December New Releases

What’s in the box? A monthful of new middle grade releases! Wishing you happy reading right through the holidays!

MIXED-UP RELEASES

Something to Hold (Clarion) – Katherine Schlick Noe. Can a white girl feel at home on an Indian reservation? Based on the author’s childhood experience in the early 1960s, this debut novel centers on Kitty, whose father is a government forester at Warm Springs Reservation, Oregon. Kitty is one of only two white kids in her class, and the Indian kids are keeping their distance. With time, Kitty becomes increasingly aware of the tensions and prejudices between Indians and whites, and of the past injustice and pain still very much alive on the reservation. Time also brings friendships and opportunities to make a difference. Map, author’s note, glossary, and pronunciation guide.

OTHER RELEASES

MYSTERY/ADVENTURE

Blood Sun (Danger Zone) (Delacorte) – David Gilman. Deep in the London underground, a train shudders across an unseen body. Days later, on the bleakness of Dartmoor, Max Gordon learns of a fellow student’s death in the capital. Danny Maguire was carrying an envelope with Max’s name on it—containing the secret of Max’s mother’s death. The clues take Max into the endangered rainforest of Central America where, hunted down by a ruthless killer, he must also escape the jaws of deadly crocodiles and flesh-eating piranhas. The truth Max is desperately trying to uncover lies deep within the dangerous forest’s heart . . . if only he can stay alive to reach it. The third & final novel in David Gilman’s adventure series.

Magic Tree House #47: Abe Lincoln at Last! (A Stepping Stone Book(TM)) (Random House) – Mary Pope Osborne. Jack and Annie are trying to get a special feather that will help save Merlin’s baby penguin, Penny. When the magic tree house whisks them back to Washington, D.C., in 1861, Jack can’t wait to meet Abraham Lincoln himself! But the new president is too busy to see them, as he is desperately trying to save a nation in crisis. When Jack and Annie ask for some magical help, they go back even further in time to a mysterious woods. Are these the same woods where Abraham Lincoln takes his daily horse ride? If so, can an orphan named Sam help them find Abe? Or will Jack and Annie have to help Sam instead? It’s a race against time as Jack and Annie try to do the right thing. Plus, they still have to aid a president and a troubled nation, as well as get the object that will save Penny the penguin!

Shark Wars #2: The Battle of Riptide (Razorbill) – E J Altbacker. Ever since Gray, Barkley, and their friends defeated Goblin, an infamous great white, at Tuna Run, life in the Big Blue has become murkier than ever for this young shiver of sharks. Food is scarce. Enemies lurk in every shadow. And Gray still doesn’t know what has become of his family – of his mother, Sandy, and the rest of his Coral Reef shiver. Everywhere they swim, currents seem to whisper of a growing threat . . . of a shark who will stop at nothing until he has seized control of the entire ocean. Now Gray must train with Takiza Jaelynn Betta vam Delacrest Waveland ka Boom Boom, a wise and mysterious fighting fish who has promised to teach his young apprentice the ways of the ocean and the secret of what it means to be a great warrior. That is, if Gray can learn to believe in himself, find the courage to trust his heart, and grow big enough to fight back!

FANTASY

Beswitched (Delacorte) – Kate Saunders. A magic spell has spun Flora into the past. She’s mysteriously swapped lives with a schoolgirl in 1935! No iPod? No cell phone? No hair products? How will she survive? Now Flora’s a new girl at St. Winifred’s, where she has to speak French at breakfast, wear hideous baggy bloomers, and sleep in a freezing dormitory. But lots of adventures in the past are amazing even if they are not forever. How will she find her way back to the 21st century?

The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers Book 2: A King’s Ransom (Scholastic) – Jude Watson. Amy and Dan are in a race for their lives . . . and the enemy may be even closer than they think. When seven members of their family were kidnapped by a sinister organization known as the Vespers, thirteen-year-old Dan Cahill and his older sister, Amy, vowed they’d stop at nothing to bring the hostages home. But then the ransom comes in and the Vespers demand the impossible. Amy and Dan have just days to track down and steal an ancient map. The only catch? No one has seen the map for half a century. Now Amy and Dan are on a desperate search that will lead them to the Nazis, spies, a mad king and some of history’s dirtiest secrets. It’s the race of their lives . . . and one misstep will mean certain death for the hostages.

Witch & Wizard: The Fire (Little, Brown) – James Patterson, Jill Dembowski. Whit and Wisty Allgood have sacrificed everything to lead the resistance against the merciless totalitarian regime that governs their world. Its supreme leader, The One Who Is The One, has banned everything they hold dear: books, music, art, and imagination. But the growing strength of the siblings’ magic hasn’t been enough to stop the One’s evil rampage, and now he’s executed the only family they had left. Wisty knows that the time has finally come for her to face The One. But her fight and her fire only channel more power to this already invincible being. How can she and Whit possibly prepare for their imminent showdown with the ruthless villain that devastated their world-before he can truly become all-powerful? In this stunning third installment of the epic Witch & Wizard series, the stakes have never been higher–and the consequences will change everything.

Wolves of the Beyond #4: Frost Wolf (Scholastic) – Kathryn Lasky. Kathryn Lasky’s newest series. Faolan has always been an outsider. Exiled as a pup, then shunned by his fellow wolves for his unusual connection to the bears, Faolan has struggled to earn a place in the pack. But a terrible danger is looming on the horizon, and Faolan is the only one who knows how to fight it. Will he be able to claim his rightful place as leader? Unless Faolan can inspire the pack to stand together, it could be the end of the wolves of the beyond.

Zombie Tag (Roaring Brook Press) – Hannah Moskowitz. Wil is desperate for his older brother to come back from the dead. But the thing about zombies is . . they don’t exactly make the best siblings. Thirteen-year-old Wil Lowenstein copes with his brother’s death by focusing on Zombie Tag, a mafia/
capture the flag hybrid game where he and his friends fight off brain-eating zombies with their mothers’ spatulas. What Wil doesn’t tell anybody is that if he could bring his dead brother back as a zombie, he would in a heartbeat. But when Wil finds a way to summon all the dead within five miles, he’s surprised to discover that his back-from-the-dead brother is emotionless and distant.

CONTEMPORARY/HISTORICAL

The Great Rabbit Rescue (Great Critter Capers) (Beach Lane) – Katie Davies. Joe has gone to live with his dad, leaving behind his beloved pet rabbit. Anna and Suzanne try to look after it for him, but when the rabbit becomes ill, they’re convinced it’s because it’s missing Joe. Now Joe is sick too. The girls are certain that Joe and the rabbit will die unless they are reunited soon…But can Anna and Tom and Suzanne pull off The Great Rabbit Rescue in time? equel The Great Hamster Massacre.

The New Kid (Knopf) – Mavis Jukes. Newbery Honor Award—winning author Mavis Jukes is back with a lovable new character named Carson. His father moves him to a new town in Northern California, where he’ll be the new kid in class—friendless and alone, except for his beloved stuffed moose (named Moose, of course). As Carson settles into his new surroundings, a series of delightful mishaps start to occur: the class pet, a rat named Mr. Nibblenose, gets lost to surprising results; the culprit of a mysterious lunch theft might actually be something that’s not human at all; and when his beloved Moose goes missing, Carson makes his first new non-stuffed animal friend. Told with childlike charm and wit, The New Kid is perfect for newly independent readers.

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