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Read Beyond the Beaten Path
Be Prepared by
All Vera wants to do is fit in―but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there's one summer camp in her price range―Russian summer camp. Vera is sure she's found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the "cool girl" drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!
Flames race toward Sam Castine's summer camp as evacuation buses are loading, but Sam runs back to get his phone. Suddenly, a flash of heat blasts him as pine trees explode. Now a wall of fire separates Sam from his bus, and there's only one thing to do: Run for his life. Run or die. Lungs burning, Sam's only goal is to keep moving and stay alive!
It Doesn't Take a Genius by
Emmett finds a new group of friends at summer camp since his older brother, Luke, now a junior counselor, doesn't seem to have time for him anymore.
Secrets of Camp Whatever by
Eleven year-old Willow doesn't want to go to her dad's weird old summer camp any more than she wants her family to move to the weird old town where that camp is located. But her family--and fate itself--seem to have plans of their own. Soon Willow finds herself neck-deep in a confounding mystery involving stolen snacks, suspected vampires, and missing campers, all shrouded in the sinister fog that hides a generation of secrets at Camp ... Whatever it's called.
Drum Roll, Please by
Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It's the only time in her life she doesn't feel like a mouse. Now she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods. But this summer brings big changes for Melly and she wonders if she has what it takes to be a drummer after all.
Grades 6-8 Graphic Novels
Five best friends spending the summer at Lumberjane scout camp...defeating yetis, three-eyed wolves, and giant falcons...what's not to love?! Friendship to the max! Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five best pals determined to have an awesome summer together...and they're not gonna let any insane quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!
Lightfall: the Girl and the Galdurian by
Bea and Cad are two unlikely friends who get swept up in an epic quest to save their world from falling into eternal darkness. Deep in the heart of the planet Irpa stands the Salty Pig's House of Tonics & Tinctures, home of the wise Pig Wizard and his adopted granddaughter, Bea. As keepers of the Endless Flame, they live a quiet and peaceful life, crafting medicines and potions for the people of their once-prosperous world. All that changes one day when, while walking through the woods, Bea meets Cad, a member of the Galdurians, an ancient race thought to be long-extinct. Cad believes that if anyone can help him find his missing people, it's the Pig Wizard. But when the two arrive home, the Pig Wizard is nowhere to be found--all that's left is the Jar of Endless Flame and a mysterious note. Fearing for the Pig Wizard's safety, Bea and Cad set out across Irpa to find him, while danger fights its way out of the shadows and into the light. Will these two unexpected friends find the beloved Pig Wizard?
Thirteen-year-old Ashley Rayburn is an upbeat girl with a decidedly downbeat past. With a father in prison, Ashley has bounced from foster home to foster home and represents a real challenge to the social workers who try to help her--not because she's inherently bad, but because trouble always seems to find her. Things start looking up for Ashley when she finds new, loving parents, a best friend, and an outlet for her creative skills. But her life quickly gets more complicated when she also finds a suitcase full of specially enhanced body paints, changing her from artist to the world's newest superhero. It's the greatest thing to happen in her life so far, until Ashley finds herself pursued by a government agency that wants those paints back! Now she has to make hard choices to protect her new parents and learn what it truly means to be a family.
Treasure in the Lake by
When Iris and her best friend, Sam, stumble upon an unusually dry river on the outskirts of town, they're led to a discovery beyond anything Iris has ever read about: a hidden city and a forgotten tale of friendship. Can Iris and Sam uncover the truth in time to keep their own friendship afloat, or will history repeat itself and pull them apart forever?
Besties: Work It Out by
Aspiring entrepreneurs Beth and Chanda land a lucrative dogsitting gig, they're sure that fame, fortune, and popularity can't be far behind, but nothing can prepare them for the mishap that throws their business plan--and friendship--into chaos!
Links to Great Book Lists
Suggested Authors- Read anything by one of these authors!
Mary Downing Hahn
Walter Dean Myers
Margaret Peterson Haddix
Kid's Read Across Rhode Island 2022
How to Win a Slime War by
Two kids face off in an epic battle to see who can sell the most slime, while navigating sticky situations with friends and family.
Becoming Muhammad Ali by
A biographical novel tells the story of Cassius Clay, the determined boy who would one day become Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest boxers of all time.
Sanity and Tallulah by
Sanity and Tallulah live in a space station at the end of the galaxy. When Sanity's illegally created three-headed kitten escapes, the girls have to turn their home upside down to find her in this graphic novel.
Read Beyond the Beaten Path
Cranston Public School students have access to books through Sora. To log in, go to www.cpsed.net, click on Clever and click on the Sora app to discover thousands of e-books and audiobooks!
RIMSBA 2023 Nominees
Twelve-year old Maddie wakes up one day to find herself alone in a town that’s been evacuated and deserted. This verse novel takes us on Maddie’s survival journey as she persists for months and months with only books and a Rottweiler named George for company.
Amari and the Night Brothers by
When Amari Peters receives an invitation from her missing brother to join the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she is determined that her brother is still out there waiting for her to find him. She discovers a world of supernatural beings and magic as she trains for the Bureau and gets closer to finding her brother.
The Blackbird Girls by
Oksana and Valentina have never been close, until an emergency at the Chernobyl power plant where their fathers work leads to them heading to Leningrad together. Valentina learns more about her family as the pair move in with her grandmother, and Oksana learns more about what a family could be, and how different it is from her own.
Brave Like That by
Cyrus Olson's dad is a hero--Northfield's former football star and now one of their finest firefighters. Everyone expects Cyrus to follow in his dad's record-breaking footsteps, and he wishes they were right--except he's never been brave like that. But this year, with the help of a stray dog, a few new friends, a little bit of rhythm, and a lot of nerve, he may just discover that actually...he is.
The Insiders by
San Francisco and Orangevale may be in the same state, but for Héctor Muñoz, they might as well be a million miles apart. Back home, being gay didn't mean feeling different. At Héctor's new school, he couldn't feel more alone. Most days, Héctor just wishes he could disappear. And he does. Right into the janitor's closet. (Yes, he sees the irony.) But one day, when the door closes behind him, Héctor discovers he's stumbled into a room that shouldn't be possible. A room that connects him with two new friends from different corners of the country--and opens the door to a life-changing year full of friendship, adventure, and just a little bit of magic.
Hide and Seeker by
Justin knows that something is wrong with his best friend. Zee went missing for a year. And when he came back, he was . . . different. Nobody knows what happened to him. At Zee's welcome home party, Justin and the neighborhood crew play Hide and Seek. But it goes wrong. Very wrong. One by one, everyone who plays the game disappears, pulled into a world of nightmares come to life. Justin and his friends realize this horrible place is where Zee had been trapped. All they can do now is hide from the Seeker.
When a hate symbol is drawn on a wall inside the school, the small town is in an uproar. As more symbols appear, the students decide to create a paper chain with 6 million links, representing the Jews killed during the holocaust. Gordon Korman combines serious issues with quirky characters and tackles many sensitive topics in this riveting mystery.
The Elephant in the Room by
It's been almost a year since Sila's mother traveled halfway around the world to Turkey, hoping to secure the immigration paperwork that would allow her to return to her family in the United States. The long separation is almost impossible for Sila to withstand. But things change when Sila accompanies her father (who is a mechanic) outside their Oregon town to fix a truck. There, behind an enormous stone wall, she meets a grandfatherly man who only months before won the state lottery. Their new alliance leads to the rescue of a circus elephant named Veda, and then to a friendship with an unusual boy named Mateo, proving that comfort and hope come in the most unlikely of places.
Ophie's Ghosts by
Ophelia Harrison used to live in a small house in the Georgia countryside. But that was before the night in November 1922, and the cruel act that took her home and her father from her. Which was the same night that Ophie learned she can see ghosts. Now Ophie and her mother are living in Pittsburgh with relatives they barely know. In the hopes of earning enough money to get their own place, Mama has gotten Ophie a job as a maid in the same old manor house where she works. Daffodil Manor, like the wealthy Caruthers family who owns it, is haunted by memories and prejudices of the past--and, as Ophie discovers, ghosts as well. Ghosts who have their own loves and hatreds and desires, ghosts who have wronged others and ghosts who have themselves been wronged. And as Ophie forms a friendship with one spirit whose life ended suddenly and unjustly, she wonders if she might be able to help--even as she comes to realize that Daffodil Manor may hold more secrets than she bargained for.
Turtle Boy by
Seventh grade is not going well for Will Levine. Kids at school bully him because of his funny-looking chin. And for his bar mitzvah community service project, he's forced to go to the hospital to visit RJ, an older boy struggling with an incurable disease. At first, the boys don't get along, but then RJ shares his bucket list with Will. Among the things he wants to do: ride a roller coaster; go to a school dance; swim in the ocean. To Will, happiness is hanging out in his room, alone, preferably with the turtles he collects. But as RJ's disease worsens, Will realizes he needs to tackle the bucket list on his new friend's behalf before it's too late.
Last Gate of the Emperor by
Yared Heywat lives an isolated life in Addis Prime -- a hardscrabble city with rundown tech, lots of rules, and not much to do. His worrywart Uncle Moti and bionic lioness Besa are his only family... and his only friends. Often in trouble for his thrill-seeking antics and smart mouth, those same qualities make Yared a star player of the underground augmented reality game, The Hunt for Kaleb's Obelisk. But when a change in the game rules prompts Yared to log in with his real name, it triggers an attack that rocks the city. In the chaos, Uncle Moti disappears. Suddenly, all the stories Yared's uncle told him as a young boy are coming to life, of kingdoms in the sky and city-razing monsters. And somehow Yared is at the center of them. Together with Besa and the Ibis -- a game rival turned reluctant ally -- Yared must search for his uncle... and answers to his place in a forgotten, galaxy-spanning war.
Rez Dogs by
Malian loves spending time with her grandparents at their home on a Wabanaki reservation. She's there for a visit when, suddenly, all travel shuts down. There's a new virus making people sick, and Malian will have to stay with her grandparents for the duration. Everyone is worried about the pandemic, but Malian knows how to keep her family and community safe: She protects her grandparents, and they protect her. She doesn't go outside to play with friends, she helps her grandparents use video chat, and she listens to and learns from their stories. And when Malsum, one of the dogs living on the rez, shows up at their door, Malian's family knows that he'll protect them too.
Ever since Ellie wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash at her fifth birthday party, she's been bullied about her weight. To cope, she tries to live by the "rules
like "no making waves," "avoid eating in public," and "don't move so fast that your body jiggles." And she's found her safe space-her swimming pool. In the water, she can stretch herself out like a starfish and take up all the room she wants. It's also where she can get away from her pushy mom, who thinks criticizing Ellie's weight will motivate her to diet. Fortunately, Ellie has allies in her dad, her therapist, and her new neighbor, Catalina, who loves Ellie for who she is.
Too Bright to See by
Bug is sure they live in a haunted house, and that their uncle Roderick who recently passed is trying to tell them something. Their best friend Moira is more concerned about reinventing themselves when they start middle school and is pushing for Bug to grow up, but Bug doesn’t know what they want that to look like.
The Shape of Thunder by
Cora hasn't spoken to her best friend, Quinn, in a year. Despite living next door to each other, they exist in separate worlds of grief. Cora is still grappling with the death of her beloved sister in a school shooting, and Quinn is carrying the guilt of what her brother did. On the day of Cora's twelfth birthday, Quinn leaves a box on her doorstep with a note. She has decided that the only way to fix things is to go back in time to the moment before her brother changed all their lives forever--and stop him. In spite of herself, Cora wants to believe. And so the two former friends begin working together to open a wormhole in the fabric of the universe. But as they attempt to unravel the mysteries of time travel to save their siblings, they learn that the magic of their friendship may actually be the key to saving themselves.
RIMSBA 2023 Nominees- Graphic Novels
Another Kind by
Tucked away in a government facility nicknamed the Playroom, six not-quite-human kids learn to control their strange and unpredictable abilities. Life is good--or safe, at least--hidden from the prying eyes of a judgmental world. That is, until a security breach forces them out of their home and into the path of the Collector, a mysterious being with leech-like powers. Can the group band together to thwart the Collector's devious plan, or will they wind up the newest addition to his collection?
The Legend of Auntie Po by
Part historical fiction, part fable, and 100 percent adventure. Thirteen-year-old Mei reimagines the myths of Paul Bunyan as starring a Chinese heroine while she works in a Sierra Nevada logging camp in 1885. Aware of the racial tumult in the years after the passage of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Mei tries to remain blissfully focused on her job, her close friendship with the camp foreman's daughter, and telling stories about Paul Bunyan--reinvented as Po Pan Yin (Auntie Po), an elderly Chinese matriarch.
RIMSBA 2023 Nominees- Short Stories and Non-Fiction
Black Boy Joy by
Black Boy Joy celebrates Black boyhood with 19 vibrant short stories, poems, and comics about topics like debating about superheroes, a baking contest, learning to pilot a plane, skateboarding, and finding the true meanings of fly and cool.
Amazing Treasures by
Explore history, culture, geology, and the environment through treasures ancient and modern in this illustrated nonfiction book. Treasures both natural and man-made make an appearance in a tour which stretches across thousands of years and all around the globe.
This Book Is Anti-Racist by
Who are you? What is racism? Where does it come from? Why does it exist? What can you do to disrupt it? With this book, be empowered to actively defy racism and xenophobia to create a community (large and small) that truly honors everyone.
When Friendship Followed Me Home by
Seventh-grader Ben, always an outsider, is led into a deep friendship with Halley, who is being treated for cancer, by the special dog he and his adoptive mother take in.
The Scourge by
When the lethal plague known as the Scourge returns to Keldan the victims are sent to Attic Island, and Ani Mells of the River People is among them, but Ani does not feel sick, and with the help of her best friend, Weevil, she sets out to uncover the truth of what is happening, and expose the lies the people of Keldan have been told.
Spirit Hunters by
Harper doesn't trust her new home from the moment she steps inside, and the rumors are that the Raine family's new house is haunted. Harper isn't sure she believes those rumors, until her younger brother, Michael, starts acting strangely. The whole atmosphere gives Harper a sense of déjà vu, but she can't remember why. She knows that the memories she's blocking will help make sense of her brother's behavior and the strange and threatening sensations she feels in this house, but will she be able to put the pieces together in time?
Top Prospect by
Travis Gardner lives to play quarterback. He's a standout QB by middle school, and he's prepared to put everything he has into the game. Then Gainesville University's head coach makes Travis a promise: Travis will have a place on the team, and a scholarship to go with it. He just has to get through high school first. As Travis starts ninth grade, he'll have to earn his teammates' trust and dodge opponents aiming to sack the star quarterback. But his biggest challenge might be staying focused in the face of sudden fame. Because now the pressure is on, and Travis has to prove himself with every pass.
The Last Cuentista by
Winner of the John Newbery Medal. Petra's world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children - among them Petra and her family - have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet - and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity's past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard - or purged them altogether. Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again?
Red, White, and Whole by
A Newbery Honor Book. A heartbreakingly hopeful novel in verse about an Indian American girl whose life is turned upside down when her mother is diagnosed with leukemia.
A Kind of Spark by
Schneider Family Award. When she discovers that her small Scottish town used to burn witches simply because they were different, a neurodivergent girl who sees and hears things others cannot refuses to let them be forgotten.
Stuntboy, in the Meantime by
Schneider Family Award Honor Book. Portico Reeves' secret identity as Stuntboy allows him to use his superpower keep everybody safe, but when his superhero parents start fighting a lot he feels the responsibility to save them.
CPS/CPL Librarian Favorites!
Salt Magic by
When Vonceil's older brother, Elber, comes home to their family's Oklahoma farm after serving on the front lines of World War I, things aren't what she expects. His experiences have changed him into a serious and responsible man who doesn't have time for Vonceil anymore. He even marries the girl he had left behind. Then a mysterious and captivating woman shows up at the farm and confronts Elber for leaving her in France. When he refuses to leave his wife, she puts a curse on the family well, turning the entire town's water supply into saltwater. Who is this lady dressed all in white, what has she done to the farm, and what does Vonceil's old uncle Dell know about her? To find out, Vonceil will have to strike out on her own and delve deep into the world of witchcraft, confronting dangerous relatives, shapeshifting animals, a capricious Sugar Witch, and the Lady in White herself--the foreboding Salt Witch!
City Spies by
Sara Martinez is a hacker. She recently broke into the New York City foster care system to expose her foster parents as cheats and lawbreakers. However, instead of being hailed as a hero, Sara finds herself facing years in a juvenile detention facility and banned from using computers for the same stretch of time. Enter Mother, a British spy who not only gets Sara released from jail but also offers her a chance to make a home for herself within a secret MI6 agency. Operating out of a base in Scotland, the City Spies are five kids from various parts of the world. When they're not attending the local boarding school, they're honing their unique skills, such as sleight of hand, breaking and entering, observation, and explosives. All of these allow them to go places in the world of espionage where adults can't. No one said saving the world is easy...
Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero by
Isaiah is now the big man of the house. But it's a lot harder than his dad made it look. His little sister, Charlie, asks too many questions, and Mama's gone totally silent. Luckily, Isaiah can count on his best friend, Sneaky, who's always got a scheme for getting around the rules. Plus, his classmate Angel has a few good ideas of her own--once she stops hassling Isaiah. And when things get really tough, there's Daddy's journal, filled with stories about the amazing Isaiah Dunn, who gets his superhero powers from beans and rice. Isaiah could use those powers right about now!
The Girl I Used to Be by
When Olivia's mother was killed, everyone suspected her father of murder. But his whereabouts remained a mystery. Fast forward fourteen years. New evidence now proves Olivia's father was actually murdered on the same fateful day her mother died. That means there's a killer still at large. It's up to Olivia to uncover who that may be. But can she do that before the killer tracks her down first?
Game Changer by
A mysterious football accident sends a high school reeling in this award-winning multimedia-format novel from Tommy Greenwald Thirteen-year-old Teddy Youngblood is in a coma, fighting for his life after an unspecified football injury at training camp. His family and friends flock to his bedside to support his recovery--and to discuss the events leading up to the tragic accident. Was this the inevitable result of playing a violent sport, or did something more sinister happen on the field that day?
All annotations courtesy of Follett and the RIMSBA website. Please note that not all books are suitable for all readers. The statewide Rhode Island Summer Reading Program, Read Beyond the Beaten Path, is supported by the RI Office of Library and Information Services, with funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Rhode Island Middle School Book Award titles are chosen by a statewide committee of teachers and librarians.