Topics for this reader group start getting just a little serious while still offering plenty of choices for lighter reading. The mysteries are more pronounced. The family dramas take on social themes and what seem like ordinary events get really unpredictable. But that's what makes all these titles so readable!
Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger
Sixth-grader Tommy and his friends describe their interactions with a paper finger puppet of Yoda, worn by their weird classmate Dwight, as they try to figure out whether or not the puppet can really predict the future. Includes instructions for making Origami Yoda. 141p.
Murder at Midnight by Avi
Falsely accused of plotting to overthrow King Claudio, scholarly Mangus the magician, along with his street-smart servant boy, Fabrizio, face deadly consequences unless they can track down the real traitor by the stroke of midnight. 254 p.
The Boy Who Dared by Susan C. Bartoletti
In October, 1942, seventeen-year-old Helmuth Hubener, imprisoned for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets, recalls his past life and how he came to dedicate himself to bring the truth about Hitler and the war to the German people. 202p.
No Passengers beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko
With their house in foreclosure, sisters India and Mouse and brother Finn are sent to stay with an uncle in Colorado until their mother can join them, but when the plane lands, the children are welcomed by cheering crowds to a strange place where each of them has a perfect house and a clock that is ticking down the time. 244p.
Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce
12-year old Liam looks like he's thirty. Sometimes it's not bad; for example on the first day of school the principal mistakes Liam for a teacher or when he convinces a car dealer to let him test drive a Porsche. So feeling like he's stuck between two worlds, Liam cons his way into being the adult chaperone on the first space ship to take civilians into space. But when the ship is stuck 230,000 miles from home, being mistaken for an adult is not good. 313p.
Falling In by Frances Dowell
Middle-schooler Isabelle Bean follows a mouse's squeak into a closet and falls into a parallel universe where the children believe she is the witch they have feared for years, finally come to devour them. 245p.
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper
Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time. 295 p.
Football Champ by Tim Green
Twelve-year-old Troy's uncanny gift for predicting football plays proves a powerful secret weapon for the Atlanta Falcons, but a seedy reporter with a vendetta suspects something is going on and sets out to shred the reputations of Troy and star linebacker Seth Halloway. 279p.
Rivals by Tim 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. 261p
Claim to Fame by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Sixteen-year-old Lindsay, a former child star whose career ended when she developed the ability to hear what anyone, anywhere says about her and apparently suffered a nervous breakdown, comes to see this as an asset when, after her father's death, she learns that she is not alone. 256p.
Closed For the Season by Mary Downing Hahn
When thirteen-year-old Logan and his family move into a run-down old house in rural Virginia, he discovers that a woman was murdered there and becomes involved with his neighbor Arthur in a dangerous investigation to try to uncover the killer. 182 p.
Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn
When thirteen-year-old Ali spends the summer with her aunt and cousin at the family's vacation home, she stumbles upon a secret that her mother and aunt have been hiding for over thirty years. 187 p.
The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge
When a lie is exposed and their tribe turns against them, Hathin must find a way to save her sister Arilou--once considered the tribe's oracle--and herself. 566p.
Crossing the Wire by Will Hobbs
Fifteen-year-old Victor Flores journeys north in a desperate attempt to cross the Arizona border and find work in the United States to support his family in central Mexico. 216p.
Take me to the River by Will Hobbs
When North Carolina fourteen-year-old Dylan Sands joins his fifteen-year-old cousin Rio in running the Rio Grande River, they face a tropical storm and a fugitive kidnapper. 184p.
Boston Jane: An Adventure by Jennifer Holm
Schooled in the lessons of etiquette for young ladies of 1854, Miss Jane Peck of Philadelphia finds little use for manners during her long sea voyage of the Pacific Northwest and while living among the American traders and Chinook Indians of Washington Territory. 274p.
Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones
After his grandfather dies, Andrew Hope inherits a house and surrounding land in an English village, but things become very complicated when young orphan Aidan shows up and suddenly a host of variously magical townsfolk and interlopers start intruding on their lives. 292 p.
White Sands, Red Menace by Ellen Klages
It is 1946, and Dewey Kerrigan is now living near the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico with the Gordon family. Dewey and her "sister," Suze, share secrets, art, and science as they adjust to high school in an isolated desert town. Then, Dewey's long-lost mother, Rita Gallucci, reappears in their lives. 337p.
Zoobreak by Gordan Korman
After a class trip to a floating zoo where animals are mistreated and Savannah’s missing pet monkey is found in a cage, Long Island sixth-grader Griffin Bing and his band of misfits plan a rescue. 230p.
The Cheat by Amy Goldman Koss
When Sarah gets her hands on the answers to the eighth-grade geography midterm and decides to share them with some other students, the consequences are far-ranging. 176 p.
Poison Ivy by Amy Goldman Koss
In a government class three popular girls undergo a mock trial for their ruthless bullying of a classmate. 166p.
Black Duck by Janet Taylor Lisle
Years afterwards, Ruben Hart tells the story of how, in 1929 Newport, Rhode Island, his family and his best friend's family were caught up in the violent competition among groups trying to control the local rum-smuggling trade. 252 p.
Hero by Mike Lupica
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.
The Black: Morpheus Road Series by D.J. MacHale
Cooper Foley, who has a knack for getting into trouble, ends up in the middle of a border war between worlds of the living and the dead, trying to find out about the mysterious Morpheus Road. 405p.
Take Me With You by Carolyn Marsden
Raised in an Italian orphanage in the years following World War II, a biracial girl named Susanna and her best friend Pina want to be adopted but fear being separated. 160p.
Desperate Journey by Jim Murphy
In the mid-1800s, with both her father and her uncle in jail on an assault charge, Maggie, her brother, and her ailing mother rush their barge along the Erie Canal to deliver their heavy cargo or lose everything. 278p.
Woods Runner by Gary Paulsen
From his 1776 Pennsylvania homestead, thirteen-year-old Samuel, who is a highly-skilled woodsman, sets out toward New York City to rescue his parents from the band of British soldiers and Indians who kidnapped them after slaughtering most of their community. Includes historical notes. 164p.
Celestial Globe by Marie Rutkoski
Thirteen-year-old Petra, her tin spider Astrophil, and their Roma friends Neel and Tomik are surprised by revelations about Dee, Kit, and Petra's father as they face Prince Rodolfo of Bohemia, who will do anything to possess a powerful object, the Celestial Globe. (Kronos Chronicles Bk. #2) 296p.
Smiles To Go by Jerry Spinelli
Will Tuppence’s life has always been ruled by science and common sense but in the ninth grade, shaken by the discovery that protons decay, he begins to see the entire world differently and gains new perspective on his relationship with his little sister and two closest friends. 248p.
Countdown by Deborah Wiles
“Franny Chapman just wants some peace. But that’s hard to get when her best friend is feuding with her, her sister has disappeared, and her uncle is fighting an old war in his head. Her saintly younger brother is no help and the cute boy across the street only complicates things. Worst of all, everyone is walking around just waiting for a bomb to fall. It’s 1962, and it seems the whole country is living in fear.”…Dust jacket flap. 377p.
Ghost Trackers by Chris Gudgeon
Describes the world of ghost-tracking and paranormal investigation, including the history of ghost hauntings, the science of paranormal investigation, and what to look for in order to determine if a space is haunted. 75p.
DK Eyewitness: Soldier by Simon Adams
Describes the lives of soldiers from the Middle Ages to the present, discussing their training, tactics, vehicles, and weapons. 72p.
Finding Food and Water (Survive Alive Series) by Neil Champion
“Gives essential survival tips for finding food and water in the wild, including how to know what is safe to eat or drink from land, plant, and animal sources.”
Babysitter’s Survival Guide by Jill Chasse
A go-to guide includes kid-friendly recipes, activities for all ages, suggestions for handling tantrums and emergencies, and advice on everything from finding clients and getting jobs to entertaining and lulling children to sleep.
Drawing the New Adventure Cartoons by Chris Hart
"Learn to draw the funny characters you see in comics, on TV, in movies and in video games: spies, secret agents, saboteurs, sci-fi heroes, hilarious muscle guys and those evil rotten and just plain bad guys you love to hate! Chris Hart shows you how to use body language, costumes, action lines and the secrets of cartoon composition to create memorable characters and exciting scenes." 126p.
Mr. Funky’s Super Crochet Wonderful by Narumi Ogawa
Mr. Funky features 30 projects including stuffed animals (amirgurumi) and wearable accessories such as scarves, hats, crochet flowers, headbands, a water bottle carrier, fun kids stuff and more. Readers who love Hello Kitty, bohemian 70's inspired fashion, and Japanese style will love these supercute projects. All of the projects are easy, super-hip and quick to make--perfect for teen knitters and beginners--and all feature inexpensive craft store yarns 111p.
DK Eyewitness: Baseball by James Buckley
The most trusted nonfiction series on the market, Eyewitness Books provide an in-depth, comprehensive look at their subjects with a unique integration of words and pictures. With information on everything from bats and balls to great players and World Series games, this completely revised edition of Eyewitness: Baseball includes all-new spreads on the minor leagues, college baseball, and more. 72p.