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True Stories for the Truly Adventurous!

Did you know that a con man once sold the Eiffel Tower? Have you ever wanted to know how King Tut died? Did you know that Benjamin Franklin once went toe-to-toe to prove scientific method? This book list might be the start to your WILD summer adventure!

The Great and Only Barnum

The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P.T. Barnum
Candace Fleming (2009)

Step right up, step right up! Come and see bearded ladies and dog-faced boys! Read all about the marvel of PT Barnum’s innovation in the art of marketing, advertising, the cult of celebrity that still exists today!


Book 1, The Boy Who Crashed to Earth
Judd Winick (2015)

Count Victor Lustig’s skulduggery and brazen con is larger than life! Want to buy the Eiffel Tower? Tricky Vic is a fascinating story, with quirky, retro-style, mixed-media art.

The Boundless

Keneth Oppel (2014)

Adventure, intensity, and history The Boundless is a fantastical novel with a flair of steampunk that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Trains, magical creatures, the circus, danger, and growing up, The Boundless has it all.

Goodbye Stranger

Rebecca Stead (2015)

Smart, naïve, mean, snotty, beautiful, loyal, funny, strong, and real, Goodbye Stranger weaves together love and friendship; betrayal and trust; boys and girls. Trying to learn how to trust, who to trust, how to talk and connect with people, and how to stay connected to the people we love in this world.

A Handful of Stars

Cynthia Lord (2015)

What could be better than a story involving summer, dogs, a friendship and blueberries?! A Handful of Stars is a heartwarming story of an unlikely friendship and a summer to remember.

Roller Girl

Graphic Novel
Victoria Jamieson (2015)

When Astrid signs up for derby camp and her best friend Nicole signs up for dance camp Astrid struggles to keep her friendships and life in balance, particularly when Nicole befriends Astrid’s arch-nemesis Rachel. If you liked Smile and Drama, you’ll love Roller Girls!


Alex Gino (2015)

Every year the whole school reads the same book and the grade 5s put on a play for the whole school and their parents. The book this year is Charlotte’s Web, and George desperately wants to be Charlotte. But because George is a boy, she isn’t even considered for the role. George shows the difference between the uneducated, the reluctant, and the cruel in George’s struggle to fit in and be who she was meant to be. 

The Terrible Two 

Mac Barnett (2015)

Miles is the new kid at school. He’s hoping to establish himself as the best prankster there, a title he held in his last school. His pranks keep backfiring, though, and he finally learns why: Niles, the apparently goody-two-shoes kiss-up kid is actually a prankster extraordinaire in disguise. The two eventually put aside their differences and team up to become “The Terrible Two” and bring their nemesis Principal Barkin to his knees.

The Thing About Jellyfish

Ali Benjamin (2015)

A compulsive researcher and list maker, Suzy seeks a reason for her best friend Franny’s drowning. As she works through her grief with support from her family, a sympathetic science teacher, and a fellow student, Suzy realizes the truth, “…sometimes things do just happen …it might be the scariest and saddest truth of all …”

The Night Gardener

A Scary Story
Jonathan Auxier (2014)

Creepy and dark, this story is not for the faint of heart. Starting with the mundane and carefully building adding ghostly elements The Night Gardener is populated by a cast of richly interesting characters, just don’t say we didn’t warn you about the man walking around your house at night, standing over your bed!

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