07:15:00 pm by dkarlin, Categories: Introduction

The Massachusetts Children's Book Award, or M.C.B.A., is a chance for children in 4th, 5th, and 6th grade to recognize their favorite books.

We have a list of 25 books nominated by teachers, librarians, and publishers. They were published in the last five years, and they're available in paperback. Now it's your turn. If you're in 4th, 5th, or 6th grade, you are eligible to vote. All you have to do is read at least 5 of these books by March 14th, 2014. The Worcester Public Library is an official voting site, and the ballot box will be open from February 14th - March 14th.

To be able to vote, you just need to come by the children's room desk. You'll register and record which books you've read. Come by during voting season to pick your favorite candidate!

In the meantime -- how do you like the books? Let us know here by leaving comments on books as you read them!


  02:42:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
World Cup

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?query=world+cup+matt+christopher&fg%3Aformat_filters=&qtype=keyword&locg=142

Soccer. No other sport in the world captivates a bigger audience -- and no other competition electrifies its fans like the World Cup. Now, just in time for the next World Cup competition, comes a book just for kids, jam-packed with information about each and every World Cup ever played. Want to know who was behind the biggest surprise defeat of the 1950 tournament? It's in here. Curious about what happened to the Jules Rimet trophy when it was in England? Turn to the chapter on World Cup 1966. Wondering what the term Total Football means? You'll find the answer here -- along with much, much more, including a bonus chapter on the Women's World Cup and lists of winners, runners-up, and scores of past Cups. And because it all comes from Matt Christopher, young readers know they're getting the best sports writing on the shelf.
  02:42:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
We the Children (Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School)

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?query=we+the+children+clements&fg%3Aformat_filters=&qtype=keyword&locg=142

Benjamin Pratt’s school is about to become the site of a new amusement park. It sounds like a dream come true! But lately, Ben has been wondering if he’s going to like an amusement park in the middle of his town—with all the buses and traffic and eight dollar slices of pizza. It’s going to change everything. And, Ben is not so big on all the new changes in his life, like how his dad has moved out and started living in the marina on what used to be the "family” sailboat. Maybe it would be nice if the school just stayed as it is. He likes the school. Loves it, actually. It’s over 200 years old and sits right on the harbor. The playground has ocean breezes and the classrooms have million dollar views…MILLION DOLLAR views. And after a chance—and final—run-in with the school janitor, Ben starts to discover that these MILLION DOLLAR views have a lot to do with the deal to sell the school property. But, as much as the town wants to believe it, the school does not belong to the local government. It belongs to the CHILDREN and these children have the right to defend it!

Don’t think Ben, his friend Jill (and the tag-along Robert) can ruin a multimillion dollar real estate deal? Then you don’t know the history and the power of the Keepers of the School. A suspenseful six book series, book one, We the Children, starts the battle on land and on sea. It’s a race to keep the school from turning into a ticket booth and these kids are about to discover just how threatening a little knowledge can be.

  03:34:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
The Yggyssey: How Iggy Wondered What Happened to All the Ghosts,  Found Out Where They Went, and Went There

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?query=title%3AThe+Yggyssey&fg%3Aformat_filters=&qtype=title&locg=142&_adv=1&page=0&sort=

A sequel to critically acclaimed THE NEDDIAD told from the point of view of Ned's friend, Iggy

La Brea Woman is missing. Valentino, too. The ghosts of Los Angeles are disappearing right and left!

Iggy Birnbaum is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, no matter what Neddie Wentworthstein and Seamus Finn say.

There’s just the little matter of traveling to another plane of existence, first…and then, of course, not pissing off a witch once she gets there.

From L.A. to Old New Hackensack, fans of The Neddiad will be delighted to join up with Iggy, Neddie, Seamus, and the usual apparitional entourage for another weird and wonderful adventure by Daniel Pinkwater. As Neil Gaiman said about the first book: "it's funny and tender and strange and impossible to describe. What Pinkwater does is magic and I'm grateful for it."

THE IGGYSSEY is vintage Pinkwater: laugh out loud funny, incredible characters, dialogue, humor. And like THE NEDDIAD, this book is illustrated throughout by Calef Brown.

  03:28:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
The Unwanteds

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?query=title%3Athe+unwanteds+author%3Amcmann&fg%3Aformat_filters=&qtype=title&locg=142&_adv=1&page=0

When Alex finds out he is Unwanted, he expects to die. That is the way of the people of Quill. Each year, all the thirteen-year-olds are labeled as Wanted, Necessary, or Unwanted. Wanteds get more schooling and train to join the Quillitary. Necessaries keep the farms running. Unwanteds are set for elimination.

It’s hard for Alex to leave behind his twin, Aaron, a Wanted, but he makes peace with his fate—until he discovers that instead of a “death farm,” what awaits him is a magical place called Artimé. There, Alex and his fellow Unwanteds are encouraged to cultivate their creative abilities and use them magically. Everything Alex has ever known changes before his eyes, and it’s a wondrous transformation.

But it’s a rare, unique occurrence for twins to be divided between Wanted and Unwanted, and as Alex and Aaron’s bond stretches across their separation, a threat arises for the survival of Artimé that will pit brother against brother in an ultimate magical battle.

  02:50:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/record/2903490?query=The%20Trouble%20with%20Chickens%3A%20A%20J.J.%20Tully%20Mystery;fg%3Aformat_filters=;qtype=keyword;locg=142

J.J. Tully is a former search-and-rescue dog who is trying to enjoy his retirement after years of performing daring missions saving lives. So he’s not terribly impressed when two chicks named Dirt and Sugar (who look like popcorn on legs) and their chicken mom show up demanding his help to find their missing siblings. Driven by the promise of a cheeseburger, J.J. begins to track down clues. Is Vince the Funnel hiding something? Are there dark forces at work—or is J.J. not smelling the evidence that’s right in front of him?
  03:05:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
The Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/record/1200600?query=the%20total%20tragedy%20of%20a%20girl%20named%20hamlet;fg%3Aformat_filters=;qtype=title;locg=142

All Hamlet Kennedy wants is to be a normal eighth grader. But with parents like hers - Shakespearean scholars who actually dress in Elizabethan regalia . . . in public! - it's not that easy. As if they weren't strange enough, her genius seven-year-old sister will be attending her middle school, and is named the new math tutor. Then, when the Shakespeare Project is announced, Hamlet reveals herself to be an amazing actress. Even though she wants to be average, Hamlet can no longer hide from the fact that she- like her family - is anything but ordinary.
  02:27:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?query=the%20vanishing%20violin%20beil;qtype=keyword;locg=142

When there are mysteries to be solved, the Red Blazer Girls are on the case! The discovery of the Ring of Rocamadour has secured the girls' reputation as Upper East Side super-sleuths, bringing many sundry job requests (no mystery too small, right?) and some unwanted attention from crooks. This time the girls must follow a trail of cryptic clues, involving everything from logic to literature, to trace a rare violin gone missing. But nothing is as it appears, and just as a solution seems imminent, the girls find themselves scrambling to save the man who was once their prime suspect. Bowstrings and betrayal, crushes and codes abound in this suspenseful companion to the Red Blazer Girls' 2009 debut.
  03:12:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
The Other Half of My Heart

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?query=the%20other%20half%20of%20my%20heart;qtype=title;locg=142

When Minerva and Keira King were born, they made headlines: Keira is black like Mama, but Minni is white like Daddy. Together the family might look like part of a chessboard row, but they are first and foremost the close-knit Kings. Then Grandmother Johnson calls, to invite the twins down South to compete for the title of Miss Black Pearl Preteen of America. Minni dreads the spotlight, but Keira assures her that together they'll get through their stay with Grandmother Johnson. But when grandmother's bias against Keira reveals itself, Keira pulls away from her twin. Minni has always believed that no matter how different she and Keira are, they share a deep bond of the heart. Now she'll find out the truth.
  02:54:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
The Mighty Miss Malone

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?query=mighty+miss+malone&fg%3Aformat_filters=&qtype=title&locg=142

"We are a family on a journey to a place called wonderful" is the motto of Deza Malone's family. Deza is the smartest girl in her class in Gary, Indiana, singled out by teachers for a special path in life. But it's 1936 and the Great Depression hits Gary hard, and there are no jobs for black men. When her beloved father leaves to find work, Deza, Mother, and her older brother, Jimmie, go in search of him, and end up in a Hooverville outside Flint, Michigan. Jimmie's beautiful voice inspires him to leave the camp to be a performer, while Deza and Mother find a new home, and cling to the hope that they will find Father. The twists and turns of their story reveal the devastation of the Depression and prove that Deza truly is the Mighty Miss Malone.
  03:37:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
The Lost Hero

Jason has a problem. He doesn’t remember anything before waking up on a school bus holding hands with a girl. Apparently she’s his girlfriend Piper, his best friend is a kid named Leo, and they’re all students in the Wilderness School, a boarding school for “bad kids.” What he did to end up here, Jason has no idea—except that everything seems very wrong.

Piper has a secret. Her father has been missing for three days, and her vivid nightmares reveal that he’s in terrible danger. Now her boyfriend doesn’t recognize her, and when a freak storm and strange creatures attack during a school field trip, she, Jason, and Leo are whisked away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood. What is going on?

Leo has a way with tools. His new cabin at Camp Half-Blood is filled with them. Seriously, the place beats Wilderness School hands down, with its weapons training, monsters, and fine-looking girls. What’s troubling is the curse everyone keeps talking about, and that a camper’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist they are all—including Leo—related to a god.

Rick Riordan, the best-selling author of the Percy Jackson series, pumps up the action and suspense in The Lost Hero, the first book in The Heroes of Olympus series. Fans of demi-gods, prophesies, and quests will be left breathless--and panting for Book Two.

  02:47:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
The Lost Children

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?query=lost+children+cohagan&fg%3Aformat_filters=&qtype=keyword&locg=142

Twelve-year-old Josephine Russing lives alone with her father. Mr. Russing is a distant, cold man best known for his insistence that every member of their town wear gloves at all times, just as he does--even at home--and just as he forces his daughter to do as well. Then one day Josephine meets a boy named Fargus. But when she tries to follow him, he mysteriously disappears and Josephine finds herself in another world called Gulm. Gulm is ruled by the "Master," a terrifying villain who has taken all the children of Gulm. With Fargus by her side, and joined by Fargus's friend Ida, Josephine must try to find her way home. As the trio attempt to evade the Master, they encounter numerous adventures and discover the surprising truth about the land of Gulm, and Josephine's own life back home.
  02:16:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
Tango: The Tale of an Island Dog

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?query=tango+the+tale+of+an+island+dog&fg%3Aformat_filters=&qtype=keyword&locg=142&sort=

Tango lives the good life—a silver charm for his dog collar, a luxurious doggy bed, even tailor-made booties for walks in Central Park. Then, when his owners sail into stormy waters, the little Yorkie goes overboard! Washing up on an island far from home, Tango learns that sometimes it takes getting lost to find what matters most. This wonderfully fresh novel is perfect for fans of E. B. White and other classic animal stories.
  03:32:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
Summer of the Gypsy Moths

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?query=Summer+of+the+Gypsy+Moths&fg%3Aformat_filters=&qtype=title&locg=142&_adv=1&page=0

From Clementine author Sara Pennypacker, this is a poignant middle-grade novel about two foster children who must find a way to work together in order to survive.

Eleven-year-old Stella misses her (unreliable) mom, but she loves it at great-aunt Louise’s house. Louise lives on Cape Cod, where Stella hopes her mom will someday come and settle down. The only problem? Angel, the foster kid Louise has taken in. The two girls live together but there’s no way they’ll ever be friends.

Then Louise suddenly passes away one morning—and Stella and Angel decide not to tell anyone. Now they have to depend on each other for survival. Now they are forced to trust each other with the biggest secret ever.

With great empathy and humor, Sara Pennypacker tells the story of two very different girls who unexpectedly become each other’s true family.

  03:22:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
Small as an Elephant

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?query=Small+as+an+Elephant&fg%3Aformat_filters=&qtype=title&locg=142&_adv=1&page=0

Ever since Jack can remember, his mom has been unpredictable, sometimes loving and fun, other times caught in a whirlwind of energy and "spinning" wildly until it’s over. But Jack never thought his mom would take off during the night and leave him at a campground in Acadia National Park, with no way to reach her and barely enough money for food. Any other kid would report his mom gone, but Jack knows by now that he needs to figure things out for himself - starting with how to get from the backwoods of Maine to his home in Boston before DSS catches on. With nothing but a small toy elephant to keep him company, Jack begins the long journey south, a journey that will test his wits and his loyalties - and his trust that he may be part of a larger herd after all.

  02:15:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?qtype=keyword&locg=142&query=peter+nimble+and+his+fantastic+eyes

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is the utterly beguiling tale of a blind 10-year-old orphan who has been schooled in a life of thievery. One fateful afternoon, he steals a box from a mysterious traveling haberdasher—a box that contains three pairs of magical eyes. When he tries the first pair, he is instantly transported to a hidden island, where he is presented with a special quest: to travel to the dangerous Vanished Kingdom and rescue a people in need. Along with his loyal sidekick—a knight who has been turned into an unfortunate combination of horse and cat—and the magic eyes, he embarks on an unforgettable, swashbuckling adventure to discover his true destiny.
  02:32:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/record/3053593?query=perfect%20game%20bowen;fg%3Aformat_filters=;qtype=keyword;locg=142;sort=

Isaac is a serious pitcher. He's got an awesome fastball and sneaky change-up. He's determined to pitch a perfect game: no hits, no runs, no walks, and no errors. He gets close a couple of times, but when the batter gets on base, Isaac totally loses his cool on the mound and can't get his head back in the game. Then Isaac learns about a Special Olympics Unified Sports team and meets an interesting athlete who shows him a whole new way to think about perfect.
  03:06:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
Out of My Mind

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?query=out+of+my+mind+draper&fg%3Aformat_filters=&qtype=keyword&locg=142&sort=

Melody is not like most people. She cannot walk or talk, but she has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She is smarter than most of the adults who try to diagnose her and smarter than her classmates in her integrated classroom—the very same classmates who dismiss her as mentally challenged, because she cannot tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow. In this breakthrough story—reminiscent of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly—from multiple Coretta Scott King Award-winner Sharon Draper, readers will come to know a brilliant mind and a brave spirit who will change forever how they look at anyone with a disability.
  03:45:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
Jake and Lily

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?query=title%3AJake+and+Lily&fg%3Aformat_filters=&qtype=title&locg=142&_adv=1&page=0

Jake and Lily are twins. Despite their slightly different interests and temperaments, they feel exactly the same—like two halves of one person. But the year they turn eleven, everything changes. Their parents announce it’s time for separate bedrooms. Jake starts hanging out with a pack of boys on the block. And Lily is devastated, not to mention angry. Who is she without Jake? And as her brother falls under the influence of the neighborhood bully, he also must ask himself—who is the real Jake?

This is an often funny, poignant, and profound story of growing up, growing apart, and the difficult process of figuring out who you really are.

  03:22:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
Inside Out and Back Again

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?query=inside+out+%26+back+again&fg%3Aformat_filters=&qtype=title&locg=142&_adv=1&page=0

For all the ten years of her life, Ha has only known Saigon: the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, the warmth of her friends close by, and the beauty of her very own papaya tree. But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Ha and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope.

This is the moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing as she journeys from one country to another, one life to the next.

  03:47:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
I Survived: Hurricane Katrina, 2005

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/record/2683984?query=I%20Survived%3A%20Hurricane%20Katrina%2C%202005;fg%3Aformat_filters=;qtype=title;locg=142;_adv=1;page=0

The horror of Hurricane Katrina is brought vividly to life in this fictional account of a boy, a dog, and the storm of the century.

Barry's family tries to evacuate before Hurricane Katrina hits their home in New Orleans. But when Barry's little sister gets terribly sick, they're forced to stay home and wait out the storm.

At first, Katrina doesn't seem to be as bad as predicted. But overnight the levees break, and Barry's world is literally torn apart. He's swept away by the floodwaters, away from his family. Can he survive the storm of the century -- alone?

  03:26:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?query=title%3Ahero+author%3A+lupica&fg%3Aformat_filters=&qtype=title&locg=142&_adv=1&page=0

Zach Harriman knew that his dad was something of a hero, a man trusted by the president to solve international crises at a moment's notice. Suddenly people are telling him he has powers - people who know much more about his father than Zach ever did. But there are the Bads, who appear out of nowhere and attack him and his best friend. One thing is clear: he can do things ordinary people cannot. Like fend off grown men as though he possesses the strength of a hundred. Like sense when evil is about to strike. And evil is about to strike in a very big way. Zach Harriman is his father's son. And he, too, is a hero.

  03:42:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
Emma on Thin Icing

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?query=Emma+on+Thin+Icing&fg%3Aformat_filters=&qtype=title&locg=142&_adv=1&page=0

When Mia asks the girls in the club to be junior bridesmaids in her mother's wedding, everyone is superexcited about the idea...especially when they find the perfect dress for the occasion! It's Emma's dream dress, except it's a little more than she expected. And with her mom now out of a job (she's been put on furlough at the library) there's not a lot of room at the Taylor's house for extras. But not wanting to disappoint her friends, Emma decides to take on a few more jobs and chores around the house to help cover the cost. Between babysitting her bratty brother, a dog-walking business, flute practice, the Cupcake Club--and oh yeah, being a typical tween girl--Emma may have bitten off more than she can chew. Can she handle it all?

  03:49:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book
Dragonbreath #1

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?query=title%3ADragonbreath&fg%3Aformat_filters=&qtype=title&locg=142&_adv=1&page=0&sort=

Danny Dragonbreath can't breathe fire, but he has no fear. And that comes in handy when a bad grade at school inspires him to enlist his cousin the sea-serpent's help with a research project. Using a hybrid of comic-book panels and text, Ursula Vernon introduces an irresistible set of characters that will have readers laughing until smoke comes out of their noses!

  03:16:00 am by dkarlin, Categories: Book

Link: https://bark.cwmars.org/eg/opac/results?bool=and&qtype=keyword&contains=contains&query=&bool=and&qtype=title&contains=contains&query=chomp&bool=and&qtype=author&contains=contains&query=hiaasen&locg=142&pubdate=is&date1=&date2=&sort=&_adv=1

Wahoo Cray lives in a zoo. His father is an animal wrangler, so he's grown up with all manner of gators, snakes, parrots, rats, monkeys, and snappers in his backyard. The critters, he can handle. His father is the unpredictable one. When his dad takes a job with a reality TV show called Expedition Survival!, Wahoo figures he'll have to do a bit of wrangling himself—to keep his dad from killing Derek Badger, the show's inept and egotistical star, before the shoot is over. But the job keeps getting more complicated. Derek Badger foolishly believes his own PR and insists on using wild animals for his stunts. And Wahoo's acquired a shadow named Tuna—a girl who's sporting a shiner courtesy of her father and needs a place to hide out. They've only been on location in the Everglades for a day before Derek gets bitten by a bat and goes missing in a storm. Search parties head out and promptly get lost themselves. And then Tuna's dad shows up with a gun . . . It's anyone's guess who will actually survive Expedition Survival. . . .

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This site offers 4th, 5th, and 6th graders an opportunity to discuss books on the current Massachusetts Children's Book Award List.



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