In the middle of the recent 4th of July weekend -- that wonderful holiday filled with fireworks, music and an overall "I'm glad I live in the United States of America" feeling -- my phone rang. At 10 pm. That's almost midnight to us older folks, by the way.
But rang it did. And it was a friend of mine. A young friend. 7th going into 8th grade friend. And that young friend said: "Hey, Ms. Suzy, I want a really, really good book to read. Something with substance." (Did I mention this friend is really smart?)
It took me about 20 minutes to wake up and engage in intelligent conversation with my young friend. But we ended up talking about how sometimes we all want to read a book that is going to make us think.
I keep lists of great books for all different grades. I am a librarian, after all. I looked through my 7th and 8th grade lists and found some books that I think you smart 7th/8th graders will really enjoy.
But I'm not just going to list the titles. That would be too easy. You're up for a challenge, aren't you?
Here you go: Below are 10 titles. Below that are short blurbs that correspond to the titles. The challenge: Figure out what blurbs go with what titles.
And then your next challenge (because I know you'll all want one): Read one of these books! They're not old, old, old, but also not necessarily new, new, new. But they're great and you might have missed them the first time around.
Ready? Good luck!
1. Tangerine by Edward Bloor
2. Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke
3. Hoot by Carl Hiassen
4. Wonder Struck by Brian Selznick
5. Game Changers by Mike Lupica
6. Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
7. Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis
8. Rules by Cynthia Lord
9. Smile by Raina Telgemeier
10. Chasing Lincoln's Killer by James L. Swanson
And the blurbs:
a. Having lost his mother and his hearing in a short time, 12-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City, and meets Rose, who is also longing for something missing from her life. Ben's story is told in words; Rose's in pictures.
b. 12-year-old Paul, who lives in the shadow of his football hero brother Erik, fights for the right to play soccer despite his near blindness and slowly begins to remember the incident that damaged his eyesight.
c. The story of the first free-born child in Canada, in a town which was a haven for slaves fleeing the American south. The young boy uses his wits and skills to try to bring to justice the lying preacher who has stolen money that was to be used to buy a family's freedom.
d. When the coach's son, Shawn O'Brien, is chosen to play quarterback, 11-year-old Ben McBain is not surprised. But when he tries to be a good teammate and help the inconsistent Shawn, he is startled to learn that his new friend does not really want the position.
e. After learning that humans are headed toward his hidden home, Firedrake, a silver dragon, is joined by a brownie and an orphan boy in a quest to find the legendary valley known as the Rim of Heaven, encountering friendly and unfriendly creatures along the way, and struggling to evade the relentless pursuit of an old enemy.
f. Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, 12-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence, but her world is further complicated by a friendship with a young paraplegic.
g. When seemingly unrelated and strange events start to happen and a precious piece of art disappears, 11-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal.
h. From sixth grade through tenth, a young girl copes with a variety of dental problems that affect her appearance and how she feels about herself.
i. Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.
j. Recounts the escape of one of history's most notorious assassins and the intensive twelve-day search for him and his accomplices.
Feel free to list your guesses by leaving a comment. I'll check back in a few days and give you the correct answers. But I know, smart readers that you are.....you'll know them all!
Happy Reading, by the way!