2004 - 2005 Winter Junior Novels


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Nancy's picks for the best junior novels of Winter 2004 - 2005. Compiled by Nancy Polette 2004.

Last updated: Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Balliett, Blue. CHASING VERMEER. Scholastic, 2004. Gr 5-7
A mystery romp that includes a missing painting, an art scandal, the FBI and two young people caught up in a crime where no one is spared from suspicion. A fun read.

Bath, K.P. THE SECRET OF CASTLE CANT. Little Brown, 2004. Gr 4-6
An unforgettable heroine portrayed in grand storytelling tradition. Will the maid, Lucy, join the rebels or save the castle where she works? A very good read with very original characters.

Beard, Darleen Bailey. OPERATION CLEAN SWEEP. Farrar, 2004. Gr 4-6
When Corn's mother is secretly put up for mayor and the women plan to make a clean sweep of male candidates, Corn doesn't know what to do, especially since his father is the current mayor. A delightful story of another time in history.

Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker. THE PRESIDENT'S DAUGHTER. Delacorte, 2004. Gr 4-6
A colorful tale inspired by the life of Ehtel Roosevelt, duahgter of President Theodore Roosevelt.

Buchanan, Jane. GOODBYE CHARLIE. Farrar. 2004. Gr 4-6
World War II has a chaotic effect on a family (a runaway boy and a father missing in action) and a pet monkey who forever seems to be getting into trouble.

Derby, Pat. AWAY TO THE GOLD FIELDS. Farrar, 2004. Gr 4-6.
Molly and her greedy, bad-tempered brother make the difficult journey to the gold fields of California from New Hampshire to find their father, traveling by ship, mule and dugout canoe across Panama.

Garfield, Henry. THE LOST VOYAGE OF JOHN CABOT. Atheneum, 2004. Gr 5-8
What happened on John Cabot's second voyage? Letters from a fourteen-year-old tell of a fearsome storm and its aftermath. Exciting reading.

Gray, Margaret. THE LOVESICK SALESMAN. Henry Holt, 2004. Gr 4-6
Irwin wants to be a hero but he doesn't do well in the Heroic Academy. He resigns himself to selling candy until he meeets and falls in love with a princess. But she wants to marry a hero!

Horvath, Polly. THE PEPINS AND THEIR PROBLEMS. Farrar, 2004. Gr 3-5
Whether its waking up to find toads in their shoes or becoming trapped on the roof, the Pepins get into very bizarre and humorous scrapes. Excellent example of creative writing!

Hughes, Pat. THE BREAKER BOYS. Farrar, 2004. Gr 5-7
Natehad no friends until he meets a poor boy who works in Nate's grandfather's mines. Nate sees the awful living conditions of the miners first hand, but grandpa is determined to make no concessions on wages. Nate is torn between family loyalty and doing the right thing. Highly recommended.

Kirk, Daniel. REX TABBY, CAT DETECTIVE. Orchard Books, 2004. Gr 4-6.
Rex Tabby is after Ma Manx and her family..a bunch of kitty criminals. A great book for fantasy buffs and cat lovers.

Lawrence, Iain. B FOR BUSTER. Delacorte Press, 2004. Gr 6-8
An underage boy who thinks flying in WWII bombers will be a thrill finds out differently. How can he let anyone know of his fear? A riveting war novel!

Matthews, L.S. FISH. Delacorte Press, 2004. Gr 5-8
A harrowing journey of a displaced family and survival in an unforgiving world.

Myers, Anna. HOGGEE. Walker, 2004. Gr 5-7
A young boy who drives mules pulling the barges on the Erie Canal faces a tough winter and a sad young girl who never speaks. Har to put down!

O'Connor, Barbara. TAKING CARE OF MOSES. Farrar, 2004. Gr 4-8.
Randall knows who left a baby on the church steps. Should he keep the secret or tell? A feud breaks out in the town over who shoudl take are of the baby, Moses. Randall needs a plan!

Paulsen, Gary. MOLLY MCGINTY HAS A REALLY GOOD DAY. Wendy Lamb Books: Random House, 2004. Gr 3-6
Before 9:00 a.m. Molly lost he notebook, her homework, got a blcak eye and was late to class. Imagine what will happen as the day goes on!

Patneaude, David. THIN WOOD WALLS. Houghton Mifflin, 2003.Gr 5-8
A Japanese American family is interned in World War II and the young son turns to journal writing for relief.

Roberts, Willo Davis. BLOOD ON HIS HANDS. Atheneum, 2004. Gr 5-7
Marc has done something bad and is running from the cops. His only chance to clear himself is to get to his father but he is not sure where his father is. A good read!

Sheth, Kashmira. BLUE JASMINE. Hyperion, 2004. Gr 5-8.
A young girl from India is transplanted to an Iowa town. She thinks her homesickness will be cured when she has a chance to return to India where she finally finds the true meaning of 'home' A touching story.

Shinn, Sharon. THE SAFE KEEPER'S SECRET. Viking, 2004. Gr 6-8
Damiana shares the secrets of the village and is asked to share a secret that will change her life..a new born baby.

Springer, Nancy. WILD BOY. Philomel, 2004. Gr 5-7
For years young Wolf has run wild in Sherwood Forest. Now he has a chance to pay back the man who killed his father, the Sheriff of Nottingham. A great addition for Robin Hood fans.

Weil, Sylvie. MY GUARDIAN ANGEL. Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic) 2004. Gr 5-8
Twelve-year-old Elvina experienes the persecution of the Jews in France in the year 1096. She is forced to make a difficult choice that could put her family at risk. Can her Guardian Angel keep her safe?