Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Best Books for Boys of 2009

Yesterday I realized I neglected to post (some of) my favorite "boy" books for 2009. So without futher ado, here they are. I chose books that had action and adventure. Books that have a certain "gross-ness." Books full of facts. Books that are laugh out loud- try Alien Feast. Some of our favorite characters are back with a new book in a series: Percy, Alvin Ho, Peeta, and Melonhead who finally has his own book. Try these with your boys. And your girls too.

11 birthdays -- Mass,Wendy. {IL 3-6, -Fic-} -- Scholastic Press, 2009., RL 3.9, 267p
After celebrating their first nine same-day birthdays together, Amanda and Leo, having fallen out on their tenth and not speaking to each other for the last year, prepare to celebrate their eleventh birthday separately but peculiar things begin to happen as the day of their birthday begins to repeat itself over and over again.

Alien feast -- Simmons, Michael.{IL 3-6, -Fic-} -- Roaring Brook Press, 2009., RL 5.6, 231p
In 2017, human-eating aliens have kidnapped two scientists who might cure the disease that is destroying them, and twelve-year-old William Aitkin, his elderly, ailing Uncle Maynard, and the scientists' daughter, Sophie, set out to rescue them.

All-star Superman. Volume 2 -- Morrison, Grant. {IL YA, 741.5} -- DC Comics, 2009., 153p
A collection of comics in which Superman finds his powers tested as he faces off against his strangest adversaries yet.

Alvin Ho : allergic to camping, hiking, and other natural disasters -- Look, Lenore. {IL 3-6, -Fic-} -- Schwartz & Wade Books, 2009., RL 3.8, 170p
Alvin makes a new friend and learns that he can be brave despite his fear of everything when his father takes him camping, hoping to install a love of nature like that of their hometown hero, Henry David Thoreau.

The Anne Frank case : Simon Wiesenthal's search for the truth -- Rubin, Susan Goldman. {IL 3-6, 940.53} -- Holiday House, 2009., RL 5.8, 40p
After witnessing a group of demonstrators halt a performance of "The Diary of Anne Frank," claiming that the girl never existed, Simon Wiesenthal, a Holocaust survivor, goes on a personal quest in 1958 to track down the Gestapo officer who had arrested the Frank family.
Anything but typical -- Baskin, Nora Raleigh. {IL 5-8, -Fic-} -- Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2009., RL 5.3, 195p
Jason, a twelve-year-old autistic boy who wants to become a writer, relates what his life is like as he tries to make sense of his world.

Barnyard slam -- Regan, Dian Curtis. {IL K-3, -E-} -- Holiday House, 2009., RL 2.7, 32p
Farm animals express themselves at a poetry slam hosted by Yo Mama Goose.

Baseball great -- Green, Tim. {IL 3-6, -Fic-} – HarperCollins Publishers, 2009., RL 5.6, 250p
All twelve-year-old Josh wants to do is play baseball but when his father, a minor league pitcher, signs him up for a youth championship team, Josh finds himself embroiled in a situation with potentially illegal consequences.

The boy who invented TV : the story of Philo Farnsworth -- Krull, Kathleen. {IL K-3, 621.388} -- Alfred A. Knopf, 2009., RL 5.5, 34p
Presents a picture-book biography of Philo Farnsworth, who created the world's first television image in 1928.

The Brooklyn nine : a novel in nine innings -- Gratz, Alan.{IL 5-8, -Fic-} -- Dial Books, 2009., RL 5, 299p
Follows the fortunes of a German immigrant family through nine generations, beginning in 1845, as they experience American life and play baseball.

Bubble homes and fish farts -- Bayrock, Fiona. {IL K-3, 590} -- Charlesbridge, 2009., RL 3.9, 45p
Presents humorous scientific information about the use of bubbles by various animals, such as whales, otters, dolphins, herring, and water shrews, for various recreational or functional purposes, such as hunting, warmth, communication, survival, or as a game.

Catching fire -- Collins, Suzanne. {IL YA, -Fic-} -- Scholastic Press, 2009., 391p
By winning the annual Hunger Games, District 12 tributes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have secured a life of safety and plenty for themselves and their families, but because they won by defying the rules, they unwittingly become the faces of an impending rebellion.

Change-up : mystery at the World Series -- Feinstein, John. {IL 5-8, -Fic-} -- Alfred A. Knopf, 2009., RL 4.6, 308p
While covering the World Series, teen reporters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol uncover some inconsistencies in the life story of a popular, new pitcher and begin to investigate.

Chasing Lincoln's killer -- Swanson, James L. {IL YA, 973.7} -- Scholastic Press, 2009., 194p
Recounts the twelve-day pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth, covering the chase through Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, with a discussion of Abraham Lincoln as a father, husband, and friend that examines the impact of his death on those close to him.

Chicken Little -- Emberley, Rebecca. {IL K-3, 398.2} -- Roaring Brook Press, 2009., RL 2.8, 32p An illustrated retelling of the story in which Chicken Little becomes convinced the sky is falling after being hit on the head by an acorn.

Crafty critters -- Armentrout, David, 1962- {IL 3-6, 591.47} -- Rourke Pub., 2009., RL 4.8, 32p Photographs and easy-to-follow text introduce young readers to animals that utilize camouflage, mimicry, and other curious techniques as defense mechanisms against predators, including skunks, porcupines, walking sticks, kingsnakes, octopuses, and others.

Deeper -- Gordon, Roderick. {IL 5-8, -Fic-} -- Chicken House, 2009., RL 7.3, 643p
Boy archaeologist Will Burrows wanders the caverns beneath the Colony with his best friend Chester and brother Cal, falls upon the Styx's plan to get rid of Topsoilers with a deadly plague, and risks his life to foil their plot while wondering if his killer stepsister is still on the loose.

Denied, detained, deported : stories from the dark side of American immigration -- Bausum, Ann. {IL 5-8, 325} -- National Geographic, 2009., RL 8.6, 111p
Discusses cases from the history of immigration in the U.S. in which immigrants are denied, such as the people aboard "The St. Louis" who were sent back to Nazi Germany during the Holocaust, the detained, such as Japanese Americans during WWII, and the deported, such as Emma Goldman, who was sent back to Russia in 1919 after living in the U.S. for thirty years.

Dodger for President -- Sonnenblick, Jordan. {IL 3-6, -Fic-} -- Feiwel and Friends, 2009., RL 4.1, 168p
When Dodger, the big blue chimpanzee genie, magically portrays fifth-grader Willie one day at school, Willie finds himself running for student council president.

Down, down, down : a journey to the bottom of the sea -- Jenkins, Steve. {IL K-3, 591.779} -- Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2009., RL 5.6, 40p
Illustrations explore the ocean from the birds and waves down to the deepest, darkest bottom; and feature jellyfish, squid, whales, and more.

Elephants cannot dance! -- Willems, Mo. {IL K-3, -E-} -- Hyperion Books for Children, 2009., RL 1.2, 57p
Piggy loves to dance and wants to teach everyone, including her best friend, Gerald the elephant.
Extra credit -- Clements, Andrew. {IL 3-6, -Fic-} -- Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2009., RL 5.2, 183p
Three young middle-school-age children, Abby, Amira, and Sadeed, exchange letters back and forth between the prairies of Illinois and the mountains of Afghanistan and begin to bridge a gap across cultural and religious divides.

Face to face with sharks -- Doubilet, David. {IL 3-6, 597.3} -- National Geographic, 2009., RL 6.2, 31p
The author describes his experiences photographing sharks, shares what he has learned about the animals, and showcases some of his pictures.

The fantastic undersea life of Jacques Cousteau -- Yaccarino, Dan. {IL K-3, 551.46} -- Knopf, 2009., RL 3.6, 33p
A pictorial biography of Jacques Cousteau, covering his adventures aboard "Calypso" with his team of scientists, diving equipment, and waterproof cameras, and work to protect the oceans from pollution.

Gettysburg : the graphic novel -- Butzer, C. M. {IL 5-8, 973.7} -- Bowen Press/Collins, 2009., RL 5.9, 80p
Presents a comic book style depiction of the Battle of Gettysburg; the national movement to create a memorial at the battle site; and the day of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in 1863, drawn from first-person letters, speeches, and other primary sources.

Gods of Manhattan : spirits in the park -- Mebus, Scott. {IL 5-8, -Fic-} -- Dutton Children's Books, 2009., RL 6.6, 372p
As thirteen-year-old Rory continues his mission in Mannahatta, a spirit realm that co-exists alongside modern-day New York City, filled with fantastical creatures and people from the city's colorful past, he discovers that his father, whom he never wants to see again, is the only hope for peace.

Going, going, gone! : and other silly dilly sports songs -- Katz, Alan. {IL K-3, 782.42} -- Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2009., RL 1.9, 31p
Provides new, sports-themed lyrics to well-known songs, including "On Top of the Bleachers" and "When Jimmy Gets in the Batter's Box."

The greatest baseball records -- Doeden, Matt. {IL 5-8, 796.357} -- Capstone Press, 2009., RL 5.3, 32p
Short stories and tables of statistics describe the history and greatest records of Major League Baseball.

Guinness World Records, 2009 -- {IL YA, 031} -- Bantam Books, 2009., 572p
Presents the biggest, smallest, fastest, longest, and other record setters for 2008 in such categories as the space, human achievements, sports, entertainment, science, technology, and engineering; and includes three-dimensional illustrations and gatefolds.

Guinness World Records, 2009 : gamer's edition -- {IL YA, 032} -- Guinness World Records, 2009., 216p
Collects world records set by the video game industry and players in 2008, and covers firsts, speed records, high scores, and mosts concerning video games of various genres on a variety of platforms; and includes a list of the top fifty console games, interviews, and other related information.

Heart of a shepherd -- Parry, Rosanne. {IL 3-6, -Fic-} -- Random House, 2009., RL 4.5, 161p
Ignatius "Brother" Alderman, nearly twelve, promises to help his grandparents keep the family's Oregon ranch the same while his brothers are away and his father is deployed to Iraq, but as he comes to accept the inevitability of change, he also sees the man he is meant to be.

I and I : Bob Marley -- Medina, Tony. {IL 3-6, 782.421646} -- Lee & Low Books, 2009., RL 3.1, 42p
A biography in verse about Jamaican reggae musician Bob Marley, offering an overview of key events and themes in his life, including his biracial heritage, Rastafarian beliefs, and love of music.

The last Olympian -- Riordan, Rick. {IL 5-8, -Fic-} -- Disney/Hyperion Books, 2009., RL 6, 381p
The long-awaited prophecy surrounding Percy Jackson's sixteenth birthday unfolds as he leads an army of young demigods to stop Kronos in his advance on New York City, while the Olympians struggle to contain the rampaging monster, Typhon.

The last straw -- Kinney, Jeff. {IL 5-8, -Fic-} -- Amulet Books, 2009., RL 6.1, 217p
Middle-schooler Greg Heffley nimbly sidesteps his father's attempts to change Greg's wimpy ways until his father threatens to send him to military school.

Luke on the loose : a Toon book -- Bliss, Harry. {IL K-3, 741.5} -- RAW Junior, 2009., RL 1.7, 32p
A young boy's fascination with pigeons soon erupts into a full-blown chase around Central Park, across the Brooklyn Bridge, through a fancy restaurant, and into the sky.

Marcelo in the real world -- Stork, Francisco X. {IL YA, -Fic-} -- Arthur A. Levine Books, 2009., 312p
Marcelo Sandoval, a seventeen-year-old boy on the high-functioning end of the autistic spectrum, faces new challenges, including romance and injustice, when he goes to work for his father in the mailroom of a corporate law firm.

Melonhead -- Kelly, Katy. {IL 3-6, -Fic-} -- Delacorte Press, 2009., RL 4.6, 209p
In the Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Capitol Hill, Lucy Rose's friend Adam "Melonhead" Melon, a budding inventor with a knack for getting into trouble, enters a science contest that challenges students to recycle an older invention into a new invention.

Mudshark -- Paulsen, Gary. {IL 3-6, -Fic-} -- Wendy Lamb Books, 2009., RL 6.5, 83p
Principal Wagner confidently deals with a faculty washroom crisis, a psychic parrot, and a terrorizing gerbil, but when sixty-five erasers go missing, he enlists the help of the school's best problem solver and lost item locator, twelve-year-old Lyle Williams, also known as Mudshark.

Mummies -- Spengler, Kremena. {IL K-3, 932} -- Capstone Press, 2009., RL 3.5, 24p
Describes mummies in ancient Egypt, including how and why people were mummified.

Murder at midnight – Avi. {IL 5-8, -Fic-} -- Scholastic Press, 2009., RL 5.4, 254p
Falsely accused of plotting to overthrow King Claudio, scholarly Mangus the magician, along with his street-smart servant boy, Fabrizio, face deadly consequences unless they can track down the real traitor by the stroke of midnight.

The naked mole-rat -- Rake, Jody Sullivan. {IL K-3, 599.35} -- Capstone Press, 2009., RL 1.9, 24p
Photographs and simple text describe the physical characteristics, habits, and habitats of naked mole-rats.

Naked mole rat gets dressed -- Willems, Mo. {IL K-3, -E-} -- Hyperion Books for Children, 2009., RL 2.9, 36p
Wilbur is the only naked mole rat in his colony who enjoys wearing clothes, and when Grandpah, the oldest and most naked naked mole rat, discovers his secret, Wilbur fears he will be ostracized from the colony.

Orangutan tongs : poems to tangle your tongue -- Agee, Jon. {IL 3-6, 818} -- Disney/Hyperion Books, 2009., RL 3.4, 47p
Presents a humorous collection of poems and tricky tongue twisters.

Peace, Locomotion -- Woodson, Jacqueline. {IL 5-8, -Fic-} -- Putnam's, 2009., RL 5, 134p
Through letters to his little sister, who is living in a different foster home, sixth-grader Lonnie, also known as "Locomotion," keeps a record of their lives while they are apart, describing his own foster family, including his foster brother who returns home after losing a leg in the Iraq War.

The potato chip puzzles -- Berlin, Eric. {IL 3-6, -Fic-} -- Putnam's, 2009., RL 5.7, 244p
Winston and his friends enter an all-day puzzle contest to win fifty-thousand dollars for their school, but they must also figure out who is trying to keep them from winning. Puzzles for the reader to solve are included throughout the text.

Redwoods -- Chin, Jason. {IL K-3, 585} -- Flash Point, 2009., RL 4.8, 36p
While reading a book about redwood trees on the subway, a young boy travels as he learns, all the way to the forests of California.

The roar -- Clayton, Emma. {IL 3-6, -Fic-} -- Chicken House, 2009., RL 5.7, 481p
In an overpopulated world where all signs of nature have been obliterated and a wall has been erected to keep out plague-ridden animals, twelve-year-old Mika refuses to believe that his twin sister was killed after being abducted, and continues to search for her in spite of the dangers he faces in doing so.

Scat -- Hiaasen, Carl. {IL 5-8, -Fic-} -- Knopf, 2009., RL 6, 371p
Nick and Marta are both suspicious when their biology teacher, the feared Mrs. Bunny Starch, disappears, and try to uncover the truth despite the police and headmaster's insistence that nothing is wrong.

Sent -- Haddix, Margaret Peterson. {IL 5-8, -Fic-} -- Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2009., RL 5, 313p
Jonah, Katherine, Chip, and Alex find themselves in 1483 at the Tower of London, and discover that Chip and Alex are Prince Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury, imprisoned by Richard III; but trying to repair history without knowing what is supposed to happen proves challenging.

Skeleton Creek -- Carman, Patrick. {IL 5-8, -Fic-} -- Scholastic Press, 2009., RL 5.5, 185p
Although housebound following an eerie accident, teenaged Ryan continues to investigate the strange occurrences in his hometown of Skeleton Creek, recording his findings in a journal and viewing email video clips sent by fellow detective Sarah.

The storm in the barn -- Phelan, Matt. {IL 5-8, 741.5} -- Candlewick, 2009., RL 3.3, 201p
Eleven-year-old Jack Clark struggles with everyday obstacles while his family and community contend with the challenges brought on by the Dust Bowl in 1937 Kansas.

Villain's lair -- Van Draanen, Wendelin. {IL 3-6, -Fic-} -- Knopf, 2009., RL 4.7, 201p
Thirteen-year-old Dave and his sidekick, a talking gecko named Sticky, try to retrieve an ancient Aztec powerband and its magic ingots from the evil villain, Damien Black.

Watch me throw the ball! -- Willems, Mo. {IL K-3, -E-} -- Hyperion Books for Children, 2009., RL 1.3, 57p
Gerald gets serious about teaching Piggie to throw a ball, but Piggie, as usual, just wants to have fun.

What Darwin saw : the journey that changed the world -- Schanzer, Rosalyn. {IL 5-8, 508} -- National Geographic, 2009., RL 7.9, 47p
Introduces children to the life of Charles Darwin, describing how his innovative theories on evolution changed how people view the world.

What really happened to Humpty? : (from the files of a hard-boiled detective) -- Ransom, Jeanie Franz. {IL K-3, -E-} -- Charlesbridge, 2009., RL 2.2, 32p
Detective Joe Dumpty rushes to investigate the mysterious circumstances under which his older brother, Humpty, fell from a wall on his first day as captain of the new Neighborhood Watch program.

Written in bone : buried lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland -- Walker, Sally M. {IL 5-8, 614} -- Carolrhoda Books, 2009., RL 8.3, 144p
Reports on the work of forensic scientists who are excavating grave sites in James Fort, in Jamestown, Virginia, to understand who lived in the Chesapeake Bay area in the 1600s and 1700s; and uncovers the lives of a teenage boy, a ship's captain, a colonial officer, an African slave girl, and others.

The Yggyssey : how Iggy wondered what happened to all the ghosts, found out where they went, and went there -- Pinkwater, Daniel Manus. {IL 5-8, -Fic-} -- Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2009., RL 5.4, 245p
In the mid-1950s, Yggdrasil Birnbaum and her friends, Seamus and Neddie, journey to Old New Hackensack, which is on another plane, to try to learn why ghosts are disappearing from the Birnbaum's hotel and other Hollywood, California, locations.

You never heard of Sandy Koufax?! -- Winter, Jonah. {IL K-3, 796.357} -- Schwartz & Wade Books, 2009., RL 3.7, 32p
Offers a brief overview of the life of Sandy Koufax, discussing the obstacles and physical challenges he faced, his successful career, his retirement, and other related topics.


JILL O. MILES said...

So pleased to learn of several of these titles, including: What Darwin saw : the journey that changed the world, The Storm in the Barn, Mummies, Denied, Detained, Deported : Stories from the Dark Side of American Immigration, Chasing Lincoln's Killer and The Boy Who Invented TV : the Story of Philo Farnsworth. Thanks for the work you put into creating this list!

Susan Quinn said...

Thanks for the awesome list! I just posted about you on my blog Ink Spells!