February New Releases

February is here, and it’s a leap year, which means you have a extra day to fill. Why not grab one of these New Releases to help you celebrate?  Realistic, Historical, Fantasy, Graphic Novels, Lyric Novels, even Horror – there’s a book for every reader this month.

 

 

The Liars Society by Alyson Gerber

The Inheritance Games and One of Us is Lying for middle grade — beloved author Alyson Gerber’s new series is an unforgettable mystery featuring a secret society, a mysterious island, and dangerous family secrets.

Weatherby is a fish out of water. When she lands a scholarship to the prestigious Boston School, she’s excited to be in the same world as her dad, whom she’s never met, and make real friends. But Weatherby has a secret she’ll risk everything to protect, one that could destroy her new life.

Every member of Jack’s wealthy and privileged family has made their mark at the Boston School. Everyone, that is, except for Jack, who is entirely mediocre. He’s desperate to prove his worth to his influential father. But Jack has a secret of his own . . . one with the power to ruin everything.

When the money for their school trip to a private island–exclusive to Boston students–is stolen, Jack and Weatherby are invited to play a high-stakes game and solve the mystery of the missing money. If they win, they’ll be selected to join the oldest, most powerful secret society in the world–and they’ll be Boston royalty forever. If they lose . . . well, they better not lose.

Beloved author Alyson Gerber crafts an unforgettable mystery that asks–are some secrets and lies impossible to overcome?

 

 

Lost Kites and Other Treasures by Cathy Carr 

Cathy Carr’s Lost Kites and Other Treasures is a moving and heartfelt middle-grade novel about mental illness, the transformative power of art, and the ever-changing complications and joys of family life.

“Sincere and funny . . . leaves readers with a sense of hope.” Sara Zarr, author of A Song Called Home

“Will be treasured by readers everywhere.” –Megan E. Freeman, award-winning author of Alone

Twelve-year-old Franny Petroski never lets anyone know how often she thinks of the charismatic, troubled mom who left her years ago–any more than she talks about the unaccountable things Mom did while she was still in the picture. Life with Nana is safe and secure, and Franny’s innovative art projects fill in any lonesome times.

But when Nana has an accident and Franny’s estranged uncle comes home to help out for a while, some long-guarded family secrets come to light. Franny has to use all of her courage, as well as all of her creativity, to come to terms with the discoveries she makes about her mother–and herself.

 

 

 

 

The School for Invisible Boys by Shaun David Hutchinson

What would you do if no one could see you? In this surreal adventure, a boy who is used to being overlooked literally becomes invisible, only to realize there may be far more dangerous threats in his school than bullies.

Sixth grade takes a turn for the weird when Hector Griggs discovers he has the ability to turn invisible. Sure, ever since Hector’s former best friend Blake started bullying him, he’s been feeling like he just wants to disappear…but he never thought he actually would. And then, Hector meets another invisible boy, Orson Wellington, who has an ominous warning: “I’m stuck here. Stuck like this. It’s been years. The gelim’s hunting me and it’ll get you, too.”

It turns out, there is more than meets the eye at St. Lawrence’s Catholic School for Boys, and if Hector is going to save Orson–and himself–from the terrifying creature preying on students’ loneliness and fear, he’ll need to look deeper. With the help of a mysterious new classmate, Sam, can Hector unravel the mysteries haunting his school, and discover that sometimes it takes disappearing to really be seen?

 

 

 

 

Waverider: A Graphic Novel (Amulet #9) by Kazu Kibuishi

The highly anticipated, thrilling conclusion to Kazu Kibuishi’s #1 New York Times bestselling series!

After her confrontation with Ikol, Emily finally understands the stone’s power and what she must do to defend Alledia from the shadows. As she travels to Typhon to help her mom and Navin, Prince Trellis returns to the Kingdom of the Elves to save his countrymen — and confront the fraud who has seized power in the absence of a king. The threat of darkness follows all Stonekeepers closely, and it will take the strength of both new friends and old foes to conquer it… and survive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not the Worst Friend in the World by Anne Rellihan

Can Lou Bennett keep a secret? She’ll do just about anything to prove herself to her new friend–and the best friend she betrayed–in this debut novel that is a modern-day Harriet the Spy with high emotional stakes.

It’s the thirty-fourth day of sixth grade at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Missouri, and eleven-year-old Lou wishes she could rewind time.

Lou wants to go back to the ninth day of sixth grade–the day before she fought with her best friend Francie and said the terrible, horrible things she can’t unsay. Or better yet, she would go back to fifth grade when Francie was still the Old Francie.

Then the new girl, Cece Clark-Duncan, passes Lou a mysterious note. It says she was kidnapped. (!) If Lou can help Cece, maybe she can prove she’s not the world’s worst friend.

But as observant Lou uncovers the complicated truth about Cece’s family, she starts to panic. Can she help Cece without hurting her? Or will Lou end up losing another friend instead?

Anchored by an outstanding voice and a page-turning mystery, this remarkable debut novel honors the powerful middle school friendships that can both break and heal a tender eleven-year-old heart. Perfect for fans of Fish in a Tree and My Jasper June.

 

 

Mihi Ever After: Off the Rails by Tae Keller (Author) and Geraldine Rodríguez (Illustrator)

Mihi and her friends are heading back to the Rainbow Realm–and this time, they have to save the princess.

Mihi, Reese, and Savannah thought their fairy tale realm adventures were over. But just as they were getting ready to go home, they learn that their first friend in the realm, Princess Pat, has disappeared on a quest of her own. Pat is traveling around the fairy world trying to gather enough magic to save the Rainbow Realm, but the journey is too dangerous, and Mihi, Reese, and Savannah are the only ones that can save her.

But as the girls chase after Princess Pat, they meet creatures and learn stories they’ve never heard of before, from cultures all over the world. And slowly, they realize Princess Pat might be the problem. Can they save the fairy tale world from their friend’s destructive quest?

 

 

 

 

 

Across So Many Seas by Ruth Behar

Spanning over 500 years, Pura Belpré Award winner Ruth Behar’s epic novel tells the stories of four girls from different generations of a Jewish family, many of them forced to leave their country and start a new life.

In 1492, during the Spanish Inquisition, Benvenida and her family are banished from Spain for being Jewish, and must flee the country or be killed. They journey by foot and by sea, eventually settling in Istanbul.

Over four centuries later, in 1923, shortly after the Turkish war of independence, Reina’s father disowns her for a small act of disobedience. He ships her away to live with an aunt in Cuba, to be wed in an arranged marriage when she turns fifteen.

In 1961, Reina’s daughter, Alegra, is proud to be a brigadista, teaching literacy in the countryside for Fidel Castro. But soon Castro’s crackdowns force her to flee to Miami all alone, leaving her parents behind.

Finally, in 2003, Alegra’s daughter, Paloma, is fascinated by all the journeys that had to happen before she could be born. A keeper of memories, she’s thrilled by the opportunity to learn more about her heritage on a family trip to Spain, where she makes a momentous discovery.

Though many years and many seas separate these girls, they are united by a love of music and poetry, a desire to belong and to matter, a passion for learning, and their longing for a home where all are welcome. And each is lucky to stand on the shoulders of their courageous ancestors.

 

 

The Happy Shop by Brittany Long Olsen

Eleven-year-old Darcy thinks she’s found the answer to her problems when she discovers a store selling happy feelings. But is happiness really the only emotion people need? A heartwarming middle-grade graphic novel debut for fans of Inside Out and Pilu of the Woods about understanding the value in all feelings.

Welcome to the Happy Shop!

Eleven-year-old Darcy just moved to a new country. She’s feeling lost and misses her friends back home. That’s when she stumbles upon a shop full of mysterious glowing jars labeled with things like “Picking up the last sweater on the rack and it’s on sale” and “Having the perfect weather on your wedding day.” Much to Darcy’s surprise-this store sells happy feelings.

After Darcy accidentally breaks one of the irreplaceable jars, she must make it up to the shopkeepers, Frida and Flora, by doing chores around the store, and is soon tasked with collecting happy feelings. But she learns that the magical business is anything but magical. With fewer customers than ever, Frida and Flora might have to close their doors. Can Darcy think of an idea to save the Happy Shop? What if they sold more than just happy felings?

From debut writer and illustrator Brittany Long Olsen comes The Happy Shop, a heartfelt story about helping those you love and understanding your feelings.

 

 

Bumps in the Night by Amalie Howard 

The creepy middle grade debut from USA Today bestselling author Amalie Howard in which a girl stays with her grandmother in Trinidad for the summer and discovers that she comes from a long line of powerful witches.

Darika “Rika” Lovelace is in trouble. The kind of trouble that sends her to her grandmother’s estate in Trinidad for the whole summer. But something about the island feels…different. As soon as she steps off the plane, strange things start happening!

Rika meets a group of kids called Minders, who seem to have elemental powers. Even worse, she can sense jumbies lurking in the shadows. Needless to say, she wants a ticket home. But when the Minders let slip that her long-lost mom is in danger, she knows she can’t leave.

Thrust into a magical adventure involving bloodcurdling monsters, a supernatural silk cotton tree, and an endless maze, Rika must defeat the fearsome jumbie king to save her family and new friends. But unless she learns to believe in herself, she’ll never beat him or escape his twisted maze.

 

 

 

The Partition Project by Saadia Faruqi

In this engaging and moving middle grade novel, Saadia Faruqi writes about a contemporary Pakistani American girl whose passion for journalism starts a conversation about her grandmother’s experience of the Partition of India and Pakistan–and the bond that the two form as she helps Dadi tell her story.

When her grandmother comes off the airplane in Houston from Pakistan, Mahnoor knows that having Dadi move in is going to disrupt everything about her life. She doesn’t have time to be Dadi’s unofficial babysitter–her journalism teacher has announced that their big assignment will be to film a documentary, which feels more like storytelling than what Maha would call “journalism.”

As Dadi starts to settle into life in Houston and Maha scrambles for a subject for her documentary, the two of them start talking. About Dadi’s childhood in northern India–and about the Partition that forced her to leave her home and relocate to the newly created Pakistan.

As details of Dadi’s life are revealed, Dadi’s personal story feels a lot more like the breaking news that Maha loves so much. And before she knows it, she has the subject of her documentary.

 

 

 

 

King Bro! by  Jenny Jägerfeld (Author) and  B. J. Woodstein (Translator)

A touching and humorous middle grade novel about transgender friendship and the right to be who you are.

It’s summertime for eleven-year-old Marcus goes with his mother to a new city, where she’ll be working for the summer. Marcus is looking forward to it because he knows he can be himself there–the person he really is.

Within the first day of arriving, Marcus meets Mikkel, a neighborhood boy who looks totally dangerous with his aggressive and energetic appearance, and with his body full of tattoos. It turns out the tattoos are made by Mikkel’s brother and are actually in Indian ink, but still. Mikkel challenges Marcus in a number of skateboard tricks (both are addictive skateboarders), and after a crash where Mikkel helps Marcus, they become best friends. Blood brothers–bros!–something that means you’ll do anything for each other and always tell the truth.

But Marcus is struggling with a specific issue. Should he tell Mikkel this special thing, something that effects Marcus’ whole life? Marcus was at birth assigned a female gender, although Marcus has always known he is a boy. It is just the others around him who have a hard time understanding, including his friends at school, his grandma, and his father.

King Bro! is an emotional, poignant look at knowing who you are, but struggle with knowing how you’ll be accepted for being your true self.

 

See anything you like? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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Patricia Bailey
Patricia Bailey is the author of the middle-grade historical novel The Tragically True Adventures of Kit Donovan. She blogs here and at her website www.patriciabaileyauthor.com.
2 Comments
  1. I love your list. There’s so many good books on it. The Partition Project, Lost Kites and Other Treasures, and Across the Many Seas sound especially interesting. I’m bookmarking this post so I can feature some of these books in a book giveaway hop. Thanks.

    • It really is a good month for new Middle Grade, isn’t it? I’m glad you found some you like. I hope your book giveaway hop goes well! 🙂

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