Honor roll: Batchelder Award

Each of these books has been nominated for a Batchelder Award. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:The Thief Lord

The Thief Lord

Cornelia Funke, Oliver Latsch

Prosper and Bo are orphans on the run from their cruel aunt and uncle. The brothers decide to hide out in Venice, where they meet a mysterious character who calls himself the “Thief Lord.” Brilliant and charismatic, the Thief Lord leads a ring of street children who dabble in petty crimes. Prosper and Bo relish being part of this colorful new family. But the Thief Lord has secrets of his own. And soon the boys are thrust into circumstances that will lead them, and readers, to a fantastic, spellbinding conclusion.

Book:The Friends

The Friends

Kazumi Yumoto

Curious about death, three sixth-grade boys decide to spy on an old man waiting for him to die, but they end up becoming his friends.

Book:Nothing (Janne Teller)

Nothing: A Novel

Janne Teller, Martin Aitken

“Nothing matters.”
“From the moment you are born, you start to die.”
“The Earth is 4.6 billion years old. You’ll live to be a maximum of one hundred. Life isn’t worth the bother!”

So says Pierre Anthon when he decides that there is no meaning to life, leaves the classroom, climbs a plum tree, and stays there.

His friends and classmates cannot get him to come down, not even by pelting him with rocks. So to prove to him that there is a meaning to life, they set out to build a heap of meaning in an abandoned sawmill. …[more]

Book:The Man Who Went to the Far Side of the Moon

The Man Who Went to the Far Side of the Moon: The Story of Apollo 11 Astronaut Michael Collins

Bea Uusma Schyffert

Do you know the story of Michael Collins, the Apollo 11 astronaut who went all the way to the moon but never walked on its surface? Instead, he orbited the moon 14 times, surrounded by 701 power switches and 20 pounds of checklists. Reminiscent of a scrapbook, this extraordinary book chronicles what Michael Collins did, saw, and thought about in space. Through fascinating facts, quotes, checklists, original drawings, and photos taken both in space and on Earth, it also tells how the astronauts prepared for their historic journey, what they brought with them, and what they left behind.

Book:My Family for the War

My Family for the War: A Novel

Anne C. Voorhoeve, Tammi Reichel

Escaping Nazi Germany on the kindertransport changes one girl’s life forever

At the start of World War II, ten-year-old Franziska Mangold is torn from her family when she boards the kindertransport in Berlin, the train that secretly took nearly 10,000 children out of Nazi territory to safety in England. Taken in by strangers who soon become more like family than her real parents, Frances (as she is now known) courageously pieces together a new life for herself because she doesn’t know when or if she’ll see her true family again. Against the backdrop of war-torn London, Frances struggles with questions of identity, family, and love, and these experiences shape her into a dauntless, charming young woman.

Originally published in Germany, Anne Voorhoeve’s award-winning novel is filled with humor, danger, and romance.

Book:Soldier Bear

Soldier Bear

Bibi Dumon Tak, Philip Hopman, Laura Watkinson

Based on a real series of events that happened during World War II, Soldier Bear tells the story of an orphaned bear cub adopted by a group of Polish soldiers in Iran. The soldiers raise the bear and eventually enlist him as a soldier to ensure that he stays with the company. He travels with them from Iran to Italy, and then on to Scotland. Voytek’s mischief gets him into trouble along with way, but he also provides some unexpected encouragement for the soldiers amidst the reality of war: Voytek learns to carry bombs for the company, saves the camp from a spy, and keeps them constantly entertained with his antics.

Always powerful and surprising, Bibi Dumon Tak’s story offers readers a glimpse at this fascinating piece of history.

Book:A Time of Miracles

A Time of Miracles

Anne-Laure Bondoux, Y. Maudet

Blaise Fortune, also known as Koumaïl, loves hearing the story of how he came to live with Gloria in the Republic of Georgia: Gloria was picking peaches in her father’s orchard when she heard a train derail. After running to the site of the accident, she found an injured woman who asked Gloria to take her baby. The woman, Gloria claims, was French, and the baby was Blaise.

When Blaise turns seven years old, the Soviet Union collapses and Gloria decides that she and Blaise must flee the political troubles and civil unrest in Georgia. The two make their way westward on foot, heading toward France, where Gloria says they will find safe haven. But what exactly is the truth about Blaise’s past?

Bits and pieces are revealed as he and Gloria endure a five-year journey across the Caucasus and Europe, weathering hardships and welcoming unforgettable encounters with other refugees searching for a better life. During this time Blaise grows from a boy into an adolescent; but only later, as a young man, can he finally attempt to untangle his identity.

Bondoux’s heartbreaking tale of exile, sacrifice, hope, and survival is a story of ultimate love.

Book:A Faraway Island

A Faraway Island

Annika Thor, Linda Schenck

Torn from their homeland, two Jewish sisters find refuge in Sweden.

It’s the summer of 1939. Two Jewish sisters from Vienna—12-year-old Stephie Steiner and 8-year-old Nellie—are sent to Sweden to escape the Nazis. They expect to stay there six months, until their parents can flee to Amsterdam; then all four will go to America. But as the world war intensifies, the girls remain, each with her own host family, on a rugged island off the western coast of Sweden.

Nellie quickly settles in to her new surroundings. She’s happy with her foster family and soon favors the Swedish language over her native German. Not so for Stephie, who finds it hard to adapt; she feels stranded at the end of the world, with a foster mother who’s as cold and unforgiving as the island itself. Her main worry, though, is her parents—and whether she will ever see them again.

Book:Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit

Nahoko Uehashi

Balsa was a wanderer and warrior for hire. Then she rescued a boy flung into a raging river — and at that moment, her destiny changed. Now Balsa must protect the boy — the Prince Chagum — on his quest to deliver the great egg of the water spirit to its source in the sea. As they travel across the land of Yogo and discover the truth about the spirit, they find themselves hunted by two deadly enemies: the egg-eating monster Rarunga… and the prince’s own father.

Book:Brave Story

Brave Story

Miyuki Miyabe

Young Wataru Mitani's life is a mess. His father has abandoned him and his mother has been hospitalized after a suicide attempt. Desperately he searches for some way to change his life — a way to alter his fate.

To achieve his goal, he must navigate the magical world of Vision, a land filled with creatures both fierce and friendly. And to complicate matters, he must outwit a merciless rival from the real world.

Wataru's ultimate destination is the Tower of Destiny where a goddess of fate awaits. Only when he has finished his journey and collected five elusive gemstones will he possess the Demon's Bane — the key that will unlock his future.

Charity, bravery, faith, grace and the power of darkness and light: these are the provinces of each gemstone. Brought together, they have the immeasurable power to bring Wataru's family back together again.

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