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Character Education Books for Children in the Middle Grades KEYWORDS:

Character education has recently been endorsed by federal law and by many state laws. The study of literature allows children to explore protagonists who either encompass or are struggling with the common virtues of kindness, caring, courage, responsibility, and citizenship and, in that way, examine their own character traits.

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Alabama Moon

I could trap my own food and make my own clothes. I could find my way by the stars and make fire in the rain. Pap said he even figured I could whip somebody...

Watt Key Watt Key

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Being Teddy Roosevelt

Riley O'Rourke is writing his report on President Teddy Roosevelt in preparation for the fourth-grade biography tea, but he has a far more important goal: to...

By R. W. Alley and Claudia Mills

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The Babbs Switch Story

A novel told in a strong Southern voice Ruth Ann Tillman loves to sing, especially the solo in the annual Babbs Switch, Oklahoma, Christmas Tree...

Darleen Bailey Beard Darleen Bailey Beard

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The Breaker Boys

The story of a disastrous clash between Pennsylvania mine workers and the law in the 1890s

Pat Hughes Pat Hughes

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Melanie Kroupa Books

Clarence Cochran, A Human Boy

When Clarence Cochran wakes up one evening, he’s shocked. Where are his antennae and his beautiful wings? And what is this strange pair of shorts that he’s...

By William Loizeaux and Anne Wilsdorf

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Claudette Colvin

Twice Toward Justice

“When it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, ‘This is not right.’” – Claudette Colvin...

"..., and carefully establishes the historical context so that readers can appreciate both Colvin’s maturity..."

Phillip Hoose Phillip Hoose

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The Crow-Girl

The Children of Crow Cove

A timeless novel about the kindness of strangers Near a little cove where a brook runs out to the sea live a girl and her grandmother. All alone with no...

"...A timeless novel about the kindness of strangers Near a little cove where a brook runs out to the sea live a girl and her grandmother. All alone with no.... A timeless novel about the kindness of strangers Near a little cove where a brook runs out to the sea live a girl and her grandmother. All alone with no neighbors at all, the two lead a peaceful existence. They have a house, dine on sea kale and mussels and sand snails, and build fires from driftwood. But the grandmother is ve..."

By Bodil Bredsdorff and Faith Ingwersen

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The Crow-Girl

The Children of Crow Cove

A timeless novel about the kindness of strangers Near a little cove where a brook runs out to the sea live a girl and her grandmother. All alone with no...

"...A timeless novel about the kindness of strangers Near a little cove where a brook runs out to the sea live a girl and her grandmother. All alone with no.... A timeless novel about the kindness of strangers Near a little cove where a brook runs out to the sea live a girl and her grandmother. All alone with no neighbors at all, the two lead a peaceful existence. They have a house, dine on sea kale and mussels and sand snails, and build fires from driftwood. But the grandmother is ve..."

By Bodil Bredsdorff and Faith Ingwersen

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Death at Devil's Bridge

The sequel to Devil's Bridge At thirteen, Ben Daggett, a Martha's Vineyard local, takes a summer job as first mate on a charter boat and plans to spend the...

Cynthia DeFelice Cynthia DeFelice

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Double-Click for Trouble

Eddie McCall is a good kid. He does his homework, picks up around the house, and cooks dinner for his single mom when she has to work late at a Chicago hotel....

Chris Woodworth Chris Woodworth

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Edwina Victorious

A successful letter-writing campaign, with just a touch of deception. When Edwina's great-grandaunt and namesake decides to move to a nursing home, Edwina...

Susan Bonners

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Frances Foster Books

Fame and Glory in Freedom, Georgia

Will a spelling bee be the answer to all of Bird’s problems? All her life, all Bird has ever wanted is to be noticed in her small town and to get to Disney...

Barbara O'Connor Barbara O'Connor

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Francie

A distinctive new voice in children's fiction Francie lives with her mother and younger brother, Prez, in rural Alabama, where all three work and wait....

Karen English Karen English

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Franny Parker

“Rings on a tree tell a story,” Franny Parker tells Lucas Dunn. “They tell you about its seasons, if they’ve been plentiful or not.” So far, the rings of...

Hannah Roberts McKinnon Hannah Roberts McKinnon

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Girl of Kosovo

*"Based on the experience of one Albanian family caught upo in the ethnic wars in Kosovo, this moving novel tells the story through the eyes of a young girl."...

Alice Mead Alice Mead

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Frances Foster Books

Greetings from Nowhere

Aggie isn’t expecting visitors at the Sleepy Time Motel in the Great Smoky Mountains. Since her husband died, she is all alone with her cat, Ugly, and keeping...

"...portrayal of pain and hope." —Booklist   "O'Connor carefully weaves together the hopes, fears..."

Barbara O'Connor Barbara O'Connor

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Frances Foster Books

Holes

A darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment Stanley Yelnat's family has a history of bad luck, so he isn't too surprised when a miscarriage of justice...

Louis Sachar Louis Sachar

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How High Can We Climb?

The Story of Women Explorers

A celebration of remarkably brave women In 1766, young Jeanne Baret is housekeeper to Dr. Philibert Commerson, a physician turned naturalist for the King of...

By Jeannine Atkins and Dusan Petricic

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Frances Foster Books

How to Steal a Dog

Half of me was thinking, Georgina, don’t do this. Stealing a dog is just plain wrong. The other half of me was thinking, Georgina, you’re in a bad fix and you...

Barbara O'Connor Barbara O'Connor

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I Am Not Joey Pigza

Just when Joey Pigza’s wired world finally seems to be under control, his good-for-nothing dad pops back into his life. This time, though, Carter Pigza is a...

Jack Gantos Jack Gantos

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Isabella's Above-Ground Pool

“I won’t share ’cuz it’s not fair!” is nine-year-old Isabella Speedwalker-Juarez’s motto. It’s all because she’s stuck in a room with her toddler brother,...

By Alice Mead and Maryann Cocca-Leffler

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It's Hot and Cold in Miami

Rachel has theories about a lot of things – how she ended up with humongous beaver teeth, why tourists who visit Miami wear such ugly clothes, and why her...

Nicole Rubel Nicole Rubel

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Junebug in Trouble

"This book will ring true to many young readers and expose others to the challenges faced by children today. An excellent choice, particularly for reluctant...

Alice Mead Alice Mead

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Frances Foster Books

Lenny's Space

Nine-year-old Lenny Brewster is captivated by the world – the mysteries of machines, the magic of snow, the pure joy of a perfect ride down a slippery slide....

Kate Banks Kate Banks

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