SUGGESTED OUTSIDE READING BOOKS: AWARD WINNERS & BEST SELLERS
Wonder by R.J. Palacio. 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.
From the Mixed Up Files of Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg. Claudia wants to run away from home, so she and her brother hide in the Metropolitan Museum of Art where they discover a mystery about one of the Museum's valuable statues.
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. Born with cerebral palsy, Melody, 10, has never spoken a word. Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy, and she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.
Holes by Louis Sachar. Stanley Yelnat's family has a history of bad luck, so he isn't too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to a boys' juvenile detention center, Camp Green Lake. There is no lake - it has been dry for over a hundred years - and it's hardly a camp. As punishment, the boys must each dig a hole a day, five feet deep, five feet across, in the hard earth of the dried-up lake bed.
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine. This novel is about how a community copes with a shooting at Virginia Dare Middle School that took the lives of two students and one of their teachers. One student was the brother of a 10-year-old girl with Asperger's Syndrome. Every student at the school is trying to overcome grief, develop empathy, and show tolerance for others. Ultimately, the entire community learns that problems and frustrations can be avoided "by getting inside someone's head," and better understanding him.
Counting by 7s by Holy Goldberg Sloan. Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn't kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now. Suddenly Willow's world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy.
The Thing About Luck by Cynthia Kadohata. There is bad luck, good luck, and making your own luck-which is exactly what Summer must do to save her family. Summer knows that kouun means "good luck" in Japanese, and this year her family has none of it. Just when she thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong, an emergency whisks her parents away to Japan-right before harvest season.
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. Karana is an Indian girl who lives alone on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. She must make her own food, shelter and weapons in this tale of survival.
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. As the German troops begin their campaign to "relocate" all the Jews of Denmark, Annemarie Johansen's family takes in Annemarie's best friend, Ellen Rosen, and conceals her as part of the family. Through the eyes of ten-year-old Annemarie, we watch as the Danish Resistance smuggles almost the entire Jewish population of Denmark, nearly seven thousand people, across the sea to Sweden.
Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. It's 1936, in Flint, Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud's got a few things going for him:1. He has his own suitcase filled with his own important, secret things.2. He's the author of Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself.3. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: flyers of Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!!Bud's got an idea that those flyers will lead him to his father. Once he decides to hit the road and find this mystery man, nothing can stop him--not hunger, not fear, not vampires, not even Herman E. Calloway himself.
Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli.Jeffrey Lionel "Maniac" Magee might have lived a normal life if a freak accident hadn't made him an orphan. After living with his unhappy and uptight aunt and uncle for eight years, he decides to run--and not just run away, but run. This is where the myth of Maniac Magee begins, as he changes the lives of a racially divided small town with his amazing and legendary feats.
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare. Set during the Salem witch trails, two girls must examine their friendship when one is accused of being a witch.
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. For Milo, everything's a bore. When a tollbooth mysteriously appears in his room, he drives through only because he's got nothing better to do. But on the other side, things seem different. Milo visits the Island of Conclusions (you get there by jumping), learns about time from a ticking watchdog named Tock, and even embarks on a quest to rescue Rhyme and Reason. Somewhere along the way, Milo realizes something astonishing. Life is far from dull.