Social Issues

School for Bandits

Author: 
Hannah Shaw

Reading Level: PreK-1

Ralph isn't a normal raccoon - he doesn't like being messy, or rude. So his parents ship him off to Bandit School, where Ralph is the worst student of all. He's just awful at everything, and when the term ends, his teacher assigns a competition - whoever has the largest sack of loot after vacation wins the Best Bandit prize. Ralph isn't interested, not one bit. He stays in his room reading over the break, not wanting to get in anyone's way. But then something happens on his way back to school, and Ralph becomes the best!

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Every You, Every Me

Author: 
David Levithan
Illustrator: 
Jonathan Farmer

Reading Level: Grades 7+

"If I ever ask you to get me a gun, don't. Whatever I say, don't." Looking right into my eyes. "Listen to me, Evan. If I ever ask for that, go get help. If I ever ask for that, you're going to have to save me."

Evan, struggling with the disappearance of his crush (and best friend's girlfriend) Ariel, is thrust into even more emotional turmoil when he begins to receive a series of mysterious photographs.

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Snake and Lizard

Author: 
Joy Cowley
Illustrator: 
Gavin Bishop

Reading Level: Grades K-3

Though Snake and Lizard have their differences, friendship prevails and the two are best of friends, going on short adventures from story to story.

Snake and Lizard is a charming and hilarious episodic entry into the chapter book world not to be missed by animal and humor lovers of all ages. A step up (in every way) from classics like Frog and Toad, this short chapter book is great for independent readers or as a bedtime serial.  This book is not to be missed.

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The Future of Us

Author: 
Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

Reading Level: Grades 7+

When Emma gets a computer for her birthday, her friend Josh gives her a free CD good for 100 hours of AOL time - totally cool, since it's 1996. Emma signs herself up for her very first AOL account, and logs on to the Internet for the first time. 

The very first page she goes to is called "Facebook," something Emma has never heard of before, but then again she's never been online before - so she begins to explore the site.  What she finds is herself... thirty years in the future - and it's not a pretty one.

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Because of Mr. Terupt

Author: 
Rob Buyea

Reading Level: 3rd-6th

New teacher Mr. Terupt has a handful this year in his fifth grade class - but his abnormal teaching methods are a good fit for helping the students grow and work together. The school year is going great, until the accident. Then everything changes.

A heartwarming book about the profound influence of Mr. Terupt, this is a tale for students of all ages.

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Bluefish

Author: 
Pat Schmatz

Grades 5+

You probably learned to read in kindergarten or first grade, maybe even sooner. Maybe it's a little hard for you, maybe it got easier as you read more and more, maybe you can't stop reading. 

But you did learn to read - good at it or not, loving it or not.

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A Monster Calls: Inspired from an Idea by Siobhan Dowd

Author: 
Patrick Ness
Illustrator: 
Jim Kay

Grades 5+

Have you ever read a book that made you cry?  Ever read a book that, once you were finished, you just sat with and held for a while, letting the words sink into you, not wanting to have finished it?  Ever read a book that you couldn't stop thinking about after you finished?  Ever read a book that was so true and real you experienced the whole thing in your mind as you read?  This is one of those books.

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Jefferson's Sons

Author: 
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

Grades 5-9
Third U.S. President Thomas Jefferson lived at the plantation Monticello and kept slaves to work in his fields, farm and home. One of his slaves was a woman named Sally Hemings, mother to four of Jefferson's children - Beverly, Harriet, Maddy, and Eston.  Though slaves, the children and their mother were given special treatment by Jefferson because of his discreet relationship to them - but nevertheless, slaves they remained. 

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Blue Chameleon

Author: 
Emily Gravett

Reading Level: Ages 4+

Poor, lonely blue chameleon. He can turn into anything, and blend in anywhere, but despite this wonderful ability, blue chameleon cannot find anyone who wants to be his friend.

Enchanting colored pencil drawings and excellent use of color, expression, and symmetry will delight readers as chameleon struggles to find a friend.

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