Annal: 2009 Young Reader’s Choice Award Intermediate Division

Results of the Young Reader’s Choice Award in the year 2009.

Book:The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

John Boyne

Berlin 1942

When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance.

But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

Book:Ark Angel

Ark Angel: Alex Rider book 6

Anthony Horowitz

The sniper’s bullet nearly killed him. But Alex Rider managed to survive…just in time for more trouble to come his way. When kidnappers attempt to snatch a fellow patient from the exclusive hospital where Alex is recovering, he knows he has to stop him. But the boy he saves is no ordinary patient: He is the son of Nikolai Drevin, one of the richest men in the world. The eccentric billionaire has been targeted by Force Three, a group of eco-terrorists who claim his project Ark Angel—the first luxury hotel in outer space—is a danger to the environment. Soon Alex discovers that Force Three will stop at nothing to destroy Ark Angel, even if it means sending four hundred tons of molten glass and steel hurtling down to Earth and killing millions…unless Alex can stop them.

Book:Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen: A Novel

Catherine Gilbert Murdock

When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.

Harsh words indeed, from Brian Nelson of all people. But, D. J. can’t help admitting, maybe he’s right.

When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.

Stuff like why her best friend, Amber, isn’t so friendly anymore. Or why her little brother, Curtis, never opens his mouth. Why her mom has two jobs and a big secret. Why her college-football-star brothers won’t even call home. Why her dad would go ballistic if she tried out for the high school football team herself. And why Brian is so, so out of her league.

When you don’t talk, there’s a lot of stuff that ends up not getting said.

Welcome to the summer that fifteen-year-old D. J. Schwenk of Red Bend, Wisconsin, learns to talk, and ends up having an awful lot of stuff to say.

Book:Endymion Spring

Endymion Spring

Matthew Skelton

“You’ve stumbled on to something much larger than you can possibly imagine.”

In the dead of night, a cloaked figure drags a heavy box through snow-covered streets. The chest, covered in images of mythical beasts, can only be opened when the fangs of its serpent’s-head clasp taste blood.

Centuries later, in an Oxford library, a boy touches a strange book and feels something pierce his finger. The volume is blank, wordless, but its paper has fine veins running through it and seems to quiver, as if it’s alive. Words begin to appear on the page—words no one but the boy can see.

And so unfolds a timeless secret….

Book:Fablehaven

Fablehaven

Brandon Mull

For centuries mystical creatures of all description were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite.

Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken—Seth is a bit too curious and reckless for his own good—powerful forces of evil are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save their family, Fablehaven, and perhaps even the world, Kendra and Seth must find the courage to do what they fear most.

Book:Half-Moon Investigations

Half-Moon Investigations

Eoin Colfer

Fletcher Moon has never been like other kids. For one thing, he has had to suffer the humiliating nickname “Half Moon” because of his short stature. But the real reason Fletcher is different is that ever since he was a baby, he’s had the nose for sniffing out mysteries. And let’s just say, it’s not a skill that has been appreciated by many people, including his own family.

That doesn’t bother Fletcher, though. After graduating at the top of his Internet class, he is officially certified as the youngest detective in the world. He even has a silver-plated detective’s badge to prove it. Everything is going along fine until two things happen: a classmate hires him to solve a crime, and his prized badge is stolen. All signs point to the town’s most notorious crime family, the Sharkeys. …[more]

Book:The Pinhoe Egg

The Pinhoe Egg: A Chrestomanci Book

Diana Wynne Jones

Cat Chant and Marianne Pinhoe have discovered something exciting—something truly precious, very strange, and valuable. An egg.

An egg that has been hidden away in an attic for who-knows-how-many years. An egg protected by some strong “Don’t Notice” spells. An egg that Marianne gives to Cat, even though he lives at nearby Chrestomanci Castle. Chrestomanci himself, the strongest enchanter in the world, is sure to be interested in the egg—and interference from the Big Man is the last thing Marianne’s family of secret rogue witches wants.

But how much longer can the Pinhoes keep their secrets? Gammer, the leader of the clan, has gone mad, a powerful bad luck spell is wreaking havoc, and there’s an unexplained plague of frogs. Not to mention the mysterious barrier Cat finds in the…[more]

Book:Small Steps

Small Steps

Louis Sachar

Two years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit is home in Austin, Texas, trying to turn his life around. But it’s hard when you have a record, and everyone expects the worst from you. The only person who believes in him is Ginny, his 10-year old disabled neighbor. Together, they are learning to take small steps. And he seems to be on the right path, until X-Ray, a buddy from Camp Green Lake, comes up with a get-rich-quick scheme. This leads to a chance encounter with teen pop sensation, Kaira DeLeon, and suddenly his life spins out of control, with only one thing for certain. He’ll never be the same again.

In his first major novel since Holes, critically acclaimed novelist Louis Sachar uses his signature wit combined with a unique blend of adventure and deeply felt characters to explore issues of race, the nature of celebrity, the invisible connections that determine a person’s life, and what it takes to stay on course. Doing the right thing is never a wrong choice–but a small step in the right direction.

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