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Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award

Annotated List of Nominees for 2004 - 2005

Grades 6 - 9

Stand Tall by Joan Bauer
Putnam, 2002
12-year-old "Tree" feels that the combination of being overly tall, while having no natural athletic ability, is not an asset especially when his parents have recently divorced and his grandfather, a Vietnam War veteran, has just had part of one leg amputated. In this coming of age story, Bauer's humorous situations allow "Tree" to realize that he is a valuable person in his own right.

Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements
Philomel Books, 2002
Imagine that one day you wake up invisible. That's exactly what happens to fifteen-year-old Bobby and the unfolding of his story from meeting a blind girl, Alicia, who offers him support; and, the drama of his parent's possible arrest for his murder makes for a creative and intriguing plot that seems realistic, but, is close to fantasy. As Bobby struggles to deal with all of his problems, he is also intent on being true to himself.

Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris
Harcourt Children's Books, 2002
Christian is a young man with a mysterious past, who has been raised by a troll in the forest for 11 years.  The girl next door, across the river, happens to be an unhappy princess who wins Christian�s heart through a series of cryptic p-mails (delivered by carrier pigeon). Forbidden love, secret identities, a conspiracy plot, and a happy ending--what more could you ask for? This lighthearted tale has a perfect balance of humor and sentimentality to create wide audience appeal.

Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Giff
Random House Children's Books, 2002
"Troublesome" Hollis Woods is ready to run.  She had finally settled into her latest foster home with Josie, a retired art teacher, who seemed to truly care for her, but Josie�s fading memory makes her an unfit caretaker.  If Hollis doesn�t take matters into her own hands, the state will take her away from Josie and place her in yet another foster home.  Hollis sees no other solution than to escape with Josie and make a new life for the two of them.

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2002
Roy Eberhardt is once again the "new kid on the block" struggling to make friends in his new school in Florida. He befriends a homeless boy, Mullet Fingers, and together with Mullet's stepsister, takes up the cause of saving the nesting place of a "hoot" of owls. This story involves friendship, saving the environment, political dishonesty, and growing up and is told with humor and realism.

Shakespeare Bats Cleanup by Ron Koertge
Candlewick Press, 2003
Confined to the house with a case of mononucleosis and away from his beloved baseball and buddies, fourteen-year-old Kevin in boredom turns to poetry writing.  In this novel in verse, Kevin experiments with a variety of poetic types such as haiku, ballads, sonnets, and free verse, while he narrates humorous and poignant observations of his teammates and schoolmates, his problems with his girlfriends, and his mother�s sudden death.  In his isolation he begins to come to grips with who he is and what is important to him.

When My Name Was Keoko by Linda Sue Park
Clarion Books, 2002
Set in Japanese-occupied Korea in the early 1940s, Sun-hee and her older brother, Tae-yul endure a strict, frightening life that most modern students will find hard to understand. Park's telling of their hardships, adventures and eventual survival provides readers with an intriguing look at this time and place in history.

Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde
Harcourt Children's Books, 2002
While playing a virtual reality game set in medieval times, fourteen-year-old Giannine learns that the equipment to which she is connected has been damaged. Now, in order to win the game and save her own life, all she has to do is get the magic ring, find the stolen treasure, answer the dwarf�s riddles, create a poem for the head-chopping statue, cope with an army of ghosts, outmaneuver her half brothers, defeat the man-eating dragon and recapture the throne.  Filled with intricate details, high-tech excitement, and sharp-witted narration this story will immerse the reader in Giannine's world as she makes life-threatening decisions and evades danger.

Hush by Jacqueline Woodson
Putnam, 2002
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to never speak to your grandmother or any other relative again?  When Toswiah�s father, an African American policeman, testifies against two white policemen who have killed an unarmed African American boy, the family is sent to the Witness Protection Program. The happy, safe, and normal lives of Toswiah, her sister, father and mother are ripped away and they are each left to carve out a new identity in an unfriendly community. Toswiah, especially, must come to terms with who she is and what she is to become.

Girl in a Cage by Jane Yolen and Robert J. Harris
Philomel Books, 2002
In 1306, Marjorie, the daughter of the newly crowned Scottish king, Robert the Bruce, is captured by the enemy, King Longshanks of England. Eleven-year-old Marjorie is placed in a cage where she must endure hunger, the harsh elements, the taunts and harassment of the English peasants as well as the personal cruelty of Longshanks who longs to see her dignity crumble and her will crushed.  Marjorie desperately hopes for rescue by her father and his allies, but day-by-day her survival seems less likely.

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