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Best children's books of 2008

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Birmingham, 1963
By Carole Boston Weatherford (Wordsong, 39 pp., $19.95)
In this 2008 award winner aimed at “tween” readers, Weatherford relies on spare but powerful verse paired with a picture-book format to examine a notorious day in civil rights history. (4/15/08)

Shift
By Jennifer Bradbury (Atheneum, 256 pp., $16.99)
This lovely story for teen readers is a tale of friendship, self-discovery, and coming-of-age explored through a cross-country bike trip and the mysterious disappearance of a friend. Young readers will lose themselves in its breathless, brilliantly woven plot. (6/17/08)

Eleven
By Patricia Reilly Giff (Random House, 165 pp., $15.99)
Tough, skinny Sam struggles with a learning disability so he turns to Caroline, a new girl at school, to supply the reading skills needed to help him unravel a mystery about his own identity. It’s the excellently rendered relationships that make this book sing. (6/17/08)

The Calder Game

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