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Thin Books for Middle School Students  

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Realistic Fiction

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Liar, Liar - Gary Paulsen
ISBN: 9780385740012
Kevin doesn't mean to make trouble when he lies. He's just really good at it, and it makes life so much easier.

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Big Nate - Lincoln Peirce
ISBN: 9780061944345
Nate barely survives his dad's toxic oatmeal before rushing off to school--minus his lunch.
He body slams the no-nonsense principal.
Can Nate keep his cool? He knows he's destined for greatness. A fortune cookie told him so.

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Mudshark - Gary Paulsen
ISBN: 9780385746854
Mudshark is the go-to guy for any mysteries that need solving. That is, until the Psychic Parrot takes up residence in the school library and threatens to overturn Mudshark position as the guy who knows all the answers.

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Maniac Magee - Jerry Spinelli
ISBN: 0316809063
Jeffrey Lionel "Maniac" Magee might have lived a normal life if a trolley accident hadn't made him an orphan. After living with his unhappy and uptight aunt and uncle for eight years, he decides to run-and not just run away, but run.

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Saint Louis Armstrong Beach - Brenda Woods
ISBN: 9780399255076
Saint is budding musician, he earns money playing clarinet for the New Orleans tourists. His best friend is a stray dog named Shadow, and it's because of Shadow that Saint's still in town when Hurricane Katrina hits. Saint won't leave without Shadow. His search brings him to his elderly neighbor's home and the three of them flee to her attic when the waters rise. But when Miz Moran's medication runs out, it's up to Saint to save her life.

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The Strange Case of Origami Yoda - Tom Angleberger
ISBN: 0810984253
In this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class. Dwight, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. The puppet is uncannily wise and prescient.

 

Mystery

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The Maze of Bones - Rick Riordan
ISBN: 9780545060394
Grace Cahill changed her will, leaving her descendants an impossible decision: "You have a choice - one million dollars or a clue." Grace is the last matriarch of the Cahills, the world's most powerful family. Everyone from Napoleon to Houdini is related to the Cahills, yet the source of the family power is lost. 39 Clues hidden around the world will reveal the family's secret. What would you choose?

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Don't Look Behind You - Lois Duncan
ISBN: 0316126586
April finds her comfortable life changed forever when death threats to her father, a witness in a federal case, force her family to go into hiding under assumed names and flee the pursuit of a hired killer.

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The Other Side of Dark - Joan Lowery Nixon
ISBN: 0440966388
Stacy wakes up in a room that's not hers, in a body she doesn't recognize, to discover she's been in a coma for four years. Her mother is dead--murdered--and Stacy, recovering from a gunshot wound, is the only eyewitness to her mother's murder. But the killer is not about to let her reveal his identity.

 

Historical

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A Year down Yonder - Richard Peck
ISBN: 0142300705
Mary Alice's childhood summers with Grandma Dowdel's were packed with enough drama to fill the double bill of any picture show. But now she is fifteen, and whole long year with Grandma, does not seem so much fun.

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Letters from Rifka - Karen Hesse
ISBN: 0140363912
"In letters to her cousin back 'home' in Russia, 12-year-old Rifka tells of her journey to America in 1919, from the dangerous escape over the border through Europe and across the sea to the new country."

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Scrib - David Ives
ISBN: 0060598417
With the cleverness of Mark Twain, the hilarity of a Mel Brooks movie, and the fast-moving speed of a train wreck, this cowboy novel of comic genius takes readers back to an Old West as it probably never was--but should have been.

 

Science Fiction and Fantasy

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Among the Impostors - Margaret Peterson Haddix
ISBN: 0689839081
In a futuristic and over-populated Earth, the government limits families to two children. Any "shadow child," a child born after the first two children in a family, is either killed or imprisoned by the Population Police. Luke is a shadow child.

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The Dark Side of Nowhere - Neal Shusterman
ISBN: 0812568788
Jason is having a bad day. The kind of day when you just don't feel like yourself. Only for Jason, it's not just a feeling. He really isn't himself. Who is he?

 

Sports

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Hoops - Walter Dean Myers
ISBN: 0440938848
All eyes are on Lonnie Jackson while he practices with his team for a city-wide basketball Tournament of Champions. His coach, Cal, knows Lonnie has what it takes to be a pro-basketball player, so why is his couch keep him on the bench?

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Beanball - Gene Fehler; Gene Fehier
ISBN: 9780618843480
It's the last inning of a high school baseball game between arch-rivals Oak Grove and Compton. Center fielder Luke "Wizard" Wallace steps up to the plate and is hit by a beanball, a wild pitch that shatters his skull, destroys the vision in his left eye, and changes his life forever.

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Technical Foul - Rich Wallace
ISBN: 0142404446
Jared knows he's the best basketball player in school. He's got the talent, the touch, and the shots. With him at center, the Hudson City Hornets finally have a chance at making the playoffs. But Jared's also got a temper, and when the ref throws him out of the game, he watches his team's chances start to slip away.

 

Horror

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Night of the Bat - Paul Zindel
ISBN: 0786803401
When Indian workers begin to disappear from an expedition into the Amazon rain forest, Jake fears that his father, is in great danger. Against his dad's wishes, Jake flies to Brazil and joins his father's research team. Jake's first climb up the rope bridges and suspended walkways leads him to discover the missing workers.
Who killed them?

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The Boy Who Couldn't Die - William Sleator
ISBN: 9780810987906
Ken loses his best friend in a plane crash and now he wants to be invulnerable. He finds a psychic who claims she can make him immortal for $50. Ken agrees, but soon he realizes he should have read the small print on the deal.

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Half-Minute Horrors - Susan Rich
ISBN: 9780061833793
These deliciously terrifying one-page, 30-second tales and creepy illustrations bring together an incredible list of writers and illustrations, including Lemony Snicket, James Patterson, Neil Gaiman, Jon Scieszka, and Brett Helquist. Illustrations.

This publication was supported in part by Federal Library Services and Technology Act funds, awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services.

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