Best New Kids Stories | May 2015
The Children’s Book Review | May 1, 2015
Hot New Releases & Popular Kids Stories
Mayday, Mayday, Mayday! The Children’s Book Review (call sign TCBR) is declaring a reading emergency. The weather is clear and suitable for reading outside. We are requesting that you help us find TCBR’s founder, Bianca Schulze. She was last seen reading the stunning Pool, by Jihyeon Lee, days ago—perhaps, prepping for the upcoming swim season. She was flipping pages at a steady reading level and appeared to have stacks of book fuel remaining. It’s possible she is lost among the mounds of amazing new books recently received and we believe she may have her 3 children with her. Thankfully she selected a few books to highlight as this month’s hot new release kids books before disappearing. Read on … and if you know where she is please let us know … there are more books waiting for her to read.
Illustrated by Jihyeon Lee
Publisher’s Synopsis: What happens when two shy children meet at a very crowded pool? Dive in to find out! Deceptively simple, this masterful book tells a story of quiet moments and surprising encounters, and reminds us that friendship and imagination have no bounds.
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | May 5, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1452142944
Written by Sara O’Leary; Illustrated by Julie Morstad
Publisher’s Synopsis: Sadie is a little girl with a big imagination. She has been a girl who lived under the sea and a boy raised by wolves. She has had adventures in wonderland and visited the world of fairytales. She whispers to the dresses in her closet and talks to birds in the treetops. She has wings that take her anywhere she wants to go, but that always bring her home again. She likes to make things — boats out of boxes and castles out of cushions. But more than anything Sadie likes stories, because you can make them from nothing at all. For Sadie, the world is so full of wonderful possibilities … This is Sadie, and this is her story.
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Tundra Books | May 12, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1770495326
Written by Kate Messner; Illustrated by Mark Siegel
Publisher’s Synopsis: Step One: Find a story. (A good one.)
Step Two: Find a reading buddy. (Someone nice.)
Step Three: Find a reading spot. (Couches are cozy.)
Accomplished storytellers Kate Messner and Mark Siegel chronicle the process of becoming a reader: from pulling a book off the shelf and finding someone with whom to share a story, to reading aloud, predicting what will happen, and—finally—coming to The End. This picture book playfully and movingly illustrates the idea that the reader who discovers the love of reading finds, at the end, the beginning.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | May 5, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1452112336
Written by Deborah Underwood; Illustrated by Meg Hunt
Publisher’s Synopsis: Once upon a planetoid,
amid her tools and sprockets,
a girl named Cinderella dreamed
of fixing fancy rockets.
With a little help from her fairy godrobot, Cinderella is going to the ball. But when the prince’s ship has mechanical trouble, someone will have to zoom to the rescue! Readers will thank their lucky stars for this irrepressible fairy tale retelling, its independent heroine, and its stellar happy ending.
Ages 3-5 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | May 5, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1452125329
Written by Beth Ferry; Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Publisher’s Synopsis: When Stick rescues Stone from a prickly situation with a Pinecone, the pair becomes fast friends. But when Stick gets stuck, can Stone return the favor?
Author Beth Ferry makes a memorable debut with a warm, rhyming text that includes a subtle anti-bullying message even the youngest reader will understand. New York Times bestselling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld imbues Stick and Stone with energy, emotion, and personality to spare.
In this funny story about kindness and friendship, Stick and Stone join George and Martha, Frog and Toad, and Elephant and Piggie, as some of the best friend duos in children’s literature.
Ages 3-5 | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0544032569
Written by Stuart Gibbs
Publisher’s Synopsis: When Ben gets kicked out of the CIA’s spy school, he enrolls with the enemy. This companion to Spy School and Spy Camp is rife with action, adventure, and espionage.
During a spy school game of Capture the Flag, twelve-year-old Ben Ripley somehow accidentally shoots a live mortar into the principal’s office—and immediately gets himself expelled. Not long after going back to the boring old real world, Ben gets recruited by evil crime organization SPYDER.
And he accepts.
As a new student in SPYDER’s evil spy school, which trains kids to become bad guys with classes like Counter Counterespionage and Laying Low 101, Ben does some secret spying of his own. He’s acting as unofficial undercover agent, and it becomes quickly apparent that SPYDER is planning something very big—and very evil.
Ben can tell he’s a key part of the plan, but he’s not quite sure what the plan is. Can Ben figure out what SPYDER is up to—and get word to the good guys without getting caught—before it’s too late?
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1442494893
Publisher’s Synopsis: For the very first time, The Baby-sitters Club graphic novels adapted by #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestselling and Eisner Award winning creator of SMILE, Raina Telgemeier, are available in full color!
Kristy, Mary Anne, Claudia, and Stacey are best friends and founding members of The Baby-sitters Club. Whatever comes up — cranky toddlers, huge dogs, scary neighbors, prank calls — you can count on them to save the day. But baby-sitting isn’t always easy, and neither is dealing with strict parents, new families, fashion emergencies, and mysterious secrets. But no matter what, the BSC have what they need most: friendship.
Raina Telgemeier, using the signature style featured in her acclaimed graphic novels SMILE and SISTERS, perfectly captures all the drama and humor of the original novel!
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: GRAPHIX | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0545813877
Written by Liz Garton Scanlon
Publisher’s Synopsis: 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.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Beach Lane Books | May 5, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1481411479
Written by Cynthia Lord
Publisher’s Synopsis: This powerful middle-grade novel from the Newbery Honor author of RULES explores a friendship between a small-town girl and the daughter of migrant workers.
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 is a gorgeous new novel by Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord that tackles themes of prejudice and friendship, loss and love.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Scholastic Press | May 26, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0545700276
Written by John Grisham
Publisher’s Synopsis: 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.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers | May 12, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0525426387
Written by Sarah Dessen
Publisher’s Synopsis: Sydney has always felt invisible.
She’s grown accustomed to her brother, Peyton, being the focus of the family’s attention and, lately, concern. Peyton is handsome and charismatic, but seems bent on self-destruction. Now, after a drunk-driving accident that crippled a boy, Peyton’s serving some serious jail time, and Sydney is on her own, questioning her place in the family and the world.
Then she meets the Chatham family. Drawn into their warm, chaotic circle, Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance for the first time. There’s effervescent Layla, who constantly falls for the wrong guy, Rosie, who’s had her own fall from grace, and Mrs. Chatham, who even though ailing is the heart of the family. But it’s with older brother Mac—quiet, watchful, and protective—that Sydney finally feels seen, really seen, at last.
Saint Anything is Sarah Dessen’s deepest and most psychologically probing novel yet, telling an engrossing story of a girl discovering friendship, love, and herself.
Ages 12 and up | Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers | May 5, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0451474704
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