Elizabeth George Speare (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Historical Fiction; Book Themes: Friendship, Frontier and Pioneer Life, Native American, Survival Stories
"The Sign of the Beaver" by Elizabeth George Speare is one of the best children's books in the genre of historic fiction. Left alone to guard his family's home in the 18th century Maine, 12-year old Matt learns wilderness survival skills from a proud Native American boy Attean and teaches Attean to read. The two boys found friendship in spite of themselves. "The Sign of the Beaver" has won many awards, including the Newbery Award, ALA Notable Children's Book, Christopher Award and Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. Children grade 4 and up will enjoy this wilderness survival story and learn about Native American culture as well as frontier and pioneer life.
Robert C. O'Brien, Zena Bernstein (Paperback)
Genres: Fiction - Animal Fantasy, Science Fiction
"Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh" by Robert C. O'Brien, winner of the Newbery Medal, is one of the best children's books of the 20th century. Author Robert O'Brien effectively combines elements of animal fantasy and science fiction in this chapter book and tells a captivating story with believable characters and an interesting plot. A widowed field mouse, Mrs. Frisby, needs to move her family to their summer home quickly before a farm's plow comes, but one of her children gets seriously ill and cannot go out in the cold. She seeks help from the rats of Nimh, highly intelligent rats who live under the rosebush. These animals have been captured by the scientists at the Nimh lab and given injections that have vastly boosted their intelligence. They can read and write. The rat leader Nicodemus tells Mrs. Frisby the story of their escape from Nimh. It turns out one of the escapees is Jonathan Frisby, Mrs. Frisby's late husband. The rats now have a plan to grow their own crop and form a self-sufficient colony in Thorn Valley. "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh" appeals to children in 4th grade through 7th grade.
E. L. Konigsburg (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Adventure Books; Book Theme: Family
"From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" by E.L. Konigsburg is an adventure story that has delighted children for decades and is considered a modern classic. Two siblings, Claudia and her brother Jamie, run away from their family home and have an adventure at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They uncover the mystery surrounding "Angel", a statue in the museum. Under E.L. Konigsburg's deft pen, the two main characters in the classic chapter book seem very real and likable. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" has won Newbery Medal and ALA Notable Children's Book award, and is often considered one of the best children's books.
Sharon Creech (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction; Book Themes: Family, Emotions and Feelings
"Walk Two Moons" by Sharon Creech is a moving realistic fiction story for young adults. Sharon Creech's Newbery Medal award winner tells a story within a story that deals with themes of love, loss and family. The main character, 13-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle, travels from Euclid, Ohio to Lewiston, Idaho with her eccentric grandparents to visit her missing mother. Along the way, Sal tells them the story of her friend, Phoebe Winterbottom. Phoebe is a girl of wild imagination. She finds mysterious messages such as "Don't judge a man until you've walked two moons in his moccasins" on her family's doorsteps. Phoebe's mother leaves her family unexpectedly but eventually returns; Sal has to deal with painful life changes and come to terms with her own loss. The characters in "Walk Two Moons" are interesting and well developed, from the protagonist with her complex emotions and feelings to the wacky and loving grandparents. "Walk Two Moons" is a good book for teens in 8th grade and up.
Carl Hiaasen (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction; Book Themes: Animals, Environmental Protection, School life
"Hoot" by Carl Hiaasen is a Newbery Honor award-winning realistic fiction book for young adults. The main character of "Hoot" is Roy Eberhardt, a middle school student who has just moved to Florida from Montana. Being a new kid on the block, Roy becomes a victim of a school bully named Dana Matherson. While riding on the school bus, Roy spots a kid running barefoot and carrying no books. Later on, Roy makes friends with the homeless boy nicknamed Mullet Fingers, who is on an ecological mission to protect rare and endangered burrowing owls at the future construction site of Mother Paula's All-American Pancake House. With the aid of Mullet Fingers' stepsister Beatrice, Roy outwits the bully, helps the boy save the owls and warms up to life in Florida. Also featured in Hoot are a few adult characters, such as the construction foreman Leroy "Curly" Branitt and the ambitious police officer Delinko, who are both up in arms against the pranks. While sending a message about environmental protection, "Hoot" is an interesting and entertaining story to read. "Hoot" is a good book for teens in 7th grade and up.
Richard Adams (Paperback)
Genres: Fiction - Adventure Books, Animal Fantasy; Book Theme: Animals
"Watership Down" by Richard Adams, one of the best novels of the 20th century, is a riveting animal fantasy book beloved by young adults and adults alike. A group of rabbits set out on a long journey to find a new home after a small rabbit named Fiver senses great danger to their warren. They go through many adventures before reaching Watership Down. Soon after the rabbits settle down at their home on the down, they go on another dangerous adventure to fetch female rabbits from Efrafa, a warren tightly controlled by a ruthless Chief Rabbit, General Woundwort.
Part of the attraction of this classic adventure story stems from its diverse and interesting characters. The talking animals have distinct personalities. Hazel the leader is fair, quick-minded and always looks out for the interests of the group. Bigwig the fighter is strong, brave and willing to stick out for the weak. Fiver the prophet is small and nervous. Woundwort the villain is intelligent, fearless and power-crazy. "Watership Down" also includes several chapters of short tales about El-ahrairah, the "Prince with a Thousand Enemies", who is cunning and clever.
Genre: Fiction - Adventure Books
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi tells a suspenseful adventure story with a riveting plot. The main character of this Newbery Honor award-winning book is 13-year-old Charlotte Doyle, who grows and changes over the course of her eventful voyage on the high seas in 1832. The only passenger and the only female on a ship called Seahawk, Charlotte gets caught between a cruel captain and his vengeful crew. Charlotte first sides with the seemingly charming Captain Jaggery while befriending a cook named Zachariah. After realizing the captain's true nature, Charlotte Doyle works hard to win over the crew by becoming one of the seamen. When the captain charges her with a murder she didn't commit, Charlotte is tried and found guilty. But Charlotte manages to survive and win in her struggle with the captain and to arrive at her destination safely. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle is a good book for teens in 8th grade and up.
Lois Lowry (Mass Market Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Science Fiction
"The Giver" by Lois Lowry is a thought-provoking young adult science fiction novel. The protagonist of this powerful story is a 12-year-old boy named Jonas, who lives in a highly ordered community. The Elders assign jobs, spouses and families. Pain, poverty and war are non-existent. At the coming-of-age Ceremony of Twelve, Jonas was selected to become the new Receiver of Memory. As the giver transfers memories of the past to him, a whole new world opens up for the boy. After he discovers the terrible truth about his community, Jonas goes on a dangerous journey to escape. "The Giver" has received many awards, including 1994 Newbery Medal, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book, ALA Best Book for Young Adults and ALA Notable Children's Book. With original plot and believable characters, "The Giver" appeals to teens in 8th grade and up.
|9-16 of 27 books < Previous | Next > |