Annal: 2000 Young Reader’s Choice Award Junior Division

Results of the Young Reader’s Choice Award in the year 2000.

Book:A Mouse Called Wolf

A Mouse Called Wolf

Dick King-Smith, Jon Goodell

Here is the story of a little mouse with a big talent! As the runt of his family, Wolfgang Amadeus Mouse (“Wolf,” for short) has a big name to make up for his small size. But the name fits: While his siblings like to race each other across the piano keys, he would rather listen to Mrs. Honeybee, the lady of the house, play music on them. Then one day, in a moment of musical passion, Wolf throws his head back—and to his total surprise, out of his mouth comes a beautiful voice! Soon he’s singing everything from “Three Blind Mice” to Chopin to the Beatles, all to Mrs. Honeybee’s accompaniment. But Wolf’s talents don’t end there—his voice really is music to Mrs. Honeybee’s ears when he uses it to rescue her after she takes a spill.

Dick King-Smith, beloved author of Babe: The Gallant Pig, is back with a warm, funny, fast-paced story about an unusual musical friendship that is perfect for newly independent readers.  

Book:Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie

Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell, 1847

Kristiana Gregory

Now that we’re in the North Platte River Valley the air feels dry and thin. My lips are so chapped they bleed when I talk. The only thing to do is dip our fingers in to the bucket of axle grease and rub our lips every hour or so. It smells bad, it tastes bad, and the blowing dust sticks.

It feels like we must be halfway to Oregon, but Tall Joe says, no, we’ve only gone five hundred miles. He also says the worst part of the trail is to come.

Does he mean more rivers to cross…? I’m afraid to ask what he’s talking about.

Book:Chasing Redbird

Chasing Redbird

Sharon Creech

It started out as an ordinary summer. But the minute thirteen-year-old Zinny covered the old, overgrown trail that ran through the woods behind her family’s house, she realized that things were about to change.

Right from the start, Zinny knew that uncovering the trail would be more than just a summer project. It was her chance to finally make people notice her, and to have a place she could call her very own. But more than that, Zinny knew that the trail somehow held the key to all kinds of questions. And that- the only way to understand her family, her Aunt Jessie’s death, and herself, was to find out where it went.

From the author of the Newbery Medal-winning Walk Two Moons, here is an intricately woven tale of a young girl who sets out in search of her place in the world—and discovers it in her own backyard.

Book:Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted

Gail Carson Levine

At her birth, Ella of Frell was the unfortunate recipient of a foolish fairy’s gift—the “gift’ of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it’s hopping on one foot for a day and a half, or chopping off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse—once and for all.

In this incredible debut novel comes the richly entertaining story of Ella of Frell, who at birth was given the gift of obedience by a fairy. Ella soon realizes that this gift is little better than a curse, for how can she truly be herself if at anytime anyone can order her to hop on one foot, or cut off her hand, or betray her kingdom’and she’ll have to obey? Against a bold tapestry of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella’s quest to break the curse once and for all and discover who she really is is as sharply funny as Catherine, Called Birdy and as richly poignant as Beauty, and has all the marks of a classic in the making.

Book:The Iron Ring

The Iron Ring

Lloyd Alexander

When Tamar, the young king of Sundari, loses a dice game, he loses everything—his kingdom, its riches, and even the right to call his life his own. His bondage is symbolized by the iron ring that appears mysteriously on his finger. To Tamar, born to the warrior caste, honor is everything. So he sets out on a journey to make good on his debt—and even to give up his life if necessary. And that journey leads him into a world of magic, where animals can talk, the foolish are surprisingly wise, and danger awaits…

“At every turn, there is adventure, magic, and often treachery, but most of all the quest for honor…Alexander offers a tale that is thoughtful without being leaden and moral without being moralistic. Alexander’s legion of fans will respond to the moments of high adventure as well as the many twists and turns, internal and external, that will make them think.”—Booklist, starred review

Book:Out of the Dust

Out of the Dust: A Novel

Karen Hesse

This gripping story, written in sparse first-person, free-verse poems, is the compelling tale of Billie Jo’s struggle to survive during the dust bowl years of the Depression. With stoic courage, she learns to cope with the loss of her mother and her grieving father’s slow deterioration. There is hope at the end when Billie Jo’s badly burned hands are healed, and she is able to play her beloved piano again.

Book:The Schernoff Discoveries

The Schernoff Discoveries

Gary Paulsen

Harold Schernoff, 14-year-old science whiz and social nerd, has a theory for every problem, from dating, to bullies, to making money, to sports, to how to buy a car when you’re underage. When he and his buddy team up to put his theories to the test, nothing goes according to plan. A ski lesson becomes: Mass x Acceleration x Slope of hill = eeeAAGGHHH. As for first dates, only Harold could mastermind such disaster. Only Harold could go fishing and get caught by the fish. And only Gary Paulsen could write such a wonderfully funny story of friendship.

Book:Searching for Candlestick Park

Searching for Candlestick Park

Peg Kehret

Life has been tough for Spencer since his dad left. His mom complains constantly, they never seem to have enough money, and they’re always having to move. He knows his father works for the Giants baseball team and lives somewhere in San Francisco—and Spencer’s sure that if he can somehow get there, his dad will take him in. But California is a long, dangerous way from Seattle if you’ve only got fourteen dollars, you’re twelve…and you’re alone.

Book:The Skull of Truth

The Skull of Truth: A Magic Shop Book

Bruce Coville

Mr. Elives’s magic shop is back, and this time it is on the other side of Tucker’s Swamp. And Tucker’s Swamp is where Charlie Eggleston heads to escape a beating-for lying. Charlie can’t seem to keep from lying, though sometimes his lies are for a good cause. When Charlie stumbles into Mr. Elives’s magic shop, his eyes light upon The Skull. Charlie steals The Skull and it puts him under some sort of spell—he can only tell the truth. Trouble is, now no one believes him…

Book:Virtual War

Virtual War: Book 1 of The Virtual War Chronologs

Gloria Skurzynski

Imagine a life of virtual reality—a childhood contained in a controlled environment, with no human contact. Corgan has been genetically engineered for quick reflexes, high intelligence, and physical superiority. He is unbeatable in battle. But he lives his life in a lonely module. What is a real sunset like? Or a friend?

When he meets fellow teens Sharla and Brig, Corgan begins to doubt the Federation, whose decisions he has unquestioningly obeyed. Life outside virtual reality may be for him. His fourteen years of training are about to end as the real challenge approaches. But he can’t lose focus now: He must win a virtual war, or the Western Hemisphere will be lost forever.

Book:Wings to Fly

Wings to Fly

Celia Barker Lottridge

In Celia Barker Lottridge’s acclaimed Ticket to Curlew, the Ferrier family moved from the United States to Curlew, Alberta, and built a homestead in the middle of the vast prairie. Now 11-year-old Josie has settled into her new home and she dreams about the future. Will Josie be a teacher like Miss Barnett? Will she be like her new friend Margaret’s sad mother, who can’t bear to unpack her fine English china in the crude sod house that is her prairie home? Or could she learn to fly airplanes like her heroine, Katherine Stinson?

As Josie searches for answers, she learns, all too frighteningly, how brutal a prairie winter can be. Those who loved the Little House on the Prairie series will be captivated by this poignant story of a young girl growing up in the Canadian wilderness.

Book:Wringer

Wringer

Jerry Spinelli

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

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