2003 Spring/Summer Junior Novels

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Nancy's picks for the best junior novels of Spring/Summer 2003. Compiled by Nancy Polette 2003.

Last updated: Tuesday, October 07, 2008

DeFelice, Cynthia. UNDER THE SAME SKY . Farrar, Gr 4-6
To earn money for a motorbike, Joe joins the Mexican laborers on his parents' farm. He soon discovers there's a lot more going on at the farm than he realized.
Funke, Cornelia. THE THIEF LORD . Chicken House, 2002. Gr 5-7
Two brothers make their way with the help of a young thief in long-ago Venice.
Griffin, Adele. OVERNIGHT. Putnam, 2003.
Gray, the quietest of the Lucky Seven who attends the sleepover birtday party, disappears. As the search ensues, the Lucky Seven is in danger of falling apart
Ibbotson, Eva. NOT JUST A WITCH . Dutton, 2003. Gr 4-6
Heckie is an animal witch who can give people snouts and fur. After attending witch school she wants to make the world a better place by turning bad people into animals. When Heckie falls in love she cannot see that the evil Lionel Knacksap is using her powers for his own gain. How can he be stopped?
Johnston, Tony. THE ANCESTORS ARE SINGING . Farrar, 2003. Gr 4-8
Poems of the past and present of Mexico from the legends of ancient civilizations to concern and hope for Mexico today.
Kehret, Peg. SPY CAT . Dutton, 2003 Gr 4-6
A misture of burglars, kidnappers and a cat who helps solve the crimes makes fun reading.
Little, Jean. WILLOW AND TWIG. Viking, 2003. Gr 4-7
Deserted by their mother, Willow takes Twig across country to the grandmother they have never met and encounter a strange household.
Morpurgo, Michael. KENSUKE'S KINGDOM . Scholastic, 2003. Gr 4-7
A castaway and his dog have difficulty surviving on an island until they meet Kensuke, who has lived on the island since World War II. The two learn from each other and eventually talk about escape.
Michaels, Vaughn. DODI'S PRINCE . Dutton, 2003.Gr 3-6
A little girl, a stray dog and a trailer park spell trouble as eight year old Dodi tries to convince everyone that the stray should stay. .
Nimmo, Jenny. MIDNIGHT FOR CHARLIE BONE . Orchard, 2003. Gr 5-8
Charlie can hear the thoughts of people in photographs! At the Academy for Gifted Children Charlie meets others with mysterious powers and must uncover the past of one of them.
Patterson, Nancy Ruth. A SIMPLE GIFT . Farrar, 2003. Gr 4-6
Ten-year-old Carrie wins a part in a summer play based on her author mother's book. Then she makes a mistake so big it threatens to topple the whole production. Can she find the courage to make amends? This is sure to please budding young thespians.
Potter, Ellen. OLIVIA KIDNEY . Philomel, 2003 Gr 3-6
Olivia's father is the super of an apartment building with talking lizards, an exiled princess, a tropical rain forest and an apartment made of glass. What she wouldn't give for a little slice of sanity!
Pressler, Mirjam. MALKA. Philomel, 2003. Gr 5-8
Separated from her family, seven year old Malka finds herself in a terrifying world full of strangers, starvation and constant fear of Nazi roundups. She struggles to stay hidden in alleyways and old cellars, unaware that miles away, a brokenhearted mother is searching frantically for her lost little girl. Based on a real account.
Ritter, John H. THE BOY WHO SAVED BASEBALL . Philomel, 2003. Gr 4-6
The fate of Dillontown rests on the outcome of one baseball game. If only Tom could get Del Gato to coach the team, but hehasn't spoken to folks in years.
Wright, Betty Ren. CRANDALL'S CASTLE. Holiday House. Gr 4-7.
Strange things hapen in the town's old mansion when a family decides to fix it up as a bed and breakfast. It is up to Charlie to put things right.
Yep, Laurence. THE TRAITOR HarperCollins, 2003. Gr 5-8
When in the Wyoming Territory in 1885, a town's growing resentment toward the Chinese laborers explodes, two young boys must trust each other with their lives.