Reading Matters for Eighth Grade

19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East

By Naomi Shihab Nye

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Starting with a piece inspired by the events of September 11, Nye presents eloquent poems about the people and families from her Arab-American heritage.

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Airborn

By Kenneth Oppel

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Matt Cruse is more at home in the air than on the ground. Forced to land on an uncharted island, Matt and fellow traveler Kate battle pirates and strange winged creatures to return the damaged ship to the sky in this action-packed fantasy.

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B For Buster

By Iain Lawrence

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The horrific reality of war overwhelms a naïve, underage Canadian teen who enlists in World War II for adventure and becomes a wireless operator on bombing missions over Germany. Memorable characters, including a homing pigeon named Percy, expand a riveting story.

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Bang!

By Sharon G. Flake

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The family of 13-year-old Mann struggles to cope with the grief and guilt caused by the random shooting death of Mann’s younger brother Jason two years before.

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Code Orange

By Caroline B. Cooney

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While conducting research for a school paper on smallpox, Mitty finds an envelope containing 100-year-old smallpox scabs. Has he infected himself and all of New York City?

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Cracker! The Best Dog in Vietnam

By Cynthia Kadohata

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Cracker’s first owner used to feed her hot dogs and let her sleep in his bed, but now she’s a combat dog trained to sniff out bombs and booby-traps in Vietnam.

 

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Criss Cross

By Lynne Rae Perkins

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Friendship, understanding oneself, and the beginnings of romance happen when fourteen-year-old Debbie makes a wish that “something” will happen this summer — and plenty does.

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Dead Girls Don't Write Letters

By Gail Giles

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Fourteen-year-old Sunny is stunned when a total stranger shows up at her house posing as her older sister Jazz, who supposedly died out of town in a fire months earlier.

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Double Helix

By Nancy Werlin

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A summer job with a renowned molecular biologist leads Eli to significant, never-disclosed information about himself and his family. A suspenseful, timely take on identity and genetic engineering.

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