Middle School to Young Adult Books

Theme: Faces and Features

A Face First - (ISBN: 978-0142302477)

by Priscilla Cummings

When Kelley ends up with severe scars and burns on her face and other parts of her body, she is must summon the will to recover. Along the way, she begins to sense her mother’s responsibility for the car accident. Why does Kelley ultimately start speaking again and begin her return to her normal life? Talk about the many meanings of the word “face.”

Cold Skin - (ISBN: 978-1590785720)

by Steven Herrick

Eddie and his brother yearn to finish school and find jobs or escape from their hometown in Australia where they are destined to work in a mine like their bitter father. When a young woman is found murdered, many of the community’s men come under suspicion, including the two brothers. Enjoy the unique format of this story told in short rhymed portraits of many community members. What does “cold skin” refer to?

Kaleidoscope Eyes - (ISBN: 978-0312566814)

by Jen Bryant

Everyone loves a treasure hunt, and Lyza and friends are no exception! The setting in modern-day New Jersey makes no difference to the adventuring teens who try to follow a map found in Lyza’s grandfather’s things they are cleaning after he dies. Set in the year 1968, the book reflects small town life but also the world events that affected young people of that time. Try having a treasure hunt party with your friends. Form teams and make maps for each other.

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm - (ISBN: 978-0141311098)

by Nancy Farmer

When three aristocratic children are kidnapped and forced into slavery, an unlikely detective agency comes to their rescue in Zimbabwe’s wildly polemic society. It is at once primitive and highly technological, safe and disease-ridden, rational and spirit-scared. This searing portrayal of a “modern” African country where tribalism still has great influence is an exciting adventure and window into a very different world.

The Eyeball Collector - (ISBN: 978-0312566814)

by F.E. Higgins

Grand plots and high suspense accompany homeless Hector as he takes a job assisting a Lady with her butterflies. He wants to be close to the con artist who has caused his own father’s downfall. What are the eyeballs in the title actually made of?

What's That Look on Your Face? All About Faces and Feelings - (ISBN: 978-1934575277)

by Catherine S. Snodgrass

This non-fiction guidebook to understanding faces and other body language is targeted at those with autism-spectrum disorders, but serves a useful purpose for readers of all ages. Learn how to more successfully express your feelings using non-verbal means. Try playing “feelings” charades with your family after reading this book.

Amazing Faces - (ISBN: 978-1-60060-334-1)

Big Mouth and Ugly Girl - (ISBN: 9780066237565)

by Joyce Carol Oates

Hunchback of Notre Dame - (ISBN: 978-0451531513)

by Victor Hugo

Naked Without a Hat - (ISBN: 9780385731669)

by Jeanne Willis

Skin - (ISBN: 9781416906551)

by Adrienne Maria Vrettos

The Man without a Face - (ISBN: 978-0064470285)

by Isabelle Holland

Activities for this Theme

Try drawing faces with different expressions and have your friends and family guess what feelings your pictures are expressing. This game is similar to Pictionary.


See a video preview of Kaleidoscope Eyes


Try the body language explanation and cards for understanding and a fun game. Or play “feelings” charades.


Invite friends and family to see the video “Man without a Face,” based on the book listed above.