Annal: 2005 Young Reader’s Choice Award Intermediate Division

Results of the Young Reader’s Choice Award in the year 2005.

Book:Son of the Mob

Son of the Mob

Gordon Korman

When Vince heads out to sunny L.A. to go to college, he feels like he is finally going to be able to leave his shady family and their illegal antics behind. Once he arrives at school, he is paired up with the son of a prominent congressman as a roommate-finally some respectability! Not to mention that the girls in college are something else. With his girlfriend, Kendra, giving him such a hard time, Vince is beginning to wonder if single life is the way to go.

Book:Surviving the Applewhites

Surviving the Applewhites

Stephanie S. Tolan

Jake Semple is a scary kid. Word has it that he burned down his old school and then was kicked out of every other school in his home state. Only weeks into September, the middle school in Traybridge, North Carolina, has thrown him out, too.

Now there’s only one place left that will take him—a home school run by the most outrageous, forgetful, chaotic, quarrelsome family you’ll ever meet. Each and every Applewhite is an artist through and through—except E.D., the smart, scruffy girl with a deep longing for order and predictability. E.D. and Jake, so nearly the same age, are quickly paired in the family’s first experiment in “cooperative education.”

The two clash immediately, of course. The only thing they have in common is the determination to survive the family’s eccentricities. …[more]

Book:Heir Apparent

Heir Apparent

Vivian Vande Velde

In Heir Apparent there are as many ways to win as there are to get killed.

Giannine can testify to how many ways there are to die—it’s about all she’s been able to do since she started playing. Now all she has to do is get the magic ring, find the stolen treasure, answer the dwarf’s dumb riddles, come up with a poem for the head-chopping statue, cope with the army of ghosts, outmaneuver her half brothers, and defeat the man-eating dragon.

If she can do all of that, why, she just might save her own life!

Book:Crispin: The Cross of Lead

Crispin: The Cross of Lead

Avi

“Asta’s son” is all he’s ever been called. The lack of name is appropriate, because he and his mother are but poor peasants in fourteenth-century medieval England. But this thirteen-year-old boy who thought he had little to lose soon finds himself with even less—no home, family, or possessions. Accused of a crime he did not commit, he has been declared a “wolf’s head.” That means he may be killed on sight, by anyone. If he wishes to remain alive, he must flee his tiny village. All the boy takes with him is a newly revealed name—Crispin—and his mother’s cross of lead. His journey through the English countryside is amazing and terrifying. Especially difficult is his encounter with the juggler named Bear. A huge, and possibly even mad, man, Bear forces the boy to become his servant. Bear, however, is a strange master, for he encourages Crispin to think for himself. Though Bear promises to protect Crispin, the boy is being relentlessly pursued. Why are his enemies so determined to kill him? Crispin…[more]

Book:A Dance of Sisters

A Dance of Sisters

Tracey Porter

I want to stretch to the moon, Delia thought. Far, far away.

Twelve-year-old Delia Ferri doesn’t remember her mother or her family the way it used to be. All she knows is that her sister, Pearl, and her father are fighting more and more. Pearl is withdrawn and angry and obsessed with witchcraft. Delia vows not to give her father anything else to worry about.

The only time Delia feels important and alive is when she is dancing for Madame Elanova, a world-famous ballet instructor who calls Delia “destined.” Delia relishes the hard work required to be a ballet dancer, but she doesn’t see the toll it is taking on her life. As competition for Madame’s approval takes over, Delia’s weight drastically drops, her schoolwork suffers, and she pulls away from her friends and family. Only then does she begin to understand how fiercely her sister had to fight to…[more]

Book:The Same Stuff as Stars

The Same Stuff as Stars

Katherine Paterson

Angel Morgan’s family is falling apart.

Her daddy is in jail, and her mother has abandoned Angel and her little brother, Bernie, at their great-grandmother’s crumbling Vermont farmhouse. Grandma spends most of her time wrapped in a blanket by the wood stove.

There is one bright spot in Angel’s world—a mysterious stranger who teaches Angel all about the stars and planets and constellations. Carving out a new life proves harder than Angel ever imagined. But she feels a tiny spark of hope when she remembers what the stranger said—that she is made of the same stuff as stars.

Book:Search of the Moon King's Daughter

Search of the Moon King's Daughter

Linda Holeman

Gentle Emmaline loves nothing more than books and flowers and her little brother Tommy. Sadly, her idyllic country life in Victorian England comes to an abrupt end when her father dies of cholera. The family is forced to move to a mill town, where Emmaline’s mother is dreadfully injured in a factory accident. To ease her pain she takes laudanum and is soon addicted, craving the drug so badly that she sells Tommy into servitude as a chimney sweep in London. Emmaline knows that a sweep’s life is short and awful. Small boys as young as five are forced to climb naked into dark chimneys, their bare feet prodded by nail-studded sticks to keep them working. If Tommy is to survive, it is up to Emmaline to find him.

Linda Holeman brings a bygone period to life in a book of serious historical fiction for young adults.

Book:Stravaganza: City of Masks

Stravaganza: City of Masks

Mary Hoffman

During the day, Lucien battles cancer in his modern, normal life. But at night, he becomes a Stravagante, a time-traveler of sorts who finds himself in Belleza, a city parallel to old Venice. Befriended by a local girl and protected by an older Stravagante, Lucien uncovers a plot to murder the city’s beloved ruler, the Duchessa. But to save the Duchessa and the city Lucien risks losing his only chance to return home to his family and his real life.

The well-paced, thick-with-plot story will hook the reader immediately and not let go until the superb, unexpected end. City of Masks is the first in a three-book arc from the gifted Mary Hoffman.

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