Mixed Matched Middle Readers.

You have been to the pool, you did the family vacation thing and summer is slowing down. Many of you might not know what to do with all of that free time. So, here is a smorgasbord of book suggestions for mature readers.  This booklist includes a little bit of everything in hopes that you find that "perfect" book.  Happy reading.   

Racing to the Moon by Alan Armstrong

An adventurous new work from Newbery Honor-Winning author, Alan Armstrong. In the spring of 1947, outer space was an unexplored realm. But eleven year-old Alexis (Alex) Heart and her impulsive brother, Chuck, believe that the stars are within reach. In the midst of building their own rocket, Alex befriends Captain Ebbs, and an army scientist who is working to create food for future space travelers, and who is also a descendent of Captain John Smith. Alex soon introduces Chuck to her new friend, and the trio's shared interest in space travel sets off a series of adventures that the three will never forget. From meeting pioneering German rocket scientist Dr. Wenher von Braun, and a thrilling sailing trip down the Potomac to an island on the Chesapeake where a top secret rocket launch is about to take place, Alex and Chuck are about to have their lives forever changed.

All The Broken Pieces: a Novel in Verse  Ann E. Burg.

Two years after being airlifted out of war-torn Vietnam, Matt Pin is haunted: by bombs that fell like dead crows, by the family and the terrible secret he left behind. Now, inside a caring adoptive home in the United States, a series of profound events force him to choose between silence and candor, blame and forgiveness, fear and freedom. By turns harrowing, dreamlike, sad, and triumphant, this searing novel, written in lucid verse, reveals an unforgettable perspective on the lasting impact of war and the healing power of love.
The Steps by  Rachel Cohn.

"If you think it's hard keeping track of all the Steps in my life, try being me.""The Steps" in Annabel's life are her "bazillion" stepbrothers, stepsisters, and half siblings. She is spending her Christmas vacation in Australia with her dad and his new family, and she hopes beyond hope that she can convince him to come back to the United States with her.But as Annabel realizes how much happier her dad is in Australia, she has to reconcile her jealousy of his new family with her desire to be a part of it. Can she share her father with them without losing him entirely?Annabel's account of her stay in Australia is funny yet tender, and is certain to ring true to anyone with a family that isn't quite traditional. Rachel Cohn, proves that she understands preteens' feelings angst-filled story of a blended family.

The Call Michael Grant.

Twelve-year-old Mack MacAvoy suffers from a serious case of mediumness. Medium looks. Medium grades. Medium parents who barely notice him. With a list of phobias that could make anyone crazy, Mack never would have guessed that he is destined for a more-than-medium life. And then, one day, something incredibly strange happens to Mack. A three-thousand-year-old man named Grimluk appears in the boys' bathroom to deliver some startling news: Mack is one of the Magnificent Twelve, called the Magnifica in ancient times, whatever that means. An evil force is on its way, and it's up to Mack to track down eleven other twelve-year-olds in order to stop it. He must travel across the world to battle the wicked Pale Queen's dangerous daughter, Ereskigal-also known as Risky. But Risky sounds a little scary, and Mack doesn't want to be a hero. Will he answer the call? A laugh-out-loud story filled with excitement and magic, The Magnificent Twelve: The Call is the first book in bestselling author Michael Grant's hilarious new fantasy adventure series.

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town  Kimberly Willis Holt.

The red words painted on the trailer caused quite a buzz around town and before an hour was up, half of Antler was standing in line with two dollars clutched in hand to see the fattest boy in the world. Toby Wilson is having the toughest summer of his life. It's the summer his mother leaves for good; the summer his best friend's brother returns from Vietnam in a coffin. And the summer that Zachary Beaver, the fattest boy in the world, arrives in their sleepy Texas town. While it's a summer filled with heartache of every kind, it's also a summer of new friendships gained and old friendships renewed. And it's Zachary Beaver who turns the town of Antler upside down and leaves everyone, especially Toby, changed forever. With understated elegance, Kimberly Willis Holt tells a compelling coming-of-age story about a thirteen-year-old boy struggling to find himself in an imperfect world. At turns passionate and humorous, this extraordinary novel deals sensitively and candidly with obesity, war, and the true power of friendship. When Zachary Beaver Came to Town is the winner of the 1999 National Book Award for Young People's Literature.

Heartlight  T.A. Barron. 

  • "Barron's debut novel is a splendid action-adventure science fantasy filled with deep, resonant emotional and spiritual undertones...The novel is filled with brave people composed of snow, mighty butterflies made of pure condensed light and terrifying, ferocious villains--that this book also shines as a bold, original effort worthy of repeat readings." Publisher's Weekly

Kate and her grandfather use one of his inventions to travel faster than the speed of light on a mission to save the sun from a premature death..
 

Zibby Payne & The Wonderful, Terrible Tomboy Experoment Alison Bell

In the first book from the Zibby Payne series, we meet the one and only Zibby, who can't wait for sixth grade; finally she and her best friends will rule the school! But on the first day back in class, Zibby gets an awful surprise. Her friends have gone completely girly over the summer, and just want to put on make-up, fix their hair, and talk about boys. What could be more boring? To save the school year, and show her former best friend Sarah that she doesn't have to follow the crowd to be cool, Zibby decides to become a Total Tomboy. She dumps her frilly outfits, plays soccer with the boys, and learns to do some awesome new things, like belch out the alphabet. Even if her old friends are giving her dirty looks, Zibby insists she's having the time of her life ... until she tries to form an exclusive Tomboy Club, and her experiment starts to backfire. Can Zibby find a way to be different and still keep her best friend, or will she end up one lonely, unhappy tomboy?

 

The Game of Sunken Places  M.T. Anderson.

  • "Jazzier than Susan Cooper, funnier than Philip Pullman, this is a highly original and enormously entertaining read"--New York Times Book Review

When Brian and Gregory receive an invitation to stay at a distant relative's strange manse . . . well, they should know better than to go, since this is a middle-grade adventure novel. But they go anyway. Why not? Once there, they stumble upon The Game of Sunken Places, a board game that mirrors a greater game in which they have suddenly become players. Soon the boys are dealing with attitudinal trolls, warring kingdoms, and some very starchy britches. Luckily, they have wit, deadpan observation, and a keen sense of adventure on their side.
 

Skulduggery Pleasant  by Derek Landy

An old foe is bent on bringing back to life the horrible Grotesquery, an unkillable monster assembled from the most fearsome beasts of legend. It's up to the ingenious, fearless, and hilarious Skulduggery and his apprentice Valkyrie Cain (a.k.a. Stephanie Edgely) to stop it.

Cordially Uninvited by Jennifer Roy

When eleven-year-old Claire is invited to serve as a junior bridesmaid at the wedding of her cousin, a commoner, to the Prince of England, she learns that another, social-climbing junior bridesmaid is trying to keep the wedding from happening and it is up to Claire to stop her from spoiling the big day.

One White Dolphin  by Gill Lewis 

When a baby albino dolphin caught in old fishing netting washes ashore, Paralympics sailing hopeful Felix and English school girl Kara work with veterinarians and specialists to save and reunite the dolphin with her mother, setting off a chain of events. This heart-pounding adventure from the author of the acclaimed Wild Wings.

The Revenge of the Shadow King  Derek Benz 

This irresistible fantasy was the first novel written by Derek Benz.  It tells the story of four friends who find themselves caught up in the dangerous quest to save their town when the wicked creatures from their card game come to life. Max Sumner and his three best friends form the secret club The Grey Griffins. It seem that they are the only people in their very normal Minnesota town who notice that strange things have started to happen. When creatures like goblins and fairies and unicorns, all characters from a card game the Grey Griffins play, begin to make appearances in Max's backyard.  Max and his friends know something is terribly wrong and it's up to them to stop the wicked creatures of the cards from destroying their town.

 

Skellig  by David Almond.

David Almond's Printz Honor-winning novel is a captivating modern classic. Ten-year-old Michael was looking forward to moving into a new house. But now his baby sister is ill, his parents are frantic, and Doctor Death has come to call. Michael feels helpless. Then he steps into the crumbling garage.  What is this thing beneath the spider webs and dead flies? A human being, or a strange kind of beast never before seen? The only person Michael can confide in is his new friend, Mina. Together they carry the creature out into the light, and Michael's world changes forever. . . .

Muddle Earth  Paul Stewart 

When magic strikes and Joe Jefferson is transformed from an ordinary schoolboy into a powerful warrior, his simple life is greatly altered as dangerous tasks to slay ogres, wrestle dragons, and confront villains are bestowed upon him by the residents of Muddle Earth who are in desperate need of a hero such as he.