Today I recommend: All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson.
Homeschooled by Renaissance Fair enthusiasts, eleven-year-old Imogene has a hard time fitting in when her wish to enroll in public school is granted.
Fans of Jamieson’s graphic novel Roller Girl won’t be disappointed! Imogene is another strong female character, and the situations that she grapples with feel realistic even if growing up at a Renaissance Fair sounds far-fetched. Imogene deals with bullying and her desire to make new friends as she adjusts to going to middle school while also training to be a squire at the Ren. Faire. I recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed Awkward and Brave by Chmakova or Real Friends by Shannon Hale.
You can find this graphic novel in the Juvenile Graphic Novel section at J GRAPHIC JAMIESON.
After his parents die, Jeffrey Lionel Magee’s life becomes legendary, as he accomplishes athletic and other feats which awe his contemporaries.
Published in 1990, this book by Jerry Spinelli was an American Library Association Children’s Notable Book in 1991 and won the Illinois Reader’s Choice – Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Book Award in 1993. Readers who enjoy realistic fiction will love this classic!
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J SPINELLI.
Hoping to win a cash prize in a pizza eating contest after racking up a tab on his mother’s credit card, David must juggle his competitive eating training with the responsibility of looking after his autistic younger brother.
This book has it all – suspense, friendship, and horrifyingly gross descriptions of competitive eating. It addresses David’s feelings of being the ‘forgotten’ middle child in his family without ever losing the humor that is necessarily part the book as David works to stretch his stomach and win a competitive eating contest in order to pay back his mom. I winced a little every time he decided to hide his mistake and lie a little more but that situation certainly added to the suspense of the story – you’ll want to know whether or not David can win right from the beginning!
You can find Slider in the Juvenile Fiction section at J HAUTMAN.
As further evidence of his family’s bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.
I read the book well before the movie was released but I am always happy to recommend this book and the movie! This is a fun adventure story that focuses on a friendship that grows to include all of the boys who are prisoners of a terrible correctional camp in Texas. This book is also quite the award winner – Newbery Medal, Illinois’ Rebecca Caudill Award in 2002, and an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book in 1999. Published in 1998, this book is not as old as some that I recommend but it is certainly a classic.
You can find it in the Juvenile Fiction section at J SACHAR.
Guys Read is a web-based literacy program for boys founded by author Jon Scieszka in 2001. Its mission is “to help boys become self-motivated, lifelong readers”. Each of the books below was intended to help readers find their next favorite author by introducing them to authors through short stories from a specific genre.
Guys Read: Funny Business
Guys Read: Terrifying Tales
Guys Read: Thriller
Guys Read: The Sports Pages
Guys Write for Guys Read – There’s something for every guy in this collection of stories, mini-memoirs, advice, poems, comics and drawings chosen by readers on the Guys Read web site.
Guys Read: The Sports Pages – A collection of sports stories featuring everything from fighting to friendship, set everywhere from the tennis court to the hockey rink.
Guys Read: Funny Business – A collection of humorous stories featuring a teenaged mummy, a homicidal turkey, and the world’s largest pool of chocolate milk.
Guys Read: Terrifying Tales – Bone-chilling collection of original ghost stories perfect for sharing around the campfire, reading under the covers with a flashlight, and scaring your friends’ pants off.
A boy recounts his annual summer trips to rural Illinois with his sister during the Great Depression to visit their larger-than-life grandmother.
Originally published in 1998, this book was awarded the Newbery Honor in 1999. The sequel, A Year Down Yonder, won the Newbery Medal for children’s literature in 2001. This historical fiction class is available in large print and as an audiobook! You can find it in the Juvenile Fiction section at J PECK.
Eldest of three sisters in a land where it is considered to be a misfortune, Sophie is resigned to her fate as a hat shop apprentice until a witch turns her into an old woman and she finds herself in the castle of the greatly feared wizard Howl.
Most people will recognize as the title as the name of a movie from 2004 directed by Hayao Miyazaki. The movie is one of the highest grossing anime movies and it is based on this novel by Diana Wynne Jones. The book, Howl’s Moving Castle, was published in 1986. This book has all the enjoyable quirky humor and events that you find in the movie. This was such a fun read! Recommended for fans of the movie, and fans of fantasy novels.
This book can be found in Juvenile Fiction section at J JONES.
Looking for something fun to read? Have you heard of Phoebe and Her Unicorn by Dana Simpson?
Phoebe uses her one wish to make the unicorn, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils, her best friend. Marigold Heavenly Nostrils is a majestic unicorn who isn’t used to the problems Phoebe faces, like kids thinking she’s weird, piano lessons, and what it means to be a friend. Somehow a funny awkward girl and a self-absorbed mythical creature are able to find common ground and become friends! If you find yourself laughing as much as I did, you will be happy to know that this is just the first in the Heavenly Nostrils series!
You can find it in our Juvenile Graphic Novels collection under J GRAPHIC SIMPSON.
Aven Green was born without arms. She has always been encouraged and supported by her parents that she can achieve anything she tries. However, when her family moves from Kansas she leaves her familiar life and friends and now she is in Arizona living at a dying western theme park where her parents become the new managers.
You can imagine it is challenging to meet friends in her new school. And there are many secrets she wants to solve. The tale of Stagecoach Pass is just as compelling as the story of Aven. You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J BOWLING.
If you have seen the movie “Pippi Longstocking,” you might like to read the story by Astrid Lindgren. The book was first published 72 years ago in 1945! The series about Pippi Longstocking has been adapted into numerous books, DVDs, and graphic novels. Pippi lives by herself on the edge of a Swedish village with a monkey and a horse. For more adventures of Pippi read “Pippi Goes to School.”
You can find the books in the Juvenile Fiction section at J LINDGREN.