2005 Fall Junior Novels

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Nancy's picks for the best junior novels of fall 2005 and ideas for using them in the classroom. Compiled by Nancy Polette 2005.
Last updated: Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Amato, Mary. THE WORD EATER. Holiday House, 2005. Grades 3-6
Lerner finds a magical word that eats printed words that disappear forever!

Banks, Lynne Reid. TIGER, TIGER. Delacorte, 2005. Grades 4-6.
Two tiger cubs are captured and taken to ancient Rome. One trained as a killer, the other becomes a pet to Ceasar's daughter. When the pet escapes someone must pay!

Birdsall, Jeanne. THE PENDERWICKS. Knopf, 2005. Grades 4-6
Four sisters on a summer holiday discover pleasures and problems on a summer estate called Arundel.

Collard, Sneed.DOG SENSE. Peachtree, 2005. Grades 4-6
Guy has trouble making changes from city to country life expecially when a bully makes life complicated. Then an impulsive bet pits the boys head to head.

Cutler, Jane. COMMON SENSE AND FOWLS. Farrar, 2004. Grades 3-5
A mess of misunderstandings includes unreasonable neighbors, a plague of pigeons, an artist turned vandal and bike riding tutor and a curious eleven year old. A fun read.

Grant, K.M. BLOOD RED ROSE. Walker, 2005. Grades 5-8
Will and Gavin respond to King Richard's call..to becme brave and noble knights they need a horse, a fair maiden and a just cause..through all the adventures two things are constant, the maiden, Ellie and a blood red horse called Hisanna.

Langton, Jane. THE MYSTERIOUS CIRCUS.HarperCollins, 2005. Grades 4-6
When a family friend comes to visit the Halls they are exposed to the most amazing, most mysterious circus ever.

Lawlor, Laurie. DEAD RECKONING. Simon & Schuster, 2005.
A young boy has exciting adventures at sea with St. Francis Drake, finding out what real anger is and experiencing first hand what it's like to be a murderer.

Marcamtomop, Patricia Santos. RED RIDIN' IN THE HOOD. Farrar 2005. Grades 5-8
Eleven classic tales retold surrounded by Latino culture.Well done! Excelllent example of parody.

Martin, Rafe. BIRDWING. Arthur A. Levine Books, 2005. Grades 5-8
When seven swans were turned back into boys, Ardwin is left with a wing for one of his arms. The wing gives him to power to understand wild creatures yet he has a hard time fitting in human society.

Michael, Livi. THE WHISPERING ROAD. Putnam, 2005. Grades 5-8
A Dickensian novel ..the trials of two orphans, very well written, great images and sustained suspense. A winner!

Pearsall, Shelley. CROOKED RIVER. Knopf, 1005. Grades 5-7
In 1812 a young Indian is accused of the murder of a white trapper. He struggles to make sense of the white man's court. A riviting tale of crude frontier justice.

Rubright, Lynn.MAMA'S WINDOW. Lee & Low Books, 2005. Grades 5-7
After his mother dies, "Sugar" is sent to live with gruff Uncle Free. He watches the building of a church which is to have a stained glass window that mama had saved for. Then Sugar discovers that the money for the window is to be used for another purpose. Well developed characters and a touching story.

Ryan, Amy Kathleen. SHADOWFALLS.
A portrait of loss and survival as stark, forthright and beautiful as the majestic mountains that surround 15 year old Annie's valley.

Salisbury, Graham. EYES OF THE EMPEROR. Wendy Lamb Books, 2005. Grades 5-8
An exciting tale of 24 Japanese-American soldiers sent on a secret and dangerous mission in World War II.

Smith, Sherwood.THE EMERALD WAND OF OZ. HarperCollins, 2005. Grades 3-5
Here is a delightful new adventure for all Oz fans. Can Em and Dorrie save the people of Oz..yes, but only if they can get the magic wand from the Wicked Witch!

Springer,Nancy.ROWAN HOOD RETURNS. Philomel, 2005. Grades 5-7
Rowan Hood, the gentle healer who has survived two years as an outlaw in Sherwood Forest, sets out to revenge her mother's murder.

Taylor, Theodore. BILLY THE KID. Harcourt, 2005. Grades 5-8
A fictional tale of Billy the Kid who finds himself persued by both the law and his two-timing partners. An action-packed read.

Velde, Vivian. TALES FROM THE BROTHERS GRIMM AND THE SISTERS WEIRD. Harcourt, paperback release, 2005.
What if Hansel and Gretel were horrible children who deserved to be baked? What if no one could stand the princess' whining about the pea under her mattress. Here are favorite tales told from another point of view.

Weston, Elise. COASTWATCHER. Peachtree, 2005. Grades 4-6
In 1943 Hugh spends his days looking for signs of the enemy. An object at sea and a strange light in a beach house lead to grim events. An excellent blend of mystery and history.

White, Ruth. THE SEARCH FOR BELLE PRATER. Farrar, 2005. Grades 5-7
A missing woman, a mysterious phone call and three friends, one with second sight, search for Belle Prater.

Wilson, Diane. BLACK STORM COMIN'. McElderrry Books, 2005.
Colton undertakes the most dangerous ride of his life, riding for his family, freedom and maybe, to help keep a divided nation together. A gripping adventure.

Wynne-Jones, Tim. A THIEF IN THE HOUSE OF MEMORY. Farrar, 2005.
An intruder dies in the family home that Dec's father has preserved like a museum. Suddenly Dec is flooded with visions of his missing mother. Who really is the thief in the house of memory?