Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Theme: Problem Solvers

Junonia - (ISBN: 978-0061964176)

by Kevin Henkes

Alice hopes for a perfect return to summer at the beach and for a perfect birthday. One small problem, though, is that she really wants to uncover a junonia shell. Find out how Alice copes with the inevitable pain and changes growing up brings. What does she do to make the natural growth blend into her happy life?

Operation Redwood - (ISBN: 978-0810997202)

by S. Terrell French

A twelve-year-old boy takes on a large corporation with a few friends when they labor to save a bunch of redwood trees from being harvested for their wood. The boys decide to live in a tree house overlooking the lush forest, and they have many ideas about how to combat the plans of a huge company. What are some other ways that a few people’s ideas can make a huge difference?

The Hundred Dresses - (ISBN: 978-0152052607)

by Eleanor Estes

Wanda combats her classmates’ teasing about her Polish origins and the dull blue dress that she wears every day by telling them she has a hundred beautiful dresses at home. Her one friend, Maddie, feels terrible when she discovers Wanda’s father has moved the family away from the thoughtless and hurtful taunts of the classmates. How do your classmates handle the arrival of a student who dresses differently or has an unusual name?

The Junkyard Wonders - (ISBN: 978-0399250781)

by Patricia Palacco

Tricia’s fears that she might still be put in a special class at her new school are realized when she hears her classroom is called a “junkyard.” Due to the devotion of a really special teacher, however, Tricia comes to appreciate the gifts of the various class members, and eventually the “Junkyard Wonders” class gains the respect of the rest of the school. Think of a wonderful teacher you have had who has made a vast difference in the way you think of yourself. Be sure to thank that teacher for the difference he or she has made in your life.

The Secret Garden - (ISBN: 978-1613821435)

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Mary’s move to an uncle’s estate in England after losing her parents to cholera in India proves to be less dreary than it initially appears. She finds an unusual friend on the estate. Together they help nurse a sickly cousin (Colin) back to real life when they start taking him into a garden that has echoes of Mary’s past in it. If you enjoy this book, try A Little Prince by the same author.

A Little Princess - (ISBN: 978-1453857625 )

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Harriet The Spy - (ISBN: 978-0440416791)

by Louise Fitzhugh

Nate Rocks the World - (ISBN: 978-0984860807)

by Karen Pokras Toz

One Minute Mysteries: 65 Short Mysteries You Solve with Science! - (ISBN: 978-0967802015)

by Eric Yoder

The Mummy Market - (ISBN: B0007DX67Y)

by Nancy Burns Brelis

Activities for this Theme

Wondering what to do with all those extra buttons lying around the house? Try these fun projects.


Do you like to solve mysteries? Try these fun scavenge hunt ideas. 


Are you worried about the amount of garbage in your house? Take three items you are about to throw away, and think of new uses for them.


If you enjoyed The Secret Garden, check out these unusual garden mazes.