2010 Teacher's Choices-Intermediate Readers (Grade 3-5)

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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Since 1989,  the International Reading Association started the Teachers' Choices project  that will encourage young people to read. These are books that kids will enjoy—and that contribute to learning across the curriculum. Teachers and parents will  find exceptional for curriculum use or reading aloud uses.

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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Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
This Newbery Honor book features magic, adventure, friendship, and even a dragon who can't fly!

In the valley of Fruitless Mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.

Grace Lin, author of the beloved Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat, returns with a wondrous story of adventure, faith, and friendship. A fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a timeless story reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz. Her beautiful illustrations, printed in full-color, accompany the text throughout. Once again, she has created a charming, engaging book for young readers.

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Where Else in the Wild?
Did you find that sneaky orchid mantis hiding on the cover?

This book is full of similarly sly species--and they're all hiding in plain sight. Think you've spotted one? Lift the flap to find out!

Each of the camouflaged creatures on these pages, from chickadees to crayfish, is disguised for a reason. Some are on the prowl for prey, while others hide from hungry predators. Discover why geckos have a spooky reputation; why it pays for a mouse to have a dark-colored back and light-colored belly; and why you wouldn't want to be fooled by a scorpion fish.

In this follow-up to the acclaimed Where in the Wild?, David Schwartz, Yael Schy, and Dwight Kuhn take readers on another remarkable tour through the fascinating world of animal camouflage.

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Punctuation Celebration

Punctuation marks come alive in this clever picture book featuring fourteen playful poems. Periods stop sentences in a baker's shop, commas help a train slow down, quotation marks tell people what to do, and colons stubbornly introduce lists. This appealing primer is a surefire way to make punctuation both accessible and fun for kids.

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Operation Redwood

Clandestine e-mail exchanges, secret trips, fake press releases, and a tree-house standoff are among the clever stunts and pranks the kid heroes pull in this exciting ecological adventure. 

“Sibley Carter is a moron and a world-class jerk,” reads Julian Carter-Li in an angry e-mail message meant for his greedy, high-powered uncle. The fateful message sets him on the course to stop an environmental crime! His uncle's company plans to cut down some of the oldest California redwood trees, and it's up to Julian and a ragtag group of friends to figure out a way to stop them. This thrilling, thoughtful debut novel shows the power of determined individuals, no matter what their age, to stand up to wrongdoing.

John and Patricia Beatty Award
(California Library Association)
National Green Earth Book Award

National Outdoor Book Award honorable mention

Carol D. Reiser Book Award

 

“Fast paced and full of fun . . . Reminds readers that everyone, no matter how large or small, can take action on issues that are important to them.” —School Library Journal

“One of the finest children's novels of the year . . . A true emotional journey full of adventure, friendship, complex morality, trust, lies, and discovery.” —A Fuse #8 Production


 

release date: Aug 04, 2009
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Neo Leo

In 1781, Thomas Paine came up with a model for a single-span bridge; in 1887, Adolf Eugen Fick made the first pair of contact lenses; and in 1907, Paul Cornu built the first helicopter. But Leonardo da Vinci thought of all these ideas more than five hundred years ago!
At once an artist, inventor, engineer, and scientist, da Vinci wrote and drew detailed descriptions of what would later become hang gliders, automobiles, robots, and much more. Gene Barretta cleverly shows how Leonardo's ideas―many inspired by his love of nature―foreshadowed modern inventions, offering a window into the future.

release date: Aug 01, 2009
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14 Cows for America

In June of 2002, a very unusual ceremony begins in a far-flung village in western Kenya.
An American diplomat is surrounded by hundreds of Maasai people. A gift is about to be bestowed on the American men, women, and children, and he is there to accept it. The gift is as unsought and unexpected as it is extraordinary.

A mere nine months have passed since the September 11 attacks, and hearts are raw. Tears flow freely from American and Maasai as these legendary warriors offer their gift to a grieving people half a world away.

Word of the gift will travel news wires around the globe. Many will be profoundly touched, but for Americans, this selfless gesture will have deeper meaning still. For a heartsick nation, the gift of fourteen cows emerges from the choking dust and darkness as a soft light of hope_and friendship.

Master storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy hits all the right notes in this elegant story of generosity that crosses boundaries, nations, and cultures. An afterword by Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah_the Maasai warrior at the center of the story_provides additional information about his tribe and their generous actions. Thomas Gonzalez_s stunning paintings, which are saturated with rich hues of oranges and browns, and blues and greens, capture the modest nobility of the Maasai people and the distinctive landscape of the African plain.

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Crow Call
Two-time Newbery medalist Lois Lowry has crafted a beautiful picture book about the power of longing and the importance of reconnection between a girl and her father in post-WWII America.

This is the story of young Liz, her father, and their strained relationship. Dad has been away at WWII for longer than she can remember, and they begin their journey of reconnection through a hunting shirt, cherry pie, tender conversation, and the crow call. This allegorical story shows how, like the birds gathering above, the relationship between the girl and her father is graced with the chance to fly.
release date: Jun 30, 2008
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Big George
A boy from Virginia becomes the first president

Before he was the face on the dollar bill, George Washington was a shy boy with a hot temper. But George had character and adaptability. He taught himself courage and self-control. At an early age, and without really realizing it, George Washington gathered the qualities he'd need to become one of the greatest leaders America has ever known.
     Anne Rockwell's prose is dignified, Matt Phelan's illustrations are striking, and the details they reveal about George Washington's early days are fascinating, sometimes tragic, and always moving.

Includes an author's note.
release date: Jan 06, 2009
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Beautiful Blackbird
Ashley's autobiography is full of art, photographs, and the poignant never-say-never tale of his rich life, a life that has always included drawing and painting. Even as a boy growing up during the Depression, he painted -- finding cast off objects to turn into books and kites and toy and art. Even as a solder in the segregated Army on the beaches of Normandy, he sketched -- keeping charcoal crayons and paper in his gasmask to draw with during lulls. Even as a talented, visionary art student who was accepted and then turned away from college upon arrival, the school telling Ashley that to give a scholarship to an African American student would be a waste, he painted -- continuing to create art when he could have been discouraged, continuing to polish his talents when his spirit should have been beaten. Ashley went on to become a Hans Christian Anderson Award nominee, a May Hill Arbuthnot lecturer, and a multiple Coretta Scott King award winner. As you might imagine, his story is powerful, bursting with his creative energy, and a testament to believing in oneself. It's a book every child in America should have access to and it does what the very best autobiographies do; it inspires!
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