Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award

Absolutely Almost

Fifth-grader Albie has always been an “almost.” In
kindergarten, he was almost ready to use markers. In the first grade, he was almost big enough to walk his dog. In second grade, he almost moved up to the red reading group. And in the third grade, his poem was almost chosen to be put up on the bulletin board for Parents’ Night. For once, Albie wants to be something more. Due to learning difficulties, Albie fails out of his private school and enters public school where he continues to struggle both academically and socially. Misunderstood by his parents who think he simply isn’t trying hard enough, Albie is also bullied at school. His luck begins to change when Calista, his new babysitter,enters his life. Calista is a creative and kindhearted artist who sees the very best in Albie. With the help and support of Calista and a few others, Albie begins to recognize his own strengths and to understand that he is absolutely much more than an “almost.”
34 Comments »

Under the Egg

Theo Tenpenney can’t stop thinking about the last words her grandfather, Jack, uttered to her before dying: “It’s under the egg…there’s a letter…and a treasure.” Theo can’t get these words out of her head, but she also can’t figure them out. She’s desperate for a hidden treasure. She’s trying to survive on the $463 Jack left in a mason jar. Her mother is present, but preoccupied by her obsessive work on math theorems. Jack was Theo’s caretaker and now she’s left to fend for herself. Theo discovers her first clue when she accidentally spills alcohol on a painting that hung above the mantle. This reveals another, much older, and potentially valuable painting. Where did this painting come from and why did Jack keep it hidden? Is this the treasure Jack referred to? Theo embarks on a quest to discover the origins of this painting. Along the way she learns about her grandfather’s secret past.
16 Comments »

The Badger Knight

In Northern England, 1346, war is being waged badgeragainst neighboring Scotland, and young men are leaving for battle. Adrian is nearly thirteen, but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at him. Asthmatic, small for his age, and albino, most people in his village see him as being sent from the devil–or at the very least useless. Even his father, a bowyer, doesn’t think Adrianis strong enough to be a bowyer’s apprentice. But when the Scots invade England, Adrian sees an opportunity to prove his worth. He follows his best friend Hugh into battle, bow on his back. But war is not as glorious as he thought it would be and chasing down the enemy is not as black and white as he imagines.
25 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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