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TAY
Secrets! (age 9-12)
by Karen Tayleur
humor ... letters/journal ... friendship ... authorship
Publisher comments: David Mortimore Baxter becomes famous for being good at keeping secrets. Big secrets. More and more people confide in him, until David's ready to explode. How can he keep so many secrets, when he knows that blabbing them out loud might actually help his family and friends?
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BET
My Name Is Brain Brian (age 9-12)
by Jeanne Betancourt
identity ... friendship ... school
Catalog: Although he is helped by his new sixth grade teacher after being diagnosed as dyslexic, Brian still has some problems with school and with people he thought were his friends.
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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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LEV
The Wish (age 9-12)
by Gail Carson Levine
friendship ... fantasy ... school
Publisher comments: Wilma Sturtz is invisible and miserable at school. So when an old lady on the subway offers her a wish, Wilma immediately asks for popularity — in fact, she asks to be the most popular kid at school. Suddenly, Wilma has more friends than she can keep track of, forty dates to the Grad Night Dance, and a secret admirer writing her love poems. Everything is great, until she realizes there's a loophole in her wish, and her time in the spotlight has almost run out.
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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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DEF
The Ghost of Fossil Glen (age 9-12)
by Cynthia C. DeFelice
letters/journal ... mystery ... friendship ... spooky
Allie Nichols knows she's being pursued by a ghost. But her friend Karen calls her a liar and doesn't want to hear stuff like that. It is Allie's old pal Dub who listens eagerly as Allie tells him about a voice that guides her safely down a steep cliff side, the face in her mind's eye of a girl who begs ``Help me,'' and a terrible nightmare in which that girl falls to her death. Who is the girl? Is she the ghost? And what does the ghost want from Allie? As Allie discovers that her role is to avenge a murder, she also learns something about friendship, false and true, in this gripping ghost story and murder mystery.
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CAL
Katie John (age 9-12)
by Mary Calhoun
friendship ... family
Ten-year-old Katie John Tucker did not look forward to the summer she and her parents were to spend in the enormous old house in the small southern town. She hadn't wanted to leave her friends, and she wished that Fall would come quickly. But in spite of all her gloomy predictions, Katie John had a wonderful summer. With her new friend, Sue Halsey, she explored the old house and found it full of exciting surprises.
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BRO
Masterpiece (age 9-12)
by Elise Broach
the arts ... mystery ... friendship
Publisher comments: Marvin lives with his family under the kitchen sink in the Pompadays apartment. He is very much a beetle. James Pompaday lives with his family in New York City. He is very much an eleven-year-old boy. After James gets a pen-and-ink set for his birthday, Marvin surprises him by creating an elaborate miniature drawing. James gets all the credit for the picture and before these unlikely friends know it they are caught up in a staged art heist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that could help recover a famous drawing by Albrecht Durer. But James can't go through with the plan without Marvin's help. And thats where things get really complicated (and interesting!).
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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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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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FER
Cricket and the Crackerbox Kid (age 9-12)
by Alane Ferguson
growing up ... friendship ... school
Pampered eleven-year-old rich kid Cricket thinks she has finally found a friend in Dominic, who lives in the low-income houses called crackerboxes, until they quarrel over ownership of a dog and their classroom becomes a courtroom to decide who is right.
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GRE
Philip Hall Likes Me. I Reckon Maybe. (age 9-12)
by Bette Greene
friendship ... humor
Eleven-year-old Beth thinks that Philip Hall likes her, but their on-again, off-again relationship sometimes makes her wonder.
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ROC
How to Fight a Girl (age 9-12)
by Thomas Rockwell
growing up ... friendship
Joe and Alan's plan to get revenge on Billy backfires when their secret weapon, the prettiest girl in their fifth grade class, becomes Billy's friend instead.
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YEE
Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time (age 9-12)
by Lisa Yee
humor ... friendship ... letters/journal ... brilliant protagonist
Stanford Wong is having a bad summer. He flunks English and will have to trade basketball camp for summer school. Even worse, his mother has hired the world's biggest nerdball and most annoying genius, Millicent Min, to tutor him. And with family pressures mounting, how will be find a way to cope?
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YEE
Millicent Min, Girl Genius (age 9-12)
by Lisa Yee
humor ... friendship ... letters/journal ... brilliant protagonist
Millicent Min is having a bad summer. Her fellow high school students hate her for setting the curve. Her fellow 11-year-olds hate her for going to high school. And her mother has arranged for her to tutor Stanford Wong, the poster boy for Chinese geekdom. But then Millie meets Emily Ebers. Emily doesn't know Millicent's IQ score. She actually thinks Millie is cool. And if Millie can hide her awards, ignore her grandmother's advice, swear her parents to silence, blackmail Stanford, and keep all her lies straight, she just might make her first friend. What's it gong to take? Sheer genius.
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SPI
Eggs (age 9-12)
by Jerry Spinelli
humor ... friendship ... illness/loss
Mourning the loss of his mother, nine-year-old David forms an unlikely friendship with independent, quirky thirteen-year-old Primrose, as the two help each other deal with what is missing in their lives.
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SNY
The Bronze Pen (age 9-12)
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
brilliant protagonist ... humor ... friendship ... magic ... family ... authorship
Twelve-year-old Audrey Abbott dreams of becoming a writer, but with her father's failing health and the family's shaky finances, it seems there is no room for what her overworked mother would surely call a childish fantasy. So Audrey keeps her writing a secret. That is, until she meets a mysterious old woman who seems able to read her mind. Audrey is surprised at how readily she reveals her secret to the woman. One day the old woman gives Audrey a peculiar bronze pen and tells her to "use it wisely and to good purpose." It turns out to be just perfect for writing her stories with. But as Audrey writes, odd things start happening. Did Beowulf, her dog, just speak to her? And what is that bumping under her bed at night? It seems that whatever she writes with the pen comes true. However, things don't always happen in the way that she wants or expects. In fact, it's quite difficult to predict what writing with the pen will do. Could the pen be more of a curse than a gift? Or will Audrey be able to rewrite the future in the way that she wishes---and save her father's life?
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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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OLM
Pollyanna (age 9-12)
by Kathleen Olmstead
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
title: Needle and Thread
title: Tis the Season
title: Best Friends
title: The Secret Book Club
title: September Surprises
title: Keeping Secrets
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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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BRY
The Saddle Club Series (age 9-12)
by Bonnie Bryant
animals ... friendship
Carole Hanson and Stevie Lake have been best friends ever since they met at Pine Hollow Stables. So when Lisa Atwood joins their riding group, the girls aren't sure she's got what it takes. Lisa may be the smartest student in the classroom, but she's got a lot to learn when it comes to horses. . . .
title: Horse Sense
title: Horse Power
title: Horse Play
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PEC
The Dreadful Future of Blossom Culp (age 9-12)
by Richard Peck
fantasy ... school ... friendship ... spooky
Blossom, not the most popular member of her freshman class in 1914, travels ahead seventy years, and returns in time to make Halloween a memorable night for her classmates and teachers.
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LIS
Afternoon of the Elves (age 9-12)
by Janet Taylor Lisle
fantasy ... friendship
As Hillary works in the miniature village, allegedly built by elves, in Sara-Kate's backyard, she becomes more and more curious about Sara-Kate's real life inside her big, gloomy house with her mysterious, silent mother.
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DOW
Chicken Boy (age 9-12)
by Frances O'Roark Dowell
illness/loss ... family ... friendship
Tobin Mccauley's got a near-certifiable grandmother, a pack of juvenile-delinquent siblings, and a dad who's not going to win father of the year any time soon. To top it off, Tobin's only friend truly believes that the study of chickens will reveal...the meaning of life? Getting through seventh grade isn't easy for anyone, son, but when the first day of school starts out with your granny's arrest, you know you've got real problems. Throw on five-day suspension (for defending your English teacher's honor), a chicken that lays green eggs, and a family feud that's tearing everyone to pieces, and you're in for one heck of a ride.
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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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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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KLA
The Green Glass Sea (age 9-12)
by Ellen Klages
math/science/technology ... brilliant protagonist ... friendship ... historical
Publisher comments: It is 1943, and 11-year-old Dewey Kerrigan is traveling west on a train to live with her scientist father ... but no one, not her father nor the military guardians who accompany her, will tell her exactly where he is. When she reaches Los Alamos, New Mexico, she learns why: he's working on a top secret government program. Over the next few years, Dewey gets to know eminent scientists, starts tinkering with her own mechanical projects, becomes friends with a budding artist who is as much of a misfit as she is ... and, all the while, has no idea how the Manhattan Project is about to change the world.
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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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MOR
Gentle Ben (age 9-12)
by Walt Morey
friendship ... nature ... animals
The Alaskan wilderness is a lonely place for Mark Andersen, especially after the death of his older brother, Jamie. But in time Mark finds someone else to love--Ben, an Alaskan brown bear so huge that no one else dares come near him.
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COH
Thank You, Jackie Robinson (age 9-12)
by Barbara Cohen
illness/loss ... sports ... friendship
Publisher comments: After Sam's father died, he became so wrapped up in the Brooklyn Dodgers that he could describe every game they'd played in the past four years. Nobody was very interested, until Sam met Davy. They came from different races, religions, and generations. But it didn't take long before they had a friendship that went well beyond baseball.
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SYM
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (age 9-12)
by Jimmy Symonds
friendship ... historical
Adapted from Victor Hugo's famous novel. In medieval Paris, Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bellringer of Notre Dame Cathedral, struggles to save the gypsy dancer Esmeralda from being unjustly executed.
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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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NAM
Yang the Third and Her Impossible Family (age 9-12)
by Lensey Namioka
friendship ... identity ... family
Yingmei Yang has changed her name to Mary now that she's learning how to be American. It's hard since her family sticks to their Chinese customs. Still, Mary wants to be best friends with popular Holly Hanson. She sees her chance when she adopts one of Holly's kittens. The trouble is that Mary's family can't afford a cat and it could damage their prized musical instruments. To prove her friendship to Holly, Mary must find a way to keep the kitten a secret from her impossible family. It won't be easy!
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GIP
Old Yeller (age 9-12)
by Fred Gipson
adventure ... historical ... growing up ... friendship
In the late 1860s in the Texas hill country, a big yellow dog and a fourteen-year-old boy form a close, loving relationship.
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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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WAL
The Pick of the Litter (age 9-12)
by Bill Wallace
friendship ... animals
Twelve-year-old Tom learns firsthand about honor, friendship, and puppy love in the summer after sixth grade. First he is wrongly accused of lying on the last day of school. Then, after helping his ill grandfather take care of his kennel, he faces the risk of losing a puppy he has come to love.
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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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CLE
Strider (age 9-12)
by Beverly Cleary
school ... friendship ... growing up ... letters/journal
Strider has a new habit. Whenever we stop, he places his paw on my foot. It isn't an accident because he always does it. I like to think he doesn't want to leave me. Can a stray dog change the life of a teenage boy? It looks as if Strider can. He's a dog that loves to run; because of Strider, Leigh Botts finds himself running, well enough to join the school track team. Strider changes Leigh on the inside, too, as he finally begins to accept his parents' divorce and gets to know a redheaded girl he's been admiring. With Strider's help, Leigh finds that the future he once hated to be asked about now holds something he never expected: hope.
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BYA
The Burning Questions of Bingo Brown (age 9-12)
by Betsy Cromer Byars
school ... family ... friendship ... growing up
When Bingo has to keep a notebook for school, all he can come up with are questions. Like how could I fall in love with three girls in three minutes? But not even his teacher, Mr. Mark, has the answers. In fact Mr. Mark has been acting pretty weird lately, and he's getting weirder. Is there more wrong with Mr. Mark than Bingo can handle?
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BYA
The Not-Just-Anybody Family (age 9-12)
by Betsy Cromer Byars
humor ... realistic ... family ... friendship
When Junior Blossom wakes up in the hospital, his last memory is of crouching on the barn roof with cloth wings tied to his arms, and of Maggie and Vern in the yard below, urging him to fly. That had been just before Junior spotted a police car approaching the farm in a cloud of dust. Meanwhile Pap, the children's grandfather, sits in disgrace in the city jail. He was arrested for disturbing the peace after his pickup truck accidentally dumped 2,147 beer and soda cans (worth $107.35) on Spring Street. With their mother away on the rodeo circuit, it's up to Maggie and Vern to find a way to rescue Pap and Junior. How will they solve their family problems?
sequel: The Blossoms and the Green Phantom
sequel: The Blossoms Meet the Vulture Lady
sequel: A Blossom Promise
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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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SCH
F Is for Freedom (age 9-12)
by Roni Schotter
historical ... friendship
``Reading is freedom,'' Hannah's mother has always told her. ``The thoughts in books are powerful strong, stronger even than chains,'' her father has said. Courageous and determined, Hannah longs to be free in every way she can, including the freedom that comes with literacy. And her headstrong friend Amanda is willing to risk everything to help her. Set a decade before the Civil War, this moving story crackles with suspense and says as much about the power of words as it does about the power of friendship.
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RYL
A Fine White Dust (age 9-12)
by Cynthia Rylant
friendship ... growing up
The visit of the traveling Preacher Man to his small North Carolina town gives new impetus to thirteen-year-old Peter's struggle to reconcile his own deeply felt religious belief with the beliefs and non-beliefs of his family and friends.
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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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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 Road to Oz
title: Tik-tok 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
title: Lovingly Alice
title: Alice in Blunderland
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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 Windy Poplars
title: Anne of Ingleside
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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.
sequel: Saving Shiloh
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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: The Boys Start the War and The Girls Get Even
title: The Girls' Revenge
title: A Traitor Among the Boys
title: A Spy Among the Girls
title: The Girls Take Over
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.
Dinotopia Series (age 9-12)
friendship ... fantasy
In the lush fantastical world of Dinotopia, dinosaurs and humans live harmoniously in a unique society with a culture, philosophy, and written language all its own. A storm at sea washes a young pickpocket and a surgeon's son overboard and they land in Dinotopia, where they learn the real meaning of courage and friendship.
title: Windchaser by Scott Ciencin F CIE
title: River Quest by John Vornholt F VOR
title: Dinotopia: a Land Apart From Time by James Gurney F GUR
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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
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great (age 9-12)
by Judy Blume
friendship
A summer in Tarrytown, N.Y., is a lot of fun for ten-year-old Sheila even though her friends make her face up to some self-truths she doesn't want to admit.
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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.

Fairmeadow Elementary School, Sat Aug 25 11:55:30 2012
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