- #100 Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. Scholastic Press, 2009 ISBN13: 9780545123266
- #99 Running Loose by Chris Crutcher. Greenwillow Books, 2003. ISBN: 9780060094911 224 pp
- #98 Prama by Jamie Ponti. Simon Pulse Publishing, 2008. ISBN13: 9781416961000 194 pp
- #97 The Pillow Book of Lotus Lowenstein by Libby Schmais. Delacorte Books for Young Readers, December, 2009 ISBN13: 9780385906739. 288 p.
- #96 Mick Harte Was Here by Barbara Park. Apple Soup/Knopf, 1995 ISBN 0-679-87088-1 88 pages. Grades 3+. Available from Random House.
- #95 Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills by Charles Henderson. Berkley Publishing Group, 1988. ISBN13: 978-0425103555
- #94 Many Waters by Madeleine L’Engle. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1986. ISBN13: 978-0374347963.
- #93 The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan. Disney Hyperion Books, 2009. ISBN13: 9781423101475. 400pp
- #92 The Journeys of Socrates by Dan Millman. HarperOne, 2006. ISBN: 9780060833022 Pages: 352; $14.99; Ages: 18 and up
- #91 The House of Night series by PC Cast and Kristen Cast
- #90 The Heroin Diaries: A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star by Nikki Sixx. Pocket Books, 2007. ISBN13: 9780743486286. 432 pp
- #89 City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2007. ISBN: 1416914285. 485pp
- #88 Catherine, Called Birdy by Karen Cushman. HarperCollins, 1995. ISBN13: 9780064405843. 224 pp
- #87 Blood Red Horse by K.M. Grant. Walker & Company, 2006. ISBN13: 9780802777348. 277pp
- #86 America by E.R. Frank. Simon & Schuster/Anthenum Books for Young Readers, 2002. ISBN13: 0689847297. 224pp
- #85 All-American Girl by Meg Cabot. HarperTeen, 2002. ISBN13: 9780060294694. 256pp
- #84 Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce. Atheneum, 2002. ISBN13: 9780689853234. 240pp
- #83 Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. Delacorte Press, 1999. ISBN: 0385323069. 256pp
- #82 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Warner Books, 1960. ISBN13: 9780446310789. 288pp
- #81 The Ear, the Eye and the Arm by Nancy Farmer. Orchard Books, 1994. ISBN13: 0531086798. 311 pp
- #80 My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Atria Books, 2003; paperback version, Washington Square Press, 2005. ISBN13: 9780743454520. 432 pp
- # 79 Night by Elie Wiesel. Hill and Wang; Revised edition (January 16, 2006) ISBN13: 9780374500016. 128pp
- #78 Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Currently available: Aladdin (December 26, 2006). ISBN13: 9781416936473. 192pp
- #77 Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Bantam pb, 1953. ISBN13: 9780671824495. 258pp
- #76 White Fang by Jack London. Puffin Books, June 2008 edition. ISBN13: 9780141321110. 307 pp.
- #75 Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer. Harcourt Books, 2006. ISBN13: 9780152058265. 352pp.
- #74 House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer. A Richard Jackson Book/Atheneum Books for Young Readers , 2002. ISBN13: 9780689852220. 400pp
- #73 We Were Here by Matt de la Peña. Delacorte, 2009. ISBN13: 9780385736671. 386pp
- #72 Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor. HarperCollins, 2008. ISBN13: 9780060890889. 304pp
- #71 TH1RTEEN R3ASONS WHY – Jay Asher. Penguin, 2007. ISBN13: 9781595141712. 304pp
- #70 Call of the Wild by Jack London. 1903 Available from Tor Classics ISBN13: 9780812504323 , 128 pp.
- #69 Blankets by Craig Thompson . Top Shelf Productions, 2003. ISBN 9781891830433. 592pp
- #68 Feed by M. T. Anderson. Candlewick Press, 2004. ISBN 9780763622596. 320pp
- #67 Nation by Terry Pratchett. HarperCollins, 2008. ISBN 0061433012, 367pp
- #66 Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos. Farrar, 2002. ISBN 374399883. 208pp
- #65 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) by J.K. Rowling. Scholastic Press, 2000. ISBN 9780439139595. 734pp
- #64 I am the Messenger by Marcus Zusak
- #63 Somewhere in the Darkness by Walter Dean Myers
- #62 The Host by Stephenie Meyer
- #61 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) by J.K. Rowling
- #60 Catching Fire – Collins
- #59 Band of Brothers by Stephen E Embros. Simon& Schuster, 1992. 336pp hardcover. Available from Pocket Aug, 2002. ISBN13: 9780743464116. 480 pp.
- #58 Holes by Louis Sachar. Yearling Books, 1998. ISBN: 0440414806, 240 pp.
- #57 Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. TOR/MacMillan, 2008. ISBN: 978-0765319853. 384 pp.
- #56 A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle . Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1962. ISBN: 0-374-38613-7. 230 pp.
- #55 Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume 1: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson. Candlewick Press, 2006. ISBN13: 9780763624026. 358pp.
- #54 The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks. Grand Central Publishing, 2009. ISBN: 0446547565, 400 pp.
- #53 The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. Greenwillow Books, 2006. ISBN13: 978-006083577X. 400 pp.
- #52 Just Listen by Sarah Dessen Viking Juvenile, 2006. ISBN13: 9780670061051. 371 pp.
- #51 Forever by Judy Blume – 1975 ISBN13: pp.
- #50 Eragon by Christopher Paolini. Alfred A. Knopf, 2002. ISBN13: 978-0-375-82668-8. 497 pp.
- #49 Vanishing Act by Jodi Picoult. Atria Books, March 2005 ISBN: 9780743454544, 432 pp.
- #48 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) by JK Rowling. Scholastic, 2000. ISBN: 9780439064873, 341 pp.
- #47 Paper Towns by John Green. Dutton, 2008. ISBN: 9780525478188, 305 pp.
- #46 A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. Delacorte, 2003. ISBN: 9780689875342, 403 pp.
- #45 The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #4) by Phillip Pullman. Knopf, 1966. ISBN: 9780679879244, 399 pp.
- #44 A Long Way From Chicago by Richard Peck. Dial, 1998 ISBN 0803722907 , 192 pp.
- #43 The Thief (Queen’s Thief #1) by Megan Whalen Turner. Greenwillow, 1996. ISBN: 9780688146276 , 224 pp.
- #42 If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson. Puffin, 1998. ISBN: 9780142406014 , 192 pp
- #41 I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. St. Martin’s Griffin/Thomas Dunne Books, 2003. ISBN: 978-0-312-31616-7, 352 pp.
- #40 Wednesday’s Letters by Jason F. Wright. Penguin Group, 1998. ISBN: 9780425223475, 288 pp.
- #39 Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz. Puffin, 2004 (First published in the UK 2000). ISBN: 9780142401651, 256 pp.
- #38 Ring of Endless Light (Austin family #5) by Madeleine L’Engle. Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, 1995. (First published Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1980.) ISBN: 9780440910817.
- #37 The Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger. Hamish Hamilton, 1951. ISBN: 0316769177. 288 pp.
- #36 The Body by Steven King. Penguin, 1999. ISBN: 9780582418172, 80 pp.
- #35 A Child called “It” by Dave Pelzer. Health Communications Inc., 1995. ISBN: 9781558743663, 184 pp.
- #34 The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner. Greenwillow Books, 2000. ISBN: 9780688174231, 288 pp.
- #33 The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Knopf, 2005. ISBN: 9780375831003, 512pp.
- #32 Sabriel (Abhorsen series #1) by Garth Nix. Harper Collins, 2008 (first published in 1995). ISBN: 9780061474354, 336 pp.
- #31 The Watsons go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 1995. ISBN: 9780385321754, 224 pp
- #30 The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester. Vintage, 1996 (First published as Tiger, Tiger in 1956). ISBN: 9780679767800, 272 pp.
- #29 The Secret Journal of Brett Colton by Kay Lynn Mangum. Deseret Book Company, 2005. ISBN: 9781590383995 , 352 pp.
- #28 Annie on My Mind by Nancy Garden. Farrar Straus & Giroux, 1982. ISBN: 0374303665, 233 pp.
- #27 Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block. Harper Collins, 2004. ISBN: 9780060736255 , 128 pp. (Originally published 1989)
- #26 The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot. Macmillan Children’s Books, 2001. ISBN: 033048205X, 240 pp.
- #25 Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. Harper Collins, 2008. ISBN: 9780061431838 , 432 pp.
During this winter vacation, I am supposed to be writing new guidelines for my teachers and staff for my middle school library. My principal is encouraging me to do this because <gasp> it is possible that I am working too hard, teaching too much, and trying to please too many people at once.
He may have something there because I spent the first week of vacation recovering from infections throughout my body for everything from bladder to ears and in between. You know that teachers keep going and don’t stop to rest until vacations. We librarians are so busy serving other people that sometimes we forget to watch out for ourselves.
So, now I am trying to plan a new guide, a new schedule, and still balance the need for collaboration, teaching, and library service. While I’m planning this, I am integrating concepts from AASL’s Learning for Life, our national standards, and the ALA Frontline Advocacy resources for schools. http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/advocacy/advocacyuniversity/frontline_advocacy/frontline_school/index.cfm
I was impressed with the Ten Action Steps for Frontline School Advocacy and the Six Good Excuses that Won’t Work. What other sources would you use to incorporate in a new library guide for your faculty? Please share.
#29 The Secret Journal of Brett Colton by Kay Lynn Mangum. Deseret Book Company, 2005. ISBN: 9781590383995 , 352 pp.
Publisher’s Description: Kathy Colton can’t stand her brother, Brett. Her family talks as if he were perfect! All Kathy really knows about her brother is that he died of leukemia when he was seventeen and she was only two. But when Kathy turns sixteen, she discovers her brother’s hidden journal – a journal written especially for her – and learns about the brother she never knew. At the same time, Kathy is mortified by an assignment to tutor Central High’s quarterback Jason West, a football jock who, even worse, is a Mormon. The Secret Journal of Brett Colton weaves the dual stories of a dying brother and a coming-of-age sister who learn the importance of loving family and friends and nurturing faith.
Quotes from Readers: I just couldn’t stop reading this book. It exposes bigotry. LDS literature, too.
Diane’s note: Aha! Another title to add to my list of “to-be-reads”. My teens love drama and dying in their books. Cancer and leukemia are on their watchlist, also. I’m curious how the LDS Mormon interest plays out in this title. We don’t have that many diverse religious titles on this list so I was pleased to see some variety. Most of the reviews for this book mentioned the reader crying throughout, but that it was a good cry. How do you indicate that in your cataloging records? This would be a handy tag to have. Have you read The Secret Journal of Brett Colton? Do tell us more.
Publisher’s Description: When his small mountains country goes to war with the powerful nation of Attolia, Eugenides the thief is faced with his greatest challenge. He must steal a man, he must steal a queen, and he must steal peace. But his greatest triumph-as well as his greatest loss-can only come if he succeeds in capturing something the Queen of Attolia may have sacrificed long ago.
Quotes from Readers: It’s a wonderful YA book about the difficulties of overcoming an unexpected and debilitating handicap, and how the ingenious protagonist makes the most of the situation—way, way more than the reader ever expects him to. It’s the sequel to the Thief, which is more of a true kid’s book, and prequel to the King of Attolia, which is number nine on my list. When I first read it, I was astonished (the ending is quite a headspinner) but within a month I was rereading it again to pick up all the subtle clues I’d totally missed the first time through.
Awards: BCCB Blue Ribbon Book (2000), Books for the Teen Age 2001 (NYPL), Parents’ Choice Gold Award, ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults
Diane’s note: Come on, you had to expect this title to show up since Thief and the King of Attolia popped up already! This title has such a compelling quality that you won’t be able to put it down. Don’t begin this title before bed if you intend to sleep at all.
#39 Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz. Puffin, 2004 (First published in the UK 2000). ISBN: 9780142401651, 256 pp.
Publisher’s Description: When his guardian dies in suspicious circumstances, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider finds his world turned upside down. Forcibly recruited into MI6, Alex has to take part in gruelling SAS training exercises. Then, armed with his own special set of secret gadgets, he’s off on his first mission to Cornwall, where Middle-Eastern multi-billionaire Herod Sayle is producing his state-of-the-art Stormbreaker computers. Sayle has offered to give one free to every school in the country – but there’s more to the gift than meets the eye.
Quotes from Readers: This book was such an exciting read, my sons forced me to go buy all the sequels.
- Beehive Award (Utah) (2004: Young Adult, Winner)
- California Young Reader Medal (2005: Young Adults, Winner)
- Golden Archer Award (Wisconsin) (2003: Middle/Junior High, Winner)
- Iowa Teen Award (2005, Winner)
- Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award (Illinois) (2004, Winner)
- South Carolina Junior Book Award (2005, Winner)
- ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults ( 2003)
- BBC’s Big Read (Best loved novel, 2003, No 107)
- ALA Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults ( 2009)
- ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (2002)
- 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up (2009)
Diane’s note: This remains one of my favorite series for middle school students. Now that there is a graphic novel version available, we have been able to hook additional readers. They begin with the graphic novel, then go back and read the full text original versions. While boys love the series, girls love debating the merits of Ally Carter’s Cammie Morgan vs Anthony Horowitz’ Alex Rider. Wouldn’t you love to see them meet up? Looking at the awards, you can see this book is popular among students, not literary critics. I want to have books in my library that students will read, so I’m glad this showed up on our countdown.
Anthony Horowitz has had an amazing career as children’s author and TV series screenwriter (Foyle’s War!) He has created a series with Alex Rider that provides the action, violence, and travel kids want to read while slipping in some character development and growth.
The opening sentence is oh-so-true: When the doorbell rings at three in the morning, it’s never good news.
Just a quick mention that the contest is still open to win 25 picture books from former Cybil nominees. Mother Reader has more information http://www.motherreader.com/2010/11/cybils-nominees-abc-giveaway.html I’d love to win these or to see a library win them that would cherish them.
Publisher’s Description: What happens when Joey and his sister, Mary Alice — two city slickers from Chicago — make their annual summer visits to Grandma Dowdel’s seemingly sleepy Illinois town? August 1929: They see their first corpse, and he isn’t resting easy. August 1930: The Cowgill boys terrorize the town, and Grandma fights back. August 1931: Joey and Mary Alice help Grandma trespass, poach, catch the sheriff in his underwear, and feed the hungry — all in one day. And there’s more, as Joey and Mary Alice make seven summer trips to Grandma’s — each one funnier than the year before — in self-contained chapters that readers can enjoy as short stories or take together for a rollicking good novel. In the tradition of American humorists from Mark Twain to Flannery O’Connor, popular author Richard Peck has created a memorable world filled with characters who, like Grandma herself, are larger than life and twice as entertaining.
Quotes from Readers: Amusing. It shows if you handle things in the proper way you can get it the way you want. Grandma gets what she wants through unconventional means. There are many ways to solve a problem.
Other Online Sources: Scholastic Literature Circle Guide, Newberys and the Net: Thematic Technology Connections by Annette Lamb and Nancy Smith.
- The 1999 Newbery Honor Book
- A 1998 National Book Award Finalist
- An ALA Best Book for Young Adults
- A Riverbank Review 1999 Book of Distinction
Diane’s note: This remains one of my all-time favorite novels. Every sixth grader in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools reads A Long Way From Chicago. It remains one of the most popular “Essential Literature” titles they read and never gets boring to read aloud. Before A Long Way From Chicago, I seldom read short stories or books that told multiple stories contained in each chapter. Richard Peck’s voice tells such a compelling story that Grandma has become an icon for middle school literary characters.
#43 The Thief (Queen’s Thief #1) by Megan Whalen Turner. Greenwillow, 1996. ISBN: 9780688146276 , 224 pp.
Publisher’s Description: The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the theif’s abilities. What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.
Quotes from Readers: This and the two books that follow. I first read it when I was ten or so… and it made no special impact, but I picked it up again in High School and fell in love. This is a book so deliciously twisted that even a thousand re-reads aren’t enough to make it old.
Awards: Newbery Honor Book (1997)
- ALA List of Notable Books, 1997
- Best Books for Young Adults, 1997
- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books,Blue Ribbon List
- Horn Book Fanfare List
- Selection of the Junior Library Guild
Diane’s note: I want to remind you that #53 on this list is Megan Whalen Turner’s The King of Attolia. Megan Whalen Turner’s website shares her view as to reading these out of order:
“Many people have read them and enjoyed them entirely out of order. However, reviews and even the jacket copy for later books, will reveal major plot points for earlier books. I’d like to think that finding out major plot points ahead of time won’t ruin The Thief, but it will certainly change the experience. On the other hand, I think The Thief spoils The King of Attolia. So there are pluses and minuses to any order you choose.“
#42 If You Come Softly by Jacqueline Woodson. Puffin, 1998. ISBN: 9780142406014 , 192 pp.
Publisher’s Description: If You Come Softly is about Jeremiah who is fifteen and black and Ellie who is fifteen and white. They meet at a private school and fall in love and then have to deal with how society treats them because they’re an interracial couple. It was inspired by a poem by Audre Lorde that begins:
If you come softly
as the wind within the trees
you may hear what I hear
see what sorrow sees.
Quotes from Readers: Such a simply written book, but so powerful and devastating. I’ve only read it a couple of times, but I cried every time.
Awards: Rhode Island Teen Book Award Nominee (2001), ALA’s Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults (1999)
Diane’s note: This title hurts me with its honesty and the devastating outcome. I haven’t been able to gather enough courage to read Behind You. I have met Ms Woodson and greatly admire her work. Perhaps it is time to open the cover of Behind You (the sequel) and re-experience the first love of Jeremiah and Ellie. On her web page, Ms Woodson wrote a paragraph on why she wrote If You Come Softly. The last line spoke to me:
I also wanted to write about Time—about how fleeting it is, how important it is to love who you want and be who you want in the moment so that you don’t look back and think “I should have…” or “I could have…”
I could relate to Ellie and Jeremiah’s biracial relationship and the looks of society while dating from my first husband and my relationship. Currently my fiance would like me to set a wedding date. When I read that line above about loving who you want and in the moment, it felt like Ms Woodson was talking to me and encouraging me. She wrote about “first love—how hard it can be and how great it is.” I believe new love at any age can be hard and great, also.
Publisher’s Description: I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle’s walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has “captured the castle”–and the heart of the reader–in one of literature’s most enchanting entertainments.
Quotes from Readers: I’m so happy this is back in print since the narrator is top-notch.
- BBC’s Big Read (Best loved novel, 2003, No 82)
- New York Times bestseller (Fiction, 1948)
- Guardian 1000 (Love)
- 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up (2009.0789|2009, Ages 12↑)
Diane’s note: Dodie Smith also wrote The Hundred and One Dalmatians. There is a movie based upon this book. This title shows up on the list “1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up” yet I’ve never read it. Take a look at the great covers for this book. I guess I have not grown up yet so I can still work myself through that list.
#40 Wednesday’s Letters by Jason F. Wright. Penguin Group, 1998. ISBN: 9780425223475, 288 pp.
Publisher’s Description: The Wednesday Letters is the story of Jack and Laurel. Married 39 years, the Coopers lived a good life and appear to have had a near-perfect relationship. Then one night, with his wife cradled in his arms, and before Jack takes his last breath, he scribbles his final “Wednesday Letter.” When their three adult children arrive to arrange the funeral, they discover boxes and boxes full of love letters that their father wrote to their mother on every single Wednesday. As they begin to open and read the letters, the children uncover unimaginable adventures and the shocking truth about their past. The Wednesday Letters has a powerful message about redemption and forgiveness. And it just might inspire you to begin writing your own Wednesday Letters.
Online reviews: Shelfari.
Diane’s note: There are many twists in this title – secrets and more. I need to read this myself so I can help match it to audiences. I couldn’t find much on the internet about this title, so I was surprised it received enough votes to pop it to #40. It seems to meet the needs of romance readers. From the descriptions of reviewers, this title could re-ignite love letter writing. Would you put this in a high school? A middle school? Help me out here, readers.
Scholastic released their list of Ten Trends in Children’s Literature in 2010. This list was compiled with suggestions from Scholastic Publishing, Scholastic Book Clubs, and Scholastic Book Fairs. I notice that they don’t discuss nonfiction trends, but I’ll focus on just one of their trends. Go to their press release to read more.
“#4 Multimedia series: The 39 Clues, Skeleton Creek and The Search for WondLa are hooking readers with stories that go beyond the printed page and meet kids where they are online or via video.”
I’ll chime in here to recommend The Amanda Project, also. We know that learning occurs through linking those synapses in our brains. Student interest in learning occurs when we link what they read with what they are interested in and the ways they want to learn.
Publisher blogs, author facebook pages, interactive review pages, links to reality and nonfiction websites to further their interests, links to videos that help extend the story, and video trailers are just some of the multimedia trends that support this area of interest.
Will this trend continue? As more ebooks become available, prices drop, and accessibility improves, will this trend of multimedia connections continue? I hope.
#49Vanishing Act by Jodi Picoult. Atria Books, March 2005 ISBN: 9780743454544, 432 pp.
Publisher’s Description: Delia Hopkins has led a charmed life. Raised in rural New Hampshire by her beloved, widowed father, she now has a young daughter, a handsome fiance, and her own search-and-rescue bloodhound, which she uses to find missing persons. But as Delia plans her wedding, she is plagued by flashbacks of a life she can’t recall…until a policeman knocks on her door, revealing a secret about herself that changes the world as she knows it — and threatens to jeopardize her future. With Vanishing Acts, Jodi Picoult explores how life — as we know it — might not turn out the way we imagined; how the people we’ve loved and trusted can suddenly change before our very eyes; how the memory we thought had vanished could return as a threat. Once again, Picoult handles an astonishing and timely topic with under-standing, insight, and compassion.
Diane’s note: If you have teens in your library, you know how they seize upon the newest Jodi Picoult title. This title was so full of issues that I have found teens and adults either love it or hate it. I do have a favorite quote: “It takes two people to make a lie work: the person who tells it, and the one who believes it.”