Battle of the Books
by J.L. Esplin
The Lockwood brothers are supposed to be able to survive anything. Their dad, a hardcore survivalist, has stockpiled enough food and water on their isolated Nevada ranch to last for months. But when they are robbed at gunpoint during a massive blackout while their dad is out of town, John and Stew must walk 96 miles in the stark desert sun to get help--and they have only 3 days before their time runs out.
Addison Cooke and the Treasure of the Incas
by Jonathan W. Stokes
Smooth-talking Addison Cooke loves a grand adventure. After Addison's uncle unearths the first ancient Incan clue needed to find a vast trove of lost treasure, he is kidnapped by members of a shadowy organization intent on stealing the riches. An expert in Incan history, Addison's uncle is the bandits' key to deciphering the ancient clues and looting the treasure. . . unless Addison and his friends can outsmart the kidnappers and decipher the clues first. So it's off to Peru, across the Amazon, and all the way to Machu Picchu in a race for riches and history.
Amber and Clay
by Laura Amy Schlitz
In a warlike land of wind and sunlight, “ringed by a restless sea,” live Rhaskos and Melisto, spiritual twins with little in common beyond the violent and mysterious forces that dictate their lives. A Thracian slave in a Greek household, Rhaskos is as common as clay, a stable boy worth less than a donkey, much less a horse. Wrenched from his mother at a tender age, he nurtures in secret, aided by Socrates, his passions for art and philosophy. Melisto is a spoiled aristocrat, a girl as precious as amber but willful and wild. She’ll marry and be tamed—the curse of all highborn girls—but risk her life for a season first to serve Artemis, goddess of the hunt. Bound by destiny, Melisto and Rhaskos—Amber and Clay—never meet in the flesh. By the time they do, one of them is a ghost. But the thin line between life and death is just one boundary their unlikely friendship crosses. Blending verse, prose, and illustrated archaeological “artifacts,” this is a tale that transcends time.
City of Ghosts
by Victoria Schwab
Cassidy Blake's parents are The Inspecters, a somewhat inept ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one. When The Inspecters head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn't sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn't belong in her world. Cassidy's powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.
by Nic Stone
How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma:
* Grab a Suitcase: Prepacked from the big spring break trip that got CANCELLED.
* Fasten Your Seatbelt: G'ma's never conventional, so this trip won't be either.
* Use the Green Book: G'ma's most treasured possession. It holds history, memories, and, most important, the way home.
What Not to Bring:
* A Cell Phone: Avoid contact with Dad at all costs. Even when G'ma starts acting stranger than usual.
Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a trip with a boy who is about to discover the world hasn't always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren't always what they seem--his G'ma included.
by Gene Luen Yang
Gene understands stories—comic book stories, in particular. But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him “Stick” and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it's all anyone can talk about. The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that’s been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships. Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he’s seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons’s lives, but his own life as well. Graphic Novel.
by Alan Gratz
Ground Zero weaves together two stories – one from September 11, 2001 and one from September 11 2019. In 2001, Brandon, a 9-year-old boy, goes to work for the day with his dad . . . at the World Trade Center in New York City. When two planes hit the towers, Brandon and his father are trapped inside a fiery nightmare as terror and confusion swirl around them. Can they escape -- and what will the world be like when they do? In present-day Afghanistan, Reshmina is an 11-year-old girl who is used to growing up in the shadow of war, but she has dreams of peace and unity. When she ends up harboring a wounded young American soldier, she and her entire family are put in mortal danger. But Reshmina also learns something surprising about the roots of this endless war.
How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous
by Georgia Bragg
Getting sick and dying can be a big, ugly mess, especially before modern medical care was available How They Croaked relays all the gory details of how nineteen world figures gave up the ghost. Readers will feel lucky to live in a world with painkillers, X-rays, soap, and 911.
by Kenneth Oppel
Ethan’s dad is a comic artist whose greatest creation, the mutant superhero Kren, brought him fame and glory. But after his dad’s string of successful books, a tragedy strikes the family and now his dad is completely stuck. If only artistic talent were hereditary. Ethan is stuck on a graphic-novel project of his own at school and won’t own up to the fact that he can’t draw. When one night an ink-blot creation emerges from his father’s sketchbook, the family’s whole world begins to change. Features artwork by award-winning illustrator Sydney Smith.
Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks
by Jason Reynolds
This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy — Talking about boogers, stealing pocket change, skateboarding, wiping out, braving up, executing complicated handshakes, planning an escape, making jokes, lotioning up, finding comfort, but mostly, too busy walking home. Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.
by Joseph Bruchac
Malain is visiting her grandparents on a Wabanaki reservation when all travel is halted due to COVID-19. Temporarily separated from her parents and classmates, Malain struggles with boredom, loneliness, and anxiety related to the pandemic. With the help of a local dog, community members, and her grandparents’ stories, Malain learns about her family’s resilience in the face of past traumatic events and finds the strength to help her family face the current crisis. Novel told in verse.
Roy Morelli Steps Up to the Plate
by Thatcher Heldring
Eight-grader Roy Morelli can’t wait for baseball season to start so he can take his rightful place as shortstop for the Pilchuk All-Star team. Being on the All-Stars is just the warm-up for the big leagues: the varsity baseball team at the high school Roy will go to next year. But when Roy’s divorced parents find out he’s failing history, they make him quit the All-Stars. Now Roy is stuck on a losing team in the wimpy rec league, and instead of playing ball every spare minute, he’s spending his afternoons with a tutor—who just happens to be his dad’s brainiac girlfriend. If Roy’s going to impress the varsity baseball coach, he’s sure he should be looking out for number one, not wasting his time studying. After all, baseball is what Roy does best. But when his grades continue to slide and his teammates get tired of his know-it-all attitude, Roy Morelli will need to step up to the plate.
Show Me a Sign
by Ann Clare LeZotte
Mary Lambert has always felt safe and protected on her beloved island of Martha's Vineyard. Her great-grandfather was an early English settler and the first deaf islander. Now, over a hundred years later, many people there - including Mary - are deaf, and nearly everyone can communicate in sign language. Mary has never felt isolated. She is proud of her lineage. But recent events have delivered winds of change. Mary's brother died, leaving her family shattered. Tensions over land disputes are mounting between English settlers and the Wampanoag people. And a cunning young scientist has arrived, hoping to discover the origin of the island's prevalent deafness. His maniacal drive to find answers soon renders Mary a "live specimen" in a cruel experiment. Her struggle to save herself is at the core of this novel.
by Adam P Schmitt
As if being stuffed into last year's dress pants at his cousin's wake weren't uncomfortable enough, thirteen-year-old Jimmy has just learned from his mother that he has to say a few words at the funeral the next day. Why him? What could he possibly say about his cousin, who ruined everything they did? As Jimmy attempts to navigate the odd social norms of the wake, he draws on humor, heartfelt concern, and a good deal of angst while racking his brain and his memory for a decent and meaningful memory to share. But it's not until faced with a microphone that the realization finally hits him: it's not the words that are spoken that matter the most, but those that are truly heard.
by Lisa Fipps
Ever since Ellie wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash at her fifth birthday party, she’s been bullied about her weight. To cope, she tries to live by the Fat Girl Rules–like “no making waves,” “avoid eating in public,” and “don’t move so fast that your body jiggles.” And she’s found her safe space–her swimming pool–where she feels weightless in a fat-obsessed world. In the water, she can stretch herself out like a starfish and take up all the room she wants. It’s also where she can get away from her pushy mom, who thinks criticizing Ellie’s weight will motivate her to diet. Fortunately, Ellie has allies in her dad, her therapist, and her new neighbor, Catalina, who loves Ellie for who she is. With this support buoying her, Ellie might finally be able to cast aside the Fat Girl Rules and starfish in real life–by unapologetically being her own fabulous self.
The Okay Witch
by Emma Steinkellner
Thirteen-year-old Moth Hush loves all things witchy. But she’s about to discover that witches aren’t just the stuff of movies, books, and spooky stories. When some eighth-grade bullies try to ruin her Halloween, something really strange happens. It turns out that Founder’s Bluff, Massachusetts, has a centuries-old history of witch drama. And, surprise: Moth’s family is at the center of it all! When Moth’s new powers show up, things get totally out-of-control. She meets a talking cat, falls into an enchanted diary, and unlocks a hidden witch world. Secrets surface from generations past as Moth unravels the complicated legacy at the heart of her town, her family, and herself.
Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic
by Armand Baltazar
The Time Collision came from beyond the stars, a cosmic event that fractured time and space, tearing apart the earth and reshaping it into something entirely new. This is the world Diego Ribera was born into. The past, present, and future coexisting together. In New Chicago, Diego’s middle school hallways buzz with kids from all eras of history and from cultures all over the world. The pieces do not always fit together neatly, but this is the world he loves. There are those, however, who do not share his affection. On his thirteenth birthday, Diego learns of a special gift he has within, a secret that is part of something much bigger—something he cannot understand. When his father, New Chicago’s top engineer, is taken by the Aeternum, Diego must rescue him and prevent this evil group from disrupting the fragile peace humanity has forged.
To Night Owl from Dogfish
by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Avery Bloom, who's bookish, intense, and afraid of many things, particularly deep water, lives in New York City. Bett Devlin, who's fearless, outgoing, and loves all animals as well as the ocean, lives in California. What they have in common is that they are both twelve years old, and are both being raised by single, gay dads. When their dads fall in love, Bett and Avery are sent, against their will, to the same sleepaway camp. Their dads hope that they will find common ground and become friends--and possibly, one day, even sisters.But things soon go off the rails for the girls (and for their dads too), and they find themselves on a summer adventure that neither of them could have predicted. Now that they can't imagine life without each other, will the two girls (who sometimes call themselves Night Owl and Dogfish) figure out a way to be a family?
We Dream of Space
by Erin Entrada Kelly
Cash loves basketball, Dr. J, and a girl named Penny; he's also in danger of failing seventh grade for a second time. Fitch spends every afternoon playing Major Havoc at the arcade and wrestles with an explosive temper that he doesn't understand. Bird, his twelve-year-old twin, dreams of being NASA's first female shuttle commander, but feels like she's disappearing. The Nelson Thomas siblings have little in common except an enthusiastic science teacher named Ms. Salonga—a failed applicant to the Teacher in Space program—who encourages her students to live vicariously through the launch. Cash and Fitch take a passive interest, but Bird builds her dreams around it. When the fated day arrives, it changes everything.
by Kip Wilson
German university student Sophie Scholl and her brother are about to face sentencing for a crime punishable by death: distributing pamphlets that speak out against Hitler’s regime. This novel in verse retells the incredible true story of a young activist who put her life on the line as she tried to rally her fellow Germans against a fascist regime and asks the difficult question – What would you risk not for your own freedom, but for someone else’s?
Book summaries adapted from Amazon.