Fiction for Middle Schoolers

While most students at Burtonwood Academy get to kill demons and goblins, fifteen-year-old Emma gets to rid the world of little annoying fairies with glittery wings and a hipster fashion sense. She was destined to be a dragon slayer, but cute and charming Curtis stole her spot. Then she sees a giant killer fairy--and it's invisible to everyone but her! If Emma has any chance of stopping this evil fairy, she's going to need help. Unfortunately, the only person who can help is Curtis. And now, not only has he stolen her dragon-slayer spot, but maybe her heart as well!  

Foster McFee dreams of having her own cooking show like her idol, celebrity chef Sonny Kroll. Macon Dillard's goal is to be a documentary filmmaker. Foster's mother Rayka longs to be a headliner instead of a back-up singer. And Miss Charleena plans a triumphant return to Hollywood. Everyone has a dream but nobody is even close to famous in the little town of Culpepper. When some unexpected events shake the town and its inhabitants, their big ambitions are put to the test.
One December night, 14-year-old Alex goes to  bed. He wakes up to  find himself in the wrong bedroom in an unfamiliar house in a different part of the country and it's the middle of June. Six months have disappeared overnight. The family at the breakfast table are total strangers. And when he looks in the mirror, another boy's face stares back at him.  A boy named Flip. Unless Alex finds out what's happened and how to get back to his own life, he may be trapped forever inside a body that belongs to someone else.

 At age fifteen, Catherine's life is about to change. Her mother has just died and Catherine can't stand the thought of being sent to live with her aunt in Boston. She longs for a life of adventure. After she discovers her father's secret life as captain of the pirate ship Reprisal, her only thoughts are to join him on the high seas. Catherine imagines a life of sailing the blue waters of the Caribbean, the wind whipping at her back. She's heard tales of bloodshed and brutality but her father's ship would never be like that. Catherine convinces her father to let her join him, disguised as a boy. But once the Reprisal sets sail, she finds life aboard a pirate ship is not for the faint of heart. If her secret is uncovered, punishment will be swift and brutal.  

Thirteen-year-old Robbie is locked in a room with nothing but a desk, a chair, a piece of paper, and a pencil. He's starving, but all they'll give him is water. Robbie is at Great Oaks School, aka the End of the Line. Kept in solitary confinement, Robbie must earn points for food, a bed, even bathroom privileges. He must learn to listen carefully, to follow the rules, and to accept and admit the truth: he is a murderer. Robbie's first-person account of his struggles at the school alternates with flashbacks to the events that led to his incarceration. Ultimately, he must confront the question: "Which is worse? That he wanted to kill his friend Ryan or that he killed him by accident?"

Nigel Mullet seems to be a typical teenage boy, worrying about fitting in, getting a girlfriend, and dealing with acne; however, life is more complicated for him than it seems.  Nigel is a one hundred year old vampire doomed to spend eternity in the body of a socially awkward fifteen year old boy.  Nigel records his attempts to impress the love of his life, Chloe, while battling an embarrassingly overwhelming desire to sink his fangs into her. 

Since her parents' bitter divorce, Mclean and her dad, a restaurant consultant, have been on the move - four towns in two years. Estranged from her mother and her mother's new family, Mclean has followed her dad in leaving the unhappy past behind. Each new place gives her a chance to try out a new persona: from cheerleader to drama diva. But now, for the first time, Mclean discovers a desire to stay in one place and just be herself - whoever that is. Perhaps her neighbor Dave, an academic superstar trying to be just a regular guy, can help her find herself. 

Into the Wild by Erin Hunter
Rusty starts out as an ordinary house kitten, but his travels deep into the forest involve him in the epic battles of the cat warrior clans who roam and rule the wild. With a new name - Firepaw - and a position as a Thunderclan apprentice, our feline hero faces his destiny, struggles with issues of friendship, honor, courage, and betrayal, and learns what it truly means to be a warrior. First in The Warriors Series. Also check out the companion series: New Prophecy, Power of Three, Omen of the Stars, and Dawn of the Clans.

With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo
When Ollie's daddy, the Reverend Everlasting Love, pulls their travel trailer into Binder to lead a three-day revival, Ollie knows that this town will be like all the others they visit-- it is exactly the kind of nothing Ollie has come to expect. But on their first day in town, Ollie meets Jimmy Koppel, whose mother is in jail for murdering his father. Jimmy insists that his mother is innocent, and Ollie believes him. Still, even if Ollie convinces her daddy to stay in town, how can two kids free a grown woman who has signed a confession? Ollie's longing for a friend and her daddy's penchant for searching out lost souls prove to be a formidable force in this tiny town where everyone seems bent on judging and jailing without a trial.

On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave by Candace Fleming
Set in White Cemetery, an actual graveyard outside Chicago, each of these ten stories takes place during a different time period from the 1860s to the present, and ends with the narrator's death. Some teens die heroically, others ironically, but all due to supernatural causes. Readers will meet walking corpses and witness demonic possession, all against the backdrop of Chicago's rich history--the Great Depression, the World's Fair, Al Capone and his fellow gangsters.

Right before the start of freshman year, Emma's family unexpectedly moves to England. Her friends are stunned but the four girls, and their mothers, decide to continue their mother-daughter book club via videoconference between Massachusetts and England, reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.  When the girls try to bring Emma home by starting a bake sale, it becomes a thriving business: Pies & Prejudice. But when the plan they cook up falls short, they are left wondering if their club will ever all be together again. From the Mother-Daughter Book Club series.

Hidden by Helen Frost
When Wren Abbott and Darra Monson are eight years old, Darra's father steals a minivan. He doesn't know that Wren is hiding in the back. The hours and days that follow change the lives of both girls. Darra is left with a question that only Wren can answer. Wren has questions, too.  Years later, in a chance encounter at camp, the girls face each other for the first time. They can finally learn the truth--that is, if they're willing to reveal to each other the stories that they've hidden for so long.

Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches. Fairy tales have never been more irreverent or subversive as Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.

Gwyneth Shepherd's sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time, but, unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era! Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon — the time traveler from a similarly gifted family and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust. 

Ever since Jack can remember, his mom has been unpredictable, sometimes loving and fun, other times caught in a whirlwind of energy and "spinning" wildly until it's over. But Jack never thought his mom would take off during the night and leave him at a campground with no way to reach her and barely enough money for food. Any other kid would report his mom gone, but Jack knows that he needs to figure things out for himself - starting with how to get from the backwoods of Maine to his home in Boston before DSS catches on. With nothing but a small toy elephant to keep him company, Jack begins the long journey south, a journey that will test his wits and his loyalties - and his trust that he may be part of a larger herd after all.

Fourteen-year-old Billy Harriman can feel the changes. The sharpening of his senses. The incredible strength. The speed. The confidence and the strange need to patrol Central Park at night. His dad had been a hero, a savior to America and a confidante of the president. Then he died, and the changes began in Billy. What Billy never knew was that his father was no ordinary man -- he was a superhero, battling the world's evil. This is a battle that has been waged for generations and that knows no boundaries. And now it's Billy's turn to take on the fight. It's Billy's turn to become a hero.

Wildwood by Colin Meloy
Prue McKeel's life is ordinary. At least until her baby brother is abducted by a murder of crows. And then things get really weird . No one's ever gone in'or at least returned to tell of it. The crows take her brother. So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend Curtis deep into the Impassable Wilderness. There they uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval, a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. And what begins as a rescue mission becomes something much bigger as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness. 

It's the summer before seventh grade and twelve-year-old Raine O'Rourke's mother suddenly takes a job hours from home at mysterious Sparrow Road - a creepy, dilapidated mansion that houses an eccentric group of artists. As Raine tries to make sense of her new surroundings, she forges friendships with a cast of quirky characters including the outrageous and funky Josie. Together, Raine and Josie decide to solve the mysteries of Sparrow Road-from its haunting history as an orphanage to the secrets of its silent, brooding owner, Viktor. But it's an unexpected secret from Raine's own life that changes her forever.

Bird in a Box by Andrea Davis Pinkney
In 1936, three children meet at the Mercy Home for Negro Orphans in New York State. Otis, Willie, and Hibernia have a lot in common: they've all lost a loved one, they each have secret dreams, and they won't stop fighting for what they want. And they're also a lot like their hero, famed boxer Joe Louis. Throughout this moving novel, their lives gradually converge to form friendship, family, and love. Their trials and triumphs echo those of Joe Louis, as he fights to become the heavyweight boxing champion. 

Dark Mirror by Mary Jo Putney
Lady Victoria Mansfield, youngest daughter of the earl and countess of Fairmount, is destined for a charmed life. Yet Tory has a shameful secret - a secret so powerful that, if exposed, it could disgrace her family forever. Tory's blood is tainted by magic. When a shocking accident forces Tory to demonstrate her despised skill, her secret is revealed for all to see. She is immediately exiled to a reform school for young men and women in her position. There she will learn to suppress her deplorable talents and maybe, she'll be able to return to society. But Tory's life is about to change forever. All that she's ever known or considered important will be challenged. What lies ahead is only the beginning of a strange journey into a world where destiny and magic come together, where true love and friendship find her, and where courage and strength of character are the only things that determine a girl's worth.

Withering Tights by Louise Rennison
Tallulah Casey is ready to find her inner artist. And some new mates. And maybe a boy or two or three. The ticket to achieving these lofty goals? Enrolling in a summer performing arts program, of course. She's bound for the wilds of Yorkshire Dales' eerily similar to the windswept moors of Wuthering Heights. Tallulah expects new friends, less parental interference, and lots of drama. Acting? Tights? Moors? Check, check, check. What she doesn't expect is feeling like a tiny bat's barging around in her mouth when she has her first snog. First in a series. 

Jeffrey isn't a little boy with cancer anymore. He's a teen who's in remission but life still feels fragile. The aftereffects of treatment have left Jeffrey with an inability to be a great student or to walk without limping. His parents still worry about him. His older brother, Steven, lost it and took off to Africa to be in a drumming circle and to "find himself." Jeffrey has a little soul searching to do, too, which begins with his escalating anger at Steven, an old friend who is keeping something secret, and a girl who is way out of his league but who thinks he's cute. After Ever After is the standalone sequel to Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie.

A collection of three jaw-dropping stories: The Red Tree, The Lost Thing, and The Rabbits. A girl finds a bright spot in a dark world. A boy leads a strange, lost creature home. And a group of peaceful creatures loses their home to cruel invaders. Three stories, written and illustrated by Shaun Tan, about how we lose and find what matters most to us. 

Fourteen-year-old Haley is struggling to cope. She's got a new stepmom and baby brother. Her cousin Jake is dying from a terminal illness. Her grades are slipping. And the boy she likes is dating her best friend. But all that is nothing compared to what she uncovers when she digs deep into her family history for a school project. Now she's got a blood-stained glove, eerie messages on the TV screen, and ghostly images on her camera. Just what-or who-has Haley unearthed? Haley must overcome her own doubts and confront a vampire in order to save herself and her family.

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She's not comforted by the news that she'll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run? As she struggles to cope with crutches and a cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don't know what to say, act like she's not there. Which she could handle better if she weren't now keenly aware that she'd done the same thing herself to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she's missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her. With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that's not enough for her now. She doesn't just want to cross finish lines herself - she wants to take Rosa with her. 
Max "the Wolf" is a top notch Boy Scout, an expert at orienteering and a master of being prepared. So it is a little odd that he suddenly finds himself, with no recollection of his immediate past, lost in an unfamiliar wood. Even odder still, he encounters a badger named Banderbrock, a black bear named Walden, and McTavish the Monster (who might also be an old barn cat) - all of whom talk - and who are as clueless as Max. Before long, Max and his friends are on the run from a relentless group of hunters and their deadly hounds. Unless he can solve the mystery of the strange forested world he's landed in, Max may find himself and his friends changed beyond recognition, lost in a lost world..