Like you, the four Penderwick sisters are on summer vacation. Their Dad has rented a house in the Berkshire Mountains where he lets the girls roam on their own to seek out adventure. Rosalind (the boss), Jane (the dreamer, novelist), Skye (the temperamental competitor) & Batty (the shy animal lover) find adventure next door when one of the girls spots a figure looking out the window of the fancy mansion next door. The girls set out to investigate the mountain, the mansion & the figure in the window and find an unlikely kindred spirit. Author: Jeanne Birdsall
Sixth grader Addison had a taste of “normal” while her mother and step-father Dwight were married. She even had two younger half sisters to share her life with. But after the divorce, Dwight got custody of her two half sisters and Addie began a new and different life with “Mommers”.
Addie’s mom sleeps most of the day and then leaves Addie alone at night to “go out” or follow her “business interests” with a new boyfriend. It isn’t that Mommers doesn’t love Addie, it’s that she doesn’t take care of her. Mommers is irresponsible, doesn’t tell the truth and often leaves Addie alone for days with very little food. Mommers shows up with food and promises for the future just enough times to keep Addie believing that things will get better…get more normal…but things don’t get better.
Addie works hard in school, practices her flute and tries really hard to make it appear that her life is normal to her Grandpa, to Dwight, to her neighbors and to her teacher. More than anything, Addie doesn’t want to get Mommers in trouble. Addie loves Mommers, but deep down longs for the life her half sisters have with Dwight and his new wife. A near tragedy when Addie is left alone brings out the truth. It’s time for Mommers to make a choice. Author: Leslie Connor
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!)