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2015 Bluestem Nominees

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Becky Johnson

on 29 October 2014

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Transcript of 2015 Bluestem Nominees

2015 Bluestem Nominees
Realistic Fiction
Non-Fiction
Adventure
Amulet 1: The Stonekeeper by Kaza Kibuishi
Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
Humor!
Animal
Chained by Lynne Kelly
After ten-year-old Hastin’s family borrows money to pay for his sister’s hospital bill, he leaves his village in northern India to take a job as an elephant keeper and work off the debt. He thinks it will be an adventure, but he isn’t prepared for the cruel circus owner. The crowds that come to the circus see a lively animal who plays soccer and balances on milk bottles, but Hastin sees Nandita, a sweet elephant and his best friend, who is chained when she’s not performing and hurt with a hook until she learns tricks perfectly.
A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean
Cally Fisher knows she can see her dead mother, but the only other living soul who does is a mysterious wolfhound who always seems to be there when her mom appears. How can Cally convince anyone that her mom is still with the family, or persuade her dad that the huge silver-gray dog belongs with them?
Dogs on Duty: Soldiers' Best Friends on the Battlefield and Beyond by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
When the news of the raid on Osama Bin Laden's compound broke, the SEAL team member that stole the show was a highly trained canine companion. Throughout history, dogs have been key contributors to military units. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent follows man's best friend onto the battlefield, showing readers why dogs are uniquely qualified for the job at hand, how they are trained, how they contribute to missions, and what happens when they retire.
A poignant story about the difficulties of leaving everything behind and the friendships that help you get through it. Fleeing war-torn Kosovo, ten-year-old Drita and her family move to America with the dream of living a typical American life. But with this hope comes the struggle to adapt and fit in. How can Drita find her place at school and in her new neighborhood when she doesn't speak any English? Meanwhile, Maxie and her group of fourth-grade friends are popular in their class, and make an effort to ignore Drita. So when their teacher puts Maxie and Drita together for a class project, things get off to a rocky start. But sometimes, when you least expect it, friendship can bloom and overcome even a vast cultural divide.
Drita, My Homegirl by Jenny Lombard
Frindle by Andrew Clements
Is Nick Allen a troublemaker?
He really just likes to liven things up at school -- and he's always had plenty of great ideas. When Nick learns some interesting information about how words are created, suddenly he's got the inspiration for his best plan ever...the frindle. Who says a pen has to be called a pen? Why not call it a frindle? Things begin innocently enough as Nick gets his friends to use the new word. Then other people in town start saying frindle. Soon the school is in an uproar, and Nick has become a local hero. His teacher wants Nick to put an end to all this nonsense, but the funny thing is frindle doesn't belong to Nick anymore. The new word is spreading across the country, and there's nothing Nick can do to stop it.
Fantasy
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
Book Review http://bit.ly/1fQw4l5
In the first novel of the New York Times bestselling series by Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games, young Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building and hurtles into the dark Underland. This strange world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it -- until he realizes it's the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance. Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever.
If You Lived Here: Houses of the World by Giles Laroche
Step into unique homes from around the world and discover the many fascinating ways in which people live and have lived.
Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead
The instant New York Times bestseller from the author of the Newbery Medal book When You Reach Me: a story about spies, games, and friendship. Seventh grader Georges moves into a Brooklyn apartment building and meets Safer, a twelve-year-old self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer's first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: what is a lie, and what is a game? How far is too far to go for your only friend?
Lunch Lady and The Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Hector, Terrence, and Dee have always wondered about their school lunch lady. What does she do when she isn’t dishing out the daily special? Where does she live? Does she have a lot of cats at home? Little do they know, Lunch Lady doesn’t just serve sloppy joes—she serves justice! Whatever danger lies ahead, it’s no match for LUNCH LADY!
Graphic Novel
Niagara Falls, or Does It? by Henry Winkler
For Hank, fourth grade does not start out on the right foot. First of all, he gets called to the principal's office on the very first day of school. Then the first assignment his teacher gives him is to write five paragraphs on "What You Did This Summer." Hank is terrified-writing one good sentence is hard for him, so how in the world is he going to write five whole paragraphs? Hank comes up with a plan: instead of writing what he did on vacation, he'll show what he did. But when Hank's "living essay" becomes a living disaster, he finds himself in detention. Strangely enough, however, detention ends up becoming a turning point in his life.
Night of the Twisters by Ivy Ruckman
When a tornado watch is issued one Tuesday evening in June, twelve-year-old Dan Hatch and his best friend, Arthur, don't think much of it. After all, tornado warnings are a way of life during the summer in Grand Island, Nebraska. But soon enough, the wind begins to howl, and the lights and telephone stop working. Then the emergency siren starts to wail. Dan, his baby brother, and Arthur have only seconds to get to the basement before the monstrous twister is on top of them. Little do they know that even if they do survive the storm, their ordeal will have only just begun. . . .
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Having spent 27 years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.
Rich: A Dyamonde Daniel Book
by Nikki Grimes & R. Gregory Christie
Dyamonde Daniel is excited about the local library's poetry contest, and so is her friend Free. The prize is one hundred dollars! Just think what they could buy with that much money! But when they find out that Damaris, one of their classmates, has been living in a homeless shelter, their ideas about what it means to be rich or poor start to change. And when they get to know Damaris, they realize the one who could use the prize money the most also happens to be the best poet in class.
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
When Marty Preston comes across a young beagle in the hills behind his home, it's love at first sight -- and also big trouble. It turns out the dog, which Marty names Shiloh, belongs to Judd Travers, who drinks too much and has a gun -- and abuses his dogs. So when Shiloh runs away from Judd to Marty, Marty just has to hide him and protect him from Judd. But Marty's secret becomes too big for him to keep to himself, and it exposes his entire family to Judd's anger. How far will Marty have to go to make Shiloh his?
Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio
by Peg Kehret
In a riveting story of courage and hope, Peg Kehret writes about months spent in a hospital when she was twelve, first struggling to survive a severe case of polio, then slowly learning to walk again.
After the tragic death of their father, Emily and Navin move with their mother to the home of her deceased great-grandfather, but the strange house proves to be dangerous. Before long, a sinister creature lures the kids' mom through a door in the basement. Em and Navin, desperate not to lose her, follow her into an underground world inhabited by demons, robots, and talking animals. http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/asset/amulet-book-1-stonekeeper-book-trailer
The Truth About Poop
by Susan E. Goodwin and Elwood H. Smith
We call it a waste product, but poop can also be bricks to build a house, fuel to power a trip to Mars, wipes for a baby's bottom, buttons for your next sweater. Poop? YES! POOP! And that's not all. Birds drop it as bombs. Mole-rats use it as a password. Sharks track their prey with it. People cook with it, sculpt with it, and even use it as a Frisbee! While we politely avoid the subject, amazing things are happening in digestive tracts all over the world. Kids (and adults too!) will be captivated by the astounding facts contained in this fascinating book, featuring hilarious illustrations.
Wild River by PJ Peterson
When twelve-year-old Ryan reluctantly agrees to join his experienced older brother, Tanner, on a camping trip, he never dreams that it will turn into the most frightening day of his life.

Ryan admits he's no good at sports or outdoor stuff. He'd much rather be playing video games. But Tanner assures him it will be an easy trip. They'll kayak down the Boulder River, fish, and toast marshmallows at night.

When they set out, the river is higher than usual, and the kayaking is scary. Tanner keeps saying there's no reason to worry. But when he's badly hurt in a kayaking accident, Ryan is afraid he's not up to the challenge of saving his brother's life.
Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing headline in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing.

Set fifty years apart, these two independent stories--Ben's told in words, Rose's in pictures--weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder. Rich, complex, affecting, and beautiful--with over 460 pages of original artwork--Wonderstruck is a stunning achievement from a uniquely gifted artist and visionary.
The Dunderheads by Paul Fleischman
Miss Breakbone hates kids. Especially the time-squandering, mindwandering, doodling, dozing dunderheads in her class. But when she confiscates Junkyard’s crucial find, she finally goes too far. Enter Wheels (and his souped-up bike with forty-eight extra gears), Pencil (who can draw anything from memory), Spider (look up and you’ll find him), and their fellow misfits in a spectacular display of teamwork aimed at teaching Miss Breakbone a lesson she won’t soon forget.
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