April 16, 2014

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Sharon Creech and other Fan-Favorite Authors | JLG’s On the Radar

When our favorite author publishes a new book, we can’t wait to purchase it. Check out these new titles selected by the editors at Junior Library Guild.

Boy on the Porch Sharon Creech and other Fan Favorite Authors | JLG’s On the RadarCREECH, Sharon. The Boy on the Porch. Harper/Joanna Cotler Bks. Sept. 2013. ISBN 9780061892370. JLG Level: A : Intermediate Readers (Grades 3–5).

What kind of person would leave their child with strangers? Especially a child who doesn’t speak? Finding a young boy sleeping on their porch causes a young couple to open their home and later their hearts. They have no idea how he got there, just that someone would be back for him. Quickly becoming part of the family, Jacob rides the cow, runs with the beagle, and relaxes into a happy routine. All too soon, an unfamiliar car arrives to take the child away. His father has come for him. Feeling the hole that Jacob leaves, the husband and wife search for ways to fill it. Can they find happiness again? What will happen to the boy on the porch? Creech fans expecting a heart-wrenching story will not be disappointed.

Flora Sharon Creech and other Fan Favorite Authors | JLG’s On the RadarDiCAMILLO, Kate. Flora & Ulysses. illus. by K. G. Campbell. Candlewick. Sept. 2013. ISBN 9780763660406. JLG Level: A+ : Intermediate Readers (Grades 3–5).

Flora Belle Buckman is a natural born cynic. She also loves comics and reads them until her mother, a romance novelist, writes a contract requiring Flora to “turn her face…toward the bright light of true literature.” When the lady next door accidently vacuums an unassuming squirrel, Flora springs to the rescue and learns that he has acquired super powers. Able to lift the heavy Ulysses vacuum and seemingly now able to communicate, newly-named Ulysses begins a journey that will impact every person he meets. Whether he saves lives or merely types a poem, the squirrel will delight readers. His supporting cast is unique and charming, exactly what one would anticipate from the author of The Tale of Despereaux. (Candlewick, 2006)

Waffler Sharon Creech and other Fan Favorite Authors | JLG’s On the RadarDONOVAN, Gail. The Waffler. Dial. Aug. 2013. ISBN 9780803739208. JLG Level: A+ : Intermediate Readers (Grades 3–5).

Eating a waffle is a fine thing. Being a waffler (a person who can’t make a decision) is not. Even though he would like to change, Monty has a hard time making up his mind. When the principal accuses him of waffling, he gets a new nickname: Waffles. Complicating matters is the annual reading buddy program. He is assigned to a kindergarten boy named Leo, but later learns that some kids don’t get to participate because they have special services during that time. Deciding it’s not fair, he makes them his “unofficial” partners, reading to them at recess. Just before the culminating event, Leo has to move. Mrs. Tuttle tells Monty he has to decide which of his three unofficial partners will be his new buddy, but how can anyone decide about something like that? Donovan’s new school story has plenty of humor and thought-provoking situations.

Numbed Sharon Creech and other Fan Favorite Authors | JLG’s On the RadarLUBAR, David. Numbed. Millbrook. Oct. 2013. ISBN 9781467705943. JLG Level: A+ : Intermediate Readers (Grades 3–5).

Fans of Punished (Darby Creek, 2007) and lovers of math will be thrilled to discover Lubar’s new sequel, Numbed. Logan is supposed to keep Benedict out of trouble when his sixth grade class visits the Mobius Mathematics Museum. Discovering a number-crunching robot, Benedict flips the switch and argues with the mechanical device. “Numbers are stupid,” he shouts. Then the robot speaks in a low voice, calm and scary, “You are wrong about numbers. You must be numbed.” The boys soon learn that numbers are integrated into their lives, and without them, they are in big trouble. Solving math problems under time pressure is the only way to reverse their inability to calculate even the simplest equations.

For audio/video versions of these booktalks, please visit JLG’s Shelf Life Blog.

Junior Library Guild is a collection development service that helps school and public libraries acquire the best new children’s and young adult books. Season after season, year after year, Junior Library Guild book selections go on to win awards, collect starred or favorable reviews, and earn industry honors. Visit us at


Deborah B. Ford About Deborah B. Ford

Deborah is the Director of Library Outreach for Junior Library Guild. She is an award-winning teacher librarian with almost 30 years of experience as a classroom teacher and librarian in K–12 schools.

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