Recommended books for Grade 7-8

View all Recommendations by Grades > Recommendations for Grade 7 book lists; This list was last updated on 2/26/2015
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The Pigman

Join the millions of readers who have discovered The Pigman, the beloved, groundbreaking young adult classic from Paul Zindel, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds.

In The Pigman, what begins as a teenage prank soon becomes a timeless examination of grief, acceptance, and the transformative power of friendship. High-school sophomores John and Lorraine had no idea what they were starting when they made a prank phone call to a stranger named Angelo Pignati. Virtually overnight, they befriended the old man. But now Mr. Pignati is dead. And for John and Lorraine, the only way to find peace is to write down their friend's story—the true story of the Pigman.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

release date: Oct 01, 2002
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True Believer
LaVaughn is fifteen now, and she's still fiercely determined to go to college. But that's the only thing she's sure about. Loyalty to her father bubbles up as her mother grows closer to a new man. The two girls she used to do everything with have chosen a path LaVaughn wants no part of. And then there's Jody. LaVaughn can't believe how gorgeous he is...or how confusing. He acts like he's in love with her, but is he?
release date: Aug 21, 2001
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Homeless Bird

Gloria Whelan's National Book Award–winning novel, chronicles the breathtaking story of a remarkable young woman who dares to defy fate.

Like many girls her age in India, thirteen–year–old Koly faces her arranged marriage with hope and courage. But Koly's story takes a terrible turn when in the wake of the ceremony, she discovers she's been horribly misled; her life has been sold for a dowry. In prose both graceful and unflinching, this powerful novel relays the story of a rare young woman, who even when cast out into a brutal current of time–worn tradition, sets out to forge her own remarkable future.Inspired by a newspaper article about the real thirteen–year–old widows in India today, this universally acclaimed best–selling novel, characterized by spare, lyrical language and remarkable detail, transports readers into the heart of a gripping tale of hope.

Ages 10+

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Izzy, Willy-Nilly
One moment can change a life forever.
Fifteen-year-old Izzy has it all -- a loving family, terrific friends, a place on the cheerleading squad. But her comfortable world crumbles when a date with a senior ends in a car crash and she loses her right leg.
Suddenly nothing is the same. The simplest tasks become enormous challenges. Her friends don't seem to know how to act around her. Her family is supportive, but they don't really want to deal with how much she's hurting.
Then Rosamunde extends a prickly offer of friendship. Rosamunde definitely isn't the kind of girl Izzy would have been friends with in her old life. But Rosamunde may be the only person who can help Izzy face her new one.
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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
Underwater Adventure! Professor Aronnax sets off in search of a giant sea monster, only to find the monster is really a steel-plated submarine. Captured by the mysterious Captain Nemo, Aronnax witnesses the exploration of the Nautilus, the remarkable submarine Nemo has invented. But Aronnax comes to learn that Nemo is near insanity and must escape. It's an incredible journey into a mysterious world of excitement and danger!
release date: Oct 01, 2008
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Never Trust a Dead Man
When Selwyn is accused of murdering his rival, Farold, he is sealed in the village burial cave with Farold's moldering corpse to await starvation—or worse. Worse comes along quickly in the form of a witch who raises Farold from the dead. Selwyn thought he disliked Farold when he was alive, but that was nothing compared to working by the dead man's side as they search for the real killer.

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Flipped
The first time she saw him, she flipped. The first time he saw her, he ran. That was the second grade, but not much has changed by the seventh. She says: “My Bryce. Still walking around with my first kiss.” He says: “It's been six years of strategic avoidance and social discomfort.” But in the eighth grade everything gets turned upside down. And just as he's thinking there's more to her than meets the eye, she' s thinking that he's not quite all he seemed.

This is a classic romantic comedy of errors told in alternating chapters by two fresh, funny voices. Wendelin Van Draanen is at her best here with a knockout cast of quirky characters and a hilarious series of misunderstandings and missed opportunities. But underlying the humor are two teens in transition. They are each learning to look beyond the surface of people, both figuring out who they are, who they want to be, and who they want to be with.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Stuck in Neutral

Shawn McDaniel's life is not what it may seem to anyone looking at him. He is glued to his wheelchair, unable to voluntarily move a muscle—he can't even move his eyes. For all Shawn's father knows, his son may be suffering. Shawn may want a release. And as long as he is unable to communicate his true feelings to his father, Shawn's life is in danger.

To the world, Shawn's senses seem dead. Within these pages, however, we meet a side of him that no one else has seen—a spirit that is rich beyond imagining, breathing life.

The paperback features an Extras section, giving readers even more insight into Shawn's life, and includes a Q&A with Terry Trueman, as well as a sneak peek at the sequel to Stuck in Neutral, Life Happens Next.

Supports the Common Core State Standards

release date: Jan 01, 1997
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The Forestwife
Mary, 15 years old and an orphan, must flee into Sherwood Forest to avoid an arranged marriage. There her life truly begins, for she finds a community of heroic outlaws that includes a woman with seemingly magical healing powers and a young man who is bravely leading the fight against tyranny. This man is Robin Hood, and Mary will soon be known as Maid Marian, the green lady of the woods.
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The Hobbit
J.R.R. Tolkien's classic prelude to his Lord of the Rings trilogy featuring cover art by Caldecott Honor winning children's book illustrator Peter Sís, this edition of The Hobbit has been specially formatted for young readers. Larger print size and wider margins provide reading ease for the youngest Tolkien fans. This quality digest edition also includes interior maps and original interior illustrations by J.R.R. Tolkien.
 
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.
release date: Aug 01, 2007
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The Bomb
It is 1946, a year after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and World War II is over. But the U.S. government has decided that further tests of atomic bombs must be conducted. When Bikini Atoll is chosen for the testing site, the inhabitants of the tiny island are told they must relocate for just two years. But sixteen-year-old Sorry Rinamu believes the Americans are lying and that it will never be safe to return. He must find a way to stop the first bomb before it is dropped . . . even if it means risking his own destruction.
     Includes a reader's guide and an author's note.
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The Land
The son of a prosperous landowner and a former slave, Paul-Edward Logan is unlike any other boy he knows. His white father has acknowledged him and raised him openly-something unusual in post-Civil War Georgia. But as he grows into a man he learns that life for someone like him is not easy. Black people distrust him because he looks white. White people discriminate against him when they learn of his black heritage. Even within his own family he faces betrayal and degradation. So at the age of fourteen, he sets out toward the only dream he has ever had: to find land every bit as good as his father's, and make it his own. Once again inspired by her own history, Ms. Taylor brings truth and power to the newest addition to the award-winning Logan family stories.
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For Mike
MISSING: MIKE THAYER, 17

When Jeff's best friend Mike disappears in the fall of their senior year, Jeff starts to doubt everything he's ever known about their small town, and the familiar people in it. What happened to Mike? Jeff has got to find him. Then Jeff starts to have vivid dreams where he hears Mike say, "Come get me." Their friend Kirby is in the dreams, too, but Jeff's afraid to tell him. For with every dream, Jeff feels the power of his bond to Mike, and he also sees that Mike may have had another life, one that Jeff knew nothing about.
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Dracula
During a business visit to Count Dracula's castle in Transylvania, a young English solicitor finds himself at the center of a series of horrifying incidents. Jonathan Harker is attacked by three phantom women, observes the Count's transformation from human to bat form, and discovers puncture wounds on his own neck that seem to have been made by teeth. Harker returns home upon his escape from Dracula's grim fortress, but a friend's strange malady — involving sleepwalking, inexplicable blood loss, and mysterious throat wounds — initiates a frantic vampire hunt. The popularity of Bram Stoker's 1897 horror romance is as deathless as any vampire.  Its supernatural appeal has spawned a host of film and stage adaptations, and more than a century after its initial publication, it continues to hold readers spellbound.
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Stargirl
**Just announced: STARGIRL will be adapted for film by screenwriter Kristin Hahn and director Catherine Hardwicke.**

Stargirl. From the day she arrives at quiet Mica High in a burst of color and sound, the hallways hum with the murmur of “Stargirl, Stargirl.” She captures Leo Borlock' s heart with just one smile. She sparks a school-spirit revolution with just one cheer. The students of Mica High are enchanted. At first.

Then they turn on her. Stargirl is suddenly shunned for everything that makes her different, and Leo, panicked and desperate with love, urges her to become the very thing that can destroy her: normal. In this celebration of nonconformity, Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the perils of popularity and the thrill and inspiration of first love.


From the Hardcover edition.
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The Boxes
Annie's Uncle Marco goes on one of his mysterious trips, leaving her in charge of two sealed boxes on one condition: she must not open either one while he is away. But she is tempted...and soon she has unleashed the unspeakable. The creatures inside the box are crab-like and grotesque. And they possess a power Annie could never have imagined: the power to transmute time."Sleator is the master of the creepy-crawly, and his inventiveness is at full power here." --The Horn Book
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Downsiders
Beneath the sewer grates and manholes of the city lies a strange and secret world called the Downside. Every Downsider knows that it's forbidden to go Topside, and most fear a collision of the two worlds. But fourteen-year-old Talon is curious about what goes on above ground, and one day he ventures out in search of medicine for his ailing sister. There he meets Lindsay, who is as curious about Talon's world as he is about hers. When Lindsay visits the Downside for the first time, she marvels at the spirit of the Downsiders, and the way they create works of art from topside "trash," like old subway tokens and forgotten earrings. As awed as she is by the Downside, however, she also questions its origins, and when she finds out that this fantastic world is not all it appears to be, she is determined to tell Talon the truth. Then a construction accident threatens to crush Talon's world, and his loyalty is put to the test. Can the truth save the Downside, or will it destroy an entire civilization? Neal Shusterman takes readers on an amazing journey into a place that's only a few steps away, yet beyond their wildest dreams.
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Lord of the Deep
Fishing. This is it, the big time. Mikey's 13, a deckhand working on a charter boat in Hawaii. Working for the best skipper anywhere, his stepdad, Bill. Before Bill came along, it was just Mikey and his mom. Now they're a real family, and Mikey has a little brother. He can't believe how lucky he is. And now he's learning from the best, even though he's only 13. Because Bill believes in him. And Mikey won't let him down. He loves fishing and being out on the boat. But some seas, some fish, and some charter clients are a lot tougher to handle than Mikey ever imagined. Take Ernie and Cal-they chartered Bill's boat for three days and they?re out for the adventure of their lives. Now it's up to Mikey and Bill to deliver it.


From the Hardcover Library Binding edition.
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The Man Who Listens to Horses
Monty Roberts is a real-life horse whisperer–an American original whose gentle Join-Up® training method reveals the depth of communication possible between man and animal. He can take a wild, high-strung horse who has never before been handled and persuade that horse to accept a bridle, saddle, and rider in thirty minutes. His powers may seem like magic, but his amazing “horse sense” is based on a lifetime of experience. In The Man Who Listens to Horses, Roberts reveals his unforgettable personal story and his exceptional insight into nonverbal communication, an understanding that applies to human relationships as well. He shows that between parent and child, employee and employer, abuser and abused, there are forms of communication far stronger than the spoken word that are accessible to all who will learn to listen. This new edition features engaging photographs, a chapter that traces Roberts's amazing experience gentling with a mustang in the wild, and an Afterword about the remarkable impact this book has had on the world.
release date: Jan 01, 1993
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Wolf by the Ears
The acclaimed author of The Last Silk Dress and Time Enough For Drums tells the intense, provocative story of a slave, Harriet Hemings, who some believe was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson. "Tantalizing . . . history brought to life by a skillful and imaginative author."--VOYA. An ALA Best Book for Young Adults. HC: Scholastic.
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The Boys from St. Petri
Lars joins his brother's secret society, whose pranks to ridicule the Nazis occupying Denmark in 1940 escalate to full-scale sabotage after a young laborer shows them the real meaning of war. By the author of Buster's World.
release date: May 12, 2009
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Witch Child
"With its theme of religious intolerance and its touches of the supernatural, this is sure to be in high demand for a long time." — Kirkus Reviews

Welcome to the world of young Mary Newbury, a world where simply being different can cost a person her life. Hidden until now in the pages of her diary, Mary's startling story begins in 1659, the year herbeloved grandmother is hanged in the public square as a witch. Mary narrowly escapes a similar fate, only to face intolerance and new danger among the Puritans in the New World. How long can she hide her true identity? Will she ever find a place where her healing powers will not be feared?
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The Unlikely Romance of Kate Bjorkman
I'm Kate Bjorkman. I don't like romance novels. They're full of three-paragraph kisses describing people's tongues and spittle. But what do you do if you've lived a real romance with a great-looking guy (Richard) and he loves you as much as you love him? I know what I did. I wrote this romance novel about myself, using the Romance Writer's Phrase Book. I also used stuff my English teach taught me about writing. He said a story must have conflict. No problem there. My life was one big conflict last Christmas. I didn't make anything up. This is the honest truth and I want truth even in romance. I'm betting you'll want the same.
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When My Name Was Keoko

Sun-hee and her older brother, Tae-yul, live in Korea with their parents. Because Korea is under Japanese occupation, the children study Japanese and speak it at school. Their own language, their flag, the folktales Uncle tells them—even their names—are all part of the Korean culture that is now forbidden. When World War II comes to Korea, Sun-hee is surprised that the Japanese expect their Korean subjects to fight on their side. But the greatest shock of all comes when Tae-yul enlists in the Japanese army in an attempt to protect Uncle, who is suspected of aiding the Korean resistance. Sun-hee stays behind, entrusted with the life-and-death secrets of a family at war.

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Big Mouth & Ugly Girl

Big Mouth

No I did not. I did not, I did not. I did not say those things, and I did not plan those things. Won't It anyone believe me?

Ugly Girl

All right, Ugly Girl made a mistake. I'd told my mom what I'd heard in the cafeteria, and she'd told Dad. Evidently. I'd thought for sure they would want me to speak up for the truth.

release date: Sep 02, 2000
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The Wind Singer (The Wind on Fire, Book 1)
Kestrel Hath's schoolroom rebellion against the stifling caste system of Aramanth leads to explosive consequences for her and her family: they are relegated to the city's lowest caste and are ostracized. With nothing left to lose, Kestrel and her twin brother, Bowman, do the unthinkable: they leave the city walls. Their only hope of rescuing the rest of their family is to find the key to the wind singer. Armed with bravery, wits, and determination, Kestrel, Bowman, and a tagalong classmate set off to find the key. Along the way they meet allies and foes, but in order to succeed in their quest, they must face the most sinister force of all: the evil spirit-lord, the Morah.
release date: Oct 01, 2003
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Ties That Bind, Ties That Break
Set in China in 1900s the story of a young girl who defied tradition by refusing to have her feet bound and in doing so changed the course of her life forever.
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The Other Side of Truth

Will the truth harm them -- or save them?

When Nigeria's corrupt military government kills their mother, twelve-year-old Sade and her brother Femi think their lives are over. Out of fear for their safety, their father, an outspoken journalist, decides to smuggle the children out of Nigeria and into London, where their uncle lives. But when they get to the cold and massive city, they find themselves lost and alone, with no one to trust and no idea when -- or if -- they will ever see their father again.

The Other Side of Truth is a gripping adventure story about courage, family, and the power of truth.

by: An Na
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A Step From Heaven
A Korean American girl tells of her acculturation into American life from the day she leaves Korea as a child to adulthood.
release date: Oct 01, 2006
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Blizzard
With his powerful and intriguing narrative style, Newbery Honor Book author Jim Murphy tells the harrowing story of the Blizzard of 1888. Available for the first time in paperback.

Snow began falling over New York City on March 12, 1888. All around town, people struggled along slippery streets and sidewalks -- some seeking the warmth of their homes, some to get to work or to care for the less fortunate, and some to experience what they assumed would be the last little snowfall of one of the warmest winters on record. What no one realized was that in a very few hours, the wind and snow would bury the city in nearly 21 inches of snow and bring it to a ferocious standstill.


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