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Midwife's Apprentice

Karen Cushman (1996), 128 pages
Audience: 7th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Fiction, Historical
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Brat has only known a life of hardship. She has never known her parents, and lives by working, or begging, for food. She usually sleeps outdoors, keeping warm by sleeping in a dung heap. That is where the village midwife finds her. Brat is kept by the midwife as a servant, cleaning the house, caring for animals, and running errands. No job is too disgusting, but Brat is happy to be warm and well-fed. Bit by bit, Brat learns the midwife's tricks of the trade, and, when the midwife is called away, Brat manages a difficult delivery, and earns the village's admiration. She decides she is worthy of a better name and a better life. Will she earn the place she feels she deserves? Will she ever find someone who loves her for herself?
Similar books: Never Trust a Dead Man by Vivian Vande Velde and The Dreams of Mairhe Mehan by Jennifer Armstrong
Awards won: John Newbery Medal
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 4/13/2009
ISBN-10: 006440630X
ISBN-13: 9780064406307
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Mightiest

Keiko Kasza (2001), 32 pages
Illustrated by Keiko Kasza
Audience: Preschool - Preschool
Category: Animal, Fiction, Picture Books
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Three animals find a crown in the forest on a rock labeled, 'For the Mightiest.' Soon, the elephant, bear, and lion are arguing about who deserves the crown. They decide that whichever one of them can frighten a little old woman the most will win the crown. One by one, they jump out to scare her, and soon they are fighting over which animal was most terrifying. Suddenly, a giant appears, and he takes the crown and seizes the animals. Will someone come along to save the animals? Who could be mightier than the giant?
Reviewed by: emc
Date read: 6/4/2010
ISBN-10: 0399235868
ISBN-13: 9780399235863
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Mighty Miss Malone

Christopher Paul Curtis (2012), 307 pages
Audience: 5th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Fiction, Historical, Realistic Fiction
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In the 1930's, the world was in a serious depression. It was a time when jobs were nearly impossible to obtain and families were often split when the man had to leave to find work. Christopher Paul Curtis uses the Malone family to paint a picture of the hardships so many families had during this time. Deza and her brother Jimmie are very close and are continually reminded that family is very important. Jimmie has a wonderful singing voice and finally uses it to accomplish 'family.' There are many diverse emotions, but humor and wit are also included in the funny and suspenseful story. An exceptional example of existence is provided in this realistic historical fiction novel. Boxing was a common conversation starter in the '30's when there was no television and the Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling fight plays a role in the story. Reading the background of this fight in the 'Afterword' will enlighten the reader's understanding of this fight.
Similar books: Bud, not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
Reviewed by: cjones
Date read: 2/27/2012
ISBN-13: 9780385904872
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Millicent Min, Girl Genius

Lisa Yee (2003), 256 pages
Audience: 4th Grade - 7th Grade
Category: Fiction, Humor, Realistic Fiction
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Millicent has all the normal problems that go with being eleven: she has trouble making friends; she is forced to tutor a boy she doesn't like; and her parents are embarrassing! In fact, the only thing that makes Millicent other than normal is the fact that she is a genius. At two years of age, she visited Jay Leno and rattled off the names of U.S. presidents, in order of years of service, and in alphabetical order. She is probably the only eleven-year-old girl about to graduate high school. Being a genius stands in the way of making friends, but not always in the way Millicent thinks it does. When she meets Emily, Millicent decides not to tell Emily that she is a genius. Their budding friendship is threatened, however, by the fact that Emily is attracted to Stanford, the boy Millicent is tutoring. The feeling is mutual, and Stanford makes Millicent swear that she won't tell Emily that Milli is tutoring him, which leads to Emily's embarrassing conclusion that Stanford is tutoring Milli. Will Millicent have the courage to tell Emily the truth, before it is too late?
Similar books: Ever After, a Novel by Rachel Vail; Tangerine by Eric Bloor
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 6/1/2009
ISBN-10: 0439425190
ISBN-13: 9780439425193
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Million Dollar Kick

Dan Gutman (2006), 208 pages
Audience: 4th Grade - 7th Grade
Category: Especially for Girls, Fiction, Sports
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Whisper hates soccer. Her sister Brianna wants to enter a contest where you make up a slogan for the Oklahoma soccer team, The Kick. If you have the best slogan, then you get to take a shot at The Kick's goalie, and if you make the shot you win a million dollars. Whisper ends up winning the contest and facing the choice of whether or not to take the shot.
Reviewed by: St. Charles Reader
Date read: 11/12/2009
ISBN-10: 1423100824
ISBN-13: 9781423100829
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