Dragonbreath by Ursula Vernon

Danny Dragonbreath is a dragon, but so far he’s not a very good one – he can’t even breathe fire, no matter how much he practices (and he’s getting tired of his dad’s long-winded lectures on the subject). He goes to a school for reptiles and amphibians and his best friend, Wendell, is an iguana. When Danny receives a failing grade on his report about the ocean, he decides to…

April 15, 2012
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Mr. & Mrs. Bunny: Detectives Extraordinaire! By Mrs. Bunny,Translated from the Rabbit by Polly Horvath

Mr. & Mrs. Bunny have just decided (one of Mrs. Bunny’s many whims) to become detectives when Madeline’s parents (humans) go missing. Madeline is a responsible young girl, who is about to graduate from the 5th grade, and she’s accustomed to taking care of her folks. When they are abducted by foxes, she is sick with worry about them (how will they manage without her?). All Madeline has to work…

March 26, 2012
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Masterpiece by Elise Broach

Martin is a young beetle who lives in the walls of the Pompaday’s apartment in New York City. The beetles don’t think much of Mr. & Mrs. Pompaday or bouncing baby William, but they are quite fond of 11-year old James (Mrs. Pompaday’s son from a previous marriage). Martin wants to do something special for James on his birthday, so he uses James’ new drawing set to make him a…

February 7, 2012
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Wild Things by Clay Carmichael

When 11-year old Zoë’s mother passes away, she is taken in by her uncle, Dr. Henry Royster. Both are accustomed to being on their own – Zoë had to take care of herself because of her mom’s mental illness and poor choices, and Henry lost wife #3 and became an artist (he makes large metal sculptures) – and both are rather independent and stubborn. Like the feral cat, Mr. C’mere,…

February 7, 2012
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The Aviary by Kathleen O’Dell

Eleven year old Clara lives with her mother in the old Glendoveer mansion, where mom and another caretaker (Ruby) look after old Mrs. Glendoveer. Clara has never been to school, nor is she allowed to leave the house or have any friends because of her poor health. She has a weak heart, her mother tells her, so it isn’t good for her to get over-excited. Clara chooses to defy her…

December 28, 2011
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Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Minli lives in a small, poor, rural village in the shadow of Fruitless Mountain (called so because it is barren of life). Her parents – Ma and Ba – work hard cultivating crops, but barely manage to get by. Ma is bitter and resentful about their misfortune and poor circumstances, and when Minli uses one of her copper coins to buy a goldfish to brighten up their lives, Ma scolds…

September 21, 2011
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Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

2011 Newbery Medal Winner 12-year-old Abilene Tucker’s father has raised her “on the rails”, but now he has chosen to abandon her in the town of Manifest where he spent his youth, as he heads back to his wanderer's life. Abilene discovers a hidden box of keepsakes, which leads her and her new friends on a search for a spy. The objects in the box, (a fishing lure, a silver…

April 20, 2011
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Mockingbird By Kathryn Erskine

mockingbird.jpg Caitlin’s (5th grader) brother Devon was killed in a devastating shooting at the Virginia Dare Middle School and she’s not sure life is ever going to be the same. She misses him, but she has Asperger’s syndrome, so her way of relating to people and the world is a little different than normal. It doesn’t help that Caitlin’s dad is falling apart with grief, either. Although she’s different, Caitlin…

April 14, 2011
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The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Eleven-year-old Calpurnia Tate has the utter misfortune of being the only girl right in the middle of a family full of boys. Because of this, there are some expectations put on her by her mother. Calpurnia struggles to improve her sewing, knitting, and cooking because in 1899 a girl is expected to do these well. She really prefers being in the company of her grandpa, studying natural selection and variation…

April 1, 2011
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Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry

Heart of a Shepherd is a touching and memorable story of family loyalty and faith. Ignatius "Brother" Alderman, nearly twelve, is in charge of the family ranch when his father leaves for Iraq with his Army Reserve Unit. Birthing calves, raising newborn lambs, and fighting wildfires are all part of a rancher’s duty, and Brother accepts it all courageously. He is committed to doing his father’s work on the family…

April 1, 2011
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