2000 Fall Junior Novels

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Nancy's picks for the best junior novels of fall 2000 and ideas for using them in the classroom. Compiled by Nancy Polette 2000.
Last updated: Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Arrington, Frances. BLUESTEM. Philomel, 2000.
Two young children must survive on the open prairie in the 1870s when their mother suffers severe depression and their father is away. Despite their meddling prairie neighbors, the sisters keep going until one day they find themselves lost. Now how brave are they?

Bauer, Steven. A CAT OF A DIFFERENT COLOR. Delacorte, 2000. Gr 4-6
A cat whose color changes often, travels the world but always returns to the town of his birth. On one return he finds that one family was claiming all of the town' s pleasure for itself. With the help of a girl and a flock of angry waterfowl, the cat attempts to save the town.

Cheaney, J. B. THE PLAYMAKER. Knopf, 2000.
In 1597 young Richard travels to London to seek his fortune but is robbed, beaten and threatened at gunpoint. Determined to find the reason for the attacks, Richard hides as a player on the stage and begins to unravel the traitorous plot that has ensnared him.

Dahlberg, Maurine. PLAY TO THE ANGEL. Farrar , 2000. Gr 5-8
Talented Greta in 1938 works with a strange piano teacher. Just when success is in sight, the Nazis invade Austria and Greta finds that her teacher's life is in danger .

Giff, Patricia Reilly. NORY RYAN'S SONG. Delacorte,2000. Gr 4-8
In 1845 when the potatoes turn black in the Irish soil and her father disappears, young Nory must summon courage and ingenuity to find food, to find hope and to help her family survive.

Heaney, Marie. THE NAMES UPON THE HARP. Illus. by P. J. Lynch. Scholastic, 2000 Gr 5-9
Tales of the heroes and villains of Irish myth and legend.

Hite, Sid. STICK AND WHITTLE. Scholastic, 2000. Gr 4- 7
Stick, a Civil War veteran and Whittle, an orphan on the lam meet out west and become partners in a gamboling adventure that includes a kidnapping and a dramatic rescue mission.

Karr, Kathleen. THE BOXER. Farrar, 2000. Gr 7-9
In the rough New York City Lower East Side in 1885, Johnny Woods fights his battles against poverty, the legal system and his own overpowering desire to win.

King-Smith, Dick. MYSTERIOUS MISS SLADE. Crown, 2000 Gr 4-6
She wears a patch on one eye, rides a donkey, has numerous animals, even more numerous secrets and is thought to be a witch But when one secret means big trouble, she has friends, human and canine who can help.

Lee, Tanith. WOLF TOWER. Dutton, 2000. Gr 5-8
The slave, Claidi, endures hardship in the House where she must obey a spoiled princess. Then a golden stranger arrives, proof of a world beyond the House. Some would destroy him for bringing this awareness but for Claidi he offers precious hope. 

Nesbit, E. THE MAGIC CITY. Sea Star , 2000. Gr 4-8
When Philip builds a miniature city out of odds and ends, the city comes to life and he and his stepsister are transported there. How they work together to save the City and forge a friendship makes a fascinating tale.

Peck, Richard. A YEAR DOWN YONDER. Dial, 2000. Or 5-9
Fifteen-year-old Mary Alice faces a whole year with Grandma, a woman known for shaking up the local populace.

Ryan, Pam Munoz. ESPERANZA RISING. Scholastic,2000. Gr 5-9
Esperanza has a beautiful home and servants and the promise of one day presiding over the family ranch. But tragedy strikes and she and her mother flee to California to settle in a farm labor camp where she meets many challenges.

Seabrooke, Brenda. THE HAUNTING AT STRATTON FALLS. Dutton,2000
Footprints appear in the halls of an old house when no one walks by. Soon, Abby is on the trail of a real ghost, but as she gets closer to the secret she finds that someone connected to Straton Falls may be in deathly danger .

Sturtevant, Katherine. AT THE SIGN OF THE STAR. Farrar,2000. Gr 5-9
Meg Moore' s dreams are shattered when her father remarries and her position as heiress of his profitable bookstore in Restoration London is no longer secure. Through her own experience she finds a new maturity with which to face the future.

Williams, Barbara. MAKING WAVES. Dial, 2000 Gr 4-8
As Titanic survivors, Emily and Albert try to cope with the inequities of life they are made to face. By fighting for the rights of workers is Emily putting herself in danger as Albert suspects?

Yolen, Jane. Editor. SHERWOOD. Philomel,2000. Gr 4-6
Eight original stories from the world of Robin Hood where the trees are tall but the legend is taller.