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Mrs. Karam’s 6th & 7th Grade List

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Here is a reading list of recommended books by Mrs. Courtney Karam, 6th and 7th grade English Teacher.

There's something for everyone on this wide-ranging list of 32 books.


Banner photo by Leonardo Burgos on Unsplash

The Codename Conspiracy #2

From Chris Rylander, author of the breakout hit the Fourth Stall saga, comes the second book in the Codename Conspiracy series, a funny and clever mash-up of middle grade school story and spy adventure.Ever since Carson Fender was let go by the secret agency that had enlisted his services to help foil a nefarious plot perpetrated by one of their former agents, he's been back to hanging with his friends, pulling pranks, and not having to lie to everyone about how he's spending his days. And that's for the best, isn't it? Of course, this was all before a note showed up in his school lunch, informing him that Agent Nineteen had three days left to live, and that there might still be someone inside the Agency working against them. Carson has always been able to rely on his friends--but what happens when there's no one left to trust?

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The Fourth Stall

The humor of Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets a Godfather-like tale of crime and betrayal in this first book in Chris Rylander's The Fourth Stall Saga. Do you need something? Mac can get it for you. He and his best friend and business manager, Vince. Their methods might sometimes run afoul of the law, or at least the school code of conduct, but if you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can pay him, Mac is on your side. His office is located in the East Wing boy's bathroom, fourth stall from the high window. And business is booming. Or at least it was, until this particular Monday. Because this Monday is when Mac and Vince find out that the trouble with solving everyone else's problems is there's no one left to solve yours. The school setting; fast-paced, cinematic, and funny story; and engaging voice make The Fourth Stall a perfect classroom read. Supports the Common Core State Standards

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Belly Up

Twelve-year-old Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt Fitzroy has murder on his hands and trouble on his tail. He believes that Henry, the hippopotamus at the brand-new FunJungle, has been murdered. The zoo’s top brass claim the hippo went belly up the natural way, but Teddy and his feisty friend Summer McCraken have other ideas. Could the culprit be FunJungle’s animal-hating head of operations? Or is it FunJungle’s owner—Summer’s dad—a man who is much more concerned about money than animal welfare? The deeper Teddy and Summer dig, the more danger they’re in—because when it comes to hippo homicide, the truth can’t be caged!

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Spy School

Like many kids, Ben Ripley imagines life as a secret agent would be pretty amazing - so when he learns he's been recruited to the CIA's top secret Academy of Espionage, it sounds too good to be true. And it is. From the moment he arrives - and ends up in the middle of an enemy attack - Ben finds Spy School is going to be far more difficult, dastardly and dangerous than he expected. Even worse, he soon discovers that he hasn't been recruited to become a top agent; instead, he's been brought in as bait to catch a devious double agent. Now Ben needs a crash course in espionage so that he can catch the mole, prove his worth - and get the girl. It won't be easy, but it'll be a very fun - and very funny - ride.

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Flush

Noah's dad is sure that the owner of the Coral Queen casino boat is flushing raw sewage into the harbor--which has made taking a dip at the local beach like swimming in a toilet. He can't prove it though, and so he decides that sinking the boat will make an effective statement. Right. The boat is pumped out and back in business within days and Noah's dad is in the local lock-up. Now Noah is determined to succeed where his dad failed. He will prove that the Coral Queen is dumping illegally . . . somehow.

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The Door by the Staircase

Twelve-year-old Mary Hayes can't stand her orphanage for another night. But when an attempted escape through the stove pipe doesn't go quite as well as she'd hoped, Mary fears she'll be stuck in the Buffalo Asylum for Young Ladies forever. The very next day, a mysterious woman named Madame Z appears at the orphanage requesting to adopt Mary, and the matron's all too happy to get the girl off her hands. Soon, Mary is fed a hearty meal, dressed in a clean, new nightgown and shown to a soft bed with blankets piled high. She can hardly believe she isn't dreaming! But when Mary begins to explore the strange nearby town with the help of her new friend, Jacob, she learns a terrifying secret about Madame Z's true identity. If Mary's not careful, her new home might just turn into a nightmare. Award-winning author Katherine Marsh draws from Russian fairytales in this darkly funny middle-grade fantasy novel, now available in paperback.

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Under the Egg

When Theodora Tenpenny spills a bottle of rubbing alcohol on her late grandfather's painting, she discovers what seems to be an old Renaissance masterpiece underneath. That's great news for Theo, who's struggling to hang onto her family's two-hundred-year-old townhouse and support her unstable mother on her grandfather's legacy of $463. There's just one problem: Theo's grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she worries the painting may be stolen. With surprising twists, heartwarming moments, and historical facts, Laura Marx Fitzgerald creates the perfect adventure in Under the Egg.

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CHASING VERMEER PB

This bewitching first novel is a puzzle, wrapped in a mystery, disguised as an adventure, and delivered as a work of art. When a book of unexplainable occurences brings Petra and Calder together, strange things start to happen: Seemingly unrelated events connect; an eccentric old woman seeks their company; an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears. Before they know it, the two find themselves at the center of an international art scandal, where no one is spared from suspicion. As Petra and Calder are drawn clue by clue into a mysterious labyrinth, they must draw on their powers of intuition, their problem solving skills, and their knowledge of Vermeer. Can they decipher a crime that has stumped even the FBI?

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The Blackthorn Key

Following a series of murders, an apothecary’s apprentice must solve puzzles and decipher codes in pursuit of a secret that could destroy the world. “Tell no one what I’ve given you.” Until he got that cryptic warning, Christopher Rowe was happy, learning how to solve complex codes and puzzles and creating powerful medicines, potions, and weapons as an apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn—with maybe an explosion or two along the way. But when a mysterious cult begins to prey on London’s apothecaries, the trail of murders grows closer and closer to Blackthorn’s shop. With time running out, Christopher must use every skill he’s learned to discover the key to a terrible secret with the power to tear the world apart. In his stunning debut novel, Kevin Sands brings readers on a heart-stopping adventure rich with suspense, mystery, and unforgettable characters.

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Space Case

It’s a murder mystery on the moon in this humorous and suspenseful space adventure from the author of Belly Up and Spy School that The New York Times Book Review called “a delightful and brilliantly constructed middle grade thriller.” Like his fellow lunarnauts—otherwise known as Moonies—living on Moon Base Alpha, twelve-year-old Dashiell Gibson is famous the world over for being one of the first humans to live on the moon. And he’s bored out of his mind. Kids aren’t allowed on the lunar surface, meaning they’re trapped inside the tiny moon base with next to nothing to occupy their time—and the only other kid Dash’s age spends all his time hooked into virtual reality games. Then Moon Base Alpha’s top scientist turns up dead. Dash senses there’s foul play afoot, but no one believes him. Everyone agrees Dr. Holtz went onto the lunar surface without his helmet properly affixed, simple as that. But Dr. Holtz was on the verge of an important new discovery, Dash finds out, and it’s a secret that could change everything for the Moonies—a secret someone just might kill to keep...

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