The Children’s Book Review | August 1, 2016
Hot New Releases & Popular Kids Stories
Oh, my! We have a truck load of amazing books to share with you during August—Nina Laden’s board book Peek-a-Choo-Choo to Jaye Robin Brown’s novel for young adults and everything in between. We’re super excited about The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, illustrated by Caldecott Medalist Erin E. Stead. Which book are you most excited about?
Written and Illustrated by Nina Laden
Publisher’s Synopsis: In this fourth title in Nina Laden’s Peek-a series, young readers play the classic game of peekaboo with vehicles! Colorful pictures and lively, rhyming text—featuring trains, planes, and a bonanza of boats—help children predict what is peeking through die-cut windows. Read the clue… guess the rhyme…giggle wildly…and repeat!
Ages 1-3 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | August 16, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1452154732
Publisher’s Synopsis: A determined little spider named Walter is trying to make a sturdy web that will stand up to the blustery wind. The webs he makes at first are woven in special shapes–a triangle, a square, a circle–but they are still wibbly-wobbly. Can Walter make a web that is both wonderful and strong? This simple, vibrant adventure is a lively companion to our two previous Hopgood “first books” about colors and the senses.
Ages 2-4 | Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux | August 16, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0374303525
Written and Illustrated by Ross Collins
Publisher’s Synopsis: Poor Mouse! A bear has settled in his favorite chair, and that chair just isn’t big enough for two. Mouse tries all kinds of tactics to move pesky Bear, but nothing works. Once Mouse has gone, Bear gets up and walks home. But what’s that? Is that a mouse in Bear’s house?
Ages 2-5 | Publisher: Nosy Crow | August 9, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0763689421
Publisher’s Synopsis: Poppy gets into a major pickle when her imagination comes alive!
Poppy has the most extraordinary imagination. When she is sent upstairs to clean her room, she just can’t help imagining, and suddenly . . . her imagination literally comes alive. Soon her room is jam-packed with all kinds of weird and wonderful creatures. There are a few problems, though: the mammoth puts his foot through the floor, and the hungry crocodile thinks Poppy would make a tasty snack. Poppy needs to get rid of all these creatures fast. But how?
Ages 2-5 | Publisher: Templar | August 2, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0763689117
Written and Illustrated by Stacey Previn
Publisher’s Synopsis: Aberdeen never meant to leave the yard in the first place. BUT a balloon floated by and…. He is suddenly off on an unexpected adventure! Before long, Aberdeen follows his whims and fancy to unknown territory, a little too far away from home – and from mama.
Who doesn’t know the feeling of one thing leading to another leading to another – until you’re not quite sure how you ended up where you did? Aberdeen’s adorable antics will have readers excited to see where he lands next, and on the edges of their seats as he searches for a way back home.
Ages 2-5 | Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers | August 9, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0451471482
Written by Josh Funk
Illustrated by Michael H. Slack
Publisher’s Synopsis: We’re Pirasaurs! We’re Pirasaurs!
We rule the open seas!
We’ll cannon-blast you to the past!
We do just what we please!
Meet the Pirasaurs, a ragtag team of seasoned pirate dinosaurs looking for adventure and treasure! There’s fearsome Captain Rex, golden-toothed Velocimate, one-eyed Bronto Beard, and more fearsome, buccaneering beasts….as well as one new recruit who may be small, but who’s eager to prove he can learn the ropes and find his place on the team.
But when a trap is set upon the Pirasaurs while looking for buried treasure, it’s up to the littlest recruit to show the team that there’s more to a Pirasaur than meets the eye patch!
Ages 3-5 | Publisher: Orchard Books | August 30, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0545750493
Written by Deanna Caswell
Illustrated by Bob Shea
Publisher’s Synopsis: Bestselling illustrator Bob Shea and poet Deanna Caswell are back, this time with a haiku book filled with frights that delight.
Here’s a spooky haiku just for you!
broom across the moon
pointed hat at the window
Can you guess who from this haiku?
A witch, a bat, a skeleton, a jack-o’-lantern, a ghost, a black cat, a spider, an owl, and a scarecrow are all hiding in the pages of this clever Halloween-themed book. Deanna Caswell’s playful haiku cleverly hint at the creatures revealed after each turn of the page while Bob Shea’s bright illustrations capture the scary silliness.
Ages 3-5 | Publisher: Abrams Appleseed | August 16, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1419721182
Publisher’s Synopsis: Pirate Dave was big and brave, Pirate Nell was clever. Pirate Giles could swim for miles in any kind of weather. But Pirate Paulâ€¦well, he was small. He was hardly a proper pirate at all. (Or so the others thought). So begins this charming book that’s perfect for your little landlubber. When a crew of child pirates set sail in search of treasure, they each have their own unique talents and abilities. That is, except for Pirate Paul–who after all, is just too small! The others don’t think he’s good for much of anything. Not hoisting the sails, swabbing the deck, or searching for treasure. But when disaster strikes, it’s up to Pirate Paul to prove that being small doesn’t mean you can’t have the biggest adventure of all! Comes with a fun pirate hat, eyepatch, and treasure.
Ages 3-5 | Publisher: Barron’s | August 1, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1438009483
Written by Jory John
Illustrated by Bob Shea
Publisher’s Synopsis: The talented creators of I Will Chomp You! brilliantly frame the struggle to buck stereotypes and learn empathy in this monster’s hilarious lament.
Floyd Patterson is so much more than shaggy purple fur and pointy monster teeth—
why can’t people just see him for him? Jory John and Bob Shea have struck gold in creating a knee-slapping, read-it-again story that will start a valuable discussion about how we treat others and how it feels to be seen as “different.”
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers | August 23, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0385389907
Written by Sean Taylor
Illustrated by Kate Hindley
Publisher’s Synopsis: When you’re a preciously small canine with a big and bold personality, how do you show your doting owners that you want to be treated like an ordinary dog?
The dog in this book doesn’t want to be carried in a handbag (how embarrassing!) or eat heart-shaped mini puppy treats (I mean, come on!). And under no circumstances does he ever want to be called “choochie pooh”! If only his owner understood. All this dog wants to do is play with the big dogs in the park—chasing sticks, jumping in muddy puddles, and being a regular part of the pack. From Sean Taylor, the author of Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise, and Kate Hindley, illustrator of Worst in Show, comes a picture-book comedy filled with vibrant art and starring a fed-up pup who learns that when it comes to making new friends, appearances aren’t everything.
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Candlewick | August 9, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0763681197
Written by Kelly DiPucchio
Illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
Publisher’s Synopsis: We all know dragons are terrible, but this one is especially terrible. He scribbles in books. He steals candy from baby unicorns. He even burps in church. Seriously, who does that? Dragon, that’s who. The king, the knights, and the villagers are desperate to take down this beast once and for all. But sometimes it’s up to the unlikeliest of heroes to tame a dragon this terrible.
Ages 4-7 | Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux | August 23, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0374300494
Written and Illustrated by Kenard Pak
Publisher’s Synopsis: As trees sway in the cool breeze, blue jays head south, and leaves change their colors, everyone knows–autumn is on its way!
Join a young girl as she takes a walk through forest and town, greeting all the signs of the coming season. In a series of conversations with every flower and creature and gust of wind, she says good-bye to summer and welcomes autumn.
Ages 4-7 | Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. | August 16, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1627794152
Written by Jen Arena
Illustrated by Angela Dominguez
Publisher’s Synopsis: Marta is una niña, an ordinary girl . . . with some extraordinary animal friends!
As Marta explores the jungle, she knows she’s bigger than a bug, smaller than an elephant, and faster than a turtle. But then she meets the snake, who thinks Marta is sabrosa―tasty, very tasty! But Marta is ingeniosa, a very clever girl, and she outsmarts the snake with hilarious results.
With simple Spanish and a glossary at the end, this fun read-aloud picture book teaches little ones to identify opposites and animals and learn new words.
Ages 4-7 | Publisher: Roaring Brook Press | August 23, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1626722439
Written by Michelle Cuevas
Illustrated by Erin E. Stead
Publisher’s Synopsis: A message in a bottle holds the promise of surprise and wonder, as told in this enthralling picture book by Caldecott Medalist Erin E. Stead
The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles, who lives alone atop a hill, has a job of the utmost importance. It is his task to open any bottles found at sea and make sure that the messages are delivered. He loves his job, though he has always wished that, someday, one of the letters would be addressed to him. One day he opens a party invitation—but there’s no name attached. As he devotes himself to the mystery of the intended recipient, he ends up finding something even more special: the possibility of new friends.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Dial Books | August 23, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0803738683
Illustrated by Evan Turk
Publisher’s Synopsis: In this breathtaking companion to the award-winning Grandfather Gandhi, Arun Gandhi, with Bethany Hegedus, tells a poignant, personal story of the damage of wastefulness, gorgeuously illustrated by Evan Turk.
At Grandfather Gandhi’s service village, each day is filled, from sunrise to sunset, with work that is done for the good of all. The villagers vow to live simply and non-violently. Arun Gandhi tries very hard to follow these vows, but he struggles with one of the most important rules: not to waste.
How can throwing away a worn-down pencil hurt anyone? How can wastefulness lead to violence? With the help of his grandfather, Arun learns how every wasteful act, no matter how small, affects others. And in time he comes to understand the truth of his grandfather’s words: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers | August 30, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1481442657
Written and Illustrated by Brendan Wenzel
Publisher’s Synopsis: The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws . . .
In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see?
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | August 30, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1452150130
Written by Lola M. Schaefer and Adam Schaefer
Illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
Publisher’s Synopsis: Because of an acorn, a tree grows, a bird nests, a seed becomes a flower. Enchanting die-cuts illustrate the vital connections between the layers of an ecosystem in this magical book. Wander down the forest path to learn how every tree, flower, plant, and animal connect to one another in spiraling circles of life. An acorn is just the beginning.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | August 2, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1452112428
Written by Heidi Schulz
Illustrated by Chris Robertson
Publisher’s Synopsis: In this mischievously funny picture book, friends come in all shapes and sizes.
In case you were wondering, here’s an incomplete list of things giraffes ruin:
– Birthday parties
– Going to the movies
– Playing at the park
– Hide and Seek
– Everything else
Yes, that’s right. Giraffes ruin everything.
But what happens when our narrator gets into a tricky situation? Perhaps he’ll find giraffes aren’t so bad after all . . .
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens | August 16, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1619634756
Written by Beth Ferry
Illustrated by Matt Myers
Publisher’s Synopsis: Ahoy! Pirates, pets, and puns run amok as a swaggering, softhearted captain takes off on a mad search for the perfect animal sidekick.
Big, brave Captain Crave can check off most items on the handy Be Your Best Buccaneer checklist. He has a pirate ship, an eye patch, courage and daring, and more. Only one thing is missing: Captain Crave doesn’t have a pet. Arrr! Shuck me an oyster and set sail for land! The captain and his crew race and chase critters of every size and shape, from the beach to a farm to the zoo to a pet shop, causing a commotion wherever they go. But just when all seems lost, the search party stumbles on the most perfectly perfect pet for Captain Crave. Has he finally met his match? Aye-aye!
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Candlewick | August 2, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0763672881
Written and Illustrated by Aaron Becker
Publisher’s synopsis: Welcome the much-anticipated finale of Caldecott Honoree Aaron Becker’s wordless trilogy—a spectacular, emotionally satisfying story that brings its adventurer home.
Failing to get the attention of her busy father, a lonely girl turns back to a fantastic world for friendship and adventure. It’s her third journey into the enticing realm of kings and emperors, castles and canals, exotic creatures and enchanting landscapes. This time, it will take something truly powerful to persuade her to return home, as a gripping backstory is revealed that will hold readers in its thrall. Caldecott Honor winner Aaron Becker delivers a suspenseful and moving climax to his wordless trilogy, an epic that began with the award-winning Journey and continued with the celebrated follow-up Quest.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Candlewick Press | August 2, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0763677305
Written by Mark Sommerset
Illustrated by Rowan Sommerset
Publisher’s Synopsis: A duped—and grossed-out—Quirky Turkey is aiming for payback, but does he have what it takes to pull the wool over Baa Baa’s eyes?
After getting tricked by Little Baa Baa into eating “smarty tablets,” Quirky Turkey wants revenge. What if he uses Baa Baa’s own tactics against him by exchanging a few pleasantries before tempting his friend with a fresh, delicious glass of “lemonade”? Turns out gullibility isn’t so easy to quench in an outrageous follow-up to Baa Baa Smart Sheep that will have kids laughing so hard, they may just lemonade themselves.
Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Candlewick | August 2, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0763680671
Written by Jean-Luc Fromental
Illustrated by Joëlle Jolivet
Publisher’s Synopsis: This stunning picture book from the bestselling team of Jean-Luc Fromental and Joëlle Jolivet cleverly introduces many of the bones that make up the human body.
A mysterious beast is terrorizing the resident skeletons of Bonesville. Under cover of darkness, it steals a different bone from each townsperson, from cranium to phalanges. It takes the washerwoman’s humerus, the butcher’s fibula, and Dr. Strongbones’s coccyx. Thanks to his patience and cleverness, Detective Sherlock Bones traps the monster, revealing that the beast is only the harmless Spot of the Baskervilles, on a mission to rebuild the lost skeleton of his master, Dr. Watsbones. Jolivet’s bold illustrations and Fromental’s witty storytelling make for a winning combination in this striking picture book, perfect for young Sherlock Holmes fans.
Ages 5-7 | Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers | August 16, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1419722776
Written and Illustrated by Fiona Robinson
Publisher’s Synopsis: Ada Lovelace (1815–1852) was the daughter of Lord Byron, a poet, and Anna Isabella Milbanke, a mathematician. Her parents separated when she was young, and her mother insisted on a logic-focused education, rejecting Byron’s “mad” love of poetry. But Ada remained fascinated with her father and considered mathematics “poetical science.” Via her friendship with inventor Charles Babbage, she became involved in “programming” his Analytical Engine, a precursor to the computer, thus becoming the world’s first computer programmer. This picture book biography of Ada Lovelace is a compelling portrait of a woman who saw the potential for numbers to make art.
Ages 6-9 | Publisher: Abrams Books for Young Readers | August 2, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1419718724
Written by Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Publisher’s Synopsis: What if timid Baby Lincoln broke free of her bossy sister and set off on an unexpected journey? Kate DiCamillo presents a touching new adventure set in Mercy Watson’s world.
Baby Lincoln’s older sister, Eugenia, is very fond of telling Baby what to do, and Baby usually responds by saying “Yes, Sister.” But one day Baby has had enough. She decides to depart on a Necessary Journey, even though she has never gone anywhere without Eugenia telling her what to take and where to go. And in fact Baby doesn’t knowwhere she is headed — only that she was entirely happy in the previous night’s dream, sitting aboard a train with a view of shooting stars. Who might Baby meet as she strikes out on her own, and what could she discover about herself? Will her impulsive adventure take her away from Eugenia for good?
Ages 6-9 | Publisher: Candlewick | August 2, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0763673116
Written and Illustrated by Dav Pilkey
Publisher’s Synopsis: New from the creator of Captain Underpants, it’s Dog Man, the crime-biting canine who is part dog, part man, and ALL HERO!
George and Harold have created a new hero who digs into deception, claws after crooks, and rolls over robbers. When Greg the police dog and his cop companion are injured on the job, a life-saving surgery changes the course of history, and Dog Man is born. With the head of a dog and the body of a human, this heroic hound has a real nose for justice. But can he resist the call of the wild to answer the call of duty?
Ages 7-14 | Publisher: Graphix | August 30, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0545581608
Written by Sharon Creech
Publisher’s Synopsis: Fans of Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech’s Love That Dog and Hate That Cat will love her newest tween novel, Moo. This uplifting tale reminds us that if we’re open to new experiences, life is full of surprises. Following one family’s momentous move from the city to rural Maine, an unexpected bond develops between twelve-year-old Reena and one very ornery cow.
When Reena, her little brother, Luke, and their parents first move to Maine, Reena doesn’t know what to expect. She’s ready for beaches, blueberries, and all the lobster she can eat. Instead, her parents “volunteer” Reena and Luke to work for an eccentric neighbor named Mrs. Falala, who has a pig named Paulie, a cat named China, a snake named Edna—and that stubborn cow, Zora.
This heartwarming story, told in a blend of poetry and prose, reveals the bonds that emerge when we let others into our lives.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: HarperCollins | August 30, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0062415240
Written by Louise Erdrich
Publisher’s Synopsis: In the sequel to Chickadee, acclaimed author Louise Erdrich continues her award-winning Birchbark House series with the story of an Ojibwe family in nineteenth-century America.
Named for the Ojibwe word for little bear, Makoons and his twin, Chickadee, have traveled with their family to the Great Plains of Dakota Territory. There they must learn to become buffalo hunters and once again help their people make a home in a new land. But Makoons has had a vision that foretells great challenges—challenges that his family may not be able to overcome.
Based on Louise Erdrich’s own family history, this fifth book in the series features black-and-white interior illustrations, a note from the author about her research, as well as a map and glossary of Ojibwe terms.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: HarperCollins | August 9, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0060577933
Publisher’s Synopsis: From the minds of Tom Angleberger, the New York Times bestselling author of the wildly popular Origami Yoda series, and Paul Dellinger, an adult science-fiction writer, comes a funny middle school story with a memorable robot title character. Reluctant readers and robot lovers in elementary and middle school will enjoy this fast-paced read that shows just how strange a place middle school can be, particularly when the new student is a state-of-the-art robot.
When Max—Maxine Zelaster—befriends her new robot classmate Fuzzy, part of Vanguard One Middle School’s new Robot Integration Program, she helps him learn everything he needs to know about surviving middle school—the good, the bad, and the really, really, ugly. Little do they know that surviving sixth grade is going to become a true matter of life and death, because Vanguard has an evil presence at its heart: a digital student evaluation system named BARBARA that might be taking its mission to shape the perfect student to extremes!
With a strong female main character who will appeal to all readers, Tom Angleberger and Paul Dellinger’s new novel offers readers a fresh take on robots. Fuzzy will find its place in the emerging category of bestselling books featuring robots, including Jon Scieszka’ s Frank Einstein series and James Patterson’s House of Robots.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Amulet Books | August 16, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1419721229
Written by Helen Frost
Illustrated by Amy June Bates
Publisher’s Synopsis: In a touching poetic novel, a fall apple ritual—along with some inventive storytelling—brings a family together as they grieve the loss of a beloved family member.
When the first apple falls from the tree, Faith and Peter know that it’s applesauce weather, even though Peter is getting a little old for such things. It also means Uncle Arthur should be here to tell his stories, with a twinkle in his eye as he spins tales about how he came to have a missing finger. But this is the first year without Aunt Lucy, and when Uncle Arthur arrives, there’s no twinkle to be found and no stories waiting to be told. Faith is certain, though, that with a little love and patience, she and Peter might finally learn the truth about that missing finger. Paired with warm, expressive illustrations by Amy June Bates, this heartfelt tale by award-winning poet Helen Frost highlights the strength of family and the power of a good story.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Candlewick | August 9, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0763675769
Written by Jennifer L. Holm
Publisher’s Synopsis: Newbery Honor Book Turtle in Paradise is beloved by readers, and now they can return to this wonderful world through the eyes of Turtle’s cousin Beans.
Grown-ups lie. That’s one truth Beans knows for sure. He and his gang know how to spot a whopper a mile away, because they are the savviest bunch of barefoot conchs (that means “locals”) in all of Key West. Not that Beans really minds; it’s 1934, the middle of the Great Depression. With no jobs on the island, and no money anywhere, who can really blame the grown-ups for telling a few tales? Besides, Beans isn’t anyone’s fool. In fact, he has plans. Big plans. And the consequences might surprise even Beans himself.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers | August 30, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0553510362
Written by Bridget Hodder
Publisher’s Synopsis: The Prince of the Rats is changed into Cinderella’s coachman on the night of the big ball. Now he and Cinderella must work together to vanquish her wicked stepmother and save the Kingdom of Angland from a terrible threat. With courage, heart, and a dash of magic, can they also find a happy ending? The spell ends at midnight, and the clock is ticking…
Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux | August 23, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0374302139
Written by Janette Rallison
Publisher’s Synopsis: Hudson Brown stopped believing in magic long ago. That is, until the day he is whisked away to the magical land of Logos by a curious compass given to him by his off-beat neighbor, Charlotte.
Hudson discovers that Logos is a land ruled by words, thoughts, and memories. A fairy might ferry you across the river for the price of one memory. But be sure to look out for snarky unicorns, as they will see through those who are not pure of heart.
Not understanding the many rules of Logos, Hudson is quickly saddled with a troll curse. Charlotte, who, along with her father, was banished from Logos, can help get rid of the curse–but only if he agrees to find the lost Princess of Logos in return.
Ages 9-12 | Publisher: Feiwel & Friends | August 23, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1250074287
Written by Margarita Engle
Publisher’s Synopsis: In a haunting yet hopeful novel in verse, award-winning author Margarita Engle tells the story of Antonio Chuffat, a young man of African, Chinese, and Cuban descent who became a champion of civil rights.
Asia, Africa, Europe—Antonio Chuffat’s ancestors clashed and blended on the beautiful island of Cuba. Yet for most Cubans in the nineteenth century, life is anything but beautiful. The country is fighting for freedom from Spain. Enslaved Africans and nearly-enslaved Chinese indentured servants are forced to work long, backbreaking hours in the fields.
So Antonio feels lucky to have found a good job as a messenger, where his richly blended cultural background is an asset. Through his work he meets Wing, a young Chinese fruit seller who barely escaped the anti-Asian riots in San Francisco, and his sister Fan, a talented singer. With injustice all around them, the three friends are determined that violence will not be the only way to gain liberty.
Ages 10+ | Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers | August 30, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1481461122
Publisher’s Synopsis: Pete Seeger, the iconic folk musician and multiple Grammy winner, discovered early in life that what he wanted to do was make music. His amazing career as singer, songwriter, and banjo player spanned seven decades, and included both low points (being charged with contempt of Congress) and highlights (receiving the Kennedy Center Honor from President Clinton). An activist and protester, Seeger crusaded for the rights of labor, the rights of people of color, and the First Amendment right to let his voice be heard, and launched the successful campaign to clean up the Hudson River. Archival photographs and prints, source notes, bibliography, index.
Ages 10-12 | Publisher: Clarion Books | August 2, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0547330129
Written by Kelly Barnhill
Publisher’s Synopsis: Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.
One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge–with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .
The author of the highly acclaimed, award-winning novel The Witch’s Boy has written an epic coming-of-age fairy tale destined to be a modern classic.
Ages 10-14 | Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers | August 9, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1616205676
Written by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Publisher’s Synopsis: As a lethal plague sweeps through the land, Ani Mells is shocked when she is unexpectedly captured by the governor’s wardens and forced to submit to a test for the deadly Scourge. She is even more surprised when the test results come back positive, and she is sent to Attic Island, a former prison turned refuge — and quarantine colony — for the ill. The Scourge’s victims, Ani now among them, can only expect to live out short, painful lives there. However, Ani quickly discovers that she doesn’t know the whole truth about the Scourge or the Colony. She’s been caught in a devious plot, and, with the help of her best friend, Weevil, Ani means to uncover just what is actually going on.
But will she and Weevil survive long enough to do so?
The Scourge is an explosively thrilling tale of adventure and intrigue, courage and heart from New York Times bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen.
Ages 10-14 | Publisher: Scholastic Press | August 30, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0545682459
Written by Jo Knowles
Publisher’s Synopsis: In a return to middle-grade fiction, master of perspectives Jo Knowles depicts a younger sibling struggling to maintain his everyday life while coping with his sister’s secret struggle.
Noah is just trying to make it through seventh grade. The girls are confusing, the homework is boring, and even his friends are starting to bug him. Not to mention that his older sister, Emma, has been acting pretty strange, even though Noah thought she’d been doing better ever since the Thing They Don’t Talk About. The only place he really feels at peace is in art class, with a block of clay in his hands. As it becomes clear through Emma’s ever-stricter food rules and regulations that she’s not really doing better at all, the normal seventh-grade year Noah was hoping for begins to seem pretty unattainable. In an affecting and realistic novel with bright spots of humor, Jo Knowles captures the complexities of navigating middle school while feeling helpless in the face of a family crisis.
Ages 10-14 | Publisher: Candlewick | August 2, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0763672171
Written by J.P. Romney
Publisher’s Synopsis: It starts with the crows. When you see them, you know he’s found you.
Koda Okita is a high school student in modern-day Japan who isn’t very popular. He suffers from narcolepsy and has to wear a watermelon-sized helmet to protect his head in case he falls. But Koda couldn’t care less about his low social standing. He is content with taking long bike rides and hanging out in the convenience store parking lot with his school-dropout friend, Haru.
But when a rash of puzzling deaths sweeps his school, Koda discovers that his narcoleptic naps allow him to steal the thoughts of nearby supernatural beings. He learns that his small town is under threat from a ruthless mountain demon that is hell-bent on vengeance. With the help of a mysterious―and not to mention very cute―classmate, Koda must find a way to take down this demon. But his unstable and overwhelming new abilities seem to have a mind of their own…
J.P. Romney’s The Monster on the Road Is Me is a darkly comic debut novel about the unexpected strength we find when we are tested beyond our limits.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux | August 30, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0374316549
Written by Wendy Mills
Publisher’s Synopsis: Now:
Sixteen-year-old Jesse is used to living with the echoes of the past. Her older brother died in the September 11th attacks, and her dad since has filled their home with anger and grief. When Jesse gets caught up with the wrong crowd, one momentary hate-fueled decision turns her life upside down. The only way to make amends is to face the past, starting Jesse on a journey that will reveal the truth about how her brother died.
In 2001, sixteen-year-old Alia is proud to be Muslim . . . it’s being a teenager that she finds difficult. After being grounded for a stupid mistake, Alia decides to confront her father at his Manhattan office, putting her in danger she never could have imagined. When the planes collide into the Twin Towers, Alia is trapped inside one of the buildings. In the final hours, she meets a boy who will change everything for her as the flames rage around them . . .
Interweaving stories from past and present, All We Have Left brings one of the most important days in our recent history to life, showing that love and hope will always triumph.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens | August 9, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-1619633438
Written by Jaye Robin Brown
Publisher’s Synopsis: Joanna meets the perfect girl for her and must decide whether to break a promise that could change everything for her and her family or lose out on love in this charming young adult romance that’s perfect for fans of Julie Murphy’s Dumplin’ and Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.
Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees.
Although it is (mostly) much easier for Jo to fit in as a straight girl, things get complicated when she meets Mary Carlson, the oh-so-tempting sister of her new friend at school. But Jo couldn’t possibly think of breaking her promise to her dad. Even if she’s starting to fall for the girl. Even if there’s a chance Mary Carlson might be interested in her, too. Right?
Ages 14+ | Publisher: HarperTeen | August 30, 2016 | ISBN-13: 978-0062270986
For more of the best new kids books and popular stories, follow along with our tag for Best New Kids Books.