Washington at Valley Forge by Russell Freedman

washingtonSummary: Washington’s army nearly perished during the winter of 1777-78. Camped at Valley Forge, the revolutionaries endured severe hardship. The army’s supply system had collapsed and they were without supplies. But when the harsh winter ended, the soldiers had survived, and marched away from Valley Forge more determined than ever. 100 p., Holiday House.

Find it at WCPL

Narrowing Down the List

We’ve spent our last two meetings discussing and comparing the books on our fourth short list, and we’ve knocked quite a few off the list. Some just didn’t stand out from the other books this year, and some were parts of series and seemed incomplete without the rest of the series. (We still have a couple of series titles that seemed to stand on their own, though, like former Newbery winners The High King and The Hero and the Crown.) What’s left? Take a look at the list below. We are also still getting a few more new 2008 books. Will there be a surprise addition to the list? Check back later in the month to see! Then find out who we chose for our Mock Newbery winner and honor books on January 23.

The Porcupine Year by Louise Erdrich

porcupine-yearSummary: In 1852, forced by the United States government to leave their beloved Island of the Golden Breasted Woodpecker, fourteen-year-old Omokayas and her Ojibwe family travel in search of a new home. 193 p., HarperCollins Publishers.

Find it at WCPL

The Magic Half by Annie Barrows

magic-halfSummary: Eleven-year-old Miri Gill feels left out in her family, which has two sets of twins and her, until she travels back in time to 1935 and discovers Molly, her own lost twin, and brings her back to the present day. 211 p., Bloomsbury Children’s Books.

Find it at WCPL

Science Fair: A Story of Mystery, Danger, International Suspense, and a Very Nervous Frog by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

science-fairSummary: The president of Kprshtskan is plotting to infiltrate the science fair at Hubble Middle School in Maryland in order to take over the United States government, but when Toby Harbinger, an ordinary student, makes up his mind finally to win the fair, the terrorists’ plans go awry. 394 p., Disney Editions.

Find it at WCPL

Knucklehead: Tall Tales & Mostly True Stories About Growing Up Scieszka by Jon Scieszka

knucklehead2Summary: How did Jon Scieszka get so funny? He grew up as one of six brothers with Catholic school, lots of comic books, lazy summers at the lake with time to kill, babysitting misadventures, TV shows, and jokes told at family dinner. 106 p., Viking.

Find it at WCPL

Theodosia and the Staff of Osiris by R.L. LaFevers

theodosia3Summary: When mummies go missing all over London, eleven-year-old Theodosia puts aside her fight against the Serpents of Chaos to save her father, who is suspected in the thefts, all the while avoiding a string of new governesses. 387 p., Houghton Mifflin Co.

Find it at WCPL

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