Posts Tagged James Patterson

June New Releases

A couple of new series launch, others continue — and many, many delightful new stand-alone books. All in time for summer reading purchases and your library hold lists. Here we go:

The Education of Ivy Blake by Ellen Airgood
ivy blakeIvy has loved living with her best friend, Prairie, and being part of Prairie’s lively, happy family. But now Ivy’s mom has decided to take her back. Ivy tries to pretend everything is fine, but her mom’s neglect and embarrassing public tantrums often make Ivy feel ashamed and alone. Fortunately, Ivy is able to find solace in art, in movies, and from the pleasure she finds in observing and appreciating life’s small, beautiful moments. And when things with her mom reach the tipping point, this ability gives her the strength and power to push on and shape her own future.

dungeoneersThe Dungeoneers by John David Anderson
In an effort to help make ends meet, Colm uses his natural gift for pickpocketing to pilfer a pile of gold from the richer residents of town, but his actions place him at the mercy of a mysterious man named Finn Argos, a gilded-toothed, smooth-tongued rogue who gives Colm a choice: he can be punished for his thievery, or he can become a member of Thwodin’s Legions, a guild of dungeoneers who take what they want and live as they will.

enemies and endingsOf Enemies and Endings by Shelby Bach
Conclusion to the Ever After series. The whole fairy-tale world is on high alert. The Snow Queen and her minions are targeting Characters, and Ever After School is the only safe refuge left. Rory Landon knows a final confrontation is inevitable, and she worries about the safety of her family and friends–particularly Chase, who has been acting very strange lately. Will Rory be able to count on Chase when she needs him most? Can she put an end to the Snow Queen’s terrible reign once and for all? It’s time for Rory to find out if her tale ends in happily-ever-after.

ruby on the outsideRuby on the Outside by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Eleven-year-old Ruby Danes is about to start middle school, and only her aunt knows her deepest, darkest, most secret secret: her mother is in prison. Then Margalit Tipps moves into Ruby’s condo complex, and the two immediately hit it off. Ruby thinks she’s found her first true-blue friend–but can she tell Margalit the truth about her mom? Maybe not. Because it turns out that Margalit’s family history seems closely connected to the very event that put her mother in prison, and if Ruby comes clean, she could lose everything she cares about most.

circus mirandusCircus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley
Even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn t approve, Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real. And the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather. The only problem is, the Lightbender doesn’t want to keep his promise. And now it’s up to Micah to get the miracle he came for.

book scavengerBook Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
For twelve-year-old Emily, the best thing about moving to San Francisco is that it’s the home city of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, book publisher and creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger (a game where books are hidden in cities all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles). Upon her arrival, however, Emily learns that Griswold has been attacked and is now in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. When Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book that might have a copy of the new game, they , which they rush from clue to clue, desperate to figure out the secret at the heart of Griswold’s new game–before those who attacked Griswold come after them, too.

wand and seaThe Wand & the Sea by Claire M. Caterer
Holly and Ben are back, hoping to again join Everett and return to Anglielle, the land ruled by a ruthless king and sorcerer who have outlawed magic.
But when they arrive, Anglielle is not what they expect: Their friends are imprisoned and the alliance is scattered. Ruthless King Reynard and the sorcerer Raethius are determined to find the very Adepts they exiled in the first place. But why? It’s up to Holly and the boys to sail to the Isle of Exile and find the Adepts first, but that means enlisting the help of the Water Elementals–and a pirate captain with a secret agenda.

i text dead peopleI Text Dead People by Rose Cooper
Annabel Craven’s worried she’ll be friendless and phoneless at the Academy. But when she finds a mysterious phone in the woods near the cemetery, one of her problems is solved . . . and another one is just beginning. Someone won’t stop texting her. And that someone seems . . . dead. How is Annabel supposed to make friends when her phone keeps blowing up with messages from the afterlife? And what will happen if she doesn’t text back?

raising rufusRaising Rufus by David Fulk
Martin stumbles across an egg, which is remarkable in itself … but then a week later he finds himself taking care of a Tyrannosaurus rex. As the summer unfolds, Martin finds it harder and harder to keep Rufus hidden from rest of the world.  Can Martin save Rufus from his parents, his neighbors, and most importantly, the owner of the town carnival? With the help of his best friend, Audrey, and his science teacher, Mr. Ekhart, Martin must uncover his inner hero and find Rufus a home, even if it means losing the one thing he’s come to really care about.

mothman's curseMothman’s Curse by Christine Hayes
Josie may live in the most haunted town in America, but the only strange thing she ever sees is the parade of oddball customers that comes through her family’s auction house each week. When she and her brothers discover a Polaroid camera that prints pictures of the ghost of local recluse John Goodrich, they are drawn into a mystery dating back over a hundred years. A desperate spirit, cursed jewelry, natural disasters, and the horrible specter of Mothman all weave in and out of the puzzle that Josie must solve to break the curse and save her own life.

sign of the catThe Sign of the Cat by Lynne Jonell
Duncan is very smart. He also has a most unusual gift. So why does his mother encourage him to be perfectly average and insist he only get mediocre grades ? His special talent is the ability to talk to cats–but Duncan longs more than anything for academic success. When Duncan rebels and gets a perfect test score, people start taking notice of him. And it turns out that some of those people may not have the best intentions . . . not by a long shot.

nooks and cranniesNooks & Crannies by Jessica Lawson
Tabitha Crum, who never goes anywhere without her pet mouse Pemberley, receives one of six invitations to the country estate of wealthy Countess Camilla DeMoss. Upon the children’s arrival at the sprawling (and possibly haunted) mansion, it turns out the countess has a very big secret–one that will change their lives forever. When children beginning disappearing, one by one. Tabitha takes a cue from her favorite detective novels and, with Pemberley by her side, takes on the case to rescue the other children, who might just be her first real friends.

unlikely adventures mabel jonesThe Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones by Will Mabbitt
Kidnapped, Mabel is forced to serve aboard “The Feroshus Maggot” with the strangest crew you ll ever meet. And the captain an odious wolf named Idryss Ebenezer Split won t let her go until she helps the pirates unlock the treasure they seek.
Mabel’s voyage takes her across the Greasy Pole of Certain Death, into the belly of a whale, and underground to a decrepit crypt. And she does it all in pajamas

just my rotten luckJust My Rotten Luck by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts
In this seventh Middle School episode, Rafe heads back to the place his misadventures began: the dreaded Hills Village Middle School, where he’s now being forced to take “special” classes and ends up on the school’s football team–alongside his main tormenter, Miller the Killer. Rafe has grand plans for a better year, including a super-secret art project. And he may just have to deal with something completely new: popularity.

spacejackersSpacejackers by Huw Powell
As a baby, Jake Cutler was separated from his family and left on the planet Remota, deep in the seventh solar system. Eleven years later and Jake isn’t like other boys-he has purple eyes and carries a secret within himself that could change the entire universe. When Remota is attacked by ruthless space pirates on the hunt for Jake, he manages to escape. But now he’s on the run with a bounty hunter and the suspicious-looking crew of a spaceship called the “Dark Horse.” Forced to contend with zero-gravity, shipwrecks, black holes, and countless enemies, Jake must discover the truth about his past before he is hunted down and caught.

crown of threeCrown of Three by J.D. Rinehart
First in series. Toronia, a kingdom composed of three realms, is wracked with civil war. King Brutan rules with an iron fist. Cruelty and suffering abound. The kingdom’s only hope is a prophecy that the king will have triplets who will one day rebel and take over the throne. Separated at birth and scattered throughout the realms, the triplets face a desperate fight to secure their destiny. Will they survive long enough to rule?

woundaboutWoundabout by Lev Rosen
Siblings Connor and Cordelia and their pet capybara are sent to the precariously perched town of Woundabout to live with their eccentric aunt. Woundabout is a place where the mayor has declared that routine rules above all, and no one is allowed to as questions–because they should already know the answers. But Connor and Cordelia can’t help their curiosity when they discover a mysterious crank that fits into certain parts of the town, and by winding the crank, places are transformed into something beautiful. When the townspeople see this transformation, they don’t see beauty–they only see change. And change, the mayor says, is something to fear. With the mayor hot on their trail, can Connor and Cordelia find a way to wind Woundabout back to life?

everyday etiquetteCassidy’s Guide to Everyday Etiquette (and Obfuscation) by Sue Stauffacher
Eleven-year-old Cassidy has just inherited a gift from her late great-grandmother. Unfortunately, that gift turns out to be a summer trapped in etiquette school. What good are manners, anyway, for a girl who dreams of living life on the road as a hobo er, knight of the road ? As if trying to remember to keep her elbows off the table isn t bad enough, Cassidy’s best friend, Jack, suddenly seems more interested in doing chores for the new teenage girl who’s moved in next door than in fishing with Cassidy down by the river. Not even her classic epic pranks seem to be saving Cassidy from having her worst summer ever. It’s time to face facts: growing up stinks.

golden capeAttack of the Alien Horde by Robert Venditti
When twelve-year-old Miles Taylor unexpectedly inherits a golden cape that gives him amazing superpowers, his life instantly changes: he becomes a superhero. For real. With some help from a new friend named Henry, Miles does his best to protect his city. But his skills and courage are about to be put to the ultimate test–an alien horde is working its way toward Earth, with their sights set on the golden cape…and total domination. An adventure story with humor — and comics.

survival strategiesSurvival Strategies of the Almost Brave by Jen White
It’s easy to be brave when your eight-year-old sister, Billie, looks up to you as her protector. Twelve-year-old Liberty feels it’s her job to look after Billie once they are sent to live with their father, whom they haven’t seen since they were very young. Dad is unpredictable on his best days, but when he abandons the girls at a gas station in the middle of nowhere, Liberty’s courage is truly put to the test.

Descriptions and book cover images from IndieBound.

 

May New Releases

Along with May flowers comes the blooming of brand new middle-grade books about friendship, food, and fabulous adventures. Click on the titles to purchase from your local indie bookstore. Happy reading!

9781939547095Amelia’s Middle School Graduation Yearbook by Marissa Moss

Written and illustrated in Marissa Moss’s signature diary style, this is the last of the Amelia series and marks the 20th anniversary of its inception. This latest book finds Amelia excited to graduate from middle school but nervous about starting high school, especially when she finds out she won’t have her best friend, Carly, with her. In Amelia’s graduation yearbook, drawings and “photos” nostalgically recap her earlier notebook entires as she figures out how to face the changes ahead.

9781481431965You’re Invited by Jen Malone and Gail Nall

Twelve-year-old Sadie loves helping her mom with her wedding planning business, and with Sadie’s mad organizational skills, she’s a natural. That’s why it’s so devastating when her mother “fires” her after a “Little Mermaid”-themed wedding goes awry.
Enter Sadie’s best friends: sporty Vi, ace student Lauren, and boy-crazy Becca. The girls decide that in order to get Sadie’s mom to reconsider, they have to make her see how amazing Sadie is at party planning. Except no one’s gonna hire a twelve-year-old to plan a wedding. A birthday party, though? Definite possibility.
Before long, RSVP–your one-stop shop for the most creative parties in town–is born. But is the girls’ friendship strong enough to survive a business? Or does RSVP spell the end of these BFFs?

FC9780545700276A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord

When Lily’s blind dog, Lucky, slips his collar and runs away across the wide-open blueberry barrens of eastern Maine, it’s Salma Santiago who manages to catch him. Salma, the daughter of migrant workers, is in the small town with her family for the blueberry-picking season. After their initial chance meeting, Salma and Lily bond over painting bee boxes for Lily’s grandfather, and Salma’s friendship transforms Lily’s summer. But when Salma decides to run in the upcoming Blueberry Queen pageant, they’ll have to face some tough truths about friendship and belonging. Should an outsider like Salma really participate in the pageant-and possibly win? Set amongst the blueberry barrens and by the sea, this  novel by Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord tackles themes of prejudice and friendship, loss and love.

FC9780062352934The Fog Diver by Joel Ross

Joel Ross debuts a thrilling adventure series in which living in the sky is the new reality and a few determined slum kids just might become heroes. Perfect for fans of Rick Riordan and Brandon Mull, this fantasy is filled with daring and hope and a wonderfully imaginative world. Once the Fog started rising, the earth was covered with a deadly white mist until nothing remained but the mountaintops. Now humanity clings to its highest peaks, called the Rooftop, where the wealthy Five Families rule over the lower slopes and floating junkyards. Thirteen-year-old Chess and his friends Hazel, Bea, and Swedish sail their rickety air raft over the deadly Fog, scavenging the ruins for anything they can sell to survive. But now survival isn’t enough. They must risk everything to get to the miraculous city of Port Oro, the only place where their beloved Mrs. E can be cured of fogsickness. Yet the ruthless Lord Kodoc is hot on their trail. For Chess has a precious secret, one that Kodoc is desperate to use against him. Now Chess will face any danger to protect his friends, even if it means confronting what he fears the most.

FC9780316224840Bayou Magic by Jewell Parker Rhodes

It’s Maddy’s turn to have a bayou summer. At first she misses life back home in the city, but soon she grows to love everything about her new surroundings — the glimmering fireflies, the glorious landscape, and something else, deep within the water, that only Maddy sees. Could it be a mermaid? As her grandmother shares wisdom about sayings and signs, Maddy realizes she may be the only sibling to carry on her family’s magical legacy. And when a disastrous oil leak threatens the bayou, she knows she may also be the only one who can help. Does she have what it takes to be a hero? A coming-of-age tale rich with folk magic, set in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, Bayou Magic celebrates hope, friendship, and family, and captures the wonder of life in the Deep South.

FC9780545417839 The Search for Baby Ruby by Susan Shreve

The search for a missing baby drives this heart-pounding page turner, from Edgar Award Winner Susan Shreve. It was just a few minutes. Stuck in a hotel room babysitting while the rest of her family celebrated downstairs in the hotel, Jess thought she’d try on her sister’s wedding dress in the large bathroom while the baby slept. But when Jess opens the door again the baby is gone. Fighting guilt and terror, Jess and her kleptomaniac sister Teddy evade the swirl of police and hotel staff in their own desperate effort to get Baby Ruby back before it’s too late.

FC9781481439473Billy Sure, Kid Entrepreneur by Luke Sharpe; Graham Ross (Illustrator)

Meet Billy Sure, twelve-year-old inventor and CEO of Sure Things, Inc., and discover all of his wild and wacky inventions in this start to a hilarious middle grade series. Everyone is talking about Billy Sure, the twelve-year-old CEO of Sure Things, Inc. and genius inventor of the All Ball, a ball that turns into different sports balls with the push of a button. Now Billy wants to help other kids achieve their inventing dreams just like he has. So Billy is hosting an online contest for other kid-inventors to share their inventions, and the winning submission will be produced by his company. Ideas like the Sibling Silencer, No-Wash Socks, and a pencil that does all your work start pouring in. With so many great ideas, how is Billy supposed to pick a winner? And that’s not all. Billy also has to keep the secret that could take him from hero to zero in a flash if anyone found out. Can Billy Sure find a way to stay on top of the world and help other kids achieve their dreams at the same time?

 FC9781481416054Anna, Banana, and the Friendship Split by Anica Mrose Rissi; Meg Park (Illustrator)

Meet Anna and her beloved wiener dog, Banana, in this start to a charming illustrated chapter book series about the joys and challenges of elementary school friendships. Anna has been best friends with Sadie for as long as she can remember. So Anna is utterly perplexed when, on Anna’s birthday, Sadie unceremoniously stakes claim to Anna’s new pony necklace, then suddenly stops speaking to Anna altogether. Did Anna do something wrong? With a little help from her wiener dog, Banana, as well as some sage advice from her family, Anna makes some important discoveries about what it means to stand up for herself, and how to be a true friend.

FC9780763674748Tom Gates: Excellent Excuses (and Other Good Stuff) (Book #2) by Liz Pichon; Liz Pichon (Illustrator)

Middle-school comedian, homework dodger, rock-star wannabe, master doodler—Tom Gates is back with two more episodes full of visual humor and kid appeal. No school for two whole weeks! Now Tom has plenty of time for the good stuff, like finding new ways (so many!) to annoy his big sister, Delia. Or watching TV and eating caramel candy. Or most important, band practice for DOGZOMBIES in his best friend Derek’s garage (while not encouraging Derek’s ’60s-music-crazed dad). All that stands between this band and rock greatness is, well, a song (besides “Delia’s a Weirdo”). And finding a drummer. And landing a gig. Will Tom let a killer toothache and pesky overdue homework get in his way?

FC9781626720541Return to Augie Hobble by Lane Smith

Augie Hobble lives in a fairy tale–or at least Fairy Tale Place, the down-on-its-luck amusement park managed by his father. Yet his life is turning into a nightmare: he’s failed creative arts and has to take summer school, the girl he has a crush on won’t acknowledge him, and Hogg Wills and the school bullies won’t leave him alone. Worse, a succession of mysterious, possibly paranormal, events have him convinced that he’s turning into a werewolf. At least Augie has his notebook and his best friend Britt to confide in–until the unthinkable happens and Augie’s life is turned upside down, and those mysterious, possibly paranormal, events take on a different meaning.

9781484713457The Neptune Challenge by Polly Holyoke

Genetically engineered to survive in the ocean, Nere and her friends are recovering from their treacherous journey to Safety Harbor, an undersea refuge founded by the scientists of the Neptune Project. But plenty of enemies prowl just outside the colony’s boundaries, and when two of the children are kidnapped, Nere, her loyal dolphins, and the other Neptune kids must set out on an expedition even more perilous than their first. Tasked with infiltrating the kidnapper’s high-tech undersea base, Nere soon discovers that rescuing the missing Neptune kids isn’t all there is to her mission: the secret to saving the world’s oceans is hidden somewhere deep inside this vast fortress, and she and her friends will have to risk everything to find it.

FC9781250066022From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot

Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison is a completely average twelve-year-old: average height, average weight, average brown hair of average length, average brown skin and average hazel eyes. The only things about her that aren’t average are her name (too long and princess themed), her ability to draw animals (useful for her future career as a wildlife illustrator), and the fact that she is a half-orphan who has never met her father and is forced to live with her aunt and uncle (who treat her almost like their own kids, so she doesn’t want to complain). Then one completely average day, everything goes wrong: the most popular girl in school, Annabelle Jenkins, threatens to beat her up, the principal gives her a demerit, and she’s knocked down at the bus stop . . .Until a limo containing Princess Mia Thermopolis of Genovia pulls up to invite her to New York to finally meet her father, who promptly invites her to come live with him, Mia, Grandmère and her two fabulous poodles . . . .Maybe Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison isn’t so average after all!

9781423194606Kate Walden Directs Bride of Slug Man by Julie Mata

After her huge success with her first feature-length movie, seventh-grader Kate Walden is eager to start on her next film, a sci-fi romance called Bride of Slug Man. When a new kid comes to town from New York City, Kate thinks she might have a new found film buddy–someone to share her interest with. And it doesn’t hurt that he’s pretty cute. But it turns out that Tristan is making his own movie, and now the classmates Kate thought were eager to join her cast and crew are divided. With rumors spreading in school and between sets, Kate finds herself juggling more than just call times and rewrites. And judging from the whispers Kate hears about Tristan Kingsley,she suspects that he isn’t interested in having a fellow film-buff friend; he just wants to prove himself as the best filmmaker in school by winning the Big Picture Film Festival. Kate vows to enter too, and tries to focus on just making the best movie she can. But between the cut throat popularity contest, a bully situation that goes from bad to worse, and several on-set mishaps, Kate is going to need all the movie magic she can get to make sure Bride of Slug Man hits the big screen.

9781484709351Gabby Duran and the Unsittables by Elise Allen; Daryle Connors

The Association Linking Intergalatics and Earthlings (hereby known as A.L.I.E.N.) has a new member. After months of investigation, Gabby Duran, Associate 4118-25125A, has proven herself to be a babysitter extraordinaire. Her celebrity clients fly her around the country to care for their rambunctious little humans. Our spy, Associate 4118-23432B, otherwise known as Edwina, believes Gabby can be trusted with the truth: aliens are living among humans on Earth. And here at A.L.I.E.N we believe that even extraterrestrials need a babysitter now and then. No one was up to the task until now. After accepting the top-secret position, Edwina has paired our new associate up with her first charge, a little girl from the planet Flarknartia. The timing for associate 4118-25125A is less than ideal. It’s a school day on Planet Earth, Gabby’s audition for the solo part in the band is tonight, and this tiny alien is a bit more than meets the eye. Can Gabby Duran, Associate 4118-25125A, First Sitter to the Unsittables, keep her otherworldly charge safe in the unpredictable halls of middle-school and keep A.L.I.E.N hidden?

FC9781484708491The Worst Class Trip Ever by Dave Barry

In this hilarious novel, written in the voice of eighth-grader Wyatt Palmer, Dave Barry takes us on a class trip to Washington, DC. Wyatt, his best friend, Matt, and a few kids from Culver Middle School find themselves in a heap of trouble-not just with their teachers, who have long lost patience with them-but from several mysterious men they first meet on their flight to the nation’s capital. In a fast-paced adventure with the monuments as a backdrop, the kids try to stay out of danger and out of the doghouse while trying to save the president from attack-or maybe not.

9780374300685If I Were You by Leslie Margolis

Twelve-year-old Katie is insanely jealous of her best friend, Melody. Turns out Melody is jealous of Katie, too. When they both wish for the exact same thing at the exact same time, to redo summer as each other, their wishes come true. Katie is Melody and Melody is Katie and neither one has the experience she expected. In this be-careful-what-you-wish-for tale, two best friends learn that the grass is not always greener on the other side.

9780062071682Platypus Police Squad: Last Panda Standing by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

From Jarrett J. Krosoczka comes Last Panda Standing, the third installment in the hilarious, high-action illustrated middle grade series featuring two platypus detectives, perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Big Nate, and Jarrett’s own Lunch Lady series. The Kalamazoo City mayoral race is heating up, and Frank Pandini Jr. has been threatened by a mysterious assailant. He requests a special Platypus Police Squad protection detail: Detective Rick Zengo. This leaves O’Malley to be partnered up with Jo Cooper, the newest detective on the force. Can Zengo get to the bottom of the attacks–without O’Malley backing him up?

FC9780385755528Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones; Katie Kath (Illustrator)

Twelve-year-old Sophie Brown feels like a fish out of water when she and her parents move from Los Angeles to the farm they’ve inherited from a great-uncle. But farm life gets more interesting when a cranky chicken appears and Sophie discovers the hen can move objects with the power of her little chicken brain: jam jars, the latch to her henhouse, the entire henhouse…And then more of her great-uncle’s unusual chickens come home to roost. Determined, resourceful Sophie learns to care for her flock, earning money for chicken feed, collecting eggs. But when a respected local farmer tries to steal them, Sophie must find a way to keep them (and their superpowers) safe. Told in letters to Sophie’s abuela, quizzes, a chicken-care correspondence course, to-do lists, and more, Unusual Chickens is a quirky, clucky classic in the making.

FC9780062278074Stick Dog Dreams of Ice Cream by Tom Watson

In the follow-up to Stick Dog, Stick Dog Wants a Hot Dog, and Stick Dog Chases a Pizza, Stick Dog and his pals are back, but this time the temperature is rising and they’re all feeling the heat. They need cold, cold ice cream on this hot, hot day. It will take all of Stick Dog’s smarts to guide his friends to a scrumptious ice cream feast. They’ll battle a water-attacking machine, discover rainbow puddles, and chase the strangest, loudest truck they’ve ever seen. But there’s a looming threat to their mission–Stick Dog gets spotted by a human. And the police are on his tail. If he’s captured, Stick Dog may never see his friends again. If he escapes, it’s ice cream for everyone. Perfect for fans of Big Nate, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and the previous Stick Dog books.

9780545709446Best Friend Next Door by Carolyn Mackler

Meet Hannah. Her name is a palindrome. Her birthday is on New Year’s. She wishes she had a cat. She’s medium height and a little awkward. Her life has NOT been fun lately — her dad and stepmom are having a baby and, worst of all, her best friend next door just moved away. Now a new girl is here, taking over her best friend’s bedroom . . . and her own identity. Meet Emme. Her name is a palindrome. Her birthday is on New Year’s. She loves her enormous orange cat. She’s so short that last week she was mistaken for a kindergartner. She’s found moving hard . . . but at least there’s the girl next door, Hannah. Maybe they’ll become friends? While Hannah and Emme are alike in so many ways, they’re also different in some wrong ways, too. Is this the perfect friendship . . . or a recipe for disaster?

9780385739436The Disappearance of Emily H. by Barrie Summy

Emily Huvar vanished without a trace. And the clues are right beneath Raine’s fingertips. Literally. Raine isn’t like other eighth graders. One touch of a glittering sparkle that only Raine can see, and she’s swept into a memory from the past. If she touches enough sparkles, she can piece together what happened to Emily. When Raine realizes that the cliquey group of girls making her life miserable know more than they’re letting on about Emily’s disappearance, she has to do something. She’ll use her supernatural gift for good . . . to fight evil. But is it too late to save Emily?

UnknownTime Out of Time Book Two: The Telling Stone by Maureen Doyle McQuerry

In book two, the excitement and mystery continue as Timothy, his sister, Sarah, and their friend Jessica journey from America to Edinburgh, Scotland, where they seek the Four Treasures of Ireland, especially the Telling Stone. They must keep the treasures from falling into the hands of Balor, who can use them to deprive the world of good. The children pass through Time out of Time as they undertake their quest and encounter a number of mythic and folkloric characters, including the Tuatha De Danann, Gwydon, Cerridwyn, and others.
In this book, a code hidden in a map is the key to finding the Stone, and readers work alongside Timothy, Sarah, and Jessica to decode the message. Along with the code, the book includes a glossary of the many historical, literary, and folkloric references mentioned in both volumes.

FC9780399164064Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff

Everyone says that middle school is awful, but Trent knows nothing could be worse than the year he had in fifth grade, when a freak accident on Cedar Lake left one kid dead, and Trent with a brain full of terrible thoughts he can’t get rid of. Trent’s pretty positive the entire disaster was his fault, so for him middle school feels like a fresh start, a chance to prove to everyone that he’s not the horrible screw-up they seem to think he is. If only Trent could make that fresh start happen. It isn’t until Trent gets caught up in the whirlwind that is Fallon Little—the girl with the mysterious scar across her face—that things begin to change. Because fresh starts aren’t always easy. Even in baseball, when a fly ball gets lost in the sun, you have to remember to shift your position to find it.

FC9781481410465The Secret Cookie Club by Martha Freeman

Friends make everything better–and so do cookies –in this warm-hearted novel in the tradition of “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants,” with a middle grade dash of sugar and spice. Recipe for friendship: mix four very different girls, one boy, and a camp counselor. Add cookies. When her four campers don’t get along, counselor Hannah has an idea. They gather in the kitchen at the Moonlight Ranch Summer Camp. There, they measure, mix, stir, and bake. As they bite into their warm sugar cookies, they finally seem to be friends. But summer doesn’t last forever. And if the bond is going to survive the long school year, these kids will need a plan, a plan that just might require cookies. Complete with recipes, this book will satisfy every reader’s craving for something sweet–just like a homemade sugar cookie.

9781619636309The Friendship Riddle by Megan Frazer Blakemore

Ruth Mudd-O’Flaherty has been a lone wolf at her new middle school ever since her best friend, Charlotte, ditched her for “cooler” friends. Who needs friends when you have fantasy novels? Roaming the stacks of her town’s library is enough for Ruth. Until she finds a note in an old book…and in that note is a riddle, one that Ruth can’t solve alone. With a tantalizing set of clues before her, Ruth must admit she needs help, the kind that usually comes from friends. Lena and Coco, two kids in her class could be an option, but allowing them in will require courage, and Ruth must decide: Is embarking on this quest worth opening herself up again?

FC9780545676052How to Speak Dolphin by Ginny Rorby

Lily loves her half-brother, Adam, but she has always struggled with him, too. He’s definitely on the autism spectrum–though her step-father, Don, can barely bring himself to admit it–and caring for him has forced Lily to become as much mother as sister. All Lily wants is for her step-father to acknowledge that Adam has a real issue, that they need to find some kind of program that can help him. Then maybe she can have a life of her own. Adam’s always loved dolphins, so when Don, an oncologist, hears about a young dolphin with cancer, he offers to help. He brings Lily and Adam along, and Adam and the dolphin–Nori–bond instantly. But though Lily sees how much Adam loves Nori, she also sees that the dolphin shouldn’t spend the rest of her life in captivity, away from her family. Can Adam find real help somewhere else? And can Lily help Nori regain her freedom without betraying her family?

FC9780399167751The Sound of Life and Everything by Krista Van Dolzer

Twelve-year-old Ella Mae Higbee is a sensible girl. She eats her vegetables and wants to be just like Sergeant Friday, her favorite character on Dragnet. So when her auntie Mildred starts spouting nonsense about a scientist who can bring her cousin back to life from blood on his dog tags, Ella Mae is skeptical—until he steps out of a bio-pod right before her eyes. But the boy is not her cousin—he’s Japanese. And in California in the wake of World War II, the Japanese are still feared and despised. When her aunt refuses to take responsibility, Ella Mae and her Mama take him home instead. Determined to do what’s right by her new friend, Ella Mae teaches Takuma English and defends him from the reverend’s talk of H-E-double-toothpicks. But when his memories start to resurface, Ella Mae learns some shocking truths about her own family and more importantly, what it means to love.

FC9780399170690The Stars of Summer by Tara Dairman

In this charming sequel to All Four Stars, eleven-year-old foodie Gladys Gatsby now has her first published review under her belt and is looking forward to a quiet summer of cooking and reviewing. But her plans quickly go awry when her friend Charissa Bentley delivers Gladys’s birthday gift: a free summer at Camp Bentley. As Gladys feared, camp life is not easy: she struggles to pass her swim test and can’t keep the other campers happy while planning lunches. The worst part is she can’t seem to get away from the annoying new “celebrity” camper and sneak away for her latest assignment—finding the best hot dog in New York City. But when it turns out her hot dog assignment was a dirty trick by a jealous reviewer, Gladys’s reviewing career may be over forever.

FC9781481411479The Great Good Summer by Liz Garton Scanlon

Ivy and Paul hatch a secret plan to find Ivy’s missing mom and say good-bye to the space shuttle in this evocative, heartfelt novel reminiscent of Each Little Bird that Sings and Because of Winn-Dixie. Ivy Green’s mama has gone off with a charismatic preacher called Hallelujah Dave to The Great Good Bible Church of Panhandle Florida. At least that’s where Ivy and her dad “think” Mama is. But since the church has no website or phone number, and Mama left no forwarding address, Ivy’s not entirely sure. She does know she’s missing Mama. And she’s starting to get just a little worried about her, too. Paul Dobbs, one of Ivy’s schoolmates, is also having a crummy summer. Paul has always wanted to be an astronaut, and now that NASA’s space shuttle program has been scrapped, it looks like his dream will never get off the ground. Although Ivy and Paul are an unlikely pair, it turns out they are the perfect allies for a runaway road trip to Florida–to look for Mama, to kiss the Space Shuttle good-bye, and maybe, just maybe, regain their faith in the things in life that are most important.

9780525426387Theodore Boone: the Fugitive by John Grisham

Theo thought the danger had passed, but he’s about to face off against an old adversary: accused mur­derer and fugitive Pete Duffy. On a field trip to Washington, DC, Theo spots a familiar face on the Metro: Duffy, who jumped bail and was never seen again. Theo’s quick thinking helps bring Duffy back to Strattenburg to stand trial. But now that Duffy knows who he is, Theo is in greater danger than he’s ever been in before. Even when every­thing is on the line, Theodore Boone will stop at nothing to make sure a killer is brought to justice.

9780316204958Thor’s Serpents by K. L. Armstrong; M. A. Marr

Thirteen-year-olds Matt, Laurie, and Fen have beaten near-impossible odds to assemble their fellow descendants of the Norse Gods and complete epic quests. Their biggest challenge lies ahead: battling the fierce monsters working to bring about the apocalypse. But when they learn that Matt must fight the Midgard Serpent alone and Fen and Laurie are pulled in other directions, the friends realize they can’t take every step of this journey together. Matt, Laurie, and Fen will each have to fight their own battles to survive, to be true to themselves, and to one another – with nothing less than the fate of the world hanging in the balance.

9780544339347Lots of Bots by C. J. Richards; Goro Fujita (Illustrator)

Having defeated the rampaging robots in The Junkyard Bot, George is thrilled to score his dream internship at Tinker Tech. But he and his best pal, Jackbot, realize that something does not compute when a dangerous new invention threatens Terabyte Heights. As he and his friends search for answers, they uncover secrets about George’s past that may change his life . . . forever.
Robots, engineering, and buddy stories have never been this cool, or this much fun. Perfect for restless readers who crave gizmos, gadgets, and mystery by the megabyte Visit www.robotsrulebooks.com to learn more.

FC9780385387927Cakes in Space by Philip Reeve; Sarah McIntyre (Illustrator)

Astra’s family is moving—to a whole new planet. And what does any kid need on moving day? Snacks! But when Astra asks her spaceship’s computer to whip up the ultimate treat, it makes cakes so amazing that they come to life. Now these cake-monsters are destroying the ship! Can Astra and her robot friend, Pilbeam, stop them in time? Or are killer cupcakes a recipe for disaster?

FC9780062112835The Lightning Catcher: The Secrets of the Storm Vortex by Anne Cameron; Victoria Jamieson (Illustrator)

Angus McFangus and his two best friends, Indigo Midnight and Dougal Dewsnap, are starting their second year at the Perilous Exploratorium for Violent Weather and Vicious Storms, where they are being trained to study and, eventually, become lightning catchers and manage the world’s most dangerous weather. They have more than lessons on their minds, however–namely, the fate of Angus’s parents, who have been kidnapped by the villain Scabious Dankhart. Angus’s parents are kept prisoner in Castle Dankhart, where a violent weather explosion has created a “storm vortex” so that no one can tell what is going on inside. It’s Angus, Indigo, and Dougal to the rescue. . . . Will they get there in time and all in one piece? Action-packed, lighthearted, and perfect for reluctant readers.

9780525428565Cast Off: The Strange Adventures of Petra de Winter and Bram Broen by Eve Yohalem

It is 1662, and twelve-year-old Petra sees only one way to escape her abusive father: She stows away on a merchant ship bound for the East Indies. But she quickly realizes that surviving for months at sea will be impossible without help. So when Bram, the illegitimate, half-Dutch / half-Javanese son of the ship’s carpenter, finds her hiding spot, Petra convinces him to help her stay hidden and help disguise her as a boy. If Petra is discovered and exposed as a girl, she could be tossed overboard, or worse . . . returned to her father. And if Bram is exposed for helping her, he could lose the only home—and family—he has. And so as tensions rise on the ship, with pirate attacks, illness, and even mutiny, both Petra and Bram must make impossible decisions about friendship, loyalty, freedom, and survival. Told in alternating voices and filled with secrets and intrigue, this action-packed, richly researched novel is historical fiction at its best.

9781419713699The Runaway’s Gold by Emilie Christie Burack

In 1842, Christopher Robertson’s family lives a difficult life as “crofters,” farmers and fishermen so in debt to the landowner that they have no hope of ever breaking free. To make matters worse, Christopher also lives under the thumb of his morally questionable father and devious brother. When his brother frames him for the theft of their father’s secret bag of coins, Christopher must leave his home and embark on a journey across the island to return the coins and clear his name. It’s a journey that takes twists and turns, including stops in prison, on a smuggler’s ship, and at the house of a beautiful girl–and it ends with him escaping to a new life in America, which has dangers of its own.

Joshua and the Lightning Road by Donna Galanti

image001Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever. To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him. In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.

Poems in the Attic by Nikki Grimes; Elizabeth Zunon (illustrator)

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During a visit to her grandma’s house, a young girl discovers a box of poems in the attic, poems written by her mother when she was growing up. Her mother’s family often moved around the United States and the world because her father was in the Air Force. Over the years, her mother used poetry to record her experiences in the many places the family lived. Reading the poems and sharing those experiences through her mother’s eyes, the young girl feels closer to her mother than ever before. To let her mother know this, she creates a gift: a book with her own poems and copies of her mother’s. And when she returns her mother’s poems to the box in the attic, she leaves her own poems too, for someone else to find, someday. Using free verse for the young girl’s poems and tanka for her mother’s, master poet Nikki Grimes creates a tender intergenerational story that speaks to every child’s need to hold onto special memories of home, no matter where that place might be.

Nonfiction

9781426318832Myths Busted! 3: Just When You Thought You Knew What You Knew by Emily Krieger

This is the book that will put to rest even more rumors, misconceptions, superstitions, and flat out lies that you hear every day—also known as the book your mom never wanted you to see. Think boys are better at math? Don’t bet on it. Think an apple-a-day keeps the doctor away? Better buy some oranges too. Think you evolved from a chimp? You might want to check your sources on that. Be in the know on all kinds of amazing subjects!

FC9780374300227The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose

At the outset of World War II, Denmark did not resist German occupation. Deeply ashamed of his nation’s leaders, fifteen-year-old Knud Pedersen resolved with his brother and a handful of schoolmates to take action against the Nazis if the adults would not. Naming their secret club after the fiery British leader, the young patriots in the Churchill Club committed countless acts of sabotage, infuriating the Germans, who eventually had the boys tracked down and arrested. But their efforts were not in vain: the boys’ exploits and eventual imprisonment helped spark a full-blown Danish resistance. Interweaving his own narrative with the recollections of Knud himself, here is Phillip Hoose’s inspiring story of these young war heroes.

9781481410281A Chicken Followed Me Home! Questions and Answers about a Familiar Fowl by Robin Page

Why did the chicken cross the road? To follow you home Learn all about a not-so-basic bird in this delightful nonfiction picture book. Celebrated author-illustrator Robin Page leads a step-by-step, question-and-answer-style journey through the world of chickens. Along the way you’ll explore different breeds, discover different types of coops, and learn everything there is to know about chicken reproduction and hatching. Gorgeous, playful, and filled with facts, this engaging nonfiction picture book shines new light on a very familiar fowl

FC9781619302419Civic Unrest: Investigate the Struggle for Social Change by Marcia Amidon Lusted; Lena Chandhok (Illustrator)

From the American Revolution to the French Revolution, from the civil rights era in the United States to Arab Spring in the Middle East, the ongoing battle for freedom and democracy is a profound and fascinating study of the power of human will to change the world. This book examines the history behind civic unrest and the methods people use to fight for basic human rights such as freedom of speech and the right to vote. “Civic Unrest” discusses the different reasons for and methods of revolution, while offering young readers the opportunity to learn about the structure of the U.S. government and how the elements within the U.S. Constitution were decided upon by the Founding Fathers.

FC9780805099768Luna & Me: The True Story of a Girl Who Lived in a Tree to Save a Forest by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw; Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw (Illustrator)

Once there was a redwood tree–one of the world’s largest and tallest trees, and one of the oldest. And once, born nearly a thousand years after the tree first took root, there was a girl named Julia, who was called Butterfly. When exploring her beloved forest, Butterfly wandered into a grove of ancient trees. One tree had broken branches and a big blue “X” on the side. It was going to be chopped down. Butterfly climbed up into the tree. A tree wouldn’t be cut down if it had a person living in it. This is the story of Julia Butterfly Hill and Luna, the redwood tree she lived in for two years, never once coming down. That is, not until Luna’s future was safe.

FC9781426319211National Geographic Kids Almanac 2016 by National Geographic Kids

This New York Times bestseller is packed with incredible photos, tons of fun facts, crafts, activities, and fascinating articles about animals, science, nature, technology, and more. New features include a special section on animal friends; an updated “Fun and Games” chapter filled with all-new games, jokes, and comics; a new “Dino Myths Busted” feature; all new weird-but-true facts, crafts, and activities; a new special “15 Facts” feature in every chapter; updated reference material, and much more! And, this is the only kids’ almanac with mobile media features that allow kids to access National Geographic videos, photo galleries, and games.

Dorian Cirrone is the author of several books, including the forthcoming middle-grade novel The First Last Day  (S&S/Aladdin, May 2016). Subscribe to her blog for writing tips and giveaways at: doriancirrone.com/welcome/blog

January Releases 2015

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:

 get-attachment-1.aspxThe 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.
9780545538244

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.


9780385743587Firefight (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.

9780316405935I 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?

9780062236326The 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!

9780316401289Ever 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!

9780399257971Imagination 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.

9781481423243Heidi 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?

FC9780545709354Unleashed (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.

9781419714917The 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.

9780061996467Seekers: 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.

9781616556211Plants 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!

9781481418706The 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.”

9781481409193Story 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.

9780545665735The 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.

9781442494978Stella 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.

9780803738812The 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.

9780544087477A 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.

9780439793384Chasing 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.

9781402297588How 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/