2002-2003 Winter Junior Novels

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Nancy's picks for the best junior novels of winter 2002-2003. Compiled by Nancy Polette 2002.
Last updated: Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Bauer, Marion Dane. RUNT. Clarion Books, 2002. Gr 4-6.
The smallest wolf pup, Runt, struggles to learn the ways of the wild, often making mistakes, many of them serious.
Cannon, A.E. CHARLOTTE'S ROSE. Wendy Lamb Books, 2002. Gr 4-7.
A twelve-year-old girl looks after an orphaned baby on the Morman trail as the pioneers push their carts from Iowa City to Utah.
Cindrich, Lisa. IN THE SHADOW OF THE PALI. Putnam, 2002. Gr 5-8
Liliha is sent to Molokai because she is a leper. This harrowing tale is one of survival and hope. Can the 12 year old survive? A well told tale.
Crowe, Chris. MISSISSIPPI TRIAL, 1955. Phyllis Fogelmann Books, 2002.
Based on the true story of Emmett Till whose tragic murder helped to spark the Civil Rights movement.
Cutler, Jane. LEAP FROG. Farrar, 2002. Gr 3-4
Edward and Jason see trouble coming when a karate-chopping first grade kid moves in next door, especially when the kid wants to stick to Edward like glue.
Datlow, Edden & Windling, Terri Ed. THE GREEN MAN; TALES FROM THE MYTHIC FOREST. Viking, 2002. Gr 5-8
Spirits of nature interpreted in fiction and poetry.
Dahlberg, Maurine. THE SPIRIT AND GILLY BUCKET. Farrar, 2002. Gr 4-7
In 1854 whenher mother dies, Gilly Bucket, is sent to her Uncle's farm where she doesn't fit in. Her uncle has slaves which Gilly knows is wrong. Gilly learns about the Underground Railroad but finds, too, there is a lot she doesn't know when she attempts to find her father.
Easton, Richard. A REAL AMERICAN. Clarion, 2002. Gr 5-7
When immigrants arrive at a coal mining town, prejudice rears its head until two boys show that being an American has nothing to do with color, religion or language.
Ferreria, Anton. ZULU DOG. Farrar, 2002. Gr 4-7
A poor Zulu boy adopts a helpless puppy who is mauled by a leopard and loses a leg. The novel depicts post-apartheid South Africa with honesty and compassion,
Funke, Cornelia. THE THIEF LORD. Scholastic, 2002
Brothers run away and manage to survive in Venice, Italy with the help of The Thief Lord who has secrets that can be devastating. An exciting read!
Garden, Nancy. MEETING MELANIE. Farrar, 2002. Gr 5-7.
Allie's family is poor, Melanie's family is rich. Can the two girls form a friendship that will withstand the secrets of one family?
George, Jean Craighead. TREE CASTLE ISLAND. HarperCollins, 2002. Gr 4-7
A young boy sets out in a handmade canoe to search for a mythical Paradise Island deep in a swamp and stumbles across some very unusual mysteries.
Gilson, Jamie. STINK ALLEY. HarperCollins, 2002. Gr. 5-7.
A spunky heroine in 17th century Holland in a culture that fostered both the Mayflower Pilgrims and master painters such as Rembrandt.
Gurney, James. DINOTOPIA. HarperCollins, 2002.Gr 4-8
A trip to a mysterious island helps visitors gain insight into their own world. Meet 50 ton dinosurs, aquatic cities and tree towns in this strange world.
Hobbs, Will. WILD MAN ISLAND. HarperCollins, 2002. Gr. 4-6
Andy must survive in the Alaskan wilderness and follows a dog to a cave..a Wild Man's lair.
Ibbotson, Eva. THE GREAT GHOST RESCUE. Dutton, 2002. Gr 4-7
Humphrey, a ghost, and his ghost family are driven out of an old castle. In their search for a new place to haunt they meet the homeless ghosts and a boy who takes their cause to the Prime Minister who throws the ghosts into the care of an evil Lord. It is up to Humphrey to save the day.
Jones, Diana Wynne. WITCH'S BUSINESS. Greenwillow, 2002. Gr 5-8
To earn money Jess and Frank start a business to help people get revenge. The local witch sees this as competition to her business and trouble is not far away.
Keehn, Sally M. ANNA SUNDAY. Philomel, 2002. Gr 4-7
The Civil War is raging and a determined girl sets out across enemy lines to find her wounded father and bring him home. Kinsey-
Warnock, Natalie. A DOCTOR LIKE PAPA. HarperCollins, 2002. Gr 3-6
In a time when women were not a part of the medical world, Margaret longs to be a doctor just like her father. Then a terrible virus breaks out, threatening her dream.
Koller, Jackie French. SOMEDAY. Orchard Books, 2002. Gr 4-7
How three generations of women cope with wrenching change as their small town disappears in 1938.
Levin, Betty. THAT'LL DO, MOSS. Greenwillow, 2002. Gr 4-6
An injured dog, a determined girl and a sheepherding contest come together to make a touching tale.
Lowry, Lois. GOONEY BIRD GREENE. Houghton-Mifflin, 2002. Gr 2-4.
Second grader, Gooney Bird is different and so are her "absolutely true" tales.
Morgenstern, Susie. PRINCESSES ARE PEOPLE, TOO. Viking, 2002. Gr 3-6
Two charming stories of princesses who are lonely and bored and do something about it.
Nickerson, Sara. HOW TO DISAPPEAR COMPLETELY AND NEVER BE FOUND. HarperCollins, 2002. Gr 4-7.
How can her father's death, her mother's silence and an old abandoned mansion be related? Margaret is determined to find out.
Snyder, Zilpha Keatley. THE GHOSTS OF RATHBURN PARK. Delacorte, 2002 Gr 4-7.
Matt, new in town, gets lost in Rathburn Park and meets a girl and a dog that don't exist.
Taylor, Theodore. LORD OF THE KILL. Blue Sky Press, 2002. Gr 5-8
In a big cat preserve two jaguars are covered with blood and a human body is in their home. Is it murder? A suspenseful tale that reveals the senseless slaughter of endangered animals for sport and the poaching of endangered tigers by organized crime groups.
Wiley, Melissa. THE ROAD TO ROXBURY. HarperCollins, 2002. Gr 4-7
The story of Charlotte Tucker, Laura Ingalls Wilder's grandmother, a little eastern girl who would grow up to move west to the frontier.
Wood, Frances M. DAUGHTER OF THE MADRUGADA. Delacorte Press, 2002. Gr. 4-7.
The ranch, which is Cesa's world is changing. Mexico has lost the 1846 war with the United States and each day more and more Americans arrive in California, hungry for gold and land. Cesa's family's way of life is threatened.
Wisler, G. Clifton, KING'S MOUNTAIN. HarperCollins, 2002. Gr 4-6.
The Revolutionary War is raging and young Francis must watch his every move as he serves the enemy in his grandmother's tavern.
Woods, Brenda. THE RED ROSE BOX. Putnam, 2002. Gr 4-6
Leah finds life with hre Aunt Olivia a far cry from the cottonfields of Louisiana but is it possible to grow up between two worlds?
Yolen, Jane and Robert J. Harris. GIRL IN A CAGE. Philomel, 2002. Gr 5-8.
Marjorie, the 11 year old daughter of Robert the Bruce, is captured and put in a wooden cage in the town square, exposed to wind and rain, rude taunts and hurled garbage. Still she is determined to stand up to Longshanks.