Honor roll: Young Reader’s Choice Award Intermediate Division

Each of these books has been nominated for a Young Reader’s Choice Award Intermediate Division. They are ranked by honors received.

Book:Skellig

Skellig

David Almond

When a move to a new house coincides with his baby sister's illness, Michael's world seems suddenly lonely and uncertain. Then, one Sunday afternoon, he stumbles into the old, ramshackle garage of his new home, and finds something magical. A strange creature - part owl, part angel, a being who needs Michael's help if he is to survive. With his new friend Mina, Michael nourishes Skellig back to health, while his baby sister languishes in the hospital. But Skellig is far more than he at first appears, and as he helps Michael breathe life into his tiny sister, Michael's world changes for ever ...

Book:The River Between Us

The River Between Us

Richard Peck

Richard Peck is a master of stories about people in transition, but perhaps never before has he told a tale of such dramatic change as this one, set during the first year of the Civil War. The whole country is changing in 1861-even the folks from a muddy little Illinois settlement on the banks of the Mississippi. Here, fifteen-year-old Tilly Pruitt frets over the fact that her brother is dreaming of being a soldier and that her sister is prone to supernatural visions. A boy named Curry could possibly become a distraction.

Then a steamboat whistle splits the air. The Rob Roy from New Orleans docks at the landing, and off the boat step two remarkable figures: a vibrant, commanding young lady in a rustling hoop skirt and a darker, silent woman in a plain cloak, with a bandanna wrapped around her head. Who are these two fascinating strangers? And is the darker woman a slave, standing now on the free…[more]

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: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:The Other Side Of Truth

The Other Side Of Truth

Beverley Naidoo

Sade is slipping her English book into her
schoolbag when her Mama screams. Two sharp
cracks splinter the air.
“Mama mi?” She whispers

Twelve-year-old Sade’s journalist father is a vocal critic of the corrupt government in Nigeria. When Sade’s mother is murdered, her family sees in bloody detail the violent risks that come with exposing the truth.

Her father arranges for Sade and her younger brother to be smuggled to their uncle in London for safety. On the streets of London, the plans fall apart and they are abandoned, passed from foster home to foster home. They try to contact their uncle…[more]

Book:Flush

Flush

Carl Hiaasen

You know it’s going to be a rough summer when you spend Father’s Day visiting your dad in the local lockup.

Noah’s dad is sure that the owner of the Coral Queen casino boat is flushing raw sewage into the harbor–which has made taking a dip at the local beach like swimming in a toilet. He can’t prove it though, and so he decides that sinking the boat will make an effective statement. Right. The boat is pumped out and back in business within days and Noah’s dad is stuck in the clink.

Now Noah is determined to succeed where his dad failed. He will prove that the Coral Queen is dumping illegally…somehow. His allies may not add up to much–his sister Abbey, an unreformed childhood biter; Lice Peeking, a greedy sot with poor hygiene; Shelly, a bartender and a woman scorned; and a mysterious pirate–but Noah’s got a plan to flush this crook out into the open. A plan that should sink the crooked little casino, once and for all.

Book:Al Capone Does My Shirts

Al Capone Does My Shirts

Gennifer Choldenko

Moose Flannagan moves with his family to Alcatraz so his dad can work as a prison guard and his sister, Natalie, can attend a special school. All Moose wants to do is protect Natalie, live up to his parents’ expectations, and stay out of trouble. But on Alcatraz, trouble is never very far away.

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.

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.

Book:Criss Cross

Criss Cross

Lynne Rae Perkins

She wished something would happen.

Something good.

To her.

Looking at the bright, fuzzy picture in the magazine, she thought, Something like that.

Checking her wish for loopholes, she found one.

Hoping it wasn’t too late, she thought the word soon.

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