2008 Teacher's Choices-Advanced Readers (Grade 6-8)

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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Tracking Trash

Aided by an army of beachcombers, oceanographer Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer tracks trash in the name of science. From sneakers to hockey gloves, Curt monitors the watery fate of human-made cargo that has spilled into the ocean. The information he collects is much more than casual news; it is important scientific data. And with careful analysis, Curt, along with a community of scientists, friends, and beachcombers alike, is using his data to understand and protect our ocean.

In engaging text and unforgettable images, readers meet the woman who started it all (Curt's mother!), the computer program that makes sense of his data (nicknamed OSCURS), and several scientists, both on land and on the sea, who are using Curt's discoveries to preserve delicate marine habitats and protect the creatures who live in them. A Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book for Nonfiction.

release date: Feb 20, 2007
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Tasting the Sky

Winner, Arab American National Museum Book Award for Children's/YA Literature, among other awards and honors.

"When a war ends it does not go away," my mother says."It hides inside us . . . Just forget!"
But I do not want to do what Mother says . . . I want to remember.

In this groundbreaking memoir set in Ramallah during the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War, Ibtisam Barakat captures what it is like to be a child whose world is shattered by war. With candor and courage, she stitches together memories of her childhood: fear and confusion as bombs explode near her home and she is separated from her family; the harshness of
life as a Palestinian refugee; her unexpected joy when she discovers Alef, the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. This is the beginning of her passionate connection to words, and as language becomes her refuge, allowing her to piece together the fragments of her world, it becomes her true home.

Transcending the particulars of politics, this illuminating and timely book provides a telling glimpse into a little-known culture that has become an increasingly important part of the puzzle of world peace.

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Sequoyah
The United States was growing at a rapid pace. For the settlers who were pushing west to the frontier and the Native Americans who were protecting their lands, life was filled with danger and difficulties. People who wove their way into history overcame their challenges with a courage that defined an era and shaped a nation. Sequoyah, a Cherokee Indian, is best known for inventing a system of writing for the Cherokee language. In 1821, after more than a decade of work, he succeeded in creating a set of symbols to represent the sounds of spoken Cherokee. The new written language was easy to learn and helped boost ethnic pride. Sequoyah won the respect of his people and was soon operating as a delegate in Cherokee dealings with the United States. He died in 1843 on a mission to unify the Cherokee people.
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Reaching for Sun
Josie Wyatt knows what it means to be different. Her family's small farmhouse seems to shrink each time another mansion grows up behind it. She lives with her career-obsessed mom and opinionated Gran, but has never known her father. Then there's her cerebral palsy: even if Josie wants to forget that she was born with a disability, her mom can't seem to let it go. Yet when a strange new boy—Jordan—moves into one of the houses nearby, he seems oblivious to all the things that make Josie different. Before long, Josie finds herself reaching out for something she's never really known: a friend… and possibly more. Interlinked free verse poems tell the beautiful, heartfelt story of a girl, a family farm reduced to a garden, and a year of unforgettable growth.
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On My Journey Now
With the passion of a poet and the knowledge of a historian, Nikki Giovanni tells the story of Africans in America through the glorious words of spirituals.

Ever since she was a little girl attending three different churches, poet Nikki Giovanni has loved the spirituals. In ON MY JOURNEY NOW, she paints compelling portraits of the lives of her ancestors through familiar songs such as "Go Down, Moses" and personal favorites such as "Ain't Got Time to Die," celebrating a people who overcame enslavement and found a way to survive, to worship, and to build. ON MY JOURNEY NOW includes a foreword by Dr. Arthur Jones, founder and artistic program director of the Spirituals Project.
release date: Jun 01, 2007
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Napoleon
Published in association with the American Federation of Arts

The only children's picture book about France's greatest general and eventual emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte

Napoleon achieved countless military victories and unified half a continent; he was a corporal, general, consul, and emperor. The life and career of Napoleon sounds impossible—but it's true. His success, though brilliant, was also short-lived. Robert Burleigh's biography of the Little Corporal, illustrated by period artworks and artifacts, describes the remarkable rise and fall of this charismatic and unusual man.
release date: Oct 28, 2008
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I Am Rembrandt's Daughter

With her mother dead of the plague and her brother newly married, Cornelia van Rijn finds herself without a friend or confidante―except her difficult father. Out of favor with Amsterdam's elite, the once revered Rembrandt van Rijn is now teetering on the brink of madness. Cornelia alone must care for him, though she is haunted by secrets and scandal of her own. Her only happiness comes in a growing romance with Carel, the son of a wealthy shipping magnate, whose passion for art stirs her. And then there is Neel, her father's last remaining pupil, a darkly brooding young man whose steadfast devotion to Rembrandt both baffles and touches her.

Based on real characters and filled with family dramas and a love triangle that would make Jane Austen proud, I Am Rembrandt's Daughter is a powerful account of a young woman's struggle to come of age within the shadow of one of the world's most brilliant and complicated artists.

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.
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Celeste's Harlem Renaissance
It's 1921, and when Celeste Lassiter Massey goes to stay with her Aunt Valentina in Harlem, she is not thrilled to trade her friends and comfortable North Carolina surroundings for scary big city life with a famous actress. While Celeste absorbs the excitement of the Harlem Renaissance in full swing, she sees as much grit as glamour. A passionate writer, talented violinist, and aspiring doctor, Celeste eventually faces a choice between ambition and loyalty, roots and horizons. The decision will change her forever.
release date: Nov 27, 2007
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The Brothers' War
The wonderful wordplay of J. Patrick Lewis breathes new life into the speeches of Lincoln, the letters of Grant and Lee, and the moving human drama of our country's Civil War. Lewis' poignant poetry gives young readers a vivid insight into the brutal conflict that tore America apart. The author draws on primary-source books and articles to inspire each poem, bringing the ordinary and extraordinary voices of the Civil War to light. The book also includes a note from the Photo Editor on the authentic period images used throughout. Readers experience history directly as it was lived by Americans in the 1860s.
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