Last Book Added for 7th-8th Grade

We have added Chasing Lincoln’s Killer as the last book for the 7th-8th Grade division. It is a fast-paced non-fiction thriller about the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth: a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia. Please see the updated 7th-8th Grade division list below:

7TH-8TH GRADE DIVISION

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (This edition only: ISBN 978-0-141-32107-3)
  • Book of James NIV Bible
  • Chasing Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson
  • The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
  • The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau
  • The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
  • What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World by Henry Clark

Chasing Lincoln’s Killer

AUTHOR: James L. Swanson

GENRE: Non-Fiction

SUMMARY: Based on rare archival material, obscure trial manuscripts, and interviews with relatives of the conspirators and the manhunters, Chasing Lincoln’s Killer is a fast-paced thriller about the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth: a wild twelve-day chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., across the swamps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia. It is an accessible look at the assassination of a president, and shows readers Abraham Lincoln the man, the father, the husband, the friend, and how his death impacted those closest to him.

Book Change for 7th-8th Grade Division

Due to supply issues, it has come to our attention that one of our selected books for Junior High is no longer available to purchase. We have replaced The Winter Letter with The Letter for the King instead. We apologize for this last-minute change. Please see the updated 7th-8th Grade division list below:

7TH-8TH GRADE DIVISION

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (This edition only: ISBN 978-0-141-32107-3)
  • Book of James NIV Bible
  • Chasing Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson¹
  • The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
  • The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau
  • The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
  • What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World by Henry Clark

¹(UPDATED 10/19/2021) Chasing Lincoln’s Killer has been added as the final book for the 7th-8th Grade division.

The Letter for the King

AUTHOR: Tonke Dragt

GENRE: Historical Fiction

SUMMARY: A young messenger. A secret mission. A kingdom in peril. It is the dead of night. Sixteen-year-old Tiuri must spend hours locked in a chapel in silent contemplation if he is to be knighted the next day. But, as he waits by the light of a flickering candle, he hears a knock at the door and a voice desperately asking for help. A secret letter must be delivered to King Unauwen across the Great Mountains — a letter upon which the fate of the entire kingdom depends. Tiuri has a vital role to play, one that might cost him his knighthood. Tiuri’s journey will take him through dark, menacing forests, across treacherous rivers, to sinister castles and strange cities. He will encounter evil enemies who would kill to get the letter, but also the best of friends in the most unexpected places. He must trust no one. He must keep his true identity secret. Above all, he must never reveal what is in the letter. The Letter for the King is the thrilling story of one boy’s battle against evil, set in an enchanted world of chivalry, courage, and true friendship.

Book List for 2021-2022

We are excited to announce the official reading list of 20 books² for 2021-2022. Brief details for each book can be found here on the website. 3rd-4th Grade Division will read 12 of the books, 5th-6th will read 16, and 7th-8th will read 8 books. Please see each division’s complete list below:

7TH-8TH GRADE DIVISION

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (This edition only: ISBN 978-0-141-32107-3)
  • Book of James NIV Bible
  • Chasing Lincoln’s Killer by James L. Swanson²
  • The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt¹
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
  • The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau
  • The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
  • What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World by Henry Clark

5TH-6TH GRADE DIVISION

  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (This edition only: ISBN 978-0-141-32107-3)
  • Book of James NIV Bible
  • Britfield and the Lost Crown by C.R. Stewart
  • Fish In A Tree by Mullaly Hunt
  • Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry
  • Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
  • Really Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick
  • Spy School by Stuart Gibbs
  • The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau
  • The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
  • The Sasquatch Escape by Suzanne Selfors
  • The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
  • The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
  • The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
  • The Winter War by Priscilla Shirer
  • What Was the Lewis and Clark Expedition? by Judith St. George

3RD-4TH GRADE DIVISION

  • Book of James NIV Bible
  • Fish In A Tree by Mullaly Hunt
  • Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry
  • Ramona the Pest by Beverly Cleary
  • Really Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick
  • Spy School by Stuart Gibbs
  • The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan
  • The Sasquatch Escape by Suzanne Selfors
  • The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
  • The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
  • The Winter War by Priscilla Shirer
  • What Was the Lewis and Clark Expedition? by Judith St. George

¹(UPDATED 10/4/2021) The Letter for the King has replaced The Winter Letter due to the current unavailability to purchase. We apologize for this last-minute change.

²(UPDATED 10/19/2021) Chasing Lincoln’s Killer has been added as the final book for the 7th-8th Grade Division.

Fish In A Tree

AUTHOR: Lynda Mullaly Hunt

GENRE: Fiction

SUMMARY:  Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her–and to everyone–than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.

Spy School

AUTHOR: Stuart Gibbs

GENRE: Fiction, Mystery

SUMMARY: Can an undercover nerd become a superstar agent? Ben Ripley sure hopes so-and his life may depend on it! Ben Ripley may only be in middle school, but he’s already pegged his dream job: C.I.A. or bust. Unfortunately for him, his personality doesn’t exactly scream “secret agent.” In fact, Ben is so awkward, he can barely get to school and back without a mishap. Because of his innate nerdiness, Ben is not surprised when he is recruited for a magnet school with a focus on science-but he’s entirely shocked to discover that the school is actually a front for a junior C.I.A. academy. Could the C.I.A. really want him? Actually, no. There’s been a case of mistaken identity-but that doesn’t stop Ben from trying to morph into a supercool undercover agent, the kind that always gets the girl. And through a series of hilarious misadventures, Ben realizes he might actually be a halfway decent spy, if he can survive all the attempts being made on his life!

The Sasquatch Escape

AUTHOR: Suzanne Selfors

GENRE: Adventure

SUMMARY: Ben Silverstein is set for boredom in his grandpa’s rundown town of Buttonville. Until he and reckless Pearl Petal take a wounded baby dragon to the only veterinarian, Dr. Woo at her “Worm Hospital” — actually for creatures from an imaginary world. After Ben leaves the front door unlocked, the intrepid pair must rescue the escaped giant stingy and very hairy sasquatch.

Heart of a Shepherd

AUTHOR: Rosanne Parry

GENRE: Fiction

SUMMARY: When 11-year-old Ignatius “Brother” Alderman’s dad is shipped off to Iraq, along with the rest of his reserve unit, Brother must help his grandparents keep the ranch going. He’s determined to maintain it just as his father left it, in the hope that doing so will ensure his father’s safe return. The hardships Brother faces will not only change the ranch but also reveal his true calling.

The Wild Robot

AUTHOR: Peter Brown

GENRE: Adventure, Science Fiction

SUMMARY: When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. Why is she there? Where did she come from? And, most important, how will she survive in her harsh surroundings? Roz’s only hope is to learn from the island’s hostile animal inhabitants. When she tries to care for an orphaned gosling, the other animals finally decide to help, and the island starts to feel like home. Until one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her. Heartwarming and full of action, Peter Brown’s middle-grade debut raises thought-provoking questions about the environment, the role technology plays in our world, and what it means to be alive.

The Red Pyramid

AUTHOR: Rick Riordan

GENRE: Adventure, Fantasy

SUMMARY: Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane. One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a “research experiment” at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives. Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them–Set has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe — a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

The Wednesday Wars

AUTHOR: Gary Schmidt

GENRE: Fiction

SUMMARY: Seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood isn’t happy. He is sure his new teacher, Mrs. Baker, hates his guts. Holling’s domineering father is obsessed with his business image and disregards his family. Throughout the school year, Holling strives to get a handle on the Shakespeare plays Mrs. Baker assigns him to read on his own time, and to figure out the enigmatic Mrs. Baker. As the Vietnam War turns lives upside down, Holling comes to admire and respect both Shakespeare and Mrs. Baker, who have more to offer him than he imagined. And when his family is on the verge of coming apart, he also discovers his loyalty to his sister, and his ability to stand up to his father when it matters most.

Britfield and the Lost Crown

AUTHOR: C.R. Stewart

GENRE: Adventure, Mystery

SUMMARY: Tom has spent the majority of his life locked behind the cruel walls of Weatherly Orphanage, but when he learns that his parents might actually be alive, Tom is determined to find them. Together, with his best friend Sarah and armed with only the word “Britfield” as a clue to Tom’s mysterious past, the two make a daring escape. Now, they are on the run from a famous Scotland Yard detective and what appears to be half of the police officers in England! The hunt is on, but will Tom and Sarah be able to evade capture long enough to solve an even bigger conspiracy that could tear apart the country?

The Mysterious Benedict Society

AUTHOR: Trenton Lee Stewart

GENRE: Adventure, Fiction, Mystery

SUMMARY: “Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities?”
When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear listener, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end, just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?

What We Found in the Sofa and How it Saved the World

AUTHOR: Henry Clark

GENRE: Adventure, Humor, Science Fiction

SUMMARY: When River, Freak, and Fiona discover a rare zucchini-colored crayon between the cushions of a mysterious sofa at their bus stop, they quickly find themselves in the middle of an evil plot to conquer the world! The plot’s mastermind, Edward Disin, is responsible for starting the underground coal seam fire that continually burns just beyond the kids’ backyards, a dastardly cover-up for an intergalactic portal that will soon transport an army of invaders to Earth. Disin’s only weakness is his otherworldly obsession with the zucchini crayon–and he knows the kids have it. But with the help of an eccentric neighbor, an artificial intelligence in the form of a double-six domino, a DNA-analyzing tray, two hot air balloons, and a cat named Mucus, three kids from the middle of nowhere might be able to save the planet. Henry Clark’s dazzling debut middle grade novel is a thoroughly original, unabashedly wacky, and surprisingly affecting story about the importance of intelligence and curiosity in a complacent world.