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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: Little Men: Life at Plumfield With Jo's Boys
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VAN
Dear Mom, You're Ruining My Life (age 10+)
by Jean Van Leeuwen
realistic ... growing up ... family
Samantha Slayton's eleventh year includes losing her last baby teeth, towering over every boy in dance school, and being mortified by everything her mother does.
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TOL
Surviving the Applewhites (age 10+)
by Stephanie S. Tolan
humor ... growing up ... school ... friendship
Publisher comments: Will anyone take on Jake Semple? Jake Semple is notorious. Rumor has it he burned down his old school and got kicked out of every school in his home state. Only one place will take him now, and that's a home school run by the Applewhites, a chaotic and hilarious family of artists. The only one who doesn't fit the Applewhite mold is E.D., a smart, sensible girl who immediately clashes with the unruly Jake. Jake thinks surviving this one will be a breeze, but is he really as tough or as bad as he seems?
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MIK
Touching Spirit Bear (age 10+)
by Ben Mikaelsen
growing up ... survival ... adventure ... action
Publisher comments: Within Cole Matthews lie anger, rage and hate. Cole has been stealing and fighting for years. This time he caught Alex Driscal in the, parking lot and smashed his head against the sidewalk. Now, Alex may have permanent brain damage, and Cole is in the biggest trouble of his life. Cole is offered Circle Justice: a system based on Native American traditions that attempts to provide healing for the criminal offender, the victim and the, community. With prison as his only alternative, Cole plays along. He says he wants to repent, but in his heart Cole blames his alcoholic mom his, abusive dad, wimpy Alex (everyone but himself) for his situation. Cole receives a one-year banishment to a remote Alaskan island. There, he is mauled by mysterious white bear of Native American legend. Hideously injured, Cole waits for his death. His thoughts shift from from anger to humility. To survive, he must stop blaming others and take responsibility for his life. Rescuers arrive to save Cole's but it is the attack of the Spirit Bear that may save his soul.
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HOL
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town (age 10+)
by Kimberly Willis Holt
growing up ... friendship ... historical
Publisher comments: Nothing ever happens in Toby's small Texas town. Nothing much until this summer that's full of big changes. It's tough for Toby when his mother leaves home to become a country singer. And Toby takes it hard when his best friend Cal's older brother goes off to fight in Vietnam. But now their sleepy town is about to get an even bigger jolt with the arrival of Zachary Beaver, billed as the fattest boy in the world. Toby is in for a summer unlike any other, a summer sure to change his life.
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LAW
Scumble (age 10+)
by Ingrid Law
growing up ... fantasy ... family
Publisher comments: It's nine years after Savvy, and Mibs' cousin Ledge is on the verge of turning thirteen. More than anything, he wants the power to run like the wind. But when his birthday comes, he discovers that his savvy is actually making things fall apart. It starts out with small things, but then it gets worse. To top it all off, someone outside the family has witnessed his destruction. Now, in addition to trying to figure out how to control - or scumble - his savvy, he's got to worry about how to protect the family secrets. Over the course of one amazing summer, Ledge learns a lot about himself and his family, makes a new - and very unlikely - friend, and learns to appreciate his newfound skills.
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LAW
Savvy (age 10+)
by Ingrid Law
growing up ... fantasy ... family
Publisher comments: For generations, the Beaumont family has harbored a magical secret. They each possess a "savvy", a special supernatural power that strikes when they turn thirteen. Grandpa Bomba moves mountains, her older brothers create hurricanes and spark electricity...and now it's the eve of Mibs's big day. As if waiting weren't hard enough, the family gets scary news two days before Mibs's birthday: Poppa has been in a terrible accident. Mibs develops the singular mission to get to the hospital and prove that her new power can save her dad. So she sneaks onto a salesman's bus...only to find the bus heading in the opposite direction. Suddenly Mibs finds herself on an unforgettable odyssey that will force her to make sense of growing up and of other people, who might also have a few secrets hidden just beneath the skin.
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WYN
Rex Zero and the End of the World (age 10+)
by Tim Wynne-Jones
family ... historical ... growing up
Eleven-year-old Rex and his family move from Ottawa from Vancouver in the summer of 1962 when it seems everyone is nervous about the possibility of nuclear war between America and Russia, but his thoughts about the possible end of the world take second place to the mystery creature hiding out in the local park.
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WYN
Rex Zero, King of Nothing (age 10+)
by Tim Wynne-Jones
family ... historical ... growing up
Rex-Norton-Norton, an eleven-year-old boy living in Ottawa in 1962, faces several confusing mysteries, including his father's troubling secrets from World War II, the problems of a beautiful but unhappy woman named Natasha, what to do about his mean and vindictive teacher, and whether or not he should even be concerned about such things.
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FAR
The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm: a novel (age 10+)
by Nancy Farmer
growing up ... mystery ... adventure ... science fiction
General Matsika's children steal out of the house on a forbidden adventure--and disappear. In Zimbabwe, in the year 2194, the children's parents call in Africa's most unusual detectives--the Ear, the Eye and the Arm--who have powers far beyond those of other human beings. The children must avoid the evils of the past, the technology of the future, and a motley assortment of criminals in order to return home safely.
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VAN
Flipped (age 10+)
by Wendelin Van Draanen
humor ... friendship ... growing up
The first time she saw him, she flipped. The first time he saw her, he ran. That was the second grade, but not much has changed by the seventh. She says: "My Bryce. Still walking around with my first kiss." He says: "It's been six years of strategic avoidance and social discomfort." But in the eighth grade everything gets turned upside down. And just as he's thinking there's more to her than meets the eye, she's thinking that he's not quite all he seemed. This is a classic romantic comedy of errors told in alternating chapters by two fresh, funny new voices. Wendelin Van Draanen is at her best here with a knockout cast of quirky characters and a hilarious series of misunderstandings and missed opportunities. But underlying the humor are two teens in transition. They are each learning to look beyond the surface of people, both figuring out who they are, who they want to be, and who they want to be with.
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LEW
Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze (age 10+)
by Elizabeth Foreman Lewis
growing up ... historical
When Young Fu arrives with his mother in bustling 1920s Chungking, all he has seen of the world is the rural farming village where he has grown up. He knows nothing of city life. But the city, with its wonders and dangers, fascinates the 13-year-old boy, and he sets out to make the best of what it has to offer him.
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SPI
Stargirl (age 10+)
by Jerry Spinelli
growing up ... friendship ... school ... identity
In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever.
sequel: Love, Stargirl
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SMI
Peak (age 10+)
by Roland Smith
family ... adventure ... action ... growing up ... survival
After Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he's left with two choices: wither away in Juvenile Detention or go live with his long-lost father, who runs a climbing company in Thailand. But Peak quickly learns that his father's renewed interest in him has strings attached. Big strings. He wants Peak to be the youngest person to reach the Everest summit--and his motives are selfish at best. Even so, for a climbing addict like Peak, tackling Everest is the challenge of a lifetime. But it's also one that could cost him his life. Roland Smith has created an action-packed adventure about friendship, sacrifice, family, and the drive to take on Everest, despite the incredible risk.
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SCH
The Wednesday Wars (age 10+)
by Gary Schmidt
school ... humor ... growing up ... historical
Meet Holling Hoodhood, a seventh-grader at Camillo Junior High, who must spend Wednesday afternoons with his teacher, Mrs. Baker, while the rest of the class has religious instruction. Mrs. Baker doesn't like Holling, he's sure of it. Why else would she make him read the plays of William Shakespeare outside class? But everyone has bigger things to worry about, like Vietnam. His father wants Holling and his sister to be on their best behavior: the success of his business depends on it. But how can Holling stay out of trouble when he has so much to contend with? A bully demanding cream puffs; angry rats; and a baseball hero signing autographs the very same night Holling has to appear in a play in yellow tights! As fate sneaks up on him again and again, Holling finds Motivation...the Big M...in the most unexpected places and musters up the courage to embrace his destiny, in spite of himself.
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MAS
A Mango-Shaped Space: A Novel (age 10+)
by Wendy Mass
school ... growing up ... illness/loss ... identity
Afraid that she is crazy, thirteen-year-old Mia, who sees a special color with every letter, number, and sound, keeps this a secret until she becomes overwhelmed by school, changing relationships, and the death of her beloved cat, Mango.
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LOW
Gossamer (age 10+)
by Lois Lowry
fantasy ... growing up
Where do dreams come from? What stealthy nighttime messengers are the guardians of our most deeply hidden hopes and our half-forgotten fears? Drawing on her rich imagination, two-time Newbery winner Lois Lowry confronts these questions and explores the conflicts between the gentle bits and pieces of the past that come to life in dream, and the darker horrors that find their form in nightmare. In a haunting story that tiptoes between reality and imagination, two people (a lonely, sensitive woman and a damaged, angry boy) face their own histories and discover what they can be to one another, renewed by the strength that comes from a tiny, caring creature they will never see.
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DIC
The Tiger Rising (age 10+)
by Kate DiCamillo
illness/loss ... growing up ... friendship
Walking through the misty Florida woods one morning, twelve-year-old Rob Horton is stunned to encounter a tiger ... a real-life, very large tiger ... pacing back and forth in a cage. What's more, on the same extraordinary day, he meets Sistine Bailey, a girl who shows her feelings as readily as Rob hides his. As they learn to trust each other, and ultimately, to be friends, Rob and Sistine prove that some things ... like memories, and heartaches, and tigers ... can't be locked up forever.
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CHO
Notes From a Liar and Her Dog (age 10+)
by Gennifer Choldenko
family ... growing up
Eleven-year-old Ant, stuck in a family that she does not like, copes by pretending that her "real" parents are coming to rescue her, by loving her dog Pistachio, by volunteering at the zoo, and by bending the truth and telling lies.
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SIL
The Giving Tree (age 10+)
by Shel Silverstein
growing up
'Once there was a tree...and she loved a little boy.' So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein. Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk...and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave. This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation.
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SNY
And Condors Danced (age 10+)
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
historical ... growing up ... illness/loss
The year Carly turns eleven, 1907, is filled with playing detective, watching condors, observing a fierce feud involving her family's Southern California ranch, and coping with unexpected tragedies.
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SNY
The Changeling (age 10+)
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
growing up ... friendship
Ivy Carson belonged to the notorious Carson family, which lived in a run-down house in suburban Rosewood. But Ivy was not a typical Carson. There was something wonderful about her. Ivy explained it by saying that she was a changeling, a child of supernatural parents who had been exchanged for the real Ivy Carson at birth.
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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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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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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
title: Once Upon a Time in the North
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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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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: The River
sequel: Brian's Winter
sequel: Brian's Return
sequel: Brian's Hunt
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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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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.
sequel: Al Capone Shines My Shoes
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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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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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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.

El Carmelo Elementary School, Sat Aug 25 11:55:28 2012
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