Didn't my teacher read me that?

by Ellen Peterson | Apr 23, 2020

A wide range of juvenile and YA fiction that families can listen to.

So You Want to Be a Wizard
by Diane Duane

Because she insists on fighting with words instead of her fists, 13-year-old Nita is regularly tormented by a gang of classmates. One day, running to escape their blows, she hides in the only safe place nearby-the library. When a book about wizardry catches her eye, Nita finds the help she needs in its pages. As she moves from chapter to chapter, Nita learns more sophisticated spells. Soon, stepping through a worldgate, she enters a shadowy city swirling with vicious taxicabs and carnivorous fire plugs. What begins as a simple quest quickly becomes a struggle to keep a powerful and ominous force from passing back into Nita's world.

Harris and Me
by Gary Paulsen

"I'm 11-years-old, from the city, and my parents are mean alcoholics. One day the deputy takes me away to live with some distant relatives on their sprawling farm in the country. At the Larsen farm, I meet my Uncle Knute and Aunt Clair and their two children, Glennis and her wild brother Harris. I also meet Louie, the crusty old guy who works as a farmhand and steals all the pancakes at breakfast. Harris introduces me to life on the farm, and it proves to be a rude awakening. From getting up before dawn to be kicked in the groin by a cow, to wrestling in the mud with slimy pigs, this is turning out to be quite the experience."

The Chocolate War
by Robert Cormier

Numb and shell shocked by his mother's recent death, Jerry Renault is not prepared to face the pressures of classes and classmates at New England's Trinity School. So when a secret school society known as The Vigils tapes a summons letter to his locker, Jerry is in no mood to answer it. The summons is from Archie Costello, the leader of The Vigils and master of intimidation. But it is Archie who is intimidated when a cool, street-smart teacher orders him to lead the school's annual fundraiser, the famous Trinity chocolate sale. At first, it's an easy job for Archie. But when Jerry refuses to answer his summons to participate in the chocolate sale, the job gets a lot more difficult-and more violent. What will it take to make Jerry obey the summons? The Chocolate War is a brilliant, unflinching portrait of vicious mob cruelty and conformity in an exclusive prep school. A gripping story from one of the most provocative writers in modern young adult literature, it will hold you spellbound until the final, anguished fight on the football fields of Trinity School.

The Whipping Boy
by Sid Fleischman

A poor orphan boy, Jemmy is plucked from the city sewers and given the worst job in the kingdom. Several times a day he is dragged from his room and given a sound thrashing, and all because of a silly rule that forbade anyone to spank, cuff, smack, or whip a prince when he's misbehaved. But someone has to be punished-that's where Jemmy comes in-and it is his misfortune to be the "Whipping Boy" for the naughtiest prince alive. So insufferable is the King's only son, that he is known high and low as "Prince Brat." Jemmy had been plotting for weeks how to get his raggedy clothes back and return to his carefree life in the streets. Then, the prince enters his room one night, and announces that he's running away and taking Jemmy with him. This is just the chance Jemmy has been waiting for, but when the two boys are kidnapped by evil highwaymen, Jemmy has to decide whether to fend for himself or the protect a hapless prince.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
by Avi

An ocean voyage of unimaginable consequences... Not every thirteen-year-old girl is accused of murder, brought to trial, and found guilty. But I was just such a girl, and my story is worth relating even if it did happen years ago. Be warned, however: If strong ideas and action offend you, read no more. Find another companion to share your idle hours. For my part, I intend to tell the truth as I lived it.

The Wreckers
by Iain Lawrence

There was once a village off the coast of Cornwall, England where people were so poor that they prayed for shipwrecks. They made their living by salvaging food and clothing from the wreckage. Some of them were evil and lit fires during a storm to lure ships onto the rocks. Then these "wreckers" made sure that no one survived the wrecks, so there would be no witnesses to their crimes. One stormy night in 1799, 14-year-old John Spencer was unfortunate enough to be on his father's ship when the wreckers did their worst. As John hid on the shore, he saw his shipmates murdered by these ruthless scavengers. Trapped in a strange land with no idea of whom to trust, he faced the most terrifying challenge of his life. The spell-binding excitement of a swashbuckling adventure, and the wrenching moral conflict of a Dickens novel delightfully converge in this critically-acclaimed debut novel.

Swindle
by Gordon Korman

After a mean collector named Swindle cons him out of his most valuable baseball card, Griffin Bing must put together a band of misfits to break into Swindle's compound and recapture the card. There are many things standing in their way -- a menacing guard dog, a high-tech security system, a very secret hiding place, and their general inability to drive -- but Griffin and his team are going to get back what's rightfully his . . . even if hijinks ensue.

Gypsy Rizka
by Lloyd Alexander

Greater Dunitsa is the most wonderful place on earth. At least that's what the town leaders think. If only they didn't have to put up with young Rizka, the free-spirited gypsy girl. Ever since her mother died and her father moved on, she has lived with her cat Pesto in a cart just outside town. Rizka walks around Greater Dunitsa in her ragbag clothes, playing sharp-witted tricks on deserving rogues. The leaders are convinced she is bad for business. The day the chief councilor finds his roast chicken in Pesto's hungry jaws is too much for the frustrated man. He hatches a fail-safe plan to get rid of the sassy gypsy girl and her troublesome pet. But he doesn't plan on Rizka's brains or is it brasiness? Wherever there is trouble, Rizka is there, offering her own hilarious solutions.

Homer Price
by Robert McCloskey

Homer Price lives about two miles out of Centerburg, somewhere in the Midwest. He keeps busy with school or sweeping out cabins at his parents' tourist camp. But somehow one thing always leads to another-and he finds himself in the midst of a rib-tickling adventure. The day Homer tames a friendly skunk, he doesn't expect his new pet to get mixed up with dangerous robbers. How can he know that the whole town will get in an uproar when he runs his uncle's automatic doughnut machine? And who would ever believe that he could discover the secret of The Super-Duper? With six hilarious tales, award-winning author Robert McCloskey takes an affectionate look at small-town America.

Anne of Green Gables
by L.M. Montgomery

As soon as Anne Shirley arrived at the snug, white farmhouse called Green Gables, she knew she wanted to stay forever... but would the Cuthberts send her back to the orphanage? Anne knows she's not what they expected -- a skinny girl with decidedly red hair and a temper to match. If only she could convince them to let her stay, she'd try very hard not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes or blurt out the very first thing she had to say. Anne was not like anybody else, everyone at Green Gables agreed; she was special -- a girl with an enormous imagination. This orphan girl dreamed of the day when she could call herself Anne of Green Gables.

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