Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

By Jonathan Auxier Published: 2018 AR level: 4.5 AR points: 10.0 Word count: 68,335 I suggest 4th through 7th grade. Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster is a tale that made me hold my breath, laugh, and cry.  Set in 1875 London, the novel will never let you think of chimney sweeps the same way….

Whales on Stilts (Pals in Peril Series)

By M.T. Anderson Published 2005 AR Level 4.6 Word Count: 22071 Suggested readers: Grades 3rd-6th So. I’ve posted three books so far, and all of them have one major thing in common. HUMOR! And I’m not alone in my love of laughter. Each year, Scholastic releases a Kids & Family Reading Report, and toward the…

Puppy Place

By Ellen Miles Published 2006 to present AR level: 3.5 to 4.5 Word count: about 10,000 I suggest 1st through 4th grade. You know what kids love? Puppies. They love puppies. I dare you to say differently. Puppy Place is a chapter book series for any child, because at one point or another, we all have a…

Scythe

By Neil Shusterman Published: 2016 AR level: 6.5 AR points: 17.0 Word count: 102433 I suggest 8th through 12th grade. I wasn’t sure what to think about a book with an image of a reaper in red on the front cover. Yes, the artwork was glorious, but I tend to shy away from anything too…

The Last Kids on Earth

By Max Brallier Illustrated by Douglas Holgate Published 2015 AR Level: 4.1 AR Points: 3.0 Word Count: 21916 I suggest 3rd through 6th (but don’t be surprised to see 7th graders enjoying a sneaky read!) You had me at MONSTER APOCALYPSE!(!!!) The first in a highly popular “Last Kid’s” series, this book is a romp….

The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes

By Wade Albert White Published 2016 AR level: 5.7 AR points: 10.0 I suggest 3rd through 7th grade. Sometimes, you just want to let your imagination run wild. And sometimes, you’re pleased to have someone launch it to a bizarre and wacky universe that feels “out of this world.” That’s what this fantastic middle grade…

If I Stay

By Gayle Forman Published 2009 AR level: 5.3 AR points: 8.0 I suggest 8th through 12th grade. This is one of those books you should read, but it may not be an easy journey. This story, about a girl in coma who must come to terms with whether she wants to stay or go, will…

Three Times Lucky

By Sheila Turnage Published 2013 AR Level 5.2  AR Pts: 4.0. Word count: 62,217 I recommend 3rd through 6th grade. This is truly one of my favorite books: quirky characters oozing with unique personality; a quaint setting that is a character in itself; and a mystery that breathes you in. While that’s plenty, my favorite thing…

The Great Treehouse War

By Lisa Graff Published 2017 AR level: 5.4 AR points: 5.0 I suggest 3rd through 6th grade. I read this novel because my daughter was working on the Oklahoma Sequoyah intermediate book nominations, and she recommended it. What I discovered was a fun and funny book about a girl who has to get through to…

The Bad Guys

By Aaron Blabey Published 2016 AR level: 2.4 AR points: 0.5 I suggest 1st through 3rd grade. How can you not fall in love with the big bad wolf when he’s trying to show you what a nice guy he is? And when all his bad guy friends fail to cooperate during his persuasive little…

Dreamland Burning

By Jennifer Latham Published 2017 AR level: 5.9 AR points: 13.0 I suggest 6th through 12th grade. I think the topic of race is a very salient one at this moment in history. And, I think this book does an excellent job showing where we have been, and where we should be going. I found…

Wonder

By R.J. Palacio Published 2012 AR level: 4.8 AR points: 11.0 I suggest 3rd through 10th grade. There is no doubt something special about this book. In a world where I get the sense that many people are letting hate and ill will grow, we could use many, many more books like Palacio’s Wonder. I wish there…