Powerless by Matthew Cody

Summary:  Soon after moving to Noble’s Green, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Daniel learns that his new friends have super powers that they will lose when they turn thirteen, unless he can use his brain power to protect them. 279 p., Alfred A. Knopf.

Find it at WCPL

Invisible Lines by Mary Amato

Summary: Coming from a poor, single-parent family, seventh-grader Trevor must rely on his intelligence, artistic ability, quick wit, and soccer prowess to win friends at his new Washington, D.C. school, but popular and rich Xander seems determined to cause him trouble. 319 p., Egmont USA.

Find it at WCPL

The Indigo Notebook by Laura Resau

Summary: Fifteen-year-old Zeeta comes to terms with her flighty mother and their itinerant life when, soon after moving to Ecuador, she helps an American teenager find his birth father in a nearby village. 324 p., Delacorte Press.

Find at WCPL

Curse of the Spider King by Wayne Thomas Batson and Christopher Hopper

Summary: With mysterious Sentinels revealing breathtaking secrets of the past, and dark strangers haunting their every move, seven young Elf Lords must decide whether to remain on Earth or return to their homeland of Allyra. 372 p., Thomas Nelson.

Find it at WCPL

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Summary:  In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday.  563 p., Little, Brown and Co.

Find it at WCPL

The Shorter Short List

In anticipation of our final vote this coming Friday (January 15), we’ve pared down our short list to the real contenders.  Anyone care to speculate on our winners?

Million-Dollar Throw by Mike Lupica

Summary: Eighth-grade star quarterback Nate Brodie’s family is feeling the stress of the troubled economy, and Nate is frantic because his best friend Abby is going blind, so when he gets a chance to win a million dollars if he can complete a pass during the halftime of a New England Patriot’s game, he is nearly overwhelmed by the pressure to succeed. 244 p., Philomel Books.

Find it at WCPL

Homestretch by Paul Volponi

Summary: Five months after losing his mother, seventeen-year-old Gas runs away from an abusive father and gets a job working at an Arkansas race track, surrounded by the illegal Mexican immigrants that he and his father blame for her death. 151 p., Atheneum Books for Young Readers.

Find it at WCPL

The Demon King: A Seven Realms Novel by Cinda Williams Chima

Summary: Relates the intertwining fates of former street gang leader Han Alister and headstrong Princess Raisa, as Han takes possession of an amulet that once belonged to an evil wizard and Raisa uncovers a conspiracy in the Grey Wolf Court.  506 p., Disney/Hyperion Books.

Find it at WCPL

Short List #4 – Our Top Six Vote

Following the official Newbery process as closely as we can, each of our club members has nominated his or her top six favorites of the year for our Mock Newbery Award.  This is the resulting “short” list – 30 books long.  We will be debating and comparing the merits of these books for the next few weeks.  Click on the title of a book to see the discussion of it.

Note:   We have removed Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman from our list.  It was written in 2008 and first published in the U.K., so is not eligible for the 2010 Newbery Awards.

Crossing Stones by Helen Frost

Summary:  In their own voices, four young people, Muriel, Frank, Emma, and Ollie, tell of their experiences during the first World War, as the boys enlist and are sent overseas, Emma finishes school, and Muriel fights for peace and women’s suffrage. 184 p., Farrar, Straus and Giroux.


Comfort by Joyce Hostetter

Summary: In 1945 Hickory, North Carolina, Ann Fay’s father is back from the war but she must still rely on her own strength and determination as she faces the problems of her polio-induced disability and her father’s failure to get a job. Includes facts about the disability rights movement. 306 p., Calkins Creek.

Find it at WCPL

The Sweetheart of Prosper County by Jill Alexander

Summary: In a small East Texas town largely ruled by prejudices and bullies, fourteen-year-old Austin sets out to win a ride in the next parade and, in the process, grows in her understanding of friendship and helps her widowed mother through her mourning. 212 p., Feiwel and Friends.

Find it at WCPL

Road to Tater Hill by Edith Morris Hemingway

roadSummary: At her grandparents’ North Carolina mountain home during the summer of 1963, eleven-year-old Annie Winters, grief-stricken by the death of her newborn sister and isolated by her mother’s deepening depression, finds comfort in holding an oblong stone “rock baby” and in the friendship of a neighbor boy and a reclusive mountain woman with a devastating secret. 213 p., Delacorte Press.


Peter and the Sword of Mercy by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

peterSummary: James, one of Peter’s original Lost Boys, is now working for Scotland Yard and suspects that the heir to England’s throne, Prince Albert Edward, is under the influence of shadow creatures who are after starstuff hidden in an underground vault which has only one key: the Sword of Mercy. Molly is determined to help, but when she suddenly goes missing, it’s up to her eleven-year-old daughter, Wendy, to keep the starstuff out of the creatures’ clutches … and Peter Pan may be her only hope in saving the world from a shadowy doom.  515 p., Disney/Hyperion Books.

Find it at WCPL


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