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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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!
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