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Challenges & Choices

Grades 5 to 8

Encourage Below-Level Middle Schoolers to Read More

24 Engaging, Relevant Novels about Teens Facing Challenges and Making the Right Choices

Why are Challenges & Choices Right for Your Students? The Best of Trade Books PLUS the Best of Leveled Readers! (500 KB)

  • ENCOURAGE struggling readers with high-interest Historical, Realistic, Sports, and Science Fiction novels.
  • MOTIVATE struggling readers with compelling stories about teens facing challenges and making choices—characters with whom readers can make personal and emotional connections.
  • ENGAGE struggling readers with fast-moving plots that take place within short time frames.
  • SUPPORT struggling readers with print features such as appropriate sentence structures in appealing layouts, manageable line lengths, and extra spacing between lines.

Program Components

  • 24 Student Books
  • Optional E-Book versions available
    E-Books Available
    • Purchase one-time-only, with Print/E-Book Set
    • Unlimited circulation throughout a building
    • Device neutral: web-based, mobile-friendly, and iPad-compatible; perfect for interactive whiteboards
    • Access at school or home, anywhere, anytime
    • Look Inside! Download an E-Book Sample. (1.3 MB)

  • Teacher Guide with strategies for supporting struggling readers
  • Classroom Wall Poster

Entice Struggling Readers with Novels They Can—and Want—to Read!

Sports Fiction

Sports, ranging from surfing to ice hockey, are used as a backdrop in these edgy novels covering issues that teens confront.
  • Best Foot Forward (GRL U; 770L)
    Surfer Sunny Rivera feels like a fish out of water when her family relocates from California to an Air Force base in Colorado, where she is forced to find a new sport.
  • The Breakaway (GRL S; 770L)
    The Callahan twins compete to make the ice hockey team at their new school. However, one of the twins is a girl and must prove that she deserves a spot on the team.
  • Covering Home (GRL U; 750L)
    Jayson is a baseball catcher who lives his life by a precise set of rules. Unexpected changes in his family life distract him from focusing on the field.
  • Dancing Barefoot (GRL T; 780L)
    When Isabella's father loses his job, her private dance classes must be cut. She struggles to pursue her passion and navigate the impact the changes have on her friendships.
  • Getting Back on Track (GRL W; 830L)
    Track star Olivia has just qualified for the state championships when an accident results in the amputation of her leg. She faces difficult hurdles during her recovery.
  • Long Shot (GRL R; 810L)
    Link fights the odds of becoming a great basketball player, despite being the shortest player on the team and dealing with stress at home.
  • On the Edge (GRL W; 880L)
    After a near-death experience, champion high diver Jared wants life to go back to normal. When he becomes paralyzed on the platform, will he give up on his passion forever?
  • Running the Ball (GRL X; 960L)
    Jaxon vies for the starting quarterback position while his brother Zander adjusts to high school life. Will the brothers be able to help each other with the challenges ahead?

Science Fiction

Science Fiction novels whose characters face frightening circumstances.
  • A Colony of Lies (GRL S; 850L)
    As conditions on Earth decline, Jacob is among the people chosen to live on the planet Rome1. He must adjust to his new life, where things may not be what they seem.
  • Just Super (GRL Q; 740L)
    After a meteorite hits Earth, Petra now has super abilities. Though she's reluctant to use them and just wants to be normal, she realizes she must learn how to control them.
  • Passage to Another World (GRL T; 800L)
    Benjamin and his stepsisters discover a portal that connects the human world to a world of fantastical creatures--and they aren't all friendly.
  • Running Out of Time (GRL X; 910L)
    Artificial intelligence has surpassed human intelligence, and the future of humanity is at stake. Someone from the future expects Billy to be the one to save it. But how?.
  • Under Control (GRL W; 910L)
    When the adults on Sanctum begin to act strangely, Landon and his friends start investigating. The startling information they uncover leads to a series of difficult decisions.
  • An Uneasy Peace (GRL V; 880L)
    The daughter of a diplomat, Kira must help broker a peace agreement between warring groups on the planet Rathor. But will everyone be willing to establish peace?

Historical Fiction

Historical novels featuring kids at the center of key U.S. historical events.
  • A City Within a City (GRL S; 930L)
    Chicago is abuzz with excitement over the 1893 World's Fair. Maggie's family has little extra money for such splurges, but she is determined to find a way to see the exhibits
  • A Long Walk (GRL V; 780L)
    The Reed family feels mixed emotions during the 1955 us boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. However, they discover that sore feet are a small price to pay for equality.
  • My New American Life (GRL T; 810L)
    In 1961, as Cuba experiences changes in government, Yolanda and her brother are suddenly sent to live with a foster family in America where everything is unfamiliar.
  • Station Stop to Freedom (GRL U; 920L)
    Thomas is a slave escaping to the North. Sarah is a Northerner whose home is Thomas' next stop along the Underground Railroad. Both find out how brave they can be.
  • Thundering Hooves (GRL R; 760L)
    James sets off on an adventure as a Pony Express riders. Along the way, he encounters severe weather, armed bandits, dangerous wild animals, and other surprises.
  • Unexpected Friends (GRL X; 940L)
    Charles is an English settler of the Plymouth colony and Wooto is a member of a nearby native tribe. Both are trying to prove their worth to their parents when their paths cross.

Realistic Fiction

Contemporary novels about kids making hard choices in a complex world.
  • News Breakers (GRL R; 870L)
    The Maguire Middle School TV news team is determined to produce an award-winning news story. Their investigation leads them to people in danger of losing their home.
  • Out of Focus (GRL V; 840L)
    Contestants compete in mental and physical challenges to be the next great Internet star. With a social media empire at stake, some contestants are willing to take drastic measures.
  • Raising Courage (GRL Q; 830L)
    Lily reluctantly becomes a puppy raiser for a fluffy, big-headed dog named Courage. Together, they encounter new social situations that test Lily's own courage.
  • Spinning My Wheels (GRL Q; 770L)
    Greg tries to live up to his parents' high academic expectations while pursuing his true passion by helping with the restoration of a classic car.

E-Books Available!
Download an E-Book Sample.
Download an E-Book Sample.
(550 KB)

Look Inside
Challenges & Choices!

Challenges & Choices Teacher Guide
Preview a FREE
Teacher Guide.


Challenges & Choices Student Book Sampler
Download FREE Collection of Sample Chapters from 8 Student Books.

Best of Trade Books PLUS Best of Leveled Readers
Challenges & Choices: The Best of Trade Books PLUS the Best of Leveled Readers!
(500 KB)


Challenges & Choices
Quantity Order Code ConfigurationPrice
WA-37342 Independent Reading Set: 24 Books (1 each of 24 titles); Teacher Guide; Classroom Wall Poster $260.00
WA-37648 Independent Reading Set PLUS: 48 Books (2 each of 24 titles); Teacher Guide; Classroom Wall Poster $520.00
WA-37649 Independent Reading Set Print and E-Book Set: 24 Books (1 each of 24 titles); 24 E-Books; Teacher Guide; Classroom Wall Poster $520.00
WA-38476 Sports Fiction Reading Set: 8 Books (1 each of 8 titles) $88.00
WA-38477 Realistic Fiction Reading Set: 4 Books (1 each of 4 titles) $44.00
WA-38478 Historical Fiction Reading Set: 6 Books (1 each of 6 titles) $66.00
WA-38479 Science Fiction Reading Set: 6 Books (1 each of 6 titles) $66.00

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