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If students have not hear "Mick Harte was here" by Barbara Park I would recommend highly. Its about a boy killed in a bicycle accident not wearing a helmet. Though it may sound morbid it is at times very funny and well as warm and timely. Gary Paulsen's "Mr. Tuckett" books are short but high in interest also. If you are interested in short stories there is a powerful book by Bruce Coville. Title escapes me but it is definitely a read first to decide appropriateness. Title someone else recommended - "Best Christmas Pageant Ever" - in our public school system we might have trouble because it does get into the religious aspect and that is a no no where we are. Does a book like this have problems as a readaloud anywhere else? I usually just read the first 2 chapters about "the Hermans" and tell kids they have to read the rest on their own.