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Product Type: Books
Age: Late Elementary School Years

 


2012 Award
Star Wars; A Galactic Pop-Up Adventure
(by Matthew Reinhart, Orchard $36.99 Score:)

Based on the new Star Wars Cartoon series, this is a pop-up book of dreams! The pages have several smaller pops as well as the big ones that spring on every turn. There are Battle Beasts, Destroyer Droids, ETR Interceptor, and Lord Darth Vader with his light saber that actually changes colors! Whoa! The ultimate gift of the year for Star Wars fans of all ages.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years, Tweens, Teens, Adult. Award Year: 2012.

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2012 Award
The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket
(by John Boyne, ills. Oliver Jeffers, Knopf $19.99 Score:)

Born into a family of ordinary people, who liked being that way, young Barnaby Brocket came into the world anything but ordinary. Within moments of his birth he could float. In fact, he could not help floating. Unable to stop, as his parents felt he could if he tried, he is rejected at age eight and cast off into the vast blue sky over Sydney. In a journey that takes him round the word, Barnaby survives a series of adventures and discovers he is not unique in failing to fit his parent's expectations. By the time the story comes full circle Barnaby makes another discovery about himself and being "normal." Though many of the scenes are amusing, this is a bittersweet story with a very moralistic message. Marked for 8-12, one has to wonder if readers of 10-12 will stay with a book about an 8 year old and if younger readers of 8-9 will stay with or get the point of this rather long fantasy. That said, the opening pages are pure silk!

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

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Award
Pop-Up London
(by Jennie Maizels/ paper engineering by Richard Fe, Candlewick $19.99 Score:)

Just in time for the Olympics, here's a way to share more details about this great city. Most text is hidden under the flaps, but the wonder here is having some of London's landmarks, including London Bridge pop-up off of the page in 3D. 

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

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2012 Awards
Magic Tree House, Hour of the Olympics
(by Mary Pope Osborne, Random House $4.99 Score:)

No girls are allowed at the Olympics! That was the rule in ancient times and in this time travel book the rules apply....or do they. Another one of those suspenseful adventures for Jack and Annie. If your new to chapter book reader has not discovered this series, this is a good summer read that will give them a bit of history, a meeting with heroes and heroines of the Greek myths and perhaps a lively taste for time travel and more Magic Tree House mysteries.

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

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2012 Award
Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics
(by John Feinstein, Knopf $16.99 Score:)

Susan Carol not only wins her place on the U.S. Olympic Swim Team, she has become the "It Girl" of the London games with an agent cooking up deals that could make her family financially secure. Her father, a minister, falls into line with the demands of the agents, but Susan Carol is disappointed that he is pressing her to go along. Her long time friend Stevie Thomas is on her side and does some investigative reporting that adds to the suspense. Written by sportswriter, John Feinstein, this is a well-paced fictional account of what itís like to be in Susan's place with so much pressure to swim and still keep one's head as she appears on the Today Show, Good Morning America, USA Today and she is drawn into the world of TV, sponsors, and marketing. Feinstein has peppered the script with fictional cameo appearances by familiar names like Michael Phelps, Matt Lauer, Ann Curry and Bob Costas. He's also diced in some gossipy stories about other well known athletes who for better and worse, made deals for big bucks. A good read for the Summer Olympics 2012.

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

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2012 Award
A Passion for Victory
(by Bensom Bobrick, Knopf $19.99 Score:)

"I know if you were there in the stadium, you wouldnít be able to stop applauding." Those words are from a second-century account of the Olympics. From the footraces of ancient Greece to the present, this well researched book chronicles the Olympic Games through history. Using direct quotes, photographs, etchings, sculpture, and anecdotes of previous games, this slim volume brings the history to life. 9-12.

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

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2012 Award
I, Too, Am America
(by Langston Hughes/ Bryan Collier, Simon & Schuster $16.99 Score:)

Langston Hughes powerful poem speaks to both the despair and hopes of African Americans and the pain of being treated as less than others. Written in 1925, the poem still resonates as Bryan Collierís illustrations travel through history from the train porters of yesterday to todayís youth, who are still looking for their place in America. While it is true the book reflects how far we have come, it also reminds us of how much further we need to go. Three-time Caldecott winner, Collier's illustrations capture a range of emotions that speak as powerfully as the words. A meaningful blend of art and poetry! 

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. 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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2012 Award
Brothers at Bat
(by Audrey Vernick/ illus. Steven Salerno, Clarion $16.99 Score:)

Based on a real family with 16 children, twelve of them boys, who all loved the game of baseball. In fact, there were enough brothers to form a baseball team--and then some. This family takes place at a time when girls rarely played on baseball teams. Back in the 30's and 40's the Acerra brothers toured the country playing as a team, with a break for WWII, when six of them served in the armed forces. After the war they began to raise families of their own, but continued playing the sport they loved. They played their last game in the 50's and then in 1997 they were honored at the Baseball Hall of Fame. An interesting slice of baseball history. 7 & up.

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

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2012 Award
I've Lost My Hippopotamus
(by Jack Prelutsky/ illus. by Jackie Urbanovic, Greenwillow $18.99 Score:)

The poet laureate of kids has done it again. His newest collection of rhymes is bound to please even those who insist they don't like poetry. Most of these poems are about animals; but not sentimentalized or scientific in nature. And then there's the Fabulous Skating Potato, Stokingbirds strutting, and Halibutterflies, among other creations. It's full of the usual Prelutsky humor and silly illustrations that add to the entertainment. Our 8-year old tester and his mom took turns reading these to each other and shared the fun. 5-10.

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

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