The mouse Lilly is one of the bravest, most flamboyant young females
around. She rescues her friends from bullies, teaches them how to do
wheelies, and always carries a loaded squirt gun. Everyone should meet
Pinkney, Brian. The Adventures of Sparrowboy. 1997. Simon & Schuster.
In this quick-moving story, a paperboy flies through the air on his
bicycle and swoops down to do good deeds. The award-winning artwork uses
comic book techniques to add excitement to the story.
Henry wants his new friends at school to regard him as, "Tough. Cool.
Interesting." He is embarrassed to be seen with his adoring baby brother,
until he realizes that his friends think babies are fun.
Kellogg, Steven. The Mysterious Tadpole. 1977. Viking, Dutton. Ages
When Louis gets a tadpole from his uncle in Scotland, he never expects it
to outgrow a jar, much less the family's bathtub. To keep his beloved
pet, Louis has to come up with a place big enough to hold him. Zany
pictures suit this popular fantasy.
Lobel, Arnold. Days with Frog and Toad. 1979. Harper. Ages 3-8.
Every child should get to know Frog and Toad. Five short chapters,
beautifully illustrated in greens and browns, tell funny, touching
incidents about these two friends. One in a series of four outstanding
Rylant, Cynthia. Henry and Mudge. 1987. Bradbury, Aladdin. Ages 3-8.
When Henry's parents agree to let him get a dog, the irresistible puppy
Mudge enters their lives. Henry and the increasingly huge Mudge have small
adventures and come to be best friends. The first in a long, wonderful
Jukes, Mavis. Like Jake and Me. 1984. Knopf. Ages 5-10.
Alex admires his strong, cowboy-like stepfather Jake, and wishes he could
be more like him. To the boy's surprise, he finds out that Jake is afraid
of something that Alex himself isn't afraid of: spiders. Beautifully
written and illustrated with warmth and humor.
Scieszka, Jon. Knights of the Kitchen Table. 1991. Viking. Ages 7-ll.
This lively book combines adventure, magic, slapstick humor, and droll
illustrations to appeal to even the most reluctant readers. Three boys
use a magical book to travel back in time and confront a knight, a giant
and a dragon. Readers will laugh their way through this and the other
books in the "Time Warp Trio" series.
Soto, Gary. The Pool Party. 1993. Delacorte. Ages 8-12.
Ten-year-old Rudy Herrera, whose tight-knit family lives in Fresno,
California, knows how to have a good time, whether he is helping with the
family's yard work business or hanging out with his best friend Alex.
Laced with Spanish phrases, this is a warm, funny book about an engaging
Peet, Bill. Bill Peet: An Autobiography. 1989. Houghton. Ages 8-12.
Children's book illustrator Bill Peet has created an award-winning
autobiography by combining a conversational text with energetic, often
comical, illustrations. In describing his work as a Disney animator, the
pictures include many characters from popular films. With pictures on
every page, this is an unusually appealing biography.
McKay, Hilary. Dog Friday. 1995. McElderry, Aladdin. Ages 9-12.
Robin Brogan goes from being afraid of dogs, after one attacks him, to
befriending a stray dog that he hopes to keep. While he is waiting
anxiously to hear if anyone claims the stray, Robin's quiet life with his
mother is disrupted by the hilarious family who moves in next door.
Shannon, George. Stories to Solve. 1985. Greenwillow, Beechtree. Ages
Few children can resist the lure of the mini-mysteries in this
entertaining folklore book. Each of the fourteen short stories gives the
reader a puzzle to solve, then provides the answer on the following page.
Readers can stretch their minds, then pose the puzzles to their friends.
Alexander, Lloyd. The Book of Three. 1964. Holt, Dell. Ages 9-12.
In this modern classic, an assistant pig-keeper named Taran longs to be a
hero. He leaves his home with a kind enchanter to go on a great adventure
where he fights battles, makes unlikely friends, and changes his views on
heroism. The first in a wonderful fantasy series.
Brandenberg, Jim. To the Top of the World: Adventures with Arctic
Wolves. 1993. Walker. Ages 9-13.
Spectacular photographs of an Arctic wolf pack give this memorable book
wide appeal. Brandenberg's highly readable text tells the story of his
months camping in the Arctic to photograph the wolves. A fascinating
Mazer, Harry. The Last Mission. 1979. Dell. Ages 12-14.
Jack Raab, who is fifteen years old and Jewish, lies about his age to
join the Army during the Second World War. He ends up in the air corps,
flying dangerous missions over Europe. Sympathetic characters, vivid
descriptions, and an action-filled plot make this a popular novel with
In this powerful story, high school senior Bo Brewster channels part of
his anger at his unreasonable father into practicing for a triathlon.
Forced to take an Anger Management class, Bo finds a caring teacher, a
possible romance, and some strange new friends who help him through hard
Beals, one of the nine African-American students to integrate Little
Rock's Central High School in 1957, describes the dangers and hate that
the students faced, and conveys the extraordinary courage of those who
strove for justice. A compelling story about our country's history that
all teenagers should know.