Young Critics' Favorite Books of 2012-2013

As Selected By:

Brian, Elizabeth B., Michael, Amanda, Kate, Maggie, Avrey, Paige, JJ, Ellie, Gigi,

Hunter, Olivia L, Anna, Lucy, Jeanette, Olivia R., Ajax, Elizabeth S., Alexa, Payton, Ben, AND Madelyn

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three Times Lucky

The winner is...

 

#1 THREE TIMES LUCKY

by Sheila Turnage

 

Rising sixth-grader Miss Moses LoBeau lives in the small town of Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, where everyone's business is fair game and no secret is sacred. She washed ashore in a hurricane eleven years ago, and she's been making waves ever since. Although Mo hopes someday to find her "upstream mother," she's found a home with the Colonel-- a café owner with a forgotten past of his own--and Miss Lana, the fabulous café hostess. She will protect those she loves with every bit of her strong will and tough attitude. So when a lawman comes to town asking about a murder, Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to uncover the truth in hopes of saving the only family Mo has ever known.

 

  • A 2013 Newbery Honor Book

 

 

 

 

 

Son

 

In second place:

  SON: A GIVER NOVEL, by Lois Lowry

 

They called her Water Claire. When she washed up on their shore, no one knew that she came from a society where emotions and colors didn’t exist. That she had become a Vessel at age thirteen. That she had carried a Product at age fourteen. That it had been stolen from her body. Claire had a son. But what became of him she never knew. What was his name? Was he even alive? She was supposed to forget him, but that was impossible. Now Claire will stop at nothing to find her child, even if it means making an unimaginable sacrifice.

 

 

 

 

Zero Tolerance

And in third:

   ZERO TOLERANCE, by Claudia Mills

 

Seventh-grader Sierra Shepard has always been the perfect student, so when she sees that she accidentally brought her mother's lunch bag to school, including a paring knife, she immediately turns in the knife at the school office. Much to her surprise, her beloved principal places her in in-school suspension and sets a hearing for her expulsion, citing the school's ironclad no weapons policy. While there, Sierra spends time with Luke, a boy who's known as a troublemaker, and discovers that he's not the person she assumed he would be-- and that the lines between good and bad aren't as clear as she once thought.

  • Coming in June 2013

 

 

 

The rest of YCC's favorites, in alphabetical order:

 

The Archived

THE ARCHIVED (The Archived, Book 1), by Victoria Schwab


Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive. Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was: a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often-violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous-- it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.

 

 

 

The Bully Book

  THE BULLY BOOK, by Eric Kahn Gale

 

You've been chosen to receive THE BOOK. I bet you have questions. Why does a joke sound funny coming from one kid and stupid from another? Why do some kids eat alone while others are rolling in friends? When the author was eleven, he was bullied. He wrote this book so it might not happen to someone else. Open if you dare. . .

 

 

 

 

 

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls

  THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS, by Claire Legrand

 

Victoria hates nonsense. There is no need for it when your life is perfect. The only smudge on her pristine life is her best friend Lawrence. He is a disaster-- lazy and dreamy, shirt always untucked, obsessed with his silly piano. Victoria often wonders why she ever bothered being his friend. (Lawrence does too.) But then Lawrence goes missing. And he’s not the only one. Victoria soon discovers that The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is not what it appears to be. Kids go in but come out. . . different. Or they don’t come out at all. If anyone can sort this out, it’s Victoria—even if it means getting a little messy.

 

 

 

A Corner of White

   A CORNER OF WHITE (Colors of Madeleine, Book 1), by Jaclyn Moriarty


This is a tale of missing persons. Madeleine and her mother have run away from their former life, under mysterious circumstances, and settled in a rainy corner of Cambridge (in our world). Elliot, on the other hand, is in search of his father, who disappeared on the night his uncle was found dead. The talk in the town of Bonfire (in the Kingdom of Cello) is that Elliot's dad may have killed his brother and run away with the Physics teacher. But Elliot refuses to believe it. And he is determined to find both his dad and the truth. As Madeleine and Elliot move closer to unraveling their mysteries, they begin to exchange messages across worlds-- through an accidental gap that hasn't appeared in centuries.

 

 

 

The Dead and Buried

   THE DEAD AND BURIED, by Kim Harrington

 

Jade loves the house she's just moved into with her family. She doesn't even mind being the new girl at the high school: It's a fresh start, and there's that one guy with the dreamy blue eyes. . . But then things begin happening. Strange, otherworldly things. Soon, Jade must face an impossible fact: that her perfect house is haunted. Haunted by a ghost who's seeking not just vengeance, but the truth. The ghost of a girl who ruled Jade's school-- until her untimely death last year. It's up to Jade to put the pieces together before her own life is at stake. As Jade investigates the mystery, she discovers that her new friends in town have more than a few deep, dark secrets. But is one of them a murderer?

 

 

 

Endangered

   ENDANGERED, by Eliot Schrefer


The Congo is a dangerous place, even for people who are trying to do good. When Sophie has to follow her mother to her sanctuary for bonobos, she's not thrilled to be there. It's her mother's passion, and she'd rather have nothing to do with it. But when revolution breaks out and their sanctuary is attacked, she must rescue the bonobos and hide in the jungle. Together, they will fight to keep safe, to eat, and to survive.

 

 

 

 

Game Changer

   GAME CHANGER, by Margaret Peterson Haddix

 

Athletics are everything for eighth-grader KT Sutton. She’s a softball star, and she’s on track to get a college scholarship and achieve international fame. Then one day during a championship game-- in the middle of an important play-- she suddenly blacks out. When she wakes up, she’s in a different world. One where school is class after class of athletic drills, and after-school sports are replaced by popular academic competitions. One where KT is despised for her talent, and where her parents are fixated on her brother’s future mathletics career rather than KT’s softball hopes. KT is desperate to get back to reality as she knew it, but bits and pieces of disturbing memories and dreams make her wonder if something truly awful happened there. What if she’s lost something a lot more important than a softball game?

 

 

 

Grave Mercy

GRAVE MERCY (His Fair Assassin, Book 1), by Robin LaFevers

 

Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts-- and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others. Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany-- where she finds herself woefully under prepared-- not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

 

 

 

Hokey Pokey

   HOKEY POKEY, by Jerry Spinelli

 

Welcome to Hokey Pokey. A place and a time when childhood is at its best: games to play, bikes to ride, experiences to be had. There are no adults in Hokey Pokey, just kids, and the laws governing Hokey Pokey are simple and finite. But when one of the biggest kids, Jack, has his beloved bike stolen-- and by a girl, no less-- his entire world, and the world of Hokey Pokey, turns to chaos. Without his bike, Jack feels like everything has started to go wrong. He feels different, not like himself, and he knows something is about to change. And, even more troubling, he alone hears a faint train whistle. But that's impossible: every kid knows there no trains in Hokey Pokey, only tracks. . .

 

 

 

The Hunt

   THE HUNT (The Hunt, Book 1), by Andrew Fukuda

 

Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is a human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret. It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night-- a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood. When he’s chosen for a once in a lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible, and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever-- but is it worth the cost of his humanity?

 

 

 

Navigating Early

   NAVIGATING EARLY, by Claire Vanderpool

 

At the end of World War II, Jack Baker, a landlocked Kansas boy, is suddenly uprooted after his mother's death and placed in a boy's boarding school in Maine. There, Jack encounters Early Auden, the strangest of boys, who reads the number pi as a story and collects clippings about the sightings of a great black bear in the nearby mountains. Newcomer Jack feels lost, yet can't help being drawn to Early, who won't believe what everyone accepts to be the truth about the Great Appalachian Bear, Timber Rattlesnakes, and the legendary school hero known as The Fish, who never returned from the war. When the boys find themselves unexpectedly alone at school, they embark on a quest on the Appalachian Trail in search of the great black bear. But what they are searching for is sometimes different from what they find. They will meet truly strange characters, each of whom figures into the pi story Early weaves as they travel, while discovering things they never realized about themselves and others in their lives.

 

 

 

Prophecy

  PROPHECY (Dragon King Chronicles, Book 1), by Ellen Oh

 

Kira is the only female in the king's army, and she's also the prince's bodyguard. She's a demon slayer and an outcast, hated by nearly everyone in her home city of Hansong. And, she's their only hope. . . Murdered kings and discovered traitors point to a demon invasion, sending Kira on the run with the young prince. He may be the savior predicted in the Dragon King's prophecy, but the legendary lost ruby treasure just might be the true key to victory. With only the guidance of the cryptic prophecy, Kira must battle demon soldiers, an evil shaman, and the Demon Lord himself to find what was once lost and raise a prince into a king.

 

 

 

The Raft

   THE RAFT, by S.A. Bodeen

 

Robie is an experienced traveler. She’s taken the flight from Honolulu to the Midway Atoll, a group of Pacific islands where her parents live, many times. When she has to get to Midway in a hurry after a visit with her aunt in Hawaii, she gets on the next cargo flight at the last minute. She knows the pilot, but on this flight, there’s a new co-pilot named Max. All systems are go until a storm hits during the flight. The only passenger, Robie doesn’t panic until the engine suddenly cuts out and Max shouts at her to put on a life jacket. They are over miles of Pacific Ocean. She sees Max struggle with a raft.  And then she’s in the water. Fighting for her life. Max pulls her onto the raft, and that’s when the real terror begins. They have no water. Their only food is a bag of Skittles. There are sharks. There is an island. But there’s no sign of help on the way.

 

 

 

Shadow on the Mountain

   SHADOW ON THE MOUNTAIN, by Margi Preus

 

After Nazi Germany invades and occupies Norway during World War II, fourteen-year-old Espen and his friends are swept up in the Norwegian resistance movement. Espen gets his start by delivering illegal newspapers, then graduates to the role of courier and finally becomes a spy, dodging the Gestapo along the way. During five years under the Nazi regime, he gains-- and loses-- friends, falls in love, and makes one small mistake that threatens to catch up with him as he sets out to escape on skis over the mountains to Sweden. Based on a true story.

 

 

 

Summer of the Gypsy Moths

SUMMER OF THE GYPSY MOTHS, by Sara Pennypacker

 

Eleven-year-old Stella misses her (unreliable) mom, but she loves it at great-aunt Louise’s house. Louise lives on Cape Cod, where Stella hopes her mom will someday come and settle down. The only problem? Angel, the foster kid Louise has taken in. The two girls live together but there’s no way they’ll ever be friends. Then Louise suddenly passes away one morning-- and Stella and Angel decide not to tell anyone. Now they have to depend on each other for survival. Now they are forced to trust each other with the biggest secret ever.

 

 

 

Tokyo Heist

   TOKYO HEIST, by Diana Renn

 

When sixteen-year-old Violet agrees to spend the summer with her father, an up-and-coming artist in Seattle, she has no idea what she's walking into. Her father's newest clients, the Yamada family, are the victims of a high-profile art robbery: van Gogh sketches have been stolen from their home, and, until they can produce the corresponding painting, everyone's lives are in danger-- including Violet's and her father's. Violet's search for the missing van Gogh takes her from the Seattle Art Museum, to the yakuza-infested streets of Tokyo, to a secluded inn in Kyoto. As the mystery thickens, Violet's not sure whom she can trust. But she knows one thing: she has to solve the mystery-- before it's too late.

 

 

 

Ungifted

   UNGIFTED, by Gordon Korman

 

The word gifted has never been applied to a kid like Donovan Curtis. It's usually more like Don't try this at home. So when the troublemaker pulls a major prank at his middle school, he thinks he's finally gone too far. But thanks to a mix-up by one of the administrators, instead of getting in trouble, Donovan is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction (ASD), a special program for gifted and talented students. There couldn't be a more perfect hideout for someone like him-- that is, if he can manage to fool people whose IQs are above genius level. But after an ongoing experiment with a live human (sister), an unforgettably dramatic middle-school dance, and the most astonishing come-from-behind robot victory ever, Donovan shows that his gifts might be exactly what the ASD students never knew they needed.

 

 

Perrot Memorial Library Youth Services Department, Old Greenwich, Connecticut