2013 Children's Choices-Advanced Readers (Grade 5-6)

View all Recommendations by Age > Recommendations for Age 9-12 book lists; This list was last updated on 8/1/2013
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Each year 12,500 school children from different regions of the United States read newly published children's and young adults' trade books and vote for the ones they like best. These Children's Choices, selected from more than 500 

For more book recommendations, please check out New York Times® Best Sellers, Children's Book Recommendations or the complete list of Featured Book Lists and Award Winners

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release date: Jul 01, 2012
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White House Kids
Living in America's most famous residence might seem glamorous at first--it's the most fun place any kid could live! There's a bowling alley in the basement, chefs are always available to prepare whatever you're craving, and sometimes presidential aides will even help you with your homework! But life isn't always easy for the youngsters who call the White House home. They're always in the spotlight, and those pesky Secret Service agents are always around. For every perk, there's a problem. From Washington to Obama, see the White House through the eyes of the children and grandchildren. Filled with wacky, weird, and wonderful stories, it shows what it's like to call the president Dad (or Granddad or Uncle). Find out what schools they went to, what mischief they caused, and what pets they had. There are first-person accounts from letters and interviews, fascinating photos, original illustrations, and even a section that follows the children after they left the White House.
release date: Oct 23, 2012
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Weird But True! 4
Did you know that lemons can power lightbulbs, or that some goats climb trees? You'll find 300 more wacky facts like these in Weird but True 4!--the latest addition to the blockbuster National Geographic Kids Weird but True series. This fourth installment in the successful Weird but True series has all-new facts and illustrations, creative type treatments, and more cool photos. Brain-bending facts cover a broad range of topics, including science, animals, food, weather, pop culture, outer space, geography, and just about everything else under the sun.

Releases simultaneously in Reinforced Library Binding: 978-1-4263-1021-8 , $16.90/$18.95 Can
release date: Sep 26, 2012
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Unusual Creatures
With humor and flair, Michael Hearst introduces the reader to a wealth of extraordinary life-forms. Which animal can be found at the top of Mount Everest, 10,000 feet under the sea, and in your backyard? Which animal poops cubes? Which animal can disguise itself as a giant crab? These fascinating facts and hundreds more await curious minds, amateur zoologists, and anyone who has ever laughed at a funny-looking animal.
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Undead Ed
When Ed Bagley wakes up in a yucky sewer --and discovers he's a zombie-- things can't get any weirder! That is, until his evil arm scurries off his shoulder and into the town of Mortlake to cause all sorts of trouble.

Un-armed and dangerous, Ed teams up with his werewolf buddy Max Moon to track down his rogue limb and save Mortlake from the evil at the center of it all.

This formerly unlucky kid is out to prove he really is all guts! But when he's faced with gross ghouls, wormy wraiths, freaky fat babies, and some seriously sinister clowns, will Ed and his undead friends have enough skin on their bones to save the day? Or will this arm-y prove too tough to hand-le?

Hilariously illustrated zombie antics make this the perfect next book for fans of Zombiekins!
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Today's Air Force Heroes
Introduces members of the United States Air Force who commited acts of heroism since September 11, 2001, including a Reservist at the Pentagon, a medic in Afghanistan, and a fighter pilot in Iraq, and describes their accomplishments.
Title: Today's Air Force Heroes
Author: Aronin, Miriam/ Pushies, Fred (CON)
Publisher: Bearport Pub Co Inc
Publication Date: 2012/01/01
Number of Pages: 32
Binding Type: LIBRARY
Library of Congress: 2011039988
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The Takedown of Osama Bin Laden
Large action photos, fact boxes and colorful maps enrich real-life narratives from United States military heroes who defend their nation and save lives while performing the most dangerous missions in the world.
Title: The Takedown of Osama Bin Laden
Author: Lunis, Natalie/ Pushies, Fred (CON)
Publisher: Bearport Pub Co Inc
Publication Date: 2012/01/01
Number of Pages: 32
Binding Type: LIBRARY
Library of Congress: 2011040472
release date: May 10, 2012
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Stickman Odyssey 2
Greek tragedy has never been so funny

Zozimos' journey to the kingdom of Sticatha has been anything but smooth. He's survived enslavement, battled golems and a ravenous Cyclops, and generally served as plaything to gods and goddesses looking for a good laugh. All for the sake of reclaiming the Sticathan royal throne--stolen from him by an evil witch, aka his stepmother.

You'd think that a stickman would catch a break after all that, but you'd be wrong. Arriving home only brings crazy family members and a return trip to sea, where mercenary centaurs and giant boar gods keep Zozimos questing and readers laughing. It would all be an epic tragedy if it wasn't so funny.
release date: Apr 30, 2012
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Spider-Man
The ultimate web-slinger is back in this exciting and informative ultimate guide. Spider-Man: Inside the World of your Friendly Neighborhood Hero traces Spider-Man's entire career from his high-school beginnings as Peter Parker to his love affair with the enchanting Mary Jane.

With foreword by Stan Lee and full details of Spidey's powers granted from the bite of an irradiated spider, as well as significant adventures, battles, loves, allies, and enemies, this all-inclusive book has a strong focus on storylines and conflicts within Spider-Man's world. Come to find out how your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man came to be created in 1962 and how the character has developed over the years. Full of interesting facts and dynamic comic book art, Spider-Man: Inside the World of your Friendly Neighborhood Hero is the tell-all to the famous Amazing Spider-Man.

TM & © 2012 Marvel & Subs.

release date: Sep 04, 2012
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Shadow

Author of War Horse, and bestselling storyteller Michael Morpurgo touched our hearts with this beautiful story of a boy, his lost dog, and the lengths he would go to be reunited. This timely story of battle-scarred Afghanistan delivers a masterful portrait of war, love, and friendship.

With the horrors of war bearing down on them, Aman and his mother are barely surviving in an Afghan cave, and staying there any longer will end horribly. The only comfort Aman has is Shadow, the loyal spaniel that shows up from places unknown, it seems, just when Aman needs him most.

Aman, his mother, and Shadow finally leave the destroyed cave in hopes of escaping to England, but are held at a checkpoint, and Shadow runs away after being shot at by the police. Aman and his mother escape--without Shadow. Aman is heart-broken.

Just as they are getting settled as free citizens in England, they are imprisoned in a camp with locked doors and a barbed wire fence. Their only hope is Aman's classmate Matt, his grandpa, and the dream of finding his lost dog. After all, you never lose your shadow.

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Look Into My Eyes (Ruby Redfort)
Hey, buster! Normal life is a total yawn. Break out of boredom with Ruby Redfort, the super-awesome new creation from multi-million-copy bestseller Lauren Child...Want to know more? Of course you do, bozo. Here's the low-down on Ruby Redfort: she's a genius code-cracker, a daring detective, and a gadget-laden special agent who just happens to be a thirteen-year-old girl. She and her slick side-kick butler, Hitch, foil crimes and get into loads of scrapes with evil villains, but they're always ice-cool in a crisis. In LOOK INTO MY EYES, we go right back to Ruby's beginnings as an agent. When an anonymous caller sets Ruby a challenge, it's not long before she finds her way into the HQ of the most secret of secret agencies - SPECTRUM. They need her help to crack a code but her desk job soon spirals into an all-out action adventure, as Ruby uncovers the dastardly plans of the formidable Fool's Gold Gang...
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Remarkable
"A lot of outlandish entertainment." —The New York Times

Everyone in Remarkable is remarkable. Everyone except Jane, that is. While the rest of the town is busy being talented, gifted, or just plain extraordinary, she's never been anything but ordinary. Then Jane finds herself in school with the mischievous Grimlet twins, and her life suddenly gets a whole lot more interesting. And when a strange pirate captain appears in town, setting of a series of adventures that put the whole town in danger, it's up to Jane to save the day. Along the way, she might just find that she can be pretty remarkable after all.

* "A rich, unforgettable story that's quite simply - amazing." Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* "Filled with clever word play, wholly unique situations, outlandish characters...Foley's novel is a remarkable, middle-grade gem."  —Booklist, starred review
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Rebel McKenzie
Rebel McKenzie wants to spend her summer attending the Ice Age Kids' Dig and Safari, a camp where kids discover prehistoric bones, right alongside real paleontologists.
 
But digs cost money, and Rebel is broker than four o'clock. When she finds out her annoying neighbor Bambi Lovering won five hundred dollars by playing a ukulele behind her head in a beauty contest, Rebel decides to win the Frog Level Volunteer Fire Department's beauty pageant. Rebel may not be a typical pageant contestant, but how hard can it be? Rebel's dramatic reading about life is the Pleistocene era is sure to blow away the competition.
 
It turns out that winning a beauty pageant is harder than it looks. By the end of the summer, Rebel has learned a thing or two about her true calling that will surprise everyone--most of all, herself.
release date: Jul 01, 2012
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Presidential Pets
It's been said that if you want a friend at the White House, get a dog. Or, we might add, perhaps a cat, bird, bear, or maybe an alligator! Throughout America's history, the presidential menagerie has included an array of creatures both big and small, ordinary and absurd.

This inside look at the White House's animal residents features a rollicking, rhyming verse for each commander-in-chief's pets, accompnied by cool facts, presidential stats, and laugh-out-loud cartoon art. John Quincy Adams kept an alligator in the bathtub, while Thomas Jefferson's pride and joy was his pair of bear cubs. Andrew Jackson had a potty-mouthed parrot, and Martin Van Buren got into a fight with Congress over his tow baby tigers. First daughter Caroline Kennedy's pony Macaroni had free riegn over the White House. But the pet-owningwinner of all the presidents was Theodore Roosevelt, who had a hyena, lion, zebra, badger, snake, rats, a nippy dog that bit the French ambassador, and more!
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Pip and the Wood Witch Curse
Dark, scary, and magnificently illustrated, this is a new series not to be missed! The great walled city of Hangman's Hollow is at war with the forest outside. Into this war, one dreadful night, fate delivers a skinny, helpless boy. But maybe Pip isn't as helpless as he seems. Maybe he is the one who will defeat the wood witches and rescue the children of Hangman's Hollow.
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Pickle

This is the story of THE LEAGUE OF PICKLEMAKERS

Ben: who began it all by sneaking in one night and filling homeroom with ball-pit balls.
Frank: who figured out that an official club, say a pickle-making club, could receive funding from the PTA.
Oliver: Who once convinced half of the class that his real parents had found him and he was going to live in a submarine.
Bean: Who wasn't exactly invited, but her parents own a costume shop, which comes in handy if you want to dress up like a giant squirrel and try to scare people at the zoo.

TOGETHER, they are an unstoppable prank-pulling force, and Fountain Point Middle School will never be the same.

Latino Interest.

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Liar & Spy

The instant New York Times bestseller from the author of the Newbery Medal book When You Reach Me: a story about spies, games, and friendship. Seventh grader Georges moves into a Brooklyn apartment building and meets Safer, a twelve-year-old self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer's first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: what is a lie, and what is a game? How far is too far to go for your only friend? Like the dazzling When You Reach Me, Liar & Spy will keep readers guessing until the end.

Praise for Liar & Spy

   • Guardian Prize for Children's Fiction (UK)
   • Texas' 2014-2015 Bluebonnet Master List
   • A Junior Library Guild Selection 
   • A New York Times Bestseller
   • An Indie Bestseller
   • Kirkus Reviews starred review
   • Publishers Weekly starred review
   • The Horn Book starred review
   • School Library Journal starred review
   • The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books starred review
   • Autumn 2012 Kids' Indie Next List
   • Nominated for the Best Fiction for Young Adults 2013
   • Kirkus Reviews Best of Children's Books 2012 List
   • Publishers Weekly Best of Children's Fiction 2012
   • School Library Journal Best of Children's Fiction 2012 List
   • The Horn Book's Best of 2012 List
   • Barnes & Noble Best Books of 2012 for Kids List
   • Amazon's Best of the Year, Middle Grade (#3)
   • A New York Times Book Review Notable Children's Book of 2012
   • Holiday gift guides: Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, LA Times
   • NPR Outstanding “Backseat” Reads for Ages 9-14, NPR's Backseat Book Club
   • One of The Atlantic Wire's 25 favorite middle grade and young adult book covers of 2012
   • The Wall Street Journal's Best Children's Books of 2012
   • The Chicago Public Library Best of the Best 2012
   • The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books 2012 Blue Ribbons List


From the Hardcover edition.
release date: Sep 04, 2012
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Legends of Zita the Spacegirl

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Ben Hatke brings back our intrepid space heroine for another delightful sci-fi/fantasy adventure. Zita is determined to find her way home to earth, following the events of the first book. But things are never simple, and certainly never easy, in space.

Zita's exploits from her first adventure have made her an intergalactic megastar! But she's about to find out that fame doesn't come without a price. And who can you trust when your true self is being eclipsed by your public persona, and you've got a robot doppelganger wreaking havoc . . . while wearing your face?

Still, if anyone can find their way through this intractible mess of mistaken identity and alien invaders, it's the indomitable Zita, in Legends of Zita the Spacegirl.

Legends of Zita the Spacegirl is one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Children's Books of 2012.

release date: Oct 25, 2011
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I Lay My Stitches Down
This rich and intricate collection of poems chronicles the various experiences of American slaves. Drawn together through imagery drawn from quilting and fiber arts, each poem is spoken from a different perspective: a house slave, a mother losing her daughter to the auction block, a blacksmith, a slave fleeing on the Underground Railroad.

This moving and eloquent set of poems, brought to life by vivid and colorful artwork from Michele Wood, offers a timeless witness to the hardship endured by America's slaves. Each poem is supplemented by a historical note.
release date: Sep 26, 2012
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Horrible Hauntings
This exciting new book brings to life--quite literally--ten famous hauntings from the annals of history. Using interactive augmented reality to enhance the images on the pages, readers are able to see and interact with 3-D ghosts, which appear to come alive and can be manipulated by the viewer.

Luscious illustrations of famous historical hauntings introduce readers to some of the most notorious and chilling ghosts throughout the ages. The Headless Horseman, the Flying Dutchman, Bloody Mary, the Amherst Poltergeist, and the Princes in the Tower are some of the eerie apparitions that inhabit this book in a totally new way as readers interact with the illustrations on the pages.
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The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom

Prince Liam. Prince Frederic. Prince Duncan. Prince Gustav. You've never heard of them, have you? These are the princes who saved Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, respectively, and yet, thanks to those lousy bards who wrote the tales, you likely know them only as Prince Charming. But all of this is about to change.

Rejected by their princesses and cast out of their castles, the princes stumble upon an evil plot that could endanger each of their kingdoms. Now it's up to them to triumph over their various shortcomings, take on trolls, bandits, dragons, witches, and other assorted terrors, and become the heroes no one ever thought they could be.

Christopher Healy's Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom is a completely original take on the world of fairy tales, the truth about what happens after “happily ever after.” It's a must-have for middle grade readers who enjoy their fantasy adventures mixed with the humor of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. Witty black-and-white drawings by Todd Harris add to the fun.

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Haunted Histories

Guided by tween "ghostorian" Virgil, readers will discover fascinating facts about calamitous events throughout history as they explore castles, palaces, and dungeons and those infamous figures associated with each. For instance, did you know that many castles were made out of wood painted to look like stone? Or that wealthy prisoners in the Tower of London could keep servants? Haunted Histories is chock-full of details that kids will find intriguing―dungeon life for prisoners, methods of torture, and even the most popular methods of poisoning enemies. So join Virgil and the other ghostly inhabitants for an historical adventure on the dark side.

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Haunted Caves
Haunted Caves (Scary Places) by Natalie Lunis
release date: Jan 01, 2012
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Hades

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Volume 4 of the highly acclaimed Olympians series!

Hades: Lord of the Dead tells the story of the great God of the Underworld and one of the most famous of all Greek myths: Hades' abduction of Persephone and her mother's revenge. Be prepared to see a new side of Persephone in this dynamic adaptation of the story of the creation of the seasons.
In Olympians, O'Connor draws from primary documents to reconstruct and retell classic Greek myths. But these stories aren't sedate, scholarly works. They're action-packed, fast-paced, high-drama adventures with monsters, romance, and not a few huge explosions. O'Connor's vibrant, kinetic art brings ancient tales to undeniable life in a perfect fusion of super-hero aesthetics and ancient Greek mythology.

Hades is a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of 2012

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Goosebumps Wanted
Goosebumps Wanted: The Haunted Mask, two spookily linked Halloween stories- now in paperback!

From horror master R.L. Stine come two new chilling stories in one spooky standalone:

Lu-Ann Franklin usually loves Halloween. Not this year. Her best friend, Devin O'Bannon, is going away for the week. And she has to go to a boring party where nothing exciting could ever happen. But when Lu-Ann comes face-to-face with The Haunted Mask, major trouble lies ahead.

Devin O'Bannon didn't want to leave his best friend Lu-Ann Franklin behind on Halloween. He didn't ask to go on this trip. And that was before he heard the strange scratching on his windows and saw the shadows moving around in the fields. Something is out there and it doesn't seem to want Devin around!
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Freaky Fast Frankie Joe
When twelve-year-old Frankie Joe's mother is sent to jail, he is uprooted from his home in Texas to live with the father he has never met, his father's wife, and his father's four "legitimate" sons in Illinois. Frankie Joe is miserable. Trying to adjust to his blended family proves too much to bear, so Frankie Joe hatches a plot to escape on his bike back home to Texas. For that he needs money, and so Frankie Joe's Freaky Fast Delivery Service is born. His deliveries win new friends, a place in the rural Illinois community, and a sense of achievement. But his planned escape is destroyed by a heartbreaking betrayal, and Frankie Joe needs all of his incredible resilience and the loving support of his new family to survive the devastating loss.
release date: Jun 05, 2012
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Dork Diaries 4
In the fourth book of the New York Times bestselling series that's as popular as it is dorky, Nikki Maxwell is determined to help out her crush!

Nikki Maxwell isn't at all surprised to find out that her crush Brandon volunteers at a local animal shelter. He's such a sweet guy—of course he wants to help those adorable puppies! Then Brandon tells her that the shelter is in danger of closing, and Nikki knows she can't let that happen. Especially when she discovers a shocking secret about Brandon that makes keeping that shelter open more important than ever. So Nikki and her friends Chloe and Zoey enter an ice skating competition to help raise money for the shelter, but (big surprise) Mackenzie has to stick her nose in and cause trouble so that she can be the one to swoop in and save the day. No way will Nikki let that happen: She'll just have to come up with some extra creative ideas this time!
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Dark Mansions
Dark Mansions (Scary Places) by Dinah Williams
release date: Aug 01, 2012
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Cardboard
When cardboard creatures come magically to life, a boy must save his town from disaster.

Cam's down-and-out father gives him a cardboard box for his birthday and he knows it's the worst present ever. So to make the best of a bad situation, they bend the cardboard into a man-and to their astonishment, it comes magically to life. But the neighborhood bully, Marcus, warps the powerful cardboard into his own evil creations that threaten to destroy them all!
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Broxo

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In this wildly entertaining fantasy debut we meet Broxo, the only surviving member of a tribe of barbarians who once occupied a now-desolate mountain. All alone in the world, Broxo spends his time on the mountain hunting and avoiding the man-eating walking dead that periodically drag themselves out of a fetid lake.

Everything changes when Zora, a foreign princess, arrives on the mountain seeking Broxo's lost tribe. Can the two young warriors together defeat the living dead?

With accessible and beautiful art, killer fight scenes, and a story that mixes humor, romance, and classic high fantasy, Broxo is a tale you're sure to enoy.

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The Boy Project
For anyone who's ever felt that boys were a different species....



Wildly creative seventh grader Kara McAllister just had her best idea yet. She's going to take notes on all of the boys in her grade (and a few elsewhere) in order to answer a seemingly simple question: How can she get a boyfriend?

But Kara's project turns out to be a lot more complicated than she imagined. Soon there are secrets, lies, and an embarrassing incident in the boy's bathroom. Plus, Kara has to deal with mean girls, her slightly spacey BFF, and some surprising uses for duct tape. Still, if Kara's research leads her to the right boy, everything may just be worth it. . . .

Full of charts and graphs, heart and humor, this hilarious debut will resonate with tweens everywhere.
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