Voice of Youth Award Books 2008-2009
7th and 8th grades

coversClick a title to check the Skokie Public Library catalog for the status of the book in the Youth Services collection. Titles marked with  * are also available on audio and/or downloadable digital format.

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Corbett, Sue. 12 Again. 2002.
It’s Labor Day, the last day of summer vacation and nobody’s day goes as planned. Exhausted and frustrated, 12-year-old Patrick’s mom decides to spend this day before her 40th birthday at her deceased mother’s house to finish an article for the newspaper she works for. In the pantry she stumbles upon some mysterious liquid smelling of citrus and almonds and drinks a little and while wishing for her youth. When she wakes up the next morning she is 12 again.
Gaiman, Neil. Coraline. 2002. *
Coraline is pretty much on her own and very bored in the new house she and her parents just moved into, so she starts counting things: 153 blue things, 21 windows, 14 doors. When she ventures out to explore, she figures out pretty soon that it’s not just the crazy ladies downstairs or the mice trainer that give her the creeps. Something very weird is going on behind door number 14.
Read more about Coraline in Kids' Books We Love
Holm, Anne. I Am David. 1965.
When that same man David had hated for his entire life all of a sudden tells him to escape the concentration camp in Bulgaria where he had been living all of his 12 years, he is sure that this must be a setup. Surely he would get killed while climbing the fence. Still he decides to take the chance and, with nothing but a compass, a loaf of bread, a bottle of water, and some hazy instructions on how to stowaway in a boat to Denmark, he flees.
Horowitz, Anthony. The Falcon’s Malteser: A Diamond Brothers Mystery. 1995.
Why would Tom hand over a mysterious package worth over three million British pounds to the Diamond Brothers Tim and Nick, the world’s worst detective agency? Tom is found dead the very next day and Tim is taken to jail when he is found with a gun. Can Nick solve this mystery without getting himself murdered?
Read more about The Falcon's Malteser in Kids' Books We Love
Johnson, Dolores. Onward: A Photobiography of African-American Polar Explorer Matthew Henson. 2006.
While Robert Peary was the leader of the expedition that reached the North Pole in 1909, Mathew Henson, his “Negro manservant,” actually is now believed to have been the first one there. He did not receive full credit for this until 2001. Read about this amazing son of sharecroppers, who was not only a master at dog sleds, but even spoke the Inuit language.
Mass, Wendy. Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life. 2006.
Shortly before his 13th birthday, Jeremy receives a beautiful box engraved with the words: “the meaning of life: for Jeremy Fink on his thirteenth birthday." It had been left by his dad who was killed in a car accident 5 years earlier. Unfortunately, the keys to the four locks in the box have been lost and breaking the box might very well destroy its contents. Jeremy and his best friend Lizzie are determined to locate the keys, but in the process they get into some trouble. How will they ever uncover the meaning of life now that they have to spend all their free time doing community service?
Read more about Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life in Kids' Books We Love
O’Dell, Scott. The King’s Fifth. 1966.
It’s the time period of the conquistadors in the New World. Seventeen-year-old mapmaker Estéban is in jail where he is on trial for not paying the “Quinta Real,” a tax the king assesses upon finding a treasure. What everyone really wants to know though is the location of this gold. Will Estéban reveal the secret?
Perkins, Mitali. First Daughter: Extreme American Makeover. 2007.
Sameera “Sparrow” Righton was adopted from Pakistan when she was just three years old. Now that her dad is the Republican candidate for the U.S. Presidency, the image-makers want her to appear more “wholesomely” American. This includes changing her nickname to “Sammy,” changing her hairstyle and make-up, and even ghostwriting a blog for her. Sparrow is torn. How far should she allow this to go on? Can she be a supportive future first daughter and still be herself?
Read more about First Daughter in Kids' Books We Love
Soto, Gary. Help Wanted: Stories. 2005.
Some are funny; others are sad, tragic or exciting. Ten stories about Mexican-American kids living in California. Read about their struggles involving family, friends, school, and first love.
Whelan, Gloria. Homeless Bird. 2000. *
Koly is only 13 when her parents insist she marry Hari. Koly realizes that she has been “sold” for the dowry when she meets Hari and his parents for the first time. Just a child himself and very ill he dies soon after, leaving her a widow and at the mercy of her in-laws. How can this “homeless bird” survive?
Read more about Homeless Bird in Kids' Books We Love