Mustang Books


 

The Mustang Book Award reading incentive program encourages 7th and 8th grade students to read professionally reviewed books that will hopefully spark an interest in reading and inspire them to read more.

Students who read at least five (5) of the following books by May will enjoy pizza and vote for their favorite book at our May Mustang Book Award Pizza Party!

 

Book Cover: 23 Minutes23 Minutes
Vivan Vande Velde

A fascinating plot involving time travel, this fast-paced, emotional suspense novel will keep readers at the edges of their seats. By both society’s measure and her own, fifteen-year-old Zoe Mahar is pretty much a loser. Then one day she ducks into Spencerport Savings and Loan simply to get out of the rain—and witnesses a bank robbery gone horrifyingly wrong. The good news is that Zoe has a unique ability: she can play back time and repeat events. But it’s not an unlimited deal—she can only jump 23 minutes, and her first playback creates an even more disastrous outcome. Zoe has only 10 tries to get it right before this particular 23 minutes becomes irreversible. In the process of trying to become the heroine she doesn’t believe she can be, Zoe learns about herself and realizes that there is more to who she is than she thought.

 

 

 

Book Cover: Be Light Like A BirdBe Light Like a Bird
Monika Schroder

After the death of her father, twelve-year-old Wren finds her life thrown into upheaval. And when her mother decides to pack up the car and forces Wren to leave the only home she's ever known, the family grows even more fractured. As she and her mother struggle to build a new life, Wren must confront issues with the environment, peer pressure, bullying, and most of all, the difficulty of forgiving those who don't deserve it. This quirky, emotional middle grade novel is set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. "Be Light Like a Bird" features well-drawn, unconventional characters and explores what it means to be a family ― and the secrets and lies that can tear one apart.

 

 

 

Book Cover: BookedBooked
Kwame Alexander

Like lightning / you strike / fast and free / legs zoom / down field / eyes fixed / on the checkered ball / on the goal / ten yards to go / can’t nobody stop you / can’t nobody cop you…

In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel The Crossover,  soccer, family, love, and friendship take center stage. Twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home. He also stands up to a bully and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read. This electric and heartfelt novel-in-verse by poet Kwame Alexander bends and breaks as it captures all the thrills and setbacks, action and emotion of a World Cup match!

 

 

Book Cover: Counting Back from NineCounting Back from Nine
Valerie Sherrard

"There are rules for what I've done. Specific punishments for crimes against friendship." Laren Olivier knows the rules, but her attraction to a friend's ex-boyfriend is strong. She tells herself that if she and Scott can keep their new romance a secret, no one will get hurt. But Laren is not the only one with something to hide. Thus begins a year-long journey through secrets, lies, exposures and betrayals. Somehow, Laren must find a way to reconcile who she is with what she's done. And when tragedy strikes, she finds herself struggling with a discovery so shocking it rocks the very foundation of her world. A novel in free verse by award-winning author Valerie Sherrard.

 

 

 

Book Cover: The Dog, RayThe Dog, Ray
Linda Coggin

Daisy, age twelve, has died in a car accident. She finds herself in the afterworld, which resembles nothing more than a job center. Her soul is being returned to Earth, but not as a human being—she’s returning as a dog. A dog who retains Daisy’s thoughts and pluck and is determined to get back to her parents and to get back home. What she doesn’t expect is that life as a dog named Ray would come with such worries—and moments of jubilation—as she grows to care for others in a whole new way. Told in a compelling first-person voice, Linda Coggin’s incredible novel touches on loyalty and freedom, connection and acceptance, and is sure to stay with readers long after the story is done.

 

 

 

Book Cover: The DogsThe Dogs
Allan Stratton

Out of the corner of my eye, I catch something moving by the barn. When I look, it disappears. Wait. There it is again, at the cornfield. Some movement, some thing.

Mom and I have been on the run for years. Every time he catches up with us, we move to a new place and start over. But this place is different. This place is full of secrets. And they won't leave me alone.

This book is brilliant, page-turning, and eerie. It will keep you guessing to the very end.

 

 

 

Book Cover: Fast BreakFast Break
Mike Lupica

Forced to live on his own after his mom dies and her boyfriend abandons him, 12-year-old Jayson does whatever it takes to get by. He will do anything to avoid the foster care system. He manages to get away with his deception until the day he gets caught stealing a new pair of basketball sneakers. Game over. Within a day a social worker places him with a family from the other side of town, the Lawtons. New home, new school, new teammates.

Jayson, at first, is combative, testing the Lawtons' patience at every turn. He wants out, yet the Lawtons refuse to take the bait. But not everyone in Jayson's new life is so ready to trust him. It's on Jayson to believe that he deserves a better life than the one he once had. The ultimate prize if he can? A trip to play in the state finals at Cameron Indoor Stadium–home to the Duke Blue Devils and launching pad to his dream of playing bigtime college ball. Getting there will be a journey that reaches far beyond the basketball court.

 

Book Cover: From AboveFrom Above
Norah McClintock

When a football player from Riley Donovan's school falls to his death from the top of a recreation center, a hunch makes her wonder if he was pushed. But who would do such a thing, and why? Riley’s detective aunt tells Riley to leave it alone, but that's not in Riley’s nature. When her friend Charlie is accused of the murder, Riley is determined to clear his name, even if it means confronting vicious junkyard dogs, forming an alliance with an old enemy, and putting her own life in danger.

 

 

 

 

Book Cover: GhostGhost
Jason Reynolds

Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down. This electrifying novel is the first of a brand-new series from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award–winning author Jason Reynolds.
Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.

Ghost has a crazy natural talent, but no formal training. If he can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons. It all started with running away from his father. When Ghost was a very little boy, his father chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach. The ex-Olympic Medalist who blew his own shot at success by using drugs is determined to keep other kids from blowing their shots at life.

 

Book Cover: The Ghost of GraylockThe Ghost of Graylock
Dan Poblocki

It was meant to be a place of healing - a hospital where children and teenagers with mental disorders would be cared for and perhaps even cured. But something went wrong. Several young patients died under mysterious circumstances. Eventually, the hospital was shut down, the building abandoned and left to rot deep in the woods.

As the new kid in town, Neil Cady wants to see Graylock for himself. Especially since rumor has it that the building is haunted. He's got fresh batteries in his flashlight, a camera to document the adventure, and a new best friend watching his back. Neil might think he's prepared for what he'll find in the dark and decrepit asylum. But he's certainly not prepared for what follows him home...

Scary, suspenseful, and surprising, Dan Poblocki's latest ghost story will keep you turning pages deep into the dead of night.

 

Book Cover: The Girl I Used to BeThe Girl I Used to Be
April Henry

Olivia was only three years old when her mother was killed and everyone suspected her father of murder. But his whereabouts remained a mystery. Fast forward fourteen years. New evidence now proves Olivia's father was actually murdered on the same fateful day her mother died. That means there's a killer still at large.

Now Olivia is determined to uncover who that might be. But can she do that before the killer tracks her down first?

 

 

 

 

Book Cover: HideoutHideout
Watt Key

In this riveting middle-grade adventure, the son of a Mississippi policeman finds a boy living on his own in the wilderness. Twelve-year-old Sam has been given a fishing boat by his father, but he hates fishing. Instead he uses the boat to disappear for hours at a time, exploring the forbidden swampy surroundings of his bayou home. Then he discovers a strange kid named Davey, mysteriously alone, repairing an abandoned cabin deep in the woods. Not fooled by the boy’s evasive explanation as to why he’s on his own, Sam becomes entangled in his own efforts to help Davey. But this leads him to telling small lies that only get bigger as the danger increases for both boys and hidden truths become harder to conceal.

 

 

 

Book Cover: LegendLegend
Marie Lu

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

 

Book Cover: Lost in the Pacific, 1942Lost in the Pacific, 1942
Tod Olson

World War II, October 21, 1942. A B-17 bomber drones high over the Pacific Ocean, sending a desperate SOS into the air. The crew is carrying America's greatest living war hero on a secret mission deep into the battle zone. But the plane is lost, burning through its final gallons of fuel.

At 1:30 p.m., there is only one choice left: an emergency landing at sea. If the crew survives the impact, they will be left stranded without food or water hundreds of miles from civilization.

Eight men. Three inflatable rafts. Sixty-eight million square miles of ocean. What will it take to make it back alive?

 

 

Book Cover: RestartRestart
Gordan Korman

Chase's memory just went out the window.

Chase doesn't remember falling off the roof. He doesn't remember hitting his head. He doesn't, in fact, remember anything. He wakes up in a hospital room and suddenly has to learn his whole life all over again... starting with his own name.
He knows he's Chase. But who is Chase? When he gets back to school, he sees that different kids have very different reactions to his return.

Some kids treat him like a hero. Some kids are clearly afraid of him. One girl in particular is so angry with him that she pours her frozen yogurt on his head the first chance she gets. Pretty soon, it's not only a question of who Chase is--it's a question of who he was... and who he's going to be.

From the #1 bestselling author of Swindle and SlackerRestart is the spectacular story of a kid with a messy past who has to figure out what it means to get a clean start.

 

Book Cover: Scar IslandScar Island
Dan Gemeinhart

Jonathan Grisby is the newest arrival at the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys--an ancient, crumbling fortress of gray stone rising up from the ocean. It is dark, damp, and dismal. And it is just the place Jonathan figures he deserves. Because Jonathan has done something terrible. And he's willing to accept whatever punishment he has coming.
Just as he's getting used to his new situation, however, a freak accident leaves the troubled boys of Slabhenge without any adult supervision. Suddenly the kids are free, with an entire island to themselves. But freedom brings unexpected danger. And if Jonathan can't come to terms with the sins of his past and lead his new friends to safety... then every boy on the island is doomed.

"Scar Island" is Dan Gemeinhart's most gripping novel yet. This is a tale of misfits and outcasts at odds and in peril. This redemption story shines a light on dark truths to reveal that the strongest prisons of all are the ones we build for ourselves.

 

Book Cover: Surviving High SchoolSurviving High School
M. Doty

Emily Kessler thinks she has it all figured out. She eats, sleeps and trains for competitive swimming. All she has to do is keep her grades high and swim times short -- short enough to live up to her sister Sara's. But walking the crowded maze of unfamiliar high school hallways is like diving headfirst into shark-infested waters. Shark #1: Dominique, her biggest competition on the swim team and all-around mean girl. Shark #2: The adorable and popular Ben Kale... Emily can't resist his smile no matter how hard she tries. When the pressure builds to the point where Emily isn't sure she can stay afloat, she begins to question the strict path her life has always followed.

Maybe there is more to life than studying and swimming. Maybe the secret to surviving high school is just to have a little fun. The hit mobile game Surviving High School comes to life in an original novel about perfection, failure, and following your dreams.

 

Book Cover: This is Not a DrillThis is Not a Drill
Beck McDowell

When high school seniors Emery and Jake are taken hostage in the classroom where they tutor, they must work together to calm both the terrified children and the gunman threatening them. The task is made even more difficult by their recent break-up. Brian Stutts, a soldier suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after serving in Iraq, uses deadly force when he's denied access to his son because of a custody battle. The children's fate is in the hands of the two teens, each recovering from great loss, who now must reestablish trust in a relationship damaged by betrayal. Told through Emery and Jake's alternating viewpoints, this gripping novel features characters teens will identify with and explores the often-hidden damages of war.

 

 

 

Book Cover: Two Lies and a SpyTwo Lies and a Spy
Kat Carlton

When sixteen-year-old Kari’s dad sends her an unexpected text, she and her brother immediately go into hiding. Because when your parents are superspies and your dad declares a Code Black, it can only mean something bad. Very bad.
Kari soon discovers that her parents have been disavowed and declared traitors, and she’s determined to clear their names. Breaking into the Agency seems like a reasonable plan, especially with a team that includes her longtime crush, Luke. Her two best friends—an expert hacker with attitude and a master martial artist—and Luke’s popular, vindictive twin sister are also on board. Oh, and a new guy, who’s as cute as he is complicated…

 

 

 

Book Cover: Winter's BulletWinter's Bullet
William Osbourne

Tygo, a locksmith's son, is forced by the Nazis to loot abandoned Dutch homes for valuables. Known as "The Ferret," everyone despises him, but helping the Germans is the only way he can stay alive. When he discovers a girl with a diamond in a chimney, he refuses to give her up. Instead, he turns spy and uses the jewel to find out information about Hitler's ultimate weapon. He has one shot to stop the war. Can a ferret become a hero?