Gil Goodson has been studying for months, cramming information and trivia about the Golly Toy & Game Company. If he’s lucky, he’ll be a contestant at The Gollywhopper Games, a trivia, puzzle and stunt contest sponsored by his town’s candy factory. If you like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, go on this competitive challenge with Gil. Solving riddles and puzzles is only part of the fun. Gil has to sniff out the cheaters before they sabotage his chances and figure out which competitors are friends. Gil wants to win, and he wants to win bad…and it isn’t just the prize money…he’s got something to prove to Mr. Golliwop, his Dad’s former boss, and if winning the Games is his only chance to get Mr. Golliwop’s attention, Gil is definately up for the challenge. Author: Jody Feldman
Adam Canfield has his hands full. He describes himself as “the most overprogrammed middle school student in American.” Despite being flooded with homework, band, the quiz team and more, Adam joins his friend Jennifer as co-editor of the school newspaper The Slash. Adam and Jennifer take their job as journalists seriously…and uncover some seriously shady deals at school, and in their town. When they discover that one of those shady deals involves their own principal – what are these upcoming star reporters to do? Get the scoop of course. Gather the facts (and get them right), write the story and let justice prevail. Author: Michael Winerip
One of the most beloved journalists of the 20th Century was Indiana’s own Ernie Pyle. Ernie reported from the front lines during World War II and told the world the story of the war from the perspective of the enlisted soldiers rather than the Officers.
Capricorn (Cap) Anderson has never, ever watched television. He knows what a telephone is, but he doesn’t have one at home and has only talked on one a couple times. He has never been in school. Cap has spent his entire life on a farm commune with his grandma, and no one else. When Cap’s grandma ends up in the hospital, he has no choice but to enroll in the local public middle school.
The only person happy to see Cap’s long hair, beads & sandals made out of corn husks is Hugh, the school oddball, who is more than happy to have Cap take his place as the official “wedgie receiver”. Cap’s odd ways and disinterest in conforming catch the attention of the school bully, or “wedgie giver,” who chooses Cap as the year’s eighth grade president, an honor bestowed on the kid most likely to be made fun of all year. Cap’s reaction to the bully’s pranks, and to the job of class president, takes everyone by surprise, especially the bully himself. Long hair and beads never looked so good. Author: Gordon Korman
Watch an interview with Gordon Korman (He published his first book at 14!)
Zoe wants to learn to play the piano more than anything but has to settle for a wheezy Perfectone D-60 organ that her Dad brings home. Instead of playing classical music Zoe is left with organ versions of old TV theme songs. Things just aren’t right, and it’s not just the organ. Zoe’s mom is always at work, her Dad is afraid to leave the house and a weird boy from school starts following her home from school every day! When Zoe enters an organ competition, she and and the people around her find out that trying your best, even if it is on a wheezy old organ, is what really matters. Zoe finds that her life isn’t perfect, but it’s perfect enough. Available on CD. Author: Linda Urban
That wimp Greg Heffley from Diary of a Wimpy Kid is back. In Rodrick Rules, Greg tells us about his summer vacation and his plan to stay out of trouble when he returns to middle school. (I’m pretty sure he can’t do it!) His bigger problem though, is keeping his brother Rodrick from telling everyone about Greg’s most embarrassing experience of the summer. If you missed Greg’s first story, you can read it online on Funbrain. You can also watch aninterview with Jeff Kinney, the author. He shares everything you ever wanted to know about Greg and his story. Author: Jeff Kinney