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. #kids


Showing 1 through 25 of 67 results
 

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

The One and Only Ivan

by Katherine Applegate and Patricia Castelao

Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.

Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he's seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.

Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home-and his own art-through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it's up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan's unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope.

Newbery Medal Winner

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Elementary

Loki's Wolves

by M. A. Marr and K. L. Armstrong

"The runes have spoken. We have our champion...Matthew Thorsen."Matt hears the words, but he can't believe them. He's Thor's representative? Destined to fight trolls, monstrous wolves and giant serpents...or the world ends? He's only thirteen.While Matt knew he was a modern-day descendent of Thor, he's always lived a normal kid's life. In fact, most people in the small town of Blackwell, South Dakota, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt's classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke. No big deal.But now Ragnarok is coming, and it's up to the champions to fight in the place of the long-dead gods. Matt, Laurie, and Fen's lives will never be the same as they race to put together an unstoppable team, find Thor's hammer and shield, and prevent the end of the world.In their middle grade debut, K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr begin the epic Blackwell Pages series with this action-packed adventure, filled with larger-than-life legends, gripping battles, and an engaging cast of characters who bring the myths to life.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Pickle

by Kim Baker

Using a bogus name, the League of Pickle Makers, sixth-grader Ben and three recruits start a prank-pulling club and receive funding from their middle school's PTA.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Middle Grade

The Penderwicks

by Jeanne Birdsall

This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures.

The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will—won’t they? One thing’s for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.

Deliciously nostalgic and quaintly witty, this is a story as breezy and carefree as a summer day.

Winner of the National Book Award

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 Name of This Book Is Secret

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 War that Saved My Life

by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War 2, from the acclaimed author of Jefferson's Sons and for fans of Number the Stars. 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: 01/15/2019


Category: Middle Grade

The Fairy-Tale Detectives

by Michael Buckley

The Sisters Grimm take readers to a world where fairy tales are fact and not everyone is who they seem! In book one of this bestselling series, sisters Sabrina and Daphne are sent to live with their mysterious grandmother, Relda Grimm. The sisters learn they are descendants of the Brothers Grimm, whose famous book of fairy tales is actually a collection of case files. The girls are the latest in a long line of fairy-tale detectives, and their new hometown is filled with Everafters (as magical folks like to be called)some good and some very, very bad. When a mysterious Everafter sets a giant loose on the town, it's up to the Sisters Grimm to save the day.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Elementary

Lowriders in Space

by Cathy Camper and Raul The Third

Lupe Impala, El Chavo Flapjack, and Elirio Malaria love working with cars. You name it, they can fix it. But the team's favorite cars of all are lowriders--cars that hip and hop, dip and drop, go low and slow, bajito y suavecito. The stars align when a contest for the best car around offers a prize of a trunkful of cash--just what the team needs to open their own shop! ¡Ay chihuahua! What will it take to transform a junker into the best car in the universe? Striking, unparalleled art from debut illustrator Raul the Third recalls ballpoint-pen-and-Sharpie desk-drawn doodles, while the story is sketched with Spanish, inked with science facts, and colored with true friendship. With a glossary at the back to provide definitions for Spanish and science terms, this delightful book will educate and entertain in equal measure.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Elementary

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

Lunch Money

by Andrew Clements and Brian Selznick

Meet Greg Kenton, billionaire in the making. Greg Kenton has two obsessions -- making money and his long-standing competition with his annoying neighbor, Maura Shaw. So when Greg discovers that Maura is cutting into his booming Chunky Comics business with her own original illustrated minibooks, he's ready to declare war. The problem is, Greg has to admit that Maura's books are good, and soon the longtime enemies become unlikely business partners. But their budding partnership is threatened when the principal bans the sale of their comics in school. Suddenly, the two former rivals find themselves united against an adversary tougher than they ever were to each other. Will their enterprise -- and their friendship -- prevail?

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Elementary

No Talking

by Andrew Clements and Mark Elliott

In No Talking, Andrew Clements portrays a battle of wills between some spunky kids and a creative teacher with the perfect pitch for elementary school life that made Frindle an instant classic.It's boys vs. girls when the noisiest, most talkative, and most competitive fifth graders in history challenge one another to see who can go longer without talking. Teachers and school administrators are in an uproar, until an innovative teacher sees how the kids' experiment can provide a terrific and unique lesson in communication.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Elementary

The Wishing Spell

by Chris Colfer

Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change.When the twins' grandmother gives them a treasured fairy-tale book, they have no idea they're about to enter a land beyond all imagining: the Land of Stories, where fairy tales are real.But as Alex and Conner soon discover, the stories they know so well haven't ended in this magical land - Goldilocks is now a wanted fugitive, Red Riding Hood has her own kingdom, and Queen Cinderella is about to become a mother!The twins know they must get back home somehow. But with the legendary Evil Queen hot on their trail, will they ever find the way?The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell brings readers on a thrilling quest filled with magic spells, laugh-out-loud humour and page-turning adventure.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Elementary

Half-Moon Investigations

by Eoin Colfer

Fletcher Moon has never been like other kids. For one thing, he has had to suffer the humiliating nickname "Half Moon" because of his short stature. But the real reason Fletcher is different is that ever since he was a baby, he's had the nose for sniffing out mysteries. And let's just say, it's not a skill that has been appreciated by many people, including his own family. That doesn't bother Fletcher, though. After graduating at the top of his Internet class, he is officially certified as the youngest detective in the world. He even has a silver-plated detective's badge to prove it. Everything is going along fine until two things happen: a classmate hires him to solve a crime, and his prized badge is stolen. All signs point to the town's most notorious crime family, the Sharkeys. As Fletcher follows the clues, evidence of a conspiracy begins to emerge. But before he can crack the case, Fletcher finds himself framed for a serious crime. To clear his name, he will have to pair up with the unlikeliest of allies and go on the run from the authorities. Fletcher has twelve hours to find the guilty party -- or he is the guilty party.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Middle Grade

Gregor the Overlander

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

How to Train Your Dragon

by Cressida Cowell

Chronicles the adventures and misadventures of Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III as he tries to pass the important initiation test of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans, by catching and training a dragon..

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Elementary

A Tale Dark and Grimm

by Adam Gidwitz and Hugh D'Andrade

In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches.Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Elementary

A Mutiny in Time

by James Dashner

History is broken, and three kids must travel back in time to set it right. When best friends Dak Smyth and Sera Froste stumble upon a secret of time travel - a hand-held device known as the Infinity Ring - they're swept up in a centuries-long secret war for the fate of mankind.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Elementary

A Mutiny in Time

by James Dashner and Scholastic Multi-Platform

Scholastic's next multi-platform mega-event begins here! History is broken, and three kids must travel back in time to set it right! When best friends Dak Smyth and Sera Froste stumble upon the secret of time travel -- a hand-held device known as the Infinity Ring -- they're swept up in a centuries-long secret war for the fate of mankind. Recruited by the Hystorians, a secret society that dates back to Aristotle, the kids learn that history has gone disastrously off course. Now it's up to Dak, Sera, and teenage Hystorian-in-training Riq to travel back in time to fix the Great Breaks . . . and to save Dak's missing parents while they're at it. First stop: Spain, 1492, where a sailor named Christopher Columbus is about to be thrown overboard in a deadly mutiny!

Date Added: 01/15/2019


Category: Elementary

The Lemonade War

by Jacqueline Davies

For a full hour, he poured lemonade. The world is a thirsty place, he thought as he nearly emptied his fourth pitcher of the day. And I am the Lemonade King. Fourth grader Evan Treski is people-smart. He's good at talking with people, even grownups. His younger sister, Jessie, on the other hand, is math-smart, but not especially good with people. So when the siblings' lemonade-stand war begins, there really is no telling who will win--or even if their fight will ever end. Brimming with savvy marketing tips for making money at any business, definitions of business terms, charts, diagrams, and even math problems, this fresh, funny, emotionally charged novel subtly explores how arguments can escalate beyond anyone's intent. This book features a teaser chapter from book two of the Lemonade War series, The Lemonade Crime.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Elementary

Liberty Porter, First Daughter

by Julia Devillers

Meet Liberty Porter. She's a regular nine-year-old girl with a lot going on. First of all, her dad has just started a new job. And she has to move to a house in a new city. Oh, and the really big thing? Her dad? His new job is president of the United States. That's right. So the house is the White House, and the city is Washington, D.C. That means Liberty Porter is going to be First Daughter and she is super-excited! This is the start of an amazing adventure for Liberty, for the Secret Service who follow her everywhere (ha!), and for her dog, Franklin, who makes life in the big White House more exciting -- especially when he's barking at tourists. Join Liberty as she turns life in Washington (and the rest of the country) upside down in this fresh and funny novel from Julia DeVillers, author of How My Private Personal Journal Became a Bestseller and coauthor of Trading Faces.

Date Added: 08/08/2017


Category: Elementary

The Search for WondLa

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

Nightmare Academy

by Dean Lorey and Brandon Dorman

Join Charlie Benjamin on a "fast-paced, action-packed" adventure. When Charlie's nightmares bring monsters to Earth, Charlie gets a once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn to control his powers at the incredible Nightmare Academy. "marvelous creatures" greet Charlie and his new friends as they embark on "a straight-forward thrill ride" of "rip-roaring monster slayings" in a debut novel that's "pure entertainment."

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


Showing 1 through 25 of 67 results