The Hamden Public Library invites readers from grades 4-6 to get acquainted with the 2016 Nutmeg Book Award Nominees. Here you will find brief descriptions of each book and links to more information about the authors. Best of all you can leave your comments about each book you read and join our 'straw pole' for your favorite.
Ivan is an easygoing gorilla who has lived at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade for 9,000 days. He has grown accustomed to the humans who watch him through the glass walls of his domain. Ivan mostly thinks about TV shows he watches - that is, until a baby elephant named Ruby joins the small mall menagerie (which also includes a stray dog named Bob). Ivan's protective Silverback instincts empower him to try to make changes for the three of them.
After being sucked up by a vacuum cleaner, Ulysses the squirrel is rescued by 10 year old Flora. He emerges from the mishap possessing super-hero powers which include flying and writing poetry. Flora's parents want to get rid of the rodent but their plans are foiled by Flora and Ulysses, a strange blind boy named William, a waitress, kindly Dr. Meacham, and a little bit of magic.
It's 1854; Eel, an orphan, spends his days by the River Thames searching for things to sell and avoiding Fisheye Bill Tyler. The Great Trouble begins one fateful August day when it's clear that cholera has come to London. The deadly epidemic spreads, and before the entire neighborhood is infected, Eel and his friend Florrie must gather evidence that will prove Dr. Snow's theory about the disease.
All Hal ever wanted was a dog. When he realizes that Fleck, the dog his parents gave him for his birthday, is only a rental, Hal and his canine companion go on the lam. The pair are joined by other dogs-for-rent who also long for freedom, and by Hal's new friend, Pippa, on a quest for happiness.
Ten year old Benji is sickly and small for his age making him the class bully's favorite target. When Benji suffers a seizure at school and is hospitalized, his mother allows him to get a therapy dog, an enormous Newfoundland named Perker Elvis Pembroke IV. Elvis turns out to be a talking therapy dog - but only Benji can hear him. Needless to say, Benji's health improves as Elvis shows him that making friends is not as frightening as he thinks.
Liesl's only friends are shadows until the night a ghost named Po emerges from the darkness. That very night, an alchemist's apprentice, Will, accidentally switches a box containing the most powerful magic in the world with one containing something far less remarkable. Will's mistake has tremendous consequences for Liesl and Po, and it draws the three of them together on an extraordinary journey.
Fer has always felt she doesn't quite belong in this world. One night, she rescues a boy in the woods, only the boy isn't exactly human. He invites her into the Way where Fer feels strangely at home. However, Fer senses that something is out of balance in this other place. If she is to help prevent eternal winter from gripping both sides of the Way, she must first understand the magic and unravel the mystery she faces.
Miss Lana accidentally buys a haunted inn at the Tupelo Landing town auction, prompting the Desperado Detectives - aka Mo LeBaeu and her best friend Dale - to open up a paranormal division. Mo and Dale race to discover the identities of the ghosts before the town's 250th anniversary bash.
When Alice's Aunt Polly, the Pie Queen of Ipswitch, dies, she takes the secret to her world-famous pie-crust recipe with her to the grave. Her will directs that the recipe be given to her extraordinarily fat, remarkably disagreeable cat Lardo... and that Lardo be cared for by her niece Alice. Soon, everyone in town is trying to be the next pie-contest winner. It's up to Alice and her friend Charlie to discover the secret to Polly's recipe.
Violet is a smart, funny, brown-eyed, brown-haired girl in a family of blondes. Her mom is white, and her dad, who died before she was born, was black. She attends a mostly white school where she sometimes feels like a brown leaf on a pile of snow. Now that Violet's eleven, she decides it's time to learn about her African American heritage. Despite getting off to a rocky start trying to reclaim her dad's side of the family, she feels her confidence grow as the pieces of her life start coming together.