2003 Princess Diaries

2003 Winner - The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

Has anyone ever warned you to "be careful what you wish for"? Do you think it would be cool to be a Prince or Princess and have everything you've ever wanted? (A tiara as a prop would be good here)

Mia Thermopolis is a typical 9th grader with divorced parents and trouble in Algebra I. She has a crush on a hot senior named Josh and is stunned when she finds out that her dad (whom she was told was a European politician) is actually Prince of a small country named Genovia. Since he can't have any more children she is the heir to the throne - the CROWN PRINCESS. Grandmere will soon arrive to give her princess lessons.

Mia does not feel like a princess -- she has bad hair, a big mouth, no breasts, and feet that look like skis. And you know what else? Her mom is dating her algebra teacher!

Now that she's royalty, the kids at school who used to snub her want to be her friends. Reporters are bugging her and she's fighting with her best friend Lily. She never wished for this - what's a princess to do?

by Sally Grant of Sno-Isle Library System

Forgotten Fire by Adam Bagdasarian

It is 1915 in Turkey. Turkey has entered World War I on the side of Germany. And the new Turkish leaders have turned a hard eye on the Armenian Christians living in Turkey.

Armenian families like Vahan Kendarians. Yesterday the Turks were their neighbors and their friends. Today they've come with guns. Turkish soldiers have shot up their kitchen and dragged them outside. They've questioned Vahan's mother: Are you hiding anyone? Neighbors or friends? They want to know where Vahan's uncle is. Finally, they seem to be satisfied. (Read from p. 26-28, changing to third person and identifying the names as you go.)

[Then Vahan] heard some kind of commotion behind [him], and when [he] turned, [he] saw two soldiers leading [his big brothers] Diran and Tavel to the garden wall. Two other soldiers were standing a few yards away, their rifles pointed at my brothers.

What are you doing? my mother said to one of them, but he didn't answer. They didn't do anything! [Vahans] mother shouted. They don't know anything! She started to run to [his] brothers, and another soldier grabbed her arm. They didn't do anything! she cried. But the soldiers had already raised their rifles, had already aimed.

Tavel had slipped halfway down the wall when the shots exploded, blowing his body back against the wall. And then he and Diran were on their sides, and the white wall was red and blood leaked from Dirans head, from Tavels chest and head, and puddle beneath them. [Vahans sister] Sisak started toward the bodies, [his sister] Armenouhi dropped to her knees and [his] mother screamed and screamed.

The soldier who had questioned [Vahan's] mother drew his pistol, walked to the bodies, pressed the mouth of the gun against each skull, fired, put the gun in his holster, and walked away.

It was only going to get worse.

Be steel, Vahan's father always told him when Vahan was having a hard time. Steel is made strong by fire. In the days to come, Vahan must be steel. Everyone he loves will be torn from him. He will live as a hunted creature, desperate to escape Turkey, to escape the fire that consumes his country.

Vahans story may be fiction, but the tale of the Armenian holocaust is absolutely true. Read Forgotten Fire and find out for yourself.

by Kirsten Edwards of King County Library System 

The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci

Christopher Creed had trouble getting along with other people. None of his fellow Steepleton High School students liked him. Everyone considered him weird. Chris knew it and one day he just disappeared.

He had left a note. But was it a suicide note? Nobody was quite sure.

The dislike of Christopher Creed had run deep, and the fine students at Steepleton had let him know how much he irritated them, sometimes with a remark and sometimes with a fist. But certainly they weren't to blame for his disappearance, somebody or something else must be at fault.

But as time wore on and he didn't turn up, everybody had the same nagging questions. Was he dead or alive? And if he was alive, why had he run away? And if he wasn't alive, had he committed suicide or been murdered? And, most of all, if he was dead where was the body?

by Tom Reynolds of Sno-Isle Library System

Angus,Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

Georgia's little sister leaves wet diapers on her bed, her huge cat Angus is trying to eat the poodle next door, her bra is a little loose and rides up around her neck when she runs for the bus, and she needs to learn everything about snogging (kissing) as soon as possible.

Georgia is 14 and she thinks her life is hopeless. She tells her diary everything. Her friends have a solution to her "snogging" problem. Seventeen-year-old Peter Dyer is available from 4:30 until 6:30 (when his mom gets home) to give full-frontal snogging lessons. 

[Read aloud from the "tainted love" chapter beginning on page 73!]

Will Georgia survive her 14th year?

by Sally Grant of Sno-Isle Library System

The Ice Limit by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Lloyd Palmer, richest man in the world, gets what he wants. And right now, what he wants for his museum is the biggest meteorite in the world. The problem is that its tucked away on a little island at the bottom of the world, property of the country of Chile, which would probably not let Palmer buy it from them if they knew it was there. So Lloyd Palmer figures he'll just have to steal it. Happily for Lloyd, he can afford the 150 million dollars that the skilled team of Effective Engineering will charge him to get it for him. The problem for Effective Engineering is that Lloyd Palmer just can't stay away from his meteorite hunt.

It's a problem that's going to prove painful for everyone. It's a danger when a trigger-happy Chilean warship captain decides to get Lloyd Palmer on his own personal manhunt (he believes that Palmer murdered his son. Oops!). It's a disaster when the heavy seas and encroaching winter near Antarctica drive them into the Ice Limit. And it may doom more than just a billionaire and a team of ethically-challenged scientists when the meteorite turns out to be a bit more than just another rock from space, with strange and terrible properties all its own.

It's a bloody race at the bottom of the world - at the Ice Limit. 

by Kirsten Edwards of King County Library System

Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Stargirl Caraway was a big shock to Mica Area High School. You see Mica High was not exactly a hotbed of nonconformity.

Stargirl with her long dresses and her ukulele. Stargirl who liked to sing happy birthday to other students in the lunch room and lead cheers at the football games. Stargirl who danced in the rain, laughed even when there was no joke. Stargirl, the girl with no friends, who was the friendliest person in school.

Yes, the arrival of Stargirl knocked the whole student body off balance. Some claimed she was an alien, others that she was auditioning for a television show. Some argued that she was the result of too much homeschooling, while others claimed that she lived in a bus with her ex-hippy parents. 

By late fall Stargirl was leading a rebellion at Mica. By her actions she was saying that everyone was unique, every person important. Individuality became IN at Mica High for the first time that anyone could remember. The whole student body fell in love with Stargirl, including one Leo Borlock.

It was a golden time at Mica High, but it couldn't last. For a little individuality goes along way at a place like Mica. And when Stargirl's nonconformity begins to seem peculiar to some, Mica High turns against her with a vengeance.

Read Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. A story of love, individuality, and porcupine neckties.

by Tom Reynolds of Sno-Isle Library System

Players by Joyce Sweeney

What would you do if you were captain of a high school basketball team and someone on the team was trying to destroy it? That's what high-scoring Corey Brennan fears is happening to the Badgers...

Corey, Antawn, Theo, and Luke made the varsity in their junior year, and the Badgers' had amazed everyone. Now, in their senior year, they are picked to go all-city. All they had to do was replace one player.

Hot-shot transfer student Noah Travers wanted the job. He could shoot and rebound. He seemed the perfect replacement to play second string center. Only Noah didn't want to be second string.

From the moment Noah began practicing with the team, the team's chemistry starts to crumble. One player mysteriously quits and another collapses right before the first game. This is more than just rivalry between players, something sinister is happening.

Corey, Antawn, Theo, and Luke were great players, but to make all-city they have to be a great team. It is up to Corey to pull the team together. But if his suspicions are right, the team is in its greatest danger from one of their own members.

by Tom Reynolds of Sno-Isle Library System

Stuck in Neutral - by Terry Trueman

His name is Shawn McDaniel. He's 14. He knows his father loves him but he thinks he's trying to kill him.

The deal is...he has cerebral palsy. It's a disease not a condition. When he was born his brain was damaged - a tiny blood vessel burst inside his head, and this blood vessel was in exactly the wrong spot. This wiped out his muscle control. He can't control his fingers, his hands, his left foot, stomach, tongue, throat eyelids - nothing. Everyone thinks he's a vegetable because he can't communicate - not even by blinking his eyes.

He has seizures every day and he never knows when they're going to happen until seconds before. But he likes them - it's like his soul has left his body and he flies - he's free. His dad thinks his seizures are painful for him - and it is so hard for his dad to see him suffer.

So is Shawn right? Will his dad end his life? Shawn is "Stuck in Neutral".

by Sally Grant of Sno-Isle Library System

The Queen of Attolia by Megan Whelan Turner

Eugenides, “Gen” as his friends call him, is an unusual person. He’s barely 20 and already the greatest spy his country, Eddis, has ever known. His cousin, the Queen, calls him her personal thief. She’s proud to know that she can send him to spy on her enemy, the Queen of Attolia, whose tyrannical rule threatens every county around her. Gen goes anywhere he wants in Attolia, even the Queen’s own palace—even her bedroom—with total skill.

But the Queen of Attolia has unexpected sources of information, and Gen is captured. Gen is taken to a dungeon deep below the palace and strapped into a chair with overlong arms. (Read from page 35-36)

“Your ambassador says your queen has accepted my right to have you flogged,” said Attolia. “But not to have you flogged to death, nor to have you hung upside down from my palace walls, nor to have you starve to death in a cage in my courtyard. He says I mustn’t exceed the restraints of law and tradition. He says I might offend the gods, though he didn’t say which ones. I care very little for the opinion of any god, but I still think tradition might hold the best solution to my problems with you.”
She released him and stepped back. A burly jailer unracked a curving sword from its place on the wall. Eugenides had been frightened before, so frightened that he’d felt as if his heart had turned to stone in his chest. Seeing the sword in the jailer’s hand, he looked again at the queen and felt the whole world turned to stone. The air around him was solid and he was suffocating. He threw himself against the leather straps of the chair, against the solid air around him against the obduracy of the Queen of Attolia.
He begged, “Please, please,” as if his heart were breaking.
The man beside him lifted the sword. It caught the firelight on its edge a moment before it swept down, biting deep on into the wooden arm of the chair. Gen’s right hand disappeared behind the blade.”

The Queen of Attolia let Gen rot for a few days in her dungeon then sent Eddis their thief back. Attolia imagines she’s rid herself of the danger of this outrageous young spy. And Eddis is soon at war with Attolia.

But Eddis is small, and war with Attolia brings every other great country surrounding them eager to pounce. So the Queen of Eddis comes to her own personal thief, her cousin, as he hides, crippled in his rooms, to beg him for one last great thievery. “Steal peace for me,” she begs him. “Steal me some time.”
And to Attolia’s terror and surprise, that’s just what Gen does. Even one-handed he’s a mortal threat to the Queen of Attolia.

by Kirsten Edwards of King County Library System

Homeless Bird - by Gloria Whelan

Koly is only 13 - just starting her teen years - but she doesn't get to be a teenager because it's time to get married. Her husband will be Hari – only 16 - and she has never met him. She asks her mother what she should do if she doesn't like him and is told she must learn to like him. She doesn't get the chance because Hari is very ill with tuberculosis and her dowry will help pay for efforts to cure him.

Hari dies soon after the wedding and she is no longer of any use to his family. Her mother-in-law takes her to a big city and abandons her there - Koly is a homeless bird. Will anyone help her? How can she survive?

by Sally Grant of Sno-Isle Library System