2008 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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Yu the Great
This graphic novel tells the legend of Yu the Great, a Chinese hero from the twenty-first century B.C. Some scholars believe Yu actually existed and that he founded the Xia Dynasty, the first Chinese empire described in historical records. Some later Chinese texts describe Yu as a kind and strong emperor whose engineering projects saved China from frequent floods. But in Chinese legend, as in this book, Yu is descended from the gods and born from a golden dragon. He saves China from floods by using magical soil to plug underwater springs, with the help of a tortoise, an owl, and a dragon.
release date: Jan 01, 2006
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Wildwood Dancing
High in the Transylvanian woods, at the castle Piscul Draculi, live five daughters and their doting father. It's an idyllic life for Jena, the second eldest, who spends her time exploring the mysterious forest with her constant companion, a most unusual frog. But best by far is the castle's hidden portal, known only to the sisters. Every Full Moon, they alone can pass through it into the enchanted world of the Other Kingdom. There they dance through the night with the fey creatures of this magical realm.

But their peace is shattered when Father falls ill and must go to the southern parts to recover, for that is when cousin Cezar arrives. Though he's there to help the girls survive the brutal winter, Jena suspects he has darker motives in store. Meanwhile, Jena's sister has fallen in love with a dangerous creature of the Other Kingdom--an impossible union it's up to Jena to stop.

When Cezar's grip of power begins to tighten, at stake is everything Jena loves: her home, her family, and the Other Kingdom she has come to cherish. To save her world, Jena will be tested in ways she can't imagine--tests of trust, strength, and true love.


From the Hardcover edition.
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When the Shadbush Blooms
My grandparents' grandparents walked beside the same stream where I walk with my brother, and we can see what they saw.

Today when a Lenape Indian girl ventures to the stream to fish for shad, she knows that another girl did the same generations before. Through the cycle of the seasons, what is important has remained: being with family, knowing when berries are ripe for picking, listening to stories in a warm home.

Told by Traditional Sister and Contemporary Sister, each from her own time, this is a book about tradition and about change. Then and now are not so very different when the shadbush blooms.
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Twelve
The only thing more exciting than being eleven . . . is turning twelve!

Winnie Perry went through a lot when she was eleven, from shifting friendships to her teenage sister's mood swings. But now that Winnie is twelve—and one step closer to being a teenager herself—there is so much more to deal with. Will her new friendship with Dinah last? Can she handle the pressures of junior high? And, most important, will Winnie survive bra shopping (in public!) with Mom?

Bestselling author Lauren Myracle again sharply observes a year in the life of a winning young heroine whose humor, daring, and compassion for others is infectious and unforgettable.

release date: Sep 01, 2007
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Spatulatta Cookbook
A cookbook for kids based on the Spatulatta Cooking 4 Kids Online website featuring the Gerasole sisters, Isabella (age 10) and Olivia (age 8).

This fabulous cookbook for kids features Isabella and Olivia Gerasole, the adorable and charming hosts on www.spatulatta.com. A cooking for kids website that recently won a 2006 James Beard Award, which is the equivalent of an Oscar in the culinary world. Their kid-friendly recipes range from basic "Mom's the Star Toast" to a peek into various ethnic cuisines like "Yumbo Gumbo." The cookbook is arranged by season and also includes special sections devoted to snacks and vegetarian recipes along with easy-to-follow basic cooking skills and weights and measures.
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The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley
Human beings live for quite a long time and for a lot of that time we are not happy. We want to be taller, shorter, fatter, thinner, older and younger. We want our straight hair to be curly, our curly hair to be straight and our brown eyes to be blue. We hate our parents, children, teachers, students and everybody. We want to be somewhere else with someone else, eating something else and wearing something fantastic no one else can afford, and we want to splash them as we drive by in our big red car.

Rats live for quite a short time and for most of that time they are very, very happy...

This laugh-out-loud picture book will appeal to people - and rats - of all ages. A truly unique picture book by Thompson and Lissiat presents life lessons with gentle humor and satire.
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Secret of the Sirens

"Col felt a stab of fear in his stomach. The Sirens were now close enough for him to see their crimson mouths open in a scream, pale faces blazing with white-hot anger, their bird claws tearing at the air."

When eleven-year-old Connie is sent to live with her eccentric aunt by the sea, she's not expecting anything great—not to make friends with Col, the coolest guy in town, and certainly not to discover that mythical creatures still exist, that an ancient society has protected them for centuries, and that a dark and treacherous force is lurking in their midst. Most of all, she doesn't expect to learn that she has the rarest of talents, greater even than her secret ability to communicate with animals. With Col's help, she could achieve unimaginable power—and face the terrifying choices that come with it.

In the tradition of Eragon, A Wrinkle in Time, and The Golden Compass, the first book in the Companions Quartet is a boldly original adventure that will ignite the imaginations and emotions of fantasy readers everywhere.

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The Phantom Isles
The book is called The Compleat Necromancer, and when Ming, Orion, and Courtney read an incantation from its pages, they have no way of knowing they are about to conjure up the ghosts of an entire nation. Because the ghosts that the three friends summon aren't just any ghosts. They were captured from an island in the middle of the Indian Ocean--the Ilhas dos Fantasmas--a place where the living and the dead once coexisted peacefully. Now confined to the pages of a few dozen library books in a New England town that's thousands of miles from their home, the ghosts must rely on the children and a determined librarian to free them before they are lost forever.
release date: Jun 28, 2011
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Middle School Is Worse Than Meatloaf
Ginny has ten items on her big to-do list for seventh grade. None of them, however, include accidentally turning her hair pink. Or getting sent to detention for throwing frogs in class. Or losing the lead role in the ballet recital to her ex-best friend. Or the thousand other things that can go wrong between September and June. But it looks like it's shaping up to be that kind of a year!

As readers follow Ginny throughout the story of her year, told entirely through her stuff—notes from classmates, school reports, emails, poems, receipts, and cartoons from her perpetually-in-trouble older brother Harry—a portrait emerges of a funny, loveable, thoughtful girl struggling to be herself…whoever that person turns out to be.
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Lawn Boy
One day I was 12 years old and broke. Then Grandma gave me Grandpa's old riding lawnmower. I set out to mow some lawns. More people wanted me to mow their lawns. And more and more. . . . One client was Arnold the stockbroker, who offered to teach me about "the beauty of capitalism. Supply and Demand. Diversify labor. Distribute the wealth." "Wealth?" I said. "It's groovy, man," said Arnold.

If I'd known what was coming, I might have climbed on my mower and putted all the way home to hide in my room. But the lawn business grew and grew. So did my profits, which Arnold invested in many things. And one of them was Joey Pow the prizefighter. That's when my 12th summer got really interesting.


From the Hardcover edition.
release date: Jul 01, 2007
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The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo's undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo's dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.
by: Al Gore
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An Inconvenient Truth
Former Vice President Al Gore's New York Times #1 bestselling book is a daring call to action, exposing the shocking reality of how humankind has aided in the destruction of our planet and the future we face if we do not take action to stop global warming. Now, Viking has adapted this book for the most important audience of all: today's youth, who have no choice but to confront this climate crisis head-on.

Dramatic full-color photos, illustrations, and graphs combine with Gore's effective and clear writing to explain global warming in very real terms: what it is, what causes it, and what will happen if we continue to ignore it. An Inconvenient Truth will change the way young people understand global warming and hopefully inspire them to help change the course of history.

release date: Mar 01, 2009
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Hottest NASCAR Machines
Read about the cars, the races, and the exciting personalities of NASCAR! This book explores the world of stock car racing and gives fans insight into all that goes into a big race.
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Girl Wonders
At 12 1/2, Alexandra has more questions than she has answers: "Free to be me...or does being me have a price? And if so, how much should I charge?" and "Will my dad and I ever be able to communicate? Am I talking in a voice only elves can hear?" Luckily, with some help from her cabaret-lounge-singer mother (really, she sings on top of pianos) and an all-too-honest Very Best Friend, this plucky heroine is perfectly poised for teendom.

An entertaining, right-on-target read for every preteen girl interested in friends, family, crushes, and cliques. Narrative voice is inspiring and informative about such topics as Double-Mom Theory and the mating habits of Tungara frogs.
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Feathers
A Newbery Honor Book

A beautiful and moving novel from a three-time Newbery Honor-winning author


“Hope is the thing with feathers” starts the poem Frannie is reading in school. Frannie hasn't thought much about hope. There are so many other things to think about. Each day, her friend Samantha seems a bit more “holy.” There is a new boy in class everyone is calling the Jesus Boy. And although the new boy looks like a white kid, he says he's not white. Who is he?

During a winter full of surprises, good and bad, Frannie starts seeing a lot of things in a new light—her brother Sean's deafness, her mother's fear, the class bully's anger, her best friend's faith and her own desire for “the thing with feathers.”

Jacqueline Woodson once again takes readers on a journey into a young girl's heart and reveals the pain and the joy of learning to look beneath the surface.


"[Frannie] is a wonderful role model for coming of age in a thoughtful way, and the book offers to teach us all about holding on to hope."—Children's Literature

"A wonderful and necessary purchase for public and school libraries alike."—VOYA
 

release date: Aug 01, 2007
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Encyclopedia Horrifica
Bursting with eerie photos and Special Investigations, a nonfiction compendium of all things ghoulish and ghastly--from Aliens to Zombies!

Vampires, ghosts, monsters, and more--ENCYCLOPEDIA HORRIFICA invites you to join our quest for the terrifying truth about all things ghoulish and ghastly. But beware! Surprises lurk at the turn of every page. . . .

Discover a time line of ALIEN LIFE on earth--beginning 4 billion years ago! Meet a man recruited by the U.S. government to become a PSYCHIC SUPERSPY. Spend a dark and stormy night with professional GHOSTBUSTERS. Visit a mysterious library in search of DRACULA's shocking origins. Witness new photos of the actual sea monster that inspired the mythical KRAKEN. And much more!
by:
release date: Aug 01, 2007
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Eli Remembers
Year after year, Eli watches the solemn lighting of seven candles at his family's celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. But these happy occasions are always tinged with sadness, and Eli doesn't understand why. Then one year he travels to Eastern Europe and finally hears the stories that for generations have been too painful to share. As Eli learns how the candles represent his family's sad connection to the Holocaust in Lithuania, he also learns a lesson about the importance of remembering. Subtle, yet powerful illustrations underscore the message of this picture book for older readers.
release date: Sep 01, 2007
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The Down-to-Earth Guide To Global Warming
From the producer of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH comes a powerful, kid-friendly, and engaging book that will get kids get interested in the environment!

Irreverent and entertaining, DOWN TO EARTH is filled with fact about global warming and its disastrous consequences, loads of photos and illustrations, as well as suggestions for how kids can help combat global warming in their homes, schools, and communities. Engagingly designed, DOWN TO EARTH will educate and empower, leaving readers with the knowledge they need to understand this problem and a sense of hope to inspire them into action.
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Diary of a Renaissance Man
Inspired by such literary greats as Paul Laurence Dunbar and Langston Hughes, poet John D. Evans captures the struggle and survival of African American poetry in his fifth book. With titles like The Song of Mockingbirds, Definition of Life, and That Night at the Martinique, the diary reveals messages of life and hope. This ponder-worthy journey will enlighten readers of all ages.
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Demonkeeper
Demons are all around us—most of them are relatively harmless, like the ones that go bump in the night or make you stub your toe. But some are dangerous—some can kill. Since he was orphaned as a boy, Nat has been trained by his aged mentor Daliwahl to be a demonkeeper, controlling a menagerie of demons in their old, rickety house in Seattle. But now Dahliwahl is gone and Nat is on his own.

Keeping demons isn't a very social activity, and when Nat goes on a date with Sandy, a junior librarian's assistant, it's a disaster in more ways that one—while Nat's out, a very scary demon called the Beast escapes. Can Nat get the Beast back to the house and make things right with Sandy—and do it all by himself?

With its fast-paced action, slapstick humor, and a winning, unlikely hero, Demonkeeper is a high-spirited romp that will keep readers glued to the page.

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Crazy Cars
Examines wild and unusual cars, including ones that can fly, float, or drive on three wheels.
Title: Crazy Cars
Author: Doeden, Matt
Publisher: Lerner Pub Group
Publication Date: 2007/02/01
Number of Pages: 48
Binding Type: LIBRARY
Library of Congress: 2006019400
release date: Jan 01, 2007
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Cracker!
CRACKER IS ONE OF THE UNITED STATES ARMY'S MOST VALUABLE WEAPONS:

a German shepherd trained to sniff out bombs, traps, and the enemy. The fate of entire platoons rests on her keen sense of smell. She's a Big Deal, and she likes it that way. Sometimes Cracker remembers when she was younger, and her previous owner would feed her hot dogs and let her sleep in his bed. That was nice, too.

Rick Hanski is headed to Vietnam. There, he's going to whip the world and prove to his family and his sergeant -- and everyone else who didn't think he was cut out for war -- wrong. But sometimes Rick can't help but wonder that maybe everyone else is right. Maybe he should have just stayed at home and worked in his dad's hardware store.

When Cracker is paired with Rick, she isn't so sure about this new owner. He's going to have to prove himself to her before she's going to prove herself to him. They need to be friends before they can be a team, and they have to be a team if they want to get home alive.

Told in part through the uncanny point of view of a German shepherd, Cracker! is an action-packed glimpse into the Vietnam War as seen through the eyes of a dog and her handler. It's an utterly unique powerhouse of a book by the Newbery Medal-winning author of Kira-Kira.
release date: Jan 01, 2008
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Clarice Bean Don't Look Now
Don't look now, but Lauren Child has outdone herself with a Clarice Bean novel that is the funniest and most poignant yet.

It's the worry you hadn't even thought to worry about that should worry you the most. At least that's how it looks to Clarice Bean, who has been writing her worries in a notebook — things like Worry no. 1: infinity, or Worry no. 3: change. And now that her worst never-imagined worry has happened — her utterly best friend is moving away forever — Clarice doesn't even care about her tickets to the Ruby Redfort, girl detective, movie premiere. That is, unless something happens to change things again. . . . Lauren Child's trademark wit combines with spot-on insight in this hugely engaging story about childhood worries, unwanted changes, and finding friendships in the most surprising places.
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The Cat Master
"Buddy stood in the fading sunlight, his muscles twitching and tense. The Gathering! The new Cat Master would be anointed tonight. His mind raced. Jett would do anything to stop Buddy's coronation, and if his plan succeeded, Zekki, Pris, and Shan Dara would be in great danger. The old Master's words echoed in Buddy's brain, and a resolute sense of duty filled his heart. He would honor his father's wishes . . . even if it cost him his life."

Tension is growing between the Ferals and Indoors, and the old Cat Master, spiritual leader of all felines, is dying. Time is running out, and he must choose a successor that will rule wisely and keep peace among their kind. Of all his descendents there are only two brothers that are qualified: Jett, the powerful, ambitious Feral who has survived the perils of the alley and quiet, complacent Buddy, who was rescued by a human and now lives the pampered life of an Indoor. With his last breath, the old cat decides. He alerts Buddy through mind-talk. "Rise from the alley, my son," he commands. "Of all my blood, you are The Chosen." But his message is intercepted telepathically, and Darkness suddenly reigns in the cat world. Driven by jealousy and desperation, brother is pitted against brother in the fight to rule their species . . . a struggle that will confront Buddy's deepest fears and threaten the lives of those he loves most.

Against a backdrop of dangerous alleyways and a scorching Texas summer, Buddy discovers the power of friendship, the lure of evil, and the knowledge that no peace can come without sacrifice.
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The Book of Time
Scholastic introduces the next name in YA adventure: Guillaume Prevost, whose Book of Time trilogy is one part DA VINCI CODE, one part DRACULA, one part THE TIME-TRAVELER'S WIFE, and all thrilling.

A statue; a coin; an old book. They look as dusty as everything else in the Faulkner Antiquarian Bookstore, where 14-year-old Sam Faulkner seeks his father, who's been missing for days. But when Sam slips the coin into the statue, he's swept back in time -- to Scotland in 800 A.D. -- where he must find both the statue and another coin in order to return to the present. It's the first step in an adventure that will take him to ancient Egypt, World War I, even Dracula's castle -- and a mystery that will end only when Sam saves his father, or loses him in time . . .
release date: Jan 01, 1999
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Ghost Circles #7
A showdown with the rat creatures and a secret ceremony by moonlight; revelations and battles: The Bone cousins are in the thick of it again!

The thrilling BONE saga continues in book six. As war spreads through the valley, the Bone cousins join Gran'ma Ben and Lucius at Old Man's Cave to make a stand against the rat creatures.

But not everything goes as planned. By the end of the book, Phoney Bone is strapped to a stone altar and about to be sacrificed; Thorn is lying lifeless nearby; and the rumblings of an earthquake suggest that the Lord of the Locusts is about to be released. Fone and Smiley Bone must do something drastic to save their friends.
release date: Jan 01, 1998
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Bone
Trying to return a rat creature cub to the mountains, Fone & Smiley Bone encounter yet another adversary: the sly and mighty mountain lion, Rock Jaw.

In this fifth volume of the BONE saga, Fone and Smiley Bone strike out into the wilderness to return a lost rat creature cub to the mountains. It doesn't take long before they run smack into Rock Jaw, "Master of the Eastern Border," an enormous mountain lion with a none-too-friendly disposition. Life gets even more complicated when they befriend a group of baby animals who are being orphaned by rat creature attacks. Everything comes to a head in an earth-shattering clash between Rock Jaw and Kingdok, the leader of the rat creatures.
release date: May 21, 2007
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Blue Lipstick
A 15-year-old girl named Jessie voices typical—and not so typical—teenage concerns in this unique, hilarious collection of poems. Her musings about trying out new makeup and hairstyles, playing volleyball and cello, and dealing with her annoying younger brother are never boring or predictable. Who else do you know who designs her own clothes and writes poetry to her cat? Jessie's a girl with strong opinions, and she isn't shy about sharing them. Her funny, sarcastic take on high school life is revealed through concrete poetry: words, ideas, type, and design that combine to make pictures and patterns. The poems are inventive, irreverent, irresistible, and full of surprises—just like Jessie—and the playful layout and ingenious graphics extend the wry humor.
release date: Sep 01, 2008
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Beowulf
In graphic novel format, retells the story of the warrior Beowulf who fought the monster Grendel and his mother, but who succumbed as an old man to a dragon's poison.
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