Swear to Howdy by Wendelin Van Draanen
Hero by S. L. Rottman
What happens when a practical joke goes too far . . . way too far? Russell and Joey are friends who enjoy catching frogs, swimming in the local swimming hole, and playing tricks on Joey's older sister Amanda Jane. Each time they would get into a bit of trouble, they would swear "to Howdy" to keep it secret. But what happens when a practical joke turns deadly? How far should a friend go to keep a secret?
This very quick read packs a wallop. It's funny, suspenseful, and ultimately tragic. This book could be read in a night - but you won't soon forget it.
Imagine growing up with a mother who doesn't seem to care about you. Fifteen year-old Sean is growing up pretty much on his own. He is suspended from school and in trouble with the police. Sean is sentenced to perform community service on Mr. Hassler's farm. But trouble seems to follow him, and he must learn just what it means to be a hero.
Again, this is a VERY quick read and could be finished in a night or two. Hero is a very different kind of story- a story that at first appears quite simple - but nothing is as simple as it seems.
Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen
When I was twelve years old, I babysat for 50 cents an hour - that includes a family of 5 children, two of whom actually DID swing from the curtains. The narrator of this novel, however, makes a ton of money mowing lawns. He begins with an old lawnmower his grandmother gives him, and before he knows it he is making more and more money - but is it all legal? Will he be swindled? This very funny, very short book is easily finished in one night. If it were only this easy to make money, we all would be getting lawnmowers.