2004 Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

2004 Winner - The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brasheres

Believe it or not, Carmen, Tibby, Lena and Bridget have been friends since before they were born. Their moms, who met at a class for pregnant ladies, all gave birth the same month and then they hung out together with their new babies. And even though their mothers may have drifted apart, the girls have been best friends ever since.

But this summer that friendship will be tested as the four girls are split up for the first time. Carmen is going away to South Carolina to be with her dad, Tibby’s stuck at home working at Wallman’s, Lena’s heading out to a tiny Greek Island and Bridget’s attending an elite soccer camp in Baja California. Enter, the traveling pants: an unusual pair of jeans that seems to make any girl who wears it look her hottest, Bridget may be long, lean & athletic, Tibby small and skinny, Lena slim and curvy, and Carmen, well, she’s blessed with a J-Lo-wide rear end--yet when they try the pants on—wow! Each girl will take her turn that summer—no more than a week—with the pants, before passing them on. And she has to write and tell just what she’s been up to while wearing them!

Carmen, Tibby, Lena and Bridget soon discover that somehow, wearing those jeans inspires them to try things they’d barely dreamed of. But the consequences of those choices—wild, outrageous, brave or sexy—will upend their lives.

Read about four best friends and one amazing summer—read The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brasheres

by Kirsten Edwards of King County Library System

Boston Jane by Jennifer Holm

"Papa always said you make your own luck. But after being seasick for 5 months, 2 weeks and 6 days, I felt certain that luck had nothing to do with anything aboard the 'Lady Luck', a poorly named vessel if ever there was one. I had just spent the morning of my 16th birthday puking into a bucket, and I had little hope that the day would improve. I had no doubt that I was the unluckiest young lady in the world."

Jane Peck is on her way to the Oregon Territory in the year 1854. She is engaged to marry William Baldt who was an apprentice to her father and has homesteaded in the Pacific Northwest. Jane is a graduate of Miss Hepplewhite's Young Ladies Academy in Philadelphia and nothing she learned there has prepared her for this trip. She was taught how to keep her composure, dress plainly and pack lightly, and not let little irritations sway her cheery nature! She should have learned how to kill fleas, avoid rats, bathe with seawater and avoid being seasick!

When Jane reaches Washington Territory she expects William to meet her and is shocked to discover that he is not there. Her traveling companion died on the voyage and she is forced to accept the hospitality of a group of flea-bitten men. Jane desperately looks for William to rescue her but in the meantime she must survive on her own.

by Sally Grant of the Whatcom County Library System

Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn

Is there someone really cool at your school? - someone you'd like to be? Some guys get all the breaks - or do they?

Nick Andreas was one of those cool guys - he was popular, smart, handsome, on the football team, and he had a classic '67 red Mustang convertible that everyone drooled over. Nick's life seemed perfect. None of the kids at school knew about Nick's life at home - he kept that completely off limits. Nick's dad was a perfectionist, and nothing was ever good enough for him. Nick often stayed home from school because he didn't want people to see the bruises on his face after one of his dad's rages.

Nick's girlfriend Caitlin also seemed to have a "perfect" life. But Nick couldn't handle the way she’d look at other guys, the way she’d try to challenge his authority—and now a black eye and a few bruises later, Caitlin is Nick’s EX-girlfriend.

But Nick can’t bear to lose the girl he says he loves. H’ed do anything to get her back. He's in an anger management class now and if he can only get Caitlin's love back he knows he can change.

It may be tougher than breathing underwater!

by Sally Grant of the Whatcom County Library System

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

The first time she saw him, she flipped.

The first time he saw her, he ran.

Is this the basis for a solid relationship?

Ever since she saw Bryce’s baby blue eyes in second grade, Julianna Baker has been completely smitten. Bryce, on the other hand, has always thought that Juli is weird. 

In eighth grade, however, everything changes. After years of avoiding Juli, Bryce finally notices her, and is surprised to find that she’s actually kind of cool. Different, yes—but in a sort of cool way. After all, she raises chickens and sits in trees. But when Juli finally looks beyond Bryce’s pretty eyes, she’s not sure she likes what she sees.

The chapters alternate between the voices of Bryce and Juli, and slowly the story of their eighth grade year emerges—as well as some surprising similarities (and differences) in their families. If you like sweet, funny stories with quirky characters, chickens and trees, Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen is the book for you!

by Aarene Storms of King County Library System

Guts by Gary Paulsen

Does anyone know what wild animal killed the most people last year, here in the U.S.? [Take responses from your audience. Almost no-one guesses correctly—if someone does—say just that—“Wow! Almost no-one gets that answer right!”]

It’s deer. Yes, that’s right. Deer. Deer kill more people each year in the U.S. than any other wild animal. Gary Paulsen will show you why:

The place is the parking lot of a national park—you know the kind of place with fire pits and picnic tables before you head up into the trails. [Read from pp. 54—56 beginning with:] “It was early summer and a young buck—he had only a forked horn still in velvet—had attached himself to a child and his mother”. [Continue through the death of the child, ending with:] “…and finally the little boy, still and so small, lying on a gravel pathway, not terribly far from a sign that said Don’t Feed the Deer.”

Like many people, Gary Paulsen had to learn to respect the wild the hard way—and it nearly killed him more than once.
Check out Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books for the real life stories—like this one—from the man who doesn’t just tell adventure stories—he lives them.

by Kirsten Edwards of King County Library System

Shattered Mirror by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Roses and poetry.

Things any normal teenage girl would want from a boy. But she was no normal teenage girl and he was no normal teenage guy. For Sarah was the daughter of a powerful vampire-hunting line of witches taught to kill those who drank human blood. And Christopher, although he wanted nothing more than to be like the humans, to turn his back on a bloodthirsty legacy, Christopher was a vampire.

They could tolerate each other at school. But friendship, much less love between vampire and witch was impossible, dangerous, forbidden.

Roses and poetry. What were they to do?

by Tom Reynolds of Sno-Isle Library System

Squire (Protector of the Small) by Tamora Pierce

It was a dream come true, almost.

Kel had become the first female page in the Kingdom of Tortall in over a century, and for 4 years she had struggled to prove herself in a court that thought her unworthy because of her sex.

Her dream was to become a lady knight, but first she had to be chosen as a squire and it seemed like that would never happen. But then the Lord Raoul Goldenlake, the Giant Killer, Knight Commander of the King's Guard, made her his choice. But Kel's jubilation was short lived. Her testing would now begin in earnest. It would take all her courage, skill with animals, and persistence to succeed. And if she did what waited for her was the ultimate trial--The Chamber of Ordeal. The hall through which all squires must finally pass to realize their dream of becoming a knight.

Would Kel realize her dream?

by Tom Reynolds of the Sno-Isle Library System

Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

Alex Rider is pretty sure the police are lying to him. Suuuuure his uncle died in a car crash. What kind of “accident” leaves a car riddled with bullet holes? Yesterday, life was sweet, living large in London with his wealthy banker uncle. Today, the man who was like a father to him is dead, and all he gets is lies and mysteries.

The problem for Alex, though isn’t about finding out the truth. Alex is clever and has an unexpected gift for sneaking around. The problem is that when Alex does learn that his “banker” uncle was actually a spy working for British Intelligence’s MI6—MI6 then decides Alex is too good to let go. The utterly ruthless spymaster running the agency gives Alex a life or death choice—finish his uncle’s last mission—or else.

Now Alex is going deep undercover to smoke out an international bio-terrorist and would-be mass-murderer. 

No one would ever suspect a teenage kid—right--?

If James Bond were a teenager, his name would be Alex Rider. Check out the non-stop action of Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

by Kirsten Edwards of the King County Library System

Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

Did you ever meet a guy that you really, really didn't like? Didn't like the way he dressed, didn't like the way he talked, didn't like the way he acted--just plain didn't like anything about him?

That's how I felt about Cole Matthews for most of this book.

Cole Matthews is a mean, nasty, bad-tempered, rotten bully. He is used to getting his own way by lying, cheating, and pushing other people around. For years he's been hauled into drug counseling, anger therapy sessions and police stations, and every time he got into trouble he was warned to "shape up because this was his last chance." And he has learned that he can always count on having one more "last" chance.

But when Cole beats up a younger kid and smashed his head against the sidewalk, he is in the biggest trouble of his life. Peter may be permanently brain damaged. When Cole is offered Circle Justice, a system based on Native American traditions that attempt to provide healing for the criminal offender and the victim, he plays along,trying to avoid a prison sentence. The Circle sends Cole for a one-year banishment on a remote Alaskan island, where he is mauled by a mysterious white bear during an attempt to escape. As he waits for death, Cole's thoughts begin to change, and he begins to accept responsibility for his actions. 

He is not suddenly cured, however. After six months in the hospital, Cole returns to the island, accompanied by Edwin, a Tlinquet elder who has agreed to teach him. On the first day back on the island, Edwin hands Cole a big rock to carry up a hill....

read exerpt from book (this skips around in a few paragraphs) pp. 155-157, hardback edition:

"How far are we going?" Cole asked.
Edwin continued up the long slope.
Grumbling, Cole followed. As they walked, Edwin spoke. "Your life isn't an accident. Many generations of your ancestors struggled through life, learning lessons, making mistakes, just as you have. Each generation passed on to the next what they learned and all that they became."
After several hundred feet, Cole's right arm ached from carrying the heavy stone. He stopped and looked back. They were barely halfway up the slope.
"Pretend that rock is your ancestors," said Edwin. "Climbing this hill is your life. With each step, you carry your ancestors with you, in your mind, in your heart, and in your soul. If you listen, your ancestors reach out from the rock and teach you the lessons of their struggles. Hear your ancestors. Someday, you'll pass those lessons on to others."
Cole acknowledged Edwin's words with a weary grunt and struggled on without complaining. By the time they reached the top, he breathed heavily. He was about to drop the rock to the ground when Edwin reached out, took the heavy stone, and set it down carefully. "Treat your ancestors gently," he said.
"What are they, wimps?"
Edwin ignored Cole's comment. "I've carried that stone up this hill hundreds of times," he said.
"This very same rock?"
Edwin nodded.
"You mean you carry it back down again, too?"
Edwin smiled. "There's a better way. Once the rock is set down, it changes meaning. Now it becomes your anger. Roll the rock down the hill. Roll away your anger. Each time you do this, you'll find more meaning. And you'll learn respect."
"What do you mean, each time I do this? I'm not going to carry that stupid rock up this hill every day. What makes you think you know everything that's good for me?"
Edwin drew in a deep breath. "I don't. Nobody does. We all search for answers, same as you."
"They why do you keep telling me what to do?"
Edwin smiled. "That's the first intelligent question I've heard you ask all morning."

Will carrying a rock make Cole a better person? No, it won't. But the rock is part of the healing process. And there's still the problem of Peter, the injured boy. What can Cole possibly do for Peter?

Read the book and find out. Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

by Aarene Storms of the King County Library System

True Believer by Virginia Euwer Wolff

What is the most important thing in your life? LaVaughn is 15 and the most important thing in her life is going to college. She wants a different life than her mother has. She is saving money and getting good grades for college.

Then everything changes. Jody moves back into her neighborhood – Jody her childhood friend who has grown up to be a gorgeous guy! LaVaughn is in love and Jody acts like he loves her - but does he?

Everything is confusing in LaVaughn's life now - there are gangs, violence and poverty all around her, her mom is dating a new guy, and her two best friends are starting to change. The teacher in the Sex Education class at her High School tells her that sexuality is the most confusing thing about being a teenager. LaVaughn and Jody both feel confused and are not sure what they believe any more.

True Believer - A Novel in the Make Lemonade Trilogy.

by Sally Grant of Whatcom County Library System