Annal: 2001 Young Reader’s Choice Award Junior Division

Results of the Young Reader’s Choice Award in the year 2001.

Book:Holes (Louis Sachar)

Holes

Louis Sachar

A darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment, by the author of There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom.

Stanley Yelnats’s family has a history of bad luck, so he isn’t too surprised when a miscarriage of justice sends him to a boys’ juvenile detention center, Camp Green Lake. There is no lake—it has been dry for over a hundred years—and it’s hardly a camp. As punishment, the boys must each dig a hole a day, five feet deep, five feet across, in the hard earth of the dried-up lake bed. The warden claims that this pointless labor builds character, but she is really using the boys to dig for loot buried by the Wild West outlaw Kissin’ Kate Barlow. The story of Kissin’ Kate, and of a curse put on Stanley’s great-great-grandfather by a one-legged Gypsy, weaves a narrative puzzle that tangles and untangles, until it becomes clear that the hand of fate has been at work in the lives of the characters—and their forebears—for generations.

With this wonderfully inventive, compelling novel that is both serious and funny, Louis Sachar has written his best book to date.

Book:Among the Hidden

Among the Hidden

Margaret Peterson Haddix

Luke has never been to school. He’s never had a birthday party, or gone to a friend’s house for an overnight. In fact, Luke has never had a friend.

Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the Population Police. He’s lived his entire life in hiding, and now, with a new housing development replacing the woods next to his family’s farm, he is no longer even allowed to go outside.

Then, one day Luke sees a girl’s face in the window of a house where he knows two other children already live. Finally, he’s met a shadow child like himself. Jen is willing to risk everything to come out of the shadows—does Luke dare to become involved in her dangerous plan? Can he afford not to?

Book:Bat 6

Bat 6: A Novel

Virginia Euwer Wolff

Bat 6 that’s the softball game played every year between the sixth grade girls of Barlow and Bear Creek Ridge. All the girls—Beautiful Hair Hallie, Manzanita who gets the spirit, the twins Lola and Lila, Tootie, Shadean—they’ve been waiting for their turn at Bat 6 since they could first toss a ball.

This time there’s a newcomer on each team: Aki, at first base for the Ridgers, who just returned with her family from a place she’s too embarrassed to talk about. And Shazam, center field for Barlow, who’s been shunted around by her mother since her father was killed on December 7, 1941.

The adults of the two towns would rather not speak about why Aki’s family has to “go away.” They can’t quite admit just how “different” Shazam is. And that is why the two girls are on a collision course that explodes catastrophically on the morning of Bat 6, the day they’ve been preparing for all their lives.

Book:Bloomability

Bloomability

Sharon Creech

My second life began when I was kidnapped by two complete strangers…

That the kidnappers are actually Aunt Sandy and Uncle Max makes no difference to thirteen-year-old Domenica Santolina Doone, better known as Dinnie—she just doesn’t want to go. Dinnie’s accustomed to change, with her family constantly moving for “opportunity”—but when her aunt and uncle whisk her far away to an international school in Switzerland, she’s not sure she’s ready to face this “opportunity” alone.

All at once she finds herself in a foreign country, surrounded by kids from different cultures speaking all sorts of languages and sharing various beliefs. Home and her first life seem so far away.

But new friendships and the awesome beauty of Switzerland begin to unlock thoughts and dreams within her. Her joys and…[more]

Book:The Case of the Lion Dance

The Case of the Lion Dance: Chinatown Mystery No. 2

Laurence Yep

When Lily’s great-aunt Tiger Lil is hired to publicize the opening of a new restaurant, she plans an all-out extravaganza. But a mysterious bomber sets off an explosion, and all her plans go up in smoke. Someone is trying to sabotage the restaurant! And now the police are writing off the case as a publicity stunt gone wrong. It’s up to Lily and ex-action star Tiger Lil to catch the culprit themselves.

In this, his second book in the Chinatown Mystery series, award-winning author Laurence Yep has written a fast-paced, hilarious story that brings San Francisco’s Chinatown to life.

Book:The Great Turkey Walk

The Great Turkey Walk

Kathleen Karr

Yeeeeeee-haw! Git along, little…turkeys?

Big, brawny Simon Green, who’s just completed third grade (for the fourth time), may not be book smart, but he’s nobody’s fool. When it’s time to be done with school and make his way in the world, Simon hatches a plan that could earn him a bundle. He intends to herd a huge flock of bronze turkeysall the way from his home in eastern Missouri to the boomtown of Denver, where they’ll fetch a mighty price. In the year 1860, the hazards of such a trek are many—how does one shepherd the birds across a river, for instance?—but Simon is undaunted. Accompanied by a faithful drover, and eventually to be joined by two boon companions, he undertakes the biggest journey of his young life, in this high-spirited Wild Wild West adventure by an acclaimed author of historical fiction.

Book:Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Book 1 of Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Book 1 of Harry Potter

J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He’s never worn a cloak of invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years.

But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he never dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that’s been waiting for him…if Harry can survive the encounter.

Book:Janey's Girl

Janey's Girl

Gayle Friesen

Claire’s trip across the country with her mother unlocks the key to many questions Claire has about her past—including the identity of her father. Janey’s Girl is a coming-of-age novel with a twist—Claire’s mother is the one who reaches maturity.

Book:Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key

Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key

Jack Gantos

“They say I’m wired bad, or wired sad, but there’s no doubt about it—I’m wired.”

Joey Pigza’s got heart, he’s got a mom who loves him, and he’s got “dud meds,” which is what he calls the Ritalin pills that are supposed to even out his wild mood swings. Sometimes Joey makes bad choices. He learns the hard way that he shouldn’t stick his finger in the pencil sharpener, or swallow his house key, or run with scissors. Joey ends up bouncing around a lot - and eventually he bounces himself all the way downtown, into the district special-ed program, which could be the end of the line. As Joey knows, if he keeps making bad choices, he could just fall between the cracks for good. But he is determined not to let that happen.

In this antic yet poignant new novel, Jack Gantos has perfect pitch in capturing the humor, the off-the-wall intensity, and the serious challenges that life presents to a kid dealing with hyperactivity and related disorders.

Book:A Long Way from Chicago

A Long Way from Chicago: A Novel in Stories

Richard Peck

What happens when Joey and his sister, Mary Alice—two city slickers from Chicago—make their annual summer visits to Grandma Dowdel’s seemingly sleepy Illinois town?

August 1929: They see their first corpse, and he isn’t resting easy.

August 1930: The Cowgill boys terrorize the town, and Grandma fights back.

August 1931: Joey and Mary Alice help Grandma trespass, poach, catch the sheriff in his underwear, and feed the hungry—all in one day.

And there’s more, as Joey and Mary Alice make seven summer trips to Grandma’s—each one funnier than the year before—in self-contained chapters that readers can enjoy as short stories or take together for a rollicking good novel. In the tradition of American humorists from Mark Twain to Flannery O’Connor, popular author Richard Peck has created a memorable world filled with characters who, like Grandma herself, are larger than life and twice as entertaining.

Book:The Nose from Jupiter

The Nose from Jupiter

Richard Scrimger

How do you shut up when your nose is doing all the talking?

Alan is not big or strong. He hates playing soccer and can barely keep up in math class. Moreover he’s fodder for every bully for miles around. But all that changes the day Norbert, an alien from Jupiter, comes to earth on an exploration mission and moves into—Alan’s nose. Soon Alan isn’t acting like himself, but is Norbert really to blame? Loud, pushy and hilarious, Norbert teaches Alan to stand up for himself, even when the odds are stacked against him.

Book:Sasquatch

Sasquatch

Roland Smith

Dylan’s father has always been a little strange—but when Dylan’s mother leaves for Egypt, his father seems to get out of control. He joins a sasquatch-hunting team led by top-bigfoot researcher, Theodore Flagg. The team’s mission is to find a sasquatch and kill it—but Dylan’s father is determined to stop them. To keep an eye on his father, Dylan joins aging field biologists Samuel Johnson on the mountain, shadowing the hunting party though their walkie-talkies.

But Dylan may be in even more trouble than he thought. Even as they are following Dr. Flagg’s team, somebody is following Mr. Johnson, and on top of it all, Dylan is beginning to realize that his father may not be so crazy after all—maybe the Sasquatch does exist, and it’s closer than Dylan ever guessed.

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