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Meet our cast of characters for Summer Reading 2012! We've got: vampires and zombies; a deathless man and a tiger's wife; bears named "Dog" and dogs named "Bear"; and kids who will save the world and robots who will run the world. From the Australian Outback to the Niger Delta, from a haunted English mansion to a maze called the Glade, from the sidewalks of New York to a gator-wrestling park in the Everglades, we invite you to transport your students to worlds of adventure, discovery, and danger with these 25 wildly eclectic and unique books ideal for summer reading.



Like what you see here? Looking for more summer reading suggestions? Download these comprehensive booklists by category:

Adventure
| Biography & History | Comics & Graphic Novels | Fiction | Horror & Mystery | Memoir & Nonfiction | Science Fiction & Fantasy


Teachers: To order examination copies of any of these titles, please follow the instructions on our Examination Copy page.



CATEGORIES:
Click on the links below to view books in that category.

Fiction

Nonfiction

Fiction

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
by Aimee Bender

Winner, ALA ALEX Award

"Bender has guts. . . . Rose is an irresistible narrator: warm, witty and sharply observant. . . . [Q]uirky, unpredictable voices will surprise and entertain readers. . . . [A] superb stylist. While acknowledging the dark, she maintains an exuberant, life-affirming attitude." —Miami Herald

READING LEVEL: 7th Grade


World War Z

World War Z
by Max Brooks

"Prepare to be entranced by this addictively readable oral history of the great war between humans and zombies. . . . Will grab you as tightly as a dead man's fist." —Entertainment Weekly

READING LEVEL: 6th Grade


Ready Player One

Ready Player One
by Ernest Cline

Winner, ALA ALEX Award

"An exuberantly realized, exciting, and sweet-natured cyber-quest. Cline's imaginative and rollicking coming-of-age geek saga has a smash-hit vibe." —Booklist (starred review)

READING LEVEL: 7th Grade


The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner
by James Dashner

Thomas arrives in a place called the Glade, run by teenage boys, with no memory of their former lives. He becomes one of a special group mapping the Maze that surrounds the Glade. When Teresa, the only girl, arrives soon after Thomas, everything begins to change.

READING LEVEL: 7th Grade



The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers
by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

"This heartbreaking debut novel about mothers and daughters, love, and the secret significance of flowers had me weeping with emotion and wonder. Victoria Jones is an unforgettable heroine and you will never look at flowers the same way again."
—Tatiana de Rosnay, author of Sarah's Keys

READING LEVEL: 6th Grade


In the Sea There Are Crocodiles

In the Sea There Are Crocodiles
Based on the True Story of Enaiatollah Akbari
by Fabio Geda

"[A] gripping, strangely sweet tale. Reading of Akbari's efforts to find a better life—alone and at an age when children in our country can't even drive yet—will leave you shaken, but his resilient joy leavens the story." —The Washington Post

READING LEVEL: 9th Grade


The Woman in Black

The Woman in Black
by Susan Hill


A classic ghost story: the chilling tale of a menacing specter haunting a small English town. A routine business trip takes a horrifying turn when solicitor Arthur Kipps finds himself haunted by a ghostly woman dressed all in black.

READING LEVEL: 9th Grade


Walkabout

Walkabout
by James Vance Marshall
Introduction by Lee Siegel

"This is a choice little tale which will have devoted admirers. It discloses a rare beauty of human relationship among three children in a strange predicament on the crust of the earth."
Newsweek

READING LEVEL: 10th Grade


The Night Circus

The Night Circus
by Erin Morgenstern

Winner, ALA ALEX Award

"This world of illusion and dark magic will entrance teen readers, and I predict its fans will want to visit it over and over again." —School Library Journal

READING LEVEL: 8th Grade


The Tiger's Wife

The Tiger's Wife
by Téa Obreht

Winner, Orange Prize for Fiction

"In Obreht's expert hands, the novel's mythology, while rooted in a foreign world, comes to be somehow familiar, like the dark fairy tales of our own youth, the kind that spooked us into reading them again and again." —O: The Oprah Magazine

READING LEVEL: 10th Grade


The Cat's Table

The Cat's Table
by Michael Ondaatje

"Ondaatje is justly recognized as a master of literary craft. . . . The novel tells of a journey from childhood to the adult world, as well as a passage from the homeland to another country." —Annie Proulx, The Guardian (UK)

READING LEVEL: 7th Grade


The Things a Brother Knows

The Things a Brother Knows
by Dana Reinhardt

"Reinhardt's poignant story of a soldier coping with survivor's guilt and trauma, and his Israeli American family's struggle to understand and help, is timely and honest." —Booklist (starred review)

READING LEVEL: 9th Grade


Luka and the Fire of Life

Luka and the Fire of Life
by Salman Rushdie

With the same dazzling imagination and love of language that have made Salman Rushdie one of the great storytellers of our time, Luka and the Fire of Life revisits the magic-infused, intricate world he first brought to life in the modern classic Haroun and the Sea of Stories.

READING LEVEL: 6th Grade


The Alchemyst

The Alchemyst
by Michael Scott


"[A] riveting fantasy. While there is plenty here to send readers rushing to their encyclopedias . . . those who read the book at face value will simply be caught up in the enthralling story. A fabulous read." —School Library Journal, (starred review)

READING LEVEL: 7th Grade


Swamplandia!

Swamplandia!
by Karen Russell

"Swamplandia! is a crossroads where the wild and the tame, the spectacular and the mundane meet; underneath the hubbub of the fantastic lies a family of misfits at sea in their grief—theirs is a story that is as ordinary as it is heartbreaking."
Boston Globe

READING LEVEL: 8th Grade


When You Reach Me

When You Reach Me
by Rebecca Stead

Winner, Newbery Medal

"[W]hen all the sidewalk characters from Miranda's Manhattan world converge amid mind-blowing revelations and cunning details, teen readers will circle back to the beginning and say, 'Wow . . . cool.'" —Kirkus Reviews (starred)

READING LEVEL: 3rd Grade


The Emerald Atlas

The Emerald Atlas
by John Stephens

Brimming with action, humor, and emotion, The Emerald Atlas is the first stage of a journey that will take Kate, Michael, and Emma to strange, dangerous lands and deep within themselves. It is the story of three children who set out to save their family, and end up having to save the world.

READING LEVEL: 3rd Grade



Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away

Tiny Sunbirds, Far Away
by Christie Watson

"Through the lens of young girl's coming-of-age, this breakthrough novel views the politics of contemporary Nigeria, portraying the clash between traditional and modern as it affects one extended family." —Booklist

READING LEVEL: 8th Grade


Robopocalypse

Robopocalypse
by Daniel H. Wilson

Winner, ALA ALEX Award

"Futurists are already predicting the day mankind builds its replacement, Artificial Intelligence. Daniel Wilson shows what might happen when that computer realizes its creators are no longer needed. Once started I defy anyone to put it down." —JackDuBrul, author of River of Ruin

READING LEVEL: 6th Grade


How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
by Charles Yu

"Glittering layers of gorgeous and playful meta-science-fiction. . . . A complex, brainy, genre-hopping joyride of a story . . . and smart and tragic enough to engage all regions of the brain and body." —The New York Times Book Review

READING LEVEL: 7th Grade

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Nonfiction




How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming

How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming
by Mike Brown

"Brown's brisk, enjoyable How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming chronicles the whole saga [of the demotion of Pluto] and, in the process, makes [its] sad fate easier to take. If we've lost a planet, we've gained a sprightly new voice for popular science." —The Wall Street Journal

READING LEVEL: 12th Grade


In the Garden of Beasts

In the Garden of Beasts
by Erik Larson

"Dazzling. . . . Reads like a suspense novel, replete with colorful characters, both familiar and those previously relegated to the shadows. . . . In the Garden of Beasts is an on-the-ground documentary of a society going mad in slow motion." —The Chicago Sun-Times

READING LEVEL: 11th Grade


The Eighty-Dollar Champion

The Eighty-Dollar Champion
by Elizabeth Letts

"Not only a heartwarming tale of the bond between human and horse, but also a fascinating look at the the Eisenhower years, when faulty memory tells us that America was placid and conformist."
Mary Doria Russell, author of Doc

READING LEVEL: 6th Grade


The Grace of Silence

The Grace of Silence
A Family Memoir

by Michele Norris


"A powerful plea to readers to doggedly pursue their families' story lines. She reminds us that speaking candidly about race in America starts not at the president's teleprompter but at our own dinner tables." —The Washington Post

READING LEVEL: 7th Grade


The Warmth of Other Suns

The Warmth of Other Suns
by Isabel Wilkerson

Winner, National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction

This beautifully written masterwork chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities. With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals.

READING LEVEL: 7th Grade

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Click here to order Examination Copies


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independent readers


The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb

by Melanie Benjamin
The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb

Find books for independent readers by ability level.

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professional reading

Be Different
by John Elder Robison
Be Different

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