Friday, April 29, 2011

South Carolina Junior Book Awards

Updated with Goliath, new Skeleton Creek books!

What Should I Read Now?

From silly humor to chilling war stories, check out these South Carolina Junior Book Award nominees for 2011-2012. (They're great for middle schoolers --and might appear on your school summer reading lists!) Last year's nominees included The Hunger Games. Which of this new batch will be the next Big Thing?

Anything But Typical
By Nora Raleigh Baskin

What is it like to be an autistic boy facing daily sixth-grade life, not to mention lifelong struggles, in a "neurotypical" world? Jason Blake is most comfortable in an online writing forum called Storyboard, where his stories spark an email friendship with a girl. But what would happen if he had to meet her in real life?

Operation Redwood
By Susannah T. French

Clandestine email exchanges, secret trips, fake press releases, and a tree-house standoff are among the clever stunts and pranks the kid heroes pull in this ecological adventure.

The Potato Chip Puzzles
By Eric Berlin

When a local potato chip tycoon invites area kids to an all-day puzzle hunt, Winston Breen is psyched. However, the teacher is being overly competitive, the puzzles are hard (even for Winston), and someone in the contest is playing dirty.


By Ellen Potter

Owen Birnbaum is the fattest kid in school. But he's also a genius who invents cool contraptions like a TV that shows the past. Genius or not, there's plenty that Owen can't out think -- like his gym coach, who's on a mission to humiliate him. Or the way his Oreos keep disappearing from his lunch.


All the Broken Pieces: A Novel in Verse
By Ann E. Burg

Two years after being airlifted out of war-torn Vietnam, Matt Pin is haunted: by bombs, by smoke and death, and by the brother (and the terrible secret) he left behind. Now in a loving adoptive home, over the course of a baseball season, Matt must confront his past -- and try to heal.

Skeleton Creek
By Patrick Carman

Strange things are happening in Skeleton Creek -- and Ryan and Sarah are trying to get to the heart of it. But after an eerie accident leaves Ryan housebound and forbidden to see Sarah, their investigation must take two tracks: Ryan records everything in his journal, while Sarah records things on her videocam. Readers can watch them on a special website.

Sequel: Ghost in the Machine, Crossbones, Raven

Mission Control, This is Apollo: The Story of the First Voyages to the Moon
By Andrew Chaikin

It was July 20, 1969, one of the climactic moments in our history: the day Apollo 11 landed on the moon. But it is only one piece of a magnificent story.

The Demon King: A Seven Realms Novel
By Cinda Williams Chima 

Times are hard in the mountain city of Fellsmarch. Reformed thief Han Alister will do almost anything to eke out a living for himself, his mother, and his sister, Mari. Ironically, the only thing of value he has is something he cannot sell. 

Sequel: The Exiled Queen

If the Witness Lied
By Caroline B. Cooney

First, Jack Fountain's mother dies of cancer after postponing treatment so her baby, Tris, could be born. Then, his father is run over after 2-year-old Tris accidentally moves the parking brake. Now, Jack and his two orphaned siblings must reunite to save Tris from the clutches of their evil aunt, who wants to sell them out on a tell-all TV show.


War Games
By Audrey Couloumbis

For 12-year-old Petros, World War II feels unreal and far away. What's real is working in his papa's garden, playing marbles, and fighting with his older brother, Zola. But when the Germans invade Greece, the war becomes real. And for the first time, Petros can show Zola that he's not just a little brother. Based on a true story.

Lifting the Sky
By Mackie D’Arge

In the spirit of The Yearling comes the story of a ranch hand's daughter who makes a friend in an enigmatic Shoshone boy whose search for an ancient rock carving intrigues her.

A Taste for Red
By Lewis Harris

A sixth-grade Goth girl who thinks she's a vampire encounters her greatest nemesis when she enrolls at Sunny Hill Middle School in this hilarious and original take on the vampire tales.

Also Known as Harper
By Ann Haywood Leal

Harper Lee Morgan is an aspiring poet, which isn’t surprising given she’s named after her mama’s favorite writer, Harper Lee. And life is giving her a lot to write about. Daddy walks out, leaving them broke. Her family gets evicted. And Harper has to skip school to care for her little brother, Hemingway. Now, if she could just get up on that stage and read her poems out loud...

Callie’s Rules
By Naomi Flink Zucker

Callie Jones is excited about her first day of sixth grade. But from the moment she arrives and is greeted by dirty looks (apparently, you don't ride your bike to middle school), she realizes that there's a set of unwritten rules that everyone seems to know -- except her.

The Indigo Notebook
By Laura Resau

Zeeta and her free-spirited mother, Layla, move from country to country. Yet, at 15, Zeeta just wants her mother to settle down into a regular life rather than moving so much, quoting the Sufi poet Rumi at every opportunity, and getting involved with eccentric, irresponsible men.

Faith, Hope, and Ivy June
By Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Two girls from different regions of Kentucky are brought together in an exchange program. They soon learn that they are more alike than different and find strength in each other.

Heart of a Shepherd
By Rosanne Parry

When Brother's dad is shipped off to Iraq, along with the rest of his reserve unit, Brother must help his grandparents keep the ranch going. He's determined to maintain it just as his father left it, in the hope that doing so will ensure his father's safe return. The hardships he faces will change the ranch -- and reveal his true calling.

Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don’t You Grow Weary
By Elizabeth Partridge

Only 44 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was fighting to win blacks the right to vote. Ground zero became Selma, Ala. Focusing on the courageous children who faced violence to march with King, this book provides an inspiring look at their fight for the vote.

By James Preller

Eric is the new kid in seventh grade. Luckily, he quickly makes a new friend. Griffin is cool, confident, and popular. But something isn't right. Griffin always seems to be in the middle of bad things. And if Griffin doesn't like you, you'd better watch your back.

By Scott Westerfeld

Alek is a prince on the run. Deryn is a girl disguised as a guy in the British Air Service during World War I. The two are thrown together at a time when the machine-loving Austro-Hungarians and Germans have their big steam-powered Clankers. The British have fabricated animals into warships. And their mothership, Leviathan, is a marvelous whale-dirigible in this new trilogy by the author of the Uglies series.

Sequel: Behemoth, Goliath

Click on any book title to reserve it at your favorite CCPL library branch! Also, click on authors' names to learn more about your favorites.

Keep reading all summer!

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