1999-2000 Winter Junior Novels

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Nancy's picks for the best junior novels of winter 1999-2000 and ideas for using them in the classroom. Compiled by Nancy Polette 1999.
Last updated: Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Crossley-Holland, Kevin. THE WORLD OF KING ARTHUR AND HIS COURT. Illustrated by Peter Malone. Dutton, 1999.
Did King Arthur and his kingdom actually exist? This mixture of legend, anecdote, fact and speculation frames the answers to such questions.
Curtis, Christopher Paul. BUD, NOT BUDDY. Delacorte Press, 1999.
In 1936 ten-year-old Bud is a homeless boy on the run and determined to find his father. His only clue to his father's identity is a flyer his mother had left of Herman E. Calloway and his famous band. Here is a laugh aloud book that "hits the high notes of jazz and sounds the deeper notes of the Great Depression".
Pinkney, Andrea Davis. SILENT THUNDER, A CIVIL WAR STORY. Hyperion, 1999.
In 1862 Rosco and Summer are slaves on the Parnell Plantation. He longs to fight for freedom. She longs to learn to read, both impossible dreams. When tragedy strikes the Parnell family, Rosco and summer have difficult and painful choices to make. These decisions portray the triumph of the spirit in the most inhumane circumstances.
Danziger, Paula. I, AMBER BROWN. Putnam, 1999.
Amber loves the holidays but doesn't like the shared custody arrangement her parents have. She feels like half of her belongs to her mom and half to her dad. Her dad doesn't know that mom has said she can't get her ears pierced. Then Amber makes a decision. Something has to belong to her, so why shouldn't it be her ears.
George, Jean Craighead. FRIGHTFUL'S MOUNTAIN. Dutton, 1999.
When Sam Gribley learns it is illegal to harbor an endangered bird of prey, he very reluctantly lets Frightful, his trained falcon, fly free. But Frightful has never learned the ways of the wild and longs for her home with Sam. Can she survive the many dangers that await her in the wild?
Rowland, J. K. HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN. Scholastic, 1999
Come with Harry to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry where evil forces are afoot.Can Harry save the school even though he is not yet a full fledged wizard? Here is imagination at its best, sure to stimulate the imagination of every reader!
Strickland, Brad. THE WRATH OF THE GRINNING GHOST. Dial, 1999.
Doctors can find no earthly reason why Johnny's father lies unconscious. Could it be that Johnny's own tangles with an unearthly creature have caused his father to be its latest victim? Can Johnny rescue his father? Or will they all die, leaving the earth in peril from the demon's rage?
Wise, William. NELL OF BRANFORD HALL. Dial, 1999
"I must tell the story of the Great London Plague while I still have the chance...how the Circle of Death was later drawn around our own village and the extraordinary things the villagers did in those desperate times." Meet Nell Bullen, a country squire's daughter, and live with her a fascinating time of history and horror.
Woodruff, Elvira. THE GHOST OF LIZARD LIGHT. Knopf, 1999.
At midnight, Lizard Light cottage reveals an unearthly surprise: a ghost boy has been wandering its halls for more than a century. To young Jack's horror, the ghost materializes at the foot of his bed and announces, "You're exactly the kind of boy I need."