Voice of Youth Award Books 2004-2005
5th and 6th grades

David Almond. Heaven Eyes. 2000.
Erin and her friends are labeled "damaged children" because they have no parents. Life is unbearable and they escape the Whitegates orphanage, drifting down the Ouseburn River on a homemade raft. They encounter Heaven Eyes, a child-like creature with webbed feet and enter a world full of mystery, adventure, and wonder.
Paula Danziger and Ann M. Martin. P.S. Longer Letter Later: A Novel in Letters. 1998.
Twelve-year-old Elizabeth and Tara*Starr, while different as can be, are best friends. When Tara*Starr moves away, the two write letters to each other to keep in touch. Soon their correspondence develops into something much more than just a way to exchange gossip.
Cynthia DeFelice. The Ghost of Fossil Glen. 1998.
Sixth grader Allie Nichols is out fossil hunting when she gets stuck hanging off the side of a steep cliff. Could it really be the voice of a ghost that urges her to remain calm? Allie and her best friend, Dub, set off to solve the mystery.
Jack Gantos. Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key. 1998.
Joey Pigza is "wired." He tries hard, he really does, but he just can't follow class rules. One day Joey is assigned to sharpen all the pencils, but his mind starts to wander and he has the ingenious idea to "grind his fingernails down to sharp points and look like a vampire."
Patricia Reilly Giff. Lily's Crossing. 1997.
It's the summer of 1944. Sixth grader Lily is disappointed when her widowed father joins the army and is not able to spend the summer at the beach with her and Grandma. She meets Albert, a Hungarian refugee, who is staying with the neighbors. Lily suspects the boy is a Nazi spy.
Sy Montgomery. The Man-Eating Tigers of Sundarbans. 2001.
Nobody knows why the Man-Eating Tigers of Sundarbans kill about 300 people every year. Living along the border of India and Bangladesh, these fierce felines have long confounded scientists and local villagers alike. Let the author take you into a world where modern scientific evidence meets ancient beliefs and myths.
     Read more about The Man-Eating Tigers of Sunderbans in Kids' Books We Love!
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. The Boys Start the War. 1993.
The Hatford brothers are very upset when their best friends who live across the river move away. They could not be more annoyed when the Malloy sisters move into the now vacant house. Determined to drive the girls back to where they came from, the boys start a practical joke war. Who will win this battle involving dead bodies, dead fish, and stolen jockey shorts?
Gary Paulsen. The Schernoff Discoveries. 1997.
Set in the 1950s, this hilarious adventure story recounts the junior high experiences of two 14-year-old boys. Harold and his buddy are "each others only friends… and easily the most unpopular boys in the entire demographic area." Enrolling in home economics classes to meet girls is just one of their off-the-wall strategies to join the cool crowd.
Tamora Pierce. Alanna: The First Adventure. 1983.
Alanna and her twin brother, Tom, are to be sent away to school to become a sorceress and a knight. Alanna, however would prefer to be a knight while Tom has a fascination with magic, so Alanna cuts her hair short and the two trade places. Follow Alanna's adventures as she finds her place among the other boys in this story full of enchantments, spells, magic, and mystery.
William Steig. Abel's Island. 1976.
It's a beautiful summer day and newlywed mice Abel and Amanda are enjoying a picnic in the woods. A fierce storm moves in and Abel is abruptly swept away to an uninhabited island. Abel is determined to escape his solitary fate, but will he succeed?
     Read more about Abel's Island in Kids' Books We Love!