Hooray for leap year 2016! February 29 means we have an extra day for reading this month, which you’re all going to need when you look at this lineup of selected new releases. Historical fiction/adventure, fantasy, realistic fiction, nonfiction picks, poetry, and new installments in popular series (listed at the end) — two dozen titles featured here. Enjoy!
Sybil Ludington: Revolutionary War Rider by E.F. Abbott
What would you do if your country was counting on you to deliver a message? That’s 16-year-old Sybil Ludington’s urgent mission during the American Revolutionary War. When British troops raid a nearby town in 1777, Sybil rides her horse through the night to alert her father and his militiamen. The journey is dangerous, with obstacles at every turn. Maybe you’ve heard of Paul Revere? Sibyl Ludington rode twice as far on her latenight mission …
Sara Lost and Found by Virginia Castleman
Sisters Sara and Anna face an uncertain world. Their mother left home and may not be coming back. Their father is a drummer in a band and comes home long after the girls go to sleep—if he comes home at all. One night, three loud knocks at the door change everything: their father is in jail and social services has come to take the girls away. Rather than risk being split up, Sara and Anna decide their only option is to run away.
Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. Coe
A dog’s eye-view of the world and a best friend. Fenway is an energetic Jack Russell terrier living in the city with Food Lady, Fetch Man, and, of course, his beloved short human and best-friend-in-the-world, Hattie. Everything changes when they all move to the suburbs. He’s pleased with the huge Dog Park behind his house, but Hattie seems more interested in her new friends than her dog.
Sweet Home Alaska by Carole Estby Dagg
This exciting pioneering story, based on actual events, introduces readers to a fascinating chapter in American history, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt set up a colony in Alaska to give loans and land to families struggling during the Great Depression. Terpsichore is sure she’s going to follow in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s footsteps in hew new grand adventure.
The Adventures of Lettie Peppercorn by Sam Gaylton
Lettie Peppercorn cannot go outside. Ma told her so right before she disappeared forever. So Lettie’s house is on stilts, and she is stuck with only the wind and a pigeon for a friend. Nothing exciting has ever happened to her until the night a strange merchant appears. A reviewer in School Library Journal said “Hand this title to fans of Roald Dahl.”
Home Run by Tim Green
Josh’s life has just fallen apart. His father will no longer be coaching the travel baseball team and is moving to Florida, forcing his mom and little sister to move into a small apartment on the wrong side of town. To make matters worse, the new coach of the travel team is an unforgiving drill sergeant. When Josh finds out about a home-run contest where the winner gets a new house, Josh works on hitting it out of the park to save his family.
Red Moon Rising by K.A. Holt
Rae Darling and her family are colonists on a moon so obscure it doesn’t merit a name. Life is hard, water is scarce, and the farm work she does is grueling. But Rae and her sister Temple are faced with an added complication: being girls is a serious liability in their strict society. A reviewer in Publishers Weekly says that Holt “presents some thought-provoking ethical dilemmas, while also making points about colonialism and respect for native cultures.”
Saving Wonder by Mary Knight
Having lost most of his family to coal mining accidents as a little boy, Curley Hines lives with his grandfather in the Appalachian Mountains of Wonder Gap, Kentucky. When a new coal boss takes over the local mining company, life as Curley knows it is turned upside down. Does he speak out against Big Coal and save his mountain, or does he remain silent and save his way of life?
The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd
Everyone in Emma’s family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians–every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream. But when Emma’s dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task–finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town’s cemetery.
Pilfer Academy: A School So Bad It’s Criminal by Lauren Magaziner
George has never heard of Pilfer Academy, a top-secret school for cultivating young crooks, until he’s kidnapped as its newest student. Between disguise classes, cracking safes, and DIY gadgets, George becomes an expert bandit and finds true friendship with Tabitha, his new partner-in-crime. But everything is ruined when George comes to a shocking realization: He is just too “good-hearted” to be a thief.
The Last Boy at St. Edith’s by Lee Gjertsen Malone: Seventh grader Jeremy Miner has a girl problem. Or, more accurately, a girls problem. 475 of them to be exact. That’s how many girls attend his school, St. Edith’s Academy. Jeremy is the only boy left after the school’s brief experiment in co-education–and now he wants out. Getting expelled may be the only way …
The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price by Jennifer Maschar
Ever since 12-year-old Charlie’s mom died, he feels like his world has been split apart. When his sister, Imogen, starts skipping school, Charlie sets out to follow her down a secret passageway to a parallel world where their Mom is alive.
Just My Luck by Cammie McGovern
Fourth grade is not going at all how Benny Barrows hoped. Worst of all, he worries his dad’s recent accident might be all his fault. Benny tries to take his mom’s advice to take things one step at a time. But when his dad ends up in the hospital again, Benny doesn’t know how he and his family will overcome all the bad luck that life seems to have thrown their way until he finds how much he truly has to offer his friends and family.
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter’s dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild. At his grandfather’s house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn’t where he should be with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox.
NONFICTION AND POETRY:
- Ten Days a Madwoman: The Daring Life and Turbulent Times of the Original “Girl” Reporter, Nellie Bly by Deborah Noyes
- This Kid Can Fly: It’s About Ability (NOT Disabiilty) by Aaron Philip
- What Are You Glad About? What Are You Mad About? Poems for When a Person Needs a Poem byJudith Viorst
SERIES (just a few selections from the many new additions to your favorite series):
- Bad Luck by Pseudonymous Bosch (The Bad Books series)
- The League of Beastly Dreadfuls: The Dastardly Deed by Holly Grant (Book 2)
- Firelight by Kazu Kibuishi (Amulet series #7)
- Masterminds: Criminal Destiny by Gordon Korman (Masterminds seris)
- Mabel Jones and the Forbidden City by Will Mabbit (Mabel Jones series)
- You’re Invited Too by Jen. T. Malone and Gail Nall (RSVP series #2)
- The Thickety: Well of Witches by J.A. White (The Thickety serise)
Linda Johns is the author of the Hannah West mystery series Hannah West: Sleuth in Training and Hannah West: Sleuth on the Trail (Two Lions/Nancy Pearl Book Crush Rediscoveries, 2016). She is a librarian in Seattle.