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Texas Lone Star Reading List

The Texas Lone Star list is a recommended reading list developed by public and school librarians from the Young Adult Round Table. The purpose of the list is to encourage students in grades 6, 7, or 8 to explore a variety of current books. The Lone Star list is intended for recreational reading, not to support a specific curriculum.

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      Dear Sweet Pea

      by Julie Murphy

      Feb 2020

      Advanced Readers

      2020
      Patricia “Sweet Pea” DiMarco wasn’t sure what to expect when her parents announced they were getting a divorce. She never could have imagined that they would have the “brilliant” idea of living in nearly identical houses on the same street. In the one house between them lives their eccentric neighbor Miss Flora Mae, the famed local advice columnist behind “Miss Flora Mae I?”

      Dividing her time between two homes is not easy. Then one day, Flora leaves for a trip and asks Sweet Pea to forward her the letters for the column. Sweet Pea is able to contain her curiosity about them…until she recognizes the handwriting on one of the envelopes. What she decides to do with that letter sets off a chain of events that will forever change the lives of Sweet Pea DiMarco, her family, and many of the readers of “Miss Flora Mae I?”

      Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation

      by Stuart Gibbs

      Nov 2019

      Mystery Middle Plus

      2020
      Charlie Thorne is a genius.
      Charlie Thorne is a thief.
      Charlie Thorne isn’t old enough to drive.
      And now it’s up to her to save the world…

      Decades ago, Albert Einstein devised an equation that could benefit all life on earth—or destroy it. Fearing what would happen if the equation fell into the wrong hands, he hid it. But now, a diabolical group known as the Furies are closing in on its location. In desperation, a team of CIA agents drags Charlie into the hunt, needing her brilliance to find it first—even though this means placing her life in grave danger. Charlie must crack a complex code created by Einstein himself, struggle to survive in a world where no one can be trusted, and fight to keep the last equation safe once and for all.

      Other Words for Home

      by Jasmine Warga

      Oct 2019

      Realistic Fiction Middle Plus

      2020
      I am learning how to be
      sad
      and happy
      at the same time.


      Jude never thought she’d be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives.

      At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven’t quite prepared her for starting school in the US—and her new label of “Middle Eastern,” an identity she’s never known before. But this life also brings unexpected surprises—there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.

      Glossary of Arabic words. Author’s note.

      Secret Soldiers

      by Keely Hutton

      Aug 2019

      Advanced Readers Plus

      2020
      Over a quarter million underage British boys fought on the Allied front lines of the Great War, but not all of them fought on the battlefield—some fought beneath it. This gripping middle-grade military adventure follows the journey of Thomas, a thirteen-year-old coal miner, who lies about his age to join the Claykickers, a specialized crew of soldiers known as “tunnelers,” in hopes of finding his missing older brother. Thomas works in the tunnels of the Western Front alongside three other soldier boys whose constant bickering and inexperience in mining may prove more lethal than the enemy digging toward them. But as they burrow deeper beneath the battlefield, the boys discover the men they hope to become and forge a bond of brotherhood.

      Author's note.

      Sal and Gabi Break the Universe

      by Carlos Hernandez

      Jul 2019

      Upper Elementary & Junior High Plus

      2020
      Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents a brilliant sci-fi romp with Cuban influence that poses this question: What would you do if you had the power to reach through time and space and retrieve anything you want, including your mother, who is no longer living (in this universe, anyway)?

      How did a raw chicken get inside Yasmany's locker?

      When Sal Vidon meets Gabi Real for the first time, it isn't under the best of circumstances. Sal is in the principal's office for the third time in three days, and it's still the first week of school. Gabi, student council president and editor of the school paper, is there to support her friend Yasmany, who just picked a fight with Sal. She is determined to prove that somehow, Sal planted a raw chicken in Yasmany's locker, even though nobody saw him do it and the bloody poultry has since mysteriously disappeared.

      Sal prides himself on being an excellent magician, but for this sleight of hand, he relied on a talent no one would guess…except maybe Gabi, whose sharp eyes never miss a trick. When Gabi learns that he's capable of conjuring things much bigger than a chicken—including his dead mother—and she takes it all in stride, Sal knows that she is someone he can work with. There's only one slight problem: their manipulation of time and space could put the entire universe at risk.

      The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James

      by Ashley Herring Blake

      Jun 2019

      Advanced Readers

      2020
      When Sunny St. James receives a new heart, she decides to set off on a New Life Plan: 1) do awesome amazing things she could never do before; 2) find a new best friend; and 3) kiss a boy for the first time. Her "New Life Plan" seems to be racing forward, but when she meets her new best friend Quinn, Sunny questions whether she really wants to kiss a boy at all. With the reemergence of her mother, Sunny begins a journey to becoming the new Sunny St. James.

      The Storm Keeper’s Island

      by Catherine Doyle

      May 2019

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Elementary Plus

      2020
      Fionn Boyle and his sister Tara have been sent to stay with their grandfather on the island of Arranmore for the summer. Fionn has never met his grandfather, but he knows he’s from a brave family of lifeboat men—a family with the sea behind their eyes. Except, Fionn is scared of the sea. He feels sick just looking at it. But an old magic is stirring deep inside the layers of Arranmore, and it is calling out to Fionn. A dark storm is coming, through time and over sea, the same storm that took his father twelve years ago. To protect his family, Fionn must embrace his destiny as the Storm Keeper's heir and face the fear that has haunted him for as long as he can remember.

      The Season of Styx Malone

      by Kekla Magoon

      Jan 2019

      Upper Elementary & Junior High

      2020
      Caleb Franklin and his big brother Bobby Gene are excited to have adventures in the woods behind their house. But Caleb dreams of venturing beyond their ordinary small town.
      Then Caleb and Bobby Gene meet new neighbor Styx Malone. Styx is sixteen and oozes cool. Styx promises the brothers that together, the three of them can pull off the Great Escalator Trade--exchanging one small thing for something better until they achieve their wildest dream. But as the trades get bigger, the brothers soon find themselves in over their heads. Styx has secrets--secrets so big they could ruin everything.

      Breakout

      by Kate Messner

      Sep 2018

      High Interest Middle Plus

      2020
      Nora Tucker is looking forward to summer vacation in Wolf Creek—two months of swimming, popsicles, and brushing up on her journalism skills for the school paper. But when two inmates break out of the town’s maximum security prison, everything changes. Doors are locked, helicopters fly over the woods, and police patrol the school grounds. Worst of all, everyone is on edge, and fear brings out the worst in some people Nora has known her whole life. Even if the inmates are caught, she worries that home might never feel the same.
      Told in letters, poems, text messages, news stories, and comics—a series of documents Nora collects for the Wolf Creek Community Time Capsule Project—Breakout is a thrilling story that will leave readers thinking about who’s really welcome in the places we call home.
      Author’s note. Suggestions for further reading. Black-and-white illustrations.

      Beanstalker and Other Hilarious Scarytales

      by Kiersten White

      Sep 2017

      High Interest Middle Plus

      2018
      Once upon a time, a bunch of fairy tales got twisted around to become completely hilarious, a tiny bit icky, and delightfully spooky scarytales.
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