Tuesday Top Ten

The Nutmeg Book Award is something I’ve always been a huge fan of.  It is a Connecticut-based award, and is co-sponsored by the Connecticut Library Association and the Connecticut Association of School Librarians.

The aim of the contest is to get 4th – 8th graders to read more and better books.  The winner is chosen by children in those grades here in Connecticut, which is my favorite part of it.  It’s not just a group of adults telling kids what the best book for their age group is, it’s kids saying which one they liked best, although adults do pick the nominees.

Past winners have included books like City of Ember, Hoot, The Lightening Thief and many more easily recognized titles.

Here is this year’s list of Intermediate Nominees (Grades 4th – 6th).  For the Teen list (Grades 7 and 8), check back next Tuesday.

1.  Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn
Ali is excited to spend the summer with her aunt and cousin at the lake.  Life is great until her cousin meets a young girl.  Why does she act so nasty? Will Ali’s summer warm up or will the cold and icy lake claim another victim?

2.  Dying to Meet You by Kate Klise
I.B. Grumply, a children’s book author, moves into a Victorian mansion in Ghastly, IL to write a new book and meets with some unusual obstacles.  He finds an 11 year old boy and a ghost already there.  Of course Grumply doesn’t believe in real ghosts, so he blames the boy and his cat for all the ghostly deeds.  Will Grumply become a believer, or will the ghost have the last laugh?

3.  Extra Credit by Andrew Clements
Abby needs to do well on the extra credit pen pal assignment.  But to Sadeed, her assigned pen pal in the hills of Kabul, Afghanistan, the project is just extra work.  Although their cultures and lifestyles are vastly different, Abby and Sadeed develop a friendship that is based on their similarities.  Not everyone is happy with the relationship, and they are forbidden to continue writing letters; can their friendship possibly survive?

4.  The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman
The Golly Toy and Game Company is having a competition and Gil Goodson is determined to be the grand prize winner.  He finds that the puzzles and stunts are only half the challenge: his teammates and his father’s history as a Golly employee drive the stakes even higher.

5.  Herbert’s Wormhole by Peter Nelson
Alex is forced to spend the day at his super geeky next door neighbor Herbert’s house. The day takes a surprising twist when Alex and Herbert fall through a wormhole to 100 years in the future.  Returning home will be an adventure they won’t forget.

6.  The Key to Rondo by Emily Rodda
Leo and his cousin Mimi use their aunt’s ancient music box to travel to the magical world of Rondo, where fairy tale characters behave in unexpected ways. The children must stick together if they hope to rescue Mimi’s dog from the frighteningly powerful Blue Queen.

7.  Masterpiece by Elise Broach
Did you know that beetles can draw? Well, Marvin can!  James’ ‘roommate’ Marvin draws an intricate, museum-quality sketch for a birthday present.  It is shown to a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and before long James and Marvin find themselves caught up in a world of mystery and art theft.  Can the two friends find ways to communicate and save priceless works of art?

8.  Savvy by Ingrid Law
Special supernatural powers are part of the lives of the Beaumont family.  As Mibs approaches her 13th birthday, she eagerly anticipates her uniquely personal savvy.  Her brother controls electricity, her grandpa moves mountains, and her mother is perfect.  What will Mibs be able to do, and how will it change her life?

9.  Signal by Cynthia DeFelice
Owen has lost his mother and his father doesn’t seem to care.  So, when he meets a girl named Campion claiming to be an alien in need of help getting back to her own planet he believes the story she tells.  This book follows Owen as he decides whether he should keep her secret and help her get “home”.

10.  Stolen Children by Peg Kehret
14 year-old Amy is babysitting for a rich family when she and 3 year-old Kendra are kidnapped.  Amy uses her cleverness to try and save the day.  Will the ransom be paid, will they escape, and will they ever get home?

All book descriptions come from the Nutmeg Book Award site.