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I, Juan de Pareja

Elizabeth Borton De Trevino (1965), 192 pages
Audience: 4th Grade - 7th Grade
Category: Fiction, Historical
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Juan de Pareja was born into slavery in seventeenth-century Spain. To his good fortune, he came to serve the Spanish painter Velazquez. He discovers a love for art and a talent for painting, but he must practice in secret because the law forbade a slave from painting. After many years, Juan is given his freedom but continues as Velazquez's assistant until the great painter's death. Read this first-person account, based on the actual life of Juan de Pareja, to learn about Velazquez and life as a painter during a brilliant era of famous artists.
Awards won: John Newbery Medal
Reviewed by: msp
Date read: 1/6/2011
ISBN-10: 0374335311
ISBN-13: 9780374335311
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Ida B: . . . and Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster, and (Possibly) Save the World

Katherine Hannigan (2004), 256 pages
Audience: 3rd Grade - 6th Grade
Category: Fiction, Humor, Realistic Fiction
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Ida B. has the perfect life, where she's homescooled on her dad's apple orchard. Then her mom gets cancer and she has to attend the terrible public school. Her family also has to sell part of the apple orchard. How will Ida B. cope with it all?
Reviewed by: St. Charles Reader
Date read: 11/5/2009
ISBN-10: 0060730242
ISBN-13: 9780060730246
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If I Built a Car

Chris Van Dusen (2005), 32 pages
Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Audience: K - 2nd Grade
Category: Fiction, Picture Books
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Jack has designed his ultimate fantasy car. It comes with a couch, an instant snack bar, and a robot pilot. It can cruise over water, take off into the air, and it even has its own pool. This story of one boy's creation of a futuristic car is told in rhyme.
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 7/6/2009
ISBN-10: 0525474005
ISBN-13: 9780525474005
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If the Shoe Fits

Krista Bell (2008), 64 pages
Illustrated by Craig Smith
Audience: 2nd Grade - 3rd Grade
Category: Especially for Girls, Fiction, Realistic Fiction
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Cassie would give anything to be a famous dancer like Miranda Farren, who is a part of the dance troupe for the pop singer, Stella. Cassie is a wonderful dancer, but she is scared to dance in front of people. Why can't she be confident like Jake? How will she ever make her dancing dreams come true if she can't even make it through a recital? This early chapter book has lots of pictures and is perfect for readers just beginning to read chapter books.
Similar books: Ballerina Dreams series by Ann Bryant; Gym Shorts series by Betty Hicks
Reviewed by: emc
Date read: 9/29/2010
ISBN-10: 1580893384
ISBN-13: 9781580893381
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If the Witness Lied

Caroline B. Cooney (2009), 224 pages
Audience: 6th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Fiction, Mystery
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The Fountain family had been a typical suburban family. Then, the mother developed liver cancer while she was expecting Tristan. She chose to undergo no treatment for the cancer for fear it would harm her baby. The media treated the story with verve. When Mr. Fountain was run over by the family Jeep, the baby brother, Tristan, was blamed for the tragedy. Suddenly orphans, the two sisters moved away for a while so Jack gave up his extra-curricular activities to take care of Tris. After she moved in, Aunt Cheryl thought the story was perfect for a TV real life story. How Jack and his sisters come together to keep the family off of TV is engrossing and dramatic. Once you have started it, putting it down is difficult. Enjoy this mystery.
Reviewed by: cj
Date read: 9/30/2009
ISBN-10: 0385904517
ISBN-13: 9780385904513
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