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General

Aesop's Fables, Aesop PACL 398 A254fLj

[C]lassic tales by legendary storyteller Aesop have been translated into readable, modern American English. Ingram. (Ages: 9-12).

Children's Book of Virtues, WH NF 808.8 Boo / PACL 808.8 C536

Using portions of his best-selling adult work Book of Virtues, former secretary of education William Bennett teams up with artist Michael Hague to create a collection of stories, poems, and fables in a format more suitable for children. Noting in his introduction that his goal is to further the "moral education of the young," Bennett has chosen selections to illustrate 10 virtues, which he further divides into four groups, among them, courage/perseverance and compassion/faith. Book List. (Ages 4-8).

Fables, Arnold Lobel WH 398.24 L / PACL PB Lobel

Short, original fables with fresh, unexpected morals poke subtle fun at human foibles through the antics of animals. . . . The droll illustrations, with tones blended to luminescent shading, are complete and humorous themselves. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Caldecott Medal Winner 1981).

What Do You Think? A Kid's Guide to Dealing With Daily Dilemmas, Linda Schwartz

Life often presents dilemmas for which there are no pat and perfect solutions. This book helps young people address common situations and clarify their thinking regarding many possible approaches. It encourages kids to look at issues from more than one perspective and helps them develop skills they need to resolve conflicts. Ingram. (Ages 9-12).

What Would You Do? A Kid's Guide to Tricky and Sticky Situations, Linda Schwartz (Ages 9-12).

* We have not yet had the chance to read all the books recommended, so you might to pre-read the selections if you are concerned about content. Of those we have read, we added a notation if we thought the theme might pose some problems for you (such as death, capital punishment, or discussion of the topic in the context of a religious holiday).

Books marked WH are in our library, OL in other Palo Alto School District libraries, PACL at the Palo Alto Children's Library, PAMain at Palo Alto Main Library and PAMP at Palo Alto Mitchell Park Library.

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Conservation

Preschool

Grandfatherís Dream, Holly Keller WH E Kel

The war in Vietnam is over, but the cranes that once covered the winter sky have still not returned. It is Grandfather's dream, which young Nam shares, that the new dikes will mean the land will flood again and the cranes will return. A moving story of a dream come true, and a tangible example of what "wildlife preservation" can mean. Ingram. (Ages: Preschool).

Ages 4-8

Aani and the Tree Huggers, Jeannine Atkins WH E Atk / PACL PB Atkins

Horrified by the city people who have come to cut down their beloved forest homeland, Aani and other members of her village try to make them understand how important the trees are, and a single act of bravery helps save the forest. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Alejandroís Gift, Richard Albert WH E Alb / PACL PB Albert

After Alejandro plants a lush vegetable garden to help pass the time, he is thrilled by the many small animals that come to drink in its furrows. But when he realizes that there are many larger creatures going thirsty, he generously builds a sheltered waterhole away from his adobe home. Booklist. (Ages 4-8).

Along Sandy Trails, Ann Nolan Clark WH 574.9 Cla

A Papago Indian girl and her grandmother go for a walk and observe plants and animals of the Arizona desert. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Arnoskyís Ark, Jim Arnosky WH 590 Arn

 Arnosky has selected 12 animals to include in his ark for the new millennium. All are either endangered or were seriously threatened at one time. . . .The artist shows the creature in its natural habitat and provides a few paragraphs that explain why it is included, as well as a brief summary of the struggle that it has endured. School Library Journal. (Ages 4-8). (Parent Comment: "quite good"). 

Barn Savers, Linda Oatman High WH 690 Hig / PACL PB High

A boy and his father learn how to recycle old barns that would otherwise be demolished. Instead of seeing the old barns as waste material, the father finds beauty in the rafters and beams that will be put to use in building new barns and houses that may endure for another century. The father passes on to his son a belief that the barn is a treasure, holding secrets to the past that can never be truly known; therefore, it deserves to be respectfully saved. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8).

Big Tree, Bruce Hiscock WH 582.16 Udr

Hiscock tells the story of a sugar maple tree from a winged seed sprouting during the American Revolution to the present day when a picnic is held under its towering branches every Fourth of July. Not only are historical events mentioned--George Washington as president, logging, the Civil War--but also biological systems such as photosynthesis and the running of sap are explained. School Library Journal. (Ages 4-8).

Brother Eagle, Sister Sky: A Message from Chief Seattle, Susan Jeffers WH NF 814.3 Bro / PACL PB Jeffers

In the 1850's, when the US wanted to buy his people's Pacific Northwest land, Chief Seattle delivered this eloquent message to a Commissioner of Indian Affairs . . . Poetic and compelling, it's a plea to revere and preserve the web of creation: ``Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.'' Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Parent Comment: "very good book about respecting the environment). (Nt: this book has been selected to be read in our fourth grade classrooms).

Children of the Earth Remember, Schim Schimmel WH E Sch

Out of love and concern for their planet, the animals and people of Mother Earth work together to protect the natural world. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Condorís Egg, Jonathan London WH E Lon / PACL PB London

Carefully researched text tell the dramatic story of a condor family's struggle for survival in a world where its habitat is being destroyed. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Crawdad Creek, Scott Sanders WH E San

Sanders (A Place Called Freedom, 1997, etc.) describes, from season to season, the animals that live in and around a creek, as observed by Michael and Elizabeth. They planned to pan for gold, but find instead fossils of worms and shelled animals that lived millions of years ago, an Indian arrowhead, and a wealth of wildlife to study and enjoy, including crawdads, the rosy salamander, catfish, damselfly, whirligig beetles, slider turtles, muskrat, raccoon, and deer. Kirkus Review. (Ages 4-8).

Daisy Rothschild: The Giraffe That Lives with Me, Betty Leslie-Melville OL 599.73 Les / PACL 599.638 L637d

Leslie-Melville and her late husband Jock unintentionally became the primary preservers of the endangered Rothschild giraffe while living in Nairobi, Kenya. . . Daisy Rothschild eloquently points out the difference that just two people can make in the fight to protect endangered animals. Publisher's Weekly. (Ages 5-up).

Dancing Deer and the Foolish Hunter, Elisa Kleven WH E Kle

A hunter spies a dancing deer in the forest by the sea, and figures his fortune is made. But when he gets her home, she won't dance. Not only that, she tells him she cannot dance without the song of the birds. The hunter, given to expressions like "Great gooseberries!" captures a couple of birds, but of course they won't sing in a cage. The birds need the sound of the wind in the pines, so the hunter brings pines. But the pines can't whistle without the sea breeze, which needs the sea. Eventually the hunter, led by the deer, realizes he needs to take everything back to where its interconnectedness is natural. Booklist. (Ages 4-8).

Dear Children of the Earth, Schim Schimmel WH E Sch / PACL PB Schimmel

"Dear Children of the Earth" begins a remarkable letter from Mother Earth asking for help from children everywhere. She writes to express her love for each and every child and asks for their love and appreciation in return. In her own words, and with all of her heart, Mother Earth enfolds children with love and entrusts them with her protection. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: this book has been selected to be read in our Kindergarten classrooms). 

Desert is Theirs, Byrd Baylor WH 574.5 Bay / PACL PB Baylor

You may think of the desert as a harsh, dry place where no one would ever want to live -- but think again.  The Desert People know. So do the animals. Both love the land, and "share the feeling of being brothers in the desert, of being desert creatures together." Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

Dinosaurs and all that Rubbish, Michael Forman WH E For

 After ruining Earth and soaring off to a star in his rocket, the man returns to find that ancient creatures have beautified the earth and it is where he wants to live after all. Card Catalog Description. (Ages 4-8).

Don't You Dare Shoot that Bear: a Story of Theodore Roosevelt, Robert Quackenbush WH 921 Roosevelt

A humorous biography of the twenty-sixth president, emphasizing his love of animals and wildlife and his activities as a conservationist. Card Catalog Description. (Ages 4-8).

Dragon and the Unicorn, Lynn Cherry WH E Che

Valerio the dragon and Allegra the unicorn watch with sadness as King Orlando and his men invade their sacred forest and cut down 600-year-old trees to build a fortress. It's to Orlando's compassionate young daughter, Princess Arianna, that Allegra and Valerio turn with their warning about the danger that comes from forest destruction. Booklist. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Dragonfly's Tale, Kristina Rodanas WH 398.21 Rod / PACL 398 R685d

 Rodanas . . . retells an ancient Zuni tale, scrupulously noting her source as an 1884 transcription that she has ``simplified...[adding] some details of my own [in] the way of storytellers.'' The result is a blend of cautionary tale and why story: Celebrating an abundant harvest, the Ashiwi stage a mock battle--literally, a food fight- -that angers the Corn Maidens; they refuse their blessings, and famine follows. Most of the people flee, but two forgotten children fashion a lovely winged creature (the first dragonfly) from a withered cornstalk. It flies to the Corn Maidens, who restore their bounty; the other villagers return, both wiser and kinder. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages: 4-10). (Parent Comment: "very good book about respecting the earth").

Farewell to Shady Glade, Bill Peet WH E Pee / PACL PB Peet

Bulldozers push the raccoon and his friends from their home, but they are able to find a new one after a terrifying train ride. Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

Farewell to the Farivox, Harry Hartwick WH F Har

A story of a boy in Iowa, 1916, in a small town who becomes enchanted by an extinct and endangered Farivox owned by a man passing through town. Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

The First Strawberries: A Cherokee Story, Joseph Bruchac OL 398.2 Bru / PACL 398 B887f

In a Cherokee creation tale, the first man and woman quarrel, and the woman walks quickly away. Taking pity on the contrite man, the sun causes various berries to grow in order to distract the woman and slow her down, but it is only when the sun creates strawberries that she stops and makes peace with her husband. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: respect nature, mentions creationism). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

The Gardener, Sarah Stewart WH E Ste / PACL PB Stewart

Stewart's quiet story, relayed in the form of letters written by a little girl, focuses on a child who literally makes joy blossom. . . When hard times hit her family, Lydia Grace is shipped off to stay with her somber, undemonstrative uncle who owns a city bakery. She makes the best of her stay by helping out and by pursuing her favorite pastime, gardening, a talent she uses to make her uncle smile--in a very unusual way. In the end, she receives not simply one reward for her kindness but two. Booklist. (Ages 5-8). (Caldecott Honor Book 1998). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children).

The Golden Deer, Margaret Hodges OL 398.24 Hod

In this reverent version of a Jataka tale, a magnificent stag known as the Banyan Deer goes willingly to sacrifice in place of a pregnant doe. When the king of Benares hears the deer speak, he releases it, pledging protection to its herd and to ``creatures of all kinds who live in fear of men.'' In turn, the deer agree to stay away from local farmers' fields. Long after, the Banyan Deer was reborn as the Buddha. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages: 6-8). (Not previewed).

The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest, Lynne Cherry WH E Che / PACL PB Cherry

The many different animals that live in a great kapok tree in the Brazilian rainforest try to convince a man with an ax of the importance of not cutting down their home. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Hunter and His Dog, Brian Wildsmith WH E Wil

This is the story of a dog that is trained to hunt. But the problem is that the dog is also compassionate and kind. Every time he finds a wounded duck, he doesn't bring it to his master, the hunter. Instead, he looks after the injured bird. What will the hunter do when he finds out? Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

Johnny Appleseed, Reeve Lindbergh WH E Lin

In this evocative poem, John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed, comes to life. At the age of 23, Chapman began traveling throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana planting apple trees, as gifts to the countryside and its people. He became a favorite figure of American folklore. Heartwood Institute. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: references to God and the Bible).

Just a Dream, Chris Van Allsburg WH E Van / PACL PB Van Allsburg

Walter, an environmental ignoramus of a 10 year old, is careless or scornful of such elementary actions as recycling or tree planting. One nightmarish evening, however, he visits a future where his daydreams of technological paradise are demolished. Instead, there is merely a horrifically exacerbated continuation of today's eco-problems: landfills, expressways, smog, lifeless oceans, and vanished wilderness. Walter awakens reformed, and is rewarded with another dream: the future redeemed. School Library Journal. (Ages 4-8). (Parent Comment: "excellent").

Lorax, Dr Seuss WH E Seu / PACL PB Seuss

In this cautionary tale of greed and environmental destruction, the lovable Lorax tries to save the Truffula Forest and its inhabitants from disaster at the hands of the cantankerous Once-ler. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Miss Rumphius, Barbara Cooney WH E Coo / PACL PB Cooney

Deciding in childhood that she would seek adventure in faraway places, Miss Rumphius fulfills her dream and then has one more thing to do--something to make the world more beautiful. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

My Grandpa and the Sea, Katherine Orr OL E Orr / PACL PB Orr

A poignant story of an island girl whose grandfather's living as a fisherman is ended when the larger fleets deplete the available fish. Following a period of depression, Grandpa develops a second career. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: several references to attending church and God). (Parent Comment: "really nice book").

The Old Ladies who Liked Cats, Carol Greene WH E Gre / PACL PB Greene

Once there was a town in the middle of an island with an ecological chain made up of cows, clover, bees, mice, cats, and the old ladies who liked them. When the mayor trips over a cat one night, he orders that all cats must be locked up, and it's up to the old ladies to set things right. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

One World, Michael Foreman WH 574.5 For

Two children playing at the beach tamper with the natural balance of a tide pool and, after destroying its beauty, realize how similar its microcosm is to their own world. Card Catalog Description. (Ages 4-8). (Parent comment" "excellent"). (Nt: this book has been selected to be read in our first grade classrooms).

Owl Moon, Jane Yolen WH E Yol / PACL PB Yolen

Among the greatest charms of children is their ability to view a simple activity as a magical adventure. Such as a walk in the woods late at night. Jane Yolen captures this wonderment in a book whose charm rises from its simplicity. "It was late one winter night, long past my bedtime, when Pa and I went owling." The two walked through the woods with nothing but hope and each other in a journey that will fascinate many a child. Amazon.com. (Age 4-8). (Caldecott Medal Winner 1988).

Peach Tree, Norman Pike WH E Pik / PACL PB Pike

When his peach tree is threatened by aphids, Farmer Pomeroy brings in a horde of ladybugs to save the tree and restore the balance of nature. Synopsis. (Ages 4-8).

People Who Hugged the Trees, Deborah Lee Rose WH E Peo / PACL 398 R7955p

An environmental fable based on a classic folk tale from India. Retelling the 300-year old story of the first "Chipko" - the "Hug-the-Tree" people - the author follows the fortunes of a young girl, Amrita Devi, who grows up to lead her village in saving the nearby forest from the Maharajah's axe-men. Today, the Chipko Movement supports non-violent resistance to tree-cutting. Synopsis. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Parent Comment: "dramatic story").

Prize in the Snow, Bill Easterling

Wanting to trap an animal or a bird, a boy carefully takes his homemade trap into the woods and baits it with a carrot. However, when a starving rabbit hops into the trap to eat the carrot, the boy deals with it in a humanitarian way. Horn Book. (Ages 5-8). (Not previewed).

Rain Forest, Helen Cowcher WH E Cow / PACL PB Cowcher

An affecting plea for the rain forests in South America, which are increasingly being destroyed . . . Machines, "cutting and spoiling," are ravaging the landscape, frightening the animal inhabitants who retreat to higher ground to escape the destruction. When the floods come, there are no trees left to hold the soil in place so the river bursts its banks, washing away the bulldozer, and, presumably, its large-bellied operator. The animals are temporarily safe. School Library Journal. (Ages 4-8).

A River Dream, Allen Say WH E Say / PACL PB Say

When Mark is home sick, Uncle Scott, Mark's fishing buddy, sends him a box for trout flies. A dream sequence begins as Mark opens the box and the flies flutter out the window. A river appears, and a boat, and Mark finds Uncle Scott fishing just around the bend. But Uncle Scott lets his fish go, saying he ``likes to leave the river the way he found it.'' Then it's Mark's turn, and he catches a great rainbow trout, which he also throws back, echoing his uncle's words. School Library Journal. (Ages 4-8).

A River Ran Wild: An Environmental History, Lynne Cherry WH NF 974.44 Che / PACL PB Cherry

A pictorial history of Massachusetts and New Hampshire's Nashua River, from its valley's settlement 7,000 years ago by ``Indian peoples'' until its recent reclamation. An introductory note summarizes pivotal changes: the arrival of the English; industrialization; and the successful effort, begun in the 60's and largely credited to activist Marion Stoddart, to clean up the river and restore its wildlife. Contrasts--e.g., between the lush valley the Native Americans found and the dying river, sluggishly running red with dye and pulp from a paper mill--are dramatically telling. An important, intelligently presented story that is emblematic of the need for myriad similar conservation efforts. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 6-10). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

The Rock Pool, David Bellamy WH 574.52 Bel / PACL 574.5 B435r

Relates how plants and creatures co-exist in a rockpool and their struggle for survival when a man-made catastrophe strikes. Card Catalog Description. (Ages 4-8).

The Salamander Room, Anne Mazer WH E Maz / PACL PB Mazer

"Where will he sleep?" asks Brian's mother when he arrives home from the woods with an orange salamander. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Secret Place, Eve Bunting WH E Bun / PACL PB Bunting

Bunting writes about a small boy who discovers a secret place--a small patch of wildlife--at night in the river that runs through a cacophonous, polluted urban center . . . He shares this discovery with his father who runs a forklift at night and ``is good with secrets,'' a young married couple, and others who teach him the names of the birds. . . The boy wants to tell even more people about the secret place, but decides to be careful in the name of protecting it. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8). (Parent Comment: "very sweet").

Shamanís Apprentice: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest, Mark Plotkin WH E Plo

This is a story in which a lesson about medicinal herbs is brought to life through young Kamanya, who dreams of becoming his tribe's next shaman. Kamanya spends his time following the current shaman into the forest and learning the secrets of the plants. But local plants can't cure the new diseases brought to the area by strangers, and the pills the strangers bring with them cause the indigenous people to lose faith in the ability of their shaman. Eventually a woman named Gabriella, who comes to study the properties of the rain forest plants, restores the tribe's faith. Booklist. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: this book has been selected to be read in our third grade classrooms).

Summer Sands, Sherry Garland WH E Gar

In gentle, poetic language, the beauty of sand dunes and their role in protecting the beach from erosion is described as two children discover their unique pleasures. When a storm destroys the fragile dunes, the youngsters are saddened. The following winter, however, they take part in a conservation effort to help restore the dunes with recycled Christmas trees. School Library Journal. (Ages 4-8). (Note: mentions Christmas).

Thank You, Brother Bear, Hans Baumann OL E Bau

Young Chip does not like to hunt like his older brothers; he loves the animals too much to hurt them. When Chip's younger sister becomes ill, it is his appreciative animal brothers who help Chip obtain medicine for her. Heartwood Institute. (Ages 4-8). (Not previewed).

Tiger, Judy Allen PACL PB Allen

Somewhere in Asia, a well-known hunter travels to young Lee's village in search of a rumored tiger. The villagers wish the hunter well, extolling the virtues of tiger meat, hoping to share in the profits from the sale of its skin -- except Lee, who wishes the hunter bad luck in his hunting. Vivid imagery in both art and text reveal the hunter to be a photographer, shooting the tiger's every move with his telephoto lens. The book's powerful message of the beauty and plight of the endangered tiger is tastefully presented. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8).

A Tree is Nice, Janice May Udry WH 582.16 Udr / PACL PB Udry

This book that speaks simply and elegantly of the many pleasures a tree provides. Publishersí Weekly. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

The Tree of Life: The World of African Baobab, Barbara Bash WH 583.19 Bas / PACL 582 B299t

According to African legend, each animal was given a tree to plant by the Great Spirit. . . Bash proceeds to unfold the life cycle of this majestic bastion of the African savannah. Frequently measuring 60 feet tall and 40 feet across, these giants "outlive nearly everything on earth"--their life span is over 1000 years. In this compelling and moving account, the baobab stands proud and stately as a vivid panoply of activity unfolds within its sprawling branches. . . . Finally, an old tree dies and "collapses in on itself, a melted heap of ruins." A seed sprouts, a new baobab tree begins to grow and life continues. One of nature's great lessons is recreated dramatically in this stirring book. Publishers Weekly. (Ages 4-8).

Turtle Bay, Saviour Pirotta WH E Pir

Outlined in the tranquil telling of a friendship between a young boy and a seemingly odd man who proves to be ``old and wise, and full of wonderful secrets'' is a beguiling look at the breeding process of Japanese sea turtles, who lay their eggs on land yet live in the ocean. Jiro-San is often seen sweeping the glass and rubbish from the beach and listening to the wind, in preparation for the return of his ``old friends." Kirkus Review. (Ages 4-8).

Wetlands Walk, Sheri Amsel WH E Ams

Answering common questions about wetlands and explaining their environmental importance, this charming picture book follows a child on a wetland walk, showing the fascinating plants and animals that can be found there. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

When the Monkeys Came Back, Kristine Franklin WH E Fra

Years after the jungle in her Costa Rica valley is cut down, Don+a1a Marta persuades her husband to give her a piece of land on which she plants trees that she and descendants care for until they grow into a forest and the monkeys that had once lived there return. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Window, Jeannie Baker WH E Bak / PACL PB Baker

A mother and baby look through a window at the beautiful wilderness beyond their home. But as the baby grows, buildings and roads are constructed, and by the time the boy is an adult, what was once open landscape is now a crowded city. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Wump World, Bill Peet WH E Pee / PACL PB Peet

The Pollutians invade the Wump World and turn the green meadows into a concrete jungle. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: this book has been selected to be read in our second grade classrooms).

Ages 9-12

Come Back, Salmon: How a Group of Dedicated Kids Adopted Pigeon Creek and Brought It Back to Life, Molly Cone WH NF 639.3 Con / PACL 639.37 C747c

An inspiring story of young scientists in action, featured on Nova: how schoolchildren in Everett, Washington, worked with their teachers to clean up Pigeon Creek and reclaim it as a salmon spawning ground. Candid color photos of boys and girls of several ethnic groups, plus a text based on recorded conversations with the kids, lend drama and immediacy; additional scientific facts (e.g., how salmon scales tell the age of the fish; how salmon build a nest or ``redd'') appear in boxes. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 10-12).

Daisy Rothschild: The Giraffe That Lives with Me, Betty Leslie-Melville OL 599.73 Les / PACL 599.638 L637d

Leslie-Melville and her late husband Jock unintentionally became the primary preservers of the endangered Rothschild giraffe while living in Nairobi, Kenya. . . Daisy Rothschild eloquently points out the difference that just two people can make in the fight to protect endangered animals. Publisher's Weekly. (Ages 5-up).

Every Living Thing, Cynthia Rylant PACL Juv Fiction Rylant

Here are twelve deeply moving short stories from the perceptive pen of Cynthia Rylant. Each captures the moment when someone's life changes -- when an animal causes a human being to see things in a different way, and, perhaps, changes his life. Book Description. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not previewed).

Hawk Hill, Suzie Gilbert WH F Gil

When Pete moves to a new town, he can't seem to make any friends. But one day, he takes a new road home from school, and what he discovers changes him forever. The spectacular images, carefully researched, capture the world from both a human and bird's-eye view, while a detailed glossary of birds and information about raptor rehabilitation underscore the importance of keeping the natural world wild. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Nt: this book has been selected to be read in our fifth grade classrooms).

Loving the Earth: A Sacred Landscape Book for Children, Fredric Lehrman OL 574.5 Leh

This collection of stunning artwork and photographs and easy-to-read text is designed both to teach children about the wonderful planet we live on and to inspire awe and respect for the sacredness of this mother planet Earth. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not previewed).

A River Ran Wild: An Environmental History, Lynne Cherry WH NF 974.44 Che / PACL PB Cherry

A pictorial history of Massachusetts and New Hampshire's Nashua River, from its valley's settlement 7,000 years ago by ``Indian peoples'' until its recent reclamation. An introductory note summarizes pivotal changes: the arrival of the English; industrialization; and the successful effort, begun in the 60's and largely credited to activist Marion Stoddart, to clean up the river and restore its wildlife. Contrasts--e.g., between the lush valley the Native Americans found and the dying river, sluggishly running red with dye and pulp from a paper mill--are dramatically telling. An important, intelligently presented story that is emblematic of the need for myriad similar conservation efforts. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 6-10). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Urban Roosts: Where Birds Nest in the City, Barbara Bash WH 598.25 Bas / PACL 598.2 B299u

Bash has chosen 13 species of birds, from the familiar pigeon to the sleek, skyscraper-nesting peregrine falcon, to show how these creatures have successfully adapted to new city habitats. She mentions the fact that many of the birds' original environments have been destroyed by man, but is not heavy-handed in her message. School Library Journal. (Ages 9-12). (Not previewed).

Understood Betsy, Dorothy Fisher OL F Fis / PACL F Fisher

Sent to live with her rough-mannered cousins in Vermont, nine-year-old Elizabeth Ann accepts the challenge of her new life and begins a triumphant journey of self-discovery. Ingram. (Ages 8-12). (Not previewed). (Nt: respecting nature.)

* We have not yet had the chance to read all the books recommended, so you might to pre-read the selections if you are concerned about content. Of those we have read, we added a notation if we thought the theme might pose some problems for you (such as death, capital punishment, or discussion of the topic in the context of a religious holiday).

Books marked WH are in our library, OL in other Palo Alto School District libraries, PACL at the Palo Alto Children's Library, PAMain at Palo Alto Main Library and PAMP at Palo Alto Mitchell Park Library.

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Honesty & Truth

Preschool

The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Beatrix Potter WH E Pot / PACL PB Potter

The quintessential cautionary tale, Peter Rabbit warns naughty children about the grave consequences of misbehaving. When Mrs. Rabbit beseeches her four furry children not to go into Mr. McGregor's garden, the impish Peter naturally takes this as an open invitation to create mischief. . . [whose] obstinate folly . . . warrants medicine and an early bedtime. Amazon.com. (Age: Preschool).

Ages 4-8

The Adventures of Obadiah, Brinton Turkle WH E Tur / PACL PB Trukle

Because he is always making up stories, no one in the family believes Obadiah's adventure at the sheep shearing squantum. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Annabelle's Un-Birthday, Steven Kroll

Lucky Annabelle: she makes instant friends in her new school; then, in the euphoria at the end of her first day, she invites her entire class to Grandma's for an impromptu ``birthday'' party, Grandma rises handsomely to the occasion, providing not only ice cream but a cake in full regalia. . . Grandma follows up the party with a thoughtful command: Annabelle must explain to her class that it wasn't her birthday. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8).

Anteater on the Stairs, Peter Cottrill

A boy named Joe fabricates tales about an incredible menagerie of unusual pets, but his new friend, Sophie, surprises him with an exotic -- and real -- pet of her own. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8).

Awful Thursday, Ron Roy OL E Roy / PAMP Juv Reader F Roy

Jack feels responsible for ruining a school tape recorder and dreads telling Miss Hope what happened. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

A Bargain for Frances, Russell Hoban WH E Hob / PACL Juv Fiction Hoban

Frances foils Thelma's plot to trick her out of a new china set. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). Reader.

Be Nice to Josephine, Betty Horvath WH E Hor

Charlie, who spends every Saturday playing baseball, is horrified when his mother insists that this Saturday he will have to entertain his cousin Josephine. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Believing Sophie, Hazel Hutchins PACL PB Hutchins

An obnoxious lady at the grocery store mistakenly accuses young Sophie of shoplifting, and Sophie must prove her innocence. The storekeeper lets her go, but Sophie isn't sure he believes her. Luckily, she remembers she has concrete proof that she paid for her purchase. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8).

The Berenstain Bears and the Truth, Stan and Jan Berenstain WH E Ber / PAMP PB Berenstain

When Brother and Sister Bear accidentally break Mama's favorite lamp, their little lie grows bigger and bigger, until Papa Bear helps them find the words that set everything right again. Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

Big Bushy Mustache, Gary Soto WH E Sot / PACL PB Soto

Ricky wants to look more like his dad, so he borrows a big bushy mustache from the school costume shelf. Unfortunately, he loses the prop before he can return it. But Ricky's papi soon comes up with a great solution. www.heartwoodethics.org. (Ages 4-8).

A Birthday for Frances, Russell Hoban WH E Hob / PACL PB Hoban

Jealous of her sister's birthday, Frances becomes mean and selfish, until rare generosity and birthday spirit move her to reluctantly give her coveted gift. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

The Boy Who Cried Wolf, Tony Ross

Other Authors: WH 398 Eva

In this contemporary retelling of a traditional tale, Willy cries "Wolf!" to get out of ordeals like taking a bath or going to his violin lesson, until the wolf really appears. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Chen Ping and His Magic Axe, Demi PAMP Juv 398 D378c

Chen Ping sets off to chop wood for his master and he loses his axe. An old man appears and offers to help him find it. First he presents Chen Ping with a gold axe, then a silver one, and Chen Ping refuses both. Only when his trusty old axe is retrieved does Chen Ping claim it. His honesty spells trouble for his greedy master. www.heartwoodethics.org. (Ages 4-8).

A Day's Work, Eve Bunting WH E Bun / PACL PB Bunting

This tale begins in a parking lot with men lined up hoping a truck or car will appear with a driver looking for workers. Francisco is there with his grandfather, who doesn't speak English. Francisco knows they need the work, so he lies about their experience with gardening -- which results in a lot more work than he'd planned on and a lesson in honesty. Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children. (Ages 4-8).

The Dragon's Robe, Deborah Lattimore WH E Lat / PACL PB Lattimore

In this original tale set in ancient China, poor Kwan Yin's great skill as a weaver, as well as her honesty, industry, and courage, enable her to weave a magic robe that calls forth the spirit of the rain dragon who vanquishes the great Khan and his invading army. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8).

The Emperor's New Clothes, Jack Delano

Other Authors: WH 398.21 Emp, San, Ste

Two rascals sell a vain emperor an invisible suit of clothes. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

The Empty Pot, Demi WH E Dem / PACL Juv 398 D378e

In a satisfying, accessible tale, all the children of the land are given seeds to grow for the old emperor; unbeknownst to them the seeds are incapable of germinating. Ping is chosen to be the next emperor when he is the only one who has the courage to come before the ruler with an empty pot. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children).

Even That Moose Won't Listen to Me, Martha Alexander PACL PB Alexander

This story has the same spirit as "The Boy Who Called Wolf." Nobody pays much attention to Rebecca. She's a little girl with a big imagination and often calls her family to see rocket ships and two-headed frogs. So when she tells her family there is a moose in the garden, they pretty much ignore her. Too bad--since the moose ate all the plants. www.heartwoodethics.org. (Ages 4-8).

Franklin Fibs, Paulette Bourgeois WH E Bou / PACL PB Bourgeois

Bear can climb the highest tree, Hawk can fly over the berry patch without flapping his wings, and Beaver can chop down a tree with his teeth. "I can swallow 76 flies in the blink of an eye," Franklin fibs. . . . Then Franklin's friends ask him to prove it! Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Frederick's Alligator, Esther Peterson WH E Pet / PACL PB Peterson

Frederick has always claimed to have wild animals in his house. Then one day he really does become the owner of a baby alligator. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

The Gollywhopper Egg, Anne Rockwell WH E Roc / PACL Juv Reader F Rockwell

Timothy Todd, the peddler, sells almost anything, including a coconut he endows with unique abilities. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Harriet and the Garden, Nancy Carlson WH E Car / PACL PB Carlson

Harriet feels terrible until she confesses to trampling on a neighbor's garden and ruining a prize dahlia. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Honest Tulio, John Himmelman PACL

When honest Tulio sees a man drop a copper coin in the bustling marketplace, he sets off to find him and return it. It turns out to be a very profitable journey, for Tulio's honesty and kindness prompt people he encounters along the way to give him things. When he finally catches up to the man who dropped the coin, Tulio has acquired a lamb's-wool coat, a circus elephant with a juggling monkey, a royal hat in the shape of the queen's royal poodle, and a chicken that lays square eggs. . . A lively adventure that also reinforces the old adage "Honesty is the best policy." Book List. (Ages 4-8).

I'll Tell on You, Joan Lexau WH F Lex / PACL F Lexau

After his dog bites the coach's daughter, a young boy doesn't tell anyone because he fears that it will keep him off of the team. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Ivan the Great, Isabel Cusack WH F Cus

A parrot named Ivan teaches a nine-year-old the difference between truth and a lie. IPac. (Ages 4-8). Reader.

Jamaica's Find, Juanita Havill OL E Hav / PACL PB Havill

Jamaica finds a stuffed dog at the playground and after taking him home discovers her conscience as well. Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

John Patrick Norman McHennessy, The Boy Who Was Always Late, John Burningham OL E Bur / PACL PB Burningham

Every day John Patrick Norman McHennessy sets off along the road to learn, and every day strange and improbable happenings make him late. To make things worse, his teacher, Sir, never believes his stories. One day, John Patrick Norman McHennessy is able to make it on time and finds that an improbable and strange thing has happened to Sir. Just how the tables are turned provides a twist every child will relish. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children).

The Judge: An Untrue Tale, Harve Zemach WH E Zem / PACL PB Zemach

A judge discovers that five people he had imprisoned are innocent after all. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Caldecott Honor Book 1970).

Julian's Glorious Summer, Ann Cameron WH F Cam / PACL Fiction Cameron

Young Julian has a fear of bicycles. When his best friend Gloria gets a new bike, all Julian wants to do is stay away from it. So, instead of telling Gloria the truth about his feelings, Julian lies, saying he has to work for his dad and can't play with her. But Julian soon learns to face his fears--and confront his lie when he gets his own brand new bike. www.heartwoodethics.org. (Ages 4-8).

King Bob's New Clothes, Dom DeLuise

King Discombobulated (Bob for short) has his priorities all mixed up. He loves new clothes more than anything in his kingdom. Yet his clothes are so silly that his royal subjects can hardly avoid laughing at their king. One day a pair of smooth-talking tailors shows up in town. They promise to make the king a suit of magical cloth that can only be seen by the pure of heart. The king is thrilled! But when he parades through town wearing nothing but his magic threads, will anyone have the courage to tell the king the naked truth? Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

The King's Fountain, Lloyd Alexander WH E Ale / PACL PB Alexander

When the king plans to build a grand fountain at his palace, he doesn't realize that it will sap the surrounding village of its water supply. A poor man musters his courage and risks his life to inform the ruler and save his people. www.heartwoodethics.org. (Ages 4-8).

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire! Miriam Cohen OL E Coh / PACL PB Cohen

Zoe, worried that she is not special, has the bad habit of making up outrageous stories and trying to pass them off as the truth in order to make herself appear more interesting. Her constant lying has made her classmates, teacher, and parents suspicious of anything she says. Even when Zoe tells the truth, no one believes her except her devoted younger brother, Joey, and her kind friend, Michael, and even they are getting fed up. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children).

The Magic Fan, Keith Baker WH E Bak / PACL PB Baker

Despite the laughter of his fellow villagers, Yoshi uses his building skills to make a boat to catch the moon, a kite to reach the clouds, and a bridge that mimics the rainbow. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Mollie's Lies, Kay Chorao WH E Cho

Challenged by a classmate on the first day of school, Molly stops making up stories and admits her fears. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Molly's Pilgrim, Barbara Cohen WH E Coh / PACL PB Cohen

Russian emigre Molly is embarrassed by her mother's attempts to help with her Thanksgiving project. She makes a pilgrim doll--but dresses it in Russian clothing. Soon, however, Molly learns that it takes all kinds of "pilgrims" to make a Thanksgiving. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

My Mama Says There Aren't Any Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, Creatures, Demons, Monsters, Fiends, Goblins or Things, Judith Viorst WH E Vio / PACL PB Viorst

Viorst deals humorously with a childhood truth; here it's the threat of imaginary monsters and a mother's reassurances that they don't exist. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Once, Said Darlene, Wiliam Sleator WH E Sle / PACL Juv Reader F Sleator

Darlene's stories sound unbelievable but she insists they are all true. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Pedro and the Padre: A Tale from Jalisco, Mexico, Verne Aardema PACL Juv 398 A113pp

Lazy Pedro is a likable rascal who enjoys deceiving people, but after narrowly escaping a drowning because of one of his lies, he vows to amend his ways. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8).

Poppleton, Cynthia Rylant WH E Ryl / PACL Juv Reader Fiction Ryl

Poppleton is the new pig in town. He makes friends with his neighbor, Cherry Sue, but all she wants to do is feed Poppleton--oatmeal in the morning, toasted cheese in the afternoon, spaghetti at night. The food frenzy goes on day after day until Poppleton soaks Cherry Sue with his hose. He's tired of sharing meals, but it turns out Cherry Sue thought he'd be hurt if she stopped preparing food for him. Booklist. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children).

The Principal's New Clothes, Stephanie Calmenson OL E Cal / PACL PB Calmenson

In this version of the Andersen tale the vain principal of P.S. 88 is persuaded by two tailors that they will make him an amazing, one-of-a-kind, suit that will be visible only to intelligent people who are good at their jobs. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Rabbit Rambles On, Susanna Gretz

Frog and Duck decide to teach their friend Rabbit a lesson after he tells tall tales about his juggling and balancing skills. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Roses Sing on New Snow: A Delicious Tale, Paul Yee PACL PB Yee

While Maylin does the cooking for her family's Chinatown restaurant, her greedy father and two fat brothers take all the credit. When her specially prepared dish, ``Roses Sing on New Snow,'' is served to the visiting governor of South China, he asks the brothers to show him how it was made. They fail miserably. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8).

Ruby the Copycat, Peggy Rathman WH E Rat / PACL PB Rathman

At first, when new-girl Ruby imitates Angela, Angela takes it in good part: they must be kindred spirits. But as she realizes that Ruby's claims (only Angela was really a bridesmaid) aren't true, Angela is ever-more annoyed with her mimicry. A sensitive teacher helps Ruby see that doing her own thing is a better way to make friends. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Sam, Bangs & Moonshine, Evaline Ness WH E Nes / PACL PB Ness

Samantha (known as Sam) is a fisherman's daughter who dreams rich and lovely dreams--moonshine, her father says. When her tall stories bring disaster to her friend Thomas and her cat Bangs, Sam learns to distinguish between moonshine and reality. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Caldecott Medal Winner 1967).

Striding Slippers, Mirra Ginsburg OL 398.2 Gin / PACL Juv 398 G493s

Magical striding slippers are stolen from the shepherd who made them, but they cannot be controlled by anyone else. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Sukey and the Mermaid, Robert San Souci WH 398.21 San / PACL Juv 398 S197sm

Eager to escape her stepfather's scolding, Sukey, the hardworking daughter of poor South Carolina Islanders, unwittingly conjures up Mama Jo, a beautiful, brown-skinned mermaid, who gives Sukey a special gift. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Summer Wheels, Eve Bunting WH F Bun / PACL Fiction Bunting

In a neighborhood where few kids own bikes, the ``Bicycle Man'' (based on a real person) loans out his lovingly renovated collection, with just two rules: the bikes must be returned by four, and if they're damaged, the borrower must help make repairs. One day blond Brady and his friend Lawrence (the African-American narrator) make an early return; Lawrence is dismayed to see a tough-looking boy taking his favorite bike, signing an obviously false name. Sure enough, ``Abrehem Lincoln'' doesn't bring the bike back until the younger boys pursue him next day; and when he's entrusted with a second bike, he misuses it--but then returns to confide his true name and make an earnest effort at repair. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8).

The Surprise Party, Annabelle Prager WH E Pra / PACL Fiction Prager

Nicky wants to have a surprise party--for himself! He gets his friend Albert to invite all the kids, and make sure there's lots of cake and presents. What could go wrong? Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

Talking Eggs : A Folktale from the American South, Robert D. San Souci WH 398.21 San/ PACL 398 S197t

Two sisters lived down Louisiana way long ago: Rose, who was unpleasant, mean, and the older of the two; and her younger sister, Blanche, who was "sweet and kind and sharp as forty crickets." Guess who has to do all the work for Rose and their mother? Blanche's kind and obedient nature finally pays off when she helps an old woman who has magical powers--and a chicken house full of talking eggs containing treasures for those who do as they're told. Amazon.com. (Ages 5-10). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children). (Caldecott Honor Book 1990).

The Thief's Daughter, Alan Marks

A tale of an honest man disgraced and discharged from his court post when he is suspected of theft. Years later, with the aid of a noble and mysterious woman who appears and disappears without warning, his daughter Magpie finds the golden key to a box the Queen had given her father as a token of trust. Inside are deeds to enough land to lift her family from poverty--a satisfying enough end to a tale of honesty rewarded. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8).

To Tell The Truth, Patti Farmer

Benjamin Gates is a pillar of virtue. Whenever someone asks for his opinion, he is compelled to tell the truth. But the truth is often the last thing people want to hear. Pretty soon, the whole class is refusing to speak to him. Determined to keep his policy of honesty, Benjamin must find a way to remain '"true" both to his convictions and to his playmates. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Too Many Tamales, Gary Soto WH E Sot / PACL PB Soto

The whole family is coming for Christmas, so Maria and her parents are busy making tamales--Maria helps Mom knead the masa, and her father puts them in the pot to boil. While they're working, Maria secretly tries on Mom's diamond ring, then forgets about it until she's playing with her cousins. Since it's not on her thumb she's sure it's in a tamale, so the four cousins consume all 24 (with some difficulty) in hopes of finding it. No luck--the ring's on Mom's finger, after all. In this family, there's no scolding: Aunt Rosa says, ``It looks like we all have to cook up another batch,'' and so they do, three generations laughing and working together. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8).

The Treasure, Uri Shulevitz OL 398.2 Shu / PAMP PB Shulevitz

A retelling of the traditional English tale in which a poor man follows the advice of his dream and is eventually led to a treasure. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Caldecott Honor Book 1980).

The True Francine, Marc Brown WH E Bro / PACL PB Brown

Francine and Muffy are good friends until Muffy lets Francine take the blame for cheating on a test. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

True or False? Patricia Ruben OL E Rub

Presents true or false questions about the accompanying photographs. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

What's So Terrible About Swallowing an Apple Seed? Harriet Lerner

When Rosie accidentally swallows an apple seed, her big sister Katie tells her that before long apple tree branches will bloom right out of her ears. Soon Rosie is imagining both the hazards and delights of having branches growing from her ears, and Katie is learning just how fast a little white lie can grow. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Zack's Tall Tale, Shelagh Canning

When Zack is afraid to tell his father that he broke a valuable camera that he promised he would not touch, Plato relates to him the story of George Washington and the cherry tree, and Zack learns the value of honesty. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Ages 9-12

Bad Times of Irma Baumlein, Carol Brink WH F Bri / PACL Juv F Brink

Irma's lie about having the biggest doll in the world leads her into deeper and deeper trouble. IPac. (Ages 9-12).

Big Bazoohley, Peter Carey OL F Car / PACL F Carey

Sam Kellow's family is stuck in the middle of a blizzard in a hotel room that costs $453 a night, but they are down to their last $40. Sam's father believes in the Big Bazoohley--the "Big Prize, the Jackpot"--that will come along just in time to save the family from ruin. But waiting around isn't good enough for Sam as comedy, adventure and fantasy unite in this highly acclaimed novel. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children).

The Cat Ate My Gymsuit, Paula Danzinger WH F Dan / PACL F Danzinger

Marcy Lewis is bored by school; her father tyrannizes both Marcy and her mother; she despairs of ever being thin; she is certain she'll never have a date and that a horrible case of acne will break out any minute. Then along comes Ms. Finney, an English teacher willing to try anything in the classroom. Above all, she is accessible and human. Marcy has never met anyone like her, and suddenly life in and out of school begins to have a purpose. When Ms. Finney is suspended because of her controversial teaching methods and her refusal to pledge allegiance to the flag, the whole school is thrown into an uproar. Now out of her protective shell, Marcy helps to organize a protest, and she too is suspended. With her mother firmly on her side, her father violently opposed, Marcy must decide whether her fight for Ms. Finney and the values she stands for is worth the price she must pay at home and in school. From the Publisher. (Ages 9-12).

Cheater, Cheater, Elizabeth Levy OL F Lev

The problem with trying to impress someone is that what you do sometimes gets you in trouble. Cheating is not Lucy's style, but she ends up doing it to make Joey like her. The consequences demonstrate the complications that can follow one little lie. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12).

Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh WH F Fit / PACL F Fitzhugh

Harriet the Spy was a groundbreaking book: its unflinchingly honest portrayal of childhood problems and emotions changed children's literature forever . . . and remains one of the best children's novels ever written. The fascinating story is about an intensely curious and intelligent girl, who literally spies on people and writes about them in her secret notebook, trying to make sense of life's absurdities. When her classmates find her notebook and read her painfully blunt comments about them, Harriet finds herself a lonely outcast. Fitzhugh's writing is astonishingly vivid, real and engaging, and Harriet, by no means a typical, loveable heroine, is one of literature's most unforgettable characters. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12).  (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children).

Honestly, Myron, Dean Hughes WH F Hug

Fifth-grader Myron takes his teacher's lesson on the importance of honesty very seriously and becomes absolutely honest at all times. He is confused by the hostility his new attitude provokes in the community. IPac. (Ages 9-12).

The Lemonade Trick, Scott Corbett OL F Cor / PAMP F Corbett

A mysterious potion mixed by Kerby with his chemistry set has a beneficial effect on the neighborhood bully but also wreaks havoc at the Sunday School pageant. Ingram. (Ages 9-12).

Lizzie Lies a Lot, Elizabeth Levy WH F Levy / PACL F Levy

Nine-year-old Lizzie's impulse to lie affects her relationships with family and friends. IPac. (Ages 8-12).

Love, From the Fifth Grade Celebrity, Patricia Giff OL F Gif

In this fourth Casey Valentine book, Casey can't wait for the new school year since she's sure she'll be elected class president and her friend Tracy will be moving to her town. But when Tracy wins the election and steals her friends, Casy begins to wish her friend had never come to town. Ingram. (Ages 9-12).

Mary Marony and the Chocolate Surprise, Suzy Kline WH F Kli / PACL Juv New F Kline

Mary Marony desperately wants to be one of the five lucky students to find a golden ticket in one of the chocolate bars Mrs. Bird is using for a classroom game based on the story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. When some unauthorized peeks reveal that obstreperous Marvin, whom Mary dislikes, is set to win, Mary makes a chocolate bar exchange. As luck would have it, though, her winning is tarnished by her dishonesty, leaving her wondering whether cheating is sometimes OK or always wrong. Booklist. (Ages 9-12).

Misty and Me, Barbara Girion WH F Gir / PACL F Girion

Eleven-year-old Kim finds that keeping a dog in secret is a very expensive and time-consuming proposition. IPac. (Ages 9-12).

My Brother, the Thief, Marlene Shyer OL F Shy / PACL F Shyer

Twelve-year-old Carolyn tries to deal with the knowledge that her 16-year-old brother Richard and his shady friend Flim-flam are thieves. IPac. (Ages 9-12).

Nothing But the Truth: A Documentary Novel, Avi OL F Avi / PACL Young Adult F Avi

Ninth-grader Philip has never been in trouble, but he's upset because his English grade is keeping him off the track team. . . [H]e hums along with the daily playing of the national anthem . . . [when h]is English teacher . . . tries to enforce the silence rule, Philip responds with offhand rudeness . . . [T]he ensuing confrontation escalates into a two-day suspension followed by national media attention based on the erroneous belief that Philip has been denied the right to express his patriotism. Skillfully composing his story from school memos, news clips, dialogues, and Philip's diary, Avi shows how well-meaning people can generate misinformation through a combination of interrupting or simply not listening, shaping facts to suit their own goals, letting preconceptions muddy thought, or just lacking the will and the skill to get things straight. The garbled conversations here are all too believable; only one reporter makes an intelligent effort to find out what really happened, and his story is never printed. Nobody wins . . .Wryly satirical: nothing but the deplorable truth about our increasingly inarticulate, media-driven society. Kirkus Reviews.(Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Honor Book 1992).

On My Honor, Marion Bauer OL F Bauer / PACL F Bauer

When his best friend drowns while they are swimming in a treacherous river that they had promised never to go near, Joel is devastated and terrified at having to tell both sets of parents the terrible consequences of their disobedience. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children (Newbery Honor Book 1987).

A Penny's Worth of Character, Jessie Stuart

A boy's guilt catches up with him when he deceives a shopkeeper in order to get some candy. He sets things right at the behest of his mother and learns a valuable lesson about telling the truth. www.heartwoodethics.org. (Ages 9-12).

Pinocchio, Carlo Collodi WH F Col / PACL F Collodi

The famous puppet made of wood comes to life again in a colorful unabridged edition, as he tries to please his father Geppetto and stay out of trouble by letting his conscience be his guide. Ingram. (Ages 9-12).

The Pistachio Prescription, Paula Danzinger WH F Dan / PACT F Danzinger

Cassandra (Cassie) Stephens is thirteen, a "mousy-brown" in a family of blonds and redheads, a totem pole among shapelies, a nonentity in a world of achievers. On top of that, she's got asthma. World War III is waged daily in her home, beginning at the breakfast table and ending with slammed doors at night. "Operation Overthrow" is under way at school, with Cassie running for freshperson class president. Pressures mount from all sides until Cassie, the first "teenage bomb in captivity," thinks she just might explode. But it isn't Cassie who explodes--it's her family. From the Publisher. (Ages 9-12).

A Question of Trust, Marion Dane Bauer OL F Bau / PACL Juv F Bauer

Bauer constructs a close-knit story explicating subtle ethical issues through a young person trying to work out his troubles in good faith, if sometimes wrongheadedly. Furious with his mother for moving out, Brad, 12, refuses--in the vain hope of forcing her return--to speak to her or let his loyal little brother Charlie contact her. Meanwhile, the boys take in a stray cat and, with astonishment and awe, watch her give birth. They can't tell Dad because he's known to be unforgiving and is sure to cite their irresponsibility (years ago) with pets and to take ``Cat'' to a shelter; but with neither parent to help, Cat's ongoing drama grows increasingly traumatic. To feed her, the normally honest Brad snitches Dad's change; worse, Cat appears to have eaten an ailing kitten. Horrified, the boys drive her away, then struggle to care for the remaining kitten, a round-the-clock task. When Cat returns, Charlie angrily attacks her, she's hurt, and the whole story comes out (like the father in On My Honor, Dad proves to be fair and, ultimately, supportive); a vet explains Cat's not unnatural behavior in clearing her nest of a probably dead kitten. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 9-12).

The Stinky Sneakers Contest, Julie Peters

There is a lesson about sportsmanship and honesty in this early chapter book about two boys whose friendship is threatened when they enter a smelly sneaker contest. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12).

To Live a Lie, Anne Alexander WH F Ale

Hurt by her parent's divorce and living with her father, Jennifer changes her name and tells people her mother is dead. IPac. (Ages 9-12).

True Lies: 18 Tales for You to Judge, George Shannon OL 398.2 Sha / PACL Juv 398 S5275t

[T]his collection of 18 stories that challenge readers to discover what is true and what is fabricated. Whether it's the story of the brothers digging for treasure in the vineyard their late father bequeathed them (when the treasure is the vineyard itself), or the tale of the brother and sister who promised their mother they'd each eat only one of the cookies they were baking, but were still too full to eat dinner (because the cookies they'd devoured were as big as a cake), there is a host of amusing and tricky folktales, biblical stories, and fables to test anyone's truth-telling skills. . . [E]very one ends with ``The Whole Truth,'' a section that reveals any deceptions or slippery omissions. A collection that confirms for children what they may have guessed already about life's many shades of gray. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children).

The Trumpet of the Swan, E. B. White WH F Whi / PACL Juv Fiction White

The book is considered a classic of children's literature. White's version of the ugly duckling story involves a mute swan named Louis who becomes a famous jazz trumpet player to compensate for his lack of a natural voice. Aided by his father, who steals a trumpet for him, and by Sam Beaver, an 11-year-old human friend, Louis is able to attract a mate and eventually to return to the wilderness. The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature. (Ages 9-12).

The Truthful Harp, Lloyd Alexander WH F Ale

A king of a small land in Prydain, unable to pass the test to be a bard, is given a harp whose strings keep breaking as he speaks. IPac. (Ages 9-12).

When Stories Fell Like Shooting Stars, Valiska Gregory

Two original, allegorical tales demonstrate different options for action in the real world. In the first, the sun falls to earth, and Fox covers it with a cloth, announcing that from now on he will control day and night. Weasel and Crow dispute Fox's power, divide the animals into factions, and begin a war that ends with a scorched earth and a forgotten sun. In the second story, Bear finds the moon fallen to earth. He and the other animals work together to return it to the sky and, later, listen to the story of what they did. Book List. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Ages 13 and Up (Young Adult)

Deathwatch, Robb White WH F Whi / PACL F White

An exciting novel of suspense, based on a fight to the finish between an honest and courageous young man and a cynical business tycoon who believes that anything can be had for a price. Horn Book. (Ages 13 and up). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children).

Face on the Milk Carton, Caroline Cooney OL F Coo / PACL F Cooney

Recognizing herself as the missing child on a school milk carton, Janie is compelled to investigate and has to choose between her love for the people she has always known as her parents and needing to learn the truth. Ingram. (Ages 13 and up). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children).

Tell Me No Lies, Hila Coleman OL F Col

After finding out the truth about her absent father, a twelve-year-old girl learns about the difficult choices people must sometimes make. IPac. (Ages: Young Adult).

Not Reviewed

Ages 4-8

Amanda and the Giggling Ghost, Steven Kroll

A Big, Fat, Enormous Lie, Marjorie Sharmat PACL PB Sharmat

Freya's Fantastic Surprise, Elizabeth Hathorn

Honest Ape, Bob Reese

A Pair of Red Clogs, Masako Matsuno WH E Mat

The Three Friends, Susanne Kubler PACL PB Kubler

The Winter Wife: An Abenaki Folktale, Anne Crompton PACL Juv 398 C945w

Ages 9-12

Justice, Joan Johnson

Lower, Higher! You're a Liar, Miriam Chaikin

A Tangled Web, Hannelore Valencak

Tell the Truth, Marly Dee, Barbara Williams

Ages Unspecified

Abraham Lincoln: The Backwoods Boy, Horatio Alger, Jr.

The Best Kept Secret of the War, Leonard Todd PACL Juv F Todd

A Big Fish Story, Joanne Wylie PACL Juv Fiction Spanish Wylie

A Boy Called Fish, Alison Morgan

Charlotte Cheetham, Master of Disaster, Barbara Holmes

Diogenes: The Story of the Greek Philosopher, Aliki

Ernie's Little Lie, Dan Elliott

Honest Andrew, Gloria Skurzynski

I Know You Cheated, Valjean McLenighan

Josie's Beau, Natalie Honeycutt PACL F Honeycutt

Just Between Us, Susan Beth Pfeffer

Leonard the Llama that Lied, Susan Cameron

The Lie, Ann Helena

Rufus's Big Day, Jane Wilson

The Secret Box, Joanna Cole PACL F Cole

Taro and the Tofu, Masako Matsuno

Tyron, the Double Dirty, Rotten Cheater, Hans Wilhelm

* We have not yet had the chance to read all the books recommended, so you might to pre-read the selections if you are concerned about content. Of those we have read, we added a notation if we thought the theme might pose some problems for you (such as death, capital punishment, or discussion of the topic in the context of a religious holiday).

Books marked WH are in our library, OL in other Palo Alto School District libraries, PACL at the Palo Alto Children's Library, PAMain at Palo Alto Main Library and PAMP at Palo Alto Mitchell Park Library.

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Justice

Preschool

Chicken Sunday, Pat Polacco WH E Pol / PACL PB Polacco

The author draws from a childhood experience as she recalls how she and two African-American friends create an ingenious plan to buy a special Easter hat for the boys' grandmother, a lady well known for her wonderful chicken dinners. Horn Book. (Ages: Preschool). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Ages 4-8

The Ballot Box Battle, Emily Arnold McCully WH E McC / PACL PB McCully

McCully creates a fictional neighbor for Elizabeth Cady Stanton in the person of young Cordelia, whose thoughts are almost entirely taken up by horses. Mrs. Stanton, who is age 65, tells Cordelia about her childhood and how she sought to assuage her father's grief over her brother Eleazur's death by learning and accomplishing as much as any boy. She also describes her father's reaction--"How I wish you were a boy" --which only made her more determined to fight for equality. Stanton then prods a reluctant Cordelia into accompanying her as she unsuccessfully tries to cast a ballot. . . An author's note gives further information about Stanton and women's fight for the vote. Booklist. (Ages 4-8),

Bee My Valentine, Marion Cohen WH E Coh / PACL PB Cohen

With some people getting lots of cards and others not, Jim and his friends set out to make Valentine's Day a wonderful holiday for everyone in the first grade. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

The Berenstain Bears and the Slumber Party, Stan & Jan Berenstain OL E Ber / PACL PB Berenstain

Brother and Sister Bear learn a valuable lesson in behaving away from home. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

 The Berenstain Bears and the Truth, Stan & Jan Berenstain WH E Ber / PACL PB Berenstain

When Brother and Sister Bear accidentally break Mama's favorite lamp, their little lie grows bigger and bigger, until Papa Bear helps them find the words that set everything right again. Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

The Berenstain Bears Go out for the Team, Stan & Jan Berenstain WH E Ber / PACL PB Berenstain

When backyard sluggers Brother and Sister join the Bear Country Cub League, they get real uniforms and play on a baseball field. They also have pressure to win and competition from the other cubs. Mama's advice helps them prepare sensibly for team sports. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Big Orange Splot, Daniel Pinkwater OL E Pin / PACL PB Pinkwater

When Mr. Plumbeans' house is splashed with bright orange paint, he decides a multi-colored house would be a nice change. . . [A] favorite story of creativity and individuality. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

The Biggest Bear, Lynd Ward WH E War / PACL PB Ward

Johnny Orchard brings home a playful bear cub that soon becomes a nuisance to the neighbors. Ingram. (Ages 4-8) (Caldecott Medal Winner 1953).

Dear Benjamin Banneker, Andrea Davis Pinkney WH 921 Banneker

Benjamin Banneker was born free when most blacks were still enslaved. A self-taught mathematician and astronomer, he was the author of the first published almanac written by a black man. Throughout his life Bannecker was troubled that all blacks were not free. So, in 1791, he sent a letter to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. Here is the extraordinary correspondence between the two men. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

The Drinking Gourd: A Story of the Underground Railroad, F. N. Monjo WH E Mon / PACL Juv Reader Fiction Monjo

[T]ale of a young boy, the son of an Underground Railroad conductor, whose quick thinking saves a family of runaway slaves one night. The suspenseful easy reader emphasizes the courage and conviction of both the escaping slaves and those who helped them to freedom. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). Reader.

The Eggs: A Greek Folk Tale, Aliki WH E Aliki

A sea captain must depart in haste from the inn where he has eaten a meal of four fried eggs. He returns six years later to pay his debt and discovers that the innkeeper's prices have gone up considerably--500 gold pieces he demands--but a clever lawyer finds a way around the innkeeper's avarice. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

The Enchanted Book: A Tale from Krakow, Janina Proazinska OL 398.21 Pro / PACL 398 P832e

A retelling of the traditional Polish tale in which the youngest miller's daughter succeeds in outwitting an evil sorcerer. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins, Dr. Seuss WH E Seu / PACL PB Seuss

When Bartholomew visits town one day, selling cranberries at the market for his parents, the King's procession screeches to a halt in front of him; King Derwin then leans out of his coach, demanding to know why Bartholomew hasn't respectfully removed his hat. "But, Sire, my hat is off." He shows the king the hat in his hands that he's just doffed, but sure enough, another identical one sits atop his head. He takes that hat off only to reveal another... and another, and another, and another. Amazon.com. (Ages 4 to 8). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children).

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King, Jean Marzollo WH 921 King, M / PACL Juv Bio K35ma

Celebrating the birthday of the great civil rights leader, an illustrated biography of Martin Luther King offers young readers a moving tribute to King and his important life. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). 

I Am Your Misfortune, Marguerita Rudolph WH 398.2 Rud

When the poorer of two brothers captures his misfortune in a box, his luck changes, and so does that of his mean rich brother. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

King of Another Country, Fiona French PACL PB French

Preoccupied with his own pursuits- -hunting; playing drums while others sleep--Ojo refuses to help anyone until a tree spirit--roused to anger when Ojo takes his fruit--takes him to a kingdom within the tree, where he becomes king on condition that he sometimes says ``Yes'' instead of ``No.'' Ojo rules well, marries, and in time returns with his wife to his village, more accommodating and also happier because he's learned to say ``Yes.'' Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8).

The King's Chessboard, David Birch WH E Bir / PACL PB Birch

When the wise man refuses to accept a reward for his service to the king, the king insists and so the wise man asks for a payment of rice for each square of the king's chessboard--the amount to be doubled each day. Soon the royal granaries are almost empty--will the proud king concede that he has been outwitted? Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

The Little Red Hen, Byron Barton OL 398.24 Lit / PACL Juv 398 L778rhb

The Little Red Hen, Janina Domanska

The Little Red Hen, Paul Galdone OL 398.24 Lit / PACL Juv 398 L778rhb

Other Authors: WH 398.24 Zie, Lit

Unaided by her three lazy animal companions, an industrious hen tends to all the chores on their New England farm. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

The Lorax, Dr. Seuss WH E Seu / PACL PB Seuss

In this cautionary tale of greed and environmental destruction, the lovable Lorax tries to save the Truffula Forest and its inhabitants from disaster at the hands of the cantankerous Once-ler. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

The Memory Coat, Elvira Woodruff PACL PB Woodruff

When the raids of the Cossacks drive the family to leave for America, Grandmother Bubba tries to get Grisha to leave his tattered coat: how will he pass the dreaded inspections at Ellis Island? If he looks too weak, the doctors might send him back to Russia. But the boy refuses to part with the coat because it is lined with the wool from his mother's coat, stitched by her for him before she died. When they get to Ellis Island . . . the doctor marks his coat with an "E." The family is frantic that he will be sent back to Russia, until Rachel has an idea: she turns the coat inside out, and Grisha gets through. In a long, interesting author's note, Woodruff discusses the shtetl and immigrant history, and also the true account she found in the Ellis Island museum of a child who got through the dreaded inspections after her family turned her coat inside out. Booklist. (Ages 4-8).

One Fine Day, Nonny Hogrogian WH E Hog / PACL 398 H716o

"One fine day a fox traveled through the great forest. When he reached the other side he was very thirsty." The jaunty red fox stole milk from an old farm woman, lost his tail under the annoyed woman's knife, and spent the day bargaining to get it back. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (Caldecott Medal Winner 1972).

The Pain and the Great One, Judy Blume WH E Blu / PACL PB Blume

An eight-year-old girl, "The Great One," and her six-year-old brother, "The Pain," state their cases about each other and who is best loved by their parents. From the Publisher. (Ages 4-8).

A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr., David Adler WH 921 King, M / PACL Juv Bio K53ap

A brief, illustrated, biography of the Baptist minister and civil rights leader whose philosophy and practice of nonviolent civil disobedience helped American blacks win many battles for equal rights. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

The Rough-Face Girl, Rafe Martin OL 398.2 Mar / PACL 398M382r

In this powerful retelling of a Native-American Cinderella story, the Rough-Face Girl, the youngest of three daughers, is so named because years of tending the fire have scarred her face and arms. She earns the love of and the right to marry the powerful Invisible Being by seeing him in the beauty of the earth around her. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8).

The Secret Room, Uri Shulevitz OL 398.21 Shu / PACL 398 S562s

Envy and guile are punished and wisdom and humility rewarded in this plainly told picture-book parable. On a desert pilgrimage, a king encounters an old man whose beard is black but whose hair is gray. When the king demands to know why, the old man replies, "Because my head is older than my beard." Impressed by the answer and by the old man's clever outwitting of the king's chief counselor, the king rewards the old man with a position in his court and makes him a trusted adviser. The jealous chief counselor determines to undo the old man but instead undoes himself. Booklist. (Ages 4-8).

The Sign in Mendel's Window, Mildred Phillips OL E Phi / PACL PB Phillips

Mendel's sign has the whole town asking questions! Times are tough, so Mendel must rent out half his butcher shop. When a stranger arrives needing a room, he seems the answer to Mendel's prayers. But someone in the village is a thief, and only Mendel's wife can tell who the villain might be. Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

The Story of Ferdinand, Munro Leaf WH E Lea / PACL PB Leaf

Published over 50 years ago, The Story of Ferdinand is one of the bestselling children's books of all time, and the bull who preferred sitting under the cork tree and smelling flowers to fighting has become a hero to generations of children. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Strega Nona: An Old Tale, Tomie DePaola WH E De / PACL 398 D419s

Strega Nona -- "Grandma Witch" -- is the source for potions, cures, magic, and comfort in her Calabrian town. Her magical everfull pasta pot is especially intriguing to hungry Big Anthony. He is supposed to look after her house and tend her garden but one day, when she goes over the mountain to visit Strega Amelia, Big Anthony recites the magic verse over the pasta pot, with disastrous results. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (Caldecott Honor Book 1976).

This Farm is a Mess, Leslie McGuire OL E McG

Unable to stand the mess on Farmer Wood's farm any longer, the animals decide to do something about it. Ipac. (Ages 4-8).

Three Gold Pieces: A Greek Folktale, Aliki

Yannis worked ten years to make enough money to take home to his family. After all that time and labor, he earns only three gold pieces--and now his master wants them back in return for three pieces of advice. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

The Three Little Javelinas, Susan Lowell WH E Low / PACL PB Lowell

Everyone knows the story of the three little pigs, but now you're going to meet the three little javelinas--lovable, wild, southwestern cousins of pigs--as they try to outsmart the coyote who had hoped to eat them with red chile sauce. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Tyrone the Horrible, Hans Wilhelm WH E Wil

This is a funny story about Tyrone, the dinosaur, who was the world's first bully. http://www.marshall-es.marshall.k12.tn.us/jobe/Read-Write/dinosaur/dinos.... (Ages 4-8).

White Socks Only, Evelyn Coleman WH E Col

On a hot Mississippi day, a young girl innocently drinks from the "whites only" fountain, thinking it meant only that she had to do so while standing in her white socks, only to come face to face with the harsh realities of racism. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Ages 9-12

The Cabin Faced West, Jean Fritz WH F Fri / PACL Juv Fiction Fritz

A satisfying story which conveys some of the loneliness, despair, and hardships of pioneer life. Ingram. (Ages 9-12).

Call It Courage, Armstrong Sperry WH F Spe / PACL 398.2 S751c

A legendary adventure story of how Mafatu, the son of the Great Chief of Hikueru, a Polynesian race who worships courage, conquers his fear of the sea and proves he isn't a coward. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Newbery Medal Winner 1941).

The Day Gogo Went to Vote: South Africa, April 1994, Elinor Batezat Sisulu OL E Sis / PACL PB Sisulu

Thembi accompanies her elderly great-grandmother (her Gogo) to the polling station on April 26, 1994, the day that black South Africans were allowed to vote for the first time. The book quietly but purposefully introduces the injustice of apartheid and the joy felt by so many when it was legally abolished. www.Heartwoodethics.org. (Ages 9-12).

Faithful Elephants: A True Story of Animals, People and War, Yukio Tsuchiya OL F Tsu

The true story of the fate of three elephants at the Ueno Zoo in Tokyo during World War II. When the bombs began falling, people feared the cages would be broken and dangerous animals would be loose, so an order was given to kill all the animals--even the gentle elephants. Ingram. (Ages 9-12).

How to Eat Fried Worms and Other Plays, Thomas Rockwell WH 812.54 Roc / PACL Fiction Rockwell

By way of a bet, Billy gets into the uncomfortable position of having to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. Should he succeed, his friend Alan will have to pay him $50, enough to buy the minibike Billy pines for. The worms are readily supplied by his opponent, and Billy has a free choice of condiments, from peanut butter to horseradish. With his wavering courage bolstered by the moral suppport of his friends and family, Billy munches away courageously. But there is many a slip twixt the worm and the lip, and the outcome of the bet is continually in doubt. Alan's not giving up $50 for any old worms. What will Billy do? Book Description. (Ages 9-12).

I Have A Dream, Dr. Martin Luther King WH 305.89 Kin / PACL PB King

On August 28, 1963, Dr. King delivered a speech that moved and inspired America. This gloriously produced collectible book is the perfect way to remind everyone--young and old--that the dream must be kept alive. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

It Could Always Be Worse: A Yiddish Folktale, Margot Zemach WH 398.2 Zem / PACL PB Zemach

A man who complains about living in a hut with his mother, wife and six children, doesn't realize how good he has it. The man's Rabbi suggests that moving the family's livestock indoors is the answer. The resulting chaos makes the man truly appreciate his family and their humble home. www.heartwoodethics.org. (Ages 9-12). (Caldecott Honor Book 1978).

John Brown: One Man Against Slavery, Gwen Everett OL 921 Brown / PACL PB Everett

Martyr or fanatic--who was John Brown? Author Gwen Everett explores the life of the legendary abolitionist who raided the U.S. Government Arsenal in Harpers Ferry, Virginia. Brown's sincere belief that God created everyone equal drove him to challenge slavery at all costs--his own life, if necesarry. Ingram. (Ages 9-12).

Kid Power, Susan Pfeffer OL F Pfe / PACL F Pfeffer

Eleven-year-old Janie advertises to do odd jobs in her neighborhood and receives so much business, she hires her friends and becomes manager of the Kid Power Agency. IPac. (Ages 9-12).

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis WH F Lew / PACL F Lewis

Four English schoolchildren find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magical land of Narnia, where they come to the aid of Aslan, the golden lion, in his battle against the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter. Ingram. (Ages 9-12).

Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary, Walter Myers OL 921 Malcolm X / PACL Bio L778m

Myers has done a fine job of introducing the reader to Malcolm X and of detailing his life from childhood through his time in prison to his rise to leadership of the Nation of Islam. Historical information about civil rights in the United States clarifies Malcolm's choices. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Mississippi Bridge, Mildred Taylor WH F Tay / PACL F Taylor

Jeremy Simms watches from the porch of the general store as the passengers board the weekly bus from Jackson. When several white passengers arrive late, the driver roughly orders the black passengers off to make room. Then, in the driving rain, disaster strikes, and Jeremy witnesses a shocking end to the day's drama. Set in Mississippi in the 1930s, this is a gripping story of racial injustice. Book Description. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, Robert O'Brian WH F O'Br / PACL Fiction O'Brian

When mouse widow Mrs. Frisby needs advice on how to move her children safely, she consults the rats who live under the rosebush. Not only do they help her, they tell her of their escape from a laboratory where experimentation had made them literate, and of the brave death of her husband. Ingram. (Ages 9-12).   (Newbery Medal Winner 1972).

My Brother Stevie, Eleanor Clymer OL F Cly (Ages 9-12).

An unmanageable younger brother makes life difficult for his sister until a sympathetic school teacher befriends and helps them both. IPac. (Ages 9-12).

Salt: A Russian Folktale, retold by Jane Langton PACL 398 L286s

Believing one of his sons to be a useless dreamer, a merchant denies him the valuable cargo he gives the others, but through a boatload of salt the poorest son makes his fortune after all in this Russian folktale. Ingram. (Ages 9-12).

Soup, Robert Peck WH F Pec / PACL F Peck

When it came to getting the two of us in trouble, Soup was a regular genius....Soup was my best pal. Here are the stories of that friendship, and of the troubles--stories from a boyhood filled with barrels to roll in, apples to whip, windows to break, ropes to bind prisoners, acorn pepes, and ten-cent Saturday movies. But then as always nothing was quite as important as a best friend. From the Publisher. (Ages 9-12).

Soup and Me, Robert Peck WH F Pec / PACL F Peck

The further adventures and misadventures of Rob and Soup, two boys growing up in a small Vermont town. IPac. (Ages 9-12).

Watsons Go to Birmingham, Christopher Curtin WH F Cur / PACL F Curtis

[F]ourth-grader Kenny Watson tells about his African American family in Flint, Michigan, in 1963. We get to know his strict, loving parents and his tough older brother, who gets into so much trouble his parents decide to take him back "home" to Birmingham, Alabama, where maybe his strong grandmother will teach him some sense. . . Racism and the civil rights movement are like a soft rumble in the background, especially as the Watsons drive south. Then Kenny's cute little sister is in a Birmingham church when a bomb goes off. She escapes (Curtis doesn't exploit the horror), but we're with Kenny as he dreads that she's part of the rubble. . . [W]e see how racist terror can invade the shelter of home. Booklist. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Honor Book 1996).

When Stories Fell Like Shooting Stars, Valiska Gregory

Two original, allegorical tales demonstrate different options for action in the real world. In the first, the sun falls to earth, and Fox covers it with a cloth, announcing that from now on he will control day and night. Weasel and Crow dispute Fox's power, divide the animals into factions, and begin a war that ends with a scorched earth and a forgotten sun. In the second story, Bear finds the moon fallen to earth. He and the other animals work together to return it to the sky and, later, listen to the story of what they did. Book List. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Witness, Karen Hesse OL F Hes / PACL Juv New F Hesse

Hesse tells a story of the Ku Klux Klan in a small town in Vermont in 1924 . . . [using] 11 different voices, each one distinct, including two kids who are new to town--Leonora Sutter, 12, who is black, and Esther Hirsh, 6, who is Jewish. Then there are various adult townspeople: the violent Klan bigots (who attack "those who are not like us" in the name of Protestantism and patriotism), the antiracist crusaders, and the bystanders. Most interesting is Merlin, 18, who starts off in flaming hatred but changes. Then there's the affectionate married couple--he's in the Klan; she's against it. Booklist. (Ages 9-12).

Ages 13 and up

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain WH F Twa / PACL Fiction Twain

The setting is a small Mississippi River town in the 1830s, and the characters are the grownups and the children of the town. The book's nostalgic attitude and its wistful re-creation of pre-Civil War life are humorously spiced by its main character, Tom Sawyer. Rather than the preternaturally "model boy" of Sunday-school stories, Tom is mischievous and irresponsible but goodhearted. Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature. (Ages: Young Adult).

Spite Fences, Trudy Krisher OL F Kri

While dealing with her dysfunctional family and racist neighbors, thirteen-year-old Maggie struggles with prejudice and injustice in her small Georgia town. Poor and white, Maggie develops friendships with two black activists, then witnesses the horrible beatings both receive. The suspenseful story of the civil-rights era provides a believable, courageous heroine. Horn Book. (Ages Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Not Reviewed

Ages 4-8

Korean Cinderella, Edward Adams WH 398.21 Kor (Ages 4-8).

Sniffles, Stephen Cosgrove (Ages 4-8).

Ages Unspecified

Adventures of Nicolas, Helen Siiteri

The Green Thumb Thief, Mary Christian

How Do You Know Who's a Stranger? Margaret Holland

Moose, Michael Foreman

* We have not yet had the chance to read all the books recommended, so you might to pre-read the selections if you are concerned about content. Of those we have read, we added a notation if we thought the theme might pose some problems for you (such as death, capital punishment, or discussion of the topic in the context of a religious holiday).

Books marked WH are in our library, OL in other Palo Alto School District libraries, PACL at the Palo Alto Children's Library, PAMain at Palo Alto Main Library and PAMP at Palo Alto Mitchell Park Library.

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Sportsmanship

Preschool

Loudmouth George and the Big Race, Nancy Carlson OL E Car / PACL PB Carlson

George brags, procrastinates, and offers excuses instead of training for the big race--much to his later embarrassment. Ingram. (Ages: Preschool).

Ages 4-8

Aesop's Fable: The Tortoise and the Hare, Mark Schlichting OL 398.24 Aes / PACL CDROM 398 T712mp

The hare once boasted of his speed before the other animals and challenged everyone to a race. The tortoise answered the challenge and the race took a turn that surprised the boastful hare. Ipac. (Ages 4-8).

The Berenstain Bears Go Out for the Team, Stan & Jan Berenstain WH E Ber / PACL PB Berenstain

When backyard sluggers Brother and Sister join the Bear Country Cub League, they get real uniforms and play on a baseball field. They also have pressure to win and competition from the other cubs. Mama's advice helps them prepare sensibly for team sports. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Billy Goat, Dave and Pat Sargent

Billy, a young goat who likes to brag and does not play fair, discovers that he is more respected and liked when he plays by the rules. http://pcssdmedia.k12.ar.us.. (Ages 4-8).

Don't Fidget a Feather, Erica Silverman WH E Sil / PACL PB Silverman

Duck proposes a contest to Gander to see who can freeze in place longer without moving even a feather. They stand while bees buzz them, bunnies leapfrog over them, a strong wind blows them into bushes -- and while Fox carries them to his den. As Fox prepares his stew, Duck begins to think Gander is too scared to move, so she scares Fox away. . . [shows the] proud idiocy of the two competitors. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Franklin Plays the Game, Paulette Bourgeois OL E Bou / PACL PB Bourgeois

Franklin loves to play soccer, but he has trouble kicking the ball. In this book, Franklin discovers the rewards of practice and teamwork. http://pcssdmedia.k12.ar.us.. (Ages 4-8).

Good Sportsmanship, Janet Riehecky

This book defines good sportsmanship by presenting situations in which it is important to be a good sport. http://pcssdmedia.k12.ar.us.. (Ages 4-8).

Great Ball Game: A Muskogee Story, Joseph Bruchac OL 398.2 Bru / PACL Juv 398 B887gb

In this Muskogee Indian tale, the birds argue with the beasts about which are better--those with teeth or those with wings. When the quarrel escalates to the brink of war, both sides agree to settle their disagreement on the playing field. The first side to score a point will set the other's punishment. The bat, who has wings as well as teeth, is initially spurned by both sides, then permitted to join the beasts. He scores the goal and banishes the birds for half the year. "So it is that the Birds fly south each winter. . . . And every day at dusk Bat still comes flying to see if the Animals need him to play ball." Booklist . (Ages 4-8).

Hooray for Snail!, John Stadler OL E Sta / PACL Juv Reader F Stadler

Slow Snail hits the ball so hard during a baseball game that it flies to the moon and back. Will Snail have time to slide in for a home run?. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). Reader.

I Hate Red Rover, Joan Lexau OL E Lex / PACT Juv. Reader F Lexau

Jill does poorly with games at school until sharing her problem with Grampa helps her find a solution. Ipac.

(Ages 6-8). Reader.

It's Just a Game, John Farrell OL E Far

A soccer team learns that sports should be played not only to win, but to have fun. Ipac. (Ages 4-8).

Let the Games Begin, Maya Ajmera OL 796 Ajm / PACL 796 A 312L

Text and photographs of children from around the world focus on various aspects of sports, including physical benefits, the importance of practice, overcoming obstacles, teamwork, and more. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Nobody Likes to Lose, Lydia Marshall WH 157 Mar

Sandy comes in last in her heat at the swim meet but learns the difference between winning against herself and winning against others.Ipac. (Ages 7-9).

Old Turtle's Soccer Team, Leonard Kessler WH E Kes

Cat got a soccer ball for his birthday, and he and his friends challenged the Rockets to a game. But they didn't know the rules, and the Rockets walked off the field. So Old Turtle volunteered to teach them, and after much practice, they turned out to be winners. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go! the First All-Animal Olympics, Leonard Kessler OL E Kes / PACL Juv Reader F Kessler

Everyone gets to participate in the first All-Animal Olympics except Worm but he keeps training anyway. IPac. (Ages 4-8). Reader.

Ronald Morgan Goes to Bat, Patricia Giff WH E Gif / PACL Juv. Reader F Giff

Ronald Morgan loves to play baseball. Unfortunately, he can't hit, he can't catch, and he holds the bat at the wrong end. But Ronald has a lot of spirit--and that just may be all he needs to be good. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). Reader.

So What If I'm a Sore Loser? Barbara Williams

The constant competition between cousins creates sore losers and equally sore winners. http://smiles.ci.san-marino.ca.us/MARION/AAH-0028. (Ages 5-8).

Soccer Sam, Jean Marzollo OL E Mar / PACL Juv Reader Fiction Marzollo

In a perceptive tale of friendship and sports, Sam's visiting Mexican cousin overcomes the language barrier by teaching soccer to his new friends. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). Reader.

Who's The Man, Hank Herman WH F Her

A basketball team is supposed to win, right? Star center Will Hopwood is totally annoyed when the Branford Bulls' coaches keep putting the second-stringers in the game. When Will tells the coaches to stick with the starters, they order him to butt out. Butt out? Then Will and teammate Derek Roberts are chosen to play in the league's all-star game. Being honored as an all-star proves to Will that he's absolutely right, and he wastes no time telling everybody what to do. But when it comes to actually playing in the all-star game, Will learns a lesson he never expected! Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the Worlds Fastest Woman, Kathleen Krull WH 921 Rudolph, W / PACL PB Krull

A young reader's introduction to champion athlete Wilma Rudolph follows her development of polio at age four, an illness that doctors said would prevent her from ever walking, her schooltime achievements, and her gold-medal successes at the 1960 Olympic Games. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Winning Ways in Soccer, Janet Grosshandler WH 796.334 Gro / PACL 796.33 G878w

An introduction for young children, featuring large action photos in full color, an easy text, and an appended note for parents. Grosshandler describes and illustrates the (minimal) equipment needed, rules, field positions, ways to move the ball, penalties, and safety practices, then takes readers quickly through a game between two young, mixed teams. Like the author's Everyone Wins at Tee Ball (1990), this will give prospective players, and their parents, a good idea of what they're getting into. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8).

Ages 9-12

The Blond Brother, James Geibel

Racial tension in his new high school undermines Rich Gaskin's efforts to help his team win the state basketball championship. http://pcssdmedia.k12.ar.us. (Ages 7-10).

The Book of Changes: Stories, Tim Wynne-Jones OL SC Wyn / PACL Jun Fiction Wynne-Jones

The dialogue is laugh-out-loud funny in these touching short stories, and the universal situations are drawn right from the middle-grade experience: confronting a bully, starting a first job, learning to lose at sports, discovering weakness in a hero, meeting a stranger on a journey. Booklist. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Champions Don't Cry, Nan Gilbert

A thirteen-year-old doesn't know if she has what it takes to be a tennis champion but won't quit until she finds out. http://pcssdmedia.k12.ar.us. (Ages 10-13).

Cross-Country Runner, Leon McClinton

A star player quits football in his senior year and turns to cross-country running where he encounters derision and discouragement. http://pcssdmedia.k12.ar.us. (Ages 9-12).

Get Those Rebounds! Les Etter

Although he loves basketball, sixteen-year-old Rick is convinced he'll never attain the star status of his older brother. http://pcssdmedia.k12.ar.us. (Ages 7-10).

Good Sports: Winning, Losing & Everything in Between, Therese Kauchak OL 796 Kau / PACL 796 K21g

American Girl's behind-the-scenes look at sports includes advice on being a great teammate, a good winner, and a gracious loser; dealing with parents and coaches; playing with boys; and deciding whether to quit the team. Also includes advice from famous women athletes and a list of addresses for sports associations so girls can get even more information about the sports they love. Book Description. (Ages 9-12).

Highpockets, John Tunis OL F Tun / PACL F Tunis

This is an exciting tale and one that will be long remembered for analysis of a sportsman who learns through adversity to adjust himself to his team and to his world. Ingram. (Ages 10 and up).

The Hit-Away Kid, Matt Christopher OL F Chr / PACL F Christopher

Barry McGee is the Peach Street Mudders' hit-away batter, but sometimes his desire to win leads him to bend the rules. Rival pitcher Alec Frost steals a prized possession and then challenges Barry to win it back by hitting two home runs off him. Will Barry play fair and risk losing his possession? Or will his determination to win get the best of him? Ingram. (Ages 9-12).

Horse Games, Bonnie Bryant OL F Bry

Stevie is excited about a great new sport--polocrosse. When she learns that the Horse Wise Pony Club will be playing against her boyfriend's team, she's thrilled. Now she'll finally have the chance to show him what a good rider she is! Her best friends, Carole and Lisa, are enthusiastic about anything that has to do with horses, but they don't share Stevie's fierce drive to win. Carole would rather spend time with their new friend Marie, who was injured in an accident. Marie needs help, and Carole knows that horses are the answer. If she can interest Marie in riding again,she'll be on the road to recovery.

When Stevie sprains her ankle, her determination is as strong as ever. Carole and Lisa thought she was a terror as a player, but they can't believe what she's like as a coach! Her competitive spirit is starting to threaten their friendship. What will it take to get the Saddle Club team spirit back again? From the Publisher. (Ages 9-12).

Johnny Long Legs, Matthew Christopher OL F Chr

Even though he is the tallest member of the basketball team, a young boy finds he is far from being the best player. Ingram. (Ages 9-11).

Lives of the Athletes: Thrills, Spills (and What the Neighbors Thought), Kathleen Krull OL 920 Kru / PACL 927.96 K94L

Collects little-known and fascinating facts about twenty of the world's legendary athletes, from Babe Ruth's fancy for pickled eels and chocolate ice cream to Johnny Weissmuller's secret Tarzan yell. Ingram. (Ages 9-12).

The Meat in the Sandwich, Alice Bach OL F Bac

Ten-year-old Mike feels his dream of becoming a star athlete threatened by his older and younger sister. Then he is befriended by a competitive all-around athlete who changes his life. Ipac. (Ages 10-13).

Molly Gets Mad, Suzie Kline

Third grader Molly is jealous of Florence's superior ice skating ability but makes an interesting discovery about teamwork when she joins the hockey team. http://pcssdmedia.k12.ar.us.. (Ages 9-12).

Not Bad for a Girl, Isabella Taves PACL F Taves

An eleven-year-old girl playing for a little league baseball team experiences hatred and abuse from adults whose traditional thinking reserves baseball for boys. Webpac. (Ages 9-12).

On the Balance Beam, Nancy Robison OL F Rob

Andrea's dream of becoming an accomplished gymnast is threatened by her own impulsiveness and a jealous member of her gym team. Ipac. (Ages 8-10).

Play-By-Play, Mel Glenn

Fourth graders Jeremy and Lloyd are best friends until an interest in soccer makes Lloyd wildy competitive and changes their relationship. www.worldsoccernetwork.com/bookstore. (Ages 9-10).

Rabbit Ears, Alfred Slote OL F Slo / PACL F Slote

In order to become a good pitcher for his baseball team, fifteen-year-old Tip tries to overcome his sensitivity to the jeers of the opposing players. IPac. (Ages 10-12).

Red Hot Hightops, Matt Christopher PACL F Christopher

The red hightops that Kelly finds in her locker give her an extra boost of confidence on the basketball court, but soon she begins to wonder where they came from and if they are hexed. Ingram. (Ages 9-12).

Runner-Up, Mike Neigoff OL F Nei

Convinced that he will be a loser, a young boy with a talent for running is reluctantly persuaded to join the track team. Ipac. (Ages 9-11).

Skateboard Scramble, Barbara Douglass WH F Dou

Although she loves skateboarding, Jody is uneasy when her father insists that she participate in a skateboard competition, especially as she would be competing against her best friend. Ipac.

(Ages 9-11).

Single to Center, Bill Carol OL F Car

An eleven-year-old boy has to work out the problem of having his sister play on the Little League team while he sits on the bench. Ipac. (Ages 9-11).

Soccer Duel, Thomas Dygard WH F Dyg/ PACL Young Adult F Dyg

A former football star finds he must share the spotlight with other players when he decides to play soccer. Ipac. (Ages 11-14).

Soccer Hero, Mike Neigoff OL F Nei

After Specs Conn organizes a junior high soccer team he has to decide if his ambition to play will hurt the team's ability to win. Ipac. (Ages 9-11).

S.O.R. Losers, Avi Wortis PACL F Avi

Each member of the South Orange River seventh-grade soccer team has qualities of excellence, but not on the soccer field. http://pcssdmedia.k12.ar.us. (Ages 9-12).

The Stinky Sneakers Contest, Julie Peters

There is a lesson about sportsmanship and honesty in this early chapter book about two boys whose friendship is threatened when they enter a smelly sneaker contest. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12).

Tough Loser, Barthe DeClements

Nine-year-old Jenna cares for new puppies while trying to help her thirteen-year-old brother Mike, whose temper threatens to ruin his chances of becoming a hockey star. http://pcssdmedia.k12.ar.us.. (Ages 9-12).

Woodsie (The Wolfbay Wings, #1) , Bruce Brooks WH F Bro

Dixon Woods is new to hockey and new to the Wings, last year's regional champs. But their old coach has left and taken the best players, without whom the remaining team members are in over their heads. Although he is blessed with good hockey sense, devotion, and an easygoing disposition, Dixon has a lot to learn. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 8-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Ages 13 and Up

The Hotshot, Alfred Slote PACL F Slote

A young boy realizes that a good player is not always the one who scores but the one who helps the team win. http://pcssdmedia.k12.ar.us. (Ages: Young Adult).

Ironman, Chris Crutcher OL F Cru / PAMP Young Adult Fiction Crutcher

When one of his frequent outbursts lands him in an anger management class, Bo interrupts his triathlon training to spend two mornings a week discussing personal issues with a group of emotionally wounded classmates. Horn Book. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Point Spread, Thomas Dygard

A linebacker with a brilliant college record sees his hopes for a career in professional football totter and his teams's season threatened when he is implicated in a gambling scandal. http://pcssdmedia.k12.ar.us. (Ages Young Adult).

Sportsmanship, John Bowman

Examines the differences between good and bad sportsmanship. http://pcssdmedia.k12.ar.us.. (Ages Young Adult).

Winning Kicker, Thomas Dygard OL F Dyg

A pretty, 110-pound girl joins her high-school football team as a first-rate place kicker. This book deals matter-of-factly with the problems created by her doing so. Ingram. (Ages 11-14).

Not Reviewed

Ages 4-8

Wheels, Jane Thomas (Ages 4-6).

Ages 9-12

Rivals on Ice, Elizabeth Van Steenwyk (Ages 9-11).

The Tennis Menace, Alex Allen (Ages 8-10).

We Didn't Mean It, Sharon Addy (Ages 8-10).

Ages 13 and Up

The All-American Coeds, Betsy Madden (Ages 12 and up).

The Fifth Base, Joseph Archibald (Ages 12 and up).

Love and Tennis, Alfred Slote (Ages 12-14).

Speed, Rozanne Knudson (Ages 12 and up).

Web Sites

Guidelines for Effective Character Education Through Sports

Jeffrey P. Beedy, Ed.D., and Russell W. Gough, Ph.D.

We are a nation intensely interested in sports. Many scholars suggest that, in terms of cultural scope and significance, sports are second only to religion in our country. Sports play a powerful part in molding the character of the nation-especially the character of millions of our nation's youth who participate in organized sports programs. Because of the growing frequency of unsportsmanlike attitudes and conduct at all levels of athletic competition, many observers have concluded that, contrary to the popular adage, sports do not build good character. However, if all stakeholders-coaches, administrators, teachers, parents, game officials, players, students, boosters, and fans-adhere to the following guidelines, youth sports programs (K-12) can be very positive, character-building endeavors. [Nt: Has resource list for further reading.] http://www.character.org/reference/index.cgi?detail:sports_guidelines

Positive Learning Using Sports

Sports P.L.U.S. - Positive Learning Using Sports - is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the use of sports as a positive educational medium. We believe that within sports lie valuable lessons and potentially powerful learning opportunities. Our goal is to show others how to tap into these lessons and create programs that develop good athletes and good people.  (http://www.sportsplus.org)

* We have not yet had the chance to read all the books recommended, so you might to pre-read the selections if you are concerned about content. Of those we have read, we added a notation if we thought the theme might pose some problems for you (such as death, capital punishment, or discussion of the topic in the context of a religious holiday).

Books marked WH are in our library, OL in other Palo Alto School District libraries, PACL at the Palo Alto Children's Library, PAM ain at Palo Alto Main Library and PAMP at Palo Alto Mitchell Park Library.

+
Acceptance

Preschool

Abby, Jeannette Caines WH E Cai / PACL PB Caines

Abby enjoys her special place in the family as the adopted child. Ingram. (Ages: Preschool).

Arthur's Nose, Marc Brown WH E Bro / PACL PB Brown

[R]eaders still agree with the conclusion of the very first book about this Everychild aardvark: "There's a lot more to Arthur than his nose." . . . In Arthur's Nose, first grader Arthur decides that he doesn't like his nose. He goes to the rhinologist to change it, but ultimately decides, to the relief of his friends and family, "I'm just not me without my nose!" Amazon.com. (Ages: Preschool). (Nt: self-acceptance).

The Blanket That Had to Go, Nancy Cooney OL E Coo

Attached to the blanket she carries everywhere, Susi must decide what to do with it on her first day in kindergarten since her mother insists she shouldn't take it with her. IPac. (Ages: Preschool). (Not reviewed).

Clown, Quentin Blake WH E Bla / PACL PB Blake

In a wordless book, a toy clown is discarded in the rubbish bin along with his stuffed animal friends, and he starts on a quest to find them all a new home, finally succeeding after some unfortunate adventures. Horn Book. (Ages: Preschool). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Corduroy, Don Freeman WH E Fre (Spanish) / PACL PB Freeman

A toy bear who is anxious to have a home is befriended by a little girl who is willing to spend her own money to buy him. Ingram. (Ages: Preschool).

The Cow that Went Oink, Bernard Most WH E Mos / PACL PB Most

This delightfully silly picture book begins, [t]here was once a cow that went OINK.The misfit cow is miserable until she meets a pig who says moo. Despite the other farm animals' constant derision, the two laboriously teach each other and become the only animals on the farm who can make two sounds, thus getting the last laugh. Horn Book. (Ages: Preschool). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Frog in Love, Max Velthuijs OL E Vel

Love "knows no boundaries" in this simple story in which Frog is too shy to tell Duck that he loves her. Ingram. (Ages: Preschool). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed). (Nt: perpetuates male and female stereotypes).

Leo the Late Bloomer, Robert Kraus WH E Kra / PACL PB Kraus

When everyone starts blooming, poor Leo is left behind. He can't read, he can't write--he can't even eat neatly. But with the encouragement of his mother and the patience of his father, Leo proves that eventually everyone blooms. Ingram. (Ages: Preschool).

Little Gorilla, Ruth Bornstein WH E Bor / PACL PB Bornstein

A simple rhythmic text portrays Little Gorilla, who is loved by everyone in the jungle as he begins to grow . . .and Grow . . . and GROW. Book Description. (Ages: Preschool.)

Ages 4-8

Ali, the Child of the Desert, Jonathan London WH E Lon / PACL PB London

The survival adventure tale gets a desert setting in this picture book about a boy in the Sahara. Ali is on a long ride with his father to sell their herd of camels at a Moroccan market town when a sudden dust storm swallows the sun and Ali finds himself lost in the dunes with his camel, Jabad. With night coming, Ali fears hyenas, jackals, and snakes, as well as thirst, but he gets help from an old Berber goatherd, who shelters the boy and helps him find his father. Booklist. (Ages 5-9). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: contains references to Allah and guns).

All in a Day, Mitsumasa Anno OL E Ann / PACL PB Anno

This unique picture book shows similarities and differences in children and their activities in eight very different parts of the world during a single 24-hour day. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Amos and Boris, William Steig WH E Ste / PACL PB Steig

A simple, matter-of-fact story about the friendship between a mouse and a whale. School Library Journal. (Ages 4-8).

Angel Child, Dragon Child, Michele Surat WH E Sur / PAMP PB Surat

Ut has just come to the United States from Vietnam, and she is miserable. At school children laugh when she speaks, and she misses he mother who had to stay behind. This tender story reminds children to take time to understand differences. The happy-ever-after ending shows that with caring and creativity, sad situations can change. Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children. (Ages 4-8). (Parent Comment: "very good").

An Angel for Solomon Singer, Cynthia Rylant WH E Ryl / PACL PB Rylant

The somber, lonely life of Solomon Singer, who lives in a drab hotel for men in New York City. The chance discovery of a friendly cafe with a smiling waiter named Angel brings a touch of warmth and humanity into Solomon Singer's life. Horn Book. (Ages 5 and up). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Appelemando's Dreams, Pat Polacco WH E Pol / PACL PB Polacco

The dreams of a young boy provide the only color in his quiet, lackluster village. These dreams can be seen by his friends, who discover that the dreams stick to wet surfaces. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

The Araboolies of Liberty Street, Samuel Swope PACL PB Swope

The kids of Liberty Street join forces to help the Araboolies when mean General Pinch orders to have them removed by the Army because they look different. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: has a villain referred to as "fat").

Arnie and the New Kid, Nancy Carlson OL E Car

Top cat Arnie teases Philip because he is confined to a wheelchair. Yet when Arnie falls down the school steps and breaks a leg, twists a wrist, and sprains a tail, he begins to see life from a different perspective. Booklist. (Ages 4-8). (Not reviewed).

Arthur's Baby, Marc Brown WH E Bro / PACL PB Brown

Arthur isn't sure he is happy about the new baby in the family, but when his sister asks for his help in handling the baby, Arthur feels much better. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Arthur's Nose, Marc Brown WH E Bro / PACL PB Brown

Readers still agree with the conclusion of the very first book about this Everychild aardvark: "There's a lot more to Arthur than his nose." . . . In Arthur's Nose, first grader Arthur decides that he doesn't like his nose. He goes to the rhinologist to change it, but ultimately decides, to the relief of his friends and family, "I'm just not me without my nose!" Amazon.com. (Ages 4-8).

Arthur's Tooth, Marc Brown WH E Bro / PACL PB Brown

Arthur becomes worried when everyone in his class has lost their baby teeth except him. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: self-acceptance).

A Baby Sister for Frances, Rusell Hoban WH E Hob / PACL PB Hoban

When Frances the badger feels unloved and neglected when her family gains a new baby sister, she runs away -- under the dining-room table. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie& Walter's Best Books for Children).

Be Good to Eddie Lee, Virginia Fleming OL E FLe

Christy's mother tells her to treat Eddie Lee, a neighborhood child, well because he has Down's Syndrome and needs special care, but Christy does not always want him tagging along, until Eddie Lee show her a special hiding place in the woods and she sees how very special he really is. Ingram. (Ages 5-9). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Beauty and the Beast,

Jan Brett WH 398.22 Bea / PACL 398 B384bb

Marianne Mayer WH 398.22 Bea / PACL 398 B384bm

Patricia Daniels PACTerrace 398 B384bd

Generations of children have been fascinated by the story of the girl named Beauty, who grows to love a fearsome beast by learning to see and cherish his kindness, generosity, and intelligence. Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

Bee My Valentine, Marion Cohon WH E Coh / PACL PB Cohen

With some people getting lots of cards and others not, Jim and his friends set out to make Valentine's Day a wonderful holiday for everyone in the first grade. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Bein' with You This Way, W. Nikola-Lisa WH 811.54 Nik / PACL Juv Spanish 811 N693a

An exuberant story in which a little girl invites others on the playground to join in celebrating their differences in appearance. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 3-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: racial and body differences).

The Berenstain Bears' New Neighbors, Stan and Jan Berenstain OL E Ber / PACL PB Berenstain

Papa Bear is upset because the new neighbors across the street, the Panda Bears, are different from the others, but Brother and Sister Bear cannot wait to strike up a friendship with the new cubs, in a lesson about bigotry and prejudice. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: negative stereotypes of gender roles).

The Berenstain Bears' No Girls Allowed, Stan & Jan Berenstain WH E Ber / PACL PB Berenstain

Sister Bear can run faster, climb higher, and hit a ball farther than the boys, and she gloats over it. So Brother Bear and his friends build a clubhouse for boys only, and Sister is hopping mad! Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: addressed gender issues, but maintains many negative stereotypes).

Best Friends for Frances, Russell Hoban WH E Hob / PACL PB Hoban

Frances doesn't think her little sister can be her friend, but after being left out of her best friend Albert's no-girls baseball game, Frances finds that sisters can indeed be friends--even best friends. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: has "no girls" and "no boys" theme which is resolved in the end).

A Bicycle for Rosaura, Daniel Barbot OL E Bar

Senora Amelia would like to grant her handsome pet's birthday wish to be the very first bicycle-riding hen. It seems impossible: bikes for hens aren't available. Fortunately, an itinerant inventor happens by in time to design and make one, just in time for Rosaura's birthday. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8). (Not reviewed).

Big Al, Andrew Clements WH E Cle

Big Al, an ugly and fierce-looking fish, longs for friends, but all the other fish flee whenever he approaches them. Then one day, in a display of strength and heroism, Big Al proves that the true test of a friend is how he acts, not how he looks. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Big Orange Splot, Daniel Pinkwater OL E Pin / PACL PB Pinkwater

When Mr. Plumbeans' house is splashed with bright orange paint, he decides a multi-colored house would be a nice change. . . [A] favorite story of creativity and individuality. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Black is Brown is Tan, Arnold Adoff OL E Ado / PACL PB Adoff

Momma is black and Daddy is white but the family is many colors. The members of their loving circle make the world sweet for two young children growing up tall and strong. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

The Bracelet, Yoshiko Uchida OL E Uch / PACL PB Uchida

During World War II, when Emi and her family are imprisoned in an internment camp for Japanese Americans, the young girl discovers that, although so much has been taken away from her, she will never lose the memories of friends and home that she carries in her heart. . . comments on the abrogation of Japanese Americans' civil rights that took place in 1942. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: might be more appropriate for older children).

The Brand New Kid, Katie Couric WH E Cou

Everyone remembers feeling excited and nervous each fall on the first day of school . . . this year, there's . . . a brand new kid as well. Lazlo S. Gasky doesn't look or speak quite like the other kids, and no one is sure what to make of him. . . when Ellie realizes how tough it is for Lazlo, she reaches out, and after school one day they share an afternoon of soccer, strudel, and chess. Besides making a new friend, she and Lazlo teach their classmates an important lesson-one that isn't in their schoolbooks-about accepting people who are different...and in getting to know Lazlo, the kids learn that people aren't that different from each other after all. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (Parent Comment: "great").

Chicken Sunday, Pat Polacco WH E Pol / PACL PB Polacco

The author draws from a childhood experience as she recalls how she and two African-American friends create an ingenious plan to buy a special Easter hat for the boys' grandmother, a lady well known for her wonderful chicken dinners. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Chocolate Fever, Robert Smith WH F Smi / PACL Fiction Smith

Henry Green eats so much chocolate he comes down with chocolate fever. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). Chapter Book. (Nt: contains chapter about carjacking and guns).

Chrysanthemum, Kevin Henkes WH E Hen / PACL PB Henkes

Young mouse Chrysanthemum loves her name - until she starts school and finds the teasing of her peers unbearable. Then the beloved music teacher, Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle, announces that she plans to name her baby Chrysanthemum, and suddenly everyone wants to be named after a flower. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: this book has been selected to be read to/by students in all of our classrooms).

Crow Boy, Yashima WH E Yas / PACL PB Yashima

A shy mountain boy in Japan leaves his home at dawn and returns at sunset to go to the village school. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Caldecott Honor Book 1956).

Dandelion, Don Freeman WH E Fre / PACL PB Freeman

Dandelion overdresses for a come-as-you-are party and is turned away because the hostess does not recognize him. IPac. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: self-acceptance).

The Doorbell Rang, Pat Hutchins OL E Hut/ PACL PB Hutchins

When Ma gave Sam and Victoria a dozen cookies to share, they were delighted. Then the doorbell rang, and rang, and rang. As more children arrived, from various ethnic backgrounds, sharing required other division problems so everyone would have equal amounts. The final ring of the doorbell, however, brings good news. School Library Journal. (Ages 4-8).

Elijah's Angel: A Story for Chanukah and Christmas, Michael Rosen WH E Ros / PACL PB Rosen

When Michael is nine, Hanukkah and Christmas Eve happen to fall on the same day, and his friend Elijah -- an African-American man in his eighties -- gives him a gift of an angel carved from wood. Reassured by his parents that the angel is a symbol of friendship and not a raven image, Michael decides to give Elijah the menorah he made in Hebrew school. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: very religious with multiple references to Christmas, Chanukah, God and the Bible).

Fish is Fish, Leo Lionni WH E Lio / PAMP PB Lionni

When his friend, the tadpole, becomes a frog and leaves the pond to explore the world, the little fish decides that maybe he doesn't have to remain in the pond either. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

First Grade Takes a Test, Miriam Cohen WH E Coh

When the first graders take a standardized test, Anna Maria does especially well, but the other students feel a little left out, in a warm-hearted story about insecurity, confidence, and self-esteem. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: touches on learning disabilities and different types of intelligence).

Funny Feet! Leathie Weiss WH E Wei

A pigeon-toed penguin, cheating on the corrective treatment she is undergoing for her handicap, suddenly tries to make up for lost time. IPac. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: self-acceptance).

The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein WH F Sil/ PACL PB Silverstein

This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silvestein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: some may find it guilt-provoking).

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr., Jean Marzollo WH 921 King, M / PACL Juv Bio K53ma

Celebrating the birthday of the great civil rights leader, an illustrated biography of Martin Luther King offers young readers a moving tribute to King and his important life. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: brief mention of prayer and King's killing).

Hannah and Jack, Mary Nethery

Spending every day with Jack, her cat companion and best friend, young Hannah is unable to enjoy a visit to her grandmother's when Jack must remain behind, until Grandma devises a way that the inseparable pair can still share the trip. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Heroes, Ken Mochizuki WH F Moc

The painful legacy of Japanese-American history is highlighted by the onset of the Vietnam War for a young boy made painfully aware of his difference, yet he overcomes the stigma one exciting day and finds his dignity. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: might be more appropriate for older children). (Nt: tends to glorify war, might be more appropriate for older children). (Not reviewed).

Hey Little Ant, Philip and Hannah Hoose WH E Hoo

A young boy talks to an ant trembling in the shadow of his sneaker. This playful story brings up questions about ethics and peer pressure, encouraging the very youngest citizens to decide for themselves: to squish . . . or not to squish. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: this book has been selected to be read to/by students in all of our classrooms).

House on East 88th Street, Bernard Waber WH E Wab / PACL PB Waber

The first book in the Lyle series tells how the Primms found Lyle the crocodile in the bathtub of their new home. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

The Hundred Dresses, Eleanor Estes WH F Est / PACL Fiction Estes

A story about Wanda, who wore the same faded dress to school every day but claimed to have a hundred dresses at home. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Newbery Honor Book 1945).

Hate English, Ellen Levine WH E Lev / PACL PB Levine

A realistic, sympathetic story of the problems of learning a new language and culture, with cartoonlike illustrations of a distraught, angry, or pleased young girl from Hong Kong set against a background of New York's Chinatown. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8).

I Have a Sister, My Sister Is Deaf, Jeanne Peterson OL 362.42 Pet / PACL PB Peterson

A young deaf child who loves to run and jump and play is affectionately described by her older sister. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

I Wish I Were a Butterfly, James Howe WH E How / PACL PB Howe

A wise spider helps a despondent cricket realize that he is special in his own way. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: self-acceptance).

I'm Terrific, Majorie Sharmat OL E Sha / PACL PB Sharmat

Jason Bear thinks he's terrific and even awards himself gold stars for superior performance in his chores. His friends don't like to be around him. IPac. (Ages 4-8). (Parent Comment: "great").

Ira Sleeps Over, Bernard Waber WH E Wab / PACL Waber

Ira is thrilled to spend the night at Reggie's until his sister raises the question of whether he should take his teddy bear. " Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Jessica, Kevin Henkes OL E Hen /PACL PB Henkes

"There is no Jessica," said Ruthie's parents. But of course there was. She ate with Ruthie, played with Ruthie, and was sorry when Ruthie was bad. Nobody could see Jessica -- except Ruthie. When it came time for Ruthie to go to school, Jessica went with her. Her parents hoped Ruthie would find a friend at school who would replace Jessica. They were in for a (happy) surprise! Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

Make a Wish Molly, Barbara Cohen WH E Coh / PACL PB Cohen

Excited by the first American birthday party she has ever attended, Russian-born Molly is tempted to eat the pink-and-white birthday cake of her hostess despite the Passover rule that prevents her from doing so. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: Jewish holiday references).

Mangaboom, Charlotte Pomerantz

When Daniel discovers a giant named Mangaboom at the top of an enormous mango tree, he is delighted by her size and spunk and touched by her search for an eligible gentleman giant--someone who will love her as she is. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Max Makes a Million, Maira Kalman PACL PB Kalman

Max's dream is to live in Paris and be a poet--even though no one will buy his poems, and he is penniless. But living in New York City isn't so bad. Where else could he have friends like Bruno, who paints invisible pictures, or Marcello, who builds upside-down houses? Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Metropolitan Cow, Tim Egan WH E Ega / PACL PB Egan

Bennett Gibbons is a very fortunate calf. His parents are prominent members of their herd and noted socialites. They live in a beautiful apartment and give Bennett everything he could want. Indeed, young Bennett is the luckiest little calf in the neighborhood. Problem is, he's the only little calf in the neighborhood. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children.)

Miz Berlin Walks, Jane Yolen OL E Yol

At first Mary Louise is afraid of old Miz Berlin who walks around the block of her Virginia home, talking to herself. But once she gets close enough to listen she is spellbound by Miz Berlin's stories about the past. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Molly's Pilgrim, Barbara Cohen WH E Coh / PACL PB Cohen

Molly and her parents are a Jewish family who have emigrated from Russia to the United States to escape religious persecution. When Thanksgiving arrives, the teacher assigns a project to make a Pilgrim doll. Molly's mother helps her make a doll but dresses her in Russian clothes. This special doll teaches Molly's classmates that there are all kinds of pilgrims. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Morris Goes to School, Bernard Wiseman WH E Wis / PACL Juv Reader F Wiseman

Morris the moose has an exciting day in school learning the alphabet, counting, singing, spelling, and doing other things that make him a unique moose. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Mrs. Katz and Tush, Patricia Polacco WH E Pol / PACL PB Polacco

In this special Passover story, Larnel Moore, a young African-American boy, and Mrs. Katz, an elderly Jewish woman, develop an unusual friendship through their mutual concern for an abandoned cat named Tush. Together they explore the common themes of suffering and triumph in each of their cultures. Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

My Sister's Silent World, Catherine Arthur WH 362.4 Art

A child describes her sister's hearing problem and the family's birthday visit to the zoo. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

My Song is Beautiful: Poems and Pictures in Many Voices, Mary Ann Hoberman WH 808.81 My / PACL 808.81 M995

Fourteen diverse, first-person poems on the power of childhood are accompanied by distinctive illustrations of fourteen artists, in this multicultural poetry anthology. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Nick Joins In, Joe Lasker WH E Las

When Nick, confined to a wheelchair, enters a regular classroom for the first time as a result of U.S. Public Law 94-142, he and his new classmates must resolve their initial apprehensions about mainstreaming. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Nicolas, Where Have You Been? Leo Lionni WH E Lio / PACL PB Lionni

Mishap turns to adventure as a young mouse learns that all birds aren't the enemies he thought they were. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

No Bath Tonight, Jane Yolen OL E Yol

A small boy refuses to take a bath until his grandmother shows him how to make kid tea. IPac. (Ages 4-8). (Not reviewed).

Odd Velvet, Mary Whitcomb OL E Whi / PACL PB Whitcomb

Velvet takes things in stride, but other children find her strange, with her Pippi-Longstocking pigtails, candy-cane stockings, purple velvet dress, and huge wire-rim glasses. On the first day of school she brings the teacher seven rocks, red shoelaces, and a broken bird egg; and she carries her lunch in a used paper bag. She isn't picked for partner play, and no one will walk home with her. Even so, she endures, always with a winning smile, until things gradually begin to change for the better. Booklist. (Ages 4-8). ). (Nt: this book is the 2004 selection that will be read to/by students in all of our classrooms).

Peach and Blue, Sarah Kilborne OL E Kil

When a peach wants to experience the world from a new perspective, Blue, a toad, takes her to his pond, where the two friends find that they can see the world better when they are together. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8).

Peter's Chair, Ezra Jack Keats WH E Kea / PACL PB Keats

Peter learns to accept the new baby sister in the family in this endearing story of sibling rivalry. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Rajesh, Curt and Gita Kaufman OL 372 Kau / PAMP PB Kaufman

True story about a boy and his prosthetic leg. (Ages 4-8).

Sachiko Means Happiness, Kimiko Sakai WH E Sak / PACL PB Sakai

A simply told, understated story of young Sachiko's acceptance of her grandmother's Alzheimer's disease. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8).

Sally Arnold, Cheryl Ryan

When Jenny spends the summer in the country, it seems everywhere she goes she sees a scary-looking old woman wandering around collecting things. At first Jenny is a little afraid of Sally, imagining her to be a witch in search of things to put in her magic spells. But soon Jenny's curiosity gets the better of her, and she sets out to see what Sally does with all the junk she collects. Sally surprises her by inviting her in and teaching her how to make a gathering basket from cattails and an old broom. . . The book will be helpful for promoting the benefits that friendships with an elderly neighbor or relative have to offer. Booklist. (Ages 5-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Sneetches, Dr. Seuss WH E Seu / PACL PB Seuss

"Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches / Had bellies with stars. / The Plain-Belly Sneetches / Had none upon thars." This collection of four of Dr. Seuss's most winning stories begins with that unforgettable tale of the unfortunate Sneetches, bamboozled by one Sylvester McMonkey McBean ("the Fix-it-up Chappie"), who teaches them that pointless prejudice can be costly. Amazon.com. (Ages 4-8).

The Snow Lady: Tale of Trotter Street, Shirley Hughes OL E Hug / PACL PB Hughes

When their fussy neighbor, Mrs. Dean, is out of town, Sam and her friend Barney build a snow lady with Mrs. Mean spelled out in stones at the base. Mrs. Dean arrives home unexpectedly on Christmas Eve, but all is happily resolved. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Someone Special, Just Like You, Tricia Brown OL NF 362.4 Bro / PACL PB Brown

Brown and Ortiz show that the differences that seem to separate children with handicaps from others are not important. What is important is the common delight in life--a desire to love, learn and play, and to be accepted for themselves as other children are. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Sometimes It's Turkey, Sometimes It's Feathers, Lorna Balian WH E Bal / PACL PB Balian

When she finds a turkey egg, Mrs. Gumm decides to hatch it and have a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Stellaluna, Janell Cannon WH E Can / PACL PB Cannon

After Stellaluna accidently lands in a bird's nest, the birds raise the baby fruit bat as one of their own, and when she is finally reunited with her mother, she appreciates both her differences and her new friendships. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Story of Ruby Bridges, Robert Coles WH 921 Bridges / PACL PB Coles

Sustained by family and faith, one brave six-year-old child found the strength to walk alone through howling protesters and enter a whites-only school in New Orleans in 1960. Ruby Bridges did it every day for weeks that turned into months. The white parents withdrew their kids, and Ruby sat alone with her teacher in an empty classroom in an empty building and learned her lessons. Booklist. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: might be more appropriate for older children).

Tacky the Penguin, Helen Lester WH E Les / PACL PB Lester

Demonstrates the problems, and the advantages, of being an individual. Tacky's story takes place one day when some intimidating visitors come to visit on the penguins' icy land. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Teammates, Peter Golenbock WH 796.357 Gol / PACL 796.357 G625t

The moving story of how Jackie Robinson became the first black player on a major league baseball team and how on a fateful day in Cincinnati, PeeWee Reese took a stand and declared Jackie his teammate. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: subject matter may be more appropriate for older children).

The Ugly Duckling, Hans Christian Anderson WH 398.24 Ugl / PACL 398 A544uv, uh, upi

For over one hundred years The Ugly Duckling has been a childhood favorite . . the essence of the tale's timeless appeal: The journey of the awkward little bird -- marching bravely through hecklers, hunters, and cruel seasons --- is an unforgettable survival story; this blooming into a graceful swan is a reminder of the patience often necessary to discover true happiness. Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

Uglypuss, Caroline Gregoire

Marty's always wanted a cute and lovable puppy, and one day his father surprises him with a dog of his very own. Marty's new puppy is so ugly he names him "Uglypuss" and ignores him. Uglypuss isn't daunted. He waits for the chance to prove his mettle, and when he bravely does, Marty understands at last that looks aren't everything. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Watch Out for the Chicken Feet in Your Soup, Tomie dePaola

Embarrassed to introduce his friend to his old-fashioned Italian grandmother, a young boy gains a new appreciation of her when he finds how well she and his friend get along. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

We Are A Rainbow, Nancy Tabor

We Are a Rainbow helps young readers begin building the cultural bridges of common human understanding through simple comparisons of culture from breakfast foods to legends. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

When Africa Was Home, Karen Williams OL E Mar / PACL PB Marshall

The small white child in this picture book feels alien when his family returns to America. He can't wait to go back to the warm African village where he ran free with his friends under a wide sky. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Why Am I Different? Norma Simon OL 155.2 Sim

Some people can't eat chocolate, and some are good at whistling. Some people are tall, some are short. People want different things for their birthdays. If we were all the same, it would be like seeing everything in gray--boring. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Why Does that Man Have Such A Big Nose? Mary Beth Quinsey

Text and pictures of people who are "different"--short, tall, balding, wrinkled, fat, handicapped, etc.--invite discussion of the uniqueness and value of each person despite his/her appearance. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

The Witch Next Door, Norman Bridwell OL E Bri

The story about the good witch who lives in a good neighborhood. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Not reviewed).

Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Frank Baum OL F Bau / PACL F Baum

Dorothy Gale takes a magical journey from the American heartland into the wonderful land of Oz to meet the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

A Year on My Street: Poems, Mary Quattlebaum WH 811.54 Qua

Sixteen easy-to-read, lively poems capture the colorful inhabitants and events of the neighborhood, from youngsters jumping rope, to a visit to the local library, to petting a friend's cat. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Ages 9-12

Bearstone, Will Hobbs OL F Hob / PAMain Young Adult Fiction Hobbs

A sullen, orphaned Indian boy temporarily finds a home with an old prospector and rancher. Their attempts to understand each other and their appreciation for the glorious mountain area of Colorado lead them to respect and affection. A realistic, affecting story. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

The Best Christmas Pagent Ever, Barbara Robinson PACL Fiction Robinson

Funny, memorable, and outrageous, it is the story of a family of incorrigible children who discover the Christmas story for the first time and help everyone else rediscover its true meaning. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Nt: Christmas theme). (Not reviewed).

Blubber, Judy Blume WH F Blu / PACL Fiction Blume

Jill goes along with the rest of the fifth-grade class in tormenting a classmate and then finds out what it's like when she, too, becomes a target. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Bunnicula: A Rabbit Tale of Mystery, Deborah Howe WH F How / PACL F Howe

A vampire bunny? Chester the cat thinks the new arrival to the family is actually a vampire - and is convinced when white vegetables are drained of their juices. But how can the pets warn their masters of this new deadly danger? Midwest Book Review. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Children of Christmas: Stories for the Season, Cynthia Rylant WH SC Ryl

These five stellar stories . . . Ordinary places (and) . . . ordinary people . . . suddenly become extraordinary. . . . Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Crash, Jerry Spinelli OL F Spi / PACL Fiction Spinelli

Crash is a star football player. He torments Penn, a classmate who is everything Crash is not -- friendly, small, and a pacifist. When his beloved grandfather comes to live with his family and suffers a debilitating stroke, Crash comes to see value in many of the things he has scorned. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Dragonling, Jackie Koller OL F Kol

Young Darek longs to be a great hunter of dragons, but when he finds an orphaned dragonling, his sympathies lead him into a meeting with and an understanding of dragons. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Freak the Mighty, Rodman Philbrick OL F Phi / PACL Fiction Philbrick

Maxwell Kane, who is learning disabled and unusually large for his age, shies away from others, but when a brilliant boy with a birth defect that has kept his body from growing to normal size moves in next door, the two become Freak the Mighty, pooling their brains and brawn to conquer their world. The harrowing events of Max's childhood are revealed gradually, as he is able to face them, thanks to the wisdom of his friend. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Free to Be . . . You and Me, Marlo Thomas WH SC Tho / PACL Fiction Free

This wondrous collection [of] . . . introductions . . . stories and poems. . . The Los Angeles Times notes that it "challenged racial, sexist, and economic stereotypes for children ... became a beloved national bestseller--and made it okay for boys to have dolls and girls to be good at sports." . . .[T]he New York Times Book Review deemed it "a positive, refreshing book for children and adults that tells you not who you should be ... but who you can be." Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Hello My Name is Scrambled Eggs, Jamie Gilson WH F Gil / PACL Juv Fiction Gilson

When his folks host a Vietnamese family that has come to settle in their town, Harvey enjoys Americanizing twelve-year-old Tuan. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, Bette Lord WH F Lor / PACL Fiction Lord

Shirley Temple Wong sails from China to America with a heart full of dreams. Her new home is Brooklyn, New York. America is indeed a land full of wonders, but Shirley doesn't know any English, so it's hard to make friends. Then a miracle-baseball-happens. It is 1947, and Jackie Robinson, star of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is everyone's hero. Jackie Robinson is proving that a black man, the grandson of a slave, can make a difference in America and for Shirley as well, on the ball field and off, America becomes the land of opportunity. Book Description. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

The Iron Dragon Never Sleeps, Stephen Krensky OL F Kre

During the mid-nineteenth century, the completion of the transcontinental railroad required the labor of thousands of Chinese immigrants. Ten-year-old Winnie Tucker meets a friendly young Chinese boy and learns about the inequality between the white and Chinese laborers. Hornbook. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Island of the Blue Dolphins, Scott O'Dell WH F O'De / PACL F O'Dell

This is the story of Karana, the Indian girl who lived alone for years on the Island of the Blue Dolphins. Year after year, she watched one season pass into another and waited for a ship to take her away. But while she waited, she kept herself alive by building shelter, making weapons, finding food, and fighting her enemies, the wild dogs. It is not only an unusual adventure of survival, but also a tale of natural beauty and personal discovery. From the Publisher. (Ages 9-12). (Newbery Medal Winner 1961). (Not reviewed).

It Happened in Pinsk, Arthur Yorinks OL E Yor

A shoe salesman roams the city in search of his head. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Jip, His Story, Katherine Paterson OL F Pat / PACL F Paterson

Raised on a poor Vermont farm after tumbling off the back of a wagon as a small child, Jip is astonished years later when a slave catcher reveals that he is the son of a runaway slave and that he is the property of a slave owner. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Kid in the Red Jacket, Barbara Park OL F Par / PACL F Park

Howard thinks his worst nightmare has come true when he is forced to move. Then he meets his six-year-old neighbor, who may just ruin his life! Ingram.(Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Lassie Come Home, Eric Knight WH F Kni / PACL Juv Large Print Fiction Knight

[A] classic about the loyal collie who refuses to accept her fate when she is sold, out of financial necessity, to a wealthy duke. . . Raising such issues as poverty, black lung disease, and cruelty to animals, this powerful story is a perfect tool for promoting empathy and compassion in youngsters. Booklist. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Lemonade Trick, Scott Corbett OL F Cor / PAMP F Corbett

A mysterious potion mixed by Kerby with his chemistry set has a beneficial effect on the neighborhood bully but also wreaks havoc at the Sunday School pageant. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Little House Series, Laura Ingalls Wilder WH F Wil / PACL F Wilder

The charming Little House books tell the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder who, with her family, was among the early pioneers of the American west. Laura traveled with her family by covered wagon through Kansas, Minnesota and finally the Dakota Territory. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Maniac Magee: A Novel, Jerry Spinelli WH F Spi / PACL Fiction Spinelli

Maniac Magee is a folk story about a boy, a very excitable boy. One that can outrun dogs, hit a home run off the best pitcher in the neighborhood, tie a knot no one can undo. "Kid's gotta be a maniac," is what the folks in Two Mills say. It's also the story of how this boy, Jeffrey Lionel "Maniac" Magee, confronts racism in a small town, tries to find a home where there is none and attempts to soothe tensions between rival factions on the tough side of town. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Medal Winner 1991). (Not reviewed).

Memoirs of a Bookbat, Kathryn Lasky OL F Las

Harper Jessup is a bookish young girl who lives with her struggling parents. When they go on the road as "migrants for God," things seem to improve at first, but as time passes, Harper finds herself opposing her parents' mission of censorship: they work to remove "unacceptable" books from school programs around the country. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Monkey Island, Paula Fox OL F Fox / PACL F Fox

Eleven-year-old Clay Garrity awakens in the welfare hotel where he and his pregnant mother have lived for the last month to find his mother gone. His search for her leads him to a park, where two homeless men become his surrogate family for several harrowing months until he is reunited with his mother. A masterfully crafted, emotionally powerful story that will alter forever the reader's view of the homeless. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

My Brother Stevie, Eleanore Clymer OL F Cly

An unmanageable younger brother makes life difficult for his sister until a sympathetic school teacher befriends and helps them both. IPac. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

My Name Is Maria Isabel, Alma Ada OL F Ada / PACL Juv Span Fiction Ada

On María Isabel's first day at her new school, her teacher decides to call her Mary, because there are already two other Marías in the class. Unable to recognize her new name when called upon, María is both frustrated and discouraged. The teacher is brought to understand the girl's sadness through an essay she writes, entitled My Greatest Wish. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Nothing's Fair in the Fifth Grade, Barthe DeClements WH F DeC / PACL F DeClements

When Elsie Edwards becomes the new girl in the fifth grade, nothing seems fair--but lots of things are fun. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Number the Stars, Lois Lowry WH F Low / PACL Fict Lowry

The evacuation of Jews from Nazi-held Denmark is one of the great untold stories of World War II. On September 29, 1943, word got out in Denmark that Jews were to be detained and then sent to the death camps. Within hours the Danish resistance, population and police arranged a small flotilla to herd 7,000 Jews to Sweden. Lois Lowry fictionalizes a true-story account to bring this courageous tale to life. She brings the experience to life through the eyes of 10-year-old Annemarie Johannesen, whose family harbors her best friend, Ellen Rosen, on the eve of the round-up and helps smuggles Ellen's family out of the country. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Medal Winner 1990). (Not reviewed).

The Only Game in Town, John Bibee

Everyone wants to be Number One. The fastest, the smartest, the best looking. That's the way it is in Centerville. And the local toy store was all too willing to keep track of all your points. But Daniel found himself at the bottom of this game. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Pink and Say, Patricia Polacco WH E Pol / PACL PB Polacco

A white youth from Ohio, Sheldon Russell Curtis (Say), and a black youth from Georgia, Pinkus Aylee (Pink), meet as young soldiers with the Union army. Pink finds Say wounded in the leg after a battle and brings him home with him. Pink's mother, Moe Moe Bay, cares for the boys while Say recuperates, feeding and comforting them and banishing the war for a time. Whereas Pink is eager to go back and fight against ``the sickness'' that is slavery, Say is afraid to return to his unit. But when he sees Moe Moe Bay die at the hands of marauders, he understands the need to return. Pink and Say are captured by Confederate soldiers and brought to the notorious Andersonville prison camp. Say is released months later, ill and undernourished, but Pink is never released, and Polacco reports that he was hanged that very first day because he was black. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: may be appropriate only for older children, parents should preview book first, subject matter includes hanging).

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, Mildred Taylor WH F Tay / PACL Fiction Taylor

Why is the land so important to Cassie's family? It takes the events of one turbulent year--the year of the night riders and the burnings, the year a white girl humiliates Cassie in public simply because she is black--to show Cassie that having a place of their own is the Logan family's lifeblood. It is the land that gives the Logans their courage and pride, for no matter how others may degrade them, the Logans possess something no one can take away. Book Description. (Ages 9-12). (Newbery Medal Winner 1977). (Not reviewed).

The Sign of the Beaver, Elizabeth Speare WH F Spe / PACL Fict Speare

When his father returns East to collect the rest of the family, 13-year-old Matt is left alone to guard his family's newly built homestead. One day, Matt is brutally stung when he robs a bee tree for honey. He returns to consciousness to discover that his many stings have been treated by an old Native American and his grandson. . . the old man . . . asks Matt to teach his grandson Attean to read. . . The boys become friends in spite of themselves, and their inevitable parting is a moving tribute to the ability of shared experience to overcome prejudice. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Newbery Honor Book 1984). (Nt: this is a 5th grade core book and should not be read before it is covered in class.) (Not reviewed).

Stepping on the Cracks, Mary Hahn OL F Hah / PACL F Hahn

When patriotic best friends Margaret and Elizabeth spy on hated sixth-grade classmate Gordy, they discover that he is hiding his brother, Stuart, a deserter from the army. They slowly begin to understand Stuart's decision to be a conscientious objector and accept a broader view of the world. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Stones in Water, Donna Napoli OL F Nap / PACL F Napoli

During World War II, best friends Roberto and Samuele are abducted by German soldiers from a small town outside Venice--despite the fact that Italy and Germany are allies--and taken to a work camp in Munich. The horrors they experience change Roberto's outlook from self-preservation to guarded activism to, following his escape, outright sabotage. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Summer of My German Soldier, Bette Greene WH F Gre / PACL F Greene

When her small hometown in Arkansas becomes the site of a camp housing German prisoners during World War II, 12-year-old Patty Bergen learns what it means to open her heart. Although she's Jewish, she begins to see a prison escapee, Anton, not as a Nazi--but as a lonely, frightened young man with feelings not unlike her own, who understands and appreciates her in a way her parents never will. And Patty is willing to risk losing family, friends--even her freedom--for what has quickly become the most important part of her life. Book Description. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Summer of the Swans, Betsy Byars WH F Bya / PACL Fiction Byars

The longest day in the life of a 14-year-old girl--the summer day her loved, mentally retarded brother is lost, the day she discovers compassion is a friend. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Newbery Medal Winner 1971). (Not reviewed).

There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom, Louis Sachar OL F Sac / PACL F Sachar

He may be the weirdest kid in school, but he's not completely hopeless! The triumph of Bradley Chalkers, the weird, insecure bully of the fifth grade, will appeal to every reader who's cheered for--or been--the underdog. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Under the Blood Red Sun, Graham Salisbury OL F Sal / PACL F Salisbury

For Tomikazu Nakaji, growing up on Oahu, Hawaii, means fishing, playing baseball, and going to school. When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, though, his world is shattered. Papa and Grandpa are arrested, and Tomi and his mother must struggle to preserve the dignity of the Nakaji name. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Understood Betsy, Dorothy Fisher OL F Fis / PACL F Fisher

Sent to live with her rough-mannered cousins in Vermont, nine-year-old Elizabeth Ann accepts the challenge of her new life and begins a triumphant journey of self-discovery. Ingram. (Ages 8-12). (Not reviewed).

Veronica Ganz, Marilyn Sachs WH F Sac

Every new kid learns the hard way--no one messes with Veronica Ganz. She's bigger than everyone else, and meaner, too. When shrimpy Peter Wedemeyer starts acting up, Veronica knows she has to show him who's boss--but Peter finds a million sneaky ways to get to her. Veronica hates it. She's got to come up with a new way to settle the score. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

The View From Saturday, E. L. Konigsburg WH F Kon / PACL Fiction Konigsburg

Admirable acts, challenging ideas, and grace notes positively festoon this superb tale of four sixth graders and a paraplegic teacher forming a junior high Academic Bowl team that sweeps away the competition. The plot is composed of interwoven puzzles. What prompts Mrs. Olinski to choose Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian for the team over the usual overachievers and honor students in her class? What do they know about her, themselves, and each other that puts them so precisely on the same wavelength and gives them such complementary knowledge and experience? Each has a tale to tell, in the course of which all four witness acts of kindness and respect that teach them to find those feelings in themselves and others. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 11-13). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Medal Winner 1997). (Not reviewed).

Virtual War, Gloria Skurzynski OL F Sku / PACL Sci Fiction Skurzynski

Diseases (the in-the-news ones such as Ebola, Hanta, and flesh-eating viruses) have wiped out most of the earth's population. Fourteen-year-old Corgan, created through genetic engineering and raised with scrupulous care, is the pride of the Council. With his exquisite sense of timing and superb physical skills, he will be one of the team of three representing the Western Hemisphere Federation in a virtual war. It is not until he meets his two teammates, a 10-year-old mutant genius and a girl his own age with brilliant decoding capabilities, that it occurs to him to question anything about his life and the choices that have been made for him. Booklist. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963, Christopher Curtis WH F Cur / PACL F Curtis

In a voice that's both smart and naive, strong and scared, fourth-grader Kenny Watson tells about his African American family in Flint, Michigan, in 1963. We get to know his strict, loving parents and his tough older brother, who gets into so much trouble his parents decide to take him back "home" to Birmingham, Alabama, where maybe his strong grandmother will teach him some sense. Racism and the civil rights movement are like a soft rumble in the background, especially as the Watsons drive south. Then Kenny's cute little sister is in a Birmingham church when a bomb goes off. She escapes (Curtis doesn't exploit the horror), but we're with Kenny as he dreads that she's part of the rubble. Booklist. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Honor Book 1996). (Not reviewed).

Welcome Home, Jellybean, Marlene Shyer OL F Shy

Neil Oxley's older sister, Geraldine, is coming home for the first time. After spending most of her life in institutions for the retarded, she is finally going to live with her family and adapt to the "real world." Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, Kimberly Holt OL F Hol / PACL F Holt

Nothing much happens in Antler, Texas, a place too small and boring for 13-year-old Toby Wilson's mom, who has left to try and be a country music star. . . Then a stranger comes to town. He is Zachary Beaver, a 600-pound teenager, "the fattest man in the world," who never leaves his trailer. At first Toby and Cal come to gape at the freak show with everyone else, but when Zachary's manager disappears, the boys slowly get to know Zachary. . . Teens will recognize how people can shut themselves into spaces that are too tight and how even a best friend can be a dork, especially when there's jealousy and failure. . . In the tradition of many southern writers, Holt reveals the freak in all of us--and the hope of redemption. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Nt: son dies in Vietnam). (Not reviewed).

The Whipping Boy, Sid Fleischman WH F Fle / PACL F Fleischman

A bratty prince and his whipping boy inadvertently change places after becoming involved with dangerous outlaws. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Newbery Medal Winner 1987). (Not reviewed).

Wringer, Jerry Spinelli WH F Spi / PACL F Spinelli

In a realistic story invested with the intensity of a fable, nine-year-old Palmer faces his future as a wringer--one of the ten-year-old boys who strangle the pigeons wounded during the town's annual pigeon shoot. Spinelli's story is honest but not without hope, not only in its conclusion, but in Palmer's friendship with the girl across the street, in the surprising discoveries he makes about his parents, and in his love for Nipper, the pigeon he shelters and eventually saves. Hornbook. (Ages 9-12) (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Honor Book 1998). (Not reviewed).

Ages 13 and Up

Blood and Chocolate, Annette Klause OL F Kla / PAMain Young Adult Fiction Klause

When half of Vivian's werewolf pack is destroyed in a fire following the forbidden killing of a human, the remaining loups-garoux are forced to move to a new town, where the sixteen-year-old longs for companions her own age. Klause allows her werewolves all the unbounded heat and urgency of prime adolescence in this supernatural gothic romance that's sweaty (and bloody) enough for a sultry summer night. Horn Book. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Cay, Theodore Taylor WH F Tay / PACL Fiction Taylor

A powerful classic of prejudice, love, and survival. In 1942, 11-year-old Phillip Enright lives with his parents on the Dutch island of Curaçao, but when the war moves too close for comfort, his mother decides to travel with him back to the safety of Virginia. When their boat is torpedoed, however, Phillip is blinded and finds himself adrift on a life raft with an old black man and a cat. They eventually land on a deserted island. Phillip is suspicious of "the large Negro," but soon grows to trust--and ultimately love--the patient and generous Timothy. . . The Cay has a clear message that friendship is colorblind; it is also a terrific adventure story of a young, newly blinded man learning to survive on an uninhabited island. Amazon.com. (Ages: Young adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Children of the River, Linda Crew OL F Cre / PAMP Young Adult Fiction Crew

Sundara flees Cambodia for the safety of Oregon, where she struggles to be a "good Cambodian girl." Although she is forbidden to speak to any white boys, Sundara falls in love with Jonathan. Is her new life disloyal to her past? Ingram. (Ages: Young adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Cuckoo's Child, Suzanne Freeman OL F Fre / PACL Fiction Freeman

When her parents disappear while on a sailing vacation, Mia must move from Beirut back to America. She and her sisters are sent to live with their eccentric aunt in Tennessee, and Mia begins to long for Beirut while awaiting the return of her parents whose absence she cannot accept. An eclectic group of friends and family helps Mia to accept the inevitable about her parents and to accept herself as well. Ingram. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Gulliver's Adventures in Lilliput, Jonathan Swift

Four-part satirical novel by Jonathan Swift, published anonymously in 1726 as Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World. The novel is ostensibly the story of Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon and sea captain who visits remote regions of the world. In the beginning Gulliver is shipwrecked on Lilliput, where people are six inches tall. The Lilliputians' utterly serious wars, civil strife, and vanities are human follies so reduced in scale as to be rendered ridiculous. Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This, Jacqueline Woodson OL F Woo / PAMain Young Adult Woodson

Two girls: one white, one black; one abused, one protected, both missing their mothers. An unlikely friendship ignites between the two, and, in sharing their differences, both of their lives are transformed. Amazon.com. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Ironman, Chris Crutcher OL F Cru / PAMP Young Adult Fiction Crutcher

When one of his frequent outbursts lands him in an anger management class, Bo interrupts his triathlon training to spend two mornings a week discussing personal issues with a group of emotionally wounded classmates. Horn Book. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Outsiders, S. E. Hinton OL F Hin / PACL F Hinton

Ponyboy is fourteen, tough and confused, yet sensitive behind his bold front. Since his parents' death, his loyalties have been to his brothers and his gang, the rough, swinging, long-haired boys from the wrong side of the tracks. When his best friend, Johnny, kills a member of a rival gang, a nightmare of violence begins and swiftly envelops Ponyboy in a turbulent chain of events. From the Publisher. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Pigman, Paul Zindel OL F Zin / PACL F Zindel

Two lonely high school students befriend a strange old man, Mr. Pignati. Ingram. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Slave Day, Rob Thomas PAMain Young Adult Fiction

When the high school auctions off students and faculty as slaves during a fundraiser, Keene Davenport declares the event racist and unsuccessfully calls for a boycott before deciding to buy the class president and teach everyone a lesson. Ingram. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Chris Crutcher OL F Cru / PAMain Young Adult F Crutcher

Eighteen-year-old Eric's success on the swimming team and the weight loss that is the by-product of his strict physical regimen are so threatening to his longstanding friendship with Sarah Byrnes -- who, at the age of three was severely burned on the face and hands when her father pushed her into a wood stove -- that he forces himself into gluttony in order not to jeopardize it. Eric's attempts to help his friend find her way back into the world after she is institutionalized make up the bulk of the narrative. Horn Book. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Twelve Shots: Outstanding Short Stories About Guns, Harry Mazer OL SC Twe / PAMP Young Adult Fiction Mazer

In a dozen riveting new works of short fiction, written especially for this collection, popular contemporary authors explore the emotion-driven world of guns. From the grim reality of urban violence (in "Chalkman" by Rita Williams-Garcia) to a boy's first glimpse of manhood while target-shooting with Dad (in Ron Koertge's "Fresh Meat") to mercy killing (in Rob Thomas's "The War Chest"), the 12 stories included here are as different as the 12 authors themselves. Ingram. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

* Noted where appropriate are themes which might be of concern to parents or students when selecting which books to read. If the listing indicates "not reviewed", our parent reviewing committee has not read this book and no comments as to appropriateness have been made.

Books marked WH are in the Walter Hays Library, OL in other Palo Alto School District Libraries, PACL at the Palo Alto Children's Library, PAMain at Palo Alto Main Library and PAMP at Palo Alto Mitchell Park Library.

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Kindness ~ Compassion ~ Generosity

Preschool

The Bear's Toothache, David McPhail OL E McP / PACL PB McPhail

When he discovers a bear with a toothache outside his window, a little boy tries to think of ways of removing the tooth. Ingram. (Ages: Preschool). (C)

Clown, Quentin Blake WH E Bla / PACL PB Blake

In a wordless book, a toy clown is discarded in the rubbish bin along with his stuffed animal friends, and he starts on a quest to find them all a new home, finally succeeding after some unfortunate adventures. Horn Book. (Ages: Preschool). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (K)

Gramma's Walk, Anna Grossnickle Hines OL E Hin

With a combination of storytelling and imaginative play, a boy and his Gramma pretend they're walking together at the seashore. She's in a wheelchair; his head is in her lap; together they take a walk where they have been before and make it new. . . The experience is precise and physical, including details of sound and touch as well as what they see: the waves lapping the rocks, the warm sand on the beach, the peeper birds, an otter, a shell. "See it," they say to each other. The intimacy and shared adventure has the appeal of stories and games done over and over. Booklist. (Ages: Preschool). (Not reviewed). (K, C)

The Paper Crane, Molly Bang OL E Ban / PACL PB Bang

A mysterious man enters a restaurant and pays for his dinner with a paper crane that magically comes alive and dances. Ingram. (Ages: Preschool).(G) 

Pierre: A Cautionary Tale in Five Chapters and a Prologue, Maurcie Sendak WH E Sen / PACL PB Sendak

"A story with a moral air about Pierre, who learned to care." Young Pierre, whose favorite line is "I don't care!" changes his mind after meeting a hungry lion. Ingram. (Ages: Preschool). (K)

The Rainbow Fish, Marcus Pfister WH E Pfi/ PACL PB Pfister

Rainbow-colored foil stamping glitters on every page of this unique book about a beautiful fish who learns to make friends by sharing his most prized possessions-his shimmering scales. Ingram. (Ages: Preschool). (G)

Runaway Bunny, Margaret Wise Brown WH E Bro / PACL PB Brown

The Runaway Bunny begins with a young bunny who decides to run away: "'If you run away,' said his mother, 'I will run after you. For you are my little bunny.'" And so begins a delightful, imaginary game of chase. No matter how many forms the little bunny takes--a fish in a stream, a crocus in a hidden garden, a rock on a mountain--his steadfast, adoring, protective mother finds a way of retrieving him. The soothing rhythm of the bunny banter--along with the surreal, dream-like pictures--never fail to infuse young readers with a complete sense of security and peace. For any small child who has toyed with the idea of running away or testing the strength of Mom's love, this old favorite will comfort and reassure. Amazon.com. (Ages: Preschool). (Parent Comment: "a classic"). (K)

Song and Dance Man, Karen Ackerman & Steven Gammell WH E Ack/ PACL PB Ackerman

In this affectionate story, three children follow their grandfather up to the attic, where he pulls out his old bowler hat, gold-tipped cane, and his tap shoes. Grandpa once danced on the vaudeville stage, and as he glides across the floor, the children can see what it was like to be a song and dance man. Gammell captures all the story's inherent joie de vivre with color pencil renderings that leap off the pages. Bespectacled, enthusiastic Grandpa clearly exudes the message that you're only as old as you feel, but the children respond--as will readers--to the nostalgia of the moment. Utterly original. Book Description. (Ages: Preschool). (Caldecott Medal Winner 1989). (K)

Ages 4-8

Alejandro's Gift, Richard Albert WH E Alb

The warm, loving story of an old man befriended by desert birds and animals has the right sentiment . . . [w]hen Alejandro plants a garden, then digs a water hole for his new friends, his intentions are kindly. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (K,G)

Alfie Gives A Hand, Shirley Hughes OL E Hug/ PACL PB Hughes

Holding tightly to his old bit of blanket as he attends his first birthday party, Alfie finds a way to be helpful, but it means putting down his blanket first. IPac. (Ages 4-8). (C)

Ali, the Child of the Desert, Jonathan London WH E Lon / PACL PB London

The survival adventure tale gets a desert setting in this picture book about a boy in the Sahara. Ali is on a long ride with his father to sell their herd of camels at a Moroccan market town when a sudden dust storm swallows the sun and Ali finds himself lost in the dunes with his camel, Jabad. With night coming, Ali fears hyenas, jackals, and snakes, as well as thirst, but he gets help from an old Berber goatherd, who shelters the boy and helps him find his father. Booklist. (Ages 5-9). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: contains references to Allah and guns). (K)

Angel Child, Dragon Child, Michele Surat WH E Sur / PAMP PB Surat

Ut has just come to the United States from Vietnam, and she is miserable. At school children laugh when she speaks, and she misses he mother who had to stay behind. This tender story reminds children to take time to understand differences. The happy-ever-after ending shows that with caring and creativity, sad situations can change. Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children. (Ages 4-8). (Parent Comment: "very touching"). (K,C)

An Angel for Solomon Singer, Cynthia Rylant WH E Ryl / PACL PB Rylant

The somber, lonely life of Solomon Singer, who lives in a drab hotel for men in New York City. The chance discovery of a friendly cafe with a smiling waiter named Angel brings a touch of warmth and humanity into Solomon Singer's life. Horn Book. (Ages 5 and up). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (K)

The Ant and the Elephant, Bill Peet WH E Pee/ PACL PB Peet

The elephant is the kindest animal in the jungle, rescuing the giraffe, lion, and rhino, but who will return the favor when the elephant needs help? Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (K)

Arthur's Baby, Marc Brown WH E Bro / PACL PB Brown

Arthur isn't sure he is happy about the new baby in the family, but when his sister asks for his help in handling the baby, Arthur feels much better. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (K)

Baker's Dozen: A Colonial American Tale, Heather Forest WH 398.21 For

A greedy baker who offends a mysterious old woman suffers misfortune in his business, until he discovers what happens when generosity replaces greed. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children) (Nt: Christmas theme). (G)

The Baker's Dozen: A Saint Nicholas Tale,  Aaron Shepard OL 398.2 She

Shepard retells the folktale concerning a baker who sells gingerbread cookies for the Dutch celebration of Saint Nicholas Day. An encounter with an elderly woman and a dream about Saint Nicholas force Van Amsterdam to abandon his frugality and establish the baker's tradition of giving thirteen cookies as a dozen. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed). (G)

Bamboo Hats and a Rice Cake, Ann Tompert (Ages 4-8). WH 398.21 Tom

Wishing to have good fortune in the new year, an old man tries to trade his wife's kimono for rice cakes. Characters from the Japanese alphabet are incorporated into the text. IPac. (Ages 4-8). (K,C,G)

Be Good to Eddie Lee, Virginia Fleming OL E Fle

Christy's mother tells her to treat Eddie Lee, a neighborhood child, well because he has Down's Syndrome and needs special care, but Christy does not always want him tagging along, until Eddie Lee show her a special hiding place in the woods and she sees how very special he really is. Ingram. (Ages 5-8). (Not reviewed). (K)

Beauty and the Beast,

Jan Brett WH 398.22 Bea / PACL 398 B384bb

Marianne Mayer WH 398.22 Bea / PACL 398 B384bm

Patricia Daniels PACTerrace 398 B384bd

Generations of children have been fascinated by the story of the girl named Beauty, who grows to love a fearsome beast by learning to see and cherish his kindness, generosity, and intelligence. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (K,G)

The Berenstain Bears Get in a Fight, Stan and Jan Berenstain WH E Ber / PACL PB Berenstain

The usually compatible Brother and Sister Bear are fighting--all day long! Mama Bear helps them realize that everyone argues once in a while, even with loved ones. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (K)

Big Al, Andrew Clements WH E Cle

Big Al, an ugly and fierce-looking fish, longs for friends, but all the other fish flee whenever he approaches them. Then one day, in a display of strength and heroism, Big Al proves that the true test of a friend is how he acts, not how he looks. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (K)

A Birthday for Frances, Russell Hoban WH E Hob / PACL PB Hoban

Jealous of her sister's birthday, Frances becomes mean and selfish, until rare generosity and birthday spirit move her to reluctantly give her coveted gift. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (G)

A Birthday Present to Mama, Nicole Lorian WH E Lor

Little Rabbit wants to give his mama a very special birthday present, but the gifts his animal friends suggest don't seem quite right. Then a fox accidentally helps Little Rabbit give his mama what she wants most. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). Reader. (G)

The Bookshop Dog, Cynthia Rylant WH E Ryl

A sweet tale of canine love. Martha Jane is a yellow lab. Her owner loves her so much that she takes her everywhere, and names her business after her: ``Martha Jane's Bookshop.'' But when the woman learns that she must go to the hospital for a tonsillectomy, she worries. Who will take care of Martha Jane? A brawl ensues, as the dog's many friends vie for the privilege of caring for her. Then one of Martha Jane's most ardent admirers arrives. ``He knelt down beside Martha Jane and stroked her smooth head and kissed her warm white face and told her what an angel dog she was.'' Martha Jane chooses this man, and so does the woman: She marries him. In tight, gently lyrical prose, woven with plenty of tongue- in-cheek humor, Rylant tells not only a story of a shop and its keepers, but of an entire community possessing loads of good will. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8). (K,G)

A Brother for the Orphelines, Natalie Carlson WH F Car

When a baby is left in the orphanage's breadbasket, all the little girls hope to keep it, even though it is a boy and should be in the boys' home. Ipac. (Ages 4-8). (Not reviewed). (K)

A Cake All for Me! Karen Beil WH E Bei

A pig gleefully bakes a cake just for himself while chanting instructions: ""One, two, get out the moo. / Three, four, open and pour."" He must shift gears when his friends appear just in time to eat. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (G)

Chicken Sunday, Pat Polacco WH E Pol / PACL PB Polacco

The author draws from a childhood experience as she recalls how she and two African-American friends create an ingenious plan to buy a special Easter hat for the boys' grandmother, a lady well known for her wonderful chicken dinners. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (K)

Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes, Dubose Heyward WH E Hey / PACL PB Heyward

The country bunny attains the exalted position of Easter Bunny in spite of her responsibilities as the mother of twenty-one children. . . A gem of a fantasy in which kindness and cleverness win out over size and brawn. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: Easter theme). (K)

Cyrus the Unsinkable Sea Serpent, Bill Peet WH E Pee / PACL PB Peet

A shark accuses Cyrus of cowardice because he won't sink any ships. The kindly sea serpent almost succumbs to peer pressure, but learns at last to be himself. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (K)

Dance of the Sacred Circle: A Native American Tale, Kristina Rodanas OL 398.2 Rod / PACL 398 R685ds

A young Blackfoot orphan who seldom speaks and is disfigured by a scar on his cheek seeks help from the Great Chief as his people face starvation because the buffalo herds have dwindled and become hard to find. The Great Chief enlists the help of the other animals to create a creature to help the Blackfeet find the buffalo, and the boy watches in amazement as a horse is formed from the animals' gifts. Book List. (Ages 4-8). (K,G)

Days of the Blackbird : A Tale of Northern Italy, Tomie dePaola OL E deP / PACL PB dePaola

In the mountains of northern Italy, the last three days of January, considered the coldest of the year, are known as Le Giornate della Merla, The Days of the Blackbird. DePaola creates a story of a faithful white bird, La Colomba, who stays through the bitter cold, singing for a gravely ill duke to help him recover. Duca Gennaro's daughter has tried to entice all the songbirds to stay, putting out plates of seed and suet and wool-lined baskets, but with each temperature drop, more birds leave until finally only La Colomba is left. To stay warm enough to sing, La Colomba nests in the sooty chimney and becomes forever a blackbird. DePaola's story and illustrations are stately, more somber in tone and coloring than his usual style, but this tale of steadfast devotion is rich and conveys the delights of spring after a long, difficult winter. Booklist. (Ages 5-8). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children). [Nt: scenes of Christmas.] (C)

Dogger, Shirley Hughes (aka David and Dog) WH E Hug/ PACL PB Hughes

Dave and Dogger, Dave's soft, brown stuffed toy, go everywhere together. But one evening Dave discovers that Dogger is missing. Can such a sad story end happily? It can--and does--with a little help from big sister Bella. Full of warmth and charm. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (C)

Dominic, William Steig WH F Ste/ PAMP Fiction Steig

William Steig has created an engaging hero, a dog with heart of gold, nerves of steel, and the varied talents of Renaissance Man. Dominic sallies forth to see the world and earn gratitude and acclaim for his generosity, his courage, and his prowess at absolutely everything to which he turns his paw--including the foiling of a dastardly group of villains who have been preying on the community. Bulletin of the Center of Children's Books. Chapter Book. (Ages 4-8). (K,C,G)

The Doorbell Rang, Pat Hutchins OL E Hut/ PACL PB Hutchins

When Ma gave Sam and Victoria a dozen cookies to share, they were delighted. Then the doorbell rang, and rang, and rang. As more children arrived, from various ethnic backgrounds, sharing required other division problems so everyone would have equal amounts. The final ring of the doorbell, however, brings good news. School Library Journal. (Ages 4-8). (K, G)

Dragonfly's Tale, Kristina Rodanas WH 398.21 Rod/ PACL 398 R685d

Celebrating an abundant harvest, the Ashiwi stage a mock battle--literally, a food fight- -that angers the Corn Maidens; they refuse their blessings, and famine follows. Most of the people flee, but two forgotten children fashion a lovely winged creature (the first dragonfly) from a withered cornstalk. It flies to the Corn Maidens, who restore their bounty; the other villagers return, both wiser and kinder. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-10). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children). (K,C,G)

Dribbles, Connie Heckert

An old cat comes to live with two Siamese kittens, Benny and Bing, and when she refuses to be friends, they turn to the older, wiser Gracie for advice and set out to win Dribbles over. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Not reviewed).

The Drinking Gourd: A Story of the Underground Railroad, F. N. Monjo WH E Mon / PACL Fiction Monjo

Illuminates the tale of a young boy, the son of an Underground Railroad conductor, whose quick thinking saves a family of runaway slaves one night. The suspenseful easy reader emphasizes the courage and conviction of both the escaping slaves and those who helped them to freedom. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (C,G)

Fair's Fair, Leon Garfield WH E Gar / PACL PB Garfield

Two orphans are lured to an immense mansion by a mysterious dog where, because of their compassion, hard work, patience, and kindness, they make the transformation from rags to riches. IPac. (Ages 4-8). (K)

Fast Friends: A Tail and Tongue Tale, Lisa Horstman

Unconventional friendship between a cow and a chameleon becomes temporarily rocky when, as roommates, their housekeeping habits don't mesh. But the fastidious chameleon soon remembers his sloppy friend's admirable qualities, such as his ability to attract flies for the chameleon's meals. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Not reviewed).

The Faithful Friend Robert,  San Souci WH NF 398.21 San / PACL 398 S197f

A folktale from Martinique tells the story of two young men, one black, one white, who are friends from childhood. When Clement falls in love, Hippolyte realizes that a deadly supernatural plot to part the loving couple can be foiled only by his own sacrifice. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Caldecott Honor Book 1976). (Nt: might be more appropriate for older children). (Parent Comment: "very good"). (K)

The First Strawberries: A Cherokee Story, Joseph Bruchac OL 398.2 Bru / PACL 398 B887f

In a Cherokee creation tale, the first man and woman quarrel, and the woman walks quickly away. Taking pity on the contrite man, the sun causes various berries to grow in order to distract the woman and slow her down, but it is only when the sun creates strawberries that she stops and makes peace with her husband. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: mentions creationism). (K)

The Gardener, Sarah Stewart WH E Ste / PACL PB Stewart

Stewart's quiet story, relayed in the form of letters written by a little girl, focuses on a child who literally makes joy blossom. . . When hard times hit her family, Lydia Grace is shipped off to stay with her somber, undemonstrative uncle who owns a city bakery. She makes the best of her stay by helping out and by pursuing her favorite pastime, gardening, a talent she uses to make her uncle smile--in a very unusual way. In the end, she receives not simply one reward for her kindness but two. Booklist. (Ages 5-8). (Caldecott Honor Book 1998). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children). (K)

The Gift, Helen Coutant WH F Cou / PACL Fiction Coutant

After much deliberation, a young girl finally decides on the perfect present for her special friend, an old lady who has suddenly gone blind. IPac. (Ages 4-8). (G)

Gift of Driscoll Lipscomb, Sara Yamaka OL E Yam

On each of Molly's birthdays, Driscoll Lipscomb presents her with a paintbrush and a pot of color, with the power to create all manner of colorful things, and with the gift of everyday rainbows. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Parent Comment: "sweet and charming"). (G)

The Gifts of Wali Dad: A Tale of India and Pakistan, Aaron Shepard OL 398.2 She/ PACL 398 S547g

Wali Dali, a simple grass-cutter living in India, comes home from market each day with a few coins, some to spend and some to save. Before long he finds he has saved more than he thought. Needing nothing more than he has, he decides to give it away. That's when the confusion begins! An exchange of gifts, each more extravagant than the one before, teaches Wali Dad that gifts can be a mixed blessing. Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children. (Ages 4-8). (G)

The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein WH F Sil/ PACL PB Silverstein

This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silvestein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (G)

Grandaddy's Place, Helen Griffith OL E Gri / PACL PB Griffith

In a prequel to Georgia Music, Janetta's mother takes her for a visit to Grandaddy, in the country. A beautifully told story of friendship between generations. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8). (K)

The Great White Man Eating Shark: A Cautionary Tale, Margaret Mahy WH E Mah / PACL PB Mahy

Disgusted when other swimmers continually disrupt his attempts to shoot through the water like a silver arrow, Norvin formulates a wicked plan that will let him have the water and the beach to himself. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (K)

The Green Man, Gail Haley WH E Hal

A rich, arrogant youth's enforced stay in the forest changes his once selfish life into a useful, generous, and satisfying one. Based on the legend of "The Green Man." IPac. (Ages 4-8). (K,C,G)

Happy Birthday, Grampie, Susan Pearson OL E Pea / PACL PB Pearson

A poignant, warm story of how a granddaughter's love for her grandfather breaks through the barriers of language and age. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: scenes of a church). (K,C)

Harald and the Great Stag, Donald Carrick OL E Car / PACL PB Carrick

When Harald discovers the Great Stag in the Baron's forest, he tells authorities in his excitement. To his surprise, they want to kill the creature. So Harald, trying to protect the Stag, throws off the hunting dogs and becomes the prey. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (C)

Harriet's Halloween Candy, Nancy Carlson WH E Car

Harriet learns the hard way that sharing her Halloween candy makes her feel much better than eating it all herself. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (G)

Here Comes Tagalong, Anne Mallett (Ages 4-8). WH E Mal

A little boy tags along with the older boys in his neighborhood until he finds a group his own age to play with. IPac. (Ages 4-8). (K)

He's My Brother, Joe Lasker WH E Las / PACL PB Lasker

A young boy describes the experiences of his slow learning younger brother at school and at home. IPac. (Ages 4-8). (C)

Hey Little Ant, Philip and Hannah Hoose WH E Hoo

A young boy talks to an ant trembling in the shadow of his sneaker. This playful story brings up questions about ethics and peer pressure, encouraging the very youngest citizens to decide for themselves: to squish . . . or not to squish. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: this book has been selected to be read to/by students in all of our classrooms). (K, C)

How Many Days to America? A Thanksgiving Story, Eve Bunting WH E Bun/ PACL PB Bunting

After the police come, the family is forced to flee their Caribbean island and set sail for America in a small fishing boat. Other refugees crowd the boat and the voyage is a long one, but when the family finally arrives they discover it's a special day in more ways than one. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: Thanksgiving theme). (C)

The Hummingbird's Gift, Stafan Czernecki and Timothy Rhodes WH E Cze / PAMP PB Czernecki

When a drought comes to their Mexican village, Consuelo and her family find a way to save the hummingbirds that frequent their garden. In gratitude, the birds teach the hungry family how to weave straw into beautiful figures, which they sell at the market, making enough money to last the rest of the year. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (K,C)

Humphrey, the Lost Whale, Wendy Tokuda & Richard Hall WH 599.51 Tok / PACL PB Tokuda

Describes how a migrating humpback whale mistakenly entered the San Francisco Bay in 1985 and swam sixty-four miles inland before being led back to the sea by people concerned for his welfare. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (K)

The Hundred Dresses, Eleanor Estes. WH F Est / PACL Fiction Estes

A story about Wanda, who wore the same faded dress to school every day but claimed to have a hundred dresses at home. This tender and lovely story has beautiful full-color illustrations that brilliantly convey the feeling and overtones of the story. Ingram. Chapter Book. (Ages 4-8). (Newbery Honor Book 1945). (K,G)

I Can Hear the Sun: A Modern Myth, Patricia Polacco WH E Pol / PACL PB Polacco

Tale of throwaway (homeless) people, a blind goose, and a park keeper named Stephanie Michele. The orphan Fondo spends his summer days sitting on a park bench in a nature preserve on Merritt Lake, watching the homeless people and the geese. Stephanie Michele, a big-hearted, middle-aged African-American woman, welcomes and befriends Fondo. She teaches him to help her care for the geese, shows him a blind goose who needs a little special help, and gives him an official park shirt. The goose becomes Fondo's special charge; in fact, he spends so much time caring for the geese that the throwaway people tease, ``Pretty soon, you're gonna turn into a goose!'' When Fondo learns he will be sent away as a ``special needs'' child, he wishes he could fly away with the geese--and does. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8). (C)

It's Mine! Leo Lionni WH E Lio / PACL PB Lionni

It's Mine! is the Caldecott award-winning author/illustrator's classic about three lovable frogs who learn a valuable lesson. [A] story of selfishness on the pond, carried out in beautifully simple collages and language. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (G)

Jamaica Tag-Along, Juanita Havill WH E Hav

Jamaica doesn't want a younger child to play with her, until she remembers how she felt when her older brother excluded her from his games. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (K,C)

Johnny Appleseed, Steven Kellogg WH 921 Chapman/ PACL 398.2 K29j

The Story of Johnny Appleseed, Aliki OL 921 Appleseed

Here is the larger-than-life story of a true American hero--John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. Along his way west, he planted apple orchards--and became one of this country's most beloved legends. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (K,G)

KIDS Random Acts of Kindness, Conari Press OL 177.7 Kid

These inspirational stories of generosity--from whimsical and funny to moving and thoughtful--are written by children of all ages and reveal their surprisingly insightful feelings about kindness and compassion. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Not reviewed).

Knots on a Counting Rope, Bill Martin WH E Mar / PACL PB Martin

In this poignant story, the counting rope is a metaphor for the passage of time and for a boy's emerging confidence facing his greatest challenge: blindness. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: Native American characters). (K)

Koko's Kitten, Trancine Patterson WH NF 599.88 Pat / PACL 599.88 P317k

Koko was a famous sign-language-speaking gorilla. This is the true story of her friendship with a kitten. "Patterson and Cohn let readers see . . . the gentle mind that wanted something to love and be loved by." Ingram. (Ages: 4-8). (K)

Lassie Come Home, Rosemary Wells OL F Kni / PACL PB Wells

A classic about the loyal collie who refuses to accept her fate when she is sold, out of financial necessity, to a wealthy duke. . . Raising such issues as poverty, black lung disease, and cruelty to animals, this powerful story is a perfect tool for promoting empathy and compassion in youngsters. Booklist. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (C)

The Legend of the Bluebonnet, Tomie dePaola WH 398.22 De/ PACL 398 D419Lb

This favorite legend, based on Comanche lore, tells the story of how the bluebonnet, the state flower of Texas, came to be. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (G)

Little Monster at School, Mercer Mayer (Ages 4-8).OL E May

Little Monster spends the day at school and makes a very special new friend. IPac. (Ages 4-8). (Not reviewed).

The Littlest Angel, Charles Tazewell OL F Taz/ PACL PB Tazewell

This classic Christmas story tells of an adorable little angel who just cannot stay out of trouble in the celestial city. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: religious story). (K,C,G)

Love You Forever, Robert Munsch OL E Mun / PACL PB Muncsch

A young woman holds her newborn son and looks at him lovingly. Softly she sings to him "I'll love you forever, /I'll like you for always/ As long as I'm living/my baby you'll be." This is the story of how that little boy goes through the stages of childhood and becomes a man. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (K)

Max and Ruby's Midas: Another Greek Myth, Rosemary Wells OL E Wel / PACL PB Wells

Max the bunny craves junk food, so he hoards all the cupcakes. His older sister, Ruby, worries about him, so she tells him a bedtime story about the little bunny Prince Midas, who discovers that he can use laser-beams from his eyes to transform prune whip into a hot-fudge sundae. In the end, Midas finds he's turned all his family into melted ice cream and sagging Jell-O, and he's sorry; he realizes he's had too much of a good thing. Ruby points out the lesson to Max, who looks appropriately contrite--until his sister leaves and Max relishes the cupcake he's been hoarding all along. Booklist. (Ages 4-8). (K)

Milo and the Magical Stones, Marcus Pfister OL E Pfi/ PACL Juv Spanish Fict Pfister

A happy bunch of cherubic cliff mice inhabit an idyllic island, where all is wonderful until winter forces the mice into dank, dark caves. One mouse, Milo, discovers a magical glowing stone (thereby allowing Pfister's other trademark--dazzling reflective elements--to take the stage) that provides heat. The other mice, understandably, would like stones for their caves. Balthazar, something of a sage, cautions that the stones belong to the island and something must be given in return for their use. The book's pages thus split in two: ``The Happy Ending'' appears on top, ``The Sad Ending'' below. The top story is predictable--each mouse fashions a decorative stone in gratitude. The bottom story takes a more compelling route, becoming a full-blown cautionary tale of the consequences of greed, envy, and environmental pillaging. In this duel of positive/negative examples, the negative clearly has more vigor and impact, and brings Pfister's message--about making wise ecological choices--home. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8). (Not reviewed).

Miss Rumphius, Barbara Cooney WH E Coo / PACL PB Cooney

Deciding in childhood that she would seek adventure in faraway places, Miss Rumphius fulfills her dream and then has one more thing to do--something to make the world more beautiful. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (K,G)

Mrs. Rose's Garden, Elaine Greenstein OL E Gre/ PACL PB Greenstein

When Mrs. Rose combines several fertilizers into a mysteriously potent mixture, her garden begins to grow enormous vegetables. She looks forward to winning a blue ribbon at last, but realizing that she's bound to win all the blue ribbons, she and Mr. Rose sneak into their neighbors' gardens at night and replace their seedlings with her supervarieties. When the county fair comes in September, many friends show off their bumper crops and blue ribbons, but "Mr. Rose [gives] Mrs. Rose a special blue ribbon for having the biggest heart." BookList. (Ages 4-8). (G)

The Mountain that Loved a Bird, Alice McLerran OL E McL / PACL PB McLerran

A beautiful bird named Joy stops one day to visit a mountain. Every spring she flies high in the air, looking for the best place to build her nest and raise her children. As much as Joy would like to stay with the mountain, she must leave to continue her search. After hearing the mountain's pleas for her to stay, Joy is so touched she makes a very special promise that each spring the mountain will be visited by one of her kin. Over time the birds bring about a wonderful change in the mountain -- a change that will transform the mountain forever. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (K,G)

Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale, John Steptoe WH 398.22 Ste/ PACL 398 S837m

This African tale evokes the Cinderella story in its portrayal of two sisters, spiteful Manyara and considerate Nyasha, and the young king who is searching for a bride. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Caldecott Honor Book 1988). (K)

Nana Upstairs, Nana Downstairs, Tomie dePaola WH E De / PACL PB dePaola

Every Sunday four-year-old Tommy's family goes to visit his grandparents. His grandmother is always busy downstairs, but his great-grandmother is always to be found in bed upstairs, because she is 94 years old. Tommy loves both of his nanas and the time he spends with them. He is desolate when his upstairs nana dies, but his mother comforts him by explaining that "she will come back in your memory whenever you think about her." Although dePaola's book is a nostalgic tribute to his own family, its theme--that not only people but our love for them survives in our memories--is universally true and important. Booklist. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: death of characters). (K)

No Fighting, No Biting! Else Minarik WH E Min / PACL Fiction Reader Min

Sometimes Rosa and Willy behave like the two little alligators in the stories Cousin Joan tells them. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). Reader. (Parent Comment: "old fashioned theme"). (K)

Now One Foot, Now the Other, Tomie dePaola WH E de / PACL PB dePaola

When Grandfather has a stroke, little Bobby helps him to relearn many of the things that he taught Bobby as a toddler. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: more appropriate for upper end of the age range). (C, G, K)

Nurse Sally Ann, Terrance Dicks

Jane, a grumpy new girl who behaves rudely to the other children, suffers an asthma attack and must be rushed to the hospital. Sally Ann accompanies her and is distressed to learn that Jane's poor attitude may affect her recovery. With the help of the hospital's stuffed animals, Sally Ann intervenes and is able to save not only Jane, but also another child who is seriously ill. Book List. (Ages 7-10). (C. G)

Odd Velvet, Mary Whitcomb OL E Whi / PACL PB Whitcomb

Velvet takes things in stride, but other children find her strange, with her Pippi-Longstocking pigtails, candy-cane stockings, purple velvet dress, and huge wire-rim glasses. On the first day of school she brings the teacher seven rocks, red shoelaces, and a broken bird egg; and she carries her lunch in a used paper bag. She isn't picked for partner play, and no one will walk home with her. Even so, she endures, always with a winning smile, until things gradually begin to change for the better. Booklist. (Ages 4-8). (K, C)

One April Morning: Children Remember the Oklahoma City Bombing, Nancy Lamb

Written by the children of Oklahoma City. A straightforward account of the events of the 1995 bombing is interspersed with quotes from children that echo the horror, grief, and confusion of the tragedy and offer simple suggestions for coping. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Not reviewed).

One Gift Deserves Another, Joanne Oppenheim WH E Opp / PACL PB Oppenheim

When the king admires the gigantic turnip growing in his garden, a poor but generous man gives it to the monarch, and receives even greater riches in return. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (G)

One Yellow Daffodil: A Hanukkah Story, David Adler WH Fic Adl/ PACL PB Adler

Holocaust survivor Morris Kaplan spends his days tending his flower shop and trying to ignore his emotional emptiness. Two of his youngest customers, Jonathan and Ilana, visit every Friday to buy flowers for their family's Sabbath. He is surprised when the children arrive on a Tuesday, until they explain that this bouquet is for the first night of Hanukkah. After Mr. Kaplan admits that he no longer observes holiday traditions, the children invite him to join their family festivities the following evening. Although the celebration brings forth painful memories--including one of a single daffodil growing in the mud at Auschwitz--the experience helps Morris begin reconnecting with humanity. Booklist. (Ages 5-8). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children).(Nt: serious theme more appropriate for older children). (K, C, G)

Owl Moon, Jane Yolen WH E Yol / PACL PB Yolen

Among the greatest charms of children is their ability to view a simple activity as a magical adventure. Such as a walk in the woods late at night. Jane Yolen captures this wonderment in a book whose charm rises from its simplicity. "It was late one winter night, long past my bedtime, when Pa and I went owling." The two walked through the woods with nothing but hope and each other in a journey that will fascinate many a child. Amazon.com. (Ages 4-8). (Caldecott Medal Winner 1988). (C)

The Patchwork Quilt, Valerie Flournoy WH E Flo/ PACL PB Flournoy

Tanya loves listening to her grandmother talk about the quilt she is making from pieces of colorful fabric from the family clothes. When Grandma becomes ill, Tanya decides to finish Grandma's masterpiece with the help of her family. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: mentions Christmas). (K)

The Peppermint Race, Dian Regan WH F Reg

An entertaining first chapter book dramatizes what it's like selling candy door-to-door for a good cause. The fourth grade is selling peppermint sticks to raise money for the school library. There are prizes for those who sell the most candy, and Tony Adler wants desperately to win the guitar. He works hard and meets all kinds of families as he knocks on the doors of the houses and apartments in his neighborhood. . .Tony [has] feelings of intense competition and . . . discover[s] unexpected generosity, in others and in himself. Book List. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children). Reader. (Nt: more appropriate for upper end of age range). (G)

The Quiltmaker’s Gift, Jeff Brumbeau OL E Bru/ PACL PB Brumbeau

A gifted quiltmaker who makes outstanding quilts never sells her wares, but gives them away to the poor. A greedy king so loves presents that he has two birthdays a year, and commands everyone in the kingdom to give him gifts. Everyone brings presents till the castle overflows; the king, still unhappy, locates the quiltmaker and directs her to make him a quilt. When she refuses he tries to feed her to a hungry bear, then to leave her on a tiny island, but each time the quiltmaker's kindness results in her rescue. At last, the king agrees to a bargain; he will give away his many things, and the quiltmaker will sew him a quilt. He is soon poor, but happier than he's ever been, and she fulfills her end of the bargain; they remain partners forever after, with her sewing the quilts and him giving them away. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 6-10). (K,G)

Rechenka's Eggs, Patricia Polacco WH E Pol / PACL PB Polacco

Preparing her eggs for the Easter Festival, Old Babushka takes in Rechenka, an injured goose, who shows her that miracles can really happen. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (K,G)

The Relatives Came, Cynthia Rylant WH E Ryl/ PACL PB Rylant

In a rainbow-colored station wagon that smelled like a real car, the relatives came. When they arrived, they hugged and hugged from the kitchen to the front room. All summer they tended the garden and ate up all the strawberries and melons. They plucked banjos and strummed guitars. When they finally had to leave, they were sad, but not for long. They all knew they would be together next summer. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (Caldecott Honor Book 1986). (G)

The Ring and the Window Seat, Amy Hest

When young Stella learns that the carpenter building her window seat is saving his money to bring his daughter from war-torn Europe, she secretly puts all of her money, saved for a special ring, in his tool box. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Not reviewed).

Rosie and the Poor Rabbits, Maryann MacDonald WH E Mac

After Rosie sees a poor family, she chooses some toys to give to charity: first, new things that she doesn't like; then, her shabbiest, most-loved possessions; and, finally, a combination. Lovable characters and captivating watercolors make the book a good introduction to the concepts of poverty and generosity. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (K, C, G).

Sachiko Means Happiness, Kimiko Sakai WH E Sak / PACL PB Sakai

A simply told, understated story of young Sachiko's acceptance of her grandmother's Alzheimer's disease. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (K, C)

The Sign Painter's Dream, Roger Roth

The apple lady claims that donating a free sign to a worthy cause will make sign-painter Clarence a hero, but he refuses. Then a dream encounter with George Washington changes Clarence's mind about heroism, and the sign-painter gives the lady a fabulous billboard. Horn Book. (Ages 6-11). (Nt: more appropriate for older children in the age range). (G)

A Snake in the House, Faith McNulty WH E McN

An award-winning nature writer offers young readers a unique tale that employs a common childhood experience--capturing a pet--to provide an ecological message. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (C)

Sneetches, Dr. Seuss WH E Seu / PACL PB Seuss

"Now, the Star-Belly Sneetches / Had bellies with stars. / The Plain-Belly Sneetches / Had none upon thars." This collection of four of Dr. Seuss's most winning stories begins with that unforgettable tale of the unfortunate Sneetches, bamboozled by one Sylvester McMonkey McBean ("the Fix-it-up Chappie"), who teaches them that pointless prejudice can be costly. Amazon.com. (Ages 4-8). (K,C)

Snow White and Rose Red, Jacob & Wilhelm Grimm WH 398.24 Sno / PACL 398 G864snc

A favorite tale for generations, this story of the triumph of simple kindness over evil. Ingram. (Ages 6-8). (K)

Sootface: An Ojibwa Cinderella Story, Robert D. San Souci WH 398.2 San/ PACL 398 S197so

In this Ojibwa tale, Sootface is a young woman who does all the cooking, mending, and fire tending for her father and her two mean and lazy older sisters. When the mysterious invisible warrior announces through his sister that he will take for his bride a woman with a kind and honest heart, only Sootface proves worthy. Booklist. (Ages 5-9). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children). (K)

A Special Trade, Sally Wittman WH E Wit / PACTerrace PB Wittman

As the years go by a little girl is able to help an old man as he helped her when she was very young. IPac. (Ages 4-8). (G)

Stay Away From Simon, Carol Carrick OL F Car / PACL Fiction Carrick

Lucy and her younger brother examine their feelings about a mentally handicapped boy they both fear when he follows them home one snowy day. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: more appropriate for upper end of age range). (K,C)

Tacky the Penguin, Helen Lester WH E Les / PACL PB Lester

In their usual zany style, Lester and Munsinger demonstrate the problems, and the advantages, of being an individual. Tacky's story takes place one day when some intimidating visitors come to visit on the penguins' icy land. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (K)

Talking Eggs : A Folktale from the American South, Robert D. San Souci WH 398.21 San/ PACL 398 S197t

Two sisters lived down Louisiana way long ago: Rose, who was unpleasant, mean, and the older of the two; and her younger sister, Blanche, who was "sweet and kind and sharp as forty crickets." Guess who has to do all the work for Rose and their mother? Blanche's kind and obedient nature finally pays off when she helps an old woman who has magical powers--and a chicken house full of talking eggs containing treasures for those who do as they're told. Amazon.com. (Ages 5-10). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children). (Caldecott Honor Book 1990). (K, G)

Thank You, Mr. Falker, Patricia Polacco WH E Pol / PACL PB Polacco

Little Trisha is overjoyed at the thought of starting school and learning how to read. But when she looks at a book, all the letters and numbers just get jumbled up. Her classmates make matters worse by calling her dummy. Only Mr. Falker, a stylish, fun-loving new teacher, recognizes Trisha's incredible artistic ability--and her problem, and takes the time to lead her finally and happily to the magic of reading. This autobiographical story is close to author Patricia Polacco's heart. It is her personal song of thanks to teachers like Mr. Falker, who quietly but surely change the lives of the children they teach. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (Parent Comment: "an absolutely great book"). (Nt: this book has been selected to be read to/by students in all of our classrooms on the topic of kindness). (K,C,G)

Three Good Blankets, Ida Luttrell WH E Lut

Three children each give their mother a blanket to keep her warm, but each time she uses it to cover one of her animals. She explains to her children that a warm goat gives more milk, a rested donkey carries more wood, and a loyal dog keeping watch is the warmest cover of all. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (K, G)

Three Wishes, Lucille Clifton WH 398.21 T / PACL PB Clifton

Lightly flavored with the cadences of black speech, the story concerns Lena, who wastes the first two wishes of her New Year's good-luck penny on the weather and wishing her best friend to go away because she's annoyed with him; the third wish brings him back, confirming the strength of their friendship, if not of the penny. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8). (K)

'Through Grandpa's Eyes, Patricia MacLachlan WH F Mac/ PACL PB MacLachlan

On John's visits to Grandpa's house, his blind grandfather shares with him the special way he sees and moves in the world. In addition to showing readers how the blind develop alternatives to sight, the story also stands as a warm picture of old-young bonding and simple family sharing. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (C)

Tico and the Golden Wings, Leo Lionni OL E Lio / PACL PB Lionni

All Tico the wingless bird wants is a pair of golden wings to carry him up over the mountaintops. But when Tico's wish is granted, none of his friends will talk to him. What's so wrong with being different? Tico wonders all alone. One day Tico helps a crying man by giving him one of his golden feathers. A black feather appears in its place. Each day he gives a feather away to someone in need until his golden wings are as black as India ink. When Tico returns to his friends, they are all relieved to see him. "Now you are just like us," they say. But Tico knows there is more to him than the color of his wings. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (G)

Timothy Goes to School, Rosemary Wells WH E Wel / PACL PB Wells

This "small gem of a book" about new-school worries . . . hits just the right emotional chord, with a joyful endnote about making a new friend. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (K, C)

Tit for Tat, Dorothy Van Woekrom OL E Van / PACL Fiction Reader Van Woekrom

A rich man and a poor woman spend an entire day magically repeating the first thing they did in the morning. IPac. (Ages 4-8). (C, G)

Ton and Pon: Two Good Friends, Kazuo Iwamura OL E Iwa / PACL PB Iwamura

Sharing the carrying of a heavy basket to a friend inspires Ton and Pon, two young dogs, to find a way to lighten it. Ipac. (Ages 4-8). (G)

Toot & Puddle: A Present for Toot, Holly Hobbie PACL PB Hobbie

It's Toot's birthday, and Puddle is determined to find his friend the best present ever. While Puddle searches everywhere, Toot stays home and looks forward to the celebration. Then, just when Puddle is ready to give up, in a surprise twist the best present finds him. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (K)

Twenty and Ten, Claire Bishop WH F Bis / PACL Fiction Bishop

Twenty school children hide ten Jewish children from the Nazis occupying France during World War II. IPac. Chapter Book. (Ages 4-8). (K, C, G)

Two Good Friends, Judy Delton (Ages 4-8). WH E Del / PACL Fiction Reader Delton

Duck has an immaculate house but doesn't like to cook. Bear likes to cook but has a messy house. So the two friends share their talents. IPac. (Ages 4-8). (K, G)

The Two of Them, Aliki OL E Ali / PACL PB Aliki

Describes the relationship of a grandfather and his granddaughter from her birth to his death. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (C)

Two Orphan Cubs, Barbara Brenner OL 599.74 Bre / PACL PB Brenner

After their mother is killed by poachers, two bear cubs are rescued by a wildlife scientist who transfers them to another cave where he hopes they'll be adopted by a new mother. IPac. (Ages 4-8). (K, C)

The Ugly Duckling, Hans Christian Anderson WH 398.24 Ugl / PACL 398 A544uv, uh, upi, uz

For over one hundred years The Ugly Duckling has been a childhood favorite . . the essence of the tale's timeless appeal: The journey of the awkward little bird -- marching bravely through hecklers, hunters, and cruel seasons --- is an unforgettable survival story; this blooming into a graceful swan is a reminder of the patience often necessary to discover true happiness. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (K, C)

The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams WH E Wil / PACL Fiction Williams

A stuffed toy rabbit comes to life in Margery Williams's timeless tale of the transformative power of love. Given as a Christmas gift to a young boy, the Velveteen Rabbit lives in the nursery with all of the other toys, waiting for the day when the Boy (as he is called) will choose him as a playmate. In time, the shy Rabbit befriends the tattered Skin Horse, the wisest resident of the nursery, who reveals the goal of all nursery toys: to be made "real" through the love of a human. "'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'" This sentimental classic--perfect for any child who's ever thought that maybe, just maybe, his or her toys have feelings--has been charming children since its first publication in 1922. Amazon.com. (Ages 4-8). (K, C)

We Are Best Friends, Aliki OL E Ali / PACL PB Aliki

When Robert's best friend Peter moves away, both are unhappy, but they learn that they can make new friends and still remain best friends. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (C)

We Love Them, Martin Waddell

The friendship of a couple of dogs and a rabbit under the loving tutelage of a young brother and sister develops without fights, spills, or puddles. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (K)

The Wednesday Surprise, Eve Bunting WH E Bun/ PACL PB Bunting

Anna and Grandma are planning a surprise for Dad's birthday. Dad thinks he has received all his presents, Grandma stands up and gives him the best one of all: she reads aloud the stories that Anna has taught her. Book Description. (Parent Comment: "very touching"). (Ages 4-8). (K)

What’s Under My Bed? James Stevenson WH E Ste / PACL PB Stevenson

A grandfather helps reduce his grandchildren's fears. IPac. (Nt: this could be scary for children scared at night). (Ages 4-8). (K)

White Wave: A Chinese Tale, Diane Wolkstein WH E Wol/ PACL 398 W 862w

The poor, solitary farmer . . .finds an opalescent shell and takes it home. The next evening, his dinner is waiting for him when he returns from the fields. He wonders how this happens, and, by spying, he discovers a woman of light, the moon goddess, who lives in the shell; he knows he must not touch her. In the way of such things, he cannot resist doing so, and thus loses her, but she leaves him her name, White Wave, and a promise that she keeps. He builds a shrine to her and tells his children the tale. When he dies, the shell is lost; the shrine, in time, disappears. All that remained was the story. Kirkus Review. (Ages 4-8). (K)

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, Mem Fox WH E Fox / PACL PB Fox

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, a rather small boy, lives next door to a nursing home in which resides Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper, his favorite friend, because she has four names as well. When Miss Nancy "loses" her memory, the intrepid Wilfrid sets out to find it for her. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Parent Comment: "this is a wonderful, touching story"). (K, C, G)

The Wimp, Kathy Caple

Bullies get their comeuppance, though not without a struggle, in this wry, humorous story. Arnold's big sister, Rose, calls him a wimp for letting two big kids bother him, but her advice doesn't work either, and pretty soon she and Arnold are hiding out in the coatroom at lunchtime and taking the very long route to school. Then Arnold grabs an opportunity to get the bullies with their own sly tricks. The characters are pigs, pictured in clear line and watercolor; but the feelings and situations are all too common in school and playground. The reversal is wonderfully satisfying, not only because Arnold gets back at the bullies, but also because he proves himself to his older sister. There's an honesty here--for example, the adults in authority don't catch on and they're no use to Arnold in controlling the bullies--and kids will laugh with sympathy at Arnold's humiliation even as they rejoice in his sweet triumph. Booklist. (Ages 4-8). (Not reviewed).

The Wind in the Willows, G.C. Barrett

A retelling of the children's classic follows Mr. Toad, Mole, Badger, and Rat as they embark on a perilous and exciting adventure. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Not reviewed).

The Wolf's Chicken Stew, Keiko Kasza WH E Kas / PACL PB Kasza

In an effort to fatten up Mrs. Chicken for his delicious stew, Wolf unwittingly makes some new friends. The wolf is an endearing critter whose expressions run the gamut from sly to shy to downright lovable. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (G)

Wolf's Favor, Fulvio Testa WH E Tes / PACL PB Testa

By doing a simple favor for Porcupine, Wolf sets off an unnatural chain of good deeds from stronger animals to weaker ones. IPac. (Ages 4-8). (Parent Comment: "sweet story"). (K, G)

The Woman Who Outshown the Sun, Rosalma Zubizarreta OL 398.21 Cru / PACL Juv Spanish 398.2 C957w

From a poem by Alejandro Cruz Martinez. In this retelling of a Mexican legend, a beautiful, strange newcomer is feared by the villagers. When they drive her away, the river, which has fallen in love with the woman's beauty, leaves with her. Thus the villagers learn the high cost of intolerance. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Not reviewed).

 

Ages 9-12

Afternoon of the Elves, Jane Lisle OL F Lis / PACL Fiction Lisle

With great skill and sympathy, the author brings two young girls, outcast Sara-Kate and conventional Hillary, to life as they explore an elves' village in Sara-Kate's back yard. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Newbery Honor Book 1990). (Not reviewed).

Among the Dolls, William Sleator OL F Sle / PACL Juv Fiction Sleator

Vicky is disappointed in her birthday gift of a dollhouse, but she experiences real terror when she is drawn into the house and the lives of its malicious inhabitants. IPac. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

The Bear's House, Marilyn Sachs OL F Sac / PACL Fiction Sachs

Although she sucks her thumb, smells bad, and loses herself in the make-believe world of the three bears' dollhouse, ten-year-old Fran knows how to take care of her baby sister better than anybody else. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Belle Teal, Ann M. Martin

Belle Teal's fifth-grade year is off to an eventful start. She finally has Miss Casey, whom she is sure she will love. However, there is controversy over black students attending her school for the first time. This coming-of-age-story, set in the early sixties, features a spunky, thoughtful girl whose family doesn't have much. Mama works several jobs to pay the bills. Gran cooks and tends the garden, but her memory is fading quickly. At school, Belle Teal contends with a new girl who makes fun of her and some boys whose mean behavior extends to the new black student in her class. Belle Teal befriends him, even as other students keep their distance. By the story's finish, Belle Teal has made some surprising discoveries about her classmates and has learned that she has a well of strength that will help her face her family's own uncertain future. Booklist. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Black Beauty, Anna Sewell WH F Sew / PACL Fiction Sewell

Black Beauty tells the story of the horse's own long and varied life, from a well-born colt in a pleasant meadow to an elegant carriage horse for a gentleman to a painfully overworked cab horse. Throughout, Sewell rails--in a gentle, 19th-century way--against animal maltreatment. Young readers will follow Black Beauty's fortunes, good and bad, with gentle masters as well as cruel. Children can easily make the leap from horse-human relationships to human-human relationships, and begin to understand how their own consideration of others may be a benefit to all. Amazon.com. (Ages 9 -12). (Not reviewed).

Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson WH F Pat / PACL Fiction Paterson

Jess Aarons is eager to start fifth grade. He's been practicing his sprints all summer, determined to become the fastest runner at school. All seems to be on track, until the new girl in class (who also happens to be Jess's new next-door neighbor), Leslie Burke, leaves all the boys in the dust, including Jess. After this rather frustrating introduction, Jess and Leslie soon become inseparable. Together, they create an imaginary, secret kingdom in the woods called Terabithia that can be reached only by swinging across a creek bed on a rope. But one morning a tragic accident befalls Leslie as she ventures alone to Terabithia, and Jess's life is changed forever. Publishers Weekly. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Medal Winner 1978). (Not reviewed).

Charlotte's Web, E. B. White WH F Whi / PACL Fiction White

One of the classics of children's literature, this widely read tale takes place on a farm in Maine and concerns a pig named Wilbur and his devoted friend Charlotte, the spider who manages to save his life by writing words in her web. The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Honor Book 1953). (Not reviewed).

A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens WH F Dic/ PACL Fiction Dickens

"Bah!” said Scrooge. “Humbug!” With those famous words unfolds a tale that renews the joy and caring that are Christmas. . . It is the one book that every year will warm our hearts with favorite memories of Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future — and will remind us with laughter and tears that the true Christmas spirit comes from giving with love. Book Description. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Circle of Giving, Ellen Howard (Ages 9-12) OL F How / PACL Juv Fiction Howard

When twelve-year-old Marguerite moves to Los Angeles in the late 1920s, she suddenly becomes shy, withdrawn, and ill at ease with other children until a girl with cerebral palsy moves in across the street. IPac. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Clara Barton: Soldier of Mercy, Mary Rose (Ages 9-12) WH 921 Barton

Biography of the woman who became famous as a nurse to wounded soldiers during the Civil War, and who later founded the American Red Cross. Ipac. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

The Gift of the Magi, Henry O WH F Hen/ PACL Fiction Henry

Beloved Christmas story about unselfish love. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

The Indian in the Cupboard, Lynne Banks WH F Ban / PACL Fiction Banks

It all began with a birthday present Omri didn't want. It would become Omri's most important secret: precious, dangerous, wonderful--and, above all, magical. A young boy discovers that his magic cupboard and key can turn toys into live people and animals, but must learn that real people have real needs and that responsibility accompanies friendship. Book Description. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Lassie Come Home, Eric Knight WH F Kni / PACL Juv Large Print Fiction Knight

[A] classic about the loyal collie who refuses to accept her fate when she is sold, out of financial necessity, to a wealthy duke. . . Raising such issues as poverty, black lung disease, and cruelty to animals, this powerful story is a perfect tool for promoting empathy and compassion in youngsters. Booklist. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood : Of Great Renown, in Nottinghamshire, Howard Pyle

WH 398.22 Py / PACL Juv 398.2 P996m

Retells the ballad tales of Robin Hood and his band of fellows who outwitted the sour Sheriff of Nottingham, henchman of the wicked King John. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Midnight Fox, Betsy Byars WH F Bya / PACL Fiction Byars

Tom dislikes spending the summer on his aunt's farm until he discovers a black fox in the forest and tracks her to her den. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Mother Teresa: A Life of Charity, Mildred Pond

This readable biography tells of the religious passion of Mother Teresa in an objective and simple way. Quotations are scattered throughout the text, revealing the person behind all the accomplishments. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Nurse Sally Ann, Terrance Dicks

Jane, a grumpy new girl who behaves rudely to the other children, suffers an asthma attack and must be rushed to the hospital. Sally Ann accompanies her and is distressed to learn that Jane's poor attitude may affect her recovery. With the help of the hospital's stuffed animals, Sally Ann intervenes and is able to save not only Jane, but also another child who is seriously ill. Book List. (Ages 7-10). (C. G)

Pearl's Promise, Frank Asch (Ages 9-12). WH F Asc / PACL Fiction Asch

With her brother in the clutches of a python in a pet shop, Pearl, a mouse, goes through hair-raising adventures to rescue him. IPac. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Pink and Say, Patricia Polacco WH E Pol / PACL PB Polacco

A white youth from Ohio, Sheldon Russell Curtis (Say), and a black youth from Georgia, Pinkus Aylee (Pink), meet as young soldiers with the Union army. Pink finds Say wounded in the leg after a battle and brings him home with him. Pink's mother, Moe Moe Bay, cares for the boys while Say recuperates, feeding and comforting them and banishing the war for a time. Whereas Pink is eager to go back and fight against ``the sickness'' that is slavery, Say is afraid to return to his unit. But when he sees Moe Moe Bay die at the hands of marauders, he understands the need to return. Pink and Say are captured by Confederate soldiers and brought to the notorious Andersonville prison camp. Say is released months later, ill and undernourished, but Pink is never released, and Polacco reports that he was hanged that very first day because he was black. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: may be appropriate only for older children, parents should preview book first, subject matter includes hanging).. (K, C. G)

Pride of Puerto Rico: The Life of Roberto Clemente, Paul Walker WH 921 Clemente

This is the story of the great right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Roberto Clemente. An outstanding athlete and a dedicated family man, whose love for his native land of Puerto Rico was unsurpassed. This book tells an inspiring story of this Baseball Hall of Famer. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

The River that Gave Gifts, Margo Humphrey

Four children each make their own special gift to the beloved elderly women of the town. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, Eleanor Coeer PACL Biog S252c

Hiroshima-born Sadako is lively and athletic--the star of her school's running team. And then the dizzy spells start. Soon gravely ill with leukemia, the "atom bomb disease," Sadako faces her future with spirit and bravery. Recalling a Japanese legend, Sadako sets to work folding paper cranes. For the legend holds that if a sick person folds one thousand cranes, the gods will grant her wish and make her healthy again. Based on a true story, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes celebrates the extraordinary courage that made one young woman a heroine in Japan. Book Description. Chapter Book. (Ages 9-12). (Nt: theme of children dying). (K, C)

Sarah Plain and Tall, Patricia MacLachlan WH F Mac/ PACL Fiction MacLachlan

In the late 19th century a widowed midwestern farmer with two children--Anna and Caleb--advertises for a wife. When Sarah arrives she is homesick for Maine, especially for the ocean which she misses greatly. The children fear that she will not stay, and when she goes off to town alone, young Caleb--whose mother died during childbirth--is stricken with the fear that she has gone for good. But she returns with colored pencils to illustrate for them the beauty of Maine, and to explain that, though she misses her home, "the truth of it is I would miss you more." The tale gently explores themes of abandonment, loss and love. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Newbery Medal Winner 1986). (K, C)

The Sign Painter's Dream, Roger Roth

The apple lady claims that donating a free sign to a worthy cause will make sign-painter Clarence a hero, but he refuses. Then a dream encounter with George Washington changes Clarence's mind about heroism, and the sign-painter gives the lady a fabulous billboard. Horn Book. (Ages 6-11). (G)

Stone Fox, by John Reynolds Gardiner WH F Gar/ PACL Fiction Gardiner

Ten-year-old Willy needs to win the big dogsled race in order to pay the back taxes on his grandfather's farm--but that means beating the huge Indian mountain man, Stone Fox. Book Description. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Summer of the Monkeys, Wilson Rawls WH F Raw/ PACL Fiction Rawls

Jay Berry Lee is happy until the summer he is 14 years old and discovers monkeys living in the creek bottoms near his parents' homestead. Set in the late 1800s, Summer of the Monkeys traces the boy's adventures as he attempts to capture 29 monkeys that have (it turns out) escaped from the circus. With somewhat dubious help from his grandfather, and over the objections of his mother, Jay goes about discovering that monkeys are much smarter and harder to catch than he thought possible. Woven into this story is a second theme about his physically disabled sister and the family's attempts to find money for an operation. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Summer of the Swans, Betsy Byars WH F Bya / PACL Fiction Byars

The longest day in the life of a 14-year-old girl -- the summer day her loved, mentally retarded brother is lost, the day she discovers compassion is a friend. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Newbery Medal Winner 1971). (Not reviewed).

Summer of the Zeppelin, Elsie McCutcheon OL F McC / PACL Fiction McCutcheon

During the summer of 1918, with her father fighting in Germany and her stepmother perpetually irritable and critical, twelve-year-old Elvira decides to go live with an orphaned friend in an abandonned house and wait out the war. IPac. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Thank You Jackie Robinson, Barbara Cohen WH F Coh / PAMP Fiction Cohen

Ten-year-old Sam Green shares a special friendship with an older man named Davy; both love the Dodgers. When Davy suffers a heart attack and lies dying in the hospital, Jackie Robinson gives Sam an autographed baseball for Davy. But even this wonderful gift cannot prevent Davy from dying. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

The Trouble with Tuck, Theodore Taylor WH F Tay / PACL Fiction Taylor

Helen adored Tuck from the first moment he was placed in her arms, a squirming fat sausage of creamy yellow fur. And very soon Tuck returned her love. He faithfully slept on the rug beside her bed, guarded her against strangers, and rejoiced in their long walks together. So when Tuck began to lose his sight, Helen fought to be his eyes. She wouldn't let his blindness end his life or even limit it. Instead, Helen thought up a unique solution to Tuck's trouble, one that would keep Tuck free, proud, and hers forever. Book Description. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Tuck Everlasting, Natallie Babbit WH F Bab / PACL Fiction Babbit

Imagine coming upon a fountain of youth in a forest. To live forever--isn't that everyone's ideal? For the Tuck family, eternal life is a reality, but their reaction to their fate is surprising. Award winner Natalie Babbitt outdoes herself in this sensitive, moving adventure in which 10-year-old Winnie Foster is kidnapped, finds herself helping a murderer out of jail, and is eventually offered the ultimate gift--but doesn't know whether to accept it. Babbitt asks profound questions about the meaning of life and death, and leaves the reader with a greater appreciation for the perfect cycle of nature. Tuck Everlasting will last forever--in the reader's imagination. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls WH F Raw / PACL Fiction Rawls

Billy and his precious coonhound pups romp relentlessly through the Ozarks, trying to "tree" the elusive raccoon. In time, the inseparable trio wins the coveted gold cup in the annual coon-hunt contest, captures the wily ghost coon, and bravely fights with a mountain lion. When the victory over the mountain lion turns to tragedy, Billy grieves, but learns the beautiful old Native American legend of the sacred red fern that grows over the graves of his dogs. This unforgettable classic belongs on every child's bookshelf. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

A Wrinkle in Time, Madeline L'Engle WH F Len / PACL Sci Fiction L'Engle

Combining theology, fantasy, and science, it is the story of travel through space and time to battle a cosmic evil. With their neighbor Calvin O'Keefe, young Meg Murry and her brother Charles Wallace embark on a cosmic journey to find their lost father, a scientist studying time travel. Assisted by three eccentric women--Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which--the children travel to the planet Camazotz where they encounter a repressed society controlled by IT, a disembodied brain that represents evil. Among the themes of the work are the dangers of unthinking conformity and scientific irresponsibility and the saving power of love. The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature. (Ages 9-12). (Newbery Medal Winner 1963). (Not reviewed).

Ages 13 and Up

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More, Roald Dahl OL F Dah/ PACL Fiction Dahl

If you could see with your eyes closed, how would you use your power? That’s what Henry has to decide in "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar,"one of the seven stories in this extra-ordinary collection. In addition to imaginative and magical tales, this book also contains the true story of how Roald Dahl became a writer, as well as a copy of the very first nonfiction story he wrote for The Saturday Evening Post. Packed with wit and adventure, the collection is a clever mix of fantasy and reality — and a stunning showcase of Dahl’s prose. Book Description. (Ages: 13 and up). (Not reviewed).

* Noted where appropriate are themes which might be of concern to parents or students when selecting which books to read. If the listing indicates "not reviewed", our parent reviewing committee has not read this book and no comments as to appropriateness have been made. Books marked (K) are books on kindness, (C) compassion, and (G) generosity.

Books marked WH are in the Walter Hays Library, OL in other Palo Alto School District Libraries, PACL at the Palo Alto Children's Library, PAMain at Palo Alto Main Library and PAMP at Palo Alto Mitchell Park Library.

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Friendship

Preschool

Adventures of Taxi Dog, Debra & Sal Barracca WH E Bar / PACL PB Barracca

Maxi, a stray dog, is adopted by the driver of a Checker cab, who takes Maxi along on his daily rounds. Horn Book. (Ages: Preschool). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Parent Comment: "great book, very appropriate all the way up through 5th grade").

Annie and the Wild Animals, Jan Brett OL E Bre / PACL PB Brett

When Annie's cat disappears, she attempts friendship with a variety of unsuitable woodland animals. Amazon.com. (Ages: Preschool). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

A Boy, a Dog, and a Frog, Mercer Mayer WH E May / PACL PB Mayer

A boy and his dog run into wet trouble when they try to catch a frog. But when at last they give up, the frog follows them home. Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children. (Ages: Preschool). (Nt: wordless).

Clown, Quentin Blake WH E Bla / PACL PB Blake

In a wordless book, a toy clown is discarded in the rubbish bin along with his stuffed animal friends, and he starts on a quest to find them all a new home, finally succeeding after some unfortunate adventures. Horn Book. (Ages: Preschool). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Corduroy, Don Freeman WH E Fre (Spanish) / PACL PB Freeman

A toy bear who is anxious to have a home is befriended by a little girl who is willing to spend her own money to buy him. Ingram. (Ages: Preschool).

The Cow that Went Oink, Bernard Most WH E Mos / PACL PB Most

This delightfully silly picture book begins, [t]here was once a cow that went OINK.The misfit cow is miserable until she meets a pig who says moo. Despite the other farm animals' constant derision, the two laboriously teach each other and become the only animals on the farm who can make two sounds, thus getting the last laugh. Horn Book. (Ages: Preschool). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Do You Want to Be My Friend? Eric Carle WH E Car / PACL PB Carle

"Do you want to be my friend?" asks a little mouse of a horse, a peacock, an alligator, and others in this charming story. Book Description. (Ages: Preschool). (Nt: almost wordless).

Farmer Duck, Martin Waddell OL E Wad / PACL PB Wadell

A poor duck has to do all the work on the farm while the fat farmer lazes his days away in bed. The other animals take pity on her, and together they oust the farmer and live in peace and harmony thereafter. Hornbook. (Ages: Preschool). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Frog in Love, Max Velthuijs OL E Vel

Love "knows no boundaries" in this simple story in which Frog is too shy to tell Duck that he loves her. Ingram. (Ages: Preschool). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

George and Martha, James Marshall WH E Mar / PACL PB Marshall

Two hippopotamuses find that a close friendship has its own problems and rewards. Ingram. (Ages: Preschool). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Go Away, Dog, Joan Nodset PACL PB Nodset

When a little boy who doesn't like dogs meets a persistent pup who wants to play, how can he make it go away? Ingram. (Ages: Preschool). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Let's Be Enemies, Janice Udry OL E Udr / PACL PB Udry

John and James, who have always been friends, have a fight when John gets tired of James's bossy ways. A funny thing happens though...once they agree to be enemies, they become friends again. Ingram. (Ages: Preschool). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Mouse and Mole and the Year-Round Garden, Doug Cushman WH E Cus

Readers follow an anthropomorphic mouse and mole through the seasons as they plant, grow, and harvest their garden. Horn Book. (Ages: Preschool). (Recommended in Valerie and Walter's Best Books for Children).

Three Hat Day, Laura Geringer WH E Ger / PACL PB Geringer

A hat collector is having a very bad day until he meets his true love in the hat section of the department store. Ingram. (Ages: Preschool). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Tumble Bumble, Felicia Bond WH E Bon / PACL PB Bond

When a tiny bug decides to go for a walk, anything can happen! He might meet a cat, a crocodile, a pig, or even a bee to dance and play with. Ingram. (Ages: Preschool). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Ages 4-8

Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse, Leo Lionni WH E Lio / PAMP PB Lionni

The friendship of Alexander, a real mouse, and Willy, a wind-up mouse. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Caldecott Honor Book 1970).

Ali, the Child of the Desert, Jonathan London WH E Lon / PACL PB London

The survival adventure tale gets a desert setting in this picture book about a boy in the Sahara. Ali is on a long ride with his father to sell their herd of camels at a Moroccan market town when a sudden dust storm swallows the sun and Ali finds himself lost in the dunes with his camel, Jabad. With night coming, Ali fears hyenas, jackals, and snakes, as well as thirst, but he gets help from an old Berber goatherd, who shelters the boy and helps him find his father. Booklist. (Ages 5-9). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: contains references to Allah and guns).

Amber on the Mountain, Tony Johnston OL E Joh

Living on a high mountain with Granny, Amber is lonely until a man comes with his family and a crew of road builders. The man fixes on the seemingly impossible task of building a road up the steep slope, while his daughter, Anna, befriends Amber and decides to teach her to read. . . Before she learns to write, however, the road is finished, and Anna moves on with her family. Amber slowly teaches herself to write so that she can send letters to Anna. Booklist. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Angel Child, Dragon Child, Michele Surat WH E Sur / PAMP PB Surat

Ut has just come to the United States from Vietnam, and she is miserable. At school children laugh when she speaks, and she misses he mother who had to stay behind. This tender story reminds children to take time to understand differences. The happy-ever-after ending shows that with caring and creativity, sad situations can change. Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children. (Ages 4-8). (Parent Comment: "very good").

An Angel for Solomon Singer, Cynthia Rylant WH E Ryl / PACL PB Rylant

The somber, lonely life of Solomon Singer, who lives in a drab hotel for men in New York City. The chance discovery of a friendly cafe with a smiling waiter named Angel brings a touch of warmth and humanity into Solomon Singer's life. Horn Book. (Ages 5 and up). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Annie Bananie, Leah Komaiko OL E Kom / PACL PB Komaiko

There's never been anyone quite like Annie Bananie. So when she has to move away, her playmate cannot believe it -- until she realizes that even far apart, they can still be best friends. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Appelemando's Dreams, Pat Polacco WH E Pol / PACL PB Polacco

The dreams of a young boy provide the only color in his quiet, lackluster village. These dreams can be seen by his friends, who discover that the dreams stick to wet surfaces. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Arthur's Birthday, Marc Brown WH E Bro / PACL PB Brown

Arthur's birthday unfortunately falls on the same day as his friend's birthday, and he worries that no one will show up at his own party. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Arthur's Pen Pal, Lillian Hoban WH E Hob / PACL Juv Reader Fiction Hoban

Arthur views his little sister in a different light after receiving a revealing letter from his pen pal. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). Reader. (Nt: sibling, gender issued addressed).

Badger's Bring Something Party, Hiawyn Oram PACL PB Oram

[C]oncerns a "Bring Something Party" Badger gives for his friends. When Mole protests that he has nothing to bring, Badger reassures him that he can just bring himself. At the party, Mole's gloom and guilt over arriving empty-handed spoil his mood until Badger convinces him that he has much to contribute by becoming more outgoing and sharing his intangible gifts with others. . . the lesson is a gentle one that many parents will want to share with their children, who will certainly identify with Mole and enjoy his triumph in the end. Booklist. (Ages 4-7). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

A Bargain for Frances, Russ Hoban WH E Hob / PACL Juv Reader Fiction Hoban

One day Thelma tricks Frances into buying her old plastic tea set. Thelma says there are no backsies on the bargain. Can Frances come up with a plan that will change her friend's mind? Amazon.com. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). Reader.

Be Good to Eddie Lee, Virginia Fleming OL E FLe

Christy's mother tells her to treat Eddie Lee, a neighborhood child, well because he has Down's Syndrome and needs special care, but Christy does not always want him tagging along, until Eddie Lee show her a special hiding place in the woods and she sees how very special he really is. Ingram. (Ages 5-9). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Bee My Valentine, Marion Cohen WH E Coh / PACL PB Cohen

With some people getting lots of cards and others not, Jim and his friends set out to make Valentine's Day a wonderful holiday for everyone in the first grade. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

The Berenstain Bears Get in a Fight, Stan and Jan Berenstain WH E Ber / PACL PB Berenstain

The usually compatible Brother and Sister Bear are fighting--all day long! Mama Bear helps them realize that everyone argues once in a while, even with loved ones. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: negative stereotypes of gender roles).

Best Friends for Frances, Russell Hoban WH E Hob / PACL PB Hoban

Frances doesn't think her little sister can be her friend, but after being left out of her best friend Albert's no-girls baseball game, Frances finds that sisters can indeed be friends--even best friends. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: has "no girls" and "no boys" theme which is resolved in the end).

Big Al, Andrew Clements WH E Cle

Big Al, an ugly and fierce-looking fish, longs for friends, but all the other fish flee whenever he approaches them. Then one day, in a display of strength and heroism, Big Al proves that the true test of a friend is how he acts, not how he looks. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

The Bracelet, Yoshiko Uchida OL E Uch / PACL PB Uchida

During World War II, when Emi and her family are imprisoned in an internment camp for Japanese Americans, the young girl discovers that, although so much has been taken away from her, she will never lose the memories of friends and home that she carries in her heart. . . comments on the abrogation of Japanese Americans' civil rights that took place in 1942. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: might be more appropriate for older children).

The Brand New Kid, Katie Couric WH E Cou

Everyone remembers feeling excited and nervous each fall on the first day of school . . . this year, there's . . . a brand new kid as well. Lazlo S. Gasky doesn't look or speak quite like the other kids, and no one is sure what to make of him. . . when Ellie realizes how tough it is for Lazlo, she reaches out, and after school one day they share an afternoon of soccer, strudel, and chess. Besides making a new friend, she and Lazlo teach their classmates an important lesson-one that isn't in their schoolbooks-about accepting people who are different...and in getting to know Lazlo, the kids learn that people aren't that different from each other after all. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (Parent Comment: "great").

The Butterfly Jar:Poems, Jeff Moss WH NF 811 Mos / PACL 811M913b

Eighty-nine poems, reminiscent of the poetry of Shel Silverstein, bring a fresh, often funny view of life, full of honest feelings and wild imagination. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: not all poems on topic).

The Cat's Purr, Ashley Byron OL NF 398.24 Bry / PACL 398 B915c

Cat didn't always purr; this West Indian folktale will tell you about when Cat and Rat were friends.. . [a]nd it will tell you about how the cat got his purr. Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: theme of friendship ending because of dishonesty).

Chester's Way, Kevin Henkes WH E Hen / PACL PB Henkes

Chester and Wilson have their own way of doing things, and they do everything together. When they cut their sandwiches, it is always diagonally. When they ride their bikes, they always use hand signals. If Chester is hungry, Wilson is hungry, too. They are two of a kind, and that's the way they like it--until indomitable Lilly, who has her own way of doing things, moves into the neighborhood. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Chicken Sunday, Pat Polacco WH E Pol / PACL PB Polacco

The author draws from a childhood experience as she recalls how she and two African-American friends create an ingenious plan to buy a special Easter hat for the boys' grandmother, a lady well known for her wonderful chicken dinners. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

The Cloud Over Clarence, Marc Brown (Ages 4-8). WH E Bro / PAMP PB Brown

A special birthday present helps Clarence rid his days of accidents and forgetfulness. Ipac. (Ages 4-8).

Dabble Duck, Anne Ellis WH E Ell / PACL PB Ellis

A lonesome pet duck finally solves her own problem by befriending a bedraggled dog. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Danny and the Dinosaur, Syd Hoff WH E Hof / PACL Fiction Hoff

Danny loves dinosaurs.But a dinosaur is no ordinary playmate. Even the most everyday activities become extraordinary, like finding a big-enough place to hide a dinosaur in a game of hide-and-seek, and keeping him from knocking over houses with his long tail. But Danny can teach a old dinosaur new tricks. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). Reader.

Did You See What I Saw? Poems about School, Kay Winters OL 811.54 Win

This energetic collection of twenty-four poems brings the excitement of a child's first few years at school to life. From opening a box of squeaky new crayons and swinging way up high on the playground swings to getting caught passing a note and bidding farewell to a beloved class pet, the highlights and the lowlights of classroom life are captured here. Booklist. (Ages 4-6). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Do You Want to Play: A Book About Being Friends, Bob Kolar

Kolar's big, gregarious book succeeds; it's the ideal size for covering the giant topic of friendship. . . The spreads show a pageant of the things friends do: bike-riding, dancing, sending messages, and playing musical instruments. The downside of friendship shows up, too, for fights break out and sometimes people just need to be alone. Kirkus Review. (Ages: 5-8). (Not reviewed).

Don't Fidget a Feather, Erica Silverman WH E Sil / PACL PB Silverman

Duck proposes a contest to Gander to see who can freeze in place longer without moving even a feather. They stand while bees buzz them, bunnies leapfrog over them, a strong wind blows them into bushes -- and while Fox carries them to his den. As Fox prepares his stew, Duck begins to think Gander is too scared to move, so she scares Fox away. . . [shows the] proud idiocy of the two competitors. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Elijah's Angel: A Story for Chanukah and Christmas, Michael Rosen WH E Ros / PACL PB Rosen

When Michael is nine, Hanukkah and Christmas Eve happen to fall on the same day, and his friend Elijah -- an African-American man in his eighties -- gives him a gift of an angel carved from wood. Reassured by his parents that the angel is a symbol of friendship and not a raven image, Michael decides to give Elijah the menorah he made in Hebrew school. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: very religious with multiple references to Christmas, Chanukah, God and the Bible).

The Faithful Friend, Robert San Souci WH NF 398.21 San / PACL 398 S197f

A folktale from Martinique tells the story of two young men, one black, one white, who are friends from childhood. When Clement falls in love, Hippolyte realizes that a deadly supernatural plot to part the loving couple can be foiled only by his own sacrifice. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Caldecott Honor Book 1976). (Nt: might be more appropriate for older children). (Parent Comment: "very good").

Feelings, Aliki OL E Ali / PACL PB Aliki

Children often have difficulty articulating emotion. That fact is the underpinning for Aliki's catalog of feelings, be they happy, sad, or somewhere in between. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

First Grade Takes a Test, Miriam Cohen WH E Coh

When the first graders take a standardized test, Anna Maria does especially well, but the other students feel a little left out, in a warm-hearted story about insecurity, confidence, and self-esteem. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).  (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: touches on learning disabilities and different types of intelligence).

Friends, Helme Heine WH E Hel

Three friends--a mouse, a rooster and a pig--spend a day of adventure far from the farm. Hornbook. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Frog and Toad are Friends, Arnold Lobel WH E Lob/ PACL Fiction Lobel

Frog and his best friend Toad enjoy many summer adventures. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Caldecott Honor Book 1971). Reader.

Gary Paulsen's World of Adventures, Gary Paulsen

Short, action-packed, featuring both boys and girls in leading roles, and about everything from exploring caves to video games -- these are perfect for kids who won't read because they think it is boring. Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children. (Ages 4-8). (Not reviewed).

The Gift, Helen Coutant WH F Cou / PACL

The Giving Tree, Shel Silverstein WH F Sil/ PACL PB Silverstein

This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silvestein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: some may find it guilt-provoking).

Gus and Grandpa, Claudia Mills PACL Juv Reader Fiction Mills

Gus and his lively grandfather enjoy a wonderful relationship in a trio of tales that finds Gus making a terrible mess while trying to feed Grandpa's dog, Grandpa losing his car in the mall parking lot, and the pair sharing a special birthday party. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). Reader.

Hannah and Jack, Mary Nethery

Spending every day with Jack, her cat companion and best friend, young Hannah is unable to enjoy a visit to her grandmother's when Jack must remain behind, until Grandma devises a way that the inseparable pair can still share the trip. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Henry and Mudge, Cynthia Rylant WH E Ryl / PACL Juv Reader Fiction Rylant

Henry, feeling lonely on a street without any other children, finds companionship and love in a big dog named Mudge. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). Reader.

Heroes, Ken Mochizuki WH F Moc

The painful legacy of Japanese-American history is highlighted by the onset of the Vietnam War for a young boy made painfully aware of his difference, yet he overcomes the stigma one exciting day and finds his dignity. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: might be more appropriate for older children). (Nt: tends to glorify war, might be more appropriate for older children). (Not reviewed).

Hooray, a Pinata, Elisa Kleven WH E Kle / PACL PB Kleven

Clara chooses a little dog piñata for her birthday party and begins to like it so much that she takes it on walks, feeds it, and makes it her very special friend, deciding to keep it as a pet rather than use it as a piñata on her birthday. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Horace and Morris but Mostly Delores, James Howe WH E Howe / PACL PB Howe

Three adventure-loving mice are best friends until gender stereotypes separate them, driving Horace and Morris into a rowdy boys-only clubhouse while Dolores reluctantly goes off to join the ultra-ladylike Cheese Puffs. The bold artwork suits the book's lively protest against conformity, instigated by Dolores when she convinces old friends and new ones to quit the clubs and go exploring. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8).

House for a Hermit Crab, Eric Carle WH E Car / PACL PB Carle

This modern day fable is both wise and simple; based on the true habits of the Hermit Crab, it not only introduces young readers to the wonder and beauty of the marine environment but also contains an encouraging message for small children facing the inevitable challenges of growing up. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

House on East 88th Street, Bernard Waber WH E Wab / PACL PB Waber

The first book in the Lyle series tells how the Primms found Lyle the crocodile in the bathtub of their new home. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

How to Lose All Your Friends, Nancy Carlson WH E Car

"If you don't want to have any friends, follow these simple instructions.'' So begins Carlson's hilarious catalogue of crankiness, brattiness, snottiness, and just plain bad behavior. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 3-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

I Never Did That Before, Lilian Moore

Poems celebrate events in the lives of children, including . . . making a new friend. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).  (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Ira Says Goodbye, Bernard Waber WH E Wab / PACL PB Waber

Ira and Reggie discover what it feels like when a best friend moves away. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

It's So Nice to Have a Wolf Around the House, Harry Allard WH E All / PACL PB Allard

Hiring Cuthbert Q. Devine, a wolf, to help him and his pets around the house, Old Man finds his life instantly improved by Cuthbert's presence and feels years younger, until a newspaper headline threatens to change everything. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Jamaica and Brianna, Juanita Havill WH E Hav / PACL PB Havill

Like the other picture books about Jamaica and her friends, this one tells a story that captures common childhood experience, both the tension and the joy. Jamaica hates having to wear her brother's hand-me-down boots, especially when her friend Brianna teases her about the boy boots. When Jamaica gets to buy her own new pair, she chooses tan cowboy boots and tells Brianna that her pink fuzzy boots are ugly. Without a hint of didacticism, words and pictures show how jealousy and uncertainty make the friends mean to each other--until they see the hurt they've caused, and they make up. Jamaica is African American, Brianna is Asian American, the setting is suburban, and kids everywhere will recognize the put-downs and the affection. Booklist. (Ages 3-6).

Jessica, Kevin Henkes OL E Hen /PACL PB Henkes

"There is no Jessica," said Ruthie's parents. But of course there was. She ate with Ruthie, played with Ruthie, and was sorry when Ruthie was bad. Nobody could see Jessica -- except Ruthie. When it came time for Ruthie to go to school, Jessica went with her. Her parents hoped Ruthie would find a friend at school who would replace Jessica. They were in for a (happy) surprise! Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

Josepha: A Prairie Boy's Story, Jim McGugan OL E McG / PACL PB McGugan

In 1900, an immigrant youth gives up the classroom, where no one speaks his language, for a life of work on the prairie, and his best friend--a little boy he has looked after--wonders how he will manage alone. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Kids of the Polk Street School Series, Patricia Giff WH F Gif / PACL F Giff

[Giff's] series of books about Richard, Emily, and the rest of the kids in Ms. Rooney's class have set the standard for fiction that is both readable and relevant to first and second graders. Every book in this series is full of characters and events that will be familiar to children . . . as they live through a year full of home and school adventures. Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children. (Ages 4-8). Reader. (Not reviewed).

Koko's Kitten, Trancine Patterson WH NF 599.88 Pat / PACL 599.88 P317k

Koko was a famous sign-language-speaking gorilla. This is the true story of her friendship with a kitten. Ingram. (Ages: 4-8).

Lassie Come Home, Rosemary Wells OL F Kni / PACL PB Wells

A classic about the loyal collie who refuses to accept her fate when she is sold, out of financial necessity, to a wealthy duke. . . Raising such issues as poverty, black lung disease, and cruelty to animals, this powerful story is a perfect tool for promoting empathy and compassion in youngsters. Booklist. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

A Letter to Amy, Ezra Jack Keats WH E Kea / PACL PB Keats

Peter wants to invite Amy to his birthday party but he wants it to be a surprise. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Little Blue and Little Yellow, Leo Lionni OL E Lio / PACL F Lionni

Little blue and little yellow share wonderful adventures. One day, they can't find one another. When they finally meet, they are overjoyed. They hug until they become green. But where did little blue and little yellow go? Are they lost? Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Marvin Redpost: Alone in His Teacher's House, Louis Sachar WH F Sac / PACL F Sachar

When his third-grade teacher pays Marvin to take care of her old dog, Waldo, while she's away, his friends think Marvin is he luckiest kid in the whole world-- until Waldo dies. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

May I Bring a Friend? Beatrice deRegniers WH E deR / PACL PB deRegniers

What could be more natural, when invited by the King and Queen to tea, than to ask to bring a friend? And that, of course, is what the hero of May I Bring a Friend? does. Not only to tea, but to breakfast, lunch, dinner, apple pie and Halloween -- one invitation for each of six days of the week. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Caldecott Medal Winner 1965).

Meet Danitra Brown, Nikki Grimes WH E Gri / PACL PB Grimes

Zuri Jackson's best friend, Danitra Brown, wears only purple because she might be a princess, faces down bullies, rides her bike as if it had wings, and is definitely going to win the Nobel prize one day. In this spirited collection of poems, Grimes and Cooper have created two unforgettable little girls and a warm portrait of true friendship. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Mirette on the High Wire, Emily McCully WH E McC / PACL PB McCully

In a story set against the backdrop of nineteenth-century Paris, Mirette, a young girl living in the Widow Gateau's boarding house, becomes the pupil of a former tightrope walker and, in exchange, gives her teacher a valuable lesson about faith and courage. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Caldecott Medal Winner 1993).

The Mitten, Alvin Tresselt WH NF 398.2 Mit / PACL 398 T799m

A retelling of the traditional tale of how a boy's lost mitten becomes a refuge from the cold for an increasing number of animals. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

The Mountain that Loved a Bird, Alice McLerran OL E McL / PACL PB McLerran

A beautiful bird named Joy stops one day to visit a mountain. Every spring she flies high in the air, looking for the best place to build her nest and raise her children. As much as Joy would like to stay with the mountain, she must leave to continue her search. After hearing the mountain's pleas for her to stay, Joy is so touched she makes a very special promise that each spring the mountain will be visited by one of her kin. Over time the birds bring about a wonderful change in the mountain -- a change that will transform the mountain forever. Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

My Life with the Wave, Catherine Cowan OL E Cow / PACL PB Cowan

A boy . . . falls in love with the waves on his first trip to the seashore, and so takes one home. . . At home, the wave rushes into the house, knocking over furniture, sending the cat screeching, and providing destructive merriment in the boy's room. . . . the wave begins to ignore the boy, and its amusing qualities wane. The [wave] is easily returned to the ocean. The boy dreamily believes that he will have better luck with a cloud. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 5-7). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: when friendship with wave sours, child abandons it and looks for new friend).

Mysterious Tadpole, Steven Kellogg WH E Kel / PACL PB Kellogg

Louie waits eagerly for his pet tadpole, Alphonse, to grow into a frog. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Officer Buckle and Gloria, Peggy Rathmann WH E Rat / PACL PB Rathmann

Officer Buckle puts everyone to sleep with his painfully dull if informative lectures on safety, until he takes on a new partner, Gloria, Napville's new police dog, who knows just how to liven up Officer Buckle's safety speeches. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Caldecott Medal Winner 1996). (Parent Comment: "great").

The Patchwork Quilt, Valerie Flournoy WH E Flo/ PACL PB Flournoy

Tanya loves listening to her grandmother talk about the quilt she is making from pieces of colorful fabric from the family clothes. When Grandma becomes ill, Tanya decides to finish Grandma's masterpiece with the help of her family. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: mentions Christmas).

Picnic at Mudsock Meadow, Patricia Polacco WH E Pol / PACL PB Polacco

After suffering the constant teasing of Hester Bledden when he fails to win any of the contests at Mudsock Meadow's annual Halloween picnic, William finds an even more important challenge--saving the people of Mudsock Meadow from the ghost of Titus Dinworthy! Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Pink Paper Swans, Virginia Kroll OL E Kro

Janetta Jackson watches Mrs. Tsujimoto, her neighbor, fold origami animals but is too

shy to ask how this paper magic works. . . Later, when Mrs. Tsujimoto's arthritis makes it impossible to do the origami that is her livelihood, Janetta becomes her helper, folding colored papers under the woman's direction. Booklist. (Ages 5-9). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Poppleton, Cynthia Rylant WH E Ryl / PACL Juv Reader Fiction Rylant

Three short, episodic chapters follow the amiable escapades of the portly pig Poppleton, who becomes best friends with an alluring llama named Cherry Sue; spends Mondays engrossed in reading adventures at the library; and nurses his billy goat friend Fillmore through an illness. Horn Book. (Ages 4-7). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). Reader.

Poppleton Forever, Cynthia Rylant WH E Ryl / PACL Juv Reader Fiction Rylant

In three charming new stories, Poppleton the pig gets help from his friends when his new tree begins to wilt; when he catches a cold; and later, when he decides to wallpaper his house. Learning is great for Poppleton, but it's much better when it's done with friends. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). Reader.

The Puppy Who Wanted a Boy, Jane Thayer WH E Tha / PACL PB Thayer

For Christmas, Petey, the puppy, wants a boy of his own more than anything. But boys are in short supply this year, and his mother tells him he'll have to find his own. Tired and discouraged, Petey almost gives up, when his wish finally comes true. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: Christmas theme).

Rat and the Tiger, Keiko Kasza WH E Kas

Rat is expected to accede to his friend Tiger's most unreasonable demands, such as jumping off a cliff to pick Tiger a flower he wants. When Rat breaks off their friendship, he suffers from mad, sad, and scared ambivalent feelings, but finally peace is achieved. From then on, they take turns at everything and split their treats fairly. Horn Book. (Ages 3-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Rolling Store, Angela Johnson

An African-American girl tells a friend about a truck crammed with treats for sale that visited her grandfather's community during his childhood. After she and her friend make necklaces, cookies, lemonade, and more for their own wagon-size store, Granddaddy stops by and helps sing out the arrival of this new rolling store. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Rosie and Michael, Judith Viorst WH E Vio / PACL PB Viorst

Rosie and Michael are best friends, able to share jokes, secrets and fears. Their friendship is also big enough for being angry every once in a while. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Ruby the Copycat, Peggy Rathmann WH E Rat / PACL PB Rathmann

At first, when new-girl Ruby imitates Angela, Angela takes it in good part: they must be kindred spirits. But as she realizes that Ruby's claims (only Angela was really a bridesmaid) aren't true, Angela is ever-more annoyed with her mimicry. A sensitive teacher helps Ruby see that doing her own thing is a better way to make friends. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8).(Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Santa Calls, William Joyce OL E Joy / PACL PB Joyce

Just before Christmas, 1908, dashing boy-inventor Art Atchinson Ainsworth; his best friend, Comanche brave Spaulding Littlefeets; and his scorned little sister Esther receive an invitation to visit Santa. . . "But why did you call for us?'' Art wants to know. . . Art never finds out, but readers do, in two appended letters from Esther ("Dear Santa...what I really wish for is for my brother Art to be my friend'') and Santa ("I'm glad our little adventure did the trick''). Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: Christmas setting).

Soccer Sam, Jean Marzollo OL E Mar / PACL Juv Reader Fiction Marzollo

In a perceptive tale of friendship and sports, Sam's visiting Mexican cousin overcomes the language barrier by teaching soccer to his new friends. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). Reader.

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch, Eileen Spinelli WH E Spi / PACL PB Spinelli

When a huge valentine filled with candy arrives from a secret admirer, Mr. Hatch, a reclusive bachelor, recognizes that everyone is a potential friend and becomes a changed person. Horn Book. ( Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Sometimes It's Turkey, Sometimes It's Feathers, Lorna Balian WH E Bal / PACL PB Balian (Ages 4-8).

When she finds a turkey egg, Mrs. Gumm decides to hatch it and have a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Teammates, Peter Golenbock WH 796.357 Gol / PACL 796.357 G625t

The moving story of how Jackie Robinson became the first black player on a major league baseball team and how on a fateful day in Cincinnati, PeeWee Reese took a stand and declared Jackie his teammate. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children

This Farm is a Mess, Leslie McGuire OL E McG (Ages 4-8).

Unable to stand the mess on Farmer Wood's farm any longer, the animals decide to do something about it. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Three by the Sea, Edward Marshall WH E Mar / PACL F Marshall

Three friends relax after their picnic lunch by each telling his or her best story. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Thy Friend, Obadiah, Brinton Turkle WH E Tur / PAMP PB Turkle

Obadiah, a young Quaker boy living in colonial Nantucket, is constantly followed by a sea gull that he wishes would leave him alone. When it does leave, he wants it back. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Caldecott Honor Book 1970).

Timothy Goes to School, Rosemary Wells WH E Wel / PACL PB Wells

This "small gem of a book" about new-school worries . . . hits just the right emotional chord, with a joyful endnote about making a new friend. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8).

Tit for Tat, Dorothy Van Woekrom OL E Van / PACL Fiction Reader Van Woekrom

A rich man and a poor woman spend an entire day magically repeating the first thing they did in the morning. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

A Toad for Tuesday, Russell Erickson WH F Eri / PACL F Erickson

Can an owl and a toad really be friends? Warton the toad is very proud of himself when he straps on a pair of homemade skis and ventures out in the dead of winter to visit Aunt Toolia. But then an owl swoops down and carries Warton off to his lair, promising to gobble him up as birthday treat come Tuesday. Can Warton's bravery and wit turn the owl from enemy to friend in just five days? Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

Toot & Puddle, Holly Hobbie WH E Hob / PACL PB Hobbie

Meet Toot and Puddle--two small, endearing pigs who are friends and as different as different can be. While Toot likes to travel to places unknown, Puddle prefers to stay home and revel in the joys of everyday life. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Toot & Puddle: A Present for Toot, Holly Hobbie PACL PB Hobbie

It's Toot's birthday, and Puddle is determined to find his friend the best present ever. While Puddle searches everywhere, Toot stays home and looks forward to the celebration. Then, just when Puddle is ready to give up, in a surprise twist the best present finds him. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

Toot & Puddle: You Are My Sunshine, Holly Hobbie PACL PB Hobbie

[L]oyal Puddle and Tulip the parrot try to snap Toot out of a mope. Nothing cheers him up, not five-berry cobbler, not a river-rafting adventure, not a visit from friends. When clouds as gray as Toot's mood darken a summer day, the storm clears the air and Toot's gloom. Horn Book. (Ages 4-8).

Top Cat, Lois Ehlert WH E Ehl / PACL PB Ehlert

When another cat joins the household, top cat is outraged at first but soon accepts the newcomer and teaches him all the essential feline activities shedding on the couch, eating plants, chasing birds, and drinking milk. Hornbook. (Ages 4-8).

Two Good Friends, Judy Delton (Ages 4-8). WH E Del / PACL Fiction Reader Delton

Duck has an immaculate house but doesn't like to cook. Bear likes to cook but has a messy house. So the two friends share their talents. IPac. (Ages 4-8).

Tyrone the Terrible, Hans Wilhelm

This is a funny story about Tyrone, the dinosaur, who was the world's first bully. http://www.marshall-es.marshall.k12.tn.us/jobe/Read-Write/dinosaur/dinos.... (Ages 4-8).

The Velveteen Rabbit, Margery Williams WH E Wil / PACL Fiction Williams

A stuffed toy rabbit comes to life in Margery Williams's timeless tale of the transformative power of love. Given as a Christmas gift to a young boy, the Velveteen Rabbit lives in the nursery with all of the other toys, waiting for the day when the Boy (as he is called) will choose him as a playmate. . . the goal of all nursery toys: to be made "real" through the love of a human. "'Real isn't how you are made,' said the Skin Horse. 'It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.'" Amazon.com. (Ages 4-8). (Nt: Christmas theme).

We Are Best Friends, Aliki OL E Ali / PACL PB Aliki

When Robert's best friend Peter moves away, both are unhappy, but they learn that they can make new friends and still remain best friends. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).

What's the Matter with Carruthers? James Marshall OL E Mar / PACL PB Marshall

Carruthers the bear is grumpy, and his friends can't seem to cajole him into a good mood until he realizes it's time to hibernate. Book Description. (Ages 4-8).

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, Mem Fox WH E Fox / PACL PB Fox

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, a rather small boy, lives next door to a nursing home in which resides Miss Nancy Alison Delacourt Cooper, his favorite friend, because she has four names as well. When Miss Nancy "loses" her memory, the intrepid Wilfrid sets out to find it for her. Ingram. (Ages 4-8).  (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Parent Comment: "lovely book").

Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Frank Baum OL F Bau / PACL F Baum

Dorothy Gale takes a magical journey from the American heartland into the wonderful land of Oz to meet the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow, and the Cowardly Lion. Book Description. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

World of Christopher Robin: The Complete When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six, A. A. Milne WH NF 821.91 Mil / PACL 821 M659wo

Children all over the world have heard about changing the guard at Buckingham Palace; James James Morrison Morrison Weather by George Dupree; the three little foxes who kept their handkerchiefs in cardboard boxes; and, of course, Christopher Robin, named for A.A. Milne's son. Amazon.com. (Ages 5 to 9). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Parent Comment: "a classic").

World of Pooh: The Complete Winnie the Pooh and the House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne WH F Mil / PACL F Milne

When Christopher Robin asks Pooh what he likes doing best in the world, Pooh says, after much thought, "What I like best in the whole world is Me and Piglet going to see You, and You saying 'What about a little something?' and Me saying, 'Well, I shouldn't mind a little something, should you, Piglet,' and it being a hummy sort of day outside, and birds singing." . . . To many, Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and the others are as familiar and important as their own family members. Join Pooh and the gang as they meet a Heffalump, help get Pooh unstuck from Rabbit's doorway, (re)build a house for Eeyore, and try to unbounce Tigger. A childhood is simply not complete without full participation in all of Pooh's adventures. Amazon.com. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Parent Comment: "a classic").

The Worry Stone, Marianna Dengler WH E Den / PACL PB Dengler

An old woman--in a floppy hat with a red feather--sits in the park daily, and a small boy, ignored by his peers, sits with her in silence. She recalls the loneliness of her own childhood, assuaged by her grandfather, a storyteller. When she brought him an unusual stone she had found, Grandfather told her the Chumash legend of the worry stone: If it is rubbed gently, ``the worry goes away.'' The old woman gives her stone to the boy, with a story and a promise of more stories to come. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

A Year on My Street: Poems, Mary Quattlebaum WH 811.54 Qua

Sixteen easy-to-read, lively poems capture the colorful inhabitants and events of the neighborhood, from youngsters jumping rope, to a visit to the local library, to petting a friend's cat. Ingram. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

Young Larry, Daniel Pinkwater OL E Pin / PACL PB Pinkwater

A slightly loony tale of a nice young polar bear who has a taste for blueberry muffins and a distaste for violence and eating people. New York Times Book Review. (Ages 4-8). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).

 

Ages 9-12

Adopted by the Eagles: A Plains Story of Friendship and Treachery, Paul Goble OL 398.2 Gob

Two Lakota boys declare their special friendship. But when they fall in love with the same maiden, one resorts to treachery, leaving his friend to die on a deserted butte. Eagles rescue the abandoned warrior, and he marries the girl after the former friend flees in shame. Amazon.com. (Ages: Grades 3-5). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Adventures of Captain Underpants, Dav Pilkey WH F Pil / PACL Fiction Pilkey

Best friends and fellow pranksters George and Harold create a comic book superhero, Captain Underpants, and hypnotize their school principal into assuming his identity. Clad in cape and jockey shorts, Principal Krupp foils bank robbers and a mad scientist until the boys e-hypnotizehim. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

All We Need to Say, Marilyn Singer OL NF 811.54 Sin

Tanya and Sophie have opposite opinions about school. Before her mom finishes her cup of coffee in the morning, Tanya is out the door rushing to class because she loves to learn. Sophie is in the principal's office again for being late. . . poems about the two friends with differing views. Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Amber Brown is Not A Crayon, Paula Danziger OL F Dan / PACL Fiction Danziger

Amber Brown has been best friends with Justin Daniels since preschool. They have private games and jokes; they look out for each other. Then Justin's dad gets a job in Alabama, and the family has to move away. As the house is sold and things are packed up, Justin tries to act as if nothing is happening; Amber picks a fight; the friends aren't speaking. Booklist. (Ages: Grades 2-4). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Amelia's Notebook, Marissa Moss WH F Mos / PACL Fiction Moss

Handwritten on blue-lined pages, Amelia's journal reveals her feelings about her family's move to a new town, including the misery of leaving her best friend, her adjustment to a new school, and a blossoming friendship with a classmate. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Animorphs Series, K. A. Applegate WH F App / PACL Juvenile Paperback

Take one alien, five kids, and the ability to change into any animal they touch, and you've got a fantastic, unpredictable, edge-of-your-seat series best described as The X-Files for Kids. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Bad Girls, Cynthia Voigt OL F Voi / PACL Fiction Voigt

Bad Girls is the story of two fifth-graders, Mickey Elsinger and Margalo Epps, whose friendship is portrayed through acts of loyalty, betrayal, mischief, and kindness that probe the sweetness and vindictiveness of girls that age. Much of the story pivots on the ethics displayed when Margalo places a squished squirrel in the lunch sack of Rhonda Ransom, who had viciously derailed Mickey's chance to be elected class president, and when Mickey and Margalo stand together in front of the principal when confronted with the act. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-13). (Not reviewed).

Belle Prater's Boy, Ruth White OL F Whi / PACL Fiction White

Gypsy and her cousin Woodrow become close friends after Woodrow's mother disappears. Both sixth-graders feel deserted by their parents -- Gypsy discovers that her father committed suicide -- and need to define themselves apart from these tragedies. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Honor Book 1997). (Not reviewed).

Ben and Me: A New and Astonishing Life of Benjamin Franklin as Written by His Good Mouse Amos, Robert Lawson WH F Law / PACL Fiction Lawson

The true story of Ben Franklin, as told by his closest friend and advisor, Amos the mouse. According to Amos, it was really he who was responsible for Ben Franklin's inventions and discoveries. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The BFG, Roald Dahl WH F Dah / PACL Fiction Dahl

This [Big Friendly Giant] doesn't seem all that F at first as he creeps down a London street, snatches little Sophie out of her bed, and bounds away with her to giant land. And he's not really all that B when compared with his evil, carnivorous brethren, who bully him for being such an oddball runt. After all, he eats only disgusting snozzcumbers, and while the other Gs are snacking on little boys and girls, he's blowing happy dreams in through their windows. What kind of way is that for a G to behave? . . . [H]e leaves an indelible impression of bigheartedness. Amazon.com. (Ages 9 to 12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Blubber, Judy Blume WH F Blu / PACL Fiction Blume

Jill goes along with the rest of the fifth-grade class in tormenting a classmate and then finds out what it's like when she, too, becomes a target. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Blue Skin of the Sea, Graham Salisbury OL F Sal / PAMain Young Adult Fiction Salisbury

Eleven interlinked stories tell the tale of Sonny Mendoza--a boy coming of age in a Hawaiian fishing village. Sonny is a little different from the rest of the men in his family--not as brave, perhaps too sensitive. What do you do if your biggest fear surrounds you? Indeed, what if that which you fear brings life (and death) to those you love? It's the sea itself that fills Sonny with dread. In wrestling with its powerful force, though, he just might reach the doorway to adulthood. Amazon.com. (Ages 11+) (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Book of Changes: Stories, Tim Wynne-Jones OL SC Wyn / PACL Fiction Wynne-Jones

The dialogue is laugh-out-loud funny in these touching short stories, and the universal situations are drawn right from the middle-grade experience: confronting a bully, starting a first job, learning to lose at sports, discovering weakness in a hero, meeting a stranger on a journey. Booklist. (Ages: Grades 4-7). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Borrowers, Mary Norton OL F Nor / PACL Fiction Norton

Rapacious lawyer Ocious Potter intends to demolish the Borrowers' home and build a slum on that spot. All that stands between Potter and the fulfillment of his wicked plan are the two Borrower children, who have uncovered the last will and testament of the house's true owner. Ingram. (Ages 9-11). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson WH F Pat / PACL Fiction Paterson

Jess Aarons is eager to start fifth grade. He's been practicing his sprints all summer, determined to become the fastest runner at school. All seems to be on track, until the new girl in class (who also happens to be Jess's new next-door neighbor), Leslie Burke, leaves all the boys in the dust, including Jess. After this rather frustrating introduction, Jess and Leslie soon become inseparable. Together, they create an imaginary, secret kingdom in the woods called Terabithia that can be reached only by swinging across a creek bed on a rope. But one morning a tragic accident befalls Leslie as she ventures alone to Terabithia, and Jess's life is changed forever. Publishers Weekly. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Medal Winner 1978). (Not reviewed).

The Cabin Faced West, Jean Fritz WH F Fri / PACL Juv Fiction Fritz

A satisfying story which conveys some of the loneliness, despair, and hardships of pioneer life. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Charlotte's Web, E. B. White WH F Whi / PACL Fiction White

One of the classics of children's literature, this widely read tale takes place on a farm in Maine and concerns a pig named Wilbur and his devoted friend Charlotte, the spider who manages to save his life by writing words in her web. The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Honor Book 1953). (Not reviewed).

Chasing Redbird, Sharon Creech WH F Cre / PACL Fiction Creech

Always the quiet (and often forgotten) middle child in a bustling family, Zinnia's life begins to change when she stumbles upon a hidden, overgrown pathway that stretches from the edge of her family's farm into the great unknown. Determined to find where the path leads, Zinnia begins the daunting task of uncovering brambles and weeds along every inch of its length. . . a dazzling portrait of a girl who's not afraid to journey into her family's mysterious past in order to find her own way into adulthood. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Chronicles Of Narnia, C.S. Lewis OL F Lew / PACL Juv Fiction Lewis

Four children travel repeatedly to a world in which they are far more than mere children and everything is far more than it seems. Richly told, populated with fascinating characters, perfectly realized in detail of world and pacing of plot, and profoundly allegorical, the story is infused throughout with the timeless issues of good and evil, faith and hope. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Cricket in Times Square, George Selden WH F Sel / PACL Fiction Selden

After Chester lands in the Times Square subway station, he makes himself comfortable in a nearby newsstand. There, he has the good fortune to make three new friends: Mario, a little boy whose parents run the falling newsstand, Tucker, a fast-talking Broadway mouse, and Tucker's sidekick, Harry the Cat. . . somehow, they manage to bring a taste of success to the nearly bankrupt newsstand Book Description. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newberry Honor Book 1961). (Not reviewed).

Cyber.Kdz Series, Bruce Balan PACL Fiction Balan

A band of intrepid, international, and totally wired kids who hang out in a virtual neighborhood and take on all sorts of tough guys. Multi-national, these two girls and five boys know their way around not only the Web but also Unix, astronomy, viruses, a good mystery, and plain old friendship. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Don't Read this Book, Whatever You Do, Kalli Dakos OL F 811.54 Dak

Celebrates the world of education and all the poignant, whimsical, and wondrous moments that occur in the classroom. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Dragonling, Jackie Koller OL F Kol

Young Darek longs to be a great hunter of dragons, but when he finds an orphaned dragonling, his sympathies lead him into a meeting with and an understanding of dragons. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Earl's Too Cool for Me, Leah Komaiko OL E Kom / PACL PB Komaiko

With his stand-up-straight hair and his snazzy sunglasses, Earl's the coolest kid in town; "too cool for me" confides the narrator. But one day Earl comes over, and it turns out that he's a regular guy! Together, the new friends are as "cool as cool can be." Ingram. (Ages: Grades 2-3). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Egypt Game, Zilpha Snyder WH F Sny / PACL Mystery Snyder

The deserted storage yard and shed behind the A-Z Antique and Curio Shop becomes the Land of Egypt for April and Melanie, who spend every available moment playing the Egypt game . . . Eventually other children are drawn into the game which culminates in the capture of a murderer. School Library Journal. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Honor Book 1968). (Not reviewed).

5 Novels: Alan Mendelsohn the Boy from Mars, Slaves of Spiegel, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, The Last Guru, Young Adult Novel, Daniel Pinkwater

Wacky comes to mind. Outrageous. Lively. Real. Unreal. . . Performing chickens, a New Jersey Martian, an orangutan orchestra conductor from Ceylon ... the details are what jump out of his novels. . . . In 5 Novels, you can feast upon five beloved and quirky favorites. Amazon.com. (Ages 9 and older).  (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Flip Flop Girl, Katherine Paterson OL F Pat / PACL Fiction Paterson

Vinnie, whose family moves to Virginia after her father dies, is fascinated with her classmate Lupe -- a fascination that quickly turns to rivalry when she is led to believe that their teacher favors Lupe over herself. The novel explores the universal themes of grief and healing, jealousy and forgiveness. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Freak the Mighty, Rodman Philbrick OL F Phi / PACL Fiction Philbrick

Maxwell Kane, who is learning disabled and unusually large for his age, shies away from others, but when a brilliant boy with a birth defect that has kept his body from growing to normal size moves in next door, the two become Freak the Mighty, pooling their brains and brawn to conquer their world. The harrowing events of Max's childhood are revealed gradually, as he is able to face them, thanks to the wisdom of his friend. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E. L. Konigsburg WH F Kon / PACL Fiction Konigsburg

Claudia and Jamie run away from home and wind up living at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There they are privy to the introduction of a new statue and immediately are suspicious of its authenticity. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Newbery Medal Winner 1968). (Not reviewed).

The Gift for Tia Rosa, Karen Taka PACL PB Taka

Carmela can't wait for Tia Rosa to come home from the hospital and continue teaching her how to knit. Everyday, though, the elderly Tia Rosa's health worsens. When she dies, Carmela is stricken with grief. Carmela decides that the best way to honor her aunt's memory is to make something. From the Publisher. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

The Great Gilly Hopkins, Katherine Paterson WH F Pat / PACL Fiction Paterson

This book is filled with love and compassion as it tells the story of an 11-year-old girl who yearns for a real family. Ingram. (Ages 912). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Honor Book 1979). (Not reviewed).

Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh WH F Fit / PACL Fiction Fitzhugh

Harriet, would-be writer and avid observer of life, records everything she sees and hears . . . until her notebooks fall into the wrong hands. Ingram (Ages 9-12).  (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Harris and Me: A Summer Remembered, Gary Paulsen OL F Pau / PACL Fiction Paulsen

An eleven-year-old city boy is sent to spend time on his relatives' farm, where his rude, crude, trouble-minded cousin, Harris, makes his summer a memorable one. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Hey World, Here I Am! Jean Little WH 811 Lit / PACL 811 L778h

Whether she's writing about school, parents, friends, love, or turning cartwheels, Kate Bloomfield--a nice, clear-thinking early teenager--gets to the heart of things. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Homer Price, Robert McCloskey WH F McC / PACL Fiction McCloskey

Six episodes in the life of Homer Price including one in which he and his pet skunk capture four bandits and another about a donut machine on the rampage. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

How to Eat Fried Worms and Other Plays, Thomas Rockwell WH 812.54 Roc / PACL Fiction Rockwell

By way of a bet, Billy gets into the uncomfortable position of having to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. Should he succeed, his friend Alan will have to pay him $50, enough to buy the minibike Billy pines for. The worms are readily supplied by his opponent, and Billy has a free choice of condiments, from peanut butter to horseradish. With his wavering courage bolstered by the moral suppport of his friends and family, Billy munches away courageously. But there is many a slip twixt the worm and the lip, and the outcome of the bet is continually in doubt. Alan's not giving up $50 for any old worms. What will Billy do? Book Description. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

If You're Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand, Kalli Dakos WH 811 Dak

By turns wistful and funny, the 38 poems in this collection capture the ups and downs of elementary school life with uncanny accuracy. These poems, complemented by lively black-and-white drawings, speak to children's hearts, to their fears, and to the special joys found in every corner of a classroom. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Indian in the Cupboard, Lynne Banks WH F Ban / PACL Fiction Banks

It all began with a birthday present Omri didn't want. It would become Omri's most important secret: precious, dangerous, wonderful--and, above all, magical. A young boy discovers that his magic cupboard and key can turn toys into live people and animals, but must learn that real people have real needs and that responsibility accompanies friendship. Book Description. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Iron Dragon Never Sleeps, Stephen Krensky OL F Kre

During the mid-nineteenth century, the completion of the transcontinental railroad required the labor of thousands of Chinese immigrants. Ten-year-old Winnie Tucker meets a friendly young Chinese boy and learns about the inequality between the white and Chinese laborers. Hornbook. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

It's Like This, Cat, Emily Neville WH F Nev / PACL Fiction Neville

The thoughts, feelings, and activities of an adolescent boy in contemporary New York City. Ingram (Ages 9-12). (Newbery Medal Winner 1964). (Not previewed).

Judy Scuppermong, Brenda Seabrooke OL 811.54 Sea / PACL 811 S438j

Through narrative verse, three best friends are drawn into the world of their new neighbor, Judy Scuppernong, and soon discover the elusive Judy's terrible secret. Ingram. (Ages 9-12).  (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Julie of the Wolves, Jean George WH F Geo / PACL Fiction George

An Eskimo girl who becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska is befriended by a pack of wolves. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Medal Winner 1973). (Not reviewed).

Kid Power, Susan Pfeffer OL F Pfe / PACL F Pfeffer

Eleven-year-old Janie advertises to do odd jobs in her neighborhood and receives so much business, she hires her friends and becomes manager of the Kid Power Agency. IPac. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Letters from the Inside, John Marsden OL F Mar / PAMain Young Adult Fiction Marsden

Through their letters to each other, two teenage girls--one hiding a terrible secret and the other trapped in a violent family nightmare--gradually reveal the darkest aspects of their lives. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Lily's Crossing, Patricia Giff OL F Gif / PACL Fiction Giff

Lily Mollahan is looking forward to summer, but the war shatters all her dreams: her beloved father has enlisted; her best friend is moving away; and Albert, a seemingly unfriendly war refugee from Hungary, intrudes on her private space. To complicate matters, Lily is fond of enhancing her importance or escaping retribution with facile lies.Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Honor Book 1998). (Not reviewed).

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis WH F Lew / PACL F Lewis

Four English schoolchildren find their way through the back of a wardrobe into the magical land of Narnia, where they come to the aid of Aslan, the golden lion, in his battle against the White Witch, who has cursed the land with eternal winter. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Little House Series, Laura Ingalls Wilder WH F Wil / PACL F Wilder

The charming Little House books tell the story of Laura Ingalls Wilder who, with her family, was among the early pioneers of the American west. Laura traveled with her family by covered wagon through Kansas, Minnesota and finally the Dakota Territory. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Maniac Magee: A Novel, Jerry Spinelli WH F Spi / PACL Fiction Spinelli

Maniac Magee is a folk story about a boy, a very excitable boy. One that can outrun dogs, hit a home run off the best pitcher in the neighborhood, tie a knot no one can undo. "Kid's gotta be a maniac," is what the folks in Two Mills say. It's also the story of how this boy, Jeffrey Lionel "Maniac" Magee, confronts racism in a small town, tries to find a home where there is none and attempts to soothe tensions between rival factions on the tough side of town. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Medal Winner 1991). (Not reviewed).

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh, Robert O'Brian WH F O'Br / PACL Fiction O'Brian

When mouse widow Mrs. Frisby needs advice on how to move her children safely, she consults the rats who live under the rosebush. Not only do they help her, they tell her of their escape from a laboratory where experimentation had made them literate, and of the brave death of her husband. Ingram. (Ages 9-12).  (Newbery Medal Winner 1972). (Not reviewed).

My Brother Stevie, Eleanore Clymer OL F Cly

An unmanageable younger brother makes life difficult for his sister until a sympathetic school teacher befriends and helps them both. IPac. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Number the Stars, Lois Lowry WH F Low / PACL Fict Lowry

The evacuation of Jews from Nazi-held Denmark is one of the great untold stories of World War II. On September 29, 1943, word got out in Denmark that Jews were to be detained and then sent to the death camps. Within hours the Danish resistance, population and police arranged a small flotilla to herd 7,000 Jews to Sweden. Lois Lowry fictionalizes a true-story account to bring this courageous tale to life. She brings the experience to life through the eyes of 10-year-old Annemarie Johannesen, whose family harbors her best friend, Ellen Rosen, on the eve of the round-up and helps smuggles Ellen's family out of the country. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children).  (Newbery Medal Winner 1990). (Not reviewed).

On My Honor, Marion Bauer OL F Bau / PACL Fiction Bauer

When his best friend drowns while they are swimming in a treacherous river that they had promised never to go near, Joel is devastated and terrified at having to tell both sets of parents the terrible consequences of their disobedience. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Honor Book 1987). (Not reviewed).

Pinballs, Betsy Byars WH F Bya / PACL F Byars

Three unwanted kids--Pinballs, as wisecracking Carly dubs them--collide in a warm and caring foster home and learn to pin their hopes on each other. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Pink and Say, Patricia Polacco WH E Pol / PACL PB Polacco

A white youth from Ohio, Sheldon Russell Curtis (Say), and a black youth from Georgia, Pinkus Aylee (Pink), meet as young soldiers with the Union army. Pink finds Say wounded in the leg after a battle and brings him home with him. Pink's mother, Moe Moe Bay, cares for the boys while Say recuperates, feeding and comforting them and banishing the war for a time. Whereas Pink is eager to go back and fight against ``the sickness'' that is slavery, Say is afraid to return to his unit. But when he sees Moe Moe Bay die at the hands of marauders, he understands the need to return. Pink and Say are captured by Confederate soldiers and brought to the notorious Andersonville prison camp. Say is released months later, ill and undernourished, but Pink is never released, and Polacco reports that he was hanged that very first day because he was black. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Nt: may be appropriate only for older children, parents should preview book first, subject matter includes hanging).

Prairie Songs, Pam Conrad OL F Con / PACL F Conrad

Louisa loves the Nebraska prairie, the only home she's ever known. . . A different kind of beauty enters Louisa's world when the new doctor and his wife, Emmeline, move to the prairie from New York City. Emmeline is the most beautiful person Louisa has ever seen, and she teaches Louisa to love poetry. But she is also frail and unsuited to pioneer life. Louisa wonders whether Emmeline will ever come to love the prairie as she herself does. Book Description. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Ramona the Pest, Beverly Cleary WH F Cle / PACL F Cleary

The engaging tale of young Ramona Quimby's first days in kindergarten, Ramona the Pest takes a pint-sized perspective on the trials and delights of beginning school. Amazon.com. (Ages 7-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes, Eleanor Coeer PACL Biog S252c

Hiroshima-born Sadako is lively and athletic--the star of her school's running team. And then the dizzy spells start. Soon gravely ill with leukemia, the "atom bomb disease," Sadako faces her future with spirit and bravery. Recalling a Japanese legend, Sadako sets to work folding paper cranes. For the legend holds that if a sick person folds one thousand cranes, the gods will grant her wish and make her healthy again. Based on a true story, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes celebrates the extraordinary courage that made one young woman a heroine in Japan. Book Description. Chapter Book. (Ages 9-12). (Nt: theme of children dying).

The Secret Garden, Frances Burnett WH F Bur / PACL F Burnett

Colin lives the life of a spoilt and incurable invalid until the arrival of an orphaned cousin. The two children secretly combine to restore his mother's locked garden and Colin to health and his father's affection. Ingram. Amazon.com. (Ages 9 to 12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Shoebag, Mary James OL F Jam / PACL F James

A story of a happy young cockroach named Shoebag, who awakens one morning to find that he has been transformed into a little boy. Adopted by the Biddle family, Shoebag changes the lives of all he meets. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Sideways Stories From Wayside School, Louis Sachar WH F Sac / PACL F Sachar

The Wayside School was supposed to be one story high, with 30 classrooms side by side; instead, it was built sideways, with 30 one-classroom stories. As befits such a strange school, these tales are a bit strange too. In one. . . Kathy, whose assumption that no one will ever like her is proved right. Amazon.com. (Ages 9 to 12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Sign of the Beaver, Elizabeth Speare WH F Spe / PACL Fict Speare

When his father returns East to collect the rest of the family, 13-year-old Matt is left alone to guard his family's newly built homestead. One day, Matt is brutally stung when he robs a bee tree for honey. He returns to consciousness to discover that his many stings have been treated by an old Native American and his grandson. . . the old man . . . asks Matt to teach his grandson Attean to read. . . The boys become friends in spite of themselves, and their inevitable parting is a moving tribute to the ability of shared experience to overcome prejudice. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Newbery Honor Book 1984). (Nt: this is a 5th grade core book and should not be read before it is covered in class.) (Not reviewed).

Silver Pony, Lynd Ward WH F War / PACL F Ward

Told only in pictures, this is the story of a lonely farm boy who confuses his dreams of adventure on a winged pony with reality. Booklist. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Singer to the Sea God, Vivian Alcock OL F Alc / PACL F Alcock

In a powerful tale based on Greek mythology, Cleo is turned to stone by the deadly glare of Medusa, and Phaidon embarks on an epic journey to rescue her from an eternity in marble. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Skin Deep and Other Teenage Reflections: Poems, Angela Medearis

Medearis' simple, candid first-person monologues . . . talk about growing up black now; about pride, anger, loneliness; about conflict within themselves and with friends and family. Booklist. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Soup, Robert Peck WH F Pec / PACL F Peck

When it came to getting the two of us in trouble, Soup was a regular genius....Soup was my best pal. Here are the stories of that friendship, and of the troubles--stories from a boyhood filled with barrels to roll in, apples to whip, windows to break, ropes to bind prisoners, acorn pepes, and ten-cent Saturday movies. But then as always nothing was quite as important as a best friend. From the Publisher. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Soup and Me, Robert Peck WH F Pec / PACL F Peck

The further adventures and misadventures of Rob and Soup, two boys growing up in a small Vermont town. IPac. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Soup on Ice, Robert Peck OL F Pec / PACL F Peck

Rob and Soup engineer an incredible appearance by Santa and his sleigh in their small Vermont town. IPac. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Stepping on the Cracks, Mary Hahn OL F Hah / PACL F Hahn

When patriotic best friends Margaret and Elizabeth spy on hated sixth-grade classmate Gordy, they discover that he is hiding his brother, Stuart, a deserter from the army. They slowly begin to understand Stuart's decision to be a conscientious objector and accept a broader view of the world. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Stones in Water, Donna Napoli OL F Nap / PACL F Napoli

During World War II, best friends Roberto and Samuele are abducted by German soldiers from a small town outside Venice--despite the fact that Italy and Germany are allies--and taken to a work camp in Munich. The horrors they experience change Roberto's outlook from self-preservation to guarded activism to, following his escape, outright sabotage. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Summer of My German Soldier, Bette Greene WH F Gre / PACL F Greene

When her small hometown in Arkansas becomes the site of a camp housing German prisoners during World War II, 12-year-old Patty Bergen learns what it means to open her heart. Although she's Jewish, she begins to see a prison escapee, Anton, not as a Nazi--but as a lonely, frightened young man with feelings not unlike her own, who understands and appreciates her in a way her parents never will. And Patty is willing to risk losing family, friends--even her freedom--for what has quickly become the most important part of her life. Book Description. (Ages 9-12). (Not reviewed).

Summer of the Swans, Betsy Byars WH F Bya / PACL Fiction Byars

The longest day in the life of a 14-year-old girl--the summer day her loved, mentally retarded brother is lost, the day she discovers compassion is a friend. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Newbery Medal Winner 1971). (Not reviewed).

There's a Boy in the Girl's Bathroom, Louis Sachar OL F Sac / PACL F Sachar

He may be the weirdest kid in school, but he's not completely hopeless! The triumph of Bradley Chalkers, the weird, insecure bully of the fifth grade, will appeal to every reader who's cheered for--or been--the underdog. Ingram. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Under the Blood Red Sun, Graham Salisbury OL F Sal / PACL F Salisbury

For Tomikazu Nakaji, growing up on Oahu, Hawaii, means fishing, playing baseball, and going to school. When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, though, his world is shattered. Papa and Grandpa are arrested, and Tomi and his mother must struggle to preserve the dignity of the Nakaji name. Horn Book. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The View From Saturday, E. L. Konigsburg WH F Kon / PACL Fiction Konigsburg

Admirable acts, challenging ideas, and grace notes positively festoon this superb tale of four sixth graders and a paraplegic teacher forming a junior high Academic Bowl team that sweeps away the competition. The plot is composed of interwoven puzzles. What prompts Mrs. Olinski to choose Noah, Nadia, Ethan, and Julian for the team over the usual overachievers and honor students in her class? What do they know about her, themselves, and each other that puts them so precisely on the same wavelength and gives them such complementary knowledge and experience? Each has a tale to tell, in the course of which all four witness acts of kindness and respect that teach them to find those feelings in themselves and others. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 11-13). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Medal Winner 1997). (Not reviewed).

Virtual War, Gloria Skurzynski OL F Sku / PACL Sci Fiction Skurzynski

Diseases (the in-the-news ones such as Ebola, Hanta, and flesh-eating viruses) have wiped out most of the earth's population. Fourteen-year-old Corgan, created through genetic engineering and raised with scrupulous care, is the pride of the Council. With his exquisite sense of timing and superb physical skills, he will be one of the team of three representing the Western Hemisphere Federation in a virtual war. It is not until he meets his two teammates, a 10-year-old mutant genius and a girl his own age with brilliant decoding capabilities, that it occurs to him to question anything about his life and the choices that have been made for him. Booklist. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963, Christopher Curtis WH F Cur / PACL F Curtis

In a voice that's both smart and naive, strong and scared, fourth-grader Kenny Watson tells about his African American family in Flint, Michigan, in 1963. We get to know his strict, loving parents and his tough older brother, who gets into so much trouble his parents decide to take him back "home" to Birmingham, Alabama, where maybe his strong grandmother will teach him some sense. Racism and the civil rights movement are like a soft rumble in the background, especially as the Watsons drive south. Then Kenny's cute little sister is in a Birmingham church when a bomb goes off. She escapes (Curtis doesn't exploit the horror), but we're with Kenny as he dreads that she's part of the rubble. Booklist. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Honor Book 1996). (Not reviewed).

Well Wished, Franny Billingsley OL F Bil / PACL F Billingsley

In Nuria's town, a magical wishing well grants individuals one wish per lifetime, but if possible, twists the requests to produce a ruinous outcome. When Nuria wishes that her crippled friend had a body just like mine, the girls switch bodies. Hornbook. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, Kimberly Holt OL F Hol / PACL F Holt

Nothing much happens in Antler, Texas, a place too small and boring for 13-year-old Toby Wilson's mom, who has left to try and be a country music star. . . Then a stranger comes to town. He is Zachary Beaver, a 600-pound teenager, "the fattest man in the world," who never leaves his trailer. At first Toby and Cal come to gape at the freak show with everyone else, but when Zachary's manager disappears, the boys slowly get to know Zachary. . . Teens will recognize how people can shut themselves into spaces that are too tight and how even a best friend can be a dork, especially when there's jealousy and failure. . . In the tradition of many southern writers, Holt reveals the freak in all of us--and the hope of redemption. Amazon.com. (Ages 9-12). (Nt: son dies in Vietnam). (Not reviewed).

Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls WH F Raw / PACL F Rawls

A loving threesome, they ranged the dark hills and river bottoms of Cherokee country. Old Dan [dog] had the brawn. Little Ann [dog] had the brains, and Billy had the will to make them into the finest hunting team in the valley. Glory and victory were coming to them, but sadness waited too. Book Description. (Ages 9-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Woodsie (The Wolfbay Wings, #1), Bruce Brooks WH F Bro

Dixon Woods is new to hockey and new to the Wings, last year's regional champs. But their old coach has left and taken the best players, without whom the remaining team members are in over their heads. Although he is blessed with good hockey sense, devotion, and an easygoing disposition, Dixon has a lot to learn. Kirkus Reviews. (Ages 8-12). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Wringer, Jerry Spinelli WH F Spi / PACL F Spinelli

In a realistic story invested with the intensity of a fable, nine-year-old Palmer faces his future as a wringer--one of the ten-year-old boys who strangle the pigeons wounded during the town's annual pigeon shoot. Spinelli's story is honest but not without hope, not only in its conclusion, but in Palmer's friendship with the girl across the street, in the surprising discoveries he makes about his parents, and in his love for Nipper, the pigeon he shelters and eventually saves. Hornbook. (Ages 9-12) (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Honor Book 1998). (Not reviewed).

A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle WH F L'en / PACL Sci Fiction L'Engle

Combining theology, fantasy, and science, it is the story of travel through space and time to battle a cosmic evil. With their neighbor Calvin O'Keefe, young Meg Murry and her brother Charles Wallace embark on a cosmic journey to find their lost father, a scientist studying time travel. Assisted by three eccentric women -- Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which--the children travel to the planet Camazotz where they encounter a repressed society controlled by IT, a disembodied brain that represents evil. Among the themes of the work are the dangers of unthinking conformity and scientific irresponsibility and the saving power of love. The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature. (Ages 9-12). (Newbery Medal Winner 1963). (Not reviewed).

Ages 13 and Up

Across the Grain, Jean Ferris OL F Fer / PAMain Young Adult Fiction Ferris

Recently orphaned and still a minor, seventeen-year-old Will Griffin must postpone his own plans and accompany his irresponsible, manipulative sister on a vague quest to the California high desert. His loneliness eventually abates as he makes friends with a defensive classmate and an older man who teaches him wood carving. Horn Book. (Ages: Young Adult). (Not reviewed).

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain WH F Twa / PACL Fiction Twain

'Cordially hated and dreaded by all the mothers of the town because he was idle, and lawless, vulgar, and bad - and because all their children admired him so', Huckleberry Finn, the fourteen-year-old son of the town drunkard, joins runaway slave Jim on an exciting journey down the mighty Mississippi River on a raft. Book Description. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain WH F Twa / PACL Fiction Twain

The setting is a small Mississippi River town in the 1830s, and the characters are the grownups and the children of the town. The book's nostalgic attitude and its wistful re-creation of pre-Civil War life are humorously spiced by its main character, Tom Sawyer. Rather than the preternaturally "model boy" of Sunday-school stories, Tom is mischievous and irresponsible but goodhearted. Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature. (Ages: Young Adult). (Not reviewed).

Brickyard Summer, Paul Janeczko OL NF 811.54J / PAMain 811 J33b

In a series of poems, the speaker and his best friend meander through the summer after eighth grade, encountering for the first time in the local people of their economically depressed neighborhood enormous courage & vitality. http://www.rice.lib.me.us/lupine.htm. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Buffalo Tree, Adam Rapp OL F Rap / PAMP Young Adult Fiction Rapp

In a distinctive, compelling narrative, Sura, 12, chronicles life at a juvenile detention home, where he has been sent for stealing hood ornaments. Although the novel is written largely in street slang, Sura's voice is sympathetic and sensitive, making vivid the sometimes horrid, sometimes touching details of life in the home. Kirkus. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Cay, Theodore Taylor WH F Tay / PACL Fiction Taylor

A powerful classic of prejudice, love, and survival. In 1942, 11-year-old Phillip Enright lives with his parents on the Dutch island of Curaçao, but when the war moves too close for comfort, his mother decides to travel with him back to the safety of Virginia. When their boat is torpedoed, however, Phillip is blinded and finds himself adrift on a life raft with an old black man and a cat. They eventually land on a deserted island. Phillip is suspicious of "the large Negro," but soon grows to trust--and ultimately love--the patient and generous Timothy. . . The Cay has a clear message that friendship is colorblind; it is also a terrific adventure story of a young, newly blinded man learning to survive on an uninhabited island. Amazon.com.

(Ages: Young adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Children of the River, Linda Crew OL F Cre / PAMP Young Adult Fiction Crew

Sundara flees Cambodia for the safety of Oregon, where she struggles to be a "good Cambodian girl." Although she is forbidden to speak to any white boys, Sundara falls in love with Jonathan. Is her new life disloyal to her past? Ingram. (Ages: Young adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Crossing, Gary Paulsen OL F Pau / PAMP Young Adult Fiction Paulsen

On one side of the border is Manny Bustos, an orphan scrounging on the streets of Juarez. On the other side is Vietnam vet Robert Locke, trying to forget the war in a bottle of whiskey. When Manny decides to slip into America, the two meet--and discover endless new possibilities. Ingram. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Gulliver's Adventures in Lilliput, Jonathan Swift

Four-part satirical novel by Jonathan Swift, published anonymously in 1726 as Travels Into Several Remote Nations of the World. The novel is ostensibly the story of Lemuel Gulliver, a surgeon and sea captain who visits remote regions of the world. In the beginning Gulliver is shipwrecked on Lilliput, where people are six inches tall. The Lilliputians' utterly serious wars, civil strife, and vanities are human follies so reduced in scale as to be rendered ridiculous. Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This, Jacqueline Woodson OL F Woo / PAMain Young Adult Woodson

Two girls: one white, one black; one abused, one protected, both missing their mothers. An unlikely friendship ignites between the two, and, in sharing their differences, both of their lives are transformed. Amazon.com. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Ironman, Chris Crutcher OL F Cru / PAMP Young Adult Fiction Crutcher

When one of his frequent outbursts lands him in an anger management class, Bo interrupts his triathlon training to spend two mornings a week discussing personal issues with a group of emotionally wounded classmates. Horn Book. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Make Lemonade, Virginia Wolff OL F Wol / PAMain Young Adult Fiction Wolff

Fourteen-year-old LaVaughn accepts the job of baby-sitting Jolly's two small children but quickly realizes that the young woman, a seventeen-year-old single mother, needs as much help and nurturing as her two neglected children. The four become something akin to a temporary family, and through their relationship each makes progress toward a better life. Horn Book. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Outsiders, S. E. Hinton OL F Hin / PACL F Hinton

Ponyboy is fourteen, tough and confused, yet sensitive behind his bold front. Since his parents' death, his loyalties have been to his brothers and his gang, the rough, swinging, long-haired boys from the wrong side of the tracks. When his best friend, Johnny, kills a member of a rival gang, a nightmare of violence begins and swiftly envelops Ponyboy in a turbulent chain of events. From the Publisher. (Ages: Young Adult).  (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

The Pigman, Paul Zindel OL F Zin / PACL F Zindel

Two lonely high school students befriend a strange old man, Mr. Pignati. Ingram. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Remembering the Good Times, Richard Peck OL F Pec / PACL Young Adult Fiction Peck

Trav, Kate, and Buck make up a trio during their freshman year in high school, but their special friendship may not be enough to save Trav as he pressures himself relentlessly to succeed. Ingram. (Ages 13 & up). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

A Solitary Blue, Cynthia Voigt WH F Voi / PACL F Voigt

Jeff learns a lesson about love and emerges from a solitary depression when he realizes that he can be alone and not be lonely. Ingram. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Newbery Honor Book 1984). (Not reviewed).

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Chris Crutcher OL F Cru / PAMain Young Adult F Crutcher

Eighteen-year-old Eric's success on the swimming team and the weight loss that is the by-product of his strict physical regimen are so threatening to his longstanding friendship with Sarah Byrnes -- who, at the age of three was severely burned on the face and hands when her father pushed her into a wood stove -- that he forces himself into gluttony in order not to jeopardize it. Eric's attempts to help his friend find her way back into the world after she is institutionalized make up the bulk of the narrative. Horn Book. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

Twelve Shots: Outstanding Short Stories About Guns, Harry Mazer OL SC Twe / PAMP Young Adult Fiction Mazer

In a dozen riveting new works of short fiction, written especially for this collection, popular contemporary authors explore the emotion-driven world of guns. From the grim reality of urban violence (in "Chalkman" by Rita Williams-Garcia) to a boy's first glimpse of manhood while target-shooting with Dad (in Ron Koertge's "Fresh Meat") to mercy killing (in Rob Thomas's "The War Chest"), the 12 stories included here are as different as the 12 authors themselves. Ingram. (Ages: Young Adult). (Recommended in Valerie & Walter's Best Books for Children). (Not reviewed).

 

* Noted where appropriate are themes which might be of concern to parents or students when selecting which books to read. If the listing indicates "not reviewed", our parent reviewing committee has not read this book and no comments as to appropriateness have been made.

Books marked WH are in the Walter Hays Library, OL in other Palo Alto School District Libraries, PACL at the Palo Alto Children's Library, PAMain at Palo Alto Main Library and PAMP at Palo Alto Mitchell Park Library.