Our Favorite Books for Middle School Readers

The Last Princess (Hardcover)

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9780316185486
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Call to Confirm
Published: Poppy, 5/2012

The Summer Ball becomes a nightmare of destruction and death. Eliza’s father, the last Windsor King of England lies dead in a pool of blood – her siblings hustled off to the Tower of London prison. Eliza escapes capture planning to infiltrate the New Guard and stop their crazed leader Cornelius Hollister. She knows of his dreadful plans; eliminating the House of Windsor was the first step. Eliza’s desperation drives her to take enormous risks. Can she save England and its citizens from the terrifying future of Cornelius Hollister?  

Marilyn Smith


$17.99
ISBN-13: 9780545284134
Availability: Not in stock. Usually ships in 1-5 days from the warehouse.
Published: Scholastic Press, 4/2012

15 year old Sage is the fourth and last orphan that nobleman Conner collects for his ruthless empire building scheme. Connor swears them to secrecy by promise of swift death and reveals his bold plan. One of them will become Prince Jaron of Carthya, missing for years and believed drowned at sea. That orphan will ascend to the throne as sole survival of the royal family. Conner will train them all rigorously for two weeks, and then he will accompany the chosen orphan to the palace to meet the council as the missing prince Jaron.

 

Sage gobbles his food as they gather round their campfire but he feels no loyalty to anyone around the fire and vows to escape at all costs.

But the problem for the boys is stark and simple; there are four of them and only one Prince. Conner feels he’s chosen these ragtag orphans wisely for his plan; as who could possible miss and report foul play of another dirty orphan thief? Or has he thoroughly considered the possibility of Prince Jaron actually being alive after all or the long tradition of royalty that has its own secrets and surprises?

 

I thoroughly enjoyed this royal court adventure mystery and you will too!!

 

Marilyn


Ripper (Hardcover)

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9780399255243
Availability: Not in stock. Usually ships in 1-5 days from the warehouse.
Published: Philomel, 3/2012

Email or call for price
ISBN-13: 9781423121329
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Disney-Hyperion, 3/2012

$16.99
ISBN-13: 9781423147947
Availability: Not in stock. Usually ships in 1-5 days from the warehouse.
Published: Disney-Hyperion, 3/2012

$8.99
ISBN-13: 9780142418581
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Call to Confirm
Published: Puffin, 3/2012

$8.99
ISBN-13: 9780142418598
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Call to Confirm
Published: Puffin, 3/2012

$16.99
ISBN-13: 9780061976087
Availability: Not in stock. Usually ships in 1-5 days from the warehouse.
Published: HarperCollins, 3/2012
Poor Hans isn’t cut out for the gruesome task of robbing graves. He simply can’t do it, no matter how much his adoptive father screams, wheedles and threatens him. Hans is desperate to improve his lot in life. Countess Angela von Schwanenberg, young and privileged, longs for the day when she can perform with her marionettes, entertaining royal courts across the land. Meanwhile, evil Archduke’s newest young wife has died suddenly and he’s decided Angela shall be his new bride, the sooner the better! Out of desperation, Angela seeks out the local necromancer. Oh! Beware the necromancer, weaving his deadly web; for he has ensnared their fates with the Archduke who now ruthlessly hunts them. Both Hans and Angela flee their terrible fates, joining forces as they navigate the foreboding woods seeking aid from the Monks hidden away in far mountains. Their luck holds as Angela spins likely tales with her ready imagination, and Hans uses his pluck, alluding sure capture with every step. This story is bristling with exciting plot twists, a surprise circus cast and daring do! Marilyn Smith

Empty (Paperback)

$8.99
ISBN-13: 9780545172790
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Call to Confirm
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks, 2/2012

Email or call for price
ISBN-13: 9781402784033
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Splinter, 1/2011
Who wouldn’t want adventure in exotic lands hunting for mythic relics with exciting gorgeous guys? Every girl does and Kelsey’s no different so she’s in for big surprises! The circus’ white tiger she’s tasked to care for is being moved to a preserve in India. Kels feels great loss by the news of the tiger’s departure but is pleased to learn she’ll be helping the tiger in transit to India. Imagine her surprise to discover the white tiger is actually a gorgeous Indian prince trapped in the tiger’s body! Kels is now on a whole new life path tracking ancient evil to free Ren and his brother from their tiger curse. This series has it all – romance, intrigue, crazy adventure with awesome princes! Read it – you’ll be glad you do! Marilyn Smith

Paranormalcy (Paperback)

Email or call for price
ISBN-13: 9780061985850
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: HarperTeen, 7/2011

Hero (Paperback)

$7.99
ISBN-13: 9780142419601
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Call to Confirm
Published: Puffin, 7/2011
The thing about super heroes is that it’s their biggest, BADDEST, totally permanent secret. Zach Harriman has always known his dad’s secret government job takes him to global hotspots at a moment’s notice but when he dies in plane crash, Zach can’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t an accident and that his dad is still trying to communicate with him. Weirder still are the shadowy guys that pop up all over Manhattan targeting Zach, provoking him to fight. But weirdest of all, is Zach’s new surge of power, strength and speed. Now Zach feels the absolute need to keep all this a total, permanent secret…..could he be a superhero too? Mike Lupica brings action and thrills and some sports to hero proportions in this book, it’s gooood! Marilyn Smith

Prized (Hardcover)

$16.99
ISBN-13: 9781596435704
Availability: Not in stock. Usually ships in 1-5 days from the warehouse.
Published: Roaring Brook Press, 11/2011

Birth Marked was one of my favorite reads of last year. The harsh environment of the Enclave stayed with me for a long time as did Gaia, the girl who stood against the authorities. Well, in Prized, she flees into the wasteland with her baby sister but without Leon, looking for the village rumor said her grandmother found. But she runs out of supplies and her sister is near death when she is captured and taken to Sylum, a community run by women with a very strict set of rules. Men, who outnumber the women, have little rights. And here fewer and fewer girls are being born here and no one knows why or what to do about it. They take her sister away and force her to submit if she wants to see her again. Yet whereas she was overlooked in the Enclave because of her scar here she is valued, vied for.

Gaia is such a wonderful heroine, strong, stubborn, with a profound sense of justice. You know she will do the right thing, whatever the consequences. This new society is so different and yet so perplexing to her: How can it be a crime for someone to kiss her if she agreed to it? How can it be OK for only some to have the vote? How can a woman be won as a prize? And, more importantly, if the rules are unfair, why is no one trying to change them?

I liked Prized just as much as Birth Marked, maybe even more. The world building is just as complex, and the storyline just as intense. And O'Brien, like Gaia, never takes the easy path. If this is the year of dystopian novels, this one stands out for me. Try it.

Reviewed by Angela M


Dark Eden (Hardcover)

Email or call for price
ISBN-13: 9780062009708
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Katherine Tegen Books, 11/2011

Seven teens are sent to a remote "camp," an institution equipped to cure them of their profound fears.  Fort Eden, however, is no summer camp.  It is an isolated bunker, run by a prickly caretaker and the elusive program leader, Rainsford.  One teen, Will Besting, knows there is more going on here than traditional treatment.  Will must face his own demons and survive if he is to help the others.  But can any of them truly overcome their fears? 

Dark Eden, as the title implies, is a dark, disturbing book.  The reader, along with Will, acquires snippets of information about what is really going on.  The story is richly woven and hauntingly intriguing.  You will want to know what is going on in that basement, even as you realize that knowing comes at a great cost.  As with many horror movies, you will want to yell at Will and tell him, "Don't open that door!"  But, of course, he does.  And therein lies the thrill.  Dark Eden is a must read title for fans of the psychological thriller.

Reviewed by Julie

Deadly Cool (Paperback)

$8.99
ISBN-13: 9780062003317
Availability: Not in stock. Usually ships in 1-5 days from the warehouse.
Published: HarperTeen, 10/2011

High school student, Hartley Featherstone, is having a rotten day. Not only does she discover that her super-cute boyfriend is cheating on her, but everyone in the whole school knows the details except her.  When her weasel of a boyfriend doesn't answer her texts, she storms his house. He's not home, but Hartley makes a grim discovery. The uber-popular, Color Guard Girl that Josh has been cheating with just fell out of said boyfriend's closet and she's dead; strangled with her iPod ear buds.

Josh convinces Hartley that while he did cheat on her, he's innocent of murder and elicits Hartley's help in finding the real culprit.  She teams up with her best friend, Sam, and Mr. Tall-dark-and-handsome, Chase Erikson, to find out who really killed the queen of the Chastity Club and the illustrious leader of the Color Guard Girls.

Deadly Cool is set in the Silicon Valley, making it a particularly fun read for Northern California teens.  This is a smart, hip, tightly woven mystery. The author's dry wit and snappy dialogue will grab you immediately; you'll enjoy the ride with Hartley and her friends as they solve their classmate's murder.

Reviewed by Julie

First Kill (Hardcover)

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9780803737419
Availability: Not in stock. Usually ships in 1-5 days from the warehouse.
Published: Dial, 9/2011

If you are pining for more stories from the world of Vladimir Tod, the wait is over. Do you remember Vladimir's friend and Henry's cousin, Joss - the vampire slayer? Did you ever wonder what made him become a slayer? Heather Brewer takes us back to Joss' childhood, soon after his sister is killed by a vampire. Joss is wracked with guilt for not being able to save her and no one believes what he saw except his uncle Abraham.

When Joss is 13, he joins his uncle to learn to be a slayer. He is the youngest boy to ever undergo the training and his uncle is very, very hard on him. Worse, it turns out that the local vampires are killing the slayers, one by one. Is there a traitor in their camp? Can they really suspect Joss?

Chock-full of action and tales of survival, this has a different feel from the Vladimir Tod books. Joss is alone and friendless at school, invisible to his parents, and so much younger than the other slayers. Who can he trust? Is this really the right path for him? I look forward to seeing him back in Bathory with the old cast of characters in future books.

Reviewed by Angela M.

The Eleventh Plague (Hardcover)

$17.99
ISBN-13: 9780545290142
Availability: Not in stock. Usually ships in 1-5 days from the warehouse.
Published: Scholastic Press, 9/2011

Fifteen-year-old Stephen has traveled his entire life with his father and grandfather. They scavenge a meager existence out of the wreckage of the United States after a virulent strain of influenza wiped out two-thirds of the population, and a catastrophic war with China eliminated any chance of recovery.

When Grandpa dies, Stephen's Dad takes charge and makes a good decision with devastating results. He risks their lives to help two strangers, something that Grandpa would never have allowed in this "each man for himself" world. When Stephen's Dad is grievously wounded, it is up to Stephen to shed everything he has learned about survival. He is faced with a life-changing decision--to trust or not to trust. This question has unanticipated consequences, not only for him, but for the citizens of Settler's Landing that take him in.

Reviewed by Antonia

$16.99
ISBN-13: 9780670013302
Availability: Not in stock. Usually ships in 1-5 days from the warehouse.
Published: Viking Juvenile, 9/2011

Not just any old story about werewolves, this is the epic journey of one boy, an ordinary shepherd's son in the kingdom of Lyssia, who must learn to embrace the power of his transformation in order to save the kingdom. After witnessing the savage murder of his mother, Drew's anger and hurt boil up within him and he transforms. But he is terrified by this power and flees the only home he has ever known and the father who thinks he is the murderer. Numerous adventures unfold as this page-turning novel tracks Drew from his escape into the Dyrewood to his captivity by the Werelords. Why is he of such interest to them? Why can't he just live his life in peace? The answers to these questions lie in his blood, for he is the last of the werewolves and the only hope against the tyranny of an evil king.

You won't want to put this book down. Action-packed and brimming with horrifying were-creatures, this is truly a test of good versus evil. Does Drew have what it takes to become the hero good needs to prevail? This first book in a series will have you panting for more. 

Reviewed by Hilary

$15.99
ISBN-13: 9780385739542
Availability: Not in stock. Usually ships in 1-5 days from the warehouse.
Published: Wendy Lamb Books, 7/2011
Drew has friends -- she has a list of names to prove it.  She just prefers to hang out at her mom's cheese shop, spending time with grandma Swoozie, Nick the surfer/pasta maker and her pet rat, Hum. She also has her dead dad's Book of Lists -- turns out he liked lists as well.  Life is OK, but summer arrives and with it, change.  Nick has a terrible accident, her mother starts dating, and Drew meets a mysterious boy, Emmett.   Growing up is suddenly much more difficult. 

With wit and candor, Dana Reinhardt gives us a lovely coming-of-age story, filled with origami cranes, lists, and real friendship.  Perfect for summer!  

Reviewed by Amanda

Science Fair (Paperback)

$7.99
ISBN-13: 9781423131403
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Call to Confirm
Published: Disney-Hyperion, 2/2011
Girl power resounds from this fun, light-hearted story of good versus evil (with a delicious dash of Prince Charming)! When Jess Parker is invited into the Cinderella Society (Cindy's for short), she can't imagine why they would want her. After all, she's new in town and has already become the enemy of one of the most popular cheerleaders at the school. But the Cindy's offer Jess a place to belong, AND a makeover. It just doesn't get better than this!
  
Unfortunately, with all this good comes the knowledge of the Wickeds - you know them, those mean manipulative females focused on humiliating the Reggies, us innocent, regular people. There's an age-old battle between the Wickeds and the Cindy's, one that extends far beyond the borders of Jess's high school and involves many of the most powerful women in the world. Does Jess really have what it takes to be a Cindy and is she willing to risk her new found image and popularity to right wrongs?
  
Reviewed by Elizabeth

Email or call for price
ISBN-13: 9781423134121
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Disney-Hyperion, 6/2011
In The Enemy we followed the fate of a group of children holed up in a supermarket as they banded together to protect themselves from the disease-ridden adults who have turned into Zombies. This stunning companion book tells the story of a different group of kids at a different time in the epidemic: The Beginning.
Away at boarding school, these are the kids who see the first YouTube video made by "The Scared Kid." It seems pretty realistic, but it can't possibly be real! Then their teachers start to turn, start to attack each other and the kids. Some of the older kids turn too, while the teachers that remain healthy try to protect the students. The night after the last teacher, their last protector, turns, the kids are left alone. They must fend for themselves and figure out how to survive in this new world. Creepier than the original, this is a fantastic novel for all you zombie fans out there - I loved it! 

Reviewed by Antonia

Email or call for price
ISBN-13: 9781423147954
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Disney-Hyperion, 6/2011

It's true the Henley Museum heist by Kat and her crew was gutsy and brilliant, earning them serious attention by the world's best criminals. Now Katarina Bishop's back from a quick trip to Russia. The job: steal a small Cezanne and return it to its rightful owners. As she deplanes an elderly woman calls after her, insisting they talk. She looks like a kind elderly grandmother, the woman has heard about the Henley theft and isn't she Katarina Bishop? Kat shrugs her off until the elderly woman mentions a name. THE legendary Visily Romani who recommends Katarina Bishop for this job. Kat is quite interested now, as is her crew. The job: get back Constance Miller's rightful property, a rare gemstone that happens to be the Cleopatra Emerald. The renowned emerald, flawless and rarely seen, it carries a curse to all who touch it. Kat's crew work up a bold plan to steal it from the auction house where it is to be examined and shown to the world. They need someone "on the inside" to pull this off -jobs assigned and completed, the switch seems perfectly executed, the fabulous fake switched for the real Cleopatra Emerald until they discover they've been conned by none other than elderly Constance Miller! Now the fun really starts for Katarina and her crew. The master con con's Kat and crew, to be conned by the most legendary con ever played. This is twisted, convoluted storytelling at its best!

Reviewed by Marilyn


$8.99
ISBN-13: 9781606841501
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Call to Confirm
Published: EgmontUSA, 6/2011

Girl power resounds from this fun, light-hearted story of good versus evil (with a delicious dash of Prince Charming)! When Jess Parker is invited into the Cinderella Society (Cindy's for short), she can't imagine why they would want her. After all, she's new in town and has already become the enemy of one of the most popular cheerleaders at the school. But the Cindy's offer Jess a place to belong, AND a makeover. It just doesn't get better than this! Unfortunately, with all this good comes the knowledge of the Wickeds - you know them, those mean manipulative females focused on humiliating the Reggies, us innocent, regular people. There's an age-old battle between the Wickeds and the Cindy's, one that extends far beyond the borders of Jess's high school and involves many of the most powerful women in the world. Does Jess really have what it takes to be a Cindy and is she willing to risk her new found image and popularity to right wrongs?

Reviewed by Elizabeth


Email or call for price
ISBN-13: 9781423121312
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Disney-Hyperion, 3/2011
Remember Sophie Mercer from Hex Hall? Well, she's back. And once she realizes what her powers can do, and how she can hurt almost everyone she loves, she decides she wants to go to London for the Removal. But it's a dangerous thing to try - it can destroy her powers, as she wants, or kill her.

Enter her absentee Dad who doesn't want her to go through the Removal - he's head of the Council and shares her family secret (and her sarcastic wit apparently). She goes with him to London, accompanied by Cal and Jenna, only to find there are demons at Thorne Abbey. Really? Naturally Sophie is sidetracked into finding out who is raising them and why. And then there's Archer who has also been sighted in London. Is he really part of The Eye? And, if so, why did he keep turning up to help her? Oh, and there's also the war escalating between the Council, the Eye, and the Brannicks ("Irish girls, red hair...from Mrs. Casnoff's 'People Who Want to Kill Us All' lecture at Hex Hall last year.").

I loved Hex Hall and Demonglass is better. It's funny, intelligent, fast-paced, action-filled, with plenty of unexpected twists, romantic tension, and angst-filled moments. But be warned, the ending makes you hope Rachel can write the sequel really, really fast.

Reviewed by Angela M.

Hex Hall Book One (Paperback)

$8.99
ISBN-13: 9781423121398
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Call to Confirm
Published: Disney-Hyperion, 1/2011
Sophie Mercer is a witch. This wouldn't be so bad but apparently trying to help a sobbing fellow student  with a love potion on prom night was not such a good idea. It backfires and her father (who she's never met) ships her off to Hecate (aka Hex) Hall with all the other delinquent Prodigium (faeries, witches, shapeshifters) who have all attracted more attention than they should.

On her first day she is introduced to her roommate, who is a vampire, and three dark witches who want her to join their coven. She's attacked by a werewolf (and it seems shouting "bad dog" doesn't do any good) and meets Archer Cross (and immediately develops a crush).

Did I mention that there's a predator on the loose who is attacking students? And a secret organization called The Eye bent on wiping Prodigium off the face of the earth. Oh yes, and a family secret.

I loved this book. It's funny, with a strong but sarcastic heroine, and yet written with a light touch. It's the sort of story where Lord Byron teaches literature, where the students have to conjure up their dresses for prom (if they can) yet have to visit graveyards at midnight and face off with ghosts. It's a mystery wrapped up in a comedy with a few surprising twists and an ending you don't expect.
 
Reviewed by Angela M.

Please note that you can see Rachel Hawkins on March 9th. See details below.


The Water Wars (Hardcover)

Email or call for price
ISBN-13: 9781402243691
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Sourcebooks Fire, 1/2011

Imagine a future where we have run out of drinkable water. Where the ice caps have melted, counties dam their rivers and suck clouds from the sky, where the rich control what is left of the drinkable water, and countries are at war over water rights. Stracher imagines a bleak, stark world, so real you can feel the ever-present threat of dehydration. Who and what would you sacrifice? And how far would you go to protect your last shred of hope?
Meet Vera, a girl whose mother is sick, whose father can barely provide enough food and water for the family, who meets Kai, a boy who has water to spare, who travels with a guard, who talks of a secret untapped river that he will one day show her. Kai disappears as suddenly as he appeared in their lives, leaving behind his medicine and a dead bodyguard, and Vera persuades her brother Will to help her try to find him - with no idea how dangerous or difficult this will be. And thus starts a non-stop action thrill ride as Vera and Will traverse the country, looking for clues, running into water pirates, the people's environmental liberation army, and the evil desalination corporation, Bluewater. All to save a boy who could be the world's last hope.
This is a compulsive, utterly gripping read with a strong environmental message that will appeal to Hunger Games, Maze Runner, and Life as We Knew It fans.

Reviewed by Angela M


Scorpia Rising (Paperback)

$8.99
ISBN-13: 9780142419854
Availability: On Our Shelves Now - Call to Confirm
Published: Puffin, 3/2012
Scorpia has dogged Alex Rider for most of his life. They killed his parents, they did their best to con Alex into turning traitor, and they just keep coming back with more power. Now the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization is playing with fire in the world’s most combustible land: the Middle East. No one knows Scorpia like Alex. And no one knows how to get to Alex like Scorpia. Until now. The chases have never been more intense, the fights more treacherous, or the risks so perilous. And this time, Alex won’t get away.

$16.99
ISBN-13: 9780061433047
Availability: Not in stock. Usually ships in 1-5 days from the warehouse.
Published: HarperCollins, 10/2010

Tiffany Aching is smart, practical, and brave. She is also a witch. She has a band of magical allies that are very small, blue, and rude--and she knows that, sometimes (and maybe more often than you might hope) the most important part of doing magic is doing the things that other people tend to forget, like helping an old lady cut her toenails. Tiffany is a good witch, but there are dark murmurs creeping around her, talk of stones and fires and the wickedness of witches, and a man with no eyes who seems to be following Tiffany and bringing the murmurs along with him. I like all of Terry Pratchett's books, but there are some that go right past liking and straight to instant happiness. This is one of them. Here is a world where magic and terrible monsters really exist, and Tiffany Aching is the heroine to handle them all because she knows that making difficult choices is sometimes the only thing that can save the world. I did not want to close this book.

Reviewed by Megan