Posted in What We're Reading

Aaaaaand The 2018 Mock-Newbery Goes To…


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Nightbooks by J.A. White


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Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

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City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

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Illegal by Eoin Colfer

The other books that were nominated and made it to the voting round were:

The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller

Good Dog by Dan Gemeinhart

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

The War Outside by Monica Hesse

The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras


Keep an eye out for our 2019 reviews! We’ll be starting back up in late January with our next book club session! 🙂



Posted in What We're Reading

Our 2018 Booklist

Get ready to read some great middle-grade books during the busy fall 2018 publishing season! We aren’t reading these in any particular order–just read what looks good to you, and report back to the club about it! Click the title to see if the book is available at the library, and to read a summary. This list will be updated as we add great new books to it.

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The Faithful Spy by John Hendrix

“This is a biography of a spy named Dietrich Bonhoeffer who is different from his family. This is a nonfictional book about how he plots to kill Hitler.” – Kaavya V.

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Rebound by Kwame Alexander

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A Sky Full of Stars by Linda Williams Jackson

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Sunny by Jason Reynolds

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The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

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The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

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Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead

“This book is about a young girl who meets a green magical creature. They were trying to find where the creature came from. This book was good because of the interesting plot.” – Kaavya V., October 2018

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Everlasting Nora by Marie Miranda Cruz

“I would give the book a ‘good’ because it was very predictable and I really like suspenseful books instead. It is about a girl named Nora and she was learning about family and friendship.” – Kaavya V., September 2018

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Nightbooks by J.A. White

“Recommended. Nightbooks is an enticing horror story for any age. When Alex, who has always loved creepy things and keeps his stories in his “nightbooks” is lured into a strange apartment by a witch and gets his life flipped around, he is determined to escape somehow and befriend the other prisoner, Jasmine, who is in turn as standoffish as possible. Writing and reading his stories for the witch every night to survive, he explores the mysteries of the apartment.” – Josephine H., September 2018

“This book is amazing. It is about a boy who gets trapped in a magical sweatshop. He wants a girl named Yasmin and they try to escape.” – Ben R., September 2018

Nightbooks” is about a boy, Alex, who gets trapped in a witch’s apartment and must tell scary stories to keep out of danger. And unless he finds a way to escape, he will stay stuck forever.” – Meghana M.

“This book was a very good plot-twisting book. It was about a boy named Alex who got trapped in a witch’s apartment. There he met a girl named Yasmin and together they try to escape.” – Kaavya V.

“A truly haunting, thrilling tale that will have you finishing it in one sitting.” – Keira R.

“I really like Nightbooks. I recommend people who like horror to read it because it has a great climax at the end. It is aout a boy who gets trapped by a witch, and has to write stories to satisfy her. How will he escape??” – Gania T.

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Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina

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The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis

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Just Like Jackie by Lindsey Stoddard

“A heart touching story about a girl who will do anything to make sure she doesn’t lose her grandpa.” – Keira R.

“In this book a girl named Robinson who lives with her grandpa always gets into fights at school. She always is questioned about her skin color and behaviors. This book is an exciting good book.” – Kaavya V.

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March Forward, Girl by Melba Beals

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Granted by John David Anderson

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Hurricane Child by Kehryn Callendar

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Illegal by Eoin Colfer

“Ebo wakes up one morning to find his older brother gone–he left for Europe without him. He sets out to catch up, and when he does, they must weather (literally) all kinds of inconveniences as refugees with close to nothing. This graphic novel, told in flash backs, is incredibly descriptive.” – Josephine H.

“this book was really good. It’s a graphic novel about the plight of refugees trying to get into the US. This book supports an important issue. We should have more graphic novels.” – Sophia S.

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Martin Rising: Requiem for a King by Andrea Pinkney

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Ebb and Flow by Heather Smith

Ebb and Flow is a novel in verse that reveals Jett’s “rotten bad year” piece by piece while he stays with his grandmother in a bittersweet tone.” – Josephine H.

“A rhythmic, free-verse novel about a boy who just wants to escape reality and his past, and who discovers the healing power of a summer at the beach with grandma.” -Keira R.

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Toaff’s Way by Cynthia Voigt

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The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller

“An enticing but melancholy novel about a girl not being able to give up hope on her mother with depression, or her miracle flower, the cobalt blue orchid.” – Keira R.

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The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras

“This is a fantastic book about a girl in a family of outcasts stepping out to leave her father’s shadow and save her family.” – Ben R., September 2018

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Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

“Amal has her plans all set out–finish her schooling and head off to college and become a teacher…until her mother gives birth to their family’s fourth daughter. While Amal goes to the market to shop for dinner, she comes across a rude man. He turns out to be very important, and of course she finds out after talking back. Together she and the other servants in his house (that she now has to work in) must find a way to change their fates and the entire village for the better.” – Josephine H.

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Calling All Minds by Temple Grandin

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The Language of Spells by Garrett Weyr

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Endling: The Last by Katherine Applegate

“This book is very good. It’s a fantasy novel and pretty long. Byx is the last Damine, maybe. She has heard of a mythical colony of Damines. With her lovable partners, she goes on a quest to find them. This book is a fun adventure full of exciting plot twists and discovery.” – Sophia S., September 2018

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Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea by Lynne Rae Perkins

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The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell

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City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

“This is an amazing adventure book about two friends finding their purpose and escaping their enemies in a city filled with ghosts.” – Keira R.

“Cass has a special ability to see ghosts. Cass and her ghost friend Jacob are ghost hunters, who hunt bad ghosts. They go through many adventures.” – Gania T.

“This book is about a girl who can travel back and forth between the lands of the living and the dead. Her best friend is a ghost, too. But what happens when she gets stuck? (Also, she’s a Gryffindor!)” – Meghana M.

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Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

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One True Way by Shannon Hitchcock

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Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake

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The Sky at Our Feet by Nadia Hashimi

“This is an amazing book because it addresses concerns in the modern world, while still having an amazing plot and extremely likable characters.” – Keira R., September 2018

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Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi

“This book is about a 12 year old girl who lives in a museum filled with artifacts of Indian gods. Aru experiences the magical world of the Indian gods during her autumn break. When an evil force is trying to stop time and control it. She connects to the world with a deep (a candle-holder from Diwali ceremonies).” – Gania T., October 2018

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You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly

“A heartfelt story about two special kids learning to survive middle school in their own way, getting over family dilemmas, and bonding over scrabble.” – Keira R.

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The House That Lou Built by Mae Respicio

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The Truth As Told By Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor

“Mason Buttle is a 7th grader who has recently lost his best friend. He is picked on by his schoolmates. Many things change when Mason finds a new friend, Calvin. He helps Mason get over his friend.” – Gania T.

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Checked by Cynthia Kadohata

Checked is about a boy named Conor who lives with his dog Sinbad and his dad. Both Conor and his dad are very passionate about hockey. But them something happens to Sinbad and Conor is forced to make the hardest decision of his life.” – Meghana M., October 2018

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The War Outside by Monica Hesse

“This book was a good book about WWII. It was in two different perspectives from two girls whose parents were from Germany and Japan that had to move to Crystal City, TX.” – Kaavya V.

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Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz

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Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome

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The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle by Christina Uss

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Good Dog by Dan Gemeinhart

“An amazingly heartbreaking story about the most brave and loyal dog protecting his boy, even though he cannot be with him anymore.” – Keira R.

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City of Islands by Kali Wallace

“Good! Mara lives in a city of islands diving for her mistress day after day. Two years ago her guardian went missing in a storm; she was a bone mage. When Mara comes across ancient bones that may or may not be of the founders of the city, she says an old story of her mother’s…and the bones answer her.” – Josephine H.

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Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

“This is a heart wrenching novel about a black boy shot by a white cop. lending racist prejudice, history and fiction, this book  is a beautiful piece of art.” – Keira R.

“It’s a story about an African-American boy who gets shot by police and becomes a ghost. The policeman’s daughter can see him and they try to get justice.” -Ben R.

“Nominated. When Jerome, a young African-American boy, gets wrongly shot and killed by a white police officer, he becomes a ghost. No one can see or hear him–except for the officer’s daughter, Sarah. Switching between his existence while living and dead, they work to make awareness of all the other Ghost Boys in the world.” – Josephine H.

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The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson

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Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey (JB SHELLEY)

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The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock

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Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

“A hilarious graphic novel about a Russian girl trying to fit in at a far-from-normal summer camp.” -Keira R.

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Willa of the Wood by Robert Beatty

“A truly enchanting novel about a girl learning about the changing world around her, leaving her clan, and reuniting one very lost family. The best fantasy book I have read!” – Keira R.



Posted in 2016-17 Books, What We're Reading

2017 Mock Newbery Awards

The Wake County Public Libraries Teen Leadership Corps/Reading Corps would like to congratulate the following authors and publishers for providing young readers with distinguished works of literature that have opened our minds and hearts in 2016:


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Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin

Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers


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Pax  by Sara Pennypacker, Published by Balzer & Bray/Harper Teen

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin, Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan, Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor, Published by Katherine Tegen Books

     2016 Mock Newbery Contenders:

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Click on title to request the book from Wake County Public Libraries!

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor – nominated by Rayyan, Kaviya, Haley, Riley, Tanvi, Benjamin, Amulya & Ella – This is a great story about a boy who grew up in a minimum security prison trying to help put his life back together after a nosey district attorney rips it apart.- Benjamin; This book follows Perry who lives in jail with his mother.  He has to leave everything he knows behind because the state superintendent believes that living in a jail isn’t a good environment for a child.  This story is truly inspirational and is definitely good enough to be Newbery.

The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan – nominated by Eliza, Caleb,  Kaviya, Ella, Haley, Rayyan & Benjamin –  A great book that follows two boys who work without pay on a cacao plantation.  Their world is turned upside-down when a fiery girl arrives. Guaranteed to rip your heart out of your chest! – Benjamin

Booked by Kwame Alexander – nominated by Haley and Benjamin – A fantastic story of a boy trying to survive the year after two major bombshells rip his life apart.

Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin – nominated by Tanvi, Amulya, Ayesha, Hannah, Haley, Ella & Quinn – The setting and the characters are described wonderfully and the whole story just seems to make me think about things a way I would have never thought of them before. – Quinn, This book was very inspirational and changed my view on life.  It had very realistic and developed characters, a descriptive setting, and a great plot!  It was a very enjoyable read. –  Amulya

Free Verse by Sarah Dooley – nominated by Haley,  Kaviya,  Kayla, & Riley – An inspiring story about loss.  Written partly in verse, the main character Sasha’s story will shed a new light on life. – Tanvi;  A beautiful story with strong character development and a writing style that carried you through this change of heart. – Kayla

Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford

Ghost by Jason Reynolds – nominated by Benjamin

Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eager – nominated by Caleb, Benjamin, Haley, Amulya, Hannah & Riley – A story about learning to love and growing up, with a great theme of family and a hint of magic. – Hannah; The book definitely keeps you wanting to turn the page to keep reading.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes stories about adventures to new places and adjusting to them.  I loved the plot, characters and the story itself. – Riley

The Inquisitor’s Tale, or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz – A collection of stories about 3 kids and their Holy dog.  This book is and incredible ride full of twists and turns. – nominated by Hayden

Just My Luck by Cammie McGovern – nominated by Ella, Hayden, Kaviya, Riley, Ayesha & Tanvi – This book takes you inside the mind of a fourth-grader.  With a very relatable conflict, this book is a beautiful story about dealing with life’s problems.

Lily and Duncan by Donna Gephart – nominated by Tanvi, Caleb, Ella, Kaviya & Riley – A tale of friendship, courage and believing in yourself when others don’t.  And having faith even if you think if you hold on any longer you may break into a million pieces. – Nikki

The Littlest  Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner – nominated by Tanvi

Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Allison McGhee – nominated by Sarah, Caleb,  Kayla, Rayyan & Eliza – A heart-wrenching story that honestly portrays sisterly love. – Eliza

Mayday by Karen Harrington – nominated by Rayyan, Caleb, Benjamin & Ayesha – This story revolves around a selfless boy determined to make the best of the worst situation.  A touching and sweet story that will break and heal your heart over and over again. – Ayesha

Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban – nominated by Micah, Tanvi, Rayyan, Haley, Hayden, Ella, Marissa, & Amulya – You really feel like you can connect with the characters, even if they go through way worse than most of us ever have. – Micah; The main character is so deep emotionally and relatable.  The author makes you feel like you are right next to Manami as these events happen.  The settings and characters were all shaped so well. – Marissa

Pax by Sarah Pennypacker – nominated by Caleb, Kaviya, Amulya,    Benjamin, Eliza,  Ella, Hayden, Rayyan,  Nikki, & Riley – A story that goes down a twisty rode, that makes your heart leap with excitement and sadness. – Nikki;  An amazing book with characters that almost seemed to come alive through the pages. – Riley

Soar by Joan Bauer – nominated by Sam, Caleb, Benjamin & Hayden – A great book about a boy leading a shattered town to rebuild around baseball. – Benjamin

Some Writer:  The Story of E. B. White by Melissa Sweet – nominated by Ella, Haley, Hannah, Benjamin & Hayden

Summerlost by Allie Condie – nominated by Rayyan, Tanvi, Sarah, Haley & Hannah – A rich, fulfilling tale of friendship and loss that will shred your heart and stitch it back together again.  I didn’t want to put it down! – Sarah

When the Sea Turned to Silver by Grace Lin – nominated by Caleb and Hayden – I would read this 11 times! – Hayden

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk – nominated by Quinn,  Caleb, Samantha, & Kayla  -A wonderfully written story about a girl who realizes that adults can’t solve all of her problems when she is the only one who stands up for the innocent.  Amazing! – Caleb

Other favorites:

27 Magic Words by Sharelle Byars Moranville

Agents of the Glass:  A New Recruit by Michael D. Beil – Very fun read – Caleb

Audacity Jones by Kirby Larson – Kirby Larson weaves an energetic and plot-driven story about a young heroine that will capture your heart immediately. Bringing a much needed heroine in a world of mostly heroes, combined with powerful characters, Audacity Jones is an inspiring story for both boys and girls. – Tanvi

A Bandit’s Tale by Deborah Hopkinson – A beautifully forged story about a young boy’s new life in the American suburbs. Providing a juicy plot to a historically accurate story, this book is a must read for historical fiction lovers. – Tanvi

Brambleheart by Henry Cole

The Cat Who Came in Off the Roof (not eligible for Newbery) by Annie Schmidt

The Courage Test by James Preller

Dog Man by Dav Pilkey – An interesting book that give you a whole new perspective on police work! – Rayyan

The Dog, Ray by Linda Coggin (not eligible for Newbery but medal-worthy) -Very touching story with developed characters, good setting and overall a great read!-Amulya

Eleven and Holding by Mary Penney – I liked the author’s writing style and the story has some nice twists at the end, and a very realistic ending.

The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island by Dana Levy

Firefly Code by Megan Blakemore – Technology, utopian community, and friends. A story that tests the ability of people accepting people for who they are, even if who they are is way off from what you imagined. – Nikki

Framed (A T.O.A.S.T. Mystery) by James Ponti

The Gallery by Laura Fitzgerald – The characters were well-developed, and the mystery made it hard to put this book down. – Kaviya

Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Regan Barnhill – Good and deep story – Caleb

Going Where It’s Dark by Phyllis Naylor – This is a well-written realistic fiction novel about a kid going caving. If you like books that show kids’ struggles and their successes, this is the book for you! – Hayden

I Am Drums by Mike Grosso –

Impyrium by Henry H. Neff

It Ain’t So Awful,  Falafel (not eligible for Newbery) by Firoozeh Dumas

Jubilee by Patricia Reilly Giff

Julius Zebra by Gary Northfield

Just Like Me by Nancy J. Cavanaugh – This was an interesting book and I really enjoyed it. The characters were realistic. Three Chinese sisters bond during an extremely competitive summer camp. The story is told through the diary entries of one of the sisters. This is a book for 11 and up. – Hayden

The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd

The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly

The Lost Compass by Joel Ross – I liked this sequel to Fog Diver  as much as I liked that first book.  The plot was good and made sense.  The characters were still very 3-D and I didn’t want to put the book down.  The plot was also really believable and realistic.  I could imagine everything that was happening.  It’s important to read the first book before this one though. – Sarah

Maxi’s Secrets by Lynn Plourde

The Maypop Kidnapping by Cynthia Surrisi – An entertaining mystery that will keep you hooked until the surprising ending. – Haley; This book shows that even though old friends can’t be replaced, new friends can be made. – Marissa

The Mechanical Mind of John Coggin by Elinor Teele – An amazing story, with amazing characters!  You will be riveted to the very end! – Eliza

Midnight War of Mateo Martinez by Robin Yardi

Momotaro:  Zander and the Lost Island of Monsters by Margaret Dilloway

The Most Important Thing:  Stories About Sons, Fathers and Grandfathers by Avi

The Nine Lives of Jacob Tibbs by Cylin Busby

The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo –  It is very descriptive and has a lot of feeling in it. – Quinn

Samurai Rising:  The Epic Life of Minomoto Yoshitsune  by Pamela Turner

Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks

School of the Dead by Avi – A thrilling mystery filled with twists, turns and ghosts!  Gripping! – Caleb

The Scourge by Jennifer Nielsen

The Secret Sea by Barry Lyga

Secrets of Bearhaven by K. E. Rocha

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey

The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner

Simon Thorn and the Wolf’s Den by Aimee Carter – A masterpiece told through writing that always keeps you wondering. – Nikki

Some Kind of Courage by Dan Gemeinhart

Some Kind of Happiness by Claire LeGrande

Sticks & Stones by Abby Cooper – Setting is well-described and the story is interesting – Sam

Talking Leaves by Joseph Bruchac

Terror at Bottle Creek by Watt Key –  Full of suspense, action, and 3-dimensional characters, the ultimate adventure book. – Ella

Time Stoppers by Carrie Jones

To Catch a Cheat by Varian Johnson – This book had an amazing plot and was overall a good read.  The characters were very developed and this book definitely deserves to be Newbery. – Amulya, An interesting story that will give you a whole new perspective on spying. – Rayyan

Tru and Nelle by G. Neri

Turn of the Tide by Rosanne Parry

Under Their Skin by Margaret Haddix

Waiting for Augusta by Jessica Lawson – A very well-written story about a boy who knows what it’s like to be left behind.  An inspiring plot that will change how you think of life (and golf).

We Will Not Be Silent by Russell Freedman

A Week Without Tuesdays by Angelica  Banks

What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein – A well-developed story that perfectly captures the bond between a small child and many enormous elephants. – Rayyan

Wild Robot by Peter Brown – An inspiring story that proves that robots are more than just machines–they’re wild animals! – Rayyan

Wish by Barbara O’Connor

The World From Up Here by Cecilia Galante

What we’re reading for our next meeting:

We will begin reading 2017 titles in January!!

Posted in 2015-2016 Club, Not Mock Newbery

Last in a Long Line of Rebels, by Lisa Lewis Tyre

Summary: When the city of Zollicoffer, Tennessee, where her family lives, announces plans to seize their one hundred seventy-five year old house through eminent domain, twelve-year-old Louise Mayhew needs to come up with a way to save it–and her ancestor’s Civil War diary linking the house to the Underground Railroad, as well as a hidden treasure, seem to offer her family the best chance of saving their home.

Nancy Paulsen Books