Family

Johnny Swanson

Author: 
Eleanor Updale

Reading Level: Grades 4-6

When 11-year-old Johnny, the very shortest boy in his class, steals money from his mother and answers an ad promising to give him the "secret to instant height", he is dismayed to receive a note advising him to "stand on a box." Angry and ashamed, Johnny begins his own mail order scam thus setting a series of events in motion which may lead to his own mother's death.

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The Hidden Gallery

Author: 
Maryrose Wood

Reading Level: Grades 4-6

The Incorrigibles are back in another howling adventure. Lady Constance (and Ashton Place) is still recovering from the Incorrigibles' disastrous Christmas Squirrel fiasco. The repairs are taking far too long so Lady Constance moves the entire household to London where plucky governess Miss Penelope Lumley strives to educate her unusual young charges and keep them out of danger.

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The Great Wall of Lucy Wu

Author: 
Wendy Wan-Long Shang

Reading Level: Grades 4-6

Lucy is thrilled. Once her bossy older sister Regina leaves for college, Lucy will have their shared bedroom to herself. Lucy spends hours dreaming of the make-over she will give the room. Her decorating plans are ruined when her mother announces that Lucy's long-lost Chinese great-aunt (the one Lucy didn't know existed) is coming for an extended stay and will be sharing Lucy's room.

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Karma

Author: 
Kathy Ostlere

Reading Level: Grades 7+

The year is 1984. Fifteen year old Maya packs a suitcase for a trip to India with her father. They are going to lay Maya's recently deceased Hindu mother to rest. Not long after they arrive, however, tumultuous religious differences between the Sikhs and Hindus explode into violence when prime minister Indira Gandhi is assassinated.

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The Star Maker

Author: 
Laurence Yep

Reading Level: Grades 2-4

When Artie promises his mean cousin that he will give everyone firecrackers on the next Chinese New Year celebration, he immediately regrets it. How will he ever come up with enough money to buy all those firecrackers? Sympathetic to Artie's problem is Uncle Chester - a fun loving everyman who is wildly popular in Chinatown where Artie's family lives. Uncle Chester promises Artie that he will help - but when Uncle Chester's seemingly endless money starts to run out, Artie begins to worry.

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The Gardener

Author: 
S.A. Bodeen

Reading Level: Grades 7-10

High school sophomore Mason has a fairly normal life, if you discount the ugly scar marring half of his hulky face; if you discount the disappearance of his father and his mother's drinking habit and tendency to require Mason to be her parent and not vice versa. 

When Mason discovers that the Haven of Peace, the rehabilitation center his mom works at is not just for the elderly, but for brain damaged teens whose parents have given up on them in favor of experimentation on them, his life is turned upside down. 

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Gorgeous

Author: 
Rachel Vail

Reading Level: Grades 7-9

14-year-old Allison feels like the boring filling in a beauty sandwich. Her blonde, perfect, talented older sister can do no wrong while in their parents eyes and Allison's younger sister is everybody's darling. Allison only gets her parents' attention when she is in trouble (which usually isn't her fault).

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The Twin's Daughter

Author: 
Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Reading Level: Grades 7+

When the doorbell rings one day at the Sexton household, thirteen year old Lucy answers it herself, grumbling that her household servants never do much around the house. Standing on the doorstep is her mother, dirty, disheveled, and looking wholly not herself. But the woman is not her mother.

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The Running Dream

Author: 
Wendlin Van Draanen

Reading Level: Grades 7-9

16-year-old Jessica was a gifted runner on course to win a track scholarship to a prestigious university. That was before the truck hit the team bus. One girl is killed and Jessica loses her lower right leg. Jessica sometimes wishes she had been killed in the accident since it seems she has very little left to live for.

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