Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award

Student-made Trailers for some Dorothy’s List books

Marlboro Elementary School’s 5th and 6th grade students each read (at least one) book from Dorothy’s List over the summer. Their assignment was to create a trailer that would give viewers a taste of the book in order to get them interested in reading them.

The 11 books included in this compilation of trailers are:

  • Inkling by Kenneth Oppel 0:09
  • Drum Roll, Please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow 1:07
  • The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor 2:08
  • Lifeboat 12 by Susan Hood 3:03
  • Small Spaces by Katherine Arden 4:07
  • Merci Suarez Changes Gears by Meg Medina 5:53
  • Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo 6:31
  • Journey of the Pale Bear by Susan Fletcher 7:52
  • Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson 9:00
  • Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes 10:06
  • Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead 11:01


If you have feedback about the trailers, please email

No Comments »

The Prince and the Dressmaker

The Prince and the Dressmaker. First Second, 2018. $24.99. ISBN 978-1626723634.
A graphic novel with a modern, fairy tale vibe. Prince Sebastien has a secret: at night, he loves to
dress up in fantastic ball gowns and go out on the town as the fashionable Lady Crystallia. Frances
is the lowly seamstress who becomes his special designer. Charming, romantic, joyful and
subversive, this is a story about gender identity, self-expression, family pressure, and the joy of truly
beautiful clothes.


Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle

Bicycle, raised at the Mostly Silent Monastery where the monks are permitted only eight words (yes,
no, maybe, help, now, later, sleep, and sandwich), is being sent to the Friendship Factory to
improve her social skills and make friends. Instead she runs away and sets off on an incredible
solo cross-country journey to meet her cyclist hero at San Francisco’s Blessing of the Bicycles –
encountering en route a host of quirky characters, among them a lonely Civil War ghost.

No Comments »

Just Like Jackie

Robbie Hart has a fierce temper and a big heart. She’s been covering for her Grandpa at home and
at his auto repair shop: she worries the authorities will learn about his Alzheimer’s and take her
away from her only family. Robbie wishes he’d tell her about her mom, though, and her anger
issues lead her into fights and other trouble at school. Vermont author Lindsey Stoddard’s debut
deftly mixes themes of family, acceptance, race, gender, and friendship.


Amal Unbound

Amal dreams of being a teacher, but soon she discovers that for a girl in Pakistan, an education is
not guaranteed. After a car accident, she is forced to be an indentured servant in the household of
the village landlord, a luxurious estate financed by illegal dealings. Amal discovers the depth of the
corruption of the landlord and his family, but she must weigh the risks of trying to expose them in a
small village where girls are not always believed and their dreams are not always honored.


Ghost Boys

Jerome is twelve and mostly just a quiet kid, until one day when he is playing with a friend’s toy
gun. A police officer mistakes him for a threat and shoots him. But this isn’t the end of Jerome’s
story. As a ghost, Jerome meets Emmett Till, another boy who was killed in a racially charged
misunderstanding. Jerome learns about Emmett’s life and the aftermath of his own death. Through
the two stories, more questions are asked than answered, in a necessary exploration about the
prejudices of society.


The House that Lou Built

Lou loves woodshop, her family, and her dream to build a 100-square foot “tiny house” on a
beautiful piece of land her Dad left her when he died. But when back taxes and a possible move to
another state threaten Lou’s dream, she’s got to build on her resources and resilience to find a way
to make it come true!



Only the cat was awake to see Inkling form on Ethan’s father’s sketch pad, but soon Ethan’s whole
family is caught up in the wonder of this ink blot that can read, draw, and communicate with
humans…Inkling can even do your homework! But as Inkling soon discovers, even an ink blot’s
efforts and adventures can lead to misunderstandings and danger. Sometimes trying to help
people get “unstuck” can make things even more sticky for everyone.


No Fixed Address

What do a Westfalia van, a hamster named Horatio and a gnome all have in common? To 12 and
¾ year old Felix Knuttson, they are all important parts of his rapidly changing world. The van is his
home that he shares with his depressed and not always dependable mom. The hamster is named
after the host of his favorite TV quiz show, which with some luck, Felix thinks he could win. Mel is
his steadfast tomte that Felix believes protects he and his mom from all that could go wrong. Life
living in a van isn’t easy and Felix must keep his living arrangement a secret, from everyone, even
his best friends. Can Felix find a solution to his family crisis before it is too late?


Merci Suarez Changes Gears

Merci Suárez is grateful to go to an excellent private school. Really, she is. Even if she was able to
forget how fortunate she is, the extra required community service hours would be there to remind
her. She also knows how lucky she is to be surrounded by family- even though that has its own
challenges, as her grandfather ages and her family relies on her in more ways. How can Merci
navigate her changing worlds at home and at school?

No Comments »

Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

Although she doesn’t remember it, Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning, which gave her genius
level math skills and a severe case of OCD. Since then she has been homeschooled. She is
technically ready for college, but her grandmother gives her one more test to pass: middle school.
This beautifully written novel teaches us that sometimes numbers aren’t all that matters, no
problem is unsolvable, and if you have a few friends who accept you for who you are, you’re pretty



It’s been five years since Livy last visited her grandmother in Australia – and when she finally
returns she finds Bob, a greenish zombie-like creature in a chicken suit, who has been obediently
waiting in her closet all this time. (He’s spent the years crying and building Lego pirate ships.) A tale
of friendship, love, and magic, told in the alternating voices of Livy and Bob.


Nowhere Boy

How does a community absorb an increasingly desperate group of refugees, while keeping
everyone safe from terrorism? Max is unhappy about his family’s one-year stint in Brussels,
Belgium, until he meets Ahmed, a Syrian refugee boy who’s been secretly living in his basement.
Max’s neighbors are angered by terrorist attacks in the news and would gladly report Ahmed if they
saw him. The boys form a bold plan to help Ahmed stay under cover in Marsh’s gripping and
suspenseful novel.


Out of Left Field

In 1957, Katy Gordon is denied the opportunity to play Little League baseball even though she is a
talented pitcher with an unhittable “Sunday pitch”. Katy researches famous women baseball
players to convince officials that girls can play and play well.


Deep Water

Desperate to save his business, Julie’s ailing father agrees to take a father/son team of rich,
arrogant clients to a deep-sea site, but he needs 12-year-old Julie, an experienced diver, to actually
take them on the dive. Julie quickly discovers that the clients aren’t interested in doing things the
right way, and their recklessness results in the trio being lost at sea. With no boat and little hope, it
is up to Julie to fend off tragedy and find a way to survive.


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.


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.

1 Comment »

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?


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.

1 Comment »

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.


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?


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.

No Comments »

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
1 Comment »

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!

No Comments »

Skip to toolbar