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The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread

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5Q - a smooth read and a terrific plot5P - wide reader appeal and a movie tie-in
The Invention of Hugo Cabret

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5Q - the excellent quality of the reading makes the the text stand alone without the illustrations of graphic formats - an impressive feat.5P - parents will love this both for story and the fact that it will keep multiple children enthralled for a 4 hour car ride. Kids will love it because it's a wonderful tale, well told.
The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom

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5Q - the poetry and language are crystal pure and beautiful. The story/history is heartbreaking.4P - may not feel accessible to younger readers
The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy

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5Q - lovely, gentle, adventurous and fun.4Q - perhaps a little tame for some of today's readers
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma

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5Q - quality writing brings the reader right into the story5P - genre-defying and appeals to a wide range of readers, wide age range
Bad Boy: A Memoir

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4Q - some sentiments and descriptions are well beyond most of the YA range, although very beautifully rendered, and with a naked honesty that is deeply touching.3P - sadly, this is not likely to appeal to mainstream YA very strongly, although it really does deserve to.
Martin's Big Words

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5Q5PAn accessible look at Dr. King, with warm, inviting illustrations. Good basic information (particularly appended), but not too heavy for young readers. Rappaport doesn't soften up the story of Dr. King overly, but still leaves it appropriate to picture book aged audiences - not an easy balance, but deftly attained here.
Rapunzel's Revenge

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4Q - terrific artwork and fun storyline3P - some conflict between fairy tale appeal and target audience
Anything But Typical

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5Q 4P - sadly the award and the topic may cut back on the popularity - hopefully not.
Growing Up Bronx

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Deceptively simple writing weaves the reader in to stories of the author's early years in the Bronx. Characters are drawn with clean, deft stokes that bring a remarkable cast to life as richly full, complex, almost heart-breakingly real people, just as their influence mapped out the makings of the author. Hargreaves' encompassing settings and spare, clear language transport the reader to a time and place that are no more, and we are improved by the journey.
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