Each year Library Media Specialists across S.C.
nominate 20 books for middle school students to read.
The 2020-2021 SCJBA Winner is.....Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter
*Young Adult book*
After six years of no word from her best friend, Logan,
he shows up on the doorstep of the remote Alaskan cabin Maddie
and her father live in with an assailant in pursuit.
Here are the other 2020-2021 SCJBA Nominees.
The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden
Seventh-grader Zoey Albro focuses on caring for three younger siblings
and avoiding rich classmates at school until her fascination with octopuses
gets her on the debate team and she begins to speak out.
Deep Water by Watt Key
When a dive off the coast of Alabama goes horribly wrong,
twelve-year-old Julie and one of her father's scuba clients
struggle to survive after reaching an abandoned oil rig.
Endling: The Last by Katherine Applegate
Believed to possess mythical powers as the youngest member of her doglike dairne pack,
Byx fears she has become the last of her species when her family is hunted to near-extinction,
forcing her to band together with a ragtag group of animals and humans
who help put into motion events that could trigger war throughout their kingdom.
Every Shiny Thing by Cordelia Jensen & Laurie Morrison
When Lauren begins stealing to raise money for autistic kids,
like her brother, who doesn't have her family's resources, she convinces Sierra,
a foster child, to help with the Robin Hood scheme, in a story told half in prose and half in verse.
Everything Else in the Universe by Tracy Holczer
In 1971, twelve-year-old Lucy Rossi's dad returns from Vietnam after losing part of his arm,
and her whole family must learn to adjust to a new dynamic,
but Lucy's friend Milo unknowingly helps her navigate through this difficult time of fear
and uncertainty to realize she is much tougher than she thought.
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
After emigrating from China, ten-year-old Mia Tang's parents take a job managing a rundown motel,
despite the nasty owner, Mr. Yao, who exploits them, while she works the front desk
and tries to cope with fitting in at her school.
Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams
Thirteen-year-old Genesis tries again and again to lighten her black skin,
thinking it is the root of her family's troubles, before discovering reasons to love herself as is.
A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée
Strictly following the rules to pursue her junior-high ambitions, 12-year-old Shayla is forced
to choose between her education and her identity when her sister
joins the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of a powerful protest.
Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson
When six students are chosen to participate in a weekly talk with no adults allowed,
they discover that when they're together, it's safe to share
the hopes and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world.
I Am Still Alive by Kate Alice Marshall
*Young Adult book*
Jess hadn't seen her survivalist, off-the-grid dad in over a decade.
But after a car crash killed her mother and left her injured,
she was forced to move to his cabin in the remote Canadian wilderness.
Just as Jess was beginning to get to know him,
a secret from his past paid them a visit,
leaving her father dead and Jess stranded.
The Jigsaw Jungle by Kristen Levine
Claudia Dalton, twelve, embarks on an unexpected treasure hunt that
she hopes will bring her missing father home and heal
whatever is wrong with her family.
Told through notes, emails, audio
and video transcripts, and more from Claudia's scrapbook.
Lifeboat 12 by Susan Hood
In 1940, a group of British children, their escorts,
and some sailors struggle to survive in a lifeboat
when the ship taking them to safety in Canada is torpedoed.
Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya
After a fight at school leaves Marcus facing suspension, Marcus's mother takes him
and his younger brother, who has Down syndrome, to Puerto Rico to visit relatives
they do not remember or have never met, and while there Marcus starts searching for his father,
who left their family ten years ago and is somewhere on the island.
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty
Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning. She doesn't remember it, but it changed her life forever.
The zap gave her genius-level math skills, and ever since, Lucy has been homeschooled.
Now, at 12 years old, she's technically ready for college.
She just has to pass 1 more test--middle school!
The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani
Shy twelve-year-old Nisha, forced to flee her home with her Hindu family
during the 1947 partition of India, tries to find her voice and make sense
of the world falling apart around her by writing to her deceased Muslim mother
in the pages of her diary.
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
Twelve-year-old Coyote and her father rush to Poplin Springs, Washington,
in their old school bus save a memory box buried in a park that will soon be demolished.
Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Delsie loves tracking the weather, living with her grandmother,
and the support of friends and neighbors, but misses having a "regular family,"
especially after her best friend outgrows her.
Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
After eleven-year-old Ollie's school bus mysteriously breaks down on a field trip,
she has to take a trip through scary woods
and must use all of her wits to survive. She must stick to small spaces.
The Unteachables by Gordan Korman
The Unteachables never thought they’d find a teacher who had a worse attitude than they did.
And Mr. Kermit never thought he would actually care about teaching again.
Over the course of a school year, though, room 117 will experience mayhem, destruction
—and maybe even a shot at redemption.
Book covers and descriptions used with permission of Novelist K-8 Plus (EBSCO).