2015-2016 Sequoyah Masterlist
The following synopses are from Amazon.com.
The Adventures of a South Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz: Flora the pig was born for adventure: “If it’s unexplored and needs to get dug up, call me. I’m your pig,” she says. The day Flora spots a team of sled dogs is the day she sets her heart on becoming a sled pig. Before she knows it, she’s on board a ship to Antarctica for the most exhilarating—and dangerous—adventure of her life. This poignant novel of a purposeful pig is sure to become a favorite with any young readers who have ever dreamed of exploring the great beyond.
Becoming Babe Ruth by Matt Tavares: Before he is known as the Babe, George Herman Ruth is just a boy who lives in Baltimore and gets into a lot of trouble. But when he turns seven, his father brings him to the gates of Saint Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, and his life is changed forever. At Saint Mary’s, he’s expected to study hard and follow a lot of rules. But there is one good thing about Saint Mary’s: almost every day, George gets to play baseball. Here, under the watchful eye of Brother Matthias, George evolves as a player and as a man, and when he sets off into the wild world of big-league baseball, the school, the boys, and Brother Matthias are never far from his heart. With vivid illustrations and clear affection for his subject, Matt Tavares sheds light on an icon who learned early that life is what you make of it — and sends home a message about honoring the place from which you came.
Charlie Bumpers Vs. the Teacher of the Year by Bill Harley: Shortly before school starts, Charlie Bumpers learns that he will have the strictest teacher in the whole school for fourth grade. It doesn't matter that she's been named Teacher of the Year. He's still afraid of her. Last year when he was horsing around in the hall, he accidentally hit her in the head with his sneaker (don't ask). How will he survive a year under a teacher who is just waiting for him to make another stupid mistake?
Elvis and the Underdogs by Jenny Lee: From Jenny Lee, writer on the Disney Channel show Shake It Up!, the number-one-rated kids' show in the country, this feel-good middle-grade novel is about a sickly boy whose life is turned upside down when he gets a therapy dog . . . who can talk! Benji Wendell Barnsworth is a small ten-year-old boy with a big personality. Born premature, Benji is sickly, accident-prone, and at the hospital so often he even has his own punch card. So when Benji wakes up one day from a particularly bad spell, his doctors take the radical step of suggesting he get a therapy dog. But when a massive crate arrives at Benji's house, out walks a two-hundred-pound Newfoundland who can talk! And boy, is he bossy. In this hilarious and heartwarming friendship story in the tradition of bestselling authors Gordon Korman and Carl Hiaasen, Elvis brings out the dog lover in the most surprising people and shows Benji that making new friends may not be as scary as he once thought.
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman: "I bought the milk," said my father. "I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: t h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road." "Hullo," I said to myself. "That's not something you see every day. And then something odd happened." Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious New York Times bestselling story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.
Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse by Tamera Will Wissinger: Nine-year-old Sam loves fishing with his dad. So when his pesky little sister, Lucy, horns in on their fishing trip, he’s none too pleased: “Where’s my stringer? / Something’s wrong! / The princess doll does not belong!” All ends well in this winsome book of poems—each labeled with its proper poetic form, from quatrain to tercet. Together the poems build a dawn-to-dusk story of a father-son bond, of sibling harmony lost and found—and most of all, of delicious anticipation. Charming line drawings animate the poetry with humor and drama, and the extensive Poet’s Tackle Box at the end makes this the perfect primer to hook aspiring poets of all ages.
The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson: Eel has troubles of his own: As an orphan and a “mudlark,” he spends his days in the filthy River Thames, searching for bits of things to sell. He’s being hunted by Fisheye Bill Tyler, and a nastier man never walked the streets of London. And he’s got a secret that costs him four precious shillings a week to keep safe. But even for Eel, things aren’t so bad until that fateful August day in 1854—the day the deadly cholera (“blue death”) comes to Broad Street. Everyone believes that cholera is spread through poisonous air. But one man, Dr. John Snow, has a different theory. As the epidemic surges, it’s up to Eel and his best friend, Florrie, to gather evidence to prove Dr. Snow’s theory—before the entire neighborhood is wiped out.
The Gumazing Gum Girl by Rhode Montijo: Gabby Gomez loves to chew bubble gum even though her mother has warned her against it. It's not like she will turn into gum...except, that's exactly what happens! With her new, stretch-tastic powers Gabby can help save the day, but she will have to keep her gummy alter-ego a secret from her mother or else she'll find herself in a really sticky situation
Mountain Dog by Margarita Engle: When Tony's mother is sent to jail, he is sent to stay with a great uncle he has never met in Sierra Nevada. It is a daunting move--Tony's new world bears no semblance to his previous one. But slowly, against a remote and remarkable backdrop, the scars from Tony's troubled past begin to heal. With his Tió and a search-and-rescue dog named Gabe by his side, he learns how to track wild animals, is welcomed to the Cowboy Church, and makes new friends at the Mountain School. Most importantly though, it is through Gabe that Tony discovers unconditional love: for the first time.
Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff: In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse. To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—he just might triumph in the end.
Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes: Ten-year-old Sugar lives on the River Road sugar plantation along the banks of the Mississippi. Slavery is over, but laboring in the fields all day doesn't make her feel very free. Thankfully, Sugar has a knack for finding her own fun, especially when she joins forces with forbidden friend Billy, the white plantation owner's son. Sugar has always yearned to learn more about the world, and she sees her chance when Chinese workers are brought in to help harvest the cane. The older River Road folks feel threatened, but Sugar is fascinated. As she befriends young Beau and elder Master Liu, they introduce her to the traditions of their culture, and she, in turn, shares the ways of plantation life. Sugar soon realizes that she must be the one to bridge the cultural gap and bring the community together. Here is a story of unlikely friendships and how they can change our lives forever.
To Dare Mighty Things: The Life of Theodore Roosevelt by Doreen Rappaport: President Theodore Roosevelt is known as "the man with a plan," the "rough rider." His figure stands tall in American history; his legacy stretching him to larger-than-life proportions. But before his rise to fame, he was just "Teedie," a boy with ambitious dreams to change the world, and the conviction to see his stupendous imaginings brought to fruition. As an American president, he left an impressive mark upon his country. He promised a "square deal" to all citizens, he tamed big businesses, and protected the nation's wildlife and natural beauty. His fearless leadership assured that he would always be remembered, and his robust spirit now dares others to do mighty things.
White Fur Flying by Patricia MacLachlan: Zoe’s family rescues dogs in need. There is always the sweet smell of dog and a warm body looking to cuddle or play. There is always a new dog to be saved, and loved. Fur flies everywhere. It covers everything. Zoe’s house is never silent. The house across the street is always silent these days. A new family has moved in and Phillip, the boy, has stopped speaking. He doesn’t even want to try. Saving dogs and saving boys may be different jobs, but Zoe learns that some parts are the same. Both take attention and care. They take understanding and time. And maybe just a bit of white fur flying.
Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes: Gabby’s world is filled with daydreams. However, what began as an escape from her parents’ arguments has now taken over her life. But with the help of a new teacher, Gabby the dreamer might just become Gabby the writer, and words that carried her away might allow her to soar. Written in vivid, accessible poems, this remarkable verse novel is a celebration of imagination, of friendship, of one girl’s indomitable spirit, and of a teacher’s ability to reach out and change a life.
The Worm Whisperer by Betty Hicks: You've heard of Horse Whisperers and Dog Whisperers, but Ellis thinks he might be a Worm Whisperer! Ellis Coffey loves animals. He spends so much time outdoors that sometimes he thinks he can talk with them. When he discovers a caterpillar that seems to follow his directions, he knows he has a chance to win the annual Woolly Worm race. The prize money is $1,000--exactly the amount of the deductible for his dad's back surgery. If Ellis is right and he can train his woolly worm to be the fastest in the county, he's sure can solve all his family's problems. But when you're trying to talk to insects, nothing is as simple as it seems.