Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award

Harbor Me

Six kids meet weekly in the ARTT (A Room to Talk) room without any adults and discover a safe haven to share their struggles and to find support. Issues of identity, bullying, racism, immigration, incarceration and more are shared and as each story unfolds in this safe space the students find courage, hope, and strength in the community they’ve created and the bonds they’ve made.

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Spooked! How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America

In this conflicted era of fake news and alternative facts, what could be more timely than an account of Orson Welles’s famous Halloween-Eve radio broadcast that convinced much of America that the Martians were invading? Filled with period photos, art reproductions, newspaper headlines, and quotations.

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Front Desk

While some kids are at sports practice or music lessons after school, ten-year-old Mia Tang is manning the front desk of the motel in which she and her Chinese immigrant parents live and work. The Calavista Motel owned by the cruel Mr. Yao is not only a respite for weary travelers but also home to a colorful cast of full-time residents and it doesn’t take long for kindhearted Mia to be drawn into the trials and tribulations of day to day life at the motel. Even though she is faced with daily challenges, Mia has big dreams for herself, as well as her friends and family. Does Mia have what it takes to turn dreams into reality?

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Lifeboat 12

This riveting novel-in-verse is the story of thirteen-year-old Kenneth Sparks and his experience on a lifeboat after surviving a torpedo attack during World War II. This is truly an edge-of-your-seat survival tale based on a true, but little-known disaster. The book has a broad genre and audience appeal. It will appeal to children of all ages.

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Game Changer

An accident at the end of high school football practice leaves Teddy Youngblood in a coma…or was it an accident? Rumors swirl as Teddy, the team, and the town try to recover, and while Teddy is unable to share what he knows, there are plenty of others who just aren’t willing to share.

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Missing Mike

Eleven-year-old Cari is devastated when encroaching wildfires force her family to quickly evacuate their home before she can find her beloved dog, Mike. After a harrowing escape, Cara’s family is housed by a host family with a foster daughter whom Cara befriends and enlists the support of to find Mike. Faced with the realization that her home is gone, Cara will do whatever it takes not to lose Mike too.

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Fake Blood

AJ has been wondering for years how to get ultra-cool Nia’s attention. When he finds out about her obsession with vampire lore, he decides to try something really different–he pretends to be a vampire. Will his plan work?

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Journey of the Pale Bear

In this riveting adventure set in the 13thcentury, 12-year-old Arthur –in hopes of claiming an inheritance in Wales -sets out from Norway on a ship bringing a polar bear as a gift from Norwegian King Haakon to England’s King Henry. Though the bear terrorizes the crew, Arthur forms a bond with it. A wonderful coming-of-age story based on the true tale of a polar bear who lived in London’s Tower Menagerie.

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The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

Mason Buttle is a large, sweaty kid with learning disabilities. Mason also has a big heart. When his best friend dies under suspicious circumstances, Mason becomes the focus of Lieutenant Baird’s investigation.

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Louisiana’s Way Home

Louisiana Elephante’s world gets turned upside down the night her Granny announces that the day of reckoning has arrived and they must leave their home immediately. For Louisiana, that means leaving behind her best friends Raymie and Beverly as well as her beloved cat, Archie. As fate would have it, Granny’s mouth full of bad teeth land them in Richford, Georgia, a place that Louisiana at first desperately wants to leave. As Louisiana begins to settle into the rhythm of the town and learns more about her past, she begins asking herself: what is the true meaning of home?

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Back from the Brink: Saving Animals from Extinction

Activists and animal-lovers alike will be inspired by this non-fiction resource about saving endangered species, complete with full color photography. This book discusses seven threatened species, the threats to their survival, and the ways scientists and other concerned people have worked to pull them away from extinction.

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The Benefits of Being an Octopus

Seventh-grader Zoey has a lot on her plate. She is constantly taking care of her younger siblings, being bullied or ignored at school, and worrying about things like the power being turned off or not having enough food to eat. This novel, set in Vermont, exposes the reality of living in poverty, being both child and care giver, and simply the ups and downs of being a middle school girl. A timely tale, The Benefits of Being an Octopusblends both politics and economics in a heartwarming tale about finding one’s own voice.

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Drum Roll, Please

In Melissa “Melly” Goodwin’s mind, she and her best friend Olivia are about to experience the most epic summer ever at Camp Rockaway, a music camp located deep in the woods of Michigan. It starts looking like Melly’s dream summer may become more of a nightmare, when her parents announce the day before camp begins that they are getting a divorce. Add to that a scary band instructor, Olivia’s sudden infatuation with “Noel”,a cute fellow camper, andMelly’s own confusing feelings towards Adeline, a girl to whom she finds herself drawn. Will Melly’s summer hit all the right notes or be a flat-out disaster?

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Willa of the Wood

Willa is a young night-spirit living in the Smoky Mountains who must use her grandmother’s old magical ways to save human children stolen by the misguided leader of her own clan.

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Sweep: The Story of a Girl and her Monster

Nan, a young chimney climber in Victorian London, has to carry on without her protector the “Sweep” when he disappears, leaving behind only his hat and a small piece of coal. The coal comes to life in the form of a golem to save Nan from a near-death experience and together they protect each other from the grim realities of nineteenth-century London. Combining fantasy, history and Jewish folklore, this is a heartwarming, funny and adventurous tale of love, friendship, and loyalty.

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Small Spaces

Ollie Adler saves an old book from a distraught woman threatening to throw it into a river. The book leads Ollie into a dangerous, supernatural struggle for survival at a local farm. Ollie and her friends can only survive if they can hide in the “small spaces” and follow the mysterious messages that appear on her “broken” digital wristwatch.

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Book Tasting for 4th Grade Students


4th grade students enjoyed a book tasting,  where they were able to “speed-date” a dozen excellent books at different reading levels and for different interests. Each got to order their favorite, and will receive a paperback copy to keep forever. Early next September, we’ll host book discussions around the different choices.

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Full Cicada Moon


In 1969, twelve-year-old Mimi and her family move to an all-white town in Vermont, where Mimi’s mixed-race background and interest in “boyish” topics like astronomy make her feel like an outsider.



Dorothy Canfield Fisher Master List 2016-2017

Click on a title to make a comment

Barnett, Mac & Jory John The Terrible Two 4 up
Beasley, Cassie Circus Mirandus 4 up
Benjamin, Ali The Thing about Jellyfish 5 up
Bond, Rebecca Escape from Baxters’ Barn 4 up
Bradley, Kimberly Brubaker The War that Saved my Life 5 up
Brown, Don Drowned City:
Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans
6 up
Chmakova, Svetlana Awkward 5 up
Draper, Sharon Stella by Starlight 5 up
Gannon, Nicholas The Doldrums 4 up
Gino, Alex George 4 up
Graff, Lisa Lost in the Sun 5 up
Gruenbaum, Michael
with Todd Hasak-Lowy
Somewhere There is Still a Sun 5 up
Hautala, Beth Waiting for Unicorns 5 up
Hilton, Marilyn Full Cicada Moon 5 up
Hoose, Phillip The Boys Who Challenged Hitler:
Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club
7 up
Jamieson, Victoria Roller Girl 4 up
Jones, Kelly Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer 4 up
Kidd, Ronald Night on Fire 5 up
Maberry, Jonathan The Orphan Army (Nightsiders #1) 5 up
Magoon, Kekla Shadows of Sherwood 5 up
Nielsen, Jennifer A. A Night Divided 5 up
Oppel, Kenneth The Nest 5 up
Pearsall, Shelley The Seventh Most Important Thing 5 up
Priest, Cherie I am Princess X 7 up
Resau, Laura The Lightning Queen 5 up
Ryan, Pam Munoz Echo 5 up
Sands, Kevin The Blackthorn Key 5 up
Stead, Rebecca Goodbye Stranger 6 up
Stevenson, Noelle Nimona 7 up
Wiechman, Kathy Cannon Like a River 6 up
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Kindness when posting

Please remember that discussion works best when we are all able to express our opinions without being put down for doing so. Please try to state your opinion without telling others that their thoughts make no sense.

If your post was removed it was simply because you were not as kind as you might have been. I invite you to post again and think about whether what you are saying could hurt someone’s feelings.

Just because your opinions differ does not make either of you wrong.

Thanks everyone!

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Mr. Lemoncello rules!

It’s officialEscape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein is the winner of the 2015 Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award AND Chris Grabenstein is coming to receive the award in person!

Sharon Colvin of the Vermont Department of Libraries says that the award ceremony will take place on Saturday June 13, 10am- 1pm at the Montpelier High School Auditorium.

Furthermore, everyone is invited.  This is a community event.   Special prizes will be given to DCF voters and they will be first in line to get a book signed/ ask additional questions.  Bear Pond Books will be selling Escape From Mr. Lemencello’s Library AND The Island of Dr. Libris.

There will be an author talk, question & answer session, signing and a few activities for the whole family.  Bring a picnic lunch and hope for nice weather!

Space is limited.  Please RSVP by June 1.


Saturday Boy

Here is a picture that DCF reader Shaniqua drew of Derek from Saturday Boy.






















Are there any other reader/artists who would like to share?

Kate Davie




2014-2015 List

There’s no better way to start the school year than with a DCF book. Here is this year’s DCF list, ready for your analysis and observations! To comment on a book, please click on the titles at the right to go to the correct page and enter your thoughts.

If you find any errors or omissions, please let me know at kate.davie(at)


Doll Bones

doll bonesby Holly Black.

Zach, Alice, and Poppy, friends from a Pennsylvania middle school who have long enjoyed acting out imaginary adventures with dolls and action figures, embark on a real-life quest to Ohio to bury a doll made from the ashes of a dead girl.


Flora & Ulysses

f & l by Kate DiCamillo.

Rescuing a squirrel after an accident involving a vacuum cleaner, comic-reading cynic Flora Belle Buckman is amazed when the squirrel, Ulysses, demonstrates astonishing powers of strength and flight after being revived.


Better Nate Than Ever

better nateby Tim Federle.

An eighth grader who dreams of performing in a Broadway musical concocts a plan to run away to New York and audition for the role of Elliot in the musical version of “E.T.”


Saturday Boy

saturday boyby David Fleming.

Every school day seems to bring more trouble to eleven-year-old Derek, whose former best friend bullies him, while at home he deals with the long absence of his father, a Blackhawk helicopter pilot, and his mother’s sudden moodiness.


Salt: A Story of Friendship In A Time of War

saltby Helen Frost.

Twelve year-olds Anikwa, of the Miami village of Kekionga, and James, of the trading post outside Fort Wayne, find their friendship threatened by the rising fear and tension brought by the War of 1812.


Zebra Forest

zebra forestby Adina Rishe Gewirtz.

When eleven-year-old Annie first started lying to her social worker, she had been taught by an expert: Gran. She told Annie and her little brother, Rew, the one thing they know about their father: that he was killed in a fight with an angry man who was sent away. Annie tells stories, as she and Rew laze under the birches and oaks of Zebra Forest — stories about their father the pirate, or pilot, or secret agent.



twerpby Mark Goldblatt.

In Queens, New York, in 1969, twelve-year-old Julian Twerski writes a journal for his English teacher in which he explores his friendships and how they are affected by girls, a new student who may be as fast as Julian, and especially an incident of bullying.


Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

lemoncelloby Chris Grabenstein.

Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students, but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.


The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius

mad potterby Jan Greenberg & Sandra Jordan.

Illustrated with evocative historical photographs and over fifty color reproductions of his ceramics, The Mad Potter tells the extraordinary story of an eccentric American maverick who was determined to make his mark and who never stopped believing that even the unlikeliest dreams can come true.


Sure Signs of Crazy

sure signsby Karen Harrington.

Twelve-year-old Sarah writes letters to her hero, To Kill a Mockingbird’s Atticus Finch, for help understanding her mentally ill mother, her first real crush, and life in her small Texas town, all in one summer.


33 Minutes . . . Until Morgan Sturtz Kicks My Butt

33 minutesby Todd Hasak-Lowy.

An epic lunch period leads to a fateful showdown as small, skinny seventh-grader Sam’s former best friend–now a popular athlete–promises to beat Sam up at recess in exactly thirty-three minutes.


The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel

great troubleby Deborah Hopkinson.

Eel, an orphan, and his best friend Florrie must help Dr. John Snow prove that cholera is spread through water, and not poisonous air, when an epidemic sweeps across their London neighborhood in 1854.


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