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 39 Clues: Book 10: Into the Gauntlet
39 Clues: Book 10: Into the Gauntlet
By: Margaret Peterson Haddix
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Amy and Dan continue their search for the 39 Clues, uncovering amazing mysteries and secrets along the way.

 5,000 Miles to Freedom
5,000 Miles to Freedom
By: Judith Fradin & Dennis Fradin
Age Level: 12-14
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Ellen and William Craft, an enslaved married couple, devised a daring plan to escape to freedom. Capitalizing on Ellen's mixed race heritage and light skin, she would dress her as a wealthy white man, while William posed as her slave.

 Beginning Pearls
Beginning Pearls
By: Stephan Pastis
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Each section of the first in the Pearls Before Swine collections is organized by each of the strip’s characters: Rat, Goat, Zebra, Croc and Pig. Understated humor is evident in the line drawings and minimal language create an accessible, offbeat humor just right for middle schoolers.

 Clayton Byrd Goes Underground
Clayton Byrd Goes Underground
By: Rita Williams-Garcia
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Clayton Byrd adores his grandfather, loves the jazz Cool Papa plays with the other bluesmen in the park; Clayton wants to be a musician, too. But when Cool Papa Byrd dies suddenly, Clayton is overcome with grief. His mother who has never resolved her own childhood remains at arm’s length though his father attempts to reach the boy. Clayton tries to join the park bluesmen but instead finds a different kind of music with a gang of street kids in the New York subway. Likeable characters populate this fast-paced novel.

 Daughter of Suqua
Daughter of Suqua
By: Diane Johnston Hamm
Illustrated by: Paul Micich
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

"It is 1905, and Ida, 10, lives with her parents and grandmother among their people, the Suquamish, on an island off the coast of Washington. The story revolves around their struggle to maintain their identity; first as a family, and second as a tribe when the U.S. government resettles them on allotted lands and enrolls their children in 'American' schools. Readers will identify with Ida's need to be with her friends and family and her despair over being sent away to a white boarding school. They will be enriched by her tenacity and the cultural values she exhibits, like cooperation and mutual responsibility." — School Library Journal

 Declare Yourself: Speak. Connect. Act. Vote.
Declare Yourself: Speak. Connect. Act. Vote.
By: Declare Yourself
Age Level: 14-16
Reading Level: Independent Reader

A variety of celebrities write mini-essays about the importance of getting involved in politics. Actors, musicians, writers and politicians each give their unique spin on this timely topic, which could be used in government classes or as a jump-off for creative writing.

 Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty
Emancipation Proclamation: Lincoln and the Dawn of Liberty
By: Tonya Bolden
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

What led up to Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation? Who were the abolitionists and what was their influence? Primary source material and a crisp narrative combine to present a fascinating look at the events leading up to the Proclamation and the period in which it was created.

 Full of Beans
Full of Beans
By: Jennifer Holm
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

Times are tough for Beans and his family in Key West during the Great Depression. Can Beans and his friends trust the New Dealers who say that they have come to Florida to make their small, poor town a tourist destination? Bean’s saga is both humorous and poignant in his satisfying story.

 Gone Crazy in Alabama
Gone Crazy in Alabama
By: Rita Williams-Garcia
Age Level: 0-3
Reading Level: Pre-Reader

Delphine is now twelve years old in this third (and final book) about her, and her younger sisters. The girls are sent to Alabama where they are supposed to come to know their grandmother, great-grandmother, and other family members. Instead, the girls are caught up in a family feud and learn that adults, too, have issues. Things change radically when Vonetta goes missing during a tornado. Family history and sibling loyalty are strong themes in this engaging conclusion.

 How to Build a Museum: Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture
How to Build a Museum: Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture
By: Tonya Bolden
Age Level: 9-12
Reading Level: Independent Reader

The history of African Americans is also the history of the United States. How the history and culture of once enslaved people came to sit proudly on the National Mall in the nation’s capital is told in word and image for a riveting portrait of a particular place and a country’s history.

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