Another Quick Audio Review!

Looking for a new audio book to listen to in your car or on the go?  Look no further!

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Stink No Surrender
By Carl Hiaasen, Read by Kirby Heyborne
7 CDs — 7 hours, 50 minutes

skink no surrender bookRichard has always been best friends with his cousin Malley.  She’s kind of a wild child, but she always tells Richard what she’s up to.  When he returns from the beach where he was supposed to meet Malley, her  parents tell him that she’s left for school and has only left him a voicemail message, Richard is suspicious.  Everyone knew that Malley was extremely unhappy about being shipped off to boarding school in New Hampshire.  So Richard starts to snoop around, and realizes that Malley hasn’t gone to school, she’s run off to meet someone she met online.

Richard is worried, but he doesn’t want to get Malley in trouble.  Before he learned of Malley’s disappearance, he had met a stranger on the beach.  A stranger who seemed determined to rescue endangered turtles and who had a stubborn sense of fairness. Richard had been intrigued, and spent some time  investigating the man’s background.  Skink, aside from the being listed as dead, is a former governor of Florida who has a reputation for relishing working for a cause, and being on the side of justice. And he has a local detective who vouches for him.  So when Richard needs advice, Skink seemed like a good source of information.

With no preparation and an alarming phone call from Malley, Richard and Skink set off to rescue his cousin. Florida is full of dangerous creatures, crazy weather, and outrageous people, but somewhere out there is Malley.  And they’re going to find her, no matter what it takes.

skink no surrender audioI really enjoyed the narrator of Skink No Surrender.  He was able to change his voice for every character, and keep you right on the edge of your seat.  Skink especially is a character, and his booming voice is fun to hear.  This audio has everything I look for in something to keep me listening.

Skink No Surrender bridges the gap between Hiaasen’s  teen books and his adult books; in fact, Skink is a character that appears in many of Hiaasen’s adult novels.  Because of the situation with Malley that sets off Richard’s and Skink’s rescue mission, this book is most appropriate for high school students.  The details of Malley’s time with her kidnapper aren’t detailed, but it’s obvious that she doesn’t want to be with him.  So I wouldn’t recommend this title for elementary students, or sensitive middle school students.  With that said, it’s a very enjoyable read–whether it’s the print or the audio version.

 

 

 

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Holiday Books for Teens, 2016 edition!

Gift Books for Teens
Holiday Season 2016

Realistic Fiction

absolutely-true-part-time-indian  memory-book  fault-in-our-stars ill-give-you-the-sun
holding-up-the-universe eleanor-and-park sun-is-also-a-star

The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian  Sherman Alexie

The Memory Book  Lara Avery

The Fault  in Our Stars   John Green

I’ll Give You the Sun Jandi Nelson

Holding Up the Universe  Jennifer Niven

Eleanor and Park  Rainbow Rowell

The Bitter Side of Sweet  Tara Sullivan

The Sun is Also a Star  Nicola Yoon

Fantasy and Science Fiction

forgetting  maze-runner  girl-from-everywhere  i-am-number-four
heartless  tales-of-the-peculiar raven-boys serpent-king

The Forgetting  Sharon Cameron

The Maze Runner  James Dashner

The Girl From Everywhere  Heidi Heilig

I am Number Four  Pittacus Lore

Heartless  Marissa Meyer

Tales of the Peculiar  Ransom Riggs

The Raven Boys  Maggie Stiefvater

The Serpent King  Jeff Zentner

Historical Fiction

fever-1793 passion-of-dolssa revolution black-duck under-the-blood-red-sun
anna-and-the-swallow-man  salt-to-the-sea hired-girl code-name-verity

Fever 1793  Laura Halse Anderson

The Passion of Dolssa  Julie Berry

Revolution  Jennifer Donnelly

Black Duck  Janet Taylor Lisle

Under the Blood Red Sun Grahame Salisbury

Anna and the Swallow Man  Gavriel Savit

Salt to the Sea  Ruth Sepetys

The Hired Girl  Laura Amy Schlitz

Code Name Verity  Elizabeth Wein

Mystery and Adventure

stormbreaker alabama-moon we-were-liars mystery-of-hollow-places
westing-game jackaby peak wolf-hollow

Stormbreaker  Anthony Horowitz

Alabama Moon  Watt Key

We Were Liars  E. Lockhart

The Mystery of Hollow Places  Rebecca Podos

The Westing Game  Ellen Raskin

Jackaby  William Ritter

Peak  Roland Smith

Wolf Hollow  Lauren Wolk

If you would like to read any of these books from our Library, just go to the Minuteman Catalog and enter the title and author to see if a book is available or to request it.

Weston Public Library
December 2016

Open Book: January 15, 2016

OPEN BOOK: AN EMAIL NEWSLETTER FOR TEENS from the Weston Public Library

Open Book is an email newsletter of book recommendations for teens. It is sent once a month and includes book excerpts in six teen fiction categories (realistic fiction, historical fiction, action/ adventure/fantasy/science fiction, romance, the buzz: middle school, and the buzz: high school). If you wish to subscribe to Open Book, please email smitchill@minlib.net or sign up in person at the Youth Services desk at the Library. Open Book email newsletters are also archived here on our blog.

Here are the picks for this week…

Don’t forget to click on the title to be connected to our catalog where you can

Request the book

Read reviews of the book from multiple sources

1 23

 

 

 

 

45 6

 

 

 

 

Realistic Fiction

Emperor of Any Place by Tim Wynne-Jones

When Evan’s father dies suddenly, he finds the book his father had been reading, a diary of a Japanese soldier stranded on a Pacific Island during World War II. There was also an American soldier stranded there.

Read an excerpt

Historical Fiction / Nonfiction

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans graphic novel by Don Brown

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina’s monstrous winds and surging water overwhelmed the protective levees around low-lying New Orleans, Louisiana. Eighty percent of the city flooded, in some places under twenty feet of water. Property damages across the Gulf Coast topped $100 billion. One thousand eight hundred and thirty-three people lost their lives. The tale of this historic storm and the drowning of an American city is one of selflessness, heroism, and courage — and also of incompetence, racism, and criminality. Don Brown’s kinetic art and as-it-happens narrative capture both the tragedy and triumph of one of the worst natural disasters in American history.

Read an excerpt

Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman

The planet Kerenza is attacked, and Kady and Ezra find themselves on a space fleet fleeing the enemy, while their ship’s artificial intelligence system and a deadly plague may be the end of them all.

Read an excerpt

Romance

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can’t walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals, and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized. When Amy decides to hire student aides to help her in her senior year at Coral Hills High School, these two teens are thrust into each other’s lives. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

Read an excerpt

Listen to an interview with the author on WBUR

Buzz: Middle School

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle

In this poetic memoir Engle, the first Latina woman to receive a Newbery Honor, tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War. Her heart was in Cuba, her mother’s tropical island country, a place so lush with vibrant life that it seems like a fairy tale kingdom. But most of the time she lived in Los Angeles, lonely in the noisy city and dreaming of the summers when she can take a plane through the enchanted air to her beloved island. When the hostility between Cuba and the United States erupted at the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Engle’s worlds collided in the worst way possible. Would she ever get to visit her beautiful island again?

Read an excerpt

Buzz:  High School

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

A teenage boy struggles with schizophrenia.

Read an excerpt

 

Open Book: November 20, 2015

OPEN BOOK: AN EMAIL NEWSLETTER FOR TEENS from the Weston Public Library

Open Book is an email newsletter of book recommendations for teens. It is sent once a month and includes book excerpts in six teen fiction categories (realistic fiction, historical fiction, action/ adventure/fantasy/science fiction, romance, the buzz: middle school, and the buzz: high school). If you wish to subscribe to Open Book, please email smitchill@minlib.net or sign up in person at the Youth Services desk at the Library. Open Book email newsletters are also archived here on our blog.

Here are the picks for this week…

Don’t forget to click on the title to be connected to our catalog where you can

Request the book

Read reviews of the book from multiple sources

123456

 

 

Realistic Fiction

The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz

Fourteen-year-old Joan Skraggs, just like the heroines in her beloved novels, yearns for real life and true love. But what hope is there for adventure, beauty, or art on a hardscrabble farm in Pennsylvania where the work never ends? Over the summer of 1911, Joan pours her heart out into her diary as she seeks a new, better life for herself–because maybe, just maybe, a hired girl cleaning and cooking for six dollars a week can become what a farm girl could only dream of–a woman with a future.

Read an excerpt


Historical Fiction / Nonfiction

Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin

The story of Daniel Ellsberg and his decision to steal and publish secret documents about America’s involvement in the Vietnam War.

Read an excerpt


Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction–if they don’t kill each other first.

Read an excerpt

Romance

Kissing in America by Margo Rabb

When she falls for a boy who moves to California without any warning, sixteen-year-old Eva and her best friend, Annie, set off on a road trip to the West Coast to see him again, confronting the complex truth about love along the way.

Read an excerpt, read the reviews and listen to an author interview

Buzz: Middle School

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 1: The Sword of Summer

Magnus Chase has seen his share of trouble. Ever since that terrible night two years ago when his mother told him to run, he has lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, staying one step ahead of the police and truant officers.

One day, Magnus learns that someone else is trying to track him down—his uncle Randolph, a man his mother had always warned him about. When Magnus tries to outmaneuver his uncle, he falls right into his clutches. Randolph starts rambling about Norse history and Magnus’s birthright: a weapon that has been lost for thousands years.

The more Randolph talks, the more puzzle pieces fall into place. Stories about the gods of Asgard, wolves, and Doomsday bubble up from Magnus’s memory. But he doesn’t have time to consider it all before a fire giant attacks the city, forcing him to choose between his own safety and the lives of hundreds of innocents. . .  .

Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die.

Read an excerpt and watch the book trailer

Buzz:  High School

Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson

An account of the Siege of Leningrad reveals the role played by Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich and his Leningrad Symphony in rallying and commemorating their fellow citizens.

Read an excerpt and read the WBUR story

Open Book: June 26, 2015

OPEN BOOK: AN EMAIL NEWSLETTER FOR TEENS from the Weston Public Library

Open Book is an email newsletter of book recommendations for teens. It is sent once a month and includes book excerpts in six teen fiction categories (realistic fiction, historical fiction, action/ adventure/fantasy/science fiction, romance, the buzz: middle school, and the buzz: high school). If you wish to subscribe to Open Book, please email smitchill@minlib.net or sign up in person at the Youth Services desk at the Library. Open Book email newsletters are also archived here on our blog.

Here are the picks for this week…

Don’t forget to click on the title to be connected to our catalog where you can

Request the book

Read reviews of the book from multiple sources

Saint Anything  Boys Who Challenged Hitler   Mosquitoland   Every Last Word   I Will Always Write Back   Go Set a Watchman

Realistic Fiction

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Sydney’s charismatic older brother Peyton has always been the center of attention in the family, but when he’s sent to jail, Sydney struggles to find her place at home and the world until she meets the Chathams, including gentle, protective Mac, who makes her feel seen for the first time.

Read an excerpt


Historical Fiction / Nonfiction

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pederson and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose

At the outset of World War II, Denmark did not resist German occupation. Deeply ashamed of his nation’s leaders, fifteen-year-old Knud Pedersen resolved with his brother and a handful of schoolmates to take action against the Nazis if the adults would not. Naming their secret club after the fiery British leader, the young patriots in the Churchill Club committed countless acts of sabotage, infuriating the Germans, who eventually had the boys tracked down and arrested. But their efforts were not in vain: the boys‘ exploits and eventual imprisonment helped spark a full-blown Danish resistance. Interweaving his own narrative with the recollections of Knud himself, here is Phil Hoose’s inspiring story of these young war heroes

Read an excerpt


Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction

Mosquitoland by David Arnold

When she learns that her mother is sick in Ohio, Mim confronts her demons on a thousand-mile odyssey from Mississippi that redefines her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane.

Read an excerpt


Romance

Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.

Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Read an excerpt


Buzz: Middle School

I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda

Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda met as pen pals in 1997 and are still best friends today.

NY Times Review
Read an excerpt


Buzz:  High School

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

An historic literary event: the publication of a newly discovered novel, the earliest known work from Harper Lee, the beloved, bestselling author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Originally written in the mid-1950s, Go Set a Watchman was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before To Kill a Mockingbird. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014.

Go Set a Watchman features many of the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird some twenty years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch—Scout—struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her.

Exploring how the characters from To Kill a Mockingbird are adjusting to the turbulent events transforming mid-1950s America, Go Set a Watchman casts a fascinating new light on Harper Lee’s enduring classic. Moving, funny and compelling, it stands as a magnificent novel in its own right.

 

Read an excerpt from To Kill a Mockingbird

Go Set a Watchman comes out on July 14.  Request a copy today!

OPEN BOOK: April 17, 2015

OPEN BOOK: AN EMAIL NEWSLETTER FOR TEENS from the Weston Public Library

Open Book is an email newsletter of book recommendations for teens. It is sent once a month and includes book excerpts in six teen fiction categories (realistic fiction, historical fiction, action/ adventure/fantasy/science fiction, romance, the buzz: middle school, and the buzz: high school). If you wish to subscribe to Open Book, please email smitchill@minlib.net or sign up in person at the Youth Services desk at the Library. Open Book email newsletters are also archived here on our blog.

Here are the picks for this week…

Don’t forget to click on the title to be connected to our catalog where you can

Request the book

Read reviews of the book from multiple sources

1   3    2

6   4   5

Realistic Fiction

A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman

In India, a girl who excels at Bharatanatyam dance refuses to give up after losing a leg in an accident.

Read an excerpt

Historical Fiction / Nonfiction

The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

When Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, inherited the throne in 1894, he was unprepared to do so. With their four daughters (including Anastasia) and only son, a hemophiliac, Nicholas and his reclusive wife, Alexandra, buried their heads in the sand, living a life of opulence as World War I raged outside their door and political unrest grew into the Russian Revolution. Deftly maneuvering between the lives of the Romanovs and the plight of Russia’s peasants and urban workers–and their eventual uprising–Fleming offers up a fascinating portrait, complete with inserts featuring period photographs and compelling primary-source material that brings it all to life.

Read an excerpt
Watch the book trailer

Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Science Fiction

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach

The lives of four high school seniors intersect weeks before a meteor is set to pass through Earth’s orbit, with a 66.6% chance of striking and destroying all life on the planet.

Read an excerpt

Romance

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson

Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit–everyone is a little too busy and overscheduled–but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains. Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve. As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance–with family, with friends, and with love.

Read an excerpt

Watch the author talk about the book

Buzz: Middle School

Drums, Girls, & Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

When his younger brother is diagnosed with leukemia, thirteen-year-old Steven tries to deal with his complicated emotions, his school life, and his desire to support his family.

Read an excerpt

Buzz:  High School

Hunt for the Bamboo Rat by Graham Salisbury

Zenji Watanabe, seventeen, is sent from Hawaii to the Philippines to spy on the Japanese during World War II and, after he is captured and tortured, must find a way to survive months of being lost in the jungle behind enemy lines.

Read an excerpt

 

If you liked Wonder…

wonderWonder, by R.J. Polacio has been a very popular book over the last few years.

Wonder tells the story of Auggie, a fifth-grade boy going to school for the very first time.  Because of a frequent hospitalizations, and the reaction of people around him, Auggie has always been home schooled.  But now that his parents have given him a choice, he chooses to meet more people and be a “regular kid”. 

But the thing is, Auggie will always stand out.  He was born with severe facial abnormalities, which cause people to stare at him.  He’s hoping that his new classmates at the private school he’s about to attend will judge him on his actions, not his face.  But will they?

Told in alternating chapters by Auggie, his sister, his classmates and his parents, this is a powerful story about being different, friendship and courage.

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And if you liked Wonder, you might try:

 

CrossoverThe Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Josh Bell and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he’s got mad beats, too, that tell his family’s story in verse.  In this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood, Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story’s heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

because of mr teruptBecause of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea
It’s the start of fifth grade for seven kids at Snow Hill School. There’s . . . Jessica, the new girl, smart and perceptive, who’s having a hard time fitting in; Alexia, a bully, your friend one second, your enemy the next; Peter, class prankster and troublemaker; Luke, the brain; Danielle, who never stands up for herself; shy Anna, whose home situation makes her an outcast; and Jeffrey, who hates school. Only Mr. Terupt, their new and energetic teacher, seems to know how to deal with them all. He makes the classroom a fun place, even if he doesn’t let them get away with much . . . until the snowy winter day when an accident changes everything—and everyone.

freaky fast frankie joeFreaky Fast Frankie Joe by Lutricia Clifton
Frankie Joe Huckaby, forced to live with the father he never knew, a stepmother, and four stepbrothers in Illinois is miserable. Trying to adjust to his blended family proves too much to bear, so Frankie Joe hatches a plot to escape on his bike back home to Texas. For that he needs money, and so Frankie Joe’s Freaky Fast Delivery Service is born. His deliveries win new friends, a place in the rural Illinois community, and a sense of achievement. But his planned escape is destroyed by a heartbreaking betrayal, and Frankie Joe needs all of his incredible resilience and the loving support of his new family to survive the devastating loss.

mighty miss maloneThe Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis
Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teachers for a special path in life. But the Great Depression hit Gary hard, and there are no jobs for black men. When her beloved father leaves to find work, Deza, Mother, and her older brother Jimmie go in search of him, and end up in a Hooverville outside Flint, Michigan. Jimmie’s beautiful voice inspires him to leave the camp to be a performer, while Deza and Mother find a new home, and cling to the hope that they will find Father.

lemonade_warThe Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies
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.

out of my mindOut of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.

better nate than everBetter Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle
Nate Foster has big dreams. His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he’d settle for *seeing* a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There’s an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, and Nate knows this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom.

absolutely almostAbsolutely Almost by Lisa Graff
Albie has never been the smartest kid in his class. He has never been the tallest. Or the best at gym. Or the greatest artist. Or the most musical. In fact, Albie has a long list of the things he’s not very good at. But then Albie gets a new babysitter, Calista, who helps him figure out all of the things he is good at and how he can take pride in himself.  An inspiring novel about figuring out who you are and doing what you love.

words with wingsWords with Wings by Nikki Grimes
Gaby daydreams to tune out her parents’ arguments, but when her parents divorce and she begins a new school, daydreaming gets her into trouble. Her mother scolds her for it, her teacher keeps telling her to pay attention, and the other kids tease her…until she finds a friend who also daydreams and her teacher decides to work a daydreaming-writing session into every school day. With a notebook “thick with daydreams,” Gaby grows more confident about herself.

same sun hereSame Sun Here by Silas House
Meena and River have a lot in common: fathers forced to work away from home to make ends meet, grandmothers who mean the world to them, and faithful dogs. But Meena is an Indian immigrant girl living in New York City’s Chinatown, while River is a Kentucky coal miner’s son. As Meena’s family studies for citizenship exams and River’s town faces devastating mountaintop removal, this unlikely pair become pen pals, sharing thoughts and discovering common ground in their disparate experiences.

one for the murphysOne for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Twelve-year-old Carley Connors can take a lot. Growing up in Las Vegas with her fun-loving mother, she’s learned to be tough. But she never expected a betrayal that would land her in a foster care. When she’s placed with the Murphys, a lively family with three boys, she’s blindsided. Do happy families really exist? Carley knows she could never belong in their world, so she keeps her distance.

lions of little rockThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine
Twelve-year-old Marlee doesn’t have many friends until she meets Liz, the new girl at school. Liz is bold and brave, and always knows the right thing to say, especially to Sally, the resident mean girl. Liz even helps Marlee overcome her greatest fear – speaking, which Marlee never does outside her family. But then Liz is gone, replaced by the rumor that she was a Negro girl passing as white. But Marlee decides that doesn’t matter. Liz is her best friend. And to stay friends, Marlee and Liz are willing to take on integration and the dangers their friendship could bring to both their families.

rulesRules by Cynthia Lord
Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She’s spent years trying to teach David the rules from “a peach is not a funny-looking apple” to “keep your pants on in public”—in order to head off David’s embarrassing behaviors.  But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a surprising, new sort-of friend, and Kristi, the next-door friend she’s always wished for, it’s her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: What is normal?

gold threaded dressThe Gold-Threaded Dress by Carolyn Marsden
In Thailand she was named Oy, but here in America the teachers call her Olivia. Other things are not so easy to change, however. When Oy draws a portrait of herself with brown hair and eyes as round as coins, her classmate Frankie makes fun of her and calls her Chinese. And the popular girl Liliandra barely speaks to her, until she learns that Oy has something very special: a Thai dancing dress from her grandmother, shimmering with pink silk and golden threads, that makes her look like a princess. Will Oy risk shaming her family to win Liliandra’s approval – and be part of the club she has envied from afar?

rain reignRain Reign by Ann Martin
Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She’s thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose’s obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different – not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father.  When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search.

summer of the gypsy mothsSummer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker
Stella loves living with Great-aunt Louise in her big old house near the water on Cape Cod for many reasons, but mostly because Louise likes routine as much as she does, something Stella appreciates since her mom is, well, kind of unreliable. So while Mom “finds herself,” Stella fantasizes that someday she’ll come back to the Cape and settle down. The only obstacle to her plan? Angel, the foster kid Louise has taken in. Angel couldn’t be less like her name—she’s tough and prickly, and the girls hardly speak to each other. But when tragedy unexpectedly strikes, Stella and Angel are forced to rely on each other to survive, and they learn that they are stronger together than they could have imagined.

glory beGlory Be by Augusta Scattergood
As much as Gloriana June Hemphill, or Glory as everyone knows her, wants to turn twelve, there are times when Glory wishes she could turn back the clock a year. Jesslyn, her sister and former confidante, no longer has the time of day for her now that she’ll be entering high school. Then there’s her best friend, Frankie. Things have always been so easy with Frankie, and now suddenly they aren’t. Maybe it’s the new girl from the North that’s got everyone out of sorts. Or maybe it’s the debate about whether or not the town should keep the segregated public pool open.

counting by 7sCounting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
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.

stargirlStargirl by Jerry Spinelli
Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock’s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first.  Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal.

liar & spyLiar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
When seventh grader Georges (the S is silent) moves into a Brooklyn apartment building, he meets Safer, a twelve-year-old coffee-drinking loner and self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer’s first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: how far is too far to go for your only friend?

center of everythingThe Center of Everything by Linda Urban
For Ruby Pepperdine, the “center of everything” is on the rooftop of Pepperdine Motors in her donut-obsessed town of Bunning, New Hampshire, stargazing from the circle of her grandmother Gigi’s hug. That’s how everything is supposed to be—until Ruby messes up and things spin out of control. But she has one last hope. It all depends on what happens on Bunning Day, when the entire town will hear Ruby read her winning essay. And it depends on her twelfth birthday wish—unless she messes that up too. Can Ruby’s wish set everything straight in her topsy-turvy world?

each kindnessEach Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
Chloe and her friends won’t play with the new girl, Maya. Maya is different–she wears hand-me-downs and plays with old-fashioned toys. Every time Maya tries to join Chloe and her gang, they reject her. Eventually, Maya stops coming to school altogether. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, how much better it could have been if she’d shown Maya a little kindness. This picture book is perfect for sharing with a class about differences and what makes a bully.

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And if you loved Wonder and can’t get enough, there is a another book by R.J. Palacio: 365 Days of Wonder: Mr. Brown’s Book of Precepts.  There are also three e-books, which can be borrowed through Minuteman’s Overdrive Catalog: The Julian Chapter: A Wonder Story, Pluto: A Wonder Story, and Shingaling: A Wonder Story (coming in May).

Happy Reading!

::Kelly::