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

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Jack lives in a quiet Saxon village and is unexpectedly apprenticed to the Bard who teaches him the ways of magic. But his lessons have just begun when Olaf One-Brow, who leads a berserker raiding party of Northmen, kidnaps him and his sister. They take the two across the sea, where Jack inadvertently dissolves the beauty of Ivar the Boneless’s half-troll Queen, Firth. He must embark upon a quest in troll country to find Mimir’s Well, so that he can save his sister, Lucy, who Queen Firth has threatened to sacrifice if her beauty is not restored. (Sequel: The Land of the Silver Apples.)

Ferris, Jean. Of Sound Mind, 2001.

Tired of interpreting for his deaf family and resentful of their reliance on him, high school senior Theo finds support and understanding from Ivy, a new student who also has a deaf parent. (See also: Love Among the Walnuts.)
Ferris, Jean. Underground, 2007.

In 1839, Charlotte Brown is sold north to Kentucky, where she becomes a maid at Mammoth Cave Hotel, falls in love with one of the tour guides there, and gets involved in the Underground Railroad.

Ferris, Jean. Much Ado About Grubstake, 2006.

When two city folks arrive in the depressed mining town of Grubstake, Colorado in 1888, sixteen-year-old orphaned Arley tries to discover why they want to buy the supposedly worthless mines in the area.

Fisher, Catherine. The Oracle Betrayed, 2004.

Mirany is youngest of the Nine, priestesses who serve the god. She is suddenly thrust into a world of deceit and betrayal when the Bearer-of-the-God dies and she must find the new true Archon despite the plots of those around her. (Sequels: The Sphere of Secrets and Day of the Scarab. See also: Snow-Walker.)

Flake, Sharon. Money Hungry, 2001.

All thirteen-year-old Raspberry can think of is making money so that she and her mother never have to worry about living on the streets again.

Flanagan, John. The Ruins of Gorlan, 2005.

First in The Ranger’s Apprentice Quartet, fifteen-year-old Will is rejected by battleschool, and so he becomes the reluctant apprentice to the mysterious Ranger Halt, and winds up protecting the kingdom from danger. (Sequels: The Burning Bridge, The Icebound Land, The Battle for Skandia, and The Sorcerer of the North.)

Fleischman, Paul. Seek, 2003.

Rob becomes obsessed with searching the airwaves for his long-gone father, a radio announcer. (See also: Mind’s Eye, Whirligig, and A Fate Totally Worse Than Death.)

Fleischman, Sid. The Entertainer and the Dybbuk, 2007.

A struggling American ventriloquist in post-World War II Europe is possessed by the mischievous spirit of a young Jewish boy killed in the Holocaust. Author's note details the murder of over one million children by the Nazis during the 1930s and 1940s.

Gardner, Graham. Inventing Elliot, 2004.

Elliot, a victim of bullying, invents a calmer, cooler self when he changes schools in the middle of freshman year, but soon attracts the wrong kind of attention from the Guardians who "maintain order" at the new school.

Godwin, Jane. Falling from Grace, 2007.

During a game of hide-and-seek on the beach during high tide, Grace goes missing and soon all eyes are turned on fourteen-year-old Kip who must clear his good name while trying to track down the clues left behind by his dearest friend.

Grey, Christopher Peter. Leonardo’s Shadow: Or My Astonishing Life as Leonardo da Vinci’s

Servant, 2006.

Fifteen-year-old Giacomo--servant to Leonardo da Vinci--helps his procrastinating master finish painting "The Last Supper" while also trying to find clues to his parentage and pursue his own career as an artist in late fifteenth-century Milan.

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Just Ella, 1999.

In this continuation of the Cinderella story, fifteen-year-old Ella finds that accepting Prince Charming's proposal ensnares her in a suffocating tangle of palace rules and royal etiquette, so she plots to escape. (Sequel: Palace of Mirrors.)

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Found, 2008.

When thirteen-year-olds Jonah and Chip, who are both adopted, learn they were discovered on a plane that appeared out of nowhere, full of babies with no adults on board, they realize that they have uncovered a mystery involving time travel and two opposing forces, each trying to repair the fabric of time.

Hale, Shannon. Princess Academy, 2005.

While attending a strict academy for potential princesses with the other girls from her mountain village, fourteen-year-old Miri discovers unexpected talents and connections to her homeland.

Han, Jenny. Shug, 2006.

A twelve-year-old girl learns about friendship, first loves, and self-worth in a small town in the South.

Hautman, Pete. Godless, 2004.

When sixteen-year-old Jason Bock and his friends create their own religion to worship the town's water tower, what started out as a joke begins to take on a power of its own.

Hesse, Karen. Witness, 2001.

A series of poems express the views of various people in a small Vermont town, including a young black girl and a young Jewish girl, during the early 1920s when the Ku Klux Klan is trying to infiltrate the town.

Hesse, Karen. Brooklyn Bridge, 2008.

Set in the summer in 1903, a young boy dreams of going to the amusement park at Coney Island to see all the attractions, but with so much work at hand, Joseph knows that now is just not the time for fun and games.

Hobbs, Will. Go Big or Go Home, 2008.

When a meteorite comes crashing through the roof of his house, Brady and his cousin, Quinn, end up in the midst of wild adventures to keep the Carver boys from getting hold of it while trying to take it to Professor Rip Ripley for an in-depth inspection.

Holm, Jennifer. Boston Jane: An Adventure, 2001.

Schooled in the lessons of etiquette for young ladies of 1854, Miss Jane Peck of Philadelphia finds little use for manners during her long sea voyage to the Pacific Northwest and while living among the American traders and Chinook Indians of Washington Territory. (Sequels: Boston Jane: Wilderness Days and Boston Jane: The Claim.)

Holt, Kimberly Willis. Keeper of the Night, 2003.

Isabel, a thirteen-year-old girl living on the island of Guam, and her family try to cope with the death of Isabel's mother who committed suicide.

Horowitz, Anthony. Stormbreaker, 2001.

After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is coerced to continue his uncle's dangerous work for Britain's intelligence agency, MI6. (Sequels: Point Blank, Skeleton Key, Eagle Strike, Scorpia, Ark Angel, and Snakehead.)

Howe, Norma. The Adventures of Blue Avenger, 1999.

On his sixteenth birthday, still trying to cope with the unexpected death of his father, David Schumacher decides--or does he--to change his name to Blue Avenger, hoping to find a way to make a difference in his Oakland neighborhood and in the world.

Ibbotson, Eva. The Dragonfly Pool, 2008.

Tally, a twelve-year-old English girl, and her classmates at Delderton, a progressive boarding school, help Karil, the young prince of Bergania, escape into England after the Nazis invade Bergania and kill the king.

Jennings, Patrick. Wolving Time, 2003.

In France during a time of witch-hunts, in a village with a corrupt priest, thirteen-year-old Lazlo longs to be able to turn into a wolf as his parents can, but also desires the friendship of a village girl.

Jocelyn, Marthe. How It Happened in Peach Hill, 2007.

When fifteen-year-old Annie Grey and her "clairvoyant" mother arrive in Peach Hill, New York, in 1924, each finds a reason for wanting to finally settle down, but to reach their goals they will have to do some serious lying and Annie will have to stand up for herself.

Jones, Diana Wynne. The Merlin Conspiracy, 2003.

Arianrhod travels on the King’s Progress throughout an alternate

Britian, while Nichothodes yearns to walk between worlds. When he is pushed into Arianrhod’s England, they are caught-up in a myriad of plots and counterplots. (Companion novel: Deep Secret. See also: Charmed Life, The Magician’s of Caprona, Witch Week, The Lives of Christopher Chant, Conrad’s Fate.)
Jones, Diana Wynne. The Pinhoe Egg, 2006.

Two powerful young enchanters, Cat, the future Chrestomanci, and Marianne, who is being trained to be Gammer of the Pinhoes, work together as friends to try to end an illegal witches' war and, in the process, right some old wrongs. (Newest in The Chrestomanci Chronicles which include: Charmed Life, The Magician’s of Caprona, Witch Week, The Lives of Christopher Chant, and Conrad’s Fate.)

Jones, Diana Wynne. The House of Many Ways, 2008.

When Charmain is asked to housesit for Great Uncle William, the Royal Wizard of Norland, she is ecstatic to get away from her parents, but finds that his house is much more than it seems.

Kadohata, Cynthia. Kira-Kira, 2004.

Chronicles the close friendship between two Japanese-American sisters growing up in rural Georgia during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the despair when one sister becomes terminally ill.

Kadohata, Cynthia. Outside Beauty, 2008.

Thirteen-year-old Shelby and her three sisters must go to live with their respective fathers while their mother, who has trained them to rely on their looks, recovers from a car accident that scarred her face.

Kidd, Ronald. Monkey Town: The Summer of the Scopes Trial, 2006.

When her father hatches a plan to bring publicity to their small Tennessee town by arresting a local high school teacher for teaching about evolution, the resulting 1925 Scopes trial prompts fifteen-year-old Frances to rethink many of her beliefs about religion and truth, as well as her relationship with her father.

Korman, Gordon. Schooled, 2007.

After his hippie grandmother ends up in the hospital, Cap Anderson is forced to leave the commune where he is homeschooled and attend Claverage Middle School, where his odd looks and behavior make him the target of bullies.

Krisher, Trudy. Uncommon Faith, 2003.

In 1837-38, residents of Millbrook, Massachusetts, speak in their different voices of major issues of their day, including women's rights, slavery, religious differences, and one fiery girl named Faith.

Larbelestier, Justine. How to Ditch Your Fairy, 2008.

In a world in which everyone has a personal fairy who tends to one aspect of daily life, fourteen-year-old Charlie decides she does not want hers--a parking fairy--and embarks on a series of misadventures designed to rid herself of the invisible sprite and replace it with a better one, like her friend Rochelle's shopping fairy.

Larson, Kirby. Hattie Big Sky, 2006.

After inheriting her uncle's homesteading claim in Montana, sixteen-year-old orphan Hattie Brooks travels from Iowa in 1917 to make a home for herself and encounters some unexpected problems related to the war being fought in Europe.

Lawrence, Iain. The Wreckers, 1998.

Shipwrecked after a vicious storm, fourteen-year-old John Spencer attempts to save his father and himself while also dealing with an evil secret about the English coastal town where they are stranded. (Sequels: The Smugglers and The Buccaneers.)

Lester, Julius. Pharaoh’s Daughter, 2000.

A fictionalized account of a Biblical story in which an Egyptian princess rescues a Hebrew infant who becomes a prophet of his people while his sister finds her true self as a priestess to the Egyptian gods. (See also: Othello.)

Lupica, Mike. Miracle on 49th Street, 2006.

After her mother's death, twelve-year-old Molly learns that her father is a basketball star for the Boston Celtics.

Lupica, Mike. Heat, 2006.

Pitching prodigy Michael Arroyo is on the run from social services after being banned from playing Little League baseball because rival coaches doubt he is only twelve years old and he has no parents to offer them proof.

Lyons, Mary. Letters from a Slave Boy: The Story of Joseph Jacobs, 2007.

A fictionalized look at the life of Joseph Jacobs, son of a slave, told in the form of letters that he might have written during his life in pre-Civil War North Carolina, on a whaling expedition, in New York, New England, and finally in California duringthe Gold Rush.A fictionalized look at the life of Joseph Jacobs, son of a slave, told in the form of letters that he might have written during his life in pre-Civil War North Carolina, on a whaling expedition, in New York, New England, and finally in California duringthe Gold Rush. (Sequel to: Letters from a Slave Girl: The Story of Harriet Jacobs.)

Matthews, L. S. Fish, 2004.

As fighting closes in on the village where Tiger's parents have been working, the three of them and a mysterious guide set out on a difficult journey to safety.

McKinley, Robin. Dragonhaven, 2007.

When Jake Mendoza, who lives in the Smokehill National Park where his father runs the Makepeace Institute of Integrated Dragon Studies, goes on his first solo overnight in the park, he finds an infant dragon whose mother has been killed by a poacher. (See also: Beauty, The Blue Sword, The Hero and the Crown, Spindle’s End, and Rose Daughter.)

Murdock, Catherine. Princess Ben, 2008.

A girl is transformed, through instruction in life at court, determination, and magic, from sullen, pudgy, graceless Ben into Crown Princess Benevolence, a fit ruler of the kindgom of Montagne as it faces war with neighboring Drachensbett.

Napoli, Donna Jo. Sirena, 1998.

The gods grant immortality to the mermaid Sirena when she rescues a human man from the sea and they fall in love, but his mortality creates great conflict between love and honor when he is called to defend Greece in the Trojan War. (See also: Spinners and Zel.)

Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Jade Green: A Ghost Story, 1999.

While living with her uncle in a house haunted by the ghost of a young woman, recently orphaned Judith Sparrow wonders if her one small transgression causes mysterious happenings. (See also: Sang Spell.)

Nix, Garth. Abhorsen, 2003.

Lirael, the young Second Assistant Librarian of the Clayr, is abruptly transformed into the Abhorsen-in-Waiting--a future guardian of the border between life and death--and immediately finds the fate of all life in her hands. (Previous titles: Sabriel and Lirael.)

Nolan, Han. A Summer of Kings, 2006.

Over the course of the summer of 1963, fourteen-year-old Esther Young discovers the passion within her when eighteen-year-old King-Roy Johnson, accused of murdering a white man in Alabama, comes to live with her family. (See also: Dancing on the Edge.)

Nuzum, K. A. A Small White Scar, 2006.

Fifteen-year-old Will Bennon leaves his family and begins life as a cowboy, but his mentally retarded twin brother follows him and joins the journey.

Oppel, Kenneth. Darkwing, 2007.

Coming to terms with the fact that he is not a bird but an entirely new species, one similar to that of the nearly extinct saurians, featherless Dusk prepares to help his friends leave their home for good when a threat to his colony makes its presence known. (Prequel to: Sunwing, Silverwing, and Firewing.)

Paulsen, Gary. Transall Saga, 1998.

While backpacking in the desert, thirteen-year-old Mark falls into a tube of blue light and is transported into a more primitive world, where he must use his knowledge and skills to survive.

Pearsall, Shelley. Trouble Don’t Last, 2002.

Samuel, an eleven-year-old Kentucky slave, and Harrison, the elderly slave who helped raise him, attempt to escape to Canada via the Underground Railroad.

Peters, Julie Anne. Define “Normal,” 2000.

When she agrees to meet with Jasmine as a peer counselor at their middle school, Antonia never dreams that this girl with the black lipstick and pierced eyebrow will end up helping her deal with the serious problems she faces at home and become a good friend.

Pierce, Tamora. Trickster’s Choice, 2003.

Alianne, the daughter of Alanna who is the first Lady Knight of Tortall, but she would rather be a spy like her father. This ambition leads to her capture by slavers who whisk her off to the Copper Isles where she must use all of her wits to survive and escape. (Sequel: Trickster’s Queen. See also: The Song of the Lioness quartet.)

Pierce, Tamora. Beka Cooper: Terrier, 2006.

When sixteen-year-old Beka becomes "Puppy" to a pair of "Dogs," as the Provost's Guards are called, she uses her police training, natural abilities, and a touch of magic to help them solve the case of a murdered baby in Tortall's Lower City. (Sequel: Bloodhound, forthcoming 4/2009.)

Pratchett, Terry. Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, 2001.

A talking cat, intelligent rats, and a strange boy cooperate in a Pied Piper scam until they try to con the wrong town and are confronted by a deadly evil rat king.

Pullman, Philip. The Amber Spyglass, 2000.

Lyra and Will find themselves at the center of a battle between the forces of the Authority and those gathered by Lyra's father, Lord Asriel. (Previous titles in the His Dark Materials Trilogy include: The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife. Sequel: Lyra’s Oxford; prequel: Once upon a Time in the North.)

Quarles, Heather. A Door near Here, 1998.

Four siblings struggle to maintain a semi normal home life when their single mother's alcoholism becomes debilitating.

Rees, Celia. Witch Child, 2001.

In 1659, fourteen-year-old Mary Newbury keeps a journal of her voyage from England to the New World and her experiences living as a witch in a community of Puritans near Salem, Massachusetts.

Rees, Douglas. Vampire High, 2003.

When his family moves from California to New Sodom, Massachusetts and Cody enters Vlad Dracul Magnet School, many things seem strange, from the dark-haired, pale-skinned, supernaturally strong students to Charon, the wolf who guides him around campus on the first day.

Reeve, Philip. Mortal Engines, 2003.

In the distant future, when cities move about and consume smaller towns, a fifteen-year-old apprentice is pushed out of London by the man he most admires and must seek answers in the perilous Out-Country, aided by one girl and the memory of another. (Sequels: Predator’s Gold, Infernal Devices, and A Darkling Plain.)

Reeve, Philip. Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space, 2006.

In an alternate Victorian England, young Arthur and his sister Myrtle, residents of Larklight, a floating house in one of Her Majesty's outer space territories, uncover a spidery plot to destroy the solar system. (Sequels: Starcross and Mothstorm.)

Ritter, John H. Choosing up Sides, 1998.

In 1921 thirteen-year-old Luke finds himself torn between accepting his left-handedness or conforming to the belief of his preacher-father that such a condition is evil and must be overcome.

Salisbury, Graham. House of the Red Fish, 2006.

Over a year after Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and the arrest of Tomi's father and grandfather, Tomi and his friends, battling anti-Japanese-American sentiment in Hawaii, try to find a way to salvage his father's sunken fishing boat. (Sequel to: Under the Blood Red Sun.)

Schmidt, Gary D. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, 2004.

In 1911, Turner Buckminster hates his new home of Phippsburg, Maine, but things improve when he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a girl from a poor, nearby island community founded by former slaves that the town fathers--and Turner's--want to change into a tourist spot.

Sedgwick, Marcus. Dark Horse, 2003.

Having risen to power as chief of his people, the Storn, sixteen-year-old Sigurd leads them as they try to resist the bloodthirsty invaders known as the Dark Horse and makes a shocking discovery about his foster sister Mouse.

Shusterman, Neal. Downsiders, 2001.

When fourteen-year-old Lindsay meets Talon, who lives in the secret Downsider community that evolved in the subterranean passages of the subway built in New York in 1867, she and her new friend try to bridge the differences between their two cultures.

Shusterman, Neal. The Schwa Was Here, 2004.

A Brooklyn eighth-grader nicknamed Antsy befriends the Schwa, an "invisible-ish" boy who is tired of blending into his surroundings and going unnoticed by nearly everyone. Anthony, also known as "Antsy," is fascinated by "The Schwa Effect"—the fact that no one ever sees Calvin Schwa. Even when acting weird and dressed like a total freak, The Schwa is only barely noticed. The two boys form a partnership and get away with all kinds of mischief, from conducting experiments at school to confounding opponents on the basketball court. When The Schwa senses that even Antsy is beginning to lose sight of him, he vows to do something that will make him so visible, no one will ever forget him. (Sequel: Antsy Does Time.)

Skelton, Matthew. Endymion Spring, 2006.

Having reluctantly accompanied his academic mother and pesky younger sister to Oxford, twelve-year-old Blake Winters is at loose ends until he stumbles across an ancient and magical book, secretely brought to England in 1453 by Gutenberg’s mute apprentice to save it from evil forces, and which now draws Blake into a dangerous and life-threatening quest.

Smelcer, John. The Trap, 2006.

In alternating chapters, seventeen-year-old Johnny Least-Weasel, who is better known for brains than brawn, worries about his missing grandfather, and the grandfather, Albert Least-Weasel, struggles to survive, caught in his own steel trap in the Alaskan winter.

Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Rain Is Not My Indian Name, 2001.

Tired of staying in seclusion since the death of her best friend, a fourteen-year-old Native American girl takes on a photographic assignment with her local newspaper to cover events at the Native American summer youth camp.

Spinelli, Jerry. Smiles to Go, 2008.

Will Tuppence's life has always been ruled by science and common sense but in ninth grade, shaken up by the discovery that protons decay, he begins to see the entire world differently and gains new perspective on his relationships with his little sister and two closest friends.

Staples, Suzanne. Shiva’s Fire, 2000.

In India, a talented dancer sacrifices friends and family for her art.

Stroud, Jonathan. The Amulet of Samarkand: The Bartimaeus Trilogy, 2003. (SP)

Nathaniel, a magician's apprentice, summons up the djinni Bartimaeus and instructs him to steal the Amulet of Samarkand from the powerful magician Simon Lovelace. (Sequels: The Golem’s Eye and Ptolemy’s Gate.)

Sturtevant, Katherine. At the Sign of the Star, 2000.

In seventeenth-century London, Meg, who has little interest in cooking, needlework, or other homemaking skills, dreams of becoming a bookseller and someday inheriting her widowed father's book store. (Sequel: A True and Faithful Narrative.)

Tashjian, Janet. The Gospel According to Larry, 2001.

Seventeen-year-old Josh, a loner-philosopher who wants to make a difference in the world, tries to maintain his secret identity as the author of a web site that is receiving national attention. (Sequel: Vote for Larry.)

Taylor, Laini. The Fairies of Dreamdark, 2007.

Magpie Windwitch, faerie, devil hunter, and granddaughter of the West Wind, must defeat an ancient evil creature, the Blackbringer, who has escaped from his bottle and threatens to unmake all of creation.

Taylor, Mildred. The Land, 2001.

After the Civil War Paul, the son of a white father and a black mother, finds himself caught between the two worlds of colored folks and white folks as he pursues his dream of owning land of his own. (Prequel to: Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.)

Tingle, Rebecca. The Edge on the Sword, 2001.

In ninth-century Britain, fifteen-year-old Aethelflaed, daughter of King Alfred of West Saxony, finds she must assume new responsibilities much sooner than expected when she is betrothed to Ethelred of Mercia in order to strengthen a strategic alliance against the Danes.

Torrey, Michele. To the Edge of the World, 2003.

In 1519, after the death of his parents, fourteen-year-old Mateo Macias becomes cabin boy to Ferdinand Magellan on a dangerous journey in search of a route to the fabled Spice Islands.

Trueman, Terry. Stuck in Neutral, 2000.

Fourteen-year-old Shawn McDaniel, who suffers from severe cerebral palsy and cannot function, relates his perceptions of his life, his family, and his condition, especially as he believes his father is planning to kill him.

Trueman, Terry. Hurricane, 2008.

Having survived the hurricane itself, José steps out of his home in his small village in Honduras to discover that everything has changed and so, with the help of the other survivors, must work to recover from the destruction and reestablish the lives they once had before the storm ravaged their community.

Turner, Megan Whalen. The King of Attolia, 2006.

Eugenides, still known as a Thief of Eddis, faces palace intrigue and assassins as he strives to prove himself both to the people of Attolia and to his new bride, their queen. (Previous titles: Thief and The Queen of Attolia.)

Updale, Eleanor. Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman? 2004.

In Victorian London, after his life is saved by a young physician, a thief utilizes the knowledge he gains in prison and from the scientific lectures he attends as the physician's case study exhibit to create a new, highly successful, double life for himself. (Sequel: Montmorency and the Rocks: Doctor, Aristocrat, Murderer?; Montmorency and the Assasins; and Montmorency’s Revenge.)

Westerfeld, Scott. Midnighters: The Secret Hour, 2004.

When 15 year-old Jessica Day moves from Chicago to Bixby, OK, she begins to have strange dreams. The dreams take a dark turn and Jessica discovers that she has the magical ability of all of those born at the stroke of midnight: she can function in a mysterious twenty-fifth hour. But the midnight hour holds not only teen friends who share her abilities, but dangerous slithers who have increased since her arrival. Together the companions must solve the mystery of Jessica or midnight might never be safe for them again. (Sequel: Touching Darkness and Blue Moon.)

Wilce, Ysabeau. Flora Segunda, 2007.

Fourteen-year-old Flora Fyrdraaca, whose mother is the Warlord's Commanding General and whose father is mad, kindly helps her house's magical--and long-banished--butler, unaware that he draws strength from the Fyrdraaca will. (Sequel: Flora’s Dare.)

Wilson, Diane Lee. Black Storm Comin’, 2005.

In 1860, twelve-year-old Colton, son of black mother and a white father, helps his family with their arduous journey to California while the nation teeters on the brink of Civl War.

Wolf, Joan. Someone Named Eva, 2007.

Inspired by real events, a young girl is separated from her family in Czechoslovakia and made to go to the Lebensborn center in Poland in order to become the perfect German citizen, yet despite the constant pressures put upon her, Milada stays true to herself and waits with hope for the day she will be reunited with her rightful family.

Wooding Chris. Storm Thief, 2006.

With the help of a golem, two teenaged thieves try to survive on the city island of Orokos, where unpredictable probability storms continually change both the landscape and the inhabitants.

Woodson, Jacqueline. Hush, 2002.

Twelve-year-old Toswiah finds her life changed when her family enters the witness protection program. (See also: From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun.)

Young, Emma. Storm the Infinity Code, 2008.

In London, the teenaged geniuses of STORM, a secret organization dedicated to eliminating the world's misery through science and technology, uncover plans for a deadly weapon and race to find and dismantle it, then confront the corrupt scientist behind the scheme.In London, the teenaged geniuses of STORM, a secret organization dedicated to eliminating the world's misery through science and technology, uncover plans for a deadly weapon and race to find and dismantle it, then confront the corrupt scientist behind the scheme.

Zevin, Gabrielle. Elsewhere, 2005. (SP)

After fifteen-year-old Liz Hall is hit by a taxi and killed, she finds herself in a place that is both like and unlike Earth, where she must adjust to her new status and figure out how to "live."

Fiction for Eighth Grade
Abdel-Fattah, Randa. Does My Head Look Too Big in This? 2007.

Year eleven at an exclusive prep school in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, would be tough enough, but it is further complicated for Amal when she decides to wear the hijab, the Muslim head scarf, full-time as a badge of her faith--without losing her identity or sense of style.

Acampora, Paul. Defining Dulcie, 2006.

When sixteen-year-old Dulcie's father dies, her mother makes a decision to move them to California, where Dulcie makes an equally radical decision to steal her dad's old truck and head back home.

Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, 2007.

Leaving the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white high school, Junior struggles to find his place in his new surroundings in order to escape his destiny back on the reservation.

Almond, David. Clay, 2006.

The developing relationship between teenager Davie and a mysterious new boy in town morphs into something darker and more sinister when Davie learns firsthand of the boy's supernatural powers.

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Catalyst, 2002.

When she becomes involved with her tragedy-stricken neighbors, preacher’s daughter Kate learns there is more to life than her obsession about getting into MIT.

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Speak, 1999.

After she was attacked at a party, Melinda calls the police, and her friends, not understanding why she ruined their party, refuse to speak to her as she enters 9th grade.

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Prom, 2005

Eighteen-year-old Ash wants nothing to do with senior prom, but when disaster strikes and her desperate friend, Nat, needs her help to get it back on track, Ash's involvement transforms her life.

Anderson, Laurie Halse. Chains, 2008.

After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.

Anderson, M. T. Burger Wuss, 2000.

Anthony's revenge against the "burger bully" who stole his girlfriend results in the town's greatest "Burger Wars."

Anderson, M. T. Feed, 2002.

Titus and Violet are teenagers living in a future society where corporations define their lifestyles and where it is possible to be connected 24/7 by a Feed or computer implant in their heads. But what happens if your Feed fails?
Atkins, Catherine. When Jeff Comes Home, 1999.

After being kidnapped two and a half years ago, Jeff is released and comes home. But he refuses to talk about what happened while he was gone and his kidnapper is still out there somewhere.

Barkley, Brad and Heather Hepler. Scrambled Eggs at Midnight, 2006.

Calliope and Eliot, two fifteen-year-olds in Asheville, North Carolina, begin to acknowledge some unpleasant truths about their parents and form their own ideas about love.

Bat-Ami, Miriam. Two Suns in the Sky, 1999.

Chris Cook is an American Catholic girl living in upstate New York. Adam Bornstein is a Jewish refugee from Yugoslavia who comes to the Emergency Refugee Camp at Oswego in 1944. They meet and fall in love, but the fence around the camp is not nearly as powerful a barrier as those of language, religion, and family.

Bauer, Joan. Rules of the Road, 1998.

Jenna Boller (17) drives the elderly woman who is her employer to Texas, stopping along the way at her chain of shoe stores, a trip that not only helps Jenna develop as a shoe salesperson but also gives her the strength to stand up to her alcoholic father.

Bauer, Joan. Hope Was Here, 2000.

Hope (16) and her aunt move so often that she starts leaving a message behind each time: “Hope Was Here.” Their latest move is to Mulhoney, Wisconsin, where they work in the Welcome Stairways Diner and soon join the owner's political campaign to oust the town's corrupt mayor.

Bauer, Joan. Peeled, 2008.

In an upstate New York farming community, high school reporter Hildy Biddle investigates a series of strange occurrences at a house rumored to be haunted.

Beaufrand, Mary Jane. Primavera, 2008.

Growing up in Renaissance Italy, Flora sees her family's fortunes ebb, but encounters with the artist Botticelli and the guidance of her nurse teach her to look past the material world to the beauty already in her life.

Bechard, Margaret. Hanging on to Max, 2002.

Sam (17) is a teen father who is determined to juggle the care of his 11-month-old baby Max with his desire for better things for their futures.

Bell, Hilari. The Last Knight, 2007. 0060825030.

In alternate chapters, eighteen-year-old Sir Michael Sevenson, an anachronistic knight errant, and seventeen-year-old Fisk, his street-wise squire, tell of their noble quest to bring Lady Ceciel to justice while trying to solve her husband’s murder. (Sequel: Rogue’s Home.)

Bennett, Cherie. Life in the Fat Lane, 1998.

Shallow, self-centered Homecoming Queen Lara's life turns upside down when she suddenly starts gaining more and more and more weight.

Bertagna, Julie. Exodus, 2008.

In the year 2100, as the island of Wing is about to be covered by water, fifteen-year-old Mara discovers the existence of New World sky cities that are safe from the storms and rising waters, and convinces her people to travel to one of these cities in order to save themselves. (Sequel: Zenith, forthcoming 3/2009.)

Blacker, Terence. Parent Swap, 2006.

Because his life is a bit of a mess, thirteen-year-old Danny Bell agrees to let ParentSwap try to match him with his ideal parents, but he soon realizes that the company is about more than giving adolescents a new start.

Blackwood, Gary. The Year of the Hangman, 2002.

In an alternate "what-if" history, set in 1777, a rebellious English teen is exiled to the Colonies and gets involved with the remnants of the unsuccessful American Revolution.

Brande, Robin. Evolution, Me, and Other Freaks of Nature, 2007.

Following her conscience leads high school freshman Mena to clash with her parents and former friends from their conservative Christian church, but might result in better things when she stands up for a teacher who refuses to include "Intelligent Design" in lessons on evolution.
Brashares, Ann. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, 2001.

Four high-school friends with very different body types use a magical pair of jeans that fits all four of them perfectly to keep in touch as they go their separate ways during summer vacation. (Sequels: Second Summer of the Sisterhood; Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood; Forever in Blue: The Fourth Summer of the Sisterhood; and Three Willows: The Sisterhood Grows, forthcoming 1/2009.)

Bruchac, Joseph. Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two, 2005.

After being taught in a boarding school run by whites that Navajo is a useless language, Ned Begay and other Navajo men are recruited by the Marines to become Code Talkers, sending messages during World War II in their native tongue. (See also: Geronimo.)

Bryant, Jennifer. Pieces of Georgia, 2006.

In journal entries to her mother, a gifted artist who died suddenly, thirteen-year-old Georgia McCoy reveals how her life changes after she receives an anonymous gift membership to a nearby art museum.

Cabot, Meg. How to Be Popular, 2006.

After the Super Big Gulp incident, Steph Landry, now known as the town screw-up, discovers a little book called "How to Be Popular," which propels her into a world of popularity with hilarious--and romantic--results.

Cappo, Nan Willard. Cheating Lessons, 2002.

Bernadette suspects that Wickham High School’s chance to compete for the state championship in the Classics Bowl may have been fixed and begins looking for answers to questions that won’t be asked at the quiz bowl.

Cardenas, Teresa. Letters to My Mother, 2006. (SP)

A young African-Cuban girl is sent to live with her aunt and cousins after the death of her mother and begins to write letters to her deceased mother telling of the misery, racial prejudice, and mistreatment at the hands of those around her.

Collins, Suzanne. Hunger Games, 2008.

In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, sixteen-year-old Katniss's skills are put to the test when she voluntarily takes her younger sister's place.

Coman, Carolyn. Many Stones, 2000.

Berry and her estranged father travel to South Africa to take part in the dedication of a memorial to her murdered sister.

Cooney, Caroline B. Enter Three Witches: A Story of MacBeth, 2007.

When her father betrays the Scottish king and is hung as a traitor, Lady Mary's future is bleak after she loses her only true protector and ends up locked away in the tower by the powerful and deadly Lord and Lady Macbeth.

Cormier, Robert. Rag and Bone Shop, 2001.

The author’s last novel is a gripping psychological thriller in which a young boy, suspected of a brutal murder, is turned over to face an interrogator determined to get a confession.

Croggon, Alison. The Naming, 2005.

Maerad, an orphan gifted in the magic and power of the Bards, escapes from slavery and begins to learn how to use her Gift to stave off the evil Darkness that threatens to consume her world. (First in The Pellinor Quartet. Sequels: The Riddle, The Crow and The Singing, forthcoming 3/2009.)

Crowe, Chris. Mississippi Trial, 1955, 2002.

In Mississippi in 1955, a sixteen-year-old finds himself at odds with his grandfather over issues surrounding the kidnapping and murder of a fourteen-year-old African American from Chicago.

Crutcher, Chris. Whale Talk, 2001.

Multiethnic T. J. puts together a high school swim team of underdogs and then leads them on a quest for a varsity letter jacket. (See also: Sledding Hill.)

Cullen, Lynn. I Am Rembrandt’s Daughter, 2007.

In Amsterdam in the mid-1600s, Cornelia's life as the illegitimate child of renowned painter Rembrandt is marked by plague, poverty, and despair at ever earning her father's love, until she sees hope for a better future in the eyes of a wealthy suitor.

Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bucking the Sarge, 2004.

The Sarge is Luther’s slum landlord mother. He knows it’s not a good idea to go against her, but he’s determined to win the science fair and with it a chance at college.

De Lint, Charles. Little (Grrl) Lost, 2007.

Fourteen-year-old T.J. and her new friend, sixteen-year-old Elizabeth, a six-inch-high "Little" with a big chip on her shoulder, help one another as T.J. tries to adjust to her family's move from a farm to the big city and Elizabeth tries to make her ownway in the world.

Dessen, Sarah. Keeping the Moon, 1999.

Colie (15) may have shed almost fifty pounds, but she still carries memories of "The Fat Years" until she spends one magical summer with her aunt Mira.

Dessen, Sarah. Someone Like You, 1998.

Halley's relationship with best friend Scarlett changes during their junior year after the death of Scarlett's boyfriend, the subsequent discovery of Scarlett’s pregnancy and Halley’s own first serious relationship.

Dessen, Sarah. Lock and Key, 2008.

When she is abandoned by her alcoholic mother, high school senior Ruby winds up living with Cora, the sister she has not seen for ten years, and learns about Cora's new life, what makes a family, how to allow people to help her when she needs it, and that she too has something to offer others.When she is abandoned by her alcoholic mother, Ruby winds up living with Cora, the sister she has not seen for ten years, and learns about Cora's new life, what makes a family, and that she too has something to offer others.

Deuker, Carl. Night Hoops, 2000.

Nick Abbot makes the varsity basketball team his sophomore year. He hones his skills as a point guard by playing night hoops in his yard with his arrogant, sometimes brutal neighbor, who also winds up joining the team for what looks like a championship season.

Deuker, Carl. Gym Candy, 2007.

Groomed by his father to be a star player, football is the only thing that has ever really mattered to Mick Johnson, who works hard for a spot on the varsity team his freshman year, then tries to hold onto his edge by using steroids, despite the consequences to his health and social life.

Donnelly, Jennifer. A Northern Light, 2003.

Upstate New York, 1906, is the backdrop for a true and truly scandalous murder. In this retelling of Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, Mattie, who works at a hotel in the Adirondacks, gets involved in the investigation of the murder of a young female guest while fighting against the societal constraints of the times.

Duble, Kathleen. Quest, 2008.

Relates events of explorer Henry Hudson's final voyage in 1602 from four points of view, those of his seventeen-year-old son aboard ship, a younger son left in London, a crewmember, and a young English woman acting as a spy in Holland in hopes of restoring honor to her family's name.

Duey, Kathleen. Skin Hunger, 2007.

In alternate chapters, Sadima travels from her farm home to the city and becomes assistant to a heartless man who is trying to restore knowledge of magic to the world, and a group of boys fights to survive in the academy that has resulted from his efforts.In alternate chapters, Sadima travels to the city and becomes an assistant to a heartless man who is trying to restore knowledge of magic to the world, and a group of boys fights to survive in the academy resulting from his efforts. (Sequel: Sacred Scars, forthcoming 8/2009.)

Fisher, Catherine. Darkhenge, 2006.

Worried about his sister Chloe's comatose state after a riding accident,  teenage Rob, in an effort to distract himself, gets a job on a secretive local archeological dig. He soon finds himself drawn into a mysterious world of magic involving a powerful, centuries-old, shape-shifting Druid called Vetch who promises to help retrieve his sister from the "unworld" of her coma.

Fletcher, Susan. Alphabet of Dreams, 2006.

Fourteen-year-old Mitra, of royal Persian lineage, and her five-year-old brother Babak, whose dreams foretell the future, flee for their lives in the company of the magus Melchoir and two other Zoroastrian priests, traveling through Persia as they follow star signs leading to a newly-born king in Bethlehem.

Flinn, Alex. Beastly, 2007.

Having been the most popular guy at school with the meanest and most egotistical attitude, Kyle Kingsbury is punished by a witch and turned into a beast who now must find his true love and make her accept him as he is in order to break the curse and return him to being the man he once was.

Frost, Helen. The Braid, 2006.

Two Scottish sisters, living on the western island of Barra in the 1850s, relate, in alternate voices and linked narrative poems, their experiences after their family is forcibly evicted and separated with one sister accompanying their parents and younger siblings to Cape Breton, Canada, and the other staying behind with other family on the small island of Mingulay.

Gaiman, Neil. The Graveyard Book, 2008.

Raised since he was a baby by ghosts, werewolves, and other residents of the cemetery in which he has always resided, Bod wonders how he will manage to survive amongst the living with only the lessons he has learned from the dead.

Geras, Adele. Troy, 2001.

Told from the point of view of a group of teenagers in the last weeks of the Trojan War, when women are sick of tending the wounded, men are tired of fighting, and bored gods and goddesses find ways to stir things up. (Sequel: Ithaka.)

Goodman, Alison. Singing the Dogstar Blues, 2003.

In a future Australia, the saucy eighteen-year-old daughter of a famous newscaster and a sperm donor teams up with a hermaphrodite from the planet Choria in a time travel adventure that may

significantly change both of their lives.
Goodman, Alison. Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, 2008.

Eon has disguised herself as a boy in order to study Dragon Magic and become a Dragoneye, one of a select group that forms a conduit to the power of energy dragons, but if the secret of her sex comes out, she will be killed. (Sequel: Eona:The Last Dragoneye , forthcoming in 2010.)

Gratz, Alan. Samurai Shortstop, 2006.

While obtaining a Western education at a prestigious Japanese boarding school in 1890, sixteen-year-old Toyo also receives traditional samurai training which has profound effects on both his baseball game and his relationship with his father.

Griffin, Adele. Where I Want to Be, 2005.

Two teenaged sisters, separated by death but still connected, work through their feelings of loss over the closeness they shared as children that was later destroyed by one's mental illness, and finally make peace with each other.

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Don't You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey, 2004.

Journal entries a sixteen-year-old girl writes for a school assignment reveal parental abuse and abandonment and her determination to protect her baby brother, no matter what.

Halam, Ann. Dr. Franklin's Island, 2002.

While on their way to a special science camp in Ecuador, three teens survive a plane wreck and become castaways on a deserted island. Little do they know that the island is home to a mad genetic scientist who is just waiting for fresh teenage flesh to inject with animal genes.

Halam, Ann. Snakehead, 2008.

Becoming aware that Andromeda must die in order to save her own people, the son of Zeus, Perseus, is left with no choice but to go on a death-defying journey to the land of Medusa where a confrontation must be had with the snake-haired creature in order to save the mortal princess he loves.

Hale, Shannon. The Goose Girl, 2003.

On her way to marry the Prince of a neighboring country, Princess Anidori is betrayed by her lady-in-waiting. She escapes with her life and becomes a goose girl before she can claim her real title and the love of her life. (Sequels: Enna Burning and River Secrets.)

Hale, Shannon. The Book of a Thousand Days, 2007.

Fifteen-year-old Dashti, after sacrificing her own freedom to follow her sixteen-year-old mistress, the Lady Saren, into exile, brings Saren safely to the lands of the man they both love where they are forced to hide their true identities as they vie for his attention.

Hartnett, Sonya. The Ghost’s Child, 2008.

When a mysterious child appears in her living room one day, the elderly Maddy tells him the story of her love for the wild and free-spirited Feather, who tried but failed to live a conventional life with her, and her search for him on a fantastical voyage across the seas.When a mysterious child appears in her living room, elderly Maddy tells him the story of her love for the free-spirited Feather, who tried but failed to live a conventional life with her, and her search for him across the seas.

Hautman, Pete. Rash, 2006.

In a future society that has decided it would "rather be safe than free," sixteen-year-old Bo's anger management problems land him in a tundra jail where he survives with the help of his running skills and an artificial intelligence program named Bork.

Hoffman, Alice. The Foretelling, 2005.

Growing up the daughter of an Amazon queen who shuns her, Rain rebels against the ways of her tribe through her sister-like relationship with Io and her feelings for a boy from a tribe of wanderers.

Hoffman, Mary. The Falconer’s Knot, 2007.

Silvano and Chiara, teens sent to live in a friary and a nunnery in Renaissance Italy, are drawn to one another and dream of a future together, but when murders are committed in the friary, they must discover who is behind the crimes before they can realize their love.

Hokenson, Terry. The Winter Road, 2006.

Seventeen-year-old Willa, still grieving over the death of her older brother and the neglect of her father, decides to fly a small plane to fetch her mother from Northern Ontario, but when the plane crashes she is all alone in the snowy wilderness.

Houston, Julian. New Boy, 2005.

As a new sophomore at an exclusive boarding school in the 1950s, Rob Garrett, a young black man, is witness to the persecution of other students and wonders about the growing civil rights movement back home in Virginia.

Jinks, Catherine. Evil Genius, 2007.

Child prodigy Cadel Piggot, an antisocial computer hacker, discovers his true identity when he enrolls as a first-year student at an advanced crime academy. (Sequel: Genius Squad.)

Johnson, Angela. The First Part Last, 2003.

Bobby's carefree teenage life changes forever when he becomes a father and must care for his adored baby daughter.

Johnson, Scott. Safe at Second, 1999.

Paulie Lockwood's best friend Todd Bannister is destined for the major leagues until a line drive to the head causes him to lose an eye and they both must find a new future for themselves.

Jones, Diana Wynne. The Dark Lord of Derkholm, 1998.

Derk, an unconventional wizard who likes to breed unusual animals (griffins, flying pigs, winged horses, etc.), and his magical family become involved in a plan to put a stop to the devastating tours to their world arranged by the tyrannical Mr. Chesney. (Sequel: The Year of the Griffin.)

Juby, Susan. Alice, I Think, 2003.

Fifteen-year-old Alice keeps a diary as she struggles to cope with the embarrassments and trials of family, dating, school, work, small town life, and a serious case of "outcastitis."

Klass, David. You Don’t Know Me, 2002.

Fourteen-year-old John creates alternative realities in his mind as he tries to deal with his mother's abusive boyfriend, his crush on a beautiful, but shallow classmate and other problems at school. (See also: California Blue and Danger Zone.)

Knox, Elizabeth. Dreamhunter, 2006.

In a world where select people can enter "The Place" and find dreams of every kind to share with others for a fee, a fifteen-year-old girl is training to be a dreamhunter when her father disappears, leaving her to carry on his mysterious mission. (Sequel: Dreamquake.)

Koertge, Ronald. Strays, 2007.

When his parents die in a sudden accident and he is moved into the home of a set of crazy foster parents, sixteen-year-old Ted is forced to cope with his loss while attending a hard inner-city school overrun by delinquents.

Korman, Gordon. Son of the Mob, 2002.
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