Annal: 2008 Young Reader’s Choice Award Junior Division

Results of the Young Reader’s Choice Award in the year 2008.

Book:A Dog's Life

A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray

Ann M. Martin

Squirrel and her brother Bone begin their lives in a toolshed behind someone’s summer house. Their mother nurtures them and teaches them the many skills they will need to survive as stray dogs. But when their mother is taken from them suddenly and too soon, the puppies are forced to make their own way in the world, facing humans both gentle and brutal, busy highways, other animals, and the changing seasons. When Bone and Squirrel become separated, Squirrel must fend for herself, and in the process makes two friends who in very different ways define her fate.

Book:The Day Joanie Frankenhauser Became a Boy

The Day Joanie Frankenhauser Became a Boy

Francess Lantz

Joanie’s mom wants her to act more “like a girl,” but who can play basketball in a skirt and cute plastic sandals? When Joanie’s family moves to a new town, a typo on the school records makes her “John” instead of “Joan,” and she jumps at the chance to reinvent herself. But how long can she keep pretending? And even if she could keep her identity secret, would she want to? Being a boy is no walk in the park! Francess Lantz seamlessly weaves great sports action, a compelling family drama, and Joanie’s secret stories about SuperKid into a funny, thought-provoking novel about friendship and self-discovery.

Book:Double Identity

Double Identity

Margaret Peterson Haddix

So my only protection is a kindergarten teacher and a ninety-eight-pound female minister…and they don’t even believe I’m in danger.

As Bethany approaches her thirteenth birthday, her parents begin acting more oddly than usual: Her mother cries constantly, and her father barely lets Bethany out of his sight. Then one morning he hustles the entire family into the car, drives across several state lines—and leaves Bethany with an aunt she never knew existed. Bethany has no idea what’s going on. She’s worried that her mom and dad are running from some kind of trouble, but she can’t find out because they won’t tell her where they are going.

Bethany’s only clue is a few words she overheard her father tell her aunt Myrlie: “She doesn’t know anything about…[more]

Book:Listening for Lions

Listening for Lions

Gloria Whelan

Africa is the only home Rachel Sheridan has ever known. But when influenza strikes down her missionary parents, she is left vulnerable prey to her family’s wicked neighbors. Surrounded by greed and lies, Rachel is entangled in a criminal scheme and sent to England, where she is forced into a life of deception. Like the lion, she must be patient and strong, awaiting the moment when she can take control of her own fate—and find her way home again at last.

Book:The Princess Academy

The Princess Academy

Shannon Hale

Miri lives on a mountain where, for generations, her ancestors have quarried stone and lived a simple life. Then word comes that the king’s priests have divined her small village the home of the future princess. In a year’s time, the prince himself will come and choose his bride from among the girls of the village. The king’s ministers set up an academy on the mountain, and every teenage girl must attend and learn how to become a princess.

Miri soon finds herself confronted with a harsh academy mistress, bitter competition among the girls, and her own conflicting desires to be chosen and win the heart of her childhood best friend. But when bandits seek out the academy to kidnap the future princess, Miri must rally the girls together and use a power unique to the mountain dwellers to save herself and her classmates.

Book:The Scarecrow and His Servant

The Scarecrow and His Servant

Philip Pullman

A tattered scarecrow stands in the middle of a muddy field, taking no notice of the violent thunderstorm around him. But when a bolt of lightning strikes him, fizzing its way through his turnip head and down his broomstick, the Scarecrow blinks with surprise—and comes to life.

So begins the story of the Scarecrow, a courteous but pea-brained fellow with grand ideas. He meets a boy, Jack, who becomes his faithful servant. Leaving behind his bird-scaring duties, the Scarecrow sets out for Spring Valley, with Jack at his side. As the valiant Scarecrow plunges them into terrifying dangers—battles, brigands, broken hearts, and treasure islands—he never realizes he’s being followed by the one family who desperately wishes he’d never sprung to life. Will the Scarecrow discover the secret to his past before the crooked Buffalonis close in on him?

Book:Shakespeare's Secret

Shakespeare's Secret

Elise Broach

When Hero starts sixth grade at a new school, she’s less concerned about the literary origins of her Shakespearean name than about the teasing she’s sure to suffer because of it. So she has the same name as a girl in a book by a dusty old author. Hero is simply not interested in the connections. But that’s just the thing; suddenly connections are cropping up all over, and odd characters and uncertain pasts are exactly what do fascinate Hero. There’s a mysterious diamond hidden in her new house, a curious woman next door who seems to know an awful lot about it, and then, well, then there’s Shakespeare. Not to mention Danny Cordova, only the most popular boy in school. Is it all in keeping with her namesake’s origin-just much ado about nothing? Hero, being Hero, is determined to figure it out.

In this fast-paced novel, Elise Broach weaves an intriguing literary mystery full of historical insights and discoveries.

Book:Whales on Stilts!

Whales on Stilts: M.T. Anderson's Thrilling Tales

M.T. Anderson

What sort of madman would unleash an army of stilt-walking, laser-beaming, thoroughly angry whales upon the world? Who cares! All that matters is that his dastardly plan be foiled. Lucky for Lily Gefelty, her two best friends are the intrepid stars of their own middle-grade series novels: Jasper Dash (better know as the Boy Technonaut) and Katie Mulligan (beloved by millions as the heroine of the Horror Hollow series). It’s going to take all their smarts to stop this insane, inane plot from succeeding.

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