Book Recommendations

Non-Fiction

Lincoln's Spymaster: Allan Pinkerton, America's First Private Eye
Samantha Seiple (2015)

A biography of the Scottish immigrant barrel maker whose side line detective work developed into the oldest and most famous detective agency in the United States.

Fiction

Mystery/Adventure

Hideout
Watt Key (2017)

The son of a Mississippi policeman finds a boy living and hiding in the swampy wilderness and tries to help him without giving away his secret.

Fantasy

The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Kelly Barnhill (2016)

"An epic fantasy about a young girl raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon who must unlock the powerful magic buried deep insider her." (Newbery Award Winner)

Horizon
Scott Westerfeld (2017)

A school robotics team, headed for a competition in Japan, is in trouble when their plane crashes in the Arctic. They expect to see ice and snow, but instead, they find themselves lost in a strange jungle with razor-beaked shredder birds and carnivorous vines. This is an exciting survival story which will continue in a sequel coming out in September!

The Nest
Kenneth Oppel (2015)

Steve is always anxious and his baby brother’s health issues take it to another level. When he is approached by the Wasp Queen, who claims she can solve his worries, he learns agreeing with the wasps comes with a dangerous price. Haunting and eerie.

Who Let the Gods Out?
Maz Evans (2017)

Twelve-year old Elliot Hooper has many problems: his mother has been behaving strangely, they are in danger of losing their farm and he is failing at school. When he finds a girl in the barn and she announces that she is Virgo, an immortal constellation, it just seems part of the normal chaos but soon he is swept up in the Gods' hunt for prisoner 42, Thanatos, Daemon of Death.

The Wild Robot
Peter Brown (2016)

Robot Roz opens up her eyes for the first time on a remote, wild island. She had no idea how she got there but she slowly befriends the animals on the island. One day, the robot's mysterious past comes back to haunt her. A fun, fast-moving story!

Realistic

Garvey's Choice
Nikki Grimes (2016)

Garvey's father has always wanted Garvey to be athletic, but Garvey is interested in astronomy, science fiction, reading-anything but sports. Feeling like a failure, he comforts himself with food. Garvey is kind, funny and smart but he is also lonely and teased by bullies. When his only friend encourages him to join the chorus, Garvey's life changes.

Ghost
Jason Reynolds (2016)

When basketball player Castle Cranshaw, nicknamed Ghost, challenges an elite sprinter to a race and wins, he finds himself on the radar of an Olympic medalist track coach who wants to nurture his raw talent. But Ghost's anger and determination to outrun his past, could stand in the way of finding success on the track.

In Case You Missed It
Sarah Darer Littmann (2016)

Sammy Wallach's plans for the end of her junior year include sneaking out to the city to see her favorite band and getting Jamie Moss to ask her to the faux prom, but when the international bank her father works for is hacked she suddenly finds her and her family's whole digital world, emails, photos, journal, exposed for everyone to see--and the repercussions are making all their lives a misery.

Scar Island
Dan Gemeinhart (2017)

Twelve year old Jonathan Grisby has been sent to the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys, a former lunatic asylum which is currently run by a heartless man. Trapped on this island with a group of boys, he must learn how to survive and overcome a problem from his past.

Historical Fiction

Armstrong & Charlie
Steven B. Frank (2017)

During the pilot year of a Los Angeles school system integration program, two 6th grade boys (one black and one white), become best friends and learn to cope with bullies, the loss of loved ones and racial prejudice in the 1970s.

Girl in the Blue Coat
Monica Hesse (2016)

In 1943 Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, teenage Hanneke--a 'finder' of black market goods--is tasked with finding a Jewish girl a customer had been hiding, who has seemingly vanished into thin air, and is pulled into a web of resistance activities and secrets as she attempts to solve the mystery and save the missing girl.

The War That Saved My Life
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (2015)

A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother. (Newbery Honor Book)

Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Echo
Pam Munoz Ryan (2015)

Lost in the Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and finds himself entwined in a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica--and decades later, three children, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California, find themselves caught up in the same thread of destiny in the darkest days of the 20th Century. (Newbery Honor Book)

Flashback Four: The Titanic Mission
Dan Gutman (2017)

Four very different kids are picked by a mysterious billionaire to travel through time and photograph some of history's most important events. This time, Luke, Julia, David, and Isabel are headed to the deck of the doomed Titanic. Their mission? Capture a shot of the sinking ship, then come right back. Can they do it?

The Inquisitor's Tale
Adam Gidwitz (2016)

An exciting and hilarious medieval adventure. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children. Their adventures take them on a chase through France: they are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon.