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ALC
Louisa May Alcott's Little Women Books (age 10+)
by Louisa May Alcott
historical ... growing up ... family
Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in nineteenth-century New England.
title: Little Women
title: Jo's Boys
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CIS
The House on Mango Street (age 10+)
by Sandra Cisneros
short stories ... growing up ... identity
Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous, The House on Mango Street tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, whose neighborhood is one of harsh realities and harsh beauty. Esperanza doesn't want to belong ... not to her rundown neighborhood, and not to the low expectations the world has for her. Esperanza's story is that of a young girl coming into her power, and inventing for herself what she will become.
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FOX
Western Wind: a Novel (age 10+)
by Paula Fox
growing up ... family
Elizabeth is sent to visit her eccentric artist grandmother. While she loves and admires her gran, she suspects that her parents sent her for their own convenience. While anger and jealousy cloud her judgement, she finds herself reluctant to appreciate the gifts that this trip afford her.
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FOX
One-Eyed Cat: a Novel (age 10+)
by Paula Fox
growing up ... animals ... historical
Ned fired the forbidden rifle just once, at a flickering shadow in the autumn moonlight. But someone ... a face, fleetingly seen staring at him from an attic window ... was watching. And when a one-eyed cat turns up at an elderly neighbor's woodshed, Ned is caught in a web of guilt, fear, and shame that he cannot escape ... until another moonlit night, come spring, brings redemption and surprising revelations.
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FRI
Early Thunder (age 10+)
by Jean Fritz
growing up ... historical
Traces a youth's growth to maturity as he resolves his political conflicts in pre-revolutionary Salem, a center of high feeling between the British and colonists.
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HOL
Penny From Heaven (age 10+)
by Jennifer Holm
growing up ... family ... historical
As she turns twelve during the summer of 1953, Penny gains new insights into herself and her family while also learning a secret about her father's death. It's 1953 and 11-year-old Penny dreams of a summer of butter pecan ice cream, swimming, and baseball. But nothing's that easy in Penny's family. For starters, she can't go swimming because her mother's afraid she'll catch polio at the pool. To make matters worse, her favorite uncle is living in a car. Her Nonny cries every time her father's name is mentioned. And the two sides of her family aren't speaking to each other!
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SAC
The Boy Who Lost His Face (age 10+)
by Louis Sachar
school ... growing up ... friendship
David is only trying to be cool when he helps some of the popular kids steal Old Lady Bayfield's cane. But when the plan backfires, he's the one the "old witch" curses. Now David can't seem to do anything right. Is it the Bayfield curse at work? Or is David simply turning into a total loser?
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CUT
My Wartime Summers (age 10+)
by Jane Cutler
war ... growing up ... historical
Over four memorable summmers, Ellen and her friends follow the war taking place far away but that still touches their lives.
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CUS
Catherine, Called Birdy (age 10+)
by Karen Cushman
growing up ... letters/journal ... historical
Catherine feels trapped. Her father is determined to marry her off to a rich man--any rich man, no matter how awful. But by wit, trickery, and luck, Catherine manages to send several would-be husbands packing. Then a shaggy-bearded suitor from the north comes to call--by far the oldest, ugliest, most revolting suitor of them all. Unfortunately, he is also the richest. Can a sharp-tongued, high-spirited, clever young maiden with a mind of her own actually lose the battle against an ill-mannered, piglike lord and an unimaginative, greedy toad of a father? Deus! Not if Catherine has anything to say about it!
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CAM
The Secret Life of Amanda K. Woods (age 10+)
by Ann Cameron
growing up ... identity ... historical ... family
Amanda Woods is discovering that there are some things in life that you just can't change, like who your parents are or how your older sister treats you, but she is determined to change what she can. To begin with, she's not going to be just plain Amanda Woods (the girl her mother seems to think is just average). She's going to be Amanda K. Woods - someone who is proud and strong and sure of herself, someone who can have a French pen pal and a best friend of her own choosing, someone who finds four-leaf clovers and can get perfect scores on her math homework. There is more to Amanda than anyone else can see, things about her that Amanda herself doesn't even know yet, but she's finding out.
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YOU
Moving Mama to Town (age 10+)
by Ronder Thomas Young
growing up ... historical ... family
In 1947, his head filled with the advice and wisdom of his runaway father, thirteen-year-old Freddy moves his mother from their Georgia farm into town and takes on the challenge of holding his family together.
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YEP
Child of the Owl (age 10+)
by Laurence Yep
growing up ... identity ... family
In Child of the Owl, a twelve-year-old girl who knows little about her Chinese heritage is sent to live with her grandmother in San Francisco's Chinatown.
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RYL
The Islander: a Novel (age 10+)
by Cynthia Rylant
growing up ... fantasy ... family
Living with his grandfather on an island off British Columbia, orphaned ten-year-old Daniel feels deep loneliness until the night he meets a mermaid whose identity he tries to learn.
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RAW
The Yearling (age 10+)
by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
nature ... growing up ... animals
A young boy living in the Florida backwoods is forced to decide the fate of a fawn he has lovingly raised as a pet.
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PUL
His Dark Materials (age 10+)
by Philip Pullman
growing up ... spooky ... action ... adventure ... fantasy
Lyra Belaqua is content to run wild among the scholars of Jordan College, with her daemon familiar Pantalaimon always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle ... a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armored bears. And as she hurtles toward danger in the cold, far North, young Lyra never suspects the shocking truth: She alone is destined to win, or to lose, this more-than-mortal battle.
title: The Golden Compass
title: The Subtle Knife
title: The Amber Spyglass
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HIC
Jericho: a Novel (age 10+)
by Janet Hickman
growing up ... family
An account of twelve-year-old Angela's visit to help take care of her great-grandmother alternates with the story of the old woman's life, highlighting the parallels between the two.
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GOD
Listen to the Nightingale (age 10+)
by Rumer Godden
friendship ... growing up ... the arts
When she wins a scholarship to a famous ballet school, Lottie, an orphan reared by the costume mistress for a London ballet company, is torn between her lifelong dream and her love for other important things her life.
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SPI
Crash (age 10+)
by Jerry Spinelli
family ... friendship ... growing up
Seventh-grader John "Crash" Coogan has always been comfortable with his tough, aggressive behavior, until his relationship with an unusual Quaker boy and his grandfather's stroke make him consider the meaning of friendship and the importance of family.
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SOT
Local News (age 10+)
by Gary Soto
friendship ... growing up ... short stories
In thirteen stories full of wit and energy, Gary Soto illuminates the ordinary lives of young people. Meet Angel, who would rather fork over twenty bucks than have photos of his naked body plastered all over school; Philip, who discovers he has a "mechanical mind," whatever that means; Estela, known as Stinger, who rules Jos├e's heart and the racquetball court; and many other kids, all of them with problems as big as only a preteen can make them.
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PAU
Hatchet (age 10+)
by Gary Paulsen
growing up ... survival ... adventure
Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother has given him as a present ┐ and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart ever since his parents' divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self-pity, or despair ┐ it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.
sequel: Brian's Winter
sequel: Brian's Return
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HEN
The Birthday Room (age 10+)
by Kevin Henkes
growing up ... family
Benjamin Hunter gets two things for his twelfth birthday: a freshly renovated room in the attic from his parents and a letter from his uncle, Ian, whom he hasn't seen in nearly ten years. Ben isn't sure what he thinks about the room . . . but the letter! It's an invitation to visit, and Ben has an unexplainable urge to see, and know, this man who's been estranged from the family for so long. That is, if Ben's mother can let go of an old grudge long enough to let him have his wish.
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GEO
Dipper of Copper Creek (age 10+)
by Jean Craighead George
growing up ... adventure ... nature ... animals
Doug is spending the summer in the Colorado Rockies, prospecting for gold with his grandfather. One day, he comes across the strangest bird he has ever seen--the water ouzel, who nests behind waterfalls. Soon Doug is fascinated with the Dipper of Copper Creek and, after an avalance, finds himself raising an ouzel of his own.
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GAN
Jack's Black Book (age 10+)
by Jack Gantos
growing up ... humor ... enterprise ... authorship
According to his new motto - A WRITER'S JOB IS TO TURN HIS WORST EXPERIENCES INTO MONEY - Jack Henry is going to be filty rich even before he gets out of junior high, for his life is filled with the worst experiences imaginable. In the course of the few months covered in this cycle of interlinked stories, Jack is humiliated by a gorgeous syncronized swimmer, gets a tattoo the size of an ant on his big toe, flubs an IQ test and nearly fails wood shop, and has to dig up his dead dog not once but twice. And that's not the half of it.
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GAN
Heads or Tails: Stories From the Sixth Grade (age 10+)
by Jack Gantos
growing up ... letters/journal ... family ... humor
Jack's life is a crazy roller-coaster ride. At his fifth school in six years, he has a crackpot teacher who won't give him a break about his lousy handwriting and a secret crush who wants to be a policewoman. At home, he has a pesty little brother with a knack for breaking an arm whenever Jack's supposed to be looking after him, a terror for an older sister, all sorts of weird neighbors, and, last but not least, ferocious alligators in the canal behind his house.
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GAN
Jack on the Tracks: Four Seasons of Fifth Grade (age 10+)
by Jack Gantos
growing up ... letters/journal ... family ... humor
Inspired by the author's childhood diaries, this new collection of Jack Henry stories depicts a fifth-grade year to end all fifth-grade years. Living in a Miami rental home with a busy railroad track running a stone's throw from the backyard, the author's alter ego is plagued by a know-it-all older sister, a bizarre Francophile teacher, a series of crazed cats, a slightly off-kilter father, a tapeworm, and a pair of escaped convicts ... to name just a few of his antagonists. But for Jack Henry, hailed by School Library Journal as "an 'everyboy' whose world may be wacko but whose heart and spirit are eminently sane," no matter how rough the ride, there is always light at the end of the tunnel.
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CHO
Al Capone Does My Shirts (age 10+)
by Gennifer Choldenko
growing up ... historical ... family
Publisher comments: Moose Flannagan moves with his family to Alcatraz so his dad can work as a prison guard and his sister, Natalie, can attend a special school. But Natalie has autism, and when she's denied admittance to the school, the stark setting of Alcatraz begins to unravel the tenuous coping mechanisms Moose's family has used for dealing with her disorder. When Moose meets Piper, the cute daughter of the Warden, he knows right off she's trouble. But she's also strangely irresistible. All Moose wants to do is protect Natalie, live up to his parents? expectations, and stay out of trouble. But on Alcatraz, trouble is never very far away.
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BYA
The Pinballs (age 10+)
by Betsy Cromer Byars
growing up ... friendship ... family
You can't always decide where life will take you--especially when you're a kid. Carlie knows she's got no say in what happens to her. Stuck in a foster home with two other kids, Harvey and Thomas J, she's just a pinball being bounced from bumper to bumper. As soon as you get settled, somebody puts another coin in the machine and off you go again. But against her will and her better judgment, Carlie and the boys become friends. And all three of them start to see that they can take control of their own lives.
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VOI
Homecoming (age 10+)
by Cynthia Voigt
growing up ... survival ... family
In the first book of Cynthia Voigt's Tillerman cycle, the four Tillerman children, abandoned by their emotionally ill mother, undertake a difficult journey in search of a place to call home.
sequel: Dicey's Song
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PAT
Jacob Have I Loved (age 10+)
by Katherine Patterson
identity ... realistic ... growing up ... family
Sara Louise Bradshaw is sick and tired of her beautiful twin Caroline. Ever since they were born, Caroline has been the pretty one, the talented one, the better sister. Even now, Caroline seems to take everything: Louise's friends, their parents' love, her dreams for the future. For once in her life, Louise wants to be the special one. But in order to do that, she must first figure out who she is, and find a way to make a place for herself outside her sister's shadow.
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HOR
Everything on a Waffle (age 10+)
by Polly Horvath
growing up ... family ... humor
Eleven-year-old Primrose, living in a small fishing village in British Columbia, recounts with surprising humor her experiences and all she learns about human nature and the unpredictability of life after her parents are lost at sea.
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HEN
Protecting Marie (age 10+)
by Kevin Henkes
family ... animals ... growing up
``Fanny sensed that from the moment she was born she was meant to have a dog. It was as though some unique and independent organ deep inside her, like a tiny heart, couldn't thrive properly without one.'' With humor and compassion Kevin Henkes tells Fanny's story. But this is not just a dog story. This is a story about a girl and her father. This is a story about growing up. This is a story about wanting and getting and realizing that nothing is simple or easy.
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HEN
Olive's Ocean (age 10+)
by Kevin Henkes
illness/loss ... growing up ... friendship
``Olive Barstow was dead. She'd been hit by a car on Monroe Street while riding her bicycle weeks ago. That was about all Martha knew.'' Martha Boyle and Olive Barstow could have been friends. But they weren't, and now all that is left are eerie connections between two girls who were in the same grade at school and who both kept the same secret without knowing it. Now Martha can't stop thinking about Olive. A family summer on Cape Cod should help banish those thoughts; instead, they seep in everywhere.
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PAT
The Same Stuff as Stars (age 10+)
by Katherine Patterson
growing up ... friendship ... family
When Angel's self-absorbed mother leaves her and her younger brother with their poor great-grandmother, the eleven-year-old girl worries not only about her mother and brother, her imprisoned father, the frail old woman, but also about a mysterious man who begins sharing with her the wonder of the stars.
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NAY
The Alice Series (age 10+)
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
friendship ... school ... identity ... realistic ... growing up
Eleven-year-old, motherless Alice decides she needs a gorgeous role model who does everything right. Denied her wish to be in lovely Miss Cole's class, she learns that what she needs is not always what she expects.
title: The Agony of Alice
title: All But Alice
title: Alice in Rapture, Sort of
title: Alice in April
title: Reluctantly Alice
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CRE
Walk Two Moons (age 10+)
by Sharon Creech
illness/loss ... identity ... growing up ... friendship ... voyages/journeys ... family
As Salamanca travels cross-country with her eccentric grandparents, she tells the story of Phoebe Winterbottom, who received mysterious messages, who met a ``potential lunatic,'' and whose mother disappeared--just like Sal's.

Barron Park Elementary School, Sat Aug 25 11:55:26 2012
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