a supercool undercover agent, the kind that always gets the girl. And through a series of hilarious misadventures, Ben realizes he might actually be a halfway decent spy...if he can survive all the attempts being made on his life!

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Middle Grade

First Team

by Tim Green

Brock is on the run again in New York Times bestselling author Tim Green's companion book to New Kid. Perfect for fans of Mike Lupica or Dan Gutman's Baseball Card Adventure series.With his strong left arm, Brock knows he can be a great quarterback, and with the help of his new friend, Mak, he has a plan to make the first team. But the coaches have plans of their own, especially for the kids from the wrong side of the tracks, which is exactly where Brock now lives.As Brock is trying to fit in, his father's past is catching up to him--and one chance meeting causes everything to come crashing down. Will Brock finally be able to navigate his new life, or will his past force him back on the run?

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Middle Grade

The Only Game

by Mike Lupica

Can a young baseball star maintain his love of the game after the loss of his brother? Find out in this start to the Home Team series about a small town with high hopes, from New York Times bestselling author and sportswriting legend Mike Lupica.Jack Callahan is the star of his baseball team and sixth grade is supposed to be his year. Undefeated season. Records shattered. Little League World Series. The works. That is, until he up and quits. Jack's best friend Gus can't understand how Jack could leave a game that means more to them than anything else. But Jack is done. It's a year of change. Jack's brother has passed away, and though his family and friends and the whole town of Walton thinks baseball is just the thing he needs to move on, Jack feels it's anything but. In comes Cassie Bennett, star softball player, and the only person who seems to think Jack shouldn't play if he doesn't want to. As Jack and Cassie's friendship deepens, their circle expands to include Teddy, a guy who's been picked on because of his weight. Time spent with these new friends unlocks something within Jack, and with their help and the support of his family and his old friends, Jack discovers sometimes it's more than just the love of the game that keeps us moving--and he might just be able to find his way back to The Only Game.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Middle Grade

The Mother-Daughter Book Club

by Heather Vogel Frederick

Acclaimed author Heather Vogel Frederick will delight daughters of all ages in a novel about the fabulousness of fiction, family, and friendship.The book club is about to get a makeover.... Even if Megan would rather be at the mall, Cassidy is late for hockey practice, Emma's already read every book in existence, and Jess is missing her mother too much to care, the new book club is scheduled to meet every month. But what begins as a mom-imposed ritual of reading Little Women soon helps four unlikely friends navigate the drama of middle school. From stolen journals, to secret crushes, to a fashion-fiasco first dance, the girls are up to their Wellie boots in drama. They can't help but wonder: What would Jo March do?

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles Book 1)

by Suzanne Collins

When 11-year-old Gregor follows his little sister through a grate in the laundry room of their New York apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland beneath the city. There, humans live uneasily beside giant spiders, bats, cockroaches, and rats - but the fragile peace is about to fall apart. Gregor wants no part of a conflict between these creepy creatures. He just wants to find his way home. But when he discovers that a strange prophecy foretells a role for him in the Underland's uncertain future, he realizes it might be the only way to solve the biggest mystery of his life. Little does he know his quest will change him - and the Underland - forever.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Middle Grade


Showing 26 through 50 of 67 results