Strange but True


Ellen Potter - 2013
    Yes, that's his name. Go on and have a good laugh. He's heard it all before. He's been called things like Otis Poopy Stink and Otis Toilet Twinkie. That's right, yuck it up and get it out of your system. We'll wait.All right then. This is the story of Otis and the Dooda family (including their rat named Smoochie) moving to New York City, and the incredibly strange, but true, things that happened to them. It all started with Otis getting cursed by a guy in a potted plant in their apartment building lobby, and then meeting a bunch of their neighbors, including a farting pony named Peaches who was disguised as a dog. And that was just the first day.

Anna, Banana, and the Friendship Split


Anica Mrose Rissi - 2015
    Anna has two favorite things: her best friend, Sadie, and her dog, Banana. She can't wait to celebrate her birthday with both of them.But Anna's birthday party turns into a birthday disaster when Sadie starts a terrible fight that Anna never saw coming. Anna doesn't know why her best friend is suddenly acting like her worst enemy, but she knows she'd do anything to fix it. She and Banana just need to come up with a plan.Only, what if Sadie doesn't want their friendship to be fixed?

Bink & Gollie


Kate DiCamillo - 2010
    Setting out from their super-deluxe tree house and powered by plenty of peanut butter (for Bink) and pancakes (for Gollie), they share three comical adventures involving painfully bright socks, an impromptu trek to the Andes, and a most unlikely marvelous companion. No matter where their roller skates take them, at the end of the day they will always be the very best of friends.

A Blind Guide to Normal


Beth Vrabel - 2016
    He can find the punchline in any situation, even in his limited vision and prosthetic eye. During the past year at Addison School for the Blind, Ryder’s quick wit earned the respect and friendship of his classmates. Heading to mainstream, or “normal,” school for eighth grade is going to be awesome.After all, what’s not to like? At Addison, Ryder was everyone’s favorite person. He could make anyone laugh, especially his best friend Alice. So long as he can be first to make all of the one-eyed jokes, Ryder is sure he’ll fit in just as quick at Papuaville Middle School, home of the Fighting Guinea Pigs. But Alice warns him fitting in might not be as easy as he thinks.Turns out, Alice was right. In just the first hour of “normal” school, Ryder is attacked by General MacCathur II (aka, Gramps’s cat), causes his bio teacher to pass out cold, makes an enemy out town hero Max, and falls for Jocelyn, the fierce girl next door who happens to be Max’s girlfriend. On top of that, Ryder struggles to hold onto his dignity in the face of students’ pity and Gramps’s non-stop practical jokes.Ryder quickly sees the only thing worse than explaining a joke is being the punchline. But with help from his stuck-in-the-70s Gramps and encouragement from Alice, Ryder finds the strength to not only fight back, but to make peace.This exciting sequel to A Blind Guide to Stinkville weaves humor, recovery and second chances into an unforgettable story, with characters who will hook you from page one.

Just Grace


Charise Mericle Harper - 2007
    Luther feel less lonely. But as the mystery of the missing cat continues, Grace's well-intentioned plan backfires, and she finds herself in a bit of trouble. Illustrations.

I, Lorelei


Yeardley Smith - 2009
    She's practical and a forward thinker. When her favorite cat, Mud, dies, she starts a journal to him, chronicling her daily life as a sixth grader so that he can continue to follow her rise to fame and fortune as a beloved actress, celebrated chef, and/or bestselling author. She figures it's also a good way to make sure her future biographers don't get anything wrong about her. But when her parents' marriage starts to unravel, Lorelei's lighthearted daily log becomes a poignant and defiantly humorous account of a family in distress as Lorelei grapples with the ground shifting under her feet.Yeardley Smith engages the reader with wit, candor, and authenticity.

EllRay Jakes Is Not a Chicken


Sally Warner - 2011
    But every time he tries to defend himself against class bully Jared Matthews, EllRay is the one who winds up in trouble. It's just not fair! Then his dad offers him a deal: If EllRay can stay out of trouble for a week, they'll go to Disneyland! But being good for one whole week is not so easy. . . . This humorous and true-to-life story kicks off the EllRay series, which is just right for boys (and girls!) who are beginning to read chapter books.

Word Nerd


Susin Nielsen - 2008
    A self-described “friendless nerd,” he moves from place to place every couple of years with his overprotective mother, Irene. When some bullies at his new school almost kill him by slipping a peanut into his sandwich — even though they know he has a deathly allergy — Ambrose is philosophical. Irene, however, is not and decides that Ambrose will be home-schooled.Alone in the evenings when Irene goes to work, Ambrose pesters Cosmo, the twenty-five-year-old son of the Greek landlords who live upstairs. Cosmo has just been released from jail for breaking and entering to support a drug habit. Quite by accident, Ambrose discovers that they share a love of Scrabble and coerces Cosmo into taking him to the West Side Scrabble Club, where Cosmo falls for Amanda, the club director. Posing as Ambrose’s Big Brother to impress her, Cosmo is motivated to take Ambrose to the weekly meetings and to give him lessons in self-defense. Cosmo, Amanda, and Ambrose soon form an unlikely alliance and, for the first time in his life, Ambrose blossoms. The characters at the Scrabble Club come to embrace Ambrose for who he is and for their shared love of words. There’s only one problem: Irene has no idea what Ambrose is up to.In this brilliantly observed novel, author Susin Nielsen transports the reader to the world of competitive Scrabble as seen from the honest yet funny viewpoint of a boy who’s searching for acceptance and for a place to call home.

Ten Rules for Living with My Sister


Ann M. Martin - 2011
    Pearl's only boyfriend is the family's crabby cat, Bitey. Lexie is popular. Pearl is not, mostly because of the embarrassing Three Bad Things that happened in school and which no one has forgotten. Everything Pearl does seems to drive Lexie crazy. On top of that, their grandfather is moving into their family's apartment and taking over Pearl's room. How will these sisters share without driving one another crazy?Pearl is good at making lists of rules, but sometimes, life doesn't play by the rules!

Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School


Kim Baker - 2012
    Ben: who began it all by sneaking in one night and filling homeroom with ball-pit balls.Frank: who figured out that an official club, say a pickle making club, could receive funding from the PTA.Oliver: who once convinced half of the class that his real parents had found him and he was going to live in a submarine.Bean: who wasn't exactly invited, but her parents own a costume shop, which comes in handy if you want to dress up like a giant squirrel and try to scare people at the zoo.TOGETHER, they are an unstoppable prank-pulling force, and Fountain Point Middle School will never be the same.

Gossip from the Girls' Room


Rose Cooper - 2011
    . . Mia St. Claire is only the most popular girl in all of Middlebrooke Middle School. For three very obvious reasons:1. She's very rich.2. She has tons of money.3. She can buy anything and everything she wants. And she does.I'm sure people like her for other reasons too, but none of those reasons are obvious enough for me to really know. Or care about, for that matter.

Dream On, Amber


Emma Shevah - 2014
    I have no idea why my parents gave me all those hideous names but they must have wanted to ruin my life, and you know what? They did an amazing job.As a half-Japanese, half-Italian girl with a ridiculous name, Amber’s not feeling molto bene (very good) about making friends at her new school.But the hardest thing about being Amber is that a part of her is missing. Her dad. He left when she was little and he isn't coming back. Not for her first day of middle school and not for her little sister’s birthday. So Amber will have to dream up a way for the Miyamoto sisters to make it on their own…“[A] beautifully written story.”—The Independent“One of those books that you simply won’t want to put down…five out of five stars!”—The Guardian

Gertie's Leap to Greatness


Kate Beasley - 2016
    She has a daddy who works on an oil rig, a great-aunt who always finds the lowest prices at the Piggly Wiggly, and two loyal best friends. So when her absent mother decides to move away from their small town, Gertie sets out on her greatest mission yet: becoming the best fifth grader in the universe to show her mother exactly what she'll be leaving behind. There's just one problem: Seat-stealing new girl Mary Sue Spivey wants to be the best fifth grader, too. And there is simply not enough room at the top for the two of them.

After Iris


Natasha Farrant - 2013
    Her histrionic older sister, Flora, changes her hair color daily; her younger siblings, Jasmine and Twig, are completely obsessed with their pet rats; and both of her parents spend weeks away from home–and each other. Enter Zoran the Bosnian male au pair and Joss the troublemaking boy next door, and life for the Gadsby family takes a turn for the even more chaotic. Blue poignantly captures her family’s trials and tribulations from fragmented to fully dysfunctional to ultimately reunited, in a sequence of film transcripts and diary entries that will make you cry, laugh, and give thanks for the gift of families.With the charm of The Penderwicks and the poignancy of When You Reach Me, Natasha Farrant's After Iris is a story that will stay with readers long after the last page.

Captain Superlative


J.S. Puller - 2018
    . . a cape? Who would run through the halls of Deerwood Park Middle School dressed like this? And why?Janey-quick to stay in the shadows-can't resist the urge to uncover the truth behind the mask. The answer pulls invisible Janey into the spotlight and leads her to an unexpected friendship with a superhero like no other. Fearless even in the face of school bully extraordinaire, Dagmar Hagen, no good deed is too small for the incomparable Captain Superlative and her new sidekick, Janey.But superheroes hold secrets and Captain Superlative is no exception. When Janey unearths what's truly at stake, she's forced to face her own dark secrets and discover what it truly means to be a hero . . . and a friend.