||Nancy's picks for the best junior novels
of Spring/Summer 2003. Compiled by Nancy Polette © 2003.
Last updated: Friday, August 29, 2003
- DeFelice, Cynthia. UNDER THE SAME SKY
. Farrar, Gr 4-6
- To earn money for a motorbike, Joe joins the
Mexican laborers on his parents' farm. He soon discovers there's
a lot more going on at the farm than he realized.
- Funke, Cornelia. THE THIEF LORD . Chicken House,
2002. Gr 5-7
- Two brothers make their way with the help of a
young thief in long-ago Venice.
- Griffin, Adele. OVERNIGHT. Putnam, 2003.
the quietest of the Lucky Seven who attends
the sleepover birtday party, disappears. As the search ensues,
the Lucky Seven is in danger of falling apart
- Ibbotson, Eva. NOT JUST A WITCH . Dutton, 2003.
- Heckie is an animal witch who can give people
snouts and fur. After attending witch school she wants to make
the world a better place by turning bad people into animals.
When Heckie falls in love she cannot see that the evil Lionel
Knacksap is using her powers for his own gain. How can he be
- Johnston, Tony. THE ANCESTORS ARE SINGING .
Farrar, 2003. Gr 4-8
- Poems of the past and present of Mexico from
the legends of ancient civilizations to concern and hope for
- Kehret, Peg. SPY CAT . Dutton, 2003 Gr 4-6
A misture of burglars, kidnappers and a cat who helps solve
the crimes makes fun reading.
- Little, Jean. WILLOW AND TWIG. Viking, 2003. Gr
- Deserted by their mother, Willow takes Twig
across country to the grandmother they have never met and
encounter a strange household.
- Morpurgo, Michael. KENSUKE'S KINGDOM .
Scholastic, 2003. Gr 4-7
- A castaway and his dog have difficulty
surviving on an island until they meet Kensuke, who has lived on
the island since World War II. The two learn from each other and
eventually talk about escape.
- Michaels, Vaughn. DODI'S PRINCE . Dutton,
- A little girl, a stray dog and a trailer park
spell trouble as eight year old Dodi tries to convince everyone
that the stray should stay. .
- Nimmo, Jenny. MIDNIGHT FOR CHARLIE BONE .
Orchard, 2003. Gr 5-8
- Charlie can hear the thoughts of people in
photographs! At the Academy for Gifted Children Charlie meets
others with mysterious powers and must uncover the past of one
- Patterson, Nancy Ruth. A SIMPLE GIFT . Farrar,
2003. Gr 4-6
- Ten-year-old Carrie wins a part in a summer
play based on her author mother's book. Then she makes a mistake
so big it threatens to topple the whole production. Can she find
the courage to make amends? This is sure to please budding young
- Potter, Ellen. OLIVIA KIDNEY . Philomel, 2003 Gr
Olivia's father is the super of an apartment
building with talking lizards, an exiled princess, a tropical rain
forest and an apartment made of glass. What she
wouldn't give for a little slice of sanity!
- Pressler, Mirjam. MALKA. Philomel, 2003. Gr 5-8
- Separated from her family, seven year old Malka
finds herself in a terrifying world full of strangers,
starvation and constant fear of Nazi roundups. She struggles to
stay hidden in alleyways and old cellars, unaware that miles
away, a brokenhearted mother is searching frantically for her
lost little girl. Based on a real account.
- Ritter, John H. THE BOY WHO SAVED BASEBALL .
Philomel, 2003. Gr 4-6
The fate of Dillontown
rests on the outcome of one baseball game. If only Tom could get Del
Gato to coach the team, but hehasn't spoken to folks in years.
- Wright, Betty Ren. CRANDALL'S CASTLE. Holiday House.
- Strange things hapen in the town's old mansion
when a family decides to fix it up as a bed and breakfast. It is
up to Charlie to put things right.
TRAITOR HarperCollins, 2003.
- When in the Wyoming Territory in 1885, a town's
growing resentment toward the Chinese laborers explodes, two
young boys must trust each other with their lives.