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Check it out: Tween guy reads

5:33 PM, Sep. 13, 2013  |  Comments
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Victor is both looking forward to and dreading taking over the paper route of a friend in July. It's not that Victor, 11, isn't interested in talking to customers on the route, but a severe stutter causes most people to react with pity, fear, or annoyance. Set during the hot summer of 1959 in Memphis, Tenn., it seems to Victor like the neighborhood he knew was a heat mirage as false appearances are stripped away. Over the course of one revelatory month, Victor reaches out to the world around him, even when the freedom of telling the truth lands him in life-threatening danger. Recommended for grades 5-8.

Historical Fiction

"Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain

"Al Capone Does My Shirts" by Gennifer Choldenko (first in series)

"Bud, Not Buddy" by Christopher Paul Curtis

"City of Orphans" by Avi

"Crow" by Barbara Wright

"Dead End in Norvelt" by Jack Gantos

"A Diamond in the Desert" by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

"Jefferson's Sons: A Founding Father's Secret Children" by Kimberly Bradley

"Johnny Tremain" by Esther Forbes

"The Liberation of Gabriel King" by K. L. Going

"My Brother Sam is Dead" by James Collier

"Okay for Now" by Gary Schmidt

"The Sign of the Beaver" by Elizabeth George Speare

"Will Sparrow's Road" by Karen Cushman

Realistic Fiction

"Tangerine" by Edward Bloor

Paul Fisher doesn't mind starting over in a new town, even if it is in a planned community called Tangerine. Strangely, the town lacks tangerine trees; sudden sink holes and mud fires plague the once citrus-laden paradise. Beginning seventh grade in a new town gives Paul time to start over and maybe even find a group of friends. Despite being legally blind, Paul is a decent soccer player who views success as blending in. Paul's older brother Erik achieves automatic popularity as a star football player at the high school, but Paul recognizes a sinister side beneath his brother's slick persona. Tangerine, with an eerie underbelly of its own, seems the perfect place to bury secrets. Paul's parents are too dazzled by Erik's success to see his true nature, and Tangerine's citizens seem blind to the giant cracks in their perfect town's fašade. As an outsider, Paul is the only one who can unravel the twisted truth, but only if he allows himself to see it. Especially recommended for fans of Loius Sachar's "Holes", this smart, sometimes satiric, tale of shadowy suburbia will attract 5th-8th grade readers.

"After Eli" by Eli Rupp

"The Amazing Adventures of John Smith Jr., aka Houdini" by Peter Johnson

"Better Nate Than Ever" by Tim Federle (first in series)

"Football Genius" by Tim Green (first in series)

"Frindle" by Andrew Clements

"Getting Air" by Dan Gutman

"Hatchet" by Gary Paulsen (first in series)

"How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-sized Trophy" by Crystal Allen

"Liar, Liar" by Gary Paulsen (first in series)

"Road Trip" by Jim and Gary Paulsen

"Schooled" by Gordon Korman

"Slob" by Ellen Potter

"Sports Camp" by Rich Wallace

"The Strange Case of the Origami Yoda" by Tom Angleberger (first in series)

"Travel Team" by Mike Lupica

Mystery/Suspense

"Mysterious Benedict Society" by Trenton Lee Stewart

Stewart's mystery/adventure series is the ideal choice for fans of Roald Dahl's deranged fairy tale atmosphere and dry wit and/or the lengthy adventures of Harry Potter. The first book introduces four orphans with peculiar gifts who are hired by unseen benefactor Mr. Benedict to infiltrate the sinister Learning institute for the Very Enlightened. When the institute begins nightly broadcasts of mysterious messages, the four gifted loners suspect nothing less than a plot for worldwide domination through mind control. Somehow Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance, armed with their random talents including photographic memory and "advanced bucket use," as well as their training at the Benedict Society, need to form a plan that combines their powers into a super force. Fans of scavenger hunts, secret codes, and all manner of escapades will devour the whole set of shrewd and strange adventures.

"The Black Book of Secrets" by F.E. Higgins (first in series)

"Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls" by Claire Legrand

"Chasing Vermeer" by Blue Balliet (first in series)

"Chomp" by Carl Hiaasen

"Death Cloud" by Andy Lane (first in series)

"Fake Mustache" by Tom Angleberger

"Griff Carver, Hallway Patrol" by Jim Krieg

"Holes" by Louis Sachar

"Hoot" by Carl Hiaasen

"Island of Thieves" by Josh Lacey

"NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society" by Michael Buckley (first in series)

"Skeleton Creek" by Patrick Carman (first in series)

"Stormbreaker" by Anthony Horowitz (first in series)

"Swindle" by Gordon Korman (first in series)

"Three Times Lucky" by Sheila Turnage

"Who Could That Be at This Hour?" by Lemony Snicket (first in series)

"Wonder" by R. J

Fantastical Books

"Jinx" by Sage Blackwood

The Urwalds are an imposing forest, full of orges, child-eating witches, and all sorts of other monsters. The perfect place for Jinx's stepfather to abandon him; so, when the fearsome wizard Simon Magus offers to buy the boy, Jinx's stepfather is only too happy to make some money off of him. Jinx soon learns that Simon may not be as evil as he thought, and that the world isn't nearly as black and white as he thought. The first book in a fantastical new series, it should be appealing to readers young and old.

"Airman" by Eoin Colfer

"Among the Hidden" by Margaret Peterson Haddix (first in series)

"Artemis Fowl" by Eoin Colfer (first in series)

"The Book of Three" by Lloyd Alexander (first in series)

"Bone: Out of Boneville" by Jeff Smith (first in series)

"Colossus Rising" by Peter Lerangis (first in series)

"The Dark is Rising" by Susan Cooper (first in series)

"The Dragon's Tooth" by N. D. Wilson (first in series)

"The Eye, the Ear, and the Arm" by Nancy Farmer

"Eragon" by Christopher Paolini (first in series)

"Erec Rex" by Kaza Kingsley (first in series)

"False Prince" by Jennifer Nielsen (first in series)

"Found" by Margaret Peterson Haddix (first in series)

"Gregor the Overlander" by Suzanne Collins (first in series)

"The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman

"The Lightning Thief" by Rick Riordan (first in series)

"Loki's Wolves" by K. L. Armstrong and M. A. Marr (first in series)

"The Red Pyramid" by Rick Riordan (first in series)

"Redwall" by Brian Jacques (first in series)

"Revenge of the Witch" by Joseph Delaney (first in series)

"Ruins of Gorlan" by John Flanagan (first in series)

"Sea of Trolls" by Nancy Farmer (first in series)

"The Thief Lord" by Cornelia Funke

"Tunnels" by Roderick Gordon (first in series)

"Virus on Orbis 1" by PJ Haarsma (first in series)

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