Sunshine State Books

2015-2016 SSYRA Booklist


The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

Reading Counts 19 pts Lexile 690

Irish orphans Molly, fourteen, and Kip, ten, travel to England to work as servants in a crumbling manor house where nothing is quite what it seems to be, and soon the siblings are confronted by a mysterious stranger and secrets of the cursed house.


This Journal Belongs to Ratchet by Nancy Cavanaugh

Reading Counts Lexile 830

Homeschooled by her mechanic-environmentalist father, eleven-year-old Rachel “Ratchet” Vance records her efforts to make friends, save a park, remember her mother, and find her own definition of “normal.”


The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

Reading Counts 22 pts Lexile 830

Sixteen-year-old Malencia (Cia) Vale is chosen to participate in The Testing to attend the University; however, Cia is fearful when she figures out that her friends who do not pass The Testing are disappearing.



Project Jackalope by Emily Ecton

Reading Counts 10 pts Lexile 650

When Jeremy is entrusted with Professor Twitchett’s creation, a jackalope, he must find a way to keep it safe from the government agents who want it for their own purposes.


Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine

Reading Counts 20 pts Lexile 750

When twelve-year-old Frederick “Red” Porter’s father dies in 1972, his mother wants to sell their automobile repair shop and move her two sons back to Ohio, but Red is desperate to stop the sale even if it means unearthing some dark family secrets in a Virginia rife with racial tensions.


Twerp by Mark Goldblatt

Reading Counts 16 pts Lexile 730

In Queens, New York, in 1969, twelve-year-old Julian Twerski writes a journal for his English teacher in which he explores his friendships and how they are effected by girls, a new student who may be as fast as Julian, and especially an incident of bullying.


Jack Strong Takes a Stand by Tommy Greenwald

Reading Counts 8pts Lexile 640

When middle-schooler Jack Strong has his fill of extracurriculars, he stages a sit-in on his couch until his parents agree to let him give up some of them. Jack receives more attention than he ever imagined possible.


Skink No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen

Reading Counts 16 pts Lexile 770

Richard searches for Malley, his missing cousin, in the Florida wilds with the help of Skink, an eccentric ex-governor.


Eye of the Storm by Kate Messner

Reading Counts 17 pts Lexile 740

Jaden’s summer visit with her meteorologist father, who has just returned from spending four years in Russia conducting weather experiments not permitted in the United States, fills her with apprehension and fear as she discovers that living at her father’s planned community Placid Meadows is anything but placid.


Jungle of Bones by Ben Mikaelsen

Reading Counts 11 pts Lexile 770

After he goes joyriding in a stolen car, Dylan is sent to spend the summer before eighth grade with his ex-Marine uncle. When Dylan becomes lost in the jungle on a trip to Papua New Guinea, he has plenty of time to think about his messed-up life.


The Eighth Day by Dianne Salerni

Reading Counts 17 pts Lexile 730

Thirteen-year-old Jax Aubrey is shocked to learn of an extra day in the week between Wednesday and Thursday. He soon meets a new neighbor and learns his guardian, isn't who he seems. Riley's family history involves him in a quest to save the world.


Tesla’s Attic by Neal Shusterman

Reading Counts 15 pts Lexile 870

In the first book from the Accelerati trilogy, fourteen-year-old Nick learns how unusual the items in his great-aunt's attic are and finds himself in a battle with a secret society to find the items after he sells them at a garage sale.


Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Reading Counts 16 pts Lexile 770

Twelve-year-old genius and outsider Willow Chance must figure out how to connect with other people and find a surrogate family for herself after her parents are killed in a car accident.


Stung by Bethany Wiggins

Reading Counts 18 pts Lexile 760

Seventeen-year-old Fiona wakes up to find her house abandoned and her neighborhood in ruins. The last thing she remembers is being thirteen, and she is stumped by the meaning of the odd tattoo on her hand. Will she evade danger long enough to discover the truth about her past?


The Secret of Rover by Rachel Wildavsky

Reading Counts 19 pts Lexile 690

When twelve-year-old twins Katie and David discover their parents have been kidnapped after inventing a spying device, the children travel from Washington, D.C. to Vermont after escaping from foreign militia members. They hope their uncle can help them rescue their parents.