What I did: I showed a "New Release Tuesday" scrolling powerpoint today (included in this post--feel free to download and use) during our break and lunch times, as well as while my library classes came in and got settled. It was a fantastic way to get an idea of what titles my students would be most interested in for the library. This week, my students were very excited about Twelve Days of Dash & Lily, What Light, and the new Five Elements series.
Also, as a bonus this week, two new sequels have their previous title for $1.99 on Kindle right now. See the entries below for Dash & Lily's Twelve Days of Christmas and A Legend of Starfire.
YOUNG ADULT (GRADES 8+):
|Gemina (Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff)|
Sequel to: The Illuminae Files. I'm excited to get this second book in The Illuminae Files trilogy! My students love Illuminae; it's always checked out in my library. If you are looking for interesting, unique science fiction for teens, Illuminae is a must. I especially love all the drawings, blueprints, and email/IM format. Very cool! Science fiction, post-apocalypse, space odyssey.
|The Rains (Gregg Hurwitz)|
Inevitably, this book is going to be compared a lot with Higson's The Enemy series, which also features kids running from adult zombies. In one terrifying night, the peaceful community of Creek's Cause turns into a war zone. No one under the age of eighteen is safe. Chance Rain and his older brother, Patrick, have already fended off multiple attacks from infected adults by the time they arrive at the school where other young survivors are hiding.
|What Light (Jay Asher)|
Yay! A YA Christmas book! These are always popular with my students, especially at Christmas when it seems I never have enough Christmas stories for teens. Sierra's family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it's a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other. Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other. Romance.
|Life Uploaded (Sierra Furtado)|
*Groans* Another YouTuber book my students will be asking me to order. And I totally will because they are asking, and the books will circulate well for a year or two. A girl with lots of first-world problems finds fame and fortune as a YouTube Vlogger. No, that's not disdain you see oozing out of your computer screen (I said I'd be ordering it, didn't I?). Realistic fiction.
|Moon Chosen (P.C. Cast)|
Tales of a New World, book 1. Although I am not a fan of P.C. Cast's House of Night series, my students continue to love it. Mari is an Earth Walker, heir to the unique healing powers of her Clan; but she has cast her duties aside, until she is chosen by a special animal ally, altering her destiny forever. When a deadly attack tears her world apart, Mari reveals the strength of her powers and the forbidden secret of her dual nature as she embarks on a mission to save her people. It is not until Nik, the son of the leader from a rival, dominating clan strays across her path, that Mari experiences something she has never felt before. Paranormal romance.
|Shutter (Laura Faria Stolarz)|
Seventeen-year-old Day Baker views life through the lens of her camera, where perspective is everything. But photographs never tell the whole story. After Day crosses paths with Julian, a boy accused of murdering his parents, the world she pictures and the truths she believes-neatly captured in black and white-begin to blur. Mystery, romance.
|Twelve Days of Dash & Lily (Rachel Cohn, David Levithan)|
Whoohoo! Another YA Christmas title! Dash & Lily's Book of Dares (which is $1.99 on Kindle right now!!!) is popular in my library, so I am positive this one will be, too. I love that Cohn and Levithan continue to write together--it's a great combination that works well and resonates with teen readers! With only twelve days left until Christmas—Lily’s favorite time of the year—Dash, Lily’s brother Langston, and their closest friends take Manhattan by storm to help Lily recapture the holiday magic of New York City in December. Realistic fiction, romance.
|Cloudwish (Fiona Wood)|
Vân Uoc Phan doesn't believe in fairies, zombies, vampires, Father Christmas - or magic wishes. She believes in keeping a low profile: real life will start when school finishes. But when she attracts the attention of Billy Gardiner, she finds herself in an unwelcome spotlight. Not even Jane Eyre can help her now. Romance, realistic fiction.
|Useless Bay (M.J. Beaufrand)|
On Whidbey Island, the Gray quintuplets are the stuff of legend. Pixie and her brothers serve as an unofficial search-and-rescue team for the island, saving tourists and locals alike from the forces of wind and sea. But, when a young boy goes missing, the mysteries start to pile up. While searching for him, they find his mother’s dead body instead—and realize that something sinister is in their midst. Mystery, missing persons.
|Get Lit Rising: Words Ignite (Diane Luby Lane and the Get Lit Players)|
I don't think this will be flying off the shelves, but it could be useful for Poetry Month or for English teachers wanting to teach slam poetry. Get to know the Get Lit Players—a group of teens who use poetry to take on the world—with this standards-based book that sheds light on teen issues through their own poetry and slam poetry performances. Poetry, biography.
|I'm Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl (Gretchen McNeil)|
Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She's starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying. So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically-guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Realistic fiction, romance.
|Saving Red (Sonya Sones)|
Yay, another YA Christmas book! I loved What My Mother Doesn't Know, and I just added Saving Red to my library's next book order. Right before winter break, fourteen-year-old Molly Rosenberg reluctantly volunteers to participate in Santa Monica’s annual homeless count. But when she ends up meeting Red, a spirited homeless girl only a few years older than she is, Molly makes it her mission to reunite her with her family in time for Christmas. Free verse, homelessness.
|Rose & Thorn (Sara Prineas)|
Sequel to: Ash & Bramble. After the spell protecting her is destroyed, Rose seeks safety in the world outside the valley she had called home. She’s been kept hidden all her life to delay the three curses she was born with—curses that will put her into her own fairy tale and a century-long slumber. Accompanied by the handsome and mysterious Watcher, Griff, and his witty and warmhearted partner, Quirk, Rose tries to escape from the ties that bind her to her story. Retelling.
MIDDLE GRADES (GRADES 5-8):
|Ratpunzel (Ursula Vernon)|
Hamster Princess, book 3. A super-cute and funny series great for fans of Babymouse. Princess Harriet Hamsterbone does not like sitting around at home. How’s a princess supposed to have any fun when her parents are constantly reminding her to be careful and act princessly? So when her pal Prince Wilbur needs help finding a stolen hydra egg, Harriet happily takes up the quest. Humor.
|Land of Stories: Classic Fairy Tales (Chris Colfer)|
Here is the fairy-tale treasury that Alex and Conner fall into in The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell. This book is a collection of 35 classic fairy tales, including: Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Hansel and Gretel. Fairy tales.
|Into the Outlands (Robert Christie, Deborah Lang)|
Setting out to explore the remote Outlands of Crutonia are the brave and multifarious crew of the H.M.S. Gwaniimander, under the command of Captain Quenterindy Quirk—a leader whose confidence exceeds his competence by several lengths of his own bushy tail. Graphic novel.
|Finding Perfect (Elly Swartz)|
To Molly Nathans, perfect is: the number four, the tip of a newly sharpened number two pencil, a crisp, white pad of paper, and her neatly aligned glass animal figurines. What’s not perfect is Molly’s mother leaving the family to take a faraway job with the promise to return in one year. Molly knows that promises are often broken, so she hatches a plan to bring her mother home. Realistic fiction, mental illness.
|Lou Lou and Pea and the Mural Mystery (Jill Diamond, Lesley Vamos)|
Lou Lou and Pea, book 1. A series of small crimes crop up around El Corazón, Lou Lou and Pea's quirky neighborhood, right before the Día de los Muertos procession. First, Pea's cousin's quinceañera dress is tragically ruined. Then Lou Lou's beloved camellia bush, Pinky, suffers a serious blow. When clues start to appear in the painted murals around their community, these best friends must join forces - both floral expertise and artistic genius - to solve the mysteries.Illustrated. Mystery.
|Like Magic (Elaine Vickers)|
For three ten-year-old girls, their once simple worlds are starting to feel too big. Painfully shy Grace dreads starting fifth grade now that her best friend has moved away. Jada hopes she’ll stop feeling so alone if she finds the mother who left years ago. And Malia fears the arrival of her new baby sister will forever change the family she loves. When the girls each find a mysterious treasure box in their library and begin to fill the box with their own precious things, they start to feel less alone.
|Rebellion of Thieves (Kekla Magoon)|
Robyn Hoodlum, book 2. Twelve-year-old Robyn Loxley has learned how to fend for herself while also protecting her home, Nott City, against a harsh government ruled by Ignomus Crown. Aided by a band of misfit kids, each with their own special talent for evading the authorities, Robyn has helped right the wrongs of a city ruled by an evil hand.
|The Emerald Tablet (Dan Jolley)|
The Five Elements, book 1. When Gabe and his friends find a strange old map in his uncle’s office, follow it to a crumbling secret chamber beneath San Francisco, and perform a ritual that promises to bind them together forever, they think they’re just having one last adventure before Gabe moves away. It’s not like they believe the “power of the elements” is real. But then things begin to happen that none of them can explain. Fantasy.
|The Boy Who Knew Too Much (Commander S.T. Bolivar III)|
Munchem Academy, book 1. Mattie Larimore used to be the good son-compared to his brother, Carter, at least. But that was before Mattie stole a train, got caught, and was sent to Munchem Academy, the world's greatest reform school. Or is it? Because the kids at Munchem don't seem very, well...reformed. Mostly, they seem terrifying, and the whole place is just a little off. Action-adventure.
|A Legend of Starfire (Marissa Burt)|
Sequel to: A Sliver of Stardust (which is $1.99 on Kindle in October 2016!). The Land of Nod used to be just a name in a nursery rhyme to Wren. But when she discovered the secret magic of stardust, she learned that some of those rhymes had secrets of their own—and the Land of Nod is real. Fantasy.
EARLY CHAPTER BOOKS (GRADES 1-4):
|Little Shaq: Star of the Week (Shaquille O'Neill, Theodore Taylor)|
Little Shaq, book 3. Little Shaq has always wanted his own kitten, but his parents aren't sure he is responsible enough. When Little Shaq is chosen as his class's Star of the Week, he's sure it's his moment to prove that his parents can count on him. Will Little Shaq be able to show he's ready for his very own pet? Realistic fiction.
|Commander in Cheese: The Big Move (Lindsey Leavitt)|
If you are a mouse, then you might know about Ava and Dean Squeakerton. They are kind of famous, for mice. That’s because Ava and Dean and the rest of their family live in the White House. A new president is moving into the White House, and best of all she has kids! That means cool kid treasures for Ava and Dean Squeakerton. Animal fantasy.
PICTURE BOOKS (ALL AGES):
|If You Give a Mouse a Brownie (Laura Numeroff, Felicia Bond)|
If you put this book on your library shelves...it will fly off your shelves. You will have to make sure teachers don't just keep it in their classroom all year. You'll probably want multiple copies. A VERY popular series of fun picture books that seriously never. get. old.
|The Great Spruce (John Duvall, Rebecca Gibbon)|
Alec's favorite tree is the great spruce that his grandpa planted as a sapling years and years before Alec was born. Every Christmas, Alec and his grandpa decorate the tree together, weaving tinsel and lights through its branches, making it shine bright. But one day, a few curious men from the nearby city take notice of Alec’s glistening great spruce, and ask to take it away for their Christmas celebration.
|The Christmas Fox (Anik McGrory)|
One by one, from field and forest, the animals make their way to a barn. The cow has sweet-smelling hay to offer the baby. The bluebird has the gift of song. And a lamb has soft, cozy wool. But the shy little fox has nothing to offer . . . or so he thinks.
|Gingerbread Christmas (Jan Brett)|
Jan Brett is a little cutesy for my taste, but my elementary librarian and teacher friends just love Brett's books! I have no doubt this will fly off the library shelves in December. Gingerbread Baby and his friend, Matti, take his gingerbread band to the Christmas Festival where they are a hit until the aroma of gingerbread reaches the children, signaling that it is time to run away.
|Hotel Bruce (Ryan T. Higgins)|
When Bruce gets home from a southern migration trip with his goslings, he is tired. He is grumpy. And he is definitely not in the mood to share his home with the trio of mice who have turned his den into a hotel.
|Du Iz Tak? (Carson Ellis)|
Du iz tak? What is that? As a tiny shoot unfurls, two damselflies peer at it in wonder. When the plant grows taller and sprouts leaves, some young beetles arrive to gander, and soon—with the help of a pill bug named Icky—they wrangle a ladder and build a tree fort. But this is the wild world, after all, and something horrible is waiting to swoop down—booby voobeck!—only to be carried off in turn. Pair this one with Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky."
|Andy and Sandy and the First Snow (Tomie dePaola, Jim Lewis)|
When the first big snow of winter hits, Sandy wants to play outside—but Andy isn’t so sure. After all, snow is very wet and very cold! But Sandy drags Andy along to make a snowman, go sledding, and make snow angels. Will Andy discover that snow can be fun—despite being wet and cold?
|Bears in the Snow (Shirley Parenteau, David Walker)|
Cute picture book for lessons on problem-solving! The little bears are ready to play in the snow. But — oh, no! Their sled is too small! It’s not as much fun to go sledding only two at a time, but what can they use to carry them all? Luckily, Big Brown Bear has an idea — and it starts with a belly flop!
|Maple & Willow's Christmas Tree (Lori Nichols)|
Maple and Willow love trees—and now they are getting their first real Christmas tree. It is going to be the best Christmas ever! After a snowy expedition to pick out the perfect tree, it’s time to decorate. But whenever Maple gets near the tree, she starts sniffling and sneezing. Could she really be allergic to the perfect Christmas tree? And if so, how will the girls find a way to make this the best Christmas after all?
|A Small Thing...But Big (Tony Johnston, Hadley Hooper)|
Lizzie and her mom go to the park. That's where Lizzie meets an elderly man and his companion, Cecile, a dog about her size. But Lizzie is afraid of dogs, so she'll have to rely on her new friend to help her take things one step at a time.
|The Lost Gift (Kallie George, Stephanie Graegin)|
It’s Christmas Eve, and Bird, Rabbit, Deer, and Squirrel are eagerly waiting for Santa to fly overhead. When he does, a gift tumbles out of his sleigh, landing in the woods. The friends find the gift and read the tag: “For the new baby at the farm. Love, Santa.” And so, in spite of Squirrel’s grumbling—“It’s not our baby”—they set off on a long journey to deliver it.