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Ruins of Gorlan

John Flanagan (2006), 272 pages
Audience: 5th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Especially for Boys, Fantasy, Fiction
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Will is a ward of the baron's castle because he is an orphan. At 15, the castle wards are apprenticed to learn a skill and Will desperately wants to be selected for battle master school to become a knight. Unfortunately, he is very small. Horace, his adversary, would probably be selected for battle school and he would just continue to harass Will the entire time they are there. The day of the choosing finally arrives, but Will doesn't get picked for battle school. In the room, there is a very secretive man who tells the baron that he would take Will. Will learns that this man is Halt, a very famous Ranger of the kingdom. Will is to become a Ranger, one who uses stealth and special skills with weapons to keep the kingdom's laws and to be the eyes against the enemy. Will becomes an excellent apprentice and starts his many adventures with Halt. This is book 1 in the Ranger's Apprentice series followed by The Burning Bridge.
Book Series: Ranger's Apprentice
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 4/28/2009
ISBN-10: 0142406635
ISBN-13: 9780142406632

Rules

Cynthia Lord (2006), 208 pages
Audience: 4th Grade - 6th Grade
Category: Fiction, Realistic Fiction
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Catherine can't wait for the family next door to finally move in. She has heard that they have a daughter just her age and she hopes they will be best friends. If only David, her brother with Autism, doesn't mess things up. She has created a list of rules for him, 'so if my someday-he'll-wake-up-a-regular-brother wish doesn't ever come true, at least he'll know how the world works, and I won't have to keep explaining things.' Catherine seems to be caught between love for her brother and impatience and embarrassment with his condition. She does indeed find a new friend, but in the place she least expects.
Awards nominated: 2012 Bluestem Award Nominee
Reviewed by: sc
Date read: 4/28/2009
ISBN-10: 0439443822
ISBN-13: 9780439443821
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4 out of 5 books4 out of 5 books4 out of 5 books4 out of 5 books4 out of 5 booksRules Rules!
Commenter: St. Charles Reader, grade 0
A girl named Catherine makes rules for her brother so he can be 'normal.'
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Rumor: A Jataka Tale from India

Jan Thornhill (2005), 32 pages
Illustrated by Jan Thornhill
Audience: Preschool - 2nd Grade
Category: Animal, Easy Reader, Fiction, Folklore, Multicultural, Picture Books
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All snuggled up in her palm and mango grove, little hare did what she did best, 'worry'. So when a ripe mango dropped from the tree making a loud crash, she was convinced that the world was breaking apart. Determined to save herself and her fellow creatures, hare raced through the palm grove, through the thicket, through the marshland, through the brushland, and through the forest, to alert all her fellow creatures about the approaching doom! The Rumor by Jan Thornhill is an ancient Jataka Tale from India. The young reader will be captivated by this book's brilliant illustrations while at the same time, calling to mind a similar story whose main character also thought that the sky was falling.
Similar authors: Roberta Arenson; Lila Mehta; Marcia Brown; Gerald McDermott
Similar books: Monkey: A Trickster Tale From India by Gerald McDermott; Anklet for a Princess: A Cinderella Story from India by Lila Mehta and adapted by Meredith Brucker; Manu and the Talking Fish by Roberta Arenson
Reviewed by: mb
Date read: 7/30/2012
ISBN-10: 189437939X
ISBN-13: 9781894379397
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Runaway Twin

Peg Kehret (2009), 197 pages
Audience: 5th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Fiction, Realistic Fiction
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Sunny Skyland's parents died when she was 3 years old. She and her twin sister were separated. Sunny has been living in different foster homes since then and has thought about her twin sister often. When Sunny finds a backpack filled with money she decides to journey to find her sister. Will Sunny end up finding her twin? This book is action packed from start to finish.
Similar books: Face on the Milk Carton by Carolyn Cooney
Reviewed by: jb
Date read: 6/29/2010
ISBN-10: 0525421777
ISBN-13: 9780525421771
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Running Dream

Wendelin Van Draanen (2012), 336 pages
Audience: 5th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Fiction, Realistic Fiction
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Sixteen-year-old Jessica's life is running. She doesn't remember a time when she didn't run like the wind. She had even beaten a previous track record when the unthinkable happened. While returning from a meet, the bus carrying Jessica's team was involved in a serious crash, killing one team member and causing Jessica to lose her leg. Jessica doesn't know how she will be able to enjoy life again. Every night, she has a dream of running with her dog Sherlock. Will Jessica ever be able to live a normal life? This story is an inspiration to anyone who has had to overcome adversity.
Similar books: Izzy, Willy-Nilly by Cynthia Voigt; Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio by Peg Kehret
Awards nominated: 2014 Rebecca Caudill Nominee
Reviewed by: vfv
Date read: 5/2/2013
ISBN-10: 0375866280
ISBN-13: 9780375866289
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