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Varjak Paw

SF Said (2003), 254 pages
Illustrated by Dave McKean
Audience: 5th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Adventure, Animal, Fantasy, Fiction
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Varjak Paw is a pedigreed cat who has lived a quiet indoor life with his family. When danger threatens, Varjak heads Outside to find help and discovers another world, filled with danger and adventure. Can he learn the Seven Skills that his mythical ancestor teaches him in time to outwit gangs and save all cats from the mysterious Vanishings that have been occurring? The sequel is The Outlaw Varjak Paw.
Reviewed by: msp
Date read: 9/19/2013
ISBN-10: 0385750307
ISBN-13: 9780385750301
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Waiting for the Magic

Patricia MacLachlan (2011), 143 pages
Illustrated by Amy June Bates
Audience: 3rd Grade - 7th Grade
Category: Animal, Fiction
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When Papa decides to go away to write, Mama decides it is time for the family to get a pet. The shelter has four dogs and a cat. They adopt them all. Elinor is four years old, and she can hear the dogs talk from the day they adopt them. Because William (our narrator) is sad about Papa going away, the 'magic' has not found him yet. Then one day, it does. William and his grandparents now can hear the dogs, too. Then, Papa comes home discouraged. He couldn't write even though he left his family. So the family makes him a writing room in the attic and with the help of the dog's magic, he is able to write beautiful poems. Mama, who has never been able to hear the dogs, has a new baby, Nicholas. The animal shelter calls about a new dog up for adoption and the family decides to take him, too. When the new dog arrives home, Mama finds the 'magic' and now she too can hear the dogs talk. It is no wonder why this book is nominated for a Bluestem award. It is a sweet, touching story you are sure to love.
Awards nominated: 2014 Bluestem Award Nominee
Reviewed by: lspraner
Date read: 4/26/2013
ISBN-13: 9781416927464
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Waiting Is Not Easy!

Mo Willems (2014), 64 pages
Illustrated by Mo Willems
Audience: Preschool - 2nd Grade
Category: Animal, Easy Reader, Humor
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Piggie has a surprise for Gerald but Gerald has to wait for it. Waiting is reeeeeally hard! Groan! The surprise is worth it, both for Gerald and for you.
Book Series: Elephant & Piggie Book
Awards nominated: 2017 Monarch Nominee
Reviewed by: vfv
Date read: 4/15/2016
ISBN-10: 142319957X
ISBN-13: 9781423199571
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War Horse

Michael Morpurgo (2007), 176 pages
Audience: 5th Grade - 8th Grade
Category: Adventure, Animal, Fiction, Historical, Realistic Fiction
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This book is narrated by Joey, a mixed-breed horse, thoroughbred and draft horse. His first memory is of an auction, when he was sold to a farmer. The farmer's son, Bert, knows that Joey is HIS horse, and trains him to be a runner and field horse. When World War I breaks out, Bert's father sells Joey to the British Armed Forces. Distraught, Bert vows that he will enlist and follow Joey as soon as he is old enough. The story follows Joey through his experiences as a war horse, first with the British and then with the Germans, as he is captured as a spoil of war. Will Joey survive the war and will Bert be able to find him?
Awards nominated: 2013 Bluestem Nominee
Reviewed by: vverscaj
Date read: 6/5/2010
ISBN-10: 0439796636
ISBN-13: 9780439796637
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Watermelon Seed

Greg Pizzoli (2013), 40 pages
Illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
Audience: Preschool - 3rd Grade
Category: Animal, Easy Reader, Fiction, Humor, Picture Books
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Winner of the 2014 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for beginning readers, The Watermelon Seed is definitely a seed worth swallowing! Crocodile, our main character, professes his love for watermelon and how he loves to chomp and slurp it for every meal until he accidentally swallows a seed. And we all know what happens when you swallow a watermelon seed. Panic ensues until a rumble in crocodile's tummy makes him burp up the culprit! Crocodile swears off watermelon forever but will it last?
Awards nominated: 2016 Monarch Award Nominee
Awards won: 2014 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award
Reviewed by: BIS
Date read: 4/6/2015
ISBN-10: 1423171012
ISBN-13: 9781423171010
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