2009 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 - 30 of 30 results
release date: Sep 02, 2010
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Zorgamazoo
Are You a Believer in Fanciful Things? In Pirates and Dragons and Creatures and Kings?

Then sit yourself down in a comfortable seat, with maybe some cocoa and something to eat, and I?ll spin you the tale of Katrina Katrell, a girl full of courage (and daring, as well!), who down in the subway, under the ground, saw something fantastical roaming around . . .

What was it she saw? I?d rather not say. (Who?s ever heard of a Zorgle, anyway?)

But if you are curious, clever and brave, if intrepid adventure is something you crave, then open this book and I?ll leave it to you to uncover the secret of ZORGAMAZOO!

Join Morty the Zorgle and Katrina on a fantastically illustrated, you?ll-wanna-read-every-word-aloud, sophisticated rhyming adventure for kids of all ages!

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Winning Words
With their fast-paced narration and dynamic, dramatic photos, these stories are guaranteed to pump up confidence, no matter your sport of choice.

Brian can't get a hit at bat until Coach reminds him to turn off his brain and get into the zone. Gillian loses her nerve on the high beam after hearing the crunch of another gymnast's fall, until the girls cheer her on, and she handsprings away from the sound in her head. From saving a disastrous football season to sharing the glory on the girls' soccer field, from a solo punch in karate to thrilling teamwork on the basketball court, these riveting stories and inspirational quotes capture a striving for personal best — and the exhilaration of mastering your fears.
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release date: Apr 01, 2008
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The Willoughbys
The Willoughby's—Timothy; his twin brothers, Barnaby A and Barnaby B; and their little sister, Jane—are old-fashioned children who adore old-fashioned adventures. Unfortunately, the Willoughby parents are not very fond of their children, and the truth is that the siblings are not too keen on their parents either. Little do the Willoughby kids know that their neglectful mother and father are hatching an evil plan to get rid of them! Not to worry—these resourceful adventurers have a few plans of their own. But they have no idea what lies ahead in their quest to rid themselves of their ghastly parents and live happily ever after.
release date: Jan 01, 2008
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Totally Crushed
Candy Apple is a fresh, fun take on fiction for girls: a new line of single titles with pep and pizzazz targeted at the solid middle-grade reader.

Pink for your friends. Red for your crush. What could be simpler?

Annabel is thrilled to find a red carnation at her locker on Valentine's Day. But when it turns out to be from her best guy friend Sam, things get messy - fast! Annabel could never like Sam THAT way. But her best friend Phoebe does! Annabel's perfect Valentine's Day is turning into a perfect disaster. Who knew a little red carnation could make life so complicated?
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A Thousand Never Evers
IN KUCKACHOO, MISSISSIPPI, 1963, Addie Ann Pickett worships her brother Elias and follows in his footsteps by attending the black junior high school. But when her careless act leads to her brother's disappearance and possible murder, Addie Ann, Mama, and Uncle Bump struggle with not knowing if he's dead or alive. Then a good deed meant to unite Kuckachoo sets off a chain of explosive events. Addie Ann knows Old Man Adams left his land to the white and black people to plant a garden and reap its bounty together, but the mayor denies it. On garden picking day, Addie Ann's family is sorely tested. Through tragedy, she finds the voice to lead a civil rights march all her own, and maybe change the future for her people.


From the Hardcover edition.
release date: Jan 01, 2009
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Thirteen
Winnie Perry is a teenager—at last! And it's a really big deal. A ginormous deal, that, wouldn't you know it, brings ginormous problems along with it. Winnie's bff #1 is growing up too slowly, while her bff #2 is growing up too fast, leaving Winnie stuck in the middle. Winnie's boyfriend, Lars, is fabulous—except when he's not. And as for Winnie's family, well, big changes are in the air! Beloved author Lauren Myracle returns with first kisses and near misses for everyone's favorite birthday girl.
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Swords
Be smitten by the sword! An extraordinary young artist brings the history of this noble weapon — and its skillful masters — into stunningly sharp relief.

Brave men and women have taken up the sword since ages of old, and a fascination with this formidable weapon grips dedicated followers to this day. Here is a celebration of swords and swordsmen that spans time and place — from ancient warriors such as Beowulf to medieval knights; from stealthy ninja and samurai to legendary maidens of war. Illustrated with breathtaking intricacy, SWORDS reflects the passion of a true devotee, offering lavish background details on design and use as well as exquisite spreads showcasing specimens in all their shining glory.
release date: Jan 01, 2008
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Stolen Children
When Amy agreed to baby-sit Kendra Edgerton, she had no idea she was stepping into a kidnapping plot. Two men force the girls out of the house and into a cabin in the woods, where they create DVDs to send to the families, in hopes of a large ransom from Kendra's wealthy parents. Using her wits and imagination, Amy stealthily sends clues to the police through the DVDs, but time is working against her: She has one week until her captors decide to return Kendra and get rid of Amy.
release date: Nov 25, 2009
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Sir Fartsalot Hunts the Booger
Things really stink in the Kingdom of Armpit. King Reginald the Not Very Realistic has had it up to here with his practical joker of a son Prince Harry. Even Sir Bedwetter can?t take the prince?s Royal Clowning Around!

Enter Sir Fartsalot?the bravest, boldest, er, most potent knight in all the land! He?s on a quest to solve the riddle of the Foul West Wind?a ghastly odor that turns up whenever danger is lurking. Prince Harry decides to play the biggest, boogeriest prank of all time! He convinces Sir Fartsalot that The Booger, a frightful and repulsive villain, is on the prowl. But when a real Booger turns up, Harry, Sir Fartsalot and the knight?s old buddy Sir Knotaclew must set out on a hilarious quest to rid the world of the Snotty Scoundrel, once and for all!

release date: Jan 01, 2008
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The Savage
Mysterious and utterly mesmerizing, this graphic-novel-within-a-novel
pairs the extraordinary prose of David Almond with the visual genius of
Dave McKean.


Blue Baker is writing a story — not all that stuff about wizards and fairies and happily ever after — a real story, about blood and guts and adventures, because that's what life's really like. At least it is for Blue, since his dad died and Hopper, the town bully, started knocking him and the other kids around. But Blue's story has a life of its own — weird and wild and magic and dark — and when the savage pays a nighttime visit to Hopper, Blue starts to wonder where he ends and his creation begins.
release date: Sep 01, 2009
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Pigling
From a life filled with heartache and hardship, comes an unmatched beauty destined for a fairy-tale ending: Pear Blossom, a young Korean girl, leads a happy life with her parents--until her mother dies and her father remarries. Her new wicked stepmother and stepsister make Pear Blossom the victim of their cruelty. They give her the nickname Pigling, or little pig, and do everything they can to torture her. But soon, magical creatures come to Pear Blossom's aid--and one day, the girl meets a handsome magistrate. Will Pear Blossom's luck change for the better? Or is she destined to suffer at her stepfamily's hands forever?
release date: Jun 25, 2009
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Peeled
Hildy Biddle wants something monumental to happen so she can finally prove herself to be more than a high school journalist. The problem? Her town?s biggest story stars a ghost, which is not an easy interview. But while the local paper is playing up people?s fears with shocking headlines of creepy happenings, Hildy is determined to discover what?s really going on. Unfortunately, her desire to uncover the truth is starting to cause a stir. With rumors swirling and tensions high, can Hildy push past all the hype and find out the real truth?
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Mystery of the Fool and the Vanisher
From the creator of FAIRIE-ALITY, an eerie tale-within-a-tale weaves stunning photographs into a thrilling, time-shifting mystery that leaves readers questioning what is real.

Some say the English Downs are haunted by fairy creatures — and that those who find a flint stone with a hole through it can look into the fairies' realm. It is just such a stone that leads photographer David Ellwand on a dark journey to the past, one that starts with a musty wooden chest and a nineteenth-century journal and ends with a disappearance as sudden as a vintage camera's flash. In this journal-within-a-journal, illustrated by Ellwand's exquisite photographs, lies a tale of archaeologists and fairies, human hubris and otherworldly revenge, the magic of the natural world and the mystery of the imagination.
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My One Hundred Adventures
THE WINNER OF a National Book Award, a Newbery Honor, and countless other awards has written her richest, most spirited book yet, filled with characters that readers will love, and never forget.

Jane is 12 years old, and she is ready for adventures, to move beyond the world of her siblings and single mother and their house by the sea, and step into the “know-not what.” And, over the summer, adventures do seem to find Jane, whether it's a thrilling ride in a hot-air balloon, the appearances of a slew of possible fathers, or a weird new friendship with a preacher and psychic wannabe. Most important, there's Jane's discovery of what lies at the heart of all great adventures: that it's not what happens to you that matters, but what you learn about yourself.

And don't miss Polly Horvath's Northward to the Moon, the sequel to My One Hundred Adventures.


From the Hardcover edition.
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My Letter to the World and Other Poems
Visions in Poetry is an innovative and award-winning series of classic poems reinterpreted for today's readers by outstanding contemporary artists in distinctively beautiful editions.

This is My Letter to the World and Other Poems by Emily Dickinson is brilliantly illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault. The artist's interpretation displays a rich understanding of Dickinson's poetry, which is known for its economy, unexpected imagery and hauntingly personal point of view.

Arsenault has created a subtle meditation on Dickinson's life and its intersection with her verse. In the dream-like illustrations, the poet --- sometimes serene, often sad and always enigmatic --- is an omnipresent figure in her ghostly white dress. Dickinson's ?letters,? the words she left to the world, have found their ideal visual complement.
release date: May 01, 2011
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The Magician
The New York Times bestseller now in paperback!

In the second book in the New York Times bestselling series, Nicholas, Sophie, Josh, and Scatty emerge in Paris, the City of Light, home to Nicholas Flamel. Only this homecoming is anything but sweet. Niccolò Machiavelli, immortal author and celebrated art collector, lives in Paris and is working for Dr. John Dee. He's in hot pursuit, and time is running out for Nicholas and Perenell. Josh and Sophie Newman are the world's only hope. . . . If they don't turn on each other first.

★ “Readers will be swept up.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred

“An exciting and impeccably thought-out fantasy, well-suited for those left in the lurch by Harry Potter's recent exeunt.”—Booklist

“Fans . . . will certainly find much to love, root for, and fear in this successful second installment.”—School Library Journal
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Jimmy's Stars

It's September 1943, and eleven-year-old Ellie McKelvey's older brother, Jimmy, has just been drafted. Jimmy has a joyful heart and a kind word for everyone, and he's the only person who thinks Ellie is smart and funny and as beautiful as Lana Turner, the movie star. Ellie can hardly stand to see him go. With Jimmy gone, Aunt Toots moves into his bedroom, Ellie's mother takes a war job at a factory, and everything in Ellie's life seems upside down. But she figures that the war will be over and Jimmy home by Christmas, so as much as she misses him, she keeps her spirits up. Even as families in the neighborhood begin to receive telegrams informing them that their boys are wounded or worse, Ellie never stops believing in Jimmy.

In her second work of historical fiction, Mary Ann Rodman captures all the authentic details of life on the homefront during World War II, as well as the fierce love a sister has for her beloved big brother.

Jimmy's Stars is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
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It's Only Temporary
A novel in words and sketches. ?It?s only temporary,? twelve-year-old Skye McPhee writes in her sketchbook after being shipped off to her gran?s in Sierre Madre, California. After all, her parents have their hands full taking care of her older brother, who?s been severely injured in a car accident. So now Skye is in a new school sketching new kids and trying to stay invisible until she can return home.

But her new life starts turning out better than she hoped; she?s making cool friends, and being away from her brother is actually drawing her closer to him. And then her sketchbook disappears and everything changes. Suddenly, Skye realizes that she doesn?t want her life in Sierra Madre to be temporary after all. But does she have a choice?

release date: Mar 05, 2009
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Gods of Manhattan
Thirteen-year-old New Yorker Rory Hennessy can see things no one else can. When a magician's trick opens his eyes to Mannahatta, Rory finds an amazing spirit city coexisting alongside modern-day Manhattan. A place where Indian sachems, warrior cockroaches, and papier-mƒch‚ children live, ruled by the immortal Gods of Manhattan - including Babe Ruth, Alexander Hamilton, and Peter Stuyvesant. But Rory's power to see Mannahatta brings danger, and he is pursued by enemies, chasing history and trying to free those who have been enslaved. And when he is given the chance to right Mannahatta's greatest wrong, seeing Mannahatta may not be a gift after all. . . .
release date: Jan 01, 2008
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The Diamond of Darkhold
It's been several months since Lina and Doon escaped the dying city of Ember and, along with the rest of their people, joined the town of Sparks. Now, struggling through the harsh winter aboveground, they find an unusual book. Torn up and missing most of its pages, it alludes to a mysterious device from before the Disaster, which they believe is still in Ember. Together, Lina and Doon must go back underground to retrieve what was lost and bring light to a dark world.

In the fourth Book of Ember, bestselling author Jeanne DuPrau juxtaposes yet another action-packed adventure with powerful themes about hope, learning, and the search for truth.


From the Hardcover edition.
release date: May 27, 2008
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The Crossroads
ZACK, HIS DAD, and new stepmother have just moved back to his father's hometown, not knowing that their new house has a dark history. Fifty years ago, a crazed killer caused an accident at the nearby crossroads that took 40 innocent lives. He died when his car hit a tree in a fiery crash, and his malevolent spirit has inhabited the tree ever since. During a huge storm, lightning hits the tree, releasing the spirit, who decides his evil spree isn't over . . . and Zack is directly in his sights.

Award-winning thriller author Chris Grabenstein fills his first book for younger readers with the same humorous and spine-tingling storytelling that has made him a fast favorite with adults.
release date: Jun 24, 2008
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Duel!

In the early morning hours of July 11, 1804, two men stood facing each other on a New Jersey cliff side. One was the U.S. vice president, Aaron Burr, and the other was Alexander Hamilton, the secretary of the treasury. They were ready to fight to the death for honor.

These Founding Fathers, once friends and colleagues, had become the bitterest of enemies. After years of escalating tension, Burr had finally challenged Hamilton to a duel. In the end, only one man survived, but their infamous rivalry lives on.

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Dance!
This book will help you discover the dancer within you--whether you want to dance onstage or just be comfortable boogying in your room. You'll find tips for getting over nerves and learn how to become your own choreographer. Most of all, you'll see how dancing

can make you stronger, happier, and more confident!
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Bronte's Book Club
Bronte Bella had just moved to sunny California from her mountain town in New Mexico. Living right by a beach is wonderful, but word-loving, quirky Bronte is worried she won't fit in. She starts a book club to make new friends, but at first no one comes in this story about trust and friendship.
release date: Feb 05, 2009
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The Big Field
Playing shortstop is a way of life for Hutch?not only is his hero, Derek Jeter, a shortstop, but so was his father, a former local legend turned pro. Which is why having to play second base feels like demotion to second team. Yet that?s where Hutch ends up after Darryl ?D-Will? Williams, the best shortstop prospect since A-Rod, joins the team. But Hutch is nothing if not a team player, and he?s cool with playing in D-Will?s shadow?until, that is, the two shortstops in Hutch?s life betray him in a way he never could have imagined. With the league championship on the line, just how far is Hutch willing to bend to be a good teammate?
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Curse of the Night Wolf
BARNABY GRIMES IS a tick-tock lad, running errands in his city, day and night, and “highstacking” around the rooftops in search of new mysteries to solve. In this first adventure, Barnaby is attacked one night by an enormous dog and soon finds himself swept up in a world of crooked doctors, poor and ill-advised patients, strange tonics, and very expensive furs. . . .
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As If Being 12 3/4 Isn't Bad Enough (My Mother Is Running for President)

Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Abraham Lincoln . . . at one point, they all ran for president. And so is Vanessa Rothrock's mother!
 
As if being 12 3/4 isn't bad enough, Vanessa Rothrock's mother is running for president and it's ruining her life. Isn't it enough that her enormous feet trip her up all the time, even on stage during the school spelling bee? Isn't it enough that Reginald Trumball, love of Vanessa's pathetic life, read her personal and private list of deficiencies to some boy she doesn't even know? And that the Boob Fairy hasn't visited her even once?! Doesn't Mom realize that Vanessa needs her more than the rest of the country? More importantly, doesn't she realize that she may be in grave danger? Vanessa's receiving threatening notes at school–notes that imply some psycho has it out for her mother at the Democratic National Convention. Vanessa might be the only person who can save her. But does she have the courage to do what that requires?
 
This hilarious debut novel about a girl who gets thrust into the campaign trail will have you laughing out loud and thanking your lucky stars that your mom never decided to enter a national election.
 

“Gephart maintains the humor even as the stakes rise. . . . An intelligent look at primaries, caucuses and nominating conventions.” –Publishers Weekly
 
“Readers learn about the political process and motivations of people who work in this milieu.” –SLJ
 




From the Hardcover edition.
release date: Jan 01, 2008
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Prince of the Elves (Amulet #5)
Graphic novel star Kazu Kibuishi creates a world of terrible, man-eating demons, a mechanical rabbit, a talking fox, a giant robot---and two ordinary children on a mission.

After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids' mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals.
Eventually, they enlist the help of a small mechanical rabbit named Miskit. Together with Miskit, they face the most terrifying monster of all, and Em finally has the chance to save someone she loves.
release date: Oct 01, 2008
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100 Most Dangerous Things On The Planet
Learn how to face and survive the most dangerous and disastrous things that could possibly happen!

From natural disasters to dangerous weather, from the dangers of getting lost in the wild to fighting off dangerous animals, any child can imagine the special skills they'll need to combat 100 real-life dramas.

Each danger is rated by how likely you are to encounter it, as well as how likely you are to survive; from the unlikely event of being struck by a meteor (with minimal chance of surviving), or being attacked by a bear, to the more likely event of successfully surviving a flood or forest fire.
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The Maze of Bones (39 Clues, No. 1)
The first book in the #1 bestselling phenomenon sends readers around the world on the hunt for the 39 Clues!

Minutes before she died Grace Cahill changed her will, leaving her decendants an impossible decision: "You have a choice - one million dollars or a clue."

Grace is the last matriarch of the Cahills, the world's most powerful family. Everyone from Napoleon to Houdini is related to the Cahills, yet the source of the family power is lost. 39 Clues hidden around the world will reveal the family's secret, but no one has been able to assemble them. Now the clues race is on, and young Amy and Dan must decide what's important: hunting clues or uncovering what REALLY happened to their parents.
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