Search Results for -
Product Type: Books
Age: Late Elementary School Years
Categories: Fantasies


2012 Award
The Land of Neverbelieve
(by Norman Messenger, Candlewick $17.99 Score:)

Take off on a journey to an island that is totally fantastical. But you must be quick, as the island of Neverbelieve can rise up and walk away. Illustrated in soft watercolors, Messenger gives the reader a tour of his imagined island with crowded pages of strange trees, houses, creatures, and people (with cloven feet) that inhabit this unbelievable place. Many pages have gates that open to reveal still more sightings and short exclamations. Trees formed of ropes, bricks, chocolate, to name but a few, are sure to inspire creative kids to draw their own Neverbelieve worlds. A fun journey to share--with so much to see. Kids are sure to return to this one again and again. 7 & up.

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on

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2012 Award
The Terrible Thing that Happened to Barnaby Brocket
(by John Boyne, ills. Oliver Jeffers, Knopf $19.99 Score:)

Born into a family of ordinary people, who liked being that way, young Barnaby Brocket came into the world anything but ordinary. Within moments of his birth he could float. In fact, he could not help floating. Unable to stop, as his parents felt he could if he tried, he is rejected at age eight and cast off into the vast blue sky over Sydney. In a journey that takes him round the word, Barnaby survives a series of adventures and discovers he is not unique in failing to fit his parent's expectations. By the time the story comes full circle Barnaby makes another discovery about himself and being "normal." Though many of the scenes are amusing, this is a bittersweet story with a very moralistic message. Marked for 8-12, one has to wonder if readers of 10-12 will stay with a book about an 8 year old and if younger readers of 8-9 will stay with or get the point of this rather long fantasy. That said, the opening pages are pure silk!

Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on

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2011 Awards
The Invention of Hugo Cabret
(by Brian Selznick, Scholastic $14.99 Score:)

Set in a Paris Train station in the 1930's, this is an award-winning fantasy about a boy who is orphaned and then abandoned by an uncle who leaves the boy to repair the clocks in the railway station. The boy manages to find food enough to live and spends his time repairing a broken automaton, that his father had found and tried to repair with the help of a girl named Isabelle, who has been raised by Georges Méliès, a creator of early films and special effects, including the automaton that he is trying to repair. As Selznick describes the book, “.. this is not exactly a novel, and it's not quite a picture book, and it's not really a graphic novel, or a flip book, or a movie, but a combination of all these things." Also available as an audio ($19.95)10 & up.

Age: Later School Years, Tweens. Award Year: 2011. Click here to purchase the product on

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2009 Award
Mercy Watson: Something Wonky This Way Comes
(by Kate DiCamillo/ illus. by Chris van Dusen, Candlewick $12.99 Score:)

Series books often run out of steam, but this pig is still flying high! Mercy Watson, a pig who loves butter and especially buttered toast causes quite a stir when she smells buttered popcorn at the drive-in movie! This one is a zany comedy with the whole town in hot pursuit of the ‘porcine wonder’ at the Bijou. For kids who have graduated to easy chapter books, this is a good choice, but take a look at the pink Caddy with tail fins and the beehive hair dos. It’s a time capsule with tongue in cheek humor. 6-8


Age: Early School Years, Later School Years. Award Year: 2009. Click here to purchase the product on

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Jimmy Zangwow's Out of this World Moon Pie Adventu
( by Tony DiTerlizzi, Simon & Schuster $16 Score:) How far would you travel for a Moonpie, a Ring-Ding, a Yodel? When young Jimmy's mom says no snacks before dinner, he takes off on a fantasy flight that's out of this world. 5 & up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: .

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2001 Awards
Freddy the Pig Series
(by Walter R. Brooks/illus. by Kurt Wiese, Overlook $23.95 Score:) Baby boomers who fondly remember their Freddy books will enjoy sharing these reissued classics. This season's releases are Freddy and the Dragon and Freddy and Mr. Camphor. Freddy, an oh-so-human pig, is given to excesses—sleeping too late and eating too much. His adventures have the pace and suspense that are exactly on target for young readers. Will be enjoyed as read-alouds with 5–7s and solo laugh-out-loud reading by 8 and up.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2001.

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2000 Awards
Harry Potter series
(by J.K. Rowling, Scholastic $25.95 Score:) If you have 9s & up in your midst, they will be able to navigate the fantasy world where Harry, an orphaned wizard, leads anything but a charmed life. Try these as a read-aloud family story time for 7s and up—an alternative to so-called family programming. But don't be surprised if some kids try to read ahead. New for 2001, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, PLATINUM AWARD is much more intense than the first three books, and should be saved for 9s and up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2000.

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2002 Award
Riding the Tiger
(by Eve Bunting/illus. by David Frampton, Clarion $16 Score:) Danny dares to ride on the back of a tiger, but soon discovers that he cannot control the tiger! A powerful but dark book that uses the metaphor of a tiger that takes over in much the same way as drugs or peer pressure. A story worth sharing and talking about with preteens.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2002.

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2007 Award
The Looking Glass Wars
(by Frank Beddor, Dial $16.99 Score:) In the tradition of Wicked and Peter and the Starcatchers, here’s the exciting, compelling (and can you say, “soon to be a screenplay”?) back story of Alice in Wonderland. What we soon discover is that Mr. Carroll took great liberties in twisting the true story of Princess Alyss Heart of Wonderland. Her story will appeal to both boys and girls. You’ll want the next installment at once! 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, The
(by Kate DiCamillo/illus. by Bagram Ibatoulline, Candlewick $18.99 Score:) This story will remind you of Rachel Field’s classic Hitty, but the tale of Edward Tulane is far more accessible. As always, Kate DiCamillo whisks you away into a special place, where she spins a tale, this time, of a china rabbit who must survive many losses before understanding what it is to love and be loved in return.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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