Winner: Grades 3-5: Spinelli, Jerry. Loser
Winner: Grades 6-8: Tolan, Stephanie S. Surviving the Applewhites
Byars, Betsy. Keeper of the Doves. New York: Viking Press.
Hardback ISBN: 0670035769
Subject Areas: Historical Fiction, Family
Synopsis: In the late 1800s in Kentucky, Amie McBee and her four sisters both fear and torment the reclusive and seemingly sinister Mr. Tominski, but their father continues to provide for his needs.
Cooney, Doug. The Beloved Dearly. New York: Simon and Schuster
Hardback ISBN: 0689831277
Paperback ISBN: 0689863543 (from Aladdin Library)
Subject Areas: Family, Humor
Synopsis: Although his father has forbidden it, Ernie, a twelve-year-old business tycoon, makes a tidy profit in the pet funeral business, but when he refuses to give his star employee a raise and the business starts to fall apart, it takes the death of his own dog to bring everyone back together.
Creech, Sharon. Ruby Holler. New York: Joanna Cotler Books
Hardback ISBN: 0060277327
Subject Areas: Family, Tall Tales
Synopsis: Thirteen-year-old fraternal twins Dallas and Florida have grown up in a terrible orphanage but their lives change forever when an eccentric but sweet older couple invites them each on an adventure, beginning in an almost magical place called Ruby Holler.
Fuqua, Jonathan Scott. Darby. Cambridge, MA : Candlewick Press
Hardback ISBN: 0763614173
Paperback ISBN: 0744590566 (from Walker Books)
Subject Areas: Historical Fiction, Race Relations
Synopsis: In 1926, nine-year-old Darby Carmichael stirs up trouble in Marlboro County, South Carolina, when she writes a story for the local newspaper promoting racial equality.
Giff, Patricia Reilly. Pictures of Hollis Woods. New York : Wendy Lamb Books
Hardback ISBN: 0385326556
Subject Areas: Family, Orphans, Realistic Fiction
Synopsis: A troublesome twelve-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her.
Hopkinson, Deborah. Pioneer Summer. New York : Aladdin Paperbacks
Library Binding ISBN: 068984350X
Paperback ISBN: 0689843496
Subject Areas: Historical Fiction, Kansas
Synopsis: Congress has ruled that settlers in Kansas Territory will decide whether Kansas will enter the Union as free or a slave state. Charles Keller's papa is an abolitionist, and he's moving the family to Kansas so he can cast his vote for freedom.
Kinsey-Warnock, Natalie. Lumber Camp Library. New York : HarperCollins
Hardback ISBN: 0060293217
Paperback ISBN: 0064442926 (Available Nov 4, 2003 from HarperTrophy)
Subject Areas: Historical Fiction, Literacy, Family
Synopsis: Ruby wants to be a teacher, but after her father's death in a logging accident she must quit school to care for her ten brothers and sisters, until a chance meeting with a lonely old blind woman transforms her life.
Kochenderfer, Lee. The Victory Garden. New York : Delacorte Press
Hardback ISBN: 0385327889
Paperback ISBN: 0440417031 (from Yearling Books)
Subject Areas: Historical Fiction, World War II, Kansas
Synopsis: Hoping to contribute to the war effort during World War II, eleven-year-old Teresa organizes her friends to care for an ill neighbor's victory garden.
Levy, Constance. Splash! Poems of Our Watery World. New York : Orchard Books
Hardback ISBN: 0439293189
Subject Areas: Poetry, Nature
Synopsis: More than thirty poems celebrate water in its myriad forms, from the ocean to a droplet of dew.
Lisle, Janet Taylor. How I Became a Writer and Oggie Learned to Drive. New York : Philomel Books
Hardback ISBN: 0399233946
Paperback ISBN: 0142501670 (from Puffin)
Subject Areas: Brothers, Family, Authorship
Synopsis: As sixth-grader Archie and his six-year-old brother Oggie shuttle back and forth between their separated parents' two homes, Archie tries desperately to take care of Oggie and to pretend that everything is normal.
Pretlusky, Jack. Scranimals. New York : Greenwillow Books
Hardback ISBN: 0688178197
Subject Areas: Poetry, Nonsense Verses
Synopsis: A collection of poems use wordplay to combine bird, beasts, vegetables, and flowers into imaginary creatures.
Ryan, Pam Munoz. When Marian Sang. New York : Scholastic Press
Hardback ISBN: 0439269679
Subject Areas: Biography, Music, Multicultural Literature
Synopsis: An introduction to the life of Marian Anderson, extraordinary singer and civil rights activist, who was the first African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, whose life and career encouraged social change.
Spinelli, Jerry. Loser. New York : Joanna Cotler Books
Hardback ISBN: 0060001933
Paperback ISBN: 0060540745 (from HarperTrophy)
Subject Areas: School Story, Self-Acceptance, Family
Synopsis: Even though his classmates from first grade on have considered him strange and a loser, Daniel Zinkoff's optimism and exuberance and the support of his loving family do not allow him to feel that way about himself.
Whipple, Laura. If the Shoe Fits: Voices From Cinderella. New York : Margaret K. McElderry Books
Hardback ISBN: 0689840705
Subject Areas: Poetry, Fairy Tales
Synopsis: Poems celebrating and recasting the story of Cinderella from different points of view.
Avi. Crispin: the Cross of Lead. New York : Hyperion Books For Children
Hardback ISBN: 0786808284
Paperback ISBN: 0786816589 (from Hyperion Press)
Subject Areas: Historical Fiction, Orphans
Synopsis: Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.
Bauer, Joan. Stand Tall. New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons
Hardback ISBN: 039923473X
Subject Areas: Realistic Fiction, Divorce, Family, Self-image
Synopsis: Tree, a six-foot-three-inch twelve-year-old, copes with his parents' recent divorce and his failure as an athlete by helping his grandfather, a Vietnam vet and recent amputee, and Sophie, a new girl at school.
Bruchac, Joseph. The Winter People. New York, N.Y. : Dial Books
Hardback ISBN: 0803726945
Subject Areas: Historical Fiction, Multiculturalism
Synopsis: As the French and Indian War rages in October of 1759, Saxso, a fourteen-year-old Abenaki boy, pursues the English rangers who have attacked his village and taken his mother and sisters hostage.
Carey, Janet Lee. Wenny Has Wings. New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Hardback ISBN: 0689842945
Subject Areas: Death, Family
Synopsis: Having had a near-death experience in the accident that killed his younger sister, eleven-year-old Will tries to cope with the situation by writing her letters.
Draper, Sharon M. Double Dutch. New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Hardback ISBN: 0689842309
Paperback ISBN: 0689842317 (from Aladdin Library)
Subject Areas: School Story, Friendship
Synopsis: Three eighth-grade friends, preparing for the International Double Dutch Championship jump rope competition in their home town of Cincinnati, Ohio, cope with Randy's missing father, Delia's inability to read, and Yo Yo's encounter with the class bullies.
Ferris, Jean. Once Upon a Marigold. San Diego : Harcourt
Hardback ISBN: 0152167919
Paperback ISBN: 015050841 (from Harcourt)
Subject Areas: Fractured Fairy Tale
Synopsis: A young man with a mysterious past and a penchant for inventing things leaves the troll who raised him, meets an unhappy princess he has loved from afar, and discovers a plot against her and her father.
Fleischman, John. Phineas Gage. Boston : Houghton Mifflin
Hardback ISBN: 0618052526
Subject Areas: Non-fiction science
Synopsis: A non-fiction illustrated text exploring the history of a man who survived brain trauma but developed a new personality as a result, and the influence that his case had on the study of brain science, brain damage, and personality disorders.
Gantos, Jack. What Would Joey Do? New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Hardback ISBN: 0374399867
Paperback ISBN: 0060544031
Subject Areas: School Store, Disabilities
Synopsis: Joey tries to keep his life from degenerating into total chaos when his mother sends him to be home-schooled with a hostile blind girl, his divorced parents cannot stop fighting, and his grandmother is dying of emphysema.
George, Kristine O’Connell. Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems. New York : Clarion Books
Hardback ISBN: 0618152504
Subject Areas: Middle School, Poetry
Synopsis: A collection of poems capture the feelings and experiences of a girl in middle school
Hiaasen, Carl. Hoot. New York : Alfred A. Knopf
Hardback ISBN: 0375821813
Paperback ISBN: 0375829164 (from Knopf)
Subject Areas: Environment, Owls, Florida
Synopsis: Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy's attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site.
Hobbs, Will. Wild Man Island. New York : HarperCollins Publishers
Hardback ISBN: 0688174736
Paperback ISBN: 0380733102 (from Harper Trophy)
Subject Areas: Wilderness, Survival, Alaska, Adventure, Kayaking
Synopsis: After fourteen-year-old Andy slips away from his kayaking group to visit the wilderness site of his archaeologist father's death, a storm strands him on Admiralty Island, Alaska, where he manages to survive, encounters unexpected animal and human inhabitants, and looks for traces of the earliest prehistoric immigrants to America.
Martin, Ann M. A Corner of the Universe. New York : Scholastic Press
Hardback ISBN: 0439388805
Paperback ISBN: 0439388813
Subject Areas: Family, Mental Illness
Synopsis: The summer that Hattie turns twelve, she meets the childlike uncle she never knew and becomes friends with a girl who works at the carnival that comes to Hattie's small town.
Mikaelsen, Ben. Red Midnight. New York : HarperCollins Publishers
Hardback ISBN: 0380977451
Paperback ISBN: 0380805618 (from RAYO)
Subject Areas: Adventure, Immigration, Survival
Synopsis: After soldiers kill his family, twelve-year-old Santiago and his four-year-old sister flee Guatemala in a kayak and try to reach the United States.
Paterson, Katherine. The Same Stuff as Stars. New York : Clarion Books
Hardback ISBN: 0618247440
Paperback ISBN: 0060557125 (from Harper Trophy)
Subject Areas: Family and Siblings, Self-Reliance
Synopsis: When Angel's self-absorbed mother leaves her and her younger brother with their poor great-grandmother, the eleven-year-old girl worries not only about her mother and brother, her imprisoned father, the frail old woman, but also about a mysterious man who begins sharing with her the wonder of the stars.
Seely, Debra. Grasslands. New York : Holiday House
Hardback ISBN: 082341731X
Subject Areas: Kansas, Historical Fiction, Family
Synopsis: In the 1880s, thirteen-year-old Thomas moves west from the aristocratic Virginia home of his grandparents to a poor Kansas farm to live with a father he barely remembers and his new stepfamily.
Seidler, Tor. Brothers Below Zero. New York : L. Geringer Books
Hardback ISBN: 0060291796
Paperback ISBN: 0064409368 (from Harper Trophy)
Subject Areas: Brothers, Artists, Family, Self-Respect
Synopsis: Having lived for years in the shadow of his younger, more talented brother, middle schooler Tim takes painting lessons from his beloved Great Aunt Winifred and discovers that he is a gifted artist.
Tolan, Stephanie S. Surviving the Applewhites. New York : HarperCollins
Hardback ISBN: 0066236029
Paperback ISBN: 0064410447 (from HarperTrophy)
Subject Areas: Eccentrics, Family
Synopsis: Jake, a budding juvenile delinquent, is sent for home schooling to the arty and eccentric Applewhite family's Creative Academy, where he discovers talents and interests he never knew he had.