Middle School / Books Rule!
Recommended books for grades 5-8

THE IMPROBABLE THEORY OF ZAK & ANA, by Brian Katcher

Zak

The story: When Zak plagiarizes a paper for health class (!) his teacher blackmails him into becoming the alternate for the quiz bowl team’s competition. Too late does he remember that his beloved WashingCon is being held the same weekend–now he’s doomed to answer trivia questions instead. When Clayton (freshman and team-captain Ana’s little brother) hears Zak’s stories about the con, he sneaks out of the hotel to check it out himself–so it’s Zak and Ana to the rescue. She’s uptight and controlling; he’s a slacker and gamer–seems they’d never have anything in common. Clayton proves nearly impossible find at the “con”, but they find just about everyone else: Vikings on the rampage, Vampires looking for blood, a Middle Ages battle re-enactment, and a drug deal going bad. Before they know it, Zak’s looking down the barrel of a gun and it’s up to Ana to rescue him. You always knew those Trekkies were crazy!

 Mrs. Friend’s opinion: Call me a geek, but I thought this one was great! Zak is the funny, nerdy guy everyone wishes they knew; Ana learns to loosen up and begin standing up for herself; everyone takes a step forward of some kind in one of their relationships–all thanks to a sci-fi/gaming/fantasy convention. Gotta love it!

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