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The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth

by Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer

Paperback, 256 pages, Random House Childrens Books, $6.50, published July 1 1993 | purchase
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  • The Phantom Tollbooth
  • Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer

Norton Juster's classic fantasy — with wry illustrations by Jules Feiffer — follows bored young boy Milo after he receives a mysterious gift: a tollbooth that allows him entrance to the magical "Lands Beyond." Milo and his traveling companion, Tock the watchdog, restore the princesses Rhyme and Reason to the Kingdom of Wisdom — and in the process Milo discovers the real world has its own charms.

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Bloody Jack

Bloody Jack

Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy

by L. A. Meyer

Paperback, 301 pages, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $8.99, published June 1 2004 | purchase
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  • Bloody Jack
  • Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy
  • L. A. Meyer

Reduced to begging and thievery in the streets of London, a thirteen-year-old orphan disguises herself as a boy and connives her way onto a British warship set for high sea adventure in search of pirates.

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

by Jeff Kinney

Hardcover, 217 pages, Harry N Abrams Inc, $13.95, published April 1 2007 | purchase
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  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid
  • Jeff Kinney

Sad-sack sixth-grader Greg Heffley just wants to fit in. His preteen diaries chronicle the dramas of junior high as he and his best friend, Rowley, try to survive as undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily. When Rowley grows more popular, Greg takes drastic measures to save their friendship.

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Lisa, Bright and Dark

Lisa, Bright and Dark

by John Neufeld

Paperback, 143 pages, Penguin Group USA, $3.99, published July 1 1983 | purchase
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  • Lisa, Bright and Dark
  • John Neufeld

Sixteen-year-old Lisa, smart, attractive, and outwardly successful, suffers from a nervous breakdown that only her closest friends seem to notice and care enough about to try and find a way to help her. Reissue.

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The Drowned Cities

The Drowned Cities

by Paolo Bacigalupi

Hardcover, 437 pages, Little Brown & Co, $17.99, published May 1 2012 | purchase
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  • The Drowned Cities
  • Paolo Bacigalupi

In a future America that has devolved into unending civil wars, Mahlia and Mouse barely escape the war-torn lands of the Drowned Cities, but their safety is soon threatened and Mahlia will have to risk everything if she is to save Mouse.

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The Girls of No Return

The Girls of No Return

by Erin Saldin

Hardcover, 345 pages, Scholastic, $17.99, published February 1 2012 | purchase
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  • The Girls of No Return
  • Erin Saldin

Attending a remote school in the wilds of northern Idaho where teen girls strive to escape their histories and personal demons, Lida forges tentative friendships with fierce local girl Elsa, suspiciously well-adjusted Jules and glamorous Gia, whose respective secrets clash during a volatile wilderness trek.

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Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters

Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters

by Meredith Zeitlin

Hardcover, 282 pages, Penguin Group USA, $16.99, published March 1 2012 | purchase
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  • Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters
  • Meredith Zeitlin

Smart, occasionally insecure, and ambitious Kelsey Finkelstein embarks on her freshman year of high school in Manhattan with the intention of "rebranding" herself, but everything she tries to do is a disaster.

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Hardcover, 359 pages, Simon & Schuster, $16.99, published February 21 2012 | purchase
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  • Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
  • Benjamin Alire Saenz

Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.

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The Disenchantments

The Disenchantments

by Nina Lacour

Hardcover, 308 pages, Penguin Group USA, $16.99, published February 16 2012 | purchase
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  • The Disenchantments
  • Nina Lacour

Colby's post-high school plans have long been that he and his best friend Beth would tour with her band, then spend a year in Europe, but when she announces that she will start college just after the tour, Colby struggles to understand why she changed her mind and what losing her means for his future.

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Heart of a Samurai

Heart of a Samurai

Based on the True Story of Manjiro Nakahama

by Margi Preus

Paperback, 301 pages, Harry N Abrams Inc, $7.95, published January 1 2012 | purchase
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  • Heart of a Samurai
  • Based on the True Story of Manjiro Nakahama
  • Margi Preus

In 1841, rescued by an American whaler after a terrible shipwreck leaves him and his four companions castaways on a remote island, fourteen-year-old Manjiro, who dreams of becoming a samurai, learns new laws and customs as he becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States.

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I Am the Cheese

I Am the Cheese

by Robert Cormier

Paperback, 18 pages, Random House Childrens Books, $8.99, published September 11 2007 | purchase
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  • I Am the Cheese
  • Robert Cormier

Through his doctor's questions, Adam struggles out of a world of medicated oblivion and begins a desperate bicycle journey in search of a truth that will destroy him. An ALA Notable Book. Reissue.

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Hole in My Life

Hole in My Life

by Jack Gantos

Paperback, 199 pages, Feiwel & Friends, $9.99, published April 24 2012 | purchase
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  • Hole in My Life
  • Jack Gantos

The author relates how, as a young adult, he became a drug user and smuggler, was arrested, did time in prison, and eventually got out and went to college, all the while hoping to become a writer.

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Never Fall Down

Never Fall Down

by Patricia McCormick

Hardcover, 216 pages, Harpercollins Childrens Books, $17.99, published May 8 2012 | purchase
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  • Never Fall Down
  • Patricia McCormick

Separated from his family and assigned to a labor camp when soldiers invade his home in Cambodia, young Arn volunteers to become a musician for the army and uses his wits to survive and steal food for other child prisoners before he is conscripted as a boy soldier. By the National Book Award finalist author of Sold. 75,000 first printing.

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Between Shades of Gray

Between Shades of Gray

by Ruta Sepetys

Paperback, 352 pages, Penguin Group USA, $8.99, published April 3 2012 | purchase
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  • Between Shades of Gray
  • Ruta Sepetys

In 1941, Lina and her family are pulled from their Lithuanian home by Soviet guards and sent to Siberia, where her father is sentenced to death in a prison camp while she fights for her life, vowing to honor her family and the thousands like hers.

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Where the Wild Things Are

Where the Wild Things Are

by Maurice Sendak

Paperback, 32 pages, Harpercollins Childrens Books, $8.95, published September 1 1988 | purchase
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  • Where the Wild Things Are
  • Maurice Sendak

When Max dons his wolf suit, his imagination carries him to a land filled with lovable monsters.

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