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Open Court

Carol Clippinger (2007), 262 pages
Audience: 7th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Sports
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Hall Braxton lives and breathes tennis, and she's a top-ranked player. At thirteen, it's not too early to be serious about training for a professional career. Ever since her doubles partner, trained by her coach, had a breakdown during a match and had to be taken to a mental health facility, Hall has been doubting her own dedication to the sport. Does she have what it takes to be a winner? Could the pressure take her out of the game? With her parents scoping out tennis academies, elite training schools for young tennis players, Hall needs to figure out what she wants before tennis takes over her entire future.
Reviewed by: emc
Date read: 12/3/2009
ISBN-10: 0375840494
ISBN-13: 9780375840494
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Ora the Sea Monster

Cari Meister (2009), 32 pages
Audience: Preschool - 2nd Grade
Category: Easy Reader, Fantasy, Fiction
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Ora has two wings, four arms, and six toes on each foot. She lives in a cave at the bottom of the ocean. Her favorite thing is gold, and she even has a gold cat(fish)! Ora only leaves the water when she wants to search for more gold. One day when she is searching for gold, she finds a little boy. He tells her that a giant captured his house, and that if Ora can get rid of it, he will give her his gold horn. Ora likes music, so she agrees. She finds the mean old giant and breathes fire at him! Read the book and find out what happens next.
Reviewed by: lauraf
Date read: 10/8/2012
ISBN-10: 1434216314
ISBN-13: 9781434216311
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Other Half of My Heart

Sundee T. Frazier (2010), 304 pages
Audience: 5th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Especially for Girls, Fiction, Multicultural, Realistic Fiction
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Minni has always identified strongly with her African-American heritage. While she looks like her Irish-American dad, her family's history on her mother's side, and her African American roots, are an important part of who she is. Minni has always been jealous of the way that her twin sister, Keira, resembles their mother, with dark skin and curly, dark hair. Plus, Minni hates that when people see her with her sister, they assume that because Minni looks white and Keira doesn't, they are friends rather than sisters. She's always been told her color isn't important, but she wonders if that's really true, especially when she starts to notice some subtle and not-so-subtle ways her sister is treated differently. When their grandmother insists the two girls enter into a pageant for African-American girls, the Miss Black Pearl Preteen Pageant, Minni and Keira travel to North Carolina to compete. Minni's right to compete in the pageant is questioned, and her sister, who has always been her best friend, becomes distant. Minni is terrified to compete in the pageant and uncertain of her right to be there. Do Minni's looks matter more than who she is? Can she and her sister remain close when it seems like their skin color will always pull them apart in society's eyes? This moving, funny sister story is a satisfying read about family, defining who you are, and overcoming fears to stand up for what you believe.
Reviewed by: emc
Date read: 1/24/2013
ISBN-10: 0385734409
ISBN-13: 9780385734400
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Other Side

Jacqueline Woodson (2001), 32 pages
Illustrated by E. B. Lewis
Audience: Preschool - 3rd Grade
Category: Especially for Girls, Fiction, Historical, Picture Books, Realistic Fiction
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A simple fence that cut through the middle of Clover's town was meant to separate the white side of town from the black side of town. This fence, for Clover, stood for a whole lot more. It kept people from playing, talking, and being friends. Until one day Annie and Clover, girls from opposite sides of the fence, decided to overlook what the fence was meant to represent and sat together,'on top of the fence'. In 'The Other Side' by Jacqueline Woodson, Clover simply, yet eloquantly, tells her story as she reaches beyond her side of the fence to find a friend. 'Someday, somebody's going to come along and knock this old fence down,' is Annie's and Clover's fervent wish and hope for the future.
Similar authors: Gwendolyn Battle-Lavert; Pat McKissack; Deborah Wiles
Similar books: Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles; Goin' Someplace Special by Pat Kissack; Rosa's Bus by Jo S. Kittinger; Coming on Home Soon by Jacqueline Woodson; Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds; Papa's Mark by Gwendolyn Battle-Lavert
Reviewed by: mb
Date read: 7/27/2011
ISBN-10: 0399231161
ISBN-13: 9780399231162
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Other Side of the Island

Allegra Goodman (2008), 272 pages
Audience: 5th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Fiction, Science Fiction
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It is the eighteenth year of Enclosure, long after The Flood has destroyed the Earth and its inhabitants. Ten-year-old Honor and her parents have just moved to Island 365. Here, sky color is regulated and it almost never rains. Every family follows the rules, like obeying curfew and praying to Earth Mother. That is, every family except for Honor's. To begin with, Honor has a brother. The Corporation permits each family to have only one child. Strange things begin happening to Honor's parents and then the strangest thing of all happens-they disappear! Where have they gone? Journey with Honor as she finds out where her parents have gone, as well as other secrets of the Corporation.
Reviewed by: jb
Date read: 7/16/2009
ISBN-10: 1595141952
ISBN-13: 9781595141958
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Reader Comments
3 out of 5 books3 out of 5 books3 out of 5 books3 out of 5 books3 out of 5 booksGood/ok
Commenter: Scpl Reader, grade 7
it's ok and very futuristic
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