Monday, October 15, 2007


by Cornelia Funke (4th+)

Meggie and her father Mo were inseparable. Then one night a stranger shows up at their door and yet her father seems to know who he is. Suddenly, he becomes very secretive and this stranger is calling him Silvertongue. Meggie finds herself swept into a world of fictional characters who have come to life and who require her father for some strange reason. It seems that several years ago Mo, or Silvertongue as he is called by these characters, read aloud from a book called Inkheart and the characters from the story came to life in his living room. These characters that came forth however were not good people. He does not have the ability to send them back and so they have been living in his world, terrorizing people. Now they are after Mo and his daughter Meggie, trying to get him to read from more books to bring them riches and continue with their evil ways. Will they get what they want from Silvertongue or will Maggie be able to help her father get free of them. Read Inkheart by Cornelia Funke to find out.

Monday, October 1, 2007


by Patricia Reilly Giff (5th +)

Hollis Woods is: the place a baby was abandoned, the baby’s name, an artist, a mountain of trouble, now a 12-year-old girl who’s been in so many foster homes, she can hardly remember them all. Hollis even ran away from the Regans, the one family that offered her a home. But Hollis now has Josie, an elderly artistic woman, who makes Hollis feel wanted and needed. Josie, however, is becoming more and more forgetful every day. Hollis is afraid someone will find out and take her away, and who knows what they’ll do with Josie. Well, Hollis isn’t about to let that happen. She’ll run away again, only this time with Josie. But as Hollis plans their escape, she thinks about her summer with the Regan family, a summer so special it almost hurts to remember it. Hollis can run away, but she can’t escape her memories. What will happen when her memories catch up with her?


by Lois Lowry (5th +)

Ten-year old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think about life before the war. But it’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching in their town. The Nazis won’t stop. The Jews of Denmark are being “relocated,” so Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be party of the family. Then Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission. Somehow she must find the strength and courage to save her best friend’s life. There’s no turning back now.


My Name is America (5th +)

May 13, 1805
I can’t quite believe I am all here because it’s just short of a miracle that parts of me aren’t floating around in the gut of a grizzly bear….It was the biggest grizzly ever! Least, biggest I’d see….it was me who was right in that bear’s sights, directly between him and the water….I almost made it into the canoe but fell into the water….I took a huge gulp of air and dove. It wasn’t that deep and I swear I felt that bear’s claw on my moccasin. I scraped my chin on the rocky bottom but I just kept swimming. Go deep! Go deep! The words pounded in my head. Maybe that bear won’t smell me if I’m deep.


by Scott O’Dell (5th +)

In the Pacific there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it, blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea elephants and sea birds abound. Once, Indians also lived on the island. And when they left and sailed to the east, one young girl was left behind. This is the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Year after year: she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to take her away. But while she waited, she kept herself alive by building shelter: making weapons, finding food, and fighting her enemies, the wild dogs. It is not only an unusual adventure of survival, but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery.


by Joan Bauer (5th +)

When 16-year-old Hope, waitress extraordinaire, moves cross-country to Wisconsin with her aunt Addie to run the Welcome Stairways Diner, Hope isn’t sure she’ll fit in. But she quickly finds herself involved in the small town’s mayoral race, as G.T., owner of the diner, surprises everyone with his entry into the race. After all, G.T. has leukemia. And his opponent is the previously undefeated longtime mayor. Some think G.T. is crazy, but Hope sees the goodness and power in him. Will everyone else see it too?


by Polly Horvath (5th +)

The town of Coal Harbour knows that Primrose Squarp’s parents were lost at sea in a storm. Everyone believes this except Primrose herself. She knows deep inside her heart that they will come back. Meanwhile, she lives with her Uncle Jack. Things don’t go all that smoothly. Primrose has a few accidents, and the school counselor is worried that Primrose is not facing reality about her parents. But she also has a friend who owns a restaurant where everything is served on a waffle.


by Avi (5th+)

The thirteen-year-old boy has always been called “Asta’s son.” but after his mother’s death, he learns from the local priest that his real name is Crispin. Before Crispin can find out more about his identity, the priest is murdered and Crispin is blamed. Declared a “wolf’s head,” who can be killed by anyone, Crispin searches through 14th-century England to find who he really is.


by Linda Sue Park (5th+)

Imagine that you want to be good-really good-at something. But you’re too poor to get the equimpment you need to practice. Say you feel like you could be a great basketball player, but you don’t have shoes, or access to a basketball court, or even a ball. That’s like the situation that Tree-Ear is in. He’s living in Korea, hundreds of years ago. He’s an orphan, he’s homeless, and he’s so poor that he lives under a bridge with a friend, and forages for food. But very often, he goes to hide in the trees outside Min the potter’s workshop, to watch Min at work. Min is a master. He workds slowly, but when he does finish, his work is better than anyone’s. Tree-Ear imagines, while he watches, that someday-if he could ever get clay, if her were everable to work on a potter’s wheel-he could make pottery like that. And then one day, Min is away, and Tree-Ear can’t resist going into his workshop to see the finished pieces. While Tree-Ear is busy looking at all of the pottery pieces, Master Min returns home to find him snooping about. Can things get any worse for Tree-Ear?


by Megan Whalen Turner (5th+)

Because of his bragging—and his great skill at thievery --Gen lands in the King’s Prison, shackled to the wall of his cell. After months of isolation, kept sane only by his sharp intelligence, Gen is released by none other than the King’s Scholar, the Magus, who believed he knows the site of an ancient treasure. The Magus needs the best thief in the land to help him steal it, and that thief is Gen. To the Magus, Gen is simply a tool. But Gen is a survivor and a trickster—and he has ideas of his own. The surprise ending will leave you breathless!


by Ellen Raskin (5th+)

One fateful day, sixteen people gather for the reading of Samuel W. Westing’s will. To their surprise, the will turns out to be a contest, challenging the heirs to find out who among them is Westing’s murderer. Forging ahead, through blizzards, burglaries, and bombings, the game is on. Only two people hold all the clues. One of them is a Westing heir. The other is you!


by Sharon Creech (4th+)

Dallas and Florida have been dubbed the ‘trouble twins.’ They have been shuffled between foster families and orphanages all their lives, longing only for a loving place to call home, though mistrustful that one exists for the likes of them. Tiller and Sairy are an eccentric older couple whose children are grown and long gone, and they’re each restless for one more big adventure while their bodies are still spry enough to paddle a river or climb a mountain. Ruby Holler is the beautiful, mysterious place that changes all their lives forever. When Tiller and Sairy invite Dallas and Florida to stay
with them and keep them company on their adventures, the magic of the Holler takes over, and the two kids begin to think that maybe, just maybe the old folks aren’t so bad.


by Louis Sachar (4th+)

Stanley Yelnat’s trouble began when he stole Clyde “Sweet Feet” Livingston’s tennis shoes. Well, he didn’t really steal them and his troubles actually went back much further to his no-good-dirty-rotten- pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather, but none of that mattered now that he was stuck at Camp Green Lake, a juvenile detention center that was really a dried up lake in Texas without even a trace of green. What the camp did have was rattlesnakes, deadly yellow-spotted lizards, inmates with names like Armpit, X-Ray, and Zero, and a warden who was way beyond nasty. The next 18 months for Stanley Yelnats were not going to be fun. Every day Stanley and the other inmates each had to dig a hole in the lake 5 feet deep by 5 feet wide. The only relief came if you dug up something that interested the warden. If this happened, they you might get to take the rest of the day off. Two weeks into his sentence, Stanley did discover something and the warden was interested, but Stanley never got the rest of the day off. What did Stanley find and how did he survive those long hot days at Camp Green Lake? Read Holes to find out why.


by Nancy Farmer (4th+)

The three children of the wealthy and powerful General Matsika steal out of the house on a forbidden adventure—and promptly disappear. their parents call in the best detectives in Africa, or at least the most unusual: the Ear, the Eye and the Arm, whose exposure to nuclear waste has given them powers far beyond those of other human beings. Their mission takes them to the underbelly of the city, where truth and lies are often the same; to the toxic and dangerous Dead Man’s Vlei, ruled by the tyrannical She-Elephant; to the swaying top of the luxurious Mile-High MacIlwaine Holtel. Yet the children stay just out of their reach. The evils of the past, the technology of the future, criminals with plans far beyond what anyone can imagine— can the Ear, the Eye and the Arm snatch the Matsika children from the heart of it all?


by Patricia Reilly Giff (5th+)

Nory Ryan’s family has lived on Maidin Bay for generations. This yeaer, however, a terrible blight attacks the potatoes, and her family is split apart by the great hunger that overtakes Ireland. Nory’s mother died years before, her Older sister Maggie has gone to America, and Da is away on a fishing boat. There are no coins for food, and Lord Cunningham, the landlord, is threatening to take their home. with bold determination, Nory Ryan searches for a way to save her family from starvation and get everyone to America.


by Katharine Paterson (4th+)

Jess Aarons’ greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in the fifth grade. He’s been practicing all summer and can’t wait to see his classmates’ faces when he beats them all. But on the first day of school, a new kids, a new girl, boldly crosses over to the boys’ side of the playground and outruns everyone. That’s not a very promising beginning for a friendship, but Jess and Leslie Burke become inseparable. It doesn’t matter to Jess that Leslie dresses funny, or that her family has a lot of money-but no TV. Leslie has imagination. Together, she and Jess create Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where the two of them reign as king and queen, and their imaginations set the only limits. But when there is an accident at Terabithia, what will happen to the two of them?


by Carl Hiaasen (4th+)

Roy Eberhardt doesn’t give a “hoot” about living in his new home state of Florida. His family moves often, so he’s used to being the new kid in school, but this time is different. He misses his last home in Montana and isn’t interested in anything in Florida until he sees “the boy at the school bus stop.” The boy that catches Roy’s attention is just a typical boy about his own age. What’s different about him is that he’s running away from the school bus instead of towards it. Plus, the boy has no books, no backpack, and even no shoes. Roy is intrigued by the mystery surrounding the boy, so he starts to follow him. In his chase to find out about the secretive stranger, Roy encounters poisonous snakes with sparkles on their tails, alligators in toilets, a girl who bites a hole in his bicycle tire, burrowing owls, and trouble with the police. Will Roy ever find out who the mysterious boy is and what he’s up to? Does Roy ever learn to enjoy living in Florida? Find out by reading Hoot by Carl Hiaasen.


by Nancy Farmer (4th+)

Matteo Alacran was not born; he was harvested. His DNA came from El Patron, lord of a country called Opium—a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Matt’s first cell split and divided inside a petri dish. Then he was placed in the womb of a cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to fetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster—except El Patron. El Patron loves Matt as he loves himself, because Matt is himself. As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister cast of characters, including El Patron’s power-hungry family, and he is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards. Escape is the only chanceMatt has to survive. But escape from the Alacran Estate is no guarantee of freedom, because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn’t even suspect.


by Jack Gantos (4th+)

Joey Pigza is wired, really wired. His doctors call it ADD, or Attention Deficit Disorder. Joey just knows that it’s hard for him to control himself. He doesn’t mean to get in trouble: He just wondered how the pencil sharpener worked and didn’t thin before he stuck his finger in…And he knew he shouldn’t run with scissors, but he didn’t mean to cut his classmate’s nose. Then there was the incident with his house key. It might sound funny to us, but it’s not funny for Joey. His teacher says that if his behavior doesn’t improve, he’ll get sent to a special school. Can Joey behave? And how does he get rid of the key in his stomach? Find out for yourself when you read Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key.


by Kate DiCamillo (3rd+)

Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni has just moved to Naomi, Florida. Her mom has left their family, her father’s been hiding in his old “turtle shell,” and all she wants is a friend. And that’s when she meets Winn-Dixie, a stray dog she rescues at the local grocery store. Having Winn-Dixie for a dog is great. She starts to meet people in town, her father starts poking out of his shell, and India Opal begins to understand why her mother may have left. All this happens because of Winn-Dixie.


by Andrew Clements (3rd+)

Who knows more about school than someone who’s right there, five days a week, nine months a year? Do you think you know what school is like more than anyone else? Well, Natalie, an aspiring writer, thinks so. She hears that her mom’s publishing company is looking to find and publish stories set in schools. Natalie is inspired to write a novel set in school to practice writing, but when her best friend Zoe reads it, Zoe decides to scheme a plan to get it published. but how can Natalie have her mom read it fairly, without thinking “just a kid” wrote it? So Natalie changes her name on her manuscript and Zoe takes on a new identity to become Natalie’s-I mean Cassandra Day’s-agent. A book agent helps shop around an unpublished book to publishing houses to try to find one that will publish the book. So, does Natalie’s mom even read the manuscript? Does it get published? You’ll want to read The School Story to discover all the crazy ways Zoe and Natalie work to get the manuscript into the right hands—and hopefully to get it published.


by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (3rd+)

Shiloh, an adorable beagle, runs away from his neglectful owner and is found by a young boy named Marty. Marty knows Shiloh belongs to someone else but it determined to save the dog from more neglect. Against the wishes of the dog’s owner and his father, Marty risks everything to protect the dog and make him his own.


by Roald Dahl (3rd+)

‘A REAL WITCH is easily the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth.’ That’s a pretty horrifying thought. More horrifying still is that real witches don’t even look like witches. They don’t ride around on broomsticks. They don’t even wear black cloaks and hats. They are vile, despicable, scheming harridans who disguise themselves as nice, ordinary ladies. So how can you tell when you’re face to face with one? Read this story and you’ll find out all you need to know. You’ll also meet a real hero, a wise old grandmother and the most gruesome, grotesque gang of witches imaginable.


by John Reynolds Gardiner (3rd+)

Little Willy has a big job to do. When his grandfather falls ill it is up to Willy alone to save their farm from the tax collector. But where can a ten-year-old get five hundred dollars in a hurry? Then Willy sees the poster for the National Dogsled Race. The race pits Willy against the best dog teams in the country, including the Indian Stone Fox and his five beautiful Samoyeds, who have never lost a race. And Stone Fox wants the prize money as badly as Willy does. Willy’s dog, Searchlight, is every bit as fast as the competition, and Willy knows the terrain better than anyone. But can one boy and one dog be a match for the unbeatable Stone Fox?


by Kate DiCamillo (3rd+)

Desperaux Tilling is a mouse in love. He is madly in love with the princess, Pea. Everywhere he goes no one seems to want him and they are constantly trying to stop him. Roscuro is a rat who lives in darkness but desperately wishes to live in the light. And Miggery Sow is a slow witted serving girl with one simple yet impossible wish. What do these characters all have in common? They are about to venture out on a journey into dark dungeons, fantastic castles, and eventually will meet each other on their grand adventure. What will happen when all of the characters meet up? Read The Tale of Desperaux to find out.