Tag Archives: New Releases

May New Releases

Your to-read pile is about to grow! Here is a selection of some of the stellar middle-grade titles releasing this month:

 

CONTEMPORARY FICTION

 I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora
When Lucy, Elena, and Michael receive their summer reading list, they are excited to see To Kill A Mockingbird included. But not everyone in their class shares the same enthusiasm. So they hatch a plot to get the entire town talking about the well-known Harper Lee classic. They plan controversial ways to get people to read the book, but soon, their exploits start to spin out of control and they unwittingly start a mini revolution in the name of books.

Justin Case: Rules, Tools, and Maybe a Bully by Rachel Vail; illustrated by Matthew Cordell
Justin Case made it through third grade and summer camp in the previous two books. Now he’s in fourth grade, and there’s even more to worry about: friends, bullies, grades, tests—and did we say bullies? All the worries and triumphs of elementary school life, told in diary format.


The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern
As befits a future President of the United States of America, Maggie Mayfield has decided to write a memoir of the past year of her life. And what a banner year it’s been! During this period she’s Student of the Month on a regular basis, an official shareholder of Coca-Cola stock, and defending Science Fair champion. Most importantly, though, this is the year Maggie has to pull up her bootstraps  and finally learn why her cool-dude dad is in a wheelchair, no matter how scary that is. Author Megan Jean Sovern, herself the daughter of a dad with multiple sclerosis, writes with the funny grace and assured prose of a new literary star. A portion of the proceeds of the sale of this book will be donated to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

 

 

ADVENTURE AND MYSTERY

The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill by Megan Frazer Blakemore
Hazel Kaplansky is a firm believer in the pursuit of knowledge and truth—and she also happens to love a good mystery. When suspicions swirl that a Russian spy has infiltrated her small town of Maple Hill, Vermont, amidst the fervor of Cold War era McCarthyism, Hazel knows it’s up to her to find a suspect… starting with Mr. Jones, the quietly suspicious grave digger. Plus she’s found a perfect sleuthing partner in Samuel Butler, the new boy in school with a few secrets of his own. But as Hazel and Samuel piece together clues from the past and present, the truth is suddenly not what they expected, and what they find reveals more about themselves and the people of their cozy little town than they could ever have imagined.

Nick and Tesla’s Secret Agent Gadget Battle by Bob Plfugfelder and Steve Hockensmith
After foiling a gang of kidnappers and fending off an army of robots, 11-year-old siblings Nick and Tesla Holt could use a little rest! But as their third mystery opens, they discover there’s a spy in their midst, searching for secrets in the home of their beloved (and slightly crazy) Uncle Newt. Is it the new laboratory assistant? The exterminator? The housekeepers? Or someone completely unexpected? To expose the mystery agent, Nick and Tesla must engineer all kinds of outrageous contraptions, from code wheels and fingerprint powder to spy cameras and burglar detectors. Instructions included throughout the story so readers can build the projects, too.

Platypus Police Squad: The Ostrich Conspiracy by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
The opening of the Kalamazoo City Dome–the world’s largest indoor amusement complex–has everyone in the city buzzing, especially because it’s going to be the shooting site for Chase Mercy’s new blockbuster film. But that’s when things start to go haywire. Who would want to sabotage the Dome, and why? Detectives Rick Zengo and Corey O’Malley are on the case. Book 2 in this action-packed humorous series featuring two platypus detectives.

 FANTASY

Odin’s Ravens (The Blackwell Pages) by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Meyer
When 13-year-old Matt Thorsen, a modern day descendant of the Norse god Thor, was chosen to represent Thor in an epic battle to prevent the apocalypse he thought he knew how things would play out. Gather the descendants standing in for gods like Loki and Odin, defeat a giant serpent, and save the world. But the descendants’ journey grinds to a halt when their friend and descendant Baldwin is poisoned and killed and Matt, Fen, and Laurie must travel to the Underworld in the hopes of saving him.

Mouseheart  by Lisa Fiedler
The Warriors series meets Redwall in this first book in an animal adventure series set in the subway tunnels of Brooklyn. Hopper is just an ordinary pet shop mouse before he escapes. Soon he finds himself below the bustling streets of Brooklyn, deep within the untamed tangles of transit tunnels, and in Atlantia, a glorious utopian rat civilization. But all is not what it seems.

Survivors #5: The Endless Lake by Erin Hunter
At the edge of a strange lake that seems to stretch on forever, Lucky and his Pack are about to discover even more new dangers. With the Fierce Dogs on their trail and the Storm of Dogs looming on the horizon, every dog will have to fight for survival–or be swept away.

The Battle for WondLa by Tony Di Terlizzi
All hope for a peaceful coexistence between humankind and aliens seems lost in the third installment of the WondLa trilogy. Eva Nine has gone into hiding for fear of luring the wicked Loroc to her companions. However, news of the city Solas being captured by the human leader, Cadmus Pryde, forces Eva into action once again. With help from an unlikely ally, Eva tries to thwart Loroc’s ultimate plan for both mankind and the alien life on Orbona.

The Thickety: A Path Begins by J.A. White
First in a new fantasy series about a girl, a mysterious forest, and a book of untold magical powers. Kara and her brother, Taff, are shunned by their village because their mother was a witch. The villagers believe nothing is more evil than magic, except for what lurks in the nearby Thickety. But when Kara enters the forbidden forest, she discovers a strange book, a grimoire that might have belonged to her mother. The events she then sets in motion are both awe-inspiring and terrifying. . . .

 HISTORICAL FICTION

Revolution by Deborah Wiles
It’s 1964, and Sunny’s town is being invaded. Or at least that’s what the adults of Greenwood, Mississippi, are saying. All Sunny knows is that people from up north are coming to help people register to vote. They’re calling it Freedom Summer. Meanwhile, Sunny can’t help but feel like her house is being invaded, too. She has a new stepmother, a new brother, and a new sister crowding her life, giving her little room to breathe. And things get even trickier when Sunny and her brother are caught sneaking into the local swimming pool — where they bump into a mystery boy whose life is going to become tangled up in theirs. Book 2 in the Sixties Trilogy, a followup to Countdown.

 GHOST STORY

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
This follow-up to Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is a Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling. The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives.

 

GRAPHIC NOVELS

Jessie Elliott Is a Big Chicken by Elise Gravel
It’s Jessie Elliot’s last summer as a child. In the fall, she’ll be going to Hochelaga High—where the cool kids smoke, have piercings, and make out in abandoned parking lots. Jessie wants to be cool, but it’s way more fun being uncool. That’s why this summer she’s going to get a high score in Tetris, draw her Super Pickle comics, read weird books at her best friend Julie’s cottage, and daydream about her crush, Ben. But when Julie is suddenly BFFs with one of the cool girls, Jessie wonders what will happen to her perfectly nerdy and fun-filled summer.

The Return of Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
Ben Hatke brings back our intrepid space heroine for another delightful sci-fi/fantasy adventure in this graphic novel trilogy for middle grade readers. Zita the Spacegirl has saved planets, battled monsters, and wrestled with interplanetary fame. But she faces her biggest challenge yet in the third and final installment of the Zita adventures. Wrongfully imprisoned on a penitentiary planet, Zita has to plot the galaxy’s greatest jailbreak before the evil prison warden can execute his plan of interstellar domination!

 

NONFICTION

Stubby the War Dog: The True Story of World War I’s Bravest Dog by Ann Bausum
Stubby, the stump-tailed terrier, worked behind enemy lines, and gained military honors along the way. Private Robert Conroy casually adopted the orphan pup while attending basic training on the campus of Yale University in 1917. He never imagined that his stray dog would become a war hero. He just liked the little guy. When Conroy’s unit shipped out for France, he smuggled his new friend aboard.
U.S. Presidents (Junior GeniusGuides) by Ken Jennings, illustrated by Mike Lowery
Did you know that Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday? Or that Jefferson introduced the first French fries at a fancy state dinner? Become a presidential pro with this interactive trivia book from Jeopardy champ  Ken Jennings

National Geographic Kids Myths Busted! 2: Just When You Thought You Knew What You Knew … by Emily Krieger
Want to make that face for hours? Go ahead, it’ll never freeze like that. Enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet and go swimming immediately after? A-ok. Have your dog eat off the same plate as you because his mouth is cleaner than yours? Better think twice on that one.

Girl Standing on Lawns by Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman
This clever book contains 40 vintage photographs from the collection of The Museum of Modern Art, New York, more than a dozen original paintings by Kalman inspired by the photographs, and brief, lyrical texts by Handler. Poetic and thought-provoking, “Girls Standing on Lawns” is a meditation on memories, childhood, nostalgia, home, family, and the act of seeing.

What is the Statue of Liberty by Joan Holub
In 1876, France decided to give the United States a very big and very special present–the Statue of Liberty. The gift was to commemorate the 100th birthday of the United States, and just packing it was no small feat–350 pieces in 214 crates shipped across the ocean. The story of how the 111-foot-tall lady took her place in the New York Harbor will fascinate young readers.

March New Releases!

Longing for something to do on yet another snow day? Cuddle up with a new book! Here are some of the great new releases to choose from:

 

Princess Labelmaker to the Rescue!: An Origami Yoda Book  by Tom Angleberger

At McQuarrie Middle School, the war against the FunTime Menace—aka test prep—wages on. Our heroes have one battle under their belts, and they’ve even found a surprising ally in Jabba the Puppett. But to defeat the Dark Standardized Testing Forces they’re going to need an even bigger, even more surprising ally: Principal Rabbski. But with great forces—aka the school board—pushing her from above, will the gang’s former enemy don a finger puppet and join the Rebellion—or will her transformation to Empress Rabbski, Dark Lord of the Sith, be complete?

 

Big Nate: In the Zone by Lincoln Peirce

The sixth Big Nate book in the New York Times bestselling series by Lincoln Peirce! The latest illustrated novel from Lincoln Peirce is a laugh-out-loud must-read starring the one and only cartooning genius, king of detention, and Cheez Doodle connoisseur, Nate Wright. Nate’s not having the best of luck . . . in fact; he’s not having ANY luck. But with a little boost thanks to Chad’s lucky foot, suddenly good luck is everywhere Nate turns! Nate’s in the zone! But how long will it last?

 

 

Wings of Fire Book Five: The Brightest Night  by Tui T. Sutherland

The dragonets struggle to fulfill the prophecy and — somehow — end the war in this thrilling new installment of the bestselling WINGS OF FIRE series! It all comes down to this: The Dragonets of Destiny must finally bring the epic war to an end, reconcile the seven tribes, and choose the next queen of Pyrrhia… and make it out alive

 

 

 

Spirit Animals Book Three: Blood Ties by Garth Nix

The adventure continues in this third book of the epic multiplatform fantasy series.
Erdas is a land of balance. A rare link, the spirit animal bond, bridges the human and animal worlds. Conor, Abeke, Meilin, and Rollan each have this gift-and the grave responsibility that comes with it.   But the Conquerors are trying to destroy this balance. They’re swallowing whole cities in their rush for power-including Meilin’s home. Fed up with waiting and ready to fight, Meilin has set off into enemy territory with her spirit animal, a panda named Jhi. Her friends aren’t far behind . . . but they’re not the only ones.   The enemy is everywhere.

 

Ever After High: The Unfairest of Them All by Shannon Hale

It’s the aftermath of Legacy Day, the day when the students at Ever After High are supposed to pledge to follow in their fairytale parents’ footsteps, and everyone is in a huff and a puff! Raven Queen, daughter of the Evil Queen, has refused to sign the Storybook of Legends, rejecting her story–and putting everyone else’s in jeopardy.

The Royal Apple White doesn’t want to think Raven is being a rebellious pain, but Raven’s choice means Apple might never get the poisoned apple, Prince Charming, and a kingdom to rule. Behind Apple stands the Royals, those who want to play by the book and embrace their stories. The Rebels, supporters of Raven, believe in breaking free from destiny and writing their own stories. But when the chaos and rivalry land wonderlandiful Madeline Hatter in trouble, Raven and Apple must bring the Royals and the Rebels together to shut the book on their feud before it threatens to end all of their Happily Ever Afters once and for all.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall…Who’e the Unfairest of Them All?

 

Sky Raiders (Five Kingdoms) by Brandon Mull

Adventure awaits in the Five Kingdoms—come and claim it in this start to a new series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fablehaven and Beyonders series.
Cole Randolph was just trying to have a fun time with his friends on Halloween (and maybe get to know Jenna Hunt a little better). But when a spooky haunted house turns out to be a portal to something much creepier, Cole finds himself on an adventure on a whole different level.

August New Releases

Here are just a few of the middle grade books to be released this month. Get on your library’s hold list or buy copies now! And please let us know, in the comments, about August 2013 titles you’re excited for!

Lara’s Gift by Annemarie O’Brien
Young Lara is being groomed in the family tradition to take over as Count Voronstov’s next kennel steward, breeding borzoi dogs worthy of the Tsar. But then Lara’s baby brother is born and she finds herself supplanted as her father decides to make her brother the next kennel steward. Going against her father’s wishes and becoming increasingly sure of her special gift of understanding these incredible dogs, Lara risks everything when she reveals the truth about her visions. Now she must save Zar, her favorite borzoi and the one she raised from birth, from a hungry pack of wolves. Only then can she find her own, extraordinary destiny. . . . (August 6)

 

The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppet by Tom Angleberger
Dark times have fallen on McQuarrie Middle School. Dwight’s back—and not a moment too soon, as the gang faces the FunTime Menace: a new educational program designed to raise students’ standardized test scores. Instead, it’s driving everyone crazy with its obnoxious videos of Professor FunTime and his insidious singing calculator! When Principal Rabbski cancels the students’ field trip—along with art, music, and LEGO classes—to make time for FunTime, the students turn to Origami Yoda for help. But some crises are too big for Origami Yoda to handle alone: Form a Rebel Alliance the students must. United, can they defeat the FunTime Menace and cope with a surprise attack from Jabba the Puppett? (August 6)

 

The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick
Edward picks up what he thinks is a rock. He doesn’t know it is a sleeping Time Fetch and touching it will release its foragers too soon and alter the entire fabric of time and space. Soon the bell rings to end class just as it has begun. Buses race down streets, too far behind schedule to stop for passengers. Buildings and sidewalks begin to disappear as the whole fabric of the universe starts to unravel. To try to stop the foragers, Edward must depend on the help of his classmates Feenix, Danton, and Brigit whether he likes it or not. They all have touched the Fetch, and it has drawn them together in a strange and thrilling adventure. The boundaries between worlds and dimensions are blurred, and places and creatures on the other side are much like the ones they ve always known but slightly twisted, a little darker, and much more dangerous.A fast-paced tale filled with mythology, danger, friendship, and a shocking centuries-old secret, The Time Fetchis sure to delight fans of fantasy adventure with its tale of ordinary kids who tumble into a magical situation. (August 13)

 

Al Capone Does My HomeworkAl Capone Does My Homework by Gennifer Choldenko
Alcatraz Island in the 1930s isn’t the most normal place to grow up, but it’s home for Moose Flanagan, his autistic sister, Natalie, and all the families of the guards. When Moose’s dad gets promoted to Associate Warden, despite being an unlikely candidate, it’s a big deal. But the cons have a point system for targeting prison employees, and his dad is now in serious danger. After a fire starts in the Flanagan’s apartment, Natalie is blamed, and Moose bands with the other kids to track down the possible arsonist. Then Moose gets a cryptic note from the notorious Al Capone himself. Is Capone trying to protect Moose’s dad too? If Moose can’t figure out what Capone’s note means, it may be too late. (August 20)

 

The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyso
Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis, including that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow. Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of one man, a man named Oskar Schindler, who saved Leon Leyson’s life, and the lives of his mother, his father, and two of his four siblings, by adding their names to his list of workers in his factory—a list that became world renowned: Schindler’s List. (August 27)

Confessions of a So-Called Middle ChildConfessions of a So-Called Middle Child by Maria T. Lennon
Fans of Harriet the Spy and Mean Girls will cheer when they meet Charlie C. Cooper, reformed bully, gifted hacker, slightly misguided fashionista, and so-called middle child. This debut tween novel stars the hilariously fresh Charlie Cooper as she tries to ditch her middle-child reputation and make cool friends at her new school in Los Angeles. But being cool isn’t as easy as it looks–especially when her dandruff-ridden psychologist tasks Charlie with finding the biggest loser in school and becoming her friend. In public. (August 27)

 

Ghost Hawk by Susan CooperGhost Hawk
On the winter day Little Hawk is sent into the woods alone, he can take only a bow and arrows, his handcrafted tomahawk, and the amazing metal knife his father traded for with the new white settlers. If Little Hawk survives three moons by himself, he will be a man.
John Wakely is only ten when his father dies, but he has already experienced the warmth and friendship of the nearby tribes. Yet his fellow colonists aren’t as accepting of the native people. When he is apprenticed to a barrel-maker, John sees how quickly the relationships between settlers and natives are deteriorating. His friendship with Little Hawk will put both boys in grave danger.
The intertwining stories of Little Hawk and John Wakely are a fascinating tale of friendship and an eye-opening look at the history of our nation. Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper also includes a timeline and an author’s note that discusses the historical context of this important and moving novel (August 27)

 

 

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now.
Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read. (August 29)

 

The Fantastic Family Whipple by Matthew Ward
For every child who’s ever dreamed of being in the Guinness Book of World Records comes the story of eleven-year-old Arthur Whipple and his fantastic family of world record breakers . . .
– Most Crème Brulée Eaten in One Minute
– Highest Number of Matching Outfits Worn by a Stuffed Toy and Its Owner
– Youngest Person to Summit the Third-Highest Mountain in the World

These are just three of the 49,521 records won by Arthur’s twelve brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, unlike his siblings, Arthur hasn’t broken a single, solitary world record! But when the Whipples suffer a spate of catastrophes and a curious amount of attention from a pair of irregularly sized and unusually menacing clowns, Arthur might be the only one who can save his family from losing their collective crown . . . or worse. (August 29)

Annotations for the above titles are from IndieNext and GoodReads.