2012 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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1 - 23 of 23 results
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Zita the Spacegirl

A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Zita's life took a cosmic left turn in the blink of an eye.

When her best friend is abducted by an alien doomsday cult, Zita leaps to the rescue and finds herself a stranger on a strange planet. Humanoid chickens and neurotic robots are shocking enough as new experiences go, but Zita is even more surprised to find herself taking on the role of intergalactic hero. Before long, aliens in all shapes and sizes don't even phase her. Neither do ancient prophecies, doomed planets, or even a friendly con man who takes a mysterious interest in Zita's quest.

Zita the Spacegirl is a fun, captivating tale of friendship and redemption from Flight veteran Ben Hatke. It also has more whimsical, eye-catching, Miyazaki-esque monsters than you can shake a stick at.

release date: Aug 17, 2011
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The Worst-Case Scenario Survive-o-pedia
It's the best of the worst! This hardcover, full-color edition of the popular series loved by parents and kids alike serves up a wild ride through mudslides, volcanos, shark-infested oceans, menacing mountains, and more. Seventy entries are packed with illuminating facts, eye-popping photos, hilarious illustrations, must-see maps, heaps of humor, and step-by-step instructions. Readers will be armed with the knowledge and skills needed to survive anything and live to tell about it!
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Wonderstruck
From Brian Selznick, the creator of the Caldecott Medal winner The Invention of Hugo Cabret, comes another breathtaking tour de force.

Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Brian Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory and takes readers on an awe-inspiring journey.

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.
 
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The Unwanteds
A riveting middle-grade dystopian novel from New York Times bestselling Wake author Lisa McMann that Kirkus Reviews calls “The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter.”

When Alex finds out he is Unwanted, he expects to die. That is the way of the people of Quill. Each year, all the thirteen-year-olds are labeled as Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Wanteds get more schooling and train to join the Quillitary. Necessaries keep the farms running. Unwanteds are set for elimination.
It's hard for Alex to leave behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted, but he makes peace with his fate—until he discovers that instead of a “death farm,” what awaits him is a magical place called Artimé. There, Alex and his fellow Unwanteds are encouraged to cultivate their creative abilities and use them magically. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it's a wondrous transformation.
But it's a rare, unique occurrence for twins to be divided between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron's bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artimé that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate magical battle.
release date: May 01, 2011
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Unsinkable
The ultimate action/adventure trilogy begins, with #1 bestselling author Gordon Korman plunging readers into the heart of the Titanic.

The Titanic is meant to be unsinkable, but as it begins its maiden voyage, there's plenty of danger waiting for four of its young passengers. Paddy is a stowaway, escaping a deadly past. Sophie's mother is delivered to the ship by police - after she and Sophie have been arrested. Juliana's father is an eccentric whose riches can barely hide his madness. And Alfie is hiding a secret that could get him kicked off the ship immediately.
The lives of these four passengers will be forever linked with the fate of Titanic. And the farther they get from shore, the more the danger looms. . . .
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Ten
New York Times bestseller Lauren Myracle's long-awaited prequel to Eleven!

Winnie Perry is turning ten and ten is BIG. It means double digits, more responsibility, and being an almost-middle-schooler. Ten means that Winnie can handle anything, even a three-year-old baby brother and a practically teenage (and acting like it) older sister. And with her best friend, Amanda, by her side, Winnie plans on enjoying every last second of her last year in grade school.
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Storm Runners
Book one in Roland Smith's middle-grade action-adventure series--now in paperback!

Chase Masters and his father are "storm runners," racing across the country in pursuit of hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods. Anywhere bad weather strikes, they are not far behind. Chase is learning more on the road than he ever would just sitting in a classroom. But when the hurricane of the century hits, he will be tested in ways he never could have imagined.
release date: Aug 01, 2011
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Stir It Up: A Novel
A Trinidadian-American girl's dream is challenged by her family

Thirteen-year-old Anjali's life is rich with the smell of curry from her parents' roti shop and an absolute passion for food. More than anything, Anjali wants to be a chef who competes on a kids' cooking reality TV show. But Anjali must keep her wish a secret from her family, who thinks Anjali's passions are beneath her. Thank goodness for Deema, Anjali's grandmother, whose insight and love can push past even the oldest family beliefs. Woven with recipes that cook up emotions and actual culinary recipes that make food, this novel is as delicious as it is satisfying.
release date: Aug 04, 2011
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Stickman Odyssey 1
When Zozimos is banished by an evil witch (his stepmother!) from the kingdom of Sticatha-the kingdom he was next in line to rule-he trains at battle (if you call chasing after butterflies training), travels across stormy seas (thanks for that, Poseidon), slays golems and monsters (with a lot of help), charms beautiful women (not really), and somehow (despite his own ineptitude) survives quest after quest. By the love of Zeus, though, none of it brings him any closer to home!

It does, however, make for one quirky, original, giggle-provoking graphic novel sure to appeal to any kid interested in Greek mythology, or merely looking for an entertaining read.
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Sound Bender
A roaring, supernatural adventure that spans New York, and the globe!

After their parents' plane goes down over the ocean, Leo and his brother Hollis are forced into the custody of their rich and enigmatic uncle Crane, a dealer of rare and probably illicit antiques. But almost as soon as he's settled--or as close to settled as he can get in the bleak Brooklyn mansion, surrounded by his uncle's dubious staff--Leo receives a mysterious package his father put together long ago, to be opened on his 13th birthday. With the package, Leo discovers he has an amazing ability. He can hear the history of any object by touching it. But when Leo finds a strange helmet buried among his uncle's artifacts, and hears a pained cry coming from it, a mystery unravels as to its origin.
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Saving Zasha
In post-WWII Russia, one boy dares to save an entire race of outlawed dogs -- the German shepherd!

World War II has just ended when thirteen-year-old Mikhail finds a dying man and his German shepherd, Zasha, in the woods. It's dangerous -- some say traitorous -- to own a German dog after Germany attacked Russia, so Mikhail must keep Zasha a secret to keep her alive.
But Mikhail's rival, Katia, is determined to find the dog she is sure he's hiding. At the same time, a soldier named Dimitri is breeding a new Russian dog at a nearby farm. So many dogs were lost in combat, to starvation, and in the slaughter of German dogs that the country is in dire need of every kind of dog.
Dimitri, too, has suspicions of Zasha's existance, and would like nothing more than to add her to his breeding program. He'll have to compete with the armed dog thieves who are also on her trail.
Mikhail's inspiring journey to save his best friend, the last German shepherd in Russia, forces him to face some of life's hardest lessons about war, hate, forgiveness, hope, love, and man's best friend.
release date: May 03, 2011
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Racing in the Rain

Have you ever wondered what your dog is thinking?

Meet one funny dog—Enzo, the lovable mutt who tells this story. Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: most dogs love to chase cars, but Enzo longs to race them. He learns about racing and the world around him by watching TV and by listening to the words of his best friend, Denny, an up-and-coming race car driver, and his daughter, Zoë, his constant companion. Enzo finds that life is just like being on the racetrack—it isn't simply about going fast. And, applying the rules of racing to his world, Enzo takes on his family's challenges and emerges a hero. In the end, Enzo holds in his heart the dream that Denny will go on to be a racing champion with his daughter by his side. For theirs is an extraordinary friendship—one that reminds us all to celebrate the triumph of the human (and canine) spirit.

This is a special adaptation for young people of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling adult novel The Art of Racing in the Rain.

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Quarterback Season
Matt expects to be the starting quarterback on his middle school team. But after a few practices watching Devro, a talented seventh grader, he s starting to get nervous. To make matters worse, his English teacher is on his case about a new class assignment: he has to keep a journal. Matt is sure he has nothing to write about until he begins to record the crazy ups and downs of his team s season. Devro may be the least of his worries...
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Prince of Dorkness
With his newfound vampire powers and his girlfriend Chloe, Nigel Mullet is finally happy and popular as the school year begins. But then a new guy, Jason, appears at school. All the girls think he's better looking than Nigel. He's definitely stronger and faster than Nigel. And he's just stolen Nigel's girlfriend. What's a totally lame vampire to do?

Write bad poetry, get regularly beaten up by his little sister now that he's too weak to retaliate, and spy on his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend. . . . Eventually Nigel follows Jason and his family to the park in the middle of the night and is stunned to see them all transform into werewolves.

Will the truth win Chloe back? Or will Nigel be left howling at the moon in frustration?
release date: Mar 01, 2011
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Lost and Found
A collection of three jaw-dropping stories: THE RED TREE, THE LOST THING, and THE RABBITS, by New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Shaun Tan

A girl finds a bright spot in a dark world. A boy leads a strange, lost creature home. And a group of peaceful creatures loses their home to cruel invaders. Three stories, written and illustrated by Shaun Tan, about how we lose and find what matters most to us.

Never widely available in the U.S., these tales are presented in their entirety with new artwork and author's notes.
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Okay for Now
As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him. So begins a coming-of-age masterwork full of equal parts comedy and tragedy from Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt. As Doug struggles to be more than the “skinny thug” that his teachers and the police think him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer—a fiery young lady who “smelled like daisies would smell if they were growing in a big field under a clearing sky after a rain.” In Lil, Doug finds the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a whole town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon's birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage. In this stunning novel, Schmidt expertly weaves multiple themes of loss and recovery in a story teeming with distinctive, unusual characters and invaluable lessons about love, creativity, and survival.

release date: Apr 12, 2011
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How to Survive Anything
Let's face it. With school pressures, social pressures, parental pressures...the teenage years are tough. Your best friend is with you one day, dating your crush the next. But it could be worse! You could be face-to-face with an angry grizzly, or chest-deep in quicksand. Never fear, National Geographic has the solution! In this hilariously informative take on surviving the trials of middle school and the jungles of South America, we combine our expertise on nature and adventure with the fun-and-learning approach of our Nat Geo style...and voila, the perfect advice to conquer any obstacle, whether it threatens life or social status or both. Edgy, young, authoritative, and amusingly illustrated, this title will grab the attention of young teens and gift-buyers alike.
release date: Aug 01, 2010
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Ghostly Alcatraz Island
Relates stories of ghosts that are supposed to haunt the island's former prison.
Title: Ghostly Alcatraz Island
Author: Person, Stephen/ Taylor, Troy (CON)
Publisher: Bearport Pub Co Inc
Publication Date: 2010/08/01
Number of Pages: 32
Binding Type: LIBRARY
Library of Congress: 2010011128
release date: Jan 01, 2011
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Dork Diaries 3
Rachel Renee Russell serves up more laughs and adorable illustrations in the next installment of the bestselling DORK DIARIES series.

Nikki Maxwell has been doing everything she can to keep everyone at school from learning the truth--that she's there on scholarship in exchange for her Dad working as the school's exterminator. The last thing Nikki needs is having her friends and--worst case scenario--her crush, Brandon, associating her with the humongous roach on top of her Dad's van! Now it looks like her secret could be about to come out, and Nikki's willing to go to any zany and wacky length to prevent that from happening. The timing seems perfect when a major talent competition is announced with a school scholarship offered as the top prize. Nikki loves to sing and dance and now she gets to have tons of fun with her friends while competing for a chance to free her Dad from his obligation! (And free herself from all that potential damage to her reputation . . .) Once again, hijinks and misunderstandings aplenty ensue, as well as more hilarious and heartwarming moments with Nikki and her friends.
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Cursed Grounds
Presents eleven cursed places around the world, including a ruined city people are afraid to enter, a rocky creek where a dead woman's spirit is said to drown swimmers, and the frozen grave of a man who lived more than 5,000 years ago.
Title: Cursed Grounds
Author: Stern, Steven L.
Publisher: Bearport Pub Co Inc
Publication Date: 2011/01/01
Number of Pages: 32
Binding Type: LIBRARY
Library of Congress: 2010041162
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Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading

Charlie Joe Jackson may be the most reluctant reader ever born. And so far, he's managed to get through life without ever reading an entire book from cover to cover. But now that he's in middle school, avoiding reading isn't as easy as it used to be. And when his friend Timmy McGibney decides that he's tired of covering for him, Charlie Joe finds himself resorting to desperate measures to keep his perfect record intact.

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald is the hilarious story of an avid non-reader and the extreme lengths to which he'll go to get out of reading a book.

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Quest for the Spark
The thrilling conclusion to the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling Quest for the Spark trilogy!

The Nacht is growing stronger, and it's a race against time for Tom Elm and friends to find the final piece of the Spark before the entire Valley--and possibly the world--are plunged into eternal darkness. In this installment, the Queen of the Sky is brought down in the Pawa Mountains and our intrepid band of heroes is separated. What secrets can be found deep inside the mountains' caverns? Will the great mountain cat, Roque Ja, be ally or enemy? And will one of their very own betray them to evil?
release date: Jan 01, 2011
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Bad Island
Something on this island is up to no good . . .

When Reese is forced to go on a boating trip with his family, the last thing he expects is to be shipwrecked on an island-especially one teeming with weird plants and animals. But what starts out as simply a bad vacation turns into a terrible one, as the castaways must find a way to escape while dodging the island's dangerous inhabitants. With few resources and a mysterious entity on the hunt, each secret unlocked could save them . . . or spell their doom. One thing Reese knows for sure: This is one Bad Island.
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