Fantastic new middle grade fiction and nonfiction books coming your way this month. And there’s no better way to start off this list than with bloggy pride for our own Amie Borst and Little Dead Riding Hood. Here now are your October new releases:
Little Dead Riding Hood by Amie Borst and Bethanie Borst
When you’re the new kid at school, you know things are going to suck; but when you’re the new kid and a vampire, it bites. Unlike most kids, Scarlet Small’s problems go far beyond just trying to fit in. She would settle for a normal life, but being a 12-year-old vampire for an entire century is a real pain in the neck. Plus, her appetite for security guards, house pets, and tomato juice is out of control. In order to keep their vampire-secret, Scarlet’s parents resort to yet another move. At her new school, Scarlet not only has a strange skeleton-girl as a classmate, but a smelly werewolf is intent on revealing her secret. When Scarlet meets Granny–who fills her with cookies, goodies, and treats, and seems to understand her more than anyone–she’s sure things will finally be different. But with a fork-stabbing incident, a cherry pie massacre, and a town full of crazy people, Scarlet’s positive she’ll never live to see another undead day.
The Troubles of Johnny Cannon by Isaiah Campbell
Johnny Cannon’s got problems. Money is scarce. Martha Macker, the girl he likes, barely knows he’s alive. His best friend Willie is pretty great, but he also happens to be a black kid—which is not exactly acceptable in Cullman, Alabama. His big brother Tommy went to war and vanished. His Pa may be committing treason in their backyard. And just when it seems like things couldn’t get worse, an old family friend—or maybe enemy—appears and shakes everything up. (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
The Fires of Calderone (Book 1 in the Balance Keeper series) by Lindsay Cummings
When 11-year-old Albert Flynn follows a mysterious map deep into the woods, and then under the woods, he discovers he’s a Balance Keeper–someone with special magical skills for keeping harmony in fantastical underground worlds. Together with his teammates Leroy and Birdie, Albert must master his magical talents in time to stop the fires in the Calderon Realm from destroying New York City above. (Katherine Tegen Books)
The Eye of Zoltar (Chronicles of Kazam, Book 3) by Jasper Fforde
The long-absent Mighty Shandar makes an astonishing appearance and commands 16-year-old Jennifer Strange to find the Eye of Zoltar, proclaiming that if she fails, he will eliminate the only two dragons left on earth. How can a teenage non-magician outdo the greatest sorcerer the world has ever known? (Harcourt)
Rhyme Schemer by K.A. Holt
Kevin has a bad attitude. He’s the one who laughs when you trip and fall. In fact, he may have been the one who tripped you in the first place. He has a real knack for rubbing people the wrong way—and he’s even figured out a secret way to do it with poems. But what happens when the tables are turned and he is the one getting picked on? (Chronicle Books)
Pennyroyal Academy by M.A. Larson
A girl from the forest arrives in a bustling kingdom with no name and no idea why she is there, only to find herself at the center of a world at war. She enlists at Pennyroyal Academy, where princesses and knights are trained to battle the two great menaces of the day: witches and dragons. There, given the name “Evie,” she must endure a harsh training regimen under the steel glare of her Fairy Drillsergeant, while also navigating an entirely new world of friends and enemies. As Evie learns what it truly means to be a princess, she realizes surprising things about herself and her family, about human compassion and inhuman cruelty. (Putnam)
The Doll People Set Sail (book 4 in series) by Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin
Annabelle Doll, Tiffany Funcraft, and their families are whisked out to sea when the Palmers accidentally place them in a box destined for charity donation. And it turns out they’re not alone-there are plenty of other doll people on the ship, too. After traveling thousands of miles, will they be able to find their way home? (Hyperion)
Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She’s thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose’s obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different – not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father. When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search. (Feiwel and Friends)
The Mystery of the Missing Lion: A Preciouse Ramotswe Mystery (book 3) by Alexander McCall Smith
Precious Ramotswe gets a very special treat. She gets a trip to visit her Aunty Bee at a safari camp. On her first day in camp, a new lion arrives. But this is no average lion: Teddy is an actor-lion who came with a film crew. When Teddy escapes, Precious and her resourceful new friend Khumo decide to use their detective skills to help track him. (Anchor)
Wanderville: On Track for Treasure (book 2) by Wendy McClure
When the town sheriff discovers the exact location of “Wanderville,” the orphans who live there—Jack, Frances, Harold, Alexander, and their new friends—must flee their home in the woods. They take to the rails and, after nearly being caught, are rescued by a seemingly kind reverend and his wife. The pair brings the children to their home, telling them that if they help the sharecroppers who run their farm, they will eventually be adopted. But Frances can’t stop thinking about a mysterious treasure mentioned to her by a hobo they met during their travels, and when a young African-American sharecropper is blamed for stealing a fiddle her brother Harold actually nabbed, the citizens of Wanderville will have to decide whether their community is heading in the right direction or whether they need to get their “town” back on track. (Razorbill)
The Magician’s Fire: Young Houdini by Simon Nicholson (first in Young Houdini series)
Young Harry Houdini spends his days chaining himself to train tracks and teetering on wires high above the city with his two best friends, Arthur and Billie. But when Harry’s friend and magical mentor, Herbie, disappears, the three friends band together, determined to rescue the beloved magician. With nothing more than a mysterious puff of purple smoke, an ominous threat, and a menacing Bulgarian for evidence, Harry, Arthur, and Billie embark on a dangerously thrilling investigation. (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky)
The Blood of Olympus (The Heroes of Olympus Book Five) by Rick Riordan
Though the Greek and Roman crewmembers of the Argo II have made progress in their many quests, they still seem no closer to defeating the earth mother, Gaea. Her giants have risen-all of them-and they’re stronger than ever. They must be stopped before the Feast of Spes, when Gaea plans to have two demigods sacrificed in Athens. She needs their blood-the blood of Olympus-in order to wake. (Hyperion)
The Rookie Bookie by L. Jon Wertheim, Tobias Moskowitz
New kid Mitch Sloan wants to fit in, but his nerdy love of statistics and making money isn’t winning him any friends in his sports-loving town–until he finds the perfect way to attain instant popularity. But running a football betting ring at school eventually turns sour, and Mitch loses the only real friend he’s made. He’ll have to win her back by using his brainpower for good and helping the school football team achieve victory–if they’ll listen to the advice of a former bookie. (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Centaur Rising by Jane Yolen
One night during the Perseid meteor shower, Arianne thinks she sees a shooting star land in the fields surrounding her family’s horse farm. About a year later, one of their horses gives birth to a baby centaur. The family has enough attention already as Arianne’s six-year-old brother was born with birth defects caused by an experimental drug—the last thing they need is more scrutiny. But their clients soon start growing suspicious. (Henry Holt)
Two nonfiction titles:
Famous Phonies: Legends, Fakes and Frauds Who Changed History by Brianna DuMont
This first title in a new nonfiction series explores the underbelly of history, exposing the truth behind historical movers and shakers whose legendary contributions and reputations are not entirely accurate. (Sky Pony Press)
Kid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood from America’s Presidents
The kids who grew up to be president were like a lot of other children. Some struggled with schoolwork and got into fights; others pranked their teachers and infuriated their parents. William Howard Taft was forced to take dance lessons. Gerald Ford struggled with dyslexia. Teddy Roosevelt had a bedroom “museum” full of dead animals. Kid Presidents features 20 captivating true stories from the childhoods of American presidents, complete with lively text and more than 200 cartoon illustrations. Laugh-out-loud funny and packed with cool facts, it’s the perfect read for all young future leaders of the free world. (Quirk Books)
What’s up next on your to-be-read pile? Any October releases we missed? Let us know in the comments and share your favorite books of the month.
“Little Dead Riding Hood” is intriguing. I have to read “Famous Phonies,” too.
Wow. Lots of new books coming out. Thanks for the list.
Lots of excitement here! Congrats on the new book, Amie! Also really looking forward to reading “Rain Reign”.
Thanks for the list. I’ll be doing a big 4000 follower giveaway later this month and you’ve given me some ideas for middle grade books to include.