Uncle Ronald (age 10+)
by Brian Doyle
illness/loss ... family ... historical
Humor and tragedy merge in this story of a family, and a culture, in crisis. At 112, Mickey McGuire is Canada's oldest citizen, but he remembers with perfect clarity the events beginning in Ottawa in 1895. That year, without investigating the cause of his daily fainting spells, school authorities decide that 12-year-old Mickey should stay home. But home is a problematic place, the site of frequent beatings of Mickey and his mother by his violent alcoholic father. Determined to spare her son further trauma, Mickey's mother sends him to stay on her family's farm run by her brother and twin sisters. Strong and tender, Uncle Ronald is wise in the ways of horses, geese, and men.
Twilight in Grace Falls (age 10+)
by Natalie Honeycutt
family ... illness/loss
Eleven-year-old Dasie watches the effects on her family and friends when the lumber mill that supports the town closes its doors.
The Divide Series (age 10+)
by Elizabeth Kay
humor ... fantasy ... adventure ... illness/loss
When Felix's parents take him to "The Divide" ... a spot in Costa Rica where the waters that run down to the Pacific and Atlantic oceans separate ... Felix finds himself in a bizarre parallel world where mythical creatures and magic are a reality. There, he meets Betony, a tangle child and herbalist who becomes his friend in this strange land. As Felix explores this new world he soon discovers that its mythical beasts and fairy folk think Felix is a legendary creature who uses practical science instead of magic! Will Felix ever find his way back home...and will he want to?
title: The Divide
title: Back to the Divide
The Fledglings (age 10+)
by Sandra Markle
nature ... family ... illness/loss ... animals
Orphaned after the death of her mother, fourteen-year-old Kate runs away to live with her grandfather, a Cherokee Indian who is fighting the poaching of predator birds.
The Two Princesses of Bamarre (age 10+)
by Gail Carson Levine
princesses ... adventure ... fantasy ... magic ... illness/loss
When a plague strikes Bamarre, Princess Addie must save her sister. Brave and adventureous, Princess Meryl dreams of fighting dragons and protecting the kingdom of Bamarre. Shy and fearful, Princess Addie is content to stay within the safety of the castle walls. The one thing that the sisters share is their unwavering love for each other. The tables are turned, however, when the Gray Death leaves Meryl fatally ill. To save her sister, meek Princess Addie must find the courage to set out on a dangerous quest filled with dragons, unknown magic, and death itself. Time is running out, and the sisters' lives ... and the future of the kingdom of Bamarre ... hang in the balance.
Getting Near to Baby (age 10+)
by Audrey Couloumbis
illness/loss ... family
Although 13-year-old Willa Jo and her Aunt Patty seem to be constantly at odds, staying with her and Uncle Hob helps Willa Jo and her younger sister come to terms with the death of their family's baby.
Where the Lilies Bloom (age 10+)
by Vera Cleaver
historical ... family ... illness/loss
Publisher comments: Mary Call has promised her dying father to keep her brother and sisters together forever on the mountain, and never to take any help from strangers. She is determined to keep her word No matter what. At first she is sure she can manage. Romey, Ima Dean, and Devola help gather herbs to sell in town; the riches of the mountains will surely keep the family clothed and fed. But then winter comes, fast and furious, and Mary Call has to learn that the land where the lilies bloom is also a cruel and unforgiving place, and it may take more than a promise to keep her family together.
The Friends (age 10+)
by Kazumi Yumoto
friendship ... illness/loss
Curious about death, three sixth-grade boys decide to spy on an old man waiting for him to die, but they end up becoming his friends.
Who's There? (age 10+)
by Stephanie S. Tolan
family ... illness/loss ... spooky
When fourteen-year-old Drew and her mute younger brother come to live with their father's estranged relatives after their parents' sudden death, they discover that the house is haunted by ghosts and a deadly family secret. A first-rate thriller.
The World in Grandfather's Hands (age 10+)
by Craig Strete
family ... identity ... illness/loss
Eleven-year-old Jimmy is upset when he and his mother must move from the pueblo to the city after his father's death, but his grandfather's patient philosophy of life helps Jimmy slowly adjust.
Beat the Turtle Drum (age 10+)
by Constance C. Greene
family ... illness/loss
A young girl learns to cope with her feelings about her sister's accidental death.
Flying Solo (age 10+)
by Ralph Fletcher
friendship ... school ... illness/loss
Rachel, having chosen to be mute following the sudden death of a classmate, shares responsibility with the other sixth-graders who decide not to report that the substitute teacher failed to show up.
Figgs and Phantoms (age 10+)
by Ellen Raskin
illness/loss ... family
Chronicles the adventures of the unusual Figg family after they left show business and settled in the town of Pineapple. Mona must adjust to being part of an unusual family in ordinary surroundings, but also must deal with the potential loss of her favorite uncle.
Missing May (age 10+)
by Cynthia Rylant
illness/loss ... family
After the death of the beloved aunt who has raised her, twelve-year-old Summer and her uncle Ob leave their West Virginia trailer in search of the strength to go on living.
Hannah In Between (age 10+)
by Colby Rodowsky
illness/loss ... family
As she starts seventh grade, twelve-year-old Hannah can no longer ignore her mother's increasingly erratic behavior caused by excessive drinking. Hannah tries to weave order out of chaos as her mother struggles to bring her alcoholism under control. Both could use an understanding friend.
To Spoil the Sun (age 10+)
by Joyce Rockwood
historical ... illness/loss
Smallpox - to the people of the Seven Clans it is a mysterious plague that spreads like an invisible fire and threatens to destroy everything. It is the sixteenth century and Rain Dove, a young Cherokee girl, lives in Mulberry Town. She looks forward to choosing a husband and raising a family. But after strangers arrive on the shore and the deadly illness takes hold, life for the people of the Seven Clans will never be the same.
Earthshine (age 10+)
by Theresa Nelson
illness/loss ... family
Slim watches over her father, a disarmingly charismatic man, as his struggle with AIDS reaches its climax.
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.
Following Fake Man (age 10+)
by Barbara Ware Holmes
identity ... illness/loss ... mystery ... family
Homer Aldrich Winthrop was a neurologist who died of a neurological illness. That's all Homer Jr.'s mother will say about his father, who died when he was two. On an unexpected trip to Maine, 12-year-old Homer realizes there may be a reason his father is such a secret.
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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