2018 Nominees

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

posted Aug 1, 2017, 9:44 PM by Jim Windisch   [ updated Aug 1, 2017, 9:45 PM ]

by Chris Grabenstein

Kyle Keeley is the class clown and a huge fan of all games—board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the construction of the new town library. Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot as one of twelve kids invited for an overnight sleepover in the library, hosted by Mr. Lemoncello and riddled with lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors stay locked. Kyle and the other kids must solve every clue and figure out every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route!

Cover image and summary from Penguin Random House.

Gaby, Lost and Found

posted Aug 1, 2017, 9:34 PM by Jim Windisch   [ updated Aug 1, 2017, 9:45 PM ]

by Angela Cervantes


Wanted: One amazing forever home for one amazing sixth grader. "My name is Gaby, and I'm looking for a home where I can invite my best friend over and have a warm breakfast a couple of times a week. Having the newest cell phone or fancy clothes isn't important, but I'd like to have a cat that I can talk to when I'm home alone." Gaby Ramirez Howard loves volunteering at the local animal shelter. She plays with the kittens, helps to obedience train the dogs, and writes adoption advertisements so that the strays who live there can find their forever homes: places where they'll be loved and cared for, no matter what. Gaby has been feeling like a bit of a stray herself, lately. Her mother has recently been deported to Honduras and Gaby is stuck living with her inattentive dad. She's confident that her mom will come home soon so that they can adopt Gaby's favorite shelter cat together. When the cat's original owners turn up at the shelter, however, Gaby worries that her plans for the perfect family are about to fall apart.

Cover image and summary from Scholastic Books. Discussion questions and book talk script available at publisher's website.

Loot

posted Aug 1, 2017, 9:31 PM by Jim Windisch   [ updated Aug 1, 2017, 9:46 PM ]

by Jude Watson

On a foggy night in Amsterdam, a man falls from a rooftop to the wet pavement below. It's Archibald McQuinn, the notorious cat burglar, and he's dying. As sirens wail in the distance, Archie manages to get out two last words to his young son, March: "Find jewels." But March learns that his father is not talking about hidden loot. He's talking about Jules, the twin sister March never knew he had. No sooner than the two find each other, they're picked up by the police and sent to the world's worst orphanage. It's not hard time, but it feels like it. March and Jules have no intention of staying put. They know their father's business inside and out, and they're tired of being pushed around. Just one good heist, and they'll live the life of riches and freedom that most kids only dream about...

Cover image and summary from Scholastic Books. Discussion questions available at publisher's website.

Out of my Mind

posted Aug 1, 2017, 9:26 PM by Jim Windisch   [ updated Aug 1, 2017, 9:46 PM ]

by Sharon M. Draper

Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.

Cover image and summary from Simon & Schuster. Reading group guide and other resources available at publisher's site.

The Detective's Assistant

posted Aug 1, 2017, 9:20 PM by Jim Windisch   [ updated Aug 1, 2017, 9:46 PM ]

by Kate Hannigan

Eleven-year-old Nell Warne arrives on her aunt's doorstep lugging a heavy sack of sorrows. If her Aunt Kate rejects her, it's the miserable Home for the Friendless.

Luckily, canny Nell makes herself indispensable to Aunt Kate...and not just by helping out with household chores. For Kate Warne is the first-ever female detective employed by the legendary Pinkerton Detective Agency. And Nell has a knack for the kind of close listening and bold action that made Pinkerton detectives famous in Civil War-era America. With huge, nation-changing events simmering in the background, Nell uses skills new and old to uncover truths about her past and solve mysteries in the present.

Cover Image and summary from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

The False Prince

posted Aug 1, 2017, 9:19 PM by Jim Windisch   [ updated Aug 1, 2017, 9:47 PM ]

by Jennifer A. Nielsen

An orphan is forced into a twisted game with deadly stakes. Choose to lie...or choose to die. In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point — he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well. As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together. 

Cover image and summary adapted from Scholastic Books. Teaching guide and other resources available at publisher's website.

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster

posted Aug 1, 2017, 9:18 PM by Jim Windisch   [ updated Aug 1, 2017, 9:47 PM ]

by Deborah Hopkinson

This book weaves together the voices and stories of real Titanic survivors and witnesses to the disaster, from the stewardess Violet Jessop to Captain Arthur Rostron of the Carpathia, who came to the rescue of the sinking ship. Packed with heart-stopping action, devastating drama, fascinating historical details, loads of archival photographs on almost every page, and quotes from primary sources, this gripping story follows the Titanic and its passengers from the ship's celebrated launch at Belfast to her cataclysmic icy end.

Image and summary adapted from Scholastic Books. Book talk script available at publisher's website.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

posted Aug 1, 2017, 4:48 PM by Jim Windisch   [ updated Aug 1, 2017, 9:48 PM ]

by Grace Lin

In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.


Cover image and summary from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Reading group guide available at publisher's site.

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