Mustang Books - 7th & 8th Grade

The Mustang Book Award reading incentive program encourages students to read professionally
reviewed books that will hopefully spark an interest in reading and inspire them to read more.

book cover: BetrothedBetrothed
by Kiera Cass

A would-be queen. A handsome young king. A perfect match…or is it? When King Jameson declares his love for Lady Hollis Brite, Hollis is shocked—and thrilled. After all, she’s grown up at Keresken Castle, vying for the king’s attention alongside other daughters of the nobility. Capturing his heart is a dream come true.

But Hollis soon realizes that falling in love with a king and being crowned queen may not be the happily ever after she thought it would be. And when she meets a commoner with the mysterious power to see right into her heart, she finds that the future she really wants is one that she never thought to imagine.

 


book cover: Close Calls - How Eleven US Presidents Escaped from the Brink of DeathClose Calls: How Eleven US Presidents Escaped from the Brink of Death
by Michael Spradlin

Historians tell the stories of tragic and untimely presidential deaths, but often forgotten are the near misses. JFK and his fellow servicemen spent six days on a desert island with only coconuts to eat after a deadly attack during WWII. Abe Lincoln was forced to take a train trip in disguise while America's first female detective worked to foil an early assassination attempt. And when Andrew Jackson was attacked by an upset citizen who had been stalking him for months, frontiersman Davey Crockett was the one to save him. With pacy, immediate writing and including supplemental archival photographs and archival materials, this book chronicles thrilling undertold stories of U.S. presidents' moments of bravery.

 


book cover: Death by Toilet PaperDeath by Toilet Paper
by Donna Gephart

Benjamin is about to lose a whole lot more than good toilet paper. If he doesn't make tons of money fast by selling candy bars and winning contests—like the Royal-T Bathroom Tissue slogan contest—his family will get kicked out of their apartment. Even with his flair for clever slogans, will Benjamin be able to win a cash prize large enough to keep a promise he made to his dad before he died? Or will he lose everything that matters to him? 

 


book cover: Don't Tell the NazisDon't Tell the Nazis
by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

The year is 1941. Krystia lives in a small Ukrainian village under the cruel -- sometimes violent -- occupation of the Soviets. So when the Nazis march into town to liberate them, many of Krystia's neighbors welcome the troops with celebrations, hoping for a better life.

But conditions don't improve as expected. Krystia's friend Dolik and the other Jewish people in town warn that their new occupiers may only bring darker days.

The worst begins to happen when the Nazis blame the Jews for murders they didn't commit. As the Nazis force Jews into a ghetto, Krystia does what she can to help Dolik and his family. But what they really need is a place to hide. Faced with unimaginable tyranny and cruelty, will Krystia risk everything to protect her friends and neighbors?

 


book cover: Fever 1793Fever 1793
by Laurie Halse Anderson

During the summer of 1793, Mattie Cook lives above the family coffee shop with her widowed mother and grandfather. Mattie spends her days avoiding chores and making plans to turn the family business into the finest Philadelphia has ever seen. But then the fever breaks out.
Disease sweeps the streets, destroying everything in its path and turning Mattie's world upside down. At her feverish mother's insistence, Mattie flees the city with her grandfather. But she soon discovers that the sickness is everywhere, and Mattie must learn quickly how to survive in a city turned frantic with disease.

 


book cover: FirewallFirewall
by Sean Rodman

Josh is a gamer. After his parents' divorce and his move from Chicago to a small town where he doesn't know anybody, he copes by staying up way too late playing Killswitch online. Then he discovers a "mod" version of the game that is an exact reproduction of his new town. Strange things start to happen in the game, and they are somehow connected with events in the real world.

 


book cover: Five Feet ApartFive Feet Apart
by Rachael Lippincott

Can you love someone you can never touch?

Stella Grant likes to be in control — even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions. The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals. Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.

What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

 


book cover: Ghost Hunter's DaughterGhost Hunter's Daughter
by Dan Poblocki

"They say if you see him, it's already too late."

Claire doesn't believe in ghosts, even though her dad is a ghost hunter on TV. But then her dad disappears. And a strange boy in her class, Lucas, knows something about ghosts. One of them has a message for her: Her dad has been taken, and he's in grave danger. Together, Claire and Lucas set out for the town of Hush Falls, where her dad was last seen. Legend says that a tall man in a dark tattered coat lurks near the local reservoir, and anyone who gets too close to old Lemuel Hush is never heard from again. Claire and Lucas are determined to rescue her father. But how can they save him from the ghost of Hush when everyone knows that seeing the ghost means that you're destined to die...

 


book cover: The Girl in the White VanThe Girl in the White Van
by April Henry

When Savannah disappears soon after arguing with her mom’s boyfriend, everyone assumes she's run away. The truth is much worse. She’s been kidnapped by a man in a white van who locks her in an old trailer home, far from prying eyes.

And worse yet, Savannah’s not alone: ten months earlier, Jenny met the same fate and nearly died trying to escape. Now as the two girls wonder if he will hold them captive forever or kill them, they must join forces to break out ― even if it means they die trying.

 


book cover: Golden ArmGolden Arm
by Carl Deuker

Lazarus “Laz” Weathers has always been shy, and his issue with stuttering when he speaks hasn’t helped. Stuck in a Seattle trailer park, Laz finds baseball helps him escape from the world of poverty and drugs. When he gets an opportunity to pitch for the rich kids across town, he has a chance to get drafted by the major leagues. But playing for the other team means leaving behind his family, including Antonio, Laz’s younger brother, who more and more, seems to be drawn to the dark world of the Jet City’s drug ring. Now Laz will have to choose between being the star pitcher he always dreamed of becoming and the team player his family needs.

 


book cover: Ground ZeroGround Zero
by Alan Gratz

September 11, 2001, New York City: Brandon is visiting his dad at work, on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center. Out of nowhere, an airplane slams into the tower, creating a fiery nightmare of terror and confusion. And Brandon is in the middle of it all. Can he survive ― and escape?

September 11, 2019, Afghanistan: Reshmina has grown up in the shadow of war, but she dreams of peace and progress. When a battle erupts in her village, Reshmina stumbles upon a wounded American soldier named Taz. Should she help Taz ― and put herself and her family in mortal danger?

Two kids. One devastating day. Nothing will ever be the same.

 


book cover: Long Way DownLong Way Down
by Jason Reynolds

Fifteen-year-old Will's big brother has been shot and killed. According to the rules that Will has been taught, it is now his job to kill the person responsible.  He easily finds his brother's gun and gets on the elevator to head down from his eight floor apartment. But it's a long way down to the ground floor.

 

 


book cover: Off the GridOff the Grid
by Lesley Choyce

Sixteen-year-old Cody was born and raised “off the grid” deep in the wilderness by idealistic parents. When his father becomes seriously ill, the family is forced to move into the city so he can get treatment. Attending high school for the first time, Cody is an oddity and has a hard time adjusting. He finds unlikely allies in DeMarco, an inner-city kid, and Ernest, a philosophical homeless man, and he begins a tentative friendship with Alexis.
When he comes to DeMarco’s defense in an altercation at school, Cody finds himself in trouble with the police. A second confrontation puts Cody in more trouble with the cops, and he is convinced he must escape to the family homestead or be arrested. But Cody is torn between fleeing the city or staying with his ailing father and facing whatever consequences come his way.

 


book cover: OverturnedOverturned
by Lamar Giles

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Nikki Tate is infamous, even by Las Vegas standards. Her dad is sitting on death row, convicted of killing his best friend in a gambling dispute turned ugly. And for five years, he's maintained his innocence. But Nikki wants no part of that. She's been working on Operation Escape Vegas: playing in illegal card games so she can save up enough money to get out come graduation day. Then her dad's murder conviction is overturned. The new evidence seems to come out of nowhere and Nikki's life becomes a mess when he's released from prison. Because the dad who comes home is not the dad she remembers. And he's desperately obsessed with finding out who framed him--and why. As her dad digs into the seedy underbelly of Vegas, the past threatens everything and Nikki is drawn into his deadly hunt for the truth. But in the city of sin, some sinners will do anything to keep their secrets, and Nikki soon finds herself playing for the biggest gamble ever ― her life.

 


book cover: Pretend She's HerePretend She's Here
by Luanne Rice

Emily Lonergan's best friend died last year.

And Emily hasn't stopped grieving. Lizzie Porter was lively, loud, and fun ― Emily's better half. Emily can't accept that she's gone. When Lizzie's parents and her sister come back to town to visit, Emily's heartened to see them. The Porters understand her pain. They miss Lizzie desperately, too. Desperately enough to do something crazy. Something unthinkable. Suddenly, Emily's life is hurtling toward a very dark place ― and she's not sure she'll ever be able to return to what she once knew was real.

From New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice comes a breathless, unputdownable story of suspense, secrets -- and the strength that love gives us to survive even the most shocking of circumstances.

 


book cover: The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. LarsenThe Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen
by Susin Nielsen

Thirteen-year-old Henry's happy, ordinary life comes to an abrupt halt when his older brother, Jesse, picks up their father's hunting rifle and leaves the house one morning. What follows shatters Henry's family, who are forced to resume their lives in a new city, where no one knows their past.

 

 


book cover: Second in CommandSecond in Command
by Sandi Van

Sixteen-year-old Leo dreams of becoming an Eagle Scout and, someday, a police officer. He makes sure to always do the right thing and be responsible. With his mom deployed and his dad constantly working, Leo is often left in charge of his two younger siblings. Then Leo's brother, Jack, gets caught up in a dangerous plot that rocks the community. Can Leo keep his promise to stand by his brother no matter what, or will he stand on the side of justice?

 


book cover: Some Places More Than OthersSome Places More Than Others
by Renee Watson

All Amara wants for her birthday is to visit her father’s family in New York City--Harlem, to be exact. She can’t wait to finally meet her Grandpa Earl and cousins in person, and to stay in the brownstone where her father grew up. Maybe this will help her understand her family--and herself--in new way. But New York City is not exactly what Amara thought it would be. It’s crowded, with confusing subways, suffocating sidewalks, and her father is too busy with work to spend time with her and too angry to spend time with Grandpa Earl. As she explores, asks questions, and learns more and more about Harlem and about her father and his family history, she realizes how, in some ways more than others, she connects with him, her home, and her family.

 


book cover: StolenStolen
by Vivian Vande Velde

The same day that the villagers of Thornstowe finally hunt down a witch with a reputation for stealing children, a 12-year-old appears in the woods with no memory of her past. Is there a connection between Isabelle, the girl who doesn t know who she is, and the girl the witch stole six years earlier? One of the few things Isabelle remembers is a chant that keeps running through her head: Old as dirt, dirty as dirt. Ugly as sin, mean as sin. Don't let the old witch catch you!

Could Isabelle have been stolen by the old witch of the woods, or has she lost her memory as the result of an accident? And what about the baby the witch stole right before the villagers attacked? Did either the witch or the baby survive the fire the villagers set?

 


book cover: Terror at Bottle CreekTerror at Bottle Creek
by Watt Key

In this gritty, realistic wilderness adventure, thirteen-year-old Cort is caught in a battle against a Gulf Coast hurricane.

Cort's father is a local expert on hunting and swamp lore in lower Alabama who has been teaching his son everything he knows. But when a deadly Category 3 storm makes landfall, Cort must unexpectedly put all his skills―and bravery―to the test.

One catastrophe seems to lead to another, leaving Cort and two neighbor girls to face the storm as best they can. Amid miles of storm-thrashed wetlands filled with dangerous, desperate wild animals, it's up to Cort to win―or lose―the fight for their lives.