This is a perfect month to fall in love with a new book. Especially when you have so many to choose from!
♦ The Case of the Ruby Slippers (First Kids Mystery) (Holiday House) – Martha Freeman. Aunt Jen, the official White House hostess, is being thrown a surprise party with a Wizard of Oz theme, but when a box arrives from the Smithsonian, the slippers that Judy Garland wore in the movie aren’t in it! Never fear, First Kids Cammie and Tess are on the case. White House dog Hooligan finds one slipper, but no one knows where or how. A surprising revelation reveals the thief’s identity. Filled with humor and White House inside information, this third First Kids Mystery is exciting from start to finish.
♦ The Secret Journeys of Jack London, Book Two: The Sea Wolves (HarperCollins) – Christopher Golden, Tim Lebbon. Jack is making his way back to civilization after barely surviving his adventure in the Yukon. That episode tested his body, his mind, and even his grip on his humanity–but it was nothing compared to what he is about to face.
♦ Above World (Candlewick) – Jenn Reese. Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, her colony’s survival is at risk. The Kampii’s breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are unwilling to venture above water to seek answers. Only headstrong Aluna and her friend Hoku are stubborn and bold enough to face the terrors of land to search for way to save their people. But can Aluna’s fierce determination and fighting skills and Hoku’s tech-savvy keep them safe? Set in a world where overcrowding has led humans to adapt – growing tails to live under the ocean or wings to live on mountains – here is a ride through a future where greed and cruelty have gone unchecked, but the loyalty of friends remains true.
♦ Fairy Lies (Bloomsbury USA) – E. D. D. Baker. In this delightful sequel to Fairy Wings (originally titled Wings) the fairy princess Tamisin has been kidnapped from her home in the human world by Oberon, king of the fairies, who thinks he’s her father. When Tamisin’s boyfriend Jak finds out, he sets off to rescue her. In this funny and heartwarming romp through a land of fairies, goblins, sphinxes, unicorns, and many more, Tamisin and Jak try to regain their romance even as they find their way back to the human world.
♦ Quest for the Secret Keeper (Oracles of Delphi Keep) (Delacorte) – Victoria Laurie. Delphi Keep is awash in activity, and for Ian, Theo, and Carl, their safe haven might be nearing its end. The Royal Navy has taken the keep to use as a hospital and the tunnels running under the keep and the castle are ideal to set up a central communications outpost for the approaching war. The earl is happy to help the effort, but now the keep is no longer safe for the orphans and they must be evacuated to his winter residence. Ian, Theo, and Carl know that if they’re sent away, they’ll no longer be protected. But more important than their safety is deciphering the third prophecy. All clues point to a quest. The orphans don’t know where they must go, but they know they must rescue the Secret Keeper. To do that, however, they need to work out who this Secret Keeper is. And what, exactly are the secrets he’s keeping?
♦ Seekers: Return to the Wild #1: Island of Shadows (HarperCollins) – Erin Hunter. The journey home begins. . . . Toklo, Kallik, and Lusa survived the perilous mission that brought them together, and now it’s time for them to find their way home. Kallik and Lusa are ready to be among their own kinds again, but Toklo, devastated by the loss of their companion Ujurak, feels hopeless and afraid of what’s to come. When the group reaches a shadowy island covered in mountains and ice, Kallik is sure they’re almost back to the Frozen Sea. But a terrifying accident leads them into a maze of abandoned tunnels, unlike anything they’ve ever seen before—making them question their path once again. The bears grow desperate for a sign to guide them, and when they meet a cub who has lost his whole family, Toklo believes the cub has been sent by Ujurak. But the others are unsure. Can they trust their new companion? Or could he be hiding something that will endanger them all?
♦ The Adventures of Beanboy (Houghton Mifflin) – Lisa Harkrader. Never underestimate the power of the bean. Tucker MacBean has been drawing comic books almost as long as he’s been reading them. When his favorite comic has a contest for kids, he hopes he has finally found a way to fix his family—all he has to do is create the winning superhero sidekick . . . Introducing “Beanboy”—the first comic book character to truly harness the power of the bean for good. He is strong, he is relentless, he can double in size overnight (if given enough water).
♦ The Humming Room (Feiwel & Friends) – Ellen Potter. Hiding is Roo Fanshaw’s special skill. Living in a frighteningly unstable family, she often needs to disappear at a moment’s notice. When her parents are murdered, it’s her special hiding place under the trailer that saves her life. As it turns out, Roo, much to her surprise, has a wealthy if eccentric uncle, who has agreed to take her into his home on Cough Rock Island. Once a tuberculosis sanitarium for children of the rich, the strange house is teeming with ghost stories and secrets. Roo doesn’t believe in ghosts or fairy stories, but what are those eerie noises she keeps hearing? And who is that strange wild boy who lives on the river? People are lying to her, and Roo becomes determined to find the truth. Despite the best efforts of her uncle’s assistants, Roo discovers the house’s hidden room–a garden with a tragic secret. Inspired by the classic novel, The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett.
♦ The Secret of Ashona (Erec Rex) (Simon & Schuster) – Kaza Kingsley. Erec Rex might still become king—but the closer he gets, the more dangerous his tasks become.Given his romance brewing with Bethany, the discovery that his siblings are secretly king and queen of the Fairy world, and the knowledge that the Stain brothers are growing more and more underhanded, Erec Rex isn’t exactly in an ideal state of mind to face his next two tasks. He will need to lean on his friends more than ever to complete what could be the most terrifying challenge he has ever faced.
♦ Freaky Fast Frankie Joe (Holiday House) – Lutricia Clifton. When twelve-year-old Frankie Joe’s mother is sent to jail, he is uprooted from his home in Texas to live with the father he has never met, his father’s wife, and his father’s four “legitimate” sons in Illinois. Frankie Joe is miserable. Trying to adjust to his blended family proves too much to bear, so Frankie Joe hatches a plot to escape on his bike back home to Texas. For that he needs money, and so Frankie Joe’s Freaky Fast Delivery Service is born. His deliveries win new friends, a place in the rural Illinois community, and a sense of achievement. But his planned escape is destroyed by a heartbreaking betrayal, and Frankie Joe needs all of his incredible resilience and the loving support of his new family to survive the devastating loss.
♦ Matthew Meets the Man (Roaring Brook Press) – Travis Nichols. Matthew Swanbeck has a classic problem. Back in seventh grade, his dad talked him into playing the trumpet instead of the drums. Now he’s a lowly brass player in the school marching band. Until one day he has an epiphany: He can start his own band, play in all the cool rock venues, even go on tour … if only he can scrape together the cash to buy a drum set. But how will he ever get the money together when The Man thwarts him at every turn, taking taxes out of his paycheck, forcing him to mow the lawn for a measly $10 a week, and creating all of those rules that get in the way of dreams? It’s one teen against the system in this light-hearted look at the challenges and rewards of chasing your dreams.
♦ The Jade Notebook (Indigo Notebook) (Delacorte) – Laura Resau. Down-to-earth Zeeta and her flighty mom, Layla, have spent years traveling the globe and soaking up everything each new culture has to offer. Now they’ve settled in the beachside town of Mazunte, Mexico, where Zeeta’s true love, Wendell, has an internship photographing rare sea turtles. At first glance, Zeeta feels sure that Mazunte is paradise—she envisions dips in jade waters, sunsets over sea cliffs, moonlit walks in the surf. And she is determined to make Mazunte her home . . . for good. But as she and Wendell dig deeper to unearth her elusive father’s past, Zeeta finds that paradise has its dark side.
♦ What the Dog Said (Bloomsbury) – Randi Reisfeld. Ever since her police officer father was killed a few months ago, Grace Abernathy hasn’t wanted to do much of anything. She’s pulled away from her friends, her grades are plummeting . . . it’s a problem. The last thing Grace wants is to be dragged into her older sister Regan’s plan to train a shelter dog as a service dog. But Grace has no idea how involved she’ll get-especially when a mangy mutt named Rex starts talking to her. Has Grace gone off the deep end? Or might this dog be something really special-an angel? A spirit? Either way, he is exactly the therapy that Grace needs.
♦ A Diamond in the Desert (Viking) – Kathryn Fitzmaurice. For Tetsu, baseball is so much more than just a game . On December 6, 1941, Tetsu is a twelve-year-old California boy who loves baseball. On December 7, 1941, everything changes. The bombing of Pearl Harbor means Tetsu’s Japanese-American family will be relocated to an internment camp. Gila River camp isn’t technically a prison, but with nowhere to go, nothing to do, and no time frame for leaving, it might as well be. So when someone has the idea of building a baseball diamond and starting a team, Tetsu is overjoyed. But then his sister gets dangerously sick, forcing him to choose between his family and his love of the game.
♦ Ghosts of the Titanic (Holiday House) – Julie Lawson. Just in time for the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912, comes a haunting and suspenseful novel that weaves gripping fiction around fascinating historical fact. When twelve-year-old Kevin Messenger’s father inherits a house in Halifax, Canada, left to him by a complete stranger named Angus Seaton, Kevin decides to investigate. His puzzling discoveries lead to troubling dreams and a voice calling to him for help. A parallel narrative tells the dramatic story of Angus Seaton, who worked on one of the ships responsible for recovering bodies and personal effects after the Titanic sank. The two stories converge in a spine-tingling climax as Kevin is transported aboard the sinking Titanic to try to right the wrongs of the past.
♦ The Star Shard (Houghton Mifflin) – Frederic S. Durbin. Twelve-year-old Cymbril is a slave on Thunder Rake, a gigantic wagon city that rolls from town to town carrying goods to be sold by its resident merchants. The Rake’s master purchases a new slave, a mysterious boy named Loric who is one of the magical Fey. Because he can see in the dark, Loric’s duty is to guide the Rake through the treacherous wilderness at night.Cymbril and Loric secretly join forces to plan their escape—soon the two friends thread their way through a series of increasing dangers, encountering an enchanted market and deadly monsters as their one chance for freedom draws nearer.
♦ A Black Hole Is Not a Hole (Charlesbridge) -Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano. If a black hole is not a hole, then what is it? Find out what black holes are, what causes them, and how scientists first discovered them. Learn how astronomers find black holes, get to know our nearest black-hole neighbor, and take a journey that will literally s-t-r-e-t-c-h the mind.
♦ About Habitats: Oceans (Peachtree) – Cathryn Sill. Award-winning author Cathryn Sill and her husband, noted wildlife illustrator John Sill, offer young readers a first glimpse into ocean habitats. In simple, easy-to-understand language, this guide teaches children what oceans are and what kinds of animals and plants live there. A glossary and afterword provide readers with further fascinating details.
♦ First Girl Scout: The Life of Juliette Gordon Low (Clarion) – Ginger Wadsworth. Just in time for the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts in 2012, a lavishly illustrated account of the fascinating life of the woman who started it all. Juliette (Daisy) Gordon Low was a remarkable woman with ideas that were ahead of her time. She witnessed important eras in U.S. history, from the Civil War and Reconstruction to westward expansion to post–World War I. And she made history by founding the first national organization to bring girls from all backgrounds into the out-of-doors. Daisy created controversy by encouraging them to prepare not only for traditional homemaking but also for roles as professional women—in the arts, sciences, and business—and for active citizenship outside the home. Her group also welcomed girls with disabilities at a time when they were usually excluded. Includes author’s note, source notes, bibliography, timeline, places to visit, the Girl Scout Promise and Law, and musical notation for the favorite scout Song “Make New Friends.”
♦ Get the Scoop on Animal Poop (Imagine – a Charlesbridge imprint) – Dawn Cusick. From lions to tapeworms, 251 cool facts about scat, frass, dung and more!
♦ Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World (Holiday House) – Laurie Lawlor. In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring, here is a biography of the pioneering environmentalist. “Once you are aware of the wonder and beauty of earth, you will want to learn about it,” wrote Rachel Carson, the pioneering environmentalist. She wrote Silent Spring, the book that woke people up to the harmful impact humans were having on our planet.
♦ Snowmobile: Bombardier’s Dream Machine (Charlesbridge) – Jules Older. Bombardier’s Dream Machine. The true story of Joseph-Armand Bombardier’s journey to invent the snowmobile.