Posts Tagged Karen Cushman

August New Releases!

In some parts of the country, school is almost starting. In others, there’s a whole month left of relaxation. No matter where you live or what August has in store for you, here are some great reads that are sure to make it a fun month!

We at The Mixed-Up Files are particularly proud to feature several August releases written by our members: Jonathan Rosen, Jennifer Swanson, and Karen Latchana Kenney. (Mouse over the book covers for purchase information.)

 

From Sunset Till Sunrise by Jonathan Rosen

Jonathan Rosen’s newest is a follow-up to the hilarious Night of the Living Cuddle Bunnies, the first of his Dexter books. The novel continues the story of Devin Dexter and his cousin Tommy after they’ve saved the city of Gravesend from the menace of magical, malicious Cuddle Bunnies brought to life by the warlock, Herb. But there’s no rest for the wicked, as a new mysterious neighbor moves in across the street. At night. With a coffin. Tommy immediately jumps to conclusions as he thinks this can only mean one thing: Vampires.

Devin isn’t so quick to believe, as he is struck by the neighbor’s daughter, a girl his age. Even though Tommy points out that they have never seen her during the day. Yet when she invites him to a dance at her school–the Nosfer Academy of Talented Understudies–how can Devin say no? Tommy, though, realizes that this is an opportunity. After tackling a wizard last winter, surely they can protect Gravesend from some measly vampires, right?

 

Bridges! With 25 Science Projects for Kids by Jennifer Swanson, illus. by Bryan Stone

From the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to the Tower Bridge in London, bridges are a huge part of our life. But how are these amazing structures built? What forces keep it standing? What might cause it to fall down? And who decides which type of bridge to use?

In Bridges!, readers discover how these extraordinary feats of engineering are created, and apply what they have learned to hands-on, critical-thinking activities that include building different types of bridges, such as truss, cantilever, and suspension bridges, out of different materials and modeling different types of supports. They examine the natural forces that affect structure selection and appearance, and also learn about the types of support required for each. Trivia, cartoon illustrations, links to online videos and other sources, and clear diagrams round out this book and make it fun and interesting for class discussions. Following the guidelines set forth in the NGSS/NSTA engineering and design standards, teachers can feel comfortable using this book as a guide for targeted learning in their classrooms.

 

TV Brings Battle into the Home with the Vietnam War: 4D An Augmented Reading Experience by Karen Latchana Kenney

On-point historical photographs combined with strong narration bring the battles and controversies surrounding the Vietnam War to life. People saw the battles in real time, on the nightly news, changing forever how people viewed war.

Readers will see it as well, both in the text and in the accompanying video clips via the free Capstone 4D app, creating an augmented reality experience that brings the printed page to life.

 

Extreme Longevity: Discovering Earth’s Oldest Organisms by Karen Latchana Kenney

Meet the science experts who study specimens of extreme longevity in both the plant and animal kingdoms, such as the 80,000-year-old root system of Pando (a colony of male quaking aspens), 11,000-year-old deep-sea sponges, and 400-year-old sharks. Learn about technologies used to determine age and longevity, including DNA sampling, growth rings, and radiocarbon dating. See how scientists located these long-lived species were and why and how they resist disease and aging. And delve into how scientists are using what they know about aged plants and animals to research how we can promote longevity in humans.

 

 

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

Ever since Cass almost drowned (okay, she did drown, but she doesn’t like to think about it), she can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead . . . and enter the world of spirits. Her best friend is even a ghost.

So things are already pretty strange. But they’re about to get much stranger. When Cass’s parents start hosting a TV show about the world’s most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh, Scotland. Here, graveyards, castles, and secret passageways teem with restless phantoms. And when Cass meets a girl who shares her “gift,” she realizes how much she still has to learn about the Veil — and herself. But she’ll have to learn fast. The city of ghosts is more dangerous than she ever imagined.

 

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson’s first middle-grade novel since the National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming celebrates the healing that can occur when a group of students share their stories.

It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat–by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for “A Room to Talk”), they discover it’s safe to talk about what’s bothering them–everything from Esteban’s father’s deportation and Haley’s father’s incarceration to Amari’s fears of racial profiling and Ashton’s adjustment to his changing family fortunes. When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives.

 

Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Chaya Lindner is a teenager living in Nazi-occupied Poland. Simply being Jewish places her in danger of being killed or sent to the camps. After her little sister is taken away, her younger brother disappears, and her parents all but give up hope, Chaya is determined to make a difference. Using forged papers and her fair features, Chaya becomes a courier and travels between the Jewish ghettos of Poland, smuggling food, papers, and even people.

Soon Chaya joins a resistance cell that runs raids on the Nazis’ supplies. But after a mission goes terribly wrong, Chaya’s network shatters. She is alone and unsure of where to go, until Esther, a member of her cell, finds her and delivers a message that chills Chaya to her core, and sends her on a journey toward an even larger uprising in the works — in the Warsaw Ghetto. Though the Jewish resistance never had much of a chance against the Nazis, they were determined to save as many lives as possible, and to live — or die — with honor.

 

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s a Fractional Persian—half, his mom’s side—and his first-ever trip to Iran is about to change his life.

Darius has never really fit in at home, and he’s sure things are going to be the same in Iran. His clinical depression doesn’t exactly help matters, and trying to explain his medication to his grandparents only makes things harder. Then Darius meets Sohrab, the boy next door, and everything changes. Soon, they’re spending their days together, playing soccer, eating faludeh, and talking for hours on a secret rooftop overlooking the city’s skyline. Sohrab calls him Darioush—the original Persian version of his name—and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab.

 

Royal Crown by Meg Cabot

It’s the first coronation of a female monarch of Genovia in 200 years, and Her Royal Highness, Princess Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison, is giving you the inside scoop in this newest (illustrated!) diary from New York Times―bestselling author and illustrator Meg Cabot!

Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison should be having fun. Her best friend is visiting from America, her sister’s royal coronation is only three days away (the first coronation of a female ruler in two centuries), and she’s even got a new boyfriend who is actually a very smart and charming prince!

But it’s hard to celebrate when her royal cousins are scheming to take over the throne. And with everyone running around, Olivia and her friends have been saddled with royal babysitting duties. Then, to make matters worse, Olivia’s snobby cousin Luisa insists on gossiping about her, especially about things that should be personal . . . it’s none of her business whether Prince Khalil and Olivia have kissed or not!

 

Wonderland by Barbara O’Connor

Mavis Jeeter is fearless and bold, but she has never lived in one place long enough to have a real best friend. Her flighty mother has uprooted them again to another new home and taken a job as a housekeeper for the Tully family. Mavis wants this home to be permanent―which means finding herself a best friend.

Rose Tully is a worrier who feels like she doesn’t quite fit in with the other girls in her neighborhood. Her closest friend is Mr. Duffy, but he hasn’t been himself since his dog died. Rose may have to break a few of her mother’s many rules to help Mr. Duffy―and find someone who really understands her.

Henry has run away from home, but he craves kindness and comfort―and doesn’t know where to look for them. When Mavis and Rose hatch a scheme to find Mr. Duffy a new dog, their lives and Henry’s intersect―and they all come to find friendship in places they never expected.

 

Illegal by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin, illus. by Giovanni Rigano

A powerfully moving graphic novel by New York Times bestselling author Eoin Colfer and the team behind the Artemis Fowl graphic novels that explores the current plight of undocumented immigrants.

Ebo is alone.His brother, Kwame, has disappeared, and Ebo knows it can only be to attempt the hazardous journey to Europe, and a better life―the same journey their sister set out on months ago.

But Ebo refuses to be left behind in Ghana. He sets out after Kwame and joins him on the quest to reach Europe. Ebo’s epic journey takes him across the Sahara Desert to the dangerous streets of Tripoli, and finally out to the merciless sea. But with every step he holds on to his hope for a new life, and a reunion with his family.

 

Echo’s Sister by Paul Mosier

Twelve-year-old El has planned on making her first week at a new school fantastic. She won’t go by her given name, Laughter. She’ll sit in the back of the classroom where she can make new friends. She won’t even have time to think about all the fun her old friends are having without her. Everything will be great.

But when her dad picks her up after school and tells her that her younger sister, Echo, has a life-threatening illness, her world is suddenly turned upside down. And with her parents now pressed for time and money, El feels lost and powerless.

Then she befriends Octavius, the only other kid in school who gets what she’s going through. As El begins to adjust to her new life, she soon finds that maybe a little hope and a lot of love can overcome any obstacle.

 

Just Breath by Mallika Chopra, illus. by Brenna Vaughan

Just Breathe is a fully illustrated go-to meditation guide written by Mallika Chopra, wellness expert and daughter of Deepak Chopra. For kids ages 8 to 12, this book is full of specific exercises to help deal with day-to-day challenges and tips to lead a healthier, happier, and more connected life. The book includes practical advice on breathing techniques and guided meditations for a number of topics and scenarios, including:

Dealing with stress; getting to sleep; building self-confidence; focusing on school/tests/other work; and ridding oneself of anxiety.

Beginners will learn the basics of meditation and how to get started, and those more experienced will learn how to improve their practice. This book will also teach kids how to prepare their own meditation spaces.

 

Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome

In a debut historical novel about the Great Migration a boy discovers Chicago’s postwar South Side and the poetry of Langston Hughes.

When 11-year-old Langston’s mother dies in 1946, he and his father leave rural Alabama for Chicago’s brown belt as a part of what came to be known as the Great Migration. It’s lonely in the small apartment with just the two of them, and at school Langston is bullied. But his new home has one fantastic thing. Unlike the whites-only library in Alabama, the local public library welcomes everyone. There, hiding out after school, Langston discovers another Langston, a poet whom he learns inspired his mother enough to name her only son after him.

 

Totally Middle School: Tales of Friends, Family, and Fitting In ed. by Betsy Groban

From literary masterminds Lois Lowry, Gary D. Schmidt, Linda Sue Park, Katherine Paterson, Karen Cushman, Gregory Maguire, and more comes a timeless and inspirational anthology about the sometimes-challenging, always-rewarding coming-of-age years: middle school.

With eleven short stories told in text messages, emails, formal letters, stories in verse, and even a mini graphic novel, Totally Middle School tackles a range of important subjects, from peer pressure, family issues, and cultural barriers to the unexpected saving grace of music, art, friendship, and reading.

Brimming with heart and humor, these poignant stories from bestselling and award-winning authors shine a light on the moments when everything is thrilling and terrifying at the same time–in a way it will never be again.

 

If This Were a Story by Beth Turley

Tenacious. That means strong-willed. My mother calls me that. I wish I felt the same way.

If this were a story, I would discover I was a direct descendent of a famous soldier who won countless battles and protected hundreds of people. This resilience running through my veins wouldn’t be damaged by the notes; it would fight off bullies and prevent my parents from yelling at each other.

But this is not a story. This is real life. My life as ten-year-old Hannah Geller, who is the only girl in fifth grade to have little red bumps on her face, is unable to let the sad thoughts escape her mind, and leaves heads-up pennies wherever she can to spread good luck. And who also finds magic in the most unlikely of places.

 

So Done by Paula Chase

When best friends Tai and Mila are reunited after a summer apart, their friendship threatens to combust from the pressure of secrets, middle school, and the looming dance auditions for a new talented-and-gifted program.

Jamila Phillips and Tai Johnson have been inseparable since they were toddlers, having grown up across the street from each other in Pirates Cove, a low-income housing project. As summer comes to an end, Tai can’t wait for Mila to return from spending a month with her aunt in the suburbs. But both girls are grappling with secrets, and when Mila returns she’s more focused on her upcoming dance auditions than hanging out with Tai.

Paula Chase explores complex issues that affect many young teens, and So Done offers a powerful message about speaking up. Full of ballet, basketball, family, and daily life in Pirates Cove, this memorable novel is for fans of Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish and Jason Reynolds’s Ghost.

 

Toaff’s Way by Cynthia Voight

Toaff is a small squirrel full of big questions. Why must I stay away from the human’s house? Why shouldn’t I go beyond the pine trees? Why do we fight with the red squirrels across the drive? His sister shrugs–that’s just the way things are. His brother bullies–because I said so. And the older squirrels scold–too many questions! Can Toaff really be the only one to wonder why?
When a winter storm separates him from his family, Toaff must make his own way in the world. It’s a world filled with danger–from foxes and hawks and cats to cars and chainsaws. But also filled with delight–the dizzying scent of apple blossoms, the silvery sound of singing, the joy of leaping so far you’re practically flying. Over the course of a year, Toaff will move into (and out of) many different dreys and dens, make some very surprising friends (and a few enemies), and begin to answer his biggest questions–what do I believe and where do I belong?

 

Finding Esme by Suzanne Crowley

After her grandfather died from a heart attack while driving his tractor on Solace Hill, twelve-year-old Esme’s been inextricably drawn to that spot, although her grandmother warns her to stay away. But when she follows her little brother, Bo, and her dog, Old Jack, up the hill while chasing fireflies, she makes an incredible discovery—dinosaur bones peeking out from underneath the abandoned tractor.

The bones must be a message from her grandfather, a connection from beyond the grave. But when word gets out that the farm is hiding something valuable, reporters, researchers, and neighbors arrive in droves. Esme struggles to understand who has her best interests at heart, especially as the memory of her grandfather begins to slip away.

Full of friendship and adventure, and featuring a palpable Texas setting, Finding Esme is a heartfelt story about family, friendship, and learning to deal with loss.

 

Monster Mayhem by Christopher Eliopoulos

In this funny, action-packed graphic novel adventure, a science-obsessed girl finds herself in the middle of one of her favorite monster movies. Can she invent her way out of disaster while also saving the monster who has become her friend?

Zoe’s favorite thing to do–besides invent and build robots–is watch classic monster movies. She has never been comfortable with kids her own age, and so she pretends she doesn’t need friends while inside she’s longing for connection. And then one day, Zoe finds a mysterious ring on her way home from school. She puts it on, gives it a twist, and–FRZAAKK There’s a massive burst of light The next morning, a familiar monster appears at Zoe’s window. He’s from one of her favorite kaiju movies, and he likes Zoe–he wants to be her friend. Has her secret wish been fulfilled? But it turns out that Zoe’s ring has brought more than just this friendly monster to life. More monsters have arrived, and they are hungry Now she’ll need to reach out to other people to help her save her town from destruction. Good thing she’s a robotics genius.

New Releases: June 2016

 

Just in time for summer, an excellent selection of new middle grade releases hits bookstore and library shelves this month. We’re especially excited here at the Mixed Up Files because three of our authors have four (FOUR!!) new releases this month. Congratulations to Dorian Cirrone (The First Last Day), Tricia Springstubb (Every Single Second), and Jennifer Swanson (Explore Forces and Motion and Super Gear) on their newest middle grades.
In the 24 new books listed below you’ll also find new novels from Karen Cushman and Kate Messner, mysteries, nonfiction, ninja librarians, a craft book, and a graphic novel. Let the reading begin!

Ms. Bixby’s Last Day ms bixbyby John David Anderson (fiction):
When Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she won’t be able to finish the school year, Topher, Brand, and Steve come up with a risky plan — more of a quest, really — to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves. Through the three very different stories they tell, we begin to understand what Ms. Bixby means to each of them and what the three of them mean to each other.

School of the Deadschool of the dead by Avi (mystery)
In this spine-tingling story, a boy must solve the mystery of the ghost haunting him. When Uncle Charlie dies suddenly, Tony is devastated. Then he starts seeing Uncle Charlie everywhere! It doesn’t help that Tony switched schools—it was Uncle Charlie’s dying wish that Tony attend the Penda School, where Uncle Charlie himself went as a kid. The Penda School is eerie enough without his uncle’s ghost making it worse. On top of that, rumors have been circulating about a student who went missing shortly before Tony arrived. Could that somehow be related to Uncle Charlie’s ghost?

 Nine, Ten: A September 11 Storynine ten by Nora Raleigh Baskin (fiction):
Ask anyone: September 11, 2001, was serene and lovely, a perfect day until a plane struck the World Trade Center. But right now it is a few days earlier, and four kids in different parts of the country are going about their lives. They don’t know one another, but their lives are about to intersect in ways they never could have imagined. From the author of Anything But Typical.

The Distance to Home by Jenn Bishop (fiction)
Last summer, Quinnen was the star pitcher of her baseball team, the Panthers. They were headed for the championship, and her loudest supporter at every game distance to homewas her best friend and older sister, Haley. This summer, everything is different. Haley’s death, at the end of last summer, has left Quinnen and her parents reeling. Without Haley in the stands, Quinnen doesn’t want to play baseball. It seems like nothing can fill the Haley-sized hole in her world. The one glimmer of happiness comes from the Bandits, the local minor-league baseball team. For the first time, Quinnen and her family are hosting one of the players for the season. Without Haley, Quinnen’s not sure it will be any fun, but soon she befriends a few players. With their help, can she make peace with the past and return to the pitcher’s mound?

The Boy at the Top of the Mountainboys at the top of the mountain by John Boyne (historical fiction):
When Pierrot becomes an orphan, he must leave his home in Paris for a new life with his aunt Beatrix, a servant in a wealthy Austrian household. But this is no ordinary time, for it is 1935 and the Second World War is fast approaching; and this is no ordinary house, for this is the Berghof, the home of Adolf Hitler.

Knit, Hook and Spin: A Kid’s Activity Guide to Fiber Arts and Crafts by Laurie Carlson (nonfiction/crafts):
Packeknit hook and spind with over 70 projects across a variety of fiber arts including knitting, felting, knotting and braiding, spinning, weaving, crocheting, and dyeing. Learn to felt a handy bag, braid a small rug, weave a colorful tapestry, knit comfy slippers, crochet a belt, make and use natural dyes, repurpose old clothing, and much more.

The First Last Day by Dorian Cirrone (fiction):
first last dayWhat if you could get a do-over — a chance to relive a day in your life over and over again until you got it right? Would you? After finding a mysterious set of paints in her backpack, eleven-year-old Haleigh Adams paints a picture of her last day at the New Jersey shore. When she wakes up the next morning, Haleigh finds that her wish for an endless summer with her new friend Kevin has come true. At first, she’s thrilled, but Haleigh soon learns that staying in one place and time comes with a price. And when Haleigh realizes her parents have been keeping a secret, she is faced with a choice: do nothing and miss out on the good things that come with growing up or find the secret of the time loop she’s trapped in and face the inevitable realities of moving on.  As she and Kevin set out to find the source of the magic paints, Haleigh worries it might be too late. Will she be able to restart time? Or will it be the biggest mistake of her life? “This will appeal to reluctant readers and those looking for a fun summer read with a twist. A heartfelt novel loaded with wonderful character development.” (School Library Journal)

Grayling’s Song graylings songby Karen Cushman (fiction/fantasy):
It’s time for Grayling to be a hero. Her mother, a wise woman a sort of witch has been turned into a tree by evil forces. Grayling heads off dubiously into the wilds in search of help, where she finds a weather witch, an aromatic enchantress, a cheese soothsayer, a slyly foolish apprentice, and a shape-shifting mouse named Pook. A fast-paced and funny coming-of-age odyssey from a Newbery medalist.

The Ninja Librarians: Sword in the Stacksninja librarians sword in the stacks by Jen Swann Downey (fiction/fantasy):
After stumbling upon the secret society of time-traveling ninja librarians, Dorrie has finally joined Petrarch’s Library as an apprentice. But on a training mission to 1912 England, Dorrie finds herself dangerously close to a member of the Library’s biggest enemy. This is the second in the Ninja Librarians series.

Five Times Revenge by Lindsay Eland (fiction):
Five unlikely friends. Two bullies. One epic prank. Adam is the prank ma5 times revengestermind. Perk is his best friend and the computer genius. Pearl is the prettiest girl in school and a violin prodigy. Ray looks like a big dumb jock, but he secretly wants to be an engineer. And Dutch is the often-bullied dork who is in tune with everyone’s feelings. The five of them couldn’t be more different. But there’s one thing they have in common: they are fed up with Hill Parmar, the school bully and his dad, their school principal who’s always turning a blind eye. When Hill finally steps over the line, the five unlikely schemers band together for a prank like their middle school has never seen.

The Gallerygallery by Laura Marx Fitzgerald (mystery):
A riveting historical art mystery, based on true events and set in the Roaring Twenties. It’s 1929, and twelve-year-old Martha has no choice but to work as a maid in the New York City mansion of the wealthy Sewell family. But, despite the Gatsby-like parties and trimmings of success, she suspects something might be deeply wrong in the household—specifically with Rose Sewell, the formerly vivacious lady of the house who now refuses to leave her room. The other servants say Rose is crazy, but scrappy, strong-willed Martha thinks there’s more to the story—and that the paintings in the Sewell’s gallery contain a hidden message detailing the truth. Can Martha follow the clues, decipher the code, and solve the mystery of what’s really going on with Rose Sewell?

When Friendship Followed Me Homewhen friendship followed me home by Paul Griffin (fiction):
A boy’s chance encounter with a scruffy dog leads to an unforgettable friendship in this deeply moving story about life, loss, and the meaning of family. Ben Coffin has never been one for making friends. As a former foster kid, he knows people can up and leave without so much as a goodbye. Ben prefers to spend his time with the characters in his favorite sci-fi books until he rescues an abandoned mutt from the ally next-door to the Coney Island Library.

Princess DisGrace: A Royal Disaster by Lou Kuenzler (fiction):
princess disgraceWhen Grace arrives at Tall Towers Princess Academy, her name isn’t on the Fairy Godmother’s list of students. She isn’t elegant at all—not even her curtsy is graceful. And all the other girls are sure she’s headed straight back to her tiny, messy kingdom. But one unicorn knows better. He’s clumsy and dirty and the perfect match for Grace! And together they have tons of fun. But the other princesses aren’t convinced Grace belongs at the academy. Can she prove that being a princess is about more than just being perfect?

Mischief at Midnightmischief at midnight by Esme Kerr (fiction/mystery):
Anastasia Stolonov and Edie Wilson are back at boarding school after spending the summer apart, and they can’t wait to be dormmates again. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned, and Edie is paired with Janet, the new girl at Knight’s Haddon.  When mysterious things begin to happen, Edie starts to think that Janet may not be all she seems–and suddenly events take a dangerous turn. Will Edie be able to salvage her friendships and uncover what’s going on before the clock runs out?

Poppy and the Lost Lagoonpoppy by Matt Kindt and Brian Hurtt (graphic novel):
Adventure runs in Poppy Pepperton’s family! At the age of ten, Poppy is the greatest explorer since her grandfather Pappy Pepperton, traveling the globe with her trusty sidekick/legal guardian Colt Winchester. When a shrunken mummy head gives a series of clues to discover an exotic fish no one’s seen in years, adventure calls, and Poppy and Colt find themselves in the strange city of Old Macadamia, swimming alongside the gigantipus, trailed by a strange robot, and end up uncovering clues to the greater mystery of what happened to Pappy all those years ago!

The Best Worst Thingbest worst thing by Kathleen Lane (mystery):
The front door is locked, kitchen door locked, living room windows closed, nobody in the closet and nobody under the bed. Still, Maggie is worried. Ever since she started middle school, she sees injustice and danger everywhere–on the news, in her textbooks, in her own neighborhood. Even her best friend seems to be changing. Maggie believes it is up to her, and only her, to make everything all right. Can she come up with a plan to keep everyone safe?

seventh wish

The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner (fiction):
Charlie feels like she’s always coming in last. From her Mom’s new job to her sister’s life away at college, everything else always seems to be more important than Charlie’s upcoming dance competition or science project. Unsure of how to get her family’s attention, Charlie comes across the surprise of her life one day while ice-fishing . . . in the form of a floppy, scaly fish offering to grant her a wish in exchange for its freedom. Charlie can’t believe her luck until she realizes that this fish has a funny way of granting wishes, despite her best intentions. Kate Messner weaves fantasy into the ordinary, giving every reader the opportunity to experience a little magic.

Eleven and Holding elvenby Mary Penney (fiction):
Macy Hollinquest’s birthday is just days away, but she has no intention of turning twelve without her dad by her side. He’d promised to be there for her big day, and yet he’s been gone for months after his discharge from the army, doing some kind of top secret, important work. So Macy’s staying eleven, no matter what; that is, until she meets Ginger, a nice older lady who is searching for her missing dog. Ginger’s dog search is the perfect cover for Macy’s attempt to locate her dad. But her hunt puts her on a path to a head-on collision with the truth, where she discovers that knowing can sometimes be a heavy burden.

The Secret Fire secret fireby Whitaker Ringwald (mystery)
The third and final book in the Secret Box trilogy, a series  for fans of humorous mystery capers. Who knew that insisting on opening a strange birthday present would lead to being kidnapped by an evil Greek god determined to conquer the world? Jax Malone certainly didn’t. But now she’s trapped in the back of a limo bound for Epimetheus’s secret lair. He wants to control the three ancient urns that used to belong to Pandora’s daughter. Magical urns that can suck hope, faith, and love out of the world.

The Enemy Above: A Novel of World War IIenemy above by Michael Spradlin (historical fiction):
The Germans are closing in, and twelve-year-old Anton knows his family can’t outrun them. A web of underground caves seems like the perfect place to hide, but danger lurks above the surface. Anton knows if his community is discovered, they will be sent off to work camps…or worse. Spradlin’s newest thriller is the ultimate game of cat and mouse set during one of the darkest moments in history.

How to (Almost) Ruin Your Summer by Taryn Souders (fiction):
Chow to almost ruin your summerhloe McCorkle knew a summer camp where you had to learn a career was a bad idea. She tried to tell her parents, but they just had to go on vacation to Alaska and ship her off for two weeks. It’s not ideal, but she’s going to try to make the best of it. She might even learn some skills that will help her make money for the new bike she’s been eyeing. But Chloe quickly discovers there’s only one area at which she excels; she manages to get more demerits than anyone else in camp…

Every Single Secondevery single second by Tricia Springstubb (fiction):
Twelve-year-old Nella Sabatini’s life is changing too soon, too fast. Her best friend, Clem, doesn’t seem concerned; she’s busy figuring out the best way to spend the leap second — an extra second about to be added to the world’s official clock. The only person who might understand how Nella feels is Angela, but the two of them have gone from being secret sisters to not talking at all. Then Angela’s idolized big brother makes a terrible, fatal mistake, one that tears apart their tight-knit community and plunges his family into a whirlwind of harsh publicity and judgment. Nella must choose whether to stand by or stand up. “Springstubb admirably takes on a sensitive and difficult contemporary American issue. Sure to spark discussion in classrooms and book clubs.” (School Library Journal)

Explore Forces and Motionexplore forces by Jennifer Swanson (nonfiction):
Physics becomes accessible and interactive through activities such as a experimenting with a water cup drop, building a bridge, and spotting magnetic field lines. Simple machines such as levers, pulleys, and wedges are used as vehicles for discovery and comprehension of the foundational concepts of physical science. Includes 25 great projects.

Super Gear: Nanotechnology and Sports Team Upsuper gear by Jennifer Swanson (nonfiction):
How are the sports played by Michael Phelps, Serena Williams, Michelle Wie, and Usain Bolt related? Nanotechnology. Take a close-up look at sports and nanotechnology, the cutting-edge science that manipulates objects at the atomic level. Nanotechnology is used to create high-tech swimsuits, tennis rackets, golf clubs, running shoes, and more. It is changing the face of sports as we know it. “A highly engaging introduction to an exciting aspect of cutting-edge, real-world science for STEM collections”School Library Journal.

Linda Johns is the author of the Hannah West middle grade mystery series and is a librarian in Seattle, Washington. She can be found on Twitter @LJBookie and at lindajohns.net.