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  • 10th Grade: A Novel

    By: Joe Weisberg
    Recommended for grade(s): 7, 8, 9

    Jeremiah Reskin has big plans for tenth grade—he wants to make some friends and he wants to take a girl’s shirt off. It’s not going too well at first, but when he meets a group of semibohemian outcasts, things start to change. Soon he’s negotiating his way through group back rubs and trying to find the courage to make a move on Renee Shopmaker, the hottest girl in school. At the behest of his composition teacher, Jeremy’s also chronicling everything in his own novel—a disastrously ungrammatical but unflinching look at sophomore year. — From Random House

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 8

    After years of pining for the girl next door, 15-year-old Matthew Wainwright must deal with Tabby dating a popular senior just when he needs her most in this fiercely funny and heart-wrenching debut novel. — From Ember

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 6

    Arthur Bean is a genius-it’s just that no one else realizes this quite yet. He’s going to be a world-famous author, and the first step is to win this year’s story-writing contest. What he writes is pretty funny, but it gets him into trouble too. Like with his English teacher. And the school newspaper advisor. And cool girl Kennedy. And Arthur’s number one nemesis, Robbie Zack. But all great authors spark controversy, so Arthur’s not too concerned. Through letters, email exchanges, “SEE ME” notes and doodles, enter the funny, touching, and often mixed-up mind of Arthur Bean, creative genius. — From Sourcebooks, Inc.

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  • All Three Stooges

    By: Erica S. Perl
    Recommended for grade(s): 7

    An unforgettable coming-of-age story about comedy, loss, and friendship for fans of Jennifer L. Holm and Gary D. Schmidt. Spoiler alert: This book is not about the Three Stooges. It’s about Noah and Dash, two seventh graders who are best friends and comedy junkies. That is, they were best friends, until Dash’s father died suddenly and Dash shut Noah out. Which Noah deserved, according to Noa, the girl who, annoyingly, shares both his name and his bar mitzvah day. Now Noah’s confusion, frustration, and determination to get through to Dash are threatening to destroy more than just their friendship. But what choice does he have? As Noah sees it, sometimes you need to risk losing everything, even your sense of humor, to prove that gone doesn’t have to mean “gone for good.” Equal parts funny, honest, and deeply affecting, All Three Stooges is a book that will stay with readers long after the laughter subsides. — From Knopf Books for Young Readers

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 7

    Antsy Bonano, narrator of The Schwa Was Here, is back with another crazy tale. This time, Antsy signs a month of his life over to his “dying” classmate Gunnar Umlaut. Soon everyone at school follows suit, giving new meaning to the idea of “living on borrowed time.” But does Gunnar really have six months to live, or is news of his imminent death greatly exaggerated? And when a family member suffers a heart attack after donating two years to Gunnar, Antsy starts to wonder if he has tempted fate by trying to play God . . . . — From Penguin

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  • Armstrong & Charlie

    By: Steven B. Frank
    Recommended for grade(s): 5, 6

    Charlie isn’t looking forward to sixth grade. If he starts sixth grade, chances are he’ll finish it. And when he does, he’ll grow older than the brother he recently lost. Armstrong isn’t looking forward to sixth grade, either. When his parents sign him up for Opportunity Busing to a white school in the Hollywood Hills, all he wants to know is “What time in the morning will my alarm clock have the opportunity to ring?” When these two land at the same desk, it’s the Rules Boy next to the Rebel, a boy who lost a brother elbow-to-elbow with a boy who longs for one. From September to June, arms will wrestle, fists will fly, and bottles will spin. There’ll be Ho Hos spiked with hot sauce, sleepovers, boy talk about girls, and a little guidance from the stars. Set in Los Angeles in the 1970s, Armstrong and Charlie is the hilarious, heartwarming tale of two boys from opposite worlds, Different, yet the same. –from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

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  • Be More Chill

    By: Ned Vizzini
    Recommended for grade(s): 8, 9, 10

    Jeremy Heere is your average high school dork. Day after day, he stares at beautiful Christine, the girl he can never have, and dryly notes the small humiliations that come his way. Until the day he learns about the “squip.” A pill-sized supercomputer that you swallow, the squip is guaranteed to bring you whatever you most desire in life. By instructing him on everything from what to wear, to how to talk and walk, the squip transforms Jeremy from Supergeek to superchic. —From Hyperion

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  • Beat the Band

    By: Don Calame
    Recommended for grade(s): 8

    In this hilarious sequel to SWIM THE FLY, told from Coop’s point of view, it’s the beginning of the school year, and the tenth-grade health class must work in pairs on semester-long projects. Matt and Sean get partnered up (the jerks), but Coop is matched with the infamous “Hot Dog” Helen for a presentation on safe sex. Everybody’s laughing, except for Coop, who’s convinced that the only way to escape this social death sentence is to win “The Battle of the Bands” with their group, Arnold Murphy’s Bologna Dare. There’s just one problem: none of the guys actually plays an instrument. Will Coop regain his “cool” before it’s too late? Or will the forced one-on-one time with Helen teach him a lesson about social status he never saw coming? With ribald humor and a few sweet notes, screenwriter-turned-novelist Don Calame once again hits all the right chords. — From Candlewick Press

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  • Boxers

    By: Gene Leun Yang
    Recommended for grade(s): 7, 8, 9, 10

    China, 1898. Bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants. Little Bao has had enough. Harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, he recruits an army of Boxers – commoners trained in kung fu who fight to free China from “foreign devils.” Against all odds, this grass-roots rebellion is violently successful. But nothing is simple. Little Bao is fighting for the glory of China, but at what cost? So many are dying, including thousands of “secondary devils” – Chinese citizens who have converted to Christianity. National Book Award Winner.  Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist. —from the website at Macmillan

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  • Dan vs. Nature

    By: Don Calame
    Recommended for grade(s): 8

    Shy and scrawny Dan Weekes spends his time creating graphic novels inspired by his dream girl and looking out for his mom as she dates every man in the state of California. Then his mom drops a bomb: she and her latest beau, Hank, are engaged, and she’s sending her “two favorite men” on a survivalist camping trip to “bond.” Determined to trick Hank into showing his true — flawed — colors on the trip, Dan and his nerdy germaphobe best friend, Charlie, prepare a series of increasingly gross and embarrassing pranks. But the boys hadn’t counted on a hot girl joining their trip or on getting separated from their wilderness guide—not to mention the humiliating injuries Dan suffers in the course of terrorizing his stepdad-to-be. With a man-hungry bear on their trail, no supplies, and a lot of unpleasant itching going on, can Dan see his plan through now that his very survival depends on Hank? — From Candlewick Press

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 8

    You only live once–unless you’re Denton Little! Denton Little lives in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. The good news: Denton has lived through his deathdate. Yay! The bad news: He’s being chased by the DIA (Death Investigation Agency), he can never see his family again, and he may now die anytime. Huh. Cheating death isn’t quite as awesome as Denton would have thought. . . .Lance Rubin’s debut novel, Denton Little’s Deathdate, showed readers just how funny and poignant imminent death could be. Now in this sequel, he takes on the big questions about life. How do we cope, knowing we could die at any time? Would you save someone from dying even if they were a horrible person? Is it wrong to kiss the girl your best friend is crushing on if she’s really into you instead? What if she’s wearing bacon lip gloss? — From Ember

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  • Drag Teen

    By: Jeffery Self
    Recommended for grade(s): 8

    JT feels like his life’s hit a dead end. It looks like he’ll always be stuck in Florida. His parents are anti-supportive. And his boyfriend, Seth, seems to be moving toward a bright future a long way from home. Scholarship money is nonexistent. After-school work will only get JT so far. There’s only one shot for him — to become the next Miss Drag Teen in New York City. The problem with that? Well, the only other time JT tried drag (at a school talent show), he was booed off the stage. And it’s not exactly an easy drive from Florida to New York. But JT isn’t going to give up. He, Seth, and their friend Heather are going to drag race up north so JT can capture the crown, no matter how many feisty foes he has to face. Because when your future is on the line, you have to be in it to win it, one fraught and fabulous step at a time. — From PUSH/Scholastic

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 7, 8, 9

    Insightful and fun, this collection of poetry captures the essence of the African American experience for young people.  –From Chicago Review Press

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  • EngiNerds

    By: Jarrett Lerner
    Recommended for grade(s): 5, 6

    The battle between boys and bots is on in this funny, fast-paced novel. Ken is an EngiNerd: one of a super-smart group of friends–all nerds–who have been close since kindergarten. They may be brainiacs, but they’re just like everyone else: they fight with one another, watch too much TV, eat Chinese food, and hate walking their dogs. Well, maybe not just like everyone because Ken’s best friend Dan has been building robots. He then secretly sent one to each of the EngiNerds, never letting them know he’s the mastermind. At first Ken is awed and delighted: what kid hasn’t dreamed of having a robot all their own? Someone who can be their friend, clean their room, walk the dog, answer homework questions…how amazing is that? But be careful what you wish for: Dan’s robot, Greeeg, may look innocent, but his ravenous consumption of food–comestibles–turns him into a butt-blasting bot. And once the other robots ‘come alive’ it’s up to the motley crew of EngiNerds to not only save the day, but save the planet! — From Simon and Schuster

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  • Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders

    By: Geoff Herbach
    Recommended for grade(s): 8, 9

    From Geoff Herbach, the award-winning author of the hit young adult novels Stupid Fast and Nothing Special, comes a tale that will resonate with fat kids, nerds, dorks, gamers, geeks and teen outcasts of all kinds-an authentically funny story for anyone who has suffered from teasing and bullying at the hands of the high school social hierarchy. And decided to do something about it. Join a cast of quirky misfits as fat boy Gabe, aka Chunk, goes up against the high school cheerleading team in a battle over control of the school’s soda machine. A marching band geek who drowns his dysfunctional family woes in a voracious soda habit, Gabe relishes his role as class clown, fending off harassment from students and teachers with his own brand of irreverent, self-deprecating humor. But when the cheerleading team takes over the funds previously collected by the band, Gabe will not stand for it. Something must be done. –From Sourcebooks, Inc

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  • Fat Kid Rules the World

    By: K. L. Going
    Recommended for grade(s): 8, 9

    Troy Billings is seventeen, 296 pounds, friendless, utterly miserable, and about to step off a New York subway platform in front of an oncoming train. Until he meets Curt MacCrae, an emaciated, semi-homeless, high school dropout guitar genius, the stuff of which Lower East Side punk rock legends are made. Never mind that Troy’s dad thinks Curt’s a drug addict and Troy’s brother thinks Troy’s the biggest (literally) loser in Manhattan. Soon, Curt’s recruited Troy as his new drummer—even though Troy can’t play the drums. Together, Curt and Troy will change the world of punk, and Troy’s own life, forever. 2004 Michael Printz Honor Book. –from Penguin.

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 6

    A murdered heiress, a missing necklace, and a train full of shifty, unusual, and suspicious characters leaves Daisy and Hazel with a new mystery to solve in this third novel of the Wells & Wong Mystery series. Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells are taking a vacation across Europe on world-famous passenger train, the Orient Express—and it’s clear that each of their fellow first-class travelers has something to hide. Even more intriguing: There’s rumor of a spy in their midst. Then, during dinner, a bloodcurdling scream comes from inside one of the cabins. When the door is broken down, a passenger is found murdered—her stunning ruby necklace gone. But the killer has vanished, as if into thin air. The Wells & Wong Detective Society is ready to crack the case—but this time, they’ve got competition. — From Simon and Schuster

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 8

    Meet Sherman Mack. Short. Nerdy. Amateur P.I. And prepared to do anything for Dini Trioli, tenth-grade goddess. Nobody knows how the tradition began, but every girl at Harewood Tech fears being D-listed, a ritual that wipes her off the social map forever. When Sherman believes Dini is in danger of being D-listed, he launches a full-scale investigation to save her. Part comedy, part mystery, and with all of Juby’s trademark laugh-out-loud style, Getting the Girl takes on the cruelest aspect of high school social life. Meet Sherman Mack, the only one willing to fight back. — From Harper Collins

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 8

    The Perks of Being a Wallflower meets Revenge of the Nerds in this tale of a teen misfit who seeks to take down the bro next door, but ends up falling for his enemy’s sister and uncovering difficult truths about his family in the process. Tom Grendel lives a quiet life—writing in his notebooks, mowing lawns for his elderly neighbors, and pining for Willow, a girl next door who rejects the “manic-pixie-dream” label. But when Willow’s brother, Rex (the bro-iest bro ever to don a jockstrap), starts throwing wild parties, the idyllic senior citizens’ community where they live is transformed into a war zone. Tom is rightfully pissed—his dad is an Iraq vet, and the noise from the parties triggers his PTSD—so he comes up with a plan to end the parties for good. But of course, it’s not that simple. One retaliation leads to another, and things quickly escalate out of control, driving Tom and Willow apart, even as the parties continue unabated. Add to that an angsty existential crisis born of selectively reading his sister’s Philosophy 101 coursework, a botched break-in at an artisanal pig farm, and ten years of unresolved baggage stemming from his mother’s death . . . and the question isn’t so much whether Tom Grendel will win the day and get the girl, but whether he’ll survive intact. — From Knopf Books for Young Readers

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 5, 6

    Cue the pretend drum-roll: Keats’s parents have a big surprise. No, they’re not having a new baby. It’s — wait for it, wait for it — a family road trip! Okay, so this is not exactly the birthday present Keats had in mind (no iPod?!), but when Dad parks a rented RV in the Dalinger’s driveway, Keats piles in with the rest of his family — and the manny, of course — bound for the open road. From the big skies of farm country to the bright lights of Las Vegas, this, in typical manny fabulousness, is an all-American adventure filled with more Glamour-dos than Glamour-don’ts. But a stopover at the manny’s childhood home is making the manny feel not so fabulous. Why can’t his parents ever accept him for who he is? And Keats, at first, sees their point. Why does the manny always have to be so interesting? Hit the road for more manny shenanigans, where it’s all about Elton John, Diet Coke, and being brave enough to be yourself. Lambda Literary Award Honoree 2009. –From Atheneum

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 6

    Rafe Khatchadorian, the hero of the bestselling Middle School series, is ready for a fun summer at camp–until he finds out it’s a summer school camp! Luckily, Rafe easily makes friends with his troublemaking cabin mates and bunkmate, a boy nicknamed Booger-Eater, who puts up with endless teasing from the other kids. Rafe soon realizes there’s more to a person than a nickname, though, and Booger-Eater might be the kind of friend you want on your side when the boys from the Cool Cabin attack. This fourth book in the massively popular Middle School series is an unforgettable summer of hi-jinks, new friends, and surprises, all told with the hilarity and honesty readers have come to expect from blockbuster author James Patterson. –From jimmy patterson

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  • How You Ruined My Life

    By: Jeff Strand
    Recommended for grade(s): 7

    A new hilarious novel from the author of The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever and Stranger Things Have Happened. Rod’s life doesn’t suck. If you ask him, it’s pretty awesome. He may not be popular, but he and his best friends play in a band that has a standing gig. Yeah, it’s Monday night and they don’t get paid, but they can turn the volume up as loud as they want. And Rod’s girlfriend is hot, smart, and believes in their band—believes in Rod. Aside from a winning lottery ticket, what more could he ask for? Answer: A different cousin. When Rod’s scheming, two-faced cousin Blake moves in for the semester, Rod tries to keep calm. Blake seems to have everyone else fooled with good manners and suave smile, except Rod knows better. Blake is taking over his room, taking over his band, taking over his life! But Rod’s not about to give up without a fight. Game on. May the best prankster win… — From Sourcebooks, Inc.

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  • It Wasn’t Me

    By: Dana Alison Levy
    Recommended for grade(s): 7

    THE BREAKFAST CLUB meets middle school with a prank twist in this hilarious and heartwarming story about six very different seventh graders who are forced to band together after a vandalism incident. When Theo’s photography project is mysteriously vandalized at school there are five suspected students who all say “it wasn’t me.” Theo just wants to forget about the humiliating incident but his favorite teacher is determined to get to the bottom of it and has the six of them come into school over vacation to talk. She calls it “Justice Circle.” The six students—the Nerd, the Princess, the Jock, the Screw Up, the Weirdo, and the Nobody—think of it as detention. AKA their worst nightmare. That is until they realize they might get along after all, despite their differences. But what is everyone hiding and will school ever be the same? — From Delacorte Books for Young Readers

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  • Joshua Dread (#1)

    By: Lee Bacon
    Recommended for grade(s): 5, 6

    Middle school is tough already–but when your parents are evil supervillains and you’ve just discovered you have powers of your own, life can be a real challenge. Not only do bullies pick on Joshua, but do you see those supervillains over there trying to flood the world? The ones that everyone, including his best friend Milton, are rooting for Captain Justice to take down? They’re the Dread Duo, and they just happen to be his parents. As if trying to hide his identity wasn’t hard enough, Joshua has started leaving a trail of exploding pencils and scorched handprints in his wake, and only Sophie, the new girl in town with a mysterious past, seems unsurprised. When a violent attack at the Vile Fair makes it clear someone is abducting supervillains, and that his parents may very well be next, Joshua must enlist both Sophie and Milton’s help to save them. –From Yearling

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 5, 6

    From the moment Joshua Dread receives an invitation to Gyfted & Talented, the mysterious program for kids with superpowers, his plans for a normal summer turn upside down. Evil maniac Phineas Vex is still alive—and he wants Joshua dead. So if G&T can help prepare Joshua for battle, he’s all in. And so are Sophie and Milton. Except they get more than they bargained for. The truth is that Joshua and his friends have been chosen to form the greatest superhero team of all time. That is, if they make it through G&T’s rigorous training. Suddenly Joshua is thrust into the media spotlight, and it’s not as glamorous as people think. And what will happen if his supervillain parents find out that the new celebrity superhero is . . . Joshua? No one ever said fighting evil would be easy.  –From Delacorte

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  • Kid Normal (Kid Normal #1)

    By: Greg James, Chris Smith
    Recommended for grade(s): 5, 6

    When Murph Cooper begins his new school several weeks into the year, he can’t help but feel a bit out of his depth. And it’s not because he’s worried about where to sit, making friends, and fitting in. It’s because his mom has accidentally enrolled him at a school for superheroes. And unlike his fellow students, who can control the weather or fly or conjure tiny horses from thin air, Murph has no special abilities whatsoever. But Murph’s totally normal abilities might just be what the world needs. Because not far away is a great big bad guy who is half man and half wasp, and his mind is abuzz with evil plans . . . and when he comes after the best and the brightest, it’s up to Murph to be the real hero. With black-and-white illustrations throughout, this laugh-out-loud story proves that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.  –From Bloomsbury

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  • Kid Normal and the Final Five (Kid Normal #4)

    By: Greg James, Chris Smith
    Recommended for grade(s): 5, 6

    Murph Cooper is famous… and he’s not happy about it.Kid Normal and the Super Zeroes used to save the day in secret. But suddenly everyone knows who they are.Oily villain Nicholas Knox has told the public that superheroes are dangerous. He wants to lock them all up and take over the world! *Cue evil cackling*Murph must expose Knox’s evil plan, or the world of heroes is doomed forever!  –From Bloomsbury

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 5, 6

    YOU DON’T NEED SUPERPOWERS TO BE A HERO … Or do you? Despite having no powers, Murph Cooper is part of the best team in the Heroes’ Alliance. So when supervillain Magpie declares all-out war, Kid Normal and the Super Zeroes lead the charge. But Magpie believes that a powerless hero is no hero at all. And he’s building a dastardly device to prove it. When Kid Normal enters the Shadow Machine, THE WORLD WILL NEVER BE THE SAME …  –From Bloomsbury

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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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  • Lemonade Mouth

    By: Mark Peter Hughes
    Recommended for grade(s): 6, 7, 8

    Poets. Geniuses. Revolutionaries. The members of the legendary band Lemonade Mouth have been called all of these things. But until now, nobody’s known the inside story of how this powerhouse band came to be. How five outcasts in Opoquonsett High School’s freshman class found each other, found the music, and went on to change both rock and roll and high school as we know it. Wen, Stella, Charlie, Olivia, and Mo take us back to that fateful detention where a dentist’s jingle, a teacher’s coughing fit, and a beat-up ukelele gave birth to Rhode Island’s most influential band. Told in each of their five voices and compiled by Opoquonsett’s “scene queen,” freshman Naomi Fishmeier, this anthology is their definitive history. —from the website at Penguin Random House

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  • Recommended for grade(s): 5, 6, 7

    From New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a novel told in ten blocks, showing all the different directions a walk home can take. This story was going to begin like all the best stories. With a school bus falling from the sky. But no one saw it happen. They were all too busy— Talking about boogers. Stealing pocket change. Skateboarding. Wiping out. Braving up. Executing complicated handshakes. Planning an escape. Making jokes. Lotioning up. Finding comfort. But mostly, too busy walking home. Jason Reynolds conjures ten tales (one per block) about what happens after the dismissal bell rings, and brilliantly weaves them into one wickedly funny, piercingly poignant look at the detours we face on the walk home, and in life.  –From Simon & Schuster

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  • Love and First Sight

    By: Josh Sundquist
    Recommended for grade(s): 7

    In his debut novel, YouTube personality and author of We Should Hang Out Sometime Josh Sundquist explores the nature of love, trust, and romantic attraction. On his first day at a new school, blind sixteen-year-old Will Porter accidentally groped a girl on the stairs, sat on another student in the cafeteria, and somehow drove a classmate to tears. High school can only go up from here, right? As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a charming, quiet girl named Cecily. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon discovers that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn’t meet traditional definitions of beauty–in fact, everything he’d heard about her appearance was a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed? Told with humor and breathtaking poignancy, Love and First Sight is a story about how we relate to each other and the world around us. — From Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

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