Eighth grade is hard. When you’re 180 pounds and six feet tall, it can be even harder. Most of the kids in Marcus Vega’s school are terrified of him. Marcus uses his intimidating size to help protect smaller kids from the real school bully, Stephen. He uses the money he earns at school to help his mom and his brother. When Stephen says something horrible about Marcus’ brother, Marcus gets into a fight with Stephen and finds himself suspended. Their family decides to take a break and visit Puerto Rico. On this trip, Marcus discovers new things about himself and his family. He realizes that things around him are not always what they seem. If you enjoy realistic fiction, I would highly recommend this for fifth and sixth graders.
This book is available as an ebook and e-audio in OverDrive’s Digital Library.
Kathrine Switzer grew up in a time when people believed girls were too fragile and weak to participate in sports. So, whenever she would go run and sweat, people found it strange. Eventually, she gained attention of the running coach of a local school. He let her train with the men’s team. When she hears about the Boston Marathon for the first time, Kathrine knew that she had to run the 26.2 miles of the race. Many people doubted her ability to run that far, but Kathrine trained hard to show that women were capable of running a marathon. If you love hearing about people who work hard and have had an impact on the world: this book is for you!
What if an infinite number of universes with an infinite number of possibilities exist? What if you’re the person you love the most? After Albie Bright’s mother dies, his famous scientist father tries to comfort him by telling him about parallel universes. He tells Albie that according to this theory, there is a universe where his mother is alive, healthy, and happy. Since his father seems to be too busy to spend time with him, Albie makes the decision to use his mom’s laptop and what he knows about quantum physics to create a way to transfer between universes. He’s not prepared for many of the differences he encounters, and he realizes things aren’t always better in these different universes. Albie learns a lot about himself and his family as he travels through space and time.
Charlie O’Reilly’s younger brother Liam does things to bother Charlie just like many other younger brothers. One year for his birthday, Charlie wishes that his brother Liam would disappear. When he wakes up the next morning, Charlie realizes that his wish came true, and he is the only person who remembers Liam exists. Charlie’s best friend Ana is the only person who believes Liam ever existed even though she doesn’t remember him either. The two friends are willing to do anything, including some things that seem impossible, to bring Liam back. With many twists and turns along the way, this novel is great for 4th-6th graders who like fantasy, adventure, and mystery.
Have you ever wondered what it takes to be an artist? In Pocket Full of Colors by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville, we learn about a little girl named Mary who loved to collect all the different colors she saw in the world around her. As Mary grew up, she sketched and continued to collect colors in every new place she visited. When Mary got a bit older, she attended art school where she met her husband Lee. She and Lee loved to draw and paint together, but they realized not many people wanted to pay for the colorful things they were making during the Great Depression. Eventually, she applied for a job at Walt Disney Studios and became one of the first women to ever work there! She quickly noticed that none of the men she worked with were as interested in colors as she was. Mary believed they should make magenta horses that could fly; everyone else believed they should be brown and stay in a stable. No one knew what to do with her art, but Walt Disney himself loved it. Mary Blair’s love of colors gave her many opportunities, but you’ll need to read Pocket Full of Colors to find out about some of the most exciting things she was able to do.