2011-2012 Winter Junior Novels

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Nancy's picks for the best junior novels of winter 2011-2012 and ideas for using them in the classroom. Compiled by Nancy Polette © 2012.
Aronson, Sarah. BEYOND LUCKY. Dial, 2011. Grades 5-8
Can a trading card bring luck on the soccer field? Ari Fish thinks so until things begin to go wrong. Will the luck turn back around in time for the league championships or will he need to find something else to believe in?
Avi. CITY OF ORPHANS. Atheneum, 2011. Grades 5-9
The streets of New York in 1892 teem with poor newsboys, orphans, gangs thieves and more. Maks, a young boy, faces many problems in his struggle to survive Another winner from Avi!
Barber, Tiki and Ronde. GOAL LINE. Simon & Schuster, 2011. Grades 4-6
Can a football player be an advice columnist? Here is a tale of teamwork and what it takes to be a champion.
Barnett, Mac. IT HAPPENED ON A TRAIN. Simon & Schuster, 2011. Grades 4-6
On a train trip down the California coast, Steve and Dana solve a mystery involving a fleet of stolen automobiles, a vanishing girl and a phantom train car.
Clements, Andrew. TROUBLEMAKER. Atheneum, 2011 Grades 3-6
Clay is branded a troublemaker in his school for doing things like running in the halls and drawing a picture of his principal as a donkey. When his older brother gets in serious trouble Clay decides to change his ways but is once a troublemaker always a troublemaker?
Deedy, Carmen Agra and Randall Wright. THE CHESHIRE CHEESE CAT. Peachtree, 20111 Grades 4-6
A cat in need of a job, a popular London Inn, a tyrannical cook, a strange visitor and an evil tomcat are the ingredients of this fun Dickens tale.
Davies, Jacqueline. THE LEMONADE CRIME. Houghton-Mifflin, 2011. Grades 2-4
When the lemonade money disappears and a boy makes an expensive purchase but does that mean he is the thief?
George, Jessica Day. TUESDAYS AT THE CASTLE. Bloomsbury, 2011. Grades 4-6
Would you like to live in a castle that grows a new room every Tuesday? It might be fun until people start disappearing. A fun read.
Harper, Charise. JUST GRACE AND THE DOUBLE SURPRISE. Houghton-Mifflin, 2012. Grades 2-4
A tale so full of surprises that you have to read it to find out what they are.
Hobbs, Valerie. MAGGIE AND OLIVER OR A BONE OF ONE’S OWN. Holt, 2011 GRADES 3-4
In turn-of-the century Boston an orphaned girl and an orphaned dog dig into lots of adventures.
Ibbotson, Eva. THE OGRE OF OGLEFORT. Dutton, 2011. Grades 4-6
A troll, a hag, a wizard and an orphan must rescue a young princess from a dreaded ogre.
Kennedy, Emma. WILMA TENDERFOOT: THE CASE OF THE FROZEN HEARTS. Dial, 2011. Grades 4-6
A ten year old girl detective and a missing priceless stone that causes those in contact with it to have a frozen heart are at the heat of this mystery.
LaFevers, R.L. TEODOSIA AND THE LAST PHARAOH. Houghton Mifflin, 2011. Grades 5-8
Theodosia heads for Egypt to return an ancient tablet and help her mother dig on an archaeological expedition but finds she is digging up a lot more than expected.
LaFevers, R.L. THE UNICORN’S TALE. Houghton-Mifflin, 2011. Grades 4-6
As if taking care of the world’s beasts isn’t difficult enough, Nate and Aunt Phil must keep them safe from the villainous Obediah Fludd.
Lowry, Lois. BLESS THE MOUSE. Houghton Mifflin, 2011. Grades 2-4
Hildegarde, the mouse mistress must keep the church mice safe but how can she do this when a ceremony called The Blessing of the Animals means that cats will be brought to the church?
Morris, Gerald. SIR GAWAIN THE TRUE. Houghton-Mifflin, 2011. Grades 2-4
Sir Gawain learns that courtesy and friendship are just as important as strength and courage.
Patron, Susan. LUCKY FOR GOOD. Atheneum, 2011. Grades 4-7
The conclusion of the Hard Pan trilogy featuring the heroine, Lucky, who meets many challenges head-on and learns there are loopholes in life!
Peck, Richard. SECRETS AT SEA. Dial, 2011 GRADES 3-6
A life-changing voyage into the great world of titled humans and titled mice and surprise endings for all by master writer.
Polette, Nancy. THE PETTICOAT SOLDIER. Mayhaven Publishers, 2012. Grades 3-6
Based on a true Civil War event, a little girl saves her school from burning by outlaw raiders.
Polette,Nancy. THE SPY WITH THE WOODEN LEG. AlmaLittle/Elva Resa. 2012 Grades 4-8
A slightly fictionalized biography based on the real Virginia Hall who, in WWII, led resistance fighters, and captured 500 Germans in France despite being the most wanted spy by the Gestapo and having a wooden leg.
Schroeder, Lisa. SPRINKLES AND SECRETS. Aladdin, 2011 Grades 4-6
Sophie’s chance to be in a TV commercial sounds great until she learns the product is in direct competition with that produced by her best friend’s family.
Sobol, Donald J. ENCYCLOPEDIA BROWN AND THE CASE OF THE CARNIVAL CRIME. Viking, 2011.
Encyclopedia Brown tracks down stolen art, missing songs, lost arrowheads and outsmarts his nemesis, Bugs Meany in a new adventure.
Van Eekhout, Greg. THE BOY AT THE END OF TE WORLD. Bloomsbury, 2011. Grades 5-8
The last boy on Earth must discover if he is truly alone while battling danger in attempting to survive.
Woods, Brenda. SAINT LOUIS ARMSTRONG BEACH. Penguin, 2011. Grades 4-6
The story of a boy, a dog and the hurricane that almost separated them.