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BES 2003-2004 Annotations

Grades 6-9

Choldenko, Gennifer� -� Notes from a Liar and Her Dog
How to cope with a perfect older sister, a cute younger sister, and a usually exasperated mom and a too-busy dad?� "Ant" McPherson usually lies.� In fact, she lies so often and so well, that when she wants to live up to the expectations of her favorite teacher and her friend, Harrison, will she be able to stop?

Creech, Sharon� - Ruby Holler
Dallas and Florida have survived some pretty awful foster homes, and they’re pretty sure Ruby Holler won’t be any better.� Never mind that Tiller and Sairy, the older couple who live there, prepare interesting dishes like "getting-used-to-kids-again-stew."� Who cares if Tiller wants to take a canoe trip on the river and Sairy wants to go to an island in search of an exotic bird?� Sometimes it’s just hard to recognize love when you see it.

Horowitz, Anthony� -� Point Blank
Using only his wits and some 007-type tools, 14-year-old Alex Rider continues his work as a spy for the British M16. This time he investigates an exclusive boy's school in the French Alps where out-of-control, delinquent, sons of wealthy businessmen are suddenly and strangely becoming model students.

Koss, Amy� - The Girls
Five middle school girls learn what it feels like to be part of one of the most popular cliques in their school.� They also learn what it feels like to be manipulated and excluded from that clique at the whim of their leader. Can they afford to be this popular? Is it worth the price?

Lowry, Lois� - Gathering Blue
Newly orphaned and lame from birth, Kira is mysteriously removed from her squalid village to live in the palatial Council Edifice. Here she is expected to use her gifts as a weaver to do the bidding of the all-powerful Guardians. Set in a future, war-ravaged world, this successor [but not sequel] to THE GIVER explores the role of the artist in society.

McGill, Alice� - Mile’s Song
One day while dusting, Miles, a house servant on a South Carolina plantation, glances at a book, which is strictly forbidden for slaves.� As punishment he is sent to a breaking ground where he meets Elijah, another slave who keeps hidden his education and intelligence. With Elijah, Miles learns how to read, how to survive, and how to reach for his goal of freedom. In a plot of much action, mystery, suspense and espionage, the commitment, loyalty, and courage of the characters inspire the reader.

Mikaelsen, Ben� - Touching Spirit Bear
Cole Matthews is a juvenile offender with a history of violence and stealing. When he seriously injures a classmate the judge offers Cole an alternative sentence to prison based upon the Native American Circle Justice.� Cole is sent to a remote Alaskan Island where a life-threatening encounter with the Spirit Bear, a mysterious white bear of Native American legend, changes his life.� When he stops blaming other people, Cole learns the important lessons of forgiveness and responsible behavior.

Naidoo, Beverly� - The Other Side of Truth
Sade and Femi’s mother is murdered in their driveway while waiting to take the children to school. The intended target, the children’s father, has been publishing stories of governmental corruption in their homeland of Nigeria. Because the death threats continue, the father smuggles his children to England to live with his brother. However, when the children arrive, they are unable to find their uncle so they must try to survive while keeping their identity hidden.

Smith, Roland� - Zach’s Lie
Jack Osborne’s father is arrested for drug trafficking and decides to testify against the drug cartel. This forces the rest of the family to give up their identities and enter the Witness Security Program.� Jack, now Zach, along with his mother and sister start a new life in a new town and are beginning to put the pieces of their lives back together again when the drug cartel manages to track them down. One false move by Zach could jeopardize his new friends as well as his family.

Van Draanen, Wendelin� -� Flipped
In alternating chapters, Julie and Bryce tell their versions of how they met, were/were not attracted to each other, and loved/barely tolerated each other through the years.� Now that they’re in eighth grade, both must decide who’s honestly seeing the person she/he thought was a friend/a pest.

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