ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND
Alice Bell knows that her father won't go out at night. She doesn't understand why. Everyone thinks he is a bit deranged. But when he does agree to go to her sister's concert, she comes to understand why he is so afraid. On the way home, they are attacked by creatures who kill Alice's parents and her sister. Alice goes to live with her grandparents and she learns the horrible truth. There are monsters out there that only a few can see. Her father was one of them. And she is another. And now she joins a team of others teens to fight the undead and avenge the deaths of her family.
Clark, Simon P.
TELL THE STORY TO ITS END
New York : St. Martin's Griffin, 2015
Oli and his mother have come to the country to stay with relatives but no one will tell him why his father is not with them. Oli in encouraged to explore the house as well as the town. He explores the attic in the house and finds a mysterious creature named Eren. Oli is not quite sure if Eren is even real. But the winged creature thirsts for stories. Lots of stories. Oli tells the stories but there is always the need for another. What is Eren and why are the stories needed?
Orca Press, 2012
IL 5-8, RL 5.0
Webb is doing OK by himself. He has been kicked out of his home and now spends his time on the streets of Toronto. His stepfather is abusive and he just can't live with that anymore. If he tells anyone, he risks putting his mother into danger. When Webb's beloved grandfather dies, he is told to come to the reading of the will. In the will, his grandfather tells him he must take a journey through 110 kilometers of Canadian wilderness and find a secret in Devil's Pass. The trip is hard and confusing for Webb. But as his grandfather always said, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger.
CAMILLE'S STORY 1910
New York : Simon Spotlight, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 5.1
Camille is the daughter of the cook at Rousseau Manor. Her father had been the groundskeeper until he passed away a few years before. Now Camille's mother is trying to teach her to cook even though Camille is not that good at it. Although she is in service at the manor, the Rousseaus treat her well and she sometimes forgets that she is the help. When the family learns that a young relative from the States will be coming to live with them, Camille does her best to prepare for the arrival. But she will find that there are secrets in the Manor.
LARRY AND THE MEANING OF LIFE
New York : Square Fish, 2014
Josh Swensen, aka Larry, is back and he is still searching for the meaning of life. After his adventures writing his blog and his run for President, he is still searching. And what better place to search than Walden Pond. Here he meets a strange man who convinces him to join a study group to find answers. Josh is a bit skeptical at first but he is intrigued. He starts with the idea that this is all a joke, but when he finds that his old crush is in the group, he is drawn in even more. How far will Josh go to find the meaning of life? And what twists and turns will we be put through this time?
New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2015
This is going to be the cruise of a lifetime. Laurel can't believe that she gets to go. There is no way her family could afford to send her but her best friend's father has paid her way. The curise is filled with celebrities and the ship is amazing. This is the launch of Solu -- a new sweetener that actually helps you loose weight. The world has been waiting for this and the guest on this cruise will be the first to use it. Laurel is wondering if she can really fit in and when the Tom Forelli, the hottest celeb on the cruise, starts to talk to her, she throws up on his shoes. Not a great start. Little does she know that things will get a lot worse on this cruise. When she realizes that Solu may have shocking side effects, can she convince her best friend to stop taking it?
THE NEPTUNE PROJECT
New York : Disney Hyperion Books, 2012
IL 5-8, RL 5.6
In a not so distant future, we meet Nere, a teen who is living with health issues. She has always had trouble with her lungs but the medicine helps some. She lives with her scientist mother and their dolphins. Well, technically, they don't own the dolphins but they have trained them for years and feel they are part of the family. Both Nere and her mother are telepaths and can "talk" to one of the dolphins. When the government swoops in and demands that all families move away from the coast and move inland, things are going to change forever. Nere's mother brings her down to the secret lab. Two other children are brought down as well and they learn the truth about their condition. They have been genetically modified to live underwater! It will just take one more injection. And just like that, everything Nere knows is shown to be a lie. She is an experiment. And the father who she believed had died is alive and well and creating a colony of children who live underwater. But this journey will be filled with danger, shifting friendships, and new adventures.
THE SAFEST LIE
New York : Holiday House, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 3.9
Nine year old Anna Bauman knows that it is not safe to be a Jew in Nazi occupied Poland. The family has been forced into the Warsaw ghetto and it is a very hard life. But her parents are determined to save Anna even if they can't save themselves. She is to become Anna Karwolska, an 8 year old Catholic girl. She is smuggled out of Warsaw and is taken to a Catholic orphanage. She must never reveal her true name or the fact that she is Jewish. The story follows Anna's three years in hiding and the changes she goes through as she tries to live as Anna Karwolska while not forgetting Anna Bauman.
A PASSION FOR ELEPHANTS : THE REAL LIFE ADVENTURE OF FIELD SCIENTIST CYNTHIA MOSS
New York : Dial, 2015
Cynthia Moss was not afraid of big things. Or big challenges. I didn't know much about her before I read this biography but I am glad that I read it. After graduating from college, Cynthia decided to travel to Africa to see the big continent. While she was there, she got a job photographing elephants. They were big but Cynthia was not afraid. Day after day, Cynthia spent time with the elephants. And with each day, she learned more and more about their behavior. Would you like to find out what Cynthia Moss learned?
Baskin, Nora Raleigh.
RUBY ON THE OUTSIDE
New York : Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 4.4
Eleven year old Ruby Danes has a secret. And she has been keeping it for a long time. Her mother is in prison. Ruby just doesn't want anyone to know. She hasn't really had any friends who she feels close enough to who she wants to risk letting them know. But things may be changing. There is a new girl at the condo complex who is Ruby's age. Throughout the summer, Ruby and Margalit become close friends. Ruby is wondering if she can trust Margalit with the truth but then she learns some disturbing details about her mother's crime. Can it have something to do with Margalit?
THE FAMILY ROMANOV : MURDER, REBELLION, AND THE FALL OF IMPERIAL RUSSIA
New York : Schwartz & Wade, 2014
Imagine having so much money that you couldn’t spend it all in one lifetime. Then imagine ruling over a land so vast that it was morning in one part, while it was still night in another. If you were part of the Romanov family, that is what you would have done. However, you would also be brutally murdered one night along with the rest of your family. The Romanovs were a royal Russian family who lived in a fairy tale world. An evil monk named Rasputin made sure that the family didn’t know that their people were very angry and were starving. The Romanovs didn’t know how their people had to live, but the people knew how the Romanovs lived. The story is true and one you will not forget. This is an easy way to learn a bit of Russian history. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Stone, Tanya Lee.
COURAGE HAS NO COLOR
Somerville, MA : Candlewick Press, 2013
The true story of the first African-American paratroopers formed during World War II. Follow their struggle as they strive to overcome discrimination and rejection despite their exemplary efforts and training. While they never did serve overseas in the war, they were sent on a secret mission to the western United States to find and dismantle balloon bombs sent over by the Japanese. This is an inspiring story of courage and determination in spite of the many hardships they faced. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Snyder, Maria V.
New York : Leap Books, 2013
IL 5-8, RL 6.0
Luke is terrified of thunderstorms! He always has been, but even more so now that his mother has been struck and killed by lightning. His dad is a rescue dog handler and has promised Luke a dog for his birthday. His dad makes arrangements for him to work at a neighboring dog kennel in order to pay for the dog, but Luke really wants a different dog than what his dad wants him to have. Will Luke get the dog he wants? Will he overcome his fear of thunderstorms? Read this compelling realistic fiction story to find out. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
New York : Scholastic, 2012
Would you hike into the forest with a stranger to help him study chimpanzees in the wild? Luc, an orphan in Gabon, Africa, does this to escape from the debt he owes to the bill collector for his mother’s medical treatment before she died. Prof is an interesting man who wants to become the authority on the endangered chimps. He helps Luc learn to read and write as they observe the chimps. Read to learn more about Luc’s adventures with these fascinating endangered animals. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Philbrick, W. R.
ZANE AND THE HURRICANE : A STORY OF KATRINA
New York : Blue Sky Press, 2014
IL 5-8, RL 6.0
Zane is visiting his great-grandmother in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina approaches. While they are evacuating, his dog, Bandit, runs away, and Zane is separated from his great-grandmother. Zane must survive the storm alone. Will he and his dog find his great-grandmother and make it safely back to his mother in New Hampshire? (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
THE SUMMER EXPERIMENT
New York : Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 2014
IL 5-8, RL 4.2
Roberta and her friend Merilee are working on a science project that will surely make them the talk of the school: Are there aliens in Allagash, Maine? The girls hope to win the state science fair and they have the whole summer to work on this project. It seems like they will be able to win and beat the annoying Henry Horton Harris Hemsley when they see white lights over Allagash. Despite the family heartbreak the summer brings, the girls are convinced this will be the summer they make their mark on the world. (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
New York : Clarion, 2014
IL 5-8, RL 5.8
Milo and his family run an inn in a smuggler’s town. It is supposed to be a quiet winter break with just the family, but several guests arrive at the Greenglass House and, due to snow, stay for the break. Each guest has a secretive reason for coming to Greenglass House. As Milo and his new friend Meddy try to unravel the motives, things only become more mysterious. Secrets, an old attic and buried treasure will keep you and Milo on your toes! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Hurwitz, Michele Weber.
THE SUMMER I SAVED THE WORLD IN 65 DAYS
New York : Wendy Lamb, 2014
IL 5-8, RL 3.9
It is the beginning of summer. 65 long hot, muggy days lay ahead. Nina’s parents and brother are preoccupied with their own problems. In fact, everyone in her neighborhood cul-de-sac seems to be busy. Normally, Nina and her grandmother would be involved in a project or cooking, but Grandma died last year and Nina is on her own. She needs a plan. Nina wonders, what would happen if she does one kind deed each day? “Does doing good really do any good?” (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
Holm, Jennifer L.
THE FOURTEENTH GOLDFISH
New York : Random, 2014
IL 3-6, RL 4.4
When her mother picks her grandfather up from jail, Ellie’s sixth grade year takes a drastic turn. Her grandfather is a scientist and, in his latest experiment, has discovered the fountain of youth. He is now a teenage version of himself and will be attending her middle school! How will she survive having her cantankerous grandfather at school every day? Is the world ready for this scientific breakthrough? (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)
THE CASTLE BEHIND THORNS
New York : Katherine Tegen Books, 2014
IL 3-6, RL 3.9
Sand, short for Alexandre, wakes up in an abandoned castle where everything is broken. A wall of thick, dangerous thorns makes escape impossible. Trained as a blacksmith, Sand begins to repair objects in the castle, awakening the castle’s magic. A girl appears and together they must find a way to escape before it is too late! (Booktalk by Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Committee)