Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Middle Grade New Releases--July 5, 2016

To be honest, nothing on this week's middle grades list blows me away. The James Patterson book will be a great addition to libraries looking for more fiction set in countries other than the USA. I will definitely get that one. Lucky Strikes looks interesting to me, but I am skeptical of its appeal to middle graders. Overall though, I think last week's middle grade list had stronger titles.

Lucky Strikes (Louis Bayard)
Set in 1930s rural Virginia. When her mom dies suddenly, 14-year old Amelia is left in charge of her brother and sister and the family's gas station. With a local oil king trying to clinch his monopoly, Amelia knows she needs a stand-in dad, stat. Could that hobo that just fell off a passing truck fit the bill? Why am I picturing Navin Johnson here? Historical fiction.
Peril at the Top of the World (James Patterson)
Book #4 in the Treasure Hunters series. This is a great series if you are looking to increase fiction with international settings. In this one, the Kidd Family travels to Russia to try to track stolen Rembrandt and DaVinci paintings. Their travels take them through St. Petersburg and the Arctic Tundra. Previous books set in China, Germany, and Egypt. Co-written by Chris Grabenstein (Mr. Lemoncello's Library) and Mark Shulman (Scrawl), and Action-adventure.
The Seventh Element (Wendy Mass)
Book #6 in the Voyagers series. Four kids and an alien try to track the sixth--and hopefully final--element needed to save earth. This series is similar to the 39 Clues and Infinity Ring series in that each book is written by a prominent children's author. Science fiction.
The Day the Mustache Came Back (Alan Katz)
This looks cute for the younger readers, maybe 4th or 5th grade. Martin "Murray Poopins" Haley left the Wolfhardt household, leaving Nathan and David to be their new responsbilities. But soon, the brothers fall into their old ways. Then a new nanny, Myron, turns up at their door, and he looks an awful lot like Martin. Sounds like a mix between Amelia Bedelia, Mary Poppins, and Mrs. Doubtfire. Humor, family.
Curse of the Were Hyena (Bruce Hale)
This is the first book in the Monstertown Mystery series. Benny and Carlos investigate why their favorite teacher, Mr. Chu, starts acting strangely. Could he be a were-hyena? Humor.
Surviving Middle School (Luke Reynolds)
Billed as a nonfiction guide to middle school similar to The Dork Diaries and Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Topics include bullying, peer pressure, grades, dealing with difficult parents, and romance. Nonfiction.
My Near-Death Adventures (99% True!) (Alison deCamp)
My Near Death Adventures, book 2. It's 1895 Michigan, and Stanley Slater has to go to school and care for a younger boy after school. When he finally gets the chance to meet his ne'er do-well dad, the infamous Captain Slater, Stan hopes to impress him, but Captain Slater isn't anything like what Stan expected. Humor, historical fiction.
Natural World: A Visual Compendium of Wonders of Nature (Amanda Wood)
Introduction to the natural world, particularly plant and animal adaptations and how adaptation helps improve chances of survival. Includes illustrations, charts, and graphs. Nonfiction.

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