By Weezie Prescott on November 1, 2023
Autumn is upon us. Leaves are colorful. Temperatures are dropping. Daylight is shorter. Turkeys are hiding. And exciting new books are waiting to be read. Grab a cup of warm cider and curl up with a November release.
Champions of the Fox (Thieves of Shadow) by Kevin Sands. November 7, 464 pp.
Commanded by the magical artifact known as the Dragon’s Eye, junior con artist Callan and his friends eagerly reach the end of the epic quest that will free him from the Eye’s sinister hold. But their final task is the most challenging: sneaking into the emperor’s private island prison to rescue a man from a jail cell that has been locked tight for a hundred years. This near-impossible task strains the gang’s unique abilities to deceive everyone including the guards, the city elite, the warden, and even the evil crime boss who warns them to stay away.
As the friends plan out their last, most difficult con job, Callan questions what they’re helping the Eye to achieve. Aided by magical hints and dreams, Callan uncovers the Eye’s true desires and to his horror realizes he may be the one being conned . . . and his mistake could cost the world’s entire existence.
Duel by Jessixa Bagley. November 7, 320 pp.
Sixth-grader Lucy is brand new to middle school. GiGi is the undisputed queen bee of eighth grade. They’ve only got one thing in common: fencing. Oh, and they’re sisters. They’ve never gotten along super well, but ever since their dad died, it seems like they’re always at each other’s throats.
When GiGi humiliates Lucy in the cafeteria on the first day of school, Lucy snaps and challenges GiGi to a duel with high stakes. If GiGi wins, Lucy promises to stay out of GiGi’s way; if Lucy wins, GiGi will stop teasing Lucy for good. But after their scene in the cafeteria, both girls are on thin ice with the principal and their mom. Lucy stopped practicing fencing after their fencer dad died and will have to get back to fighting form. And GiGi must behave perfectly or risk getting kicked off the fencing team. As the clock ticks down to the girls’ fencing bout, the anticipation grows. But will winning the duel mean fracturing their family even further?
Forsooth by Jimmy Matejek Morris. November 7, 360 pp.
Thirteen-year-old Calvin knows he’s destined to be a star. . . if he can just stop making embarrassing mistakes onstage like getting stuck on a single line―”Forsooth!”―during the school play. The summer after seventh grade, he’s hoping for a fresh start. All he has to do is prove himself as an actor and fix the awkwardness with his friends that started after the play.
But nothing’s going according to plan. His parents don’t understand his love of performing. His best friend is moving on without him. And he might have a crush that could change everything. Surrounded by drama on all sides, Calvin will have to go off script if he’s going to be a real friend and be true to himself.
Futureland: The Nightmare Hour by H.D. Hunter. November 7, 384 pp.
The most spectacular theme park in the world is headed to the Big Apple. After Atlanta, Cam Walker and his family are ready to turn over a new leaf with Futureland. This is where dreams literally come true, and the Walkers are going to show the people of New York City that their park is back and better than ever.
But trouble isn’t done with the Walkers. Glitches keep happening with the park attractions. There’s a creepy carnival in town that gives Cam goosebumps. Plus, he just can’t shake the feeling that his family is being watched. And it may be his imagination, but are the people around him acting . . . stranger than usual? Can Cam get to the bottom of what’s going on before Futureland becomes a playground of terrors?
Sail Me Away Home (Show Me a Sign Trilogy, Book 3) by Ann Clare LeZotte. November 7, 304 pp.
As a young teacher on Martha’s Vineyard, Mary Lambert—a deaf teenager—feels restless and adrift. So when a league of missionaries invites her to travel abroad, she knows it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Paris is home to a pioneering deaf school where she can meet its visionary instructors Jean Massieu and Laurent Clerc―and bring their methods back to America! But the endeavor comes at a cost: The missionaries’ plan to “save” deaf children is questionable. What’s more, the missionaries’ work threatens the Wampanoag and other Native peoples’ freedom and safety. Mary struggles with pursuing her own goals at the price of betraying her friends and her own values.
So begins a feverish and fraught adventure that will enrich your understanding of the deaf experience as it celebrates Deaf history, culture, and community.
Read an interview with the author, Ann Clare LeZotte, here.
Morning Sun In Wuhan by Ying Compestine. November 8, 208 pp.
Weaving in the tastes and sounds of Wuhan, the comforting and distinctive cuisine of the historic city comes to life as the reader follows 13-year-old Mei who—through her love of cooking—makes a difference in her community.
Grieving the death of her mother and being an outcast at school, thirteen-year-old Mei finds solace in cooking and computer games. When her friend’s grandmother falls ill, Mei seeks out her father—a doctor—for help and discovers an overcrowded hospital. As the virus spreads, Mei finds herself alone in a locked-down city trying to find a way to help.
Readers can follow Mei’s tantalizing recipes and cook them at home. For more cooking fun, check here.
Billy and the Giant Adventure by Jamie Oliver. November 14, 352 pp.
Billy and his friends know that Waterfall Woods is out of bounds. Rumors say strange things happen there and no one in their village has ventured past its walls for decades. But when they discover a secret way in, Billy and his best friends, Anna, Jimmy, and Andy, can’t resist the temptation to explore. They quickly discover that the woods are brimming with magic and inhabited by all sorts of unusual creatures, including a whole community of sprites who need the children’s help! With magical battles, a long-lost mythical city, fantastical flying machines, epic feasts, and one GIANT rescue—not to mention some mouth-watering recipes at the back—get ready for an adventure you’ll never forget!
The Cool Code 2.0: The Switch Glitch by Deidre Langeland. November 14, 224 pp.
When the coding club finds that their app has a malicious user, Morgan, Zoey, and Daniel code an update to deal with a mischievous AI llama that’s guiding a not-so-popular kid named Marcus to cause chaos in the school.
Annoying little siblings, chaotic pranks, and more problems abound as they race to repair the glitchy app—and their own friendships—before the damage is irreversible.
The Dubious Pranks of Shaindy Goodman by Mari Lowe. November 14, 172 pp.
In their Orthodox Jewish girls’ school, Gayil is the cool kid while twelve-year-old Shaindy feels shy and awkward. When Gayil suddenly befriends Shaindy and encourages her to join in on some increasingly serious pranks, the mischief becomes malice. Shaindy sees that the pranks are only targeting certain girls. But what could they have in common? With the fear of Gayil’s anger and her own reluctance growing, Shaindy comes to the terrifying conclusion that if she can’t figure out how to stop the pranks, she could be the next target. Shaindy must discover why Gayilis is behaving badly before someone really gets hurt.
Ruptured by Joanne Rossmassler Fritz. November 14, 272 pp.
Claire’s mom and dad don’t talk to each other much anymore. And they definitely don’t laugh or dance the way they used to. Their tense stand-offs leave thirteen-year-old Claire, an only child, caught in the middle. So when the family takes their annual summer vacation, Claire sticks her nose in a book and hopes for the best. Maybe the sunshine and ocean breeze will fix what’s wrong.
But while the family is away, Claire’s mother has a ruptured brain aneurysm right after she reveals a huge secret to Claire. Though she survives the aneurysm, she seems an entirely different person. Claire has no idea if her mom meant what she said, or if she even remembers saying it. With the weight of her mom’s confession on her shoulders, Claire must navigate fear, grief, and prospects for recovery. Will her mom ever be the same? Will her parents stay together? And if the answer to either question is yes, how will Claire learn to live with what she knows?
Too Many Interesting Things Are Happening to Ethan Fairmont by Nick Brooks. November 14, 224 pp.
Ethan’s beloved neighborhood is full of new faces. Lifelong residents lost their homes, and new businesses replaced old favorites. At school, Ethan finds a rival in new kid Fatima, an inventor who is just as science savvy as he is. Then there’s the mysterious real estate agent with way too many questions. Not to mention extraterrestrial-obsessed Jodie and his “Aliens Are Here” club.
It’s all too much for Ethan and he begins to miss Cheese, his adorable six-eyed alien pal. Fortunately for Ethan and his friends Kareem and Juan Carlos, distraction comes in the form of a top-secret project. Cheese left a communication device under Ethan’s bed before exiting the planet. There’s just one problem: they can’t figure out how it works! As Ferrous City continues to change and eyes are everywhere, will the trio be able to keep their secret and reach Cheese, or is something evil brewing right next door?
Ink Girls by Marieke Nijcamp. November 21, 288 pp.
Eleven-year-old Cinzia is a printer’s apprentice. She adores her mentor, Mestra Aronne, for taking her in and she loves life in the raggedy workshop that smells of paper and printing, where secrets and stories are always circulating. So when Mestra Aronne is sent to prison for publishing accusations against the ruling family, Cinzia will do anything to prove that Mestra Aronne told the truth.
Elena, also eleven, is forced to stay in her rooms and garden. Her mother says it’s for her own protection but her uncle claims it’s to protect the city because Elena is not the charming, powerful noble her family wants her to be. She’s far too gullible and struggles to understand people.
When the two girls meet face-to-face, they follow a trail of clues through their golden city, learning more about their home and each other than they ever could have imagined. If one person can change the course of history, just imagine what a whole flock of them could do.
Cat Kid Comic Club: Influencers: A Graphic Novel by Dav Pilkey. November 28, 224 pp.
The Cat Kid Comic Club is in crisis! After learning that one of their comics will be published, the baby frogs are filled with anxiety and doubt. How will they get their creative groove back? Will Naomi or Melvin emerge as a leader? Will Flippy convince them to finally straighten up and fly right?
For more hilarity and heart, dive into the newest graphic novel in the Cat Kid Comic Club series.
Six of the above selections are part of a series. Here are some prequel titles in those series that may interest you so grab another cup of cider, an apple muffin, and enjoy!