Young Young Critics' Favorite Books of 2007/2008!

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As Picked By:

Corey, Mary, Thomas, Emily, Karla, Jacqueline, Wyndsor, Cristian, Leigh, Olivia, Elaine, Emily B., Christy, J. C., Caitlin, Audrey, Anabel, Sarah, Vijay, and John!!

 

Click on the picture of each book to find it in the library catalog.

 

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The Willoughbys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Number one! The best of the best, is...

 

The Willoughbys

by Lois Lowry

 

The four Willoughby children-- Tim, twins Barnaby A and Barnaby B, and little sister Jane-- set about to become "deserving orphans" after their despicable and neglectful parents embark on a treacherous around-the-world adventure, leaving them in the care of an odious nanny.  Lemony Snicket says of the book: "Lowry . . . here turns her quick, sly gaze to parody, a word which in this case means 'a short novel mocking the conventions of old-fashioned children's books stuffed with orphans, nannies and long-lost heirs.'"

 

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley's Journal

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Tied for second...

 

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Greg Heffley's Journal

by Jeff Kinney

 

The first year in the middle-school life of Greg Heffley is chronicled in this laugh-out-loud novel that first appeared on the Internet. Most of the action revolves around the adolescent male curse: the need to do incredibly dumb things because they seem to be a good idea at the time. At every moment, Greg seems real, and readers may even occasionally see the logic in some of his choices. Greatly adding to the humor are Kinney's cartoons, which appear on every page.

 

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The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School

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Tied for second...

The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School

by Candace Fleming

 

Principal Struggles has had some trouble finding a new fourth-grade teacher for the rambunctious students at Aesop Elementary School. But Mr. Jupiter’s unusual teaching experience and wacky demeanor make him an even match for his “lively” pupils! The kids test their boundaries, and each chapter ends with a moral (e.g., "Slow and steady wins the race"), which humorously summarizes the classroom discombobulations.

 

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The Rising Star of Rusty Nail

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And squeaking by in third...

The Rising Star of Rusty Nail

by Lesley M. M. Blume

 

It’s 1953, and not much happens in Rusty Nail (once the Coot Capitol of the World), but 10-year-old Franny Hansen and her best friend, Sandy, manage to have fun, mostly involving water balloons and harrassing prissy Nancy, the richest girl in town. Franny dreams that her knack for playing the piano will be her way out of small-town Minnesota. Might an enigmatic Russian pianist (whom the townsfolk shun and label a "Commie") be Frannie’s ticket to success?

 

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The rest of the favorites, in alpha order:

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A Crooked Kind of Perfect

A Crooked Kind of Perfect

by Linda Urban

 

Ten-year-old Zoe Elias has an agoraphobic father and a workaholic mother. She longs to own a piano, become a prodigy, and play in Carnegie Hall, like her hero, Vladimir Horowitz. But Zoe’s dad doesn’t buy a piano. Instead, he gets her a Perfectone D-60 electric organ, complete with lessons and golden oldies songbooks. Disappointed but game, Zoe starts practicing for the Perform-O-Rama and learns that there is more to music than merely getting the notes right-- it takes heart.

 

 

 

The Daring Adventures of Penhaligon Brush

The Daring Adventures of Penhaligon Brush

by S. Jones Rogan

 

Penhaligon Brush is a young gentleman fox whose adventures begin when he sets out for Porthleven, a nearby fishing village, to visit his badger stepbrother. Penhaligon discovers that Porthleven has been taken over by the evil Sir Derek, who rules the town and terrorizes the population with the help of a private army of ferrets. Penhaligon soon finds allies in a bid to stop Sir Derek, including Derek’s elderly aunt and a sassy vixen named Rowan.

 

 

 

A Dog Called Grk

A Dog Called Grk

by Jeff Kinney

 

With workaholic parents, 12-year-old Tim Malt is often alone in his London home, playing computer games. Then he finds Grk, the dog that belongs to the Stanislavian ambassador's family. Tim soon learns that the family has returned to its country, now under the rule of a despot. Taking brave but drastic action, Tim flies with Grk to Stanislavia and learns the ambassador and his wife are dead and the children, Natascha and Max, are in prison. Soon Tim is embroiled in wild events and political chaos!

 

 

 

Eleven

Eleven

by Patricia Reilly Giff

 

Just before his eleventh birthday, Sam finds a newspaper clipping poking out of a locked box in the attic. It contains the image of a small child, who, Sam realizes with astonishment, is himself. Although he can read wood like his carpenter grandfather, Mack, Sam can’t read words. He agonizes over his discovery, but he is too afraid to ask Mack for explanations. Then he befriends an eccentric new student, Caroline, and together they investigate Sam’s past. How did he arrive at the place where he is being raised by Mack? And why does he dream about an icy river?

 

 

 

The Facttracker

The Facttracker

by Jason Carter Eaton

 

The residents of Traäkerfaxx dutifully sell facts that have been located and collected by the resident Facttracker. When an unfortunate explosion renders the town factless, evil Ersatz assures the Traakerfaxians that he can save their town with a brand new industry-- lies! He imprisons the Facttracker and creates the Liebrary, a magnificent edifice where lies are spewed out, sold, and delivered by the Phony Express.

 

 

 

Igraine the Brave

Igraine the Brave

by Cornelia Funke

 

Igraine lives in a very old castle, guarded by stone lions that roar at approaching strangers. Her older brother is a magician-in-training; Igraine plans to become a knight. When their castle is besieged by Osmund the Greedy and his evil henchman, Rowan Heartless, Igraine, her family, and their newfound champion, the Sorrowful Knight, work together to defeat their treacherous opponents.

 

 

 

Missing Magic

Missing Magic

by Emma Laybourn

 

In a world where everyone else has at least some magic, ordinary 11-year-old Ned is in serious trouble, especially at Leodwych, his new school. Not only is he a defenseless target, he has to do all his schoolwork the hard way, with no magical shortcuts. When he and two classmates are captured by pirates, called necromancers, and when their leader turns out to be someone he knows well, Ned’s practical skills turn out to be life-saving.

 

 

Solomon Snow and the Silver Spoon

Solomon Snow and the Silver Spoon

by Kaye Umansky

 

Why doesn't Solomon Snow share the surname of his “parents”, the slovenly Ma Stubbins and her hard-drinking husband? When they admit the truth, that he was a foundling left on their doorstep in a wash basket (they thought the wash basket would be very useful, but they weren’t too sure about the baby boy with the silver spoon in his mouth that came with it), and that they hocked his silver spoon, Solly sets off with Prudence, an Infant Prodigy named Rosabella, and The Dirtiest Boy in Town. They all want to join Solly in his quest to find his silver spoon and the truth about his parents.

 

 

The Slippery Map

The Slippery Map

by N. E. Bode

 

Mysterious Temporary Disappearances (MTDs) are claiming local children in the town where orphaned Oyster R. Motel has lived with a community of nuns (including Sister Mary Many Pockets) since he was dumped at their gate as an infant. When Oyster meets the Mapkeeper-- caretaker of scrolls depicting Imagined Other Worlds (IOWs)-- he learns that his parents long ago stole their shared map, slipped into the otherworld of stories they created as children and are trapped with Vicious Goggles, Whining Growsels and all manner of unusual beasts and beings. Someone-- or something-- seems to be calling Oyster to save them.

 

 

The White Giraffe

The White Giraffe

by Lauren St. John

 

Martine Allen is 11 years old when her parents die in a fire. She is claimed by a grandmother she's never known, and sent to live on an African wildlife reserve where she feels unwanted by everyone but a white giraffe most local folks regard as myth. The animal sparks an instant connection with Martine even as poachers hunt him. Martine's forbidden midnight excursions into the reserve reveal her hidden gift as an animal healer and her central role in a prophetic African legend. When Martine's need for social acceptance prompts her inadvertently to betray the giraffe, she must risk her life to rescue him.

 

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Perrot Memorial Library Youth Services Department, Old Greenwich, Connecticut