Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

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Schmidt, Gary D. 2004. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. New York: Clarion Books. ISBN: 0-618-43929-3. $15.00. Hardcover.

WINNER 2005 – Michael L. Printz Honor
WINNER 2005 – Newbery Honor Book
WINNER 2005 – ALA Best Books for Young Adults
WINNER 2005 – ALA Notable Book for Children
WINNER – Kirkus Reviews Editor Choice Award
WINNER – School Library Journal Best Books of the Year – Children

Turner Buckminster moves to Phippsburg, Maine and meets Lizzie Bright from Malaga Island. The friendship that results teachers Turner about life and true friendship.

Turner Buckminster does not like his new home of Phippsburg, Maine. On the first day, he joins in on a baseball game and learns that even baseball is different in Maine as opposed to Boston. Most of the local boys do not like him in part because he is the new minister’s son. All Turner wants to do is survive his schooling from his father, make a friend or two and grow up so he can leave for the territories out west.

Lizzie Bright is from Malaga Island which is just a short boat ride from Phippsburg. She, her grandfather and the others on the island have lived there for generations. They do not know how they will cope if the Phippsburg men’s plan to kick them off the island and turn it into a resort actually happens. Lizzie meets Turner on the mainland and they become fast friends and even Turner being forbidden to visit the island will not stop them from meeting together. Turner must learn to take a stand against injustice and cope when his life is turned upside-down forever. Learn about a little known historical event from 1912 in Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy.


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

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Alexie, Sherman. Ellen Forney (illustrator) 2007. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. New York: Little Brown & Company. ISBN: 0-316-01368-4. $16.99. Hardcover.

*2008 Washington Book Award – the Scandiuzzi Children’s Book Award for middle grades and young adults

*2008 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards for Excellence in Children’s Literature in Fiction

*2008 Pacific Northwest Book Award

*2008 American Indian Library Association American Indian Youth Literature Award

*2007 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature

*School Library Journal Best Books of 2007

Junior, an Indian on the Spokane, Washington reservation must decide if he will stay content or take a risk and expand his horizons.

Since the day he was born, Junior has faced a lot of challenges. These challenges include the following.

1. “Born with water on the brain”

2. The variety of health challenges this poses.

3. Being somewhat wimpy and part of the “black-eye-of-the-month club”

4. Limited resources at school.

5. Being an Indian living on the Spokane reservation.

When inspired by his teacher, Mr. P to make something of himself, Junior decides to transfer to the neighboring farm town’s school. This choice brings about its own set of challenges.

1. Being seen as a traitor by his former classmates.

2. Being the only Indian besides the school mascot.

3. Sometimes having to walk the 22 miles to or from school.

4. Having his best friend get mad at him.

5. All the various tragedies that befall his family.

6. The basketball game with his old school.

With a good sense of humor and through his comics, Junior learns a lot about himself, his friends, his family and the choices he needs to make. To learn more about Junior pick up The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

Saving Francesca

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Marchetta, Melina. 2003. Saving Francesca. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 0-375-82982-2. $15.95. Hardcover.

  • W.A. Young Readers Book Award (WAYRA) 2004  – Winner Older Readers
  • S.A. Festival Award for Literature 2004  – Short-listed Young Adult Division
  • CBC Book of the Year 2004  – Winner Older Readers
  • Young Aust Best Book Award (YABBA) 2004  – Short-listed Older Readers
  • Family Award for Children’s Books 2004  – Long-listed Older Readers
  • Kids Own Aust Literature Award (KOALA) 2004  – Short-listed Older Readers
  • COOL Award 2004  – Short-listed Older Readers
  • Parent’s Choice Gold Award 2004  – Winner
  • Bulletin Blue Ribbon 2004  – Long-listed

When her mother decides  not to get out of bed one morning, Francesca must learn to cope, help her father and brother and also find herself.

Do you ever wish you were something you are not? Francesca has this problem. She has a lot on her plate,  such as being one of thirty girls among seven hundred and fifty boys at a recently made co-ed school, St. Sebastian’s in Australia. She longs to be strong and confident like her mother, Mia. Then one morning, Mia stays in bed. So in addition to coping with a new school and finding new friends, Francesca must also pull herself together and rally her brother and dad together to get Mia out of bed.  In the end, Francesca learns a lot about life, her family, love and friendship. Watch her grow and become a confident young woman in Saving Francesca.

The Summoning

Armstrong, Kelley. 2008. The Summoning. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. ISBN: 978-0-06-166269-0 (trade binding) $17.99. Hardcover.

*Publisher’s Weekly Review 6/30/2008

*School Library Journal Review Nov 2008

*Kirkus Starred Review

Chloe Saunders has suddenly started seeing dead people and as a result is taken to a home for trouble teens. She must figure out why does she see dead people and are the others in the home really what they seem?

Was it just a dream or something more? Chloe is faced with many questions when she starts seeing ghosts. A scene change from her secure art school to Lyle House only raises more questions.  This building is shrouded in many mysteries…  What does the one ghost want with the locked door in the basement? What are the owners hiding? Can any of the other ‘residents’ be trusted? How is she able to see ghosts in the first place? Many questions will be answered and some left unanswered in this first book of the Darkest Powers series The Summoning.

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Little Brother

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Doctorow, Cory. 2008. Little Brother. New York: Tor, Tom Dohrty Associates. ISBN 978-0-7653-1985-2. $17.95.  Hardcover.

*2009—Prometheus Award–Libertarian Futurist Society Nominee

*2009—Hugo Award—Best Novel Nominee

*2008—Nebula Awards best s/f book Nominee

*2008—NYT Notable Children’s Book

*CYBIL Award

*Booklist Editors’ Choice

*Kirkus Best Book of the Year

*Publishers Weekly Best Children’s Books of the Year

*School Library Journal Best Books of the Year

*VOYA’s Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror

After a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, Marcus and his friends must learn to survive in the new police state where the Department of Homeland Security rules via technology.

Marcus goes to the school with the  heaviest surveillance in the country. Marcus prides himself in thwarting the security measures to sneak out and join his friends in a virtual scavenger hunt called Harajuku Fun Madness. Little did he know one day this game would change his life forever.

After his world is turned upside-down, Marcus decides to take matters into his own two hands and use his technology handling skills to fight back against the Department of Homeland Security. (DHS) Using his computer, RFID technology, an Xbox and his own smarts, Marcus is able to ban together an unlikely group of helpers to fight against the police state and constant surveillance. The DHS better watch out for Little Brother.


Buckhanon, Kalisha. 2005. Upstate. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin. ISBN 0-312-33269-6. $11.95. Paperback

*2006 ALA Alex Awards Winner

*Audie Award Winner, Literary Fiction

*2006 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Foundation Legacy Award in Debut Fiction Nominee

A novel of letters that follows Natasha and Antonio after he is imprisoned for murdering his father.

“Baby, the first thing I need to know from you is do you believe I killed my father?” And so this impassioned plea of Antonio to his girlfriend, Natasha starts this novel told via letters. The letters span almost a decade and showcase with raw emotion the struggles faced by both a prisoner and his girlfriend. Both must face the fact that they grow up far too quickly because of the circumstances that are placed into.

As the years pass, both Antonio and Natasha must face difficult choices and learn from their mistakes to grow into adulthood. Will they ever get back together? Will Antonio ever get out of prison? Is there any hope of living through this pain? The answers can be found Upstate.

The Braid

Frost, Helen. 2006. The Braid. New York: Frances Foster Books. ISBN 0-374-30962-0. $16.00. Hardcover

*ALA Best books for Young Adults

*Lion and the Unicorn Award for Excellence in North American Poetry Honor Book

*NCTE Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts

*Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Honor Book

*NCSS-CBC Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies

*Kirkus Reviews Editor’s Choice

*School Library Journal Best Books of the Year

*Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Award Master List

The story of two sisters, one who stays in Ireland while the other goes to Canada to escape the Highland Clearings.

Before they part ways, Jeannie  and Sarah exchange braids of hair as a remembrance. Jeannie escapes to Canada with her parents and three other siblings to escape the Highland Clearings.  Sarah decides to stay with her grandmother and go back to grandmother’s birth place. Their tales is told through verse and the connections are as tight as Celtic knots. Will the girls ever hear from each other again or will the only thing that holds them together be The Braid?