Adam, Paul. Max Cassidy : Escape from Shadow Island. J FIC Adam
British fourteen-year-old Max Cassidy calls on his skills and training as a professional escape artist when he attempts to clear his mother of murdering his father, who disapeared two years earlier in the Central American country of Santo Domingo.
Arnold, Elana K. The Question of Miracles. J FIC Arnold
Unhappy about moving from sunny California to rainy Corvallis, Oregon, and grieving over the death of her best friend, sixth-grader Iris looks for a miracle and may find one in new friend Boris.
Balaban, Bob. The Creature From the 7th Grade: Boy or Beast?. J FIC Balaban
When nerdy 12-year-old Charlie Drinkwater spontaneously morphs into a giant sea creature, the big question is: could this be his ticket to popularity at last?
Baskin, Nora Releigh. Ruby on the Outside. J FIC Baskin
Eleven-year-old Ruby Danes has a real best friend for the first time ever, but agonizes over whether or not to tell her a secret she has never shared with anyone–that her mother has been in prison since Ruby was five–and over whether to express her anger to her mother.
Behrens, Rebecca. When Audrey Met Alice. J FIC Behrens
When the Secret Service squashes yet another chance for the president’s daughter, Audrey, to make any new friends, Audrey discovers former First Daughter Alice Roosevelt’s hidden diary, which gives Audrey endless ideas for having fun– and more problems than she can handle.
Bildner, Phil. A Whole New Ballgame. J FIC Bildner
From the first morning with their odd new teacher fifth grade is full of shocking surprises for best friends Rip and Red.
Blackmore, Megan Frazer. The Friendship Riddle. J FIC Blackmore
When her former best friend gets popular and leaves her behind, sixth-grader Ruth prefers to be alone, studying for the school spelling bee, until she finds a riddle in an old book.
Bosch, Pseudonymous. The Name of this Book is Secret. J FIC Bosch (SERIES)
Two eleven-year-old misfits try to solve the mystery of a dead magician and stop the evil Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais, who are searching for the secret of immortality. SEQUELS: If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late (2008), This Book is Not Good For You (2009), This Isn’t What it Looks Like (2010) & You Have to Stop This (2011).
Burg, Shana. Laugh with the Moon. J FIC Burg
Massachusetts thirteen-year-old Clare, grieving after her mother’s recent death, reluctantly travels with her father to spend nine weeks in a remote village in Malawi, where new friends and experiences help open her mind and heart.
Cabot, Meg. From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess. J FIC Cabot (SERIES)
A middle-grade spinoff of The Princess Diaries, about the long-lost sister of Mia Thermopolis, Princess of Genovia. SEQUEL: Royal Wedding Disaster (2016).
Cervantes, Angela. Allie, First At Last. J FIC Cervantes
Born into a family of over-achievers, fifth-grader Allie Velasco has never finished first in anything, and lately things have been going badly: her science project is ruined by a well-meaning student, her former best friend is hanging out with another girl–but now she is determined to win the Trailblazer contest with a photographic presentation about her great grandfather, the first Congressional Medal of Honor winner from their town.
Cervantes, Angela. Gaby, Lost and Found. J FIC Cervantes
Gaby Howard loves volunteering at the local animal shelter. Her mother has been deported to Honduras and Gaby is stuck living with her inattentive dad. She’s confident that her mom will come home soon so that they can adopt Gaby’s favorite shelter cat together. But Gaby worries that her plans for the perfect family are about to fall apart.
Cooper, Susan. The Dark Is Rising. J PB C (SERIES)
On his eleventh birthday Will Stanton discovers that he is the last of the Old Ones, destined to seek the six magical Signs that will enable the Old Ones to triumph over the evil forces of the Dark.
Dee, Barbara. Solving Zoe. J FIC Dee
Zoe’s sixth-grade year at a Brooklyn school for gifted students is marked by changing relationships with her fellow students and teachers, recognition of her talent for cryptography, and a greater awareness of her passion.
De Los Santos, Marisa. Saving Lucas Biggs. J FIC De Los Santos
When thirteen-year-old Margaret’s father is sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit, she knows the only way to save him is to use the forbidden family power of time travel.
Fry, Erin. Secrets of the Book. J FIC Fry
Sixth-grader Spencer Lemon has no idea why he was chosen to protect Pandora’s Book, a book that contains famous dead people who can be brought back to life. Soon he discovers there are other people interested in the book, people who may have evil intentions, and it’s up to Spencer and his friends to protect the book and save the world.
Gephart, Donna. Death by Toilet Paper. J FIC Gephart
Aspiring to win a cash prize that will help his family avoid eviction after his father passes away, seventh-grader Benjamin Epstein uses his flair for clever slogans to participate in a contest being run by a bathroom tissue company.
Gosselink, John. The Denfense of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter. J FIC Gosselink Twelve-year-old Thaddeus A. Ledbetter, who considers it a duty to share his knowledge and talent with others, refutes each of the charges which have sent him to “In-School-Suspension” for the remainder of the seventh grade.
Gourlay, Candy. Tall Story. J FIC Gourlay
Sixteen-year-old Bernardo, who is eight feet tall and suffers from a condition called Gigantism, leaves the Philipines to live with his mother’s family in London, much to the delight of his thirteen-year-old half sister Andi, a passionate basketball player.
Grabenstein, Chris. Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. J FIC Grabenstein (SERIES)
Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape. SEQUEL: Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics (2016).
Green, Tim. Rivals. J FIC Green
Twelve-year-old Josh looks forward to facing a true rival in the Baseball Hall of Fame tournament, but first he and his friends Jaden and Benji put themselves at great risk trying to expose the truth about a conspiracy to bribe the head umpire.
Hahn, Mary Downing. Wait Till Helen Comes : A Ghost Story. J FIC Hahn / J PB H
Molly and Michael dislike their spooky new stepsister Heather but realize that they must try to save her when she seems ready to follow a ghost child to her doom.
Harkrader, Lisa. The Adventures of Beanboy. J FIC Harkrader (SERIES)
When aspiring comic-book artist Tucker MacBean enters a contest to create a new sidekick for his favorite superhero, Beanboy , he’s got a lot riding on whether or not he wins. Tucker hopes that stardom might make him more popular, and he wants to give the prize, a college scholarship, to his hardworking but exhausted single mom. SEQUEL: Cool Beans (2014).
Harness, Cheryl. Just For You to Know. J FIC Harness
Carmen, a 13 year old, feels embarrassed and trapped by her family. She dreams of becoming a famous artist and getting away from them all.
Haven, Paul. Two Hot Dogs with Everything. J FIC Haven
Although everyone credits him and his superstitions for the Slugger’s first winning streak in 108 baseball seasons, eleven-year-old Danny Gurkin believes that his discovery of a secret from the team’s past may be the real reason behind the ball club’s success.
Haydu, Corey Ann. Rules for Stealing Stars. J FIC Haydu
Four sisters rely on each other–and a bit of mysterious magic–to cope with their mother’s illness.
Henkes, Kevin. Olive’s Ocean. J FIC Henkes
On a summer visit to her grandmother’s cottage by the ocean, twelve-year-old Martha gains perspective on the death of a classmate, on her relationship with her grandmother, on her feelings for an older boy, and on her plans to be a writer.
Herrera, Robin. Hope is a Ferris Wheel. J FIC Herrera
After moving from Oregon to a trailer park in California, ten-year-old Star participates in a poetry club, where she learns some important lessons about herself and her own hopes and dreams for the future.
Howland, Leila. The Forget-Me-Not Summer. J FIC Howland
When their parents, a screenwriter and a film editor, go off on summer projects, Marigold, twelve, Zinnia, eleven, and Lily, five, must visit their Great Aunt Sunny in Cape Cod, where they learn much about themselves and each other and grow closer than ever.
Kelly, Jacqueline. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. J FIC Kelly
In central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate is instructed to be a lady by her mother, learns about love from the older three of her six brothers, and studies the natural world with her grandfather, the latter of which leads to an important discovery.
Keplinger, Kody. The Swift Boys and Me. J FIC Keplinger A lifelong best friendship between 11-year-old Nola and the three Swift brothers who live next door is challenged when the boys’ father abandons the family, prompting painful changes in the boys’ personalities and compelling Nola to try to keep the Swift family together.
Korman, Gordon. Schooled. J FIC Korman
Homeschooled by his hippie grandmother, Capricorn (Cap) Anderson has never watched television, tasted a pizza, or even heard of a wedgie. But when his grandmother lands in the hospital, Cap is forced to move in with a guidance counselor and attend the local middle school. While Cap knows a lot about tie-dyeing and Zen Buddhism, no education could prepare him for the politics of public school.
Lai, Thanhha. Inside Out & Back Again. J FIC Lai
Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama.
Leavitt, Lindsey. The Pages Between Us. J FIC Leavitt
Disappointed to learn that they will not be in many classes together when starting the sixth grade, best friends Piper and Olivia stay in touch by sharing a journal only to realize that their respective goals are taking them further apart.
Lord, Cynthia. A Handful of Stars. J FIC Lord
When her blind dog slips his collar, twelve-year old Lily meets Salma Santiago, a young Hispanic girl whose migrant family are in Maine for the blueberry-picking season, and, based partly on their mutual love of dogs, the two forge a friendship.
Nicholson, Simon. The Magician’s Fire. J FIC Nicholson
Young Harry Houdini’s efforts to perfect his magic tricks are put on hold when his mentor, Herbie, disappears, prodding Harry and his two best friends, Arthur and Billie, to embark on a dangerous investigation that pushes their skill and their friendship to the limits.
Oppel, Kenneth. The Boundless. J FIC Oppel
Accidentally acquiring the key to a train car containing a priceless treasure, young Will Everett is targeted by sinister figures from his past and must enlist the help of members of a traveling circus in order to survive.
Palacio, R.J. Wonder. J FIC Palacio
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.
Philbrick, Rodman. The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg. J FIC Philbrick
Twelve-year-old Homer, a poor but clever orphan, has extraordinary adventures after running away from his evil uncle to rescue his brother, who has been sold into service in the Civil War.
Segel, Jason & Miller, Kirsten. Nightmares! J FIC Segel
Twelve-year-old Charlie and his friends must stop nightmares from taking over their town before it’s too late.
Shang, Wendy Wan-Long. The Way Home Looks Now. J FIC Shang
In 1972, after his older brother is killed in a car crash, Peter Lee’s mother is paralyzed by grief and his traditional Chinese father seems emotionally frozen–but Peter hopes that if he joins a Little League team in Pittsburgh he can reawaken the passion for baseball that all the members of his family used to share and bring them back to life.
Sovern, Megan Jean. The Meaning of Maggie. J FIC Sovern
Eleven-year-old Maggie Mayfield is an A-plus student with big plans for herself, but at this moment she is also facing a lot of problems–like starting middle school and figuring out how to help her father who is out of work and in a wheelchair.
Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me. J FIC Stead
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980s television game show, “The $20,000 Pyramid,” a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.
Teague, Mark. The Doom Machine. J FIC Teague
When a spaceship lands in the small town of Vern Hollow in 1956, juvenile delinquent Jack Creedle and prim, studious Isadora Shumway form an unexpected alliance as they try to keep a group of extraterrestrials from stealing eccentric Uncle Bud’s space travel machine.
Valente, Catherynne. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. J FIC Valente (SERIES)
Twelve-year-old September’s ordinary life in Omaha turns to adventure when a Green Wind takes her to Fairyland to retrieve a talisman the new and fickle Marquess wants from the enchanted woods. SEQUEL: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (2012)
Vawter, Vince. Paperboy. J FIC Vawter
When an eleven-year-old boy takes over a friend’s newspaper route in July, 1959, in Memphis, his debilitating stutter makes for a memorable month.
Voigt, Cynthia. Mister Max : The Book of Lost Things. J FIC Voigt
Max’s parents are missing. They are actors, and thus unpredictable, but sailing away, leaving Max with only a cryptic note, is unusual even for them. Did theyintend to leave him behind? Have they been kidnapped?
Watson, Jude. Loot: How to Steal a Fortune. J FIC Watson
When Alfie McQuinn, the notorious jewel thief, is killed on a job, his last words to his son, March, are to “find jewels” and this instruction leads the boy to Jules, the twin sister he never knew he had–and the perfect partner to carry on the family business.
Wells, Marcia. Mystery on Museum Mile. J FIC Wells
Sixth grader Edmund Xavier Lonnrot, codename “Eddie Red,” has a photographic memory and talent for drawing anything he sees. When the NYPD is stumped by a mastermind art thief, Eddie becomes their secret weapon to solve the case.
Williams, Maiya. The Fizzy Whiz Kid. J FIC Williams
Moving to Hollywood with his academic parents, eleven-year-old Mitch feels like an outsider in his school where everyone has connections to the powerful and famous in the entertainment industry, until he is cast in a soda commercial that launches a popular catchphrase.
Winerip, Michael. Adam Canfield of the Slash. J FIC Winerip
While serving as co-editors of their school newspaper, middle-schoolers Adam and Jennifer uncover fraud and corruption in their school and in the city’s government.