Posts Tagged book lists

November New Releases

It’s promising to be a damp, drizzly November here in my neck of the woods – which means I get to spend some free time cozied up on the couch with a good book. Lucky for me, there’s some new Middle Grade reads coming our way.

 

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgThe Forgotten Girl By India Hill Brown

“This ghost story gave me chill after chill. It will haunt you.” — R.L. Stine, author of Goosebumps

“Do you know what it feels like to be forgotten?”

On a cold winter night, Iris and her best friend, Daniel, sneak into a clearing in the woods to play in the freshly fallen snow. There, Iris carefully makes a perfect snow angel — only to find the crumbling gravestone of a young girl, Avery Moore, right beneath her.

Immediately, strange things start to happen to Iris: She begins having vivid nightmares. She wakes up to find her bedroom window wide open, letting in the snow. She thinks she sees the shadow of a girl lurking in the woods. And she feels the pull of the abandoned grave, calling her back to the clearing…

Obsessed with figuring out what’s going on, Iris and Daniel start to research the area for a school project. They discover that Avery’s grave is actually part of a neglected and forgotten Black cemetery, dating back to a time when White and Black people were kept separate in life — and in death. As Iris and Daniel learn more about their town’s past, they become determined to restore Avery’s grave and finally have proper respect paid to Avery and the others buried there.

But they have awakened a jealous and demanding ghost, one that’s not satisfied with their plans for getting recognition. One that is searching for a best friend forever — no matter what the cost.

The Forgotten Girl is both a spooky original ghost story and a timely and important storyline about reclaiming an abandoned segregated cemetery.

 

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgThe Midwinter Witch By Molly Knox Ostertag

The acclaimed graphic novel world of The Witch Boy and The Hidden Witch comes to a thrilling conclusion in this story of friendship, family, and finding your true power.

Magic has a dark side . . .

Aster always looks forward to the Midwinter Festival, a reunion of the entire Vanissen family that includes competitions in witchery and shapeshifting. This year, he’s especially excited to compete in the annual Jolrun tournament-as a witch. He’s determined to show everyone that he’s proud of who he is and what he’s learned, but he knows it won’t be easy to defy tradition.

Ariel has darker things on her mind than the Festival-like the mysterious witch who’s been visiting her dreams, claiming to know the truth about Ariel’s past. She appreciates everything the Vanissens have done for her. But Ariel still craves a place where she truly belongs.

The Festival is a whirlwind of excitement and activity, but for Aster and Ariel, nothing goes according to plan. When a powerful and sinister force invades the reunion, threatening to destroy everything the young witches have fought for, can they find the courage to fight it together? Or will dark magic tear them apart?

 

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgWrecking Ball (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 14) By Jeff Kinney

In Wrecking Ball, Book 14 of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series—from #1 international bestselling author Jeff Kinney—an unexpected inheritance gives Greg Heffley’s family a chance to make big changes to their house. But they soon find that home improvement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Once the walls come down, all sorts of problems start to crop up. Rotten wood, toxic mold, unwelcome critters, and something even more sinister all make Greg and his family wonder if the renovations are worth the trouble. When the dust finally settles, will the Heffleys be able to stay . . . or will they need to get out of town?

 

 

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgAli Cross By James Patterson

Ali Cross has always looked up to his father, former detective and FBI agent Alex Cross. While solving some of the nation’s most challenging crimes, his father always kept his head and did the right thing. Can Ali have the same strength and resolve?

When Ali’s best friend Abraham is reported missing, Ali is desperate to find him. At the same time, a string of burglaries targets his neighborhood—and even his own house. With his father on trial for a crime he didn’t commit, it’s up to Ali to search for clues and find his friend. But being a kid sleuth isn’t easy—especially when your father warns you not to get involved!—and Ali soon learns that clues aren’t always what they seem. Will his detective work lead to a break in Abraham’s case or cause even more trouble for the Cross family?

 

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgLegacy (Keeper of the Lost Cities #8) By Shannon Messenger

Illusions shatter—and Sophie and her friends face impossible choices—in this astonishing eighth book in the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series.

Sophie Foster wants answers. But after a lifetime of lies, sometimes the truth is the most dangerous discovery. Even the smallest secret comes with terrifying new responsibilities.

And Sophie’s not the only one with blank spots in her past, or mysteries surrounding her family. She and her friends are part of something much bigger than they imagined—and their roles have already been chosen for them.

Every clue drags them deeper into the conspiracy. Every memory forces them to question everything—especially one another. And the harder they fight, the more the lines blur between friend and enemy.

 

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgForest Folk Tales for Children By Tom Phillips

Nestled within our green and pleasant land lies pockets of emerald trees. Their roots search deep into the ground and the branches reach high towards the sun. For centuries some of these have stood, watching and listening to the human creatures living among them, hearing their stories and remembering. What stories could these woodlands tell if the trees could speak? Stories of brave deeds, foolish men and star-crossed lovers, of monsters, giants and witches.

 

 

 

 

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgScholastic Year in Sports 2020 By James Buckley Jr.

The must-have guidebook for young sports fans is back with the latest news and features on the top athletes and sports moments from the past year.

Scholastic’s annual Year in Sports returns with brand-new, exciting coverage of the past year’s sporting events. This 2020 edition features colorful photographs from right in the action, completely updated facts and stats, plus special features on the X Games and other major sports events.

Read about all of the top athletes, championships, and legends. Featuring all your favorite stars in baseball, basketball, football, and more, this book is perfect for sports newbies, as well as the most devoted fans.

 

 

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgMeditation for Kids:  How to Clear Your Head and Calm Your Mind By Laurent Dupeyrat, Johanne Bernard, Alice Gilles (Illustrator)

Introduce the benefits of meditation to kids ages 7-10 with this practical and playful guide

Start your kids off on a path to self-awareness through meditation! Written in easy-to-understand language, Meditation for Kids empowers kids to start learning about and practicing meditation as a way to stay calm, focused, and confident so they can work through daily stresses and manage tough emotions.

This extensive guide features options for both seated and walking meditation practices with over a dozen illustrated, step-by-step exercises like the tightrope walker and the flamingo. A short history of meditation, fun checklists, and a troubleshooting guide for frequently asked questions–including “What happens if you fall asleep?” and “Can I meditate with my pet?”–help lay the groundwork for a daily practice of stillness and inner reflection. The book even provides playful opportunities for kids to “teach” their parents the exercises so the whole family can participate.

 

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgCharlie Hernández & the Castle of Bones By Ryan Calejo

Inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America, this bold sequel to Charlie Hernández & the League of Shadows, which Booklist called “a perfect pick for kids who love Rick Riordan” in a starred review, follows Charlie as he continues on his quest to embrace his morphling identity.

Charlie Hernandez still likes to think of himself as a normal kid. But what’s normal about being a demon-slaying preteen with an encyclopedic knowledge of Hispanic and Latino mythology who can partially manifest nearly any animal trait found in nature? Well, not much. But, Charlie believes he can get used to this new “normal,” because being able to sprout wings or morph fins is pretty cool.

But there is a downside: it means having to constantly watch his back for La Mano Peluda’s sinister schemes. And when the leader of La Liga, the Witch Queen Jo herself, is suddenly kidnapped, Charlie’s sure they’re at it again.

Determined to save the queen and keep La Liga’s alliances intact, Charlie and his good friend Violet Rey embark on a perilous journey to track down her captors. As Charlie and Violet are drawn deeper into a world of monstruos and magia they are soon left with more questions than answers—like, why do they keep hearing rumors of dead men walking, and why is Charlie suddenly having visions of an ancient evil: a necromancer priest who’s been dead for more than five centuries?

Charlie’s abuela once told him that when dead men walk, the living run in fear. And Charlie’s about to learn the truth of that—the hard way.

 

There are lots of fun books to choose from this month. Let us know which of the November New Releases made your to-read list in the comments below. And happy reading!

STEM Tuesday –Planes, Trains, Automobiles, and More! — Interview with Author Jennifer Swanson

Welcome to STEM Tuesday: Author Interview & Book Giveaway, a repeating feature for the fourth Tuesday of every month. Go Science-Tech-Engineering-Math!

Today we’re interviewing Jennifer Swanson, author of Save the Crash Test Dummies.  Booklist gave it a starred review, calling it an “innovative blend of history, technology, and engineering…insightful fun. STEM at its best.”

Mary Kay Carson: Tell us a bit about your new book.

Watch the book trailer on YouTube!

Jennifer Swanson: The idea for this book came when I was writing another book — about electrical engineering. I did a section on the self-driving car and I was hooked. I wanted to ride in one, very badly. I sent email after email to Google asking if I could ride in one. Of course, I got no response. But that didn’t stop my interest. After all, I survived three teenage drivers, surely I could survive a self-driving car. 🙂  Anyway, I began to think, practically everyone rides in a car every day. I bet they don’t even think about how safe it is– OR how it got that way. Enter the crash-test dummies. We couldn’t live without them. Literally. Having them has helped engineers to save many, many lives. I knew then that I had to find a way to introduce the crash-test dummies to kids.

MKC: Any fun finds while researching the book?

Jennifer: I read a lot of car manuals and watched a LOT of videos of crashes. It was pretty cool. I do have to say my favorite moment, though, might have been when I came across the old crash-test dummy commercials that I remember watching as a kid. They are so fun! Here is a YouTube link to one of them if you want to check it out.

MKC: Do you choose to specifically write STEM books?

Jennifer: I have loved science my whole life. After all, I started a science club in my garage when I was 7 years old. My mom gave me a microscope and I used to collect leaves and flowers to look at under it. Gradually, my interests grew and I spent hours in the creek behind my house, making compounds with my multiple chemistry sets, and began dreaming of becoming a doctor one day. While that didn’t happen, I did get my B.S. in chemistry from the U.S. Naval Academy and my M.S. Ed in K-8 science education. Now I’m not just a science author, but also a middle school science teacher for Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.

MKC: What approach or angle did you take to writing this book?

Jennifer Swanson is the award-winning author of over 35 nonfiction books for children. Her passion for science resonates in in all her books but especially, BRAIN GAMES (NGKids) and SUPER GEAR: Nanotechnology and Sports Team Up (Charlesbridge) which was named an NSTA Best STEM book of 2017. She has presented at multiple SCBWI conferences, National NSTA conferences, the Highlights Foundation, the World Science Festival and the Atlanta Science Festival. Visit her at jenniferswansonbooks.com.

Jennifer: When I write about technology and engineering I try to find a unique entry point, one that is FUN and unexpected. For this book, I really wanted to write a book about self-driving cars, but that seemed a bit, well, blah. I mean I find the engineering and technology that makes a self-driving car exciting and interesting, but not everyone does. So I asked myself how I could make this book interesting to people who maybe wouldn’t normally pick it up to read. The idea came to me after watching an old-time crash-test dummy commercial on TV. While on a walk with my husband, I made the comment that if we all went to self-driving cars, we wouldn’t need any more crash-test dummies. He responded by agreeing, saying you’d probably save alot of crash-test dummies. then. WHAM! That was it! Save the Crash-test Dummies, the history of car safety engineering. What a unique way to tell this story. Not only that, when I tell people the title, they usually smile (always a good sign). You see, finding a way to make engineering intriguing and complex topics easy to understand in my goal in my books.

Who did I write this book for? The kid who has TONS of questions about how the world works. That’s who I write all my books to. After all, I still am that 9-year-old kid that was full of curiosity and spent many hours devouring encyclopedias and nonfiction books at the library. Research ROCKS!

MKC: Could you give us a peek into your process?

Jennifer: My writing process is to find the hook for the book first. Usually that is in my title. For example, I wanted to write a book about nanotechnology and sports, so I titled my book SUPER GEAR: Nanotechnology and Sports Team Up. For my book comparing Astronauts and Aquanauts, I titled it (of course) Astronaut-Aquanaut: How Space Science and Sea Science Interact. When the hook to your book is in your title, people understand what the book is about right away. The second part of making a book is to find the structure. I ask myself, “what is the best way for this information to be presented?”. Then I read widely and look at a lot of mentor texts. Eventually I set on a structure. After I have those two things, I dive in into the research and write.

Win a FREE copy of Save the Crash Test Dummies!

Enter the giveaway by leaving a comment below. The randomly-chosen winner will be contacted via email and asked to provide a mailing address (within the U.S. only) to receive the book.

Good luck!

Your host is Mary Kay Carson, author of The Tornado Scientist, Alexander Graham Bell for Kids, Mission to Pluto, Weird Animals, and other nonfiction books for kids. @marykaycarson

Books About Museums

I’ve spent the last few weeks in Italy – eating gelato and losing myself (and sometimes my husband) in the museums of Rome and Florence. I already miss it, and since I can’t really pull a Claudia and live at the Uffizi, I figured I needed to bring life in a museum to me. Which is why I put together a list of books about museums to share.

 

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgPieces and Players By Blue Balliett

THE PIECES

Thirteen extremely valuable pieces of art have been stolen from one of the most secretive museums in the world. A Vermeer has vanished. A Manet is missing. And nobody has any idea where they and the other eleven artworks might be . . . or who might have stolen them.

THE PLAYERS

Calder, Petra, and Tommy are no strangers to heists and puzzles. Now they’ve been matched with two new sleuths — Zoomy, a very small boy with very thick glasses, and Early, a girl who treasures words . . . and has a word or two to say about the missing treasure.

The kids have been drawn in by the very mysterious Mrs. Sharpe, who may be playing her own kind of game with the clues. And it’s not just Mrs. Sharpe who’s acting suspiciously — there’s a ghost who mingles with the guards in the museum, a cat who acts like a spy, and bystanders in black jackets who keep popping up.

With pieces and players, you have all the ingredients for a fantastic mystery from the amazing Blue Balliett.

 

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgMrs. Brown on Exhibit And Other Museum Poems By Susan Katz, R.W. Alley (Illustrator)

Mrs. Brown loves museums — and so does her class! In fact, these cultural connoisseurs are just wild about field trips. Whether it’s sneaking up on an ancient Egyptian mummy, walking into a room of fluttering butterflies, or stomping through a giant heart, this class surely makes the grade when it comes to fun. They even take a tour of a skull exhibit and visit a lady who turned to soap! But the excitement doesn’t stop there — author Susan Katz uses a wide variety of poetic forms and unusual exhibits to show just how fascinating museums can be. Her text paired with the hilarious illustrations of acclaimed artist R. W. Alley will have readers grabbing their permission slips and readying themselves for a day of museum madness.

 

 

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgThe Frame-Up By Wendy McLeod MacKnight, Ian Schoenherr (Illustrator)

When Sargent Singer discovers that the paintings in his father’s gallery are alive, he’s pulled into a captivating world behind the frame he never knew existed.

Filled with devious plots, shady characters, and a grand art heist, this inventive mystery-adventure celebrates art and artists and is perfect for fans of Night at the Museum and Blue Balliett’s Chasing Vermeer. School Library Journal said, “This middle grade read paints fantasy, humor, and mystery into a satisfying tale about the power of friendship.”

There’s one important rule at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery—don’t let anyone know the paintings are alive. Mona Dunn, forever frozen at thirteen when her portrait was painted by William Orpen, has just broken that rule.

Luckily twelve-year-old Sargent Singer, an aspiring artist himself, is more interested in learning about the vast and intriguing world behind the frame than he is in sharing her secret. And when Mona and Sargent suspect shady dealings are happening behind the scenes at the gallery, they set out to uncover the culprit. They must find a way to save the gallery—and each other—before they are lost forever.

With an imaginative setting, lots of intrigue, and a thoroughly engaging cast of characters, The Frame-Up will captivate readers of Jacqueline West’s The Books of Elsewhere series. Booklist said, “This chapter book’s most memorable element is also its most unusual: the imaginative conviction that art is alive.” Includes images of the real paintings featured in the book.

 

 

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgBehind the Museum Door:  Poems to Celebrate the Wonders of Museums By Lee Bennett Hopkins, Stacey Dressen-McQueen (Illustrator)

“This collection of poems touches on the sights and sensations a group of children experience on a field trip. Inside the museum, they encounter a suit of armor, a mummy, a dinosaur skeleton, an ancient wheel, paintings (Picasso, Cassat, Renoir), a modern mobile, a fossil, and an old tapestry. Selections are by such poets as Lilian Moore, Jane Yolen, Alice Schertle, and Myra Cohn Livingston—one per spread—shown amid the subjects they portray. Each of Dressen-McQueen’s folk-art-style “exhibits,” carefully crafted in acrylic paint, oil pastel, and colored pencil, successfully captures and reinforces the mood of its accompanying poem. For a poetic museum field trip from a child’s point of view, try Susan Katz’s Mrs. Brown on Exhibit (S & S, 2002). Both books can add excitement and fun to an impending museum visit or help inspire a class to summarize a recent trip.”—Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH

 

And – who can forget?

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.orgFrom the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler By E.L. Konigsburg

In this winner of the Newbery Medal from E.L. Konigsburg, when suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere—to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant.

Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away…so she decided not to run FROM somewhere, but TO somewhere. And so, after some careful planning, she and her younger brother, Jamie, escaped — right into a mystery that made headlines!

 

 

 

What are you favorite books that take place in museums and galleries? Help me out and share your favorite books about museums in the comments below. 🙂