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Enemy Territory

Sharon E. McKay (2012), 184 pages
Audience: 6th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Adventure, Especially for Boys, Fiction, Multicultural, Realistic Fiction
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Two teenage boys, Sam an Israeli Jew, and Yusuf, a Palestinian Muslim from the West Bank, find themselves as uneasy roommates in a Jerusalem hospital. They each hold the strong antagonistic feelings for the other's race and religion that society dictates. As they learn more about each other, they discover that many of the things they believed were in fact misconceptions. They embark on a dangerous escapade into the Old City of Jerusalem at night. Both would be viewed as collaborators and are at great risk if they are found together without the right papers. Despite their serious injuries, they persevere through a series of perilous adventures. Their relationship with each other develops from belligerence into grudging tolerance and acceptance and finally to strong admiration and friendship as they rely on each other to survive and find their way back to the hospital. This is a great book that broaches the issues of the Middle East and of tolerance and friendship in a fast paced action packed story that will surely engage JH readers.
Reviewed by: jcooper
Date read: 1/26/2013
ISBN-10: 1554514312
ISBN-13: 9781554514311
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Every Soul A Star

Wendy Mass (2009), 336 pages
Audience: 5th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Fiction, Realistic Fiction
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Ally wears a meteorite around her neck, and her dream is to discover a comet. Bree spends all her time with the A-Clique, and her dream is to become a model. Jack keeps his love of drawing and reading to himself, and he's failing science. He dreams of flying. These three lives are set to collide around the time of a rare solar eclipse at the Moon Shadow Campground, and all of their lives will be transformed as a result.
Similar books: 11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass; Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass
Awards nominated: Rebecca Caudill Award Nominee 2012
Reviewed by: emc
Date read: 7/1/2011
ISBN-10: 9780316002578
ISBN-13: 9780316002578
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Extra Credit

Andrew Clements (2011), 224 pages
Illustrated by Mark Elliott
Audience: 3rd Grade - 6th Grade
Category: Fiction, Multicultural, Realistic Fiction
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Abby is on the verge of repeating sixth grade. Her only hope is to get good grades the rest of the year and complete a special assignment. The assignment she chooses is to be a pen pal to a student in Afghanistan. The letters from a farm in Illinois to a mountainous region near Kabul become very personal and the friendship crosses their cultural differences. But it is these same differences that cause unrest in Sadeed's village and his life is threatened. At Abby's school, the flag of Afghanistan is taken off her bulletin board and she is told she cannot replace it. Their simple letters of friendship have to stop to avoid conflicts. Is this fair?
Awards nominated: Rebecca Caudill Award Nominee 2012 and Bluestem Award Nominee 2012
Reviewed by: rn
Date read: 7/1/2011
ISBN-10: 1416949313
ISBN-13: 9781416949312
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Face on the Milk Carton

Caroline Cooney (1996), 192 pages
Audience: 6th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Especially for Girls, Realistic Fiction
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Imagine picking up a milk carton at lunch, and seeing your 3-year-old face as a missing child. Janie's search for the truth behind her kidnapping, and her real identity, begins in her high school lunch room. The story continues in Whatever Happened to Janie, Voice on the Radio, and What Janie Found.
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 3/27/2009
ISBN-10: 038532328X
ISBN-13: 9780385323284
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Faith, Hope, and Ivy June

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (2009), 288 pages
Audience: 5th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Especially for Girls, Fiction, Realistic Fiction
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As part of a new student exchange program, 7th graders Catherine and Ivy June are chosen from their respective schools to take turns staying with each other for two weeks. Ivy June is from deep in coal mining country Kentucky and Catherine is from Lexington. Ivy June lives with her Mammaw and Papaw because her own parents' home is too small for them and their five children. They have no telephone or indoor plumbing. Catherine lives in a large home with four bathrooms, goes to a private academy, and has her own cell phone. During the two weeks, each must live through her own personal near tragedy. Told in journal entries, this book chronicles their expectations, discoveries and the realization that it's the heart, not the possessions that make a person what they are.
Awards nominated: Bluestem Nominee 2012
Reviewed by: ewl
Date read: 3/21/2011
ISBN-10: 0385905882
ISBN-13: 9780385905886
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