Voice of Youth Award Books 2005-2006
7th and 8th grades

Alexander, Lloyd. The Remarkable Journey of Prince Jen. 1991.
Prince Jen leaves home bearing six specially selected gifts for the legendary T'ien-kuo. His kingdom is said to be the place of peace and harmony. Where does this journey lead him and how can Prince Jen overcome the misfortunes he encounters along the way?
Bauer, Joan. Squashed. 1992.
Sixteen-year-old Ellie Morgan's life could be just perfect... if only she lost 20 pounds and her pumpkin Max gained about 200. Then Ellie would win Wes's heart and Max would win the Rock River Pumpkin Weigh-In in their small Iowa town. Sounds simple enough, but is it?
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Cushman, Karen. Rodzina. 2003.
March, 1881; Chicago, Illinois: 12-year-old Rodzina Clara Jadwiga Anastazya Brodski has been put on a westbound orphan train. Rodzina is sure that she will be sold into slavery; after all, she is not pretty and to be honest, is quite nasty at times, so who would want to adopt her? It's a long train ride and while taking care of some of the younger orphan passengers she discovers some amazing qualities in herself. Is she really doomed or is there a way to escape tragedy?
     Read more about Rodzina in Kids' Books We Love!
Farmer, Nancy. The House of the Scorpion. 2002.
Opium is the name of a new country right on the border between the United States and Mexico run by El Patrón, a sinister, mean dictator and his drug lords. Manual labor in the poppy fields is accomplished by humanoid "eejits" with computer chips in their brains. Matteo Alacrán is 14 and hated by everyone except for El Patrón, whose clone he is. Can Matt escape the evil?
     Read more about The House of the Scorpion in Kids' Books We Love!
Fleischman, John. Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science. 2002.
Railroad worker Phineas Gage was at work when the accident happened: a 13-pound iron rod shot through his brain. Miraculously he did not die and his case continues to fascinate scientists even today. How was it possible for him to survive for another 11 years and how did the accident alter his brain to transform his personality?
Frank, Lucy. Just Ask Iris. 2001.
It's the summer before 7th grade. Iris and her mom just moved from the Bronx to an apartment building in Manhattan. While mom wants Iris to practice typing, Iris has other priorities: she needs money to buy a bra. By starting her own business, running errands, babysitting, and doing chores she brings her weird and wonderful human and animal neighbors together.
Jimenez, Francisco. The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child. 1997.
A 12-year-old boy enters the United States from Mexico illegally, "under the wire." What is it like to be part of a family of migrant workers where you keep moving around, in a country where you don't even speak the language, and work in strawberry fields one month and grapevines the next?
Levitin, Sonia. The Cure. 1999.
The year is 2407 and Gemm 16884 is given two choices to pay for his crime: he can either be recycled or cured. His offense? Gemm is identified as a defiant, someone who refuses to conform and worst of all "makes music." Choosing the "cure," he suddenly finds himself transformed into Johannes, a 16-year-old Jewish boy in 1348 Strasbourg. The raging Black Death is being blamed on the Jews. How will he cope and can he really be "cured"?
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Park, Linda Sue. When My Name Was Keoko. 2002.
Sun-hee is 10 years old and her brother Tae-yul is 13 when the Japanese who occupy their Korean homeland in the 1940s force them to not just change their names, but their whole way of life. Sun-hee, now Keoko, and her family each find their own means to show resistance. What is life like when you don't know who is telling the truth and who is a traitor?
Spinelli, Jerry. Stargirl. 2000.
Stargirl is Susan. Home schooled until now, she is new at Mica High and charms everyone. Stargirl does not care to conform and even plays the ukulele – how embarrassing! Leo, a 16-year-old Junior, and the narrator, is fascinated. Will he let himself fall in love with her?
     Read more about Stargirl in Kids' Books We Love!