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Product Type: Books
Age: Late Elementary School Years

 


2007 Award
Peter and the Shadow Thieves
(by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, Hyperion $18.99 Score:) Sometimes sequels can be disappointing, but Barry and Pearson deliver another fast-paced adventure that continues to tell the prequel adventures of Peter Pan. Here, Peter leaves Mollusk Island with Tinker Bell to help his friend Molly rescue her mother from the evil hands of Lord Ombra.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars, The Fall of the Amazing Zalinda
(by Tracy Mack and Michael Citrin, Orchard $16.99 Score:) The famous detective is aided in his work by a gang of homeless boys, the Baker Street Irregulars. Engaging mystery told from the perspective of these young sleuths. 8 & up.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Weedflower
(by Cynthia Kadohata, Simon & Schuster $16.95 Score:) While Sumiko experiences discrimination in her home town before the war, the attack on Pearl Harbor changes her life forever. Her family is sent to an internment camp where she befriends a Native American. A compelling view of this dark period in American history (for a non-fiction account, see Dear Miss Breed, review below).

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2007.

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2007 Award
Create-a-Card
(by jame Bull, DK $15.99 Score:) Kids will find quality materials and an idea book that demonstrates how to make pop up and other interesting cards. The twenty colorful blank cards and matching envelopes are packaged with markers, glitter paste, tissue paper, colored paper, and stickers. This is a fun choice for making invitations and greeting cards that will become family treasures. 5-10.

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

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2007 Award
Is There Really a Human Race?
(by Jamie Lee Curtis & Laura Cornell, HarperCollins $16.99 Score:) Some mighty big questions are here that have been teased out with amusing illustrations. This is a book that should lead to some talking and thinking beyond the sometimes punny funny attempts to get a smile. This may be one of those books that is more for adults than all but the most subjective kids. They say 4-8. We’d say more like 7 & up, up, up.

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

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2007 Award
Wow! America!
(by Robert Neubecker, Hyperion $16.99 Score:) Wow! Is the right word to describe the exuberant oversized illustrations of America’s landmarks. From north, south, east, and west, these are glorious illustrations, some with fold out gates that add to the delight! Like his earlier Wow! City! This is a book for talking your way through. There’s not a lot of text. In fact nothing more than a “Wow!” and a single word label plus a brief line of text that tells only the smallest tidbit of information. But this is a book for talking and exploring visually as each page is rich with bold images to savor. A whirlwind tour of America for the young and young at heart. 5 & up.

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

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2007 Award
Henry's Freedom Box
(by Ellen Levine/illus. by Kadir Nelson, Scholastic $16.99 Score:) Told with an economy of words, this moving story does not miss a beat in capturing the powerful story of a slave family torn apart and the courage of a man who was determined to be free. This tale of the Underground Railroad is based on the true story of a man who mailed himself to freedom in a wooden box and lived to tell of it. 7 & up.

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

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2008 Award
Great Joy
(by Kate DiCamillo /illus by Bagram Ibatoulline, Candlewick $16.99 Score:) Frances is getting ready for the Christmas pageant, but she is worried about where the organ grinder and his monkey, on the street corner, go at night. While adults, including her mother seem less concerned, Frances is more than curious. Set in the early 40’s this timepiece has a back-story that will not be apparent to children. Organ grinders are a thing of the past, as are the old fashioned cars, and fashions. The red, white and blue buntings mixed in with the Christmas decorations reflect the same era that only older grandparents will recall. Add to this, Frances’ father in his Naval uniform, who appears only in a photo on the shelf, but is never mentioned in the story. Paintings with a warm glow of another era add much to the power of this endearing story about the joy found in caring for others. A gem that connects the past and the present.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
Look-Alikes Around the World
(by Joan Steiner, Little Brown $15.99 Score:) She’s done it again! This time Joan Steiner has made witty constructions of familiar sights around the world. Photographed as “postcards” they tease the eye to look for the unexpected…combs that are the blades of a windmill that turns out to be a metronome, leaves of tulips that are sting beans, cupcakes that are the huts in an African village and brussel sprout trees in front of the Taj Mahal with towers of clarinets and pears for minarets. It’s not just fun and games. Yes, there is a glossary of sorts. But at it’s heart, this is about creativity and seeing things in new ways. 5-9.

Age: Early School Years,Later School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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2008 Award
The Wall
(by Peter Sis, Farrar Straus $18 Score:) A stunning autobiographical account of growing up behind the Iron Curtain. Told with drawings, journal entries and photographs, this oversized picturebook is not for the typical picture book crowd. It’s more like a graphic novel with not so many words. Young people who are studying that chapter in history will find an interesting view of the turmoil and longing to throw off the repression of the Cold War. This may be more of a book for adults than kids, but it opens a window to a past that many parents of today will recall.

Age: Later School Years. Award Year: 2008.

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