WMS Summer Reading Suggestions for Students 2016
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TitleAuthorGenre(s)Description (unless noted, summaries are provided by Follett Library Services Titlewave.)Grade recommendation (from review sources)
The crossoverAlexander, KwameRealistic Fiction, Novel in Verse, SportsFourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.6-10
How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-sized TrophyAllen, CrystalRealistic FictionWhen thirteen-year-old, bowling-obsessed Lamar Washington finds out that his idol is coming to town, he finds himself involved in some unsavory activities as he tries to change his image to impress people.5-8
ForgeAnderson, Laurie HalseHistorical Fiction (US)Curzon, having matured from boy to man over the course of the winter with the army at Valley Forge, worries that someone will learn he is a runaway slave passing for free, and tries to figure out the meaning of his friendship with Isabel.5-8
Marching to the mountaintop : how poverty, labor fights, and civil rights set the stage for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s final hoursBausum, AnnU.S. History, Social Science, Civil RightsExamines the link between the 1968 Memphis sanitation strike and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., discussing how the strike, the media, politics, the civil rights movement, and the labor protests all laid the foundations for what many consider to be King's greatest speech, given just days before he was killed, and how that speech and King's death influenced the end of the strike.5-8
El DeafoBell, CeceAutobiography, Graphic NovelA graphic novel memoir of author/illustrator Cece Bell who grew up hearing impaired. Newbery Honor Book.3-7
Because of Mr. Terupt (series)Buyea, RobRealistic FictionSeven fifth-graders at Snow Hill School in Connecticut relate how their lives are changed for the better by "rookie teacher" Mr. Terupt.4-6
Things not SeenClements, AndrewFantasyWhen fifteen-year-old Bobby wakes up and finds himself invisible, he and his parents and his new blind friend Alicia try to find out what caused his condition and how to reverse it.5-8
The land of stories (series)Colfer, ChrisFantasyThrough the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, twins Alex and Conner leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.3-6
Mockingbird : (Mok'ing-bûrd)Erskine, KathrynRealistic FictionTen-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger's Syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure [from her brother's death during the 2007 shooting at Virginia Tech] by working on a project with her father.4-7
Michael Vey (series)Evans, Richard PaulFantasyFourteen-year-old Michael discovers he has special electrical powers and, with the help of his best friends, becomes aware that there are other teens with similar powers, but something or someone is hunting them and, after Michael's mother is kidnapped, he will need to rely on his powers and his friends to rescue his mom, protect himself, and save the others.5-9
The Rivalry : Mystery at the Army-Navy game (series)Feinstein, JohnRealistic Fiction, MysteryTeen sportswriters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson are assigned to cover the football game between long time rivalries Army and Navy, and, after noticing the actions of secret service agents, they begin to suspect that the president, who is going to attend the event, is in danger.6-9
Ranger's Apprentice (series)Flanagan, JohnFantasyWhen fifteen-year-old Will is rejected by battleschool, he becomes the reluctant apprentice to the mysterious Ranger Halt, and winds up protecting the kingdom from danger.4-8
Sir Charlie Chaplin : the Funniest Man in the World Fleischman, SidBiographyChronicles the life and accomplishments of Charlie Chaplin, describing the silent film star and director's impoverished childhood in London and his rise to fame in Hollywood and within the film industry. 5-10
The Great and only Barnum : the Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P.T. BarnumFleming, CandaceBiographyChronicles the life of showman P. T. Barnum, discussing how he created his legendary circus, the people and events that shaped his life, and the impact Barnum had on the entertainment industry. 6+
Stickman Odyssey : an epic doodle. (series)Ford, ChristopherGraphic Novel, Mythology, HumorA humorous take on the Odyssey in which Zozimos, banished from his country by his evil stepmother, has many adventures as he prepares to return home to reclaim the throne that is rightfully his.5-9
Space CaseGibbs, StuartScience Fiction, MysteryDashiell Gibson, who lives on Moon Base Alpha, has to solve a murder of one of the moon's most prominent doctors. [First in a series]4-8
The cartoon guide to the environmentGonick, LarryGraphic Novel, ScienceThe Cartoon Guide to the Environment covers the main topics of environmental science: chemical cycles, life communities, food webs, agriculture, human population growth, sources of energy and raw materials, waste disposal and recycling, cities, pollution, deforestation, ozone depletion, and global warming-and puts them in the context of ecology, with discussions of population dynamics, thermodynamics, and the behavior of complex systems. [Publisher]Young Adult
Absolutely almostGraff, LisaRealistic Fiction
Ten-year-old Albie has never been the smartest, tallest, best at gym, greatest artist, or most musical in his class, as his parents keep reminding him, but new nanny Calista helps him uncover his strengths and take pride in himself.
The Missing seriesHaddix, Margaret PetersonFantasyWhen thirteen-year-olds Jonah and Chip, who are both adopted, learn they were discovered on a plane that appeared out of nowhere, full of babies with no adults on board, they realize that they have uncovered a mystery involving time travel and two opposing forces, each trying to repair the fabric of time.4-8
SeraphinaHartman, RachelFantasyIn a world where dragons and humans coexist in an uneasy truce and dragons can assume human form, Seraphina, whose mother died giving birth to her, grapples with her own identity amid magical secrets and royal scandals, while she struggles to accept and develop her extraordinary musical talents.7+
Charles and Emma : the Darwins' leap of faithHeiligman, DeborahBiographyA biography of English naturalist Charles Darwin that provides an account of the personality behind evolutionary theory and the affect of his work on his personal life, such as his relationship with his religious wife. 8+
A Family Secret Heuvel, Eric Graphic NovelWhile searching his Dutch grandmother's attic for yard sale items, Jeroen finds a scrapbook which leads Gran to tell of her experiences as a girl living in Amsterdam during the Holocaust, when her father was a Nazi sympathizer and Esther, her Jewish best friend, disappeared. 5+
ChompHiaasen, Carl.MysteryThe difficult star of the reality television show, "Expedition Survival," disappears on location in the Florida Everglades, where they were filming animals from the wildlife refuge run by Wahoo Crane's family, and Wahoo and classmate Tuna Gordon set out to find him, but they must avoid Tuna's gun-happy father.6-9
The Trouble with May AmeliaHolm, Jennifer L.Historical AmericaLiving with seven brothers and her father, who thinks girls are useless, a thirteen-year-old Finnish American farm girl is determined to prove her worth when a enterprising gentleman tries to purchase their cash-strapped family settlement in Washington State in 1900. Sequel to Newbery Honor Book Our Only May Amelia.5-7
House ArrestHolt, K. A.Verse, Realistic FictionTimothy, sentenced to house arrest for stealing medicine for his baby brother, keeps a journal into which he documents his fears and frustrations.6-10
Alex Rider (series)Horowitz, AnthonyAdventureAfter the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is coerced to continue his uncle's dangerous work for Britain's intelligence agency, MI6.5-9
A Fish in a TreeHunt, Lynda MullalyRealistic fictionAlly's greatest fear is that everyone will find out she is as dumb as they think she is because she still doesn't know how to read.4-7

Anne Frank : the Anne Frank House authorized graphic biography
Jacobson, SidneyBiography, Graphic NovelProvides a graphic novel account of the life of Anne Frank, covering her family, the rise of Nazism, her years in the Secret Annex, her arrest, her deportation, her death, her father's recovery of her diary, and other related topics. 6-10
The amazing adventures of John Smith, Jr., aka HoudiniJohnson, PeterRealistic fictionThirteen-year-old John "Houdini" Smith tries to write a book about what is happening in his life, from his parents' worries about money and his brother in Iraq, to his new understandings of people while he and his friends rake lawns in their East Side Providence, Rhode Island neighborhood.5-8
UngiftedKorman, GordonRealistic FictionDue to an administrative mix-up, troublemaker Donovan Curtis is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction, a special program for gifted and talented students, after pulling a major prank at middle school.5-8
Savvy (series)Law, IngridFantasyRecounts the adventures of Mibs Beaumont, whose thirteenth birthday has revealed her "savvy"--a magical power unique to each member of her family--just as her father is injured in a terrible accident.4-7
The Lions of Little RockLevine, KristinHistorical Fiction (US)Twelve-year-old Marlee develops a strong friendship with Liz, the new girl in school, but when Liz suddenly stops attending school and Marlee hears a rumor that her friend is actually an African American girl passing herself off as white, the two young girls must decide whether their friendship is worth taking on integration and the dangers it could bring to their families.5-8
HeroLupica, MikeFantasyFourteen-year-old Zach learns he has the same special abilities as his father, who was the president's globe-trotting troubleshooter until "the Bads" killed him, and now Zach must decide whether to use his powers in the same way at the risk of his own life.6-10
Finnikin of the RockMarchetta, MelinaFantasyNow on the cusp of manhood, Finnikin, who was a child when the royal family of Lumatere was brutally murdered and replaced by an imposter, reluctantly joins forces with an enigmatic young novice and fellow-exile, who claims that her dark dreams will lead them to a surviving royal child and a way to regain the throne of Lumatere.8+
Rain ReignMartin, Ann M.Realistic FictionStruggling with Asperger's syndrome, Rose shares a bond with her beloved dog, but when the dog goes missing during a storm, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels , even if it means leaving her routines in order to search for her pet. Schneider Family Book Award.4-6
The boys of fire and ashMcIssac, Meaghan FantasyUrgle and two other Brothers of the Ikkuma Pit, where boys are abandoned at birth and learn to fend for themselves and rear their younger brothers, embark on a quest to rescue Urgle's brother, Cubby, who has been carried off by monsters into the forest from which no one has ever returned.6+
Cherub seriesMuchamore, RobertAdventureJames becomes a part of the highly secretive organization, CHERUB, a group of teens whose mission is to spy on terrorists and international drug dealers, hack into computers, and download crucial information for the government.age 12+
Fablehaven seriesMull, BrandonFantasyKendra and Seth find themselves in the midst of a battle between good and evil when they visit their grandparents' estate and discover that it is a sanctuary for magical creatures.5-8
TrashMulligan, AndyMysteryA group of fourteen-year-old boys, who make a living picking garbage from the outskirts of a large city, finds something special and mysterious that brings terrifying consequences.7-10
KickMyers, Walter Dean and Ross WorkmanRealistic FictionTold in their separate voices, thirteen-year-old soccer star Kevin and police sergeant Brown, who knew his father, try to keep Kevin out of juvenile hall after he is arrested on very serious charges. [Co-written with a teenaged fan!]6-9
The False PrinceNielsen, Jennifer AFantasyIn the country of Carthya, a devious nobleman engages four orphans in a brutal competition to be selected to impersonate the king's long-missing son in an effort to avoid a civil war.5-8
I funny (series)Patterson, JamesRealistic FictionJamie Grimm tries to win the Planet's Funniest Kid Comic Contest, while also dealing with his stepfamily, friends, and a school bully.4-7
Maximum Ride seriesPatterson, JamesScience FictionAfter the mutant Erasers abduct the youngest member of their group, the "birdkids," who are the result of genetic experimentation, take off in pursuit and find themselves struggling to understand their own origins and purpose.7+
The Doublecross : and other skills I learned as a superspyPearce, JacksonSpyOverweight and non-athletic, twelve-year-old Hale may have been born and raised to be a spy for the Sub Rosa Society but it seems he is unlikely to become a Field Agent until his parents are captured by the evil League and Hale sets out on a solo mission to save them.4-7
The Seventh Most Important ThingPearsall, ShelleyHistorical Fiction (US)In 1963, thirteen-year-old Arthur is sentenced to community service helping the neighborhood Junk Man after he throws a brick at the old man's head in a moment of rage, but the junk he collects might be moreimportant than he suspects. Inspired by the work of American folk artist James Hampton5-8
A Nation's Hope : the story of boxing legend Joe LouisPeña, Matt de laBiographyAn illustrated introduction to the life and accomplishments of professional boxer Joe Louis.3+
As Easy as Falling off the Face of the EarthPerkins, Lynne RaeRealistic FictionA teenaged boy encounters one comedic calamity after another when his train strands him in the middle of nowhere, and everything comes down to luck.7+
The Storm in the Barn Phelan, MattGraphic NovelEleven-year-old Jack Clark struggles with everyday obstacles while his family and community contend with the challenges brought on by the Dust Bowl in 1937 Kansas. 5-7
Tokyo HeistRenn, DianaMysteryAfter a high-profile art heist of three van Gogh drawings in her home town of Seattle, sixteen-year-old [manga fan] Violet Rossi finds herself in Japan with her artist father, searching for the related van Gogh painting.7+
After EliRupp, RebeccaRealistic FictionAfter the death of his older brother, Daniel Anderson became engrossed in recording details about dead people, how they died, and whether their deaths mattered but he is eventually drawn back into interaction with the living by two unexpected friends, Walter and Isabelle.7+
The mighty Mars rovers : the incredible adventures of Spirit and OpportunityRusch, Elizabeth.Astronomy, EngineeringThe story of the two robot vehicles, Spirit and Opportunity, that were sent to explore Mars, lasting far past their projected lives of three months and sending back invaluable images of the environmentally hostile planet.5-9
Okay for NowSchmidt, Gary D.Realistic FictionWhen Doug Swieteck's family moves from New York City to a small town in upstate New York, Doug is miserable-until he meets a great girl and learns, from a book of Audubon prints, how to draw.6-9
The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas FlamelScott, MichaelFantasyBack in London, fifteen-year-old twins Sophie and Josh Newman must determine whom they can and cannot trust as they search for both Scatty and an immortal who can teach Josh the magic of fire, while Doctor Dee and Machiavelli continue to seek power.6-9
Revolver Sedgwick, MarcusAdventureFourteen-year-old Sig is stranded at a remote cabin in the Arctic wilderness with his father, who died just hours earlier after falling through the ice, when a terrifying man arrives, claiming Sig's father owes him a share of a horde of stolen gold and that he will kill Sig if he does not get his money.7+
The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil RightsSheinkin, SteveHistorical AmericaDescribes the fifty black sailors who refused to work in unsafe and unfair conditions after an explosion in Port Chicago killed 320 servicemen, and how the incident influenced civil rights.7+
The Grimm LegacyShulman, PollyFantasyNew York high school student Elizabeth gets an after-school job as a page at the "New-York Circulating Material Repository," and when she gains coveted access to its Grimm Collection of magical objects, she and the other pages are drawn into a series of frightening adventures involving mythical creatures and stolen goods.6-9
Counting by 7sSloan, Holly GoldbergRealistic fictionTwelve-year-old genius and outsider Willow Chance must figure out how to connect with other people and find a surrogate family for herself after her parents are killed in a car accident.5-8
After Ever AfterSonnenblick, JordanRealistic FictionAlthough Jeff and Tad, encouraged by a new friend, Lindsey, make a deal to help one another overcome aftereffects of their cancer treatments in preparation for eighth-grade graduation, Jeff still craves advice from his older brother Stephen, who is studying drums in Africa. Sequel to Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie, told from Stephen's PoV.6-9
The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie : a doll's history and her impact on usStone, Tanya LeeNonfictionExplores how Barbie has influenced generations of girls, discussing criticisms of the doll, her role in fashion, and her surprising popularity during her first fifty years. 6+
Moon Over ManifestVanderpool, ClareHistorical Fiction (US)Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up, and where she hopes to find out some things about his past. Newbury Award.5-8
LeviathanWesterfeld, ScottScience Fiction, SteampunkIn an alternate 1914 Europe, fifteen-year-old Austrian Prince Alek, on the run from the Clanker Powers who are attempting to take over the globe using mechanical machinery, forms an uneasy alliance with Deryn who, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service, is learning to fly genetically-engineered beasts.7-10
One Crazy Summer (series)Williams-Garcia, RitaHistorical AmericaIn the summer of 1968, after traveling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp. Coretta Scott King Award. Scott O'Dell Award.4-7
Saint Louis Armstrong BeachWoods, BrendaRealistic FictionA budding musician named Saint, who earns money playing clarinet for the New Orleans tourists, refuses to leave the city after the hurricane until he can find his best friend Shadow.4-7
Brown Girl DreamingWoodson, JacquelineAutobiography, Verse, PoetryThe author shares her childhood memories and reveals the first sparks that ignited her writing career in free-verse poems about growing up in the North and South. Sibert Informational Book Award. Coretta Scott King Award. Newbery Honor Book.4-7
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