... for grades 7 and 8

Click a title to check the Skokie Public Library catalog for the status of the book in the Youth Services collection. Titles marked with  * are also available on audio.

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Almond, David. Skellig. 1999. *
Junior High Fiction ALM
Michael's family has moved from their comfortable house to another house which is in disrepair. His parents are preoccupied with his baby sister, who is very ill. Alone and feeling neglected, Michael finds himself exploring an old ramshackle building in the yard. What he finds there is beyond anything he has ever seen or imagined.
Barron, T.A. The Lost Years of Merlin. 1996. *
Junior High Fiction BAR
This book could be subtitled, Before They Were Wizards. A young boy is tossed out of the sea onto a rocky shore, unable to remember anything about himself –- not even his name. But he is destined to become Merlin, the greatest wizard of all time.
Colfer, Eoin. Artemis Fowl. 2001. *
Junior High Fiction COL
Artemis Fowl is not a nice person. Artemis Fowl is the youngest member of a renowned crime family which has fallen on hard times. Brilliant, unscrupulous, and a computer wizard, Artemis has devised a nasty plan to recoup the family’s losses. Read –- and explore the depths of the criminal mind!
Collins, Suzanne. Gregor the Overlander. 2003. *
Junior High Fiction COL
Ever since his dad mysteriously disappeared two years ago, eleven-year-old Gregor has had to take on more and more adult responsibilities. This summer, while other kids go to camp, Gregor has to babysit both his grandmother and his two-year-old sister Boots in a stifling New York City apartment. When Boots starts to explore an old air duct in the building’s basement, Gregor follows, and finds himself in a subterranean world that is beautiful and terrifying.
Cooper, Susan. The Dark is Rising. 1973. *
J Fiction COO
On the eve of his 11th birthday, everything in Will Stanton’s life begins to change. The animals on his family’s farm are suddenly afraid of him. The radio won’t work whenever he comes near it. And his normally jovial neighbor, Mr. Dawson, gives Will a metal talisman for protection, telling him that “tomorrow will be beyond imagining.” When Will awakens on his birthday, he finds that Mr. Dawson was right.
Friesner, Esther M. Nobody’s Princess. 2007.
Junior High Fiction FRI
Lightning Thief fans, here’s another great adventure based on Greek myth. This time the main character is young Helen, princess of Sparta, who will one day be known as Helen of Troy. As a future queen, Helen is expected to master courtly manners, but what she really wants to learn is how to fight!
Gaiman, Neil. Coraline. 2002. *
Junior High Fiction GAI
If you love a good horror tale, this is the book for you. When Coraline and her parents move into an apartment in an old house, Coraline begins to explore. Unlocking an old door which is said to connect to an empty neighboring apartment, Coraline enters a sinister alternative world. When she returns to her own apartment, her parents have completely disappeared. Neil Gaiman is a master of horror stories, and this creepy tale is not for the faint of heart.
Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Just Ella. 1999.
Junior High Fiction HAD
Did you ever wonder what happened to Cinderella after “they all lived happily ever after”? Find out in this tale that picks up where the happy ending leaves off –- and read about Ella’s search for real love, not the fairy tale kind.
Jones, Dianna Wynne. The Dark Lord of Derkholm. 1998.
Junior High Fiction JON
Mr. Chesney, a money-grubbing entrepreneur, is conducting tours into the magical kingdom and bullying its citizens into putting on staged shows for the tourists. The lords, wizards, and kings who live there are getting sick and tired of being treated like performing dogs. But what can they do? Enter Derk, a talented but bumbling wizard who would much rather spend his time creating unusual animals like flying pigs. Can Derk put an end to Mr. Chesney’s tours? If you enjoy intricate plots and hilarious situations, you will love this rollicking tale.
Kindl, Patrice. Owl in Love. 1993.
Junior High Fiction KIN
Owl is a 14-year-old girl who is in love with her science teacher, Mr. Lindstrom. Sounds pretty normal, right? Wrong. Owl is the daughter of witches. Each night she turns into an owl, hunts mice, and perches lovingly on a branch outside Mr. Lindstrom’s window to watch him sleep. Can this relationship possibly go anywhere? Read and find out!
Knox, Elizabeth. Dreamhunter. 2005.
Junior High Fiction KNO
The fictional country of Southland is the setting for this tale in which dreams are goods, to be harvested, bought and sold. Dreamhunters are the purveyors of dreams, and they live lives of wealth and fame. But in order to become a dreamhunter, one must be tested and licensed by a governing board. Fifteen-year-old Laura and her cousin Rose, both from a famous family of dreamhunters, are nervously anticipating their Try.
Le Guin, Ursula K. A Wizard of Earthsea. 1968. *
Junior High Fiction LEG
If you loved Harry Potter, here’s another great tale about the education of a young wizard. Young Duny lives in a magical group of islands known as Earthsea. His aunt, a renowned witch, realizes that Duny possesses great magical powers when she sees him speak the language of animals. Quickly he finds himself at the famous school of wizardry on the island of Roke, where he begins his transformation into the great wizard Sparrowhawk.
McCaffrey, Anne. Dragonflight. 1968.
Junior High Fiction MCC
The planet Pern exists under threat from deadly “threads,” a bizarre life form which lives on its sister planet and falls from the sky every few years, killing all it touches. Only the dragons of Pern and their brave riders protect the planet from total destruction. But now a greedy overlord refuses to let the dragons keep watch over the planet. How can it survive?
Napoli, Donna Jo. Zel. 1996. *
Junior High Fiction NAP
In a retelling of Rapunzel, 12-year-old Zel’s mother loves her so much that she cannot bear the thought of her daughter growing up. The pieces of the fairy tale are all here. There is a tower prison, a handsome prince, and a witch. But the real subject of the story is obsessive love, and how it can destroy both the lover and the loved one. This is a tale about relationships, and one that you will want to discuss with your friends.
Nix, Garth. Sabriel. 1995. *
Junior High Fiction NIX
A heavily guarded wall separates the sunny, modern world of Ancelstierre from the wintry, bleak Old Kingdom, a realm of magic, mystery, and death. Eighteen-year-old Sabriel is a citizen of both. She was born in the Old Kingdom, the daughter of a powerful wizard who communicates with and controls the dead. But Sabriel is also a modern college student. When her beloved father fails to show up for his regular visit, Sabriel knows that something is dreadfully wrong. To save him, she must use all the magic he has taught her. But first she must cross over into the beautiful and treacherous Old Kingdom.
Paolini, Christopher. Eragon. 2003. *
Junior High Fiction PAO
Tolkien fans will enjoy this tale of a boy’s fight against a darkly evil king. In the forests of Aagaesia, 15-year-old Eragon witnesses an explosion which leaves in its wake a mysterious blue stone. When a dragon hatches from the stone, Eragon’s journey begins. The evil king of the empire is determined to find Eragon and his dragon and bend them to his will.
Pierce, Tamora. Trickster’s Choice. 2003. *
Junior High Fiction PIE
The ancient world is the setting for this tale of magic and intrigue. Sixteen-year-old Aly comes from a wealthy, noble family. Her mother, Alanna, is a famous knight, and her father is a brilliant spymaster. Aly has only one ambition: she knows she could be a great spy. Her parents, however, strictly forbid such a dangerous life. One day, after another argument with her mother over her future, Aly decides to run away. She will have to use all her gifts as a spy to overcome the danger that awaits her.
Pullman, Philip. The Golden Compass. 1996. *
J Fiction PUL
If you are a Harry Potter fan, you will love Lyra, another orphan whose fate is determined by the lives of her famous parents. Raised by the elderly scholars at Oxford University, Lyra suddenly finds her carefree life changed forever by three events: the arrival of her powerful, magical uncle, Lord Asriel, with chilling news from the North; the disappearance of children from towns all over England; and an offer from Mrs. Coulter, a beautiful and accomplished scholar, to travel the world as her research assistant –- an offer that seems too good to be true.
Schmidt, Gary D. Straw Into Gold. 2001.
Junior High Fiction SCH
You know the tale: a magical little man demands that a beautiful queen guess his name –- or else he will take her infant son. She guesses it on the third try, and her son is spared. But what would have happened if she guessed wrong? Straw Into Gold is the story of Tousle, the boy stolen by Rumpelstiltskin, and the riddle he must solve –- or die.
Scott, Michael. The Alchemyst. 2007. *
Junior High Fiction SCO
Fifteen-year-old twins Josh and Sophie Newman are working in San Francisco for the summer. Sophie has a job in a coffee shop, and Josh works just across the street at a rare book store. What promised to be a quiet summer turns into a nightmare when a rare and magical book is stolen from the book shop, and the twins find themselves in the middle of a battle between the forces of darkness and light.