The Children’s Book Review | April 1, 2015
Hot New Releases & Popular Kids Stories
We have selected three picture books, a middle grade novel and two young adult books to highlight as this month’s hot new release kids books. Enjoy perusing our picks for kids and teen books that we feel represent some of the best new kids stories …
By Mariam Gates; Illustrated by Sara Jane Hinder
Publisher’s synopsis: For kids in early to middle childhood-and the lucky people who have to get them to bed-Good Night Yoga is both a bedtime story and a series of simple poses for following the natural world as it comes to rest at day’s end. Created by the founder of the celebrated Kid Power Yoga program. This bedtime story is so much more than a story. It’s a practice for kids and parents to end the day in a calming, mindful way. Turn the page and stretch like a tree, settle softly like a ladybug, float like a cloud, and you’ll be dreaming soon.
The sun in the sky is going down.
And the clouds float by…
You’ll be dreaming soon.
Ages 3-8 | Publisher: Sounds True | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1622034666
By JonArno Lawson; Illustrated by Sydney Smith
Publisher’s synopsis: In this wordless picture book, a little girl collects wildflowers while her distracted father pays her little attention. Each flower becomes a gift, and whether the gift is noticed or ignored, both giver and recipient are transformed by their encounter. “Written” by award-winning poet JonArno Lawson and brought to life by illustrator Sydney Smith, Sidewalk Flowers is an ode to the importance of small things, small people, and small gestures.
Ages 4-7 | Publisher: Groundwood Books | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1554984312
By James Dean
Publisher’s synopsis: Everyone’s favorite cat shares a collection of his favorite inspirational and feel-good quotes in Pete the Cat’s Groovy Guide to Life. Pete’s glass-half-full outlook on life shines through as he adds his fun take on well-known classics attributed to luminaries from Albert Einstein to Confucius to Abraham Lincoln to Shakespeare and more! Fans of Pete the Cat will delight in this amusing look at quotes that are accompanied by Pete’s witty responses and Pete illustrations by New York Times bestselling artist James Dean.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: HarperCollins | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0062351357
By Erin Entrada Kelly
Publisher’s Synopsis: Future rock star, or friendless misfit? That’s no choice at all. Apple Yengko moved from the Philippines to Louisiana when she was little, and now that she is in middle school, she grapples with being different, with friends and backstabbers, and with following her dreams.
Apple has always felt a little different from her classmates. Her mother still cooks Filipino foods, speaks a mix of English and Cebuano, and chastises Apple for becoming “too American.” It becomes unbearable in middle school, when the boys—the stupid, stupid boys—in Apple’s class put her name on the Dog Log, the list of the most unpopular girls in school. When Apple’s friends turn on her and everything about her life starts to seem weird and embarrassing, Apple turns to music. If she can just save enough to buy a guitar and learn to play, maybe she can change herself. It might be the music that saves her . . . or it might be her two new friends, who show how special she really is. Erin Entrada Kelly deftly brings Apple’s conflicted emotions to the page in her debut novel about family, friendship, popularity, and going your own way.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Greenwillow Books | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0062238610
Publisher’s Synopsis: “Ori’s dead because of what happened out behind the theater, in the tunnel made out of trees. She’s dead because she got sent to that place upstate, locked up with those monsters. And she got sent there because of me.”
On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement.
On the inside, within the walls of the Aurora Hills juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom.
Tying their two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries . . .
What really happened on the night Orianna stepped between Violet and her tormentors? What really happened on two strange nights at Aurora Hills? Will Amber and Violet and Orianna ever get the justice they deserve—in this life or in another one?
In prose that sings from line to line, Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and of innocence, and of what happens when one is mistaken for the other.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1616203726
By Sabaa Tahir
Publisher’s Synopsis: Set in a terrifyingly brutal Rome-like world, An Ember in the Ashes is an epic fantasy debut about an orphan fighting for her family and a soldier fighting for his freedom. It’s a story that’s literally burning to be told.
LAIA is a Scholar living under the iron-fisted rule of the Martial Empire. When her brother is arrested for treason, Laia goes undercover as a slave at the empire’s greatest military academy in exchange for assistance from rebel Scholars who claim that they will help to save her brother from execution.
ELIAS is the academy’s finest soldier and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias is considering deserting the military, but before he can, he’s ordered to participate in a ruthless contest to choose the next Martial emperor.
When Laia and Elias’s paths cross at the academy, they find that their destinies are more intertwined than either could have imagined and that their choices will change the future of the empire itself.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Razorbill | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1595148032
For more of the best new kids stories and popular books for kids, follow along with our tag for Popular Kids Stories.