Great Reads
...for junior high guys

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 available on audio or other electronic formats.



Bell, Ted. Nick of Time. 2008. *
Junior High Fiction BEL
Twelve-year-old Nick is the son of a lighthouse owner on an island off the coast of Great Britain. When he stumbles on an ancient chest that contains a strange glowing orb, Nick knows he’s onto something valuable — and dangerous.
Brewer, Heather. The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod: Eighth Grade Bites. 2007. *
Junior High Fiction BRE
Vlad’s father was a vampire, but his mom was human. Which is he? And why does he have this annoying craving for blood?
Crutcher, Chris. Ironman. 1995.
Junior High Fiction CRU
Bo Brewster has a temper. He blows up at his father, his teachers, and his football coach, who kicks him off the team. In order to stay in school, Bo is forced to take an anger-management class. Feeling there is no one who will listen to him, Bo starts writing letters to a professional listener: Larry King.
Dashner, James. The Maze Runner. 2009. *
Junior High Fiction DAS
Alone and terrified, Thomas awakens in a rusty old elevator which is slowly moving upward. The only thing he remembers of his former life is his name. When the elevator finally stops, he finds himself in a makeshift society made up of other teen-age boys. The Glade, as it is called, exists in the middle of an enormous and menacing maze, which is impossible to navigate — or is it?
Gordon, Roderick and Brian Williams. Tunnels. 2008. *
Junior High Fiction GOR
Fourteen-year-old Will never feels like he fits in anywhere. The only time he is happy is when he is digging tunnels in a remote part of London. He hopes to find archaeological treasures. But what he unearths is far more fascinating — and terrifying — than anything imaginable.
Hautman, Pete. Godless. 2004.
Junior High Fiction HAU
How do religions start? Jason Bock decides to find out. He organizes the "Chutengodians." What do the Chutengodians worship? Well, let 's just say it's unusual.
Higson, Charles. Blood Fever. 2005. *
Junior High Fiction HIG
"How I Spent My Summer Vacation," James Bond style!
Hobbs, Will. Jason's Gold. 1999. *
Junior High Fiction HOB
The year is 1897, gold has been discovered in Alaska, and 15-year-old Jason is determined to find some for himself. Jason leaves New York and rushes west to meet his brothers in Seattle, but when he gets there he finds they've already left for Alaska. He's on his own.
Lord, Gabrielle. January. 2010
Junior High Fiction LOR
On New Year’s Eve, fifteen-year-old Cal is approached by a strange man who warns him that someone is trying to kill him, and that it will happen within the next year unless he stays on his guard. This is the first book in a unique new series called Conspiracy 365. Every month during 2010, a new volume in this thriller series was published. Read them all and find out what happens to Cal — month by month!
Lynch, Chris. The Big Game of Everything. 2008.
Junior High Fiction LYN
Jock has his summer all planned: his grandfather owns a golf course, and Jock is going to work there. He loves the course and can’t wait to spend the summer tooling around on a golf cart. Of course this does mean he’ll be spending the summer working with his slightly crazy family, including his materialistic, lazy brother Egon. But you’ve got to love your family — right?
Myers, Walter Dean. Monster. 1999. *
Junior High Fiction MYE
Steve Harmon is a 16-year-old who is in jail, accused of murder. In the form of a film script, he tells you his story. Is he guilty? You decide.
Paolini, Christopher. Eragon. 2003. *
Junior High Fiction PAO
In the forests of Aagaesia, a 15-year-old named Eragon finds a beautiful polished blue stone among the charred remains of a horrible fire. No stone like it–glowing, veined with white and about a foot long–has ever occurred naturally. What is it? And why is it there?
Riordan, Rick. The Red Pyramid. 2010. *
Junior High Fiction RIO
Lightning Thief fans, here’s another great story from Rick Riordan. Brother and sister Carter and Sadie accompany their Egyptologist father to the British Museum, where he proceeds to blow up the Rosetta Stone, thereby releasing five ancient Egyptian Gods into the present day.
Sniegoski, Tom. Sleeper Code. 2006.
Junior High Fiction SNI
Tom suffers from narcolepsy. Because of this condition he falls asleep unexpectedly and for long periods. He thinks he's merely asleep during these blackouts, but he's wrong. The truth is very different– and much more terrifying.
Wooding, Chris. Malice. 2009.
Junior High Fiction WOO
Luke is so lucky! He’s just gotten a copy of a rare comic book called Malice. The rumor around school is that if you say a certain chant and perform a certain ritual, you will be transported inside the comic book! Just a silly rumor, right? Wrong. Bonus for graphic novel fans: half of this book is a graphic novel!

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Allen, Thomas B. George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War. 2004.
Youth Nonfiction 973.385 A
Double agents, moles, secret codes, covert operations. Sounds like something out of a James Bond movie, doesn't it? But it's really a list of the kinds of spycraft that helped win the Revolutionary War, and George Washington was behind it all, fighting both as soldier and spy. An added bonus: messages in code throughout the book, and keys for cracking them.
Bausum, Ann. Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement. 2006.
Youth Nonfiction 323.0922 B
Hitch a ride on a bus that changed history. Freedom Rides were dangerous journeys made by young men and women into the deep South of the early 1960s. Their goal? To challenge laws and customs of segregation. Jim Zwerg and John Lewis, were there– and now you can be, too.
Bledsoe, Lucy Jane. How to Survive in Antarctica. 2006.
Youth Nonfiction 919.8904 B
This book is too much fun to read only for school reports! Lucy Jane Bledsoe takes you along on her trip to Antarctica, where she builds her own snow shelter, watches wildlife, and offers you survival tips, like what to do if you are falling into a cravasse. You'll feel like you've actually been there.
Brandenburg, Jim. To the Top of the World: Adventures with Arctic Wolves. 1993.
Youth Nonfiction 599.74442 B
Jim Brandenberg is a photographer who traveled along with a pack of wolves. If you're interested in the behavior of these extraordinary animals, you'll love his thoughts and pictures.
Fleischman, Sid. Escape! The Story of the Great Houdini. 2006. *
Youth Biography H8363fL
The Great Houdini wasn't always great– and he wasn't always Houdini. In fact, he was born Erich Weiss, in a Budapest ghetto. The story of how he became the greatest magician of all time is as fascinating and fun as the incredible tricks he performed. Find out about both in this terrific biography from the Great Sid Fleischman!
Fradin, Dennis B. With a Little Luck: Surprising Stories of Amazing Discoveries. 2006.
Youth Nonfiction 509 F
Some of the most important discoveries that have ever been made owe a debt to plain dumb luck. Learn about 11 major scientific breakthroughs that might never have happened if not for chance.
Giblin, James Cross. Secrets of the Sphinx. 2004.
Youth Nonfiction 932 G
We know some things about the Sphinx. It's old– about 4,500 years old. It's big– about as tall as a six-story building. But we don't know everything about it. James Giblin tries to answer some of the biggest, most controversial questions regarding this amazing structure. Who built it? Why? And how did they do it?
Grandits, John. Technically, It's Not My Fault. 2004.
Youth Nonfiction 811.6 G7533.te
Poetry can be hilarious, as this collection of goofy concrete poems demonstrates. Here are some of the titles of these verses, which highlight Robert's life as a middle-school student: "Spew Machine," "TyrannosaurBus Rex," and "Bloodcurdling Screams." Enjoy!
Iggulden, Conn. The Dangerous Book for Boys. 2007.
Youth Nonfiction 031.02 I
A great browsing book, full of interesting facts and how-to's. Want to learn how to build a tree-house, tie a slip-knot, or make cloth fireproof? It's all here, and much, much more.
Manzanero, Paula. Guinness World Records to the Extreme. 2007.
Youth Nonfiction 032.02 G
Ninety-three authenticated and extreme world records. Check them out!
Rainis, Kenneth. Fingerprints: Crime-Solving Science Experiments. 2006.
Youth Nonfiction 363.258 R
Fans of "Law and Order" and "CSI" will enjoy this how-to book on collecting and analyzing crime-scene evidence. Lots of hands-on projects and real crime stories are included.
Yang, Gene Luen. American Born Chinese. 2006.
Junior High Graphic Novel 741.5973 YAN
Three hilarious stories explore the dilemma of Jin Wang, a Chinese American teen in a suburban high school. Jin feels subtle racism all around him and spends most of the time lying on his bed trying to figure out who he is and where he fits. The subject is dead serious, but the way it is explored will have you laughing out loud.

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