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BET
My Name Is Brain Brian (age 9-12)
by Jeanne Betancourt
identity ... friendship ... school
Catalog: Although he is helped by his new sixth grade teacher after being diagnosed as dyslexic, Brian still has some problems with school and with people he thought were his friends.
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LEV
The Wish (age 9-12)
by Gail Carson Levine
friendship ... fantasy ... school
Publisher comments: Wilma Sturtz is invisible and miserable at school. So when an old lady on the subway offers her a wish, Wilma immediately asks for popularity — in fact, she asks to be the most popular kid at school. Suddenly, Wilma has more friends than she can keep track of, forty dates to the Grad Night Dance, and a secret admirer writing her love poems. Everything is great, until she realizes there's a loophole in her wish, and her time in the spotlight has almost run out.
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ANG
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (age 9-12)
by Tom Angleberger
humor ... school ... mystery
Publisher comments: In this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class and of the greatness that sometimes comes in unlikely packages, Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren't strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight's classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, he assembles the case file that forms this novel.
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BAR
Go Long! (age 9-12)
by Tiki Barber
school ... sports
Publisher comments: It's Tiki and Ronde's second year on their junior high school football team, the Hidden Valley Eagles. The eighth-grade season is here, and the boys have come together as a team. Now key starters, Tiki and Ronde are ready for a great season, and with hard work and determination, maybe they will even go all the way to the State Championship! But when Coach Spangler announces that he has been asked to move up to the high school team, and Mr. Wheeler, the science teacher, is tapped for the head coaching job, the season seems over before it begins. Sure, Coach Wheeler played college football until he was benched by an injury, but it just isn't the same. Tiki wants to give Coach Wheeler a chance, yet the team's loyalties are divided. What does a science teacher know about the game of football? Can the team work together, get behind their new coach, and play smart?
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BAR
Wild Card (age 9-12)
by Tiki Barber
school ... sports
Publisher comments: The Hidden Valley Eagles' eighth-grade season is looking strong, but the team's star kicker is put on academic probation for poor grades in biology and math. As Tiki and Ronde's mom always says, Grades come first. Maybe it's time to work together off the field as well as on.
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BUN
Sixth-Grade Sleepover (age 9-12)
by Eve Bunting
growing up ... school
Catalog: Janey worries that the sixth grade Rabbit Reading Club's all-night sleepover will expose her fear of the dark, but it turns out that she is not the only member with a secret.
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LUP
Two-Minute Drill (age 9-12)
by Mike Lupica
friendship ... sports ... school
Publisher comments: Chris Conlan is the coolest kid in sixth grade...the golden-armed quarterback of the football team and the boy all the others look up to. Scott Parry is the new kid, the boy with the huge brain, but with feet that trip over themselves. These two boys may seem like an odd couple, but each has a secret that draws them together, and proves that the will to succeed is even more important than raw talent.
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FER
Cricket and the Crackerbox Kid (age 9-12)
by Alane Ferguson
growing up ... friendship ... school
Pampered eleven-year-old rich kid Cricket thinks she has finally found a friend in Dominic, who lives in the low-income houses called crackerboxes, until they quarrel over ownership of a dog and their classroom becomes a courtroom to decide who is right.
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SCH
4 Kids in 5-E and 1 Crazy Year (age 9-12)
by Virginia Frances Schwartz
letters/journal ... humor ... school ... authorship
Told in four voices, this heartfelt and sometimes hilarious story chronicles the ups and downs of a unique group of city kids learning to cope with their complicated lives.
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KIN
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series (age 9-12)
by Jeff Kinney
letters/journal ... growing up ... humor ... school ... friendship
It's a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you're ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary.
title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley's Journal
title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw
title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth
title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever
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COL
Medusa Jones (age 9-12)
by Ross Collins
adventure ... humor ... school ... folklore
In ancient Greece lived a little girl called Medusa Jones. Medusa was a Gorgon, but apart from that, pretty normal. So she has snakes for hair instead of gorgeous blond ringlets like Cassandra. So her best friend is half horse. Is that any reason for the popular kids to be SO mean? Medusa's sure the school camping trip is going to be a nightmare. But a rock fall puts the popular kids in peril, and Medusa's the only one who can help. Will she be a hero ... or is her monster side finally going to come out?
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KAY
A Friend Like Phoebe: a Novel (age 9-12)
by Marilyn Kaye
school ... friendship
Wishing to equal the achievements of her three sisters, twelve-year-old Phoebe hopes to be chosen for a television interview discussing her school, while at the same time she tries to help a friend who recently lost her mother.
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KEL
Desdemona, Twelve Going on Desperate (age 9-12)
by Beverly Keller
friendship ... humor ... school
It's one disaster after another as Desdemona Blank tries to make friends at her new junior high, salvage her single-parent father's budding romance, and not think too much about Mike Harbinger, the fifteen-year-old blond school heartthrob. Then several extraordinary things happen...including getting to know Mike...and Desdemona's desperate life becomes a delirious one.
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DAN
The Cat Ate My Gymsuit (age 9-12)
by Paula Danziger
growing up ... humor ... school
When the unconventional English teacher who helped her conquer many of her feelings of insecurity is fired, a junior high student uses her new found courage to campaign for the teacher's reinstatement.
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GUT
The Homework Machine (age 9-12)
by Dan Gutman
brilliant protagonist ... enterprise ... humor ... friendship ... school
Meet the D Squad, a foursome of fifth graders at the Grand Canyon School made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker. They are bound together by one very big secret: the homework machine. Because the machine, code-named Belch, is doing their homework for them, they start spending a lot of time together, attracting a lot of attention. And attention is exactly what you don't want when you are keeping a secret. Before long, things start to get out of control, and Belch becomes much more powerful than they ever imagined. Now the kids are in a race against their own creation, and the loser could end up in jail...or worse!
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CLE
Mitch and Amy (age 9-12)
by Beverly Cleary
school ... family
Publisher comments: Mitch and Amy both think being twins is fun, but that doesn't stop them from squabbling. Amy is good at reading. Mitch is a math whiz. Amy likes to play pretend. Mitch would rather skateboard. They never want to watch the same television show. And they always try to get the better of each other. Then the school bully starts picking on Mitch and on Amy, too. Now the twins have something rotten in common: Alan Hibbler. This twosome must set aside their squabbles and band together to defeat a bully!
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CLE
The Janitor's Boy (age 9-12)
by Andrew Clements
family ... school
It was the perfect crime. Unfortunately, it also led to the perfect punishment. When Jack Rankin gets busted for defacing a school desk with a huge wad of disgusting, watermelon bubble gum, the principal sentences him to three weeks of after-school gum cleanup for the chief custodian. The problem is, Jack's anger at the chief custodian was the reason for his gum project in the first place. The chief custodian happens to be Jack's dad. But doing time in the school basement after hours reveals some pretty surprising things: about the school, about Jack's father, and about Jack himself.
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CLE
Strider (age 9-12)
by Beverly Cleary
school ... friendship ... growing up ... letters/journal
Strider has a new habit. Whenever we stop, he places his paw on my foot. It isn't an accident because he always does it. I like to think he doesn't want to leave me. Can a stray dog change the life of a teenage boy? It looks as if Strider can. He's a dog that loves to run; because of Strider, Leigh Botts finds himself running, well enough to join the school track team. Strider changes Leigh on the inside, too, as he finally begins to accept his parents' divorce and gets to know a redheaded girl he's been admiring. With Strider's help, Leigh finds that the future he once hated to be asked about now holds something he never expected: hope.
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BYA
The Burning Questions of Bingo Brown (age 9-12)
by Betsy Cromer Byars
school ... family ... friendship ... growing up
When Bingo has to keep a notebook for school, all he can come up with are questions. Like how could I fall in love with three girls in three minutes? But not even his teacher, Mr. Mark, has the answers. In fact Mr. Mark has been acting pretty weird lately, and he's getting weirder. Is there more wrong with Mr. Mark than Bingo can handle?
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HAN
Ida B: and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World (age 9-12)
by Katherine Hannigan
illness/loss ... humor ... school ... growing up
Who is Ida B. Applewood? She is a fourth grader like no other, living a life like no other, with a voice like no other, and her story will resonate long after you have put this book down. How does Ida B cope when outside forces (life, really) attempt to derail her and her family and her future? She enters her Black Period, and it is not pretty. But then, with the help of a patient teacher, a loyal cat and dog, her beloved apple trees, and parents who believe in the same things she does (even if they sometimes act as though they don't), the resilience that is the very essence of Ida B triumph...and Ida B. Applewood takes the hand that is extended and starts to grow up.
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ROW
The Harry Potter Series (age 9-12)
by J. K. Rowling
fantasy ... adventure ... family ... school ... magic
As the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone opens, all Harry Potter knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley, a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry's room is a closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry (and anyone who reads about him) will find unforgettable.
title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
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NAY
The Alice Prequels (age 9-12)
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
friendship ... school ... identity ... realistic ... growing up
Well, a pet and pierced ears and really long hair would be nice, too and most of all, Alice wishes she still had a mother. But starting third grade in a new school in a new town can be lonely, especially if the closest thing you have to a friend is weird Donald Sheavers from next door. But even making new friends can't solve all of Alice's problems. Somehow she manages to get into trouble for a stupid lie, and to get on the wrong side of a bullying crossing guard and three snooty girls whom Alice calls "the Terrible Triplets." Will Alice ever feel at home in Takoma Park? This series introduce the younger Alice, leading up to the older series The Agony of Alice.
title: Lovingly Alice
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YOL
Wizard's Hall (age 9-12)
by Jane Yolen
fantasy ... magic ... school
Poor Henry. It's not enough that his mother has sent him away from home to learn magic. It's not enough that everyone at his new school calls him Thornmallow because he's ``prickly on the outside, squishy within''. It's not enough that the only talent he shows at Wizard's Hall is an ability to make messes of even the simplest spells. He finds himself with more responsibility than he knows how to bear.
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NIM
Children of the Red King (Charlie Bone) Series (age 9-12)
by Jenny Nimmo
adventure ... fantasy ... school
This series chronicles Charlie's mysterious adventures at Bloor's Academy.
title: Midnight for Charlie Bone
title: Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors
title: Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy
title: Charlie Bone and the Time Twister
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CLE
A Week in the Woods (age 9-12)
by Andrew Clements
identity ... survival ... adventure ... school
The fifth-grade Week in the Woods is a beloved tradition of Hardy Elementary, where Mark Chelmsley (the Fourth) is pretty much killing time before his parents send him off to an exclusive prep school. But then Mark realizes the Week might be a chance to prove to Mr. Maxwell that he's not just another of the slacker kids the teacher can't stand.

Palo Verde Elementary School, Sat Aug 25 11:55:34 2012
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