Recently in Award Winners Category

A Wow Adventure

ice-dogs-225.jpgIce Dogs (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2014) by Terry Lynn Johnson puts you right there with 14-year-old dogsledder Victoria Secord and her team of dogs. You'll feel cold and hungry with her and her companion in this realistic story of how easy it is to be in danger in winter in the Alaskan bush. And, you'll find yourself worrying about several of the dogs as well as the two teens. The book makes me think of Gary Paulsen's survival stories, except this time with a girl main character!

Look at all the recognition this books is garnering:


  • A Junior Library Guild Selection

  • American Booksellers Association (ABA) Best Children's Books of 2014

  • A Scholastic Book Fairs Selection 2014

  • Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids 2014

Ms. Johnson was a musher herself, so knows what life is like with sled dogs. Plus, she's still involved in outdoor adventures and you can read about them on her blog. Read more about Terry on her website.


Dangerous Adventure

badger knight
Badger Knight (Scholastic Press, 2014) by Kathryn Erskin may be historical since it is sent in England 1346, but it definitely isn't boring. I found the book hard to put down as I experienced life with the main character.

13-year-old Adrian isn't content to be small and sickly--he's going to be an archer. And help in the war against the Scots, or at least become an apprentice bowyer to his father. But no one--not his father or his friend Hugh and especially Good Aunt--think he's much use beyond collecting goose feathers to fletch arrows. The village bullies call him Badger since he puts dirt under his eyes to dim the brightness of his white face when shooting arrows. Adrian claims the name Badger himself when he goes to help his friend Hugh in the war.

This book is a 2014 Junior Library Guild Selection--you won't want to miss reading it! And isn't the cover gorgeous?

Adrian isn't the only traveler--so's Kathryn. See her bio!

I have a review of another of Kathryn's books here: Mockingbird.


An Eggstraordinary Story

undertheegg.jpgUnder the Egg (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2014 ) by Laura Marx Fitzgerald in an extraordinary story. Theo, now that her grandfather Jack is gone, is in charge of their 200-year-old family home and her eccentric mother. When dying, Jack told her to look "under the egg" and she's afraid what she's found is not only going to ruin his reputation, but that she'll find out he's not who she thought he was.

I love the first two lines:
"It was the find of the century.
Or so I thought at the time."

And I love Theo. As a parent I want to take her under my wing. In my kid mind, I want to be her friend. She's interesting, smart, and brave.

This mystery has page turning chapter endings, villains, and the fun of a hunt. It's also a winner of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association BEST MIDDLE GRADE BOOK OF THE YEAR!

Take a look at Laura Marx Fitzgerald's About Me on her website. It made me smile.

The author is also on twitter: @marxfitzy


MG Mystery

3timeslucky.jpgThree Times Lucky (Dial Books for Young Readers/Penguin, 2012) by Sheila Turnage is a murder mystery that won a Newbery Honor. I love how it opens: "Trouble cruised into Tupelo Landing at exactly seven minutes past noon on Wednesday, the third of June, flashing a gold badge and driving a Chevy Impala the color of dirt." 11-year-old Mo and her best friend Dale don't know it, but they're going to get mixed up good in the trouble that has come to town.

A sequel came out this year, The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing, which features Mo and Dale working to solve another mystery in their unusual small town. I haven't read it yet, but am looking forward to it!ghosts.jpg

On her website, author Sheila Turnage has a page for Questions Kids Ask Me AKA Report Homework--it's fun. Plus on her site you can read about her other books.


A Boy and an Elephant

CHAINED.jpgChained (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012) by Lynn Kelly is a story about a young boy in India rescuing others. First, it's his mother, then it's a baby elephant.

10-year-old Hastin thought that working at a circus taking care of an elephant would be fun. But he doesn't like the cruel treatment of the Nandita, who has become his best friend. Can he escape his master? Can he help Nandita escape, too?

While doing research for this book, author Lynn Kelly came across some interesting elephant facts, which she shares here. There's also a Chained website that includes deleted scenes and more, such as information about the elephant bell.

This book is a 2013 Crystal Kite winner--the award selected by SCBWI peers.ChainedIndiaFront.png

And here's the cover for the book published in India--just because I like it.

A Wow Adventure

Dangerous Adventure

An Eggstraordinary Story

MG Mystery

A Boy and an Elephant

Secrets!

Hilariously Creepy

Moving Story

Cute Grandma Story

A Spooky Story just in time for Halloween

Heartbreaker

The amazing Laini Taylor

Eye-opening Historical

Anything But Typical

Historical MG in Verse

Amazing Historical

The Problemsolver Has His Own Problems

Love a Winner

Fascinating problem

Whose life?

Lovely Picture Book

Another time and now

Just love this kid!

Victorian fantasy

A book with heart

Really good story

One Strong Girl!

Distinct voices

Great first line

Very Very Good!

Very Interesting

Real or not real?

Funny pet story

A Dog Detective

Delightfully Dangerous

Something a bit different

Fearful stuff

What a sweet winner!

A 2011 Golden Kite Winner and Newbery Honor!

Unputdownable Fantasy

Shortlisted?

It Takes a Thief

Facts just slip into your mind

Humor, Attitude and Murder!

"Strange, adj, extraordinary, remarkable, singular"

Book Felt SO Real

Great First Line

Book 1 - glad more is coming

Newbery honor book

Great opening scene

You thought you had it tough?

Unforgettable

Character Growth

This book sticks with you! And offers hope.

Got voice?

2009 Newbery Winner

Fantasy to Love