• A Night Divided

    by Jennifer A. Nielsen Year Published: 2015

    (2019 Grand Canyon Reader Nominee)

     

    With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family suddenly divided. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can't help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city.

    But one day, while on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Then, when she receives a mysterious drawing, Gerta puts two and two together and concludes that her father wants Gerta and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted. Will Gerta and her family find their way to freedom?

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  • Backlash

    by Sarah Darer Littman Year Published: 2015

    (2019 Grand Canyon Reader Nominee)

     

    He says: "You're an awful person."
    He says: "What makes you think I'd ever ask you out?"
    He says: "The world would be a better place without you in it."

     

    Lara just got told off on Facebook. 
    She thought that Christian liked her, that he was finally going to ask her to his school's homecoming dance. It's been a long time since Lara's felt this bad, this depressed. She's worked really hard since starting high school to be happy and make new friends.

     

    Bree used to be BBFs with overweight, depressed Lara in middle school, but constantly listening to Lara's problems got to be too much. Bree's secretly glad that Christian's pointed out Lara's flaws to the world. Lara's not nearly as great as everyone thinks.

     

    After weeks of talking online, Lara thought she knew Christian, so what's with this sudden change? And where does he get off saying horrible things on her wall? Even worse - are they true? But no one realized just how far Christian's harsh comments would push Lara. Not even Bree. As online life collides with real life, the truth starts to come together and the backlash is even more devastating than anyone could have imagined.

     

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  • Booked

    by Kwame Alexander Year Published: 2016

    (2019 Grand Canyon Reader Nominee)

     

    Book 2 of 3 in The Crossover series (The Crossover is book 1)

     

    Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/eyes fixed/on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/can’t nobody stop you/
    can’t nobody cop you…

     

    In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER, soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read.  

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  • Frogkisser

    by Garth Nix Year Published: 2017

    (2019 Grand Canyon Reader Nominee)

     

    Poor Princess Anya. Forced to live with her evil stepmother's new husband, her evil stepstepfather. Plagued with an unfortunate ability to break curses with a magic-assisted kiss. And forced to go on the run when her stepstepfather decides to make the kingdom entirely his own. Aided by a loyal talking dog, a boy thief trapped in the body of a newt, and some extraordinarily mischievous wizards, Anya sets off on a Quest that, if she plays it right, will ultimately free her land -- and teach her a thing or two about the use of power, the effectiveness of a well-placed pucker, and the finding of friends in places both high and low.

     

    It's 50% fairy tale, 50% fantasy, and 100% pure enjoyment from start to finish.

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  • Ghost

    by Jason Reynolds Year Published: 2016

    (2019 Grand Canyon Reader Nominee)

     

    Book 1 of 4 in the Track series

     

    Running. That’s all Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all started with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who sees something in Ghost: crazy natural talent. If Ghost can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed, or will his past finally catch up to him?

     

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  • May Day

    by Karen Harrington Year Published: 2016

    (2019 Grand Canyon Reader Nominee)

     

    Wayne Kovok lives in a world of After. After his uncle in the army was killed overseas. After Wayne and his mother survived a plane crash while coming back from the funeral. After he lost his voice.

    Wayne has always used his love of facts to communicate ("Did you know more people die each year from shaking a vending machine than from shark attacks?"). Without his voice, how will he wow the prettiest girl in school? How will he stand up to his drill-sergeant grandfather? And how will he share his hopes with his deadbeat dad? It's not until Wayne loses his voice completely that he realizes how much he doesn't say.

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  • Ms. Bixby's Last Day

    by John David Anderson Year Published: 2016

    (2019 Grand Canyon Reader Nominee)

     

    Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you'll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She's the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile. Who recognizes something in you that sometimes you don't even see in yourself. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one-of-a-kind.

    Topher, Brand, and Steve know this better than anyone. And so when Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she won't be able to finish the school year, they come up with a risky plan, more of a quest, really, to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves. Through the three very different stories they tell, we begin to understand what Ms. Bixby means to each of them—and what the three of them mean to each other.

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  • Orbiting Jupiter

    by Gary D. Schmidt Year Published: 2015

    When Jack meets his new foster brother, he already knows three things about him:

    Joseph almost killed a teacher.
    He was incarcerated at a place called Stone Mountain.
    He has a daughter. Her name is Jupiter. And he has never seen her.

    What Jack doesn’t know, at first, is how desperate Joseph is to find his baby girl. Or how urgently he, Jack, will want to help. But the past can’t be shaken off. Even as new bonds form, old wounds reopen. The search for Jupiter demands more from Jack than he can imagine.

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  • The Blackthorn Key

    by Kevin Sands Year Published: 2015

    (2019 Grand Canyon Reader Nominee)

     

    Book 1 of 4 in The Blackthorn Key series

     

    “Tell no one what I’ve given you.”

    Until he got that cryptic warning, Christopher Rowe was happy, learning how to solve complex codes and puzzles and creating powerful medicines, potions, and weapons as an apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn—with maybe an explosion or two along the way.

    But when a mysterious cult begins to prey on London’s apothecaries, the trail of murders grows closer and closer to Blackthorn’s shop. With time running out, Christopher must use every skill he’s learned to discover the key to a terrible secret with the power to tear the world apart.

     

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  • Randoms

    by David Liss Year Published: 2015

    (2019 Grand Canyon Reader Nominee)

     

    Book 1 of 3 in the Randoms series

     

    Zeke Reynolds comes from a long line of proud science fiction geeks. He knows his games, comics, movies, and TV shows like Captain Kirk knows the starship Enterprise. So it’s a dream come true when he learns the science fiction he loves so much is based on reality—and that he’s been selected to spend a year on a massive space station. To evaluate humanity’s worthiness, the Confederation of United Planets has hand picked three of Earth’s most talented young people—and then there’s Zeke. He’s the random. He's way out of his league, but Zack’s knowledge of science fiction might be the only thing that can save himself, his friends, and Earth itself.

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  • The Book Thief

    by Markus Zusak Year Published: 2005

    In 1938, young orphan Liesel arrives at the home of her new foster parents, Hans and Rosa. When Hans, a kindly housepainter, learns that Liesel cannot read, he teaches the child the wonders of the written language. Liesel grows to love books. Though Liesel's new family barely scrape by, their situation becomes even more precarious when they secretly shelter a Jewish boy whose father once saved Hans' life.

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  • The Dungeoneers

    by John David Anderson Year Published: 2015

    The world is not a fair place, and Colm Candorly knows it. While his parents and eight sisters seem content living on a lowly cobbler's earnings, Colm can't help but feel that everyone has the right to a more comfortable life. It's just a question of how far you're willing to go to get it.

    In an effort to help make ends meet, Colm uses his natural gift for pickpocketing to pilfer a pile of gold from the richer residents of town, but his actions place him at the mercy of a mysterious man named Finn Argos, a gilded-toothed, smooth-tongued rogue who gives Colm a choice: he can be punished for his thievery or he can become a member of Thwodin's Legions, a guild of dungeoneers who take what they want and live as they will. Colm soon finds himself part of a family of warriors, mages, and hunters, learning to work together in a quest to survive and, perhaps, to find a bit of treasure along the way.

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  • The Secret Sea

    by Barry Lyga Year Published: 2016

    Twelve-year-old Zak Killian is hearing a voice. Could it be a guardian angel? A ghost? No, that's crazy. But sometimes the voice is so real. . .It warns him of danger.

     

    One day Zak is standing on the subway platform when the tunnel starts to fill with water. He sees it before anyone else. The voice warns him to run. His friends Moira and Khalid believe this is more than a premonition, and soon all three find themselves in an alternate universe that is both familiar and seriously strange. As Zak unravels the mystery behind the voice, he faces decisions that may mean the end of their world at home―if they can even get home!

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