Junior Novels

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Nancy's picks for the best junior novels of the 1990s and ideas for using them in the classroom. Compiled by Nancy Polette 1998.
Last updated: Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Avi. Beyond the Western Sea. Orchard, 96. (Gr 5-8) Book Two: Lord Kirkle's Money. Orchard, 97
A brother and sister have to decide whether to leave their work-worn mother to travel together to America. Debate what they should do.
Carlsruh, Dan. The Cannibals of Sunset Drive. Macmillan, 94. ( Gr 5-7)
A young boy finds himself in a place where cannibals are thought to live.
Use this pattern: ______
is scary but ______________is terrifying!
Doherty, Bertie. Street Child. Orchard, 94. (Gr 4-6)
An orphan must survive in Dickens' London. Share the first three paragraphs of the first three chapters. Predict after each what will happen.
Garden, Nancy. The Dove and the Sword. Farrar 95. (Gr 6-8 )
The story of Joan of Arc.
Use words from the novel to describe the cover.
Gilson, Jamie. Wagon Train 911. Lothrop, 96.
Choose five members of your wagon train team from: a doctor, a mother with a baby, a carpenter, a man with five cows, a tall, very strong man, a woman with two strong oxen, a seamstress, a preacher, a school teacher. Tell why.
Myers, Walter Dean. The Righteous Revenge of Artemis Bonner. HarperCollins, 92.
A young African-American hero sets out for Tombstone to avenge his Uncle Ugly's death. Brainstorm the famous and infamous connected with Tombstone. Write an epitaph for one you choose,
Paterson, Katherine. Jip: His Story. Lodestar, 96. ( Gr 5-7)
The slavers are after Jip and he must run, but he can't leave his friend, the lunatic, behind, or can he?
Pfeffer, Susan. Justice for Emily. Delacorte, 97. (Gr 5-7)
Predict what will happen when Emily, an orphan living on the charity of the townspeople, accuses two daughters of the town's richest families of the death of her friend.
Richler, Mordecai. Jacob Two-Two's First Spy Case. Farrar, 97. ( Gr 3-5)
When Mr. I. M. Greedyguts takes over the headmaster's job at his school and hires Loathsome Leo Louse to prepare disgustingly dreadful school lunches that must be eaten down to the last crumb, Jacob Two-Two knows he needs help.Complete the resume' for the new headmaster than check with the real qualifications on page 16.
Mr. Greedyguts is the author of____________. During his _____ years he was a _______ in the ________ and following that, he was a _______ __________. Leo Loathsome's mother has a museum in her home that contains the whip used to beat Black Beauty, the gun used to shoot Bambi and the apple Snow White ate. What else do you think might be in the museum?
Robinson, Brbara. The Best School Year Ever. HarperCollins, 96. (Gr 4-6)
The Herdmans are back and up to more tricks! Guess what they steal this time?
Ribalcaba, Jill. A Place in the Sun. Clarion, 97. (Gr 5-7)
Introduce with questions about cobras. How long is a typical cobra? How many inches around?How man feet can a cobra spit its venom? How long is a King Cobra? Can a cobra be charmed by music?
Spurr, Elizabeth. Mama's Birthday Surprise. Hyperion, 96. (Gr 3-4)
A Hispanic mother is not believed when she tells of her childhood until a visit to a museum. Debate: Is it wrong to pretend that a benefactor for your family exists when he really doesn't?
Stanley, Diane. Elena. Hyperion, 96. (Gr .4-6)
A brave mother saves her children during the Mexican Revolution.
Complete the sentence: Bravery is.......
Wallace, Barbara. Twin in the Tavern. Atheneum, 96. (Gr 4-6)
Taddy seeks his twin in a hostile Alexandria, VA..
Read the first paragraph leaving out important words. Can the students tell what words are missing?
'________, sharp and cruel howled down the ________ and attacked the small _______, rattling shutters and hurling sheets of freezing _______ and _______ against the windows. Alone inside, Taddy _______ behind the old pine rock ing _________ cramped and __________ from having been there the better part of the _________. He curled his arms around his _________ and tried to huddle more deeply into the worn gray ______ wrapped around his ________.