I Will Save You

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I Will Save You
by Matt De la Pena

After running away from a group home, 17-year-old Kidd Ellison sets up camp at a beach, where he is put to work by Mr. Red, an aging surfer who runs a maintenance shop. Hardworking and handsome, if somewhat slow, Kidd begins to make friends with some of the camp’s teens, especially Olivia, a blond beauty who wears a ski cap that covers part of her face regardless of the weather. Then Devon, Kidd’s former best friend and nemesis, finds Kidd and threatens to destroy the peaceful life that he has fallen into.

Narrated by Kidd, it moves from the immediate past and a possible murder to the present, then to the far past, constantly offering clues to the mysteries of Kidd’s sad and violent life.

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740 Middle School 320 Adventure 2011 0385738285

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Of Mice and Men

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Of Mice and Men

by John Steinbeck

This is a story of the strange friendship between a strong man and a giant with the mind of a not-quite-bright child. Driven from job to job by the failure of the giant man-child to fit into the social pattern, they finally find – in a ranch – what they feel their chance to achieve a homely dream they have built. But once again, society defeats them.


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630L High School 112 Historical Fiction 2002 0142000671

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Black Pearl

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The Black Pearl
by Scott O’Dell

Ramon wants to prove to his father, Blas Salazar, that he is just as good as Sevillano, Ramon’s worst enemy and Ramon’s father’s best pearl diver, at pearl diving. Manta Diablo, the monster of the deep, guards “The Pearl of the Heavens,” the ocean’s biggest pearl, that Ramon wants to dive for. Ramon got “The Pearl of the Heavens” and brought back home. When Ramon tells his father about the pearl, his father gives it to the church. Luzum, an old Indian tells Ramon that he should give it back to the Manta Diablo because the monster will come after him.

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980 Middle School 144 Drama 2010 0547334001

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Quake Disaster in San Francisco 1906

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Quake: Disaster in San Francisco – 1906
by Gail Langer Karwoski

It is 1906, and 13-year-old Jacob Kaufman, who lives in San Francisco with his father and little sister, is outside when a major earthquake shakes the city, cracking streets and toppling buildings. After Jacob and his dog save the life of San, a Chinese boy, the two join together to search for their families and for food and temporary shelter. Though San occasionally faces racial hostility, the boys meet many strangers who help them through the difficult days

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770 Middle School 153 Historical Fiction 2006 1561453692

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Picture Perfect

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Picture Perfect
by Elaine Marie Alphin

Ian Slater’s best friend has vanished. Ian and Teddy were supposed to spend the afternoon photographing the redwoods, but Teddy never showed up. People might go missing in a big city like San Francisco, but not a little town like Sawville. Has Teddy gone in search of the father he’s never met? Or has something terrible happened to him? What is the truth behind the picture perfect image?
[spoiler title=”Click for More” style=”fancy” icon=”caret”]
Ian doesn’t know. But he’s suddenly hearing strange voices, and he keeps seeing Teddy in his dreams. Even more disturbing – he can’t quite remember everything he did on the day Teddy vanished. Now people are telling him he’s acting strangely, and the sheriff is questioning him. Ian is determined to prove – to the sheriff and to his teachers and classmates, as well as to himself -that he has nothing to hide. But the more he searches for clues to Teddy’s disappearance, the more he wonders: How well did he ever know Teddy? How well does he even know himself?

Growing up in California, I always admired the majestic redwoods. When I had the opportunity to return there for a speaking engagement, I explored them again with a friend, and thought how deceptive, and threatening, the shadowy, towering redwoods could become – and how difficult it was to capture the truth about them in a photograph. I thought how easy it would be to disappear into the mist, and how easy it was for truth to disappear into an image, and Ian and Teddy were born. [/spoiler]

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800 Middle School 244 Drama 2003 0822505355

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Esperanza Rising

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Esperanza Rising
by Pam Munoz Ryan

Esperanza thought she’d always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico–she’d always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, & servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn’t ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces.
When their new life is threatened, Esperanza must find a way to rise above her difficult circumstances–Mama’s life and her own depend on it.

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750L Middle School 262 Realistic Fiction 2001 0439120411

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