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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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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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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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BRE
Children of Crow Cove Series (age 9-12)
by Bodil Bredsdorff
adventure ... friendship ... voyages/journeys
Publisher comments: Near a little cove where a brook runs out to the sea live a girl and her grandmother. All alone with no neighbors at all, the two lead a peaceful existence. They have a house, dine on sea kale and mussels and sand snails, and build fires from driftwood. But the grandmother is very old. When the time comes that the girl must bury the woman, she makes up a funeral song about the birds she is watching: Two crows never fly alone, and death is never, ever past. The next day the same crows seem to beckon her, and so the Crow-Girl begins her journey, one in which she will meet people both warm and cold, hurt and hurtful. And the Crow-Girl, before she knows it, has the makings before her of a new family.
title: The Crow-Girl: the Children of Crow Cove
title: Eidi
title: Tink
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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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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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CUL
The Backyard Ghost (age 9-12)
by Lynn Cullen
war ... school ... friendship ... spooky
Eleanor's desperate attempts to break into the popular crowd at her new school are complicated by her discovery that her back yard is haunted by a Civil War ghost.
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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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ALC
Jack and Jill (age 9-12)
by Louisa May Alcott
illness/loss ... friendship ... family
When friends Jack and Jill are injured in a sledding accident, their family and friends rally around them to help in their recovery.
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ADL
Fly Free (age 9-12)
by Carole S. Adler
family ... friendship
Shy thirteen-year-old Shari, abused at home by a mother who resents her, is befriended by a neighbor who shares her love of birds and the out-of-doors.
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BAT
Thatcher Payne-in-the-neck (age 9-12)
by Betty Bates
friendship ... family
Two friends with one parent each decide to do some matchmaking, only to later wonder if they've been too successful.
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WIL
Vicky Angel (age 9-12)
by Jacqueline Wilson
humor ... friendship ... illness/loss
Publisher comments: Jade is so used to being with and agreeing with Vicky, her larger-than-life best friend, that when a tragic accident occurs, she can hardly believe that Vicky's gone. But Vicky is a spunky girl who's not going to let a small thing like death stop her from living life to the fullest. Whether Jade is in school, running, or tentatively trying to make new friends, Vicky makes her presence felt, and its not always a good thing.
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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
title: The Tasters Guild
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DOW
The Secret Language of Girls (age 9-12)
by Frances O'Roark Dowell
identity ... growing up ... school ... friendship
Publisher comments: In the old days, when Kate had no interest in romance, she never cared what other people thought. Now, it appeared, love was turning her into a rotten human being. Eleven-year-old Kate Faber wishes she could talk to her best friend, Marylin, about this. But Marylin is no longer her best friend. Or is she? Kate and Marylin were always the kind of best friends who lived on the same block for their entire lives, and who agreed on what kinds of boys were worth kissing and who should be invited to their sleepover. The kind of best friends who didn't need words to talk, but who always just knew. But lately Marylin has started to think that Kate can be a bit babyish. And Kate thinks Marylin is acting like a big snob. Somehow nothing is the same, but secretly Kate and Marylin both wish it could be.
sequel: The Kind of Friends We Used to Be
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BAU
Sticks (age 9-12)
by Joan Bauer
friendship ... sports ... enterprise
Publisher comments: Mickey's family owns the neighborhood pool hall, and he's been playing since before he could talk. Now that he's in fifth grade, he's determined to win the Junior Nine-Ball Championship and cream obnoxious Buck Pender. Problem is, Mickey's ten and Buck's thirteen-and could eat him for a snack. Even with his friend Arlen's help, Mickey doesn't stand a chance. Then Joe Alvarez shows up at the pool hall. He's a fantastic player, and decides to sign on as Mickey's pool coach. But it all depends on one person: Mickey. Can he beat the odds?
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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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BOY
Forever Friends (age 9-12)
by Candy Dawson Boyd
friendship ... illness/loss
Catalog: A twelve-year-old black girl's preparations for the prestigious King Academy's entrance exam are disrupted when her best friend is killed.
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BOY
Charlie Pippin (age 9-12)
by Candy Dawson Boyd
war ... illness/loss ... friendship ... family
Catalog: Spunky eleven-year-old Charlie hopes to understand her rigid father by finding out everything she can about the Vietnam War, the war that let him survive but killed his dreams.
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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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EME
Carlos Is Gonna Get It (age 9-12)
by Kevin Emerson
school ... friendship ... growing up
Publisher comments: How strange is Carlos? REALLY strange. He scratches himself all the time, and he talks about aliens in this weird shaky voice, and he breaks up the class and gets everyone else in trouble when it's *his* fault he's such a freak. So Trina, Donte, Thea, Sara, and Frankie decide to use the upcoming 7th-grade class trip to "get" Carlos and scare him into acting normal. But when Trina has to work with Carlos on a class project, she discovers both his sweetness and the full extent of his troubles. Will she pull out of the plan or go through with it? And what will happen if--when--Carlos gets it?
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MAR
Boys Are Dogs (age 9-12)
by Leslie Margolis
humor ... school ... friendship ... growing up
Publisher comments: Middle-school boys act like wild animals. Thats what Annabelle discovers on her first day in her brand-new life. Birchwood Middle School is totally different from her old all-girls elementary. In fact, lots of things in Annabelles life are totally different now that shes back from summer camp. There's mom's new boyfriend, a new house, new friends; even a new puppy that likes to chew on Annabelles clothes. Well, at least the puppy comes with a leash and a training manual! If only she could say the same for the boys . . . Featuring Annabelles hilarious take on friendship, boys, and her all-new life, this novel / survival guide perfectly captures the joy and agony of junior high school. And it might just teach you how to tame the wildest beast of all, the teenage boy.
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MYR
Ten (age 9-12)
by Lauren Myracle
school ... realistic ... humor ... friendship ... growing up
Publisher comments: Winnie Perry is turning ten and ten is BIG. It means double digits, more responsibility, and being an almost-middle-schooler. Ten means that Winnie can handle anything, even a three-year-old baby brother and a practically teenage (and acting like it) older sister. And with her best friend, Amanda, by her side, Winnie plans on enjoying every last second of her last year in grade school.
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MYR
Eleven (age 9-12)
by Lauren Myracle
realistic ... humor ... friendship ... growing up
Publisher comments: Eleven-year-old Winnie knows that change isn't all it's cracked up to be, especially when it means her best friend might be dropping her for someone else and her crush may have a nasty case of pinkeye.
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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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MOR
My Dog Skip (age 9-12)
by Willie Morris
historical ... growing up ... friendship ... animals
Publisher comments: In 1943 in a sleepy town on the banks of the Yazoo River, a boy fell in love with a puppy with a lively gait and an intellingent way of listening. The two grew up together having the most wonderful adventures. A classic story of a boy, a dog, and small-town America.
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NUZ
The Leanin' Dog (age 9-12)
by K. A. Nuzum
friendship ... animals ... illness/loss
Publisher comments: More than anything, Dessa Dean needed a friend. A friend to love and confide in, a friend with whom she could share her heart. A friend who would delight in all the beauty and joy and fun of Christmas, only four days away. Hope had just about run out, but then . . . there came a scratchin' at the door and Dessa Dean's life was forever changed.
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BUR
Sara Crewe: Or, What Happened at Miss Minchin's (age 9-12)
by Frances Hodgson Burnett
growing up ... friendship ... fantasy
When she is orphaned, the star pupil of Miss Minchin's boarding school in London becomes a penniless, friendless ward of the cruel Miss Minchin.
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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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GRE
This Island Isn't Big Enough for the Four of Us! (age 9-12)
by Gery Greer
realistic ... friendship ... humor
Peter and Scott excitedly plan a camping trip to a deserted island, only to arrive and discover that two girls with zany senses of humor are already in residence.
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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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TAY
The Trouble With Tuck (age 9-12)
by Theodore Taylor
friendship ... illness/loss ... animals
Helen adored her beautiful golden Labrador from the first moment he was placed in her arms, a squirming fat sausage of creamy yellow fur. As her best friend, Friar Tuck waited daily for Helen to come home from school and play. He guarded her through the long, scary hours of the dark night. Twice he even saved her life. Now it's Helen's turn. No one can say exactly when Tuck began to go blind. Probably the light began to fail for him long before the alarming day when he raced after some cats and crashed through the screen door, apparently never seeing it. But from that day on, Tuck's trouble--and how to cope with it--becomes the focus of Helen's life. Together they fight the chain that holds him and threatens to break his spirit, until Helen comes up with a solution so new, so daring, there's no way it can fail.
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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
So Totally Emily Ebers (age 9-12)
by Lisa Yee
humor ... friendship ... letters/journal ... brilliant protagonist
After her parents' divorce, Emily had to move to California with her mom. Now she writes letters to her rock-star dad about travel ("How did the pioneers do it? Did they have to ride with their mothers?"), her new friends, and how much she misses him, though she does still have his credit card. Emily Ebers may be starting over, but she's going to come out on top.
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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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WHY
The Unvisibles (age 9-12)
by Ian Whybrow
adventure ... friendship ... family ... humor
Two very different boys live next door but have taken pains to avoid each other. Oliver is rowdy and loud and doesn't mind being in constant trouble one bit. Nicky is so quiet and self-effacing that he is nearly invisible. One day Oliver finds himself in desperate need of help from his next-door neighbor.
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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: Technical Foul
title: Double Fake
title: Emergency Quarterback
title: Southpaw
title: Dunk Under Pressure
title: Takedown
title: Second-String Center
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TOL
Listen! (age 9-12)
by Stephanie Tolan
friendship ... animals ... illness/loss ... survival
Charley knows a lot about pain. She endures it when she walks on her newly shattered leg, she sees it when her father buries himself in an eighty-hour work week, and she runs from it when she sees photographs her mother took before her death. Then one day, Charley meets a wild, abused dog that knows as much about pain as she does, and, despite herself, she feels an immediate connection and vows to help him. But how will one heartbroken girl help mend the battered spirit of an untamable dog?
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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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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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SAL
Night of the Howling Dogs (age 9-12)
by Graham Salisbury
folklore ... action ... adventure ... friendship ... survival ... nature
Dylan's scout troop goes camping in Halape, a remote spot below the volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. The only thing wrong with the weekend on a beautiful, peaceful beach is Louie, a tough older boy. Louie and Dylan just can't get along. That night an earthquake rocks the camp, and then a wave rushes in, sweeping everyone and everything before it. Dylan and Louie must team up on a dangerous rescue mission. The next hours are an amazing story of survival and the true meaning of leadership.
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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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PAR
Keeping Score (age 9-12)
by Linda Sue Park
friendship ... historical ... war ... sports
Both Maggie Fortini and her brother, Joey-Mick, were named for baseball great Joe DiMaggio. Unlike Joey-Mick, Maggie doesn't play baseball, but at almost ten years old, she is a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Maggie can recite all the players' statistics and understands the subtleties of the game. Unfortunately, Jim Maine is a Giants fan, but it's Jim who teaches Maggie the fine art of scoring a baseball game. Not only can she revisit every play of every inning, but by keeping score she feels she's more than just a fan: she's helping her team. Jim is drafted into the army and sent to Korea, and although Maggie writes to him often, his silence is just one of a string of disappointments: being a Brooklyn Dodgers fan in the early 1950s meant season after season of near misses and year after year of dashed hopes. But Maggie goes on trying to help the Dodgers, and when she finds out that Jim needs help, too, she's determined to provide it. Against a background of major league baseball and the Korean War on the home front, Maggie looks for, and finds, a way to make a difference.
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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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HER
My Big Sister Is So Bossy: She Says You Can't Read This Book (age 9-12)
by Mary Hershey
humor ... friendship ... school
Ten-year-old Effie, bursting with secrets since her best friend moved leaving her without a confidante, tries to deal with her problems on her own, certain there is no help to be found in her big sister, Maxey.
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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 Crazy
title: Horse Shy
title: Horse Sense
title: Horse Power
title: Trail Mates
title: Dude Ranch
title: Horse Play
title: Horse Show
title: Hoof beat
title: Riding Camp
title: Horse Wise
title: Rodeo Rider
title: Trail Ride
title: Carole: the Inside Story
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KAY
A Friend Like Phoebe: a Novel (age 9-12)
by Marilyn Kaye
school ... friendship
Wishing to equal the achievements of her three sisters, twelve-year-old Phoebe hopes to be chosen for a television interview discussing her school, while at the same time she tries to help a friend who recently lost her mother.
F
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.
F
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.
F
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.
F
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.
F
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.
F
KEL
Desdemona, Twelve Going on Desperate (age 9-12)
by Beverly Keller
friendship ... humor ... school
It's one disaster after another as Desdemona Blank tries to make friends at her new junior high, salvage her single-parent father's budding romance, and not think too much about Mike Harbinger, the fifteen-year-old blond school heartthrob. Then several extraordinary things happen...including getting to know Mike...and Desdemona's desperate life becomes a delirious one.
F
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.
F
HAW
The Cat That Could Spell Mississippi (age 9-12)
by Laura Hawkins
identity ... friendship ... school
Anxious to prove that she is special at her new school, fourth-grader Linda makes everything more difficult for herself when she cheats on a spelling bee.
F
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.
F
GRA
A Boy and His Bear (age 9-12)
by Harriet Graham
action ... historical ... friendship ... animals
Dickon rescues his bear cub friend from certain death at the hands of bear catchers in Medieval England. Told in part from the point of view of the cub.
F
MYE
The Young Landlords (age 9-12)
by Walter Dean Myers
friendship ... enterprise
If you were looking for a real dump, you couldn't beat The Stratford Arms. There was Askia Ben Kenobi throwing karate chops upstairs, Petey Darden making booze downstairs, and Mrs. Brown grieving for Jack Johnson, whod died for the third time in a month...and not a rent payer in the bunch. Still, when Paul Williams and the Action Group got the Arms for one dollar, they thought they had it made. But when their friend Chris was arrested for stealing stereos and Dean's dog started biting fire hydrants and Gloria started kissing, being a landlord turned out to be a lot more work than being a kid.
F
O'D
Agnes Parker Series (age 9-12)
by Kathleen O'Dell
growing up ... friendship ... school
Agnes Parker isn't the class outcast or its queen bee-which is okay except that sometimes the middle just seems . . . really . . . ordinary. So Agnes sets out to be a different version of the girl she's always been. Someone who won't always get clobbered by bullies, who can some-times be cool and confident-and maybe catch the eye of that new boy in class?
title: Agnes Parker, Girl in Progress
title: Agnes Parker, Happy Camper?
title: Agnes Parker, Keeping Cool in Middle School
F
PAT
Colder Than Ice (age 9-12)
by David Patneaude
school ... action ... friendship
Josh isn't happy to be starting at a new school. But maybe it's a chance to be somebody--not so easy for a kid who's been pretty average and is overweight besides. So when big-shot Corey Kitchens wants Josh to join him and his friends for ice hockey on Poor Rooney's pond, Josh is pumped. He can see himself out there, with the cool seventh graders, a natural success for the first time in his life. He can hardly wait for the ice to get thick. But why is it that Skye, the girl with the warm smile, doesn't trust Corey? And why does Mark, the strange kid who has Asperger syndrome (a form of autism), put up an umbrella to protect himself from the snow?
F
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!
F
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.
F
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
title: Lucky for Good
F
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.
sequel: White Sands, Red Menace
F
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?
F
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.
F
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.
F
COL
Weirdo's War (age 9-12)
by Michael Coleman
friendship ... school
Publisher comments: Daniel is known as Weirdo because he enjoys doing things at school that others think strange, like working out mathematical formulas for everything and being on his own. Tosh couldn't be more different - hanging around with his 'friends' who use him as a butt of their jokes and picking on others, such as Daniel. So when they find themselves sharing lodgings on a school trip neither is too happy.
F
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.
F
BYA
The 18th Emergency (age 9-12)
by Betsy Cromer Byars
school ... friendship
Publisher comments: Mouse Fawley has just done something very, very dumb. No kid in his right mind would go out of his way to enrage Marv Hammerman, the school bully--but when Mouse saw the picture of the Neanderthal man, he just had to write Marv's name under it. Too bad Marv was standing right behind him while he was doing it. Now Mouse has to choose between being on the run and being killed by the school bully.
F
BUT
Trading Places With Tank Talbott (age 9-12)
by Dori Hillestad Butler
school ... humor ... friendship ... identity
Publisher comments: When dorky Jason Pfeiffer, who hates to swim, and athletic Tank Talbott, who hates ballroom dancing, trade places, the mismatched pair learn some surprising things about friendship and courage. See also, "Tank Talbott's Guide to Girls".
F
CUM
Mogul and Me (age 9-12)
by Peter Cumming
friendship ... historical
The story of friendship between a farmboy and a circus elephant.
F
COT
Quake! : Novel (age 9-12)
by Joe Cottonwood
historical ... friendship ... survival
With their parents away at the 1989 World Series, fourteen-year-old Franny, her younger brother, and their cousin try to cope with the frightening events following an earthquake that destroys their home on Loma Prieta mountain.
F
BEL
Ernestine and Amanda (age 9-12)
by Sandra Belton
friendship ... family
At the beginning of their first adventure, Ernestine and Amanda agree on one thing: they aren't going to be friends. Ernestine thinks wealthy Amanda is stuck-up. Amanda thinks Ernestine is too fat. But as a year goes by and the lives of these ten-year-old piano students become more and more intertwined, the girls are amazed to discover how much they are beginning to need each other.
sequel: Summer Camp-Ready or Not
F
NAY
Being Danny's Dog (age 9-12)
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
realistic ... family ... friendship
Uprooted by his newly divorced mother from Chicago to a suburban development with few trees, fewer kids, and loads of strictly enforced rules, ten-year-old T. R. doesn't know what to do with himself anymore. So he starts trotting after his older brother, Danny, hoping to be included in activities and, at the same time, keeping a close watch over Danny's increasingly worrisome friendship with another boy. It's as if T. R. is becoming his brother's dog!
sequel: Danny's Desert Rats
F
ALC
Eight Cousins, or the Aunt Hill (age 9-12)
by Louisa May Alcott
friendship ... family
Orphaned Rose Campbell finds it difficult to fit in when she goes to live with her six aunts and seven mischievous boy cousins.
sequel: Rose in Bloom, a Sequel
F
WES
With Love From Spain, Melanie Martin (age 9-12)
by Carol Weston
humor ... growing up ... friendship ... family ... voyages/journeys ... letters/journal
On spring break in Spain, fifth-grader Melanie Martin decides to spy on her mother for her father when her mother starts spending a lot of time with her old boyfriend, Antonio, but when she meets Antonio's cute twelve-year-old son, her plans go out the window.
F
WAR
Dog Years (age 9-12)
by Sally Warner
authorship ... friendship ... school
After his father is imprisoned, twelve-year-old Case switches to a new school, where he makes some important discoveries about friendship and honesty.
F
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.
F
STE
The Bones in the Cliff (age 9-12)
by James Stevenson
adventure ... friendship ... family
Pete, a lonely and timid eleven-year-old who has just made friends with an adventurous girl named Rootie, hides out on Cutlass Island with his alcoholic father, waiting for the gunman his father fears will kill him.
F
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.
F
SNY
Cat Running (age 9-12)
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
friendship ... family ... historical
When eleven-year-old Cat Kinsey builds a secret hideout to escape her unhappy homelife, she slowly gets to know a poor family who have come to California after losing their Texas home to the dust storms of the 1930s.
F
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.
sequel: The Missing Piece Meets the Big O
F
SHA
Getting Something on Maggie Marmelstein (age 9-12)
by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat
school ... realistic ... humor ... friendship
After Thad embarrasses Maggie and she retaliates by embarrassing him even more, he plots revenge.
sequel: Maggie Marmelstein For President
F
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.
F
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.
F
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.
F
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!
F
NAM
Yang the Second and Her Secret Admirers (age 9-12)
by Lensey Namioka
identity ... friendship ... family
Yinglan Yang couldn't care less that her brother and sister have adopted all sorts of American customs. She misses China and doesn't want to fit in here. Her siblings decide that Yinglan needs help making friends in America. That's when they join forces and play matchmaker between Yinglan and Paul Eng, a Chinese American baseball player. They're certain Yinglan will never find out. Or will she?
F
MYE
Rosie's Tiger (age 9-12)
by Anna Myers
friendship ... historical ... family
In 1952 in Oklahoma, sixth grader Rosie enlists the aid of her new best friend, the flamboyant Cassandra, in trying to get rid of the Korean wife and stepson her older brother has brought back from the war.
F
MOR
The Dancing Bear (age 9-12)
by Michael Morpurgo
animals ... friendship
A lonely girl living in a remote mountain community adopts an abandoned bear cub, but their friendship is threatened when a glamorous film crew comes to town.
F
MOR
Scrub Dog of Alaska (age 9-12)
by Walt Morey
friendship ... animals
After a runt sled dog is raised by a young boy, the dog's cruel owner demands his return.
F
HEL
On Being Sarah (age 9-12)
by Elizabeth S. Helfman
friendship ... family
Even though life with cerebral palsy isn't easy for twelve-year-old Sarah, she manages with the help of her loving family and several new friends.
F
GOR
The Miraculous Makeover of Lizard Flanagan (age 9-12)
by Carol Gorman
humor ... school ... friendship ... growing up
As she enters middle school, athletic twelve-year-old Lizard is dismayed to see her friends change into weird strangers and struggles with her own transition from tomboy to "girly-girl."
F
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.
F
GLA
Box Top Dreams (age 9-12)
by Miriam Glassman
friendship ... growing up
When her best friend, Danny, moves away, leaving eleven-year-old Ariadne alone on the "brink of adolescence," she discovers that change is a part of growing.
F
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.
F
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.
F
WAL
Ferret in the Bedroom, Lizards in the Fridge (age 9-12)
by Bill Wallace
friendship ... school ... humor ... animals
Liz's house is like a zoo. Thanks to her dad, a zoologist, there are turtles in the kitchen, an ibex in the backyard, a hawk in the shed, a sun porch full of lizards, and Fred the ferret. Liz has had enough! At school, her nickname is Lizard. Her classmates think she's weird and her friends are afraid to go to her house. With problems like those, how is she ever going to win the election for class president? Liz tries her hardest, but she runs into one disaster after another. So she makes the startling decision, the animals must go. Even Fred, her pet ferret. That will make all the difference in the world...won't it?
F
SOT
Baseball in April (age 9-12)
by Gary Soto
sports ... friendship ... growing up ... short stories
In this unique collection of short stories, the small events of daily life reveal big themes--love and friendship, youth and growing up, success and failure. Calling on his own experiences of growing up in California's Central Valley, poet Gary Soto brings to life the joys and pains of young people everywhere. The smart, tough, vulnerable kids in these stories are Latino, but their dreams and desires belong to all of us.
F
KON
T-backs, T-shirts, Coat, and Suit (age 9-12)
by E. L. Konigsburg
realistic ... humor ... identity ... friendship
Going to Peco, Florida, for the summer to stay with Bernadette is not Chloe's first choice. Or her second or her third. It's her only choice. So it's off to Bernadette's for the summer. Bernadette is Chloe's stepfather's sister. Who gives the unexpected a chance. Just what that means Chloe discovers right away. Everything about Bernadette is unexpected: her dog; her job driving a commissary van that serves sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, and junk food to shipyard and dock workers; her way of teaching Chloe to swim; her ability to skate on Rollerblades; and especially the fact that the unexpected is never unexpected to her, not even the events that follow when some commissary drivers begin wearing T-back swimsuits to work (a way of increasing business) and other groups in Peco decide T-backs should be banned forever.
F
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.
F
DEJ
Shadrach (age 9-12)
by Meindert DeJong
animals ... friendship
Davy was overjoyed with the little black rabbit, Shadrach, until the day Shadrach slipped through the slats of his hutch and disappeared.
F
DAN
P.S. Longer Letter Later (age 9-12)
by Paula Danziger and Ann Martin
growing up ... friendship ... letters/journal
Twelve-year-old best friends Elizabeth and Tara-Starr continue their friendship through letter-writing after Tara-Starr's family moves to another state.
F
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.
F
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.
F
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?
F
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.
F
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
sequel: Wanted: Mud Blossom
F
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?
F
WYN
Some of the Kinder Planets (age 9-12)
by Tim Wynne-Jones
friendship ... science fiction ... fantasy ... humor ... short stories
Eight beautifully written short stories about a wide range of topics from contemporary life to ghosts and space aliens.
F
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
F
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!
F
WIL
Behind the Bedroom Wall (age 9-12)
by Laura Williams
bigotry ... friendship ... family ... historical
It's 1942. Thirteen-year-old Korinna Rehme is an active member of her local Jungmadel, a Nazi youth group, along with many of her friends. She believes that Hitler is helping Germany by instituting a program to deal with what he calls the ``Jewish problem,'' a program that she witnesses as her Jewish neighbors are attacked and taken from their homes. Korinna's parents, however, are members of a secret underground group providing a means of escape to the Jews of their city. Korinna is shocked to discover that they are hiding a refugee family behind the wall of her bedroom. But as she comes to know the family, her sympathies begin to turn.
F
WHI
Belle Prater's Boy (age 9-12)
by Ruth White
illness/loss ... growing up ... friendship ... family
When Woodrow's mother suddenly disappears, he moves to his grandparents' home in a small Virginia town where he befriends his cousin and together they find the strength to face the terrible losses and fears in their lives.
F
TUN
Highpockets (age 9-12)
by John Roberts Tunis
illness/loss ... friendship ... sports
Cecil McDade ``Highpockets'' was a good baseball player, but he was all for himself, not a team player. Then, he accidentally ran over a young boy with a car and everything changed.
F
STO
The Noonday Friends (age 9-12)
by Mary Stolz
humor ... school ... friendship ... realistic
Eleven-year-old Franny Davis and her best friend share school and family problems in this realistic, often humorous story set in New York's Greenwich Village.
F
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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SAC
Someday Angeline (age 9-12)
by Louis Sachar
identity ... friendship ... brilliant protagonist
Nobody understands why Angeline is so smart. But being smart is causing Angeline nothing but trouble. The mean kids in school call her a freak, her teacher finds her troublesome, and even her own father doesn't know what to do with an eight-year-old girl who seems to be a genius. Angeline just wants the chance to be herself and be happy, but it's only when she makes friends who appreciate her that Angeline gets that chance.
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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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PAU
Harris and Me (age 9-12)
by Gary Paulsen
identity ... adventure ... friendship
This summer will be different. That's for sure. When an eleven-year-old city boy is dropped off to stay on a farm with relatives, he doesn't know what to expect. His cousin Harris soon takes care of that. Harris is rude and crude and finds trouble at every turn. He leads his city cousin into everything from wrestling slippery pigs to catching mice to a daredevil jump out of a barn loft. And that's not all. There are swimming and cowboy movies and enough good food to fill the boys up for days. Farm life is hard but never lonely. Before long, Harris' cousin has found a place where he belongs. If only summer could last forever.
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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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JAR
The Bat-Poet (age 9-12)
by Randall Jarrell
brilliant protagonist ... friendship ... poetry
There was once a little brown bat who couldn't sleep days-he kept waking up and looking at the world. Before long he began to see things differently from the other bats, who from dawn to sunset never opened their eyes. The Bat-Poet is the story of how he tried to make the other bats see the world his way.
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DEC
The Pickle Song (age 9-12)
by Barthe DeClements
friendship ... school
Paula would like to befriend Sukey Parsons, the new girl in her class, but Sukey isn't making it easy. Sukey keeps to herself and disappears immediately after school. But Paula discovers that she eats very strange lunches, washes her hair in the creek, sings and plays the guitar, and knows how to get money by pawning her belongings. Eventually, Paula also learns that Sukey and her mother are homeless, waiting for Sukey's father to find work in California and send for them. As Paula looks for ways to help, she learns what real generosity means.
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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
title: The Marvelous Land of Oz
title: Ozma of Oz
title: Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
title: The Road to Oz
title: The Emerald City of Oz
title: The Patchwork Girl of Oz
title: Tik-tok of Oz
title: The Scarecrow of Oz
title: Rinkitink in Oz
title: The Lost Princess of Oz
title: The Tin Woodsman of Oz
title: The Magic of Oz
title: Glinda 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 Avonlea
title: Anne of Windy Poplars
title: Anne of Ingleside
title: Rilla of Ingleside
title: Rainbow Valley
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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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RAN
Swallows and Amazons Series (age 9-12)
by Arthur Ransome
friendship ... family ... voyages/journeys ... adventure
To John, Susan, Titty and Roger, simply being allowed to use the boat, ``Swallow'', to go camping on the island is adventure enough. But they soon find themselves under attack from the fierce Amazon Pirates, Nancy and Peggy. And so begins a summer of battles, alliances, exploration and discovery.
sequel: Swallows and Amazons
sequel: Swallowdale
sequel: Winter Holiday
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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 Boys Start the War
title: The Girls Get Even
title: The Boys Return
title: The Girls' Revenge
title: A Traitor Among the Boys
title: A Spy Among the Girls
title: Boys In Control
title: The Girls Take Over
title: Boys Against Girls
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MAZ
The Accidental Witch (age 9-12)
by Anne Mazer
magic ... fantasy ... friendship
Ten-year-old Phoebe is thrilled when she accidentally becomes a novice witch but soon wonders if she will ever develop and control her powers.
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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: Hatchling by Midori Snyder F SNY
title: Lost City by Scott Ciencin F CIE
title: Sabertooth Mountain by John Vornholt F VOR
title: Thunder Falls by Scott Ciencin F CIE
title: Dolphin Watch by John Vornholt F VOR
title: The Maze by Peter David F DAV
title: Rescue Party by Mark Garland F GAR
title: Sky Dance by Scott Ciencin F CIE
title: Chomper by Donald Glut F GLU
title: Return to Lost City by Scott Ciencin F CIE
title: Survive! by Brad Strickland F STR
title: The Explorers by Scott Ciencin F CIE
title: Oasis by Catherine Hapka F HAP
title: Dinotopia: a Land Apart From Time by James Gurney F GUR
title: Dinotopia: the World Beneath 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.

Sat Aug 25 11:55:25 2012
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