April Showers New Books on Middle-Grade Readers!

It’s raining awesome new middle-grade titles for young readers! This month’s releases include fantasy, adventures, a memoir, a fun creative art book, fascinating book on the octopus, and a collection of stories from award-winning authors. Check them out!

The Deadlands: Survival by Skye Melki-Wegner, Henry Holt Books, April 2.

Wings of Fire meets Jurassic Park in the thrilling finale of this action-adventure series about five outcasts—and former enemies—who are the only hope to save their warring dinosaur kingdoms from impending doom.As bloody battle rages between the two surviving dinosaur kingdoms, Eleri and the other young exiles—including a peppy stegosaur, a stoic sauropod, a testy triceratops, and a mysterious spy—have temporarily thwarted the Carrion Kingdom, a conniving cabal of carnivores, and destroyed their secret stronghold.

Fearing that their cunning enemies will soon regroup and seek vengeance, the exiles must risk their lives by returning home to unite and lead the war-torn herds that turned their backs on them into one final, all-out battle for the very future of the land of Cretacea. Will they convince their kingdoms to follow them into battle against the true enemy, or will Cretacea be overrun by an army of predators?

Running in Flip-Flops From the End of the World, by justin a. reynolds, Scholastic, April 2

A hilarious middle-grade from justin a. reynolds that asks: What happens when five unsupervised kids face the apocalypse under outrageously silly circumstances?

When twelve-year-old Eddie Gordon Holloway and his friends are left home from Beach Bash, aka the greatest party of the year, only to realize that everyone in town has disappeared without a trace, they do what any smart, responsible kids would do . . . have the best day ever!

No parental supervision sounds fun for a while, but forever is a long time. And soon the gang starts to notice strange things happening around town, and they’re only getting stranger. They have to figure out what happened to their families. It seems like getting to the beach will answer all their questions . . . but the only problem is that some mysterious force seems determined to prevent them from making it there.

Eddie knows that this is a clear sign — obviously they should be focused on having as much fun as possible for as long as possible. But everyone deals with the fear differently, and soon the friendships begin to fracture. Can Eddie find a way to get all his friends on the same page? And will they ever make it to the beach?

Lightning Born (Storm Dragons Book 1) by Julie Kagawa, Disney Hyperion, April 2

In a world in the clouds where only the rich own dragons, a poor boy named Remy finds a wild baby dragon–believed to be extinct–and becomes the focus of an evil pirate’s vengeance.

REMY spends his days trying to survive the mean streets of Cutthroat Wedge–one of the many islands floating in the gravitational pull of the magical Maelstrom raging below. But his life changes forever when a violent storm brings a baby dragon to his doorstep, and he feels a bond he has never felt with anyone. Remy names the dragon Storm and vows to protect this new friend, no matter the cost.

GEM longs for the day when she call herself a true mage. That is, if she can convince her teachers and peers that just because she’s a princess doesn’t mean she’s lazy and spoiled. But when Gem learns that the floating islands that make up her kingdom are rapidly sinking into the Maelstrom, she makes it her mission to save her world. Against the king’s wishes, she accesses forbidden research and discovers the secret to saving humanity may lie in a True Dragon–a dragon capable of intelligent thought and able to cast and use magic. But True Dragons are extinct . . . aren’t they?

Remy’s and Gem’s lives will never be the same when their fates collide, thanks to Storm. With an evil pirate mage named Jhaeros determined to claim the rare dragon for himself, the two must learn to trust in each other as they team up with a shifty pirate captain and her crew, stand together against impossible odds, and embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

Make Art With Nature: Find Inspiration and Materials from Nature, by Pippa Pixley, DK Publishing, April 9

Artist Pippa Pixley shows children how to make amazing art with materials found in nature in this hands-on book.

Get creative and make incredible pieces of art using rocks, wood, berries, flowers, and leaves in this nature craft book for children.

Find out how the very earth beneath your feet can be used to make paints and pastels, and how flowers can be repurposed to create inks. Children can learn how to pour paint onto a canvas, how to put pencil to paper and draw, how bits of old paper can make a beautiful collage, and how different mediums can come together to create incredible prints through nature.

Three Summers: A Memoir of Sisterhood, Summer Crushes, and Growing Up on the Eve of War, Written by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess and Laura L. Sullivan, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, April 9

An epic middle-grade memoir about sisterhood and coming-of-age in the three years leading up to the Bosnian Genocide.

Three Summers is the story of five young cousins who grow closer than sisters as ethnic tensions escalate over three summers in 1980s Bosnia. They navigate the joys and pitfalls of adolescence on their family’s little island in the middle of the Una River. When finally confronted with the harsh truths of the adult world around them, their bond gives them the resilience to discover and hold fast to their true selves.

Written with incredible warmth and tenderness, Amra Sabic-El-Rayess takes readers on a journey that will break their hearts and put them back together again.

 

 

The Incredible Octopus: Meet the Eight-Armed Wonder of the Sea, by Erin Spencer, Storey Publishing, April 16

Packed with mesmerizing undersea photography, this book invites kids to explore the fascinating behavior and intelligence of this remarkable creature of the deep.

The Incredible Octopus combines amazing photos with in-depth facts to get kids aged 7 and up excited about octopuses and the underwater world in which they live. Readers are introduced to the fascinating biology of the octopus, from its 3 hearts and 9 brains to suction cups and how they work, and learn all about what it’s like to be an octopus: how they use camouflage and ink, what they eat, and how they reproduce (nests and eggs!). The book also explores the intelligence and playfulness of this animal–and, of course, the famous stories of octopuses who escaped their tanks. Readers will meet 13 different species of octopuses and find out what makes them unique, from the most venomous and best disguised to the deepest and coldest. They’ll also get a glimpse into exciting octopus research, technology inspired by octopuses, and ways to help conserve our oceans.

The Door is Open: Stories of Celebration and Community by 11 Desi Voices by Hena Khan,  Veera Hiranandani, Supriya Kelkar, Maulik Pancholy, Simran Jeet Singh, Aisha Saeed, Reem Faruqi, Rajani Larocca, Naheed Hasnat,  Sayantani Dasgupta, Mitali Perkins, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, April 23

Discover stories of fear, triumph, and spectacular celebration in the fictional town of Maple Grove, New Jersey, where the local kids gather at the community center to discover new crushes, fight against ignorance, and even save a life.

Cheer for Chaya as she wins chess tournaments (unlike Andrew, she knows stupid sugary soda won’t make you better at chess), and follow as Jeevan learns how to cook traditional food (it turns out he can cook sabji– he just can’t eat it).

These stories, edited by bestselling and award-winning Pakistani-American author Hena Khan, are filled with humor, warmth, and possibility. They showcase a diverse array of talented authors with heritage from the Indian subcontinent, including beloved favorites and rising stars, who each highlight the beauty and necessity of a community center that everyone calls home.

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. Julie authored Psychology: Why We Smile, Strive and Sing, and served as editor on Virginia Hamilton: Five Novels for the Library of America. 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. Looks like some really fun books coming out this month. Thanks for highlighting them all.

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