Happy July!! What goes best with fireworks, sparklers, and the All-American hot dog? Why a great book, of course! Check out the new releases for July. They are sure to “light up” your summer.
Shark Wars #4: Kingdom of the Deep (Razorbill) – Ernie Altbacker
Peace has finally come to the Big Blue and with it a revelation: Gray is not the last megalodon in the ocean after all. Gray swims deeper into the mystery of his family heritage, uncovering the myth of the megalodons and a legend that goes back to prehistoric times. But when the scheming mako Velenka breaks free from her underwater prison, the peace Gray and Barkley have fought so hard to win is threatened.
Capture the Flag (Scholastic Press) – Kate Messner
Three kids get caught up in an adventure of historic proportions!
Anna, José, and Henry are complete strangers with more in common than they realize. Snowed in together at a chaotic Washington D.C. airport, they encounter a mysterious tattooed man, a flamboyant politician, and a rambunctious poodle named for an ancient king. Even stranger, news stations everywhere have announced that the famous flag that inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner” has been stolen! Anna, certain that the culprits must be snowed in too, recruits Henry and José to help catch the thieves and bring them to justice.But when accusations start flying, they soon realize there’s more than justice at stake. As the snow starts clearing, Anna, José, and Henry find themselves in a race against time (and the weather!) to prevent the loss of an American treasure.
Sailing to Freedom (Henry Holt and Co. BFYR) – Martha Bennett Stiles
When Ray Ingle asks his Uncle Thad if he can go to sea with him, he knows his parents won’t like it. But they’re not around, and anything is better than staying with mean old Uncle Slye! To Ray’s great surprise, Uncle Thad agrees to take him on, and soon Ray and his pet capuchin monkey Allie are helping out in the galley of The Newburyport Beauty.
Ray knows Cook used to be a slave, though now he’s free. But when Ray discovers what Cook is hiding in the kitchen pantry, he gets more involved with the question of slavery than he ever could have imagined!
The Guardians of Island X #2 (The Ship of Lost Souls) (Grosset & Dunlap) by Rachelle Delaney and Gerald Guerlais
It’s been one month since Scarlet McCray brought her crew, the Lost Souls, to Island X to guard a great treasure. Everyone has settled in nicely. But the pirates are coming. They can’t resist the lure of unknown treasure, and they want revenge on Scarlet and the Lost Souls. But Scarlet has a new problem: someone she never thought she’d see again is on the island. He’s an admiral with the King’s Men, he’s dangerous, and he’s her father.
Small Medium at Large (Bloomsbury USA) — Joanne Levy
After she’s hit by lightning at a wedding, twelve-year-old Lilah Bloom develops a new talent: she can hear dead people. Among them, there’s her overopinionated Bubby Dora; a prissy fashion designer; and an approval-seeking clown who livens up a séance. With Bubby Dora leading the way, these and other sweetly imperfect ghosts haunt Lilah through seventh grade, and help her face her one big fear: talking to—and possibly going to the seventh-grade dance with—her crush, Andrew Finkel.
Invasion of the Appleheads: Deadtime Stories (Starscape) — Annette Cascone and Gina Cascone
Katie and Andy Lawrence thought moving to a new town—especially one named Appleton—was awful enough. They were wrong. When their parents take them to Appleton’s famous apple orchard for a haunted hayride, weird things start happening.
The ghouls who haunt the orchard seem spookily real. The kids they see are acting very strangely, like robots or…zombies. Then Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence disappear—and in their place, Katie and Andy find creepy shrunken applehead dolls! Now Katie and Andy have to find a way to turn their parents back to normal—before it’s too late!
Haunted Histories: Creepy Castles, Dark Dungeons, and Powerful Palaces (Henry Holt & Company) -J. H. Everett and Marilyn Scott-Waters
Guided by tween “ghostorian” Virgil, readers will discover fascinating facts about calamitous events throughout history as they explore castles, palaces and dungeons and those infamous figures associated with each. For instance, did you know that many castles were made out of wood painted to look like stone? Or that wealthy prisoners in the Tower of London could keep servants? The book is chock-full of details that kids will find intriguing–dungeon life for prisoners, methods of turture, and even the most popular methods of poisoning enemies. So join Virgil and the other ghostly inhabitants for an historical adventure on the dark side.
The Scorpions of Zahir (Delacorte BFYR) — Christine Brodien-Jones and Kelly Murphy
Zagora Pym has always wanted to be a desert explorer. Her father, Charlie Pym, is exactly that, and she’s always loved to look over his maps of far away exotic places. One day she’d be trekking through the deserts of Africa and China, discovering hidden treasures from lost tribes. But Zagora would never have guessed that her chance to prove herself would come so soon. Like most adventures, it starts with a mysterious letter. The question is, how will this adventure end?
Zagora’s dreams of desert exploration are about to come true, but are she and her father and brother being followed? And will they ever make it back to civilization?
Graveyard Shift (Scholastic Press) – Chris Westwood
When Ben Harvester meets the mysterious Mr. October in London’s Highgate Cemetery, he has no idea what a strange and dramatic turn his life is about to take. But Ben soon discovers that Mr. October works for the Ministry of Pandemonium, a secret organization responsible for tracking down lost souls and guiding them to the afterlife. And Mr. October wants him to be his new recruit.
As Ben’s apprenticeship begins, his eyes are opened to a new world of wonder — a world where magic is real and ghosts haunt every crime scene, accident site, and hospital corridor. But with the wonder comes horror. Because the Ministry is not the only organization hunting spirits of the dead. The ghoulish Lords of Sundown want those spirits for their own sinister reasons. And as far as they’re concerned, Ben’s just chosen the wrong side in a very dangerous war.
Wings of Fire #1: The Dragonet Prophecy (Scholastic Press) – Tui T. Sutherland
The seven dragon tribes have been at war for generations, locked in an endless battle over an ancient, lost treasure. A secret movement called the Talons of Peace is determined to bring an end to the fighting, with the help of a prophecy — a foretelling that calls for great sacrifice. Five dragonets are collected to fulfill the prophecy, raised in a hidden cave and enlisted, against their will, to end the terrible war.
But not every dragonet wants a destiny. And when the select five escape their underground captors to look for their original homes, what has been unleashed on the dragon world may be far more than the revolutionary planners intended . . .
Big Nate Fun Blaster: Cheezy Doodles, Crazy Comix, and Loads of Laughs! (Harper Collins) – Lincoln Peirce
Big Nate is an American comic strip written and illustrated by Lincoln Peirce. The strip is about a boy named Nate Wright, a rebellious and energetic sixth-grader, and his classmates and teachers. Nate is portrayed as a boy with little interest in studies or conforming to standards. Because of this, he is no stranger to the detention room. Some of the staff at the school include Mrs. Godfrey (Nate’s social studies teacher and chief faculty nemesis), art teacher Mr. Rosa, Principal Nichols, Mrs. Shipulski, and Mrs. Czerwicki. Nate’s best friends include Francis Pope and Teddy Ortiz. In recent strips they formed a garage band named Enslave the Mollusk, which appears to have broken up. The character is also the focus of a virtual island in the online children’s game Poptropica. Four chapter books have been released with at least one more planned. The first in a series of collections of previously published comic strips is also available.
Sammy Keyes and the Power of Justice Jack (Knopf BFYR) – Wendelin Van Draanen
Sammy thought she’d seen all the weirdness her town had to offer—and then she met Justice Jack, Santa Martina’s very own superhero. Well, really he’s just a guy in spandex and a mask who rides around town on a dirt bike, hoping to find some crime to fight.
The old folks in town think he’s wonderful. So wonderful that they’ve asked him to track down Sammy’s neighbor Mrs. Wedgewood, who seems to have disappeared—along with a lot of other people’s cash. Sammy’s friends think Justice Jack is funny and cool. Billy Pratt’s even auditioning to be his sidekick! But Sammy thinks he’s kind of . . . lame. He’s more of a showstopper than a crime stopper. And when a real mystery comes along, Sammy finds herself right in the middle of it. . . .
Secrets from the Sleeping Bag: A Blogtastic! Novel (Delacorte BFYR) – Rose Cooper (From one of our very own MUF members!!)
This is not just any notebook. This is my super-secret Pre-Blogging Notebook! This is where I’ll write all the super-juicy gossip rumors stuff I hear this summer so I can post about it later on my anonymous Blogtastic blog! After all, I wouldn’t want to forget any important details, or accidentally post wrong information. Who knows how many problems that might cause?
Guys Read: The Sports Pages (Walden Pond Press) -Jon Scieszka, Gordon Korman, Chris Rylander and Dan Gutman
Open up The Sports Pages, the third volume in the Guys Read Library of Great Reading, and you’re in for all of this and more. From fiction to nonfiction, from baseball to mixed martial arts and everything in between, these are ten stories about the rush of victory and the crush of defeat on and off the field. Compiled by kid-lit all-star Jon Scieszka, Guys Read: The Sports Pages is a thrilling collection of brand-new short stories from some of your favorite authors and athletes.
Goosebumps Wanted: The Haunted Mask (Scholastic Paperbacks) – R.L. Stine
For the first time ever, Goosebumps is in hard cover! Catch the series’ most notorious characters–undead or alive…
Lu-Ann Franklin usually loves Halloween. Not this year. Her best friend, Devin O’Bannon, is going away for the week. And she has to go to a boring party where nothing exciting could ever happen. But when Lu-Ann comes face-to-face with The Haunted Mask, major trouble lies ahead.
Devin O’Bannon didn’t want to leave his best friend Lu-Ann Franklin behind on Halloween. He didn’t ask to go on this trip. And that was before he heard the strange scratching on his windows and saw the shadows moving around in the fields. Something is out there and it doesn’t seem to want Devin around!
Fairy Tales, Folk-tales and Myths
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell (Little, Brown BFYR) — Chris Colfer
The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.
Legends: Tricks and Transformations (Kingfisher) — Anthony Horowitz
Myths and legends are full of stories of the transformation of humans and animals into other things through the magical intervention of the Gods. From better-known characters like Actaeon, the famous Greek huntsman who was doomed to become a stag forever chased by his own dogs, and Glaucus, the fisherman who became a fish himself, only to fall hopelessly in love with a naiad, to the Japanese tale of the Goddess Amaterasu, who created the first eclipse when she hid herself in a cave and more, this collection proves that all is never what it seems when it comes to the affairs of the Gods.
Of Giants and Ice (Ever Afters) (Simon and Schuster BFYR) – Shelby Bach
Rory Landon has spent her whole life being known as the daughter of a famous movie star mom and director dad. So when she begins a new after-school program and no one knows who her family is, Rory realizes something is different. And after she ends up fighting a fire-breathing dragon on her first day, she realizes the situation is more unusual than she could have imagined. It turns out the only fame that matters at Ever After School is the kind of fame earned from stories Rory thought were fictional. But as Rory soon learns, fairy tales are very real—and she is destined to star in one of her own.
Artemis Fowl: The Last Guardian (Hyperion Books) — Eion Colfer
Seemingly nothing in this world daunts the young criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl. In the fairy world, however, there is a small thing that has gotten under his skin on more than one occasion: Opal Koboi. In The Last Guardian, the evil pixie is wreaking havoc yet again. This time his arch rival has reanimated dead fairy warriors who were buried in the grounds of Fowl Manor. Their spirits have possessed Artemis’s little brothers, making his siblings even more annoying than usual. The warriors don’t seem to realize that the battle they were fighting when they died is long over. Artemis has until sunrise to get the spirits to vacate his brothers and go back into the earth where they belong. Can he count on a certain LEPrecon fairy to join him in what could well be his last stand?
Basher Science: Technology: A byte-sized world! (Kingfisher) — Dan Green and Simon Basher
From the bestselling illustrator whose friendly take on science has revolutionized our understanding of everything from the periodic table to the universe, comes a fresh take on technology as only Basher can do it. Discover the secrets behind the devices we take for granted, and learn about the amazing inventions that have transformed our lives. From the Movers and Shakers who power our physical world, to the Gizmos, Home Bodies, and High Rollers who power our vehicles, entertainment, and smartphones—and pretty much everything else around us—Technology is a compelling guide to the big-bytes whiz-kids, powerhouse motors, and other characters who drive our inventive, highly engineered world.
Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)) by Phillip Hoose
B95 is a robin-sized shorebird, a red knot of the subspecies rufa. Each February he joins a flock that lifts off from Tierra del Fuego, headed for breeding grounds in the Canadian Arctic, nine thousand miles away. Late in the summer, he begins the return journey. He wears a black band on his lower right leg and an orange flag on his upper left, bearing the laser inscription B95. Scientists call him the Moonbird because, in the course of his astoundingly long lifetime, this gritty, four-ounce marathoner has flown the distance to the moon—and halfway back!
Potatoes on Rooftops: Farming in the City (Annick Press) — Hadley Dyer
All around the world, people are farming in the concrete jungle! The urban farming movement is rapidly gaining widespread acceptance. Now it’s time for kids to be a part of it, too! With a minimum of equipment and whether alone or with friends, kids can start growing fruit and vegetables at home, in a community garden, or at school.
Flying the Dragon (Charlesbridge) — Natalie Dias Lorenzi and Kelly Murphy Show
Flying the Dragon tells the story of two cousins in alternating chapters. American-born Skye is a good student and a star soccer player who never really gives any thought to the fact that her father is Japanese. Her cousin, Hiroshi, lives in Japan, and never really gives a thought to his uncleÂ’s family living in the U.S. Their lives are thrown together when HiroshiÂ’s family, with his grandfather (who is also his best friend), have to move to the U.S. suddenly. Skye resents that she is now Â“not Japanese enough,Â” and yet the friends sheÂ’s known forever abruptly realize she is Â“other.Â” Hiroshi has a hard time adjusting to life in a new culture, and resents SkyeÂ’s intrusions on his time with Grandfather. Through all of this is woven HiroshiÂ’s expertise, and SkyeÂ’s growing interest in, kite making and competitive kite flying, culminating in a contest at the annual Washington Cherry Blossom Festival.
About Average (Atheneum Books for Young Readers ) — Andrew Clements and Mark Elliott
Can average be amazing? A girl challenges herself to become extraordinary in the latest from bestselling author Andrew Clements.
Jordan Johnston is average. Not short, not tall. Not plump, not slim. Not blond, not brunette. Not gifted, not flunking out. Even her shoe size is average. She’s ordinary for her school, for her town, for even the whole wide world, it seems.
Cool Down (Pool Girls) (Simon Spotlight) — Cassie Waters
Labor Day is just around the corner. Swim team is over, and many of the Riverside Swim Club regulars have gone away for the last days of summer. And some kids are returning from their summer vacations—kids like Nikki Angelo. Nikki is just the kind of funny and carefree friend Christina is looking for now that Grace has shown her true colors, and it isn’t long before Christina and Nikki become super close. But when Nikki starts bending the rules, Christina starts getting into major trouble. Will Christina realize who her real friends are before it’s too late?
Read All About It! (Dear Know-It-All) (Simon Spotlight) — Rachel Wise
Rachel Wise loves to give advice. When she’s not editing or writing children’s books, which she does full-time at a publisher in New York, she’s reading advice columns in newspapers, magazines, and blogs, and is always sure her advice would be better! Her dream is to someday have her own talk show, where she could share her wisdom with millions of people at once; but for now she’s happy to dole out advice in small portions in Dear Know-It-All books.
The Friendship Matchmaker (Walker Childrens) — Randa Abdel-Fattah
Lara Zany is known throughout the school yard as the Friendship Matchmaker—kids call on her expertise and follow her hard-and-fast rules to find best friendships. Lara’s documented everything from friendship categories (the BOBF, or Bus Only Best Friend; the TL, or Total Loner; the LBC, or Loner By Choice) to strategies (BJF, or the Bungee Jump Friend; FTFP, or Field Trip Faux Pas). But when new kid in school Emily Wong questions Lara’s methods, the two decide to compete by each finding a TL a best friend. But Lara, an LBC, doesn’t bank on finding her own best friendship in the most unlikely of places. .
Literature and Fiction
On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave (Schwartz & Wade) Candace Fleming
The phenomenally versatile, award-winning author, Candace Fleming, gives teen and older tween readers ten ghost stories sure to send chills up their spines. Set in White Cemetery, an actual graveyard outside Chicago, each story takes place during a different time period from the 1860’s to the present, and ends with the narrator’s death. Some teens die heroically, others ironically, but all due to supernatural causes. Readers will meet walking corpses and witness demonic posession, all against the backdrop of Chicago’s rich history—the Great Depression, the World’s Fair, Al Capone and his fellow gangsters.
Pigmares (Charlesbridge) Doug Cushman
When a young pig watches monster movies before bed, heÂ’s in for some tail-curling fun. From the Phantom Hog of the Opera to the Porker from the Black Lagoon, seventeen poems put a pigmarish spin on creepy classics. Illustrations evoke retro movie posters with hog-wild humor. Back matter includes information about the movies and literature that inspired each poem.
Legends: The Wrath of the Gods (Kingfisher) — Anthony Horowitz
Don’t mess with the gods. And if they mess with you? Run like hell . . . When it comes to mixing it up with the Gods, woe be to the man (or woman) who makes them angry. Here is a collection of five stories that demonstrates just how angry those Gods can get. From creative re-tellings of the Greek stories Pandora’s Box, The Judgment of Paris, and Narcissus and Echo, to less familiar but equally cautionary Viking story of The Stolen Hammer of Thor, and the Inuit legend of The Ten Fingers of Sedna, one thing is clear—it never pays to mess with the Gods!
Legends: Tricks and Transformations (Kingfisher) — Anthony Horowitz
Don’t mess with the gods. And if they mess with you? Run like hell . . . Myths and legends are full of stories of the transformation of humans and animals into other things through the magical intervention of the Gods. From better-known characters like Actaeon, the famous Greek huntsman who was doomed to become a stag forever chased by his own dogs, and Glaucus, the fisherman who became a fish himself, only to fall hopelessly in love with a naiad, to the Japanese tale of the Goddess Amaterasu, who created the first eclipse when she hid herself in a cave and more, this collection proves that all is never what it seems when it comes to the affairs of the Gods.
The Case of the Disappearing Dogs (Club CSI) (Simon Spotlight) – David Lewman
The Club CSI: kids are counting on forensic science to find Hannah’s missing dog! Hannah’s dog Molly wins first place in the neighborhood dog show, but her family doesn’t get to celebrate for very long. Soon after they return home, Molly goes missing! Hannah’s parents are convinced that she left the back gate open by mistake, but Hannah knows she didn’t. Her Club CSI: friends help investigate and find a crushed orange dog treat (Molly’s treats are brown) and a piece of ripped red fabric that snagged on the back gate. Was Molly the victim of a dog-napping? If so, who took her and why? Club CSI: is on the case!
The Second Spy: The Books of Elsewhere: Volume 3 (Dial BFYR) — Jacqueline West
In Olive’s third adventure, what lurks below the house could be as dangerous as what’s hidden inside . . .
Some terrifying things have happened to Olive in the old stone house, but none as scary as starting junior high. Or so she thinks. When she plummets through a hole in her backyard, though, she realizes two things that may change her mind: First, the wicked Annabelle McMartin is back. Second, there’s a secret underground that unlocks not one but two of Elsewhere’s biggest, most powerful, most dangerous forces yet. But with the house’s guardian cats acting suspicious, her best friend threatening to move away, and her ally Morton starting to rebel, Olive isn’t sure where to turn. Will she figure it out in time? Or will she be lured into Elsewhere, and trapped there for good?