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Books categorized as 'MCBA 2010-2011'

Home of the Brave

Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate
Recommended for: Grades 5 and up

Kek is from Africa, a refugee from war-torn Sudan where he witnessed the murder of his father and brother. As he lands in the white winter cold of Minnesota in a “flying boat,” he worries about his mother who is missing and how he will survive in this new and strange country. Kek will make you laugh out loud and maybe even cry a little as he learns how to wash dishes, shop for groceries, and make new friends. Told in an easy to read, free verse style that enhance Kek’s experiences, the reader will see with new eyes what it means to live in America.

Reviewed by: Ms. Bender

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Alabama Moon

Alabama Moon by Watt Key
Recommended for: Grades 5 and up

Ten-year-old Moon is alone, really alone. Having lived off-the-land with only his anti-government father for companionship, Moon is happy with his life. He’s never wanted for anything: food, shelter, clothes, learning. His Pap has taught him everything he knows and it’s always been enough. But when the forest where they’ve been living is sold and then Pap dies suddenly, Moon’s world gets turned upside down. An encounter with the local Constable, who becomes obsessed with capturing Moon and putting him in detention school, sets Moon on a path for a different type of survival in a world where he doesn’t know the rules. As Moon learns more about people and the outside world he starts to question how he wants to live his life and where he will call home. This great survival story is action-packed and filled with characters you would want to be your friends. If you enjoy Gary Paulsen’s Brian stories, then you will love Alabama Moon.

Reviewed by: Ms. Bender

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The Other Side of the Island

The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman
Recommended for: Grades 6 and up

Honor and her parents have been forced to live on an island controlled by the rules of Earth Mother, who has made the world “safe.” Honor longs to fit in, but her parents are “unpredictable” – doing forbidden things like going out after curfew, stargazing and even having an illegal second child. At school, Honor meets Helix, who hints at problems with their perfect world. Soon Honor’s life caves in when her parents are “taken”. Now officially an orphan, she must fend for herself and her brother, while searching for her parents whereabouts and answers to the mysteries of the island.

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Number of comments: 1


Edward’s Eyes

Edward’s Eyes by Patricia MacLachlan
Recommended for: Grades 5 and up

Jake has a wonderful family, an idyllic life and a very special brother, Edward. Together, the family enjoys laughter, friends, music, reading and baseball. When the family loses Edward in an accident, his eyes are donated and end up helping the perfect person.
Simply written, the touching story of Edward’s “good eyes” leads us to
appreciate all the gifts we have in life and show us how these gifts may live on and touch the lives of others.

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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The Potato Chip Puzzles

The Potato Chip Puzzles by Eric Berlin
Recommended for: Grades 4-6

Winston Breen (The Puzzling World of Winston Breen) is on the spot as a member of a team in a puzzle competition to win $50,000. for his school.  Ten schools qualify for the competition.  Eric Berlin takes us on a wild ride through the puzzle day of the competition. From the start, Winston  suspects that someone is cheating and sabotaging the other teams.  The puzzle solvers get involved in solving a mystery as well as the puzzles in their frantic race to be first and win the big prize.  Will Winston succeed?

If you read The Puzzling World of Winston Breen, you’ll want to dive into this sequel and will be waiting for another!

Reviewed by: Mrs. Baumgartner

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The Magic Half

The Magic Half by Annie Barrows
Recommended for Grades 3-6

Miri comes from a family that is one in eight million.  She has two sets of twins for siblings and she is really a “middle child.”  Imagine moving into a house and finding yourself transported back 80 years to your own bedroom as it was, and having the opportunity of meeting the child who lived in “your room” or “her room” as it was!  This story is a fun time travel for Miri as she figures out if she can change history by getting back to 1935 to save the girl who used to live in her room from a horrible bullying cousin.

Reviewed by:  Mrs. Baumgartner

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Number of comments: 2


Mudville

Mudville by Kurtis Scaletta
Recommended for: Grades 6-8

12 year old Roy has never known anything but rain.  For the past 22 years it has rained in his hometown of Moundville, ever since the day his father played a fateful part in the annual baseball game between Moundville and neighboring Sinister Bend.  Now, Sinister Bend is a ghost town and Moundville is nothing but mud.  When a mysterious and moody boy named Sturgis moves into Roy’s house, everything begins to change.  Part tall-tale and part family story, Mudville is a baseball book filled with unique characters and exciting play-by-plays.  Highly recommended for older readers who are sports fans.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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11 Birthdays

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass
Recommended for: Grades 4-6

What would you do if your 11th birthday kept repeating itself? What if you found out that you weren’t the only one stuck in time? Leo and Amanda have been best friends since their 1st birthday party. They were born on the same day, when a mysterious woman appeared at the hospital and made their parents promise to always share birthday parties. On their 10th birthday party, Leo and Amanda have a falling out which results in them not speaking to one another for a whole year. On the day after their 11th birthday, Amanda wakes up to find she is reliving the day she just experienced. A bit of a mystery, a bit of a fantasy, and a bit of a friendship story, this is a fun book with an amusing concept that will keep you turning the pages to the satisfying end.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Number of comments: 1


The White Giraffe

The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John
Recommended for: Grades 4-6

Martine, suddenly orphaned, must go to a wildlife reserve in Africa to live with a grandmother she never knew she had. She struggles with her grief, a new school, and her grandmother who doesn’t seem to even want her there. Almost immediately, Martine hears the legend of a white giraffe. One night she sees it and is instantly drawn into a web of secrecy and danger while she helps protect her new friend. Her love of animals, a new found talent and plenty of courage are her weapons in this adventure.
If you like this one, be sure to check out the sequels: Dolphin Song and The Last Leopard.

Reviewed by: Mrs. McIntire

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Just Grace

Just Grace by Cherise Mericle Harper
Recommended for: Grades 2-4

Just Grace starts with a list of missed opportunities and finishes with the rich possibility of a new friend. In between, third-grader Grace Stewart sends postcards to her next-door neighbor (purporting to be from Crinkles, the neighbor’s own cat), draws comics of Not-So-Super (“but still good”) superheroes, plays detective with her best friend when Crinkles goes missing, tries to avoid the odious Sammy Stringer, and establishes herself as a true original in a class with not one, but four, Graces.” – School Library Journal
This hilarious episodic book is filled with cartoons, pictures, and memorable characters.  If you like Clementine, Amber Brown, Ivy & Bean, or Judy Moody, you’ll love Just Grace.

Reviewed by: Mrs. Waring

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Number of comments: none