School Stories for Upper Elementary

Get ready for back-to-school season with diverse stories that are ideal for readers in upper elementary grades! Discover more the library has to offer students, educators, and caregivers at

Baptist, Kelly J., author.

Twelve-year-old Xavier Moon gets the courage to step out of the shadows when his great-uncle gives him some outlandish socks and some even stranger requests.

Bowman, Akemi Dawn, author.

An eleven-year-old Japanese-American girl joins her performing arts school's J-Pop club, where the members form an imitation band of their favorite girl group, coming together from different corners of the school to help and support one another along the way.

Collier, Nicole D., author.

It's hatching season and Jemison Elementary is buzzing about the arrival of the baby chicks. Fifth-grader Jillian must learn to speak and break free of her shell to enter her school's competition and keep her promise to her grandmother.

Durfey-Lavoie, Lee, author.

"Starting middle school is hard enough when you don't know anyone; it's even harder when you're shy. A contemporary middle-grade graphic novel for fans of Guts and Real Friends about how dealing with anxiety and OCD can affect everyday life. As long as Maggie rolls the right number, nothing can go wrong ... right? Maggie just wants to get through her first year of middle school. But between finding the best after-school clubs, trying to make friends, and avoiding the rumored monster on school grounds, she's having a tough time ... so she might need a little help from her twenty-sided dice. But what happens if Maggie rolls the wrong number? A touching middle-grade graphic novel that explores the complexity of anxiety, OCD, and learning to trust yourself and the world around you."-- Provided by publisher

Fullerton, Alma, author.

"Fifth-grader Claire can do a perfect triple handspring. She can do a giant pirouette on the uneven bars. What she can't do is reading. With a lot of effort, she hides her secret until an alert vice principal suggests she get evaluated for a learning disability. Now Claire has to convince her mother--who's afraid her daughter will be labeled 'stupid'--to let her get tested. And that turns out to be even harder than reading"-- Provided by publisher.

Hamza, Nina, author.

"A Indian American boy endures a family move from Hawaii to frigid Minnesota and, with the help of three life-changing books he reads in school, he learns to like reading, and ultimately, himself"-- Provided by publisher.

Holt, K. A., author.

Told in multiple voices, four summer school classmates band together to save their teacher and their academic futures after Ms J.'s unorthodox teaching methods are questioned.

Levithan, David, author.

"When Donovan left his copy of The Adventurers on the kitchen counter, he didn't think his mom would read it--much less have a problem with it. It's just an adventure novel about two characters trying to stop an evil genius. But soon the entire town is freaking out about whether the book's main characters are gay, Donovan's mom is trying to get the book removed from the school curriculum, and Donovan is caught in the middle"-- Provided by publisher.

Lukoff, Kyle, author.

"When Annabelle learns that her father shares something big--and surprising--in common with her new nonbinary friend, she begins to see herself, and her family, in a whole new light"-- Provided by publisher.

Pérez, Celia C., 1972- author.

Twelve-year-old María Luisa O'Neill-Morales (who really prefers to be called Malú) reluctantly moves with her Mexican-American mother to Chicago and starts seventh grade with a bang--violating the dress code with her punk rock aesthetic and spurning the middle school's most popular girl in favor of starting a band with a group of like-minded weirdos.

Sass, A. J., author.

"Ellen, an autistic thirteen-year-old, navigates a new city, shifting friendships, a growing crush, and her queer and Jewish identities while on a class trip to Barcelona, Spain."-- Provided by publisher.

Summaries provided by DPL's catalog unless otherwise noted. Click on each title to view more information.

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