New Books for 7th & 8th Graders

The Twin's Daughter
by
Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Reading Level: Grades 7+

When the doorbell rings one day at the Sexton household, thirteen year old Lucy answers it herself, grumbling that her household servants never do much around the house. Standing on the doorstep is her mother, dirty, disheveled, and looking wholly not herself. But the woman is not her mother.

It seems that Lucy’s mother has a twin sister who, after being separated from both her parents and her sibling at birth, was sent to an orphanage and then a workhouse. Her whole life, Helen Smythe never knew she was meant to be a society woman, living in rich luxury and with an identical twin sister.

Aunt Helen is quickly adopted into the Sexton household, and lessons begin to change her into the woman she was meant to be. Despite her lack of any formal education, Helen learns very quickly and soon is deemed ready to be presented to Society by Lucy’s parents.

After Aunt Helen’s arrival into Society, life begins to change very much for young Lucy. With her aunt an official member of the household, Lucy is no longer allowed to think of her as a younger sister who needs to be shown the simplest things, or a schoolmate. Still, their relationship is much more open than Lucy’s with her mother, and Lucy is pleased for her aunt’s presence in the Sexton household.

A rousing New Year’s Eve party brings Lucy further into adulthood as she receives her first kiss from the boy next door, Kit, and on New Year’s Day the budding couple goes for a cold stroll in the park. When Lucy arrives home, her house is uncharacteristically silent and she immediately knows something is wrong. Making her way from room to room calling for her parents and aunt, Lucy becomes more and more worried about the silence in the house. When she opens the door to the back parlor, all she sees at first is red.

Mother and Aunt Helen sit in straight-backed chairs, tightly bound to each other. One of their throats is cut.

Lucy’s mother raises her head and looks, terrified and confused, into her daughter’s eyes, and nothing is ever the same again.

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More books by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

The Running Dream
by
Wendlin Van Draanen

Reading Level: Grades 7-9

16-year-old Jessica was a gifted runner on course to win a track scholarship to a prestigious university. That was before the truck hit the team bus. One girl is killed and Jessica loses her lower right leg. Jessica sometimes wishes she had been killed in the accident since it seems she has very little left to live for.

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More books by Wendelin Van Draanen

Other tales of young amputees include:

Stranded by Ben Mikaelsen

One-Handed Catch by Mary Jane Auch and

Izzy Willy-Nilly by Cynthia Voigt

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer
by
Lish McBride

Reading Level: Grades 8 and up

It all started when Sam broke a taillight during a game of parking lot potato hockey. Sam and Brooke did what most teenagers would do..they ran. When Douglas Montgomery stormed into Plumpy's, his only thoughts were of his broken taillight and retribution. When he noticed Sam his fury raged. How dare a young necromancer infringe on his territory?

Sam doesn't know what the scary dude is talking about. He's just relieved when the guy finally leaves. It isn't over. When Sam is viciously attacked after work by an even bigger scary guy, he knows he's in trouble. Sam begins to realize how much trouble after he receives a warning from Montgomery...a severed head.

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More books by Lish McBride

Other tales of dangerous powers include:

The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Gifts by Ursula Le Guin and

Assassin's Apprentice by Susan Vaught

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