Young Critics' Club Favorite Books of 2010-2011

 



As Selected By:

Alex, Amanda, Avrey, Ben, Charlotte, Cole, Cris, Emma G., Emma S., Grace, Hugh, Jennifer, John, Laura, Maddie, Mary Kate, Michael, Mihir, Olivia L., Olivia R., Rohini, Sarah, Shaela, Shannon,

AAAAAAAANNNNND.... Thomas.

 

Click on the picture of each book to see it in the library catalog and place a hold.

 



 

 

The Queen of Water

#1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1

AND THE WINNER IS. . .

THE QUEEN OF WATER

by Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango

 

Born in an Andean village in Ecuador, Virginia lives with her large family in a small, earthen-walled dwelling. In her village, it is not uncommon to work in the fields all day, even as a child, or to be called a longa tonta-- stupid Indian-- by members of the ruling class of mestizos, or Spanish descendants. When seven-year-old Virginia is taken from her village to be a servant to a mestizo couple, she has no idea what the future holds. This poignant novel, based on a true story, will make you laugh and cry, and ultimately, it will fill you with hope.
 

#1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1  #1

 

 

 

The Enemy

 

#2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2

IN SECOND PLACE:

THE ENEMY

by Charlie Higson

 

A sickness has afflicted everyone over the age of 16; anyone who is a "grown-up" has become a decomposing, brainless creature that survives by feeding on children. The children and teens have barricaded themselves in fortified buildings, fighting off attacks from the grown-ups who travel in packs, like hungry dogs. Before long, the young survivors are promised a safe haven in Buckingham Palace and make their way to it, crossing London on a perilous journey that will test them in harrowing ways. But their fight to stay alive is far from over-- the threat from within is as real as the one on the outside.

 

#2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2  #2

 

 

Matched

#3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3

IN THIRD PLACE: 

MATCHED

by Ally Condie

 

Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander's face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate. . . until she sees Ky Markham's face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black. The Society tells her it's a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she's destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can't stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society's infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she's known and a path that no one else has dared to follow.

#3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3 #3

 

 

White Cat

#4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4

AND IN FOURTH PLACE:

WHITE CAT (The Curse Workers, #1)

by Holly Black

Cassel comes from a family of curse workers-- people who have the power to change your emotions, your memories, your luck, by the slightest touch of their hands. And since curse work is illegal, they're all mobsters, or con artists. Cassel is an outsider, the straight kid in a crooked family. You just have to ignore one small detail-- he killed his best friend, Lila, three years ago. Cassel has so far successfully blended into the crowd-- that is, until he starts sleepwalking, propelled by terrifying dreams about a white cat. He's noticing other disturbing things, too, including the strange behavior of his two brothers. They are keeping secrets from him, caught up in a mysterious plot. As Cassel begins to suspect he's part of a huge con game, he also wonders what really happened to Lila. Could she still be alive? To find that out, Cassel will have to out-con the conmen.

#4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4 #4

 



 

The Rest of the Favorites, in Alphabetical Order:

 

 

Ashes

ASHES

by Kathryn Lasky

 

Thirteen-year-old Gabriella Schramm's favorite pastime is reading. With Adolf Hitler slowly but unstoppably rising to power, Gaby turns to her books for comfort while the world around her changes dramatically: the streets become filled with soldiers, Gaby's sister's boyfriend raises his arm in a heil Hitler salute, and the Schramms' family friend Albert Einstein flees the country. When Gaby's beloved books come under attack, she fears she may have to leave behind the fiction-- and the life-- she has always cherished.

 

 

Black Hole Sun

BLACK HOLE SUN

by David Macinnis Gill

 

Durango is playing the cards he was dealt. And itís not a good hand. Heís lost his family. Heís lost his crew. And heís got the scars to prove it. You donít want to mess with Durango.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Countdown

COUNTDOWN (The Sixties Trilogy, #1)

by Deborah Wiles

 

It's 1962, and eleven-year-old Franny Chapman lives with her family in Washington, DC. She can feel the fear of the nation in the days surrounding the Cuban Missile Crisis. Amid the pervading threat of nuclear war, Franny must face the tension between herself and her younger brother, figure out where she fits into her family, and learn to look beyond outward appearance. For Franny, as for all Americans, it's going to be a life-changing week. This first entry in a new trilogy tells the story of one girl with insight, warmth, and hope, set against the backdrop of one of the most politically and culturally defining periods in history.

 

 

 

 

 

The Crowfield Curse

THE CROWFIELD CURSE

by Pat Walsh

 

Sent into the forest to gather firewood for the medieval monastery at which he is a servant, Will stumbles across a wounded creature no bigger than a cat. It's a hobgoblin, who confesses a horrible secret: buried deep in the snow behind the abbey is an angel. But how can an angel die? And what does this angel have to do with the history of Crowfield? When two cloaked strangers show up and start asking questions, Will is drawn into the dangerous world of Old Magic.

 

 

 

 

 

Divergent

DIVERGENT (Divergent, #1)

by Veronica Roth

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue-- Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Once a year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is-- she can't have both. She makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself. During the initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves. . . or it might destroy her.

 

 

 

 

The False Princess

THE FALSE PRINCESS

by Eilis O'Neal

 

Princess and heir to the throne of Thorvaldor, Nalia has led a privileged life at court. But everything changes when it is revealed, just after her sixteenth birthday, that she is a false princess, a stand-in for the real Nalia, who has been hidden away for her protection. Cast out with little more than the clothes on her back, the girl now called Sinda must leave behind her best friend and the only life she's ever known. Sinda is sent to live with her only surviving relative, an aunt in a distant village, who is a cold, scornful woman with little patience for her newfound niece. But when Sinda discovers that magic runs through her veins-- long-suppressed, dangerous magic that she must learn to control-- she realizes that she can never learn to be a simple village girl. When Sinda returns to the city for answers, she uncovers a secret that could change the course of Thorvaldor's history, forever.

 

 

 

 

 

Flip

FLIP

by Martyn Bedford

 

One December night, 14-year-old Alex goes to  bed. He wakes up to  find himself in the wrong bedroom, in an unfamiliar house, in a different part of the country, and in the middle of June. Six months have disappeared overnight. The family at the breakfast table are total strangers. And when he looks in the mirror, another boy's face stares back at him.  A boy named Flip. Unless Alex finds out what's happened and how to get back to his own life,  he may be trapped forever inside a body that belongs to someone else. Questions of identity, the will to survive, and what you're willing to sacrifice to be alive make this extraordinary book impossible to put down.
 

 

 

 

Half Brother

HALF BROTHER

by Kenneth Oppel

For thirteen years, Ben Tomlin was an only child. But all that changes when his mother brings home Zan, an eight-day-old chimpanzee. Benís father, a renowned behavioral scientist, has uprooted the family to pursue his latest research project: a high-profile experiment to determine whether chimpanzees can acquire advanced language skills. Benís parents tell him to treat Zan like a little brother. Ben reluctantly agrees. It isnít long before Ben is Zanís favorite, and Ben starts to see Zan as more than just an experiment. His father disagrees. Soon Ben is forced to make a critical choice between what he is told to believe and what he knows to be trueó between obeying his father and protecting his brother from an unimaginable fate.

 

 

 

 

The Mysterious Howling

THE MYSTERIOUS HOWLING (The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #1)

by Maryrose Woods

 

Of especially naughty children, it is sometimes said: ďThey must have been raised by wolves.Ē The Incorrigible children actually were. Luckily, Miss Penelope Lumley is no ordinary governess. Only fifteen years old and a graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, Penelope embraces the challenge of her new position. Though she is eager to instruct the children in Latin verbs and the proper use of globes, first she must eliminate their canine tendencies.

 

 

 

 

 

No Passengers Beyond This Point

NO PASSENGERS BEYOND THIS POINT

by Gennifer Choldenko

Three siblings-- India, Finn, and Mouse-- have less than forty-eight hours to pack up all their belongings and fly, without Mom, to their Uncle Red's in Colorado, after they lose their house to foreclosure. But when they land, a mysterious driver meets them at the airport, and he's never heard of Uncle Red. Like Dorothy in Oz, they find themselves in a place they've never heard of, with no idea of how to get home, and time is running out. Sharp dialogue, high stakes, and taut action make this a book that will stick with you long after you read the incredible ending.

 

 

 

 

Ostrich Boys

OSTRICH BOYS

by Keith Gray

 

Ross is dead, and Blake, Sim, and Kenny are furious. To make it right, they steal Rossís ashes and set out from their home on the English coast for the tiny village of Ross in southern Scotland, a place their friend had always wanted to go. What follows is an unforgettable journey with illegal train rides, bungee jumping, girls, and high-speed police chases-- all with Rossís ashes along for the ride. As events spin wildly out of control, the three friends must take their heads out of the sand long enough to answer the question: What really happened to Ross? This is an action-packed and darkly humorous novel about friendship and loss.

 

 

 

 

 

A Tale Dark and Grimm

A TALE DARK AND GRIMM

by Adam Gidwitz

 

In this mischievous and utterly original debut, Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm-inspired tales. As readers follow the siblings through a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind (and beyond) the bread crumbs, edible houses, and outwitted witches. Hansel and Gretel learn to take charge of their destinies and become the clever architects of their own happily ever after.

 

 

 

 

 

Things a Brother Knows

THE THINGS A BROTHER KNOWS

by Dana Reinhardt

 

Levi's older brother Boaz returns from fighting with the Marines in the Middle East. He's safe. Levi's family has waited three long years for this. But Boaz is no longer the brother Levi thought he knew. Even if nobody else wants to see it, Levi can tell that Boaz has changed; something's wrong. When Boaz announces he's off to hike the Appalachian Trail, Levi knows he's lying. He's heading somewhere else. So Levi follows, determined to understand who his brother was, what he's been through, and how to bring him home again.

 

 

 

 

 

Trapped

TRAPPED

by Michael Northrop

 

The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That it would be "one for the record books," as the forecasters safe and dry in their TV studios would later say. Scotty and his friends Pete and Tommy are among the last kids waiting to get picked up at their high school that day, and it doesn't take them long to realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn't seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when Krista and Julie, two hot-to-the-point-of-being-distracting freshmen, are sleeping in the next classroom over. But then the power goes out. Then the heat. Then the emergency generator. As the snow piles higher and higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, tempers begin to rise and friendships fray. . .

 

 

 

 

 

Trash

TRASH

by Andy Mulligan

 

In an unnamed Third World country, in the not-so-distant future, three "dumpsite boys" make a living picking through the mountains of garbage on the outskirts of a large city. One unlucky-lucky day, Raphael finds something very special and very mysterious. So mysterious that he decides to keep it, even when the city police offer a handsome reward for its return. That decision brings with it terrifying consequences, and soon the dumpsite boys must use all of their cunning and courage to stay ahead of their pursuers. It's up to Raphael, Gardo, and Rat-boys who have no education, no parents, no homes, and no money-- to solve the mystery and right a terrible wrong.

 

 

 

 

 

Words in the Dust

WORDS IN THE DUST

by Trent Reedy

Zulaikha hopes. She hopes for peace, now that the Taliban have been driven from Afghanistan; a good relationship with her hard stepmother; and one day even to go to school, or to have her cleft palate fixed. Zulaikha knows all will be provided for her-- Inshallah, God willing. Then she meets Meena, who offers to teach her the Afghan poetry she taught her late mother. And the Americans come to the village, promising not just new opportunities and dangers, but surgery to fix her face. These changes could mean a whole new life for Zulaikha--but can she dare to hope they'll come true?

 

 

 

 



 

Perrot Memorial Library Youth Services Department, Old Greenwich, Connecticut