Annal: 2003 Young Reader’s Choice Award Intermediate Division

Results of the Young Reader’s Choice Award in the year 2003.

Book:No More Dead Dogs

No More Dead Dogs

Gordon Korman

Ever since Wallace Wallace was little, he has faithfully told the whole truth and nothing but the truth. So when this football hero is forced to report on the book Old Shep, My Pal for his English class, he cannot tell a lie. He feels compelled to inform his teacher that it was one of the worst books he’s ever read. Why does the dog in every classic book always have to croak at the end?

Not pleased with this report is Wallace’s English teacher, who thinks it’s the best book ever written, and also happens to be directing the play Old Shep, My Pal at school. He orders Wallace to attend the play rehearsals until he can come to his senses. Wallace doesn’t change his mind—but he does start to change the play. It begins with his suggestion to add a line, and then a pair of rollerblades, until the play has evolved into a rock-and-roll rendition of the old classic.

Gordon Korman spins an engaging tale about the hilarious consequences of refusing to tell that little white lie.

Book:The Amber Spyglass

The Amber Spyglass: Book 3 of His Dark Materials

Philip Pullman

Lyra lies sleeping in a cave near a rainbow, drugged into unconsciousness by her mother, Mrs Coulter, whose love for her daughter closely rivals her own ruthless ambition. Now, the latter threatens to overcome the former, as she strives to prevent the events which are dependent on the decisions Lyra is fated to make. Meanwhile, Will - scarred and traumatised after his last, fatal meeting with his father - seeks blindly for her, with only two of Lord Asriel's angels as companions on his dangerous search. The two are fated to meet once more, however, and begin their most treacherous journey..

Book:The Book of the Lion

The Book of the Lion

Michael Cadnum

Edmund, an apprentice, is seized by the king’s men and thrown in jail for his master’s crime of counterfeiting. Then Edmund is unexpectedly released into the custody of Sir Nigel, a knight in search of a squire. Edmund will train as a squire and accompany the knight on a journey to fight alongside Richard the Lionheart on the Crusades. As they travel across Europe, Edmund is fascinated by all he sees, but he fears for his safety in the days that lie ahead. How can he possibly prepare for the untold horrors of war? “This is a pulse-pounding tale, vivid and visceral.” -Booklist

“Fans of history and adventure will devour this well-crafted, dramatic quest.”

Book:Homeless Bird

Homeless Bird

Gloria Whelan

Leaving Home…forever. Like many girls her age in India, thirteen-year-old Koly is getting married. When she discovers that the husband her parents have chosen for her is sickly boy with wicked parents, Koly wishes she could flee. According to tradition, though, she has no choice. On her wedding day, Koly’s fate is sealed.

In the wake of her marriage, however, Koly’s life takes an unexpected turn, and she finds herself alone in a strange city of white-sari-clad windows. Her only choice seems to be to shed her name and her future and join the hopeless hordes who chant for food.

Even then, cast out in a current of time-worn tradition, this rare young woman sets out to forge her own exceptional future. And a life, like a beautiful tapestry, comes together for Koly— one stitch at a time.

Book:Kit's Wilderness

Kit's Wilderness

David Almond

“It was very deep, Kit. Very dark. And every one of us was scared of it. As a lad I’d wake up trembling, knowing that as a Watson born in Stoneygate I’d soon be following my ancestors into the pit,” so Kit’s grandfather tells him.

The Watson family moves to Stoneygate, an old coal-mining town, to care for Kit’s recently widowed grandfather. When Kit meets John Askew, another boy whose family had both worked and died in the mines, Askew invites Kit to join him to play a game called Death. As Kit’s grandfather provides stories of the mine’s past and the history of the Watson family, the boys search the mines to find the childhood ghosts of their long-gone ancestors.

Written in haunting prose and lyrical language, Kit’s Wilderness explores the bonds of family from one generation to the next, and how from the depths of darkness, meaning and beauty can be revealed.

Book:Stargirl

Stargirl

Jerry Spinelli

Leo Borlock follows the unspoken rule at Mica Area High School: don’t stand out—under any circumstances! Then Stargirl arrives at Mica High and everything changes—for Leo and for the entire school. After 15 years of home schooling, Stargirl bursts into tenth grade in an explosion of color and a clatter of ukulele music, enchanting the Mica student body.

But the delicate scales of popularity suddenly shift, and Stargirl is shunned for everything that makes her different. Somewhere in the midst of Stargirl’s arrival and rise and fall, normal Leo Borlock has tumbled into love with her.

In a celebration of nonconformity, Jerry Spinelli weaves a tense, emotional tale about the fleeting, cruel nature of popularity—and the thrill and inspiration of first love.

Book:Turnabout

Turnabout

Margaret Peterson Haddix

“It isn’t natural for you to be younger than your great-grandchildren. We messed around with nature, and we shouldn’t have.”

Melly and Anny Beth both lived normal lives throughout the twentieth century. But in 2000, when they are old and ready to die, they are selected to participate in Project Turnabout and are given an injection to make them grow younger. At some point these participants are to receive another injection, which will stop the unaging process.

But everyone who receives the second shot dies.

Now, in 2085, Melly and Anny Beth are both in their teens and living on their own. They know they will need someone to take care of them when they grow too young to care for themselves. Time is running out.

In this spellbinding race against time, award-winning author Margaret Peterson Haddix explores a scientific experiment gone wrong, and the morality of immortality.

Book:The Wanderer (Sharon Creech)

The Wanderer

Sharon Creech

Thirteen-year-old Sophie is the only girl among the surly crew of her three uncles and two bothersome cousins on a small sailboat bound for England to see her Grandpa Bompie. Through Sophie's and cousin Cody's travel logs, the amazing experiences of these six wanderers and their perilous journey unfold. For Sophie, the true journey is into her past — as she unlocks the pain she has been hiding from herself and learns that she does truly belong to a family.

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