Tuesday, August 30, 2016

YA, MG, and Picture Book New Releases--August 30, 2016

I've been talking about the August 30 releases for a few weeks now. This is the largest new release lists I've compiled since I started creating these lists back in May. Out of 50 or so new releases, I have picked 27 to spotlight here. There is much to be excited about on this list! I am looking forward to Paths & Portals (Yang), Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit (Brown), Groovy Joe (Litwin), and well, pretty much all of the middle grade novels!


The Bronze Key (Holly Black, Cassandra Clare)
Magisterium, book 3. Students at the Magisterium are supposed to be safe. Under the watchful eyes of the mages, they are taught to use magic to bring order to a chaotic world. But now the chaos is fighting back. Call, Tamara, and Aaron should be worrying about things like pop quizzes and magic contests. Instead, after the shocking death of one of their classmates, they must track down a sinister killer… and risk their own lives in the process. Fantasy.
The Thousandth Floor (Katharine McGee)
Five teens with very different circumstances live in a thousand-floor tower in the heart of New York City, 100 years into the future. Early reviews are mixed, ranging from very positive to DNF. Dystopia.
Paths & Portals (Gene Yuen Yang)
There's something lurking beneath the surface of Stately Academy—literally. In a secret underground classroom Hopper, Eni, and Josh discover that the campus was once home to the Bee School, an institute where teachers, students, and robots worked together to unravel the mysteries of coding. Graphic novel, mystery.
Scary Out There (Jonathan Maberry)
This collection contains stories and poetry by renowned writers such as R. L. Stine, Neal and Brendan Shusterman, and Ellen Hopkins—all members of the Horror Writers Association—about what they fear most. Compiled and edited by Rot & Ruin author Jonathan Maberry. Short stories, horror.
Top Prospect (Paul Volponi)
Travis, a pre-teen quarterback with big potential, gets the opportunity of a lifetime when the University of Florida football coach offers him a scholarship before he's even in high school. Can he handle his newfound celebrity status? Realistic fiction, sports.
A Torch Against the Night (Sabaa Tahir)
Sequel to: An Ember in the Ashes. Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire. Fantasy.
The Monster on the Road Is Me (JP Romney)
When a rash of puzzling deaths sweeps his school, Koda discovers that his narcoleptic naps allow him to steal the thoughts of nearby supernatural beings. He learns that his small town is under threat from a ruthless mountain demon that is hell-bent on vengeance. With the help of a mysterious--and not to mention very cute classmate--Koda must find a way to take down this demon. Paranormal.
Tales of the Peculiar (Ransom Riggs, Andrew Davidson)
Wealthy cannibals who dine on the discarded limbs of peculiars. A fork-tongued princess. These are but a few of the truly brilliant stories in Tales of the Peculiar—-the collection of fairy tales known to hide information about the peculiar world, including clues to the locations of time loops—first introduced by Ransom Riggs in Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children. Short stories, paranormal.
Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit (Jaye Robin Brown)
Joanna Gordon has been out and proud for years, but when her popular radio evangelist father remarries and decides to move all three of them from Atlanta to the more conservative Rome, Georgia, he asks Jo to do the impossible: to lie low for the rest of her senior year. And Jo reluctantly agrees. Realistic fiction, GLBT.
Girl in Pieces (Kathleen Glasgow)
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At seventeen she’s already lost more than most people lose in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you. Realistic fiction, mental health, cutting.
Wired Man and Other Freaks of Nature (Sashi Kaufman)
Ben Wireman is partially deaf and completely insecure. The only two things that make him feel normal are being a soccer goalie and hanging out with his best friend, Tyler. Tyler Nuson is the golden boy, worshiped by girls and guys alike. But Tyler’s golden facade is cracking, and the dark secrets hidden behind it are oozing to the surface. Ben has no idea what to do when Tyler’s memories of their past start poisoning everything, including their friendship. Realistic fiction, abuse.
Tell Me Something Real (Calla Devlin)
There are three beautiful blond Babcock sisters: gorgeous and foul-mouthed Adrienne, observant and shy Vanessa, and the youngest and best-loved, Marie. Their mother is ill with leukemia and the girls spend a lot of time with her at a Mexican clinic across the border from their San Diego home so she can receive alternative treatments. Realistic fiction, illness.
For This Life Only (Stacey Kade)
A young man struggles to move forward after the death of his twin brother in this gripping, coming-of-age tale about loss, redemption, love, and the moment you begin to see the world differently. Realistic fiction, grief.
Just Kill Me (Adam Selzer)
Megan Henske isn’t one to heed warnings. When the last letters in her alphabet cereal are D, I, and E, she doesn’t crawl right back into bed. When her online girlfriend won’t text a photo, she just sends more of herself. And when she realizes that Cynthia, her boss at a Chicago ghost tour company, isn’t joking about making stops more haunted by killing people there, she doesn’t quit her job—-she may even help. Black comedy.
The Fixes (Owen Matthews)
Eric Connelly is crumbling under the weight of his dad’s expectations. He can’t seem to live up to the “Connelly Man” standards—but when he meets the mysterious, free-spirited Jordan Grant, his dad’s rules seem so much less important than they used to. Realistic fiction, GLBT.


Full of Beans (Jennifer Holm)
Companion to: Turtle in Paradise. Grown-ups lie. That’s one truth Beans knows for sure. He and his gang know how to spot a whopper a mile away, because they are the savviest bunch of barefoot conchs (that means “locals”) in all of Key West. Not that Beans really minds; it’s 1934, the middle of the Great Depression. With no jobs on the island, and no money anywhere, who can really blame the grown-ups for telling a few tales? Historical fiction.
Timmy Failure: The Book You're Not Supposed to Have (Stephan Pastis)
Timmy Failure, book 5. This will be another popular book that won't stay on my shelves long! The Timmy Failure books are great for fans of Big Nate. This book was never meant to exist. No one needs to know the details. Just know this: there’s a Merry, a Larry, a missing tooth, and a teachers’ strike that is crippling Timmy Failure’s academic future. Worst of all, Timmy is banned from detective work. It’s a conspiracy of buffoons. Humor, silly mystery.
Furthermore (Tahereh Mafi)
There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn't miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it's been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him.
The Scourge (Jennifer A. Nielsen)
As a lethal plague sweeps through the land, Ani Mells is shocked when she is unexpectedly captured by the governor's wardens and forced to submit to a test for the deadly Scourge. She is even more surprised when the test results come back positive, and she is sent to Attic Island, a former prison turned refuge -- and quarantine colony -- for the ill.
Lucy and Andy Neanderthal (Jeffrey Brown)
Lucy and her goofball brother Andy, two young cave kids living 40,000 years ago, take on a wandering baby sibling, bossy teens, cave paintings, and a mammoth hunt. But what will happen when they encounter a group of humans? Graphic novel, humor.
Wish (Barbara O'Connor)
Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite. But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is until she meets Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Realistic fiction, friendship, dogs.
Sting (Jude Watson)
Loot, book 2. Twelve-year-old March McQuin forgot rule number one for cat burglars, which is how he and his twin sister, Jules, found themselves dangling upside down twenty feet above a stone floor at three in the morning. Their target was a set of stunning diamonds and it should have been an easy job, in and out. Except another thief got there first. March and Jules were lucky to escape with their lives, and one measly stone. Now the botched heist has created a world of trouble. The stone they grabbed was the Morning Star, one of a trio of famous sapphires, and it's cursed. Action-adventure, crime.
Moo (Sharon Creech)
When Reena, her little brother, Luke, and their parents first move to Maine, Reena doesn’t know what to expect. She’s ready for beaches, blueberries, and all the lobster she can eat. Instead, her parents “volunteer” Reena and Luke to work for an eccentric neighbor named Mrs. Falala, who has a pig named Paulie, a cat named China, a snake named Edna—and that stubborn cow, Zora. Blends poetry and prose. Realistic fiction, friendship.
Dog Man (Dav Pilkey)
George and Harold (of Captain Underpants fame) have created a new hero who digs into deception, claws after crooks, and rolls over robbers. When Greg the police dog and his cop companion are injured on the job, a life-saving surgery changes the course of history, and Dog Man is born. With the head of a dog and the body of a human, this heroic hound has a real nose for justice. Graphic novel, humor.
Making Friends With Billy Wong (Augusta Scattergood)
Azalea is not happy about being dropped off to look after Grandmother Clark. She soon meets Billy Wong, a Chinese-American boy who shows up to help in her grandmother's garden. Billy's great-aunt and uncle own the Lucky Foods grocery store, where days are long and some folks aren't friendly. Another poetry-prose mix! Historical fiction, civil rights, friendship.


Groovy Joe: Ice Cream and Dinosaurs (Eric Litwin, Tom Lichtenheld)
In his debut adventure, Groovy Joe faces three roaring dinosaurs hungry for his doggy ice cream. But Joe knows just what to do and soon enough he has them all sharing while moving and singing along. Signature rhyme, repetition, and musical writing style, combined with wild and witty illustrations come together to create an unforgettable new character who embodies positivity, creativity, and kindness. You can also download free Groovy Joe songs from the Groovy Joe website.
They All Saw A Cat (Brendan Wenzel)
The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears, and paws...In this glorious celebration of observation, curiosity, and imagination, Brendan Wenzel shows us the many lives of one cat, and how perspective shapes what we see. When you see a cat, what do you see? I like this book for art classes and lesson on perspective.
Pirasaurs (Josh Funk)
Pirates + dinosaurs= a lot of happy readers! Meet the Pirasaurs, a ragtag team of seasoned pirate dinosaurs looking for adventure and treasure. There's fearsome Captain Rex, golden-toothed Velocimate, one-eyed Bronto Beard, and more fearsome, buccaneering beasts....as well as one new recruit who may be small, but who's eager to prove he can learn the ropes and find his place on the team. Great for National Talk Like A Pirate Day, coming up on September 19.


  1. Can you clarify what ages are young adult and what are middle grades?

    1. Hi, Heidi,
      For me, young adult is upper-MS and high scool, so maybe grades 8+. Middle grades is grades 5-8. It's a little fuzzy because maturity levels vary so widely at this age.

  2. Yes, I would say The Bronze Key is firmly Middle Grade while The Scourge is high MG to YA.


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