Voice of Youth Award Books 2005-2006
5th and 6th grades

Avi. Crispin: The Cross of Lead. 2002.
Fourteenth century England: 13-year-old "Asta's son" does not even know his real name until his mother dies and a priest tells him that he is "Crispin." Being declared a "wolf's-head"a non-humanmeans that Crispin is in lethal danger. Anyone can kill him at any time! He flees with his only possession, a lead cross. Can he survive?
     Read more about Crispin: The Cross of Lead in Kids' Books We Love!
Balliett, Blue. Chasing Vermeer. 2002.
Even the FBI is mystified. A valuable Vermeer painting is missing. Can two 6th graders from Chicago get to the bottom of this? Clues come to them inexplicably: dreams, secret codes, pentominoes (math tools with alphabetic correspondences). Help Petra and Calder crack this mystery!
     Read more about Chasing Vermeer in Kids' Books We Love!
Codell, Esmé Raji. Sahara Special. 2003.
Sarah is not in Special Ed any more, but she is special nevertheless. Repeating 5th  grade in Madame Pointy's class is nothing like she has ever experienced before. Imagine having "puzzling" or "time travel" as a school subject! Sarah keeps a journal, the pages of which she leaves behind the 940s shelf of the public library, in the spot where books about "somewhere else" are kept. Read it!
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Dahl, Roald. Matilda. 1988.
At only 4½-years-old, Matilda, knows what it feels like to be the smartest one in her family. Her father is a crooked used-car dealer, her mother occupies her time playing bingo and watching TV. How will she cope in school, especially with a headmistress like Miss Trunchbull, a "fierce tyrannical monster…"? Can anyone learn to understand and appreciate Matilda?
     Read more about Matilda in Kids' Books We Love!
Dowell, Frances O'Roark. Where I'd Like to Be. 2003.
It's hard to believe you're special when you have to move from one orphanage to another, but that's what 12-year-old Maddie's grandmother has told her ever since she was a little girl. After all, she was saved by a ghost when she was a baby. Life finally changes for the better when a new girl moves into the East Tennessee Children's Home and the two become friends.
     Read more about Where I'd Like to Be in Kids' Books We Love!
Hamilton, Virginia. The House of Dies Drear. 1968.
Thomas Small's father does not believe that their family's house is haunted. True, it used to be an important station on the Underground Railroad and two runaway slaves were murdered here, but that just makes it more interesting. Soon though, to everyone's surprise, eerie things start happening behind the hidden doorways and secret passages of Dies Drear. Is the singing and screaming just a silly, practical joke, or is it a warning of imminent danger?
Kurzweil, Allen. Leon and the Spitting Image. 2003.
Leon's mom works in the seedy, noisy hotel where they both live. He knows 4th grade will be trouble when he finds out that he is in Miss Hagmeyer's class. She is known for her love of handicrafts, quite a challenge for a boy who "displays a troubling lack of fine motor skills." And then there is "Lumpkin the Pumpkin," the school bully to deal with. How will Leon survive?
Lowry, Lois. Anastasia Krupnik. 1979.
Being 10 certainly isn't easy for Anastasia. It starts with a small wart on her finger shortly after her birthday and just gets tougher. Her 6th grade teacher is just dreadful, and her parents make her visit her 92-year-old grandmother even though she doesn't even remember Anastasia's name. And why would her parents, at their age, want to have another baby? Then there is Washburn Cummings, who has a fantastic way of walking, but who doesn't even know she is alive.
     Read more about Anastasia Krupnick in Kids' Books We Love!
Murphy, Jim. The Great Fire. 1995.
It started on a hot October Sunday evening in the O'Leary's barn. Chicago's great fire of 1871 lasted for three long days. Destroying most of the city, it cost many people's lives and left 100,000 homeless. What was it really like? Captivating eyewitness accounts and fascinating photos, illustrations, and maps put you right in the middle of this disaster.
Yep, Laurence. The Case of the Goblin Pearls. 1997.
Imagine this: Your famous aunt asks you to take part in the Chinese New Year's Parade in San Francisco. You get to be a jar of ointment! In the middle of the parade disaster strikes and the valuable Goblin Pearls are stolen. The police are incapable of catching the thieves, so Lily and Auntie Tiger Lil take matters into their own hands.
     Read more about The Case of the Goblin Pearls in Kids' Books We Love!