The year is 1491 in the Kingdom of Pergamontio, Italy. It's a stormy
night and someone knocks on servant boy Fabrizio's door. It's a soldier
and he beckons Mangus to the King's castle. Fabrizio is mystified; after
all, Mangus is under house arrest for confessing to being a magician.
Magic, though, is exactly what the king hopes will save his precious
daughter, who claims to have seen a ghost.
Cooper, Susan. The Dark is Rising. 1973.
On the eve of his 11th birthday, everything in Will Stanton's life
begins to change. The animals on his family's farm are suddenly afraid of
him. The radio won't work whenever he comes near it, his normally jovial
neighbor, Mr. Dawson, gives Will a metal talisman for protection, telling
him that "tomorrow will be beyond imagining." When Will awakens on his
birthday, he finds that Mr. Dawson was right.
Lewis, C.S. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. 1991.
Four children discover that the back of a wardrobe in an old English
country house is actually a gateway to Narnia, a magical land of talking
animals and mythical creatures. But the land is under an evil spell, which
condemns it to eternal winter. Read more about The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in Kids' Books We Love!
Napoli, Donna Jo. Three Days. 2001.
When her father suddenly collapses at the wheel while the two are on a
trip to Italy, 11-year-old Jackie is petrified. She does not even know the
word "help" in Italian. But things get worse: the two men she thought were
finally helping her are really kidnappers. Is Jackie ever going to see her
Park, Linda Sue. The Kite Fighters. 2000.
Seoul, Korea, 1473: Two brothers each bring their own talent to the
popular sport of kite flying: Young-sup is great at sensing the winds and
flying kites; Kee-sup's talent is kite construction. After watching them
practice one day, the boy-king asks Kee-sup to build him a kite "fit for a
king." Kee-sup gets to work and is proud of his dragon creation flecked
with real gold paint. In the meantime, Young-sup practices his kite flying
skills, determined to win the New Year's contest. Who will get the honor
to fly the king's kite?
Pearsall, Shelley. Trouble Don't Last. 2002.
Samuel, an 11-year-old Kentucky slave, is pulled out of bed one
morning by Harrison, a fellow slave who has helped raise him after his
parents were sold. He finds himself on the run, trying to escape north to
Canada. Life along the Underground Railroad turns out to be much harder
than Samuel ever could have expected.
Pinkwater, D. Manus. The Hoboken Chicken Emergency. 1977.
It is Thanksgiving morning and something has gone terribly wrong at
Murphy's Meat Market: the Bobowicz's Thanksgiving turkey reservation has
been lost! Desperate, Arthur Bobowicz looks all over town and finally
finds the only poultry left in all of Hoboken-– a chicken. There is only
one slight problem-– this chicken weighs 266 pounds! Read more about The Hoboken Chicken Emergency in Kids' Books We Love!
Ryan, Pam Muñoz. Becoming Naomi León. 2004.
Half-Mexican Naomi Soledad, 11, and her younger disabled brother,
Owen, are happy living with their grandmother in California even though it
means living in a trailer. Their lives are turned upside down when, after
seven years, their alcoholic mother reappears and wants to take Naomi, but
not Owen, with her. Gram is determined not to let this happen and they
embark on an adventurous trip across the border to Oaxaca, Mexico to find
the children's father. Read more about Becoming Naomi León in Kids' Books We Love!
Testa, Maria. Becoming Joe DiMaggio. 2002.
Twenty-four poems tell the story of Joseph Paul, an Italian-American
boy growing up in New York in the 1940s and 50s. Named after the great Joe
DiMaggio, he spends a lot of time with his immigrant grandfather Papa
Angelo sitting on special handmade chairs listening to baseball games on
the radio. Life is hard when there is a war going on and your dad is in
prison. Will Joseph fulfill his dreams? Read more about Becoming Joe DiMaggio in Kids' Books We Love!
Woodson, Jacqueline. Maizon at Blue Hill. 1992.
Blue Hill, an exclusive, private girls boarding school in Connecticut,
seems to have it all: inspiring classes, top notch teachers, all in
beautiful surroundings. Maizon, an African-American girl from Brooklyn,
reluctantly accepts the scholarship, but how does she adjust to being a
"minority" for the first time in her life?
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