New Books for 7th & 8th Graders

Trapped
by
Michael Northrop

Reading Level: Grades 7+

When school closes early because of a snowstorm, Scotty’s first reaction is anger, that his basketball game is canceled. His anger soon abates when his best friends Jason and Pete smooth-talk their way into the shop to work on a go-kart until rides arrive. Soon the only people left in the school are Scotty, Jason, Pete, two freshman girls, a weird kid named Elijah, a thug named Les, and the teacher responsible for waiting until everyone’s ride came. The snow keeps falling, unrelenting, and it dawns on the group that no one is coming. When the lights of a snowplow appear faintly in the distance, Mr Gossell, history teacher / assistant football coach, plunges out into the storm looking for help.

He never makes it back.

Soon, the power is out and the seven students realize they’re going to be stuck at school for a while; but no one knows they’re there.

Trapped is a literally chilling survival story of friendship in dire straits.

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More books by Michael Northrop

Some read-alikes:

The Killing Sea by Richard Lewis
Snow Bound by Harry Mazer

Blizzard! the Storm that Changed America by Jim Murphy

Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

The Dead and The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick

The Trap by John Smelcer

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

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