Middle School to Young Adult Books

Theme: Communities and People

Because of Winn Dixie - (ISBN: 0763616052)

by Kate DiCamillo

Because of her newly found mutt Winn Dixie, Opal learns about making friends at a lonely time in her life. See what following her dog teaches the ten-year-old about her absent mother, her new job sweeping up at a pet shop, and the best ways to befriend unusual members of the new community where she lives with her father.

Girls and Young Women Inventing: Twenty True Stories about Inventors... - (ISBN: 978-0915793891)

by Frances A. Karnes and Suzanne M. Bean

Featuring amazing stories of young female inventors and their inventions, this book is organized by type of product created. Reading this is a great inspiration and encouragement to young thinkers whose creative ideas might be slightly off the beaten path.

Make Lemonade - (ISBN: 978-0805080704)

by Virginia Euwer Wolff

After 14-year- old LaVaughn decides to donate her babysitting time to an unfortunate unemployed and undereducated mother of two babies, the two of them become great friends. As LaVaughn stays on her own strong path toward education and out of the housing project, she serves as a model for Jolly, the mother. Although both young women are in less than desirable circumstances, La Vaughn’s optimism and drive push them both toward the road to hope. This book is beautifully written as a prose poem.

Seed Folks - (ISBN: 978-0064472074) )

by Paul Fleischman

A young woman transforms a neglected community by encouraging a few seeds to grow in an abandoned lot. Members of various ethnic groups, age ranges, and educational/income levels respond and help to transform the area into a wonderful garden and the community into an integrated hopeful place.

The Kid's Guide to Social Action - (ISBN: 978-1575420387)

by Barbara A. Lewis

Today’s young people can go beyond learning about their community by choosing to take an active part in social action issues they are interested in. This book gives examples of what others have done as well as assisting with step-by-step details about how to get involved in real causes.

It's Your World--If You Don't Like It, Change It - (ISBN: 978-0689874482)

by Mikki Halpin

True Believer - (ISBN: 978-0689852886)

by Virginia Euwer Wolff

Activities for this Theme

Enjoy the movie Because of Winn Dixie. Watch the movie trailer, then check it out of the local library so the whole family can enjoy it together.

Help your middle school child and a group of his/her friends make a survival guide for the middle school to share with newcomers in the community. Ask the guidance office or school library to share it with newcomers.