Chuck Close is a world famous artist. Maybe you've seen his huge paintings of people's faces. Whether you have or not, Chuck Close: Face Book by Chuck Close is a fascinating read. Based on questions asked by real 5th graders, this book explores the various techniques Close uses to create his artwork and his path to becoming an artist. Spoiler alert: It wasn't easy. In the middle of the book is a kind of flip book of Close's work, which is a lot of fun to look at.
How do you blend in when you were born to stand out? This is the problem facing ten-year-old August Pullman. Auggie was born with several syndromes that cause him to look very different from other kids. And now he is beginning middle school, after being homeschooled his whole life. How will Auggie deal with this big life change? Read this story about friendship, kindness and growing up to find out.
In The Boy on Cinnamon Street by Phoebe Stone, seventh grader Louise, also know as Thumbelina because of her small size, discovers that she has a secret admirer and she and her friend Reni are determined to find him out. This should be exciting, but somehow it doesn't feel quite right. Things have not been quite right since Louise moved from the house on Cinnamon Street to a condo with her grandparents, but she can't really remember why. What is holding her back? Read this sweet, sad and funny story to find out.
Jack Gantos' Newbery winner for 2012, Dead End in Norvelt, is a fun read about life in Pennsylvania in the 1960s with mysterious dead bodies, girl scout cookies and Hells Angels! Be sure to give it a chance, you'll be glad you did.
If you like fast-paced adventures set in the west, you will love The Case of the Deadly Desperados by Caroline Lawrence. Even if you don't love fast paced fast-paced adventures set in the west, you should read this book anyway. 12 year old P.K.'s parents have been murdered and he finds himself on the run from Whittlin' Walt and his two pards. I am not going to tell you why P.K. is on the run or why the call him Whittlin' Walt, you will have to read the book to find out. Luckily, this is the first book in a series called Western Mysteries. If you need more convincing, take a look at the book trailer.