2005 Notable Children's Books

Notables seal


 

2005 Notable Children's Books Committee: Maureen White, chair, University of Houston at Clear Lake, Houston; Carolyn Angus, George Stone Center for Children’s Books, Claremont, Calif.; Jerene Battisti, Renton (Wash.) Public Library; Peg Ciszek, Niles (Ill.) Public Library; Lisa Falk, Los Angeles Public Library; Ginny Moore Kruse, Madison, Wis.; Susan Link, Colony Bend Elementary School, Sugar Land, Texas; Micki Nevett, Westmere School, Albany, N.Y.; Maria Salvadore, Washington, D.C.; Vicky Smith, McArthur Public Library, Biddeford, Maine; and Karin Snelson, Seattle.

For your convenience, Notable Children's Books that have also received other ALA awards, such as the Coretta Scott King Award, Michael L. Printz Award, Schneider Family Book Award, and/or were named a Best Book for Young Adults are  noted on this list.


Younger readers

 

Baker, Jeannie. Home. illus. Greenwillow. (0-06-623935-4)

 

In this wordless story, children watch Tracy grow up as her neighborhood, shown through a window of her home, is transformed from a community of concrete and graffiti to a place of greenery and scenic beauty.

 

Beaumont, Karen. Baby Danced the Polka. Illus. by Jennifer Plecas. Dial. (0-8037-2587-6)

 

While Papa and Mama prepare for a party, Baby gets ready to dance with stuffed animal friends. The rollicking fun appears on sturdy, colorful pages with foldout flaps that invite toddlers to participate in the story.

 

Brown, Don. Odd Boy Out: Young Albert Einstein. illus. Houghton. (0-618-49298-4)

 

Without requiring an understanding of Einstein's universe-shaking theories, Brown’s picture-book biography leads children to an appreciation of the revolutionary scientific thinker as he grows from childhood into adulthood.

 

Chen, Chih-Yuan. Guji Guji. illus. Kane/Miller. (1-929132-67-0)

 

When Guji Guji, a crocodile raised as a duck, learns his true identity, he must decide if he will help the bad crocodiles or remain loyal to his feathered family. Humor and tension abound in both the line-and-wash illustrations and the satisfying telling.

 

Crews, Nina. The Neighborhood Mother Goose. illus. Greenwillow. (0-06-051573-2)

 

A thoroughly urban, thoroughly multicultural, thoroughly delighted assemblage of children romping their way through traditional Mother Goose rhymes, this puts a decidedly modern shine on some old classics.

 

English, Karen. Hot Day on Abbott Avenue. Illus. by Javaka Steptoe. Clarion. (0-395-98527-7)

 

Sizzling-hot summer weather sparks tempers between best friends Kishi and Renée, and they experience a “best-friend-breakup day.”

 

Ernst, Lisa Campbell. The Turn-Around, Upside-Down Alphabet Book. illus. Simon & Schuster. (0-689-85685-7)

 

A visually imaginative alphabet book, this reveals images from the ordinary to the unusual if a child turns it clockwise.

 

Fleischman, Paul. Sidewalk Circus. Illus. by Kevin Hawkes. Candlewick. (0-7636-1107-7)

 

Posters advertising an upcoming circus prompt a young girl’s exuberant imagination; sitting at a bus stop, she turns ordinary street scenes into acts of death-defying bravery.

 

Fox, Mem. Where Is the Green Sheep? Illus. by Judy Horacek. Harcourt. (0-15-204907-X)

 

This cheerful book of opposites and contrasts challenges preschoolers to find the green sheep in a flock of blue and red sheep, near and far sheep, sun and rain sheep, and more.

 

Henkes, Kevin. Kitten’s First Full Moon. illus. Greenwillow. (0-06-058828-4)

 

Henkes employs boldly outlined organic shapes and shades of black, white, and gray with rose undertones to tell a simple story of a kitten who mistakes the moon for a bowl of milk. The 2005 Caldecott Medal Book.

 

Hopkinson, Deborah.   Apples to Oregon: Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (and Children) Across the Plains. Illus. by Nancy Carpenter.  Simon & Schuster/Anne Schwartz. (0-689-84769-6)

 

It's “Apple, Ho!” in this original tall tale, as a pioneering papa moves his precious fruit trees and his family from Iowa to Oregon in the mid-nineteenth century.

 

Knutson, Barbara. Love and Roast Chicken: A Trickster Tale from the Andes Mountains. illus. Carolrhoda. (1-57505-657-7)

 

Cuy, a clever guinea pig, repeatedly outsmarts hungry but foolish Tío Antonio the Fox, who wants to eat Cuy for dinner.

 

Lehman, Barbara. The Red Book. illus. Houghton. (0-618-42858-5)

With simplicity that belies their depth, Lehman's nuanced watercolor illustrations transport a city girl, an island boy, and the viewer beyond their familiar worlds. An enticing visual journey with surprising twists. A 2005 Caldecott Honor Book.

 

Look, Lenore. Ruby Lu, Brave and True. Illus. by Anne Wilsdorf. Simon & Schuster/Anne Schwartz. (0-689-84907-9)

 

In this short chapter book, Asian American Ruby Lu, almost eight, is enthusiastic about her younger brother Oscar, about magic, and, in the end, about everything – even Chinese school on Saturdays.

 

Neubecker, Robert. Wow! City! illus. Hyperion. (0-7868-0951-5)

 

Two-year-old Izzy and her father fly to Manhattan where they discover (wow!) the sights and sounds of a big city in this bold, oversized, almost wordless picture book exploding with lively, colorful scenes of the city.

 

Prelutsky, Jack. If Not for the Cat. Illus. by Ted Rand. Greenwillow. (0-06-059677-5)

 

In this engaging book of 17 animal haikus, readers solve the riddle of each poem: – Which animal is the haiku about? Beautiful watercolors, clever poetry, and elegant design unite in this lovely tribute to all creatures, great and small.

 

Ravishankar, Anushka. Tiger on a Tree. Illus. by Pulak Biswas. Farrar. (0-374-37555-0)

 

Ravishankar's nonsense story features a tiger in rural India and the villagers who rescue it and then decide what to do with it. Striking orange-and-black artwork, entertaining verse, and unique lettering distinguish this handsome book.

 

Seeger, Laura Vaccaro. Lemons Are Not Red. illus. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter. (1-59643-008-7)

 

Using brilliant colors and die-cuts, this cleverly designed concept book entices children to turn the page and view the true color of items such as lemons, apples, the sky, and grass.

 

Sierra, Judy. Wild About Books. Illus. by Marc Brown. Knopf. (0-375-82538-X)

 

Evoking the spirit of Dr. Seuss, Sierra tells a rhyming story of a Springfield librarian who “accidentally” drives the bookmobile into the zoo and converts all of the animals into readers. Brown’s lush, full-bleed paintings, packed with comical details, add to the ebullience of this thoroughly entertaining picture book.

 

Thompson, Lauren. Polar Bear Night. Illus. by Stephen Savage. Scholastic. (0-439-49524-5)

 

In a satisfying, soothing bedtime story, a baby polar bear leaves the warmth of its mother and snug den to wander through the Arctic moonlight. Savage’s textured linocuts are as simple and gently absorbing as the story.

 

Willems, Mo. Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale. illus. Hyperion. (0-7868-1870-0)

 

An ordinary trip to the laundromat with Dad becomes a hilarious epic drama of miscommunication when Trixie realizes that her beloved stuffed animal has been left behind. This energetic comedy is illustrated with an unconventional combination of sepia-tone photographs and wry cartoons. A 2005 Caldecott Honor Book.

 

Wormell, Christopher. Teeth,Tails, & Tentacles: An Animal Counting Book. illus. Running Press. (0-7624-2100-2)

 

Absolutely gorgeous linoleum-block prints challenge children to examine not  multiples of animals, but animal parts.

 

Middle readers

Bang, Molly. My Light. illus. Scholastic/Blue Sky. (0-439-48961-X)

 

Richly colored, highly focused illustrations coupled with straightforward narrative chronicle the daily journey of the sun’s nourishing energy. An author’s note supplies additional information and resources.

Bernier-Grand, Carmen T. César: ¡Sí, Se Puede! = Yes, We Can! Illus. by David Diaz. Marshall Cavendish. (0-7614-5172-2)

Using free verse, Bernier-Grand chronicles the compelling story of César Chávez, whose given name was Cesario Estrada Chávez. Diaz's luminous illustrations help make the Hispanic hero accessible to young readers.

 

Bredsdorff, Bodil. The Crow-Girl. Tr. from the Danish by Faith Ingwersen. Farrar. (0-374-31247-8)

 

In this spare yet moving novel, the Crow-Girl and her grandmother live in a stone house on a sea cove. After her grandmother dies, the child follows the beckoning cries of two crows that lead her on a journey during which she encounters people who attempt to break her spirit, as well as those who open their hearts. A 2005 Batchelder Honor Book.

 

Coman, Carolyn. The Big House. Illus. by Rob Shepperson. Front Street. (1-932425-09-8)

 

In a good-humored, comical caper, the spunky children of career felons are pitted against the sinister pair who sent their parents to the Big House.

 

Cottrell Boyce, Frank. Millions. HarperCollins. (0-06-073330-6)

 

In this sweet, fast-paced, funny novel set in England, fourth-grader Damien Cunningham and his older brother, Anthony, ponder what to do after a big bag of furnace-bound, pre-Euro pound notes is hurled from a train and lands at Damien’s feet.

 

Gelman, Rita Golden. Doodler Doodling. Illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky. Greenwillow. (0-688-16645-8)

 

A bored little girl’s imagination leads her in ever wilder directions as she doodles her way through class envisioning “teachers teaching,” “fliers flying,” “fliers flying teachers,” and onward to glorious absurdity.

 

Grandits, John. Technically, It’s Not My Fault: Concrete Poems. illus. Clarion. (0-618-42833-X)

 

Poetry becomes image in this energetic series of concrete poems, in which 11-year-old Robert expresses himself vividly and without reservation.

 

Grimes, Nikki. What Is Goodbye? Illus. by Raúl Colón. Hyperion. (0-7868-0778-4)

 

In tender, poetic alternating narratives that stretch across a year, Jesse and Jerilyn relate their responses to the death of their older brother.  Sixteen expressive artworks offer space for reflection in this sensitive, beautiful anthology of 52 brief poems.

 

Hamilton, Virginia. The People Could Fly: The Picture Book. Illus. by Leo & Diane Dillon. Knopf. (0-375-82405-7)

 

Exquisite color illustrations illuminate Hamilton’s retelling of a timeless tale about the slaves who escaped their horrific life by acquiring the magic to fly away. A 2005 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book.

           

Hesse, Karen. The Cats in Krasinski Square. Illus. by Wendy Watson. Scholastic. (0-439-43540-4)

 

With the aid of some cats, two sisters cleverly outsmart the Gestapo to help feed the Jewish people in the Warsaw Ghetto. Based on a true incident, the story unfolds in graceful, poetic prose accompanied by warm, delicate illustrations.

 

Hodges, Margaret. Merlin and the Making of the King. Illus. by Trina Schart Hyman.  Holiday. (0-8234-1647-X)

 

Hodges’ retelling of three Arthurian legends is beautiful in its simplicity; her stories retain the full flavor of the legends but are accessible to children. Hyman's exquisite artwork is reminiscent of detailed medieval manuscripts.

 

Ibbotson, Eva. The Star of Kazan. Illus. by Kevin Hawkes. Dutton. (0-525-47347-5)

 

Orphaned Annika eventually lives happily ever after in this riveting, old-fashioned rags-to-riches adventure set in a beautifully described pre-World War I Vienna.

 

Jocelyn, Marthe. Mable Riley: A Reliable Record of Humdrum, Peril, and Romance. Candlewick. (0-7636-2120-X)

 

When 14-year-old Mable Riley leaves home for Ontario in 1901 to assist her schoolmistress, she prays for adventure; she finds it when she meets a radical suffragist in the conservative farm town. Her experiences are cataloged in this witty, fictional diary. A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Kerley, Barbara. Walt Whitman: Words for America. Illus. by Brian Selznick. Scholastic. (0-439-35791-8)

 

Kerley's lyrical prose portrait of Whitman captures the remarkable humanity and compassion of this quintessentially American poet, and Selznick's evocative art, inspired by period photographs, breathes visual life into this moving tribute. A 2005 Sibert Honor Book.

 

Landowne, Youme. Sélavi, That Is Life: A Haitian Story of Hope. illus. Cinco Puntos. (0-938317-84-9)

 

Hope survives for homeless children amid the hardships of Haiti as they create family, find shelter, and begin to rebuild their lives. Text and jewel-toned illustrations culminate with an afterword by Haitian author Edwidge Danticat and with black/white photographs that contribute historical context.

 

Matthews, L.S. Fish. Delacorte. (0-385-73180-9)

 

The young narrator and her parents flee their adopted country as civil war compounds the long-lasting drought.  As they make their way over mountains, their hope becomes embodied in the small fish that they carry with them.

 

Montgomery, Sy. The Tarantula Scientist. Photos by Nic Bishop. Houghton. (0-618-14799-3)

 

Montgomery's vigorous and sometimes humorous text, enlivened by Bishop's striking color close-up photography, introduces field scientist Sam Marshall and his hairy subjects. An irresistible invitation to real scientific work. A 2005 Sibert Honor Book.

 

Morrison, Toni. Remember: The Journey to School Integration. illus. Houghton. (0-618-39740-X)

 

“Remembering can be painful, even frightening,” Morrison states in the introduction to this powerful book of words and photographs. Factual information about school integration is presented with the intent that young children learn what happened to understand how far we have come – and to avoid repeating the past. The 2005 Coretta Scott King Author Award Book.

 

Moss, Marissa. Mighty Jackie: The Strike-Out Queen. Illus. by C.F. Payne. Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman. (0-689-86329-2)

 

It was 1931, and everyone knew that girls did not play major league baseball.  But on April 2, a 17-year-old girl pitched to Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, and struck them out.

 

Pearce, Philippa. The Little Gentleman. Illus. by Tom Pohrt. Greenwillow. (0-06-073160-5)

 

Master storyteller Pearce offers a tale about a most unusual friendship between a young girl, Bet, and a bewitched mole that speaks and is cursed with everlasting life.

 

Rogers, Gregory. The Boy, the Bear, the Baron, the Bard. illus. Roaring Brook/Neal Porter. (1-59643-009-5)

 

In this wordless story, a boy enters an abandoned theater to retrieve his soccer ball and finds himself swooped into a time-travel adventure in Elizabethan England.

 

Rumford, James. Sequoyah: The Cherokee Man Who Gave His People Writing.  illus. Houghton. (0-618-36947-3)

 

In spare, poetic writing and richly colored, expressive illustrations, Rumford captures the character of Sequoyah, the man who created a writing system for the Cherokee language. A parallel translation (by Anna Sixkiller Huckaby) in Cherokee demonstrates the lasting influence of this creative genius. A 2005 Sibert Honor Book.

 

Schanzer, Rosalyn. George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen from Both Sides. illus. National Geographic. (0-7922-7349-4)

 

Casual text and droll illustrations alternately present King George III of England and George Washington -- their differing political perspectives and the times in which they lived.  The animated, unique book, sure to engage readers, is chockfull of documented detail.

 

Scieszka, Jon. Science Verse. Illus. by Lane Smith. Viking. (0-670-91057-0)

 

A wide-eyed student, zapped by his teacher with the curse of science verse, travels through the science curriculum with clever, comical, and occasionally gross science poems.

 

Shange, Ntozake. ellington was not a street. Illus. by Kadir Nelson. Simon & Schuster. (0-689-82884-5)

 

Twentieth-century African American artists, activists, and other change-agents, who might not be familiar to kids today, visit a young girl’s home in this rich poetic and visual tribute. The 2005 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Book.

 

Sís, Peter. The Train of States. illus. Greenwillow. (0-06-057838-6)

 

Sís imparts a unique view of the 50 states and the District of Columbia by using highly detailed pictures of decorated antique circus wagons traveling on flatbed railcars that are touring the country.

 

Woodson, Jacqueline. Coming on Home Soon. Illus. by E.B. Lewis. Putnam. (0-399-23748-8)

Evocative watercolor paintings illuminate a World War II story of cross-generational love and convey the longing of a child anticipating her mother's return. A 2005 Caldecott Honor Book.

                        

Older readers

 

Almond, David. The Fire-Eaters. Delacorte. (0-385-73170-1)

 

Simultaneously searing and soaring, this passionate exploration of faith places the private apocalypses of rural English schoolboy Bobby Burns against the backdrop of the Cuban missile crisis. A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Bausum, Ann. With Courage and Cloth: Winning the Fight for a Woman’s Right to Vote. National Geographic. (0-7922-7647-7)

 

Focusing on Alice Paul, Bausum's account of the 72-year battle to gain women's voting rights uses archival photographs and other visual material, tinted in purple and gold, to accompany information about political strategies, the treatment of jailed activists, and the determination that resulted in woman suffrage in the U.S. A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Shirts. Putnam. (0-399-23861-1)

Alcatraz is the evocative backdrop for this highly original novel, set in 1935, in which 12-year-old Moose tells about his trevails on "the Rock," where his father works. Hilarious antics are interwoven with themes of isolation and imprisonment, compassion and connection. A 2005 Newbery Honor Book and A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

Chotjewitz, David. Daniel, Half Human: and the Good Nazi. Tr. from the German by Doris Orgel. Simon & Schuster/Richard Jackson. (0-689-85747-0) 

In this suspenseful story set in 1930s Germany, a boy accustomed to privilege is forced into a life of deception after discovering that he is half-Jewish. His complicated relationship with his friend Armin is challenged when the rise of Nazism takes the children in different directions. A 2005 Batchelder Honor Book and A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

Curtis, Christopher Paul. Bucking the Sarge. Random/Wendy Lamb. (0-385-32307-7)

 

With great wit and intelligence, 14-year-old Luther plots to escape his ruthless mother’s plans for his life and to find his way in the world outside of Flint, Michigan. A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Doyle, Brian. Boy O’Boy. Douglas & McIntyre/Groundwood. (0-375-82401-4)

 

This powerful, engaging novel set in Ottawa at the end of World War II introduces 12-year-old Martin O’Boy, whose wit, upbeat disposition, and superhero inspiration help him triumph over poverty, a troubled family life, and abuse from a man with an eye for boys.

 

Drez, Ronald J. Remember D-Day: The Plan, the Invasion, Survivor Stories.  illus. National Geographic. (0-7922-6666-8)

 

The history of this pivotal World War II event is chronicled in a compelling narrative, presented in an accessible, engaging format and buttressed by a variety of primary sources.

 

Farmer, Nancy. The Sea of Trolls. Simon & Schuster/Richard Jackson. (0-689-86744-1)

 

In a tale inspired by Norse legend, Jack sets off on a quest and encounters wild adventures and outrageous characters, including trolls, dragons, giant spiders, and fierce boars. A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Fisher, Catherine. The Oracle Betrayed. Greenwillow. (0-06-057157-8)

 

Mirany becomes the keeper of the Archon’s final secret and must find a way to save her kingdom. Set in a mythic Greco-Egyptian kingdom, her story is filled with betrayal and intrigue.  A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Freedman, Russell. The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights. Clarion. (0-618-15976-2). 

Freedman gracefully narrates the story of Anderson's life and career in this handsomely and spaciously designed book an artist who preferred to focus on her career but was forced to confront her nation's racism. The 2005 Sibert Medal Book, A 2005 Newbery Honor Book, and A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

Hoose, Phillip M. The Race to Save the Lord God Bird. Farrar/Melanie Kroupa. (0-374-36173-8)

 

The tragic conclusion of the reign of the magnificent ivory-billed woodpecker unfolds with passion – and a tiny dollop of hope at the end. A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Is This Forever, or What?  Poems & Paintings from Texas. Ed. by Naomi Shihab Nye. Greenwillow. (0-06-051178-8)

 

In a beautiful, contemporary collection of paintings and free-verse poetry, 140 Texas artists and poets convey their love of Texas as a “state of mind,” not just a place. 

 

Johnson, Angela. bird. Dial. (0-8037-2847-6)

 

Bird searches for the stepfather who abandoned her, but finds a circle of friends that reveal the true meaning of family and love. Told through the first-person perspectives of Bird and her two new friends. A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

           

Kadohata, Cynthia. Kira-Kira. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum. (0-689-85639-3)   

Kadohata's tenderly nuanced novel glitters with plain and poignant words that describe the strong love within a Japanese American family from the point of view of younger sister Katie. Personal challenges and family tragedy are set against the oppressive social climate of the South during the 1950s and 1960s. The 2005 Newbery Medal Book.

Konigsburg, E. L. The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum. (0-689-86636-4)

 

Margaret Rose is rescued from summer camp by her eccentric uncles and, in turn, saves their splendid, artistically sculptured towers. A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Leavitt, Martine. Heck Superhero. Front Street. (1-886910-94-4)

 

Heck’s mother counts on him to be her hero, but their lives unravel when the clinically depressed woman spirals into “hypertime,” leaving Heck, artist and superhero wanna-be, to fend for himself on the streets. A funny, painful, original novel. A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

McKay, Hilary. Indigo’s Star. Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry. (0-689-86563-5)

 

Through a series of humorous and poignant adventures, the Cassons learn about the true meaning of family and friendship.  It's great to spend more time with the quirky characters that first appeared in Saffy’s Angel.

 

McWhorter, Diane. A Dream of Freedom: The Civil Rights Movement from 1954 to 1968. illus. Scholastic. (0-439-57678-4)

 

Pulitzer prize winner McWhorter mines her childhood as a white girl in Birmingham, Alabama, to write this distinguished, in-depth exploration of the civil rights movement in the U.S. A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Myers, Walter Dean. Here in Harlem: Poems in Many Voices. Holiday. (0-8234-1853-7)

 

Borrowing from both the classical tradition and the rhythms of jazz and blues, this dazzling collection illuminates the many faces of Harlem, past and present. A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Nelson, Marilyn. Fortune’s Bones: The Manumission Requiem. Front Street. (1-932425-12-8)

 

Using a piercing cycle of poetry, Nelson introduces readers to Fortune, a slave whose death frees him but also enslaves him for 200 years--first as an anatomical specimen and later as a museum display. A 2005 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book.

 

Oppel, Kenneth. Airborn. HarperCollins/Eos. (0-06-053180-0)

 

Matt, a cabin boy aboard a luxury airship, saves a dying balloonist whose ship has been damaged. The balloonist’s last words are about beautiful, winged creatures. One year later, the granddaughter of the balloonist takes passage on the airship, hoping to find the mysterious creatures. A 2005 Printz Honor Book and A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Peck, Richard. The Teacher’s Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts. Dial. (0-8037-2736-4)

 

Russell, growing up in 1904, doesn't like school, and he's delighted when his teacher, Miss Myrt Arbuckle, dies. But when his older sister Tansy becomes the new teacher, Russell finds himself facing all kinds of new troubles. A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Pratchett, Terry. A Hat Full of Sky. HarperCollins. (0-06-058660-5)

 

Young Tiffany Aching, two years removed from saving the world with an iron skillet, returns to face two new challenges: formal education in witchcraft and an identity-eating monster.  It’s the Feegles to the rescue in a great sequel to The Wee Free Men. A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Ryan, Pam Muñoz. Becoming Naomi León. Scholastic. (0-439-26969-5)

 

Ryan presents an endearing, unforgettable character in Naomi Soledad León Outlaw, who faces many challenges with courage and conviction. A book filled with humor and poignancy. The 2005 Schneider Family Middle School Award Book.

 

Schmidt, Gary D. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy. Clarion. (0-618-43929-3) 

Set in Maine in 1912, this powerful, haunting novel, propelled by a tragic historical event, probes a forbidden friendship between a preacher's son and a dark-skinned girl from a nearby island. Steeped in imagery and laced with surprising humor, the story explores powerlessness, possibility, and the difference individuals can make.  A 2005 Newbery Honor Book, A 2005 Printz Honor Book, and A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

Shusterman, Neal. The Schwa Was Here. Dutton. (0-525-47182-0)

 

Is it possible for a human being to be invisible? Schwa nearly is, but Antsy notices him, and the two boys devise a scheme to make big bucks. By turns hilarious and touching, this novel is both unique and creative. A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Stolz, Joëlle. The Shadows of Ghadames. Tr. from the French by Catherine Temerson. Delacorte. (0-385-73104-3) 

Stolz paints a vivid picture of an all-female community and a young woman's coming-of-age in nineteenth-century Libya, in a story that follows 11-year-old Malika as she questions the restrictions that she encounters as she approaches marriageable age. The 2005 Batchelder Award Medal.

Weeks, Sarah. So B. It. HarperCollins/Laura Geringer. (0-06-623622-3)

 

Heidi is determined to discover the background of her mentally disabled mother, who calls herself So B. It. As she travels to Hilltop Home for the Disabled, she meets a host of memorable characters, and when she arrives, she finds the answers to her ancestry as well as a new family. A 2005 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

All ages

 

Thomas, Dylan. A Child’s Christmas in Wales. Illus. by Chris Raschka. Candlewick. (0-7636-2161-7)

 

Appealing images created with ink, gouache, and torn paper bring timeless literature to a new generation in this newly published edition of a classic that evokes a long-ago winter, childhood, indoor and outdoor play, family, and holiday observances in a seaside town.

 

Under the Spell of the Moon:  Art for Children from the World’s Great Illustrators. Ed. By Patricia Aldana. Tr. by Stan Dragland. Douglas & McIntyre/Groundwood. (0-88899-559-8)

 

A riddle, a story, or a poem in the artist's native language and in English accompanies the work of 34 children’s book artists from more than two dozen nations in this stunning anthology. It's a delightful, unparalleled celebration of children and childhood the world over.