2009 Summer/Fall Junior Novels

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Nancy's picks for the best junior novels of Summer/Fall 2009 and ideas for using them in the classroom. Compiled by Nancy Polette 2009.
Last updated: Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Allison, Jennifer. GILDA JOYCE; THE DEAD DROP. Dutton 2009. Grades 5-8
A spy museum, C.I.A. agents, a “dead drop” and the ghost of Abraham Lincoln make for a spooky addition to the Gilda Joyce series.

Beha, Eileen. TANGO: THE TALE OF AN ISLAND DOG. Bloomsbury, 2009. Grades 4-6
A small dog is swept overboard off the coast of Nova Scotia and finds new life with a fox, a three-legged cat, a widow and a runaway girl.

Collard, Sneed B. III. DOUBLE EAGLE. Peachtree, 2009. Grades 5-8
A sunken Civil War ship, two boys on shipwreck Island find themselves in the middle of a mystery and possible lost treasure.

Ebbitt, Carolyn. THE EXTRA-ORDINARY PRINCESS. Bloomsbury, 2009. Grades 4-6
When a plague takes her parent’s lives, only princess Amelia can lead her people to overthrow the cruel Count Raven who takes control of the country.

Erickson, John R. HANK THE COWDOG: DROVER’S SECRET LIFE. Viking 2009. Grades 2-4
Number 53 in this series for fans of Hank!

George, Jean Craighead. THE CATS OF ROXVILLE STATION. Dutton 2009. Grades 3-5
A new kitten finds her way into Roxville Station where feral cats fight their way to survive.

Hale, Bruce. FROM RUSSIA WITH LUNCH. Harcourt, 2009. Grades 4-6
Chet Gecko must come to the rescue when a whole school is turned upside down by a mechanical contraption invented by a mysterious Russian scientist.

Harris, Lewis. A TASTE FOR RED. Clarion Books, 2009. Grades 4-6
What happens when your sixth grade science teacher is also your immortal enemy?

Hemphill, Michael and Sam Riddleburger. STONEWALL HINKLEMAN AND THE BATTLE OF BULL RUN. Dial, 2009. Grades 4-7
A boy (Stonewall) detests having to take part in Civil War reenactments with his parents until he finds himself transported back in time to a real battle.

Horse, Harry. THE LAST CASTAWAYS. Peachtree, 2009. Grades 3-6
Grandfather and the remarkable dog, Roo meet high waves, tall tales, a shipwreck and a mysterious island. Lots of adventure here!

Jennings, Richard, GHOST TOWN. Houghton-Mifflin, 2009. Grades 4-6
Spencer passes long, lonely days in Paisley, Kansas, a ghost town in which only the boy and his mother live until he finds a camera that takes pictures of the past.

Jukes, Mavis. SMOKE. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009. Grades 4-7
A move to California isn’t so bad as long as Colt can take his 20 pound black Mine coon cat, Smoke, with him. Then Smoke disappears leading Colt into more danger than he had ever dreamed of.

Klise, Kate. DYING TO MEET YOU. Harcourt 2009. Grades 4-6
A best-selling author moves into an old mansion already occupied by a boy, a cat and an irritable ghost.

Kovac, Tommy. WONDERLAND. Illustrated by Sonny Liew. Disney Press. Grades 4-6.
A graphic novel that tells the tale of Mary Ann, the White Rabbit’s housemaid.

Laroche, Giles. WHAT’S INSIDE? Fascinating Structures Around the World. Houghton-Mifflin, 2009. Grades 4-7
An illustrated tour of some of the world’s most unique and beautiful buildings.

Lawrence, L.S. ESCAPE BY SEA. Holiday House, 2009. Grades 5-8.
Sara and her father must escape the Romans in Carthage. However, leaving the African coast they face a tempest, pirates, vengeful merchants and the Roman Navy itself. Sara must rely on her own wit to survive a man’s world and lead her ship to freedom.

Lincoln, Christopher, BILLY BONES: THE ROAD TO NEVERMORE. Little-Brown, 2009. Grades 4-6
Billy’s cousin and his uncle are captured and taken to the hidden world of Nevermore. What Billy finds there could stop time and start a lot of trouble.

Low, Dene. PETRONELLA SAVES NEARLY EVERYONE. Houghton Mifflin, 2009. Grades 4-6
A coming out party is more than Petronella bargained for with an uncle who eats bugs, disappearing guests, kidnapping notes and more to tickle the funny bone.

Mills, Claudia. HOW OLIVER OLSSON CHANGED THE WORLD. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2009. Grades 3-5.
Oliver learns that before you can change the world you have to change yourself!

Meyer, Carolyn. THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF CHARLEY DARWIN. Harcourt, 2009. Grades 6-8
A fictionalized account of the early life of Charles Darwin, the controversial naturalist.

Rinaldi, Ann. MY VICKSBURG. Harcourt, 2009. Grades 5-8
For forty-seven days, Claire Louise and her family take refuge in a cave during the siege of Vicksburg. Things become more difficult when her brother, a Union doctor shows up with a confederate soldier.

Springer, Nancy. THE CASE OF THE CRYPTIC CRINOLINE. Philomel, 2009. Grades 4-6
A new Enoila Holmes mystery, Who would kidnap an old lady, Enola’s dearest friend? And why?

Tripp, Jenny. PETE’S DISAPPEARING ACT. Harcourt, 2009. Grades 2-4
Pete runs away from the circus to become a lap dog for the rich and famous Airhead Heiress when a monstrous twister is the start of a big adventure.

Warner, Sally. EXCELLENT EMMA. Viking, 2009. Grades 3-5.
The third graders are anxious about taking part in the first Winter Games Day but it is a good thing when nothing goes as the kids expected.

Yohalem, Eve. ESCAPE UNDER THE FOREVER SKY. Chronicle Books, 2009. Grades 5-8
The daughter of the American ambassador to Ethiopia is kidnapped and must use her knowledge of Africa animal life as well as her courage to escape and find her way to freedom.