J Fiction

Fairest of All

Author: 
Sarah Mlynowski

Reading Level: Grades 3-5

"Once upon a time my life was normal.  Then the mirror in our basement ate us."

When a magic mirror transports 10-year-old Abby and her little brother Jonah to the forest next to the cottage of the seven dwarves, they stop Snow White from eating the poisoned apple.  Now Snow White has two problems: 1) The evil queen keeps trying to kill her and 2) Since she didn't eat the apple, the prince didn't kiss her so she has lost her chance to live happily ever after.

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The One and Only Ivan

Author: 
Katherine Applegate
Illustrator: 
Patricia Castelao

Grades 4+

Ivan (The Ape at Exit 8) is a downtrodden, has-been silverback gorilla living in a small, unkept domain within a shopping mall, occasionally accompanied by Bob, a stray dog who sneaks into Ivan's domain through a hole in the glass.

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A Boy and a Bear in a Boat

Author: 
Dave Shelton

Grades 1-4

A boy, looking to go to the other side, hops into a bear's boat for what he is assured will not be too long of a journey. Hours later, the bear continues to assure the boy that They. Are. Not. Lost.  Sometimes unforseen anomalies arise, you know.

Days later the two have run out of sandwiches.

A simple, quiet adventure story perfectly tailored for a bedtime read-aloud, A Boy and a Bear in a Boat recalls cozy, character-rich classics with plenty to think about, yet is one of a kind and quite quirky.

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Justin Case: Shells, Smells, and the Horrible Flip-Flops of Doom

Author: 
Rachel Vail
Illustrator: 
Matthew Cordell

Grades 2-5

If you thought Justin had a worrisome and difficult third-grade year, just wait until you read about his summer at Camp GoldenBrook.

After third-grade, Justin is determined to stop worrying so much - until he finds out he's going to a camp that is probably going to kill him - if his flip-flops don't do the job first.

Fans of Alvin Ho or the Wimpy Kid series will love Justin's humorous attempts at bravery, and find Justin to be a welcome friend.

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Caddy's World

Author: 
Hilary McKay

Reading Level: Grades 4-6

Hilary McKay scores again in this prequel to the Casson Family series.  Before her struggles with A level exams and her adventures with "Michael Darling" the beleaguered driving instructor, Caddy Casson was a 12-year-old girl facing the loss and challenges of changing friendships.

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Storybound

Author: 
Marissa Burt

Reading Level: Grades 4-6

12-year-old Una flits through her school days alone, barely noticed by her teachers or fellow students.  Home is the same.  Her foster mother never talks or even looks at her.  Una's one pleasure is the library where she can sit for hours and lose herself in a book.  She never meant to get lost for good.

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Bigger Than a Bread Box

Author: 
Laurel Snyder

Reading Level: Grades 4 - 6

Rebecca's life is turned upside down when her mother, without warning, takes Rebecca and her little brother away from their father and home and moves them in with their grandmother. Upset when she learns that this is not a short trip, but a permanent relocation Rebecca goes to the attic to sulk and finds a magic bread box. If she wishes for something that is real AND which will fit inside the bread box, the box will give it to her. But magic, no matter how harmless it seems at the time, always comes with a price.

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