3rd - 4th Grade

Life on Mars by Jennifer Brown

Arty’s goal is to find life on Mars. On the roof outside his bedroom, using a homemade signaling device, Arty directs messages toward Mars and waits for a response.  One night he sees a man come out of the house next door, carrying a black garbage bag into the woods. Arty and his friends Tripp and Priya decide his neighbor is a face-eating zombie and call him Mr. Death. Arty is upset to learn his family is moving far from the Midwest. Plans get mixed up while his parents are in Las Vegas, looking for a new house, and Arty must spend the night at Mr. Death’s house.

Shipwreck Island by S.A. Bodeen

Sarah Robinson’s dad has decided to marry a woman after only three dates. Now Sarah’s new stepmom is moving in with her two sons, Marco who’s also twelve and Nacho who is ten. Life is never going to be the same! Hoping to unite their new family, Sarah’s dad and stepmom decide to take them on a dream vacation to Fiji, where they’ll charter a boat and go sailing amongst the islands.

Nuts To You by Lynne Rae Perkins

This story started with the author sitting down with a peanut butter sandwich and a squirrel, Jed, itching to tell a tale. One day while minding his own business, Jed gets picked up by a hungry hawk. He tricks the hawk and is dropped to safety, but far away from his grove.  While Jed is a gray squirrel, these squirrels are red and speak with a Scottish brogue. In the meantime, Jed’s friends discover he’s alive and travel electric lines, buzzpaths in squirrel-talk, to find him.

Bird by Crystal Chan

Jewel never knew her brother John. Jewel’s grandfather nicknamed her brother Bird, and encouraged him to pretend he could fly. Bird jumped off a cliff and died the day Jewel was born. No one talks about Bird or how he died, and her grandfather doesn’t speak at all. One night Jewel climbs her favorite tree and discovers someone else is already there, and his name is John. The two become fast friends, sharing their hopes and dreams for the future. 

Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown

Roan is graduating from primary school, and waiting for his invitation to attend Pilot Academy Middle School.  He can’t wait to fly in space!  However, he’s rejected by Pilot Academy, but luckily gets a last minute invitation to go to Jedi School on the planet Coruscant.  He doesn’t know anything about Jedi’s or the Force, but it’s better than going to the Plant academy.

Wild Born by Brandon Mull

The children of Erdas are required to drink Nectar when they turn eleven to see if they will become one of the few to have a spirit animal.  Four children are about to discover that they each have spirit animal bonds which are rare links between human and animal that give great powers to both.  Conor, an indentured servant, calls Briggan the wolf.  Abeke, the young warrior, calls Uraza the leopard.  Jhi the panda comes to Meilin, the daughter of a general, and Rollan, an orphan from the streets, calls Essix the falcon.

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