Friday, May 15, 2009

SSYRA books for 2009-2010

My intention with this blog was to concentrate on history topics for children. But having enjoyed the Sunshine State Young Reader's Award (SSYRA) books in the past, I can't help but tout them. These titles have been chosen for their wide appeal and literary value and have been the cream of the crop for young Florida readers since 1983. My family looks forward to reading these titles this year:


Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It
by Sundee T. Frazier
Brendan Buckley, a biracial ten-year-old, applies his scientific problem-solving ability and newfound interest in rocks and minerals to connect with his white grandfather, the president of Puyallup Rock Club, and to learn why he and Brendan's mother are estranged.

A Crooked Kind of Perfect
by Linda Urban
Ten-year-old Zoe Elias, who longs to play the piano but must resign herself to learning the organ, instead, finds that her musicianship has a positive impact on her workaholic mother, her jittery father, and her school social life.

by Valerie Hobbs
While vacationing in the country, eleven-year-old Toby, a cancer patient, learns some important lessons about living and dying from an elderly poet and her cow.

Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat
by Lynne Jonell
When Emmy discovers that she and her formerly loving parents are being drugged by their evil nanny with rodent potions that can change people in frightening ways, she and some new friends must try everything possible to return things to normal.

The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School
by Candace Fleming
An unlikely teacher takes over the disorderly fourth-grade class of Aesop Elementary School with surprising results.

Found (The Missing, Book 1)
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
When thirteen-year-olds Jonah and Chip, who are both adopted, learn they were discovered on a plane that appeared out of nowhere, full of babies with no adults on board, they realize that they have uncovered a mystery involving time travel and two opposing forces, each trying to repair the fabric of time.

Igraine the Brave
by Cornelia Funke
The daughter of two magicians, twelve-year-old Igraine wants nothing more than to be a knight, and when their castle is attacked by a treacherous neighbor bent on stealing their singing magic books, Igraine has an opportunity to demonstrate her bravery.

Highway Cats
by Janet Taylor Lisle
A hard-bitten group of mangy highway cats is changed forever after the mysterious arrival of three kittens.

The Lemonade War
by Jacqueline Davies
Evan and his younger sister, Jesse, react very differently to the news that they will be in the same class for fourth grade and as the end of summer approaches, they battle it out through lemonade stands, each trying to be the first to earn 100 dollars. Includes mathematical calculations and tips for running a successful lemonade stand.

Me and the Pumpkin Queen
by Marlane Kennedy
Although Aunt Arlene tries to interest her in clothing and growing up, ten-year-old Mildred is entirely focused on growing a pumpkin big enough to win the annual Circleville, Ohio, contest, as her mother dreamed of doing before she died.

The Middle of Somewhere
by J. B. Cheaney
Twelve-year-old Ronnie loves organization, especially because her brother has attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, but traveling with their grandfather who is investigating wind power in Kansas brings some pleasant, if chaotic, surprises.

Night of the Howling Dogs
by Graham Salisbury
In 1975, eleven Boy Scouts, their leaders, and some new friends camping at Halape, Hawaii, find their survival skills put to the test when a massive earthquake strikes, followed by a tsunami.

Punished (Darby Creek Exceptional Titles)
by David Lubar
After Logan receives a face full of magic dust from a man in the reference section of the library, he finds the only way to stop his incessant punning is to find oxymorons, anagrams, and palindromes to fulfill the requirements of three quests.

The Puzzling World of Winston Breen
by Eric Berlin

Puzzle-crazy, twelve-year-old Winston and his ten-year-old sister Katie find themselves involved in a dangerous mystery involving a hidden ring. Puzzles for the reader to solve are included throughout the text.

The Year of the Dog
by Grace Lin
Frustrated at her seeming lack of talent for anything, a young Taiwanese American girl sets out to apply the lessons of the Chinese Year of the Dog, those of making best friends and finding oneself, to her own life.


All the Lovely Bad Ones
by Mary Downing Hahn

While spending the summer at their grandmother's Vermont inn, two prankster siblings awaken young ghosts from the inn's distant past who refuse to "rest in peace."

Airball: My Life in Briefs
by Lisa Harkrader
Uncoordinated Kansas seventh-grader Kirby Nickel braves his coach's ire and becomes captain of the basketball team in order to help him prove that NBA star Brett McGrew is the father he has never known.

Dragon Slippers
by Jessica Day George
Orphaned after a fever epidemic, Creel befriends a dragon and unknowingly inherits an object that can either save or destroy her kingdom.

The Entertainer and the Dybbuk
by Sid Fleischman
A struggling American ventriloquist in post-World War II Europe is possessed by the mischievous spirit of a young Jewish boy killed in the Holocaust. Author's note details the murder of over one million children by the Nazis during the 1930s and 1940s.

First Light
by Rebecca Stead
When twelve-year-old Peter and his family arrive in Greenland for his father's research, he stumbles upon a secret his mother has been hiding from him all his life, and begins an adventure he never imagines possible.

Found (The Missing, Book 1)
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
When thirteen-year-olds Jonah and Chip, who are both adopted, learn they were discovered on a plane that appeared out of nowhere, full of babies with no adults on board, they realize that they have uncovered a mystery involving time travel and two opposing forces, each trying to repair the fabric of time.

Gabriel's Horses
by Allison Hart
In Kentucky, during the Civil War, the twelve-year-old slave Gabriel, contends with a cruel new horse trainer and skirmishes with Confederate soldiers as he pursues his dream of becoming a jockey.

Go Big or Go Home
by Will Hobbs
Fourteen-year-old Brady and his cousin Quinn love extreme sports, but nothing could prepare them for the aftermath of Brady's close encounter with a meteorite after it crashes into his Black Hills, South Dakota, bedroom.

Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet
by Sherri L. Smith
Disaster strikes when Ana Shen is about to deliver the salutatorian speech at her junior high school graduation, but an even greater crisis looms when her best friend invites a crowd to Ana's house for dinner, and Ana's multicultural grandparents must find a way to share a kitchen.

Into the Wild
by Sarah Beth Durst
Having escaped from the Wild and the preordained fairy tale plots it imposes, Rapunzel, along with her daughter Julie Marchen, tries to live a fairly normal life, but when the Wild breaks free and takes over their town, it is Julie who has to prevent everyone from being trapped in the events of a story.

La Linea
by Ann Jaramillo
When fifteen-year-old Miguel's time finally comes to leave his poor Mexican village, cross the border illegally, and join his parents in California, his younger sister's determination to join him soon imperils them both.

The Misadventures of Maude March
by Audrey Couloumbis
After the death of the stern aunt who raised them since they were orphaned, eleven-year-old Sallie and her fifteen-year-old sister escape their self-serving guardians and begin an adventure resembling those in the dime novels Sallie loves to read.

by Wendy Van Draanen
After running away from her fifth foster home, Holly, a twelve-year-old orphan, travels across the country, keeping a journal of her experiences and struggle to survive.

by Gordon Korman
Homeschooled by his hippie grandmother, Capricorn (Cap) Anderson has never watched television, tasted a pizza, or even heard of a wedgie. But when his grandmother lands in the hospital, Cap is forced to move in with a guidance counselor and attend the local middle school. While Cap knows a lot about tie-dyeing and Zen Buddhism, no education could prepare him for the politics of public school.

Wing Nut
by Mary Auch
When twelve-year-old Grady and his mother relocate yet again, they find work taking care of an elderly man, who teaches Grady about cars, birds, and what it means to have a home.

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