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Pick of the Decade 1998-2008 The Best Books for Children Grades k-8

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Kinney, Jeff. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, 2007.

Greg records his sixth grade experiences in a middle school where he and his best friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular, Greg must take drastic measures to save their friendship. (Sequels: Roderick Rules; forthcoming: The Last Straw.)

Klise, Kate. Regarding the Fountain, 1998.

When the principal asks a fifth-grader to write a letter regarding the purchase of a new drinking fountain for their school, he finds that all sorts of chaos results. (Sequel: Regarding the Sink., Regarding the Trees, Regarding the Bathrooms and Regarding the Bees.)

Klise, Kate. Deliver Us from Normal, 2005.

With a mother who buys Christmas cards in August and a younger brother who describes the Trinity as a toasted marshmallow on a graham cracker, life for eleven-year-old Charles Harrisong is anything but normal in Normal, Illinois. (Sequel: Far from Normal.)

Korman, Gordon. Swindle, 2008.

When his precious baseball card is stolen by a mean dealer named Swindle, Griffin Bing gathers up a group of courageous misfits and devises a plan to break into the compound to get it back.

LaFaye, A. Worth, 2004.

After breaking his leg, eleven-year-old Nate feels useless because he cannot work on the family farm in nineteenth-century Nebraska, so when his father brings home an orphan boy to help with the chores, Nate feels even worse.

Levine, Gail Carson. Ella Enchanted, 1997.

Lucinda, a foolish fairy, bestows on Eleanor the gift of obedience. Consequently, all her life Ella is compelled to do everything she is told to do. In an attempt to break the spell, Ella ventures out on her own and encounters dwarfs, giants, wicked stepsisters, and her prince charming.

Levine, Gail Carson. Fairest, 2006.

The fairy Lucinda has once again given a disastrous gift! This time, it’s a mysterious, magical mirror. It is disastrous most of all when it falls into the hands of Aza, who never dares to look in a mirror. She is most definitely not the fairest of them all.

Lord, Cynthia. Rules, 2006.

Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with an young paraplegic.

Marsden, Carolyn. The Buddha’s Diamond, 2008.

When his father entrusts him to secure the Vietnamese family's vessel during a brutal storm, Tinh panics and must find a way to salvage his family's precious bamboo boat and win back his father's confidence.

Martin, Ann M. The Doll People, 2000.

A family of porcelain dolls that has lived in the same house for one hundred years is taken aback when a new family of plastic dolls arrives and doesn't follow The Doll Code of Honor. (Sequels: The Meanest Doll in the World and The Runaway Dolls.)

Martin, Ann M. A Dog’s Life: The Autobiography of a Stray, 2005.

Squirrel is a wild dog who tells his story from puppy-hood to old age.

Matthews, L. S. A Dog for Life, 2006.

When Tom becomes ill and the doctors say they have to send his beloved - and very special - dog Mouse away for fear of infection, he takes a turn for the worse, and his brother John concocts a plan to find a temporary home for Mouse, which leads to the unexpected.

McKay, Hilary. Saffy’s Angel, 2002.

After learning that she was adopted, thirteen-year-old Saffron's relationship with her eccentric, artistic family changes, until they help her go back to Italy where she was born to find a special memento of her past. (Sequels: Indigo’s Star, Permanent Rose, Caddy Ever After, and Forever Rose.)

McKissack, Patricia. A Friendship for Today, 2007.

In 1954, when desegregation comes to Kirkland, Missouri, ten-year-old Rosemary faces many changes and challenges at school and at home as her parents separate.

Mead, Alice. Soldier Mom 1999.

Jasmyn gets a different perspective on life when her mother is sent to Saudi Arabia at the beginning of the Persian Gulf War, leaving her and her baby half brother behind in Maine in the care of her mother's boyfriend. (See also: Girl of Kosovo.)

Morpurgo, Michael. The Mozart Question, 2008.

A young journalist goes to Venice, Italy, to interview a famous violinist, who tells the story of his parents' incarceration by the Nazis, and explains why they can no longer listen to the music of Mozart.

Myracle, Lauren. Eleven, 2004.

Having turned eleven-years-old in March, Winnie finds that being a pre-teen has its challenges as she deals with different issues through the course of the year, such as her sister's mood swings, a change in her friendship with her best friend, and the arrival of an unlikable new girl at school. (Sequels: Twelve and Thirteen.)

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Who Won the War, 2006.

As the end of summer approaches, the Malloy girls decide they will really try to get along with the Hatford boys before moving back to Ohio, but after all the practical jokes and competitions of the previous year, the boys just do not trust the girls. (Newest in the Boys Start the War series.)

Nimmo, Jenny. Midnight for Charlie Bone, 2003.

Ten-year-old Charlie lives an ordinary life until he starts hearing the people in photographs speaking. His nasty Grandma Bone then insists he attend Bloor’s Academy where the endowed (magically gifted) descendants of the Red King all go to school with the rich and talented. The trouble is, some descendents are good, and some are not. (First in The Children of the Red King series. Sequels: Charlie Bone and the Time Twister, Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy, Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors, Charlie Bone and the Hidden King, Charlie Bone and the Beast, and Charlie Bone and the Shadow.)

Nix, Garth. Mister Monday, 2003.

Arthur Penhaligon is an ordinary boy with asthma until Sneezer passes him one of the seven keys that leads him to the world of the House. Here he could become Lord Monday, master of the Lower House, if the other denizens don’t kill him first. (First of the Keys to the Kingdom septet which includes: Grim Tuesday, Drowned Wednesday, Sir Thursday, Lady Friday, and Superior Saturday .)

Park, Barbara. The Graduation of Jake Moon, 2000.

Jake recalls how he has spent the last four years of his life watching his grandfather descend slowly but surely into the horrors of Alzheimer's disease. (See also: Mick Harte Was Here.)

Park, Linda Sue. Keeping Score, 2008.

In Brooklyn in 1951, a die-hard Giants fan teaches nine-year-old Maggie, who is a "Bums" (Dodgers) fan, how to use a technique to keep score of a baseball game which creates a special friendship between them.

Paterson, Katherine. Preacher’s Boy, 1999.

In 1899, ten-year-old Robbie, son of a preacher in a small Vermont town, gets himself into all kinds of trouble when he decides to give up being Christian in order to make the most of his life before the end of the world. (See also: The Bridge to Terabithia, The Great Gilly Hopkins, Park’s Quest, The Flip-Flop Girl, and Jip: His Story.)

Patron, Susan. The Higher Power of Lucky, 2006.

Fearing that her legal guardian plans to abandon her to return to France, ten-year-old aspiring scientist Lucky Trimble determines to run away while also continuing to seek the Higher Power that will bring stability to her life.

Pinkwater, Daniel. Looking for Bobowicz: A Hoboken Chicken Story, 2004.

Upon moving to Hoboken, New Jersey, a boy convinces his two new friends to help him track down the mysterious phantom who stole his bicycle, as well as Arthur Bobowicz, owner of a giant chicken that once terrorized local citizens. (Previous title: The Hoboken Chicken Emergency. Sequel: The Artsy Smartsy Club.)

Porter, Tracey. Billy Creekmore, 2007.

In 1905, ten-year-old Billy is taken from an orphanage to live with an aunt and an uncle of whose existence he was previously unaware. He enjoys his first taste of family life until his work in a coal mine and his involvement with a union bring trouble. He then joins a circus in hopes of finding his father.In 1905, ten-year-old Billy is taken from an orphanage to live with an aunt and uncle he never knew he had, and he enjoys his first taste of family life until his work in a coal mine and involvement with a union brings trouble, then he joins a circus in hopes of finding his father.

Prineas, Sarah. The Magic Thief, 2008.

When a local pickpocket puts his hand in the pocket belonging to the wizard Nevery, Conn gets more than he expected when he is drawn into the world of wizardry as a result of his mischievous deed.

Pullman, Philip. The Scarecrow and His Servant, 2005.

A scarecrow and his boy servant, Jack, set off on a dangerous adventure as they try to outwit the crooked Buffaloni family and stake their claim to valuable Spring Valley.

Reisman, Michael. Simon Bloom, Gravity Keeper, 2007.

Nerdy sixth-grader Simon Bloom finds a book that enables him to control the laws of physics, but when two thugs come after him, he needs the formulas in the book to save himself. (Sequel: The Octopus Effect.)

Robinson, Barbara. The Best Halloween Ever, 2004.

The six Herdman siblings always wreak havoc on Halloween, so the mayor decides that this year he will cancel Halloween. But the Herdman’s still have some tricks up their sleeves and turn the worst Halloween into the best ever. (Previous titles: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and The Best School Year Ever.)

Rodman, Mary Ann. Jimmy's Stars, 2008.

In 1943, eleven-year-old Ellie is her brother Jimmy's "best girl," and when he leaves Pittsburgh just before Thanksgiving to fight in World War II, he promises he will return, asks her to leave the Christmas tree up until he does, and reminds her to "let the joy out."

Rowling, J. K. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 1999.

Although he lives with an aunt and uncle who hate him, Harry Potter thinks that he is just an ordinary boy until he gets a letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, inviting him to study to be a wizard. (Sequels: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix; Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince; and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.)

Ryan, Pam Munoz. Esperanza Rising, 2000. (SP)

Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression.

Ryan, Pam, Munoz. Becoming Naomi Leon, 2004. (SP)

When Naomi's absent mother resurfaces to claim her, Naomi runs away to Mexico with her great-grandmother and younger brother in search of her father.

Sachar, Louis. Holes, 1998.

As further evidence of his family's bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself. (Sequel: Small Steps.)

Sage, Angie. Magyk, 2005.

In a world populated by wizards both ordinary and extraordinary, Jenna thinks that she is just a normal girl in a family of wizards, until she suddenly discovers that she is a princess and must run for her life. (First in the Septimus Heap Series. Sequels: Flyte, Physik, and Queste.)

St. John, Lauren. White Giraffe, 2007.

After a fire kills her parents, eleven-year-old Martine must leave England to live with her grandmother on a wildlife game reserve in South Africa, where she befriends a mythical white giraffe. (Sequel: The Last Lepoard.)

Snyder, Zilpha Keatley. The Unseen, 2004.

Feeling angry and out-of-place in her large family, twelve-year-old Xandra finds a magical key to a world of ghostly, sometimes frightening, phantoms that help her see herself and her siblings more clearly.

Springer, Nancy. The Case of the Missing Marquess, 2006.

Enola Holmes, much younger sister of detective Sherlock Holmes, must travel to London in disguise to unravel the disappearance of her missing mother. (First in the Enola Holms series. Sequels: The Case of the Left-Handed Lady, The Case of the Bizarre Bouquets, and The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline.)

Tolan, Stephanie. Surviving the Applewhites, 2002.

Jake, a budding juvenile delinquent, is sent for home schooling to the arty and eccentric Applewhite family's Creative Academy, where he discovers talents and interests he never knew he had.

Van Draanen, Wendelin. Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man, 1998.

On Halloween night, seventh grader Sammy stumbles onto a mystery involving a twenty-year-old family feud and some heirlooms stolen by a man in a skeleton costume. (Sequels: Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief; Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy; Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf; Sammy Keyes and the Curse of Mustache Mary; Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy; Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes; Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception; Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen; Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things; Sammy Keyes and the Dead Giveaway; and Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash.)

Vande Velde, Vivian. There’s a Dead Person Following My Sister Around, 1999.

Ted becomes concerned and intrigued when his five-year-old sister Vicki begins receiving visits from two female ghosts.

Waugh, Sylvia. Space Race, 2000.

When he learns that he and his father must soon leave Earth, eleven-year-old Thomas Derwent is upset, but a terrible accident that separates the two of them makes Thomas's situation much worse. (Sequels: Earthborn and Who Goes Home?)

Weeks, Sarah. Oggie Cooder, 2008.

Having the strange talent of being able to carve fantastic creations out of cheese with his teeth, shy Oggie Cooder becomes the talk of the school when his skill brings him fame and fortune on a national level.

Whelan, Gloria. Homeless Bird, 2000.

When thirteen-year-old Koly enters into an ill-fated arranged marriage, she must either suffer a destiny dictated by India's tradition or find the courage to oppose it. (See also: Angel on the Square, The Impossible Journey, and Burying the Sun.)

Wright, Randall. Hunchback, 2004.

Thirteen-year-old Juffa, a hunchback orphan living in Castle Marlby, dreams of serving a prince, and when his wish comes true he becomes embroiled in adventure and intrigue.

Yep, Laurence. The Dragon's Child: A Story of Angel Island, 2008.

Standing beside his father, a man he hardly knew, at Angel Island in front of the immigration officials, ten-year-old Gim Lew fears the worst when the time comes for his father to answer very important questions that will decide their fates, in a dramatic tale about the process of Chinese American immigration.

Yolen, Jane. Odysseus in the Serpent Maze, 2001.

Thirteen-year-old Odysseus, who longs to be a hero, has many opportunities to prove himself during an adventure which involves pirates and satyrs, a trip to Crete's Labyrinth, and the two young girls, Penelope and Helen, who play a major role in his future life. (First in the Young Heroes series which includes: Hippolyta and the Curse of the Amazons; Atalanta and the Arcadian Beast; and Jason and the Gorgon’s Blood.)

Yolen, Jane. Boots and the Seven Leaguers, 2000.

Teen troll Gog and his best friend Pook work as roadies for a troll rock and roll band until Gog's younger brother gets kidnapped.

Fiction for Sixth Grade

Alexander, Lloyd. The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio, 2007.

Naive and bumbling Carlo, his shady camel-puller Baksheesh, and Shira, a girl determined to return home, follow a treasure map through the deserts and cities of the infamous Golden Road, as mysterious strangers try in vain to point them toward real treasures. (See also: The Book of Three, The Black Cauldron, The Castle of Llyr;,Taran Wanderer, The High King, The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian, The Wizard in the Tree, The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen, The Arkadians, and The Iron Ring.)

Allison, Jennifer. Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator, 2005.

During the summer before ninth grade, intrepid Gilda Joyce invites herself to the San Francisco mansion of distant cousin Lester Splinter and his thirteen-year-old daughter, where she uses her purported psychic abilities and detective skills to solve the mystery of the mansion's boarded-up tower. (Sequels: Gilda Joyce: The Ladies of the Lake and Gilda Joyce: The Ghost Sonota.)
Almond, David. Kit’s Wilderness, 2000.

Kit goes to live with his grandfather in the decaying coal-mining town of Stoneygate, England, and finds both the old man and the town haunted by ghosts of the past. (See also: Fire-Eaters.)

Almond, David. Savage, 2008.

After his dad's death, Blue Baker finds comfort in writing about a savage living alone in the woods near his home, but when the savage pays a night-time visit to the local bully, boundaries become blurred and Blue begins to wonder where he ends and the savage begins.

Anderson, John David. Standard Hero Behavior, 2007.

Living a boring life in a boring town, Mason Quayle decides to team up with his best friend, Cowel, and take a journey of their own in the hopes of finding out the truth about his long-lost father and the mystery surrounding his disappearance so many years ago.

Armstrong, Alan. Raleigh’s Page, 2007.

In the late 16th century, fifteen-year-old Andrew leaves school in England and must prove himself as a page to Sir Walter Raleigh before embarking for Virginia, where he helps to establish relations with the Indians.

Barry, Dave. Peter and the Starcatchers, 2004. (SP)

The young orphan Peter and his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk in its cargo hold. Their journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement and danger. (Sequel: Peter and the Shadow Thieves and Peter and the Secret of Rundoon.)

Bechard, Margaret. Spacer and Rat, 2005.

Jack's predictable existence on Freedom space station is transformed when Kit enters his life and enlists him and a sensitive robot in an effort to outwit the Company.

Billingsley, Franny. The Folk Keeper, 1999.

Corinna is never cold, always knows exactly what time it is, and her silvery hair grows two inches every night. An orphan, she disguises herself as a boy so that she can become the folk keeper of Rhysbridge, sitting hour after hour in the dark cellar, drawing off the anger of the fierce, gremlin-like, folk. She does this until Lord Merton summons her to the vast island estate of Cliffsend where she is to be both Folk Keeper and, inexplicably, a member of the family.

Blackwood, Gary. The Shakespeare Stealer, 1998.

A young orphan boy is ordered by his master to infiltrate Shakespeare's acting troupe in order to steal the script of "Hamlet," but he discovers instead the meaning of friendship and loyalty. (Sequels: Shakespeare’s Scribe and Shakespeare’s Spy.)

Boles, Philana. Little Divas, 2006.

The summer before seventh grade, Cassidy Carter must come to terms with living with her father, practically a stranger, as well as her relationships with her cousins, all amidst the overall confusion of adolescence.

Boyce, Frank. Millions, 2004.

After their mother dies, two brothers find a huge amount of money which they must spend quickly before England switches to the new European currency, but they disagree on what to do with it.

Boyce, Frank. Framed, 2006.

Harnessing the power of art, Dylan Hughes, the only boy in his town, must get himself out of hot water--with the help of his two pet chickens--and save the family business when a huge secret is exposed.

Bradley, Kimberly. The Lacemaker and the Princess, 2007.

After an accidental encounter with Marie Antoinette, poor lacemaker Isabelle is invited back to her palace to play with her daughter, but as the situation for the common man worsens on the streets and talk of revolution begins, Marie begins to fear for the safety of her royal friend with whom she has become close.

Bruchac, Joseph. Wabi: A Hero’s Tale, 2006.

After falling in love with an Abenaki Indian woman, a white great horned owl named Wabi transforms into a human being and has several trials and adventures while learning to adapt to his new life.

Buckley-Archer, Linda. Gideon the Cutpurse, 2006.

Ignored by his father and sent to Derbyshire for the weekend, twelve-year-old Peter and his new friend, Kate, are accidentally transported back in time to 1763 England where they are befriended by a reformed cutpurse. (Sequel: The Time Thief.)

Carbone, Elisa. Stealing Freedom, 1998.

A novel based on the events in the life of a young slave girl from Maryland who endures all kinds of mistreatment and cruelty, including being separated from her family, but who eventually escapes to freedom in Canada.

Carbone, Elisa. Blood on the River: James Town 1607, 2006.

Traveling to the New World in 1606 as the page to Captain John Smith, twelve-year-old orphan Samuel Collier settles in the new colony of James Town, where he must quickly learn to distinguish between friend and foe.

Carmi, Daniella. Samir and Yonatan, 2000.

Samir, a Palestinian boy, is sent for surgery to an Israeli hospital where he has two otherworldly experiences, making friends with an Israeli boy, Yonatan, and traveling with him to Mars where Samir finds peace over his younger brother's death in the war.

Casanova, Mary. The Curse of a Winter Moon, 2000.

In sixteenth-century France, ruled by a Church that overtaxes peasants and burns heretics, Marius must postpone his apprenticeship to care for his six-year-old brother whose birth took their mother’s life, and who the villagers believe will become a werewolf.

Caseley, Judith. The Kissing Diary, 2007.

As thirteen-year-old Rosie Goldglitt contemplates kissing the boy she has a crush on, she tries to navigate the many complications in her life, including her horrible name, her nemesis Mary Katz, her parents' divorce, and her mother's new boyfriend.

Cassidy, Cathy. Scarlett, 2006.

After being expelled from yet another school in London, twelve-year-old Scarlett is sent by her exasperated mother to live with her father, stepmother, and stepsister in Ireland, where, with the help of a mysterious boy, she eventually feels part of a family again.

Chabon, Michael. Summerland, 2002.

After the death of his mother, Ethan Feld and his father move to Clam Island where the children all play baseball in an always-sunny spot called, “Summerland.” Ethan is the worst baseball player in the world, but he agrees to keep on playing and is recruited by Ringfinger Brown to be a hero. Summerland connects a series of alternate worlds and magical creatures that are in danger of being destroyed by the trickster Coyote. They need baseball and Ethan to save them.

Choldenko, Gennifer. If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period, 2007.

Kirsten and Walk, seventh-graders at an elite private school, alternate telling how race, wealth, weight, and other issues shape their relationships as they and other misfits stand up to a mean but influential classmate, even as they are uncovering a long-kept secret about themselves.

Clements, Andrew. Things Not Seen, 2002.

When fifteen-year-old Bobby wakes up and finds himself invisible, he and his parents and his new blind friend Alicia try to find out what caused his condition and how to reverse it. (Sequels: Things Hoped For and Things That Are.)

Colfer, Eoin. The Supernaturalist, 2004. (SP)

In futuristic Satellite City, fourteen-year-old Cosmo Hill escapes from his abusive orphanage and teams up with three other people who share his unusual ability to see supernatural creatures, and together they determine the nature and purpose of the swarming blue Parasites that are invisible to most humans. (See also: Wish List.)

Conly, Jane. What Happened on Planet Kid, 2000.

To help her deal with her separation from her family, worry about her mother's serious operation, and suspicions about a new friend's abusive father, twelve-year-old Dawn creates an imaginary world while spending the summer of 1958 with her great-aunt and uncle in rural North Carolina.

Coombs, Kate. The Runaway Princess, 2006.

Fifteen-year-old Princess Meg uses magic and her wits to rescue a baby dragon and escape the unwanted attentions of  princes hoping to gain her hand in marriage through a contest arranged by her father, the king.

Cooper, Susan. The King of Shadows, 1999.

While in London as part of an all-boy acting company preparing to perform in a replica of the famous Globe Theatre, Nat Field suddenly finds himself transported back to 1599 and performing in the original theater under the tutelage of Shakespeare himself.

Cooper, Susan. Victory, 2006.

Alternating chapters follow the mysterious connection between a homesick English girl living in present-day America and an eleven-year-old boy serving in the British Royal Navy in 1803, aboard the H.M.S. Victory, commanded by Admiral Horatio Nelson.

Creech, Sharon. Ruby Holler, 2002.

Thirteen-year-old fraternal twins Dallas and Florida have grown up in a terrible orphanage but their lives change forever when an eccentric but sweet older couple invites them each on an adventure, beginning in an almost magical place called Ruby Holler. (See also: Chasing Redbird, Bloomability, Absolutely Normal Chaos, Walk Two Moons, and Heartbeat.)

Delaney, Joseph. Revenge of the Witch, 2005.

Young Tom, the seventh son of a seventh son, starts work as an apprentice for the village spook, whose job is to protect ordinary folk from "ghouls, boggarts, and all manner of wicked beasties." (First in The Last Apprentice series. Sequels: Curse of the Bane, Night of the Soul Stealer, Attack of the Fiend, Wrath of the Blood-Eye, and Spook’s Tale.)

De Mari, Silvana. The Last Dragon, 2006.

A young elf and a tempremental dragon attempt to fulfill a prophecy that tests their courage.

Dowd, Siobhan. The London-Eye Mystery, 2008.

When Ted and Kat's cousin Salim disappears from the London Eye ferris wheel, the two siblings must work together--Ted with his brain that is "wired differently" and impatient Kat--to try to discover what happened to Salim.

Duble, Kathleen. The Sacrifice, 2006.

Two sisters, aged ten and twelve, are accused of witchcraft in Andover, Massachusetts, in 1692 and await trial in a miserable prison while their mother desperately searches for some way to obtain their freedom.

Durango, Julia. Walls of Cartagena, 2008.

Thirteen-year-old Calepino, an African slave in the seventeenth-century Caribbean city of Cartagena, works as a translator for a Jesuit priest who tends to newly-arrived slaves and, after working for a Jewish doctor in a leper colony and helping an Angolan boy and his mother escape, he realizes his true calling.

Dygard, Thomas. Second Stringer, 1998.

When Kevin replaces the quarterback and football hero who suffers a knee injury, the second stringer needs to prove that he can do the job and is not just a substitute. (See also: The Rebounder and Infield Hit.)

Ellis, Sarah. Odd Man Out, 2006.

Twelve-year-old Kip goes to his grandmother's house in British Columbia while his mother and step-father are on their honeymoon, and finds an unexpected treasure hidden within the walls of the attic.

Farrell, Mame. Bradley and the Billboard, 2002.

When Brad, a baseball hero, gets a job as a fashion model, he must come to terms with his ideas of what it is to be a real guy.

Ferris, Jean. Once upon a Marigold, 2002.

Chris, a child of six, who is both strong-willed and clever, runs away from home. He’s determined to live on his own in the forest, but Eldric the troll gives him shelter, and Chris grows up inventing things and watching a princess from afar, never dreaming that one day he might meet her, or that his inventions could save the entire kingdom. (Sequel: Twice upon a Marigold.)

Fleischman, Sid. Bandit’s Moon, 1998.

Annyrose relates her adventures with Joaquin Murieta and his band of outlaws in the California gold-mining region during the mid-1800s.

Fisher, Catherine. Corbenic, 2006.

In this modern day version of Perceval and the Holy Grail, a guilt-ridden British teenager leaves his mentally ill mother to live with his wealthy uncle and begins a journey of self-knowledge and redemption after being briefly transported to the Waste Land of Arthurian times.

Fitzgerald, Dawn. Soccer Chick Rules, 2006.

While trying to focus on a winning soccer season, thirteen-year-old Tess becomes involved in local politics when she learns that all sports programs at her school will be stopped unless a tax levy is passed.

Fletcher, Ralph. Flying Solo, 1998.

Rachel, having chosen to be mute following the sudden death of a classmate, shares responsibility with the other sixth-graders who decide not to report that the substitute teacher failed to show up.

Forsyth, Kate. The Gypsy Crown, 2008.

In Cromwell's England, gypsies Emilia Finch and her cousin Luka find themselves involved in a dangerous mission to gather the charms from five gypsy families and put an end to a curse put upon the gypsies many years before. (First in the Chain of Charms series.)

Franklin, Kristine. Lone Wolf, 2002.

When a large family moves into the house near where he and his father live in the woods, Perry's friendship with the oldest girl helps him come to terms with his sister's death and his parents' divorce.

Funke, Cornelia. The Thief Lord, 2002.

Prosper and Bo are orphans, on the run from their cruel aunt and uncle. They find shelter in Venice with the Thief Lord and his band of young followers. The brothers just want to stay together, but they encounter a mysterious magic that changes their world forever.

Funke, Cornelia. Inkheart, 2003. (SP)

Twelve-year-old Meggie lives a quiet life with her father until the mysterious stranger, Dustfinger disturbs their peace. Gradually Meggie uncovers the implausible truth about her father. He is not just an ordinary bookbinder. He can read characters to life. When Meggie was three, he released several characters from the book Inkheart into the world while at the same time he lost his wife in the world of the novel. Now, danger abounds from these characters and Meggie must help find a way to put things right. (Sequels: Inkspell and Inkdeath.)

Gardner, Lyn. Into the Woods, 2007.

When their parents die and the three sisters are put under the care of the sinister Dr. DeWilde, Storm, Aurora, and Anything flee into the wood in the hopes of finding a better life, but dangerous encounters with kidnappers and hungry wolves make their trek to find a place to call home more treacherous than they could have ever imagined.

Gardner, Sally. I, Coriander, 2005.

In 17th century London, Coriander, a girl who has inherited magic from her mother, must find a way to use this magic in order to save both herself and an inhabitant of the fairy world where her mother was born.

George, Jessica Day. Dragon Slippers, 2007.

Creel's aunt was the one who came up with the idea of her niece posing as a dragon sacrifice. The plan was for a knight to rescue and marry her. Instead, it's Creel who saves herself and then heads for the king's city with a pair of shoes that can either destroy or save the kingdom. (Sequel: Dragon Flight.)

Giff, Patricia Reilly. Nory Ryan’s Song, 2000.

When a terrible blight attacks Ireland's potato crop in 1845, twelve-year-old Nory Ryan's courage and ingenuity help her family and neighbors survive. (Sequels: Maggie’s Door and Water Street.)

Glatshteyn, Yankev. Emil and Karl, 2006.

In Vienna, Austria, in 1940, two nine-year-old boys, one Jewish and one Aryan, are classmates and best friends when events of the Nazi occupation draw them even closer together as they fight to survive and escape together.

Gregory, Nan. I’ll Sing You the One-O, 2006.

After her foster family splits up and she is adopted by relatives she didn't even know she had, Gemma's world falls into emotional chaos--leaving her to turn to the powers of a guardian angel to help guide her through the rocky times ahead while giving her the answers she needs to resolve issues from her past.

Griffin, Adele. Amandine, 2001.

Her first week at a new school, shy, plain Delia befriends Amandine, not anticipating the dangerous turns their friendship would take.

Haas, Jessie. Unbroken, 1999.

Following her mother's death in the early 1900s, thirteen-year-old Harry lives on Aunt Sarah's farm where an accident with her spirited colt leaves her a changed young woman. (See also: Shaper.)

Haas, Jessie. Chase, 2007.

In the coal mining region of mid-nineteenth century eastern Pennsylvania, Phin witnesses a murder and runs for his life, pursued by a mysterious man and a horse with the instincts of a bloodhound.

Hahn, Mary Downing. All the Lovely Bad Ones: A Ghost Story, 2008.

While spending the summer at their grandmother's Vermont inn, two prankster siblings awaken young ghosts from the inn's distant past who refuse to "rest in peace."

Hale, Marian. Dark Water Rising, 2006.

While salvaging and rebuilding in the aftermath of the Galveston flood of 1900, sixteen-year-old Seth proves himself in a way that his previous efforts never could, but he still must face his father man-to-man.

Hale, Marian. The Truth about Sparrows, 2004.

Twelve-year-old Sadie promises that she will always be Wilma's best friend when their families leaves drought-stricken Missouri in 1933, but once in Texas, Sadie learns that she must try to make a new home--and new friends, too.

Hardinge, Frances. Fly by Night, 2006.

A twelve-year-old orphan, Mosca Mye, and her homicidal goose, Saracen, travel to the city of Mandelion on the heels of smooth-talking con-man Eponymous Clent, driven by her love of language to find a better life.

Hardinge, Frances. Well Witched, 2008.

After stealing some coins at the bottom of a wishing well, friends Ryan, Josh, and Chelle must heed the wishes of a dangerous witch who demands that even the darkest of requests are granted before they are released from her powerful grip.

Hartnett, Sonya. The Silver Donkey, 2006.

In France during World War I, four French children learn about honesty, loyalty, and courage from an English army deserter who tells them a series of stories related to his small, silver donkey charm.

Henkes, Kevin. Olive’s Ocean, 2003. (SP)

On a summer visit to her grandmother's cottage by the ocean, twelve-year-old Martha gains perspective on the death of a classmate, on her relationship with her grandmother, on her feelings for an older boy, and on her plans to be a writer. (See also: Words of Stone and Protecting Marie.)

Hesse, Karen. Stowaway, 2000.

A fictionalized journal relates the experiences of a young stowaway from 1768 to 1771 aboard the Endeavor which sailed around the world under Captain James Cook. (See also: A Time of Angels.)

Hirahara, Naomi. 1001 Paper Cranes, 2008.

With her parents on the verge of separating, a devastated twelve-year-old Japanese American girl spends the summer in Los Angeles with her grandparents, where she folds paper cranes into wedding displays, becomes involved with a young skateboarder, and learns how complicated relationships can be.

Hobbs, Will. Crossing the Wire, 2006.

Fifteen-year-old Victor Flores journeys north in a desperate attempt to cross the Arizona border and find work in the United States to support his family in central Mexico.

Holm, Jennifer L. Penny from Heaven, 2006.

As she turns twelve during the summer of 1953, Penny gains new insights into herself and her family while also learning a secret about her father's death.

Holm, Jennifer. Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff, 2007.

Told entirely through notes, grocery receipts, and a vast array of other items, this story follows Ginny as she accidentally dyes her hair pink, throws live frogs in class, and loses the lead role in ballet to her ex-best friend.

Holt, Kimberly Willis. Dancing in Cadillac Light, 2001.

In 1968, eleven-year-old Jaynell's life in the town of Moon, Texas, is enlivened when her eccentric Grandpap comes to live with her family.

Hoobler, Dorothy. Ghost in the Tokaido Inn, 1999.

While attempting to solve the mystery of a stolen jewel, Seikeia merchant's son who longs to be a samurai, joins a group of kabuki actors in eighteenth-century Japan. (Sequels: The Demon in the Teahouse; In Darkness, Death; The Sword That Cut the Burning Grass; A Samurai Never Fears Death; and Seven Paths to Death.)

Ibbotson, Eva. The Star of Kazan, 2004.

After twelve-year-old Annika, a foundling living in late nineteenth-century Vienna, inherits a trunk of costume jewelry, a woman claiming to be her aristocratic mother arrives and takes her to live in a strangely decrepit mansion in Germany.

Johnson, Angela. Heaven, 1998.

Marley's seemingly perfect life in the small town of Heaven is disrupted when she discovers that her father and mother are not her real parents.

Johnson, Angela. Bird, 2004.

Devastated by the loss of a second father, thirteen-year-old Bird follows her stepfather from Cleveland to Alabama in hopes of convincing him to come home, and along the way helps two boys.

Jones, Frewin. The Faerie Path, 2007.

Discovering that she is the lost princess of Faerie, Tania realizes that she must come to terms with her past and the magical abilities she possesses in order to stop a plan that threatens the lives of everyone in the world of Faerie. (Sequels: The Lost Queen and The Sorcerer King.)

Jones, Kimberly. Sand Dollar Summer, 2006.

When twelve-year-old Lise spends the summer on an island in Maine with her self-reliant mother and bright--but oddly mute--younger brother, her formerly safe world is complicated by an aged Indian neighbor, her mother's childhood friend, and a hurricane.

Kaaberbol, Lene. Shamer’s Daughter, 2004.

Both Dina and her mother possess the magical gift of truth-telling. They can look into anyone’s eyes and know their deepest secrets and shames. When Drakan, lord of Dunark castle, summons the Shamer, Dina’s mother goes but cannot condemn Nicodemus for murder as Drakan wishes, for the seventeen-year-old is innocent. The lord arrests her for being false and it is up to Dina and Nico to rescue her and prove the guilt of the usurping Drakan. (Sequels: Shamer’s Signet, Serpent’s Gift, and Shamer’s War .)

Kadohata, Cynthia. Weedflower, 2006.

After twelve-year-old Sumiko and her Japanese-American family are relocated from their flower farm in southern California to an internment camp on a Mojave Indian reservation in Arizona, she helps her family and neighbors, becomes friends with a local Indian boy, and tries to hold on to her dream of owning a flower shop.

Kadohata, Cynthia. Cracker: The Best Dog in Vietnam, 2007.

Trained to sniff out bombs and traps, Cracker the German Shepherd is prepared for action in Vietnam, but when she is teamed up with Rick, a young man whose family doubts he can handle infantry life, the new soldier must find a way to build trust between the two so that they can do their jobs well and make it back alive.

Kent, Rose. Kimchi & Calamari, 2007.

Adopted from Korea by Italian parents, fourteen-year-old Joseph Calderaro begins to make important self-discoveries about race and family after his social studies teacher assigns an essay on cultural heritage and tracing the past.

Key, Watt. Alabama Moon, 2006.

After the death of his father, ten-year-old Moon leaves their forest shelter home and is sent to an Alabama institution, becoming entangled in the outside world he has never known and making good friends, a relentless enemy, and finally a new life.

Kimmel, Elizabeth. Spin the Bottle, 2008.

With the tradition of Spin the Bottle on the brink of being played before Drama Club's opening night, Phoebe worries about an untimely revelation of her secret crush, a betrayal by her supposed best friend, and the happenings of the two Drama Divas before the curtain finally goes up!

Konigsburg, E. L. Silent to the Bone, 2000.

When he is wrongly accused of gravely injuring his baby half-sister, thirteen-year-old Branwell loses his power of speech and only his friend Connor is able to reach him and uncover the truth about what really happened. (Prequel: The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place.)

Konigsburg, E. L. The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World, 2007.

When Amedeo moves to the Navy town of St. Malo, Florida, he finds an unlikely friend in William Wilcox when they, working together on a house sale for Amedeo's eccentric neighbor, become caught up in a story that dates back to Nazi Germany, which teaches them the true meaning of heroism.

Korman, Gordon. No More Dead Dogs, 2001.

Eighth-grade football hero Wallace Wallace is sentenced to detention attending rehearsals of the school play where, in spite of himself, he becomes wrapped up in the production and begins to suggest changes that improve not only the play but his life as well.

Kurtz, Jane. The Storyteller’s Beads, 1998.

During the political strife and famine of the 1980's, two Ethiopian girls, one Christian and the other Jewish and blind, struggle to overcome many difficulties, including their prejudices about each other, as they make the dangerous journey out of Ethiopia.

Landy, Derek. Skulduggery Pleasant, 2007.

When a not-so-innocent twelve-year-old girl named Stephanie inherits her eccentric uncle's estate, she must join forces with Skulduggery Pleasant, a skeleton mage, to save the world from an ancient evil. (Sequel: Playing with Fire.)

Law, Ingrid. Savvy, 2008.

Eagerly waiting to discover what her secret power will be when she turns thirteen in just two days, Mib's plans are thrown for a loop when she discovers her Poppa has been in an accident and so tries to reach him by sneaking on a salesman's bus; taking her on a curious adventure in the wrong direction where other's secrets are suddenly revealed.

Lawrence, Iain. Séance, 2008.

In 1926, magician Harry Houdini arrives in the city to perform magic and to expose fradulent mediums but thirteen-year-old Scooter King, who works for his mother making her seances seem real, needs Houdini's help to solve a murder.

Leavitt, Martine. Heck Superhero, 2004.

Abandoned by his mentally ill mother, thirteen-year-old Heck tries to survive on his own as his mind bounces between the superhero character he imagines himself to be and the harsh reality of his life.

Levine, Gail Carson. Dave at Night, 1999.

When orphaned Dave is sent to the Hebrew Home for Boys where he is treated cruelly, he sneaks out at night and is welcomed into the music- and culture-filled world of the Harlem Renaissance.

Levine, Gail Carson. The Two Princesses of Bamarre, 2001.

Meryl is the adventurous sister and Addie the timid one. When Meryl falls ill, it is Meryl who braves specters, griffins and dragons to try to save her sister.

Levine, Gail Carson. The Wish, 2000.

When Wilma gives an old woman on the subway her seat, her kindness is rewarded by the granting of one wish. Wilma wishes to be the most popular kid in Claverford school. Too late, she realizes that she only has three more weeks until graduation.

Lowry, Lois. Messenger, 2004.

In this novel that unites characters from The Giver and Gathering Blue, Matty, a young member of a utopian community that values honesty, conceals an emerging healing power that he cannot explain or understand.

Lowry, Lois. Gossamer, 2006.

While learning to bestow dreams, a young dream giver tries to save an eight-year-old boy from the effects of both his abusive past and the nightmares inflicted on him by the frightening Sinisteeds.

Lubar, David. Flip, 2003.

Eighth-graders Ryan and Taylor are twins, but that's where the similarities end. But they share at least one thing in common: nothing is turning out as they planned.

Lupica, Mike. Summer Ball, 2007.

Dreaming of leading his team to the national basketball championship in spite of his shorter stature, Danny Walker heads off to basketball camp during the summer but fears that his fellow campers possess skills that significantly outmatch his own.

Lupica, Mike. The Big Field, 2008.

Losing his spot as shortstop on the team to a new arrival named D-Will, Hutch finds the transition difficult, especially when his father, an ex-professional shortstop, starts giving his replacement all of his tips and attention.

Lyons, Mary. Dear Ellen Bee: A Civil War Scrapbook of Two Union Spies, 2000.

A scrapbook kept by a young black girl details her experiences and those of the older white woman, "Miss Bet," who had freed her and her family, sent her north from Richmond to get an education, and then worked to bring an end to slavery. Based on the life of Elizabeth Van Lew.

Marley, Kirsten. Kiki Strike: Inside the Shadow City, 2006.

Life becomes more interesting for Ananka Fishbein when, at the age of twelve, she discovers an underground room in the park across from her New York City apartment and meets a mysterious girl called Kiki Strike who claims that she, too, wants to explore the subterranean world. (Sequel: Kiki Strike: The Empress’s Tomb.)

Martin, Ann. A Corner of the Universe, 2002. (SP)

The summer that Hattie turns twelve, she meets the childlike uncle she never knew and becomes friends with a girl who works at the carnival that comes to Hattie's small town.

Martin, Ann. Here Today, 2004.

In 1963, when her flamboyant mother abandons the family to pursue her dream of becoming an actress, eleven-year-old Ellie Dingman takes charge of her younger siblings, while also trying to deal with her outcast status in school and frightening acts of prejudice toward the "misfits" that live on her street.

McCaughrean, Geraldine. The Kite Rider, 2002.

In thirteenth-century China, after trying to save his widowed mother from a horrendous second marriage, twelve-year-old Haoyou has life-changing adventures when he takes to the sky as a circus kite rider and ends up meeting the great Mongol ruler Kublai Khan.

McMullan, Margaret. When I Crossed No-Bob, 2007.

Ten years after the Civil War's end, twelve-year-old Addy, abandoned by her parents, is taken from the horrid town of No-Bob by schoolteacher Frank Russell and his bride, but when her father returns to claim her she must find another way to leave her O'Donnell past behind.

McNish, Cliff. Breathe: A Ghost Story, 2006.

When he and his mother move into an old farmhouse in the English countryside, asthmatic, twelve-year-old Jack discovers that he can communicate with the ghosts inhabiting the house and inadvertently establishes a relationship with a tormented, malevolent spirit that threatens to destroy both his mother and himself.

Miller, Sarah. Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller, 2007.

Told from Anne Sullivan's point of view, the process of teaching Helen Keller, a young girl who was deaf, blind, and out of control, to communicate with the world was a challenge like no other--one she was willing to face with fierce conviction and determination when all others had given up hope.

Morgan, Clay. The Boy Who Spoke Dog, 2003.

After being marooned on an island near New Zealand, Jack, an orphaned cabin boy from San Francisco, becomes allied with a group of dogs who protect the local sheep from wild dogs. (Sequel: The Boy Who Returned from the Sea.)

Morpurgo, Michael. Kensuke’s Kingdom, 2003.

When Michael is swept off his family's yacht, he washes up on a desert island, where he struggles to survive--until he finds he is not alone.

Napoli, Donna Jo. Fire in the Hills Stones in Water, 2004.

Upon returning to Italy, fourteen-year-old Roberto struggles to survive, first on his own, then as a member of the resistance, fighting against the Nazi occupiers while yearning to reach home safely and for an end to the war. (Previous title: Stones in Water.)

Napoli, Donna Jo. The King of Mulberry Street. 2005

In 1892, Dom, a nine-year old stowaway from Naples, Italy, arrives in New York and must learn to survive the perils of street life in the big city.

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Including Alice, 2004.

Alice, now fifteen, finds it hard to adjust to the changes in her life, including her father’s marriage and her brother moving out and getting his own apartment. Note that as the character of Alice grows up the books deal more and more with young adult themes. Alice is ten years-old in The Agony of Alice and a junior in high school in Almost Alice. (One of the Alice series which includes: The Agony of Alice; Alice in Rapture, Sort of; Reluctantly Alice; All but Alice; Alice in April; Alice In-Between; Alice the Brave; Alice in Lace; Outrageously Alice; Achingly Alice; Alice on the Outside; The Grooming of Alice; Alice Alone; Simply Alice; Patiently Alice; Alice on Her Way; Alice in the Know; Dangerously Alice, and Almost Alice)

Nuzum, K. A. The Leanin’ Dog, 2008.

In wintry Colorado during the 1930s, eleven-year-old Dessa Dean mourns the death of her beloved mother, but the arrival of an injured dog and the friendship they form is just what they need to help them heal.

Park, Linda Sue. The Kite Fighters, 2000.

In Korea in 1473, eleven-year-old Young-sup overcomes his rivalry with his older brother Kee-sup, who as the first-born son receives special treatment from their father, and combines his kite-flying skill with Kee-sup's kite-making skill in an attempt towin the New Year kite-fighting competition.Eleven-year-old Young-sup overcomes his rivalry with his older brother Kee-sup, and combines his kite-flying skill with Kee-sup's kite-making skill in an attempt to win the New Year kite-fighting competition.

Park, Linda Sue. The Single Shard, 2001.

Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potters' village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself.

Paterson, Katherine. The Same Stuff as Stars, 2002.

When Angel's self-absorbed mother leaves her and her younger brother with their poor great-grandmother, the eleven-year-old girl worries not only about her mother and brother, her imprisoned father, the frail old woman, but also about a mysterious man who begins sharing with her the wonder of the stars. (See also: Jacob Have I Loved and Lyddie.)

Paterson, Katherine. Bread and Roses, Too, 2006.

Jake and Rosa, two children, form an unlikely friendship as they try to survive and understand the 1912 Bread and Roses strike of mill workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

Paulsen, Gary. Brian’s Hunt, 2003.

Two years after having survived a plane crash into the Canadian wilderness, a sixteen-year-old returns to the wild to befriend a wounded dog and hunt a rogue bear. (Previous titles: Hatchet, Brian’s Winter, and Brian’s Return.)

Paulsen, Gary. Soldier’s Heart, 1998.

Eager to enlist, fifteen-year-old Charley has a change of heart after experiencing both the physical horrors and mental anguish of Civil War combat.

Paulsen, Gary. The Amazing Life of Birds, 2006.

As twelve-year-old Duane endures the confusing and humiliating aspects of puberty, he watches a newborn bird in a nest on his windowsill begin to grow and become more independent, all of which he records in his journal.

Paver, Michelle. Wolf Brother, 2005.

When evil strikes the land six thousand years ago, twelve-year-old Tourak and his faithful wolf-cub are forced into a perilous journey to take on the destructive force and, with the help and guidance of strange characters along the way, find a way to change the horrific outcome the world seemed destined to endure. (First in The Chronicles of Ancient Darkness. Sequels: Spirit Walker, Soul Eater, Outcast, and Oath Breaker.)

Pearsall, Shelley. Crooked River, 2005.

When twelve-year old Rebecca Carter's father brings a Native American accused of murder into their 1812 Ohio settlement town, Rebecca, witnessing the town's reaction to the Indian, struggles with the idea that an innocent man may be convicted and sentenced to death.

Pearsall, Shelley. All of the Above, 2006.

Five urban middle school students, their teacher, and other community members relate how a school project to build the world's largest tetrahedron affects the lives of everyone involved.

Peck, Richard. The River Between Us, 2001.

During the early days of the Civil War, the Pruitt family takes in two mysterious young ladies who have fled New Orleans to come north to Illinois. (See also: A Long Way from Chicago; A Year Down Yonder.)

Peck, Richard. Here Lies the Librarian, 2006.

Fourteen-year-old Eleanor "Peewee" McGrath, a tomboy and automobile enthusiast, discovers new possibilities for her future after the 1914 arrival in her small Indiana town of four young librarians. (See also: The Teacher’s Funeral.)

Peck, Richard. On the Wings of Heroes, 2007.

When World War II breaks out and his older brother, Bill, decides to sign-up to be a pilot overseas, Davy is left to deal with his heartbroken father and his own feelings of loss while becoming a man in the process, as the only life as he has known it changes all around him.

Pratchett, Terry. The Wee Free Men, 2003.

In Diskworld (where the world is a flat disk, rather than a sphere), nine-year-old Tiffany sets off to Fairyland to rescue her brother armed with only a frying pan. (Sequels: A Hat Full of Sky and Wintersmith.)

Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief, 2005.

Percy Jackson thinks he’s just an ordinary boy until monsters from mythology attack. He arrives in Camp Half-Blood just in time, and there learns the startling truth about his heritage and the quest he must embark upon. (First in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. Sequels: The Sea of Monsters, The Curse of the Titans, and The Battle of the Labyrinth.)

Preller, James. Six Innings, 2008.

Earl Grubb's Pool Supplies plays Northeast Gas & Electric in the Little League championship game, while Sam, who has cancer and is in a wheelchair, has to call the play-by-play instead of participating in the game.

Roy, Jennifer. Yellow Star, 2006.

From 1939, when Syvia is four and a half years old, to 1945 when she has just turned ten, a Jewish girl and her family struggle to survive in Poland's Lodz ghetto during the Nazi occupation.

Ruby, Laura. The Wall and the Wing, 2006.

In a future New York where most people can fly and cats are a rarity, a nondescript resident of Hope House for the Homeless and Hopeless discovers that although she is shunned as a "leadfoot," she has the surprising ability to become invisible. (Sequel: The Chaos King.)

Salisbury, Graham. Lord of the Deep, 2001.

Working for his stepfather on a charter fishing boat in Hawaii teaches thirteen-year-old Mikey about fishing, and about taking risks, making sacrifices, and facing some of life's difficult choices. (See also: Jungle Dogs.)

Salisbury, Graham. Night of the Howling Dogs, 2007.

In 1975, eleven Boy Scouts, their leaders, and some new friends camping at Halape, Hawaii, find their survival skills put to the test when a massive earthquake strikes, followed by a tsunami.

Schmidt, Gary. The Wednesday Wars, 2007.

Set during the 1967-1968 school year, Holling Hoodhood finds his seventh-grade year one filled with many challenges as he spends afternoons with Mrs. Baker discussing the plays of Shakespeare, defends his tasty cream puffs from a determined bully, and prepares for his big debut in the school play--all while the issue of Vietnam looms on a daily basis.

Selznick, Brian. The Invention of Hugo Cabret, 2007.

When twelve-year-old Hugo, an orphan living and repairing clocks within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toyseller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are jeopardized.

Sherman, Delia. Changeling, 2006.

Neef is a changeling, a human baby stolen by fairies and replaced with one of their own; but now she has broken a fairy law and must meet the challenge of the Green Lady of Central Park or be sacrificed to the Wild Hunt.

Sleator, William. Rewind, 1999.

Not long after learning that he was adopted, eleven-year-old Peter is hit by a car and then given several chances to alter events that could lead to his death.

Spinelli, Jerry. Stargirl, 2000.

In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever. (Seqeul: Love Stargirl. See also: Maniac Magee, Wringer and Milkweed.)

Stanley, Diane. Bella at Midnight, 2006.

Raised by peasants, Bella discovers that she is actually the daughter of a knight and soon finds herself caught up in a terrible plot that will change her life and the kingdom forever.

Stanley, Diane. The Mysterious Matter of I. M. Fine, 2001.

Noticing that a popular series of horror novels is having a bizarre effect on the behavior of its readers, Franny and Beamer set out to find the mysterious author. (Sequel: The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy.)

Stauffacher, Sue. Harry Sue, 2005.

Both of Harry Sue’s parents are in prison, and she is determined to get “sent up the river” so that she can be reunited with her mom.

Stewart, Trenton Lee. The Mysterious Benedict Society, 2007. (SP)

As the only four children to pass the series of tests provided, Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance are asked to go on a secret mission as undercover agents at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened and quickly realize they will have to use their collective wit to get their important task complete. (The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey.)

Stolz, Joelle. The Shadows of Ghadames, 2004.

At the end of the nineteenth century in Libya, eleven-year-old Malika simultaneously enjoys and feels constricted by the narrow world of women, but an injured stranger enters her home and disrupts the traditional order of things.

Stone, David Lee. The Ratastrophe Catastrophe , 2004.

Like the Pied Piper with an evil twist, Diek, the shepherd boy, has a flute that can charm children and animals. (First in the Ilmoor Chronicles. Sequels: The Yowler Foul-Up and The Shadewell Shenanigans.)

Tarshis, Lauren. Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree, 2007.

Having always lived as the outsider of the social circle at school, Emma-Jean decides to use the logic her brilliant mathematician father taught her to fix the problem, but when her logical approach doesn't work, Emma-Jean realizes that she will need to use a new approach to implement the changes she so eagerly wants.

Tolan, Stephanie. Listen! 2006.

During her solitary convalescence from a crippling accident, twelve-year-old Charley finds a wild dog, and the arduous process of training him leads her to explore her feelings about her mother's death two years earlier.

Van Draanen, Wendelin. Flipped, 2001.

In alternating chapters, two teenagers describe how their feelings about themselves, each other, and their families have changed over the years.

Vande Velde, Vivian. Heir Apparent, 2002.

While playing a total immersion virtual reality game of kings and intrigue, fourteen-year-old Giannine learns that demonstrators have damaged the equipment to which she is connected, and she must win the game quickly or be damaged herself. (See also: Never Trust a Dead Man.)

Vande Velde, Vivian. Stolen, 2008.

A girl finds herself running through the forest at the edge of a village with no memory of anything, even her own name, and later learns that she might be twelve-year-old Isabelle, believed to be stolen by a witch six years before.

Weeks, Sarah. So B. It, 2004.

After spending her life with her mentally retarded mother and agoraphobic neighbor, twelve-year-old Heidi sets out from Reno, Nevada, to New York to find out who she is. agoraphobic neighbor, twelve-year-old Heidi sets out from Reno, Nevada, to New York to find out who she is.

White, Ruth. The Search for Belle Prater, 2005.

In 1955, Woodrow and his cousin Gypsy befriend a new girl in their seventh grade class in rural Virginia, and the three of them set off to find Woodrow's missing mother, encountering unlikely and intriguing coincidences along the way. (Sequel: Belle Prater’s Boy.)

White, Ruth. Little Audrey, 2008.

In 1948, eleven-year-old Audrey lives with her father, mother, and three younger sisters in Jewell Valley, a coal mining camp in Southwest Virginia, where her mother still mourns the death of a baby, her father goes on drinking binges on paydays, and Audrey tries to recover from the scarlet fever that has left her skinny and needing to wear glasses.In 1948, eleven-year-old Audrey lives with her family in a coal mining camp in Virginia, where her mother still mourns the death of a baby, her father goes on drinking binges, and Audrey tries to recover from the effects of scarlet fever.

Wiles, Deborah. Love, Ruby Lavender, 2001.

When her quirky grandmother goes to Hawaii for the summer, nine-year-old Ruby learns to survive on her own in Mississippi by writing letters, befriending chickens as well as the new girl in town, and finally coping with her grandfather's death. (See also: Each Little Bird That Sings and The Aura County All-Stars.)

Wilson, Jacqueline. Candyfloss, 2007.

When her mother plans to move to Australia with her new husband and baby, Floss must decide whether her loyalties lie with her mother or her father, while at the same time, her best friend begins to make fun of her and reject her.

Wilson, Jacqueline. Best Friends, 2008.

Rambunctious and irrepressible Gemma has been best friends with Alice ever since they were born on the same day, so when Alice moves miles away to Scotland, Gemma is distraught over the idea that Alice might find a new best friend.

Wilson, N. D. Leepike Ridge, 2007.

While his widowed mother continues to search for him, eleven-year-old Tom, presumed dead after drifting away down a river, finds himself trapped in a series of underground caves with another survivor and a dog, and pursued by murderous treasure-hunters.

Wilson, N. D. 100 Cupboards, 2007.

Waking one night to discover plaster in his hair that has fallen from a wall above his bed, Henry York pulls down the wall coverings and discovers cupboards of various shapes and sizes--each holding a world of its own with different people living and being in distant lands and times. (Sequel: Dandelion Fire.)

Winthrop, Elizabeth. Counting on Grace, 2006.

It's 1910 in Pownal, Vermont. At 12, Grace and her best friend Arthur must leave school to work in the mill. They write a secret letter to the Child Labor Board about children working in the mill. A few weeks later, Lewis Hine, a famous reformer, arrives to gather evidence. Grace meets him and appears in some of his photographs, changing her life forever.

Wolf, Joan. Someone Named Eva, 2007.

From her home in Lidice, Czechoslovakia, in 1942, eleven-year-old Milada is taken with other blond, blue-eyed children to a school in Poland to be trained as "proper Germans" for adoption by German families, but all the while she remembers her true name and history.In 1942, blonde and blue-eyed Milada is taken from her home in Czechoslovakia to a school in Poland to be trained as "proper Germans" for adoption by German families, but all the while she remembers her true name and history.

Wolfson, Jill. Home and Other Big, Fat Lies, 2006.

Eleven-year-old Termite, a foster child with an eye for the beauty of nature and a talent for getting into trouble, takes on the loggers in her new home town when she tries to save the biggest tree in the forest.

Woodson, Jacqueline. Locomotion, 2003.

In a series of poems, eleven-year-old Lonnie writes about his life, after the death of his parents, separated from his younger sister, living in a foster home, and finding his poetic voice at school. (Sequel: Peace, Locomotion. See also: Miracle’s Boys.)

Woodson, Jacqueline. Feathers, 2007.

When a new, white student nicknamed "The Jesus Boy" joins her sixth grade class in the winter of 1971, Frannie's growing friendship with him makes her start to see some things in a new light.

Yolen, Jane. The Sword of the Rightful King, 2003.

Merlinnus the magician devises a way for King Arthur to prove himself the rightful king of England--pulling a sword from a stone--but trouble arises when someone else removes the sword first.

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