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Charlie Thorne is one of the smartest people alive–don’t take her word for it? Don’t worry, she’s been tested. Unfortunately, being one of the smartest people alive happens to get her into a lot of trouble.
Katrina is used to going by many different names and constantly moving around the country with her parents, a necessary evil when you are in the Witness Protection Program, but everything she thought she knew changes when her mother goes missing. Suddenly, Katrina and her first-ever friend Parker are thrown into a dangerous adventure that will take every skill they have to not only survive, but also save Katrina’s family.
Annie may only be a middle-schooler, but she has big dreams and they include performing on stage. After she is told during her elementary graduation that she can be anything she wants to be, Annie decides that she is going to try out for the community theater’s summer production of “Annie,” and does not understand why others laugh when she states she is trying out for the lead. Why should the fact that she is Asian-American have anything to do with what parts she can play? Unfortunately, for a small town in the 80s, it has everything to do with what parts she can act.
A National Book Award Finalist in 2016, Ghost is just one of Jason Reynolds’ many works that have received recognition within the world of youth literature. Its triumphant narrative is perfect for middle schoolers, especially any young boy of color who too rarely sees an image of himself empathetically and realistically portrayed in text.
When James and his family move from Texas to Oregon, he feels that life as he knew it is over, and that nothing good can come from the change of scenery. If only he knew how right he was. To make matters worse, the move feels even more doomed without the presence of their abuelita, who had passed shortly before, and not even her recorded stories can make it better. While the new house seems cool, and the neighbors perfect, the uncanny feeling James cannot shake soon takes physical form. In the midst of a prank war with his little sister, Ava, James finds a letter on his desk from someone named “The Keeper” warning him about their new neighborhood. At first, James decides that Ava must have written the letter as the next attack in their prank war, but when more letters arrive and accidents start to happen around James, he realizes just how dangerous their new home and neighbors are.
Maizy Chen had only met her grandparents once in person, a brief visit that was over before it truly began. But when Maizy’s grandfather gets sick, she and her mother drive to Last Chance, Minnesota to spend a few days with him. Those few days turn into the entire summer as Maizy and her mother realize just how ill he is.
When Hanna and her widowed father settle in the small town of LaForge in the Dakota Territory, Hanna is both excited and worried. Excited because after three years of traveling, they are finally in a town where they bought a store instead of renting–meaning her father intends to stay for longer than normal–and because she might be able to go to an actual school.
Mary’s family had lived on Martha’s Vineyard since the first English settlers arrived on the island, and her great-great-grandfather was the first deaf islander. While being born deaf elsewhere during the 19th century would lead to a life of struggle, on Martha’s Vineyard it is nothing out of the ordinary, and people like Mary and her father are supported and accepted by the community.
After having been returned by six different foster families, Logan Foster does not expect to like–or be liked by–his newest foster family. Yet there is something about Gil and Margie, despite Gil’s horrible puns and Margie’s even worse cooking, that clicks with Logan. Whether it’s because they are secretly superheroes, or because they genuinely seem to care about him, Logan can’t quite decide. Of course, Logan isn’t supposed to know that they are superheroes, but with a brain like his, there is little he can’t figure out. And when explanations about why Gil and Margie are out all hours, never seem to eat, and the pretty intense security around the garage all fall short, Logan begins to wonder.