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Other Side of Truth

Beverley Naidoo (2001), 272 pages
Audience: 6th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Fiction
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The Other Side of Truth is contemporary politics. Twelve-year-old Sade and her younger brother must flee not only their home in Nigeria, but also the country. Their father is a journalist who is critical of the corrupt government in Nigeria, and her mother is murdered in front of the family. Her father was the target. Sade and Femi now find themselves stranded in London, abandoned by the woman paid to smuggle them into the country and depending on mostly friendly, foreign government agencies, foster families, and teachers. Her father finally surfaces in England, only to be detained for illegal immigration. He will be sent back to Nigeria, unless Sade can find a way to tell the world what happened to her family. Sequel: Web of Lies.
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 4/28/2009
ISBN-10: 0060296291
ISBN-13: 9780060296292
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Otherwise Known As Sheila the Great

Judy Blume (2007), 144 pages
Audience: 4th Grade - 6th Grade
Category: Especially for Girls, Fiction
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Summer in Tarrytown, N.Y. is a lot of fun for 10-year-old Sheila, even though friends make her face up to some self-truths she doesn't want to admit to.
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 3/27/2009
ISBN-10: 0142408794
ISBN-13: 9780142408797
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Our Strange New Land: Elizabeth's Jamestown Colony Diary

Patricia Hermes (2008), 109 pages
Audience: 3rd Grade - 5th Grade
Category: Fiction, Historical
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It is 1609 in Jamestown, Virginia. Elizabeth has survived the difficult crossing by ship to the New World, but finds that life in the new colony is far from pleasant. She encounters hunger, mosquitoes, illness, and uneasiness between the colonists and their Native American neighbors. Written in the form of a diary that Elizabeth is keeping for her twin brother who remained in England, this book gives a good sense of what life was like as an early settler in Virginia. If you enjoy this book, look for the sequels: The Starving Time and Season of Promise.
Book Series: My America
Reviewed by: msp
Date read: 10/20/2009
ISBN-13: 9781435266278
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Our Tree Named Steve

Alan Zweibel (2005), 32 pages
Illustrated by David Catrow
Audience: K - 2nd Grade
Category: Fiction, Picture Books
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With infinite grace and deep understanding, Alan Zweibel imparts this tale of tradition, growing up, and the enduring spirit of family. Steve is more than just a tree: Steve is a vital part of the family. The love that the family has for Steve spans the years from Steve's life as a sapling to his death during a storm. This is a great book to help discuss the stages of life.
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 7/6/2009
ISBN-10: 0399237224
ISBN-13: 9780399237225
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Out of My Mind

Sharon M. Draper (2010), 295 pages
Audience: 5th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Fiction, Realistic Fiction
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Eleven-year old Melody has a photographic memory. Maybe you wish you had that kind of memory but everything that Melody knows and feels is stuck inside her head until she gets a computerized communication board. Then, Melody becomes a member of her school's academic bowl team and the team makes it all the way to the finals in Washington,D.C. Then, the team leaves Melody behind at the airport. How will Melody's team fare without her? If you liked Cynthia Lord's Rules you will enjoy this book.
Similar books: Rules by Cynthia Lord; Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman
Awards nominated: 2013 Rebecca Caudill Nominee
Awards won: 2013 Bluestem Award
Reviewed by: jb
Date read: 4/27/2010
ISBN-10: 141697170X
ISBN-13: 9781416971702
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Reader Comments
5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 books5 out of 5 booksFifth Grader's Attitude Makes the Difference
Commenter: Valerie, grade 53
You would think that reading a book about a girl 'stuck' in her mind due to Cerebral Palsy would be a sad experience. Melody's attitude makes it more optimistic. The audiobook reader captures Melody's spirit, making listening an uplifting experience.
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