Finding Common Ground

Books for Independent Reading


Blackberries in the Dark
by Mavis Jukes
Knopf 1993 (48p); also paper
Austin and his grandmother share their first summer since Grandpa's death.

Thank You, Jackie Robinson
by Barbara Cohen
Lothrop 1988 (128p); Scholastic 1989 paper
A young boy and an old man find common ground in their admiration for Jackie Robinson.

Yours Truly, Shirley
by Ann M. Martin
Holiday 1988 (144p)
Dyslexic Shirley wonders how to compete with her gifted brother and adopted Vietnamese sister.

The War with Grandpa
by Robert Kimmel Smith
Delacorte 1984 (128p); Dell 1984 paper
Peter thinks the only way he can get his bedroom back is to declare war on his grandfather.

The Horse in the Attic
by Eleanor Clymer
Bradbury 1983 (96p); Dell 1985 paper
Caroline and her father are fascinated by horses: She wants to ride them and he wants to paint them.


by Nicholasa Mohr
Dial 1979 (12p); Bantam 1992 paper
Felita isn't sure she wants to leave Puerto Rico for New York and a better future.

A Likely Place
by Paula Fox
Macmillan 1987 (64p)
Timid Lewis has a new baby sitter who practices yoga, eats yogurt, and even allows him to go to the park alone.

The Boys Start the War
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Doubleday 1993 (144p)
The Hatford boys and the Mallory girls can't find a way to get along.

The Best Bad Thing
by Yoshiko Uchida
Macmillan 1983 (132p); also paper
Rinko is sure her summer vacation will be ruined when she has to spend a month helping an older neighbor.

Brooklyn Doesn't Rhyme
by Joan Blos
Scribners 1994 (86p)
Edwin Rose Sachs explores the lives of her Polish immigrant family in Brooklyn in the early 1900s.

Dinah for President
by Claudia Mills
Macmillan 1992 (128p); also paper
Dinah faces unforeseen obstacles when she runs for class president.

Judy Scuppernong
by Barbara Seabrooke
Dutton 1990 (64); Bantam 1992 paper
The quiet, predictable summer of three girlfriends in Fitzgerald, Georgia, changes when Judy Scuppernong comes to town.


Thief of Hearts
by Laurence Yep
Harper 1995 (208p)
When trying to befriend another Chinese American student, Stacy learns more about her own background.

Words of Stone
by Kevin Henkes
Greenwillow 1991 (160p); Puffin 1993 paper
Shy Blaze wonders if he and the mischievous Joselle can be friends.

Cricket in the Crackerbox
by Alane Ferguson
Macmillan 1990 (192p); Avon 1992 paper
Cricket and Dominic, from different backgrounds, must work together on a class project and decide ownership of a dog.

by Nina Bawden
Clarion 1992 (144p)
While her parents are away, Cora must stay with a neighbor, whose mean-spirited daughter torments her.

Mariah Keeps Cool
by Mildred Pitts Walter
Macmillan 1990 (144p)
Mariah resents her half sister, who has just moved in and is disrupting the family.

Chevrolet Saturdays
by Candy Dawson Boyd
Macmillan 1993 (176p)
Joey, still angry about his parent's divorce, wonders how he can ever accept his new stepfather.

The Gift of the Girl Who Couldn't Hear
by Susan Shreve
Tambourine 1991 (80p); also paper
Eliza and her friend Lucy, who is deaf, both try out for the school production of "Annie."

Uncle Daney's Way
by Jessie Haas
Greenwillow 1994 (117p)
Cole must adjust to an extended visit from wheelchair-bound Uncle Daney and his horse, Nip.

The Eternal Spring of Mr. Ito
by Sheila Garrigue
Macmillan 1985 (176p); also paper
The beginning of World War II could alter the friendship between Sara and the family gardener.

The Queen of Put-Down
by Nancy Hopper
Macmillan 1993 (112p); also paper
Cassis is caught in the middle when best friend instantly dislikes the new girl in class.

Stepping on the Cracks
by Mary Downing Hahn
Clarion 1991 (240p)
Margaret changes her mind about the town bully when she discovers he is hiding his brother, an army deserter.

Missing May
by Cynthia Rylant
Orchard 1992 (89p)
Summer and her Uncle Ob search for a way to adjust to Aunt May's death.

Youn Hee & Me
by C.S. Adler
Harcourt 1995 (192p)
Caitlin wonders what the arrival of her adopted Korean brother's teenage sister will mean to her family.

Yellow Bird and Me
by Joyce Hansen
Clarion 1986 (180p)
Doris, reluctant to help Yellow Bird with his reading problems, finds a new friend.

An Occasional Cow
by Polly Horvath
Orchard 1989 (144p)
Imogene discovers she may have more in common with her Iowa relatives then she thought.

Good-bye, Billy Radish
by Gloria Skurzynski
Macmillan 1992 (160p)
Against the backdrop of World War I, the friendship of Hank Kerner and Bazyli Radichevych, called Billy Radish, undergoes cultural changes.

by Michael Dorris
Hyperion 1994 (120p)
Moss is not pleased that his father has asked outsiders who wear odd cloths and speak a strange language to join the village's special harvest meal.

Blue Heron
by Avi
Macmillan 1992 (192p); Avon 1993 paper
While visiting her father and stepmother, Maggie must figure out why her father is acting so mysteriously.

by Jean Craighead George
Harper 1994 (225p)
In this sequel to Julie of the Wolves, Julie returns to live with her father.


Somewhere in the Darkness
by Walter Dean Myers
Scholastic 1992 (224p); also paper
On a cross-country trip with his father, who has suddenly reappeared in his life, Jimmy wonders if they have anything in common.

The Giver
by Lois Lowry
Houghton 1993 (208p)
The seemingly ideal world in which Jonas lives suddenly seems full of dark and terrible secrets

Up a Road Slowly
by Irene Hunt
Berkeley 1987 (100p); also paper
After her mother's death, Julie must make her home with her aunt.

The Bamboo Flute
by Garry Disher
Ticknor 1993 (96p)
Paul is inspired by a flute-playing vagrant to make a bamboo flute and bring music to his family.

Books for Teachers to Read Aloud

by Janet Hickman
Greenwillow 1994
Angela is spending a lonely summer in Jericho helping to care for a great-grandmother who often does not recognize her.

Nothing But the Truth
by Avi
Orchard 1991 (213p); Avon 1993 paper
A seemingly minor incident between Philip and his teacher escalates into a national cause célèbre.

Grandpa's Mountain
by Carolyn Reeder
Macmillan 1993 (176p0; also paper
Carrie watches anxiously as the government seeks her grandfather's land for a national park.

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