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LAF
Eight Keys (age 9-12)
by Suzanne LaFleur
growing up ... identity ... friendship
Publisher comments: Elise and Franklin have always been best friends. Elise has always lived in the big house with her loving Uncle and Aunt, because Elise's parents died when she was too young to remember them. There's always been a barn behind the house with eight locked doors on the second floor. When Elise and Franklin start middle school, things feel all wrong. Bullying. Not fitting in. Franklin suddenly seems babyish. Then, soon after her 12th birthday, Elise receives a mysterious key left for her by her father. A key that unlocks one of the eight doors upstairs in the bar.
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MAS
13 Gifts (age 9-12)
by Wendy Mass
friendship ... traditions ... growing up
Publisher comments: When Tara, a self-proclaimed shrinking violet, steals the school mascot, a goat, in order to make some friends with the popular crowd and gets caught, she gets herself in a heap of trouble. In addition, her parents decide that instead of taking her on their summer trip to Madagascar to study the courtship rituals of the Bamboo Lemur, she must go stay with her aunt, uncle, and bratty cousin Emily St. Claire in Willow Falls. Tara thinks it's a good time to start over; she'll be turning 13 after all, so she might as well make the best of it and perhaps even attempt to break out of her shell (in a non-criminal manner). What Tara doesn't know is that this charmed town has something big in store for her on her 13th birthday. It's not a typical birthday. But then again, nothing is Willow Falls is exactly typical!
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HOL
Turtle in Paradise (age 9-12)
by Jennifer Holm
adventure ... growing up ... historical
Publisher comments: Life isn't like the movies, and eleven-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple. She's smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it's 1935, and jobs and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. So when Turtle's mama gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn't like kids, Turtle says goodbye without a tear and heads off to Key West, Florida, to stay with relatives she's never met. Florida's like nothing Turtle has ever seen. It's hot and strange, full of wild green peeping out between houses, ragtag boy cousins, and secret treasure. Before she knows what's happened, Turtle finds herself coming out of the shell she has spent her life building, and as she does, her world opens up in the most unexpected ways.
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CRE
Chasing Redbird (age 9-12)
by Sharon Creech
growing up ... identity ... family ... illness/loss
It started out as an ordinary summer. But the minute thirteen-year-old Zinny uncovered the old, overgrown trail that ran through the woods behind her family's house, she realized that things were about to change. Right from the start, Zinny knew that uncovering the trail would be more than just a summer project. It was her chance to finally make people notice her, and to have a place she could call her very own. But more than that, Zinny knew that the trail somehow held the key to all kinds of questions. And that the only way to understand her family, her Aunt Jessie's death, and herself, was to find out where it went.
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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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BRO
The Heartland Series (age 9-12)
by Lauren Brooke
growing up ... animals
Heartwarming stories of Amy's life at the Heartland Horse Farm.
title: Heartland: Coming Home
title: Come What May
title: Out of the Darkness
title: Taking Chances
title: Thicker Than Water
title: A Holiday Memory
title: New Beginnings
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BLO
A Gathering of Days: a New England Girl's Journal, 1830-32, a Novel (age 9-12)
by Joan W. Blos
historical ... growing up ... letters/journal
Catalog: The journal of a fourteen-year-old girl, kept the last year she lived on the family farm, records daily events in her small New Hampshire town, her father's remarriage, and the death of her best friend.
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HOR
My One Hundred Adventures (age 9-12)
by Polly Horvath
family ... growing up ... adventure
Publisher comments: Jane is 12 years old, and she is ready for adventures, to move beyond the world of her siblings and single mother and their house by the sea, and step into the "know-not what." And, over the summer, adventures do seem to find Jane, whether it's a thrilling ride in a hot-air balloon, the appearances of a slew of possible fathers, or a weird new friendship with a preacher and psychic wannabe. Most important, there's Jane's discovery of what lies at the heart of all great adventures: that it's not what happens to you that matters, but what you learn about yourself.
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GIF
Eleven (age 9-12)
by Patricia Reilly Giff
realistic ... growing up ... family ... mystery ... identity
Publisher comments: Sam is almost 11 when he discovers a locked box in the attic above his grandfather Mack’s room, and a piece of paper that says he was kidnapped. There are lots of other words, but Sam has always had trouble reading. He’s desperate to find out who he is, and if his beloved Mack is really his grandfather. At night he’s haunted by dreams of a big castle and a terrifying escape on a boat. Who can he trust to help him read the documents that could unravel the mystery? Then he and the new girl, Caroline, are paired up to work on a school project, building a castle in Mack’s woodworking shop. Caroline loves to read, and she can help. But she’s moving soon, and the two must hurry to discover the truth about Sam.
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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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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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TAM
The Junkyard Dog (age 9-12)
by Erika Tamar
growing up ... family ... animals
With the advice of her stepfather, eleven-year-old Katie takes on the job of feeding an abused junkyard dog and building it a doghouse for shelter during the hard winter.
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LOW
Your Move, J.P.! (age 9-12)
by Lois Lowry
growing up ... friendship
Lovestruck J.P. finds himself doing all sorts of weird things to impress his new interest but his life becomes very complicated when a simple lie gets out of control.
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SAL
Bambi: a Life in the Woods (age 9-12)
by Felix Salten
nature ... animals ... growing up
Describes the life of a deer in the forest as he grows into a beautiful stag. Bambi's life in the woods begins happily. But winter comes, and Bambi learns that the woods hold danger ... and things he doesn't understand. The first snowfall makes food hard to find. Bambi's father, a handsome stag, roams the forest, but leaves Bambi and his mother alone. Then there is Man. He comes to the forest with weapons that can wound an animal. He does terrible things to Gobo, to Bambi's mother, and even to Bambi. But He can't keep Bambi from growing into a handsome stag himself and becoming...the Prince of the Forest.
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NAY
Night Cry (age 9-12)
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
growing up ... family ... mystery
Often left alone on their five-acre Mississippi farm by her traveling-salesman father, Ellen learns, through a terrifying experience, to distinguish between real and false fears.
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KON
About the B'nai Bagels (age 9-12)
by E. L. Konigsburg
realistic ... family ... sports ... growing up
Mark Seltzer thought he had enough aggravation studying for his Bar Mitzvah and losing his best friend. It's the last straw when his mother becomes the new manager of his Little League baseball team and drags his older brother, Spencer, along as the coach. No one knows what to expect with a mother for a manager, but soon Mark and the other players are surprised to see how much they're improving due to coach Spencer's strategy and helpful hints from "Mother Bagel." It looks like nothing can stop them from becoming champs--until Mark hears some startling news!
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DAN
The Cat Ate My Gymsuit (age 9-12)
by Paula Danziger
growing up ... humor ... school
When the unconventional English teacher who helped her conquer many of her feelings of insecurity is fired, a junior high student uses her new found courage to campaign for the teacher's reinstatement.
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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
title: Lucky Breaks
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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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DIC
A Christmas Carol (age 9-12)
by Charles Dickens
traditions ... growing up ... folklore ... spooky
A miser learns the true meaning of Christmas when three ghostly visitors review his past and foretell his future.
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KRU
...and Now Miguel (age 9-12)
by Joseph Krumgold
growing up
The story of Miguel Chavez who yearned to go with the men of his family to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and trade boyhood for manhood.
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CUS
The Midwife's Apprentice (age 9-12)
by Karen Cushman
growing up ... historical
In medieval England, a nameless, homeless girl is taken in by a sharp-tempered midwife and, in spite of obstacles and hardship, eventually gains the three things she most wants: a full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world.
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SNY
Black and Blue Magic (age 9-12)
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
growing up ... magic
You'd think that someone with a name like Harry Houdini Marco would be deft and skillful, but Harry could only occasionally catch even an easy fly ball without making some dumb error. On top of that, most of his friends' families were moving to the suburbs. It would have been a long, dreary summer, but then a Mr. Mazeeck showed up and turned out to be more than he seemed.
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HUN
Across Five Aprils (age 9-12)
by Irene Hunt
war ... family ... growing up ... historical
Young Jethro Creighton grows from a boy to a man when he is left to take care of the family farm in Illinois during the difficult years of the Civil War.
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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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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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CAS
Behind the Attic Wall (age 9-12)
by Sylvia Cassedy
growing up ... family ... spooky
In the bleak, forbidding house of her great-aunts, neglected twelve-year-old orphan Maggie hears ghostly voices and finds magic that awakens in her the capacity to love and be loved.
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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
Bingo Brown and the Language of Love (age 9-12)
by Betsy Cromer Byars
family ... friendship ... growing up
As twelve-year-old Bingo Brown strives for the triumphs of today and steels himself against the tribulations of tomorrow, he discovers that he will have to undergo a few more trials and triumphs before growing up.
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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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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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LOW
Anastasia Series (age 9-12)
by Lois Lowry
growing up ... realistic ... humor ... family
To Anastasia Krupnik, being ten is very confusing. For one thing, she has this awful teacher who can't understand why Anastasia doesn't capitalize or punctuate her poems. Then, there's Washburn Cummings, a very interesting sixth-grade boy who doesn't even know she is alive. Even her parents have become difficult. On top of that, they're going to have a baby, at their age! It's enough to make a kid want to do something terrible. Anastasia knows that if she didn't have her secret green notebook to write in, she would never make it to her eleventh birthday. Fans of Anastasia will enjoy this author's books about her little brother Sam as well.
title: Anastasia Krupnik
title: Anastasia, Absolutely
title: Anastasia Has the Answers
title: Anastasia, Ask Your Analyst
title: Anastasia on Her Own
title: Anastasia's Chosen Career
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APP
Animorphs Series (age 9-12)
by K. A. Applegate
action ... growing up ... animals ... science fiction ... adventure
This fantastic, unpredictable, edge-of-your-seat series can best be described as an ``X-Files'' for kids--plus a whole lot more! Jake, Rachel, Cassie, Tobias, and Marco are the Animorphs--five kids who can change into any animal they touch.
title: The Invasion
title: The Visitor
title: The Encounter
title: The Message
title: The Capture
title: The Stranger
title: The Alien
title: The Secret
title: The Android
title: The Reaction
title: The Change
title: The Unknown
title: The Warning
title: The Underground
title: The Suspicion
title: The Attack
title: The Conspiracy
title: The Illusion
title: The Predator
title: The Extreme
title: The Escape
title: The Solution
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OPP
The Silverwing Trilogy (age 9-12)
by Kenneth Oppel
growing up ... action ... adventure
Shade is a young Silverwing bat, the runt of his colony. But he's determined to prove himself on the long, dangerous winter migration to Hibernaculum, millions of wingbeats to the south. During a fierce storm, he loses the others and soon faces the most incredible journey of his young life. Desperately searching for a way to rejoin his flock, Shade meets a remarkable cast of characters. But which ones are friends and which ones are enemies? In this epic story of adventure and suspense, Shade is going to need all the help he can find, if he hopes to ever see his family again.
title: Silverwing
title: Sunwing
title: Firewing
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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: Lovingly Alice
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CUS
The Ballad of Lucy Whipple (age 9-12)
by Karen Cushman
growing up ... historical
In 1849, a twelve-year-old girl who calls herself Lucy is distraught when her mother moves the family from Massachusetts to a small California mining town, where Lucy helps run a rough boarding house and looks for comfort in books while trying to find a way to get ``home.''
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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.

Palo Verde Elementary School, Sat Aug 25 11:55:34 2012
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