JLMS Summer Reading List 2020

Click on each book title links to see the book description

Leaving Lymon by Lesa Cline-Ransome

Bloom by Kenneth Oppel

Wink by Rob Harrell

The Magnificent Monsters of Cedar Street by Lauren Oliver

Show Me a  Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte

City Spies by James Ponti

Thieves of Weirdwood by William Shivering

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker

A Monster like Me by Wendi S. Swore

The Three Rules of Everyday Magic by Amanda Rawson Hill

Ghost Squad by Claribel Ortega

Nat Enough by Maria Scrivan

Sheets by Brenna Thummler

Anne of Green Gable by Mariah Marsden; illustrated by Brenna Thummler

The First Dinosaurs: How Science Solved the Greatest Mystery on Earth by Ian Lendler

Animal-inspired robots (Nature-Inspired Innovations) by Robin Michal Koontz

UNDER Stress by Tanya Lloyd

DNA Detective by Tanya Lloyd Kyi

                                                                   

                        

*** All descriptions and reviews are from the library

        Fiction

Leaving Lymon by Lesa Cline-Ransome

Behind every bad boy is a story worth hearing and at least one chance for redemption. It’s 1946 and Lymon, uprooted from his life in the Deep South and moved up North, needs that chance.

Lymon’s father is, for the time being, at Parchman Farm—the Mississippi State Penitentiary—and his mother, whom he doesn’t remember all that much, has moved North. Fortunately, Lymon is being raised by his loving grandparents. Together, Lymon and his grandpops share a love of music, spending late summer nights playing the guitar.

But Lymon’s world as he knows it is about to dissolve. He will be sent on a journey to two Northern cities far from the country life he loves—and the version of himself he knows. In this companion novel to the Coretta Scott King Honor winning Finding Langston, readers will see a new side of the bully Lymon in this story of an angry boy whose raw talent, resilience, and devotion to music help point him in a new direction.

Grades 4-7

Bloom By Kenneth Oppel

The first book in a can't-put-it-down, can't-read-it-fast-enough action-thriller trilogy that's part Hatchet, part Alien!

The invasion begins--but not as you'd expect. It begins with rain. Rain that carries seeds. Seeds that sprout--overnight, everywhere. These new plants take over crop fields, twine up houses, and burrow below streets. They bloom--and release toxic pollens. They bloom--and form Venus flytrap-like pods that swallow animals and people. They bloom--everywhere, unstoppable.

Or are they? Three kids on a remote island seem immune to the toxic plants. Anaya, Petra, Seth. They each have strange allergies--and yet not to these plants. What's their secret? Can they somehow be the key to beating back this invasion? They'd better figure it out fast, because it's starting to rain again....

Grades 5-8

Wink : surviving middle school with one eye open

A hilarious and heart wrenching story about surviving middle school--and an unthinkable diagnosis--while embracing life's weirdness. Ross Maloy just wants to be a normal seventh grader. He doesn't want to lose his hair, or wear a weird hat, or deal with the disappearing friends who don't know what to say to "the cancer kid." But with his recent diagnosis of a rare eye cancer, blending in is off the table. Based on Rob Harrell's real life experience, and packed with comic panels and spot art, this incredibly personal and poignant novel is an unforgettable, heartbreaking, hilarious, and uplifting story of survival and finding the music, magic, and laughter in life's weirdness.

Grades 5-7

The Magnificent Monsters of Cedar Street by Lauren Oliver

Cordelia Clay loves the work she and her father do together: saving and healing the remarkable creatures around Boston at the end of the nineteenth century. Their home on Cedar Street is full to the brim with dragons, squelches, and diggles, and Cordelia loves every one of them.

But their work must be kept secret—others aren’t welcoming to outsiders and immigrants, so what would the people of Boston do to the creatures they call “monsters”?

One morning, Cordelia awakens to discover that her father has disappeared—along with nearly all the monsters.

With only a handful of clues and a cryptic note to guide her, Cordelia must set off to find out what happened to her father, with the help of her new friend Gregory, Iggy the farting filch, a baby dragon, and a small zuppy (zombie puppy, that is).

Grades 4-8

Show Me a  Sign by Ann Clare LeZotte

Deaf author and librarian Ann Clare LeZotte weaves a riveting Own Voices story inspired by the true history of a thriving deaf community on Martha's Vineyard in the early 19th century.* "A must-read." -- Kirkus Review, starred review"A triumph." -- Brian Selznick, creator of Wonderstruck and the Caldecott Honor Book, The Invention of Hugo CabretMary Lambert has always felt safe and protected on her beloved island of Martha's Vineyard. Her great-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 penetrating and poignant novel that probes our perceptions of ability and disability. It will make you forever question your own ideas about what is normal.

Grades 4-8

City Spies by James Ponti

Sara Martinez is a hacker. She recently broke into the New York City foster care system to expose her foster parents as cheats and lawbreakers. However, instead of being hailed as a hero, Sara finds herself facing years in a juvenile detention facility and banned from using computers for the same stretch of time. Enter Mother, a British spy who not only gets Sara released from jail but also offers her a chance to make a home for herself within a secret MI6 agency.

Operating out of a base in Scotland, the City Spies are five kids from various parts of the world. When they're not attending the local boarding school, they're honing their unique skills, such as sleight of hand, breaking and entering, observation, and explosives. All of these allow them to go places in the world of espionage where adults can't.

Before she knows what she's doing, Sarah is heading to Paris for an international youth summit, hacking into a rival school's computer to prevent them from winning a million euros, dangling thirty feet off the side of a building, and trying to stop a villain...all while navigating the complex dynamics of her new team.

No one said saving the world was easy…

Grades 4-7

Thieves of Weirdwood by William Shivering

Twelve-year-old thieves Arthur and Wally are determined to steal their way up the ranks of the notorious Black Feathers gang. With loan sharks chasing after Arthur's father and Wally's brother's hospital bill due, they're in need of serious cash. Fast.

When Arthur spots some wealthy strangers exiting a seemingly deserted mansion, he smells an opportunity for a big score. Little do the boys realize, they've stumbled upon Weirdwood Manor, the headquarters of a magical order who protect the Balance between the Real and Imaginary worlds. When Kingsport is besieged by nightmarish creatures, it's up to a pair of thieves to save their city. Filled with giant tentacle monsters and heroes literally ripped from the pages of adventure stories, this imagination-bending series is perfect for fans of Keeper of the Lost Cities, Aru Shah, and Nevermoor.

Grades 3-6

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

Part history lesson, part road trip, this notable middle grade debut by Stone (Jackpot) stars William "Scoob" Lamar, a biracial, black-presenting 12-year-old, as he heads off on a road trip with his beloved grandmother, who is white. He mostly goes to escape a punishment from his father, but as the two make their way through the South, Scoob learns more about the grandfather whom he never met, the interracial couple’s 1963 road trip, which Grandma aims to complete, and the ways in which the world has changed and remained the same. As they make their way toward Juarez, Mexico, Scoob begins to suspect that Grandma might be up to something more suspicious than recreating a vacation and becomes torn between contacting another adult and protecting his grandmother. This dual tour through pre- and post-civil rights movement America confronts the country’s difficult past, including how fraught with danger travel was to the average black citizen, while raising questions about what progress should look like. A heartwarming, family-centered adventure that will leave readers guessing until the end.

Grades 5-8

Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk

When the Great Depression takes almost everything they own, Ellie's family is forced to leave their home in town and start over in the untamed forests of nearby Echo Mountain. Ellie has found a welcome freedom, and a love of the natural world, in her new life on the mountain. But there is little joy, even for Ellie, as her family struggles with the aftermath of an accident that has left her father in a coma. An accident unfairly blamed on Ellie.

Determined to help her father, Ellie will make her way to the top of the mountain in search of the healing secrets of a woman known only as "the hag." But the hag, and the mountain, still have many untold stories left to reveal and, with them, a fresh chance at happiness.

Echo Mountain is a celebration of finding your own path and becoming your truest self. Newbery Honor- and Scott O'Dell Award-winning author Lauren Wolk weaves a stunning tale of resilience, persistence, and friendship across three generations of families, set against the rough and ragged beauty of the mountain they all call home.

Grades 5-8

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

Would you make a deal with a magical tiger? This uplifting story brings Korean folklore to life as a girl goes on a quest to unlock the power of stories and save her grandmother.

Some stories refuse to stay bottled up...

When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni's Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now they want it back. And when one of the tigers approaches Lily with a deal--return what her grandmother stole in exchange for Halmoni's health--Lily is tempted to agree. But deals with tigers are never what they seem! With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice...and the courage to face a tiger.

Grades 5-7

Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker

When 11-year-old introvert Ware is forced to spend his entire summer at the local rec center pursuing “Meaningful Social Interaction,” he skips out and finds refuge in the wreckage of the abandoned church next door, which reminds him—a Middle Ages enthusiast—of a medieval castle. There he meets Jolene, a cynical girl planting a garden, and together, day after day, they transform the space—along with themselves. Pennypacker (Pax, 2016) tells a human story of growth and transformation, favoring a more serious, emotional focus over the more comedic tone of her Clementine books. In order to make his parents proud, Ware actively tries to change himself, and while he does evolve, he ultimately builds on the traits that make him “weird” rather than conforming to what’s “normal”—a good message. Smooth prose and short chapters make for a compulsively readable tale, fit for middle-graders in the process of discovering themselves or for those interested in the more philosophical side of chivalry.

Grades 4-6

A Monster like Me by Wendi S. Swore

There are trolls, goblins, and witches. Which kind of monster is Sophie?Sophie is a monster expert. Thanks to her Big Book of Monsters and her vivid imagination, Sophie can identify the monsters in her school and neighborhood. Clearly, the bullies are trolls and goblins. Her nice neighbor must be a good witch, and Sophie's new best friend is obviously a fairy. But what about Sophie? She's convinced she is definitely a monster because of the "monster mark" on her face. At least that's what she calls it. The doctors call it a blood tumor. Sophie tries to hide it but it covers almost half her face. And if she's a monster on the outside, then she must be a monster on the inside, too.

Being the new kid at school is hard. Being called a monster is even harder. Sophie knows that it's only a matter of time before the other kids, the doctors, and even her mom figure it out. And then her mom will probably leave--just like her dad did.

Because who would want to live with a real monster?Inspired by real events in the author's life, A Monster Like Me teaches the importance of believing in oneself, accepting change, and the power of friendship.

Grades 5-8

The Three Rules of Everyday Magic by Amanda Rawson Hill

Magic doesn't work the way you think it will, but it's what Kate needs as she confronts friendship trouble, her parents' divorce, and Grammy's dementia in this lyrical middle-grade coming-of-age novel for fans of Half a Chance and The Same Stuff as Stars.

Kate has trouble believing in magic, especially since the people she loves keep leaving her. But when Grammy tells her the three rules of everyday magic--believe, give, and trust--Kate can't resist believing, at least a little. Following Grammy's advice, she tries to bring her father, her best friend, and even Grammy herself back to her. Nothing turns out as Kate expects, yet the magic of giving--of trusting that if you love and give, good things will happen, even if you don't see them happen--will change Kate and her family forever.

Grades 4-6

Ghost Squad by Claribel Ortega

Coco meets Stranger Things with a hint of Ghostbusters in this action-packed supernatural fantasy.

For Lucely Luna, ghosts are more than just the family business.

Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd's witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save the town and Lucely's firefly spirits before it's too late.

With the family dynamics of Coco and action-packed adventure of Ghostbusters, Claribel A. Ortega delivers both a thrillingly spooky and delightfully sweet debut novel.

Grades 4-7

Graphic Novels

Nat Enough by Maria Scrivan

Natalie loves to write and draw, but she never feels like she’s good enough at anything she does. Now that middle school has started, her best friend, Lily, has pulled away and is being mean. What is Natalie going to do without her best friend in this new world of makeup, boys, and older teens? She thinks she needs to win Lily back, but friends Zoe and Flo help her realize she needs to be true to herself. When the chance arises to submit her comic book to a state-wide writing contest, she realizes that she’s good enough and deserves to be happy. Debut graphic novelist Scrivan, drawing on personal experience, presents the story through Natalie’s sketchbook, allowing for the occasional doodled asides to interrupt the traditionally paneled narrative. Her art employs a somewhat loose, cartoony style—bright with dappled watercolors—befitting a middle-school artist. This story of growing up is a perfect read for students new to middle school and those questioning where their talents lie.

Grades 3-6

Sheets by Brenna Thummler

"For days after reading Brenna Thummler's Sheets I have been wandering my neighborhood, haunted, enchanted, and in need of freshly pressed clothing." --Lemony Snicket

Marjorie Glatt feels like a ghost. A practical thirteen-year-old in charge of the family laundry business, her daily routine features unforgiving customers, unbearable P.E. classes, and the fastidious Mr. Saubertuck who is committed to destroying everything she's worked for. Wendell is a ghost. A boy who lost his life much too young, his daily routine features ineffective death therapy, a sheet-dependent identity, and a dangerous need to seek purpose in the forbidden human world. When their worlds collide, Marjorie is confronted by unexplainable disasters as Wendell transforms Glatt's Laundry into his midnight playground, appearing as a mere sheet during the day. While Wendell attempts to create a new afterlife for himself, he unknowingly sabotages the life that Marjorie is struggling to maintain.

Sheets illustrates the determination of a young girl to fight, even when all parts of her world seem to be conspiring against her. It proves that second chances are possible whether life feels over or life is over. But above all, it is a story of the forgiveness and unlikely friendship that can only transpire inside a haunted laundromat.

Anne of Green Gable by Mariah Marsden; illustrated by Brenna Thummler

Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, brother and sister, wanted an orphan boy to help out on their farm, Green Gables, but the orphanage accidentally sent a girl, Anne. The Cuthberts are, however, quickly won over by the plucky redhead, and soon, so are the townspeople of Avonlea as Anne changes all of their lives for the better. L. M. Montgomery’s classic tale is delicately and lovingly transformed into a graphic novel by Marsden and Thummler. Though the original tale is abridged and adapted, Marsden is careful not to rush the plot, faltering only once in that task but quickly finding her feet again.

Grades 4-8

Non Fiction

The First Dinosaurs: How Science Solved the Greatest Mystery on Earth by Ian Lendler

Includes bibliographical references (pages 209-210) and index.;The making of a Megalosaurus fossil -- Touching the elephant -- The scalpel and the microscope -- The collectors -- The world makers -- The map of time -- Revolution -- The dragon hunters -- The lost world -- The night of two monsters and the great eclat -- The first dinosaur. "Dinosaurs existed. That's a fact we accept today. But not so long ago, the concept that these giant creatures could have roamed Earth millions of years before humans was unfathomable. People thought what we know as dinosaur bones were the bones of giant humans. Of large elephants. Of angels, even. So, how did we get from angel wings to the T-Rex? The First Dinosaur tells the story of the idea of dinosaurs, and the chain of fossil discoveries and advances in science that led to that idea. Be prepared to meet eccentric men and overlooked women who uncovered the pieces to a puzzle so much bigger than themselves, a puzzle far stranger . . . than they could have ever imagined"

Grades 5-8

Animal-inspired robots (Nature-Inspired Innovations) by Robin Michal Koontz

Readers can enjoy an in-depth exploration of such topics as artificial hearts inspired by a jellyfish, jet engines modeled on the nostrils of peregrine falcons, and a stadium that mimics a bird's nest. Photos of each of these innovations are large and detailed, while the text is concise and presented in easily digestible chunks. Diagrams offer additional information about how echolocation is adapted for canes used by those with vision impairments or how buildings use ventilation modeled on termite mounds. Gr 6-8

UNDER Stress by Tanya Lloyd

Adolescents are no strangers to stress. This book explores the science behind that sweaty, heart-racing, under-pressure feeling they sometimes get as they struggle to navigate their changing world. It covers the fight-or-flight reaction to sudden danger, how people cope with chronic stress, how trauma can affect the brain, and the surprising treatments scientists have found for stress in everyday life. The book is divided into chapters and sections that break the information into easily readable chunks, with sidebars and factoids throughout, and simple and often humorous illustrations by Marie-Eve Tremblay.

Grade 6-8

DNA Detective by Tanya Lloyd Kyi 

It'll take a genetics genius to solve this crime ...

In the center of almost every cell in our bodies, there's a piece of DNA designed to give the body instructions like: "Create two legs, two arms, two eyes, and one nose." But how can so much information be squeezed into such a tiny space?

In DNA Detective, Lloyd Kyi unravels the mystery of our genetic blueprint. She explains the basics of genetics in simple, clear language, and reveals the fascinating, and frequently entertaining stories of the researchers who discovered pieces of the DNA puzzle.

As they learn the science of genes, readers will apply what they learn at the end of each chapter in an engaging challenge: helping a young detective eliminate suspects to solve a major crime, based on a real-world case.

Meet the genetics rock stars like Frederick Sanger, whose groundbreaking research won him two Nobel Prizes in Chemistry; or Rosalind Franklin, who created the first clear image of DNA. Discover why humans are more like flies or mice than we'd like to admit, how to clone a sheep, and what palindromes have to do with DNA.

From genetically-engineered pets to a dating app that helps Icelanders avoid marrying their cousins, the world of DNA will surprise and delight you. Full-color photographs complement the text, while Lil Crump's lively illustrations keep readers entertained.

Grade 6-8