... for grades 7 and 8

Click a title to check the Skokie Public Library catalog for the status of the book in the Youth Services collection. Titles marked with  * are also available on audio.

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Alexander, Lloyd. Westmark. 1981.
Youth Fiction ALE
Young Theo is a printer's apprentice. When his master is killed, Theo runs away. He meets a charlatan, a dwarf, and a young street girl and together they travel the kingdom of Westmark. Their story is one of high adventure and surprises, especially when they meet Barrabus, the king's power-hungry minister, and learn that the king is grieving over the loss of his daughter.
Allende, Isabel. City of the Beasts. 2002. *
Junior High Fiction ALL
Fifteen-year-old Alexander isn't too thrilled that he has to accompany his journalist-grandmother on an expedition to the Amazon. He quickly becomes caught up in a complex and dangerous story when he meets not only the terrifying beast his grandmother is searching for, but also anaconda snakes, natives with poison darts, and other members of the expedition who prove to be most untrustworthy.
Bauer, Joan. Backwater. 1999.
Junior High Fiction BAU
When young Ivy Breedlove takes on the job of family historian, she discovers an eccentric aunt -- Aunt Jo -- a sculptor who lives in the Adirondack Mountains. Ivy wants to interview Aunt Jo and hires Mountain Mama as her wilderness guide. Armed with a video camera, Ivy makes her way through storms, a collapsed mountain shelter, and shifting lake ice in order to reach Aunt Josephine. When she arrives, she meets Aunt Jo, but discovers much, much more.
Demers, Barbara. Willa’s New World. 1999.
Youth Fiction DEM
It is 1795, and when her father dies, 15-year-old Willa is sent from London to Hudson Bay, Canada, to fend for herself. Willa becomes a clerk at a factory and meets Amelia, a young native girl, who teachers her about life inside and outside of the fort. When Willa is transferred to a fort deeper into the wilderness, she takes a very different type of journey—a journey of the spirit as well as the body.
Farmer, Nancy. A Girl Named Disaster. 1996. *
Junior High Fiction FAR
Nhamo is 11 years old. After a cholera epidemic strikes her village and an evil spirit decrees that she must marry a cruel man, she flees from Mozambique to Zimbabwe on what is supposed to be a two-day boat trip. But the trip takes her a whole year! Along the way she nearly drowns and starves, and she holds "conversations" with her dead mother. Yet, even after she arrives in Zimbabwe, she still struggles to survive.
Fleischman, Sid. The Ghost in the Noonday Sun. 1965.
Youth Fiction FLE
Oliver Finch can see ghosts; really, he can! He is kidnapped by pirates who think he can help them get past the ghosts that protect buried treasure. When the pirate ship leaves Nantucket Island, 12-year-old Oliver doesn't know whether he'll ever see home again.
Gordon, Roderick. Tunnels. 2008. *
Youth Fiction GOR
Fourteen-year-old Will Burrows has a passion: digging tunnels. He comes by it naturally; his father is an avid archeologist who is always searching for the next great find. When Dr. Burrows finds an abandoned, undiscovered tunnel beneath London, he begins to feverishly explore it. Then he completely disappears.
Hobbs, Will. Far North. 1996.
Junior High Fiction HOB
Fifteen-year-old Gabe, his school roommate, and the elderly Johnny Raven are stranded in the remote Canadian wilderness after their float plane crashes and the plane and pilot plunge over a thundering waterfall. Then, the trouble begins. With little in the way of supplies, they struggle with cold, blizzards, starvation, injuries, a wolverine, a grizzly bear -- and finally the death of Johnny Raven -- before they finally reach safety.
Holman, Felice. Slake’s Limbo. 1974. *
Junior High Fiction HOL
Desperate, homeless, and alone, 13-year-old Aremis Slake uses the New York City subway as a refuge from the gangs who constantly torment him on the street. One particularly bad day, he runs down into the subway – and decides to stay there.
Karr, Kathleen. Born for Adventure. 2007 .
Junior High Fiction KAR
Sixteen-year-old Tom Ormsby works in a pharmacy in 1880s London, but has a dream of becoming an adventurer. When he makes a delivery to famed African explorer Henry Morton Stanley, he convinces Stanley to take him on his next expedition, a rescue mission into deepest, darkest Africa. As he travels with Stanley into the Congo’s Ituri Forest, Tom begins to wonder if Stanley is really on a rescue mission – or if he has other, more selfish motives for the journey.
McCaughrean, Geraldine. The Pirate's Son. 1998.
Junior High Fiction MCC
It is England in 1717, and Nathan is thrown out of school when his father dies and there is no money to pay the school's fees. This leaves Nathan and his younger sister Maud to fend for themselves. Nathan has always been a pirate lover, so when a schoolmate -- who is a pirate's son -- takes them on a pirate ship, Nathan couldn't be happier. However, the children encounter culture shock as they learn that pirate life is a very different life -- one filled with slavery, cyclones, pirate booty, and more.
McKernan, Victoria. Shackleton’s Stowaway. 2005.
Junior High Fiction MCK
Eighteen-year-old Perce Blackborrow hides aboard Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance, bound for Antarctica with the goal of crossing the entire continent. When he is discovered after two days at sea, Perce is given the chance to disembark, but decides to sign on as ship’s steward. His journal entries tell us what it was like to be on the doomed expedition that became stranded in arctic ice for months, and the harrowing events that followed.
Meyer, L.A. Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary “Jacky” Faber, Ship’s Boy. 2002. *
Junior High Fiction MEY
The year is 1797. Twelve-year-old Mary, whose parents died in the plague, begs and steals on the streets of London with a group of other orphans. When the group’s leader is killed, Mary decides life might be easier if she pretended to be a boy. She puts on his clothes, cuts her hair, and changes her name to Jack. When she signs on as ship’s boy on the HMS Dolphin, her adventures really begin.
Mikaelsen, Ben. Red Midnight. 2002.
Junior High Fiction MIK
The night sky turns to red when soldiers burn Santiago's Guatemalan village, and Santiago and his young sister must flee to Florida in a small sailing canoe -- all the way across the Gulf of Mexico. The children face starvation, dehydration, exposure to the elements, and their own fears and sorrows in their attempt to win the game of staying alive.
Mowll, Joshua. Operation Red Jericho. 2005.
Junior High Fiction MOW
This Indiana Jones-style adventure is not a book in the usual sense, but a collection of documents. At the beginning of the book you are informed that the documents you will be viewing (maps, newspaper clippings, letters, photos) were left to Josh Mowll, the author, by his great aunt Rebecca, who was an explorer in the early part of the 1900s. The author believes that they add up to a spectacular discovery. Take a look yourself, and find out if he’s right!
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Blizzard's Wake. 2002.
Junior High Fiction NAY
A drunk driver killed Kate's mother -- and Kate still mourns the loss. When a massive blizzard descends on Grand Forks, North Dakota, Kate's father and brother are stranded in a car a mile from home. Just released from prison, the drunk driver -- Zeke Dexter -- stumbles upon the car, and Kate's father and brother take him in. Kate then battles the elements and her own grief as she rescues her father and brother, as well as the one person in the world she hates the most.
Pfeffer, Susan Beth. Life As We Knew It. 2006. *
Junior High Fiction PFE
Here’s a book you won’t be able to put down. In her journal, sixteen-year-old Miranda tells us what her life is like before and after a meteor slams into the moon and knocks it closer to earth. The effects on the earth’s atmosphere that result – earthquakes, dust, tsunamis, volcanoes – make her life as a normal teenager a thing of the past.
Rees, Celia. Pirates!: The True and Remarkable Adventures of Minerva Sharpe and Nancy Kington, Female Pirates. 2003. *
Junior High Fiction REE
Rather than go through with a horrible arranged marriage, young Nancy Kington flees with her friend Minerva, a former slave, to join a pirate crew so Nancy can escape the evil would-be husband. The young women travel the seas, swinging swords as they survive storms, capture, mutiny, and much, much more.
Smith, Roland. Peak. 2007. *
Junior High Fiction SMI
Fourteen-year-old Peak loves climbing, and why not? He’s the son of two mountain climbers! But since mountains are in short supply in New York City, Peak has been attempting to climb buildings, which has gotten him into trouble with the police. When his dad rescues him by offering to take him on an expedition, Peak gratefully accepts – and then discovers that the expedition his dad has in mind is to the top of Mount Everest!
Volponi, Paul. Hurricane Song. 2008.
Junior High Fiction VOL
Sixteen-year-old Miles’ parents are divorced, and he decides to move from Chicago to New Orleans to live with his dad, a jazz musician. Two months after his move, Hurricane Katrina hits the Gulf Coast, and Miles’ life is changed forever.
Whitesel, Cheryl Aylward. Blue Fingers: A Ninja's Tale. 2004.
Youth Fiction WHI
It is 1845. In the Iga Mountains of Japan, a farm boy runs away from his family. Koji hides in the bamboo forest, but is sure that "eyes" are watching him. When he is captured by Ninjas, he must learn to survive in their dangerous and mysterious world.