Youth All Stars 2004: For All Ages

Annotated lists of books receiving at least one starred review from one of four major review sources: Booklist, Kirkus, LJ and PW. The review source assigns the star.

The list includes both fiction and nonfiction books. Titles are arranged alphabetically by author. The edition listed is the trade book, library bindings are not listed unless that is the only available format.

Titles received starred reviews from Booklist, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, School Library Journal, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and Horn Book. The theme information is derived from cataloging information and is not comprehensive.

Grade & age designations are approximate, parental judgement should be used. Not all books are suitable for all readers/listeners.

Annotations are from Advance, the Ingram Book Magazine or the Library of Congress CIP description.


  • Home
    Author: Baker, Jeannie
    Publisher: Greenwillow $ 15.99 ISBN: 0066239354 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Bulletin star Horn Book star Kirkus
    In Jeannie Baker's striking, natural collages, an urban community reclaims its land. A drab city street becomes a living, thriving neighborhood -- a place to call home.
    Grades: Preschool + Category: Picture Book
  • Chasing Vermeer
    Author: Balliett, Blue
    Publisher: Scholoastic $ 16.95 ISBN: 0439372941 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Kirkus star PW
    When a book of unexplainable occurances brings Petra Andalee & Calder Pillay together, strange things start to happen: seemingly unrelated events connect, an eccentric old woman seeks their company, & an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears. Before they know it, the two find themselves at the center of an international art scandal. As Petra & Calder are drawn clue by clue into a mysterious labyrinth they must draw on their powers of intuition, their skills at problem solving, and their knowledge of Vermeer. Can they decipher a crime that has left even the FBI baffled?
    Grades: 4-7 Category: Fiction | Mystery
  • When Bugs Were Big, Plants Were Strange, and Tetrapods Stalked the Earth: A Cartoon Prehistory of LIfe Before Dinosaurs
    Author: Bonner, Hannay
    Publisher: $ ISBN: Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Kirkus star SLJ
    Bonner takes readers back into prehistoric times before dinosaurs lived. This cartoon history features narrative text, engaging illustrations, hilarious cartoons, maps, charts, and time lines.
    Grades: 3-7 Category: Nonfiction | Animals | Prehistoric Creatures
  • Wallace's Lists
    Author: Bottner, Barbara
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 15.99 ISBN: 0060002247 Date: 2004
    star Bulletin star PW star SLJ
    Wallace, a mouse, can do almost anything as long as he has a list. When Wallace meets his lively neighbor named Albert, his world is swiftly opened to new delights, such as painting and music. Wallace soon discovers a new joy: friendship.
    Grades: Preschool - 3 Category: Picture Book | Friends
  • The Crow Girl: The Children of Crow Cove
    Author: Bredsforff, Bodil
    Publisher: FSG $ 16 ISBN: 0374312478 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Bulletin star Horn Book star SLJ
    Grades: 3-7 Category: Fiction
  • Al Capone Does My Shirts
    Author: Choldenko, Gennifer
    Publisher: Putnam $ 15.99 ISBN: 0399238611 Date: 2004
    star Kirkus star PW star SLJ | BBYA
    Set in 1935, when guards actually lived on Alcatraz Island with their families, Choldenko's second novel brings humor to the complexities of family dynamics and illuminates the real struggle of a kid trying to free himself from the "good boy" stance he's taken his whole life.
    Grades: 5-7 Category: Fiction
  • The Big House
    Author: Coman, Carolyn
    Publisher: Front St $ 16.95 ISBN: 1932425098 Date: 2004
    star Bulletin star Kirkus star SLJ
    When their parents are convicted for embezzlement, Ray and Ivy are sent to live the life of luxury with Marrieta Noland and her ancient husband, Lionel. But life at the Nolands' big house is not all it's cracked up to be. A new novel by Newbery Honoree Coman.
    Grades: 3-7 Category: Fiction | Humor
  • Miss Bridie Chose a Shovel
    Author: Connor, Leslie & Mary Azarian (Ilt)
    Publisher: Houghton $ 16 ISBN: 0618305645 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Kirkus star PW
    Connor and Azarian deliver a lyrical tribute to the millions of immigrants who left their homes to begin anew in America in this enchanting look at how one woman carves out a life with the help of a common shovel.
    Grades: Preschool - 3 Category: Fiction | Historical
  • Parthenon
    Author: Curlee, Lynn
    Publisher: Atheneum $ 17.95 ISBN: 0689844905 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Bulletin star SLJ
    With keen attention to detail, Curlee explores the history and the people behind the building of the Parthenon in ancient Greece. With paintings that evoke the glory of the birth of western civilization, Curlee revitalizes the history of the Western world's most recognizable structure
    Grades: 4-7 Category: Nonfiction | Ancient Greece
  • Bucking the Sarge
    Author: Curtis, Christopher Paul
    Publisher: Wendy Lamb $ 15.95 ISBN: 0385323077 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Bulletin star Kirkus star SLJ
    The Newbery Award-winning author of Bud, Not Buddy and The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 gives readers a whole new angle on life and a world full of unforgettable and hilarious characters.
    Grades: 5-9 Category: Fiction
  • The Sea of Trolls
    Author: Farmer, Nancy
    Publisher: Atheneum $ 17.95 ISBN: 0689867441 Date: 2004
    star Bulletin star Horn Book star Kirkus star PW star SLJ
    The three-time Newbery Honor-winning author and National Book Award recipient pens a new adventure set in A.D. 793 in the land of the Vikings, where two children are soon swept up in a quest on which they encounter a dragon, a giant spider, and trolls.
    Grades: 5-8 Category: Fiction | Historical | Speculative
  • The Oracle Betrayed
    Author: Fisher, Catherine
    Publisher: Greenwillow $ 16.99 ISBN: 0060571578 Date: 2004
    star Bulletin star Kirkus star PW
    Timid Mirany is chosen to be a priestess to serve the High Priestess, who interprets the wishes of the god as conveyed through the Oracle. However, Mirany is unprepared for the dangers of her exalted position.
    Grades: 7+ Category: Fiction | Speculative
  • The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
    Author: Freedman, Russell
    Publisher: Clarion $ 18 ISBN: 0618159762 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Kirkus star PW star SLJ
    This insightful account of the great African-American vocalist considers her life and musical career in the context of the history of civil rights in America. Drawing on Anderson's own writings and other contemporary accounts, Freedman shows how she came to stand for all black artists--and for all Americans of color.
    Grades: 4-7 Category: Nonfiction | Biography
  • Doodler Doodling
    Author: Gelman, Rita Golden & Paul O. Zelinsky (Ilt)
    Publisher: Greenwillow $ 15.99 ISBN: 0688166458 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Kirkus star PW star SLJ
    With an irreverent exuberance, Caldecott Medalist Zelinsky illustrates 21 words, and in the process creates a totally original, laugh-out-loud picture book about the mysteries, joys, and possibilities of imagination, language, and doodles.
    Grades: Preschool - 3 Category: Concept Books
  • Tales from the Waterhole
    Author: Graham, Bob
    Publisher: Candlewick $ 16.99 ISBN: 0763623245 Date: 2004
    star Bulletin star Kirkus star SLJ
    The winner of the 2003 Kate Greenaway Medal turns his distinctive attention to the animals of the African plains with this wry, laugh-out-loud story that pays tribute to the merriment and mishaps of young friendship.
    Grades: Preschool - 3 Category: Fiction | Picture Book
  • Ida B: And Her Plans to Maximize Fun, Avoid Disaster and Possibly Save the World
    Author: Hannigan, Katherine
    Publisher: Greenwillow $ 15.99 ISBN: 0060730242 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Bulletin star Kirkus star SLJ
    In this first novel by Hannigan, readers are introduced to Ida B, a fourth grader like no other, living a life like no other, with a voice like no other, and a family like no other. How does Ida B cope when outside forces--life, really--attempt to derail her, her family, and her future?
    Grades: 3-5 Category: Fiction
  • Going North
    Author: Harrington, Janice N. & Jerome Larrigue (Ilt)
    Publisher: Kroupa $ 16 ISBN: 0374326819 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Bulletin star Kirkus star SLJ
    An African-American family becomes a new kind of pioneer in the 1960s as it migrates north from segregated Alabama to Nebraska in search of a better life. Lyrical free verse and evocative paintings capture the rhythm of the road and a young girl's longing as she wonders if she'll like the north. Full
    Grades: K-3 Category: Fiction | Picture book
  • Godless
    Author: Hautman, Pete
    Publisher: S & S $ 15.95 ISBN: 0689862784 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Bulletin star Kirkus
    National Book Award Finalist
    As a joke, agnostic-going-on-atheist Jason Bock invents his own religion: theworship of his town's water tower. But what starts as a loose congregation of Jason's friend Shin and some classmates soon takes on a power of its own.
    Grades: 7-12 Category: Fiction
  • Kitten's First Moon
    Author: Henkes, Kevin
    Publisher: Greenwillow $ 15.99 ISBN: 0060588284 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Kirkus star PW star SLJ
    From one of the most beloved picture book creators of today comes a memorable new character and a suspenseful adventure. Kitten sees her first full moon, but she thinks it's a bowl of milk and tries to get at it.
    Grades: Preschool + Category: Picture Book
  • Asleep in the Stable
    Author: Hillennbrand, Will
    Publisher: Holiday $ 16 ISBN: 0823418243 Date: 2004
    star Bulletin star Kirkus star PW
    Baby Owl listens to Mama Owl and learns all about the Holy Child and the bright star that has come with him. Young children can share in Baby Owl's wonder in this cozy and joyous rendition of the Nativity story
    Grades: Toddler - 1st Category: Picture Book
  • Merlin and the Making of the King
    Author: Hodges, Margaret & Trina Schart Hyman (Ilt)
    Publisher: Holiday $ 16.95 ISBN: 082341647x Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Kirkus star PW star SLJ
    In this collection of three Arthurian tales, Merlin the magician watches over young Arthur as he rises to become king of England. But enemies threaten Arthur. Will the good king triumph over the dark forces in his path and bring peace and justice to the world?
    Grades: 3-7 Category: Fiction | Folklore & Myths
  • The Race to Save the Lord God Bird
    Author: Hoose, Phillip
    Publisher: Kroupa $ 20 ISBN: 0374361738 Date: 2004
    star Bulletin star Kirkus star PW star SLJ
    The tragedy of extinction is explained through the powerful, dramatic story of a legendary bird, the ivory-billed woodpecker, and of those who have tried to possess it, shoot it, and, in a last-ditch effort, save it over a 200-year span. Includes time line, glossary, and index.
    Grades: 7-12 Category: Nonfiction | Nature
  • The Pepins and Their Problems
    Author: Horvath, Polly & Marylin Hafner (Ilt)
    Publisher: FSG $ 16 ISBN: 0374358176 Date: 2004
    star Bulletin star Kirkus star PW
    Whether it's waking up to find toads in their shoes, becoming trapped on the roof, or searching for cheese when their cow makes only lemonade, the Pepin family always seems to get into the most bizarre scrapes.
    Grades: 3-7 Category: Fiction
  • The Star of Kazan
    Author: Ibbotson, Eva & Kevin Hawkes (Ilt)
    Publisher: Dutton $ 16.99 ISBN: 0525473475 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Kirkus star SLJ
    Set in turn-of-the-century Vienna, this novel tells the story of a young servant girl who learns she is, in fact, an aristocrat whose true home is an ancient castle. But at the crumbling castle, young Annika discovers that all is not as it seems in the lives of her newfound family.
    Grades: 4-7 Category: Fiction | Mystery
  • Henry Works
    Author: Johnson, D. B
    Publisher: Houghton $ 15 ISBN: 0618420037 Date: 2004
    star Bulletin star Kirkus star PW
    Without Henry, wildflowers would go unwatered in dry weather and rivers would have no crossing stones. In this fourth book about Henry David Thoreau, Johnson's quiet story flows through morning's mist to evening's glow, when, at last, Thoreau's most important work is revealed.
    Grades: Preschool - 3 Category: Picture Book | Nature
  • Kira-Kira
    Author: Kodohata, Cynthia
    Publisher: Atheneum $ 15.95 ISBN: 0689856393 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Bulletin star PW
    Grades: 6+ Category: Fiction
  • Walt Whitman: Words for America
    Author: Kerley, Barbara & Brian Selznick (Ilt)
    Publisher: Scholastic $ 16.95 ISBN: 0439357918 Date: 2004
    star Kirkus star PW star SLJ
    Meticulously researched and documented, this portrait of American poet Walt Whitman celebrates his work and provides insight to this man, artist, and Civil War hero who is a symbol of America.
    Grades: 2-5 Category: Nonfiction | Biography
  • A Christmas Like Helen's
    Author: Kinsey-Warnock, Natalie & Mary Azarian (Ilt)
    Publisher: Houghton $ 16 ISBN: 0618231374 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Kirkus star PW
    With absorbing details of country life and a look at a Christmas of the past, along with elegant, hand-colored woodcuts, this book captures the strength of family, the magic of Christmas, and the love of place all year long.
    Grades: K - 3 Category: Picture Book
  • The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place
    Author: Konigsburg, E.L.
    Publisher: Atheneum $ 16.95 ISBN: 0689866364 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Kirkus star PW star SLJ
    The long-awaited new novel by the two-time Newbery Medalist stars Margaret Rose Kane, Connor Kane's older half-sister in Silent to the Bone, who tells the story of the summer she was 12 years old.
    Grades: 5-9 Category: Fiction
  • The Boy on Fairfield Street: How Ted Geisel Grew Up to Become Dr. Seuss
    Author: Krull, Kathleen
    Publisher: Random $ 16.95 ISBN: 0375822984 Date: 2004
    star Bulletin star Kirkus star SLJ
    An award-winning author zeros in on the formative first 22 years of the life of Ted Geisel. Featuring decorative illustrations by Dr. Seuss, this picture book biography is written especially for his young fans.
    Grades: 1-7 Category: Nonfiction | Biography
  • B for Buster
    Author: Lawrence, Iain
    Publisher: Delacorte $ 15.95 ISBN: 0385730861 Date: 2004
    star Kirkus star PW star SLJ
    In this gripping story, 16-year-old Kak dreams of flying with the Allied bombers in World War II. Underage but desperate to escape his abusive parents, he enlists in the Canadian Air Force and is soon sent to a squadron in England. But he does not expect the experience to be as harrowing as it becomes.
    Grades: 8-12 Category: Fiction | Historical
  • Gifts
    Author: Le Guin, Ursula K.
    Publisher: Harcourt $ 17 ISBN: 0152051236 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Bulletin star PW
    A darkly compelling fantasy about a world in which each person has a magical, dangerous "gift."
    Grades: 4+ Category: Fiction | Speculative
  • Messenger
    Author: Lowry, Lois
    Publisher: Walter Lorraine $ 16 ISBN: 0618404414 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Bulletin star Kirkus star PW
    Critically acclaimed and bestselling author Lowry returns with the eagerly anticipated companion to Gathering Blue and The Giver, winner of the Newbery Medal.
    Grades: 8-12 Category: Fiction | Speculative
  • Sonny's House of Spies
    Author: Lyon, George Ella
    Publisher: Atheneum $ 16.95 ISBN: 0689851685 Date: 2004
    star Kirkus star PW star SLJ
    The acclaimed author of "Borrowed Children" pens this novel about a 13-year-old Alabama boy who aims to change the tightlipped atmosphere at his house and find out the truth.
    Grades: 7+ Category: Fiction
  • Saving Francesca
    Author: Marchetta, Melina
    Publisher: Random $ 15.95 ISBN: 0375829822 Date: 2004
    star Bulletin star Kirkus star PW star SLJ
    Teenage Francesca is constantly battling her mother over what it best for her. But when her mother becomes severely depressed, her family begins to fall apart, and Francesca realizes that without her mother's high spirits, she hardly knows who she is.
    Grades: 7+ Category: Fiction
  • Shooter
    Author: Myers, Walter Dean
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 15.99 ISBN: 0060295198 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Bulletin star PW
    The Michael L. Printz Award-winning author of Monster unveils a bleak picture of what life can be like for a teenage misfit in this new novel of three loners told through a series of interviews, reports, newspaper articles, and journal entries.
    Grades: 7+ Category: Fiction
  • Bound
    Author: Napoli, Donna Jo
    Publisher: Atheneum $ 16.95 ISBN: 0689861753 Date: 2004
    star Kirkus star PW star SLJ star Booklist
    From the award-winning author of Beast and Breath comes this thrilling and haunting retelling of the Cinderella story that returns the much-loved fairy tale to its Chinese roots.
    Grades: 7+ Category: Fiction | Fairy Tale
  • The Little Gentleman
    Author: Pearce, Philippa
    Publisher: Greenwillow $ 15.99 ISBN: 0060731605 Date: 2004
    star Kirkus star PW star SLJ
    The acclaimed author of Tom's Midnight Garden introduces the Little Gentleman, a small black mole. But this mole has been tunneling for 300 years on his way from Scotland to England. Not only is he immortal, he can speak several languages and has very strong opinions.
    Grades: 3-7 Category: Fiction | Speculative
  • The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts
    Author: Peck, Richard
    Publisher: Dial $ 16.99 ISBN: 0803727364 Date: 2004
    star Bulletin star Kirkus star PW star SLJ
    The award-winning author creates a whole world of folksy, one-of-a-kind characters in his newest novel. In 1904 Indiana, 15-year-old Russell Culver is raring to leave his small town. But he has a particularly eventful season of school ahead of him, led by a teacher he never expected--his sister, Tansy.
    Grades: 4-7 Category: Fiction | Historical | Humor
  • If Not for the Cat
    Author: Prelutsky, Jack & Ted Rand (Ilt)
    Publisher: Greenwillow $ 16.99 ISBN: 0060596775 Date: 2004
    star Horn Book star Kirkus star PW
    The "New York Times" bestselling picture book author serves up a series of haiku that reveals the mysteries of the animal kingdom in this beautifully illustrated collection that will puzzle, delight, and surprise
    Grades: Toddler - 3rd Category: Poetry
  • Predator's Gold
    Author: Reeve, Philip
    Publisher: Eos $ 16.99 ISBN: 0060721936 Date: 2004
    star Bulletin star Kirkus star PW
    In this breathtaking sequel to his acclaimed, award-winning Mortal Engines, Philip Reeve plunges readers into a ruthless and terrifyingly believable world where cities eat each other, betrayal is as common as ice, and loyalty offers the only chance for survival.
    Grades: 7+ Category: Fiction | Speculative
  • Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America
    Author: Robinson, Sharon
    Publisher: Scholastic $ 16.95 ISBN: 0439425921 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star PW star SLJ
    Sharon Robinson shares memories of her famous father in this warm loving biography of the man who broke the color barrier in baseball. Jackie Robinson was an outstanding athlete, a devoted family man and a dedicated civil rights activist.
    Grades: 4-7 Category: Nonfiction | Biography | Baseball
  • Sequoya: The Cherokee Man Who Gave his People Writing
    Author: Rumford, James
    Publisher: Hougton $ 16 ISBN: 0618369473 Date: 2004
    star Horn Book star Kirkus star SLJ
    This beautiful picture book biography relates the story of Sequoyah, who creates a writing system for the Cherokee in the 1820s that would turn his people into a nation of readers and writers.
    Grades: Preschool- 3rd Category: Nonfiction | Biography
  • Becoming Naomi Leon
    Author: Ryan, Pam Munoz
    Publisher: Scholastic $ 16.95 ISBN: 0439269695 Date: 2004
    star Bulletin star Kirkus star PW
    From the award-winning author of Esperanza Rising comes a riveting novel about family and identity, drawn from the warmth, wisdom, and love of Ryan's own Mexican and Oklahoman heritages.
    Grades: 4-7 Category: Fiction
  • Lizzie Bright and the Buckminister Boy
    Author: Schmidt, Gary D.
    Publisher: Clarion $ 15 ISBN: 0618439293 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Kirkus star SLJ
    Set in 1912 Maine, this historical novel is based on the true story of a community's destruction. No one in town will let Turner Buckminster forget that he's a minister's son. But then he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a smart and sassy girl from a poor nearby island community founded by former slaves, he enters a whole new world.
    Grades: 4-7 Category: Fiction | Historical
  • Train of States
    Author: Sis, Peter
    Publisher: Greenwillow $ 17.99 ISBN: 0060578386 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Bulletin star PW
    As a freight train passes by a school, the students learn something about the United States from its cargo. Like floats in a parade, each of the the colorful, intricate wagons aboard the train celebrate the famous, symbolic, and historic aspects of each state in the country.
    Grades: 1-5 Category: Nonfiction | Picture Book 11+
  • Chandra's Secret
    Author: Stratton, Allan
    Publisher: Annick $ 8.95 ISBN: 1550378341 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Bulletin star SLJ
    Grades: 9-12 Category: Fiction
  • The Golem's Eye
    Author: Stroud, Jonathan
    Publisher: Hyperion $ 17.95 ISBN: 0786818603 Date: 2004
    star Bulletin star PW star SLJ
    Young apprentice magician Nathaniel is working his way up the ranks of the government when a crisis hits--a monolithic, indestructible clay golem is making random attacks in London. Nathaniel and the all-powerful djinni, Bartimeaus, must travel to Prague to discover the source of the golem's power.
    Grades: 5-9 Category: Fiction | Speculative
  • Double Helix
    Author: Werlin, Nancy
    Publisher: Dial $ 15.99 ISBN: 0803726066 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Bulletin star PW star SLJ
    Rich and suspenseful, with a hair-raising conclusion, this is Nancy Werlin's most dynamic novel yet--one that explores the ethics and amazements of genetic engineering.
    Grades: 8-12 Category: Fiction | Suspense
  • Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale
    Author: Willems, Mo
    Publisher: Hyperion $ 15.99 ISBN: 0786818700 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Bulletin star Kirkus star PW star SLJ
    Using a combination of muted black-and-white photos and expressive illustrations, the author of the Caldecott Honor book Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! tells a true-to-life tale about what happens when Daddy's in charge and things go terribly, hilariously wrong.
    Grades: Preschool - 3 Category: Picture Book
  • September Roses
    Author: Winter, Jeanette
    Publisher: FSG $ 14 ISBN: 0374367361 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Kirkus star PW
    After flying to America from South Africa for a flower show on September 11, 2001, two sisters--stranded in New York City when all flights out are canceled--find a loving way to display the 2,400 roses that have brought with them.
    Grades: 2-6 Category: Fiction | Historical | Picture Book
  • The Haunting of Alaizabel Cray
    Author: Wooding, Chris
    Publisher: Orchard $ 16.95 ISBN: 0439546567 Date: 2004
    star Booklist star Kirkus star PW star SLJ
    At just 17, Thaniel is a wych-hunter. Together, he and Cathaline, his friend and mentor, track down the fearful creatures that lurk in the Old Quarter of London. It is on one of these hunts that he first encounters Alaizabel Cray, who is half-crazed, lovely, and possessed.
    Grades: 7+ Category: Fiction | Speculative

Starred Review Lists

Books that received at least one starred review from Booklist, Kirkus, LJ, and PW.

2013 Crime Fiction: Jan-June | Fiction: Jan-June | Speculative Fiction

2012 Crime Fiction: July-Dec | Fiction: July-Dec | Speculative Fiction

Hotlists@ Google Docs

Crime Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

(lists of new and notable books - lists are sortable and can be downloaded)

more stars lists...

book mark Overbooked

Sign up for updates via the Overbooked mailing list