Talking Book Topics-May-June 1997

Books for Children--Fiction

Books listed in this issue of Talking Book Topics were recently sent to cooperating libraries. The complete collection contains books by many authors on fiction and nonfiction subjects, including animals, geography, nature, mystery, sports, and others. Contact your cooperating library to learn more about the wide range of books available in the collection. Cassette books, labeled with the code RC, play at 15/16 ips. To order books, contact your cooperating library.

The Man Who Loved Clowns RC 38004
by June Rae Wood
read by Martha Harmon Pardee
1 cassette
Delrita, thirteen, really does love her Uncle Punky, who has Down syndrome, but she still feels embarrassed by his behavior. That's why she avoids making close friends who might expect to visit her at home. And that includes Avanelle, with whom she shares her math book. When Delrita's parents are killed in an accident, she and Punky are left in the care of Uncle Bert and Aunt Queenie--who institute monumental changes. For grades 5-8. 1992.

Gathering of Pearls RC 39914
by Sook Nyul Choi
read by Nancy Kronenfeld
1 cassette
In this sequel to Echoes of the White Giraffe (RC 39909), nineteen-year-old Sookan leaves Korea to study in America. She enjoys her new life and friends, especially fun-loving roommate Ellen, but Sookan feels too responsible to her family to spend much time on the lighter side of college life. Freshman year is not easy, but Sookan learns many lessons well. For grades 5-8 and older readers. 1994.

Phoenix Rising RC 39951
by Karen Hesse
read by Marilyn Gleason
1 cassette
Nyle, thirteen, lives with her grandmother on a sheep farm in Vermont. There has been a leak at the nearby nuclear plant, and even though Nyle and Gran are safe, there are many sick people who need shelter. Nyle is upset when Gran allows Ezra, fifteen, and his mother to stay in their back bedroom. Nyle calls it the "dying room" because her grandfather and mother died there. Can she allow herself to get close to someone who may die? For grades 6-9. 1994.

Loch RC 39952
by Paul Zindel
read by June Carter
1 cassette
Luke Perkins, fifteen, nicknamed Loch because he claims to have seen the Loch Ness monster; his sister Zaidee; their father Sam; and Sarah Cavenger are at Lake Alban, Vermont, to study a plesiosaur and its family trapped there. They are working for Anthony Cavenger, Sarah's father, who seeks out monsters to study them. Unfortunately, Cavenger doesn't care whether he studies them dead or alive. Some violence. For grades 6-9. 1994.

Emily and Alice Again RC 41391
by Joyce Champion
read by Kerry Cundiff
1 cassette
In this sequel to Emily and Alice (RC 41390), the two girls are the best of friends. But when Alice's grandmother sends her some neat-looking pink sunglasses, Emily knows she has to get them somehow. In other chapters, the girls get goofy hats and have a sleepover. For preschool-grade 2. 1995.

What Jamie Saw RC 41688
by Carolyn Coman
read by Ray Hagen
1 cassette
Jamie wasn't sure what woke him up, but the first thing he saw was his baby sister, Nin, being thrown across the room by Van. The next thing he saw was his mother, Patty, catching Nin. Right then, Jamie and his mother and sister left the house and went to see her long-time friend Earl. Earl lets them live in his old trailer, and everything seems fine until Van shows up. Some strong language. For grades 3-6. Newbery Honor Book 1996. 1995.

Birthday Surprises: Ten Great Stories to Unwrap RC 41764
edited by Johanna Hurwitz
read by Yvonne Fair Tessler
1 cassette
Ten children's authors provide stories based on the same plot: a child receives a beautifully wrapped package with nothing in it. In "Birthday Box," the narrator receives a decorated empty box from her dying mother, who whispers, "It's you." In "Promises" Diane finally figures out that Tracy gave her the empty box because of all Diane's empty promises. For grades 4-6. 1995.

The Bellmaker RC 41869
by Brian Jacques
read by David Palmer
2 cassettes
Joseph the Bellmaker learns from a dream that his daughter, the warrior mouse Mariel, is in grave danger. He and four companions set out on a journey to find Mariel and help overcome a new menace, the foxwolf Urgan Nagru and his rat hordes that have overrun the land of Southsward. Sequel to Mariel of Redwall (RC 36748). For grades 5-8 and older readers. 1994.

To Race a Dream RC 41878
by Deborah Savage
read by Jill Fox
2 cassettes
Fifteen-year-old Theodora wants nothing more than to work with harness-racing horses. But, in 1906, girls are not allowed to work in stables, and Theo's parents have higher expectations of her. Her dream is powerful, leading her to take a chance. Disguised as a boy, she gets a job as a stable hand, along with Carl, who finds out her secret. Can she pursue her own happiness, or must she bend to her family's wishes? For grades 6-9. 1994.

Guess How Much I Love You RC 41891
by Sam McBratney
read by Andy Chappell
1 cassette
Little Nutbrown Hare wants to tell Big Nutbrown Hare how much he loves him. When Little Nutbrown Hare says he loves his dad as far as his arms will stretch, Big Nutbrown Hare says the same thing, but his arms are much longer. How can Little Nutbrown Hare show he loves his dad more? For grades K-3. 1994.

Ali and the Golden Eagle RC 41893
by Wayne Grover
read by Gary Tipton
1 cassette
Ali has proved his strength, courage, and wisdom many times. But the village, which has hunted with falcons for ages, is astonished at what Ali and his golden eagle can do. Now the prince has invited Ali to a falconry contest. Can a young man from a small village compete with the wealthy and royal contestants? A fictional account of a true story told by an American who visited Saudi Arabia. For grades 6-9. 1993.

Poppa's New Pants RC 41905
by Angela Shelf Medearis
read by Chuck Young
1 cassette
Grandma Tiny has everyone in an uproar. Her mother and sister are coming to visit and she wants the house to look perfect. George and his grandfather, Poppa, are happy to be sent out shopping because it means they can get away. At the store Poppa finds a nice pair of pants, but they are too long. He figures Grandma Tiny can hem them before church in the morning. But Poppa doesn't count on other people helping also. For preschool-grade 2. 1995.

Little Kit: or, The Industrious Flea Circus Girl RC 41942
by Emily Arnold McCully
read by Patricia Kilgarriff
1 cassette
Little Kit, an orphan, sells flowers at Picadilly Circus during the day, and at night she sleeps in an alley near Drury Lane with other homeless peddlers. One evening Professor Malefetta comes looking for a lad to help him with his flea circus. Thinking Kit is a boy, the professor asks her to work for him. But Kit is a girl, and the professor does not like to be fooled. For grades K-3. 1995.

Grown-Ups Get to Do All the Driving RC 41957
by William Steig
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette
Grown-ups do many things. They make you go to the dentist, they like to look in the mirror a lot, they have aches and pains, they love restaurants and parties, they like to tell jokes, they hate to answer questions, they like children to be polite, they take lots of pills, and they get to do all the driving. For grades K-3. 1995.

Cara and the Terrible Teeners RC 41984
by Elaine L. Schulte
read by Martha Harmon Pardee
1 cassette
Cara Hernandez wins one hundred dollars for an article she writes about the Twelve Candles Club. The industrious club is pleased with the publicity, but Cara's half sister, Paige, forms a club called the Teeners with her cheerleader friends and begins stealing jobs from the Twelve Candles. Cara suspects that Paige is behind other bad things that are happening to the club. Can she find it in her heart to forgive Paige? For grades 3-6. 1995.

Protecting Marie RC 42025
by Kevin Henkes
read by Martha Harmon Pardee
1 cassette
Fanny is angry with her father for staying away from his birthday party and for giving away her puppy because it interfered with his painting. Her father realizes he has hurt Fanny and brings home Dinner, an older dog. By talking to her father, whom she no longer trusts, and her sympathetic mother, Fanny comes to understand the love in their home, even though things are sometimes complicated. For grades 5-8. 1995.

Tangles RC 42088
by Errol Broome
read by Marcia Churchill
1 cassette
When Sophie's cat, Ginger, is killed by a car, the last thing Sophie wants is to replace her with another cat. But when Sophie sees a black kitten for sale at the fair, she falls in love. Her neighbor, Mrs. Cochran, drops her wallet as she passes Sophie, and, before turning it in, Sophie takes five dollars to buy the kitten. It is hard to enjoy lovable Tangles though, knowing that what she has done is wrong. For grades 3-6. 1993.

When Solomon Was King RC 42092
by Sheila MacGill-Callahan
read by Terence Aselford
1 cassette
As a young boy, Prince Solomon saves the life of a wounded lioness, who had two cubs, by nursing her back to health. When he becomes king, Solomon receives a ring that gives him the power to speak with animals. At first he is a kind king, but he soon forgets his power is a gift and begins hunting for pure pleasure. Then one day he is attacked and nearly killed by a lion and is saved by the lioness he helped years before. For grades K-3. 1995.

Not Now, Sara! RC 42098
by Hannelore Voigt
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette
When all the grown-ups are too busy for her, Sara feels sad and lonely. She wants to show her wonderful painting to her mother, but the baby needs to be fed. Grandma is getting ready for company. Even Sara's best friend is playing with someone else. Finally, a friend of Grandma's has lots of time to listen, and she gives Sara a good, but sometimes hard, answer. For grades K-3. 1995.

The Silver Slippers RC 42104
by Elizabeth Koda-Callan
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette
A little girl dreams of being a ballerina, but she feels discouraged when she is not as good as the other girls in her class. When the teacher announces that one dancer will be chosen to be the star of a ballet recital, the little girl races home to tell her mother. Her mother gives her a pair of tiny silver ballet slippers on a silver chain to help the girl remember her goal as she practices ballet. For grades 2-4. 1989.

Too Far Away to Touch RC 42114
by Lesléa Newman
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette
Zoe is used to doing fun things with Uncle Leonard and his friend Nathan, but her uncle hasn't been over lately. When he finally calls to take her to the planetarium, he is tired and sickly. He explains how the stars are too far away to touch but close enough to see. She understands this even better when he tells her about his illness. For grades K-3. 1995.

Forri the Baker RC 42117
by Edward Myers
read by Terence Aselford
1 cassette
Forri, a baker in the medieval village of Ettai, is a social outcast because his baggy clothes are made from old flour sacks and he bakes his bread in unusual shapes, such as flowers, pots, animals, and castles. One day the warring Chlars invade the village, but the villagers have no weapons with which to defend themselves. Then Forri has an idea that might just work. For grades K-3. 1995.

An Almost Perfect Game RC 42133
by Stephen Manes
read by John Polk
1 cassette
It is the deciding game before the minor league baseball division playoffs. Superfan Jake is in the stands with a "guaranteed lucky" scorecard to keep all the important statistics. As Jake begins to mark plays, he realizes he is able to control the outcome of the game! Inning by inning, he works his favorite pitcher toward what looks like certain victory. But does he really have the magic power? For grades 4-7. 1995.

Dawn and Whitney, Friends Forever RC 42139
by Ann M. Martin
read by Madelyn Buzzard
1 cassette
Dawn has moved to California to live with her father for a while. She and some friends have founded the We Love Kids Club, which Dawn modeled on the Baby-Sitters Club she belonged to in Connecticut. One of Dawn's first jobs is to stay with Whitney in the afternoon while her parents are at work. But Whitney, who has Down's syndrome, is supposed to think Dawn is just a friend. Dawn can't let Whitney know she is really a baby-sitter. For grades 4-7. 1994.

Beware of Kissing Lizard Lips RC 42140
by Phyllis Shalant
read by Gary Tipton
1 cassette
Zack Moore slides into the last-row seat on the bus--the coolest place for a sixth-grader to sit--and feels rather proud of himself. But will he be able to keep his seat? The seats are for the quickest and toughest sixth-graders, and Zack is neither. In fact he is so small for his age he has been nicknamed "Mouseboy." But Zack has a plan to change all that, and it involves a girl who knows tae kwon do. For grades 4-7. 1995.

The Storm RC 42144
by Marc Harshman
read by Gary Tipton
1 cassette
When Jonathan's teacher talks about what to do in a tornado, a classmate remarks that a big storm would be really scary for Jonathan because he is in a wheelchair. But Jonathan isn't afraid of storms--he loves them. Alone on the farm that afternoon, Jonathan gets a chance to show he knows how to handle a tornado. For grades K-3. 1995.

The Enchanted Storks: A Tale of Bagdad RC 42152
retold by Aaron Shepard
read by James DeLotel
1 cassette
In old Bagdad, the beloved caliph, the ruler of all Islam, and his vizier are tricked by an evil magician and turned into a pair of storks. They fly off to live their fate and find a woodpecker who is really an enchanted princess. She helps them to discover that the caliph's greedy brother had plotted with the magician to become ruler. Now the caliph must find a way to return to the throne in Bagdad. For grades K-3. 1995.

Junebug RC 42388
by Alice Mead
read by Christopher Hurt
1 cassette
Junebug, whose real name is Reeve McClain Jr., has a wish that he thinks about a lot. It is too important to tell because his friends would laugh at him and because it is not likely to happen in the housing projects where he lives. His dream is to sail a boat to the West Indies, on a foaming sea with seagulls screeching. In the meantime, he takes good care of his sister and tries to stay out of the way of guys in the gangs. For grades 3-6. 1995.

The Beast from the East: Goosebumps RC 42440
by R.L. Stine
read by Ilona Dulaski
1 cassette
Ginger Wald and her ten-year-old twin brothers, Nat and Pat, are on a camping trip with their parents. They have taken a walk into the woods while their parents set up camp. But they get lost and suddenly find themselves facing several large beasts. For grades 4-7. 1996.

Youn Hee and Me RC 42447
by C.S. Adler
read by Margaret Strom
1 cassette
Three years ago, Caitlin's mother adopted Simon, a two-year-old Korean orphan. Now the family learns that Simon has a sister in Korea. Youn Hee is eleven like Caitlin, and Caitlin is eager to welcome her into the family. When tiny Youn Hee arrives, she isn't very happy, and she doesn't seem to like Caitlin at all. Her main concern is that Simon has not been disciplined properly, and she sets out to correct that. For grades 3-6. 1995.

Boys at Work RC 42448
by Gary Soto
read by Rick Rohan
1 cassette
Ten-year-olds Rudy and Alex have been buddies since they were three years old. When one has a problem, the other always helps out. Their latest problem arises when Rudy accidentally breaks the disc player of the neighborhood bully, who happens to be out of town for a few days. Meanwhile Rudy and Alex struggle to figure out how to make enough money to buy a new one. For grades 3-6. 1995.

Wait and See RC 42449
by Virginia Bradley
read by Annie Wauters
1 cassette
The world seems to crumble for Amy when Doff, her longtime nanny and friend, must return to England. Because Amy's parents died when she was a baby, her only family is her wonderful, but formal, grandfather. Amy is irritated by Violetta, a new girl at school, until they become friends. Then Amy sees that Violetta's family is even weirder than her own. Both girls learn a lot that helps them to grow. For grades 4-7. 1994.

Myrna Never Sleeps RC 42453
by Beth Peterson
read by Margaret Strom
1 cassette
When the lights go out and mother closes the door, Myrna's adventures begin. First, the owl hoots that a forest fire is raging. Myrna rushes to the bathroom and hooks up a special hose she can carry for miles and miles. She runs to the hills and into the forest where she saves the day! Her mother finds her back in the bathroom, which is drenched in water. Myrna is the heroine in one nighttime adventure after another. For grades 2-4. 1995.

The Library RC 42455
by Sarah Stewart
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette
Elizabeth Brown is a shy, skinny, nearsighted girl. She does not like to play with dolls but rather learns to read quite early. She stays home and reads while her friends go on dates, and when she finds a job, she begins filling her house with books. Then one day, Elizabeth Brown realizes the awful fact that she simply cannot have one more book in her house. What will she do? For grades K-3. 1995.

The Printer's Apprentice RC 42456
by Stephen Krensky
read by Terence Aselford
1 cassette
Gus Croft, ten, is an apprentice to printer William Bradford. Bradford is one of two men who are printing papers in New York City in 1735. The other man, Peter Zenger, was an apprentice to Bradford a long time ago. But Zenger is publishing articles that criticize the governor, and he is soon arrested. Gus and his friend Zach become partners in a plan to help Zenger be acquitted. For grades 3-6. 1995.

A Girl's Best Friend RC 42462
by Harriet May Savitz
read by Dani Carr
1 cassette
Laurie Moss, twelve, is worried that her parents will put their old beagle, Jessie, to sleep because of her arthritis. The vet has some new medicine, but it is expensive so Laurie takes a part-time job. Her boss is blind, like Laurie, and very particular about how things are done at his bike shop. Meanwhile, a new teacher thinks Laurie can't do anything by herself, and a bully taunts her in the halls. For grades 3-6. 1995.

How the Rhinoceros Got His Skin RC 42463
by Rudyard Kipling
read by Terence Aselford
1 cassette (Reissue)
In this tale from Kipling's Just So Stories (RC 25503), a wily Parsee outwits the rude and all-too-greedy rhinoceros who steals the Parsee's fresh-baked cake. For grades K-3. 1988.

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