Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award

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)bmuschool.org.

6 Comments »

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.

83 Comments »

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.

29 Comments »

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.”

35 Comments »

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.

25 Comments »

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.

8 Comments »

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.

14 Comments »

Twerp

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.

40 Comments »

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.

121 Comments »

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.

11 Comments »

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.

12 Comments »

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.

52 Comments »

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.

25 Comments »

The Thing About Luck

thing about luckby Cynthia Kadohata.

Just when twelve-year-old Summer thinks nothing else can possibly go wrong in a year of bad luck, an emergency takes her parents to Japan, leaving Summer to care for her little brother while helping her cranky grandmother cook and do laundry for harvest workers.

24 Comments »

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig

south pole pigby Chris Kurtz.

Flora the pig ditches the sedentary life on the farm for an adventure in Antarctica, where she escapes the knife and lives her dream of pulling a sled with a team of dogs.

41 Comments »

The Vine Basket

vine basketby Josanne LaValley.

Life has been hard for fourteen-year-old Mehrigul, a member of the Uyghur tribal group scorned by the Chinese communist regime, so when an American offers to buy all the baskets she can make in three weeks, Mehrigul strives for a better future for herself and her family despite her father’s opposition.

19 Comments »

Boy on the Wooden Box

boy on boxby Leon Leyson.

The only memoir published by a former Schindler’s List child, this captures the innocence of a ten-year-old boy forced to experience the unthinkable.

20 Comments »

Hiding Out at the Pancake Palace

hiding outby Nan Marino.

When musical prodigy Elvis Ruby completely freezes up on television, he is forced to hide out in the Pinelands of New Jersey and try to find his way back to the music once again with the help
of a new friend.

36 Comments »

Far Far Away

far far awayby Tom McNeal.

When Jeremy Johnson Johnson’s strange ability to speak to the ghost of Jacob Grimm draws the interest of his classmate Ginger
Boltinghouse, the two find themselves at the center of a series of disappearances in their town.

12 Comments »

Primates: The Fearless Science of Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikas

primatesby Jim Ottaviani.

An interesting and sometimes humorous look in graphic format at the lives of three of the most important scientists of the twentieth century.

15 Comments »

The Mouse With the Question Mark Tail

mouse questionby Richard Peck.

A very small mouse of unknown origins runs away from school in the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace shortly before the celebration of Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee, celebrating her sixty years on the British throne.

43 Comments »

Prisoner 88

prisoner 88by Leah Pileggi.

In 1885, ten-year-old Jake is sent to prison for killing a man who threatened his father, and struggles to survive the harsh realities of prison life in the Idaho Territory. Based on a true story.

45 Comments »

Counting by 7s

counting 7sby Holly Goldberg Sloan.

Twelve-year-old genius and outsider Willow Chance must figure out how to connect with other people and find a surrogate family for herself after her parents are killed in a car accident.

21 Comments »

Courage Has No Color

courage colorby Tanya Lee Stone.

Examines the role of African-Americans in the military through the history of the Triple Nickles, America’s first black paratroopers.

4 Comments »

Golden Boy

golden boyby Tara Sullivan.

A Tanzanian albino boy finds himself the ultimate outsider, hunted because of the color of his skin.

8 Comments »

“The President Has Been Shot!”: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

president shotby James Swanson.

Recounts the 35th president’s assassination and details key events. Includes informative back matter and archival photographs

17 Comments »

One Came Home

one came homeby Amy Timberlake.

In 1871 Wisconsin, thirteen-year-old Georgia sets out to find her sister Agatha, presumed dead when remains are found wearing the dress she was last seen in, and before the end of the year gains fame as a sharpshooter and foiler of counterfeiters.

10 Comments »

The Center of Everything

center of everythingby Linda Urban.

For Ruby Pepperdine, the center of everything is on the rooftop of Pepperdine Motors, stargazing from the circle of her grandmother Gigi’s hug. That’s how everything is supposed to be–until it goes spinning out of control. But Ruby has one last hope. It all depends on what happens on Bunning Day, when the entire town will hear her read her winning essay. And it all depends on her twelfth birthday wish– unless she messes that up too.

10 Comments »

Frogged

froggedby Vivian Vande Velde.

When almost-thirteen-yearold Princess Imogene is turned into a frog, she puts into practice lessons from the book, The Art of Being a Princess, as she tries to become her less-than-perfect self again.

25 Comments »

Paperboy

paperboyby Vince Vawter.

When an eleven-year-old boy takes over a friend’s newspaper route in July, 1959, in Memphis, his debilitating stutter makes for a memorable month.

14 Comments »

P.S. Be Eleven

p.s. be 11by Rita Williams-Garcia.

The Gaither sisters are back in Brooklyn, where changes large and small come to their household as they grow up during the turbulent 1960s.

6 Comments »

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