Below is a list of some high-interest books suggested by former fifth graders themselves!

external image 5-02.gifChasing Redbird

by Sharon Creech

Zinnia Taylor lives in Bybanks, Kentucky, with too many brothers and sisters -- a mess of "tadpoles" and "pumpkins" is what her uncle Nate calls them. When Zinny discovers a mysterious, overgrown trail that begins on her family's farm, she's determined to clear it, from start to finish. For she's finally found a place of her own, a place where she can go, away from her family, to hear herself think. But what Zinny didn't realize is that the mysteries of the trail are intertwined with her own unanswered questions and family secrets, and that the trail -- and her passion to uncover it -- is leading her on a journey home. CHASING REDBIRD is a powerful, beautifully crafted story about a young girl discovering that life is a tangle of mysteries, surprises, and everyday occurences -- a journey that often needs unravelling and that sometimes must be traveled alone.

external image 5-03.gifDear Mr. Henshaw

by Beverly Cleary, Paul O. Zelinsky (illus.)

When fourth grader Leigh Botts asks Mr. Henshaw to write to him personally, he gets more than he bargained for. Mr. Henshaw's letters are full of questions, and Leigh is getting tired of answering them. But as he continues his correspondence with his favorite author, he not only gets plenty of tips on writing, but he also finds a wise and thoughtful friend to whom he can tell his troubles.

external image 5-04.gifFrindle

by Andrew Clements, Brian Selznick (illus.)

When he decides to turn his fifth-grade teacher's love of the dictionary around on her, clever Nick Allen invents a new word and begins a chain of events that quickly moves beyond his control.

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From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

by E. L. Konigsburg

The enchanting story of the unappreciated Claudia Kincaid, "boring straight-A Claudia" (oldest child and only girl and almost too old for half-fare tickets), who runs away with her little brother Jamie to live in the Metropolitan Museum, FILES is a sentimental favorite with a remarkable heroine. Crammed with fascinating details -- strategies for hiding in a museum, techniques for bathing in a fountain, the smell of a 16th-century bed (musty), and tantalizing peeks at the Met and its treasures -- it's a grand adventure. More important, FILES is the story of Claudia's quest to define herself. In the fulfillment of that quest, her own resourcefulness is bolstered by a statue that may or may not be by Michelangelo; a brother who proves to be a fabulous ally; and the wise, prickly Mrs. Frankweiler herself.


external image 5-06.gifHoles

by Louis Sachar

As further evidence of his family's bad fortune, which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish boys' juvenile detention center in the Texas desert. As punishment, the boys here must each dig a hole every day, five feet deep and five feet across. Ultimately, Stanley "digs up the truth" -- and through his experience, finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself. HOLES is a wildly inventive, darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment -- and redemption.


external image 5-07.gifIn the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson

by Bette Bao Lord, Marc Simont (illus.)

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 -- baseball -- happens. 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.


external image 5-08.gifIsland of the Blue Dolphins

by Scott O'Dell

In the Pacific there is an island that looks like a big fish sunning itself in the sea. Around it, blue dolphins swim, otters play, and sea elephants and sea birds abound. Once, Indians also lived on the island. And when they left and sailed to the east, one young girl was left behind. This is the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Year after year, she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to take her away. But while she waited, she kept herself alive by building a shelter, making weapons, finding food, and fighting her enemies, the wild dogs. Island of the Blue Dolphins is not only an unusual adventure of survival but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery.


external image 5-09.gifMatilda

by Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake (illus.)

Matilda Wormwood started reading books at the age of four, but her crooked father and bingo-playing mother regard book reading as a waste of time -- and much prefer watching TV. In fact, they take no notice of their genius daughter at all! Only Miss Honey, Matilda's lovely and gentle teacher, recognizes her special gifts. Yet Miss Honey has problems of her own: Her aunt is the tyrannical Miss Trunchbull, an evil headmistress who bullies children and parents alike -- and has taken Miss Honey's house and money. Can Matilda use her extraordinary talents to seek revenge -- and make all of the wrong-doing grown-ups pay? Also recommended: James and the Giant Peach.

external image 5-10.gifMick Harte Was Here

by Barbara Park

How could someone like Mick die? He was the kid who freaked out his mom by putting a ceramic eye in a defrosted chicken, the kid who did a wild dance in front of the whole school -- and the kid who, if only he had worn his bicycle helmet, would still be alive today. But now Phoebe Harte's 12-year-old brother is gone, and Phoebe's world has turned upside down. With her trademark candor and compassion, beloved middle-grade writer Barbara Park tells how Phoebe copes with her painful loss in this story filled with sadness, humor -- and hope.

external image 5-11.gifMy Daniel

by Pam Conrad

Wandering through the Natural History Museum with her grandchildren, Julia Creath feels the presence of her dead brother, Daniel. She remembers a time when fossil fever hit everyone, old and young -- a time when people would even kill for those old bones under the ground. Julia becomes the Nebraska farm girl she once was, as she weaves together the story of the great dinosaur rush -- an adventurous tale of love and treachery, but most of all the story of her own childhood, and of the older brother she loved more than anything. Daniel had a dream: to save their family farm by finding a dinosaur. It was a dream that Julia shared -- and that she alone would see come true.

external image 5-12.gifNumber the Stars

by Lois Lowry

Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think about life before the war. But it's now 1943, and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching in their town. When the Nazis begin "relocating" the Jews of Denmark, Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be part of the family. And as Annemarie helps shelter her Jewish friend from the Nazis and embarks on a dangerous mission, she learns how to be brave and courageous -- to save her best friend's life.

external image 5-13.gifShiloh

by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Eleven-year-old Marty Preston loves to spend time up in the hills behind his home near Friendly, West Virginia. Sometimes he takes his .22 rifle to see what he can shoot, like some cans lined up on a rail fence. Other times he goes up early in the morning just to sit and watch the fox and deer. But one summer Sunday, Marty comes across something different on the road just past the old Shiloh schoolhouses -- a young beagle -- and the trouble begins. What do you do when a dog you suspect is being mistreated runs away and comes to you? When it is someone else's dog? When the man who owns him has a gun? This is Marty's problem, and he finds it is one he has to face alone. When his solution gets too big for him to handle, things become more frightening still. Finally, Marty puts his courage on the line and discovers in the process that it is not always easy to separate right from wrong. Sometimes, however, you'll do almost anything to save a dog you love.

external image 5-14.gifThe View from Saturday

by E. L. Konigsburg

It was a surprise to a lot of people when Mrs. Olinski's team won the sixth-grade Academic Bowl contest at Epiphany Middle School. It was an even bigger surprise when they beat the seventh grade and the eighth grade, too. And when they went on to even greater victories, everyone began to ask: How did it happen? Mrs. Olinski, returning to teaching after having been injured in an automobile accident, found that her Academic Bowl team became her answer to finding confidence and success. What she did not know, at least at first, was that her team knew better than she did the answer to why they had been chosen. This is a tale about a team, a class, a school, a series of contests and, set in the midst of this, four jewel-like short stories -- one for each of the team members -- that ask questions and demonstrate surprising answers.

external image 5-15.gifWait Till Helen Comes, A Ghost Story

by Mary Downing Hahn

Molly and Michael dislike their spooky new stepsister Heather but realize that they must try to save her when she seems ready to follow a ghost child to her doom.

external image 5-16.gifWalk Two Moons

by Sharon Creech

Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle, proud of her country roots and the "Indian-ness in her blood," travels from Ohio to Idaho with her eccentric grandparents. Along the way, she tells of the story of Phoebe Winterbottom, who received mysterious messages, who met a "potential lunatic," and whose mother disappeared. Beneath Phoebe's story is Salamanca's own story and that of her mother, who left one April morning for Idaho, promising to return before the tulips bloomed. Sal's mother has not, however, returned, and the trip to Idaho takes on a growing urgency as Salamanca hopes to get to Idaho in time for her mother's birthday and bring her back, despite her father's warning that she is fishing in the air. This richly layered Newbery Medal-winning novel is in turn funny, mysterious, and touching.

external image 5-17.gifThe Warm Place

by Nancy Farmer

When Ruva, a young giraffe, is captured and sent to a zoo in San Francisco, she calls upon two rats, a street-smart chameleon, a runaway boy, and all the magical powers of the animal world to return to "the warm place" that is home.



external image 4-02.gifThe Cricket in Times Square

by George Selden, Garth Williams (illus.)

Business has not been good at the Bellini's newspaper stand in the Times Square subway station. Tucker the mouse, who lives in a drainpipe near the newsstand, wishes he could help. One night, Mario Bellini hears a beautiful sound -- it is Chester, a cricket from Connecticut who has been accidentally brought to New York City and plays music with his wings. After Mario convinces his parents to let him keep Chester, Tucker, his friend Harry the cat, and the cricket come up with a plan to help the Bellinis keep their newsstand: Chester can give concerts!
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Earthquake Terror

by Peg Kehret

When an earthquake hits the isolated island in northern California where his family has been camping, 12-year-old Jonathan Palmer must find a way to keep himself, his partially paralyzed younger sister, and their dog alive until help arrives.

external image 4-04.gifFudge-a-Mania

by Judy Blume

Peter Hatcher's summer is not looking good. First of all, Peter's brother, Fudge -- the five-year-old human hurricane -- has a plan: to marry Peter's sworn enemy, Sheila Tubman. Disgusting! Could anything be worse? Yes. Peter's parents have decided to rent a summer house next door to the Tubmans. Which means Peter will be stuck with Fudge and Sheila the Cootie Queen for three whole weeks! Will Peter be able to survive the summer? It may not be the vacation of Peter's dreams, but as millions of Judy Blume fans know, it won't be dull. When Fudge is around, anything can happen ... and does! Also recommended: Superfudge and Otherwise Known As Sheila the Great.

external image 4-05.gifThe Indian in the Cupboard

by Lynne Reid Banks, Brock Cole (illus.)

The first book in this bestselling series begins with young Omri receiving an old family wooden medicine cupboard as a birthday gift. Given to him by his mother in order to house his plastic toy soldiers, the cupboard has a magical power: It can bring Omri's toys to life. When his toy Indian comes alive and befriends him, Omri finds himself involved in all kinds of adventure and excitement.

external image 4-06.gifJacob Two-Two Meets the Hooded Fang

by Mordecai Richler, Fritz Wegner (illus.)

Jacob Two-Two says everything twice. But the grocer thinks Jacob's being rude when he asks for something twice, and before he knows it, Jacob has been arrested and whisked away to Slimer's Isle. How Jacob outsmarts the jailer and saves the children of Slimer's Isle makes for outrageously funny reading.

external image 4-07.gifThe Mouse and the Motorcycle

by Beverly Cleary, Louis Darling (illus.)

Ralph the mouse is terrified. All he had wanted to do was ride the little motorcycle someone had left on the table. Instead, both Ralph and the motorcycle have taken a terrible fall -- right into the bottom of the wastepaper basket. He is trapped, left to wait for whatever fate has in store for him. But it turns out to be Ralph's lucky day. Along comes Keith, the owner of the toy motorcycle, who is staying with his family in the hotel room where Ralph lives. Not only does Keith save Ralph's life, but he teaches him how to ride the bike. And when everyone is asleep, he turns Ralph loose in the hotel halls to enjoy the biking adventure of his life. But adventures can be both fun and trouble...as Ralph and Keith soon find out! Also recommended: Ralph S. Mouse and Runaway Ralph.

external image 4-08.gifMrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

by Robert C. O'Brien, Zena Bernstein (illus.)

Mrs. Frisby, a widowed mouse with four small children, is faced with a terrible problem. She must move her family to their summer quarters immediately or face almost certain death. But her youngest son, Timothy, lies ill with pneumonia and must not be moved. Fortunately, she encounters the rats of NIMH, an extraordinary breed of highly intelligent creatures, who come up with a brilliant solution to her dilemma. And Mrs. Frisby in turn renders them a great service.

external image 4-09.gifMy Side of the Mountain

by Jean Craighead George

Tired of big-city life, Sam Gribley runs away to the Catskill Mountains to forge a life of his own. In this Newbery Honor book, Sam relates his adventures during the year he spends alone, including his struggle for survival, his dependence on nature, his animal friends, and his ultimate realization that he needs human companionship. Also recommended: On the Far Side of the Mountain.

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My Teacher Is an Alien


by Bruce Coville, Mike Wimmer (illus.)

Susan can tell that her new substitute teacher is really weird. She doesn't know how weird until she catches him peeling off his face -- and realizes Mr. Smith is really an alien! Now it's up to Susan and her friends to get rid of the extraterrestrial visitor.

external image 4-11.gifNative American Doctor, The Story of Susan LaFlesche Picotte

by Jeri Ferris

This is the inspiring biography of the young Omaha Indian woman who became the first Native American woman to graduate from medical school.

external image 4-12.gifNothing's Fair in Fifth Grade

by Barthe DeClements

Jenny knows one thing for sure -- Elsie Edwards is a fat thief who steals people's lunch money to buy candy. So when the book club money disappears, why is the whole class punished? Nothing's fair! But soon Jenny realizes some things aren't fair for Elsie, either. Elsie is on a strict diet, but when she starts losing weight, her mother won't buy her new clothes. Instead, she plans to send Elsie to boarding school. Suddenly everyone wants to help Elsie. Nothing's fair in fifth grade -- but sometimes things get better!

external image 4-13.gifThe Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog

by John R. Erickson, Gerald L. Holmes (illus.)

While investigating a vicious murder on his ranch, Hank finds himself the No. 1 suspect. Resigning in a fit of despair, he heads for the hills to become an outlaw -- where a band of ruthless coyotes is happy to teach him the trade. Or are they? They seem to be on his side...until they unveil their plan for a raid on Hank's ranch! Hank knows he can't beat them. Will he be forced to join them?

external image 4-14.gifOwls in the Family

by Farley Mowat, Robert Frankenberg (illus.)

Owls Wol and Weeps turn a household upside down, outwit a dog with the dignity of Mutt, and shake up a neighborhood.

external image 4-15.gifSearch for the Shadowman

by Joan Lowery Nixon

Twelve-year-old Andy Bonner isn't thrilled with his teacher's assignment to explore family history. When he starts asking questions about his ancestors, he is startled to discover a black sheep in the family tree. No one wants to reveal what happened in his family's past. But Andy is determined to break the silence. Casting his net widely, from the Internet to the local cemetery, Andy helps everyone realize it's never too late to seek justice.

external image 4-16.gifA Share of Freedom

by June Rae Wood

Freedom Jo is a smart-mouthed 13-year-old with an alcoholic mother, a little brother, Jackie, whom she adores -- and no idea who her father is. Afraid of being separated from Jackie after a binge lands their mother in an alcoholism-treatment program, Freedom runs away with him, hoping to hide out until their mother comes home. Her plan precipitates a chain of events that leads to the discovery of her father's identity.

external image 4-17.gifSideways Stories from Wayside School

by Louis Sachar, Julie Brinckloe (illus.)

There'd been a terrible mistake. Wayside School was supposed to be built with 30 classrooms all next to each other in a row. Instead, they built the classrooms one on top of the other ... 30 stories tall! (The builder said he was very sorry.) That may be why all kinds of funny things happen at Wayside School -- especially on the 30th floor. You'll meet Mrs. Gorf, the meanest teacher of all; terrible Todd, who always gets sent home early; and John, who can only read upside down -- along with all the other kids in the crazy mixed-up school that came out sideways. But you'll never guess the truth about Sammy, the new kid ... or what's in store for Wayside School on Halloween!

external image 4-18.gifStuart Little

by E. B. White

Stuart Little is a mouse in the family of the Frederick C. Littles and is a pleasantly debonair little character, with a shy, engaging manner and a somewhat philosophical turn of mind. He is a great help around the house, and everybody except Snowbell the cat likes him a great deal. In spite of his small size, Stuart gets around a good bit in the world, riding a Fifth Avenue bus with some aplomb, racing (and winning in) a sailboat in Central Park, teaching school for a day, and so on. His size -- just over two inches -- does give him some trouble now and then, like the time he was rolled up in the window shade, or when he got dumped into a garbage scow. But on the whole his life is a happy one. His great adventure comes when, at the age of seven, he sets out in the world to seek his dearest friend, Margalo, a beautiful little bird. Stuart Little, small in size only, has the adventurousness, the great purpose, and the indomitable spirit of a heroic figure, and his story, funny and tender and exciting by turns, will be read, re-read, and loved by young and old.

external image 4-19.gifTime for Andrew, A Ghost Story

by Mary Downing Hahn

When he goes to spend the summer with his great-aunt in the family's old house, 11-year-old Drew is drawn 80 years into the past to trade places with his great-great-uncle, who is dying of diphtheria.



external image 6-01.gifAbsolutely Normal Chaos

by Sharon Creech

A prequel to the Newbery Medal-winning Walk Two Moons,this book chronicles the daily life of 13-year-old Mary Lou Finney during her most chaotic and romantic summer ever. Mary Lou's summer journal -- which she begins grudgingly as a dreaded assignment for school -- becomes a hilarious chronicle of the circle of people and events that make her summer. There is Carl Ray, the mysterious and troublesome cousin that comes to visit; Beth Ann Bartels, her best friend who's recently gone boy crazy; Alex Cheevy, the boy that makes Mary Lou's brains "mushy;" and, of course, the Finney clan, her "normally strange family." What follows is the story of a summer filled with lessons and observations on love, death, friendship, and family.

external image 6-02.gifBelle Prater's Boy

by Ruth White

When Woodrow's mother suddenly disappears, he moves to his grandparents' home in a small Virginia town where he befriends his cousin, and together they find the strength to face the terrible losses and fears in their lives.

external image 6-03.gifBridge to Terabithia

by Katherine Paterson, Donna Diamond (illus.)

An extraordinarily powerful tribute to friendship, this Newbery Award-winning novel recounts the unlikely friendship of a country boy, Jess, and his neighbor, an uprooted city girl named Leslie. When Leslie is killed during a storm while trying to reach Terabithia, their secret hiding place, Jess must gather all his strength to come to terms with his loss and find a way to heal.

external image 6-04.gifCatherine, Called Birdy

by Karen Cushman

Catherine, the spirited and inquisitive daughter of an English country knight, narrates in diary form the story of her 14th year -- in the year 1290. Here, she records the events of her life, particularly her longing for adventures beyond the usual role of women and her efforts to avoid being married off.

external image 6-05.gifThe Complete Chronicles of Narnia
by C. S. Lewis, Chris Van Allsburg (illus.)


Enter the magical land of Narnia, where enchanted creatures live and battles are fought between good and evil!

external image 6-06.gifThe Egypt Game

by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, Alton Raible (illus.)

Even to Melanie, who knew that you could never predict what a new kid would be like, April Hall was something of a surprise. One look at her stringy upswept hair, false eyelashes, and ragged fox-fur collar, convinced Melanie that April was not going to be easy to integrate into the sixth grade at Wilson School. Within a month, April and Melanie had developed a common interest in ancient Egypt and had begun to develop a land of Egypt in an abandoned storage yard. Complications arose when other people joined the original Egyptians, when a murderer ranged the neighborhood, and when an oracle predicted strange things. But it was all in the game, which gave even April a fall and winter to remember.

external image 6-07.gifThe Giver

by Lois Lowry

Eleven-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. There is no war or pain, and there are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. When Jonas turns 12, he is chosen to receive special training from The Giver himself -- a man who alone holds the key to the true pain and pleasure of life: memories. Now it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. What will Jonas do once he experiences the power of deep emotions? This gripping and provocative Newbery Award-winning novel keeps readers turning the pages and exploring the special qualities that make us each human.

external image 6-08.gifHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

by J. K. Rowling

Orphaned as a baby, Harry Potter has spent 11 awful years living with his mean aunt, uncle, and cousin. But everything changes for Harry when an owl delivers a mysterious letter inviting him to attend a school for wizards. At this special school, Harry finds friends, fun, and magic in everything from classes to meals, as well as a great destiny that's been waiting for him...if Harry can survive the encounter. Fans of C. S. Lewis and Roald Dahl will love this enchanting, funny book! Also recommended: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

external image 6-09.gifI Heard the Owl Call My Name

by Margaret Craven

Amid the grandeur of the remote Pacific Northwest stands Kingcome, a village so ancient that, according to Kwakiutl myth, it was founded by the two brothers left on earth after the great flood. The Native Americans who still live there call it Quee, a place of such incredible natural richness that hunting and fishing remain primary food sources. But the old culture of totems and potlatch is being replaces by a new culture of prefab housing and alcoholism. Kingcome's younger generation is disenchanted and alienated from its heritage. And now, coming upriver is a young vicar, Mark Brian, who has two years to live. Sent to this Indian parish in British Columbia, Mark embarks on a journey of discovery that can teach him -- and us -- about life, death, and the transforming power of love.

external image 6-10.gifThe Island

by Gary Paulsen

Every morning 15-year-old Wil Neuton gets up, brushes his teeth, leaves the house, and rows away from shore. He's discovered the island, a place where he can go to be alone and learn to know nature -- and himself. On the island he watches the loons and the fish in the lake, and he writes and paints. It feels good to get away from the tension rising between his parents -- tension brought on by yet another move to a new town. But Wil can't stay away from the outside world forever. He must face Ray Bunner, the bully determined to challenge him, and his parents, who worry when Wil decides to stay on the island indefinitely. Can Wil bridge the growing gap between himself and the rest of the world?

external image 6-11.gifManiac Magee

by Jerry Spinelli

When Jeffrey Lionel Magee wanders into Two Mills, Pennsylvania, a legend is in the making. Before too long, stories begin to circulate about how fast and how far he can run and about feats so incredible they earn him the nickname "Maniac."


external image 6-12.gifThe Midwife's Apprentice

by Karen Cushman

In medieval England, a nameless, homeless girl is taken in by a sharp-tempered midwife and in spite of obstacles and hardship, eventually gains the three things she wants most: a full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world.


external image 6-14.gifThe Phantom Tollbooth

by Norton Juster, Jules Feiffer (illus.)

This ingenious fantasy centers around Milo, a bored ten-year old who comes home to find a large toy tollbooth sitting in his room. Joining forces with a watchdog named Tock, Milo drives through the tollbooth's gates and begins a memorable journey. He meets such characters as the foolish yet lovable Humbug, the Mathemagician, and the not-so-wicked "Which," Faintly Macabre, who gives Milo the "impossible" mission of returning two princesses to the Kingdom of Wisdom. Along his journey, Milo learns the importance of words and numbers -- and learns to appreciate life.

external image 6-15.gifThe River
by Gary Paulsen


In this exciting sequel to Hatchet, 15-year-old Brian Robeson, who survived alone in the wilderness for 54 days, returns to the wilderness at the request of a government survival school. This time, however, he won't be alone: Derek Holtzer, a government psychologist, will accompany him to observe and take notes. But during a freak storm, Derek is hit by lightning and falls into a coma. Afraid that Derek will die of dehydration unless he can get him to a doctor, Brian's only hope is to build a raft and try to transport Derek a hundred miles down the river to a trading post.

external image 6-16.gifRoll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

by Mildred D. Taylor

The Logans, a black family living in the South during the 1930s, are faced with prejudice and discrimination which their children don't understand. It takes the events of one turbulent year -- the year of the night riders and the burnings, the year a white girl humiliates Cassie in public simply because she is black -- to show Cassie that having a place of their own is the Logan family's lifeblood. It is the land that gives the Logans their courage and pride, for no matter how others may degrade them, the Logans posess something no one can take away.

external image 6-17.gifSummer of My German Soldier

by Bette Greene

The summer that Patty Bergen turns 12 is a summer that will haunt her forever. When her small hometown in Arkansas becomes the site of a camp housing German prisoners during World War II, Patty learns what it means to open her heart. Even though she's Jewish, she begins to see a prison escapee, Anton, not as a Nazi, but as a lonely, frightened young man with feelings not unlike her own. In Anton, Patty finds someone who softens the pain of her own father's rejection and who appreciates her in a way her mother never will. While patriotic feelings run high, Patty risks losing family, friends -- even her freedom -- for this dangerous friendship. It is a risk she has to take and one she will have to pay a price to keep.

external image 6-18.gifWhere the Red Fern Grows

by Wilson Rawls

A young boy living in the Ozarks achieves his heart's desire when he becomes the owner of two redbone hounds and teaches them to be champion hunters. Together, the three of them experience danger, adventure, love, and sorrow.

external image 6-19.gifThe Wish Giver, Three Tales of Coven Tree

by Bill Brittain, Andrew Glass (illus.)

The people of Coven Tree are no strangers to magic. In fact, the town's very name comes from a gnarled old tree where covens of witches used to gather. Even now, imps and fiends continue to appear, frightening the townfolk with their devilish pranks. Usually these creatures are easy to spot. They have a particular smell, sound, or way of moving that betrays their dark nature. But Thaddeus Blinn showed none of these signs when he came to Coven Tree. He was just a funny little man who drifted into town with a strange tale about being able to give people whatever they wished -- for only 50 cents. There was nothing scary about him. At least, not until the wishing began....

external image 6-20.gifWords of Stone

by Kevin Henkes

While exploring the countryside outside of his home, 10-year-old Blaze Werla spots a devastating message on the side of a hill. Ultimately, Blaze's summer takes a turn toward mystery and adventure when he meets the boisterous and irresistible Joselle.

external image 6-21.gifWringer

by Jerry Spinelli

Palmer LaRue is running out of birthdays. For as long as he can remember, he's dreaded the day he turns ten -- the day he'll take his place beside all the other ten-year-old boys in town, the day he'll be a wringer. But Palmer doesn't want to be a wringer. It's one of the first things he learned about himself and it's one of the biggest things he has to hide. In Palmer's town being a wringer is an honor, a tradition passed down from father to son. Palmer can't stop himself from being a wringer just like he can't stop himself from growing one year older, just like he can't stand up to a whole town -- right? Newbery Medal winner Jerry Spinelli's most powerful novel yet is a gripping tale of how one boy learns how not to be afraid.