2001 Summer/Fall Junior Novels

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Nancy's picks for the best junior novels of Summer/Fall 2001 and ideas for using them in the classroom. Compiled by Nancy Polette 2001.
Last updated: Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Alexander, Lloyd. THE GAWGON AND THE BOY. Dutton, 2001. Gr 4-6 
Arrangements are made for an aged woman who seems to David as frightening as a monstrous, snake-haired gawgon, to become his tutor. But he soon changes his mind as she co-stars in his fantasies and ultimately gives him the greatest gift of all, belief in himself.
 
Ayres, Katherine. STEALING SOUTH. Delacorte, 2001 Gr 5-8 
When a runaway slave asks Will Spencer to help steal his older brother out of the South, Will begins an adventure that will take him into the heart of slavery's evil. Is Will a common thief? Or a young man doing what's right?
 
Bloor, Thomas. THE MEMORY PRISONER. Dial, 2001. 
For thirteen years Maddie has buried her memories of the Tower Library and the disappearance other grandfather. Now she must leave her home to help her brother or lose him for good.
 
Buchanan, Jane. HANK'S STORY. Farrar, 2001. Gr 4-6 
Brothers Hank and Peter ride the Orphan Train to Nebraska where they are taken in by a bitter, couple anxious for help on their farm. Overworked and abused, Peter runs away. Hank becomes the object of Mr. Olsen's violent anger. He knows he is not supposed to strike back, but if Mr. Olsen doesn't kill him the loneliness will.
 
Choldenko. Gennifer. NOTES FOM A LIAR AND HER DOG. Putnam's. 2001. Gr 5-7 
Lying is a way of life for Antonia ( whose sister says she is practicing to become a juvenile delinquent.) Then she meets a teacher who's reverence for the truth may have lasting effects.
 
Fitzhugh, Louise. SPORT. Delacorte, reissue, 2001.Gr 4-6 
Eleven-year-old Sport has been left millions by his deceased grandfather. Then his mother reappears and kidnaps him to double her share of the inheritance. Sport becomes a prisoner at the Plaza Hotel.
 
Griffin, Peni R. THE GHOST SITTER. Dutton, 2001. 
Susie has waited fifty years for her parents to return. Of the many people who have lived in the house, only the children notice her. Then Charlotte moves in and things change.
 
Hooler. Dorothy and Thomas. THE DEMON IN THE TEAHOUSE. Philomel, 2001. Gr 5-7 
Someone's is murdering geishas. 14 year old Seikei is determined to find out who and enters dark worlds of demons and revenge.
 
Hornik, Laurie Miller. THE SECRETS OF MS. SNICKLE'S CLASS. Illus. by Debbie Tilley. Clarion, 2001. Gr. 3-6 
Even though the rule is "no secrets," Lacey decides to make it her business to learn all the secrets in Ms. Snickle's class. When she learns the most extraordinary secret of all, Ms. Snickle's, she discovers just how powerful and important secrets can be.
 
Horowitz, Anthoony. STORMBREAKER. Philomel, 2001. 
To solve the mystery of his uncle's death, 14 year old Alex finds himself in the middle of terrorists and must outsmart people who want him dead.
 
Mead, Alice. GIRL OF KOSOVO. Farrar, 2001. Gr 5-8 
The struggle of the Albanian Kosovars, long denied basic freedoms, as seen through the eyes of eleven-year-old Zana. A basically true story to help young readers understand this war, and how a child can survive it without bitterness.
 
Morgenstern, Susie. A BOOK OF COUPONS. Viking, 2001. Gr 4-6 
The new teacher is old and wrinkled and the 5th graders are apprehensive until each receives a book of coupons and lots of gifts like free lessons for a whole year!
 
Sedgwick, Marcus. FLOODLAND. Delacorte Press, 2001. Gr 6-8 
The sea keeps rising until cities turn into islands and civilization crumbles. Zoe, ten-years-old, is left behind in the confusion when her parents flee Norwich. She makes it to another island where she is captured by a band of warring children Will she ever reach the mainland, civilization and her family? This tale raises fascinating questions about global warming and our future.
 
Rice, David. CRAZY LOCO Dial, 2001. Gr 5-8
Short stories loosely based n the author's experiences growing up as a Mexican-American in the Rio Grande Valley....brash, tender and unexpected.
 
Slepian, Jan, The Alfred Summer. Philomel reissue, 2001. 
A classic novel that searches below the surface, revealing the strength and beauty of friendships.
 
Spires, Elizabeth. I AM ARACHNE. Illus. by Mordicai Gerstein. Farrar, 2001. Gr 4-6 
Heroes and heroines of fifteen Greek and Roman tales. Familiar and not-so-familiar myths of wonder, woe, romantic love and jealousy.
 
Springer, Nancy. ROWAN HOOD. Philomel, 2001. 
When her mother is murdered, Rowan has no choice but to seekout the father she has never met, Robin Hood!
 
Taylor, Theodore. A SAILOR RETURNS. Blue Sky Press, 2001. Gr 4-6 
Nobody knew that Evan's grandfather was alive. He had abandoned Evan's mother when she was only three. Then he set sail, living the reckless life of a sailor, or so his mother was told. But he is alive and now he's coming to visit. And Evan's grandfather has a terrible secret to be dealt with.
 
Wilson, Nancy Hope. MOUNTAIN POSE. Farrar, 2001. Gr 5-7 
When Ellie's estranged grandmother dies, Ellie gets everything, the farm, the furnishings and a host of family diaries Wonderful Uncle Lyman gets only an empty cedar chest. Ellie is drawn to the diaries that both fascinate and frighten her. Though she may not want to know the family's buried secrets, she is driven to uncover them.