The Inly Summer Reading List – Part 8

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Today’s section of Inly’s Summer Reading List is for Fluent Readers.

–         text has fully developed plot, often touching upon issues such as death,

            prejudice, poverty or war

–         settings are often in other time periods or unfamiliar or imaginary locations

–         texts begin to include multiple perspectives on an issue

Wide-Awake Princess by E.D. Baker

Close to Famous by Joan Bauer

Zora and Me by Victoria Bond

“Told in the immediate first-person voice of 10-year-old Carrie, Zora Neale Hurston’s best childhood friend, this first novel is both thrilling and heartbreaking. Each chapter is a story that evokes the famous African American writer’s early years in turn-of-the-last-century Eatonville, Florida, and the sharp, wry vignettes build to a climax, as Carrie and Zora eavesdrop on adults and discover secrets. Family is front and center, but true to Hurston’s work, there is no reverential message: Carrie mourns for her dad, who went toOrlandofor work and never came back; Zora’s father is home, but he rejects her for being educated and “acting white,” unlike her favored sister. Racism is part of the story, with occasional use of the n-word in the colloquial narrative. Like Hurston, who celebrated her rich roots but was also a wanderer at heart, this novel of lies and revelations will reach a wide audience, and some strong readers will want to follow up with Hurston’s writings, including Their Eyes Are Watching God (1937). The novel’s back matter includes a short biography of Hurston, an annotated bibliography of her groundbreaking work, and an endorsement by the Zora Neale Hurston Trust.” (starred review, Booklist)

Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea

Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

The Invisible Order: Book One by Paul Crilley

“This fantasy has all the right elements, weaving lore of the faeries, a classic quest, epic battles, a riddle, and a clever heroine into a fast-moving, suspenseful plot. Emily, 12, sells bunches of watercress to earn a penny or two to feed herself and her brother, orphaned when their parents disappeared a few years earlier. One morning, she is surprised to learn of a hidden war in the dreary streets of Victorian London. Emily is a True Seer, able to see the faeries. Corrigan, a pesky piskie left behind after the battle, involves her in the fight between the Seelie and the Unseelie, faeries in a war that began in 1666 with the Great Fire. Emily faces betrayal upon betrayal as she tries to save her kidnapped brother and figure out whom to trust and to help. Which group wants to subjugate humans, which one wants to coexist? And what are the real intentions of the members in the Invisible Order, a secret society that protects humans from the faeries? Emily must solve a riddle to find a magic stone that leads to a key to an underground London. Along the way she meets Merlin, learns she has been around for centuries, and discovers that her parents may be alive. Corrigan supplies some humor, while Emily’s friend Spring-Heeled Jack provides intimations of a budding romance. Intricate and layered, with a rapidly moving plot and an appealing and resourceful heroine, this book will have kids eagerly awaiting the next installment.” (School Library Journal)

Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

“As in his previous novels, Curtis is a master at balancing the serious and the lighthearted.  He has already received a Newbery medal and an honor for two novels rooted in the experience of black Americans: The Watsons Go to Birmingham and Bud, Not Buddy.  His latest book is another natural award candidate and makes an excellent case, in a story positively brimming with both truth and sense, for the ability of historic fiction to bring history to life.  (Bruno Navasky, Children’s Storefront, an independent school based inHarlem)

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

The Visconti House by Elsbeth Edgar

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

“From inside Caitlin’s head, readers see the very personal aftermath of a middle school shooting that took the life of the older brother she adored. Caitlin is a bright fifth grader and a gifted artist. She also has Asperger’s syndrome, and her brother, Devon, was the one who helped her interpret the world. Now she has only her father, a widower who is grieving anew and whose ability to relate to his daughter is limited. A compassionate school counselor works with her, trying to teach her the social skills that are so difficult for her. Through her own efforts and her therapy sessions, she begins to come to terms with her loss and makes her first, tentative steps toward friendship. Caitlin’s thought processes, including her own brand of logic, are made remarkably clear. The longer readers spend in the child’s world, the more understandable her entirely literal and dispassionate interpretations are. Marred slightly by the portrayal of Devonas a perfect being, this is nonetheless a valuable book. After getting to know Caitlin, young people’s tendencies to label those around them as either “normal” or “weird” will seem as simplistic and inadequate a system as it truly is.” (School Library Journal)

Flying Solo by Ralph Fletcher

The Midnight Tunnel by Angie Frazier

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm

“In 1935, jobs are hard to come by, and Turtle’s mother is lucky to find work as a live-in housekeeper. When she learns that her employer can’t stand children, she sends her 11-year-old daughter from New Jerseyto Key Westto live with relatives. Turtle discovers a startlingly different way of life amid boisterous cousins, Nana Philly, and buried treasure. This richly detailed novel was inspired by Holm’s great-grandmother’s stories. Readers who enjoy melodic, humorous tales of the past won’t want to miss it.” (School Library Journal)

Savvy by Ingrid Law

The Batboy by Mike Lupica

The Death-Defying Pepper Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean

Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner

Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller

Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes

“Communicating with ghosts, including the spirit of her mother who died giving birth to her, is a gift that Lanesha, 12, has had for as long as she can remember. The girl’s beloved caretaker, Mama Ya-Ya, a midwife and healer, has a gift that allows her to predict the future. When she begins to sense that a big storm is coming to their much-loved New Orleansneighborhood, both she and Lanesha must trust in their senses and in one another to survive. Lanesha is a wonderful character who exudes resilience and fortitude in the face of a catastrophe as well as a personal vulnerability in terms of her status as an orphan and an outsider. Words, numbers, and colors as seen through her eyes show the magic and wonder that exist in everyday things. The unique writing style even allows the unlikely combination of elderly Mama Ya-Ya’s heady scents of Vicks Vapor Rub and Evening in Parisperfume to seem wonderful and inviting. Although the outcome of Hurricane Katrina is known, the clever writing allows the unavoidable tragedy to unfold in such a haunting and suspenseful manner that the extreme sense of foreboding and ultimate destruction is personalized and unforgettable. Heartbreak and hope are reflected in Lanesha’s story, which will capture even reluctant readers due to the inventive storytelling and the author’s ability to bring history to life.” (School Library Journal)

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus

The Lost Hero: The Heroes of Olympus (Book One) by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

The Little Prince – Graphic  Novel by Joann Sfar

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Here is a true masterpiece—an artful blending of narrative, illustration and cinematic technique, for a story as tantalizing as it is touching.Twelve-year-old orphan Hugo lives in the walls of a Paris train station at the turn of the 20th century, where he tends to the clocks and filches what he needs to survive. Hugo’s recently deceased father, a clockmaker, worked in a museum where he discovered an automaton: a human-like figure seated at a desk, pen in hand, as if ready to deliver a message. After his father showed Hugo the robot, the boy became just as obsessed with getting the automaton to function as his father had been, and the man gave his son one of the notebooks he used to record the automaton’s inner workings. The plot grows as intricate as the robot’s gears and mechanisms […] To Selznick’s credit, the coincidences all feel carefully orchestrated; epiphany after epiphany occurs before the book comes to its sumptuous, glorious end. Selznick hints at the toymaker’s hidden identity […] through impressive use of meticulous charcoal drawings that grow or shrink against black backdrops, in pages-long sequences. They display the same item in increasingly tight focus or pan across scenes the way a camera might. The plot ultimately has much to do with the history of the movies, and Selznick’s genius lies in his expert use of such a visual style to spotlight the role of this highly visual media. A standout achievement.”

The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

“Lucy knows that sixth grade is going to be the best year ever: she finally gets her own room now that her older sister is off to college, and she and her friend Madison are ready to rule the basketball courts. But Lucy’s parents put a glitch in those plans when her father returns from a business trip toChinawith Lucy’s great-aunt, who will visit until Christmas. Lucy again has a roommate, and resents this elderly lady who does not speak English and cooks only Chinese food for a family used to pizza and burgers. To make matters worse, her parents insist that she attend Chinese school on Saturday mornings, which means forgoing basketball practice. She is busy with her suburban American life and doesn’t feel the need to converse in Chinese or to dwell on Chinese traditions. Slowly, though, she comes to appreciate all that Yi Po has lived through and the quiet ways that her great-aunt shows her love for the family. When Lucy is bullied by a popular girl, she thinks about what her brother told her about Yi Po’s life duringChina’s Cultural Revolution and determines that she will act with similar courage and conviction. Lucy is an engaging character, and Shang skillfully weaves in Chinese history and legend as she brings the relationships between Lucy and her family and friends to life. Fans of Grace Lin’s Year of the Dog (2006) and Year of the Rat (2008, both Little, Brown) will enjoy meeting this feisty protagonist as she learns to dismantle some walls she has built around herself.” (School Library Journal)

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

2010 Newbery Award winner

“Miranda has no trouble navigating her 1978 New York Cityneighborhood, but she does have trouble with sixth grade when her best friend deserts her, mysterious notes appear that seem to predict the future, and she keeps encountering a homeless man who is somehow connected to her life.  A perfectly crafted, time-wrinkling puzzle. (School Library Journa)

Chasing Lincoln’s Killer by James Swanson

“This volume is an adaptation of Swanson’s Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer (HarperCollins, 2006). Divided into 14 chapters and an epilogue, the sentences are shorter and chapters are condensed from the original but the rich details and suspense are ever present. Lacking are a bibliography and a notes section. Excellent black-and-white illustrations complement the text. Devoted to the South, John Wilkes Booth had planned to kidnap Lincoln and hold him hostage, but when that plan did not materialize, he hatched his assassination plot. Co-conspirators in Washington, Maryland, and Virginia helped him escape and evade capture for 12 days before being surrounded in a barn and killed. Readers will be engrossed by the almost hour-by-hour search and by the many people who encountered the killer as he tried to escape. It is a tale of intrigue and an engrossing mystery.” (starred review, School Library Journal)

Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner

Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood


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