2) Ways to live forever by Sally Nichols: Eleven-year-old Sam has leukemia. During the last couple months of his life he collects stories, questions, lists, and pictures that create a portrait of how a boy lives when he knows his time is almost up.
3) Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea: Seven fifth graders at Snow Hill School relate how their lives are changed for the better by a new teacher. Only Mr. Terupt seems to know how to deal with them but after a terrible accident at recess the students have to use what Mr. Terupt taught them to get through what comes next.
2) Captain nobody by Dean Pitchford: When ten-year-old Newton’s football-star brother, Chris is knocked into a coma during a football game, Newt’s friends keep his mind off the accident by helping him create the ultimate Halloween costume. But after Halloween, Newt continues to wear his superhero costume to help save townspeople and eventually his injured brother.
3) Eight keys by Suzanne LaFleur: Twelve-year-old Elise lives with her aunt and uncle since her dad died when she was nine. Now Elise and her best friend Franklin are starting middle school. Disheartened by her new school with bullies, changing relationships, and higher expectations, Elise finds help within the locked rooms in her uncle’s barn and messages left behind by her dad.
2) Grounded by Kate Klise: After the death of her father, sister, and brother in a plane crash, Daralynn receives 237 dolls from well-wishers. Dolls are of little comfort to a twelve-year-old, who has to proceed with her life in Missouri. Her mom has turned angry and embittered, her grandmother is becoming senile, and her flamboyant aunt is being courted by the owner of a new crematorium that just moved to town.
3) Hard kind of promise by Gina Willner-Pardo: Seventh graders, Sarah and Marjorie made a promise in kindergarten to always be friends, but things have changed. Sarah wants to meet new people and try new things and Marjorie likes everything the same. As Sarah makes new friends with a girl in her choir class, her friendship with Marjorie is challenged and Sarah has to decide what she values the most.
2) Last invisible boy by Evan Kuhlman: Twelve-year-old Finn is convinced he is slowly disappearing. After the sudden death of his father, his dark hair has become whiter and his skin more transparent with each day. Finn writes and illustrates a book to try to understand what is happening to him and to hold on to himself and his father.
3) Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur: Eleven-year-old Aubrey has experienced a terrible tragedy, losing her father and sister in a car accident. Then she is abandoned by her grief-stricken mother and sent to live in Vermont with her grandmother. There she has to rebuild her life, making new friends, coping with her grief, and finding a way to forgive her mother.
2) Out of my mind by Sharon M. Draper: Fifth grader, Melody cannot walk or talk but she has a photographic memory. Considered to be mentally retarded, brilliant Melody has cerebral palsy. She discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time. But just because she can now speak does not mean that people see her intelligence. Smarter than most of the adults and students around her, Melody struggles to be seen beyond her condition.
3) Road to Tater Hill by Edith M. Hemingway: Annie spends every summer at her grandparents in North Carolina. This summer is supposed to be an exciting summer with a new baby coming but when the baby dies during child birth, Annie's family falls apart. Annie starts spending most of her time in the woods alone, until she meets a strange woman living in an abandoned house; together they help each other reconnect with their lives.
2) Small adventure of Popeye and Elvis by Barbara O'Connor: According to Popeye, nothing ever happens in Fayette, South Carolina. The highlight of Popeye’s summer is learning new vocabulary words with his grandmother; that is until Elvis shows up. Elvis’ family takes a wrong turn in their motor home and gets trapped in the mud. Together Popeye and Elvis explore the wilderness and discover strange boats floating down a creek with secret messages inside.
3) Small as an elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson: Jack’s mother is unpredictable, sometimes fun and loving and other times wild and unreliable. While camping in Acadia National Park, Jack’s mother takes off during the night, leaving Jack with little money and no way home. Jack attempts to make his way back to Boston before anyone figures out what is going on. Alone with only a small toy elephant for company, Jack tries to protect his mom while keeping himself safe.
2) Thing about Georgie by Lisa Graff: Georgie’s dwarfism has always caused him problems but that is a part of his life, the same as having reliable parents, a best friend, and a classmate that enjoys teasing him. But everything changes when a new boy comes to school and turns everything upside down.
3) Touch blue by Cynthia Lord: The state of Maine threatens to shut down Tess’s one-room schoolhouse on a small island off the coast of Maine because of the dwindling enrollment. If the school closes, Tess’ family will have to move to the mainland. The islanders’ come up with a plan to increase enrollment by taking in foster children. Tess’ family takes in Aaron, a trumpet playing foster child with a mysterious past.
2) The year money grew on trees by Aaron R. Hawkins: Jackson recruits his cousins and sisters to help tend an elderly neighbor’s neglected apple orchard after being unfairly tricked into a contract that could cost him $8000. Jackson and his family have to quickly learn how to tend over 300 apple trees and earn the $8000 to pay his neighbor. But if they can do that they can keep any other money they earn and then become the true owners of the orchard.
3) Mockingbird by Kathyrn Erskine: Ten-year-old Caitlin has Asperger’s Syndrome. She has lost the one person that helped her to interpret the world in a school shooting. Now she struggles to understand people’s emotions, show empathy towards other peoples suffering, and make friends at school. At home she only has her father who is grieving, and struggles to understand her. Through a woodworking project Caitlin and her father begin to connect.