||Nancy's picks for the best junior novels
of fall 2000 and ideas for using
them in the classroom. Compiled by Nancy Polette © 2000.
Tuesday, February 19, 2002
- Arrington, Frances. BLUESTEM. Philomel, 2000.
- Two young children must survive on the open prairie in the 1870s when their mother suffers severe
depression and their father is away. Despite their meddling prairie neighbors, the sisters keep going until one
day they find themselves lost. Now how brave are they?
Bauer, Steven. A CAT OF A DIFFERENT
COLOR. Delacorte, 2000. Gr 4-6
- A cat whose color changes often, travels the world but always returns to the town of his birth. On one
return he finds that one family was claiming all of the town' s pleasure for itself. With the help of a girl and
a flock of angry waterfowl, the cat attempts to save the town.
Cheaney, J. B. THE
PLAYMAKER. Knopf, 2000.
- In 1597 young Richard travels to London to seek his fortune but is robbed, beaten and threatened at
gunpoint. Determined to find the reason for the attacks, Richard hides as a player on the stage and begins to
unravel the traitorous plot that has ensnared him.
Dahlberg, Maurine. PLAY TO THE
ANGEL. Farrar , 2000. Gr 5-8
- Talented Greta in 1938 works with a strange piano teacher. Just when success is in sight, the Nazis
invade Austria and Greta finds that her teacher's life is in danger .
Giff, Patricia Reilly. NORY RYAN'S SONG. Delacorte,2000.
- In 1845 when the potatoes turn black in the Irish soil and her father disappears, young Nory must
summon courage and ingenuity to find food, to find hope and to help her family survive.
Heaney, Marie. THE NAMES UPON THE
HARP. Illus. by P. J. Lynch. Scholastic, 2000
- Tales of the heroes and villains of Irish myth and legend.
Hite, Sid. STICK AND
WHITTLE. Scholastic, 2000. Gr 4- 7
- Stick, a Civil War veteran and Whittle, an
orphan on the lam meet out west and become partners in a gamboling adventure that includes a kidnapping and a dramatic rescue mission.
Karr, Kathleen. THE
BOXER. Farrar, 2000. Gr 7-9
- In the rough New York City Lower East Side in 1885, Johnny Woods fights his battles against poverty,
the legal system and his own overpowering desire to win.
King-Smith, Dick. MYSTERIOUS MISS SLADE. Crown, 2000
- She wears a patch on one eye, rides a donkey, has numerous animals, even more numerous secrets and is
thought to be a witch But when one secret means big trouble, she has friends, human and canine who can
Lee, Tanith. WOLF TOWER. Dutton, 2000.
- The slave, Claidi, endures hardship in the House where she must obey a spoiled princess. Then a golden
stranger arrives, proof of a world beyond the House. Some would destroy him for bringing this awareness
but for Claidi he offers precious hope.
Nesbit, E. THE MAGIC
CITY. Sea Star , 2000. Gr 4-8
- When Philip builds a miniature city out of odds and ends, the city comes to life and he and his stepsister
are transported there. How they work together to save the City and forge a friendship makes a fascinating
Peck, Richard. A YEAR DOWN
YONDER. Dial, 2000. Or 5-9
- Fifteen-year-old Mary Alice faces a whole year with Grandma, a woman known for shaking up the local
Ryan, Pam Munoz. ESPERANZA
RISING. Scholastic,2000. Gr 5-9
- Esperanza has a beautiful home and servants and the promise of one day presiding over the
family ranch. But tragedy strikes and she and her mother flee to California to settle in a farm
labor camp where she meets many challenges.
Seabrooke, Brenda. THE HAUNTING AT STRATTON
- Footprints appear in the halls of an old house when no one walks by. Soon, Abby is on the trail
of a real ghost, but as she gets closer to the secret she finds that someone connected to Straton
Falls may be in deathly danger .
Sturtevant, Katherine. AT THE SIGN OF THE
STAR. Farrar,2000. Gr 5-9
- Meg Moore' s dreams are shattered when her father remarries and her position as heiress of his
profitable bookstore in Restoration London is no longer secure. Through her own experience she
finds a new maturity with which to face the future.
Williams, Barbara. MAKING WAVES. Dial, 2000 Gr 4-8
- As Titanic survivors, Emily and Albert try to cope with the inequities of life they are made to
face. By fighting for the rights of workers is Emily putting herself in danger as Albert suspects?
Yolen, Jane. Editor.
SHERWOOD. Philomel,2000. Gr 4-6
- Eight original stories from the world of Robin Hood where the trees are tall but the legend is