Voice of Youth Award Books 2008-2009
5th and 6th grades

coversClick a title to check the Skokie Public Library catalog for the status of the book in the Youth Services collection. Titles marked with  * are also available on audio and/or downloadable digital format.

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Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker. Halfway to the Sky. 2002.
The last few months have been tough. Her brother passed away and her parents' marriage has fallen apart. Twelve-year-old Dani decides to run away and hike the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. It’s where her parents fell in love so it doesn’t take Dani’s mother long to catch up with her. Dani convinces her mother to join her and they discover more about each other than they ever thought possible.
Read more about Halfway to the Sky in Kids' Books We Love
De Angeli, Marguerite. The Door in the Wall. 1949. *
As the son of Sir John de Bureford, Robin’s future is set. He is to become a knight. His fate changes when, due to an illness, he loses the use of his legs. Abandoned and alone, he is rescued by Brother Luke and taken to St. Mark’s, a hospice where he becomes skilled at woodcarving and learns that one can be strong in more than one way.
Gutman, Dan. The Homework Machine. 2006. *
A machine that does your homework seems too good to be true, but this one, built by Brenton, really works. Judy, Sam, and Kelsey, the other three members of the D Squad can’t believe their luck. Quite unexpectedly though, things don’t turn out quite as hoped. Could this ingenious invention actually land them in jail?
Read more about The Homework Machine in Kids' Books We Love
Ibbotson, Eva. The Secret of Platform 13. 1998.
The secret door under an abandoned railway platform opens up just once every 9 years and then for a mere 9 days. It leads through a tunnel to a magical, beautiful kingdom of feys, mermaids, ogres, and other fantastic creatures. When well-to-do Larina Troddle kidnaps a baby, just because she wants one, she has no idea that she has snatched a prince from “the other side.” The royal inhabitants are determined to get their child back, but what a surprise they're in for!
Read more about The Secret of Platform 13 in Kids' Books We Love
McKay, Hilary. Indigo’s Star. 2004. *
After missing a whole term because he was ill with mononucleosis, 12-year-old Indigo Casson is back in school. The bullies have been waiting for this moment and Indigo is more than a little anxious. Things have changed some, though. For one there is Tom, a new student from the States who is living with his grandmother in England for the semester. How will the bullies react to his laid-back attitude and eccentric lifestyle?
Read more about Indigo's Star in Kids' Books We Love
Morpurgo, Michael. Kensuke’s Kingdom. 2003.
This is surely going to be Michael’s most exciting year yet. His dad bought a yacht and his family will go on a sailing adventure around the world. One night during a violent storm he is washed overboard and wakes up on a Pacific Island. There is no one but him and his dog Stella. Or is there?
Read more about Kensuke's Kingdom in Kids' Books We Love
Napoli, Donna Jo. The King of Mulberry Street. 2005.
When Beniamino, a 9-year-old Italian Jewish boy realizes that his mother is not with him on the boat to America, he decides to return home to Sicily as soon as possible. It’s 1892 and life as a young boy on the streets of New York City is tough. Evading people who mean well and want him at an orphanage, Dom Napoli, as he calls himself now, makes friends with two other Italian boys. Together they open a sandwich shop in hopes of earning enough money for the trip back home.
Read more about The King of Mulberry Street in Kids' Books We Love
Patneaude, David. Haunting at Home Plate. 2000.
Not a dream season for the Dodgers. When their coach gets suspended for unsportsmanlike behavior, they also lose Gannon, the coach’s son and one of their best players. Mike (short for Michelle) takes over the coaching job and tells the team the story of Andy, a boy who, many years ago, died falling out of a tree while watching his brother play baseball. Shortly thereafter mysterious messages appear written in the dirt right next to home plate. Could they be from Andy’s ghost?
Winthrop, Elizabeth. Counting on Grace. 2006. *
Vermont, 1812: Grace and her friend Arthur are only 12, but they are working long hours at a cotton mill to help their families survive. With the help of their teacher Miss Lesley, they write a secret letter to the Child Labor Board detailing the horrid and dangerous conditions the children are working in. The Child Labor Board sends a photographer, Lewis Hine, to document and show the world what is happening at the mill. Will this cause protest and change the children’s lives for the better?
Read more about Counting on Grace in Kids' Books We Love