Summer Reading

2015

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How to Rock Braces and Glasses

By: Meg Haston

“Super-stylish and über-harsh, Kacey Simon is the social dictator of Marquette Middle School. But when an eye infection and a visit to the dentist leave her with Coke-bottle glasses, a mouth full of metal, and...a littthp, Kacey is dismissed by her popular friends, falling so far down the social ladder she can barely see the top, even with her magnifying specs. With nowhere else to turn, Kacey has to hang with her nerdy neighbor and a boy who walks to beat of his own drum, but she's determined to reclaim her throne. Will she climb back to the top? Or will she discover that hitting rock bottom kind of...rocks” (B&N 2015)?

Wonder

By: RJ Palacio

“I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance” (B&N 2015).

Scrawl

By: Mark Shulman

“Tod Munn is a bully. He’s tough, but times are even tougher. The wimps have stopped coughing up their lunch money. The administration is cracking down. Then to make things worse, Tod and his friends get busted doing something bad. Something really bad.

Lucky Tod must spend his daily detention in a hot, empty room with Mrs. Woodrow, a no-nonsense guidance counselor. He doesn’t know why he’s there, but she does. Tod’s punishment: to scrawl his story in a beat-up notebook. He can be painfully funny and he can be brutally honest. But can Mrs. Woodrow help Tod stop playing the bad guy before he actually turns into one . . . for real?

Read Tod’s notebook for yourself” (B&N 2015).

Stargirl

By: Jerry Spinelli

“Leo Borlock follows the unspoken rule at Mica Area High School: don't stand out—under any circumstances! Then Stargirl arrives at Mica High and everything changes—for Leo and for the entire school. After 15 years of home schooling, Stargirl bursts into tenth grade in an explosion of color and a clatter of ukulele music, enchanting the Mica student body. But the delicate scales of popularity suddenly shift, and Stargirl is shunned for everything that makes her different. Somewhere in the midst of Stargirl's arrival and rise and fall, normal Leo Borlock has tumbled into love with her” (B&N 2015).

Bystander

By: James Preller

“Eric is the new kid in seventh grade. Griffin wants to be his friend. When you're new in town, it's hard to know who to hang out with--and who to avoid. Griffin seems cool, confident, and popular.But something isn't right about Griffin. He always seems to be in the middle of bad things. And if Griffin doesn't like you, you'd better watch your back. There might be a target on it. As Eric gets drawn deeper into Griffin's dark world, he begins to see the truth about Griffin: He's a liar, a bully, a thief. Eric wants to break away, do the right thing. But in one shocking moment, he goes from being a bystander . . . to the bully's next victim” (B&N 2015).

Popular

By: Maya Van Wagenen

“Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help a shy girl become popular? Maya Van Wagenen is about to find out.

Stuck near the bottom of the social ladder at “pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren’t paid to be here,” Maya has never been popular. But before starting eighth grade, she decides to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell.

The real-life results are hilarious, painful, and filled with unexpected surprises. Told with humor and grace, Maya’s journey offers readers of all ages a thoroughly contemporary example of kindness and self-confidence, along with a better understanding of what it means to be popular” (B&N 2015).

Winner of the 2015 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction

The Misfits

By: James Howe

“What do a 12-year-old student who moonlights as a tie salesman, a tall, outspoken girl, a gay middle-schooler and a kid branded as a hooligan have in common? Best friends for years, they've all been the target of cruel name-calling and now that they're in seventh grade, they're not about to take it anymore. In this hilarious and poignant novel, Howe focuses on the quietest of the bunch, overweight Bobby Goodspeed (the tie salesman), showing how he evolves from nerd to hero when he starts speaking his mind.

Addie (the outspoken girl) decides that the four of them should run against more popular peers in the upcoming student council election. But her lofty ideals and rabble-rousing speeches make the wrong kind of waves, offending fellow classmates, teachers and the principal. It is not until softer-spoken Bobby says what's in his heart about nicknames and taunts that people begin to listen and take notice, granting their respect for the boy they used to call "Lardo" and "Fluff." The four "misfits" are slightly larger than life—wiser than their years, worldlier than the small town setting would suggest, and remarkably well-adjusted—but there remains much authenticity in the story's message about preadolescent stereotyping and the devastating effects of degrading labels. An upbeat, reassuring novel that encourages preteens and teens to celebrate their individuality.”

(Publisher Weekly 2015)