Middle Grade (ages 9-12)
THE ALWAYS WAR by Margaret Peterson Haddix "For as long as Tessa can remember, her country has been at war. When local golden boy Gideon Thrall is awarded a medal for courage, it’s a rare bright spot for everyone in Tessa’s town—until Gideon refuses the award, claims he was a coward, and runs away. Tessa is bewildered, and can’t help but follow Gideon to find out the truth. But Tessa is in for more than she bargained for. Before she knows it, she has stowed away on a rogue airplane and is headed for enemy territory. But all that pales when she discovers a shocking truth that rocks the foundation of everything she’s ever believed—a truth that will change the world. But is Tessa strong enough to bring it into the light?"
BEYOND THE CODE: WARRIORS, SKYCLAN AND THE STRANGER by Erin Hunter "Leafstar was able to escape from the Twoleg’s home with the help of Billystorm and her Clanmates, but more trouble lies ahead. Sol has joined SkyClan’s ranks and, unbeknownst to Leafstar, may be leading her Clanmates astray. When Sol’s actions bring about a disaster for the Clan, Leafstar must determine whether or not to trust the stranger in her ranks—at the risk of jeopardizing SkyClan’s future."
CIRCUS GALACTICUS by Deva Fagan "Trix can deal with being an orphan charity case at a snotty boarding school. She can hold her own when everyone else tells her not to dream big dreams. She can even fight back against the mysterious stranger in a silver mask who tries to steal the meteorite her parents trusted her to protect.
But her life is about to change forever. The Circus Galacticus has come to town, bringing acts to amaze, delight, and terrify. And now the dazzling but enigmatic young Ringmaster has offered Trix the chance to be a part of it.
Soon Trix discovers an entire universe full of deadly enemies and potential friends, not to mention space leeches, ancient alien artifacts, and exploding chocolate desserts. And she just might unravel the secrets of her own past if she can survive long enough."
FALLING FOR HENRY by Bev Brenna "A 15-year old girl, lonely after the sudden death of her father, finds herself transported back to the days of Henry VIII's teenage years where she inhabits the body of Katherine of Aragon and has to deal with the increasingly fervent attentions of the young prince."
THE FORGOTTEN WARRIOR: WARRIORS, OMEN OF THE STARS by Erin Hunter "The end of the stars draws near. Three must become four to battle the darkness that lasts forever. . . . THE FREEDOM MAZE by Delia Sherman "Thirteen-year-old Sophie isn't happy about spending summer at her grandmother's old house in the Bayou. But the house has a maze Sophie can't resist exploring once she finds it has a secretive and playful inhabitant. When she makes an impulsive wish, she slips one hundred years into the past, to the year 1860. Once she makes her way, bedraggled and tanned, to what will one day be her grandmother’s house, she is taken for a slave."
VISIONS by Eric Walters "Twin brothers Rob and Mark are helping their scientist mother with her institute's muskox-observing mission. No one can figure out why no muskox can be found - until Rob and Mark get some strange information that leads them to a mysteriously etched human bone and an old Inuit man who seems to have appeared from nowhere to entrance them with eerie folk legends. Then the brothers find themselves suddenly speaking fluent Inuktitut and having nightmare visions..."
DEATH WATCH: THE UNDERTAKEN TRILOGY by Ari Berk "They say the dead should rest in peace. Not all the dead agree. One night, Silas Umber's father Amos doesn't come home from work. Devastated, Silas learns that his father was no mere mortician but an Undertaker, charged with bringing The Peace to the dead trapped in the Shadowlands, the states of limbo binding spirits to earth. With Amos gone, Silas and his mother have no choice but to return to Lichport, the crumbling seaside town where Silas was born, and move in with Amos's brother, Charles.
Even as Silas eagerly explores his father's town and its many abandoned streets and overgrown cemeteries, he grows increasingly wary of his uncle. There is something not quite right going on in Charles Umber's ornate, museum-like house--something, Silas is sure, that is connected to his father's disappearance. When Silas's search leads him to his father's old office, he comes across a powerful artifact: the Death Watch, a four hundred year old Hadean clock that allows the owner to see the dead.
Death Watch in hand, Silas begins to unearth Lichport's secret history--and discovers that he has taken on his father's mantle as Lichport's Undertaker. Now, Silas must embark on a dangerous path into the Shadowlands to embrace his destiny and discover the truth about his father--no matter the cost.
THE FUTURE OF US by Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler "It's 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They've been best friends almost as long - at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh's family gets a free AOL CD in the mail,his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they're automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn't been invented yet. And they're looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.
Each soul costs Wendy, delivering too many souls would be deadly, and yet she is driven to patrol, dropping everyone in her life but her best friend, Eddie—who wants to be more than friends—until she meets Piotr.
Piotr, the first Rider and guardian of the Lost, whose memory of his decades in the never, a world that the living never see, has faded away. With his old-fashioned charms, and haunted kindness, he understands Wendy in ways no one living ever could, yet Wendy is hiding that she can do more than exist in the never. Wendy is falling for a boy who she may have to send into the light.
But there are darker forces looking for the Lost. Trying to regain the youth and power that the Lost possess, the dark ones feed on the Lost and only Wendy and Piotr can save them—but at what cost?"MANGAMAN by Barry Lyga "East meets West in this innovative and very smart graphic novel by Barry Lyga, illustrated by Colleen Doran. Sci-fi adventure meets love story—and East meets West—in Mangaman, an original
graphic novel for teens.
Ryoko, a manga character from a manga world, falls through the Rip into the “real” world—the western world—and tries to survive as the ultimate outsider at a typical American high school.
When Ryoko falls in love with Marissa Montaigne, the most beautiful girl in the school, his eyes turn to hearts and comic tension tightens as his way of being drawn and expressing himself clashes with this different Western world in which he is stuck in. “Panel-holed” for being different, Ryoko has to figure out how to get back to his manga world, back through the Rip . . . all while he has hearts for eyes for a girl from the wrong kind of comic book.
Barry Lyga writes a metafictive masterpiece as manga meets traditional Western comic book style, while Colleen Doran combines manga techniques and conventions with Western comic book"
OUT OF THE DEPTHS by Cathy MacPhail "In "Out of the Depths", Cathy MacPhail introduces her latest character, Tyler Lawless, who has an unusual and sometimes scary gift. She is able to see dead people. And sometimes they speak to her, asking for her help. When Tyler is sent to a new school because her so called 'storytelling' about seeing dead teachers gets her into too much trouble, she is hoping to make a fresh start. But it is very difficult to make a new start when boys who are supposed to be dead appear in your classroom, and statues in the school seem to move and point towards one part of school in particular - the chapel, where the dead boy, Ben Kincaid, was murdered ...Will Tyler be able to assist Ben with his pleas for help, or will she just be dismissed again as an attention-seeking teller of tall tales?"
THE PLEDGE by Kimberly Derting "In the violent country of Ludania, the language you speak determines what class you are, and there are harsh punishments if you forget your place—looking a member of a higher class in the eye can result in immediate execution. Seventeen-year-old Charlaina (Charlie for short) can understand all languages, a dangerous ability she’s been hiding her whole life. Her only place of release is the drug-filled underground club scene, where people go to shake off the oppressive rules of the world they live in. There, she meets a beautiful and mysterious boy who speaks a language she’s never heard, and her secret is almost exposed. Through a series of violent upheavals, it becomes clear that Charlie herself is the key to forcing out the oppressive power structure of her kingdom…."
SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi "The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette's touch is fatal. As long as she doesn't hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war-- and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she's exactly what they need right now."
UNLEASHED: WOLF SPRINGS CHRONICLESby Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie "Katelyn McBride’s life changed in an instant when her mother died. Uprooted from her California home, Katelyn was shipped to the middle of nowhere, Arkansas, to her only living relative, her grandfather. And now she has to start over in Wolf Springs, a tiny village in the Ozark Mountains. Like any small town, Wolf Springs has secrets. But the secrets hidden here are more sinister than Katelyn could ever imagine. It’s a town with a history that reaches back centuries, spans continents, and conceals terrifying truths. And Katelyn McBride is about to change everything."
WHEREVER YOU GO by Heather Davis "A poignant story about making peace with the past and opening your heart to love. Seventeen-year-old Holly Mullen has felt lost and lonely ever since her boyfriend, Rob, died in a tragic accident. But she has no idea that as she goes about her days, Rob’s ghost is watching over her. He isn’t happy when he sees his best friend, Jason, trying to get close to Holly—but as a ghost, he can do nothing to stop it. As their uncertain new relationship progresses, the past comes back to haunt Holly and Jason. Her Alzheimer’s-stricken grandfather claims to be communicating with the ghost of Rob. Could the messages he has for Holly be real? And if so, how can the loved ones Rob left behind help his tortured soul make it to the other side?"