Updated: Jul 11, 2021
Grade 1-5 recommendations:
1. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The fantasy story is about a young boy named James who lives with his awful aunts. He soon gets a way to escape as he one day discovers a giant peach and they both accidentally roll into the ocean. The rest of the story follows James and his adventure across the ocean along with a bunch of friendly, talking insects.
2. Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty
This mystery story is about a twelve-year-old named Serafina who secretly lives in the basement of the Baltimore Estate. The book follows Serafina as she attempts to uncover the identity of 'The Man in the Black Cloak' who is responsible for the disappearance of multiple of the estate's young guests.
3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
This science-fiction story is about a high-school-aged girl named Meg Murry. The book follows Meg, her younger brother Charles Wallace and her friend Calvin O'Keefe as they are transported through time and space to rescue her father who is a gifted scientist and is held as a prisoner on another planet by some evil forces.
4. Wonder by RJ Palacio
This fiction story is about a boy in fifth grade named Auggie Pullman who has severe facial differences that have prevented him from going to a mainstream school so far. The story is written from multiple perspectives but it mainly focuses on Auggie. The story follows Auggie and his life as he joins a mainstream school and how his family, his classmates, his new friends, and a much larger community all struggle to accept Auggie for who he is.
5. Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish & Fritz Seibel
This fiction book follows Amelia Bedelia who is hired as a maid for the wealthy Mr. and Mrs. Rogers. The book follows her comedic adventure as she seems to take her orders quite literally.
Grade 6-8 recommendations:
1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This historical fiction book takes place in 1938 during World War II in Germany where a young orphan named Liesel arrives at the home of her new foster parents, Hans and Rosa. Liesel grows to love books after Hans starts to teach her to read, and ends up rescuing one from a Nazi bonfire. The book follows Liesel and her family as they try to survive the war but are put in more danger when they secretly shelter a Jewish boy whose father once saved Hans' life.
2. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
This fantasy fiction book tells the story of Conor O'Malley, a 13-year-old boy. He has little in common with his grandmother who is taking care of him currently and his father has resettled thousands of miles away. Moreover, he is dealing with his mother's deadly illness and it seems as she gets more sick, he gets more bullied at school. One day, however, Conor is visited by a Yew-tree monster who decides to tell him three stories over the course of the next few days. The story follows Conner as he learns multiple lessons from the stories and tries to accept the truth about his mother.
3. Listen to the Moon by Micheal Morpugo
A boy named Alfie and his fisherman father find a girl on an uninhabited island in the Scillies – injured, thirsty, lost… and with absolutely no memory of who she is, or how she came to be there. She can say only one word: Lucy. This historical-fiction story follows the family and the girl as suspicion is thrown on them for being German Spies.
4. Looking for Alaska by John Green
This young-adult story follows a boy named Miles (Pudge) Halter who goes to a boarding school in search of "the great perhaps". There he meets Alaska, a young girl with whom he falls in love. But when she dies, Miles and his friends work to discover the missing details of the night Alaska died.
5. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
This romance novel follows the story of a young and quirky Louisa "Lou" Clark who moves from one job to the next to help her family make ends meet. Her cheerful attitude is put to the test when she becomes a caregiver for Will Traynor, a wealthy young banker left paralyzed from an accident two years earlier. Will's cynical outlook starts to change when Louisa shows him that life is worth living. As their bond deepens, their lives and hearts change in ways neither one could have imagined.