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Currently browsing books in Europe, Humor, and Love, for Seventh, Eighth, and Ninth Graders
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  • Recommended for grade(s): 7, 8

    Angus: My mixed-breed cat, half domestic tabby, half Scottish wildcat. The size of a small Labrador, only mad. Thongs: Stupid underwear. What’s the point of them, anyway? They just go up your bum, as far as I can tell. Full-Frontal Snogging: Kissing with all the trimmings, lip to lip, open mouth, tongues … everything. Her dad’s got the mentality of a Teletubby (only not so developed). Her cat, Angus, is trying to eat the poodle next door. And her best friend thinks she looks like an alien — just because she accidentally shaved off her eyebrows. Ergghhhlack. Still, add a little boy-stalking, teacher-baiting, and full-frontal snogging with a Sex God, and Georgia’s year just might turn out to be the most fabbitty fab fab ever! 2001 Michael Printz Honor Book. –from Harper Collins.

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  • Keeping The Castle

    By: Patrice Kindl
    Recommended for grade(s): 7, 8

    Seventeen-year-old Althea is the sole support of her entire family, and she must marry well. But there are few wealthy suitors–or suitors of any kind–in their small Yorkshire town of Lesser Hoo. Then, the young and attractive (and very rich) Lord Boring arrives, and Althea sets her plans in motion. There’s only one problem; his friend and business manager Mr. Fredericks keeps getting in the way. And, as it turns out, Fredericks has his own set of plans . . . This witty take on the classic Regency–Patrice Kindl’s first novel in a decade–is like literary champagne! –from Penguin.

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  • Kids Like Us

    By: Hilary Reyl
    Recommended for grade(s): 8

    Martin is an American teen on the autism spectrum living in France with his mom and sister for the summer. He falls for a French girl who he thinks is a real-life incarnation of a character in his favorite book. Over time Martin comes to realize she is a real person and not a character in a novel while at the same time learning that love is not out of his reach just because he is autistic. — From Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

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  • My Lady Jane

    By: Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
    Recommended for grade(s): 8

    In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind YA fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help. At sixteen, Lady Jane Grey is about to be married off to a stranger and caught up in a conspiracy to rob her cousin, King Edward, of his throne. But those trifling problems aren’t for Jane to worry about. Jane gets to be Queen of England. Like that could go wrong. — From HarperCollins

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 6, 7

    Piers is desperate to become a page to escape the dirty, tedious labor of his father’s blacksmith shop. So when a knight arrives announcing that he’s on “the quest,” Piers begs to go along. Off on a series of adventures he never dreamed possible, Piers and the knight quickly run into difficulties. The knight is slain by Parsifal who is on a quest of his own. Parsifal is unlike anyone Piers has ever met. He doesn’t behave “knightly” at all. Slowly, Piers realizes that being a knight has nothing to do with shining armor and winning jousts. And, as their journey continues, they find that to achieve their quest they must learn more than knighthood: they must learn about themselves. The tale of Parsifal has been told more than that of any other knight, but no one has ever told his story quite like Gerald Morris does in his fourth Arthurian novel, another tour de force of humor, action, magic, and, as always, true love. –From the website at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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  • Prada and Prejudice

    By: Mandy Hubbard
    Recommended for grade(s): 8, 9

    To impress the popular girls on a high school trip to London, klutzy Callie buys real Prada heels. But trying them on, she trips, conks her head, and wakes up in the year 1815! There Callie meets Emily, who takes her in, mistaking her for a long-lost friend. As she spends time with Emily’s family, Callie warms to them, particularly to Emily’s cousin Alex, a hottie and a duke, if a tad arrogant. But can Callie save Emily from a dire engagement, and win Alex’s heart, before her time in the past is up? More Cabot than Ibbotson, Prada and Prejudice is a high-concept romantic comedy about finding friendship and love in the past in order to have happiness in the present. –From Penguin

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  • Royals

    By: Rachel Hawkins
    Recommended for grade(s): 9

    New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins serves up a deliciously royal romance, perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen and Huntley Fitzpatrick. Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with mermaid-red hair; a part time job at a bootleg Walmart, and a perfect older sister who’s nearly engaged to the Crown Prince of Scotland. Daisy has no desire to live in the spotlight, but relentless tabloid attention forces her to join Ellie at the relative seclusion of the castle across the pond. While the dashing young Miles has been appointed to teach Daisy the ropes of being regal, the prince’s roguish younger brother kicks up scandal wherever he goes, and tries his best to take Daisy along for the ride. The crown–and the intriguing Miles–might be trying to make Daisy into a lady . . . but Daisy may just rewrite the royal rulebook to suit herself. New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins brings her signature humor, love of Americana, and flair for romance to this page-turning Princess Diaries turned-upside-down story. — From Penguin

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  • The Arsonist

    By: Stephanie Oakes
    Recommended for grade(s): 9

    Molly Mavity is not a normal teenage girl. For one thing, her father is a convicted murderer, and his execution date is fast approaching. For another, Molly refuses to believe that her mother is dead, and she waits for the day when they’ll be reunited . . . despite all evidence that this will never happen. Pepper Al-Yusef is not your average teenage boy. A Kuwaiti immigrant with epilepsy, serious girl problems, and the most useless seizure dog in existence, he has to write a series of essays over the summer . . . or fail out of school. And Ava Dreyman-the brave and beautiful East German resistance fighter whose murder at seventeen led to the destruction of the Berlin Wall-is unlike anyone you’ve met before. When Molly gets a package leading her to Pepper, they’re tasked with solving a decades-old mystery- find out who killed Ava, back in 1989. Using Ava’s diary for clues, Molly and Pepper realize there’s more to her life-and death-than meets the eye. Someone is lying to them. And someone out there is guiding them along, desperate for answers. At turns heart-racing, hilarious, and heartbreaking, The Arsonist is an intricate tapestry of love, loss, and the mysterious connections between us all. — From Penguin

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 6, 7

    Young Dinadan has no wish to joust or quest or save damsels in distress or do any of the knightly things expected of him. He’d rather be a minstrel, playing his rebec and writing ballads. But he was born to be a knight, and knights, of course, have adventures. So after his father forces his knighthood upon him, he wanders toward King Arthur’s court, in the company of a misguided young Welsh lad named Culloch. There Dinadan meets Sir Kai and Sir Bedivere, and the three find themselves accompanying Culloch on the worst sort of quest. Along the way, Dinadan writes his own ballads, singing of honor, bravery, loyalty, and courtly love–and becomes a player in the pathetic love story of Tristram and Iseult. He meets the Moorish knight Palomides, the clever but often exasperating Lady Brangienne, and an elvin musician named Sylvanus, along with an unusual collection of recreant knights and dimwitted defenders of chivalry. He learns that while minstrels sing of spectacular heroic deeds, honor is often found in simpler, quieter ways. –From the website at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 6, 7

    No sooner does Luneta leave home to visit King Arthur’s Court than she gets swept up in adventure, romance, betrayal, and more than a little bit of magic. –From the website at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 6, 7

    On her deathbed, Beaufils’s mother leaves him with a quest and a clue: find your father, a knight of King Arthur’s court. So Beaufils leaves the isolated forest of his youth and quickly discovers that he has much to learn about the world beyond his experience. Beaufils’s innocence never fails to make his companions grin, but his fresh outlook on the world’s peculiarities turns out to be more of a gift than a curse as they encounter unexpected friends and foes. With his constant stream of wise fools and foolish wise men, holy hermits and others of rather less holiness, plotting magicians and conniving Ladies, Gerald Morris infuses these medieval stories with a riotous humor all his own. –From the website at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 6, 7

    Her castle under siege by an evil knight who keeps beheading all her would-be rescuers, Lady Lynet realizes the only way to get help is to get it herself. So one night she slips away and strikes out for King Arthur’s court where she hopes to find a gallant knight to vanquish the Knight of the Red Lands and free her castle. Gerald Morris’s Arthurian novel is a highly comic tale of hidden identities, mysterious knights, faeries and enchantments, damsels-in-distress, and true love. –From the website at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 6, 7

    Why is it, Terence wondered, that the things you know most surely are always the things you can’t demonstrate to any one else? And why is it, after all of these years, that Terence is still just a squire, offering advice on how best to scrub the rust spots from armor? But Squire Terence has more to worry about than his place on the social scale. For all the peace and prosperity that has made England famous across Europe, Terence is uneasy. After nearly six months without contact with the World of the Faeries–not even from his old friend, the mischievous sprite Robin–Terence is sure something is rotten in King Arthur’s court. –From the website at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 6, 7

    Growing up an orphan in an isolated cottage in the woods, young Terence never expected much adventure. But upon the arrival of Gawain, his life takes a surprising turn. Gawain is destined to become one of the most famous knights of the Round Table. Terence becomes Gawain’s squire and leaves his secluded life for one of adventure in King Arthur’s court. In no time Terence is plunged into the exciting world of kings, wizards, knights, wars, magic spells, dwarfs, damsels in distress, and enchanters. As he adjusts to his new life, he proves to be not only an able squire but also a keen observer of the absurdities around him. His duties take him on a quest with Gawain and on a journey of his own, to solve the mystery of his parentage. Filled with rapier-sharp wit, jousting jocularity, and chuckleheaded knights, this is King Arthur’s court as never before experienced. –From the website at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 6, 7

    Squire Terence and Sir Gawain are off questing again, but this time their journey is overshadowed by their ultimate destination: Gawain is to meet up with the Green Knight in a contest that could easily lead to Gawain’s death. Along the way the two have a slew of hair-raising adventures and encounter the usual odd assortment of characters, including the plucky Lady Eileen. Sparks instantly fly between Terence and Eileen as she joins the squire and his knight on their travels. As they weave their way between the world of men and the Other World, Gawain and Terence discover much about themselves. The Squire, His Knight, and His Lady is the sequel to Gerald Morris’s debut book, The Squire’s Tale, about which the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books raved, “This Arthurian road trip will have readers wondering why there aren’t more books like this one and hoping that Morris will do it again.” And so he has. –From the website at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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