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Novel:  Breaking Stalin’s Nose Author: Eugene Yelchin Target Audience: 9-12 years Genre: Historical Fiction Publication Year: 2011 Setting: Moscow; the late 1930’s (The Great Terror/Great Purge) A Favorite Quote: “The red color of the Pioneers scarf is the color of our Communist banner and represents blood spilled for the cause […]

Breaking Stalin’s Nose


Novel:  The Ethan I Was Before Author: Ali Standish Target Audience: 8-12; grades 3-7 Genre: Contemporary; Mystery Publication Year: 24 January 2017 Setting: primarily in Palm Knot, Georgia; set in the 2010’s A Favorite Quote: “Kids are strong,” he says. “Stronger than most adults think. You’ll be all right, Ethan.” […]

The Ethan I Was Before


Novel:  Gertie’s Leap to Greatness Author: Kate Beasley Target Audience: Ages 8-12 Genre: Contemporary/Realistic Publication Year: 2016 Setting: a town in coastal Alabama; the novel has a timeless feel, but is likely set in 2010s A Favorite Quote: “She had never before made a 99 on a test. Ever. And […]

Gertie’s Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley




Novel: Number the Stars Author: Lois Lowry Target Audience: 10-14 years Genre: Historical fiction Publication Year: 1989 Setting: Copenhagen, Denmark; 1943, World War II A Favorite Quote: “It was only in the fairy tales that people were called upon to be so brave, to die for one another. Not in […]

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry


Novel: Surviving the Applewhites Author: Stephanie S. Tolan Target Audience: 10 and up Genre: Realistic fiction Publication Year: 2002 Setting: Creative Academy in rural North Carolina; contemporary A Favorite Quote: “He had been feeling rejected. Artists were tricky enough to handle when their work was going extremely well. Rejected artists […]

Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan



Novel: Inside Out & Back Again Author: Thanhha Lai Target Audience: 8 and up Genre: Historical fiction; novel-in-verse Publication Year: 2011 Setting: primarily Saigon, South Vietnam and Alabama; 1975   A Favorite Quote: “I understand and wish I could go back to not understanding.” My One Sentence Summary: Unexpected pleasures, […]

Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai





Novel: Millicent Min, Girl Genius Author: Lisa Yee Target Audience:  8-12 years Genre: Contemporary; humor Publication Year: 2003 Setting: Rancho Rosetta, California; 2000s A Favorite Quote: “I have been accused of being anal retentive, an over-achiever, and a compulsive perfectionist, like those are bad things.” My One Sentence Summary: When […]

Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee