Children's Reading Suggestions

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Newbery Winners by Lexile

on September 16, 2013

Newbery Medal image

The Newbery Medal honors the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

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For a list of Newbery winners by year, visit the Association for Library Service to Children website.

Lexile 520      Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (2014)Flora & Ulysses : The Illuminated Adventures

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

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Lexile 560       Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan (1986)

When their father invites a mail-order bride to come live with them in their prairie home, Caleb and Anna are captivated by their new mother and hope that she will stay. 

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Lexile 570       Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham (1956)

After finding a way to teach the ship’s crew members to understand navigation, Nat, a self-taught mathematician and astronomer in eighteenth-century Salem, Massachusetts, writes down his explanations and compiles them into “The American Practical Navigator,” also known as the “Sailors’ Bible.”A fictionalized look at Nathaniel Bowditch and how his knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, ships, and the sea led him to become a brilliant navigator.

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Lexile 570       The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman (1987)

A bratty prince and his whipping boy have many adventures when they inadvertently trade places after becoming involved with dangerous outlaws.

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Lexile 570       The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (2013)

When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.

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Lexile 610       A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck (2001)

During the recession of 1937, fifteen-year-old Mary Alice is sent to live with her feisty, larger-than-life grandmother in rural Illinois and comes to a better understanding of this fearsome woman.

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Lexile 620       M.C. Higgins the Great by Virginia Hamilton (1975)

As a slag heap, the result of strip mining, creeps closer to his house in the Ohio hills, fifteen-year-old M. C. is torn between trying to get his family away and fighting for the home they love.

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Lexile 540       The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (2016)

An epic fantasy about a young girl raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, who must unlock the powerful magic buried deep inside her. Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinarymagic. Xan decides she must raise this enmagicked girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. To keep young Luna safe from her own unwieldy power, Xan locks her magic deep inside her. When Luna approaches her thirteenth birthday, her magic begins to emerge onschedule–but Xan is far away. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Soon, it is up to Luna to protect those who have protected her–even if it means the end of the loving, safe world she’s always known.

Lexile 650       Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski (1946)

In 1945, in Florida, ten-year-old Birdie Boyer and her family struggle to make their new farm prosper despite heat, droughts, cold snaps, and rowdy neighbors.

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Lexile 660       Holes by Louis Sachar (1999)

As further evidence of his family’s bad fortune which they attribute to a curse on a distant relative, Stanley Yelnats is sent to a hellish correctional camp in the Texas desert where he finds his first real friend, a treasure, and a new sense of himself.

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Lexile 670       Number the Stars by Joan Lowery Nixon (1990)

It’s 1943 Copenhagen and the Jews of Denmark are being “relocated,” so Annemarie Johansen’s best friend, Ellen, moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be part of the family. When Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission, she must find the courage to save her friend’s life.

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Lexile 670       Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo (2004)

The adventures of Desperaux Tilling, a small mouse of unusual talents, the princess that he loves, the servant girl who longs to be a princess, and a devious rat determined to bring them all to ruin.

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Lexile 700       From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, E.L. Konigsburg (1968)

Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away…so she decided not to run FROM somewhere, but TO somewhere. And so, after some careful planning, she and her younger brother, Jamie, escaped — right into a mystery that made headlines! 

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Lexile 710       Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt (1983)

The four Tillerman children finally have a home at their grandmother’s rundown farm on the Maryland shore. It’s what Dicey has dreamed of for her three younger siblings, but after watching over the others for so long, it’s hard to let go. Who is Dicey, if she’s no longer the caretaker for her family? Dicey finds herself in new friends, in a growing relationship with her grandmother, and in the satisfaction of refinishing the old boat she found in the barn. Then, as Dicey experiences the trials and pleasures of making a new life, the past comes back with devastating force, and Dicey learns just how necessary — and painful — letting go can be.

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Lexile 710       Onion John by Joseph Krumgold (1960)

His friendship with the town odd-jobs man, Onion John, causes a conflict between Andy and his father.

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Lexile 710       Secret of the Andes by Ann Nolan Clark (1953)

An Indian boy who tends llamas in a hidden valley in Peru learns the traditions and secrets of his Inca ancestors.

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Lexile 710       The Wheel on the School by Meindert De Jong (1955)

Why do the storks no longer come to the little Dutch fishing village of Shora to nest? It was Lina, one of the six schoolchildren who first asked the question, and she set the others to wondering. And sometimes when you begin to wonder, you begin to make things happen. So the children set out to bring the storks back to Shora. The force of their vision put the whole village to work until at last the dream began to come true.

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Lexile 740       A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (1963)

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. “Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.” A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

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Lexile 740       Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata (2005)

kira-kira (kee’ ra kee’ ra): glittering; shining  Glittering. That’s how Katie Takeshima’s sister, Lynn, makes everything seem. The sky is kira-kira because its color is deep but see-through at the same time. The sea is kira-kira for the same reason. And so are people’s eyes. When Katie and her family move from a Japanese community in Iowa to the Deep South of Georgia, it’s Lynn who explains to her why people stop them on the street to stare. And it’s Lynn who, with her special way of viewing the world, teaches Katie to look beyond tomorrow. But when Lynn becomes desperately ill, and the whole family begins to fall apart, it is up to Katie to find a way to remind them all that there is always something glittering — kira-kira — in the future.

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Lexile 740       Shadow of a Bull by Maia Wojciechowska (1965)

Manolo Olivar has to make a decision: to follow in his famous father’s shadow and become a bullfighter, or to follow his heart and become a doctor.

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Lexile 750       Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen (1957)

After her father returns from the war moody and tired, Marly’s family decides to move from the city to Maple Hill Farm in the Pennsylvania countryside where they share many adventures which help restore their spirits and their bond with each other.

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Lexile 750       The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin (1979)

The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.

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Lexile 750       When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (2010)

As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1980s television game show, “The $20,000 Pyramid,” a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.

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Lexile 750       The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (2015)

Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

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Lexile 760       The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare (1962)

A young Jewish rebel is filled with hatred for the Romans and a desire to avenge his parents’ deaths until Jesus teaches him love and understanding of others.

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Lexile 760       The Giver by Lois Lowry (1994)

Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community.

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Lexile 770       Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech (1995)

Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle, proud of her country roots and the “Indian-ness in her blood,” travels from Ohio to Idaho with her eccentric grandparents. Along the way, she tells them of the story of Phoebe Winterbottom, who received mysterious messages, who met a “potential lunatic,” and whose mother disappeared. Beneath Phoebe’s stories Salamanca’s own story and that of her mother, who left on April morning for Idaho, promising to return before the tulips bloomed. Sal’s mother has not, however, returned, and the trip to Idaho takes on a growing urgency as Salamanca hopes to get to Idaho in time for her mother’s birthday and bring her back, despite her father’s warning that she is fishing in the air.

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Lexile 780       . . . And Now Miguel by Joseph Krumgold (1954)

He wanted to be treated like a man, not a child. Every summer the men of the Chavez family go on a long and difficult sheep drive to the mountains. All the men, that is, except for Miguel. All year long, twelve-year-old Miguel tries to prove that he, too, is up to the challenge’that he, too, is up to the challenge’that he, too is ready to take the sheep into his beloved Sangre de Cristo Mountains. When his deeds go unnoticed, he prays to San Ysidro, the saint for farmers everywhere. And his prayer is answered . . . but with devastating consequences. When you act like an adult but get treated like a child, what else can you do but keep your wishes secret and pray that they’ll come true. This is the story of a twelve-year-old Miguel Chavez, who yearns in his heart to go with the men of his family on a long and hard sheep drive to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains–until his prayer is finally answered, with a disturbing and dangerous exchange.

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Lexile 780       Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi (2003)

Falsely accused of theft and murder, an orphaned peasant boy in fourteenth-century England flees his village and meets a larger-than-life juggler who holds a dangerous secret.

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Lexile 780       Shen of the Sea by Arthur Bowie Chrisman (1926)

Sixteen original stories reflecting the spirit of Chinese life and thought.

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Lexile 790       Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien (1972)

An inquisitive mouse becomes involved in an intrique when she discovers her late husband had been held captive at a strange laboratory.

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Lexile 810       Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (1978)

Jess Aarons’ greatest ambition is to be the fastest runner in his grade. He’s been practicing all summer and can’t wait to see his classmates’ faces when he beats them all. But on the first day of school, a new girl boldly crosses over to the boys’ side and outruns everyone. That’s not a very promising beginning for a friendship, but Jess and Leslie Burke become inseparable. Together, they create Terabithia, a magical kingdom in the woods where the two of them reign as king and queen, and their imaginations set the only limits. Then one morning a terrible tragedy occurs. Only when Jess is able to come to grips with this tragedy does he finally understand the strength and courage Leslie has given him.

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Lexile 810       It’s Like This Cat by Emily Neville (1964)

Dave Mitchell is fourteen and growing up in the midst of the variety and excitement of New York City. In this quiet, reflective, and humorous story of a boy’s journey toward adulthood, Emily Neville captures the flavor of one kind of New York boyhood — the sights and sounds of Gramercy Park, Coney Island, the Fulton Fish Market, the Bronx Zoo, the stickball games played in city streets, the fascinating mixture of nationalities and eccentrics that give the huge metropolis so much of its flavor and excitement. But most of all the author tells a realistic tale of Dave’s affection for a stray tomcat, his comradeship with a troubled nineteen-year-old boy, his first shy friendship with a girl, and his growing understanding of his father as a human being and not just a parent.

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Lexile 810       Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer (1937)

Growing up in a well-to-do family with strict rules and routines can be tough for a ten-year-old girl who only wants to roller skate. But when Lucinda Wyman’s parents go overseas on a trip to Italy and leave her behind in the care of Miss Peters and Miss Nettie in New York City, she suddenly gets all the freedom she wants! Lucinda zips around New York on her roller skates, meeting tons of new friends and having new adventures every day. But Lucinda has no idea what new experiences the city will show her…. Some of which will change her life forever.

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Lexile 810       Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright (1939)

When Garnet finds a silver thimble in the sand by the river, she is sure it’s magical. But is it magical enough to help her pig, Timmy, win a blue ribbon on Fair Day? 

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Lexile 820       Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli (1991)

After his parents die, Jeffrey Lionel Magee’s life becomes legendary, as he accomplishes athletic and other feats which awe his contemporaries.

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Lexile 820       Criss Cross by Lynne Rae Perkins (2006)

Debbie is wishing something would happen. Something good. To her. Soon. In the meantime, Debbie loses a necklace and finds a necklace (and boy does the necklace have a story to tell), she goes jeans shopping with her mother (an accomplishment in diplomacy), she learns to drive shift in a truck (illegally), she saves a life (directly connected to being able to drive, thus proving something), she takes a bus ride to another town (in order to understand what it feels like to be from “elsewhere”), she meets a boy (who truly is from “elsewhere”), but mostly she hangs out with her friends: Patty, Hector, Lenny, and Phil. Their paths cross. Their stories crisscross. And in Lynne Rae Perkins’s remarkable book, a girl and her wish grow up. 

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Lexile 820       Moon over Manifest by Claire Vanderpool (2011)

Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up, and where she hopes to find out some things about his past.

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Lexile 820       The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (2009)

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy.

He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy-an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family. . . .

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Lexile 830       Call It Courage by Armstrong Sperry (1941)

Maftu was afraid of the sea. It had taken his mother when he was a baby, and it seemed to him that the sea gods sought vengeance at having been cheated of Mafatu. So, though he was the son of the Great Chief of Hikueru, a race of Polynesians who worshiped courage, and he was named Stout Heart, he feared and avoided the sea, till everyone branded him a coward. When he could no longer bear their taunts and jibes, he determined to conquer that fear or be conquered– so he went off in his canoe, alone except for his little dog and pet albatross. A storm gave him his first challenge. Then days on a desert island found him resourceful beyond his own expectation. This is the story of how his courage grew and how he finally returned home. This is a legend. It happened many years ago, but even today the people of Hikueru sing this story and tell it over their evening fires.

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Lexile 830       King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry (1949)

Follows the adventures of the Arabian stallion brought to England to become one of the founding sires of the Thoroughbred breed and the mute Arab stable boy who tended him with loyalty and devotion all his life.

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Lexile 830       The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars (1971)

Sara Godfrey, at the brink of maturity, learns a lot about life and love as a result of the disappearance of her mentally retarded younger brother.

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Lexile 840       Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (1944)

A young apprentice silversmith, growing up in Boston, becomes involved with such men as Hancock, Otis, and Sam Adams in the struggle for American Independence.

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Lexile 850       The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (1959)

Kit Tyler must leave behind shimmering Caribbean islands to join the stern Puritan community of her relatives. She soon feels caged, until she meets the old woman known as the Witch of Blackbird Pond. But when their friendship is discovered, Kit herself is accused of witchcraft!

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Lexile 860       Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George (1973)

While running away from home and an unwanted marriage, a thirteen-year-old Eskimo girl becomes lost on the North Slope of Alaska and is befriended by a wolf pack.

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Lexile 860       The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting (1923)

When his colleague Long Arrow disappears, Dr. Dolittle sets off with his assistant, Tommy Stubbins, his dog, Jip, and Polynesia the parrot on an adventurous voyage over tropical seas to floating Spidermonkey Island.

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Lexile 860       The Matchlock Gun by Walter Edmonds (1942)

In 1756, during the French and Indian War in upper New York state, ten-year-old Edward is determined to protect his home and family with the ancient, and much too heavy, Spanish gun that his father had given him before leaving home to fight the enemy.

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Lexile 870       Miss Hickory by Carolyn Sherwin Bailey (1947)

The story of how Miss Hickory, a country woman made of an apple-wood twig and a head of hickory nut, survived a severe New Hampshire winter with the aid of her animal friends.

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Lexile 880       Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson (1981)

Sara Louise Bradshaw is sick and tired of her beautiful twin Caroline. Ever since they were born, Caroline has been the pretty one, the talented one, the better sister. Even now, Caroline seems to take everything: Louise’s friends, their parents’ love, her dreams for the future. For once in her life, Louise wants to be the special one. But in order to do that, she must first figure out who she is . . . and find a way to make a place for herself outside her sister’s shadow.

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Lexile 890       Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink (1936)

Chronicles the adventures of eleven-year-old Caddie growing up with her six brothers and sisters on the Wisconsin frontier in the mid-nineteenth century.

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Lexile 890       Shiloh by Phyllis Naylor (1992)

When he finds a lost beagle in the hills behind his West Virginia home, Marty tries to hide it from his family and the dog’s real owner, a mean-spirited man known to shoot deer out of season and to mistreat his dogs.

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Lexile 890       Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze by Elizabeth Foreman Lewis (1933)

In the 1920’s a Chinese youth from the country comes to Chungking with his mother where the bustling city offers adventure and his apprenticeship to a coppersmith brings good fortune.

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Lexile 900       Sounder by William H. Armstrong (1970)

Angry and humiliated when his sharecropper father is jailed for stealing food for his family, a young black boy grows in courage and understanding by learning to read and through his relationship with his devoted dog Sounder.

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Lexile 900       The High King by Lloyd Alexander (1969)

In this fifth and final chronicle of Prydain the forces of good and evil meet in ultimate confrontation.

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Lexile 910       Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary (1984)

In his letters to his favorite author, ten-year-old Leigh reveals his problems in coping with his parents’ divorce, being the new boy in school, and generally finding his own place in the world.

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Lexile 910       Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith (1958)

Jeff Bussey, a Union volunteer, sees the Civil War from both sides when he is sent to spy on Stand Watie and his Confederate Cherokee raiders.

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Lexile 920       A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park (2002)

Tree-ear, a thirteen-year-old orphan in medieval Korea, lives under a bridge in a potters’ village, and longs to learn how to throw the delicate celadon ceramics himself.

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Lexile 920       Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor (1977)

A black family living in Mississippi during the Depression ofthe 1930s is faced with prejudice and discrimination which its children do not understand.

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Lexile 920       Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos (2012)

In the historic town of Norvelt, Pennsylvania, twelve-year-old Jack Gantos spends the summer of 1962 grounded for various offenses until he is assigned to help an elderly neighbor with a most unusual chore involving the newly dead, molten wax, twisted promises, Girl Scout cookies, underage driving, lessons from history, typewriting, and countless bloody noses.

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Lexile 930       The Grey King by Susan Cooper (1976)

In this volume of The Dark Is Rising sequence, Will Stanton, visiting in Wales, is swept into a desperate quest to find thegolden harp and to awaken the ancient Sleepers.

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Lexile 950       Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis (2000)

Ten-year-old Bud, a motherless boy living in Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression, escapes a bad foster home and sets out in search of the man he believes to be his father–the renowned bandleader, H.E. Calloway of Grand Rapids.

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Lexile 960       A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl’s Journal, 1830-1832 by Joan W. Blos (1980)

The journal of a 14-year-old girl, kept the last year she lived on the family farm, records daily events in her small New Hampshire town, her father’s remarriage, and the death ofher best friend.

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Lexile 970       The Slave Dancer by Paula Fox (1974)

Kidnapped by the crew of an Africa-bound ship, a thirteen-year-old boy discovers to his horror that he is on a slaver and his job is to play music for the exercise periods of the human cargo.

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Lexile 980       Missing May by Cynthia Rylant (1993)

After the death of the beloved aunt who has raised her, twelve-year-old Summer and her uncle Ob leave their West Virginia trailer in search of the strength to go on living.

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Lexile 990       Ginger Pye by Eleanor Estes (1952)

Meet Ginger Pye, the smartest dog you’ll ever know. Jerry Pye and his sister, Rachel, feel pretty smart themselves for buying Ginger. It was the best dollar they ever spent. Ginger steals everybody’s heart . . . until someone steals him!

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Lexile 990       The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli (1950)

As the son of a nobleman, Robin’s destiny is changed suddenly when he falls ill and loses the use of his legs. When the great castle of Lindsay is in danger, Robin discovers that there is more than one way to serve his king.

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Lexile 1000     Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell (1961)

Left alone on a beautiful but isolated island, a young Indian girl spends eighteen years, not only merely surviving through her enormous courage and self-reliance, but also finding a measure of happiness in her solitary life.

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Lexile 1000     The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth (1931)

A little cat comes to the home of a poor Japanese artist and, by humility and devotion, brings him good fortune.

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Lexile 1010     The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron (2007)

Lucky, age ten, can’t wait another day. The meanness gland in her heart and the crevices full of questions in her brain make running away from Hard Pan, California (population 43), the rock-bottom only choice she has. It’s all Brigitte’s fault — for wanting to go back to France. Guardians are supposed to stay put and look after girls in their care! Instead Lucky is sure that she’ll be abandoned to some orphanage in Los Angeles where her beloved dog, HMS Beagle, won’t be allowed. She’ll have to lose her friends Miles, who lives on cookies, and Lincoln, future U.S. president (maybe) and member of the International Guild of Knot Tyers. Just as bad, she’ll have to give up eavesdropping on twelve-step anonymous programs where the interesting talk is all about Higher Powers. Lucky needs her own — and quick. But she hadn’t planned on a dust storm. Or needing to lug the world’s heaviest survival-kit backpack into the desert.

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Lexile 1020     The White Stag by Kate Seredy (1938)

Retells the legendary story of the Huns and Magyars’ long migration from Asia to Europe where they hope to find a permanent home.

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Lexile 1030     Adam of the Road by Elizabeth Janet Gray (1943)

In thirteenth-century England an eleven-year-old boy roams the countryside as he searches for his father and his stolen dog .

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Lexile 1040     Gay Neck, the Story of a Pigeon by Dhan Gopal Mukerji (1928)

The story of the training of a carrier pigeon and its service during the First World War, revealing the bird’s courageous and spirited adventures over the housetops of an Indian village, in the Himalayan Mountains, and on the French battlefield.

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Lexile 1050     Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson (1945)

New folks are coming to live in the Big House. The animals of Rabbit Hill wonder if they will plant a garden and thus be good providers.

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Lexile 1070     The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois (1948)

Professor William Waterman Sherman intends to fly across the Pacific Ocean. But through a twist of fate, he lands on Krakatoa, and discovers a world of unimaginable wealth, eccentric inhabitants, and incredible balloon inventions.

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Lexile 1090     Amos Fortune: Free Man by Elizabeth Yates (1951)

Biography describes Fortune’s capture in Africa, his forty years of slavery after which he bought his own freedom and then worked to free many others.

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Lexile 1100     I, Juan de Pareja by Elizabeth Borton De Trevino (1966)

Juan is the slave of the great Spanish painter Diego Velazquez and helps his master in his studio by preparing paints and stretching canvases. But Juan is an artist, too: he has taught himself by watching his master’s technique. Although such work is forbidden by slaves, Juan cannot keep his secret any longer.What will happen when the truth is known?

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Lexile 1110     Lincoln: A Photobiography by Russell Freedman (1988)

Photographs and text trace the life of the Civil War President.

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Lexile 1120     The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley (1985)

Aerin, with the guidance of the wizard Luthe and the help ofthe blue sword, wins the birthright due her as the daughter of the Damarian king and a witchwoman of the mysterious, demon-haunted North.

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Lexile 1130     Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt (1967)

After her mother’s death, Julie goes to live with her Aunt Cordelia, a spinster schoolteacher, where she experiences many emotions and changes as she grows from seven to eighteen.

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Lexile 1150     Invincible Louisa by Cornelia Meigs (1934)

Profiles the life of the noted nineteenth-century writer, detailing her early, happy childhood in Pennsylvania and Boston, and her later success as author of the classic “Little Women.”

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Lexile 1180     Hitty, Her First Hundred Years by Rachel Field (1930)

When Phoebe Preble brings her special doll, Hitty, with her everywhere she goes, Hitty experiences wonderful adventures and makes a lot of new friends.

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Lexile 1200     The Trumpeter of Krakow by Eric P. Kelly (1929)

A Polish family in the Middle Ages guards a great secret treasure and a boy’s memory of an earlier trumpeter of Krakow makes it possible for him to save his father.

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Lexile 1230     The Dark Frigate by Charles Hawes (1924)

In seventeenth-century England, orphaned Philip Marsham, forced to flee London after a terrible accident, finds himself in an even more difficult situation when his ship is taken over by pirates and he is forced to become a member of their crew.

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Lexile 1240     The Midwife’s Apprentice by Karen Cushman (1996)

The girl known only as Brat has no family, no home, and no future until she meets Jane the Midwife and becomes her apprentice. As she helps the sharp-tempered Jane deliver babies, Brat-who renames herself Alyce-gains knowledge, confidence, and the courage to want something from life: “A full belly, a contented heart, and a place in this world.” Medieval village life makes a lively backdrop for the funny, poignant story of how Alyce gets what she wants. A concluding note discusses midwifery past and present. 

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Lexile 1240     The View From Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg (1997)

How had Mrs. Olinski chosen her sixth-grade Academic Bowl team? She had a number of answers. But were any of them true? How had she really chosen Noah and Nadia and Ethan and Julian? And why did they make such a good team? It was a surprise to a lot of people when Mrs. Olinski’s team won the sixth-grade Academic Bowl contest at Epiphany Middle School. It was an even bigger surprise when they beat the seventh grade and the eighth grade, too. And when they went on to even greater victories, everyone began to ask: How did it happen? It happened at least partly because Noah had been the best man (quite by accident) at the wedding of Ethan’s grandmother and Nadia’s grandfather. It happened because Nadia discovered that she could not let a lot of baby turtles die. It happened when Ethan could not let Julian face disaster alone. And it happened because Julian valued something important in himself and saw in the other three something he also valued. Mrs. Olinski, returning to teaching after having been injured in an automobile accident, found that her Academic Bowl team became her answer to finding confidence and success. What she did not know, at least at first, was that her team knew more than she did the answer to why they had been chosen. This is a tale about a team, a class, a school, a series of contests and, set in the midst of this, four jewel-like short stories — one for each of the team members — that ask questions and demonstrate surprising answers. 

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Lexile 1260     The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Willem van Loon (1922)

This classic history, first published in 1921 and winner of the first Newbery Medal, was illustrated in pen and ink by the author. This version has incorporated recent events to make it an up-to-date world history.

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Lexile 1320     Tales from Silver Lands by Charles Finger (1925)

Nineteen myths and folk stories from Central and South America are illustrated with striking woodcuts.

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Lexile NC1440 Smoky, the Cowhorse by Will James (1927)

The experiences of a mouse-colored horse from his birth in the wild, through his capture by humans and his work in the rodeo and on the range, to his eventual old age

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Books without Lexile ratings

Laura Adams Armer. Waterless Mountain. (1932)

Younger Brother, a Navaho Indian boy, undergoes eight years of training in the ancient religion of his people and the practical knowledge of material existence.

Monica Shannon. Dobry. (1935)

James Daugherty. Daniel Boone. (1940)

Nancy Willard. A Visit to William Blake’s Inn. (1982)

A collection of poems describing the curious menagerie of guests who arrive at William Blake’s inn.

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Paul Fleischman. Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices. (1989)

A collection of poems describing the characteristics and activities of a variety of insects.

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Karen Hesse. Out of the Dust. (1998)

In a series of poems, fifteen-year-old Billie Jo relates the hardships of living on her family’s wheat farm in Oklahoma during the dust bowl years of the Depression.

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Laura Amy Schlitz. Good Masters, Sweet Ladies! Voices from a medieval village. (2008)

A collection of short one-person plays featuring characters, between ten and fifteen years old, who live in or near a thirteenth-century English manor.


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