Talking Book Topics

November-December 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.

Mr. Putter and Tabby Pick the Pears RC 40958
by Cynthia Rylant
read by Marilyn Gleason
1 cassette
Mr. Putter and his fine cat, Tabby, love the fall. There are lots of juicy things growing in Mr. Putter's backyard--juicy apples, juicy tomatoes, and most of all juicy pears. Mr. Putter is looking forward to having some pear jelly, but when he tries to get the pears out of the tree, he has some big problems. For grades K-3. 1995.

The Trespassers RC 42585
by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
read by Lisa Kiava
1 cassette
Neely Bradford, eleven, and her eight-year-old brother, Grub, often visit deserted Halcyon House and play with the guard dog, who is a pushover for Grub. One day they find an open window and begin to explore inside the house, which seems to be haunted by the spirit of a young girl. For grades 3-6. 1995.

Miss Malarkey Doesn't Live in Room 10 RC 42605
by Judy Finchler
read by Gary Tipton
1 cassette
The first-grader who tells this tale is convinced that his teacher lives at school all the time. She eats in the cafeteria and sleeps in the Teacher's Room. But he gets a surprise when a moving van pulls up outside his apartment building. For grades K-3. 1995.

The Unbeatable Bread RC 42625
by Lyn Littlefield Hoopes
read by John Polk
1 cassette
A man wakes up one morning and declares he is going to bake a bread that will wake the world from winter's sleep. Although his wife complains that he has already baked too much and that there will be no one to eat the creation, he begins mixing dough for his unbeatable, undefeatable bread. For preschool-grade 2. 1996.

An Even Break RC 42626
by Sid Hite
read by Gary Tipton
1 cassette
Frisk, twelve, lives with his mother in the tiny town of Wilma. Frisk's parents separated before he was born, and his mother works as a grocery clerk while trying to save enough money to buy a house. To help out, Frisk lands a job working at a billiards hall where he gets the added bonus of learning to shoot pool from an expert. For grades 5-8. 1995.

The King's Shadow RC 42689
by Elizabeth Alder
read by Erik Sandvold
2 cassettes
As a young lad in 1063, Evyn has his tongue cut off and is sold into slavery to the mistress of Harold Godwinson, the Saxon earl of Wessex. Yet Evyn, nicknamed the Shadow, rises to importance and becomes squire to Godwinson, who for a brief time is king of England. Some violence. For grades 6-9. 1995.

Diving for the Moon RC 42736
by Lee F. Bantle
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette
Carolina realizes how important friendship is when her best friend, Josh, learns he has become infected with the HIV virus from a blood transfusion. The summer before junior high is filled with other events that help Carolina as she grows up. For grades 4-7. 1995.

Holding onto Sunday RC 42767
by Kathryn O. Galbraith
read by Madelyn Buzzard
1 cassette
Jemma waits all week for Sunday to come. That is when her father has the day off and spends it with her. This week it is raining, and they go to the museum to see the dinosaurs. After dinner with Grandma back at home, Jemma tells her father some special news. For grades K-3. 1995.

Gina RC 42817
by Bernard Waber
read by Pam Ward
1 cassette
When Gina moves to a new apartment in Queens, New York, she looks forward to making new friends. But there is a big problem: there are no girls Gina's age, and the boys don't want to play with a girl. That is, until Gina shows them she can throw a ball. For grades K-3. 1995.

The View from the Cherry Tree RC 42831
by Willo Davis Roberts
read by Erik Sandvold
1 cassette (Reissue)
Rob Mallory spends a lot of time in his family's cherry tree, especially now that his sister Darcy's wedding is drawing near. The tree overlooks the home of their hateful neighbor Mrs. Calloway, who is constantly complaining about Rob and his cat. The day before the wedding, Rob is shocked to see Mrs. Calloway get pushed out of her window. But no one will believe that her death wasn't an accident. For grades 5-8. 1975.

Fig Pudding RC 42839
by Ralph Fletcher
read by Jamie Horton
1 cassette
Cliff is the oldest of the six Abernathy children. His mom says the family always overdoes everything, but the year Cliff describes in this book is "like five years crammed into one." He starts with December when toddler Josh is very sick in the hospital and all he wants for Christmas is a mysterious "yidda yadda." By the next year's end, recovered Josh accidentally steps in the fig pudding his father made for a party. For grades 4-7. 1995.

Bed-Knob and Broomstick RC 42845
by Mary Norton
read by Jill Ferris
1 cassette (Reissue)
The three Wilson children are delighted to discover Miss Price, a lonely spinster and student witch who rides a broomstick, though somewhat uncertainly. In exchange for the children's keeping quiet about her witch activities, Miss Price casts a spell that creates a magical flying bed. A combined edition of "The Magic Bed-Knob" and "Bonfires and Broomsticks." For grades 3-6. 1957.

The Proving Ground RC 42852
by Elaine Marie Alphin
read by Erik Sandvold
1 cassette
When Kevin Spencer's father is assigned command of a U.S. Army proving ground, Kevin experiences the resentment that local people hold for the military. Kevin develops a crush on a local girl, comes to understand her antimilitary sentiments, and uncovers a plot to sabotage the army base. The situation becomes Kevin's own personal "proving ground." For grades 5-8. 1992.

Lizzie Logan Wears Purple Sunglasses RC 42858
by Eileen Spinelli
read by Pam Ward
1 cassette
Eight-year-old Heather is greeted in her new neighborhood by a very rude Lizzie Logan. Heather is not sure she wants to be friends with the brash girl, but Lizzie is a character who has an intriguing side. For grades 2-5. 1995.

The Sleeping Lady RC 42902
retold by Ann Dixon
read by Mary Kane
1 cassette
If you look across Cook Inlet in Anchorage, Alaska, you can see Mount Susitna, also known as the Sleeping Lady. Dixon tells the story of the mountain's nickname and also why a place that used to be covered with trees and flowers is now covered with snow most of the year. For grades 3-6. 1994.

Adeline Street RC 42909
by Carol Lynch Williams
read by Carol Dines
1 cassette
In this sequel to Kelly and Me (RC 42908), Leah mourns her sister and best friend, Kelly, who died of an aneurysm. Upset that her family won't cancel Christmas, Leah finds a way to celebrate that she knows would meet Kelly's approval. As the year goes on, Leah also struggles to understand other aspects of life. Some violence. For grades 3-6. 1995.

Owl Moon RC 42932
by Jane Yolen
read by Mary Kane
1 cassette
On a cold winter's night, under a bright full moon, a young girl and her father trek into the woods to see the Great Horned Owl. For preschool-grade 2. Caldecott Medal. 1987.

I Found Mouse RC 42947
by Pamela D. Greenwood
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette
Tessie isn't enjoying herself this summer because her mother is away studying Native American art, her brother is backpacking with Grandad, and her father is too busy working at home to spend much time with her. But when Tessie finds a kitten, everything changes. For grades 2-4. 1994.

The Toilet Paper Tigers RC 42948
by Gordon Korman
read by Rick Rohan
1 cassette
By the time Professor Pendergast shows up at a Little League meeting to pick his team, there are only nine players left--all rejects. The team soon learns the professor knows nothing about baseball and has volunteered to coach just so his visiting granddaughter will have children around! But the worst horror is the jive-talking, smart-aleck granddaughter from New York who blackmails the team into letting her coach them. For grades 5-8. 1993.

A Walk to the Great Mystery RC 42959
by Virginia A. Stroud
read by Laura Giannarelli
1 cassette
When Dustin and Rose visit their Grandma Ann, she promises to show them the "Great Mystery," where the secrets of the earth come from. For grades K-3. 1995.

The Magic Moonberry Jump Ropes RC 43020
by Dakari Hru
read by Connie Winston
1 cassette
Two sisters want to jump rope, but there are no other children around to join them. Then Uncle Zambezi returns from Africa with beautiful jump ropes. He tells the girls the ropes are magical and their wishes will come true. Sure enough, a moving van arrives with two new friends! For preschool-grade 2. 1996.

Zeely RC 43034
by Virginia Hamilton
read by Melissa Maxwell
1 cassette
Geeder Perry, eleven, and her brother, Toeboy, have gone to the country to visit Uncle Ross for the summer. The first night there, Geeder sees a vision she later learns is Zeely Tayber, a very tall girl with skin as black as ebony. Geeder becomes convinced Zeely is a queen, and only Zeely can set the record straight. For grades 4-7. 1967.

William's Doll RC 43039
by Charlotte Zolotow
read by Janis Gray
1 cassette
A little boy's wishes and needs for a doll are laughed at by his brother, unsatisfied by his father, but finally understood by his grandmother. For grades K-3. 1972.

Sam's Wild West Show RC 43057
by Nancy Antle
read by Jack Fox
1 cassette
Long ago Sam had a Wild West show with cowboys and cowgirls who did tricks with horses and ropes. After they performed in one town, the mayor got word that bank robbers were coming. He hired Sam and his group to stop them. For preschool-grade 2. 1995.

Hannah in Between RC 43060
by Colby Rodowsky
read by Kerry Cundiff
1 cassette
Hannah believes she is the only one who realizes her mother, a photographer, drinks too much. Hannah is afraid to drive with her and is embarrassed to have friends over but can't get up the nerve to call a hotline or discuss it with her father and relatives. For grades 5-8. 1994.

Vikki Vanishes RC 43071
by Peni R. Griffin
read by Sharon Murray
1 cassette
In alternating chapters, Vikki, sixteen, and her younger half sister, Nikki, explain what happens when Vikki's father suddenly reappears and takes Vikki on a shopping trip. For grades 6-9. 1995.

On the Trail with Miss Pace RC 43080
by Sharon Phillips Denslow
read by Madelyn Buzzard
1 cassette
When teacher Miss Pace arrives at her favorite vacation ranch out west she finds a big surprise. Twins Bill and Phil from her class are there, too! The boys are thrilled to learn Miss Pace knows a real cowboy. For preschool-grade 2. 1995.

Grandpa's Hotel RC 43089
by Riki Levinson
read by Janis Gray
1 cassette
Each summer all sixteen of Grandpa and Grandma's grandchildren come to his hotel to spend the summer. They have a great time, especially on Sundays when they gather eggs for Grandma to cook for breakfast, snitch bread from the bakery, and sit down to dinner in the big dining room. For grades K-3. 1995.

Seth and Samona RC 43109
by Joanne Hyppolite
read by Bob Moore
1 cassette
Fifth-grader Seth Michelin, who lives in Boston with his Haitian family, is confused by changes in his brother and sister. Even classmate Samona Gemini, whose wild ideas have been getting Seth into trouble for two years, surprises him by joining a beauty contest. For grades 4-7. 1995.

Black Water RC 43115
by Rachel Anderson
read by Rick Rohan
1 cassette
Young Albert has epilepsy, which in nineteenth-century England is greatly misunderstood. Even though Albert's mother tends to believe a cure can be found, Albert realizes he must get on with his life. A chance encounter with author Edward Lear, who also has the "falling sickness," sends Albert off to see the world. For grades 6-9. 1994.

Wagons West! RC 43130
by Roy Gerrard
read by Pam Ward
1 cassette
Back in 1850, many Americans worked hard to make a living from the barren soil. When Buckskin Dan arrives in town with tales of rich green land in Oregon, a young girl and her family, along with their neighbors, set out on a long journey to a new home with Buckskin Dan as their guide. For grades 2-4. 1996.

Granny the Pag RC 43143
by Nina Bawden
read by Pam Ward
1 cassette
Because her parents are traveling actors, Cat has lived with her leather-wearing, motorcycle-riding Granny the Pag (Cat was angry and misspelled pig) since the age of six. Now at twelve, Cat's world is suddenly turned upside down when her parents want Cat to come live with them. For grades 4-7. 1995.

Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales RC 43189
retold by Virginia Hamilton
read by Melissa Maxwell
1 cassette
A collection of folktales, fairy tales, and true stories of legendary women, all taken from traditional African American folklore. These stories are variously humorous, touching, scary, magical, and inspiring. For grades 5-8 and older readers. Laura Ingalls Wilder Award and Coretta Scott King Award. 1995.

Street Child RC 43200
by Berlie Doherty
read by Tom Martin
1 cassette
Based on the life of Jim Jarvis, the orphan whose plight inspired Dr. Thomas Barnardo to establish Britain's first children's refuge. In Victorian England, Jim is on a desperate quest to find a home after he escapes from the workhouse where his mother died. Instead he is enslaved and forced to work on a boat until he runs away and finds refuge in a shelter. For grades 3-6. 1993.

Somewhere around the Corner RC 43204
by Jackie French
read by Patricia Kilgarriff
2 cassettes
Barbara, a homeless girl, is caught in the middle of a demonstration taking place in Sydney, Australia, in 1994. She is scared to death until a kindly old man suggests that in her mind she "go around the corner" to escape. Barbara tries that and suddenly finds herself back in 1932. For grades 5-8. 1995.

Who's There? RC 43207
by Stephanie S. Tolan
read by Margaret Strom
1 cassette
After their parents are killed in a gas explosion, Drew Broderick and her brother, Evan, learn that they have a grandfather and an aunt living in a large old house called Rose Hill. Although not sure why their father never told them about his family, Drew loves it there, and even Evan, who has not spoken since the accident, seems happy. But it soon appears that Drew's new friend, Will, is right: the house is haunted! For grades 5-8. 1994.

The Luckiest Kid on the Planet RC 43235
by Lisa Campbell Ernst
read by Bruce Huntey
1 cassette
Lucky Morgenstern is the luckiest kid in the world. After all, his name is Lucky. Then one day he gets a letter and learns that his name is really Herbert. Suddenly he doesn't seem lucky anymore--until he recognizes his true good fortune. For preschool-grade 2. 1994.

Hound Heaven RC 43302
by Linda Oatman High
read by Margaret Strom
1 cassette
Silver Iris Nickles, who will be thirteen in four months, has been living with Papaw in his bark shanty in West Virginia since her parents and baby sister were killed in a car accident. More than anything, Silver wants a dog to love, but Papaw always says she'll get a dog over his dead body. Then Papaw has a heart attack. For grades 3-6. 1995.

There's an Owl in the Shower RC 43303
by Jean Craighead George
read by Terence Aselford
1 cassette
Borden Watson's father, a logger in northern California, is out of work because the government has banned logging in order to save the spotted owl. Borden is so angry he vows to kill any spotted owl he sees. Then he adopts what he thinks is a baby barred owl that has fallen from its nest. For grades 2-4. 1995.

The Haunting of Holroyd Hill RC 43305
by Brenda Seabrooke
read by Annie Wauters
1 cassette
Melinda is unhappy about moving to rural Holroyd Hill, Virginia, because it means having to make new friends, but her brother, Kevin, doesn't mind. As they explore the nearby woods, Melinda and Kevin are accosted by a frightening old man. Then they meet his grandson, Dan, and things improve--until a ghost appears. For grades 5-8. 1995.

Marrying Malcolm Murgatroyd RC 43307
by Mame Farrell
read by Ilona Dulaski
1 cassette
Hannah Billings is in the popular group at school, and Malcolm Murgatroyd is decidedly not. Hannah is horrified that the adult Billings and Murgatroyds are great friends who joke about Hannah and Malcolm's marrying someday. But when Hannah's brother Ian's muscular dystrophy sends him to the hospital, Hannah sees Malcolm in a different light. For grades 5-8. 1995.

Maizie RC 43312
by Linda Oatman High
read by Michele Schaeffer
1 cassette
Maizie's mother ran off with the vacuum cleaner salesman four years ago when Maizie's sister Grace was just a baby. Maizie has raised Grace and looked after their father in their trailer on Welsh Mountain. Now she's determined to earn enough money for her dream pony: a strawberry roan. For grades 3-6. 1995.

Venus among the Fishes RC 43431
by Elizabeth Hall and Scott O'Dell
read by Gabriella Cavallero
1 cassette
Coral, a girl dolphin, narrates this tale of her pod's attempt to protect itself from attacking killer whales. The pod needs more strong males like Coral's father, and Coral is sent to find her brother, Silver, and bring him home. But as she looks for Silver, Coral learns that humans may be an even greater threat. For grades 4-7. 1995.

Elfsong RC 43557
by Ann Turner
read by Carole Jordan Stewart
1 cassette
While visiting her grandfather's house, ten-year-old Maddy spots a tomcat wearing a saddle and racing through the woods. Later Maddy happens upon the rider, an elf named Nata, who introduces her to a secret elfin world, and Maddy and her grandfather help the elves defend themselves against a marauding owl. For grades 4-7. 1995.


Next section of Talking Book Topics | Previous section of Talking Book Topics | Talking Book Topics Home Page


Go to the NLS Home Page