Recommended Reads
Recommended Reads
  
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Download the slip and get it signed by your parents so you can check out books over the summer!
 
  
The list of 2017's recommended summer reads.
 
  
The top ten books of the previous year, chosen by teens.
 
  
Vote on the most popular books of last year, chosen by teens and young adults.
 
  

 All Challenger Reads

2018-2019

Kensuke's Kigndom

Washed up on an island in the Pacific with his dog Stella, Michael struggles to survive on his own. He can't find food. He can't find water. But just when things are at their worst, Michael realizes that he and Stella are not alone.

His fellow castaway, Kensuke, has lived on the island since the bombing of his native Nagasaki. Kensuke keeps his distance at first, but slowly, he lets the boy into his world. The two teach and learn from each other until, inevitably, they must talk about escape.

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2017-2018

Zebra Forest

When eleven-year-old Annie first started lying to her social worker, she had been taught by an expert: Gran. "If you’re going to do something, make sure you do it with excellence," Gran would say. That was when Gran was feeling talkative, and not brooding for days in her room — like she did after telling Annie and her little brother, Rew, the one thing they know about their father: that he was killed in a fight with an angry man who was sent away. Annie tells stories, too, as she and Rew laze under the birches and oaks of Zebra Forest — stories about their father the pirate, or pilot, or secret agent. But then something shocking happens to unravel all their stories: a rattling at the back door, an escapee from the prison holding them hostage in their own home, four lives that will never be the same (publisher description).

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2016-2017

THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND: YOUNG READERS EDITION

Challenger's first nonfiction ACR! When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba's tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season's crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family's life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William's windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land. Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows how, even in a desperate situation, one boy's brilliant idea can light up the world. Based on the adult novel of the same title.


While reading the ACR, students visted activity station at the CLIC where they got hands-on expereience with motors, radio waves, circuits, windmills, and Malawi food.

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2014-2015 
PAY IT FORWARD: YOUNG READERS EDITION

Pay It Forward is a moving, uplifting novel about Trevor McKinney, a twelve-year-old boy in a small California town who accepts his teacher’s challenge to earn extra credit by coming up with a plan to change the world.

Trevor’s idea is simple: do a good deed for three people, and instead of asking them to return the favor, ask them to “pay it forward” to three others who need help. He envisions a vast movement of kindness and goodwill spreading across the world, and in this “quiet, steady masterpiece with an incandescent ending” (Kirkus Reviews), Trevor’s actions change his community forever.

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2013-2014

SURVIVING THE APPLEWHITES

Jake Semple is notorious. Rumor has it he managed to get kicked out of every school in Rhode Island, and actually burned the last one down to the ground. 

Only one place will take him now, and that's a home school run by the Applewhites, a chaotic and hilarious family of artists: poet Lucille, theater director Randolph, dancer Cordelia, and dreamy Destiny. The only one who doesn't fit the Applewhite mold is E.D.—a smart, sensible girl who immediately clashes with the defiant Jake.

Jake thinks surviving this new school will be a breeze . . . but is he really as tough or as bad as he seems?

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2012-2013

THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS

Berlin 1942 
When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance. 
But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.


Students are learning about the Holocaust, genocide, and prejudice in conjunction with their reading of this book.

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2011-2012

ANYTHING BUT TYPICAL

Jason Blake is an autistic 12-year-old living in a neurotypical world. Most days it's just a matter of time before something goes wrong. But Jason finds a glimmer of understanding when he comes across PhoenixBird, who posts stories to the same online site as he does. 
Jason can be himself when he writes and he thinks that PhoneixBird-her name is Rebecca-could be his first real friend. But as desperate as Jason is to met her, he's terrified that if they do meet, Rebecca wil only see his autism and not who Jason really is. 
By acclaimed writer Nora Raleigh Baskin, this is the breathtaking depiction of an autistic boy's struggles-and a story for anyone who has ever worried about fitting in.

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2010-2011

DRUMS, GIRLS, AND DANGEROUS PIE

Steven has a totally normal life (well, almost).

He plays drums in the All-City Jazz Band (whose members call him the Peasant), has a crush on the hottest girl in school (who doesn't even know he's alive), and is constantly annoyed by his younger brother, Jeffrey (who is cuter than cute - which is also pretty annoying). But when Jeffrey gets sick, Steven's world is turned upside down, and he is forced to deal with his brother's illness, his parents' attempts to keep the family in one piece, his homework, the band, girls, and Dangerous Pie (yes, you'll have to read the book to find out what that is ).