Support local booksellers with these new releases!

Now more than ever we need to support our local book sellers and children’s book authors. And, we need to keep fueling the minds of the middle-grade readers in our lives. What better way than to purchase these up-and-coming releases geared toward this awesome age group.  Note that each has a link to click on to an independent book seller near you. My favorite local book store, Gathering Volumes in Perrysburg, Ohio, was more than happy to take my order over the phone last week and ship out a gift to my niece. There are some great reads on this list! Happy shopping!

Greystone Secrets #2: The Deceivers by Margaret Peterson Haddix, HarperCollins Publishers, April 7

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The second book in the Greystone Secrets series from the master of plot twists, Margaret Peterson Haddix—perfect for fans of A Wrinkle in Time and The City of Ember!

Until their mother vanished, the Greystone kids—Chess, Emma, and Finn—knew nothing about the other world.

Everything is different there. It’s a mirror image, except things are wrong. Evil. Their mother tried to fix it, but she and an ally got trapped there along with Ms. Morales, their friend Natalie’s mom.

Now the four kids—brave Chess, smart Emma, kind Finn, and savvy Natalie—are determined to rescue everyone.

To do so, they have to go back: into the other world, where even telling the truth can be illegal.

But in such a terrifying place, Chess doubts he can ever be brave enough. Despite all her brains, Emma can’t seem to break the code. With everything spiraling out of control, Finn has to pretend he’s okay.

And for Natalie, the lies of the other world include some she wishes were actually true. What if she’s gotten so used to lying she no longer knows what to believe?

The second book in the Greystone Secrets series, The Deceivers, by bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix, continues the twisty and suspenseful story of the Greystone kids and examines the power of the truth—or a lie—to alter lives, society, and even an entire reality.

The Big, Fun Kids Cookbook, Hearst Home Books, April 7

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It’s the ultimate kids cookbook from America’s #1 food magazine: 150+ fun, easy recipes for young cooks, plus bonus games and food trivia!

The Big, Fun Kids Cookbook from Food Network Magazine gives young food lovers everything they need to succeed in the kitchen. Each recipe is totally foolproof and easy to follow, with color photos and tips to help beginners get excited about cooking. The book includes recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and dessert—all from the trusted chefs in Food Network’s test kitchen.

Ghost Squad by Claribel Ortega, Scholastic, April 7

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Coco meets Stranger Things with a hint of Ghostbusters in this action-packed supernatural fantasy.

For Lucely Luna, ghosts are more than just the family business.

Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd’s witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save the town and Lucely’s firefly spirits before it’s too late.

With the family dynamics of Coco and action-packed adventure of Ghostbusters, Claribel A. Ortega delivers both a thrillingly spooky and delightfully sweet debut novel.

Kate the Chemist: The Big Book of Experiments, by Kate Biberdorf, Penguin Young Readers Group, April 14

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Packed with 25 incredible science experiments kids can do at home, Kate the Chemist introduces young scientists to the fascinating world of STEM!

Have you ever wondered how to make a volcano explode? Or why dropping dry ice in soap bubbles forms neon brains?

With 25 kid-friendly science experiments, and stunning full-color photographs, Kate the Chemist’s big book of experiments, shows kids just how fun—and easy—it is to be a scientist. Learn how to make slime, fake tattoos, edible snot, and more! Experiments include step-by-step instructions, an ingredients list, full color photographs, a messiness factor rating, and a note from Kate.

Create future engineers, scientists, and inventors, and introduce your child to the world of STEM with Kate the Chemist: The Big Book of Experiments!

And, last but not least, this title came out last month, but wanted to shed some light on this great story!

The Prettiest by Brigit Young, Roaring Brook Press, April 14

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A must-read for young feminists, The Prettiest is an incisive, empowering novel by Brigit Young about fighting back against sexism and objectification.

THE PRETTIEST: It’s the last thing Eve Hoffmann expected to be, the only thing Sophie Kane wants to be, and something Nessa Flores-Brady knows she’ll never be . . . until a list appears online, ranking the top fifty prettiest girls in the eighth grade.

Eve is disgusted by the way her body is suddenly being objectified by everyone around her.

Sophie is sick of the bullying she’s endured after being relegated to number two.

And Nessa is tired of everyone else trying to tell her who she is.

It’s time for a takedown. As the three girls band together, they begin to stand up not just for themselves, but for one another, too.

Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yeager, Penguin Young Readers Group, April 21

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A page-turning middle-grade adaptation of the New York Times bestseller about how a newly independent nation was challenged by foreign powers and what happened when America’s third president decided to stand up to intimidation.

When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, America was deeply in debt and needed its economy to grow quickly, but its merchant ships were under attack. Pirates from North Africa routinely captured American sailors and held them as captives demanding ransom and tribute far beyond what the new country could afford.

Jefferson found it impossible to negotiate a truce, and decided to move beyond diplomacy. He sent the U.S. Navy and Marines to blockade Tripoli—launching the Barbary Wars and beginning America’s journey toward future superpower status.

This vivid and accessible young readers adaptation of the New York Times bestseller features an exclusive new introduction, extensive back matter, and eye-catching art throughout. Chronicling a crucial moment in American history, this historical thriller will excite and inspire the next generation of patriots.

Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk, Penguin Young Readers Group, April 21

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The Newbery Honor–winning author of Wolf Hollow and Beyond the Bright Sea returns with the story of an unforgettable young heroine in Depression-era Maine.

“Brilliant.” –Lynda Mullaly Hunt, bestselling author of Fish in a Tree

When the Great Depression takes almost everything they own, Ellie’s family is forced to leave their home in town and start over in the untamed forests of nearby Echo Mountain. Ellie has found a welcome freedom, and a love of the natural world, in her new life on the mountain. But there is little joy, even for Ellie, as her family struggles with the aftermath of an accident that has left her father in a coma. An accident unfairly blamed on Ellie.

Determined to help her father, Ellie will make her way to the top of the mountain in search of the healing secrets of a woman known only as “the hag.” But the hag, and the mountain, still have many untold stories left to reveal and, with them, a fresh chance at happiness.

Echo Mountain is celebration of finding your own path and becoming your truest self. Newbery Honor– and Scott O’Dell Award–winning author Lauren Wolk weaves a stunning tale of resilience, persistence, and friendship across three generations of families, set against the rough and ragged beauty of the mountain they all call home.

Ways to Make Sunshine by Renee Watson, Bloombury USA, April 28

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From Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Renée Watson comes the first book in a young middle grade series about Ryan Hart, a girl who is pure spirit, kindness, and sunshine.

Ryan Hart has a lot on her mind—school, self-image, and especially family. Her dad finally has a new job, but money is tight. That means some changes, like selling their second car and moving into a new (old) house. But Ryan is a girl who knows how to make sunshine out of setbacks. As her brother says when he raps about her, she’s got the talent that matters most: it’s a talent that can’t be seen, she’s nice, not mean!

Ryan is all about trying to see the best in people, to be a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend. But even if her life isn’t everything she would wish for, when her big brother is infuriating, her parents don’t quite understand, and the unexpected happens, she always finds a way forward, with grace and wit. And plenty of sunshine.

Acclaimed author Renée Watson writes her own version of Ramona Quimby, one starring a Black girl and her family, in this start to a charming new series.

Living the Confidence Code: Real Girls, Real Stories, Real Confidence by Katty Kay, Claire Shipman and JillEllyn Riley, HarperCollins Publishers, April 28.

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New from the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling authors of The Confidence Code for Girls!

The best way to understand confidence is to see it in action. That’s why bestselling authors Katty Kay, Claire Shipman, and JillEllyn Riley have collected 30 true stories of real girls, pursuing their passions, struggling and stumbling, but along the way figuring out how to build their own special brand of confidence.

From Bali to Brazil, South Africa to Seattle, Australia to Afghanistan, these girls took risks, doubted themselves, and sometimes failed. But they also hung in there when things got hard. Along the way they discovered what matters to them: everything from protesting contaminated water to championing inclusive books to the accessibility of girls’ basketball shoes, and so much more.

Different goals, different stories, different personalities, all illustrating the multitude of ways to be confident in the world.

Packed with photos, graphic novel strips, and engaging interviews, Living the Confidence Code proves that no matter who you are, or how old you are, nothing is out of reach when you decide to try. Join this growing global community of powerful girls and imagine—what would you like to do, once you tap into your confidence? How will you write your story?

Hunger Winter: A World War II Novel by Rob Currie, Tyndale Publishers

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The thrilling story of one boy’s quest to find his father and protect his younger sister during the great Dutch famine of World War II.
“Sometimes you have to take a chance, because it’s the only chance you have.”

Thirteen-year-old Dirk has been the man of the house since his papa disappeared while fighting against the Nazis with the Dutch Resistance. When the Gestapo arrests Dirk’s older sister, who is also a Resistance fighter, Dirk fears that he and his little sister, Anna, might be next.

With only pockets full of food and his sister asleep in his arms, Dirk runs away to find his father. As Dirk leads Anna across the war-torn Netherlands, from farmyards to work camps, he must rely on his wits and his father’s teaching to find his way.

Julie K. Rubini on FacebookJulie K. Rubini on InstagramJulie K. Rubini on LinkedinJulie K. Rubini on TwitterJulie K. Rubini on Wordpress
Julie K. Rubini
Julie K. Rubini is the author three MG biographies, including, Eye to Eye: Sports Journalist Christine Brennan, Virginia Hamilton: America's Storyteller, (Bank Street College of Education's Best Children's Books, 2018, Outstanding Merit) and Missing Millie Benson: The Secret Case of the Nancy Drew Ghostwriter and Hidden Ohio. Upcoming: Psychology: Why We Smile, Strive and Sing, June 2020. Julie is also the Founder of Claire's Day, Ohio's largest children's book festival.
www.julierubini.com and www.clairesday.org
1 Comment
  1. Thanks for sharing these. I will spotlight some of them in a book giveaway hop that I am doing at my blog in April.