YOUNG ADULT (GRADES 8+)
|Hunted (Megan Spooner)|
Yeva is secretly relieved when her father loses his fortune and moves with his daughters to the outskirts of town. Out in the wilderness, Yeva feels no pressure to socialize with vapid baronessas or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance. Fairy tale retelling, "Beauty and the Beast."
|Enemy Exposure (Meghan Rogers)|
Sequel to: Crossing the Line. Jocelyn Steely (code name: Raven) may have escaped the clutches of KATO and won the trust of the IDA, but she isn’t out of danger yet. Her cover is blown and KATO agents are after her, but that won’t stop Jocelyn. After all, her goal was never merely to escape KATO. She wants revenge. Action-adventure.
|A Psalm for Lost Girls (Katie Bayerl)|
Callie's sister Tess helps find kidnapped girls and is considered a saint in their rundown community. When Tess dies suddenly, the community rallies around Tess's mother in the hopes of having Tess canonized. But Callie knew the real Tess, and she's infuriated that everyone is trying to take the real Tess away from her again. Together with Tess's secret boyfriend, Callie tries to show the world the real Tess and discovers Tess had a lot of secrets of her own. Thriller.
|The White Road of the Moon (Rachel Neumeier)|
Imagine you live with your aunt, who hates you so much she’s going to sell you into a dreadful apprenticeship. Imagine you run away before that can happen. Imagine that you can see ghosts—and talk with the dead. People like you are feared, even shunned. Fantasy, supernatural, ghosts.
|The Heartbeats of Wing Jones (Katherine Webber)|
Wing Jones, like everyone else in her town, has worshipped her older brother, Marcus, for as long as she can remember. Good-looking, popular, and the star of the football team, Marcus is everything his sister is not. Until the night everything changes when Marcus, drunk at the wheel after a party, kills two people and barely survives himself. With Marcus now in a coma, Wing is crushed, confused, and angry. Realistic fiction, drunk driving.
|Freya (Matthew Laurence)|
In her prime, Sara Vanadi was Freya, the Norse goddess of love, beauty, war, and death. For an ancient goddess in the 21st century, true believers--and the strength they bring--are painfully hard to find. But when a new, rising power threatens to remake the world, Sara realizes her days of hiding have ended, and a chance to claw her way out of the history books has arrived. She'll just need new clothes and a manicure before she gets started. Norse mythology, romance.
|The Book That Made Me (various authors)|
Every reader can say a specific title or titles that really turned them on to reading. For me, it was The Sara Summer by Mary Downing Hahn, which I read 12 times in one summer. The Book That Made Me is a collection of 31 stories by various authors (mostly Australian) about their early reading experiences and the books that made them fall in love with reading. Authors include Mal Peet, Shaun Tan, Markus Zusak, and Jaclyn Moriarty. An excellent addition to English classrooms as well. Narrative nonfiction, short stories.
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MIDDLE SCHOOL (GRADES 5-8)
|The Pages Between Us: In the Spotlight (Lindsey Leavitt)|
Sequel to: The Pages Between Us. I am so excited about this one, and I just nominated it for our Panda Book list for next year. BFFs Piper and Olivia make a video to help promote their school's upcoming Battle of the Books competition. No one seems interested in signing up. After the video goes viral, the girls get a lot of unwanted attention, and the Battle of the Books sign-ups skyrocket (but most of the students don't actually want to read the books). As the BB coordinator at my school, I am SO EXCITED about a book about Battle of the Books! Told in journal format between the two friends. Realistic fiction, epistolary.
|The Metropolitans (Carol Goodman)|
This one could also work for elementary schools (SLJ and Booklist both recommend it for grades 4-7). The day Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, four thirteen-year-olds converge at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where an eccentric curator is seeking four uncommonly brave souls to track down the hidden pages of the Kelmsbury Manuscript, an ancient book of Arthurian legends that lies scattered within the museum's collection, and that holds the key to preventing a second attack on American soil. Historical fiction, fantasy, adventure.
|Come On In, America: The United States in World War I (Linda Barrett Osborne)|
When the US officially joined WWI in 1917, Americans were divided on whether they should be a part of it. Americans were told they were fighting a war for democracy, but racial segregation was rampant in the United States. New laws against dissent and espionage being passed, and bankers and industrial leaders gaining increased influence and power. Americans were divided on what democracy actually meant. An interesting--and timely--look at why America got involved in WWI. I think this could spark interesting discussions about what we can learn from our own history. Narrative nonfiction, WWI.
|A Single Stone (Meg McKinlay)|
Originally published in Australia, 2105. Every girl dreams of being part of the line—the chosen seven who tunnel deep into the mountain to find the harvest. No work is more important. Jena is the leader of the line—strong, respected, reliable. And—as all girls must be—she is small; years of training have seen to that. It is not always easy but it is the way of things. And so a girl must wrap her limbs, lie still, deny herself a second bowl of stew. Or a first. But what happens when one tiny discovery makes Jena question the world she knows? Dystopia.
|Dragonwatch (Brandon Mull, Brandon Dorman)|
Fablehaven Adventure, book 1. Fablehaven is a popular choice for my fantasy readers, so I know this sequel will be popular! The dragons who have been kept at the dragon sanctuaries no longer consider them safe havens, but prisons and they want their freedom. The dragons are no longer our allies... Fantasy, adventure.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (GRADES K-5)
|One Trick Pony (Nathan Hale)|
The aliens have arrived. And they’re hungry for electricity. In the Earth of the future, humans are on the run from an alien force—giant blobs who suck up electrical devices wherever they can find them. Strata and her family are part of a caravan of digital rescuers, hoping to keep the memory of civilization alive by saving electronics wherever they can. Graphic novel, science fiction.
|A Dragon's Guide to Making Perfect Wishes (Laurence Yep, Joanne Ryder)|
Plucky pair Winnie and Miss Drake are traveling back in time to the 1915 San Francisco World's Fair. Waiting in the past are Winnie's great-grandfather Caleb, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and a centuries-old mystery: who stole the Heart of Kubera necklace? Adventure, time-travel.
|Hello, Universe (Erin Entrada Kelly, Isabel Roxas)|
In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and she loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so that he can concentrate on basketball. They aren't friends, at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. Realistic fiction.
|Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics (Margarita Engle, Rafael Lopez)|
Musician, botanist, baseball player, pilot—-the Latinos featured in this collection come from many different countries and from many different backgrounds. Poems include: Aida de Acosta, Arnold Rojas, Baruj Benacerraf, César Chávez, Fabiola Cabeza de Baca, Félix Varela, George Meléndez, José Martí, Juan de Miralles, Juana Briones, Julia de Burgos, Louis Agassiz Fuertes, Paulina Pedroso, Pura Belpré, Roberto Clemente, Tito Puente, Ynes Mexia, Tomás Rivera. Poetry, Hispanic history.
|Matylda, Bright and Tender (Holly M. McGhee)|
Sussy and Guy are best friends, fourth-graders who share their silliest thoughts and deepest hopes. One afternoon, the two of them decide they must have something of their very own to love. After a trip to the pet store, they bring home a spotted lizard, the one with the ancient face and starfish toes, and they name her Matylda (with a y so it’s all her own). But then, there's a terrible accident...Pair this with The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin. Realistic fiction, grief.
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PICTURE BOOKS (ALL AGES)
|Bird, Balloon, Bear (Il Sung Na)|
Bird is new to the forest, and he's looking for a friend. Bear could use a friend, too.
But Bird is too shy to introduce himself. Just as he musters the courage to say hello . . . it's too late! Bear has already found a friend: a bright, shiny red balloon.
Has Bird missed his chance?
|Charlotte and the Rock (Stephen W. Martin, Samantha Cotterill)|
Charlotte has always really wanted a pet, so when her parents present her with one for her birthday she expects a cat, dog, or maybe a bird. Instead, she receives a rock. Rocks can't cuddle, fetch, or even help her eat her vegetables, but that doesn't stop Charlotte from loving her rock as if he were real. If only he could love her back...or can he?
|If Your Monster Won't Go To Bed (Denise Vega, Zachariah Ohora)|
If you have a monster that won’t go to bed, don’t bother asking your parents to help. They know a lot about putting kids to bed, but nothing about putting monsters to bed. It’s not their fault; they’re just not good at it. Read this book instead.
|The Fire Horse: Children's Poems (Eugene Ostashevsky)|
This is translated from a Russian poetry book from the 1920s. The artwork is gorgeous, but this picture poetry book will probably interest adults and high school students more than young children. Use with high school students to discuss industry and the importance of work, or for the history behind the artwork.
|Rhino in the House: The Story of Saving Samia (Daniel Kirk)|
When Anna Merz traveled to East Africa, she became appalled at the rampant poaching that took place there, specifically toward the black rhinoceros. Anna devoted her life to protecting the wildlife of the region, founding a reserve in Kenya called Lewa Downs to care for them. Anna kept a watchful eye on the animals, especially the rhinos. One day, Anna found a small black rhino calf, likely abandoned by its mother. So she nurtured the calf, named it Samia, fed it special formula, and even let it sleep in her bed.
|Even Superheroes Have to Sleep (Sara Crow, Adam Record)|
A bedtime story for preschoolers about how everyone-even superheroes, firemen, and princesses--need to sleep.
|Stand Up and Sing! Pete Seeger, Folk Music, and the Path to Justice (Susanna Reich, Adam Gustavson)|
Pete Seeger was born with music in his bones. Coming of age during the Great Depression, Pete saw poverty and adversity that would forever shape his worldview, but it wasn't until he received his first banjo that he found his way to change the world. It was plucking banjo strings and singing folk songs that showed Pete how music had the incredible power to bring people together. Biography.
|Liam Takes A Stand (Troy Wilson, Josh Holinaty)|
Liam is always left out of his older twin brothers' fun. When each of his brothers opens his own lemonade stand, Liam decides to open a lemonade stand, too. He sees his brothers' mistakes and decides to give the twins a run for their money. A great way to spark discussions about running a business, strategy, and sibling rivalry.
|Big Cat, Little Cat (Elisha Cooper)|
A story of feline friendship, where an older cat teaches a new, younger kitty when to eat and drink, where to go, and when to rest. Over the course of the story, both cats grow older. Eventually, the family and the younger cat mourn the older cat, then a new kitty shows up. I love the silhouette illustrations, which remind me a little of the illustrations in Henkes' Kitten's First Full Moon. Sweet and a bit sad.
|Triangle (Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen)|
Meet Triangle. He is going to play a sneaky trick on his friend, Square. Or so Triangle thinks. . . . With this first tale in a new trilogy, partners in crime Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen upend the traditional concept book and approach it from a new angle. Pair with Michael Hall's Perfect Square.
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