Ten winners for the smaller bookworms on your list:

The Top Five Novels

Bucking the Sarge, by Christopher Paul Curtis (Wendy Lamb, $15.95; ages 12-up). A young black man aims to become "America's best-loved, best-paid philosopher." But first he has to bust free of Flint, Mich., and his mama's shady business empire.

In Darkness, Death, by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler (Philomel, $16.99; ages 10-up). Samurai murder mystery set in 18th-century Japan, starring a drawn-from-real-life judge and his sharp-witted fictive son. Sherlock Holmes with ninjas.

The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place, by E.L. Konigsburg (Atheneum, $16.95; ages 10-up). A girl's summer-camp-inspired allergy to authority resurfaces at home, when the city council condemns a trio of fantastic towers her uncles have built in the backyard.

The Sea of Trolls, by Nancy Farmer (Atheneum, $17.95; ages 10-13). Irresistible 8th-century yarn in which an under-achieving Saxon kid apprenticed to a Druid bard is kidnapped by Viking berserkers. "Just say no to pillaging" is the least of what he learns.

The Teacher's Funeral: A Comedy in Three Parts, by Richard Peck (Dial, $16.99; ages 10-up). "If your teacher has to die, August isn't a bad time of year for it." A 15-year-old boy in 1904 rural Indiana reluctantly gets himself a quality education.

The Top Five Picture Books

Guji Guji, by Chih-Yuan Chen (Kane/Miller, $15.95; ages 4-8). Out of an errant egg in Mother Duck's nest hatches a creature who walks like a duck and talks like a duck but is really a blue-nosed crocodile -- until he decides that duckness rules after all.

Hot City, by Barbara Joosse, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (Philomel, $16.99; ages 4-up). Summertime, and the city is sizzlin' as two children decide to take refuge "in the coooool library" -- cool in more ways than one, naturally.

I, Doko: The Tale of a Basket, by Ed Young (Philomel, $16.99; ages 4-up). A basket tells how a son's treacherous plan nearly destroys a family in this stunning tale from Nepal.

Kitten's First Full Moon, by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow, $15.99; ages 3-up). A kitten's-eye view of the human condition: "It was Kitten's first full moon. When she saw it, she thought, There's a little bowl of milk in the sky. And she wanted it." Black-and-white drawings bring night, moon, milk and cat alive in a few expressive strokes.

On This Spot: An Expedition Back Through Time, by Susan E. Goodman, illustrated by Lee Christiansen (Greenwillow, $15.99; ages 5-up). From a spot on a New York City sidewalk, this time machine of a book leapfrogs back 175 years, 350 years, 15,000 years, as far back as Earth's desolate beginnings.

. . . and One for the Road

The Race to Save the Lord God Bird, by Phillip Hoose (Farrar Straus Giroux, $20; ages 12-up). A naturalist's passionate account of the decline of the ivory-billed woodpecker. "Lord God, what a bird!" people used to say. What a story! -- and not just for kids.

-- Elizabeth Ward