The Center for Children's Books


Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Finding Family - November 2010

Selected and annotated by Lauren Chambers


Arbuthnott, Gill. The Keepers' Tattoo. Chicken House/Scholastic, 2010. 432 p. Gr. 7-10.
Nyssa has always wondered why she has a tattoo on her arm. She finds out the answer when the Shadowmen come to her village hunting members of a tribe called Keepers, who supposedly have powers. Forced to flee when she learns she is a Keeper, Nyssa also discovers that she has a twin brother who was captured by the leader of the Shadowmen and that together they must save the world.

Beaudion, Sean. Fade to Blue. Illus. by Wilfred Santiago. Little, 2009. 192 p. Gr. 7-10.
Sophie has been seeing things and hearing voices since the night her father disappeared. She's sure the two are related. She also thinks her brother's comic holds the answers. Or is she going mad?

Binding, Tim. Sylvie and the Songman. Fickling/Random House, 2009. 340 p. Gr. 4-6.
Three years ago Sylvie's mother disappeared and now the Woodpecker Man has kidnapped her father. To make matters worse the Woodpecker Man works for the Songman, who is stealing the voices from animals so that he can control the world. To save her father, Sylvie has to defeat the Songman, but she has her friend George to help her.

Campbell, Chelsea M. The Rise of Renegade X. Egmont, 2010. 352 p. Gr. 8-12.
Damien expects to become a supervillain like his mother when he turned sixteen. Instead he learns his father is a superhero. Now Damien's father has six week to get to know his son and convince him to be a superhero instead of a supervillain.

Cheng, Andrea. Only One Year. Illus. by Nicole Wong. Lee and Low, 2010. 104 p. Gr. 2-4.
For one year Sharon's two year old brother Di-di is going to China to live with their grandparents. She spends the year worried that he will forget his family while they are gone. When Di-di returns they have to learn how to be a family again.

Cook, Kacy. Nuts. Cavendish, 2010. 160 p. Gr. 4-6.
Instead of turning the baby squirrel she finds over to a wildlife rehabilitator, Nell decides to take care of it herself. This involves lying to her parents and breaking the law, and ultimately Nell has to decide whether it is better for Mantha the squirrel to live as a pet or be among her own kind.

Cooney, Caroline B. They Never Cane Back. Delacorte, 2009. 208 p. Gr. 6-9.
At summer camp Cathy is approached by a boy claiming that she is his cousin Murielle, who was lost in the foster-care system five years ago after her parents embezzled money and fled to escape the law.

Friedman, Darlene. Star of the Week: A Story of Love, Adoption, and Brownies with Sprinkles. Illus. by Roger Roth. Bowen/HarperCollins, 2009. 32 p. 6-9 yrs.
Cassidy-Li has to put a poster about her life together for her kindergarten class. Adopted as a baby from China she has pictures of her adopted-parents bring her home, but none of her birth parents. How she solves this dilemma is heart-warming and handles the issues of adoption sensitively.

Golds, Cassandra. The Museum of Mary Child. Kane Miller, 2009. 329 p. Gr. 6-9.
When Heloise learns that her mother was insane she runs away from her controlling grandmother to unearth the secrets of her family.

Hale, Shannon. Rapunzel's Revenge. By Shannon and Dean Hale. Illus. by Nathan Hale. Bloomsbury, 2008. 144 p. Gr. 4-7.
A wild-west style telling of the fairy tale Rapunzel. When Rapunzel meets her real mother and learns that her adopted mother is an evil despot, she rebels and is punished by being locked away high in a giant tree. And this is only the beginning of her story.

Kagawa, Julie. The Iron King. Harlequin Teen, 2010. 368 p. Gr. 7-10.
When Meghan Chase turns sixteen her brother is replaced by a changeling and she has to venture into the world of the faery to rescue him. Matters are made more complicated when she learns her missing father is a faery king.

La Fleur, Suzanne. Love, Aubrey. Lamb, 2009. 262 p. Gr. 4-7.
Aubrey's mother abandons her and she goes to live with her loving grandmother in Vermont. There she finds new friends and family and settles into a new life. Then her mother returns to reclaim her.

Rabe, David. Mr. Wellington. Illus. by Robert Andrew Parker. Porter/Roaring Brook, 2009. 86 p. Gr. 3-5.
The importance of family and understanding is highlighted in this tale of young Jonathan, who finds a small squirrel and tries to raise him. When the squirrel, named Mr. Wellington, does not do well in his care, Jonathan has to find a way to return him to his own kind. Told from the alternating perspectives of Jonathan and Mr. Wellington.

Reeve, Philip. Fever Crumb. Scholastic, 2010. 336 p. Gr. 5-7.
All orphaned Fever wants to do is become an engineer. But when she starts seeing memories that are not her own, it indicates that she is one of the hated Scriven race, who were thought to have all been killed years before. To solve the mystery of her past and her new memories, Fever is forced to flee and escape those hunting her.

Reeves, Dia. Bleeding Violet. Simon Pulse, 2010. 464 p. Gr. 9-12.
Hanna is mentally ill. After attacking her aunt she runs away to find the mother she has never met. When she does find her Hanna has to convince the distant woman to let her stay. But the town her mother lives in has some nasty magical secrets, and if Hanna can survive them she may have found a home.

Riordan, Rick. The Red Pyramid. Disney/Hyperion, 2010. 516 p. Gr. 5-8.
Raised apart, Carter and Sadie have never seen eye-to-eye, but when their father summons an Egyptian god in front of them and is then captured, the two will have to work together to save their father and the world.

Sáenz, Benjamin Alire. Last Night I Sang to the Monster. Cinco Puntos, 2009. 239 p. Gr. 9-12.
Eighteen year old Zack wakes up in rehab with no memory of how he got there. In this darkly rich drama, Zack combats his alcohol addiction, and finds in rehab the supportive family he has always craved.

Sala, Richard. Cat Burglar Black. Written and illus. by Richard Sala. First Second, 2009. 126 p. Gr. 4-7.
After helping to send the abusive woman who ran her orphanage to jail for turning the orphans into a theft ring, K. wants to forget her past as a thief. So when she is invited to attend a private boarding school run by her long-lost aunt she jumps at the chance. But the students and teachers all act strange, and K may have to use the skills she learned as a thief to find out just what is going on at her school.

Williams-Garcia, Rita. One Crazy Summer. Amistad/HarperCollins, 2010. 224 p. Gr. 5-8.
Three sisters are sent to spend the summer with a mother they rarely see. When they arrive on her doorstep, they learn that their flighty mother is a poet who does not want them there. To get them out of her hair, she sends the girls to a Black Panther summer camp during the day.

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