New York State Reading List
Explore New York
New York State History, Culture, and Diversity
This entire document also in .PDF format [961k]; individual sections also available separately (see below)
The New York State Library, in partnership with the New York Library Association’s Youth Services Section and School Library Media Section, presents selected reading lists that celebrate the history, culture, and diversity of New York State.
Librarians who work with children and teens in both public libraries and school libraries across the State collaborated to select age-appropriate titles for recreational reading. The four lists are designed for reading enjoyment, to provide a “flavor” of New York, and spark an interest in the fascinating story of New York State.
Each of the four lists covers one reader age group and features the age-appropriate Summer Reading at New York Libraries slogan:
These recreational reading lists were first created in 2009, prompted by the Quadricentennial of Henry Hudson and Samuel de Champlain's voyages along the river and lake that bear their names. For this year’s update, titles were checked for availability in a majority of public library catalogs throughout New York State.
Books marked "Braille format" and "Recorded format" are noted for use by students who have a disability which affects their use of print materials. The books with these notations are available for loan to eligible students and schools. For information on the three libraries in New York State which lend books in these formats through the National Library Service for the Blind & Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress program, see Attachment A.
Titles that are available in commercial audio formats are noted when available. A list of commercial audio vendors is provided in Attachment B.
Summer Reading at New York Libraries is funded through the Federal Library Services and Technology Act, with funds awarded to the New York State Library by the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. The New York State Library is a program of the Office of Cultural Education in the New York State Education Department.
New York State Library Project Coordinators
- Karen Balsen, Library Development Specialist, Youth & Family Services
- Alison Starkey, Student Assistant
Reading List Contributors
- Ellen McTyre, Mamaroneck Public Library District
- Erin M. Singleton, George F. Johnson Memorial Library
- Jill Leinung, Green Meadow School
- Marie Drucker, Malverne Public Library
- Margaret Gibson, Queens Public Library
- Michael Hadfield, Corinth Free Library
- Sue Bartle, Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus BOCES
- Tracy Van Dyne, Brentwood Public Library
Libraries in New York State that lend recorded and Braille books through the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Library of Congress program:
Upstate New York
New York State Library
New York State Talking Book and Braille Library (full service to 55 upstate counties)
Cultural Education Center / Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12230
Telephone: (518) 474-5935
Toll-free (In-state): (800) 342-3688
FAX: (518) 486-2142
New York City
The New York Public Library
Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library (full service to NYC and Braille service for Long Island)
40 West 20th Street
New York, NY 10011-4211
Telephone: (212) 206-5400
24 / 7 Voicemail: (212) 206-5425
TDD: (212) 206-5458
FAX: (212) 206-5418
Suffolk Cooperative Library System
Long Island Talking Book Library (serves Suffolk & Nassau Counties)
627 North Sunrise Service Road, P.O. Box 9000
Bellport, NY 11713-9000
Telephone: (631) 286-1600
Toll-free (In-state): (866) 833-1122
TDD: (631) 286-4546
FAX: (631) 286-1647
2010 Audio Vendors Contact information
[links will open in a new window]
- Audio Book Contractors
- Audio Bookshelf
- Books on Tape
- Brilliance Audio
- Full Cast Audio
- Harper Children’s Audio
- Listening Library
- Live Oak Media
- One More Story
- Recorded Books
- Spoken Arts
Early Childhood and Beginning School Age
Adler, David, and Terry Widener. The Babe and I. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Trade & Reference Publishers, 2004.
It's 1932 and hard times are everywhere, but America still loves baseball, and Babe Ruth is the star. Two boys discover that with some creativity, hard work, and a little help from the Babe himself, they can do their part to help out their own team.
Avi. Silent Movie. Illus. C.B. Mordan. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2003.
In the early years of the twentieth century, a Swedish family encounters separation and other hardships upon immigrating to New York City until the son is cast in a silent movie.
Baker, Sharon R. A Nickel, A Trolley, A Treasure House. New York: Viking Juvenile, 2007.
Lionel, a Jewish boy growing up in a New York City tenement, draws pictures on every scrap of paper he can find, but he does not see any value in his efforts until his teacher takes him on a streetcar journey to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Barasch, Lynne. Hiromi’s Hands. New York: Lee & Low Books, Inc., 2007.
This picture-book biography of one of the first female sushi chefs in New York City celebrates Hiromi Suzuki's Japanese-American roots and her achievements in the U.S.
Barracca, Debra and Sal. The Adventures of Taxi Dog. New York: Dial, 1990.
A New York City taxi driver adopts a stray dog and their drives and adventures take them all over New York. Maxi loves the fares, the emergencies and the sights and sounds of the big city.
Brown, Monica. My Name is Celia: The Life of Celia Cruz. Illus. Rafael Lopez. Flagstaff, AR:
Luna Rising, 2004.
A bilingual storybook biography of the life of Celia Cruz, the Cuban-Born Queen of Salsa (English/Spanish). Americas Book Award and Belpré Award
Bruchac, Joseph. Turtle's Race with Beaver: A Traditional Seneca Story. New York: Dial Books
for Young Readers, 2003.
When Beaver challenges Turtle to a swimming race for ownership of the pond, Turtle outsmarts Beaver, and Beaver learns to share.
Bunting, Eve. A Picnic in October. New York: Harcourt Children's Books, 1999.
A boy finally comes to understand why his grandmother insists that the family visit Ellis Island each year to celebrate Lady Liberty's birthday.
Burg, Ann E. Times Square: A New York State Number Book. Chelsea, Mich.: Sleeping Bear Press, 2005.
This book takes children across the state using landmarks, historical events and famous faces to count out numbers. From the Finger Lakes to stitches on a baseball, find the numbers they represent and their ties to New York.
Burleigh, Robert. Stealing Home: Jackie Robinson Against the Odds. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2007.
Illustrated biography of baseball’s Brooklyn Dodger, Jackie Robinson.
Charles, Veronika. Maiden of the Mist: A Legend of Niagara Falls. Topeka: Tandem
Library Books, 2001.
Retelling of a Seneca legend wherein a girl takes destiny into her own hands by going over Niagara Falls.
Cohen, Miriam, and Thomas Yezerski. Mimmy & Sophie All Around the Town. New
York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2004.
Six stories describe the experiences of two sisters growing up in Brooklyn in the time of trolleys and Shirley Temple movies.
Collier, Brian. Uptown. Jacksonville: Perma-Bound Books, 2000.
Discover the vibrant world of NYC’s Harlem as seen through the eyes of one little boy.
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award and Ezra Jack Keats Award
Braille format: BR 13088
Colon, Edie. Good-bye, Havana! Hola, New York! New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011
What will it take for the Bronx to feel like home? For young Gabriella, newly arrived from Havana after fleeing Cuba’s communist revolution, life just isn’t the same in New York--not the weather, not her surroundings, and certainly not the food.
Cotten, Cynthia. Abbie in Stitches. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2006.
Growing up in western New York State in the early 1800s, Abbie would much rather read than embroider a sampler, which her mother and teacher insist she do, but she works hard after thinking of just the right picture.
Dorros, Arthur. Abuela. New York: Puffin Books, 1991.
While riding on a bus with her grandmother, a little girl imagines flying over the sights of New York City.
Downing, Johnette. Today Is Monday in New York. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing, 2011.
Only in New York do they eat apples on Monday, pastrami on Tuesday, and Buffalo wings on Wednesday. A delightful picture book about all the goodies that lucky New York children can enjoy every day of the week.
Drummond, Allan. Liberty! New York: Frances Foster Books, 2002.
Describes the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty and its importance as a symbol of freedom.
Egielski, Richard. The Gingerbread Boy. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1997.
The chase is on! When the gingerbread boy rises from butter and molasses, everyone wants him for a snack. But the gingerbread boy has other ideas, sliding down the fire escape and running through the streets of New York City.
Federspiel, Jürg. Alligator Mike. New York: North-South Books, 2007.
Chasing his ball through the streets of New York City, Mike dives into a garbage can and finds himself in the city sewers. There he must help hundreds of alligators find their way back to the Florida swamps.
Gerstein, Mordicai. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. New York: Square Fish, 2007.
A lyrical evocation of Philippe Petit's 1974 tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers. Caldecott Medal
Braille format: BR 15045
Godwin, Laura. Central Park Serenade. Illus. Barry Root. New York: Joanna Colter Books,
Illustrations and rhyming text celebrate the sights and sounds of New York's Central Park in summer.
Gonzalez, Lucia. Storyteller’s Candle. Illus. Lulu Delacre. San Francisco: Children’s Book
During the early days of the Great Depression, New York City's first Puerto Rican librarian, Pura Belpré, introduces the public library to immigrants living in El Barrio and hosts the neighborhood's first Three Kings' Day fiesta.
Audiobook by Audible, Inc. (2009) Language: Spanish
Harness, Cheryl. The Amazing Impossible Erie Canal. New York: Aladdin Picture Books,
"Impossible!" At first folks didn't really believe the Erie Canal would ever be built--but when it was completed in 1825, people proclaimed it, "Amazing!" Illustrations and maps included.
Hest, Amy. Jamaica Louise James. Illus. Sheila White Samton. Somerville MA: Candlewick Press, 1997.
A plaque in the 86th Street subway station bears the name “Jamaica Louise James, age 8.” The book is a testimony of how a single young girl, “Jamaica” changed her neighborhood through her art.
Illustrated audio performance available at onemorestory.com
High, Linda Oatman, and Robert Rayevsky. Under New York. New York: Holiday House, Inc.,
What goes on right under people's feet? A lot more than you'd imagine! This striking picture book depicts New York and the fascinating, bustling world that exists beneath its streets.
High, Linda Oatman. City of Snow: The Great Blizzard of 1888. New York: Walker &
A fictionalized account, told in free-verse poems, of a young girl's experience living through the 1888 "Great Blizzard" in New York City.
High, Linda Oatman. Tenth Avenue Cowboy. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Books for Young
In 1910, when his family moves to New York City from their ranch out West, Ben misses the cowboys and the prairies that they left behind. After he learns that there are cowboys in the city, who race along the railroad tracks and warn people of approaching trains, he begins to feel more at home.
Himler, Ronald. The Girl on the Yellow Giraffe. New York: Star Bright Books, 2004.
While riding her toy giraffe from her apartment to a city park and back, a girl's fantasies transport her to a land of giants, dragons, and magicians.
Hopkinson, Deborah. Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building. New York:
Schwartz & Wade Books, 2006.
In 1931, a boy and his father watch as the world's tallest building, the Empire State Building is constructed, step-by-step, near their Manhattan home. ALA Notable Children’s Book
Hyde, Heidi Smith. Feivel’s Flying Horses. Minneapolis: Kar-Ben Publishing, 2010
A Jewish immigrant who is saving money to bring his wife and children to join him in America creates ornate horses for a carousel on Coney Island, one for each member of his family.
Jacobs, Paul DuBois. My Subway Ride. Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith, 2004.
This book is filled with the sights and sounds of a subway ride through the boroughs of New York City.
Johnson, Stephen. Alphabet City. Minneapolis: Sagebrush Education Resources, 1999.
This wordless alphabet book is illustrated with stunningly imaginative, photo-realistic cityscapes.
Kalman, Maira. Fireboat: The Heroic Adventures of the John J. Harvey. New York: Putnam
Originally launched in 1931, the Harvey was one of the most powerful fireboats of its time. Years later, a group of friends restored the retired boat, and after the September 11 attacks, the fire department called on the Harvey for help. This is the inspiring story of the history, the people and the events that shaped New York City--in the past and the present.
Braille format: BR 15004
Katz, Jon. Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm. New York: H. Holt, 2011.
The author introduces the 4 farm dogs, each of whom has his or her own job to do every day on the farm. (Illustrated with photographs)
Kelly, Irene. A Small Dog's Big Life: Around the World with Owney. New York: Holiday
House Inc., 2005.
Letters tell the story of Owney, a dog who became mascot of the Albany, New York post office in 1888 and traveled around the world.
Kimmel, Elizabeth Cody. The Top Job. New York: Dutton’s Children’s Books, 2007.
On Career Day, a young girl entertains the class with a description of her father's exciting job as light bulb changer at the top of the Empire State Building. Imagine how special it would be to have a dad responsible for changing the light bulbs at the tippy-top of the Empire State Building!
Braille format: BR 17044
Kimmel, Eric A. Rip Van Winkle’s Return. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.
A man, who sleeps for twenty years in the Catskill Mountains, wakes to a much-changed world. Illustrated adaptation of Washington Irving’s Rip Van Winkle.
Kimmel, Eric A. The Erie Canal Pirates. New York: Holiday House, 2002.
A boat captain and his men battle Bill McGrew and his pirate crew on the Erie Canal in a rhyming tale inspired by a folksong.
Levinson, Riki, and Diane Goode. Watch the Stars Come Out. New York: Penguin
Young Readers Group, 1995.
A little girl hears how, long ago, another little red-haired girl--her great-grandmother--sailed across the sea with her older brother to join their parents in a strange new land called America.
Levitin, Sonia. Junk Man’s Daughter. Chelsea: Sleeping Bear Press, 2007.
Story of a family living in the Bowery during the immigration wave of the 1920s. As the family struggles, they learn about hope, hard work, and following dreams.
Lewin, Ted. Stable. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2010.
This picture book briefly introduces readers to the history of horse transportation in urban areas and then describes the current activities of Kensington Stables, in Brooklyn.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. Hiawatha. Illus. Susan Jeffers. New York: Penguin
Group USA, 1996.
The classic American poem, The Song of Hiawatha, is developed into a tale covering the early years of Hiawatha, when he first learned the Native American way of life from his grandmother.
Braille format: BR 06112 / Recorded format: RC 22692
Low, William. Chinatown. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1997.
A boy and his grandmother wind their way through the streets of Chinatown, enjoying all the sights and smells of the Chinese New Year's Day.
Low, William. Old Penn Station. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2007.
An illustrated account of the construction, history, and demolition of one of the most famous railroad stations in America-- New York City's Penn Station.
Melmed, Laura Krauss. New York, New York!: The Big Apple from A to Z. Illus. Frane Lessac. New York, NY: Harper Collins Publishers, 2005.
An A to Z book covering all the major sites in New York City in full color.
Niemann, Christoph. Subway. New York: Greenwillow Books, 2010.
This colorful, vivacious, child-centered title began with a post on Niemann's blog, Abstract City, in which he describes a day of riding the subway with his two sons just for fun.
Paley, Jane. Hooper Finds a Family: A Hurricane Katrina Dog's Survival Tale. New York: Harper, 2011.
Jimmy, a yellow Labrador puppy, is separated from his Lake Charles, Louisiana, family and survives the horrors of Hurricane Katrina on his own before being rescued and taken to New York City, where he tries to fit in with a new family and the many neighborhood dogs, and accept his new name.
Prince, April Jones. Twenty-One Elephants and Still Standing. Illus. Francois Roca. Boston:
Houghton Mifflin, 2005.
After the Brooklyn Bridge is built in 1883, P.T. Barnum demonstrates that the bridge is safe by marching 21 of his elephants across it on their way to the Big Top and “The Greatest Show on Earth.”
Ringgold, Faith. Cassie’s Word Quilt. New York: Knopf, 2002.
Names the people and objects that make a girl's New York City apartment, school, and neighborhood special.
Ringgold, Faith. Tar Beach. New York: Crown Publishers, 1991.
Ringgold recounts the dream adventure of eight-year-old Cassie Louise Lightfoot, who flies above her apartment-building rooftop, the ‘tar-beach’ of the title, looking down on 1939 Harlem. Part autobiographical, part fictional, this allegorical tale sparkles with symbolic and historical references central to African-American culture.
Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award
Braille format: BR 08940
Ross, Alice. The Copper Lady. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, 1997.
After helping Monsieur Bartholdi build the Statue of Liberty, a Parisian orphan stows away on the ship carrying the statue to America.
Rubel, David. The Carpenter’s Gift: A Christmas Tale About the Rockefeller Center Tree. New York: Random House Children’s Books, 2011
In Depression-era New York, eight-year-old Henry and his out-of-work father sell Christmas trees in Manhattan. They give one of their trees to construction workers building Rockefeller Center. That tree becomes the first Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Henry wishes on the tree for a nice, warm house to replace his family's drafty, one-room shack. Will his wish come true?
Rubbino, Salvatore. A Walk in New York. Somerville MA: Candlewick, 2009.
A wide-eyed boy and his dad explore the Big Apple’s busy streets and towering views in this child-friendly tribute to an incomparable city.
Sarcone-Roach, Julia. Subway Story. New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2011.
Never was there a New York City subway car who loved her job more than Jessie. But as time passed, sleek new silver cars began to take over the tracks, banishing Jessie to an abandoned lot. This book is based on the true story of 1960s-era subway cars that are now being used to create artificial reefs in the Atlantic.
Sasek, Miroslav. This is New York. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2003.
First published in 1960 and reprinted in 2003, Sasek’s vision of New York nearly forty years ago still remains fresh: the hustle and bustle of Times Square, the ethnic neighborhoods, the awe-inspiring architecture.
Sattler, Jennifer Gordon. All Aboard, Owney! The Adirondack Mail Dog. Utica: Nicholas K. Burns Publishing, 2003
In 1888, Owney, a stray puppy, finds a home in the Albany, New York, post office and becomes its official mascot as he rides the mail train through the Adirondacks discovering new vistas and friends along the way.
Spier, Peter. The Erie Canal. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1970.
Illustrated version of a folk song describing the journey from Albany to Buffalo on the Erie Canal in the 1850s; includes musical notation.
Sullivan, Maureen. Ankle Soup. New York: Mojo Inkworks, 2008.
It’s Thanksgiving Day and Carlos the bulldog is enjoying New York City. Well, he’s enjoying at least what he can see of it.
Swamp, Jake. Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message. Illus. Erwin
Printup, Jr. Minneapolis: Tandem Library Books, 2007.
An illustrated message of peace and appreciation of Mother Earth, traditionally recited by Mohawk children every morning. The prayer appears in the Mohawk language on the last page.
Sweet, Melissa. Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011
Meet Tony Sarg, puppeteer extraordinaire! In brilliant collage illustrations, Melissa Sweet tells the story of the puppeteer Sarg, the man who invented the famous balloons for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
2012 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award
Talbott, Hudson. River of Dreams: The Story of the Hudson River. New York: Putnam Juvenile,
With watercolors, colored pencil and ink, the author/illustrator creates lushly detailed paintings that tell a story both literally and symbolically.
Thomas, Peggy. Joshua the Giant Frog. Gretna, LA: Pelican Publishing Co., 2005.
Although Joshua, a giant frog, causes earthquakes when he hops and topples trees when he croaks, he can also haul a string of barges down the Erie Canal.
Torres, Leyla. Subway Sparrow. Topeka: Tandem Library Books, 1997.
Although the passengers of the D-train speak different languages, they work together to rescue a frightened bird.
Velasquez, Eric. Grandma’s Gift. London: Walker Children’s, 2010.
While visiting his grandmother in New York during the Christmas holidays, Eric goes to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for a school project. He finds a painting by Diego Velasquez and realizes he too can be an artist. Grandma then gives Eric the perfect Christmas gift.
Varon, Sara. Chicken and Cat. New York: Scholastic Press, 2006.
When Cat feels sad about living in the hustle and bustle of the city, Chicken finds colorful ways to make Cat feel better.
Vila, Laura. Building Manhattan. New York: Viking Juvenille; Penguin Group, 2008.
See the transformation of the island of Manhattan from its earliest beginnings to today and beyond. Colorful and imaginative illustrations depict the growth of this small island from its first animals, to native peoples, then explorers, and settlers.
Waldman, Neil. The Starry Night. Honesdale: Boyds Mills Press, 2003.
This book sparks timeless wonder and imagination with its stunning Van Gogh-inspired paintings of Manhattan.
Warnes, Tim. Chalk and Cheese. New York: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Children, 2008.
Dog Chalk takes his country mouse friend Cheese on a tour of the Big Apple. Sure, they’re very different from each other, but both have a great time.
Weller, Francis Ward. The Day the Animals Came: A Story of Saint Francis Day. Illus.
Loren Long. New York: Philomel Books, 2003.
Ria is lonely living in New York City. She misses her Caribbean home. Most of all, she misses the animals she left behind. Then one fall morning, Ria's neighbor takes her on a surprise visit to a great cathedral -- it's the Feast of Saint Francis, when people in New York City bring their pets to church to be blessed.
Wilbur, Helen. Little New York. Chelsea: Sleeping Bear Press; Boardbook edition, 2010.
State birds, flowers, trees, and animals presented in board book form for the youngest book lovers. Toddlers will delight in these books filled with rhyming riddles, framed by brightly painted clues that introduce items that make New York State so special.
Zarin, Cynthia. Albert, the Dog Who Liked to Ride in Taxis. New York: Atheneum
Books for Young Readers, 2004.
Albert the dachshund loves nothing better than riding in taxicabs, until the day a taxicab adventure takes him to the airport.
Ackerman, Peter. The Lonely Phonebooth. Boston: David R. Godine, 2010.
This is the story of one of the last remaining phone booths in New York City, the Phone Booth on the corner of West End Avenue and 100th. Everyone used it — from ballerinas and girl scouts, zookeepers and birthday clowns, to cellists and even secret agents!
Amstel, Marsha. Sybil Ludington's Midnight Ride. Illus. Ellen Beier. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda
On April 26, 1777, in Patterson, NY (Putnam County), Colonel Ludington received word that the British were attacking and burning Danbury, CT. Ludington’s 16-year-old daughter, Sybil, eagerly volunteered to spread the word and gather his troops to prevent the British from marching into New York.
Avi. Mayor of Central Park. New York: HarperCollins Publications,
Central Park is a city that is populated by a menagerie of animals. In 1900, Oscar is the Mayor of Central Park and the manager of its Green Sox baseball team. When jewel-thief rats plan to invade, all of the animals turn to Oscar. Can he save them and their precious park?
Baron, Robert C., and Thomas Locker. Hudson: The Story of a River. Golden, Colorado: Fulcrum Publishing, 2004.
A lushly illustrated history of the Hudson River.
Bartone, Elisa. Peppe the Lamplighter. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1997.
Long ago, when the streetlights of Little Italy had to be lit by hand, Peppe lived in a tenement on Mulberry Street. His family was poor, so Peppe thought he needed a job in order to help. Caldecott Honor
Braille format: BR 09924
Audio Cassette by Scholastic (1994)
Bates, Colleen Dunn. Storybook Travels: From Eloise's New York to Harry Potter's London, Visits to 30 of the Best-Loved Landmarks in Children's Literature. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2002.
Offers journeys to thirty destinations throughout North America and Europe that inspired favorite tales in children's literature, including Eloise’s New York, Tom Sawyer's small-town Missouri, and Anne Shirley's Prince Edward Island.
Berleth, Richard. Samuel's Choice. Morton Grove, Illinois: Albert Whitman & Company, 1990.
Samuel is a 14-year-old slave in New York City. After hearing the fighting sound of the revolutionaries he defies his owners and performs a heroic act that allows George Washington's troops to escape from the British after the Battle of Long Island.
Blume, Judy. Tales of a Fourth-Grade Nothing. New York: Dutton, 1972.
Fourth grader Peter believes his younger brother Fudge is nothing but trouble. Grown-ups might think that two-year-olds are adorable, but Peter knows better. And that’s proven by the havoc Fudges causes, including swallowing Peter’s beloved Turtle.
Recorded format: RC 039643; RC 006245; DB 039643; BR 011471; BR 007203
Audio CD by Listening Library (2005)
Burg, Ann E. Rebekkah’s Journey: A World War II Refugee Story. Chelsea, Mich: Sleeping Bear Press, 2006
In 1944 a vacant army base in upstate New York became the temporary home of over 900 men, women and children who had fled Europe towards the end of World War II. With little more than the clothing on their backs, Rebekkah and her mother are just two of the many refugees who come to live in the camp. Adjusting to a strange new world and a new language, Rebekkah puts aside her own fears to try and re-create tiny bits of home for her mother.
Bruchac, Joseph. Arrow Over the Door. New York: Puffin, 2002.
Historical novel set during the Revolutionary War about the intersecting lives of a Quaker and a Native American boy.
Recorded format: RC 46648
Bruchac, Joseph. Children of the Longhouse. NY: Puffin, 1998.
Eleven-year-old Ohkwa'ri and his twin sister must make peace with a hostile gang of older boys in their Mohawk village during the late 1400s.
Recorded format: RC 43907
Bruchac, Joseph. The Winter People. New York: Penguin Group USA, 2002.
As the French and Indian War rages, Saxso, a fourteen-year-old Abenaki boy, pursues the English rangers who have attacked his village and taken his mother and sisters hostage.
Recorded format: RC 56646
Audio CD and Cassette by Recorded Books (2003)
Burg, Ann E. E is for Empire: A New York State Alphabet. Illus. Maureen K.
Brookfield. Chelsea, MI: Sleeping Bear Press, 2003.
An alphabet book that opens New York State’s history, culture, and landscape to young readers in a unique two-tiered approach. A quick rhyme offers children a distinct truth about New York from A to Z. Alongside each rhyme, older elementary students gain a rich understanding of the topic by reading the longer expository information.
Castrovilla, Selene. By the Sword: A Young Man Meets War. Illus. William
Farnsworth. Honesdale, PA: Calkins Creek, 2007.
School teacher Benjamin Tallmadge's emotions are tested when he joins George Washington's army and participates in the Revolutionary War and the Battle of Long Island.
Coleman, Wim and Pat Perrin. The Amazing Erie Canal and How a Big Ditch Opened Up the
West. Berkeley Heights: Enslow Publishers, Inc., 2006
The authors present a brief, informative history of canals; the geographic need for the Erie Canal; and an explanation of how its creation impacted American commerce and history. Includes links to websites for further reading.
Curlee, Lynn. Liberty. New York: Atheneum, 2003.
One of the nation's symbols of freedom and liberty--the Statue of Liberty--is celebrated in this "biography" that looks at the statue's creation by two Frenchmen in the 19th century. Illustrated.
Recorded format: RC 51593
Curlee, Lynn. Brooklyn Bridge. New York: Atheneum Books, 2001.
The Brooklyn Bridge is celebrated as one of the greatest landmarks and grandest sights in New York City. Curlee describes the planning, construction, and history of the bridge and includes full-color illustrations. Sibert Honor
Braille format: BR 14028
Dunham, Montrew. Abner Doubleday: Boy Baseball Pioneer. Indianapolis: Patria Press, 2005.
Childhood adventures of the famous Civil War General, Abner Doubleday, best known for his contribution to the game of baseball.
Edmonds, Walter D. The Matchlock Gun. Illus. Paul Lantz. New York: Putnam Juvenile, 1998.
During the French and Indian War, a young boy living in New York must protect his mother and sister with his father's gun. This stirring tale of a small boy, his mother and younger sister, and an antique matchlock gun, is based on a true story. Newbery Medal
Braille format: BR 15077 / Recorded format: RC 57031
Elish, Dan. New York (It's My State!). Tarrytown: Benchmark Books, 2010.
Surveys the history, geography, government, and economy of the Empire State, as well as the diverse ways of life and its people. Illustrations and photographs.
Englar, Mary. The Iroquois: The Six Nations Confederacy. Bloomington: Capstone Press, 2000.
Includes information on the longhouse; food (with a recipe for a strawberry drink!); roles of men and women; and, effects of European contact. Also lists internet sites and places to visit including two within New York State.
Fritz, Jean. Traitor, the Case of Benedict Arnold. Paradise, CA: Paw Prints, 2008.
A study of the life and character of the brilliant Revolutionary War general, Benedict Arnold, who deserted to the British.
Recorded format: RC 18436
Giff, Patricia Reilly. Pictures of Hollis Woods. New York: Wendy Lamb Books, 2002.
A troublesome twelve-year-old orphan, staying with an elderly artist who needs her, remembers the only other time she was happy in a foster home, with a family that truly seemed to care about her.
Recorded format: RC 056220; DB 056220; BR 017398
Audio CD by Listening Library
Glaser, Linda. Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2010.
The story of Emma Lazarus, who despite her life of privilege, became a tireless advocate for the immigrants who arrived in New York City in the 1880s and wrote a famous poem for the Statue of Liberty.
Greene, Jacqueline Dembar. Rebecca and Ana. Middleton, WI: American Girl Publishing, 2009.
Nine-year-old Rebecca Rubin eagerly helps her cousin Ana, newly arrived from Russia, to adjust to life in New York City, but when their teacher says the two must sing together at a school assembly, Rebecca worries that her big moment will be ruined.
Recorded format: RC070254
Digital format: DB070254
Braille format: BR018668
Greene, Jacqueline Dembar. Rebecca to the Rescue. Middleton, WI: American Girl Publishing, 2009.
While celebrating her brother's Bar Mitzvah on Coney Island, nine-year-old Rebecca Rubin disobeys by going off on her own, leaving her cousin Ana, a recent immigrant, alone.
Braille format: BR018671
Greene, Jacqueline Dembar. Secrets at Camp Nokomis: A Rebecca Mystery (American Girl Mysteries). Middleton, WI: Pleasant Company Publications, 2010.
When Rebecca attends summer camp in the country because of the spreading polio epidemic in New York City, she is troubled by a bully in her tent and another fellow camper who is strangely secretive.
Grimes, Nikki. Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2009.
Spunky third-grader Dyamonde Daniel misses her old neighborhood in Brooklyn, but when she befriends a boy named Free, another new student at school, she finally starts to feel at home in the bustling New York City neighborhood located on 147th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.
Audio CD by Full Cast Audio (2010)
Grimly, Gris, and Tod Smith. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. New York: Atheneum Books for
Young Readers, 2007.
Graphic novel of the original Washington Irving story about the headless horseman.
Gunderson, Jessica. The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire (Graphic History). North Mankato: Capstone Press, 2006.
In graphic novel format, tells the story of the Shirtwaist factory fire of 1911.
Hartland, Jessie. How the Sphinx Got to the Museum. Maplewood, NJ: Blue Apple Books, 2010
Inside New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, the sphinx of the Pharaoh Hatshepsut holds court. But how did this ancient artifact get to the museum?
Hatkoff, Juliana, Isabella Hatkoff, Craig Hatkoff. Leo the Snow Leopard: The True Story of an Amazing Rescue. New York: Scholastic Press, 2010.
When Leo was less than seven weeks old, he became orphaned in the snowy Himalayan mountains in Pakistan. Rescued by a kind shepherd and his family, Leo eventually came to the world-famous Bronx Zoo in New York, which is the leading expert on caring for and breeding the critically endangered snow leopard.
Hazen, Lynn E. The Amazing Trail of Seymour Snail. New York: Henry Holt and Co., 2009
Seymour Snail hopes to become a famous artist, so he takes a job in a New York City art gallery. Soon, everyone is buzzing about the new mystery artist.
Hest, Amy. When Jessie Came Across the Sea. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 2003.
A thirteen-year-old Jewish orphan reluctantly leaves her grandmother and immigrates to New York City, where she works for three years sewing lace and earning money to bring Grandmother to the United States, too.
Hiscock, Bruce. Ookpik – The Travels of a Snowy Owl. Honesdale: Boyd Mills Press, 2008.
The book depicts the first year in the life of a snowy owl. It follows its trip from Baffin Island in Canada to the Adirondacks in New York State and its struggles to survive.
Hochain, Serge. Building Liberty: A Statue is Born. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic,
The Statue of Liberty is one of the greatest landmarks in America. Through the eyes of four boys, readers observe the Statue of Liberty as it is designed, built, shipped to the United States, and reassembled on an island in New York Harbor.
Hurwitz, Johanna. The PeeWee Series. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.
#1 – PeeWee’s Tale, 2000,
#2 – PeeWee & Plush, 2004
#3 – Squirrel World, 2007
Three books about guinea pigs and squirrels that live in New York’s Central Park.
Kamma, Anne, and Pamela Johnson. If You Lived When Women Won Their Rights. New York:
A collection of short biographies: Lucy Stone, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt.
Kerley, Barbara. What to Do About Alice? New York:
Theodore Roosevelt’s daughter Alice proved a handful to her father. She was hungry to go places, meet people, do things, but her father called it running riot. Alice called it eating up the world.
Braille format: BR 18047
Knight, Joan and Melissa Sweet. Charlotte in New York. San Francisco, California: Chronicle
Books, LLC, 2006.
In 1894, Charlotte records in her journal impressions of a family trip from Giverny, France to New York, where her father’s paintings will be featured in an exhibition. Includes bibliographic sketches of painters and reproductions of artwork.
Konigsburg, E.L. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. New York: Aladdin,
When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn't just want to run "from" somewhere, she wants to run "to" somewhere -- to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and preferably, elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Newbery Medal
Braille format: BR 09549 / Recorded format: RC 22914
Audio CD by Listening Library (2004)
Krensky, Stephen. The Great Moon Hoax. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, 2011.
Two newsboys in 1830s New York City sell copies of the New York Sun reporting that a powerful telescope has found exotic animals and structures on the moon. Based on a true story.
Lackey, Jennifer. Jacques Cartier: Exploring the St. Lawrence River. New York:
Crabtree Pub. Co., 2006.
Series: In the Footsteps of Explorers.
This colorful book describes the explorer's life; provides a look at the political climate that made Cartier venture out into the unknown; examines life on the high seas and in the encampment. Contains colorful maps and images showing the areas explored.
Lin, Grace. Year of the Dog. New York: Little, Brown and Co., 2006.
Frustrated at her seeming lack of talent for anything, a young Taiwanese American girl, living in New Hartford, New York, applies the lessons of the Chinese Year of the Dog, those of making best friends and finding oneself, to her own life. (Partially autobiographical.)
Lin, Grace. The Year of the Rat. New York: Little, Brown & Co., 2008.
The Year of the Rat means change, and for Pacey the biggest change is her best friend moving from New York to California. She also must face her own flaws and decide if she really can become the writer and illustrator she hopes to be.
Recorded format: BR 017688 (2007)
Lombard, Jenny. Drita, My Homegirl. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2006.
When ten-year-old Drita and her family, refugees from Kosovo, move to New York, Drita is teased about not speaking English well, but after a popular student named Maxine is forced to learn about Kosovo as a punishment for teasing Drita, the two girls soon bond.
Maestro, Betsy. The New Americans: Colonial Times, 1620-1689. Illus. Guilio Mastro.
Paradise, CA: Paw Prints, 2008.
Within 60 years of the Pilgrims' landing at Plymouth, America's first cities were thriving seaports, public education had begun, books were printed, coins were minted, and the postal service was launched. The New Americans tells the exciting story of the origins of our rich multicultural heritage. Full color.
Maestro, Betsy. Struggle for a Continent: The French and Indian Wars, 1689-1763. Illus. Giulio
Maestro. New York: HarperCollins, 2000.
Series: The American Story Series
Discusses the relations between the European colonists and the Native Americans, the disputes between settlers from France, England, and Spain, and the role these conflicts played in the history of North America.
Maestro, Betsy. The Story of the Statue of Liberty. Topeka: Topeka Bindery, 1989.
A picture book history of the most-beloved monument in America.
Audio Cassette by Spoken Arts (1992)
Mann, Elizabeth. The Brooklyn Bridge: The Story of the World’s Most Famous Bridge and the
Remarkable Family that Built It. New York: Mikaya Press, 2006.
This book documents and illustrates the design, step-by-step construction, multiple setbacks and ultimate completion of the Brooklyn Bridge, all presented in a readable manner and supported by diagrams and dramatic illustrations.
Margolis, Leslie. Girl’s Best Friend (Maggie Brooklyn Mystery). New York: Bloomsbury, 2010
In Brooklyn, New York, twelve-year-old dog-walker Maggie, aided by her twin brother Finn and best friend Lucy, investigates someone she believes is stealing pets.
Marsh, Carole. The Mystery in New York City. Peachtree City, GA: Gallopade International; Teacher’s Guide Edition
Christina, Grant, Benjamin, and Katherine become gridlocked in a mystery that takes them on a hair-raising history tour of New York City's most famous landmarks to find a priceless missing part of history.
Martin, Ann M. Ten Rules for Living with my Sister. New York: Feiwel & Friends, 2011.
Nine-year-old Pearl and her popular, thirteen-year-old sister, Lexie, do not get along very well, but when their grandfather moves in to their Greenwich Village apartment, the girls have to share a room and find common ground.
McCully, Emily Arnold. Ballot Box Battle. New York: Dragonfly Books, 1998.
It is the fall of 1880, and Cordelia is more interested in horse-back riding than in hearing her neighbor, Mrs. Stanton talk about her fight for women's suffrage. But on Election Day, Mrs. Stanton tells the heart-wrenching story of her childhood. Charged with the story's message, Cordelia determines to go with Mrs. Stanton to the polls in an attempt to vote, despite the jeers and taunts of the male crowd. Cordelia's turning-point experience is sure to inspire today's young girls (and boys) everywhere.
Braille format: BR 11316
McDonough, Yona Zeldis. The Cats in the Doll Shop. New York: Viking, 2011.
With World War I raging in Europe, eleven-year-old Anna is thrilled to learn that her cousin Tania is coming from Russia to stay with Anna's family on the lower East Side of New York City, and although Tania is shy and withdrawn when she arrives, her love of cats helps her adjust to her new family.
Molzahn, Arlene. Henry Hudson: Explorer of the Hudson River. Berkeley Heights, N.J.: Enslow
Publishers, Inc., 2003
Discusses the life of Henry Hudson, the English sea captain who explored the Arctic Ocean and the river and bay later named for him while in search of a northern route to the Indies.
Moore, Christopher. Champlain. Plattsburgh, NY: McClelland & Stewart Ltd., 2004.
A biographical portrait of the explorer and cartographer, Samuel de Champlain, known as the "father of New France" examines his many accomplishments in the colonial settlement of Canada as well as his many personal disappointments.
Park, Linda Sue. Keeping Score. New York: Clarion Books, 2008.
In Brooklyn in 1951, a special friendship is created when a die-hard Giants fan teaches nine-year-old Maggie, a "Bums" (Dodgers) fan, how to use a special technique to keep score of a baseball game.
Recorded format: RC 67449
Peck, Richard. Secrets at Sea. New York: Dial, 2011
In 1887, the nouveau riche Cranstons leave New York on a cruise ship for Europe – and their mice stow along. The mice meet intriguing cosmopolitan mice onboard and help the human Cranston daughters find love.
Audio CD by Listening Library (2011)
Rossi, Ann. Cultures Collide: Native Americans and Europeans, 1492-1700. Washington, DC:
National Geographic, 2004.
Series: Crossroads America
Paintings, maps, and engrossing text create a vivid portrait of Native Americans' early encounters with the European settlers who colonized the "New World," describing their differences in farming, socialization, and values, which often created negative relations.
Roy, Ron. Runaway Racehorse. New York: Random House, 2002.
Series: A to Z Mystery
Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose investigate the disappearance of a valuable racehorse that Dink's uncle and his friend, Forest Evans, have just bought and entered in a race at Saratoga.
Braille format: BR 14966
Scarbrough, Mary Herts. Battle of Harlem Heights. San Diego: Blackbirch Press, 2004.
Describes the Revolutionary War battles that took place in New York; in particular it describes the Battle of Harlem Heights, which underscored General Washington's battle philosophy and boosted the morale of his troops.
Schulman, Janet. Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City. New York: Knopf, 2008.
Recounts the true story of Pale Male, a red-tailed hawk living in New York City, who has become one of the city's most-watched celebrities. Bird watchers, tourists, and residents admire the bird and his nest, built on a Fifth Avenue apartment building. ALA Notable Children’s Book
Scieszka, Jon. 2095. New York: Viking, 1995.
While on a field trip to New York’s Museum of Natural History, Joe, Sam, and Fred travel one hundred years into the future, where they encounter robots, anti-gravity disks, and their own grandchildren.
Scieszka, Jon. Seen Art? New York: Viking Juvenile, 2005.
While looking for his friend, Art, the narrator accidentally ends up in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. As he searches inside MoMA, he finds well-known pieces of art.
Shalant, Phyllis. When Pirates Came to Brooklyn. Bloomington: iUniverse, 2010.
Lee Bloom, a ten-year-old Jewish girl living in 1960s Brooklyn, becomes aware of the prejudices the people around her have towards those of different religions and races.
Sonneborn, Liz. Samuel de Champlain. London: Franklin Watts, 2002.
Chronicles the life and travels of Samuel de Champlain, who discovered the Ottawa River and Lakes Champlain, Ontario and Huron, and who helped to establish the French settlement of Quebec.
Standiford, Natalie. The Stone Giant: A Hoax That Fooled America. Illus. Bob Doucet. New
York: Golden Books, 2001.
Describes the Cardiff Giant hoax, in which people of upstate New York were fooled into believing that what had been uncovered from the ground in 1869 was the petrified form of a giant human being. Book incorporates P.T. Barnum's role in exhibiting the statue that is now housed at the Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown.
Stern, AJ. Frankly, Frannie: Check, Please! New York: Grosset and Dunlap, 2010.
Frannie goes to dinner at a brand new French restaurant in her hometown of Chester, N.Y., and tries her hand at being a food critic, even as she starts a campaign to warn other diners that there are insects on the menu.
Taylor, Gaylia. George Crum and the Saratoga Chip. New York: Lee & Low Books, 2011.
Describes chef George Crum's childhood as a part-Native-American, part-African-American boy in rural 1830s New York; his adventures cooking at Moon's Lake House restaurant in Saratoga Springs; and his accidental invention of one of America's most beloved snacks.
Tripp, Valerie. Changes for Samantha. Madison, Wis.: Pleasant Co. 1988.
When she discovers that Nellie and her sisters have been sent to an orphanage, Samantha, now living with her aunt and uncle in New York City, tries to help her friends as much as she can.
Recorded format: RC 043846; DB 043846; BR 010946
Uhlberg, Myron. Dad, Jackie, and Me. Atlanta: Peachtree Publishers, 2010.
In Brooklyn, New York, in 1947, a boy learns about discrimination and tolerance as he and his deaf father share their enthusiasm for baseball and the Dodgers' first baseman, Jackie Robinson.
Braille format: BR 16354
Valentine, Sally. Theft at the George Eastman House: A New York State Adventure. Utica, NY: North Country Books, 2009.
Mrs. Levine's fifth grade students take a field trip to learn about photography and end up solving a great mystery.
Walvoord, Linda. Rosetta, Rosetta, Sit By Me! Tarrytown: Marshall Cavendish, 2004.
In 1848, Rosetta, the nine-year-old daughter of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, becomes the only Black student at Miss Tracy's Female Seminary in Rochester, New York, and while the students are pleased she is there, the faculty is not. Includes facts about Frederick and Rosetta's lives.
Warner, Gertrude Chandler. The Boxcar Children: From Sea to Shining Sea Special (Boxcar Children Mysteries). Chicago: Whitman & Company, 2011.
Boxcar Children see the sights in beautiful cities from coast to coast (and in between) and find a mystery at every destination! Includes three Boxcar Children Mysteries: Sp #13 The Mystery in New York, Sp #10 The Windy City Mystery and #57 The Mystery in San Francisco.
Weber, Sandra. Two in the Wilderness. Honesdale, PA: Calkins Creek Books. 2005.
Adventures of a mother and daughter in the Adirondack Mountains. Illustrated with color photos by Carl E. Heilman.
Wilder, Laura Ingalls. Farmer Boy. Illus. by Garth Williams. New York: Harper Collins 2004.
In the late 1800's, on a large farm in northern New York (Franklin County), 9-year-old Almanzo helps his family with the daily chores and longs for his own colt. Based on stories the author’s husband told her about growing up on the family homestead in Malone, NY.
Braille format: BR 09408 / Recorded format: RC 21019
Audio CD by Harper’s Children’s Audio (2004)
Winter, Jonah. Here Comes The Garbage Barge! New York: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2010.
Based on incredible true events from 1987, Jonah Winter brings us the flavorful story that starts in a little town on Long Island that has a big problem: 3,168 tons of garbage and nowhere to put it! Enter the garbage barge, who hauls the junk down the coast of North America looking for a place to dump it. . . .
Own the Night: Explore New York
Anderson, Laurie Halse. Chains. New York: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 2008.
Sisters Isabel and Ruth are young girls who are promised freedom after the death of their slave master. Instead, they become property of a New York City couple. Isabel soon catches Revolution fever after meeting a young boy named Curzon who encourages her to spy on her owners. Together Isabel and Curzon strive for their personal freedom and the freedom of New York and their country.
ALA Notable Children’s Book
FictionAudio CD by Brilliance (2008), Playaway (2008)
Auch, Mary Jane. Journey to Nowhere. New York: Yearling, 1998.
In 1815, while traveling by covered wagon to settle in the wilderness of western New York, eleven-year-old Mem experiences a flood and separation from her family. The trilogy continues with Frozen Summer and Road to Home, both out of print.
Recorded format: RC 47447
Auch, Mary Jane. One-handed Catch. New York: Square Fish, 2009.
After sixth-grader Norman loses his hand in an accident in his father's butcher shop in 1946, he uses hard work and humor to learn to live with his disability and to succeed at baseball, art, and other activities.
Recorded format: RC 64853
Avi. Don’t You Know There’s a War On? New York: HarperCollins, 2003.
In wartime Brooklyn in 1943, eleven-year-old Howie Crispers mounts a campaign to save his favorite teacher from being fired.
Recorded format: RC 54773
Avi. The Seer of Shadows. New York: HarperCollins, 2008.
In New York City in 1872, fourteen-year-old Horace becomes entangled in a plot to create fraudulent spirit photographs. When Horace accidentally frees the real ghost of a dead girl bent on revenge, his life takes a frightening turn.
Recorded format: RC 67358
Audio CD by Recorded Books (2008)
Brown, Dan. America Is Under Attack. New York: Roaring Book Press, 2011.
Brown presents a chronological look at the events on the morning of September 11, 2001, in watercolor illustrations.
Non – Fiction
Bruchac, Joseph. Hidden Roots. New York: Scholastic Press, 2004.
Harold, living in a small upstate town in the 1960s, learns the truth of his family’s heritage: They were part of the Abenaki tribe which in the 1930s was forced to undergo sterilization. Some of them, though, like Harold’s family, went into hiding.
Recorded format: RC 065485; DB 065485
Burgan, Michael, and Timothy J. Shannon. Voices from Colonial America: New York, 1609-1776. Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 2006. Series: Voices from Colonial America.
Presents the history of New York by discussing the interaction between Native American tribes and Dutch settlers, as well as leaders including Peter Stuyvesant and Alexander Hamilton. Complete with period maps and first-person accounts.
Carvell, Marlene. Sweetgrass Basket. New York: Dutton Juvenile Books, 2005.
In alternating passages, two Mohawk sisters describe their lives at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, established in 1879 to educate Native Americans, as they try to assimilate into white culture.
Connor, Leslie. Waiting for Normal. New York: Katherine Tegen Books, 2010.
Twelve-year-old Addie tries to cope with her mother's erratic behavior and being separated from her beloved stepfather and half-sisters when she and her mother go to live in a small trailer by the railroad tracks on the outskirts of Schenectady, New York.
Recorded format: RC068286
Digital book: DB068286
Braille format: BR018148
Audiobook by Recorded Books (2008)
Conrad, Pam. Our House: 10th Anniversary Edition. New York: Scholastic Press, 2005.
Six stories, one from each decade from the 1940s to the 1990s, about children growing up in Levittown, New York.
Recorded format: RC 44202
Danticat, Edwidge. Behind the Mountains. New York: Scholastic Paperbacks, 2004.
Writing in the notebook which her teacher gave her, thirteen-year-old Celiane describes life with her mother and brother in Haiti as well as her experiences in Brooklyn after the family finally immigrates there to be reunited with her father.
Braille format: BR 14941
DeFelice, Cynthia. Under the Same Sky. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2005.
To earn money for a coveted motorbike, young Joe Pedersen joins the Mexican laborers who work on his father's farm in upstate New York and soon discovers racism and romance while learning to see the world in a whole different way.
Recorded format: RC 57189
Durrant, Lynda. My Last Skirt: The Story of Jennie Hodgers, Union Soldier. New York: Clarion Books, 2006.
Emigrating from Ireland to start a new life in New York, Jennie Hodgers dresses as a boy and serves in the 95th Illinois Infantry as Private Albert Cashier, a Union soldier in the American Civil War.
Elliot, Lang. Guide to Sounds, A: The Nighttime Sounds of 60 Mammals, Birds, Amphibians, and Insects (with Audio CD).
Recorded in the author’s studio in Ithaca, NY, Elliot narrates the nighttime field recordings of birds, otters, frog croaks and various mammal noises. Illustrations and photographs accompany the hour-long CD. Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 2004.
Fritz, Jean. You Want Women to Vote, Lizzie Stanton? New York: Puffin, 1999.
With her trademark humor and anecdotal style, the Newbery Honor Award-winner and preeminent biographer for young people turns her attention to Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the lively, unconventional spokeswoman of the woman suffrage movement. Convinced from an early age that women should have the same rights as men, Lizzie embarked on a career that changed America.
Braille format: BR 10778
George, Jean Craighead. My Side of the Mountain. New York: Puffin, 2004.
Sam Gribley's great-grandfather owned land in the Catskill Mountains that had been uninhabited for years. Tired of living in the hustle and bustle of New York City, teenage Sam runs away to the Catskills in search of that land. Newbery Honor
Braille format: BR 15070 / Recorded format: RC 50211
Getzinger, Donna. Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. North Carolina: Morgan Reynolds, Inc.,
In 1911, a fire broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, a clothing company located in the top floors of a New York high rise. The fire spread fast, and soon the factory's workers, mostly immigrant women, faced death by fire, as their only way out was to jump from the windows.
Giff, Patricia. All the Way Home. New York: Yearling, 2003.
In 1941, circumstances bring together Brick, a boy from New York's apple country, and Mariel, a young girl made shy by her bout with polio. The two make a journey from Brooklyn to upstate New York to help Brick's elderly neighbors save their apple crop and to help Mariel learn about her past.
Recorded format: RC 53791
Giff, Patricia Reilly. Eleven. New York: Wendy Lamb Books, 2008.
When Sam, who can barely read, discovers an old newspaper clipping just before his 11th birthday, it makes him question his entire existence. Can a new school friend help him discover the truth about himself?
Recorded format: RC 068203; DB 068203
Audio CD by Listening Library
Giff, Patricia. Lily’s Crossing. Topeka: Tandem Library Books, 1999.
A vivid portrait of the home front in World War II, where a young American girl befriends a Hungarian refugee during the summer of 1944 in Rockaway Beach. Newbery Honor
Braille format: BR 17375 / Recorded format: RC 45659
Audio CD by Listening Library (2005)
Giff, Patricia Reilly. Storyteller. New York: Yearling, 2011.
Forced to spend months at an aunt's house, Elizabeth feels a connection to her ancestor Zee, whose picture hangs on the wall. Zee reveals her story of hardships during the Revolutionary War in upstate New York, as Elizabeth comes to terms with her own troubles.
Giff, Patricia. Water Street. New York: Yearling, 2006.
In the shadow of the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, eighth-graders and new neighbors Bird Mallon and Thomas Neary make some decisions about what they want to do with their lives.
Recorded format: RC 64195
Audio CD by Listening Library (2006)
Giff, Patricia Reilly. Wild Girl. New York: Yearling, 2011.
When twelve-year-old Lidie leaves Brazil to join her father and brother on a horse ranch in New York, she has a hard time adjusting to her new life, as does a new horse that has come to the ranch.
Recorded format: RC070322
Digital book: DB070322
Audio CD by Listening Library (2009)
Going, K.L. The Garden of Eve. 2007.
Is Beaumont, New York, the town Evie and her widowed Dad have moved to haunted? Evie doesn’t believe in curses or fairy tales—if they were real, her mom would still be alive. But odd things, like a mysterious dead boy and a special tree help her discover what is real.
Audio CD by Listening Library
Grab, Daphne. Alive and Well in Prague, NY. New York: Laura Geringer Books, 2008
Manhattanites Matisse Osgood and her artist parents move to upstate New York when her father's Parkinson's disease worsens. Matisse must face high school in a small, provincial town as she tries to avoid thinking about her father's future.
Greenberg, David. A Tugging String. New York: Dutton Children Books, 2008.
A fictionalized account of the author's years growing up in Great Neck, New York, during the turbulent Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Includes commentary from the author's father, Jack Greenberg, who was a lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.
Greene, Stephanie. The Lucky Ones. New York: Harper Collins, 2008.
Twelve-year-old Cecile and her family are spending their summer on Gull Island at her grandfather’s mansion, like they do every summer. But this summer her parents are at odds, her older sister has no time for her, and even she is changing. (Gull Island is a fictional island off the coast of Long Island.)
Grimes, Nikki. Jazmin’s Notebook. New York: Puffin, 2000.
Jazmin is growing up during hard times in 1960s Harlem. She expresses hope for her future as she observes life around her neighborhood. Coretta Scott King Author Honor
Recorded format: RC 47277
Audiobook by Penguin Group USA and Audible (2008)
Gourse, Leslie. Sophisticated Ladies: The Great Women of Jazz. New York: Dutton Juvenile, 2007.
This lively collective biography of 14 singers begins in the 1920s with Bessie Smith and Ethel Waters and moves on through current performers Cassandra Wilson and Diana Krall. A vibrant, full-page portrait opens each chapter, depicting the performer with bold vitality, in a style suggestive of a theater poster. Includes references to Jazz Clubs in Harlem during the 1920s. Non-Fiction
Hansen, Joyce. Home is with our Family. New York: Disney/Jump at the Sun Books, 2010.
Maria Peterson is looking forward to turning thirteen in 1855, attending abolitionist meetings and listening to inspiring speakers like Sojourner Truth. Her thirteenth year brings unexpected changes; the city of New York wants to turn her community, Seneca Village, into an enormous "Central Park," Now that Maria has made a new friend, she's even more determined to stay.
Hepler, Heather. The Cupcake Queen. New York: Dutton Children’s Books, 2009.
While her dad stays behind in New York City, Penny and her mom move to the small town of Hog’s Hollow, NY, to open a cupcake bakery. Small-town life is nothing like city life, she realizes. What will happen when she’s given the choice of choosing between the two?
Hesse, Karen. The Brooklyn Bridge. New York: Feiwel and Friends, 2008
In 1903 Brooklyn, fourteen-year-old Joseph Michtom's life changes for the worse when his parents, Russian immigrants, invent the teddy bear and turn their apartment into a factory. Nearby, the glitter of Coney Island contrasts with the dismal lives of children dwelling under the Brooklyn Bridge.
Braille format: BR018212
Jocelyn, Marthe. How It Happened in Peach Hill. New York: Laurel Leaf, 2009.
When fifteen-year-old Annie Grey and her "clairvoyant" mother arrive in Peach Hill, New York, in 1924, each finds a reason for wanting to finally settle down. To reach their goals they will have to do some serious lying and Annie will have to stand up for herself.
Best Books for Young Adults
Kent, Rose. Rocky Road. New York: Alfred Knopf, 2010.
Ma moves the family of Tess and her deaf brother from Texas to Schenectady, New York where she uses their savings to open an ice cream shop in winter. (The book incorporates fun facts about ice cream.)
Klein, Frederick C. For the Love of the Yankees: An A-to-Z Primer for Yankees Fans of All
Ages. Chicago: Triumph Books, 2008.
No other franchise in the history of sports can boast the tradition and worldwide appeal of the New York Yankees. The list of legends that have donned the blue-and-white pinstripes over the years is as long as one of Mantle's epic tape-measure home runs, and the names themselves have become synonymous with everything we love about baseball. From Ruth and Gehrig to DiMaggio and Berra to Jackson and Steinbrenner to Jeter and Torre, an introduction to the prominent names in Yankee lore provides a comprehensive history of baseball over the last century.
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth. Hiawatha and Megissogwon. Illus. Jeffrey Thompson.
Washington, DC: National Geographic Society, 2001.
A dramatic combination of scratchboard and computer illustrations capture the magic, action, and excitement of the classic tale of Hiawatha, the son of the West Wind, who valiantly slays serpents, eludes ghosts, and finally confronts the evil Megissogwon.
Braille format: BR 06112 / Recorded format: RC 22692
Lourie, Peter. The Lost Treasure of Captain Kidd. Wappingers Falls, N.Y.: Shawangunk Press, 1996.
Two boys living along the Hudson River track historical clues—and try to elude a crazed treasure hunter—as they search for bounty rumored to have been hidden in 1699.
Luper, Eric. Bug Boy. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 2009.
The setting is Saratoga Springs in the summer of 1934 and fifteen-year-old Jack is promoted to apprentice jockey - his lifelong dream. With all the pressure to maintain a low weight and avoiding crooked bookies and horse owners, it turns out to be more of a nightmare.
Lupica, Mike. Heat. New York: Scholastic, 2007.
A young Cuban immigrant, Michael Arroyo is a great pitcher in the Little League in the Bronx. When a rival player’s team questions his age and ability, he is sidelined, and the young star athlete cannot help get his team to the Little League World Series.
Braille format: BR 17941 / Recorded format: RC 62264
Audio CD by Listening Library (2006)
Lupica, Mike. Hero. New York: Philomel Books, 2010.
Fourteen-year-old Zach learns he has the same special abilities as his father, who was the President's globe-trotting troubleshooter until “the Bads” killed him, and now Zach must decide whether to use his powers in the same way at the risk of his own life.
Recorded format: DB 072779
Audio CD by Penguin Group USA (2010)
Marrin, Al. Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and its Legacy. New York: Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2011.
On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City burst into flames. One hundred forty-six people—mostly women—perished; it was one of the most lethal workplace fires in American history. This is a story of immigration and hard work to make it in a new country, as Italians and Jews and others traveled to America to find a better life.
Martin, Ann. Here Today. Topeka: Tandem Library Books, 2005.
In 1963, 11-year-old Eleanor Roosevelt Dingman's mother is crowned the Bosetti Beauty at Mr. Bosetti's supermarket, President John F. Kennedy is assassinated, and the Dingman family begins to fall apart. So begins this richly woven novel by the Newbery Honoree.
Audio CD by Listening Library (2004)
Marx, Trish. Steel Drumming at the Apollo: The Road to Super Top Dog. New York: Lee &
Low Books, Inc., 2007.
Photo-essay about a high school steel drum band from upstate New York that participated in a series of talent competitions for a chance to win Super Top Dog on Amateur Night at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Includes a CD of the band performing.
Mazer, Norma Fox. Good Night, Maman. Collingdale: DIANE Publishing Company,
After spending years fleeing from the Nazis in war-torn Europe, twelve-year-old Karin Levi and her older brother Marc find a new home in a refugee camp in Oswego, New York.
Braille format: BR 13026
Mazer, Norma Fox. Ten Ways to Make My Sister Disappear. New York: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2007.
Ten-year-old Sprig no longer gets along with her 12-year-old sister Dakota but the two pull together in the fictional town of Alliance, N.Y., during their father’s extended business trip to Afghanistan, sharing concerns about his safety, an elderly neighbor’s health, fights with their best friends, and boys.
Recorded format: RC 065938; DB 065938
Mebus, Scott. Gods of Manhattan. New York: Puffin, 2009.
Twelve-year-old Rory discovers a spirit world that thrives alongside his contemporary New York City, filled with fantastical creatures and people from the city’s colorful past who have become gods and goddesses and who have chosen Rory to perform a dangerous mission.
Messner, Kate. Champlain and the Silent One. Utica, NY: North Country Books, 2008.
In the winter of 1609, with his people starving, the Innu Indian called Silent One must overcome his reluctance to speak and trust Samuel de Champlain and his Frenchmen in order to save his brother and regain his own spirit.
Messner, Kate. Spitfire: A North Country Adventure. Utica, NY: North Country Books, 2007.
In October of 1776, two twelve-year-olds meet on a ship on Lake Champlain--Abigail, disguised as a boy, and Pascal, brought aboard by his stepfather, the captain--and forge a fast friendship while serving together as soldiers.
Murphy, Jim. Blizzard: The Storm That Changed America. New York: Scholastic Press, 2000.
Snow began falling over New York City on March 12, 1888. All around town, people struggled along slippery streets and sidewalks, assuming this would be the last little snowfall of one of the warmest winters on record. What no one realized was that in a very few hours, the wind and snow would bury the city in nearly 21 inches of snow and bring it to a standstill.
Non - Fiction
Recorded format: RC 052323
Audio CD by Audio Bookshelf (2003)
Murphy, Jim. Desperate Journey. New York: Scholastic Press, 2006.
In the mid-1800s, with both her father and her uncle in jail on an assault charge, Maggie, her brother, and her ailing mother must rush their barge along the Erie Canal to deliver their heavy cargo or risk lose everything.
Murphy, Jim. The Real Benedict Arnold. New York: Clarion Books, 2007
A fascinating portrait of a brilliant man, consistently undervalued by his peers, who made a choice that continues to reverberate through American history.
Recorded format: RC 66523
Myers, Anna. Hoggee. New York: Walker & Co., 2004.
Always overshadowed by his competitive older brother, especially in their work as mule drivers on the Erie Canal, fourteen-year-old Howard finally finds the courage to pursue his dreams of becoming an educator after he learns about sign language and teaches it to his deaf friend in nineteenth-century New York State.
Recorded format: RC 61365
Paratore, Coleen. Mack McGinn’s Big Win. New York: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Children, 2007.
Whether the prize is a soccer trophy or the esteem of Danville, N.Y.’s elite, the McGinn family believes in winning. While striving to prove he can be best at something, sixth-grader Mack inadvertently demonstrates to his parents and older brother what really matters most.
Pinkney, Andrea Davis. Bird in a Box. New York: Little, Brown, 2011.
In 1936, three children meet at the Mercy Home for Negro Orphans in Elmira, New York, and while not all three are orphans, They're not all orphans, but all are dealing with grief and loss and following the boxing career of Joe Louis. (Includes author's notes.)
Audio CD by Listening Library (2011).
Pinkwater, Daniel. The Artsy Smartsy Club. New York: Harper Collins, 2005.
After three Hoboken children and their giant chicken Henrietta begin to appreciate beautiful sidewalk art, they venture into art class and visits to Manhattan.
Recorded format: RC 061114; DB 061114
Platt, Richard. Through Time: New York City. New York: Kingfisher, 2010
Follow the triumphs and turmoils of one of the world's most famous cities, from 1600 until the present day. Meet Manhattan's native people; watch the arrival of Europeans, witness riots and revolution, and experience life in the Big Apple.
Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief. New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2005.
Twelve-year-old Percy Jackson learns he is a demigod, the son of a mortal woman and Poseidon, god of the sea. His mother sends him to a summer camp for demigods on Long Island where he and his new friends set out on a quest to prevent a war between the gods.
Recorded format: RC 063443; DB 063443.
Audio CD by Listening Library (2005)
Rubin, Susan Goldman. Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein. Watertown, MA : Charlesbridge, 2011.
What do you do when you have a dream and your father is firmly against it? If you are Leonard Bernstein, you rise to the level of the premier composer and conductor of 20th century America.
2012 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
St. George, Judith. The Duel: The Parallel Lives of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr.
New York: Viking Juvenile, 2009.
Early on a July morning in 1804, on a patch of field overlooking the Hudson River, two prominent political figures fought a duel. The story tracks the lives of both men from their service under George Washington to their political careers as founders of a new nation.
Schwabach, Karen. The Hope Chest. New York: Yearling, 2010.
Eleven-year-old Violet has one goal in mind when she runs away from home: to find her sister, Chloe, in New York City. As Violet's journey grows longer, her single-minded pursuit of reuniting with her sister changes. Before long she is standing side-by-side with her new friends—suffragists, socialists, and others—the type of people whom her parents would not approve.
Schmidt, Gary D. Okay for Now. New York: Clarion Books, 2011.
As a fourteen-year-old who just moved from Long Island to upstate New York, with no friends, an abusive father, and a louse for an older brother, Doug has everything stacked against him until he finds Lil, a friend and ally. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon's birds, and an adventure on a Broadway stage.
2012 Odyssey Award (audiobook for children and/or young adults)
Recorded format: DB 073716; BR 019362
Audio CD by Listening Library (2011).
Schwartz, Virginia Frances. 4 Kids in 5-E & 1 Crazy Year. New York: Holiday House, 2006.
Family, school, and life in general are seen through the writings of four fifth-graders who have been taken out of an overcrowded New York City classroom and placed with a teacher who shows them how to write and how to believe in themselves.
Scieszka, Jon Francesco. Spaceheadz. New York: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2010.
On his first day at Brooklyn's P.S. 858, fifth-grader Michael K. is teamed with two very strange students. He gradually comes to believe they are aliens who need his help, but he has trouble convincing anyone else of the truth.
Selznick, Brian. Wonderstruck. New York: Scholastic Press, 2011.
Having lost his mother and his hearing, 12-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City. At the Museum of Natural History, he meets Rose, who is also looking for something. (Ben's story is told in words; Rose's in pictures.)
2012 Schneider Family Book Award
Sheinkin, Steve. The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery. New York: Flash Point, 2010.
Most people know that Benedict Arnold was America’s first, most notorious traitor. Few know that he was also one of its greatest war heroes during the American Revolution.
Winner of the 2011 Boston Globe - Horn Book Award for Nonfiction
2012 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
Sherry, Maureen and Adam Stower. Walls within Walls. New York: Katherine Tegen Books, 2010.
When the Smithfork family moves into a lavish Manhattan apartment building, they discover clues to a decades-old mystery hidden behind the walls of their new home.
Smith, Chari R. Extraordinary Women from U.S. History: Readers Theatre for Grades 4-8.
Portsmouth, NH: Teacher Ideas Press, 2003.
Includes scripts about famous women in history--many of whom have links to New York State--including Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Susan B. Anthony, Nellie Bly, and Harriet Tubman. Can be performed or read.
Non-Fiction / Drama
Stead, Rebecca. When You Reach Me. New York: Wendy Lamb Books, 2009.
Set in New York City circa 1979, Sixth grader Miranda begins to receive mysterious notes about the future; notes that are eerily reminiscent of her favorite novel A Wrinkle in Time.
2010 Newbury Medal winner.
Audio CD by Listening Library (2009)
Stephens, John. The Emerald Atlas. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.
Kate, Michael, and Emma have passed from one orphanage to another in the 10 years since their parents disappeared, but now in a new home in upstate New York, they learn that they have special powers, a prophesied quest to find a magical book, and a fearsome enemy.
Audio CD by Listening Library (2011)
Uttendorfsky, Irene. Hannah and the Two Sisters: An Erie Canal Adventure. Rome, NY:
Spruce Gulch Press, 2005
In the spring of 1864, fifteen-year-old Hannah Miller struggles with the ups and downs of growing up in the sleepy foothills of the Adirondacks. Her world is turned upside down suddenly when cholera strikes her family, and the boy she hoped to marry enlists in the 146th Regiment, New York State Volunteers. Hannah must leave her home in Boonville and live with a disagreeable aunt in Rome, unless she can convince her Pa to take her along when he goes back to work on the Erie Canal aboard the Two Sisters.
Watts, Leander. Stonecutter. New York: Graphia, 2006.
In 1835, in rural New York State, apprentice stonecutter Albion Straight relates his experiences when he is hired by the strangely menacing John Good to carve a statue of his daughter.
Woodson, Jacqueline. After Tupac & D Foster. New York: Speak, 2010.
In 1996 in Queens, two girls become friends through the music of Tupac Shakur; the music continues to touch their lives as they deal with their families and their futures. Newbery Honor
Recorded format: RC 66700
Audio CD by Brilliance (2009)
Woodson, Jacqueline. If You Come Softly. New York: G.P. Putnam, 2010.
Two 15 year olds, Jeremiah (Miah) who is black, and Elisha (Ellie) who is white, meet during their first year at an exclusive New York prep school and fall in love. The teenagers must deal with the subtle and not-so-subtle bigotry that they are subjected to as a mixed-race couple.
Recorded format: RC 63810
Asbury, Herbert. The Gangs of New York: An Informal History of the Underworld. New York:
Vintage Books, 2008.
True to the title, the book is a history of crime that permeated the underbelly of New York City and its boroughs in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Some of these gangs were so vicious they would post signs warning police to stay out of their neighborhoods -- or else!
Recorded format: RC 55088
Barrett, Andrea. The Air We Breathe. New York: W.W. Norton, 2007.
In the fall of 1916, as U.S. involvement in WWI looms, the Adirondack town of Tamarack Lake houses a public sanitarium and private cure cottages for Tuberculosis patients. Gossip about roommate changes, nurse visits, cliques and romantic connections dominate relations among the sick—mostly poor European immigrants. The timely theme focuses on how the tragedy, betrayal and heartbreak of war extend far beyond the battlefield.
Audio CD by AudioGO (2010)
Bat-Ami, Miriam. Two Suns in the Sky. New York: Puffin Books, 2001.
In 1944, an Upstate New York teenager (setting is Oswego and the Fort Ontario Emergency Refugee Shelter) named Christine meets and falls in love with Adam, a Yugoslavian Jew living in a refugee camp, despite their parents' conviction that they do not belong together.
Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction & ALA Best Book for Young Adults
Bauer, Joan. Backwater. New York: Puffin, 2005.
When young Ivy begins to study her family's history, her discoveries rattle the other members of her New York State clan.
Braille format: BR 12539 / Recorded format: RC 51739
Bauer, Joan. Peeled. New York: Putnam, 2008.
In an upstate New York farming community, high school reporter Hildy Biddle investigates a series of strange occurrences at a house rumored to be haunted.
Recorded format: RC67296
Audiobook by Listening Library (2008)
Bitton-Jackson, Livia. Hello, America: A Refugee’s Journey from Auschwitz to the New World.
New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005.
In the final book of the acclaimed trilogy that includes I Have Lived a Thousand Years and My Bridges of Hope, Elli and her mother leave war-ravaged Europe behind. Arriving in New York in 1951, they seek to preserve their Jewish heritage while embracing the freedom of the new city.
Blundell, Judy. Strings Attached. New York: Scholastic Press, 2011.
When she drops out of school and struggles to start a career on Broadway in the fall of 1950, seventeen-year-old Kit Corrigan accepts help from an old family friend, a lawyer said to have ties with the mob, who then asks her to do some favors for him.
Audio CD by Scholastic Audio Books (2011)
Brezenoff, Steve. Brooklyn, Burning. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, 2011.
Sixteen-year-old Kid, who lives on the streets of Brooklyn, loves Felix, a guitarist and junkie who disappears, leaving Kid the prime suspect in an arson investigation, but a year later Scout arrives, giving Kid a second chance to be in a band and find true love.
Bruchac, Joseph. Bowman's Store: A Journey to Myself. New York: Lee & Low Books, 2001.
Bruchac, now a well-known children's author and storyteller, relates his childhood and high school years spent living with his grandparents near Saratoga, NY, and his discovery of his Abenaki heritage, which he learns to honor.
Recorded format: RC 47175
Budhos, Marina Tamar. Ask Me No Questions. New York: Atheneum Books for Young
Fourteen-year-old Nadira, her sister, and their parents leave Bangladesh for New York City, but the expiration of their visas and the events of September 11, 2001, bring frustration, sorrow, and terror for the whole family. Best Books for Young Adults
Recorded format: RC 62372
Buckhanon, Kalisha. Upstate. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2006.
Antonio, initially a teen arrested for murder, and his sweetheart, Natasha, exchange a decade of correspondence. Both from tiny, dark apartments in Harlem, they are passionately in love, but destined to walk very different roads.
Braille format: BR 16691
Carvell, Marlene. Who Will Tell My Brother? New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 2004.
During his lonely crusade to remove offensive mascots from his high school, a Native American teenager learns more about his heritage, his ancestors, and his place in the world.
Chance, Megan. An Inconvenient Wife. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2005.
In this gripping account of historical fiction, the author exposes the horrors women faced during the late 19th century in New York when they dared to show passion of any kind or repudiate society's norms. Lucy Carelton suffers from a common female disorder, "hysteria": its symptoms are headaches, excitable reactions and feelings of claustrophobia. Her cold-hearted husband, William, determined to find her a cure, brings her to several specialists, who recommend everything from an ovariotomy to several months of confinement in a private asylum.
Audio CD and Cassette by Books on Tape (2004)
Chartrand, Rene. Ticonderoga 1758: Montcalms' Victory Against All Odds. Osprey Publishing,
Rene Chartrand is a leading Canadian historian and authority on the Seven Years War.
He recounts how, in July 1758, the British launched an expedition against the French Fort of Carillon (Ticonderoga). Lord Howe, a popular British leader, was killed before the main battle began; the Black Watch regiments were decimated; the British retreated in near panic and the fort remained in the hands of the French.
Cofer, Judith Ortiz. Call Me María. New York: Orchard Books, 2004.
Fifteen-year-old María leaves her mother and Puerto Rico to live in New York City with her father. There, though, she feels torn between two cultures. Can she learn to embrace life in the barrio?
Cohn, Rachel and David Levithan. Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2010.
Lily has left a red notebook full of challenges on a New York City bookstore shelf. Dash finds it and the two begin a correspondence through the book, sharing dares and dreams. Will they ever connect in person?
Cooney, Caroline B. Code Orange. New York: Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 2005.
While conducting research for a school paper on smallpox, Mitty finds an envelope containing 100-year-old smallpox scabs. Has he infected himself and all of New York City?
Recorded format: RC 066309; DB 066309; BR 017938
Cooper, James Fenimore. The Last of the Mohicans. New York: Signet Classics, 2005.
This exciting adventure story is set during the Seven Year’s War fought between France and England in North America. Hawkeye and his American Indian companions become involved in the bloody war.
Braille format: BR 04092 / Recorded format: RC 19920
Audio CD by Brilliance (2005); Audio Cassette by Orbis (1994)
Cooper, James Fenimore. The Spy. CreateSpace, 2009.
Written in 1821, this historical novel is Cooper's paean to the Revolutionary War Protagonist Harry Birch finds himself wrongly accused of selling vital information to the British.
Recorded format: RC 16416
Audio Cassette by Book Contractors (1994)
Crane, Stephen. Maggie, a Girl of the Streets, and Other Tales of New York. New York: Penguin
This is a compilation of 13 stories set in New York in the late 1800s, including the story of Maggie, a girl of the tenements, whose life turns downward when she becomes involved with a boy named Pete.
Braille format: BR 11578 / Recorded format: RC 09418
Audio Cassette by Bookshelf (1995)
Dabel, Jane I. A Respectable Woman: The Public Roles of African American Women in 19th-Century New York. New York University Press, 2008
In the nineteenth century, New York's free blacks were extremely politically active, lobbying for equal rights at home and an end to southern slavery. As their activism increased, so did discrimination against them. However, the struggle for civil rights did not extend to equal gender roles, and black male leaders encouraged women to remain in the domestic sphere, serving as caretakers, moral educators, and nurses to their families and community.
Davies, Jacqueline. Lost. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 2009.
In 1911 New York City, sixteen-year-old Essie Rosenfeld must stop taking care of her irrepressible six-year-old sister when she goes to work at the Triangle Shirt Waist Company, where she befriends a missing heiress who is in hiding from her family and who seems to understand the feelings of heartache and grief that Essie is trying desperately to escape.
Recorded Format: RC069678
Demas, Corinne. Everything I Was. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda Books, 2011.
When Irene’s father is “downsized,” her family must move from New York City’s Upper West Side to New York’s upstate. But what Irene is sure will be the most disastrous summer in her life becomes the start of a wonderful new life.
Dorfman, Ariel and Joaquín. Burning City. New York: Random House Children’s Books, 2005.
Sixteen-year-old Heller Highland, who is living with his grandparents while his parents are away, burns rubber across Manhattan delivering bad news by bicycle, and as a summer heat wave melts the city, he is struck by first love.
Donnelly, Jennifer. A Northern Light. New York: Graphia, 2004.
In 1906, 16-year-old Mattie, determined to attend college and be a writer against the wishes of her father and fiancé, takes a job at a summer inn where she discovers the truth about the death of a guest. This novel is based on a true story. Best Books for Young Adults
Braille format: BR 14850
Audio CD by Listening Library (2010)
Duble, Kathleen Benner. Quest. New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2008.
Relates the events of explorer Henry Hudson's final voyage from four points of view: that of his seventeen-year-old son aboard the ship, a younger son left in London, a crewmember, and a young English woman acting as a spy in Holland.
Edmonds, Walter. Drums Along the Mohawk. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1997.
This is the story of the forgotten pioneers of the Mohawk Valley during the Revolutionary War. Combating hardships almost too great to endure, they helped give America a legend which still stirs the heart. In the midst of love and hate, life and death, danger and disaster, they stuck to the acres which were theirs, and fought a war without ever quite understanding it. An American classic since its original publication in 1936.
Recorded format: RC 47009
Finney, Jack. Time and Again. New York: Scribner Paperback, 1995.
This novel is about an experiment that causes 20th century illustrator Si Morley to step out of a Dakota apartment building into the streets of 1882 New York.
Recorded format: RC 23888
Friedman, Aimee. The Year My Sister Got Lucky. New York: Point, 2008
When Katie and Michaela Wilder move from New York City to upstate rural New York, Katie has a hard time fitting in – and getting accustomed to local culture, like friendly neighbors and cows that need to be milked. Michaela, though, becomes the town’s social belle, loving her new life and her new country friends. Can they ever be as close as they once were?
Godbersen, Anna. The Luxe. New York: HarperCollins, 2008.
In Manhattan in 1899, five teens of different social classes lead dangerously scandalous lives, despite the strict rules of society and the best-laid plans of parents and others.
Grimes, Nikki. Bronx Masquerade. New York: Dial Books, 2002.
While studying the Harlem Renaissance, students at a Bronx high school read aloud poems they've written, revealing their innermost thoughts and fears to their formerly clueless classmates. Coretta Scott King Author Award & Best Books for Young Adults
Braille format: BR 14623 / Recorded format: RC 55776
Gruber, Ruth. Haven: The Dramatic Story of 1,000 World War II Refugees and How They Came
to America. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2000.
Gruber, a journalist during WWII, accompanied 1000 refugees from Nazi-controlled Europe who came to Oswego, NY, as guests of the United States government.
Hauser, Brook. The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens. New York: Free Press, 2012
Freelance writer Hauser tracks the staff and students at the International High School at Prospect Heights in Brooklyn, N.Y., providing their personal histories as well as their day-to-day experiences.
2012 Alex Award
Audio CD by Dreamscape Media (2011)
Hopkinson, Deborah. Shutting out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York, 1880-1915.
New York: Orchard Books, 2003.
Photographs and text document the experiences of 5 individuals from Belarus, Italy, Lithuania, and Romania, who came to live in the Lower East Side of NYC as children or young adults at the turn of the 20th century.
Hughes, Langston. Vintage Hughes. New York: Vintage Books, 2004
This compilation includes excerpts and poems from the work of Langston Hughes.
Kirkpatrick, Katherine. Keeping the Good Light. New York: Delacore Press, 1995.
Bored with living in a Long Island Sound lighthouse at the turn of the 20th century, 16-year-old Eliza seeks a teaching position away from home. Will the move to City Island be all she hopes for?
Recorded format: RC 043061 (1995)
Kwok, Jean. Girl in Translation. New York: Riverhead Books, 2010.
Kim Chang and her mother move to Brooklyn from Hong Kong after Kim’s father dies. Kim goes to school during the day, and then joins her mother working in a sweatshop owned by her bitter older sister. Kim excels, winning a scholarship to a private school, and falls in love with a boy who also helps his mother fill the sweatshop quotas.
Larson, Jonathan. Rent. New York: Melcher Media, Inc., 1997.
This work chronicles the production of the contemporary musical set in New York City; includes song lyrics.
Levithan, David. The Lover’s Dictionary. New York: Farrar, Straus, & Giroux, 2011.
A modern love story told through a series of dictionary-style entries is a sequence of intimate windows into the large and small events that shape the course of a romantic relationship set in New York City.
2012 Alex Award
Lipsyte, Robert. The Brave. New York: Harper Collins Children’s Books, 1991.
Sonny doesn’t fit in on the Reservation—where others see him as white—or outside the Res—where they see him as Indian. So he heads to New York City where he can just be himself. There he meets the Harlem boxer-turned-cop Alfred Brooks who sees potential in Sonny.
Recorded format: RC 037362; DB 037362; BR 009395
Mack, Tracy. Birdland. New York: Point/Scholastic, 2003.
Thirteen-year-old Jed spends Christmas break working on a school project filming a documentary about his East Village, New York City, neighborhood, where he is continually reminded of his older brother, Zeke, a promising poet who died the summer before.
Audio CD by Blackstone Audio (2005)
Marshall, Paule. Brown Girl, Brownstones. Mineola: Dover Publications, Inc., 2009.
This book centers on the daughter of Barbadian immigrants living in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Selina Boyce is caught in the middle of her parents’ differing views of her future. Her mom wants Selina to get an American education, while her dad dreams of returning to Barbados. Along with her parental woes, the heroine must deal with the poverty and racism that surrounds her.
McNeal, Laura and Tom McNeal. Zipped. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003.
At the end of their sophomore year in small town high school outside Syracuse, N.Y., the lives of four teenagers are woven together as they start a tough new job, face family problems, deal with changing friendships, and find love.
Recorded format: BR 015374
Mercer, Paul and Vicki Weiss, for the Friends of the New York State Library. The New York State Capitol and the Great Fire of 1911. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2011
In the early morning hours of March 29, 1911, a fire broke out in the New York State Capitol at Albany. Within the building lay the entire collection of the New York State Library, almost completely reduced to ashes. The authors have included recently discovered photographs documenting the original construction of the building, beginning in 1867, as well as eyewitness accounts of its destruction.
Myers, Walter Dean. Game. New York: Harper Teen, 2008.
If Harlem high school senior Drew Lawson is going to realize his dream of playing college, then professional, basketball, he will have to improve at being coached and being a team player, especially after a new--white--student threatens to take the scouts' attention away from him.
Recorded format: RC067450
Digital format: DB067450
Braille format: BR018088
Myers uses 10 short stories to create snapshots of a pulsing, vibrant community with diverse ethnic threads. Best Books for Young Adults
Braille format: BR 13133 / Recorded format: RC 65859
New York Times Company. Sultans of Swat: The Four Sluggers of the New York Yankees. New
York: St. Martin's Press, 2006.
Traces the careers of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle from the perspective of their love of the game and their significant contributions to the Yankee's history and tradition.
Pfeffer, Susan Beth. The Dead and the Gone. New York: Graphia, 2010.
After a meteor hits the moon and sets off a series of horrific climate changes, seventeen-year-old Alex Morales must take care of his sisters alone in the chaos of New York City.
Recorded format: RC068838
Digital book: DB068838
Braille format: BR018229
Audio CD by Listening Library (2010)
O’Connor, George. Journey into Mohawk Country. New York: First Second, 2006.
A graphic novel illustrated by George O'Connor. It is an illustrated version of the travels of a Dutch trader in early America based on Van den Bogaert's 1634 journal, A Journey into Mohawk and Oneida Country.
Preston, Caroline. The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures. New York: Ecco, 2011.
For her graduation from high school in 1920, Frankie Pratt receives a scrapbook and her father's old Corona typewriter. Through a kaleidoscopic array of vintage postcards, letters, magazine ads, ticket stubs, catalog pages, fabric swatches, candy wrappers, fashion spreads, menus, and more, we meet and follow Frankie on her journey in search of success and love.
2012 Alex Award
Audio CD by Random House Audio (2011)
Quinonez, Ernesto. Bodega Dreams: A Novel. New York: Vintage Books, 2000.
The book features a cast of memorable characters, including dim-witted Neno, who can’t complete a sentence without quoting a song lyric; the nefarious barrio lawyer, Nazario; the drug runner and possible hit man, Sapo, who would rather be flying a kite from the top of a tenement; and cameo appearances by many real artists and poets. But at the heart of everything is Willie Bodega, a former Young Lord who has become the biggest drug lord of them all.
Recorded format: RC 53689
Audio Cassette by Recorded Books (2000) Spanish (2004)
Raphael, Marie. Streets of Gold: A Novel. New York: Persea Books, 2001.
After fleeing Poland and conscription in the Russian czar's army, Stefan and his sister Marisia begin a new life in America on the Lower East Side of New York City at the turn of the century.
Best Books for Young Teen Readers
Revai, Cheri. Haunted Northern New York: True, Chilling Tales of Ghosts in the North
Country. Utica, NY: North Country Books, 2002.
This work presents a collection of ghostly stories and strange phenomena of Upstate New York, including haunted cemeteries, Ruby's castle in Watertown, and many more.
Santiago, Esmeralda. When I was Puerto Rican. Cambridge: Da Capo Press, 2006.
The author recalls the hardships and joys of her life with humor and poignancy, from her childhood in Puerto Rico to her move to a very different life in Brooklyn, and, finally, to her admission to the High School of Performing Arts. Best Books for Young Teen Readers
Recorded format: RC 38181
Sheldon, Dyan. Sophie Pitt-Turnbull Discovers America. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press,
While spending the summer in Brooklyn with her mother's former schoolmate, Sophie, a sheltered English teenager, makes new and unlikely friends and finds a new side to her formerly "dull and passive" personality.
Spollen, Anne. Light Beneath Ferns. Woodbury, Minn.: Flux, 2010.
Upon moving to her mother's upstate New York home after her gambler father leaves, ninth-grader Elizah just wants to be left alone. She then meets Nathaniel in the cemetery where her mother is caretaker, and feels instantly drawn to him.
Staub, Wendy Corsi. Lily Dale: Awakening. New York: Walker, 2007.
When seventeen-year-old Calla's mother suddenly dies, she goes to stay with her psychic grandmother in Lily Dale, a spiritualist community in western New York, where she discovers some disconcerting secrets about her practical, down-to-earth mother, and realizes that she herself may also have some psychic abilities.
Swerling, Beverly. City of Dreams: A Novel of Nieuw Amsterdam and Early Manhattan. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002
In 1661, a brother and sister stagger off a small wooden ship after eleven perilous weeks at sea to seek a new life in the Dutch settlement of Nieuw Amsterdam. Bound to each other by blood and necessity, these gifted healers become deadly enemies as betrayal and murder enter their lives. Their descendents --dedicated physicians and surgeons, pirates and whoremasters -- will shape the future of medicine and the growing city.
Recorded format: RC 64726
Audio Cassette by Audio Literature (2001)
Taylor, Kim. Bowery Girl. New York: Viking, 2006.
Two orphaned teenage girls in New York's tenements in 1883 realize that their dream of saving enough money to move to Brooklyn across the newly-built bridge may be achieved if they learn new trades at a nearby settlement house, rather than continuing their lives of prostitution and stealing.
Torrey, E. Fuller. Ride with the Loomis Gang. Illus. John Mahaffy. Utica, NY: North Country
An adaptation of the author's Frontier Justice: Rise and Fall of the Loomis Gang. It chronicles the exploits of the legendary Loomis Gang, a group of more than 200 men who terrorized central New York during the mid-1800s.
Weeks, Sarah. As Simple as It Seems. New York: Laura Geringer Books, 2010
Eleven-year-old Verbena Polter gets through a difficult summer of turbulent emotions and the revelation of a disturbing family secret with an odd new friend she meets in her small Catskill town, who believes she is the ghost of a girl who drowned many years before.
Audiobook CD by Random House (2011)
Wilson, Daniel H.. Robopocalypse: A Novel. New York: Doubleday, 2011.
Two decades into the future, humans are battling for their very survival when a powerful AI computer goes rogue, and all the machines on earth rebel against their human controllers.
2012 Alex Award
Audio CD by Random House Audio (2011)
Wright, Bil. Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011.
Sixteen-year-old Carlos Duarte is on the verge of realizing his dream of becoming a famous make-up artist, but first he must face his jealous boss at a Macy's cosmetics counter, his sister's abusive boyfriend, and his crush on a punk-rocker classmate.
2012 Stonewall Book Award