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Big Island Heluhelu Quiz Bowl Book Summaries 2023 - 2024

2023-2024 BIG ISLAND HELUHELU QUIZ BOWL Book Summaries


Allergic, Megan Wagner Lloyd and Michelle See Nutter, (Grades 3-7)

From Follett

"Hoping to adopt a pet to find a sense of belonging in her busy family, Maggie is disappointed to discover she is severely allergic to anything with fur and tries to find a pet to love anyway”—OCLC.


Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna, Alda P. Dobbs (Grades 3-7)

From Follett

"Based on a true story, the tale of one girl's perilous journey to cross the U.S. border and lead her family to safety during the Mexican Revolution"--Provided by publisher.


Class Act, Jerry Craft, (Grades 3-7)

From Hawaii State Public Library System

"Eighth grader Drew Ellis recognizes that he isn't afforded the same opportunities, no matter how hard he works, that his privileged classmates at the Riverdale Academy Day School take for granted, and to make matters worse, Drew begins to feel as if his good friend Liam might be one of those privileged kids and is finding it hard not to withdraw, even as their mutual friend Jordan tries to keep their group of friends together." – Provided by the publisher.


Freewater, Amina Luqman-Dawson, Grades 5-8)

From Follett

After fleeing the plantation where they were enslaved, siblings Ada and Homer discover the secret community of Freewater, and work with freeborn Sanzi to protect their new home from the encroaching dangers of the outside world.


Frizzy, Claribel A. Ortega, (Grades 4-7)

From Follett

"Tired of going to the salon to have her curls straightened every weekend, Marlene slowly learns to embrace her natural curly hair with the help of her best friend and favorite aunt"--Provided by publisher.


Hoops, Matt Tavares, (Grades 3-7)

From Follett

Inspired by a true story, this graphic novel about the ongoing battle of women striving for equality in sportsfollows the Wilkins Regional High School girls' basketball team in 1975 Indiana, as they push through toimprobable victory after improbable victory despite their disadvantages.

Iveliz Explains It All, Andrea Beatriz Arango ( Grades 5-8)

From Follett

Text mainly in English, with some Spanish.; Includes bibliographical references (page 266). Twelve-year-old Iveliz is trying to manage her mental health and advocate for the help and understanding she deserves, but in the meantime her new friend calls her crazy and her abuela Mimi dismisses the therapy and medicine


Iveliz needs to feel like herself.

Jennifer Chan Is Not Alone, Tae Keller (Gr 4-7)

From Follett

"Mallory Moss knows the rules of middle school. The most important one? You have to fit in to survive. But then Jennifer Chan moves in across the street, and that rule doesn't seem to apply. Jennifer doesn't care about the laws of middle school . . . then Jennifer goes missing. Using clues from Jennifer's journals, Mallory goes searching. But the closer she gets, the more Mallory has to confront why Jennifer might have run . . . and face the truth within herself"--Provided by publisher


Maizy Chen’s Last Chance, Lisa Yee (Grades 3 – 7)

From Hawaii State Public Library System

"Eleven-year-old Maizy Chen visits her estranged grandparents, who own and run a Chinese restaurant in Last Chance, Minnesota; as her visit lengthens, she makes unexpected discoveries about her family’s history and herself."


Mercí Suárez Can’t Dance, Meg Medina (Grades 3 – 7)

From Follett

A follow-up to the Newbery Medal-winning Merci Suarez Changes Gears finds Merci embarking on a seventh grade year shaped by high teacher expectations, a crush on a school-store co-worker, and a bossy classmate's plan for the annual Heart Ball. From Hawaii State Public Library System


Odder, Katherina Applegate (Grades 4 – 7)

From Follett

Maps on endpapers. ;Includes bibliographical references (pages 272-274). "Odder spends her days off the coast of central California, practicing her underwater acrobatics and spinning the quirky stories for which she's known. She's a fearless daredevil, curious to a fault. But when Odder comes face-to-face with a

hungry great white shark, her life takes a dramatic turn, one that will challenge everything she believesabout herself--and about the humans who hope to save her"--Provided by publisher


Red, White, and Whole, Rajani LaRocca (Grades 3 – 7)

From Hawaii State Public Library System

“Reha feels torn between two worlds: school, where she’s the only Indian American student, and home, with her family’s traditions and holidays. But Reha’s parents don’t understand why she’s conflicted—they only notice when Reha doesn’t meet their strict expectations. Reha feels disconnected from her mother, or Amma, although their names are linked—Reha means “star” and Punam means “moon”—but they are a universe apart. Then Reha finds out that her Amma is

sick. Really sick. Reha, who dreams of becoming a doctor even though she can’t stomach the sight of blood, is determined to make her Amma well again. She’ll be the perfect daughter, if it means saving her Amma’s life.”


Restart, Gordon Korman (Grades 3 – 7)

From Hawaii State Public Library System

Chase does not remember falling off the roof, in fact, he does not remember anything about himself, and when he gets back to middle school, he begins to learn who he was through the reactions of the other kids—trouble is, he really is not sure he likes the Chase that is being revealed, but can he take the opportunity amnesia has provided and restart his life?


Rez Dogs, Joseph Bruchac, (Grades 3-6)

Booklist (April 15, 2021 (Vol. 117, No. 16))

Grades 3-6. Malian, a Wabanaki girl, can’t go home to her parents in Boston because she must shelter in place with her grandparents on the rez, thanks to being caught there by the COVID-19 pandemic during a weekend visit. She loves her grandparents but is often bored. That changes one morning when she wakes

up and sees the rez dog outside, just as she had dreamed he would be. When it becomes obvious that he has adopted the family and become its self-appointed protector, Malian names him Malsum, the old name for a wolf.


Seen and Unseen, Elizabeth Partridge and Lauren Tamaki ( Grades 4-8)

From Follett

"Legendary photographers Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adams all photographed the Japanese American incarceration, but with different approaches-and different results. This nonfiction picture book for middle grade readers examines the Japanese-American incarceration-and the complexity of

documenting it-through the work of these three photographers"--Provided by publisher.




Small Spaces, Katherine Arden (Grades 4-7)

From Follett

"After eleven-year-old Ollie's school bus mysteriously breaks down on a field trip, she has to take a trip through scary woods, and must use all of her wits to survive. She must stick to small spaces"--Provided by publisher.


Starfish, Lisa Flips, (Grades 5-8)

From Hawaii State Public Library System

Written in verse. Ever since Ellie wore a whale swimsuit and made a big splash at her fifth birthday party, she's been bullied about her weight. To cope, she tries to live by the Fat Girl Rules—like "no making waves," "avoid eating in public," and "don't move so fast that your body jiggles. "And she's found her safe space—her swimming pool—where she feels weightless in a fat-obsessed world. In the water, she can stretch herself out like a starfish and take up all the roomshe wants. It's also where she can get away from her pushy mom, who thinks criticizing her new

neighbor, Catalina, who loves Ellie for who she is. With this support buoying her, Ellie might finally be able to cast aside the Fat Girl Rules and starfish in real life-by unapologetically being her own fabulous self.


Swim Team, Johnnie Christmas, (Grade 3-6)

From Follett

Includes bibliographical references. "Bree can't wait for her first day at her new middle school, Enith Brigitha, home to the Mighty Manatees--until she's stuck  with the only elective that fits her schedule, the dreaded Swim 101. The thought of swimming makes Bree more than a little queasy, yet she's forced to dive headfirst into one of her greatest fears. Lucky for her, Etta, an elderly occupant of her apartment building and former swim team captain, is willing to help"--Provided by publisher.


The Beatryce Prophecy, Kate DiCamillo (Grades 3 – 7)

From Hawaii State Public Library System

“We shall all, in the end, be led to where we belong. We shall all, in the end, find out way home. In a time of war, a mysterious child appears at the monastery of the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing. Gentle Brother Edik finds the girl, Beatryce, curled in a stall, wracked with fever, coated in dirt and blood, and holding fast to the ear of Answelica, the goat. As the monk nurses Beatryce to health, he uncovers her dangerous secret, one that imperils them all-for the kind of the land seeks just such a girl, and Brother Edik, who penned the prophecy himself, knows why. And so it is that a girl with a head full of stories-powerful tales-within-the-tale of queens and kings, mermaids and wolves-ventures into a dark wood in search of the castle of one who wishes her dead. But Beatryce knows that, should she lose her way, those who love her-a wild-eyed monk,

a man who had once been king, a boy with a terrible sword, and a goat with a head as hard as timeless themes, unforgettable cast, and magical medieval setting, Kate DiCamillo’s lyrical tale, paired with resonant black-and-white illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall, is a true collaboration between masters.”—Provided by publisher.


The Blackbird Girls, Anne Blackman, (Grades 4-7)

From Follett

Includes bibliographical references. "On a spring morning, neighbors Valentina Kaplan and Oksana Savchenko wake up to an angry red sky. A reactor at the nuclear power plant where their fathers work-- Chernobyl--has exploded. Before they know it, the two girls, who've always been enemies, find themselves

on a train bound for Leningrad to stay with Valentina's estranged grandmother, Rita Grigorievna. In their new lives in Leningrad, they begin to learn what it means to trust another person. Oksana must face the lies her parents told her all her life. Valentina must keep her grandmother's secret, one that could put all their lives in danger. And both of them discover something they've wished for: a best friend. But how far would you go to save your best friend's life? Would you risk your own?"


The Canyon’s Edge, Dusti Bowling (Grades 3 – 7)

From Hawaii State Public Library System

One year after a random shooting changed their family forever, Nora and her father are exploring a slot canyon deep in the Arizona desert, hoping it will help them find peace. Nora longs for things to go back to normal, like they were when her mother was still alive, while her father keeps them isolated in fear of other people. But when they reach the bottom of the canyon, the unthinkable happens: A flash flood rips across their path, sweeping away Nora's father and all of their



The Last Cuentista, Donna Barba Higuera (Grades 5 – 9)

From Hawaii State Public Library System

"A girl named Petra Pena wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. But Petra's world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children – among them Petra and her family - have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet – and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of

humanity's past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard - or purged them altogether. Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again? "


The Last Mapmaker, Christina Soontornvat, (Grades 4-8)

From Follett

Joining an expedition to chart the southern seas, twelve-year-old mapmaker's assistant Sai, posing as a well-bred young lady with a glittering future, realizes she's not the only one on board harboring secrets when she discovers the ship's true destination.


The Midnight Children, Dan Gemeinhart, (Grades 4-6)

From Follett

When lonely Ravani Foster discovers his new friend Virginia and her six mysterious runaway companions are in danger, he must fight to keep them safe, or lose the only person who has ever understood him.


The Silver Arrow, Lev Grossman, (Gr 3-7)

From Follett

Kate's humdrum life is transformed when her eccentric Uncle Herbert brings her a colossal locomotive train, the Silver Arrow, as her eleventh birthday gift, leading her and her younger brother on a mysterious quest.


Too Bright to See, Kyle Lukoff (Grades 5 – 6)

From Hawaii State Public Library System

It’s the summer before middle school and eleven-year-old Bug’s best friend Moira has decided the two of them need to use the next few months to prepare. For Moira, this means figuring out the right clothes to wear, learning how to put on makeup, and deciding which boys are cuter in their yearbook photos than in real life. But none of this is all that appealing to Bug, who doesn’t particularly want to spend more time trying to understand how to be a girl. Besides, there’s something more important to worry about: a ghost is haunting Bug’s eerie old house in rural

Vermont…and maybe haunting Bug in particular. As Bug begins to untangle the mystery of who this ghost is and what they’re trying to say, an altogether different truth comes to light—Bug is transgender.


Twins, Varian Johnson (Grades 3 – 7)

From Hawaii State Public Library System

“Maureen and Francine Carter are twins and best friends. They participate in the same clubs, enjoy the same foods, and are partners on all their school projects. But just before the girls start sixth grade, Francine becomes Fran – a girl who wants to join the chorus, run for class president, and dress in fashionable outfits

that set her apart from Maureen. A girl who seems happy to share only two classes with her sister! Maureen and Francine are growing apart and there’s nothing Maureen can do to stop it. Are sisters really forever? Or will middle school change things for good?”


Tumble, Celia C. Perez, (Grades 4-7)

From Follett

Before she decides whether to accept her stepfather's proposal of adoption, twelve-year-old Adela Ramirez reaches out to her estranged biological father--who is in the midst of a career comeback as a luchador—and the eccentric extended family of wrestlers she has never met, bringing Adela closer to understanding the expansive definition of family.


When Stars Are Scattered, Victoria Jamieson (Gr 4-8)

From Follett

"Omar and his younger brother Hassan live in a refugee camp, and when an opportunity for Omar to get an education comes along, he must decide between going to school every day or caring for his nonverbal

brother in this intimate and touching portrayal of family and daily life in a refugee camp"--Provided bypublisher.


Wink, Rob Harrell, (Gr 4-7)

From Follett

After being diagnosed with a rare eye cancer, twelve-year-old Ross discovers how music, art, and true friends can help him survive both treatment and middle school.


Titles highlighted in yellow are repeating from 2022 - 2023

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