Eleanor Estes, Louis Slobodkin (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction; Book Themes: Friendship, School life
"The Hundred Dresses" by Eleanor Estes and Louis Slobodkin is a Newbery Honor award winner and a classic children's book in the genre of realistic fiction. The story's main character Wanda Petronski, a Polish-American girl from a poor family, is teased by classmates at school for being different and for saying she has one hundred dresses at home while she is wearing the same faded dress to school every day. Only after Wanda's absence from school do Maddie and Peggy find out the true story about the one hundred dresses and try to make amends. "The Hundred Dresses", one of the best chapter books of the 20th century, appeals to kids in second grade through sixth grade.
Kate DiCamillo (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction; Book Themes: Animals, Friendship
"Because of Winn-Dixie" by Kate DiCamillo, a 2001 Newbery Honor book, tells a heartwarming story about love, friendship and tolerance. Main characters of the realistic fiction book are Opal Buloni, a 10-year-old girl, and Winn-Dixie, the dog she has found in the town grocery store. Opal has just moved to Naomi, Florida with her preacher father. Her mother left them seven years ago. Because of Winn-Dixie, Opal makes new friends. Among them are Gloria Dump, a kind old lady called a witch by children, Miss Franny Block, a librarian who loves to tell stories, and Otis, a pet shop worker who plays music to animals. These quirky characters are part of the charm of the chapter book. "Because of Winn-Dixie" appeals to children in 4th grade through 7th grade.
John Reynolds Gardiner, Greg Hargreaves (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction; Book Theme: Animals
In the chapter book "Stone Fox", by John Reynolds Gardiner, main character little Willy enters a dogsled race in order to win prize money and save his grandfather's farm from tax collectors. One of the other racers is Stone Fox, a Native American who has never lost a dog sled race. Children in third grade through sixth grade will enjoy this inspiring story about little Willy and his loyal dog Searchlight. "Stone Fox" is a great book to read aloud.
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.
Louise Fitzhugh (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction
"Harriet the Spy" is one of the best children's books in the genre of realistic fiction. Louise Fitzhugh creates a memorable character in Harriet, who likes to write down everything about everybody in her notebook, including her friends, her classmates and the people she observes on her spy route. Harriet Welsch has a lot to cope with. Her beloved nanny departs. Her classmates, including her best friends, turn against her after reading her notebook. Kids in 4th grade through 7th grade will enjoy the honest portrayal of this 11-year-old girl.
Judy Blume, Sonia O. Lisker (Paperback)
Genres: Fiction - Humorous Stories, Realistic Fiction
"Freckle Juice" by Judy Blume is a funny easy chapter book in the genre of realistic fiction. Main character Andrew Marcus wants freckles after noticing his classmate Nicky has them. In fact, Andrew wants freckles so bad that he buys a secret recipe for freckle juice from Sharon for fifty cents, his five-week allowance. But freckle juice does not work as expected. Andrew has to draw fake freckles with a blue marker. At school, Andrew's teacher gives him a "freckle remover" to remove the blue freckles. Children in second grade and third grade will enjoy reading this humorous story.
Lucy Maud Montgomery (Hardcover)
Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction; Book Themes: Family, Friendship
"Anne of Green Gables" is a beloved children's classic book by Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery, also known as L.M. Montgomery. Main character Anne of Green Gables is a spirited red-haired girl with boundless imagination and love of life. Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, a brother and sister, own a Prince Edward Island farm house called Green Gables. Orphan girl Anne Shirley is sent to them by mistake, but Anne goes on to win the heart and love of her adopted family. The friendship between Anne and her best friend Diana Barry is also charmingly portrayed. "Anne of Green Gables" is one of the best children's books ever written. Children in 5th grade through 10th grade will enjoy this moving story and sympathize with the ups and downs in Anne's life.
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