12 Books to Read Before You're 12
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    No. 1

    Charlotte's Web

    by E. B. White

    This beloved book by E. B. White, author of Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan , is a classic of children's literature that is "just about perfect." Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte's Web, high up in Zuckerman's barn. Charlotte's spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur's life when he was born the runt of his litter. E. B. White's Newbery Honor Book is a tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come. It contains illustrations by Garth Williams, the acclaimed illustrator of E.B. White's Stuart Little and Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House series, among many other books. Supports the Common Core State Standards

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    No. 2

    Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone Children's Ppbk Edition

    by J.k. Rowling

    J. K. (Joanne Kathleen) Rowling was born in Gloucestershire, U. K. on July 31, 1965. Rowling attended Tutshill Primary and then went on to Wyedean Comprehensive where she was made Head Girl in her final year. She received a degree in French from Exeter University. She later took some teaching classes at Moray House Teacher Training College and a teacher-training course in Manchester, England. This extensive education created a perfect foundation to spark the Harry Potter series that Rowling is renowned for. After college, Rowling moved to London to work for Amnesty International, where she researched human rights abuses in Francophone Africa, and worked as a bilingual secretary. In 1992, Rowling quit office work to move to Portugal and teach English as a Second Language. There she met and married her husband, a Portuguese TV journalist. But the marriage dissolved soon after the birth of their daughter. It was after her stint teaching in Portugal that Rowling began to write the premise for Harry Potter. She returned to Britain and settled in Edinburgh to be near her sister, and attempted to at least finish her book, before looking for another teaching job. Rowling was working as a French teacher when her book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was published in June of 1997 and was an overnight sensation. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone won the British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year, was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Award, and received a Commended citation in the Carnegie Medal awards. She also received 8,000 pounds from the Scottish Arts Council, which contributed to the finishing touches on The Chamber of Secrets. Rowling continued on to win the Smarties Book Prize three years in a row, the only author ever to do so. At the Bologna Book Fair, Arthur Levine from Scholastic Books, bought the American rights to Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone for the unprecedented amount of $105,000.00. The book was retitled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone for it's American release, and proceeded to top the Best Seller's lists for children's and adult books. The American edition won Best of the Year in the School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Parenting Magazine and the Cooperative Children's Book Center. It was also noted as an ALA Notable Children's Book as well as Number One on the Top Ten of ALA's Best Books for Young Adults. The Harry Potter Series consists of seven books, one for each year of the main character's attendance at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. All of the books in the series have been made into successful movies. She has also written Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Quidditch Through the Ages, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Rowling's first novel for an adult audience,The Casual Vacancy, was published by Little Brown in September 2012.

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    No. 4

    Diary Of A Wimpy Kid # 1

    by Jeff Kinney

    Boys don’t keep diaries—or do they? The launch of an exciting and innovatively illustrated new series narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary. In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion. Author/illustrator Jeff Kinney recalls the growing pains of school life and introduces a new kind of hero who epitomizes the challenges of being a kid. As Greg says in his diary, “Just don’t expect me to be all ‘Dear Diary’ this and ‘Dear Diary’ that.” Luckily for us, what Greg Heffley says he won’t do and what he actually does are two very different things. Since its launch in May 2004 on Funbrain.com, the Web version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid has been viewed by 20 million unique online readers. This year, it is averaging 70,000 readers a day.   F&P level: T

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    No. 5

    The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (full Color)

    by C. S. Lewis

    A full-color paperback edition of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe , book two in the classic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia . This edition is complete with full-color cover and interior art by the original illustrator, Pauline Baynes. Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie— step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second book in C. S. Lewis's classic fantasy series, which has been drawing readers of all ages into a magical land with unforgettable characters for over sixty years. This is a stand-alone read, but if you would like to explore more of the Narnian realm, pick up The Horse and His Boy , the third book in The Chronicles of Narnia .

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    No. 6

    El Deafo

    by Cece Bell

    A 2015 Newbery Honor Book Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful—and very awkward—hearing aid. The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear—sometimes things she shouldn’t—but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for. PRAISE FOR EL DEAFO STARRED REVIEWS "A standout autobiography. Someone readers will enjoy getting to know." -- Publishers Weekly, starred review "Worthy of a superhero." -- Kirkus Reviews , starred review "This empowering autobiographical story belongs right next to Raina Telgemeier’s Smile (2011) and Liz Prince’s Tomboy ." -- Booklist

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    No. 7

    The Graveyard Book

    by Neil Gaiman

    In this Newbery Medal-winning novel, Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place—he''s the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians'' time as well as their ghostly teachings—such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him. Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead? And then there are being such as ghouls that aren''t really one thing or the other. The Graveyard Book won the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal and is a Hugo Award Winner for Best Novel. Supports the Common Core State Standards

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    No. 8

    The Tale Of Despereaux: Being The Story Of A Mouse, A Princess, Some Soup, And A Spool Of Thread

    by Kate DiCamillo

    A brave mouse, a covetous rat, a wishful serving girl, and a princess named Pea come together in Kate DiCamillo''s Newbery Medal–winning tale. Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other''s lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out. With black-and-white illustrations and a refreshed cover by Timothy Basil Ering.

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    No. 9

    Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

    by Roald Dahl

    Willy Wonka''s famous chocolate factory is opening at last! But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

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    No. 10

    Smile

    by Raina Telgemeier

    From the artist of The Baby-sitters Club Graphix comes this humorous and charming true story! Eleven-year-old Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after a trip-and-fall mishap, she injures her two front teeth, and what follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, corrective surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there''s still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly. This coming-of-age true story is sure to resonate with anyone who has ever been in middle school, and especially those who have had a bit of their own dental drama.

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    No. 11

    Ella Enchanted

    by Gail Carson Levine

    How can a fairy''s blessing be such a curse? At her birth, Ella of Frell was given a foolish fairy''s gift—the "gift" of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it''s hopping on one foot for a day or chopping off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. She goes on a quest, encountering ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, fairy godmothers, and handsome princes, determined to break the curse—and live happily ever after.

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    No. 12

    Wonder

    by R. J. Palacio

    Over 3 million people have read the #1  New York Times  bestseller  WONDER  and have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face.  The book that inspired the Choose Kind movement. I won''t describe what I look like. Whatever you''re thinking, it''s probably worse. August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER , now a #1  New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. "Wonder is the best kids'' book of the year," said Emily Bazelon, senior editor at Slate.com and author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy . In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope. R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out. Join the conversation: #thewonderofwonder

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