Social Issues

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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Unlocked

Author: 
Ryan G. Van Cleave

Reading Level: Grades 7+

When you're the janitor's kid, you don't have many friends. You don't have any friends. Andy is no different, but when he hears a rumor that the school outcast, Blake, has a gun in his locker, he decides to make friends with Blake. When the boys do become friends, Andy must choose between protecting his only friend and protecting a school full of kids who could care less about him?

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Pink

Author: 
Lili Wilkinson

Reading Level: Grades 7+

What does pink mean to you? Does it mean a little girl’s bedroom, wallpapered with ponies, princesses, ballerinas and unicorns? A color occasionally featured in your wardrobe? A bonafide, lip-glossed, perfect 'Plastic' a la Mean Girls? Or is pink a color you hate with every dark black fiber of your being?

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The Unidentified

Author: 
Rae Mariz

Reading Level: Grade 7-9

15-year-old Kid is a student in the Game, a franchised high school that occupies an old mall. The students at the school spend their days playing "games" that are closely monitored by corporate sponsors. Almost every kid in the Game hopes to stand out enough to get "Branded."

Kit is horrified when someone is pushed over the fifth floor railing into "the Pit" where most of the kids hang out. The person turns out to be a dummy with the sign "Unidentified. Choose your suicide" taped to its sweater.

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Tutored

Author: 
Whittenberg, Allison

Reading Level: Grades 8+

"Are you a minority?  Unemployed, underemployed, or economically disadvantaged?  We serve the entire West Side, and we have services that can assist you to a new FUTURE!  Stop by today."

Hakiam didn't believe the lame sign. He just stopped by to get extra credit for his GED class. He went back the second time because of the girl behind the desk. Even with her rich girl clothes and fancy way of talking...there was something about her.

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Deadly

Author: 
Julie Chibbaro

Reading Level: Grades 7-9

16-year-old Prudence Galewski knows she should be grateful to be a scholarship student at Mrs. Browning's School for Girls but she finds her lessons in typing, literature and deportment oppressive. Prudence doesn't want to be a wife and mother or a secretary at a bank. She wants to know what causes diseases and how to prevent them even though girls in the early 19th century were not supposed to be interested in such unladylike things.

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The Star Maker

Author: 
Laurence Yep

Reading Level: Grades 2-4

When Artie promises his mean cousin that he will give everyone firecrackers on the next Chinese New Year celebration, he immediately regrets it. How will he ever come up with enough money to buy all those firecrackers? Sympathetic to Artie's problem is Uncle Chester - a fun loving everyman who is wildly popular in Chinatown where Artie's family lives. Uncle Chester promises Artie that he will help - but when Uncle Chester's seemingly endless money starts to run out, Artie begins to worry.

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