Summary: An introduction to World War I explains its relevance as a conflict that involved many nations and casualties while introducing modern weaponry and military strategies that have shaped all subsequent wars. 176 p., Clarion Books.
Summary: After her father, brother, and sister are killed in a plane crash, twelve-year-old Daralynn’s life in tiny Digginsville, Missouri, proceeds as her mother turns angry and embittered, her grandmother becomes senile, and her flamboyant aunt continues to run the Summer Sunset Retirement Home for Distinguished Gentlemen, while being courted by the owner of the town’s new crematorium. 196 p., Feiwel and Friends.
Summary: After learning that his presumed-dead father may still be alive, Alfonso Perplexon, now fifteen years old, takes on the dangerous task of returning to the land of Dormia to search for him. 487 p., Houghton Mifflin.
Summary: In New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, twelve-year-old Lanesha, who can see spirits, and her adopted grandmother have no choice but to stay and weather the storm as Hurricane Katrina bears down upon them. 217 p., Little, Brown.
Summary: Fourteen-year-old Zach learns he has the same special abilities as his father, who was the President’s globe-trotting troubleshooter until “the Bads” killed him, and now Zach must decide whether to use his powers in the same way at the risk of his own life. 289 p., Philomel.
Summary: Twelve-year-old Jack, freed from a dismal orphanage, makes his way to the elusive and impossible Imagine Nation, where a mentor saves him from dissection and trains him to use his superpower, despite the virus he carries that makes him a threat. 468 p., Aladdin.
Summary: When ten-year-old Jake’s widowed mother breaks her leg just before Christmas while her sister and best friend are both away, a grandfather Jake barely remembers must come to Baltimore, Maryland, to help a neighbor take care of him. 162 p., Random House.
Summary: A retelling of the Perrault fairy tale set in pre-colonial India, in which two stepsisters receive gifts from a goddess and each walks her own path to find her gift’s purpose, discovering romance along the way. 278 p., Henry Holt.
Summary: Two thirteen-year-old cousins are trapped in a blizzard on the same treacherous mountain in the Cascades that claimed the lives of their world-famous, mountain-climber, twin fathers exactly two years earlier. 256 p., Holiday House.
Summary: In the 1870s, Benjamin Franklin Orville, a boy from a wealthy Baltimore family, is kidnapped and forced to work on an oyster dredger whose captain has no qualms about murdering any crewman who fails to meet his demands. 164 p., Disney/Hyperion.
Summary: Jason, Piper, and Leo, three students from a school for “bad kids,” find themselves at Camp Half-Blood, where they learn that they are demigods and begin a quest to free Hera, who has been imprisoned by Mother Earth herself. 553 p., Disney/Hyperion.