It’s a New Year!
And one way to spend those gift cards you got for the holidays is brand new books! Here are a few to choose from, including this great new release from Mixed-Up Files member, Jennifer Swanson:
The Wonderful World of Wearable Devices by Jennifer Swanson.
The benefits offered by wearable devices seem limitless, and for many people, the devices are really chic. These wireless gadgets can track the number of steps people take each day; measure their heart rates, the number of calories they ate, or the amount of energy they expended; or access data by using cloud computing. “Wearables”–bracelets, rings, eyeglasses, necklaces, shoe clips, and more–enable individuals to read, text, send e-mails, stay connected via social networks, or access the Internet as they walk. This intriguing volume also explains the devices’ cutting-edge medical applications, including as impact indicators for concussion studies.
The Way to Stay in Destiny by Augusta Scattergood
When Theo gets off a bus in Destiny, Florida, he’s left behind the only life he’s ever known. Now he’s got to live with Uncle Raymond, a Vietnam War vet and a loner who wants nothing to do with this long-lost nephew. Thank goodness for Miss Sister Grandersole’s Boarding House and Dance School. The piano that sits in Miss Sister’s dance hall calls to Theo. He can’t wait to play those ivory keys. When Anabel arrives things get even more enticing. This feisty girl, a baseball fanatic, invites Theo on her quest to uncover the town’s connection to old-time ball players rumored to have lived there years before. A mystery, an adventure, and a musical exploration unfold as this town called Destiny lives up to its name. Acclaimed author Augusta Scattergood has delivered a straight-to-the-heart story with unforgettable characters, humor, and hard questions about loss, family, and belonging.
Firefight (The Reckoners) by Brandon Sanderson
They told David it was impossible, that even the Reckoners had never killed a High Epic. Yet Steelheart—invincible, immortal, unconquerable—is dead. And he died by David’s hand. Eliminating Steelheart was supposed to make life simpler. Instead, it only made David realize he has questions. Big ones. And no one in Newcago can give him answers. Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as the borough of Manhattan, has possibilities, though. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic Regalia, Babylon Restored is flooded and miserable, but David is sure it’s the path that will lead him to what he needs to find. Entering a city oppressed by a High Epic despot is risky, but David’s willing to take the gamble. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David’s heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic—Firefight. And now he will go on a quest darker and even more dangerous than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.
I Totally Funniest: A Middle School Story by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
After scoring big on national TV in the semifinals contest, everyone back home is jumping on the Jamie Grimm bandwagon, and all the attention might be going to his head. Not only are his friendships starting to suffer, but the pressure of coming up with his best material ever for the ultimate standup act to snag the final win in Hollywood is pushing Jamie to the brink. Suddenly, life isn’t looking very funny anymore. Can Jamie take the grand prize without pushing away his fans, friends and family?
The Genius Files #5: License to Thrill by Dan Gutman
When we last left our heroes, twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald were in Roswell, New Mexico, and they had just seen a strange beam of light. Now their cross-country road trip is about to take a detour that’s out of this world—literally! Once the twins get their feet back on the ground, they embark on the final leg of their trip, which will take them from the Hoover Dam all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge. Chased by nefarious villains, the twins will be trapped with a venomous snake, pushed through a deadly turbine, and thrown into a volcano. And craziest of all, their parents might finally believe them!
Ever After High: Next Top Villain (A School Story) by Suzanne Selfors
Duchess Swan and Lizzie Hearts are roommates at Ever After High. While their personalities are very different, they bond over not quite fitting in with the other Royals. Lizzie, however, has one thing that Duchess doesn’t: a happily-ever-after at the end of her story. While Lizzie and the other princesses train for the day when they will rule their kingdoms, Duchess is torn between her role as the perfect, dutiful princess and her rebellious ambition to be a queen. When both girls are selected to attend General Villainy class, Duchess sees an opportunity to be a rebel while following the rules. But can she play a prank on her roomie to ace the class? Find out if Duchess’s desire to change her destiny will make her Ever After High’s Next Top Villain!
Imagination According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney
Imaginations are running wild in Mrs. Brisbane’s class, but Humphrey is stumped. His friends are writing about where they would go if they could fly, but Humphrey is HAPPY-HAPPY-HAPPY right where he is in Room 26. It’s pawsitively easy for Humphrey to picture exciting adventures with dragons and knights in the story Mrs. Brisbane is reading aloud. He has no trouble coming up with plans to help his friends and tricks to entertain them. His imagination even goes a little too far when he wonders if Carlos’s imaginary friend might be a ghost. If only his imagination wouldn’t disappear when he tries to write. Luckily, Humphrey likes a challenge, and Mrs. Brisbane has lots of writing tips that do the trick.
Heidi Heckelbeck Is Not a Thief! by Wanda Coven and Priscilla Burris
Heidi Heckelbeck is a witch, but she is NOT a thief! Can she clear her name and help find her best friend’s missing pen? Maybe…with some magic! Heidi Heckelbeck’s best friend, Lucy, has a brand-new pen. It’s glittery, looks like a lollipop, smells like strawberries, and even lights up. It’s the coolest pen ever! Heidi wishes she had one just like it. And when it goes missing, Lucy accuses her best friend of taking it! Heidi Heckelbeck might be a witch, but she is NOT a thief! Heidi searches all over for Lucy’s pen, but it’s nowhere to be found. So what’s a witch to do…except turn to her Book of Spells?
Unleashed (Swindle) by Gordon Korman
Luthor, a former attack dog, is supposed to be on his best behavior now that he’s in the care of Savannah, a girl who’s easily a dog’s best friend. But every time a certain truck passes by Savannah’s house, Luthor goes into attack mode — and chaos follows. Meanwhile, Griffin Bing is locked in the fight of his life with his archenemy, Darren Vader. Both are trying to win an invention contest — and will stop at nothing to be victorious. A runaway dog. Some majorly strange inventions. A mysterious neighbor. A stolen object of great value. These are a few of the ingredients in UNLEASHED, Gordon Korman’s latest Swindle mystery.
The Terrible Two by Jory John and Mac Barnett, illustrated by Kevin Cornell
Miles Murphy is not happy to be moving to Yawnee Valley, a sleepy town that’s famous for one thing and one thing only: cows. In his old school, everyone knew him as the town’s best prankster, but Miles quickly discovers that Yawnee Valley already has a prankster, and a great one. If Miles is going to take the title from this mystery kid, he is going to have to raise his game. It’s prankster against prankster in an epic war of trickery, until the two finally decide to join forces and pull off the biggest prank ever seen: a prank so huge that it would make the members of the International Order of Disorder proud.
Seekers: Return to the Wild #5: The Burning Horizon by Erin Hunter
Erin Hunter’s New York Times bestselling Seekers series continues in the fifth book in the Return to the Wild story arc. With its thrilling blend of action and suspense, this epic animal fantasy is perfect for fans of the #1 nationally bestselling Warriors series. Toklo, Kallik, Lusa, and Yakone are determined to reach Great Bear Lake in time for the Longest Day Gathering. Even Toklo, who has already claimed a new territory in the mountains, has promised to stay with them until Lusa has found a home of her own. But when Lusa is unexpectedly separated from the others, she must face her past—and make a decision about her future.
Plants vs Zombies: Timepocalypse by Paul Tobin and Ron Chan
PopCap’s immensely popular Plants vs. Zombies game gets another serving of hilarious, plant-filled, zombie-zapping comics! Crazy Dave–the babbling-yet-brilliant inventor and top-notch neighborhood defender–helps his niece, Patrice, and young adventurer Nate Timely fend off Zomboss’s latest global attack in Plants vs. Zombies: Timepocalypse! This new, standalone tale will tickle your funny bones and thrill . . . your brains! Paul Tobin (Bandette, Plants vs. Zombies: Lawnmageddon Falling Skies) and Ron Chan (The Guild, Husbands) join forces with a bevy of time-tossed plants to deliver a hilarious, all-ages romp to your timeline!
The Courage of Cat Campbell by Natasha Lowe
Cat Campbell is a late-blooming witch whose magical abilities are bursting to be mastered in this charming coming-of-age story set in the world of “The Power of Poppy Pendle.” Cat Campbell has had magical powers since the day she was born, but she didn’t always know that. Cat’s mother believes magic ruins lives, and even as Cat’s passion for magic grows over the years, no one suspects she has the gift. But she has indeed inherited the coveted magic gene of her famed great-great-grandmother Mabel, a discovery she makes in a most surprising way. Cat is a witch And when she comes across a book called “The Late Bloomer’s Guide to Magic,” she finds the encouragement she needs and spells that work. Then the town of Potts Bottom is threatened by a notoriously feared witch, and Cat has the chance to help her family and town–and to prove herself in the process. Because, as “The Late Bloomer’s Guide to Magic “proclaims, “believing in your magic and yourself is half the battle.”
Story Thieves by James Riley
Life is boring when you live in the real world, instead of starring in your own book series. Owen knows that better than anyone, what with the real world’s homework and chores. But everything changes the day Owen sees the impossible happen—his classmate Bethany climb out of a book in the library. It turns out Bethany’s half-fictional and has been searching every book she can find for her missing father, a fictional character. Bethany can’t let anyone else learn her secret, so Owen makes her a deal: All she has to do is take him into a book in Owen’s favorite Kiel Gnomenfoot series, and he’ll never say a word. Besides, visiting the book might help Bethany find her father … Or it might just destroy the Kiel Gnomenfoot series, reveal Bethany’s secret to the entire world, and force Owen to live out Kiel Gnomenfoot’s final (very final) adventure.
The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
In all the ways that matter, Mark is a normal kid. He’s got a dog named Beau and a best friend, Jessie. He likes to take photos and write haiku poems in his notebook. He dreams of climbing a mountain one day. But in one important way, Mark is not like other kids at all. Mark is sick. The kind of sick that means hospitals. And treatments. The kind of sick some people never get better from. So Mark runs away. He leaves home with his camera, his notebook, his dog, and a plan to reach the top of Mount Rainier–even if it’s the last thing he ever does.
Stella By Starlight by Sharon M. Draper
When the Ku Klux Klan’s unwelcome reappearance rattles Stella’s segregated southern town, bravery battles prejudice in this Depression-era tour de force from Sharon Draper, the “New York Times “bestselling author of “Out of My Mind.” Stella lives in the segregated South–in Bumblebee, North Carolina, to be exact about it. Some stores she can go into. Some stores she can’t. Some folks are right pleasant. Others are a lot less so. To Stella, it sort of evens out, and heck, the Klan hasn’t bothered them for years. But one late night, later than she should ever be up, much less wandering around outside, Stella and her little brother see something they’re never supposed to see, something that is the first flicker of change to come, unwelcome change by any stretch of the imagination. As Stella’s community–her world–is upended, she decides to fight fire with fire. And she learns that ashes don’t necessarily signify an end.
The Eye of the Falcon by Michelle Paver
The eruption of the volcano has shrouded the sun in ash, and the harsh winter is never-ending. With no trace of his lost sister to be found, Hylas takes ship for Keftiu, to find Pirra and free her from captivity. But the Crows are also coming to Keftiu, led by the power-hungry Telamon. And Telamon knows what Hylas doesn’t: that in the chaos of the volcanic eruption, Pirra took the Crows’ prophesized dagger. Aided by Havoc, the lion cub, and Echo, a falcon of the Goddess, Hylas and Pirra will face the Crows once again, in a terrifying epic battle to save the land—or destroy it.
A Plague of Bogles by Catherine Jinks
Jem Barbary spent most of his early life picking pockets for a wily old crook named Sarah Pickles—until she betrayed him. Now Jem wants revenge, but first he needs a new job. Luckily Alfred the bogler, the man who kills the child-eating monsters that hide in the shadows of Victorian London, needs a new apprentice. As more and more orphans disappear under mysterious circumstances, Alfred, Jem, and Birdie find themselves waging an underground war in a city where science clashes with superstition and monsters lurk in every alley.
Chasing Freedom: The Life Journeys of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony, Inspired by Historical Facts by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Michele Wood
What if Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony sat down over tea to reminisce about their extraordinary lives? What would they recall of their triumphs and struggles as they fought to achieve civil rights for African Americans and equal rights for women? And what other historical figures played parts in their stories? These questions led Coretta Scott King Award winner Nikki Grimes to create Chasing Freedom, an engaging work of historical fiction about two of the nineteenth century’s most powerful, and inspiring, American women. With breathtaking illustrations by Coretta Scott King Award winner Michele Wood, Chasing Freedom richly imagines the experiences of Tubman and Anthony, set against the backdrop of the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, and the Women’s Suffrage Movement. Additional back matter invites curious young readers to further explore this period in history–and the larger-than-life figures who lived it.
How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel by Jess Keating
Ana Wright’s summer just got terrifying. She’s finally getting used to living in a zoo (no, seriously—she lives with her family in an actual zoo), when she’s assigned to work in the new shark tank. With her worst enemy. Forget about sharks! Ashley is the ultimate predator. And after Ana’s favorite croc peed on Ashley’s shoes, she’s probably out for revenge. This can’t be good.
Dorian Cirrone has written several books for children and teens. Her middle-grade novel, The First Last Day, which takes place on the Jersey Shore, will be out in May 2016 from (Aladdin/S&S). You can find her on Facebook and on Twitter as @DorianCirrone. She gives writing tips and does occasional giveaways on her blog at: http://doriancirrone.com/welcome/blog/