Search Results for -
Product Type: Books
Age: Late Elementary School Years
Categories: Chapter Books

 


2013 Award
Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers
(by Dav Pilkey, Scholastic $9.99 Score:)

In this tenth epic, how will George and Harold be saved from roaming forever as evil zombie nerds? Will Captain Underpants save them? My nine-year old neighbor and his buddies are thrilled that the beat goes on. For reluctant readers this is a sure fire series that can turn the tide.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2013. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2012 Award
Letters to Leo
(by Amy Hest/ illus. Julia Denos, Candlewick $14.95 Score:)

Fourth grader Annie writes letters to her new dog Leo almost everyday. Her letters help her deal with the ups and downs of life with her teacher, Mrs. No-Fun Bailey, her best friend leaving and her memories of her dead mother. This is a tender little book with a quiet humor, warmth, and a loving father. The pace may be a little slow for some, but the letter format will make this easier for readers new to chapter books. 3rd grade and up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2011 Awards
The Complete Adventures of the Borrowers
(by Mary Norton, Houghton Mifflin $34.99 Score:)

What could be better that one great book? How about a set of five paperbacks packaged in a box that will take young readers on all the adventures shares by the Borrowers? If you didn't read them when you were growing up, make this set your ticket and read them aloud after dinner -- a chapter a night. From the original book featuring the little Borrowers to their journeys Aloft, Afloat, Afield and Avenged. This is a gift for the family to enjoy on the long winter nights ahead. Marked for 9-12, but younger kids of 7 and 8 will enjoy hearing these stories read aloud and then rereading them later when they can better handle longer chapter books.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Storyteller
(by Patricia Reilly Giff, Random House $15.99 Score:)

As always, Patricia Reilly Giff has created a cast of characters you care about from the opening pages of this dual story that is set in modern day America and America at the start of the Revolutionary War. Beautifully crafted, the chapters alternate between Elizabeth, the present day girl who, discovers the story of Zee, the girl in a drawing, who lived through the fight for America's freedom. Although there is a bit of repetition in establishing Zee's careless ways, the story is full of suspense as well as tenderness. Historic fiction by a master storyteller. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Awards
The Jungle Book
(by Rudyard Kipling/illus. by Nicola Bayley, Candlewick $12.99 Score:)

Stunning new art accompanies Kipling's classic tale of Mowgli and his upbringing among the wolves. It is from them that he learns the harsh laws of the jungle. This volume is one of a handsome collection of affordable classics for the family library. Also in the series, Tales of Hans Christian Anderson.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
Charlotte's Web
(by E.B. White/ illus. Garth Williams, HarperCollins $8.99 Score:)

A classic story about friendship, love, life, and death. Young Wilbur, the pig, is saved from certain death by Charlotte, a spider you'll never forget. Also, share Stuart Little, by the same author.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2010 Award
The Dreamer
(by Pam Munoz Ryan/ illus. by Peter Sis, Scholastic $17.99 Score:)

Neftali, a Chilean boy struggles with a cruel, controlling father who finds fault with his children's artistic dreams. He is a practical man who demands that his older son give up music for a more sensible career. He forces Neftali and his little sister to swim in the sea, though they are deathly afraid of it. Neftali, the dreamer, finds sympathy from his mother, a favorite uncle who appreciates the boy's talents with words, and a librarian who gives the boy a hideout where he can escape to read and gather his odd collection of found objects. This imaginative work of historic fiction was inspired by the life of the poet Pablo Neruda, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971. A collection of Neruda's poems follows the manuscript and Peter Sis's black and white illustrations have enough vagueness to make them mysterious. The print is oddly large, for the 9-14 suggested audience. It is a beautiful book, but may in fact appeal more to adults than children.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2010. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg
(by Rodman Philbrick, Scholastic $16.99 Score:)

17 year-old Harold P. Figg is too young to serve in the Union army, but that doesn't matter to his greedy uncle, who lies about the boy's age. That was how he could collect a handsome sum of money from a family that could afford to pay for someone else to fight in place of a drafted son. Poor Homer P. Figg has always depended on his big brother Harold. How will he survive without him? So it is Homer who undertakes the mission of running away to rescue his dear brother. And what a journey this is! Every chapter crackles with lively characters and adventures that keep the pages turning and the reader both amused and amazed. Colorful passages give the reader a picture of the 1860's with its slavery, abolitionists, sooty trains and bloody warfront amputations and terrible death toll.  But the research does not slow the pace of the story. Homer, a fabulous storyteller, hardly needs to embellish the wild adventures he gets into with thieves, spies, and dreamers. When he leaves Maine he has no way of knowing if or how he will find Harold; nor could he expect to ride a ferry, a train, a hot air balloon and end up on the front lines of the Battle of Gettysburg. Homer P. Figg quickly takes the reader into his world, cheering for a happy ending while wishing we were not finished with this lovable rascal! It's historic fiction at its best! 9 & up. 

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Bystander
(by James Preller, Feiwel & Friends $16.99 Score:)

Eric and his family move back to his mom’s hometown after his parents’ divorce. It’s a bumpy time made all the worse by a bully by the name of Griffin and his ‘gang’ of followers. There’s plenty of suspense and some welcome dollops of humor in the telling of this tale of 7th grade boys who can be as cruel as girls are often portrayed. In fact, the guys tend to use physical abuse along with the emotional taunts so common in this kind of story. But this story doesn’t just focus on the boys, it’s their fathers, one mentally ill and absent, the other an alcoholic, that the author weaves into the back story, as if to explain the boys and their behavior.   Of course the business of belonging and excluding others is so developmentally typical, kids do not need disturbed parents to explain the behavior away, but it does add leavening to the story. In the real world of bullies where kids have been driven to suicide, this is a mild story. Still, it is a portrait of a cruel world that calls for courage as well as strong adults kids can turn to. After making his way into belonging, Eric has to face the truth about going along and being a bystander or being true to what he knows is right even if that makes him a target. In a world where bullying makes the evening news, this is clearly a story that will resonate with middle school boys. 10 & up.

 

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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2009 Award
Scat
(by Carl Hiaasen, Knopf $16.99 Score:)

When Mrs. Starch, a less than beloved biology teacher disappears after a field trip the rumors begin to fly. Was it a hot headed kid, Duane Scrod Jr., AKA as Smoke, who was getting even by setting a fire in the swamp where nasty Mrs. Starch was last seen? There are several suspenseful plot lines and a colorful cast of eco-enemies and eco-vigilantes who keep the pages turning in this well paced mystery involving an endangered panther cub separated from its mother, a dumb businessman who hopes to outsmart the state, an eco-avenger who is going to stop him, a crusty old grandmother who does not give up on her family, an injured Iraqi War vet, and three high school students who are brave enough to stand up for what is right. Best of all the characters are not just good and bad guys, they are more complex than that as they are revealed in a story that never talks down, but takes one surprising turn after another. Scat hooks the reader and holds fast from the first scene to last. Another solid read from the author of the award winning book, Hoot. 10 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on Amazon.com.

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