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Books categorized as '6th Grade and up'

The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

inquisitors tale coverThe Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz
Recommended for: Grades 5 and up

“1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children. Their adventures take them on a chase through France: they are taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon. On the run to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned, their quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, where all will come to question if these children can perform the miracles of saints.” (Amazon.com) This book is so many things: funny, gross, gory, complex, informative, emotional, historical AND relevant to our times. It is truly an epic adventure.
2017 Newbery Honor Book

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Girl Who Drank the Moon

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Recommended for: Grades 4 – 8

The People of the Protectorate live a secure life, but they pay a price. Every year the youngest baby must be left in the woods, where the people believe an evil witch kills the child. In reality Xan, a kind witch, finds and takes the babies to be adopted in another village. One year she takes the child and mistakenly feeds her moonlight instead of starlight.  Xan raises the child, Luna, with no knowledge of the magic she will possess. Barnhill weaves together the lives of many characters including a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, a wise swamp monster, a madwoman, deadly birds, a shy yet brave young man and a woman with a tiger’s heart.  We find out how Xan and Luna, are connected with these others in this magical story of misused power, family and love.
2017 Newbery Award Winner

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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The Bolds

The Bolds The Bolds by Julian Clary
Recommended for: Grades 3-6

An English couple are careless and get eaten by a crocodile while visiting Africa! Two clever hyenas dress in their discarded clothing, take their passports and return to the London suburbs to carry on living as “humans.” A spying, grouchy next door neighbor and an old hyena who needs to be rescued from a safari park lead to hilarious adventures. This book is full of jokes and antics that will leave you belly laughing and completely surprised at the end. A sequel is due out April 1, 2017….April Fools? No really. This is a great book for those who like the highly illustrated format of The Wimpy Kid, Judy Moody, Bad Kitty, Galactic Hot Dogs, and others.

Reviewed by Mrs. Baumgartner

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girls Beats Up the Marvel Universe

squirrel girl coverThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe Written by Ryan North, Drawn by Erica Henderson
Recommended for: Grades 5 and up

I love the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl! I also love comics, but I’m not a huge Marvel fan. You don’t need to know a lot about various Marvel characters to enjoy this graphic novel, although it wouldn’t hurt. Doreen, AKA Squirrel Girl, is a computer science college student who is funny, kind, and generally kick-butt in many ways. When she accidentally gets cloned, and her clone turns evil (surprise!), she will have to use both her super punching abilities and her compassion to save the day. I highly recommend this funny, exciting, and fast-paced graphic novel to all comics fans, ages 10 to 100!

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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The Witch’s Boy

the witch's boy coverThe Witch’s Boy  by Kelly Bramhill
Recommended for: grades 4 – 6

In his village, Ned’s mother is known as Sister Witch. She has been the guardian on an ancient, unruly magic which somehow attaches itself to Ned.
In another kingdom lives Aine, daughter of the Bandit King. Aine loves her father, but he has changed since her mother died. Now he leaves Aine alone while he builds a following of fellow bandits and plans to gain Sister Witch’s powerful magic.
Distrusting each other when they meet, Ned & Aine learn they need each other to survive their quest to cross the enchanted forest between their two kingdoms. They encounter good and evil on their journey and are torn between their budding friendship and loyalty to family. Will their kindness and courage be enough to resolve all the obstacles they face on their quest? Can Ned keep control over the magic he possesses? Can Aine trust Ned’s goodness to overcome the forces against them?
Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Kinda Like Brothers

kinda like brothers coverKinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth
Recommended for: Grades 4-6

11 year old Jarrett is not having a great summer so far. He has to attend summer school, his best friend is away, and he can’t get the nerve to talk to his crush, Caprice. His mom takes in foster children, and Jarrett always has to struggle to get her full attention. Jarrett’s summer gets even worse when his mom takes in Treasure, a developmentally delayed toddler, and her 12 year old brother Kevon.  Jarrett and Kevon are forced to be together, but neither boy takes the time to really get to know the other.  As the summer continues, and Jarrett’s jealousy and anger grow, both boys make decisions that lead to bad outcomes. I really liked reading about Jarrett’s family and friends, and watching him change and mature over the course of the summer.  He was a realistic character who made mistakes, like all people do, but he learned from them, too.  I recommend this book to anyone who likes stories about family, friendship, and growing up.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Wolf Hollow

wolf hollow coverWolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
Recommended for: Grades 5-8

Annabelle lives a steady and peaceful life in rural Pennsylvania in 1943.  She helps her mother and father on the farm, and attends a one room schoolhouse with her younger brothers.  She and her family offer kindness and understanding to Toby, a quiet WWI veteran who wanders around town.  When mean Betty Glengarry moves to town, Annabelle’s world is turned upside down.  Betty’s nasty pranks cause injury and distress; eventually Betty herself goes missing and Toby is the one who is quickly blamed.  Annabelle is confronted with questions of secrets and trust, and grows up a lot over the course of this honest and sometimes brutal story.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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The Wild Robot

wild robot coverThe Wild Robot by Peter Brown
Recommended for: Grades 3-6

A robot named Roz washes ashore on an island when her shipping container gets tossed overboard in a storm at sea.  She studies her environment and learns from the animals how to communicate and survive in the wilderness.  She adopts a baby goose and eventually makes friends with the other animals of the island.  But one day, other robots come looking for her, and it is up to Roz and her island friends to decide her fate.  Can technology ever truly mesh with nature?  This story was exciting, interesting, unique, and touching.  It features some illustrations by the author, as well.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Loot

Loot coverLoot by Jude Watson
Recommended for: Grades 4 – 7

March watches his father Alfie McQuinn, a famous jewel thief, fall to his death during the theft of a special moonstone. Now alone in the world, March knows he must quickly move on. Following his father’s last words, March learns that he has a twin sister.  Together they decide to go after the rest of the “cursed” moonstones and eventually learn why Alfie didn’t want them to find each other until after their 13th birthday.
Loot is a fast-paced adventure, as March, Jules and their new friends Izzy and Darius race to steal back the other six moonstones, while trying to avoid capture and death.

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Save Me a Seat

save me a seat coverSave Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
Recommended for: Grades 3-6

5th graders Joe and Ravi may seem very different, but they have a few things in common. Ravi just arrived from India, and is adjusting to life in the United States. Joe is adjusting to the challenges of staying under the radar while his mom is the new cafeteria aide. Both boys are quickly judged by their peers, misunderstood, and tormented by the same bully, Dillon Samreen. Told in alternating chapters from Joe’s and Ravi’s point of view, this story takes place over one week of school. If you like the Mr. Terupt books by Bob Buyea or the Wonder books by R.J. Palacio, give Save Me a Seat a try.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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