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SWI
Wiff and Dirty George: the Z.E.B.R.A. Incident (age 9-12)
by Stephen R. Swinburne
adventure ... humor ... science fiction
Publisher Comments: Blimey! It's the Zipper Extraction Button Removal Atom-smasher! Something bizarre is happening in London's Paddington Station. A powerful gravitational force has taken control of passengers, causing zippers to unzip, buckles to unbuckle, and trousers to fall down, revealing more polka-dotted underwear than ever imagined. Among the victims are Wiff and Dirty George. When a man disguised as a rabbit jumps from the train, the boys give chase. Little do they know they are about to battle Basil King, a master criminal, who leads an army of rabbit-costumed thugs and mad scientists determined to take over Britain. Set in the Beatlemania 1960s, here is the outrageous adventure of Wiff and Dirty George, who must stop one of the most dastardly plots unleashed on England.
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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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EXQ
The Exquisite Corpse Adventure (age 9-12)
by Exq
authorship ... humor ... adventure ... action ... fantasy
Publisher comments: Take twenty top kids' authors and illustrators. Give them free rein to take turns creating a zany progressive story. What could possibly happen next? It all starts with a train rushing through the night. . . . Well, actually, it starts when Jon Scieszka, former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, writes a cliff-hanger episode and passes it on to the next member of a cast of celebrated writers and illustrators, who continues the story and passes it on. And what happens between episodes one and twenty-seven? Think werewolves and mad scientists, a talking pig, plenty of explosions, a blue Star Wars lunchbox, two meatballs, a whole army of villains and varmints, and one just plain bad egg. Not to mention our heroes, eleven-year-old twins Nancy and Joe, raised in a circus, who must find the pieces of a Top-Secret Robot in order to rescue their parents before . . . tick, tick, tick!
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KRI
Griff Carver, Hallway Patrol (age 9-12)
by Jim Krieg
humor ... mystery ... school
Publisher comments: Twelve-year-old Griff Carver knows a thing or two about fighting crime. Because Griff's not just any kid - he's a kid with a badge. And if you are a criminal, he's your worst nightmare. Griff might be the new kid on the Rampart Jr. High Patrol squad, but he's no rookie. And he'll do whatever it takes to clean up the mean hallways of his middle school - even if it lands him in hot water. But when Griff links cool kid Marcus "The Smile" Volger to a counterfeit hall pass ring, can he and his friends close the case? Or will Griff let down the force - and lose his badge - for good?
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KLI
43 Old Cemetary Road Series (age 9-12)
by Kate Klise
humor ... authorship ... letters/journal ... spooky ... mystery
Publisher comments: Ignatius B. Grumply moves into the Victorian mansion at 43 Old Cemetery Road hoping to find some peace and quiet so he can crack a wicked case of writer's block. But 43 Old Cemetery Road is already occupied by eleven-year-old Seymour, his cat Shadow, and an irritable ghost named Olive. It's hard to say who is more outraged. But a grumpy old ghost just might inspire this grumpy old man--and the abandoned kid? Well, let's just say his last name's Hope.
title: Dying to Meet You: 43 Old Cemetary Road
title: Over My Dead Body
title: Til Death Do Us Bark
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BUC
NERDS Series (age 9-12)
by Michael Buckley
adventure ... action ... humor ... brilliant protagonist
Publisher comments: NERDS combines all the excitement of international espionage with all the awkwardness of elementary school, and the results are hilarious. A group of unpopular fifth graders run a spy network from inside their school. With the help of cutting-edge science, they transform their nerdy qualities into incredible abilities! Their enemies? An array of James Bond–style villains, each with an evil plan more diabolical and more ridiculous than the last.
title: NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society
title: NERDS 3: The Cheerleaders of Doom
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BRA
Jacob Wonderbar and teh Cosmic Space Kapow (age 9-12)
by Nathan Bransford
science fiction ... action ... humor ... school
Publisher comments: Sixth-grader Jacob Wonderbar is a master when it comes to disarming and annihilating substitute teachers. But when he and his best friends, Sarah and Dexter, swap a spaceship for a corn dog, they embark on an outer space adventure. And between breaking the universe with an epic explosion, being kidnapped by a space pirate, and surviving a planet that reeks of burp breath, Jacob and his friends are in way over their heads.
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VAN
A Hidden Magic (age 9-12)
by Vivian Vande Velde
humor ... fantasy ... adventure ... princesses
Publisher comments: Once upon a time there was a very nice but very plain princess named Jennifer, who, following proper fairy-tale protocol, fell for a very handsome but very conceited prince named Alexander. When Alexander offends a powerful witch, it falls to Jennifer to save him. In the course of doing so, she meets a wizard and soon wonders if shes such a proper fairy-tale princess after all--a good little princess would love Alexander, but does she?
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MAG
Seven Spiders Spinning (age 9-12)
by Gregory Maguire
traditions ... school ... humor
Publisher comments: It's the discovery of the century: seven baby Siberian snow spiders frozen in a glacier. But as the spectacular chunk of ice is being trucked for analysis, the tiny tarantulas defrost — and escape. And when their beady spider eyes open for the very first time, they spy the seven members of a girls' club, the Tattletales. Each spider picks a girl and falls instantly in love. But love begins to sour when one of the spiders is captured by the Tattletales' classmate, Pearl. Six alarmed arachnids set off one by one to rescue their sibling. And as they get bigger, they get meaner ... which means major trouble for Pearl, the Tattletales, and the rival boys' club, the Copycats. Because there's only one thing worse than a love bite from a poisonous snow spider — and that's the bite of love gone bad! Halloween story.
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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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ROB
The Absolutely True Story ... How I Visited Yellowstone park With the Terrible Rupes (age 9-12)
by Willo Davis Roberts
humor ... mystery
Publisher comments: Lewis and Alison's vacation should be lots of fun. Driving to Yellowstone in a motor home, seeing all the fantastic sights, getting to know their new neighbors...the trip should be a blast. It turns out to be anything but. First they discover their hosts, the Rupes, have no interest in nutrition, manners, or their own children. Even worse, two strange men seem to be following them. Could they have something to do with the one-hundred-dollar bills little Billy Rupe keeps finding in the motor home? Lewis is afraid the answer is yes -- and he should be.
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HIA
Scat (age 9-12)
by Carl Hiaasen
mystery ... adventure ... nature ... humor
Publisher comments: Bunny Starch, the most feared biology teacher ever, is missing. She disappeared after a school field trip to Black Vine Swamp. And, to be honest, the kids in her class are relieved. But when the principal tries to tell the students that Mrs. Starch has been called away on a "family emergency," Nick and Marta just don't buy it. No, they figure the class delinquent, Smoke, has something to do with her disappearance. And he does! But not in the way they think. There's a lot more going on in Black Vine Swamp than any one player in this twisted tale can see. And Nick and Marta will have to reckon with an eccentric eco-avenger, a stuffed rat named Chelsea, a wannabe Texas oilman, a singing substitute teacher, and a ticked-off Florida panther before they really begin to see the big picture. That's life in the swamp, kids.
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TWA
The Prince and the Pauper (age 9-12)
by Mark Twain
adventure ... humor
Publisher comments: Beloved classic follows the thrilling adventures of Tom Canty, a poor beggar boy, and Edward, Prince of Wales, after they exchange identities. Humor, excitement, and a plot that twists and turns track the lives of the changelings until the rightful prince appears to claim his crown.
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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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AHL
Woof! (age 9-12)
by Allan Ahlberg
humor ... animals
Relates the extraordinary events that take place when, on an ordinary summer's evening, ten-year-old Eric Banks is turned into a Norfolk terrier.
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AUC
Pick of the Litter (age 9-12)
by Mary Jane Auch
humor ... identity ... family
An eleven-year-old adopted child realizes that being an only child has its advantages when her mother becomes pregnant after years of sterility.
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ANG
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (age 9-12)
by Tom Angleberger
humor ... school ... mystery
Publisher comments: In this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class and of the greatness that sometimes comes in unlikely packages, Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren't strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight's classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, he assembles the case file that forms this novel.
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BAI
Stevie Diamond Mysteries (age 9-12)
by Linda Bailey
humor ... mystery
Publisher comments: Stevie Diamond. Age 12. Female. Private Detective. She and her partner, Jesse, face each fast-paced adventure with humor and determination.
title: How Can I Be a Detective if I Have to Babysit?
title: What's a Daring Detective Like Me Doing in the Doghouse?
title: How Can a Brilliant Detective Shine in the Dark?
title: What's a Serious Detective Like Me Doing in Such a Silly Movie?
title: How Can a Frozen Detective Stay Hot on the Trail?
title: Who's Got Gertie? and How Can We Get Her Back?
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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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ARD
The Green Men of Gressingham (age 9-12)
by Philip Ardagh
folklore ... knights/castles/dragons ... historical ... humor
Catalog: Tom Dashwood looks forward to becoming a knight but on his way to start his training, he is kidnapped by Robyn-in-the-Hat and the Green Men of Gressingham, a band of outlaws who are protesting unfair taxes.
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BRI
My Buddy, the King: a Novel (age 9-12)
by Bill Brittain
friendship ... humor ... mystery
Catalog: When King Tokab of Mokobway is saved from choking on a frankfurter by Tim Quilt, they become fast friends and together outwit a plot to do in the king.
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BLU
Starring Sally J. Freedman As Herself (age 9-12)
by Judy Blume
friendship ... family ... humor
Publisher comments: It's 1947, and Sally J. Freedman is full of wild ideas. She's got her eye on handsome Peter Hornstein, the Latin lover of her dreams...on old Mr. Zavodsky, who looks suspiciously like Hitler in disguise...and on her father, who Sally misses terribly. There are so many things to worry and wonder about. But whatever happens, Sally's school year in Miami Beach will certainly be exciting--and absolutely unforgetable.
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KEL
Tracking Daddy Down (age 9-12)
by Marybeth Kelsey
humor ... adventure ... family
Publisher comments: Billie Wisher's daddy isn't a no-good bank robber . . . is he? Billie's daddy is on the run. If the police catch him, it's off to Pendleton Penitentiary for sure. And she just got him back, after he spent years away in California. She had big plans for the summer, plans that won't be any fun without Daddy. It must all be a mistake. Daddy didn't mean to rob that bank. If Billie finds him before the cops do, she can help him put everything right. She has an idea where he might be holed up. But Mama keeps asking what she's up to, and Billie's new stepfather, Daddy Joe, is always around, poking his nose in her business. With her family at stake, Billie's determined to track Daddy down at all costs, but will anything turn out the way she expects?
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KUH
The Last Invisible Boy (age 9-12)
by Evan Kuhlman
illness/loss ... growing up ... humor ... letters/journal
Publisher comments: My name is Finn Garrett and this is my story. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll tell you what you could probably guess from looking at the cover and flipping through the book. 1. It's about an invisible boy. Obviously. That's me. Actually, I'm not totally invisible. Yet. But I'm getting there. 2. There are a bunch of my drawings. 3. There are some really funny, really happy moments. 4. Just so you know, there are also some sad moments. 5. Everything in here is the truth. So if you like stories about true things, you might like this book. That's all I'm going to tell you. All the stuff about my dad and my mom and my brother Derek and my friend Meli and whether or not I actually turn invisible or become completely visible again or figure out how to use my invisibility for the good of all mankind or just disappear altogether, you're going to have to read to find out. So, let's get started. Just remember: This is my story, and anything can happen.
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LES
Fern Verdant and the Silver Rose (age 9-12)
by Diana Leszczynski
family ... fantasy ... humor ... mystery
Publisher comments: Fern wishes she had normal parents and a normal name. Instead, she has eccentric botanist parents who named her Fern, after her father's favorite plant. Lily, Fern's mother, assures her one day she'll understand their love of plants, but Fern can't believe it. She hates plants and could do with less of them in her life. Then Lily disappears suddenly while attending to a mysterious and rare Silver Rose. Fern and her dad are heartbroken, but have no idea what could have happened, until one day, Fern learns she has a one-of-a-kind talent: she can communicate with plants, and so could her mother! Using her newfound skill, she learns that her mother is in terrible danger, and she is the only one who can save her. With a little help from her friends, the plants . . .
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LIS
Highway Cats (age 9-12)
by Janet Taylor Lisle
humor ... adventure ... survival
Catalog: A hard-bitten group of mangy highway cats is changed forever after the mysterious arrival of three kittens.
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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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SEI
Gully's Travels (age 9-12)
by Tor Seidler
voyages/journeys ... humor ... animals
Publisher comments: After his master falls in love with a woman who is allergic to dogs, Gulliver, a refined Lhasa Apso, finds himself with a new master--Carlos, the doorman of his Manhattan apartment building. Carlos takes Gulliver to his home in Queens, where Gulliver finds himself among raucous humans and three deplorable mutts.
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LOW
The Willoughbys (age 9-12)
by Lois Lowry
family ... adventure ... humor
Publisher comments: Abandoned by their ill-humored parents to the care of an odious nanny, Tim, the twins, Barnaby A and Barnaby B, and their sister, Jane, attempt to fulfill their roles as good old-fashioned children. Following the models set in lauded tales from A Christmas Carol to Mary Poppins, the four Willoughbys hope to attain their proscribed happy ending too, or at least a satisfyingly maudlin one. However, it is an unquestionably ruthless act that sets in motion the transformations that lead to their salvation and to happy endings for not only the four children, but their nanny, an abandoned baby, a candy magnate, and his long-lost son too. Replete with a tongue-in-cheek glossary and bibliography, this hilarious and decidedly old-fashioned parody pays playful homage to classic works of children's literature.
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KOR
Swindle Series (age 9-12)
by Gordon Korman
adventure ... humor
After a mean collector named Swindle cons him out of his most valuable baseball card, Griffin Bing must put together a band of misfits to break into Swindle's compound and recapture the card. There are many things standing in their way...a menacing guard dog, a high-tech security system, a very secret hiding place, and their inability to drive...but Griffin and his team are going to get back what's rightfully his, even if hijinks ensue.
title: Swindle
title: Zoobreak
title: Framed
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FLE
The McBroom Tall Tales Series (age 9-12)
by Sid Fleischman
short stories ... humor
McBroom tells hilarious tall tales about the old time farm life.
title: La Maravillosa Granja de McBroom
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FLE
The McBroom Tall Tales Series (age 9-12)
by Sid Fleischman
short stories ... humor
McBroom tells hilarious tall tales about the old time farm life.
title: Here Comes McBroom: Three More Tall Tales
title: McBroom and the Beanstalk
title: McBroom and the Big Wind
title: McBroom Tells a Lie
title: McBroom Tells the Truth
title: McBroom the Rainmaker
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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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LEV
The Magic Hat of Mortimer Wintergreen (age 9-12)
by Myron Levoy
humor ... voyages/journeys ... magic ... fantasy ... adventure
In 1893, thirteen-year-old Joshua and his eleven-year-old sister, Amy, travel from South Dakota to New York City with the help of the mysterious Mortimer Wintergreen and his unpredictable magic hat.
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LOW
Switcharound (age 9-12)
by Lois Lowry
humor ... family
Forced to spend a summer with their father and his "new" family, Caroline, age eleven, and J.P., age thirteen, are given unpleasant responsibilities for which they are determined to get revenge.
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LOW
The One Hundredth Thing About Caroline (age 9-12)
by Lois Lowry
humor ... mystery ... family
When their mother starts to date the mystery man on the fifth floor who has been instructed by his agent to "eliminate the children" by the first of May, eleven-year-old Caroline and her older brother figure they're targeted to be the victims of a savage crime.
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TOL
The Great Skinner Getaway (age 9-12)
by Stephanie Tolan
adventure ... family ... humor
When fourteen-year-old Jenny Skinner's mother goes on strike for better working conditions in the home, and as a result polarizes much of their community, Jenny, her three younger siblings, and her father come to some surprising conclusions.
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TOL
The Great Skinner Getaway (age 9-12)
by Stephanie Tolan
adventure ... family ... humor
Fifteen-year-old Jennifer recounts more adventures of the Skinner family as they set off on a vacation across the United States in a motor home.
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HEN
The Ransom of Red Chief (age 9-12)
by O Henry
short stories ... humor
It seemed like a good plan. Kidnap the banker's kid. Hold him for ransom. So what went wrong? Little Johnny is on the warpath in The Ransom of Red Chief.
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LOW
Us and Uncle Fraud (age 9-12)
by Lois Lowry
family ... humor ... adventure
Mysterious things begin to happen after Uncle Claude comes to stay with his sister's family. Is Uncle Claude a thief, an imposter, or just a dream weaver?
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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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URB
A Crooked Kind of Perfect (age 9-12)
by Linda Urban
enterprise ... humor ... the arts ... family
Ten-year-old Zoe Elias has perfect piano dreams. She can practically feel the keys under her flying fingers; she can hear the audience's applause. All she needs is a baby grand so she can start her lessons, and then she'll be well on her way to Carnegie Hall. But when Dad ventures to the music store and ends up with a wheezy organ instead of a piano, Zoe's dreams hit a sour note. Learning the organ versions of old TV theme songs just isn't the same as mastering Beethoven on the piano. And the organ isn't the only part of Zoe's life that's off-kilter, what with Mom constantly at work, Dad afraid to leave the house, and that odd boy, Wheeler Diggs, following her home from school every day. Yet when Zoe enters the annual Perform-O-Rama organ competition, she finds that life is full of surprises, and that perfection may be even better when it's just a little off center.
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TWA
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (age 9-12)
by Mark Twain
adventure ... growing up ... humor
The adventures of a mischievous young boy and his friends growing up in a Mississippi River town in the nineteenth century.
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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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SEA
Barry, Boyhound (age 9-12)
by Andy Searman
adventure ... humor
This is the story of a boy named Barry. Some stuff happens, and overnight like magic he turns into a boyhound. Not a hound, but a boyhound, which means while he may still look like a boy, he is, in fact, a dog. And even in his boyhound brain, Barry knows there are lots of advantages to being a dog. You don't have to clean your room or use dental floss, for example. But things get crazy. He eats something too disgusting to mention. He's attacked by telepathic squirrels. An innocent squashed frog gets involved. Plus, his mother's pretty mad. And that's all before the really bad thing happens. . . .
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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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SNO
The Ratbridge Chronicles (age 9-12)
by Alan Snow
humor ... fantasy ... magic
Welcome to Ratbridge. But beware, for there is skulduggery afoot. Young Arthur has fallen foul of the appalling outlaw, Snatcher, and is trapped alone in the town with every way home sealed. Meanwhile Snatcher and his men are working tirelessly in secret on a fiendish and dastardly plan to take over, and destroy, the entire town. With the help of Willbury Nibble, QC; some friendly boxtrolls and cabbageheads; Marjorie the frustrated inventor; and the rats and pirates from the Ratbridge Nautical Laundry, can Arthur thwart Snatcher's evil plans, and find his way home?
title: Here Be Monsters! An Adventure Involving Magic Trolls and Other Creatures
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SCH
4 Kids in 5-E and 1 Crazy Year (age 9-12)
by Virginia Frances Schwartz
letters/journal ... humor ... school ... authorship
Told in four voices, this heartfelt and sometimes hilarious story chronicles the ups and downs of a unique group of city kids learning to cope with their complicated lives.
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POT
Olivia Kidney Series (age 9-12)
by Ellen Potter
growing up ... fantasy ... humor
Olivia Kidney's new apartment building is crazy! Talking lizards crawling everywhere. A tropical rainforest growing in 7B. Even an apartment made entirely of glass! Maybe her father will get fired from his job as the building super, and they can leave. But Olivia is tired of moving from place to place, from school to school. What she wouldn't give for a little slice of sanity. And maybe a friend to share it with. This remarkable debut novel is quirky, magical, and completely genuine. Ellen Potter offers us a world where even the oddest of characters feel right at home. Olivia Kidney has all the makings of a classic.
title: Olivia Kidney
title: Olivia Kidney and the Exit Academy
title: Olivia Kidney and the Secret Beneath the City
title: Olivia Kidney Stops for No One
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PAU
Lawn Boy (age 9-12)
by Gary Paulsen
humor ... enterprise
One day I was 12 years old and broke. Then Grandma gave me Grandpa's old riding lawnmower. I set out to mow some lawns. More people wanted me to mow their lawns. And more and more. . . . One client was Arnold the stockbroker, who offered to teach me about "the beauty of capitalism. Supply and Demand. Diversify labor. Distribute the wealth." "Wealth?" I said. "It's groovy, man," said Arnold. If I'd known what was coming, I might have climbed on my mower and putted all the way home to hide in my room. But the lawn business grew and grew. So did my profits, which Arnold invested in many things. And one of them was Joey Pow the prizefighter. That's when my 12th summer got really interesting.
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PAR
Archer's Quest (age 9-12)
by Linda Sue Park
identity ... adventure ... humor
In Dorchester, New York, Kevin is doing his homework when suddenly an arrow comes out of nowhere and pins his baseball cap to the wall. The man who shot the arrow claims he fell off a tiger . . . and wound up in Kevin’s room. It’s not long before Kevin realizes that the man, who calls himself Chu-mong, or Great Archer, is no ordinary burglar, but a traveler from far away in both space and time. A visit to the local museum confirms that there was a king named Chu-mong in ancient Korea who was legendary for many accomplishments, including exceptional skill with bow and arrow. Kevin knows little about his own Korean heritage, but he understands that unless Archer returns to his people and his throne, history will be changed forever. And he’s determined to help Archer go back, no matter what it takes.
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OGD
Edgar and Ellen Series (age 9-12)
by Charles Ogden
humor ... mystery
The sinister twins Edgar and Ellen live alone (their parents disappeared years ago, and who can blame them?) in the quaint, little town of Nod's Limbs, in a grim, gray house overlooking the cemetery and the junkyard. They spend their days avoiding Heimertz, the mysterious accordion-playing caretaker; pestering Pet, a hairy, one-eyed creature of indeterminate species and gender; and wreaking havoc on the hapless citizens of Nod's Limbs.
title: Rare Beasts
title: Tourist Trap
title: Under Town
title: High Wire
title: Nod's Limbs
title: Pet's Revenge
title: Hot Air
title: Frost Bites
title: Split Ends
title: Edgar and Ellen Mischief Manual: An Expert's Guide to Planning Perpetrating and Plausibly Denying All Pranks Great and Small But Mostly Great
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MCC
The Perfect Hamburger and Other Delicious Stories (age 9-12)
by Alexander McCallSmith
humor ... adventure ... short stories
A hilarous book in three courses: "The Perfect Hamburger", "The Spaghetti Tangle", and "The Doughnut Ring".
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LUB
Invasion of the Road Weenies: and Other Warped and Creepy Tales (age 9-12)
by David Lubar
humor ... spooky ... short stories
A town is overrun by road weenies--a.k.a. joggers--who never smile. A girl thinks she's too old for Halloween...until she finds a special pair of gloves. A boy takes a shortcut to an unexpected place. A mummy takes his revenge, one little piece at a time.... Welcome to the weird and wacky world of award-winning storyteller and master of the macabre, David Lubar. These thirty-five tales ranging from the silly and offbeat to flat-out horrifying are just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark. As an added bonus at the end of the book, David answers the question most frequently asked of writers with a behind-the-scenes look at the various ways he got the ideas for the stories in this collection. Don't be a weenie. Read these stories. If you dare!
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LUB
The Curse of the Campfire Weenies: and Other Warped and Creepy Tales (age 9-12)
by David Lubar
humor ... spooky ... short stories
A boy discovers the answer to one of the great urban mysteries: why are pigeons always pooping in parks? A second-grade class learns why they should always be nice to their math teacher. An ancient predator uses the internet to search out its prey. A young girl and her little brother escape a campfire weenie only to encounter something even more terrifying: a troop of Girl Scouts singing campfire songs.
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LUB
In the Land of the Lawn Weenies and Other Misadventures (age 9-12)
by David Lubar
humor ... spooky ... short stories
Kids can be such monsters. Literally. From the award-winning author of "Hidden Talents," two remarkable short story collections - "Kidzilla "and "The Witch's Monkey "- together for the first time. Plus several brand new stories. Each hilarious and harrowing. A substitute teacher finds out she has some monsters for students. A group of kids attempt a levitation trick with hair-raising results. A neighborhood is so boring the grown ups are turning into...well...you know. And dozens more. So don't be a weenie! Read these stories!
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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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HOL
Babymouse Series (age 9-12)
by Jennifer Holm
humor ... adventure
It's the same thing every day for Babymouse. Where is the glamour? The excitement? The adventure? Nothing ever changes, until...Babymouse hears about Felicia Furrypaws's exclusive slumber party. Will Babymouse get invited? Will her best friend, Wilson, forgive her if she misses their monster movie marathon? Find out in Babymouse: Queen of the World, a graphic novel with attitude!
title: Babymouse: Queen of the World!
title: Babymouse: Beach Babe!
title: Babymouse: Camp Babymouse
title: Babymouse: Heartbreaker
title: Babymouse: Monster Mash
title: Babymouse: Out Hero!
title: Babymouse: Puppy Love
title: Babymouse: Rock Star
title: Babymouse: Skater Girl
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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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HEL
Horns and Wrinkles (age 9-12)
by Joseph Helgerson
adventure ... humor ... fantasy
How can you tell if a river's under a spell? River trolls, rock trolls, blue-wing fairies--the usual suspects--the stretch of the Mississippi where Claire lives has rumors of them all, not that she's ever spotted any. But then Claire's cousin Duke takes a swim and sprouts a horn--a long, pointy, handsome thing. After that, Claire doesn't have much choice but to believe that something rivery is going on, especially since she's the only one who can help Duke lose his new addition. In the tradition of grand river adventures, Joseph Helgerson's tale is as twisty and unpredictable as the Mississippi River itself, while an unusual cast of characters adds pepper to the pot. Readers of all ages will enjoy getting in--and out of--trouble with Claire and Duke in this nimble, sharp, and funny fantasy.
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HAV
Two Hot Dogs With Everything (age 9-12)
by Paul Haven
humor ... sports
Danny Gurkin believes in his heart that the Sluggers are the best team in baseball. There's just the small matter of breaking a century-old curse involving a pretzel, a bubble-gum tycoon, and a missing shortstop. Danny also believes that the outcome of Sluggers' games depends on him and hot dogs. Because eating two hot dogs with everything before each game is the best kind of luck a fan can give his team. Danny Ghurkin has a date with baseball destiny; he just doesn't know it. Yet.
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COL
Medusa Jones (age 9-12)
by Ross Collins
adventure ... humor ... school ... folklore
In ancient Greece lived a little girl called Medusa Jones. Medusa was a Gorgon, but apart from that, pretty normal. So she has snakes for hair instead of gorgeous blond ringlets like Cassandra. So her best friend is half horse. Is that any reason for the popular kids to be SO mean? Medusa's sure the school camping trip is going to be a nightmare. But a rock fall puts the popular kids in peril, and Medusa's the only one who can help. Will she be a hero ... or is her monster side finally going to come out?
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BUC
The Sisters Grimm Series (age 9-12)
by Michael Buckley
fantasy ... folklore ... humor ... mystery
In the tradition of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events and The Spiderwick Chronicles comes a new humorous mystery of fantastic circumstances. The Sisters Grimm Book One: The Fairy Tale Detectives introduces us to two orphaned sisters, Sabrina and Daphne, who are sent to live with their mysterious grandmother, Relda Grimm. Grandmother Grimm lives in a strange town in New York State, known for it's extraordinary number of unexplained and unusual crimes. As soon as the sisters arrive, they begin to unravel a mystery that leads to their ancestors' magical beginnings. Sabrina and Daphne learn they are descendants of the Brothers Grimm, who were actually detectives of the magical phenomenon perpetrated by the Everafters, a parallel race of magical beings. They soon discover it is the Grimm family's legacy to keep the Everafters in line and the two sisters are the sole heirs to this challenge!
title: The Fairy-Tale Detectives
title: The Unusual Suspects
title: The Problem Child
title: Once Upon a Crime
title: Magic and Other Misdemeanors
title: Tales From the Hood
title: The Everafter War
title: The Inside Story
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BLU
The Rising Star of Rusty Nail (age 9-12)
by Lesley M. M. Blume
bigotry ... humor ... the arts ... historical
Franny Hansen is a 10-year-old piano prodigy living in Rusty Nail, Minnesota. Once the Coot Capitol of the world, in 1953 it's just a run-of-the-mill town with one traffic light and a bizarre cast of characters. She's long exhausted the talents of the town's only piano teacher and seems destined to perform at church events and school assemblies, until a mysterious Russian woman arrives in Rusty Nail. Franny's neighbors are convinced the "Commie" is a threat to their American way of life, but Franny's not so sure. Could this stranger be her ticket out of Rusty Nail?
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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.
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JOH
Ellie Brader Hates Mr. G (age 9-12)
by Janet Johnston
friendship ... humor ... school
Compared to nice Ms. Simpson, Mr. Garrett, Ellie's substitute teacher, seems mean and unfair, until his handling of several class crises changes Ellie's feelings towards him.
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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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DEM
The Last Dragon (age 9-12)
by Silvana DeMari
knights/castles/dragons ... humor ... fantasy
In a postapocalyptic world, shrouded in darkness and continually lashed by rain, a young elf named Yorsh struggles to survive. When his village is destroyed by the torrential waters, Yorsh finds himself suddenly orphaned and alone ... the earth's last elf. But soon Yorsh discovers he is part of a powerful prophecy: When the last dragon and the last elf break the circle, the past and the future will meet, and the sun of a new summer will shine in the sky. Now Yorsh must decipher the prophecy and find the last dragon ... it is the only way to end the rains and to save the world from the Dark Age that has begun. Full of great tenderness and humor, this magical journey tells the story of a world now plagued by intolerance and wickedness, and the elf and the dragon who will fight for its redemption.
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JOH
Thora and the Green Sea-Unicorn: a Half-Mermaid Tale (age 9-12)
by Jillian Johnson
fantasy ... adventure ... humor
When an attempt to steal Shirley, a rare sea-unicorn, results in the sinking of their houseboat, ten-year-old Thora, her mermaid mother, and Mr. Walters stay at the estate of old friends and find a solution to the friends' financial troubles, but the would-be thief is still on their trail.
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JOH
Thora (age 9-12)
by Gillian Johnson
fantasy ... adventure ... humor
Ten-year-old Thora, daughter of a mermaid mother and a human father, has many adventures at sea until she must return to the English seaside town of Grimli and save her mother who has been captured by the greedy real estate developer, Frooty de Mare.
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KAR
The Great Turkey Walk (age 9-12)
by Kathleen Karr
enterprise ... humor ... historical
Big, brawny Simon Green, who's just completed third grade (for the fourth time), may not be book smart, but he's nobody's fool. When it's time to be done with school and make his way in the world, Simon hatches a plan that could earn him a bundle. He intends to herd a huge flock of bronze turkeys all the way from his home in eastern Missouri to the boomtown of Denver, where they'll fetch a mighty price. In the year 1860, the hazards of such a trek are many - how does one shepherd the birds across a river, for instance? - but Simon is undaunted. Accompanied by a faithful drover, and eventually to be joined by two boon companions, he undertakes the biggest journey of his young life, in this high-spirited Wild Wild West adventure.
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MAH
The Greatest Show Off Earth (age 9-12)
by Margaret Mahy
science fiction ... humor
Delphinium spends her tenth birthday aboard a traveling space circus, fighting against the dark forces who are bent on stamping out fun.
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GUT
The Homework Machine (age 9-12)
by Dan Gutman
brilliant protagonist ... enterprise ... humor ... friendship ... school
Meet the D Squad, a foursome of fifth graders at the Grand Canyon School made up of a geek, a class clown, a teacher's pet, and a slacker. They are bound together by one very big secret: the homework machine. Because the machine, code-named Belch, is doing their homework for them, they start spending a lot of time together, attracting a lot of attention. And attention is exactly what you don't want when you are keeping a secret. Before long, things start to get out of control, and Belch becomes much more powerful than they ever imagined. Now the kids are in a race against their own creation, and the loser could end up in jail...or worse!
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WIL
Bad Girls (age 9-12)
by Jacqueline Wilson
friendship ... school ... humor
Mandy White is a good girl whom the bad girls like to pick on, until a bigger, badder girl makes her her special friend. Tanya is a foster child across the street, and she's nothing like good little Mandy. She's fun and she's tough and she wears really cool clothes. Of course, Mandy's overprotective mother wants her precious little daughter to have nothing to do with the new neighbor.
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WIL
The Story of Tracy Beaker (age 9-12)
by Jacqueline Wilson
humor ... family
Tracy Beaker's NOT exactly sure what her mother does, because Tracy has been in foster care for as long as she can remember. Maybe one day Tracy's mother will show up and reclaim her long-lost daughter, but in the meantime, Tracy's doing everything she can to take care of herself, even though she has to share her birthday cake. Then a journalist shows up to write a story about their orphanage, and she and Tracy strike up a special friendship.
sequel: The Dare Game
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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
title: Lucky for Good
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FLE
Chancy and the Grand Rascal (age 9-12)
by Sid Fleischman
adventure ... humor
A tall tale about swindlers, liars, and cheats...and optimism that sustains them.
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IBB
Dial-a-Ghost (age 9-12)
by Eva Ibbotson
humor ... enterprise ... spooky
The Dial-a-Ghost Agency finds good homes for ghosts. And Fulton and Frieda Snodde-Brittle are looking for a few frightening ghosts to accidentally scare their young cousin and heir, Oliver, to death. The ladies at the Dial-a-Ghost Agency have the perfect match: the Shriekers, two bloodstained and bickering horrors. But thanks to a mix-up at the agency, the Wilkinsons, a kind family of ghosts, arrive instead. Can they put a stop to the Snodde-Brittles' schemes before it's too late?
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IBB
The Haunting of Granite Falls (age 9-12)
by Eva Ibbotson
humor ... spooky
American millionaire Hiram C. Hopgood will spare no expense to make his daughter Helen happy, even if it means importing a castle from Scotland. Alex MacBuff, the twelve-year-old former owner of the castle, accompanies Mr. Hopgood to Texas to oversee the rebuilding of his beloved Carra, and he befriends Helen in the process. Little do the children know that Carra's ghosts have followed Alex and are living in the movie theater next door! Colorful characters--both dead and alive--will be found around every corner in this madcap adventure with a plot as twisty as a castle's corridors.
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MCK
The Casson Family Series (age 9-12)
by Hilary McKay
humor ... identity ... family
Publisher comments: The four Casson children, whose mother, Eve, is a fine-arts painter, have all been given the names of paint colors. Cadmium (Caddy), is the eldest; then Saffron (Saffy); Indigo, the only boy; and Rose, the youngest. When Saffy discovers quite by accident that she has been adopted, she is deeply upset, though the others assure her that it makes no difference at all. Saffy is the daughter of Eve's twin sister, who lived in Siena, Italy, and died in a car crash. Grandad brought Saffy, as a very small child, back from Siena. At Grandad's death he leaves something to each of the children. To Saffy, it is "her angel," although no one knows its identity. How Saffy discovers what her angel is, with the help of an energetic new friend, lies at the heart of this enchanting story. Unforgettable characters come alive in often deeply humorous and always absorbing events to be treasured for a long, long time.
title: Saffy's Angel
title: Forever Rose
title: Permanent Rose
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COR
The Lion Boy Trilogy (age 9-12)
by Zizou Corder
action ... adventure ... science fiction ... humor
Charlie Ashanti can speak Cat. He takes it for granted - but when his mum and dad go missing, the Cats are the only friends he can turn to. Setting out to find his parents, he stows away on an incredible circus ship bound for Paris. On board he meets six proud, beautiful lions who need his help. With danger close behind and uncertainty ahead, they embark together on the adventure of a lifetime.
title: Lion Boy
title: Lionboy: the First Book in a Trilogy
title: Lion-boy: the Truth
title: The Chase
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PEC
Here Lies the Librarian (age 9-12)
by Richard Peck
identity ... humor ... historical
Peewee idolizes Jake, a big brother whose dreams of auto mechanic glory are fueled by the hard road coming to link their Indiana town and futures with the twentieth century. And motoring down the road comes Irene Ridpath, a young librarian with plans to astonish them all and turn Peewee's life upside down. Here Lies the Librarian, with its quirky characters, folksy setting, classic cars, and hilariously larger-than-life moments, is an offbeat, deliciously wicked comedy that is also unexpectedly moving.
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SAG
Septimus Heap Series (age 9-12)
by Angie Sage
magic ... fantasy ... humor ... action
Septimus Heap, the seventh son of the seventh son, disappears the night he is born, pronounced dead by the midwife. That same night, the baby's father, Silas Heap, comes across an abandoned child in the snow ... a newborn girl with violet eyes. The Heaps take her into their home, name her Jenna, and raise her as their own. But who is this mysterious baby girl, and what really happened to their beloved son Septimus?
title: Magyk
title: Flyte
title: Physik
title: Queste
title: Syren
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CLE
Emily's Runaway Imagination (age 9-12)
by Beverly Cleary
historical ... family ... humor ... enterprise
Catalog: Emily's imagination helps bring a library to her town of Pitchfork, Oregon.
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BUT
Tank Talbott's Guide to Girls (age 9-12)
by Dori Hillestad Butler
school ... humor ... authorship
Publisher comments: Tank's summer is not shaping up the way he'd hoped. It's bad enough that his three stepsisters will be sharing his cramped house for the summer vacation. Then he finds out that he has to work with a math tutor every day and fill a big notebook with his writing--just to pass fifth grade! Tank wishes he could just sell his friend Jason's movie script to Hollywood. After all, Tank is Jason's agent. But passing fifth grade is a big deal too and soon, inspired by his brother's breakup with Jason's sister, Tank realizes he can fill his notebook writing a guide to girls. It will be a bestseller! See also, "Trading Places With Tank Talbott".
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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".
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BUT
The Enormous Egg (age 9-12)
by Oliver Butterworth
humor ... enterprise
Catalog: Twelve-year-old Nate Twitchell never had much excitement in his life, until one of his hens laid an egg the size of a melon, and the creature that hatched made world news.
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DAH
Fantastic Mr. Fox (age 9-12)
by Roald Dahl
brilliant protagonist ... humor
Fantastic Mr. Fox is on the run! The three meanest farmers around are out to get him. Fat Boggis, squat Bunce, and skinny Bean have joined forces, and they have Mr. Fox and his family surrounded. What they don't know is that they're not dealing with just any fox. Mr. Fox would never surrender. But only the most fantastic plan ever can save him now.
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CRO
The Great American Elephant Chase (age 9-12)
by Gillian Cross
voyages/journeys ... identity ... historical ... adventure ... humor
In 1881 fifteen-year-old Tad helps a girl in her attempt to get a mighty Indian elephant to friends in Nebraska, while pursued by two unscrupulous villains who wish to take the elephant from her.
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CAR
Aunt Morbelia and the Screaming Skulls (age 9-12)
by Joan Davenport Carris
humor ... spooky ... family ... mystery
The peaceful life of a boy with dyslexia is interrupted when his great-aunt, who has a morbid fascination with ghosts and death omens, moves in.
sequel: Beware the Ravens, Aunt Morbelia
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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.
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VAN
Tales From the Brothers Grimm and the Sisters Weird (age 9-12)
by Vivian Vande Velde
short stories ... folklore ... humor
Presents thirteen twisted versions of such familiar fairy tales as Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Hansel and Gretel, and The Three Billy Goats Gruff.
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SNI
Lemony Snicket: the Unauthorized Autobiography (age 9-12)
by Lemony Snicket
humor ... letters/journal
The elusive author provides a glimpse into his mysterious and sometimes confusing life, using fanciful letters, diary entries, and other miscellaneous documents as well as photographs and illustrations.
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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
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SER
Weirdos of the Universe, Unite! (age 9-12)
by Pamela F. Service
humor ... adventure ... science fiction ... folklore
Dedicated weirdos Mandy and Owen accidentally summon up five mythological beings, who need their aid in defending Earth from space invaders.
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SCH
Yossel Zissel and the Wisdom of Chelm (age 9-12)
by Amy Schwartz
voyages/journeys ... humor
Relates how Yossel Zissel, butcher of Chelm, goes to Warsaw to collect a fortune in gold inherited from his uncle and returns to Chelm empty-handed.
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SAC
Dogs Don't Tell Jokes (age 9-12)
by Louis Sachar
friendship ... humor ... school
Twelve-year-old jokester Gary Boone knows he was born to be a comedian, it's the kids in his class who think he's just a goon. Winning the school talent show would be Gary's dream come true, but on the big night his dream nearly backfires--with hilarious results.
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PUL
I Was a Rat! (age 9-12)
by Philip Pullman
magic ... folklore ... humor
I Was a Rat! So insists a scruffy boy named Roger. Maybe it's true. But what is he now? A terrifying monster running wild in the sewers? The Daily Scourge is sure of it. A victim of Rodent Delusion The hospital nurse says yes. A lucrative fairground freak? He is to Mr. Tapscrew. A champion wriggler and a budding thief? That's what Billy thinks. Or just an ordinary small boy, though a little ratty in his habits? Only three people believe this version of the story. And it may take a royal intervention, and a bit of magic, to convince the rest of the world.
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PEC
Soup (age 9-12)
by Robert Newton Peck
humor ... adventure ... friendship
The adventures and misadventures of two boys growing up in a small Vermont town.
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NAY
Beetles, Lightly Toasted (age 9-12)
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
humor ... enterprise ... authorship
Andy's entering the fifth-grade essay contest stirs his imagination to creative heights as he competes with his know-it-all cousin by making recipes with some unusual food sources and testing them on unaware friends and family.
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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."
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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?
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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.
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HOR
The Pepins and Their Problems (age 9-12)
by Polly Horvath
humor ... family
Horvath invites readers to guide the plight of a problem-prone family. Whether it's waking up to find toads in their shoes, becoming trapped on the roof, or searching for cheese when their cow makes only lemonade, the Pepin family always seem to get into the most bizarre scrapes. Lucky for them, they have an author with large psychic antennae and great problem-solving readers who can join the Pepins on their hilarious adventures. And they need all the help they can get!
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GUT
They Came From Center Field (age 9-12)
by Dan Gutman
humor ... science fiction ... sports
A team of aliens and a team of kids play a game of baseball.
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GUT
Qwerty Stevens, Back in Time: the Edison Mystery (age 9-12)
by Dan Gutman
adventure ... humor ... historical ... science fiction
Thirteen-year-ole Robert "Qwerty" Stevens uses the time machine he finds in his backyard to visit Thomas Edison's workshop in 1879 and there helps develop the electric lightbulb, but then needs his sister's help to return to his own time.
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GUT
Qwerty Stevens, Back in Time With Benjamin Franklin (age 9-12)
by Dan Gutman
adventure ... humor ... historical ... science fiction
One minute Qwerty Stevens is researching a last-minute report on the Internet, and the next minute Benjamin Franklin is sitting on his bed! Thanks to the Anytime Anywhere Machine hooked up to his computer, Qwerty has snatched Franklin from July 4, 1776, the very day the Declaration of Independence was signed. Qwerty and his best friend, Joe, realize they have to get Franklin back in time for the signing, and they can't resist seeing it with their own eyes. Can the boys make sure the Declaration gets signed like history says it should? And can they make it back home?
sequel: Qwerty Stevens, Stuck in Time With Benjamin Franklin
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GUT
Funny Boy Series (age 9-12)
by Dan Gutman
humor ... science fiction
Funny Boy, a superhero who disarms villains with his powerful sense of humor, must save the Earth from a trio of bubble-headed barbers from another planet.
title: Funny Boy Versus the Bubble-Brained Barbers from the Big Bang
title: Funny Boy Meets the Airsick Alien from Andromeda
title: Funny Boy Takes on the Chitchatting Cheeses From Chattanooga
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GLE
Worry Warts (age 9-12)
by Morris Gleitzman
family ... humor
Going down a mine and digging up a fortune in precious opals is Keith's solution to his parents' problems. Stacks of money will make everything OK in their tropical paradise, and save them from being permanent worry warts. Won't it? Another brilliant Keith Shipley plan--if it works...
sequel: Puppy Fat
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BYA
McMummy (age 9-12)
by Betsy Cromer Byars
spooky ... humor ... science fiction ... enterprise
Looking after an eccentric scientist's greenhouse does not seem any stranger than the other odd jobs taken by Mozie and his partner Battie--until Mozie discovers a large, mummy-shaped pod on one of the plants.
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BYA
The Not-Just-Anybody Family (age 9-12)
by Betsy Cromer Byars
humor ... realistic ... family ... friendship
When Junior Blossom wakes up in the hospital, his last memory is of crouching on the barn roof with cloth wings tied to his arms, and of Maggie and Vern in the yard below, urging him to fly. That had been just before Junior spotted a police car approaching the farm in a cloud of dust. Meanwhile Pap, the children's grandfather, sits in disgrace in the city jail. He was arrested for disturbing the peace after his pickup truck accidentally dumped 2,147 beer and soda cans (worth $107.35) on Spring Street. With their mother away on the rodeo circuit, it's up to Maggie and Vern to find a way to rescue Pap and Junior. How will they solve their family problems?
sequel: The Blossoms and the Green Phantom
sequel: The Blossoms Meet the Vulture Lady
sequel: A Blossom Promise
sequel: Wanted: Mud Blossom
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BAB
The Devil's Other Storybook (age 9-12)
by Natalie Babbitt
folklore ... humor ... short stories
The further exploits of the Devil in his own realm and in the world above are recounted in ten more tales.
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AVI
S.O.R. Losers (age 9-12)
by Avi
humor ... sports
The South Orange River (S.O.R.) School is big on sports and famous for not losing a game all season. That all changes when the school insists that some seventh-grader non-jocks form a soccer team. The new team is sure that losing their first game 32-0 will put an end to their athletic adventure, but no such luck. Their parents insist they try harder. The whole school cheers them on, and the finally score...for the other team. And only the eleven members of the S.O.R. Losers team know the secret of their outstanding "success."
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COO
The Boggart (age 9-12)
by Susan Cooper
folklore ... humor ... spooky ... adventure
When Emily and Jess Volnik's family inherits a remote, crumbling Scottish castle, they also inherit the Boggart: an invisible, mischievous spirit who's been playing tricks on residents of Castle Keep for generations. Then the Boggart is trapped in a rolltop desk and inadvertently shipped to the Volniks' home in Toronto, where nothing will ever be the same, for the Volniks or the Boggart. In a world that doesn't believe in magic, the Boggart's pranks wreak havoc. And even the newfound joys of peanut butter and pizza and fudge sauce eventually wear thin for the Boggart. He wants to go home, but his only hope lies in a risky and daring blend of modern technology and ancient magic.
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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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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.
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MOW
The Dog Who Wouldn't Be (age 9-12)
by Farley Mowat
humor ... family ... realistic ... animals
Farely Mowat's best loved book tells the splendidly entertaining story of his boyhood on the Canadian prairies. Mutt's pedigree was uncertain, but his madness was indisputable. He climbed tress and ladders, rode passenger in an open car wearing goggles and displaying hunting skills that bordered on sheer genius. He was a marvelous dog, worthy of an unusual boy growing up a raw, untamed wilderness.
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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.
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PIN
Mister Fred (age 9-12)
by Jill Pinkwater
humor ... school
The children of class 6-A suspect their new teacher of being a telepathic space alien.
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PEC
A Long Way From Chicago (age 9-12)
by Richard Peck
humor ... historical ... family ... short stories
Join Joey and his sister Mary Alice as they spend nine unforgettable summers with the worst influence imaginable--their grandmother!
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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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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 Again!
title: Anastasia, Absolutely
title: Anastasia at This Address
title: Anastasia at Your Service
title: Anastasia Has the Answers
title: Anastasia, Ask Your Analyst
title: Anastasia on Her Own
title: Anastasia's Chosen Career
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KOR
Something Fishy at MacDonald Hall (age 9-12)
by Gordon Korman
humor ... mystery ... school
Just as the Headmaster of Macdonald Hall is on the verge of retirement, a wave of practical jokes hits the school, and roommates Bruno and Boots become prime suspects. Will they find the real culprit? Or will these two known jokers take the fall?
sequel: This Can't be Happening at Macdonald Hall
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JAR
The Animal Family (age 9-12)
by Randall Jarrell
humor ... family
This is the story of how, one by one, a man found himself a family. Almost nowhere in fiction is there a stranger, dearer, or funnier family--and the life that the members of The Animal Family live together, there in the wilderness beside the sea, is as extraordinary and as enchanting as the family itself.
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COV
Aliens Ate My Homework (age 9-12)
by Bruce Coville
science fiction ... humor ... school
``I cannot tell a lie,'' says Rod Allbright. And it's the truth. Ask him a question, and he's bound to give you an honest answer. Which is why when his teacher asks what happened to last night's math assignment, Rod has to give the only answer he can: ``Aliens ate my homework, Miss Maloney!'' Of course, no one believes Rod this time, so they don't bother to ask him why the aliens are here, which is just as well, since he is sworn to silence about their secret mission; and the fact that he has been drafted to help them.
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BAR
Peter and the Starcatchers Series (age 9-12)
by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
adventure ... magic ... humor
In this fast-paced (and often hilarious) adventure on the high seas and on a faraway island, an orphan boy named Peter and his mysterious new friend, Molly, take on bands of pirates and thieves in their quest to keep a fantastical secret safe and save the world from evil.
title: Peter and the Starcatchers
title: Peter and the Shadow Thieves
title: Peter and the Secret of Rundoon
title: Peter and the Sword of Mercy
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RIT
The Boy Who Saved Baseball (age 9-12)
by John Ritter
enterprise ... humor ... sports
Tom Gallagher finds himself in a tight spot. The fate of Dillontown rests on the outcome of one baseball game, winner take all. Maybe Tom has one hope: Cruz de la Cruz, the mysterious boy who has just ridden into town on horseback claiming to know the secret of hitting.
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SNI
The Series of Unfortunate Events (age 9-12)
by Lemony Snicket
illness/loss ... adventure ... humor
After the sudden death of their parents, in The Bad Beginning, the three Baudelaire children must depend on each other and their wits when it turns out that the distant relative who is appointed their guardian is determined to use any means necessary to get their fortune.
sequel: The Bad Beginning
sequel: The Reptile Room
sequel: The Wide Window
sequel: The Miserable Mill
sequel: The Austere Academy
sequel: The Ersatz Elevator
sequel: The Vile Village
sequel: The Hostile Hospital
sequel: The Carnivorous Carnival
sequel: The Slippery Slope
sequel: The Grim Grotto
sequel: The Penultimate Peril
sequel: The End
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SAN
Rootabaga Stories (age 9-12)
by Carl Sandburg
humor ... short stories
Presents Sandburg's fanciful, humorous tales peopled with such characters as the Potato Face Blind Man, the Blue Wind Boy, and many others.
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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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ROD
Freaky Friday (age 9-12)
by Mary Rodgers
identity ... humor ... adventure ... family
Annabel thinks her mom has the best life. If she were a grown-up, she could do whatever she wanted! Then one morning she wakes up to find she's turned into her mother . . . and she soon discovers it's not as easy as it looks!
sequel: A Billion for Boris
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ROB
Henry Reed Adventures (age 9-12)
by Keith Robertson
realistic ... adventure ... humor ... enterprise
Henry Reed has a talent for making things happen, and with his neighbor Midge in on the action, there's nothing they can't do.
title: Henry Reed, Inc.
title: Henry Reed's Baby-sitting Service
title: Henry Reed's Think Tank
title: Henry Reed's Big Show
title: Henry Reed's Journey
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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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MAH
The Great Piratical Rumbustification and The Librarian and the Robbers (age 9-12)
by Margaret Mahy
humor
Subversive fun from an author who uses the rhythm of language to make a good story great.
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KOR
The Zucchini Warriors (age 9-12)
by Gordon Korman
humor ... school ... sports
Roommates Bruno and Boots find obstacles in their way as they attempt to lead the Macdonald Hall Zucchini Warriors to a victorious football season and earn the reward of a new recreation center.
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JUS
The Phantom Tollbooth (age 9-12)
by Norton Juster
adventure ... humor
Ten-year-old Milo travels through a magical tollbooth and embarks on a journey to the Kingdom of Wisdom, where he and a ``watch'' dog named Tock try to end the feud between numbers and words.
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JAN
The Moomintroll Stories (age 9-12)
by Tove Jansson
humor ... fantasy ... adventure ... family
Adventures of the members of this family center around the Hobgoblin's tall black top hat and the Valley of the Moomins.
title: Finn Family Moomintroll
title: Tales From Moominvalley
title: Comet in Moominland
title: Moominland Midwinter
title: Moominpappa at Sea
title: Moominpapa's Memoirs
title: Moominsummer Madness
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IBB
Which Witch? (age 9-12)
by Eva Ibbotson
humor ... fantasy
When handsome Arriman the Awful announces a contest to choose his bride, every witch in town is a flutter because only the meanest witch in town will wed Arriman. Belladonna is dismayed because all she can conjure up are begonias and baby birds.
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GUT
The Kid Who Ran for President (age 9-12)
by Dan Gutman
enterprise ... humor
With his friend as campaign manager and his former babysitter as running mate, twelve-year-old Judson Moon sets out to become President of the United States.
sequel: The Kid Who Became President
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FLE
The 13th Floor (age 9-12)
by Sid Fleischman
magic ... humor ... historical
There's a mile-long word for the fear (and magic) of the number thirteen: triskaidekaphobia. In this comic fireworks of a novel, newly orphaned Buddy Stebbins stumbles onto the 13th floor of a shabby old building and finds himself transported aboard a leaking pirate ship in a howling storm--300 years in the past!
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FEI
The Man in the Ceiling (age 9-12)
by Jules Feiffer
humor ... family ... the arts
Although Jimmy is not good at sports and not much better in school, he can draw, and his greatest dream is to be a cartoonist. So when Charlie Beemer, the greatest pre-teen athlete in the history of Montclair, New Jersey, suggests that he and Jimmy create comics together, Jimmy can't believe that life will get any better!
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DAH
Danny the Champion of the World (age 9-12)
by Roald Dahl
humor ... adventure ... family
Danny's life seems perfect: his home is a gypsy caravan, he's the youngest car mechanic around, and his best friend is his dad, who never runs out of wonderful stories to tell. And when Danny discovers his father's secret, he's off on the adventure of a lifetime. Here's Roald Dahl's famous story about a 9-year-old boy, his dad, and a daring and hilarious pheasant-snatching expedition. Just as important, it's the story of the love between a boy and his father who, in Danny's own words, is ``the most marvelous and exciting father a boy ever had.''
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CUR
The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 (age 9-12)
by Christopher Curtis
historical ... humor ... bigotry ... family
Enter the hilarious world of 10-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. There's Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, and brother Byron, who's 13 and an ``official juvenile delinquent.'' When Momma and Dad decide it's time for a visit to Grandma, Dad comes home with the amazing Ultra-Glide, and the Watsons set out on a trip like no other. They're heading South. They're going to Birmingham, Alabama, toward one of the darkest moments in America's history.
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BLU
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (age 9-12)
by Judy Blume
realistic ... humor ... family
Living with his little brother, Fudge, makes Peter feel like a fourth grade nothing. Fudge is never far from trouble. He's a two-year-old terror who gets away with everything, and Peter's had enough.
sequel: Superfudge
sequel: Double Fudge
sequel: Fudge-a-mania

Sat Aug 25 11:55:25 2012
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