Friday, February 5, 2016

Best Books of 2015 for Grades 4-8

Award Winners and Top Books from the Past Year
(book summaries pulled from

Juvenile Fiction 
The War That Saved My Life - Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
A young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.

Stella by Starlight - Sharon M. Draper 
In 1932 North Carolina, Stella feels the effects of a Klan cross burning, segregation, voter registration, and a major house fire in a story of change in a close-knit community.

George - Alex Gino. Scholastic.
George identifies as a girl; if only the rest of the world would too. With the help of best friend Kelly, George takes the first steps to becoming Melissa, her true self.

Lost in the Sun - Lisa Graff
In his efforts to make a fresh start in middle school, Trent struggles to put a traumatic event behind him. Fallon, the class outcast, strives to help Trent let go of his guilt.

Blackbird Fly - Erin Entrada Kelly
Bullied at school, eighth-grader Apple, a Filipino American who loves the music of the Beatles, decides to change her life by learning how to play the guitar.

Full Cicada Moon - Marilyn Hilton
Set during the year of the first lunar landing, this free verse novel follows Mimi Oliver, a half Japanese, half African American girl who learns about fitting in and beIng strong.

Fish in a Tree - Lynda Mullaly Hunt
With the help of an insightful teacher and quirky friends, Ally discovers how smart she really is in spite of being identified as dyslexic.

The Nest - Kenneth Oppel
When wasps come to Steve in a dream offering to fix his sick baby brother, he thinks all he has to do is say yes. But yes may not mean what Steve thinks it means

Adventures with Waffles - Maria Parr
Whether sledding with chickens or boating with cows, there’s never a dull moment when Norwegian neighbors Lena and Trille are together.

Echo - Pam Muñoz Ryan 
This original fairytale intertwines with historical fiction to explore music and its power to save, heal, and set free.

The Blackthorn Key - Kevin Sands
In 1665 London, Christopher, an apothecary’s apprentice, and his best friend Tom attempt to uncover the truth behind a mysterious cult.

Fuzzy Mud - Louis Sachar
Taking a shortcut through the off-limits woods to avoid a bully, Tamaya and Marshall encounter fuzzy-looking mud that unleashes a medical and environmental disaster.

The Marvels - Brian Selznick
Two seemingly unrelated plots—Billy Marvel’s wordless, illustrated story set in 1776; and Joseph Jervis’s prose story set in 1990—come together in a tale of mystery, adventure, friendship, and family.

Hoodoo - Ronald L. Smith
In 1930s Alabama, twelve-year-old Hoodoo Hatcher is the only member of his family who seems unable to practice folk magic, but when a mysterious man called the Stranger puts the entire town at risk from his black magic, Hoodoo must learn to conjure to defeat him.

Murder Is Bad Manners - Robin Stevens.
At an English boarding school in the 1930s, crime-solving friends Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells struggle to find an exciting mystery to investigate until Hazel discovers the dead body of Miss Bell, the science teacher.

Gone Crazy in Alabama - Rita Williams-Garcia
Sisters Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern travel to rural Alabama to visit Big Ma during the summer of 1969, where they find out about southern culture, animal rights, & family history.

Juvenile Nonfiction
Enormous Smallness: A Story of E. E. Cummings - Matthew Burgess  
From an early age, poet E. E. Cummings loved words. Burgess’s text, enhanced by Di Giacomo’s collage illustrations, explores Cummings’ life and career as a poet.

Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower - Greg Pizzoli
At the turn of the twentieth century, Czechoslovakian Robert Miller became a con artist. Calling himself Vic, he started with small schemes, working his way toward selling the Eiffel Tower.

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery That Baffled All of France - Mara RockliffFollow along as Ben Franklin applies the scientific method to a new mysterious phenomenon Dr. Mesmer has been spreading across France. 

Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America  - Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Known as a carrier of the deadly typhoid fever, Mary Mallon was also a victim of civil rights violations. Her biography reveals the complexity of her case.

Juvenile Graphic Novels
Roller Girl - Victoria JamiesonAstrid falls in love with roller derby and learns how to be tougher, stronger, and fearless in this dynamic graphic novel. 

Sunny Side Up - Jennifer Holm
Sunny Lewin is sent to live with her grandfather for the summer in Florida, where she befriends Buzz, a boy completely obsessed with comic books, and faces the secret behind why she is in Florida in the first place.

Lunch Witch - Deb Lucke 
When Grunhilda the witch is forced to find a new job, she finds a new job as a school lunch lady, where she enjoys scaring the children, until a little girl with thick glasses named Madison comes along and sees through her act.
Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure - Nadja Spiegelman
After getting separated from his teacher, his classmates, and his trip partner during an outing to the Empire State Building, Pablo, the new kid in school, learns to navigate the New York City subway system as well as his own feelings towards making new friends and living in a big city.

Phoebe and her Unicorn: A Heavenly Nostrils Chronicle -  Dana Simpson
One day a girl named Phoebe skipped a rock across a pond and hit a unicorn in the face. Improbably, this resulted in a lasting friendship between Phoebe and the unicorn, one Marigold Heavenly Nostrils. Come along for the unicorn ride with Phoebe, as she deals with the usual burdens of childhood .

Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible - Ursula Vernon
In a spunky graphic novel retelling of Sleeping Beauty, Harriet, a hamster princess, embarks on many wild adventures until the curse on her backfires and she needs to save her parents.

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