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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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CON
Sylvia and Aki (age 9-12)
by Winifred Conkling
bigotry ... historical ... school
Publisher comments: Sylvia never expected to be at the center of a landmark legal battle; all she wanted was to enroll in school. Aki never expected to be relocated to a Japanese internment camp in the Arizona desert; all she wanted was to stay on her family farm and finish the school year. The two girls certainly never expected to know each other, until their lives intersected in Southern California during a time when their country changed forever. Here is the remarkable story based on true events of Sylvia Mendez and Aki Munemitsu, two ordinary girls living in extraordinary times. When Sylvia and her brothers are not allowed to register at the same school Aki attended and are instead sent to a "Mexican" school, the stage is set for Sylvia's father to challenge in court the separation of races in California's schools. Ultimately, Mendez vs. Westminster School District led to the desegregation of California schools and helped build the case that would end school segregation nationally.
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BOW
Touchdown Trouble (age 9-12)
by Fred Bowen
school ... sports
Publisher comments: Sam loves football. Most of all he loves the feeling he gets when his team, the Cowboys, are working together-moving closer and closer to the end zone. But Sam's pride in his team begins to fade. In an important game, the Cowboys beat the Giants to remain undefeated, thanks to a touchdown by Sam in the final play of the game. But later, watching a video of the game, Sam and his teammates realize that the winning touchdown was scored illegally. The Giants should have won the game. Now the team is divided. Should they keep quiet or give the Giants the win? It is only when Sam's father tells the Cowboys about a famous football game-and similar dilemma-from the past that that Sam knows what to do. But will his teammates agree?
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MAG
Seven Spiders Spinning (age 9-12)
by Gregory Maguire
traditions ... school ... humor
Publisher comments: It's the discovery of the century: seven baby Siberian snow spiders frozen in a glacier. But as the spectacular chunk of ice is being trucked for analysis, the tiny tarantulas defrost — and escape. And when their beady spider eyes open for the very first time, they spy the seven members of a girls' club, the Tattletales. Each spider picks a girl and falls instantly in love. But love begins to sour when one of the spiders is captured by the Tattletales' classmate, Pearl. Six alarmed arachnids set off one by one to rescue their sibling. And as they get bigger, they get meaner ... which means major trouble for Pearl, the Tattletales, and the rival boys' club, the Copycats. Because there's only one thing worse than a love bite from a poisonous snow spider — and that's the bite of love gone bad! Halloween story.
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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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ANG
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (age 9-12)
by Tom Angleberger
humor ... school ... mystery
Publisher comments: In this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class and of the greatness that sometimes comes in unlikely packages, Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren't strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight's classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, he assembles the case file that forms this novel.
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BUN
Sixth-Grade Sleepover (age 9-12)
by Eve Bunting
growing up ... school
Catalog: Janey worries that the sixth grade Rabbit Reading Club's all-night sleepover will expose her fear of the dark, but it turns out that she is not the only member with a secret.
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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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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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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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CLE
Mitch and Amy (age 9-12)
by Beverly Cleary
school ... family
Publisher comments: Mitch and Amy both think being twins is fun, but that doesn't stop them from squabbling. Amy is good at reading. Mitch is a math whiz. Amy likes to play pretend. Mitch would rather skateboard. They never want to watch the same television show. And they always try to get the better of each other. Then the school bully starts picking on Mitch and on Amy, too. Now the twins have something rotten in common: Alan Hibbler. This twosome must set aside their squabbles and band together to defeat a bully!
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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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DUF
Utterly Yours, Booker Jones (age 9-12)
by Betsy Duffey
authorship ... school ... family
Middle school student and aspiring author Booker Jones is evicted from his bedroom when his grandfather moves in, creating problems both at home and at school.
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HAN
Ida B: and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World (age 9-12)
by Katherine Hannigan
illness/loss ... humor ... school ... growing up
Who is Ida B. Applewood? She is a fourth grader like no other, living a life like no other, with a voice like no other, and her story will resonate long after you have put this book down. How does Ida B cope when outside forces (life, really) attempt to derail her and her family and her future? She enters her Black Period, and it is not pretty. But then, with the help of a patient teacher, a loyal cat and dog, her beloved apple trees, and parents who believe in the same things she does (even if they sometimes act as though they don't), the resilience that is the very essence of Ida B triumph...and Ida B. Applewood takes the hand that is extended and starts to grow up.
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ROW
The Harry Potter Series (age 9-12)
by J. K. Rowling
fantasy ... adventure ... family ... school ... magic
As the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone opens, all Harry Potter knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley, a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry's room is a closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn't had a birthday party in eleven years. But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry (and anyone who reads about him) will find unforgettable.
title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
title: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
title: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
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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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YOL
Wizard's Hall (age 9-12)
by Jane Yolen
fantasy ... magic ... school
Poor Henry. It's not enough that his mother has sent him away from home to learn magic. It's not enough that everyone at his new school calls him Thornmallow because he's ``prickly on the outside, squishy within''. It's not enough that the only talent he shows at Wizard's Hall is an ability to make messes of even the simplest spells. He finds himself with more responsibility than he knows how to bear.
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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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NIM
Children of the Red King (Charlie Bone) Series (age 9-12)
by Jenny Nimmo
adventure ... fantasy ... school
This series chronicles Charlie's mysterious adventures at Bloor's Academy.
title: Midnight for Charlie Bone
title: Charlie Bone and the Beast
title: Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors
title: Charlie Bone and the Hidden King
title: Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy
title: Charlie Bone and the Time Twister
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DEJ
The Wheel on the School (age 9-12)
by Meindert DeJong
school ... nature ... animals ... enterprise
Why do the storks no longer come to the little Dutch fishing village of Shora to nest? It was Lina, one of the six schoolchildren who first asked the question, and she set the others to wondering. And sometimes when you begin to wonder, you begin to make things happen. So the children set out to bring the storks back to Shora. The force of their vision put the whole village to work until at last the dream began to come true.
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CLE
A Week in the Woods (age 9-12)
by Andrew Clements
identity ... survival ... adventure ... school
The fifth-grade Week in the Woods is a beloved tradition of Hardy Elementary, where Mark Chelmsley (the Fourth) is pretty much killing time before his parents send him off to an exclusive prep school. But then Mark realizes the Week might be a chance to prove to Mr. Maxwell that he's not just another of the slacker kids the teacher can't stand.

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