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URB
Hound Dog True (age 9-12)
by Linda Urban
school ... friendship
Publisher comments: Do not let a mop sit overnight in water. Fix things before they get too big for fixing. Custodial wisdom: Mattie Breen writes it all down. She has just one week to convince Uncle Potluck to take her on as his custodial apprentice at Mitchell P. Anderson Elementary School. One week until school starts and she has to be the new girl again. But if she can be Uncle Potluck's apprentice, she'll have important work to do during lunch and recess. Work that will keep her safely away from the other fifth graders. But when her custodial wisdom goes all wrong, Mattie's plan comes crashing down. And only then does she begin to see how one small, brave act can lead to a friend who is hound dog true.
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HAW
Violet Raines Almost got Struck by Lightning (age 9-12)
by Danette Haworth
identity ... friendship
Publisher comments: Spunky, headstrong Violet Raines is happy with things just the way they are in her sleepy backwoods Florida town. She loves going to the fish fry with her best friend, Lottie, and collecting BrainFreeze cups with her good friend Eddie. She loves squeezing into the open trunk of the old cypress tree, looking for alligators in the river, and witnessing lighting storms on a warm summer day. But Violet's world is turned upside down when Melissa moves to town from big city Detroit. All of a sudden Violet's supposed to want to wear makeup, and watch soap operas, and play Truth or Dare! It'll take the help of Violet's friends, her Momma, a few run-ins with lightning, and maybe even Melissa, for Violet to realize that growing up doesn't have to mean changing who you are.
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MAS
11 Birthdays (age 9-12)
by Wendy Mass
humor ... friendship
Publisher comments: It's Amanda's 11th birthday and she is super excited---after all, 11 is so different from 10. But from the start, everything goes wrong. The worst part of it all is that she and her best friend, Leo, with whom she's shared every birthday, are on the outs and this will be the first birthday they haven't shared together. When Amanda turns in for the night, glad to have her birthday behind her, she wakes up happy for a new day. Or is it? Her birthday seems to be repeating iself. What is going on?! And how can she fix it? Only time, friendship, and a little luck will tell. . .
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LOR
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson (age 9-12)
by Bette Bao Lord
friendship ... humor ... identity ... sports ... school
Shirley Temple Wong sails from China to America with a heart full of dreams. Her new home is Brooklyn, New York. America is indeed a land full of wonders, but Shirley doesn't know any English, so it's hard to make friends. Then a miracle happens...baseball. It is 1947, and Jackie Robinson, star of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is everyone's hero. Jackie Robinson is proving that a black man, the grandson of a slave, can make a difference in America and for Shirley as well, on the ball field and off, America becomes the land of opportunity.
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APP
The Poisons of Caux Series (age 9-12)
by Susannah Appelbaum
humor ... adventure ... action ... friendship ... fantasy
Publisher comments: There's little joy left in the kingdom of Caux: the evil King Nightshade rules with terrible tyranny and the law of the land is poison or be poisoned. Worse, eleven-year-old Ivy's uncle, a famous healer, has disappeared, and Ivy sets out to find him, joined by a young taster named Rowan. But these are corrupt times, and the children, enemies of the realm, are not alone. What exactly do Ivy and Rowan's pursuers want? Is it Ivy's prized red bettle, which, unlike any other gemstone in Caux, appears impossibly to be hollow? Is it the elixir she concocted, the one with the mysterious healing powers? Or could it be Ivy herself? Told with wry humor, The Hollow Bettle is the first installment in the Poisons of Caux trilogy, an astonishing tale of herbs and magic, tasters and poisoners.
title: The Hollow Bettle
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BRI
My Buddy, the King: a Novel (age 9-12)
by Bill Brittain
friendship ... humor ... mystery
Catalog: When King Tokab of Mokobway is saved from choking on a frankfurter by Tim Quilt, they become fast friends and together outwit a plot to do in the king.
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BLU
Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself (age 9-12)
by Judy Blume
friendship ... family ... humor
Publisher comments: It's 1947, and Sally J. Freedman is full of wild ideas. She's got her eye on handsome Peter Hornstein, the Latin lover of her dreams...on old Mr. Zavodsky, who looks suspiciously like Hitler in disguise...and on her father, who Sally misses terribly. There are so many things to worry and wonder about. But whatever happens, Sally's school year in Miami Beach will certainly be exciting--and absolutely unforgetable.
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APP
The Underneath (age 9-12)
by Kathi Appelt
friendship ... animals
Publisher comments: There is nothing lonelier than a cat who has been loved, at least for a while, and then abandoned on the side of the road. A calico cat, about to have kittens, hears the lonely howl of a chained-up hound deep in the backwaters of the bayou. She dares to find him in the forest, and the hound dares to befriend this cat, this feline, this creature he is supposed to hate. They are an unlikely pair, about to become an unlikely family. Ranger urges the cat to hide underneath the porch, to raise her kittens there because Gar-Face, the man living inside the house, will surely use them as alligator bait should he find them. But they are safe in the Underneath...as long as they stay in the Underneath. Kittens, however, are notoriously curious creatures. And one kitten's one moment of curiosity sets off a chain of events that is astonishing, remarkable, and enormous in its meaning. For everyone who loves Sounder, Shiloh, and The Yearling, for everyone who loves the haunting beauty of writers such as Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, Flannery O'Connor, and Carson McCullers, Kathi Appelt spins a harrowing yet keenly sweet tale about the power of love, and its opposite, hate, the fragility of happiness and the importance of making good on your promises.
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LUP
Two-Minute Drill (age 9-12)
by Mike Lupica
friendship ... sports ... school
Publisher comments: Chris Conlan is the coolest kid in sixth grade...the golden-armed quarterback of the football team and the boy all the others look up to. Scott Parry is the new kid, the boy with the huge brain, but with feet that trip over themselves. These two boys may seem like an odd couple, but each has a secret that draws them together, and proves that the will to succeed is even more important than raw talent.
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WAL
Winning Season Series (age 9-12)
by Rich Wallace
friendship ... sports
In the first of this series, The Roar of the Crowd, Manny's made the football team and determined to get into the game. The problem is Manny is not that big. He's got a whole season to prove to his team and himself that he can earn the roar of the crowd.
title: The Roar of the Crowd
title: Double Fake
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TIN
Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship and Freedom (age 9-12)
by Tim Tingle
friendship ... historical
In the 1800s, a Choctaw girl becomes friends with a slave boy from a plantation across the great river, and when she learns that his family is in trouble, she helps them cross to freedom. This moving and original story is about the intersection of Native and African Americans.
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POR
Pollyanna (age 9-12)
by Eleanor H. Porter
family ... friendship
An abridged version of the tale of orphaned, eleven-year-old Pollyanna, who comes to live with austere and wealthy Aunt Polly, bringing happiness to her aunt and other members of the community through her philosophy of gladness.
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MAR
Main Street Series (age 9-12)
by Ann Martin
friendship
Following the death of their parents, Flora and Ruby move in with their grandmother Min, who runs a sewing store at the heart of Main Street in the small town of Camden Falls. From the author of The Babysitters Club series, these stories will warm your heart.
title: Welcome to Camden Falls
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KIN
Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series (age 9-12)
by Jeff Kinney
letters/journal ... growing up ... humor ... school ... friendship
It's a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you're ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary.
title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley's Journal
title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw
title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth
title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever
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GAT
Blue Willow (age 9-12)
by Doris Gates
friendship ... family
A little girl, who wants most of all to have a real home and to go to a regular school, hopes that the valley her family has come to, which so resembles the pattern on her treasured blue willow plate, will be their permanent home.
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PEC
Ghosts I Have Been (age 9-12)
by Richard Peck
school ... fantasy ... friendship ... spooky
Blossom Culp is the outspoken outcast of Bluff City, always getting into trouble. No one wants to cross her, especially now that she's revealed that she can see the Unseen. Then Blossom herself is stunned, because her lie turns out to be truth. She actually does have second sight . . . and she is "on board" the sinking Titanic.
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JOH
Ellie Brader Hates Mr. G (age 9-12)
by Janet Johnston
friendship ... humor ... school
Compared to nice Ms. Simpson, Mr. Garrett, Ellie's substitute teacher, seems mean and unfair, until his handling of several class crises changes Ellie's feelings towards him.
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GUT
The Homework Machine (age 9-12)
by Dan Gutman
brilliant protagonist ... enterprise ... humor ... friendship ... school
Meet the D Squad, a foursome of fifth graders at the Grand Canyon School made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker. They are bound together by one very big secret: the homework machine. Because the machine, code-named Belch, is doing their homework for them, they start spending a lot of time together, attracting a lot of attention. And attention is exactly what you don't want when you are keeping a secret. Before long, things start to get out of control, and Belch becomes much more powerful than they ever imagined. Now the kids are in a race against their own creation, and the loser could end up in jail...or worse!
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WIL
Bad Girls (age 9-12)
by Jacqueline Wilson
friendship ... school ... humor
Mandy White is a good girl whom the bad girls like to pick on, until a bigger, badder girl makes her her special friend. Tanya is a foster child across the street, and she's nothing like good little Mandy. She's fun and she's tough and she wears really cool clothes. Of course, Mandy's overprotective mother wants her precious little daughter to have nothing to do with the new neighbor.
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PAT
The Hard Pan Trilogy (age 9-12)
by Susan Patron
humor ... growing up ... survival ... illness/loss ... friendship ... family
Publisher comments: Lucky, age ten, can't wait another day. The meanness gland in her heart and the crevices full of questions in her brain make running away from Hard Pan, California (population 43), the rock-bottom only choice she has. It's all Brigitte's fault ... for wanting to go back to France. Guardians are supposed to stay put and look after girls in their care! Instead Lucky is sure that she'll be abandoned to some orphanage in Los Angeles. She'll have to lose her friends Miles and Lincoln. Just as bad, she'll have to give up eavesdropping on twelve-step anonymous programs where the interesting talk is all about Higher Powers. Lucky needs her own ... and quick. But she hadn't planned on a dust storm. Or needing to lug the world's heaviest survival-kit backpack into the desert.
title: The Higher Power of Lucky
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LOR
Rules (age 9-12)
by Cynthia Lord
growing up ... friendship ... family
Twelve-year-old Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She's spent years trying to teach David the rules-from "a peach is not a funny-looking apple" to "keep your pants on in public"-in order to stop his embarrassing behaviors. But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a paraplegic boy, and Kristi, the next-door friend she's always wished for, it's her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: What is normal?
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KRU
Onion John (age 9-12)
by Joseph Krumgold
family ... friendship
His friendship with the town odd-jobs man, Onion John, causes a conflict between Andy and his father.
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SNY
The Witches of Worm (age 9-12)
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
friendship ... magic ... spooky
A lonely twelve-year-old is convinced that the cat she finds is possessed by a witch and is responsible for her own strange behavior.
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SIL
The Missing Piece (age 9-12)
by Shel Silverstein
friendship ... poetry ... math/science/technology
A circle has difficulty finding its missing piece, but has a good time looking for it.
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SAC
Dogs Don't Tell Jokes (age 9-12)
by Louis Sachar
friendship ... humor ... school
Twelve-year-old jokester Gary Boone knows he was born to be a comedian, it's the kids in his class who think he's just a goon. Winning the school talent show would be Gary's dream come true, but on the big night his dream nearly backfires--with hilarious results.
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PEC
Soup (age 9-12)
by Robert Newton Peck
humor ... adventure ... friendship
The adventures and misadventures of two boys growing up in a small Vermont town.
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NAM
Yang the Youngest and His Terrible Ear (age 9-12)
by Lensey Namioka
family ... friendship ... sports ... the arts
Recently arrived in Seattle from China, musically untalented Yingtao is faced with giving a violin performance to attract new students for his father when he would rather be working on friendships and playing baseball.
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FLE
Seedfolks (age 9-12)
by Paul Fleischman
enterprise ... nature ... friendship
A vacant lot, rat-infested and filled with garbage, looked like no place for a garden. Especially to a neighborhood of strangers where no one seems to care. Until one day, a young girl clears a small space and digs into the hard-packed soil to plant her precious bean seeds. Suddenly, the soil holds promise: To Curtis, who believes he can win back Lateesha's heart with a harvest of tomatoes; to Virgil's dad, who sees a fortune to be made from growing lettuce; and even to Maricela, sixteen and pregnant, wishing she were dead. Thirteen very different voices, old, young, Haitian, Hispanic, tough, haunted, and hopeful, tell one amazing story about a garden that transforms a neighborhood.
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HAM
Zeely (age 9-12)
by Virginia Hamilton
identity ... family ... friendship
Geeder's summer at her uncle's farm is made special because of her friendship with a very tall, composed woman who raises hogs and who closely resembles the magazine photograph of a Watutsi queen.
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CRE
Granny Torrelli Makes Soup (age 9-12)
by Sharon Creech
growing up ... family ... friendship
Bailey, who is usually so nice, Bailey, my neighbor, my friend, my buddy, my pal for my whole life, knowing me better than anybody, that Bailey, that Bailey I am so mad at right now, that Bailey, I hate him today. Twelve-year-old Rosie and her best friend, Bailey, don't always get along, that's true. But Granny Torrelli seems to know just how to make things right again with her warm words and family recipes. She understands from experience that life's twists and turns can't rattle the unique bond between two lifelong pals.
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BAU
On My Honor (age 9-12)
by Marion Dane Bauer
illness/loss ... growing up ... friendship
On your honor?" Joel's father said. "You won't go anywhere except the park?" "On my honor," Joel repeated. During a bicycle trip to the state park, Joel dares his best fried Tony to a swimming race in the dangerous Vermillion River. The boys have been warned never to go near the river, but Tony can't let Joel think he's scared. Both boys jump in. When Joel reaches the sandbar, he turns and looks for Tony and finds that he has vanished. Joel is stunned. How can he face their parents and the terrible truth?
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FIT
Harriet the Spy (age 9-12)
by Louise Fitzhugh
brilliant protagonist ... growing up ... realistic ... friendship
Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. In her notebook, she writes down everything she knows about everyone, even her classmates and her best friends. Then Harriet loses track of her notebook, and it ends up in the wrong hands. Before she can stop them, her friends have read the always truthful, sometimes awful things she's written about each of them. Will Harriet find a way to put her life and her friendships back together?
sequel: The Long Secret
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YEP
When the Circus Came to Town (age 9-12)
by Laurence Yep
bigotry ... historical ... friendship
Ursula always wanted to see the circus. That is, until she caught smallpox. Now all she wants is to hide her scarred face. But Ah Sam, her parents' Chinese cook, has other ideas. He brings to town a magical circus and finds a way to give Ursula the confidence she needs to face the world. In return, Ursula finds a way to make Ah Sam happy. She creates the biggest, best Chinese New Year celebration that Whistle, Montana, has ever seen!
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SNY
The Headless Cupid (age 9-12)
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
spooky ... mystery ... magic ... friendship
When the four Stanley children meet Amanda, their new stepsister, they're amazed to learn that she studied witchcraft. They're stunned to see her dressed in a strange costume, carrying a pet crow, and surrounded by a pile of books about the supernatural. It's not long before Amanda promises to give witchcraft lessons to David, Janie, and the twins. But that's when strange things start happening in their old house. David suspects Amanda of causing mischief, until they learn that the house really was haunted a long time ago. Legend has it that a ghost cut the head off a wooden cupid on the stairway. Has the ghost returned to strike again?
sequel: The Famous Stanley Kidnapping Case
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PAT
The Great Gilly Hopkins (age 9-12)
by Katherine Paterson
identity ... family ... friendship
An eleven-year-old foster child tries to cope with her longings and fears as she schemes against everyone who tries to be friendly.
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MUR
The Slightly True Story of Cedar B. Hartley (age 9-12)
by Martine Murray
humor ... friendship ... realistic
Cedar B. Hartley is exasperating and potentially infamous. She steps on cracks. She plans to live an unusual life. She is the winner of her school's Bat Pole Championship (which she made up). She misses her brother Barnaby, who ran away, and who sends her postcards from all over. And she's definitely a hopeless winker. But Cedar B. Hartley has potential. She knows the long distance between an idea and the real thing. And she has a green thumb for people, which will come in handy as she discovers truths about her friends, her family, and her life.
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BAU
The Wizard of Oz Series (age 9-12)
by L. Frank Baum
princesses ... voyages/journeys ... friendship ... fantasy
They're off to read the Wizard--the original, imaginative American tale written by Frank L. Baum just over a century ago. All the beloved characters are here, along with the splendid Emerald City and the shoes with unparalleled power.
title: The Wizard of Oz
title: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
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NAY
The Alice Prequels (age 9-12)
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
friendship ... school ... identity ... realistic ... growing up
Well, a pet and pierced ears and really long hair would be nice, too and most of all, Alice wishes she still had a mother. But starting third grade in a new school in a new town can be lonely, especially if the closest thing you have to a friend is weird Donald Sheavers from next door. But even making new friends can't solve all of Alice's problems. Somehow she manages to get into trouble for a stupid lie, and to get on the wrong side of a bullying crossing guard and three snooty girls whom Alice calls "the Terrible Triplets." Will Alice ever feel at home in Takoma Park? This series introduce the younger Alice, leading up to the older series The Agony of Alice.
title: Starting With Alice
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MON
Anne of Green Gables Series (age 9-12)
by Lucy Maud Montgomery
family ... friendship
Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert had planned to adopt a boy to help out around Green Gables farm. But waiting for Matthew at the train station is freckle-faced, red-headed Anne Shirley...a talkative eleven-year-old orphan with a heart full of dreams and a desperate longing for a home. From the minute Anne sets foot in Matthew's buggy, Green Gables will never be the same!
title: Anne of Green Gables
title: Anne of Avonlea
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GIF
All the Way Home (age 9-12)
by Patricia Reilly Giff
identity ... historical ... sports ... friendship ... family
Brick Tiernan is devastated when fire destroys his family's apple orchard in Windy Hill, New York, in the summer of 1941. His parents are forced to take jobs in different cities, and Brick is sent to Brooklyn to live with Loretta, a family friend, until the family recovers front their financial loss. Brick feels homesick before he even gets to Brooklyn, but when he meets Martel, Loretta's adopted daughter, he discovers that they have things in common. Both are Dodgers fans, and Martel, who wonders about her real mother, has a mysterious connection to Windy Hill. In the final days of summer, Brick and Martel find a way to return to Windy Hill, where a kind elderly couple help them discover what they are each searching for-a sense of belonging and the real meaning of home.
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SAC
There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom (age 9-12)
by Louis Sachar
identity ... friendship ... school ... humor
An unmanageable, but lovable, eleven-year-old misfit learns to believe in himself when he gets to know the new school counselor, who is a sort of misfit too.
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NAY
Shiloh (age 9-12)
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
friendship ... animals
One summer Sunday, Marty comes across a young beagle on the road just past the old Shiloh schoolhouses and the trouble begins. What do you do when a dog you suspect is being mistreated runs away and comes to you? When it is someone else's dog? Marty puts his courage on the line, and discovers in the process that it is not always easy to separate right from wrong. Sometimes, however, you do almost anything to save a dog.
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NAY
Boys Versus Girls Series (age 9-12)
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
war ... realistic ... humor ... friendship
Disgusted that a family with three girls moves into the house across the river, nine-year-old Wally and his three brothers declare a practical joke war on the girls.
title: A Traitor Among the Boys
title: A Spy Among the Girls
title: Boys Against Girls
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KON
Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William, McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth (age 9-12)
by E. L. Konigsburg
realistic ... identity ... friendship
Elizabeth is an only child, new in town, and the shortest kid in her class. She's also pretty lonely, until she meets Jennifer. Jennifer is...well, different. She's read Macbeth. She never wears jeans or shorts. She never says ``Please'' or ``thank you.'' And she says she is a witch.
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CLE
Dear Mr. Henshaw (age 9-12)
by Beverly Cleary
identity ... friendship ... authorship ... letters/journal
In his letters to his favorite author, ten-year-old Leigh reveals his problems in coping with his parents' divorce, being the new boy in school, and generally finding his own place in the world.
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BUR
The Secret Garden (age 9-12)
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
fantasy ... friendship
When Mary Lennox, lonely and sad, comes to live at her uncle's great house on the Yorkshire moors, she finds it full of secrets. At night, she hears the sound of crying down one of the long corridors. Outside, she meets a magical boy who can charm and talk to animals. Then, one day, Mary discovers the most mysterious wonder of all--a secret garden, walled and locked, which has been completely forgotten for years and years. Is everything in the garden dead, or can Mary bring it back to life?
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BUR
A Little Princess (age 9-12)
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
growing up ... friendship ... fantasy
A Little Princess tells the story of Ann, whose comfortable life as the daughter of a wealthy and loving father is destroyed when he goes missing. Though she faces many challenges, we find that her strength of character makes her special indeed.
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BLU
Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret (age 9-12)
by Judy Blume
identity ... friendship ... growing up
For Margaret, everything is different this year. She's just moved from New York City to the suburbs and is anxious to fit in with her new friends. When the girls form a secret club to talk about private subjects, Margaret is happy to belong. But in Farbrook, everybody joins the Y or the Jewish Community Center. Margaret doesn't have a religion, so what's she supposed to do? Suddenly life is very confusing. Maybe it's all part of growing up, but Margaret could really use some answers.

Escondido Elementary School, Sat Aug 25 11:55:29 2012
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