2008 Summer/Fall Junior Novels

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

Barker, M.P. A DIFFICULT BOY. Holiday House, 2008. Grades 5-8
In 1839 Ethan resents being an indentured servant b beaten by his employer. He befriends another boy and the discover a dark secret about the past.

Collier, James Lincoln. THE DREADFUL REVNGEOF ERNEST GALLEN. Bloomsbury, 2008. Grades 4-8
A boy is haunted by a voice from the past and sets out to right an old wrong.

Conley, Jane Leslie, IMPETUOUS SECRET AGENT. Hyperion, 2008. Grades 4-7
Impy, the cockroach, holds the key to saving the home of his entire colony, a quaint jazz club in Baltimore.

Dale, Anna.SPELLBOUND. Bloomsbury, 2008. Grades 4-7.
Looking after your little brother is a pain until he disappears and has to be rescued from the world of the Low Gloam.

Feig, Paul, IGNATIUS MACFARLAND: FREQUENAUT! Little Brown, 2008. Grades 4-7
Ignatius builds a runaway rocket which ends up in another frequency run by his dictator English teacher. Will he make it home alive?

Gilson, Jamie. CHESS! I LOVE IT I LOVE IT I LOVE IT. Clarion, 2008. Grades 2-4.
Richard likes chess although he usually loses and Patrick, the Pest is no help! The idea of a chess tournament doesn't inspire confidence.

Haig, Matt, SAMUEL BLINK AND THE TRUNWAY TROLL. Putnam, 2008. Grades 4-7.
Samuel Blink finds himself stuck with Troll-Son who has run away from his family to avoid punishment from The Betterer.

Heneghan, Judith. THE MAGICIAN'S APPRENTICE. Holiday House, 2008. Grades 4-6
Jago, badly treated by his magician uncle, stumbles on a murder plot that takes him on a hunt for a hidden fortune.

Korman, Gordon. SWINDLE. Scholastic, 2008. Grades 5-8
A spooky sleep over in a haunted house leads to the discovery of a rare Babe Ruth baseball card ... worth maybe a million dollars until a swindler comes along.

Lemna, Don. WHEN THE SERGEANT CAME MARCHING HOME. Holiday House, 2008. Grades 4-6
Donald's father comes home from the war and moves the family to a farm in Montana. Donald plans to run away as soon as he has enough money.

Lisle, Janet Taylor. HIGHWAY CATS. Philomel, 2008. Grades 4-6
When bulldozers come to build a road though their woods, the cats must take action. A delightful modern fable.

Lowry, Lois. THE WILLOUGHBYS. Houghton Mifflin, 2008. Grades 4-6
A wonderful spoof of classic literature as parents attempt to rid themselves of their children. Introduction to bug words is priceless.

Morris, Gerald. THE ADVENTURES OF SIR LANCELOT THE GREAT. Illustrated by Aaron Renier. Grades 3-4
An easy to read chapter book that tells of the exciting and funny adventures of Sir Lancelot who was good at defending the helpless as long as he had his afternoon nap,

Robertus, Polly M. THE RICHEST DOLL IN THE WORLD. Holiday House 2008. Grades 4-6
Emily's Grandma Rose cleans house for a rich old lady who has a doll with her own rooms and jewelry. Emily is determined to see the doll & sets off for the mansion in a snowstorm.

Rutkoski, Marie. THE CABINET OF WONDERS. Farrar, 2008. Grades 5-7
A tin spider hides in Petra's hair. Her father can move things by looking at them. A prince steals her father's eyes and she joins forces with a pickpocket to get the eyes back.

Springer, Nancy. THE CASE OF THE PECULIAR PINK FAN. Philomel, 2008. Grades 4-8.
Another exciting Enola Holmes mystery! When a friend is in danger Enola comes to the rescue.

Zimmer, Tracie Vaughn. THE FLOATING CIRCUS. Bloomsbury, 2008. Grades 4-6.
A young boy has many adventures and finds a new kind of family on a circus barge.