Middle School to Young Adult Books

Theme: Thanks

Remember Dippy - (ISBN: 978-1935955481)

by Shirley Reva Vernick

Johnny develops an appreciation for his autistic cousin after he agrees to take care of him during the summer. He comes to realize that despite their differences, Dippy has a lot to offer. What do you value in a new friend?

Shadows in the Twilight - (ISBN: 978-0440240433)

by Henning Mankell

Joel is so thankful that he comes out unharmed after being run over by a bus that he tries to return the good luck by helping out other people. Specifically, he sets out to find a husband for a friend of his who is new in town and lonely. Have you ever decided to do a good deed that no one knows about but you?

The Fault in Our Stars - (ISBN: 9780525478812)

by John Green

Hazel, a teen suffering from terminal cancer, makes a friend at a support group. Together they spend time and travel, and her appreciation for the things she has in her life at the present moment begins to change. Her desire to find out what happens to characters in a novel she is reading after the book ends fuels her desire to live her life in the present, despite the grim reality of her situation. What books do you wish had a sequel so that you could “live” more with those characters?

The Middle of Everywhere - (ISBN: 978-1554690909)

by Monique Polak

Noah’s forced term in Northern Quebec confronts him with the challenges of dealing with the colder weather and making new friends, but he comes to appreciate the beauty of the area and gains a deeper understanding of the real difficulties the Inuit face every day. What are some coping techniques Noah uses? What could be helpful to you?

Zen and the Art of Faking It - (ISBN: 978-0439837095)

by Jordan Sonnenblick

San has a different reaction to moving to a new community. Instead of trying to blend in, he tries to be as different as possible. Eventually the students accept his assertion that he is a Zen Master living amongst the non-religious! What are some creative ways you can think of to adjust to a new high school?

Hazel Rye - (ISBN: 978-0064401562)

by Vera Cleaver

Impulse - (ISBN: 978-1416903574)

by Ellen Hopkins

Suddenly Sisters - (ISBN: 9780060596156)

by Emma Harrison

The Crazy Horse Electric Game - (ISBN: 978-0060094904)

by Chris Crutcher

Activities for this Theme

Watch the movie version of The Fault in Our Stars; the official trailer provides a quick overview.

Take part in a service project that helps those in your community. This list provides 25 ideas to get you started. 

Start a diary that focuses on things you are grateful for using the prompts shared in this article.