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Award Winning Books - Challenging 6th Grade Booklists  

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Newbery Medal Print Page
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ALSC Newbery Home Page

  

Newbery Medal Home Page

Click the link above to view the home page of the Newbery Medal. This award is given each year to the most distinguished literature book for children written and published in the US. Several Honor Medals may also be awarded each year.

 

Strong protagonists and characters

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Paperboy - Vince Vawter
ISBN: 9780385742443
Publication Date: 2013-05-14
When an eleven-year-old boy takes over a friend's newspaper route in July, 1959, in Memphis, his debilitating stutter makes for a memorable month.

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Holes - Louis Sachar
ISBN: 0374332657
Publication Date: 1998-08-20
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 correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself

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Saffy's Angel - Hilary McKay
ISBN: 0689849338
Publication Date: 2002-05-01
After learning that she was adopted, thirteen-year-old Saffron's relationship with her eccentric, artistic family changes, until they help her go back to Italy, where she was born, to find a special memento of her past

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Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Judy Blume
ISBN: 0689841582
Publication Date: 2001-04-01
Faced with the difficulties of growing up and choosing a religion, a twelve-year-old girl talks over her problems with her own private God

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Ella Enchanted - Gail Carson Levine; Levine
ISBN: 0060275103
Publication Date: 1997-04-25
In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her

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Esperanza Rising - Pam Muñoz Ryan
ISBN: 0439120411
Publication Date: 2000-10-01
Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression

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Breadwinner - Deborah Ellis; D. Ellis
ISBN: 0888994192
Publication Date: 2001-03-01
Because the Taliban rulers of Kabul, Afghanistan, impose strict limitations on women's freedom and behavior, eleven-year-old Parvana must disguise herself as a boy so that her family can survive after her father's arrest.

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Stargirl - Jerry Spinelli
ISBN: 0679886370
Publication Date: 2000-08-08
In this story about the perils of popularity, the courage of nonconformity, and the thrill of first love, an eccentric student named Stargirl changes Mica High School forever.

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Catherine, Called Birdy - Karen Cushman
ISBN: 0395681863
Publication Date: 1994-05-23
The thirteen-year-old daughter of an English country knight keeps a journal in which 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.

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The View from Saturday - E. L. Konigsburg
ISBN: 068980993X
Publication Date: 1996-09-01
Four students, with their own individual stories, develop a special bond and attract the attention of their teacher, a paraplegic, who chooses them to represent their sixth-grade class in the Academic Bowl competition.

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Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief - Wendelin Van Draanen
ISBN: 0679988394
Publication Date: 1998-04-14
Seventh grader Sammy's penchant for speaking her mind gets her in trouble when she involves herself in the investigation of a robbery at the "seedy" hotel across the street from the seniors' building where she is living with her grandmother.

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The Year of the Book - Andrea Cheng; Abigail Halpin (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780547684635
Publication Date: 2012-05-22
Follows a young Chinese American girl, as she navigates relationships with family, friends, and her fourth-grade classroom, and finds a true best friend.

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Roller Girl - Victoria Jamieson
ISBN: 9780803740167
Publication Date: 2015-03-10
"A graphic novel adventure about a girl who discovers roller derby right as she and her best friend are growing apart""-- Provided by publis

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The War That Saved My Life - Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
ISBN: 9780803740815
Publication Date: 2015-01-08
A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mothe

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The Red Pencil - Andrea Davis Pinkney; Shane W. Evans (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780316247801
Publication Date: 2014-09-16
After her tribal village is attacked by militants, Amira, a young Sudanese girl, must flee to safety at a refugee camp, where she finds hope and the chance to pursue an education in the form of a single red pencil and the friendship and encouragement of a wise elder"-- Provided by publisher.

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Smile - Raina Telgemeier
ISBN: 9780545132053
Publication Date: 2010-02-01
An autobiography in graphic novel format describes how the author lost two of her front teeth in an accident when she was twelve, and her subsequent struggles with various corrective dental techniques throughout adolescence.

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El Deafo - Cece Bell; David Lasky (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781419710209
Publication Date: 2014-09-02
The author recounts in graphic novel format her experiences with hearing loss at a young age, including using a bulky hearing aid, learning how to lip read, and determining her "superpower

 

More Challenging Books

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Tuck Everlasting - Natalie Babbitt
ISBN: 9780312369811
Publication Date: 2007-08-21
The Tuck family is confronted with an agonizing situation when they discover that a ten-year-old girl and a malicious stranger now share their secret about a spring whose water prevents one from ever growing any older

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Anything but Typical - Nora Raleigh Baskin
ISBN: 9781416963783
Publication Date: 2009-03-24
Jason, a twelve-year-old autistic boy who wants to become a writer, relates what his life is like as he tries to make sense of his world

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The Great Wall of Lucy Wu - Wendy Wan-Long Shang
ISBN: 9780545162159
Publication Date: 2011-01-01
Eleven-year-old aspiring basketball star and interior designer Lucy Wu is excited about finally having her own bedroom, until she learns that her great-aunt is coming to visit and Lucy will have to share a room with her for several months, shattering her plans for a perfect sixth-grade year

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Gilda Joyce - Jennifer Allison
ISBN: 9780525473756
Publication Date: 2005-07-21
During the summer before ninth grade, intrepid Gilda Joyce invites herself to the San Francisco mansion of distant cousin Lester Splinter and his thirteen-year-old daughter, where she uses her purported psychic abilities and detective skills to solve the mystery of the mansion's boarded-up tower.

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Minuk - Kirkpatrick Hill; Patrick Faricy (Illustrator)
ISBN: 1584855967
Publication Date: 2002-10-01
Twelve year old Minuk's traditional Eskimo way of life is changed forever with the arrival of Christian missionaries.

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Little Women - Louisa May Alcott (Volume Editor); Jessie Willcox Smith (Illustrator); Frank T. Merrill (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0517634899
Publication Date: 1988-12-12
Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in mid-nineteenth-century New England.

 

More Challenging Character Driven Books Under 200 pages

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Dear Mr. Henshaw - Beverly Cleary; Paul O. Zelinsky (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0688024068
Publication Date: 1983-08-22
In his letters to his favorite author, ten-year-old Leigh reveals his problems coping with his parents' divorce, being the new boy in school, and generally finding his own place in the world.
Newbery Medal

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Starting with Alice - Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
ISBN: 068984395X
Publication Date: 2002-09-01
After she, her older brother, and their father move from Chicago to Maryland, Alice has trouble fitting into her new third grade class, but with the help of some new friends and her own unique outlook, she survives.

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The Underneath - Kathi Appelt; David Small (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781416950585
Publication Date: 2008-05-06
An old hound that has been chained up at his hateful ownerÕs run-down shack, and two kittens born underneath the house, endure separation, danger, and many other tribulations in their quest to be reunited and free
Newbery Medal

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A Dog Called Homeless - Sarah Lean
ISBN: 9780062122209
Publication Date: 2012-09-04
Fifth-grader Cally Louise Fisher stops talking, partly because her father and brother never speak of her mother who died a year earlier, but visions of her mother, friendships with a homeless man and a disabled boy, and a huge dog ensure that she still communicates.
California Young Medal Winner

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Because of Winn-Dixie - Kate DiCamillo
ISBN: 0763607762
Publication Date: 2000-03-01
Ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes her first summer in the town of Naomi, Florida, and all the good things that happen to her because of her big ugly dog Winn-Dixie
Newbery Medal

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Love That Dog - Creech; Sharon Creech
ISBN: 0060292873
Publication Date: 2001-07-24
A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, and an appearance at his school by Walter Dean Myers, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem.
ALA Notable

 

Mighty Girl Books for 6th Graders

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Moon over Manifest - Clare Vanderpool
ISBN: 9780385907507
Publication Date: 2010-10-12
Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up, and where she hopes to find out some things about his past

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The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Elizabeth George Speare; Barry Moser (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0395913675
Publication Date: 2001-03-26
In 1687 in Connecticut, Kit Tyler, feeling out of place in the Puritan household of her aunt, befriends an old woman considered a witch by the community and suddenly finds herself standing trial for witchcraft

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Out of the Dust - Karen Hesse
ISBN: 0590360809
Publication Date: 1997-10-01
In a series of poems, fourteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family's wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Depression.

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Up a Road Slowly - Irene Hunt
ISBN: 0425188175
Publication Date: 2003-01-07
After her mother's death Julie goes to live with Aunt Cordelia, a spinster schoolteacher, where she experiences many emotions and changes as she grows from seven to eighteen.

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Howl's Moving Castle - Diana Wynne Jones
ISBN: 0688062334
Publication Date: 1986-04-14
Eldest of three sisters in a land where it is considered to be a misfortune, Sophie is resigned to her fate as a hat shop apprentice until a witch turns her into an old woman and she finds herself in the castle of the greatly feared wizard Howl.

 

More Award Winning 6th Grade Books!

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The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman; Dave McKean (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0060530936
Publication Date: 2008-09-30
After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own

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Crispin - Avi
ISBN: 9780786826476
Publication Date: 2002-04-29
Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret

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The View from Saturday - E. L. Konigsburg
ISBN: 068980993X
Publication Date: 1996-09-01
Four students, with their own individual stories, develop a special bond and attract the attention of their teacher, a paraplegic, who chooses them to represent their sixth-grade class in the Academic Bowl competition.

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Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen; Anna Quindlen (Introduction by)
ISBN: 0679601686
Publication Date: 1995-11-21
In early nineteenth-century England, a spirited young woman copes with the courtship of a snobbish gentleman as well as the romantic entanglements of her four sisters

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Turnabout - Margaret Peterson Haddix; Cliff Nielsen (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0689821875
Publication Date: 2000-10-01
Melly and Anny Beth, participants in Project Turnabout, a scientific experiment on aging, receive injections that are supposed to make them grow younger, but when other participants die after receiving the second shot to stop the de-aging process, the two women refuse the serum and set out to find someone to care for them once they grow too young to do it themselves


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Little Women - Louisa May Alcott; George Stade (Consultant Editor); Camille Cauti (Introduction by, Intro and Notes by)
ISBN: 9781593083663
Publication Date: 2005-09-01
Chronicles the lives of the four March sisters as they grow into young women in nineteenth-century New England

The Incredible Journey - Sheila Burnford
ISBN: 0884110990
A Siamese cat, an old bull terrier, and a young Labrador retriever travel together 250 miles through the Canadian wilderness to find their family.

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The Incredible Journey - Sheila Burnford
ISBN: 0884110990
A Siamese cat, an old bull terrier, and a young Labrador retriever travel together 250 miles through the Canadian wilderness to find their family.

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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C. S. Lewis; Christian Birmingham (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0060290110
Publication Date: 2000-10-03
Four English school children enter the magic land of Narnia through the back of a wardrobe and assist Aslan, the golden lion, in defeating the White Witch who has cursed the land with eternal winter

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Elijah of Buxton - Christopher Paul Curtis
ISBN: 0439023440
Publication Date: 2007-09-01
In 1859, eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman, the first free-born child in Buxton, Canada, which is a haven for slaves fleeing the American south, uses his wits and skills to try to bring to justice the lying preacher who has stolen money that was to be used to buy a family's freedom

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Heart of a Samurai - Margi Preus
ISBN: 9780810989818
Publication Date: 2010-08-01
In 1841, rescued by an American whaler after a terrible shipwreck leaves him and his four companions castaways on a remote island, fourteen-year-old Manjiro, who dreams of becoming a samurai, learns new laws and customs as he becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States

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Shooting Kabul - N. H. Senzai
ISBN: 9781442401945
Publication Date: 2010-06-22
Escaping from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in the summer of 2001, eleven-year-old Fadi and his family immigrate to the San Francisco Bay Area, where Fadi schemes to return to the Pakistani refugee camp where his little sister was accidentally left behind

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Project Mulberry - Linda Sue Park
ISBN: 0618477861
Publication Date: 2005-04-18
While working on a project for an after-school club, Julia, a Korean American girl, and her friend Patrick learn not just about silkworms, but also about tolerance, prejudice, friendship, patience, and more. Between the chapters are short dialogues between the author and main character about the writing of the book

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Turtle in Paradise - Jennifer L. Holm
ISBN: 9780375836886
Publication Date: 2010-05-11
In 1935, when her mother gets a job housekeeping for a woman who does not like children, eleven-year-old Turtle is sent to stay with relatives she has never met in far away Key West, Florida

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A Good Horse - Jane Smiley
ISBN: 9780375962288
Publication Date: 2010-10-26
On her family's California horse ranch in the 1960s, eighth-grader Abby Lovitt faces the possibility of giving up her beloved colt, Jack, when it comes to light that his dam might have been stolen

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The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
ISBN: 0395071224
Publication Date: 1938-01-01
The adventures of the well-to-do hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who lived happily in his comfortable home until a wandering wizard granted his wish

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The Danger Box - Blue Balliett
ISBN: 9780439852098
Publication Date: 2010-09-01
In small-town Michigan, twelve-year-old Zoomy and his new friend Lorrol investigate the journal found inside a mysterious box and find family secrets and a more valuable treasure, while a dangerous stranger watches and waits

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Book Scavenger - Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
ISBN: 9781627791151
Publication Date: 2015-06-02
Just after twelve-year-old Emily and her family move to San Francisco, she teams up with new friend James to follow clues in an odd book they find, hoping to figure out its secrets before the men who attacked Emily's hero, publisher Garrison Griswold, solve the mystery or come after the friends.

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The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin
ISBN: 0525423206
Publication Date: 1978-06-01
The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance

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Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson; Donna Diamond (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0690013590
Publication Date: 1977-10-21
The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm

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Watership Down - Richard Adams
ISBN: 9780027000306
Publication Date: 1974-03-01
In a constant struggle against oppression, a group of rabbits search for peaceful co-existence. Chronicles the adventures of a group of rabbits searching for a safe place to establish a new warren where they can live in peace.

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The Princess and the Pauper - Kate Brian
ISBN: 0689861737
Publication Date: 2003-06-01
When sixteen-year-old Julia, of Los Angeles, and sixteen-year-old Princess Carina, of Vineland, switch places, Julia dances at the ball with the incredible Markus and Carina escapes rigid protocol to spend time with a rock star

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The 100-Year-Old Secret - Tracy Barrett
ISBN: 9780805083408
Publication Date: 2008-05-27
Xena and Xander Holmes, an American brother and sister living in London for a year, discover that Sherlock Holmes was their great-great-great grandfather when they are inducted into the Society for the Preservation of Famous Detectives and given his unsolved casebook, from which they attempt to solve the case of a famous missing painting

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Wonderstruck - Brian Selznick (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780545027892
Publication Date: 2011-09-13
Having lost his mother and his hearing in a short time, twelve-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City, and meets there Rose, who is also longing for something missing from her life. Ben's story is told in words; Rose's in pictures

 

2016 Newbery Winners

 

Newbery Medal Honors 2016

 

Newbery Medal Honors 2016

 

Newbery Medal Honors 2016

 

Challenging Books Under 200 Pages

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Wonder - R. J. Palacio
ISBN: 9780375869020
Publication Date: 2012-02-14
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.
ALA Notable Award

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The Strange Case of Origami Yoda - Tom Angleberger
ISBN: 9780810984257
Publication Date: 2010-03-01
Sixth-grader Tommy and his friends describe their interactions with a paper finger puppet of Yoda, worn by their weird classmate Dwight, as they try to figure out whether or not the puppet can really predict the future. Includes instructions for making Origami Yoda.
ALA Notable

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Charlotte's Web - E. B. White; Garth Williams (Illustrator); Rosemary Wells (Contribution by)
ISBN: 0060282983
Publication Date: 1999-10-31
Wilbur the pig is desolate when he discovers that he is destined to be the farmer's Christmas dinner until his spider friend, Charlotte, decides to help him
Newbery Medal

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A Dog's Life - Ann M. Martin
ISBN: 0439715598
Publication Date: 2005-10-01
Squirrel, a stray puppy, tells her life story, from her nurturing mother and brother to making her own way in the world, facing busy highways, changing seasons, and humans both gentle and brutal

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Waggit's Tale - Peter Howe; Omar Rayyan (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780061242618
Publication Date: 2008-07-01
When Waggit is abandoned by his owner as a puppy, he meets a pack of wild dogs who become his friends and teach him to survive in the city park, but when he has a chance to go home with a kind woman who wants to adopt him, he takes it

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Twelve Kinds of Ice - Ellen Bryan Obed; Barbara McClintock (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780618891290
Publication Date: 2012-11-06
From the first ice, a thin skin on a bucket of water, through thickly-iced fields, streams, and gardens, a girl, her family, and friends anticipate and enjoy a winter of skating, ending with an ice show complete with costumes, refreshments, and clowns.
ALA Notable Award

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Junonia - Kevin Henkes (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780061964176
Publication Date: 2011-05-24
The week of her tenth birthday, Alice and her parents go to Sanibel Island, Florida, just as they do every year, but this time some of the people who are always there are missing and some new people have come, which unsettles Alice, who wants things to be exactly the same as they alway are
ALA Notable

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Rule of Three - Nick Archer; Pamela A. Consolazio (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763641535
Publication Date: 2009-08-11
In Acton, Oregon, sisters Alex, Stevie, and Joey take turns telling about their lives, including auditioning for the same part in the school musical, baking contest-worthy cupcakes, and becoming obsessed with "Little Women"

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The Cheshire Cheese Cat - Carmen Agra Deedy; Randall Wright; Barry Moser (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781561455959
Publication Date: 2011-10-01
A community of mice and a cheese-loving cat form an unlikely alliance at London's Cheshire Cheese, an inn where Charles Dickens finds inspiration and Queen Victoria makes an unexpected appearance
ALA Notable Award

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The Tale of Despereaux - Kate DiCamillo; Timothy Basil Ering (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0763617229
Publication Date: 2003-08-25
The adventures of Desperaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin
Newbery Medal Award

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Winnie-the-Pooh - A. A. Milne; Ernest H. Shepard (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0525447768
Publication Date: 1991-10-30
The adventures of Christopher Robin and his friends, in which Pooh Bear uses a balloon to get honey, Piglet meets a Heffalump, and Eeyore has a birthday

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Black Beauty - Anna Sewell
ISBN: 0679428119
Publication Date: 1993-11-02
A horse in nineteenth-century England recounts his experiences with both good and bad masters

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain; Donald McKay (Illustrator); Michael Wimmer (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0448405601
Publication Date: 1994-09-07
The adventures and pranks of a mischievous boy growing up in a 19th-century Mississippi River town as he plays hooky on an island, witnesses a crime, hunts for pirate's treasure, and becomes lost in a cave.

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Frindle - Andrew Clements; Brian Selznick (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0689806698
Publication Date: 1996-10-01
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.
ALA Notable

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The Cat Who Went to Heaven - Elizabeth Coatsworth; Lynd Ward (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0027197107
Publication Date: 1967-07-01
A little cat comes to the home of a poor Japanese artist and, by humility and devotion, brings him good fortune.
Newbery Medal

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The Girl Who Could Fly - Victoria Forester
ISBN: 9780312374624
Publication Date: 2008-06-24
When homeschooled farm girl Piper McCloud reveals her ability to fly, she is quickly taken to a secret government facility to be trained with other exceptional children, but she soon realizes that something is very wrong and begins working with brilliant and wealthy Conrad to escape.

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Thirteen - Lauren Myracle
ISBN: 9780525478966
Publication Date: 2008-02-28
Winnie's thirteenth year brings many joys and challenges as she negotiates her relationship with her first boyfriend and realizes that change is inevitable in her friends, family, and even herself
Subject-Personal Name :

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The Great Wall of Lucy Wu - Wendy Wan-Long Shang
ISBN: 9780545162159
Publication Date: 2011-01-01
Eleven-year-old aspiring basketball star and interior designer Lucy Wu is excited about finally having her own bedroom, until she learns that her great-aunt is coming to visit and Lucy will have to share a room with her for several months, shattering her plans for a perfect sixth-grade year

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Echo - Pam Muñoz Ryan
ISBN: 9780439874021
Publication Date: 2015-02-24
Lost in the Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and finds himself entwined in a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica--and decades later three children, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California find themselves caught up in the same thread of destiny in the darkest days of the twentieth century, struggling to keep their families intact, and tied together by the music of the same harmonica.

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The Port Chicago 50 - Steve Sheinkin
ISBN: 9781596437968
Publication Date: 2014-01-21
Presents an account of the 1944 civil rights protest involving hundreds of African-American Navy servicemen who were unjustly charged with mutiny for refusing to work in unsafe conditions after the deadly Port Chicago explosion

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Drama - Raina Telgemeier
ISBN: 9780545326988
Publication Date: 2012-09-01

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Barn - Avi
ISBN: 9780531068618
Publication Date: 1994-09-01
In an effort to fulfill their dying father's last request, nine-year-old Ben and his brother and sister construct a barn on their land in the Oregon Territory.

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The Golden Compass - Philip Pullman
ISBN: 0679879242
Publication Date: 1996-04-16
Accompanied by her shape-shifting daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.

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The Underneath - Kathi Appelt; David Small (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781416950585
Publication Date: 2008-05-06
An old hound that has been chained up at his hateful owner's run-down shack, and two kittens born underneath the house, endure separation, danger, and many other tribulations in their quest to be reunited and free

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Masterpiece - Elise Broach; Kelly Murphy (Illustrator); Patience Brewster (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780805082708
Publication Date: 2008-09-30
After Marvin, a beetle, makes a miniature drawing as an eleventh birthday gift for James, a human with whom he shares a house, the two new friends work together to help recover a Durer drawing stolen from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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The Magician's Elephant - Kate DiCamillo; Yoko Tanaka (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763644109
Publication Date: 2009-09-08
When ten-year-old orphan Peter Augustus Duchene encounters a fortune teller in the marketplace one day and she tells him that his sister, who is presumed dead, is in fact alive, he embarks on a remarkable series of adventures as he desperately tries to find her.

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A Tale Dark and Grimm - Adam Gidwitz; Jacob Grimm; Wilhelm K. Grimm; Hugh D'Andrade (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780525423348
Publication Date: 2010-10-28
Follows Hansel and Gretel as they walk out of their own story and into eight more tales, encountering such wicked creatures as witches, along with kindly strangers and other helpful folk. Based in part on the GrimmsÕ fairy tales Faithful Johannes, Hansel and Gretel, The seven ravens, Brother and sister, The robber bridegroom, and The devil and his three golden hairs

 

More Mighty Girl Challenging Books

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Fever 1793 - Laurie Halse Anderson; Lori Earley (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0689838581
Publication Date: 2000-09-01
In 1793 Philadelphia, sixteen-year-old Matilda Cook, separated from her sick mother, learns about perseverance and self-reliance when she is forced to cope with the horrors of a yellow fever epidemic.

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Counting by 7s - Holly Goldberg Sloan
ISBN: 9780803738553
Publication Date: 2013-08-29
Twelve-year-old genius and outsider Willow Chance must figure out how to connect with other people and find a surrogate family for herself after her parents are killed in a car accident.

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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - E. L. Konigsburg
ISBN: 0440931800
Publication Date: 1973-08-15
When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn't just want to run. Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at auction for a bargain price of $225. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn't it? Claudia is determined to find out. Her quest leads her to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.

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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry - Mildred D. Taylor; Jerry Pinkney (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0803726473
Publication Date: 2001-01-01
A Black family living in the South during the 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination which their children don't understand.

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Walk Two Moons - Sharon Creech
ISBN: 0060560134
Publication Date: 2003-12-23
After her mother leaves home suddenly, thirteen-year-old Sal and her grandparents take a car trip retracing her mother's route. Along the way, Sal recounts the story of her friend Phoebe, whose mother also left.

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Bread and Roses, Too - Katherine Paterson
ISBN: 0618654798
Publication Date: 2006-09-04
Jake and Rosa, two children, form an unlikely friendship as they try to survive and understand the 1912 Bread and Roses strike of mill workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts

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The Two Princesses of Bamarre - Gail Carson Levine; Levine
ISBN: 0060293152
Publication Date: 2001-03-20
With her adventurous sister, Meryl, suffering from the Grey death, meek and timid Princess Addie sets out to find a cure and encounters monsters and other dangers along the way.

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The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Catherynne M. Valente; Ana Juan (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780312649616
Publication Date: 2011-05-10
Twelve-year-old September's ordinary life in Omaha turns to adventure when a Green Wind takes her to Fairyland to retrieve a talisman the new and fickle Marquess wants from the enchanted woods

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Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief - Wendelin Van Draanen
ISBN: 0679988394
Publication Date: 1998-04-14
Seventh grader Sammy's penchant for speaking her mind gets her in trouble when she involves herself in the investigation of a robbery at the "seedy" hotel across the street from the seniors' building where she is living with her grandmother.

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The Midwife's Apprentice - Karen Cushman
ISBN: 0395692296
Publication Date: 1995-03-27
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 most wants: a full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world.

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll; Cooper Edens (Compiled by); C. S. Lewis
ISBN: 055305385X
Publication Date: 1989-10-01
By falling down a rabbit hole, Alice experiences unsual adventures with a variety of nonsensical characters. Includes illustrations by a variety of artists selected from previously published editions

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The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (Illustrator); Arthur Pober (Afterword by); Scott McKowen (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781402725050
Publication Date: 2005-10-01
The escapades of four animal friends who live along a river in the English countryside--Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger

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Animal Farm - George Orwell
ISBN: 0151072558
Publication Date: 1990-11-20
Animal Farm is the most famous by far of all twentieth-century political allegories. Its account of a group of barnyard animals who revolt against their vicious human master, only to submit to a tyranny erected by their own kind, can fairly be said to have become a universal drama. Orwell is one of the very few modern satirists comparable to Jonathan Swift in power, artistry, and moral authority; in animal farm his spare prose and the logic of his dark comedy brilliantly highlight his stark message.

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The Jungle Book - John Rowe (Editor); Scott McKowen (Illustrator); Arthur Pober (Afterword by); Rudyard Kipling
ISBN: 9781402743405
Publication Date: 2007-11-01
Presents the three adventures of Mowgli, a young boy raised by the animals in an Indian jungle, as well as other animal stories and songs. Includes illustrated notes throughout the text explaining the historical background of the story

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Sounder - Armstrong; James Barkley (Illustrator); William H. Armstrong
ISBN: 0060201436
Publication Date: 1969-10-08
Angry and humiliated when his sharecropper father is jailed for stealing food for his family, a young black boy grows in courage and understanding by learning to read and with the help of his devoted dog Sounder.

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Chasing Vermeer - Blue Balliett; Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0439372941
Publication Date: 2004-06-01
When seemingly unrelated and strange events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal.

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Chasing Redbird - Sharon Creech; Marc Burckhardt (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0060269871
Publication Date: 1997-02-27
After the death of her aunt, a thirteen-year-old girl decides to clear an overgrown trail near her family's farm.

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My Side of the Mountain - Jean Craighead George
ISBN: 0525463461
Publication Date: 1999-09-01
Sam Gribley is terribly unhappy living in his family's crowded New York City apartment. So, armed with just the bare necessities -- a penknife, a ball of cord, some flint and steel, and the clothes on his back -- he runs away to the mountains. There, Sam must rely on his own ingenuity and the resources of the great outdoors to survive -- and he discovers a side of himself he never knew existed.

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The Phantom Tollbooth - Norton Juster; Jules Feiffer (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0394820371
Publication Date: 1988-10-12
Milo, a young boy with little interest in anything, takes a trip through the Phantom Tollbooth to the Lands Beyond where he meets an enchanting cast of characters who teach him the importance of words, numbers, ideas, creativity, and enthusiasm for life.

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Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O'Dell
ISBN: 0395069629
Publication Date: 1960-09-09
Left alone on a beautiful but isolated island off the coast of California, a young Indian girl spends eighteen years, not only merely surviving through her enormous courage and self-reliance, but also finding a measure of happiness in her solitary life.

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Bomb - Steve Sheinkin
ISBN: 9781596434875
Publication Date: 2012-09-04
Recounts the scientific discoveries that enabled atom splitting, the military intelligence operations that occurred in rival countries, and the work of brilliant scientists hidden at Los Alamos.

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Esperanza Rising - Pam Muñoz Ryan
ISBN: 0439120411
Publication Date: 2000-10-01
Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression

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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library - Chris Grabenstein
ISBN: 9780375870897
Publication Date: 2013-06-25
"Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape"--.

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The Mysterious Benedict Society - Trenton Lee Stewart; Carson Ellis (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780316057776
Publication Date: 2007-03-07
After passing a series of mind-bending tests, four children are selected for a secret mission that requires them to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules

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The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher - Dana Alison Levy
ISBN: 9780385376525
Publication Date: 2014-07-22
Relates the adventures of a family with two fathers, four adopted boys, and a variety of pets as they make their way through a school year, Kindergarten through sixth grade, and deal with a grumpy new neighbor.

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Blackbird Fly - Erin Entrada Kelly; Betsy Peterschmidt (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062238610
Publication Date: 2015-03-24
Bullied at school, eighth-grader Apple, a Filipino American who loves the music of the Beatles, decides to change her life by learning how to play the guitar.

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Weedflower - Cynthia Kadohata
ISBN: 0689865740
Publication Date: 2006-04-01
After twelve-year-old Sumiko and her Japanese-American family are relocated from their flower farm in southern California to an internment camp on a Mojave Indian reservation in Arizona, she helps her family and neighbors, becomes friends with a local Indian boy, and tries to hold on to her dream of owning a flower shop

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Half a Chance - Cynthia Lord
ISBN: 9780545035330
Publication Date: 2014-02-25
Lucy, with her mother and her photographer father, has just moved to a small rural community in New Hampshire, and with her new friend Nate she plans to spend the summer taking photos for a contest, but pictures sometimes reveal more than people are willing to see.

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Adventures with Waffles - Maria Parr; Kate Forrester (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763672812
Publication Date: 2015-05-12
"Hardly a day passes without Trille and Lena inventing some kind of adventure that often ends in trouble. Whether it's coaxing a cow onto a boat or sledding down the steepest and iciest hill with a chicken, there is always a thrill--and sometimes an injury--to be had. Trille loves to share everything with Lena, even Auntie Granny's waffles..."--Publisher.



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Maniac Magee - Jerry Spinelli
ISBN: 9780316807227
Publication Date: 1990-04-02
After his parents die, Jeffrey Lionel Magee's life becomes legendary, as he accomplishes athletic and other feats which awe his contemporaries

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The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963 - Christopher Paul Curtis
ISBN: 0385321759
Publication Date: 1995-09-01
The ordinary interactions and everyday routines of the Watsons, an African American family living in Flint, Michigan, are drastically changed after they go to visit Grandma in Alabama in the summer of 1963

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Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life - Wendy Mass
ISBN: 9780316058292
Publication Date: 2006-11-01
Just before his thirteenth birthday, Jeremy Fink receives a keyless locked box--set aside by his father before his death five years earlier--that purportedly contains the meaning of life

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Flygirl - Sherri L. Smith
ISBN: 9780399247095
Publication Date: 2009-01-22
During World War II, a light-skinned African American girl "passes" for white in order to join the Women Airforce Service Pilots

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The Wednesday Wars - Gary D. Schmidt
ISBN: 0618724834
Publication Date: 2007-05-21
During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker's classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns muchof value about the world he lives in.

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Eragon - Christopher Paolini
ISBN: 0440240735
Publication Date: 2007-06-12
In Alagaesia, a fifteen-year-old boy of unknown lineage called Eragon finds a mysterious stone that weaves his life into an intricate tapestry of destiny, magic, and power, peopled with dragons, elves, and monsters.

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Scat - Carl Hiaasen
ISBN: 9780375834868
Publication Date: 2009-01-27
Nick and his friend Marta decide to investigate when a mysterious fire starts near a Florida wildlife preserve and an unpopular teacher goes missing

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Switched at Birthday - Natalie Standiford
ISBN: 9780545346504
Publication Date: 2014-02-25
Lavender sees herself as the miserable but tough outsider at school, while Scarlet knows she is talented and popular, but insecure on the inside--then, on their mutual thirteenth birthday, they wake up in each other's bodies and are forced to learn what it means to walk in someone else's shoes.

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Binny in Secret - Hilary McKay; Micah Player (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781442482784
Publication Date: 2015-06-16
While getting bullied at school, twelve-year-old Binny investigates the disappearance of her brother's chicken and tries to save an endangered lynx.

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The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place - Julie Berry
ISBN: 9781596439566
Publication Date: 2014-09-23
"Seven very proper Victorian young ladies conspire to hide a murder from the authorities at their boarding school""--

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Dragons of Silk - Laurence Yep
ISBN: 9780060275181
Publication Date: 2011-09-13
Four generations of Chinese and Chinese-American girls, beginning in 1835, are tied together by the tradition of raising silkworms and the legacy of the legendary Weaving Maid.

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The Dreamer - Pam Muñoz Ryan; Peter Sís (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780439269704
Publication Date: 2010-04-01
A fictionalized biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who grew up a painfully shy child, ridiculed by his overbearing father, but who became one of the most widely-read poets in the world.

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The Egypt Game - Zilpha Keatley Snyder; Alton Raible (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781416960652
Publication Date: 2007-10-23
A group of children, entranced with the study of Egypt, play their own Egypt game, are visited by a secret oracle, become involved in a murder, and befriend the Professor before they move on to new interests, such as Gypsies

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The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate - Jacqueline Kelly
ISBN: 9780805088410
Publication Date: 2009-05-12
In central Texas in 1899, eleven-year-old Callie Vee Tate learns about love from the older three of her six brothers and studies the natural world with her grandfather which leads to an important discovery

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No Cream Puffs - Karen Day
ISBN: 9780375837753
Publication Date: 2008-05-13
In 1980, when twelve-year-old Madison, who loves to play baseball, decides to play in her townÕs baseball league, she never envisions the uproar it causes when she becomes the first girl to join

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The Magic Half - Annie Barrows
ISBN: 9781599901329
Publication Date: 2007-12-26
Eleven-year-old Miri Gill feels left out in her family, which has two sets of twins and her, until she travels back in time to 1935 and discovers Molly, her own lost twin, and brings her back to the present day

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Coraline - Neil Gaiman; Dave McKean (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0380977788
Publication Date: 2002-07-02
Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others.

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The Aviary - Kathleen O'Dell
ISBN: 9780375856051
Publication Date: 2011-09-13
In late nineteenth-century Maine, isolated, eleven-year-old Clara Dooley gains a friend and uncovers a magical secret that changes her life when she learns to care for the once-feared birds in the aviary attached to the Glendoveer mansion where she lives

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The Secret Order of the Gumm Street Girls - Elise Primavera (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780060569464
Publication Date: 2006-09-26
n order to save the town of Sherbet, four girls with very little in common become involved with some people and events that seem to bear a resemblance to "The Wizard of Oz.

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The Jungle Book - John Rowe (Editor); Rudyard Kipling
ISBN: 9780812504699
Publication Date: 1992-02-15
Presents the three adventures of Mowgli, a young boy raised by the animals in an Indian jungle, as well as other animal stories and songs. Includes illustrated notes throughout the text explaining the historical background of the story

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - J. K. Rowling; Mary GrandPré (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0590353403
Publication Date: 1998-09-01
Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

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Peter Pan - J. M. Barrie; Michael Hague (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780805072457
Publication Date: 2003-10-01
The adventures of the three Darling children in Never-Never Land with Peter Pan, the boy who would not grow up.

 

More Challenging Character Driven Books

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Fly by Night - Frances Hardinge
ISBN: 0060876271
Publication Date: 2006-05-01
Mosca Mye and her homicidal goose, Saracen, travel to the city of Mandelion on the heels of smooth-talking con-man, Eponymous Clent

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The Fourteenth Goldfish - Jennifer L. Holm
ISBN: 9780375870644
Publication Date: 2014-08-26
Ellie's scientist grandfather has discovered a way to reverse aging, and consequently has turned into a teenager--which makes for complicated relationships when he moves in with Ellie and her mother, his daughter.

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P. S. Be Eleven - Rita Williams-Garcia
ISBN: 9780061938627
Publication Date: 2013-05-21
The Gaither sisters are back in Brooklyn, where changes large and small come to their household as they grow up during the turbulent 1960s.

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One Crazy Summer - Rita Williams-Garcia
ISBN: 9780060760885
Publication Date: 2010-01-26
In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp

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Liar and Spy - Rebecca Stead
ISBN: 9780385737432
Publication Date: 2012-08-07
Seventh-grader Georges adjusts to moving from a house to an apartment, his father's efforts to start a new business, his mother's extra shifts as a nurse, being picked on at school, and Safer, a boy who wants his help spying on another resident of their building.

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Summer of the Gypsy Moths - Sara Pennypacker
ISBN: 9780061964206
Publication Date: 2012-04-24
A foster child named Angel and twelve-year-old Stella, who are living with Stella's great-aunt Louise at the Linger Longer Cottage Colony on Cape Cod, secretly assume responsibility for the vacation rentals when Louise unexpectedly dies and the girls are afraid of being returned to the foster care system.

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Project Mulberry - Linda Sue Park
ISBN: 0618477861
Publication Date: 2005-04-18
While working on a project for an after-school club, Julia, a Korean American girl, and her friend Patrick learn not just about silkworms, but also about tolerance, prejudice, friendship, patience, and more. Between the chapters are short dialogues between the author and mai

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The Thing about Luck - Cynthia Kadohata; Julia Kuo (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781416918820
Publication Date: 2013-06-04
Just when twelve-year-old Summer thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong in a year of bad luck, an emergency takes her parents to Japan, leaving Summer to care for her little brother while helping her grandmother cook and do laundry for harvest workers.

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Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery; Laura Fernandez (Illustrator); Rick Jacobson (Illustrator); Kate Butler MacDonald (Introduction by)
ISBN: 0887765157
Publication Date: 2000-09-01
Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm and proceeds to make an indelible impression on everyone around her

National Velvet - Enid Bagnold
ISBN: 0899663591
Publication Date: 1981-01-01
Fourteen-year-old Velvet is determined to turn her untamed horse into a champion and personally ride him to victory in the world's greatest steeplechase, the Grand National.

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The Goose Girl - Shannon Hale
ISBN: 158234843X
Publication Date: 2003-08-08
On her way to marry a prince she's never met, Princess Anidori is betrayed by her guards and her lady-in-waiting and must become a goose girl to survive until she can reveal her true identity and reclaim the crown that is rightfully hers.

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith; Anna Quindlen (Foreword by)
ISBN: 9780060736262
Publication Date: 2005-01-18
Story of sensitive, intelligent young Francie Nolan as she and her family struggle to survive in a turn-of-the century slum in Brooklyn

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The Book of a Thousand Days - Shannon Hale; James Noel Smith (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781599900513
Publication Date: 2007-09-18
Fifteen-year-old Dashti, sworn to obey her sixteen-year-old mistress, the Lady Saren, shares SarenÕs years of punishment locked in a tower, then brings her safely to the lands of her true love, where both must hide who they are as they work as kitchen maids

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Thirteen - Lauren Myracle
ISBN: 9780525478966
Publication Date: 2008-02-28
Winnie's thirteenth year brings many joys and challenges as she negotiates her relationship with her first boyfriend and realizes that change is inevitable in her friends, family, and even herself

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The White Darkness - Geraldine McCaughrean
ISBN: 9780060890353
Publication Date: 2007-01-02
Taken to Antarctica by the man she thinks of as her uncle for what she believes to be a vacation, Symone--a troubled fourteen year old--discovers that he is dangerously obsessed with seeking Symme's Hole, an opening that supposedly leads into the center of a hollow Earth

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Inkheart - Cornelia Funke; Anthea Bell (Translator)
ISBN: 0439531640
Publication Date: 2003-10-01
Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can "read" fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.
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My Side of the Mountain - Jean Craighead George
ISBN: 0525463461
Publication Date: 1999-09-01
Sam Gribley is terribly unhappy living in his family's crowded New York City apartment. So, armed with just the bare necessities -- a penknife, a ball of cord, some flint and steel, and the clothes on his back -- he runs away to the mountains. There, Sam must rely on his own ingenuity and the resources of the great outdoors to survive -- and he discovers a side of himself he never knew existed. Book

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City of Orphans - Avi; Greg Ruth (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781416971023
Publication Date: 2011-09-06
In 1893 New York, thirteen-year-old Maks, a newsboy, teams up with Willa, a homeless girl, to clear his older sister, Emma, from charges that she stole from the brand new Waldorf Hotel, where she works. Includes historical notes.

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Hatchet - Gary Paulsen
ISBN: 9780689840920
Publication Date: 2000-04-01
After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.

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The Whipping Boy - Sid Fleischman; Peter Sís (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780688062163
Publication Date: 1986-04-14
A bratty prince and his whipping boy have many adventures when they inadvertently trade places after becoming involved with dangerous outlaws

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The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg - Rodman Philbrick
ISBN: 9780439668187
Publication Date: 2009-01-01
Twelve-year-old Homer, a poor but clever orphan, has extraordinary adventures after running away from his evil uncle to rescue his brother, who has been sold into service in the Civil War

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Nooks and Crannies - Jessica Lawson; Natalie Andrewson (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781481419215
Publication Date: 2015-06-02
Eleven-year-old Tabitha Crum, whose parents were just about to abandon her, is invited to the country estate of a wealthy countess along with five other children and told that one of them will become her heir.

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The Ring of Rocamadour - Michael D. Beil
ISBN: 9780375948145
Publication Date: 2009-04-14
Catholic-schooled seventh-graders Sophie, Margaret, Rebecca, and Leigh Ann help an elderly neighbor solve a puzzle her father left for her estranged daughter twenty years ago

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain; Claude LaPointe (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0670869856
Publication Date: 1996-11-01
The adventures and pranks of a mischievous boy growing up in a Mississippi River town in the early nineteenth century

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20,000 Leagues under the Sea - Jules Verne; Scott McKowen (Illustrator); Arthur Pober (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9781402725999
Publication Date: 2006-10-28
n the mid-nineteenth century, a French professor and his two companions, trapped aboard a fantastic submarine as prisoners of the deranged Captain Nemo, come face to face with exotic ocean creatures and strange sights hidden from the world above

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The Frog Princess - E. D. Baker
ISBN: 1582347999
Publication Date: 2002-11-09
After reluctantly kissing a frog, an awkward, fourteen-year-old princess suddenly finds herself a frog, too, and sets off with the prince to seek the means--and the self-confidence--to become human again

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Frogged - Vivian Vande Velde
ISBN: 9780547942155
Publication Date: 2013-04-02
When almost-thirteen-year-old Princess Imogene is turned into a frog, she puts into practice lessons from the book, The Art of Being a Princess, as she tries to become her less-than-perfect self again.

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Freaky Friday - Mary Rodgers
ISBN: 0060250488
Publication Date: 1972-04-01
A thirteen-year-old girl gains a much more sympathetic understanding of her relationship with her mother when she has to spend a day in her mother's body

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Pollyanna - Eleanor H. Porter; Neil Reed (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780140366822
Publication Date: 1996-02-01
A story about orphaned, eleven-year-old Pollyanna who comes to live with her austere and wealthy Aunt Polly, and how her philosophy of gladness brings happiness to her aunt and other unhappy members of the community

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The Great Gilly Hopkins - Katherine Paterson
ISBN: 0690038380
Publication Date: 1978-04-18
An eleven-year-old foster child tries to cope with her longings and fears as she schemes against everyone who tries to be friendly

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH - Robert C. O'Brien; Zena Bernstein (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780689704130
Publication Date: 1975-03-01
When a little field mouse falls ill, his mother, Mrs. Frisby, seeks help from the other animals and discovers a secret laboratory.

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My Friend Flicka - Dave Blossom
ISBN: 0833513575
Publication Date: 1988-01-01
Through his intense devotion to the colt Flicka, a young boy, living on a Wyoming ranch, begins to learn about responsibility and gain a better understanding of his brusque father.

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain; Donald McKay (Illustrator); Michael Wimmer (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0448405601
Publication Date: 1994-09-07
Tom, shrewd and adventurous, makes friends with Huck Finn, and they accidentally witness a murder.

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The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett; Graham Rust
ISBN: 0879236493
Publication Date: 2000-02-01
Ten-year-old Mary comes to live in a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors and discovers an invalid cousin and the mysteries of a locked garden

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The Prince and the Pauper - Mark Twain; Frank T. Merrill (Illustrator); John Harley (Illustrator); Victor Fischer (Foreword by); Michael B. Frank (Foreword by); L. S. Ipsen (Illustrator); Richard A. Watson (Other Primary Creator)
ISBN: 0520051084
Publication Date: 1983-12-01
When young Edward VI of England and a poor boy who resembles him exchange places, each learns something about the other's very different station in life. In the process gross inequities of society are exposed

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The Once and Future King - T. H. White
ISBN: 0399105972
Publication Date: 1958-08-25
The story of King Arthur from his childhood through his reign as king and into old age

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Nurse Matilda - Christianna Brand; Edward Ardizzone (Illustrator)
ISBN: 1582346704
Publication Date: 2005-03-03
Nurse Matilda goes to town -- Nurse Matilda goes to hospital
The incorrigible Brown children, who devour nannies, nurse-maids, and governesses, finally meet their match.

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11 Birthdays - Wendy Mass
ISBN: 9780545052399
Publication Date: 2009-01-01
After celebrating their first nine same-day birthdays together, Amanda and Leo, having fallen out on their tenth and not speaking to each other for the last year, prepare to celebrate their eleventh birthday separately but peculiar things begin to happen as the day of their birthday begins to repeat itself over and over again

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Touch Blue - Cynthia Lord
ISBN: 9780545035316
Publication Date: 2010-08-01
When the state of Maine threatens to shut down their island's one-room schoolhouse because of dwindling enrollment, eleven-year-old Tess, a strong believer in luck, and her family take in a trumpet-playing foster child, to increase the school's population

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Same Sun Here - Silas House; Neela Vaswani; Hilary Schenker (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763656843
Publication Date: 2012-02-14
A twelve-year-old Indian immigrant in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner's son become pen pals, and eventually best friends, through a series of revealing letters exploring such topics as environmental activism, immigration, and racism.

 

Newbery Medal Winners 2006-2015

2016 Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena

2015 - Crossover by Kwame Alexander

2014 - Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

2013 - Onee and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

2012 - Dead End in Norvelt  by Jack Gantos

2011 - Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool 

2010 - When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead 

2009 - The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

2008 - Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz

2007 - The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron

2006 - Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins

 

 

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Last Stop on Market Street - Matt De la Peña; Christian Robinson (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780399257742
Publication Date: 2015-01-08
A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.

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The Crossover - Kwame Alexander
Publication Date: 2015
Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

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Moon over Manifest - Clare Vanderpool
2011

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The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman; Dave McKean (Illustrator)
2009

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Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! - Laura Amy Schlitz; Robert Byrd (Illustrator)
2008

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The Higher Power of Lucky - Susan Patron; Matt Phelan (Illustrator)
2007

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Criss Cross - Lynne Rae Perkins
2006

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Nothing but the Truth - Avi
ISBN: 0531085597
Publication Date: 1991-10-01
A ninth-grader's suspension for singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" during homeroom becomes a national news story.

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Sounder - Armstrong; James Barkley (Illustrator); William H. Armstrong
ISBN: 0060201436
Publication Date: 1969-10-08
Angry and humiliated when his sharecropper father is jailed for stealing food for his family, a young black boy grows in courage and understanding by learning to read and with the help of his devoted dog Sounder.

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The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
ISBN: 9780375842207
Publication Date: 2007-09-11
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors. Includes readers guide

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When You Reach Me - Rebecca Stead
ISBN: 9780385737425
Publication Date: 2009-07-14
As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1970s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space

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The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - Ruth E. Murray (Illustrator); Avi
ISBN: 053105893X
Publication Date: 1990-09-01
As the lone "young lady" on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious

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Splendors and Glooms - Laura Amy Schlitz
ISBN: 9780763653804
Publication Date: 2012-08-28
When Clara vanishes after the puppeteer Grisini and two orphaned assistants were at her twelfth birthday party, suspicion of kidnapping chases the trio away from London and soon the two orphans are caught in a trap set by Grisini's ancient rival, a witch with a deadly inheritance to shed before it is too late.

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Hattie Big Sky - Kirby Larson
ISBN: 0385733135
Publication Date: 2006-09-26
After inheriting her uncles homesteading claim in Montana, sixteen-year-old orphan Hattie Brooks travels from Iowa in 1917 to make a home for herself and encounters some unexpected problems related to the war being fought in Europe
life-Fiction

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Hatchet - Gary Paulsen
ISBN: 9781416936473
Publication Date: 2006-12-26
After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the wilderness, learning to survive initially with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents' divorce.
Series: Brian's saga, 1

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The Green Glass Sea - Ellen Klages
ISBN: 0670061344
Publication Date: 2006-10-19
It is 1943, and 11-year-old Dewey Kerrigan is traveling west on a train to live with her scientist father--but no one will tell her exactly where he is. When she reaches Los Alamos, New Mexico, she learns why: he's working on a top secret government program

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The River Between Us - Richard Peck
ISBN: 0803727356
Publication Date: 2003-09-29
During the early days of the Civil War, the Pruitt family takes in two mysterious young ladies who have fled New Orleans to come north to Illinois.

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My Basmati Bat Mitzvah - Paula J. Freedman
ISBN: 9781419708060
Publication Date: 2013-10-01
Tara Feinstein, proud of both her East Indian and Jewish heritage, questions what it means to have a bat mitzvah and deals with her own doubts about her faith.

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The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond - Brenda Woods
ISBN: 9780399257148
Publication Date: 2014-01-09
"A biracial girl finally gets the chance to meet the African American side of her family"

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The Mighty Miss Malone - Christopher Paul Curtis
ISBN: 9780385734912
Publication Date: 2012-01-10
With love and determination befitting the "world's greatest family," twelve-year-old Deza Malone, her older brother Jimmie, and their parents endure tough times in Gary, Indiana, and later Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression

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Graceling - Kristin Cashore
ISBN: 9780152063962
Publication Date: 2008-10-01
In a world where some people are born with extreme and often-feared skills called Graces, Katsa struggles for redemption from her own horrifying Grace, the Grace of killing, and teams up with another young fighter to save their land from a corrupt king

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The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
ISBN: 0395071224
Publication Date: 1938-01-01
The adventures of the well-to-do hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, who lived happily in his comfortable home until a wandering wizard granted his wish

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The Witch of Blackbird Pond - Elizabeth George Speare
ISBN: 0395071143
Publication Date: 1958-12-01
In 1687 in Connecticut, Kit Tyler, feeling out of place in the Puritan household of her aunt, befriends an old woman considered a witch by the community and suddenly finds herself standing trial for witchcraft

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The Lord of the Rings - J. R. R. Tolkien
ISBN: 0395082544
Publication Date: 1954-01-01
Frodo the hobbit and his companions set out to deliver the One Ring of Power to the dark land of Mordor in order to destroy the ring in the forge of its creation.

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A Corner of the Universe - Ann M. Martin
ISBN: 0439388805
Publication Date: 2002-10-01
The summer that Hattie turns twelve, she meets the childlike uncle she never knew and becomes friends with a girl who works at the carnival that comes to Hattie's small town.

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Olive's Ocean - Kevin Henkes
ISBN: 0060535431
Publication Date: 2003-08-12
On a summer visit to her grandmother's cottage by the ocean, twelve-year-old Martha gains perspective on the death of a classmate, on her relationship with her grandmother, on her feelings for an older boy, and on her plans to be a writer.

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Dealing with Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede
ISBN: 0152229000
Publication Date: 1990-09-18
Bored with traditional palace life, a princess goes off to live with a group of dragons and soon becomes involved with fighting against some disreputable wizards who want to steal away the dragons' kingdom

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Step from Heaven - An Na
ISBN: 1886910588
Publication Date: 2001-03-27
A young Korean girl and her family find it difficult to learn English and adjust to life in America

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Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O'Dell
ISBN: 0395069629
Publication Date: 1960-09-09
Left alone on a beautiful but isolated island off the coast of California, a young Indian girl spends eighteen years, not only merely surviving through her enormous courage and self-reliance, but also finding a measure of happiness in her solitary life.

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Bud, Not Buddy - Christopher Paul Curtis
ISBN: 0385323069
Publication Date: 1999-09-07
Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.

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Every Soul a Star - Wendy Mass
ISBN: 9780316002561
Publication Date: 2008-10-01
Ally, Bree, and Jack meet at the one place the Great Eclipse can be seen in totality, each carrying the burden of different personal problems, which become dim when compared to the task they embark upon and the friendship they find.

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Finally - Wendy Mass
ISBN: 9780545052429
Publication Date: 2010-03-01
After her twelfth birthday, Rory checks off a list of things she is finally allowed to do, but unexpected consequences interfere with her involvement in the movie being shot at her school, while a weird prediction starts to make sense.

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Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life - Wendy Mass
ISBN: 9780316058292
Publication Date: 2006-11-01
Just before his thirteenth birthday, Jeremy Fink receives a keyless locked box--set aside by his father before his death five years earlier--that purportedly contains the meaning of life.

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Zora and Me - Victoria Bond; T. R. Simon
ISBN: 9780763643003
Publication Date: 2010-10-12
A fictionalized account of Zora Neale Hurston's childhood with her best friend Carrie, in Eatonville, Florida, as they learn about life, death, and the differences between truth, lies, and pretending. Includes an annotated bibliography of the works of Zora Neale Hurston, a short biography of the author, and information about Eatonville, Florida

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Kira-Kira - Cynthia Kadohata
ISBN: 0689856393
Publication Date: 2004-02-01
Chronicles the close friendship between two Japanese-American sisters growing up in rural Georgia during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the despair when one sister becomes terminally ill.

 

Challenging Character Driven Books Under 200 pages

These challenging books are short quick reads.

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Feathers - Jacqueline Woodson
ISBN: 9780399239892
Publication Date: 2007-03-01
When a new, white student nicknamed "The Jesus Boy" joins her sixth grade class in the winter of 1971, Frannie's growing friendship with him makes her start to see some things in a new light. Newbery Medal Honor

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Mr. and Mrs. Bunny - Polly Horvath; Sophie Blackall (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780375867552
Publication Date: 2012-02-14
Middle-schooler Madeline's hippy parents have been kidnapped from Hornby Island, Canada, by foxes and Madeline, upon discovering that she can understand animal languages, hires two rabbit detectives to find them
ALA Notable Award

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Sheep - Valerie Hobbs
ISBN: 0374367779
Publication Date: 2006-03-21
After a fire destroys the farm where he was born, a young border collie acquires a series of owners and learns about life as he seeks a home and longs to fulfill his life's purpose of shepherding sheep
California Young Reader Award

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Smile - Raina Telgemeier
ISBN: 9780545132053
Publication Date: 2010-02-01
An autobiography in graphic novel format describes how the author lost two of her front teeth in an accident when she was twelve, and her subsequent struggles with various corrective dental techniques throughout adolescence.

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Drama - Raina Telgemeier
ISBN: 9780545326995
Publication Date: 2012-09-01
Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going.
ALA Notable Award

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The Year of Billy Miller - Kevin Henkes (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062268129
Publication Date: 2013-09-17
Seven-year-old Billy Miller starts second grade with a bump on his head and a lot of worries, but by the end of the year he has developed good relationships with his teacher, his little sister, and his parents and learned many important lessons.
Newbery Medal

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Eleven - Lauren Myracle
ISBN: 0525471650
Publication Date: 2004-02-09
The year between turning eleven and turning twelve brings many changes for Winnie and her friends.

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The School Story - Andrew Clements; Brian Selznick (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0689825943
Publication Date: 2001-06-01
After twelve-year-old Natalie writes a wonderful novel, her friend Zoe helps her devise a scheme to get it accepted at the publishing house where Natalie's mother works as an editor
California Young Reader Medal

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The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry; Richard Howard (Translator)
ISBN: 0152023984
Publication Date: 2000-06-01
An aviator whose plane is forced down in the Sahara Desert encounters a little prince from a small planet who relates his adventures in seeking the secret of what is important in life

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Matilda - Roald Dahl; Quentin Blake (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0670824399
Publication Date: 1988-10-01
Matilda applies her untapped mental powers to rid the school of the evil, child-hating headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and restore her nice teacher, Miss Honey, to financial security

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The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame (Illustrator); Arthur Pober (Afterword by); Scott McKowen (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781402725050
Publication Date: 2005-10-01
The escapades of four animal friends who live along a river in the English countryside--Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger

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Pictures of Hollis Woods - Patricia Reilly Giff (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0385326556
Publication Date: 2002-09-10
A troublesome twelve-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her.

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Maggie's Door - Patricia Reilly Giff
ISBN: 0385326580
Publication Date: 2003-09-09
n the mid-1800s, Nory and her neighbor and friend, Sean, set out separately on a dangerous journey from famine-plagued Ireland, hoping to reach a better life in America.

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A Corner of the Universe - Ann M. Martin
ISBN: 0439388805
Publication Date: 2002-10-01
The summer that Hattie turns twelve, she meets the childlike uncle she never knew and becomes friends with a girl who works at the carnival that comes to Hattie's small town.

 

Mighty Girl Books for 6th Graders

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One Crazy Summer - Rita Williams-Garcia
ISBN: 0060760907
Publication Date: 2011-12-27
In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp

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Gone Crazy in Alabama - Rita Williams-Garcia
ISBN: 9780062215888
Publication Date: 2015-04-21
"Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother, Big Ma, and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles's half sister, Miss Trotter. The two half sisters haven't spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that's been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible"--

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Chains - Laurie Halse Anderson
ISBN: 9781416905851
Publication Date: 2008-10-21
The story of a 13-year-old African-American girl who is sold to a cruel, loyalist family living in New York City at the start of the Revolutionary War. Asked to spy on her owners for the Patriot cause, she is reluctant, until she realizes her loyalty lies with the side that can provide her with freedom

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The Thing about Jellyfish - Ali Benjamin
ISBN: 0316380865
Publication Date: 2015-09-22
Twelve-year-old Suzy Swanson wades through her intense grief over the loss of her best friend by investigating the rare jellyfish she is convinced was responsible for her friend's death.

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The Higher Power of Lucky - Susan Patron; Matt Phelan (Illustrator)
ISBN: 1416901949
Publication Date: 2006-11-07
Fearing that her legal guardian plans to abandon her to return to France, ten-year-old aspiring scientist Lucky Trimble determines to run away while also continuing to seek the Higher Power that will bring stability to her life

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The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - Ruth E. Murray (Illustrator); Avi
ISBN: 053105893X
Publication Date: 1990-09-01
As the lone "young lady" on a transatlantic voyage in 1832, Charlotte learns that the captain is murderous and the crew rebellious

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Last Stop on Market Street - Matt De la Peña; Christian Robinson (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780399257742
Publication Date: 2015-01-08
A young boy rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.

 

Mighty Girl Books for 6th Graders

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A Long Walk to Water - Linda Sue Park
ISBN: 9780547251271
Publication Date: 2010-11-15
When the Sudanese civil war reaches his village in 1985, eleven-year-old Salva becomes separated from his family and must walk with other Dinka tribe members through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya in search of safe haven. Based on the life of Salva Dut, who, after emigrating to America in 1996, began a project to dig water wells in Sudan
Subject-Personal Name :

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Ida B - Katherine Hannigan
ISBN: 0060730242
Publication Date: 2004-08-17
In Wisconsin, fourth-grader Ida B spends happy hours being home-schooled and playing in her family's apple orchard, until her mother begins treatment for breast cancer and her parents must sell part of the orchard and send her to public school
Subject-Personal Name :

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Bo at Ballard Creek - Kirkpatrick Hill; LeUyen Pham (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780805093513
Publication Date: 2013-06-18
It's the 1920s, and Bo was headed for an Alaska orphanage when she won the hearts of two tough gold miners who set out to raise her, enthusiastically helped by all the kind people of the nearby Eskimo village"-- Provided by publisher.

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Harriet the Spy - Louise Fitzhugh
ISBN: 0440416795
Publication Date: 2001-05-08
Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. In her notebook, she writes down everything she knows about everyone, even her classmates and her best friends. Then Harriet loses track of her notebook, and it ends up in the wrong hands. Before she can stop them, her friends have read the always truthful, sometimes awful things she's written about each of them. Will Harriet find a way to put her life and her friendships back together?

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Serafina's Promise - Ann E. Burg
ISBN: 9780545535649
Publication Date: 2013-09-24
In a poor village outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Serafina works hard to help her family, but dreams of going to school and becoming a doctor--then the earthquake hits and Serafina must summon all her courage to find her father and still get medicine for her sick baby brother as she promised.

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11,000 Years Lost - Peni R. Griffin
ISBN: 0810948222
Publication Date: 2004-11-01
Fascinated with the archaeological dig that is going on near her Texas home, eleven-year-old Esther magically travels back in time to the Pleistocene era and discovers first-hand how people lived at that tim

 

More Award Winning Books

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Chomp - Carl Hiaasen
ISBN: 9780375868429
Publication Date: 2012-03-27
When the difficult star of the reality television show "Expedition Survival" disappears while filming an episode in the Florida Everglades using animals from the wildlife refuge run by Wahoo Crane's family, Wahoo and classmate Tuna Gordon set out to find him while avoiding Tuna's gun-happy father.

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The Porcupine Year - Louise Erdrich (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780060297879
Publication Date: 2008-09-02
In 1852, forced by the United States government to leave their beloved Island of the Golden Breasted Woodpecker, fourteen-year-old Omokayas and her Ojibwe family travel in search of a new home

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Inkheart - Cornelia Funke; Anthea Bell (Translator)
ISBN: 9780439531641
Publication Date: 2003-10-01
Twelve-year-old Meggie learns that her father, who repairs and binds books for a living, can "read" fictional characters to life when one of those characters abducts them and tries to force him into service.

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A Thousand Never Evers - Shana Burg
ISBN: 9780385734707
Publication Date: 2008-06-10
As the civil rights movement in the South gains momentum in 1963--and violence against African Americans intensifies--the black residents, including seventh-grader Addie Ann Pickett, in the small town of Kuckachoo, Mississippi, begin their own courageous struggle for racial justice

Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson; Robert R. Ingpen (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0670846856
Publication Date: 1992-09-01
While going through the possessions of a deceased guest who owed them money, the mistress of the inn and her son find a treasure map that leads them to a notorious pirate's fortune.

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Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
ISBN: 9780140382402
Publication Date: 1997-08-01
On four voyages, an Englishman becomes shipwrecked in various lands

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The City of Ember - Jeanne DuPrau
ISBN: 0375822739
Publication Date: 2003-05-13
In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions

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The Diamond of Darkhold - Jeanne DuPrau
ISBN: 9780375855719
Publication Date: 2008-08-26
When a roamer trades them an ancient book with only a few pages remaining, Lina and Doon return to Ember to seek the machine the book seems to describe in hopes that it will get their new community, Sparks, through the winter

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Airborn - Kenneth Oppel
ISBN: 0060531800
Publication Date: 2004-05-11
Matt, a young cabin boy aboard an airship, and Kate, a wealthy young girl traveling with her chaperone, team up to search for the existence of mysterious winged creatures reportly living hundreds of feet above the Earth's surface

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The Red Pyramid - Rick Riordan
ISBN: 9781423113386
Publication Date: 2010-05-04
Brilliant Egyptologist Dr. Julius Kane accidentally unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes the doctor to oblivion and forces his two children to embark on a dangerous journey, bringing them closer to the truth about their family and its links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs

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National Velvet - Enid Bagnold
ISBN: 0899663591
Publication Date: 1981-01-01
Fourteen-year-old Velvet is determined to turn her untamed horse into a champion and personally ride him to victory in the world's greatest steeplechase, the Grand National.

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Bud, Not Buddy - Christopher Paul Curtis
ISBN: 0385323069
Publication Date: 1999-09-07
Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father--the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.

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The House of Dies Drear - Virginia Hamilton; Eros Keith (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0027425002
Publication Date: 1968-09-01
A black family tries to unravel the secrets of their new home which was once a stop on the Underground Railroad.

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Ella Enchanted - Gail Carson Levine
ISBN: 0060275103
Publication Date: 1997-04-25
In this novel based on the story of Cinderella, Ella struggles against the childhood curse that forces her to obey any order given to her

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Becoming Naomi Leon - Pam Muñoz Ryan
ISBN: 0439269695
Publication Date: 2004-09-01
When Naomi's absent mother resurfaces to claim her, Naomi runs away to Mexico with her great-grandmother and younger brother in search of her father

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Doll Bones - Holly Black; Eliza Wheeler (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781416963981
Publication Date: 2013-05-07
Zach, Alice, and Poppy, friends from a Pennsylvania middle school who have long enjoyed acting out imaginary adventures with dolls and action figures, embark on a real-life quest to Ohio to bury a doll made from the ashes of a dead girl.

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Paperboy - Vince Vawter
ISBN: 9780385742443
Publication Date: 2013-05-14
When an eleven-year-old boy takes over a friend's newspaper route in July, 1959, in Memphis, his debilitating stutter makes for a memorable month.

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The Marvels - Brian Selznick (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780545448680
Publication Date: 2015-09-15
n 1766, a boy, Billy Marvel, is shipwrecked, rescued, and goes on to found a brilliant family of actors that flourishes in London until 1900--and nearly a century later, Joseph Jervis, runs away from home, seeking refuge with his uncle in London, and is captivated by the Marvel house, with its portraits and ghostly presences.

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Lost in the Sun - Lisa Graff
ISBN: 9780399164064
Publication Date: 2015-05-26
Future rock star, or friendless misfit? That’s no choice at all. In this debut tween novel, twelve-year-old Apple grapples with being different; with friends and backstabbers and following her dreams.

Apple has always felt a little different from her classmates. She and her mother moved to Louisiana from the Philippines when she was little, and her mother still cooks Filipino foods, makes mistakes with her English, and chastises Apple for becoming “too American.” It becomes unbearable in middle school, when the boys—the stupid, stupid boys—in Apple’s class put her name on the Dog Log, the list of the most unpopular girls in school. When Apple’s friends turn on her and everything about her life starts to seem weird and embarrassing, Apple turns to music. If she can just save enough to buy a guitar and learn to play, maybe she can change herself. It might be the music that saves her . . . or it might be her two new friends, who show how special she really is

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Stella by Starlight - Sharon M. Draper; Sarah Jane Coleman (Cover Design by)
ISBN: 9781442494978
Publication Date: 2015-01-06
When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.

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The Green Glass Sea - Ellen Klages
ISBN: 0670061344
Publication Date: 2006-10-19
It is 1943, and 11-year-old Dewey Kerrigan is traveling west on a train to live with her scientist father--but no one will tell her exactly where he is. When she reaches Los Alamos, New Mexico, she learns why: he's working on a top secret government program

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Al Capone Does My Shirts - Gennifer Choldenko
ISBN: 0399238611
Publication Date: 2004-03-30
Moose Flanagan, who lives on Alcatraz along with his family and the families of the other prison guards, is frightened when he discovers that noted gangster Al Capone, a prisoner there, wants a favor in return for the help that he secretly gave Moose

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A Whole Nother Story - Cuthbert Soup; Jeffrey Stewart Timmins (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781599904351
Publication Date: 2009-12-22
Ethan Cheeseman and his children, ages eight, twelve, and fourteen, hope to settle in a nice small town, at least long enough to complete work on a time machine, but spies and government agents have been pursuing them for two years and are about to catch up

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20,000 Leagues under the Sea - Jules Verne; Scott McKowen (Illustrator); Arthur Pober (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9781402725999
Publication Date: 2006-10-28
In the mid-nineteenth century, a French professor and his two companions, trapped aboard a fantastic submarine as prisoners of the deranged Captain Nemo, come face to face with exotic ocean creatures and strange sights hidden from the world above

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Auggie and Me - R. J. Palacio
ISBN: 9781101934869
Publication Date: 2015-08-18
"These stories are an extra peek at Auggie, a boy born with extreme facial abnormalities, before he started at Beecher Prep and during his first year there. Readers get to see him through the eyes of Julian, the bully; Christopher, Auggie s oldest friend; and Charlotte, Auggie s new friend at school"--

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The Girl Who Could Fly - Victoria Forester; Christine Barcellona (Editor)
ISBN: 9781250072467
Publication Date: 2015-10-27
When homeschooled farm girl Piper McCloud reveals her ability to fly, she is quickly taken to a secret government facility to be trained with exceptional children, but she soon realizes that something is wrong and begins working with brilliant and wealthy Conrad to escape.

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Nation - Terry Pratchett
ISBN: 9780061433016
Publication Date: 2008-09-30
After a devastating tsunami destroys all that they have ever known, Mau, an island boy, and Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, together with a small band of refugees, set about rebuilding their community and all the things that are important in their lives

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Magyk - Angie Sage; Mark Zug (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0060577312
Publication Date: 2005-03-15
After learning that she is the Princess, Jenna is whisked from her home and carried toward safety by the Extraordinary Wizard, those she always believed were her father and brother, and a young guard known only as Boy 412--pursued by agents of those who killed her mother ten years earlier.

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The Ogre of Oglefort - Eva Ibbotson
ISBN: 9780525423829
Publication Date: 2011-08-18
When the Hag of Dribble, an orphan boy, and a troll called Ulf are sent to rescue a princess from an ogre, it turns out to be far from the routine magical mission they expect.

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Summer of the Gypsy Moths - Sara Pennypacker
ISBN: 9780061964206
Publication Date: 2012-04-24
A foster child named Angel and twelve-year-old Stella, who are living with Stella's great-aunt Louise at the Linger Longer Cottage Colony on Cape Cod, secretly assume responsibility for the vacation rentals when Louise unexpectedly dies and the girls are afraid of being returned to the foster care system.

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The Thing about Jellyfish - Ali Benjamin
ISBN: 9780316380867
Publication Date: 2015-09-22
Twelve-year-old Suzy Swanson wades through her intense grief over the loss of her best friend by investigating the rare jellyfish she is convinced was responsible for her friend's death.

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With the Might of Angels - Andrea Davis Pinkney
ISBN: 9780545297059
Publication Date: 2011-09-01
In 1955 Hadley, Virginia, twelve-year-old Dawnie Rae Johnson, a tomboy who excels at baseball and at her studies, becomes the first African American student to attend the all-white Prettyman Coburn school, turning her world upside down. Includes historical notes about the period.

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A Thousand Never Evers - Shana Burg
ISBN: 9780385734707
Publication Date: 2008-06-10
As the civil rights movement in the South gains momentum in 1963--and violence against African Americans intensifies--the black residents, including seventh-grader Addie Ann Pickett, in the small town of Kuckachoo, Mississippi, begin their own courageous struggle for racial justice

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Jefferson's Sons - Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
ISBN: 9780803734999
Publication Date: 2011-09-15
A fictionalized look at the last twenty years of Thomas Jefferson's life at Monticello through the eyes of three of his slaves, two of whom were his sons by his slave, Sally Hemings

 

More Challenging Newbery Medal Books

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A Single Shard - Linda Sue Park
ISBN: 0395978270
Publication Date: 2001-04-23
Tree-ear, a twelve-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potters' village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself.

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Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson; Donna Diamond (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0690013590
Publication Date: 1977-10-21
The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm

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Crispin - The Cross of Lead - Avi
ISBN: 0786808284
Publication Date: 2002-06-03
Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.

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Elijah of Buxton - Christopher Paul Curtis
ISBN: 0439023440
Publication Date: 2007-09-01
In 1859, eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman, the first free-born child in Buxton, Canada, which is a haven for slaves fleeing the American south, uses his wits and skills to try to bring to justice the lying preacher who has stolen money that was to be used to buy a family's freedom

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Pictures of Hollis Woods - Patricia Reilly Giff (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0385326556
Publication Date: 2002-09-10
A troublesome twelve-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her.

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Hoot - Carl Hiaasen
ISBN: 0375821813
Publication Date: 2002-09-10
Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boyÕs attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site

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The Goose Girl - Shannon Hale
ISBN: 158234843X
Publication Date: 2003-08-08
On her way to marry a prince she's never met, Princess Anidori is betrayed by her guards and her lady-in-waiting and must become a goose girl to survive until she can reveal her true identity and reclaim the crown that is rightfully hers.

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Loser - Jerry Spinelli
ISBN: 0060001933
Publication Date: 2002-05-07
Even though his classmates from first grade on have considered him strange and a loser, Daniel Zinkoff's optimism and exuberance and the support of his loving family do not allow him to feel that way about himself.

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Joey Pigza Loses Control - Jack Gantos
ISBN: 0374399891
Publication Date: 2000-09-22
Joey, who is still taking medication to keep him from getting too wired, goes to spend the summer with the hard-drinking father he has never known and tries to help the baseball team he coaches win the championship.

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Riding Freedom - Pam Muñoz Ryan; Brian Selznick (Illustrator)
ISBN: 059095766X
Publication Date: 1998-02-01
A fictionalized account of Charley (Charlotte) Parkhurst who ran away from an orphanage, posed as a boy, moved to California, and fooled everyone by her appearance

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Kira-Kira - Cynthia Kadohata
ISBN: 0689856407
Publication Date: 2006-12-26
Chronicles the close friendship between two Japanese-American sisters growing up in rural Georgia during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the despair when one sister becomes terminally ill

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Chasing Redbird - Sharon Creech; Marc Burckhardt (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0060269871
Publication Date: 1997-02-27
After the death of her aunt, a thirteen-year-old girl decides to clear an overgrown trail near her family's farm.

9781416971023

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Jazmin's Notebook - Nikki Grimes
ISBN: 0803722249
Publication Date: 1998-06-01
Jazmin, a fourteen-year-old Afro-American girl who lives with her sister in a Harlem apartment, finds strength in writing poetry and keeping a diary.

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Heaven - Angela Johnson
ISBN: 0689822294
Publication Date: 1998-09-01
Fourteen-year-old Marley's seemingly perfect life in the small town of Heaven is disrupted when she discovers that her father and mother are not her real parents.

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Just Ella - Margaret Peterson Haddix; René Milot (Illustrator); Rene Milot (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780689821868
Publication Date: 1999-09-01
In this continuation of the Cinderella story, fifteen-year-old Ella finds that accepting Prince Charming's proposal ensnares her in a suffocating tangle of palace rules and royal etiquette, so she plots to escape.

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Anything but Typical - Nora Raleigh Baskin
ISBN: 9781416963783
Publication Date: 2009-03-24
Jason, a twelve-year-old autistic boy who wants to become a writer, relates what his life is like as he tries to make sense of his world.

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Princess Academy - Shannon Hale
ISBN: 1582349932
Publication Date: 2005-07-06
While attending a strict academy for potential princesses with the other girls from her mountain village, fourteen-year-old Miri discovers unexpected talents and connections to her homeland

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Liar and Spy - Rebecca Stead
ISBN: 9780385737432
Publication Date: 2012-08-07
Seventh-grader Georges adjusts to moving from a house to an apartment, his father's efforts to start a new business, his mother's extra shifts as a nurse, being picked on at school, and Safer, a boy who wants his help spying on another resident of their building.

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The Red Necklace - Sally Gardner
ISBN: 9780803731004
Publication Date: 2008-05-01
In the late eighteenth-century, Sido, the twelve-year-old daughter of a self-indulgent marquis, and Yann, a fourteen-year-old Gypsy orphan raised to perform in a magic show, face a common enemy at the start of the French Revolution

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First Light - Rebecca Stead
ISBN: 9780375940170
Publication Date: 2007-06-26
When twelve-year-old Peter and his family arrive in Greenland for his father's research, he stumbles upon a secret his mother has been hiding from him all his life, and begins an adventure he never imagines possible

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The Misadventures of Maude March - Audrey Couloumbis
ISBN: 0375832459
Publication Date: 2005-09-27
After the death of the stern aunt who raised them since they were orphaned, eleven-year-old Sallie and her fifteen-year-old sister escape their self-serving guardians and begin an adventure resembling those in the dime novels Sallie loves to read

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