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Books for Independent Readers

Independent readers are ready for books that are longer, have more complex plots and characters than chapter books, and, usually, few if any illustrations.  Librarians and publishers refer to books in this range "middle grade" books.  Click on the image to check out the video trailers and other cool stuff.
Okay, I admit I'm biased.  It's about a library.
But it's got mystery, action, and a library that rivals
Charlie's chocolate factory in its awesomeness.  Kids love this one!
And, you might just learn the Dewey Decimal system.
This year's Newbery winner by the National Ambassador of Children's Literature Kate DiCamillo is wildly original and funny.  It's got comics sprinkled throughout the story, which tells of a girl and her discovery of a squirrelwith superpowers, including the ability to type.  A great read-together for parentsand kids.

This is the first book in a series about a veterinary filled with imaginary animals.  Fun!
"When suspicions begin to swirl that a Russian spy has infiltrated her small town of Maple Hill, Vermont, Hazel knows it’s up to her to find a suspect . . . starting with Mr. Jones, the quietly suspicious gravedigger." (~Author Website1950s American history mixed into this new novel make it a great pick for book groups.

Get ready to geek out. I recommended Nerd Camp last year, and this sequel picksup right where the first book leaves off. Gabe's dream summer at a camp for gifted learners is dashed when his uber-cool step-brother attends the nearby camp and declares war on Nerd Camp.  A funread that challenges stereotypes while it entertains.
A great old-fashioned book filled with a cast of animal characters, this is the story of a class pet rat who discovers a secret society of classroom pets at his new school.

Five kids masquerade as a Pickle Makers Club but really theyare a behind a slew of hilarious pranks at Fountain Point Middle School.  Be prepared to laugh out loud! 
Coke and Pepsi MacDonald, twins, are recruited by the government as spies.  Noone would suspect kids, right?  Dan Gutman, who has dozens of books for kids, fills thisseries with heart-stopping, action-packed adventure-- it reads like a summer blockbuster movie.
Hopper, a mouse, escapes a pet shop in NYC and stumbles upon a subterranianrat empire.  This is the first in an epic adventure series that will appeal to thefans of the Warriors series. 
Jeffrey Brown's fun mashup of middle school and Star Wars.  This one's gonna be popular!

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