The Thing About Jellyfish

By Ali Benjamin

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Suzy’s life is turned upside down when her former best friend, Franny, drowns in the ocean while on a family vacation. They had been best friends since they met in swim class (5 years old), and they never thought that anything could change that. However, as they entered middle school Franny changed and Suzy didn’t, and they drifted apart. Franny became part of the popular crowd and became embarrassed by Suzy’s quirky behavior. Franny’s sudden death leaves Suzy regretting her last treatment of Franny and searching to make sense of a good swimmer drowning. She dives into the study of the Irukandji jellyfish, sure that this was the true villain in this story.

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Underland

By Chanda Hahn

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Kira Lier begins this book living on the streets and fighting to survive, but she has no idea the greater danger that is beneath her cardboard box home. She is abducted and brought into the Underland where monsters and Greek gods still dwell getting their entertainment through a new form of gladiator games. This book is the first part of Kira’s fight for freedom. In this underground prison, how can she survive and who can she trust?

I would recommend this YA book for a reader that enjoyed the Percy Jackson series.

Out of My Mind

By Sharon M. Draper

           Melody is not like other 5th grade students.  She cannot feed herself, dress herself, or speak, but that doesn’t mean that she has nothing to offer her classmates and nothing to teach.   As a result of cerebral palsy, she has not physically developed the same as her peers, and for many years, only her parents believe that she is mentally capable.  With the introduction of a new Medi-Talker (that Melody names Elvira), Melody begins to communicate and show the world her amazing abilities.  I highly recommend this book for any 5th-8th graders, as it tackles issues of friendship, fitting in, differences, and struggles beautifully.

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The Wolf Wilder

By Katherine Rundell

Feo and her mother, Marina, teach wolves that have been domesticated and abandoned by the Russian aristocracy to live in the wild and to distrust humans.  Some people want the wolves to be killed instead of trained by the wilders.  Feo must decide how far she will go to protect her mother, 3 wolves, and ultimately the people of Russia.  If you like historical fiction, you will love this beautiful story of love, courage, and loyalty.

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