New Books for 6th Graders
Reading Level: Grades 6 and up
What sort of person becomes a Rhodes Scholar (one of the most prestigious academic honors in the world) and then signs on to become a Navy SEAL? Eric Greitens will take you on his journey that led him from refugee camps in Rwanda and Bosnia, the slums of Bolivia, the rigors of Navy SEAL training to the battlefields of Iraq and then home. In this adaptation for teens of his best-selling novel you will meet an extraordinary person you will not soon forget.
Reading Level: Grades 6 and up
Xanthe Jane (don't call her Xanthe) has always loved vampires, as stories, but she knows they aren't real. Then one night she is woken up by a cellphone playing the theme from Dracula and discovers that she is in a coffin, in her grave, and her vampire sire is exhuming her. When her sire is chased off before she can finish digging Jane up, Jane is left to figure out how she could be a vampire when she's never been bitten and what is she supposed to do now, in this tongue-in-cheek vampire novel.
Reading Level: Grades 4 - 9
Why would anyone want to steal the body of President Abraham Lincoln? The answer involves counterfeiters and the newly fledged Secret Service. Written like a heist caper, Lincoln's Grave Robbers details a little known part of history that really didn't have much impact, but it's sure fun to read about.
Reading Level: Grades 5 - 8
Truth can be much stranger than fiction and fiction based on truth can make a great story. Inspired by the life of Ivan Mishukov, Ivan Andreovich is a five-year-old boy who was orphaned in post-Soviet Russia, left on the streets to fend for himself, and adopted by a pack of wild dogs.
Life for street children is a battle to survive. Hunger, cold, roving gangs of both adults and older children make survival tenuous. Ivan finds his place with a family of dogs. Ivan and the dogs share what food they have and provide warmth and protection for each other. But more than that, the dogs love Ivan as he loves them. Ivan becomes more and more like his dog family. While humans can be uncaring or cruel, it is the dogs who show the most "humanity."
Ultimately, Ivan Andreovich , like the real Ivan, is rescued.
Reading Level: Grades 4-6
Starting a new school is never easy. It is even harder when you have to remember your new alias and make sure you never even hint at the fact that your parents are supervillians intent on destroying the world.
Books by Lee Bacon
Other villianous tales include:
Artemis Fowl by Eon Colfer
Reading Levels: Grades 6+
In a complicated post-WWIV world ravaged by a fatal, incurable disease, Earth is separated into independently ruled Commonwealths, completely separated from the Lunars, a somewhat new species spawned from previous moon colonization.
Cinder is a second-class citizen at best. She's indentured to her step-mother, and a gifted mechanic, but a cyborg. Over 36% robotic, Cinder relies on a robotic hand, foot, nervous system, and more - to stay alive. Despite this supposed (and mostly unknown) handicap, however, Cinder is the best mechanic in New Bejing, a reputation that brings the Royal Prince himself to her door with a broken android in need of quick - and quiet - repair.
When Cinder's younger step-sister Peony catches letumosis, the fatal disease that killed Cinder's father and ravaged Earth, everything changes. Furious, Cinder's step-mother sells her cyborg ward into voluntary testing for a letumosis cure - a grim fate, until Cinder's body rejects letumosis and it is discovered that she has a natural immunity. Dr. Erland, letumosis researcher in the royal palace, begins working with Cinder to develop a cure, but their testing reveals dangerous secrets about Cinder's past. In the meantime, Cinder's repairs on the Prince's android cause it to divulge another secret - relating to the relations between the Earth and the Lunars.
When the Emperor himself succumbs to letumosis, the Lunar Queen declares that she will visit the Earth herself to comfort the Prince during his time of mourning - but with recent information Cinder has learned from the Prince's android... it is clear the Queen's motives are anything but comforting.
In a creative, complex sci-fi retelling of the classic Cinderella story with a hint of Anastasia, Meyer creates memorable characters while simultaneously posing difficult questions - what does it mean to be human? What is the ultimate sacrifice for the greater good? When is the sequel coming out?
Three more books are planned in the series.
Reading Level: Grades 5 and up
Bomb reads like an edge-of -your- seat spy novel, but it's all true. It tells of the Herculean effort behind building the bomb, the desperate arms race with Germany that will decide WWII, the heroic efforts of Norwegein resistance fighters, and the spies determined to steal the plans for the Soviet Union. The story of the scientific genius behind the bomb, the politics, the military heroics, and the espionage make this a thrilling read where truth is far more exciting than fiction.
Reading Level: Grades 5-7
The Dark Lord, Master of the Legions of Dread, Sorcerer Supreme and Lord of the Darklands is confused. One moment he was leading his legions against the White Wizard Hasdruban the Pure and the next he is falling out of his world into a strange land where he is trapped in the body of a puny human.
The stunned Dark Lord can barely talk or move, he is whisked away in a strange screaming conveyance to a steel citadel where he is questioned by humans who, mistaking his clear answer that his name is “Dark Lord," dub him Dirk Lloyd and send him to a foster home.
Christopher Purejoie is perfectly happy as an only child. He certainly never asked for a foster brother….especially not a crazy one. Chris does have to admit that Dirk is funny, like when Dirk marches into 7th grade English and announces to Mrs. Batelakes, “I am the Great Lord Dirk, you may call me master!”
So who is Dirk Lloyd? A delusional child who needs intensive psychiatric treatment? A smart-mouthed trouble maker who needs to be straightened out by Principal Grousammer? A funny kid who disrupts classes every day? Or an exiled villian desperate to return to his powers?
Books by Jamie Thomson
For more reading on the dark side try:
The Cloak Society by Jeremy Kraatz
The Vindico by Wesley King and
Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks
Reading Level: Grades 6 -8
Scarlett cannot bear the idea of going on an weekend school retreat where she'll have to get dressed in front of the other girls who will see her secondhand store gray underwear. The perfect out seems to appear in the form of some mushrooms that, according to a book she glances at, will make her sick to her stomach. Unfortunately, a slight identification error winds up killing her and her entire family leaving her, a girl who only had four friends in life, an extremely lonely ghost. Then a boy on a ghostly chat room suggests that she kill one or two of her former friends so that she can have companions forever. That's not a terrible idea, is it?
Reading Level: Grades 5 - 8
Driving at break-neck speed past a Cook County Forest Preserve after midnight, late for curfew again, Mike nearly hits a girl who is standing in the middle of the road. His decision to give the hapless hitchhiker a ride home turns into a night spent sitting in a graveyard listening to the ghosts of Chicago area teenagers as tell him the stories of their lives, and deaths.
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