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

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Fiction for Seventh Grade

Almond, David. Skellig.,1999.

Michael and his family have just moved into their new home, but a pall of fear haunts them. His newborn sister is gravely ill. When he explores the dilapidated shed, Michael discovers a strange creature that seems to be part man, part owl, part angel. Michael enlists the aid of his neighbor, Mina, and together they are determined to nurse the ailing, mysterious Skellig back to health. (See also: Heaven Eyes; Secret Heart.)
Alvarez, Julia. Before We Were Free, 2002.

In the early 1960s in the Dominican Republic, twelve-year-old Anita learns that her family is involved in the underground movement to end the bloody rule of the dictator, General Trujillo.

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Fever 1793, 2000.

In 1793 Philadelphia, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook, separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.

Avi. Crispin: The Cross of Lead, 2002

Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret. (Sequel: Crispin at the Edge of the World. See also: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.)

Bartoletti, Susan Campbel. The Boy Who Dared, 2008.

Raised during the rise of the Nazi party, Helmuth believed all that he was taught and so joined the Nazi party with all the pride in the world, yet as the country he once knew began to fall apart and he witnessed so many horrific events unfold, Helmuth found it increasingly difficult to remain both loyal and silent.

Bauer, Cat. Harley, Like a Person, 2000.

Harley, an artistic teenager living with her alcoholic father and angry mother, suspects that she is adopted and begins a search for her biological parents. (YA sequel: Harley’s Ninth.)

Bauer, Joan. Backwater, 1999.

While compiling a genealogy of her family of successful attorneys, sixteen-year-old history buff Ivy Breedlove treks into the mountain wilderness to interview a reclusive aunt with whom she identifies and who in turn helps her to truly know herself and her family. (See also: Best Foot Forward.)

Bell, Hilari. The Goblin Wood, 2003.

Twelve-year-old Makenna is learning to be a hedgewitch from her mother. When she witnesses her mother’s brutal execution Makenna escapes to the wood where she joins with the goblins to stop the rulers who want to rid the land of magic.

Bell, Hilari. The Farsala Trilogy: The Fall of a Kingdom, 2004.

Three teenagers must save the Kingdom of Farsala from a new enemy rising on the Kingdom's borders. (Sequels: The Rise of a Hero and Forging the Sword.)

Bell, Ted. Nick of Time, 2008.

With the help of Lord Hawke, whose children have been taken by the evil pirate Captain Billy Blood, young Nick McIver uses a time machine to rescue the two children as well as change the course of events in two time periods, the Napoleonic Wars and World War II.

Budhos, Marina. Ask Me No Questions, 2006.

Fourteen-year-old Nadira, her sister, and their parents leave Bangladesh for New York City, but the expiration of their visas and the events of September 11, 2001, bring frustration, sorrow, and terror for the whole family.

Cabot, Meg. The Princess Diaries, 2000.

Mia, who is trying to lead a normal life as a teenage girl in New York City, is shocked to learn that her father is the Prince of Genovia, a small European principality, and that she is a princess and the heir to the throne. (Sequels include: Princess in the Spotlight, Princess in Love, Princess in Waiting, Princess in Pink, Princess in Training, Party Princess, Princess on the Brink, Princess Mia, and Forever Princess.)

Cameron, Ann. Colibri, 2003. (SP)

Kidnapped when she was very young by an unscrupulous man who has forced her to lie and beg to get money, a twelve-year-old Mayan girl endures an abusive life, always wishing she could return to the parents she can hardly remember.

Carey, Janet Lee. Dragon’s Keep, 2007.

Born with a dragon claw where her ring finger should be, Princess Rosalind, forced by her mother, the queen, to wear gloves at all times until a cure can be found, finally understands her true destiny when she is carried off by a dragon who sees beauty where her mother only saw shame.

Clement-Davies, David. Fire Bringer, 2000.

In ancient Scotland, a young deer, Rannoch, discovers he is the changeling destined to fulfill "the Prophecy." But this means he has to risk his life to defeat the evil deer, Sgorr, and reunite the Great Herd.

Clement-Davies, David. The Sight, 2002.

In Transylvania during the Middle Ages, a pack of wolves sets out on a perilous journey to prevent their enemy from calling upon a legendary evil one that will give her the power to control all animals. (Sequel: Fell.)

Colfer, Eoin. Airman, 2008.

Falsely accused of murdering the king and sent off to an island prison, royal bodyguard Conor begins to plan his escape by building a glider so that he can fly to the mainland, clear his good name, and seek justifiable revenge on the real culprit, the evil Bonvilain.

Connor, Leslie. Waiting for Normal, 2008.

Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with her mother's erratic behavior and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters when she and her mother go to live in a small trailer by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York.

Cooney, Caroline. Burning Up, 1999.

When a girl she had met at an inner-city church is murdered, fifteen-year-old Macey channels her grief into a school project that leads her to uncover prejudice she had not imagined in her grandparents and their wealthy Connecticut community.

Cross, Gillian. The Dark Ground, 2004.

A trip to brush his teeth in an airplane bathroom ends with Robert waking up naked in a strange, cold jungle having been shrunk to a diminutive size. (Sequels: The Black Room and The Nightmare Game.)

Crossley-Holland, Kevin. The Seeing Stone, 2001.

In the England of 1199, lives a young lad named Arthur whose life is changed completely when his friend, Merlin gives him a magical stone in which he can see the life of the once and future king. (Sequels: At the Crossing Places and The King of the Middle March. Companion novel: Crossing to Paradise.)

Cushman, Karen. Matilda Bone, 2000. (SP)

Fourteen-year-old Matilda, an apprentice bonesetter and practitioner of medicine in a village in medieval England, tries to reconcile the various aspects of her life, both spiritual and practical. (See also : Catherine, Called Birdy and The Midwife’s Apprentice.)

Cushman, Karen. The Loud Silence of Francine Green, 2006.

In 1949, thirteen-year-old Francine goes to Catholic school in Los Angeles where she becomes best friends with a girl who questions authority and is frequently punished by the nuns, causing Francine to question her own values.

Dhami, Narinder. Bindi Babes, 2004.

Amber, Jazz and Geena, three Indian sisters, live with their father in England and are blessed with beauty, brains and closets full of designer clothes. All seems perfect on the surface, the girls never talk about their mother who died the year before. Everything changes when their aunt comes from India to take over the running of the house and the girls plot to marry her off. (Sequels: Bollywood Babes and Bhangra Babes.)

Dickinson, Peter. Angel Isle, 2007.

While seeking the Ropemaker to restore the ancient magic that will protect their valley, Saranja, Maja, and Ribek must outwit twenty-four of the empire's most powerful and evil magicians. (Sequel to: The Ropemaker.)

Ellis, Deborah. The Breadwinner, 2001. (SP)

Because the Taliban rulers of Kabul, Afghanistan, impose strict limitations on women's freedom and behavior, eleven-year-old Parvana must disguise herself as a boy so that her family can survive after her father's arrest. (Sequels: Parvana’s Journey and Mud City.)

Farmer, Nancy. The House of the Scorpion, 2002. (SP)

In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patron, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States. (See also: The Ear, the Eye and the Arm.)

Farmer, Nancy. The Sea of Trolls, 2004.
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