May New Releases!

I live in the upper northeast, where the winters are white and the temperatures are ridiculously frigid. That, however, does make for some amazing reading time – all snuggled up in a blanket, hot cocoa in one hand with a book in the other. But don’t let that fool you. There’s plenty of time for exploring new reads during the summer months, too. Here, we trade our warm gear for sun and summer reading via pool, boat, or ocean side; sometimes all three! Check out these book babies being released into the world this month.

Absolute Experts: DOLPHINS by Jen Swanson & Justine Jackson-Ricketts

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Kids who have a laser focus on dolphins will learn everything they’ve ever wanted to know about them in an eye-catching, page-turning book for aspiring experts, featuring exclusive content from a National Geographic explorer currently in the field.

Hey, dolphin fin-atics! Get ready to dive into the world of your favorite fabulous marine mammals in this action-packed book chock-full of awesome facts, photos, and fun! Join National Geographic explorer and dolphin expert Justine Jackson-Ricketts to get the latest, most up-to-date dolphin intel straight from the field, plus fun facts, in-depth info, and awesome trivia about every kind of dolphin under the sun (and beneath the waves). It’s the ultimate book to help YOU become an absolute expert on one of your favorite topics.

SOLO: A Star Wars Story by Pablo Hidalgo

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org This essential visual guide to Solo: A Star Wars Story™ explores the world of young Han Solo in unparalleled detail. An authoritative companion to the latest Star Wars™ movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story The Official Guide features the fascinating planets, vehicles, and aliens that Han Solo encounters on his early adventures. Explore key characters, locations, and props in captivating detail with extensive production photography and see the iconic Millennium Falcon as its never been seen before, in an exclusive cross-section artwork by Richard Chasemore.

POSITIVELY IZZY by Terri Libenson

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Award-winning comics creator and author of the bestselling Invisible Emmie Terri Libenson returns with a companion graphic novel that captures the drama, angst, and humor of middle-school life. Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Jennifer Holm, and Victoria Jamieson.

Middle school is all about labels.

Izzy is the dreamer. There’s nothing Izzy loves more than acting in skits and making up funny stories. The downside? She can never quite focus enough to get her schoolwork done.

Bri is the brain. But she wants people to see there’s more to her than just a report card full of As. At the same time, she wishes her mom would accept her the way she is and stop bugging her to “break out of her shell” and join drama club.

The girls’ lives converge in unexpected ways on the day of a school talent show, which turns out to be even more dramatic than either Bri or Izzy could have imagined.

CINDERSKELLA by Amie Borst & Borst

Middle school is scary. So are skeleton girls. To win at both, you’ve got to put some skin in the game.          Cindy might appear to be your average twelve year old, but since her mother’s death she has a secret. Every night she turns into a boney, white skeleton.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Cindy’s dad is afraid of her. She has an evil stepmother who makes her do crazy chores, some of them with a toothbrush. And then there’s the werewolf with intentions of making Cindy his midnight snack.

The Spring Fling dance is fast approaching and Ethan, the cutest boy in sixth grade, doesn’t seem to know Cindy exists. She doesn’t think letting Ethan know she’s a cursed skeleton-girl is the best way to introduce herself. Determined to break the curse, Cindy travels to the Underworld where things aren’t quite what they seem, including Mr. Death, the strange and creepy undertaker.

With a jar of pickled pig’s feet, a wacky fortuneteller, and a cranky skeleton mouse, Cindy is afraid this curse has really gotten under her skin.

THE PENDERWICKS AT LAST by Jeanne Birdsall

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgThe finale you’ve all been waiting for: The Penderwicks at Last is the final, flawless installment in the modern classic series from National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author Jeanne Birdsall!

Nine years, five older siblings, a few beloved dogs, and an endless array of adventures–these are the things that have shaped Lydia’s journey since readers first met her in The Penderwicks in Spring.

Now it’s summertime, and eleven-year-old Lydia is dancing at the bus stop, waiting for big sister Batty to get home from college.

This is a very important dance and a very important wait because the two youngest sisters are about to arrive home to find out that the Penderwicks will all be returning to Arundel this summer, the place where it all began. And better still is the occasion: a good old-fashioned, homemade-by-Penderwicks wedding.

Bursting with heart and brimming with charm, this is a joyful, hilarious ode to the family we love best. And oh my MOPS–Meeting of Penderwick Siblings–does Jeanne Birdsall’s The Penderwicks at Last crescendo to one perfect Penderwick finale.

AMAL UNBOUND by Aisha Saeed

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgAisha Saeed’s middle-grade debut tells the compelling story of a girl’s fight to regain her life and dreams after being forced into indentured servitude.

Life is quiet and ordinary in Amal’s Pakistani village, but she had no complaints, and besides, she’s busy pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher one day. Her dreams are temporarily dashed when–as the eldest daughter–she must stay home from school to take care of her siblings. Amal is upset, but she doesn’t lose hope and finds ways to continue learning. Then the unimaginable happens–after an accidental run-in with the son of her village’s corrupt landlord, Amal must work as his family’s servant to pay off her own family’s debt.

Life at the opulent Khan estate is full of heartbreak and struggle for Amal–especially when she inadvertently makes an enemy of a girl named Nabila. Most troubling, though, is Amal’s growing awareness of the Khans’ nefarious dealings. When it becomes clear just how far they will go to protect their interests, Amal realizes she will have to find a way to work with others if they are ever to exact change in a cruel status quo, and if Amal is ever to achieve her dreams.

THE HALL MONITORS ARE FIRED! A Branches Book (Eerie Elementary #8) by Jack Chabert

Pick a book. Grow a Reader!

This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

In this eighth book, Sam and his friends keep getting into trouble. First, Sam is late to school, then Lucy slams a door, and Antonio trips his teacher. But none of this is their fault… It is all Orson Eerie’s doing! The mad scientist is planning to strike once again — at the annual Kickball Showdown! And he wants the hall monitors out of his way FOR GOOD. Will the principal fire them?! They need to come up with a plan FAST — before the big game! This will be the friends’ biggest, baddest, dustiest battle yet!

FROM THE KANE CHRONICLES BROOKLYN HOUSE MAGICIAN’S MANUAL (An Official Rick Riordan Companion Book): Your Guide to Egyptian Gods & Creatures, Glyphs & Spells, and More by Rick Riordan

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org Greetings, initiate! Carter Kane, here. Congratulations on reaching Brooklyn House in one piece. This accomplishment signals that you’re descended from Ancient Egyptian royalty, and you have magic powers. But what good is power without knowing how to use it? That’s where this training manual comes in. Packed with quizzes, stories, and insights about Ancient Egyptian deities, creatures (the friendly and the deadly), the mysterious Duat, and more, this primer will prime those with the blood of the pharaohs to take their first steps down the path of the gods. You’ll hear from me, other magicians (including my sister, Sadie), and even a few of the gods themselves. But beware of tricks and surprises: anything can happen in the world of Egyptian magic.

THE ALCATRAZ ESCAPE (Book Scavenger Series) by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgSleuthing duo Emily and James tackle their most challenging mystery yet set on the haunting Alcatraz Island in Book 3 of the New York Times bestselling Book Scavenger series!

Legendary literary game-maker Garrison Griswold is back in action―this time with “Unlock the Rock.” For his latest game, Griswold has partnered with the famous–and famously reclusive–mystery writer Errol Roy to plan an epic escape room challenge on Alcatraz Island.

Emily and James are eager to participate, but the wave of fame they are riding from their recent book-hunting adventures makes them a target. Threatening notes, missing items, and an accident that might not have been an accident have the duo worried that someone is trying to get them out of the game at any cost.

When Emily’s brother is caught red-handed and blamed for all the wrong doings, Emily is certain Matthew is being framed. With Matthew’s record on the line, Emily and James can’t afford to leave this mystery uncracked.

MINECRAFT: Guide to Enchantments & Potions by Mojang Ab, The Official Minecraft Team

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgThe official Minecraft: Guide to Enchantments & Potions will teach you how to enchant your equipment with useful effects and brew all manner of potions to protect yourself from harm.

The world of Minecraft is perilous: Danger lurks around every corner, and you’ll need powerful tools and equipment if you want to survive.

With insider info and tips from the experts at Mojang, this is the definitive guide to Minecraft sorcery.

THE NERDIEST, WIMPIEST, DORKIEST, I FUNNY EVER by James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org Everybody’s favorite kid comic, Jamie Grimm, is out to conquer the world–with laughter, of course!

Comedian Jamie Grimm can’t help feeling like he’s reached the top–he has his own smash hit TV show and he’s won a national funny-kid competition. But now he’s taking his fame and fortune to international levels by competing in the upcoming world kid comic contest! Will Jamie prove that he’s the funniest kid on earth–or does he stand (or sit!) to lose his crown?

ENDLING: THE LAST by Katherine Applegate

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgFirst Katherine Applegate thrilled readers with the action-packed Animorphs series. Then she stole our hearts with the award-winning The One and Only Ivan. Now she takes us on an unforgettable journey in this first book of an epic middle grade series!

Byx is the youngest member of her dairne pack. Believed to possess remarkable abilities, her mythical doglike species has been hunted to near extinction in the war-torn kingdom of Nedarra.

After her pack is hunted down and killed, Byx fears she may be the last of her species. The Endling. So Byx sets out to find safe haven, and to see if the legends of other hidden dairnes are true.

Along the way, she meets new allies—both animals and humans alike—who each have their own motivations for joining her quest. And although they begin as strangers, they become their own kind of family—one that will ultimately uncover a secret that may threaten every creature in their world.

Building upon the success of her critically acclaimed novels such as The One and Only Ivan, Crenshaw, and Wishtree, while also returning to her action-packed fantasy roots of Animorphs, the Endling series is Katherine Applegate at her finest. With its enthralling characters, unique setting, and gripping adventure, this series is the perfect next read for fans of Rick Riordan, Brian Jacques, and Tui T. Sutherland.

Well, there you have just a few of the exciting new reads releasing in the month of May. Have a wonderful month. #ReadOn

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S. A. Larsen
S.A. Larsen is the international award-winning author of Motley Education, a fantasy adventure for middle grade readers, and Marked Beauty, a young adult fantasy romance. Visit her cyber home salarsenbooks.
2 Comments
  1. That sounds great, Natalie!

  2. Thanks for sharing the list. I’ll offer some in my next book giveaway hop.