Tuesday, September 19, 2017

16 New Releases for Kids and Teens--September 19, 2017

Patrick Ness, Kristen Cashore, and Ryan Graudin releasing new books in the SAME week? Be still my heart! I started to shade my featured picks in purple as I have done in past weeks, but there were so many good ones this week, almost all of them were purple. So, no purple shading this week.

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Jane, Unlimited (Kristen Cashore)
This book sounds very different from the Graceling series, and reminds me a little of Caraval. Jane, raised by her Aunt Magnolia, loves making umbrellas. Jane's aunt recently died, and now Jane does not know what to do with herself. Then she meets Kiran Thrash, who invites Jane to join her at her family's estate at Tu Reviens. Jane's aunt once made her promise to go to Tu Reviens should anyone ever invite her, so of course, Jane agrees to go. At Tu Reviens, however, Jane's live takes a dramatic turn. Have fun genrefying Jane--she's fantasy, realistic, adventure all mixed together. SLJ starred. Fantasy-realistic-adventure, grief.
Release (Patrick Ness)
Previously published in the UK. Today will change Adam Thorn's life. Between his religious family, a deeply unpleasant ultimatum from his boss, and his own unrequited love for his sort-of ex, Enzo, Adam's life is falling apart. All day long, old memories and new heartaches come crashing together, throwing Adam's life into chaos. The bindings of his world are coming untied one by one; yet in spite of everything he has to let go, he may also find freedom in the release. Multiple starred reviews. Realistic fiction.
Murder, Magic, and What We Wore (Kelly Jones)
London, 1818. Sixteen-year old Annis Whitworth has just learned that her father is dead and all his money is missing. And so, of course, she decides to become a spy. Annis always suspected that her father was himself a spy, and following in his footsteps to unmask his killer makes perfect sense. Alas, it does not make sense to England’s current spymasters--not even when Annis reveals that she has the rare magical ability to sew glamours: garments that can disguise the wearer completely. Well, if the spies are too pigheaded to take on a young woman of quality, then Annis will take them on. SLJ starred. Historical fantasy, mystery.
Invictus (Ryan Graudin)
As the son of a time traveler from 2354 AD and a gladiator living in ancient Rome, Farway Gaius McCarthy's very existence defies the laws of nature. After failing his entrance exam into the government program, Far will have to settle for a job on the black market--captaining a time-traveling crew to steal valuables from the past. During a routine heist on the sinking Titanic, Far meets a mysterious girl named Eliot who always seems to be one step ahead of him. Armed with the knowledge that history is not as steady as it seems, Eliot will lead Far and his team on a race through time to set things right before the clock runs out. Publisher's Weekly and VOYA starred. Sci-fi, time-travel.


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The Way to Bea (Kat Yeh)
Recently estranged from her best friend and weeks away from shifting from only child to big sister, seventh grader Beatrix Lee consoles herself by writing haiku in invisible ink and hiding the poems, but one day she finds a reply--is it the librarian with all the answers, the editor of the school paper who admits to admiring her poetry, an old friend feeling remorse, or the boy obsessed with visiting the local labyrinth? Pair this with Swing It, Sunny or Goodbye, Stranger. SLJ starred. Realistic fiction, friendship.
Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation (Monique Gray Smith)
Canada's relationship with its Indigenous people has suffered as a result of both the residential school system and the lack of understanding of the historical and current impact of those schools. Healing and repairing that relationship requires education, awareness and increased understanding of the legacy and the impacts still being felt by Survivors and their families. Though it is about Canada, this could spark some interesting discussions in US schools about our treatment of indigenous peoples. Multiple starred reviews. Nonfiction.
The Stars Beneath Our Feet (David Barclay Moore)
It's Christmas Eve in Harlem, but twelve-year-old Lolly Rachpaul and his mom aren't celebrating. They're still reeling from his older brother's death in a gang-related shooting just a few months earlier. Then Lolly's mother's girlfriend brings him a gift that will change everything: two enormous bags filled with Legos. Lolly's always loved Legos, and he prides himself on following the kit instructions exactly. Now, faced with a pile of building blocks and no instructions, Lolly must find his own way forward. His path isn't clear--and the pressure to join a "crew," as his brother did, is always there. When Lolly and his friend are beaten up and robbed, joining a crew almost seems like the safe choice. But building a fantastical Lego city at the community center provides Lolly with an escape--and an unexpected bridge back to the world. Multiple starred reviews. Realistic fiction, gangs, poverty.
Saving Marty (Paul Griffin)
Eleven-year-old Lorenzo Ventura would never describe himself as a hero, but his chance comes when he adopts Marty, a runt piglet. Marty is extraordinary--he thinks he's a dog and acts like one too--and his bond with Renzo is truly one of a kind. At first, the family farm seems like the perfect home for Marty, but as Marty approaches 350 pounds, it becomes harder for Renzo to convince his mom that a giant pig makes a good pet. So when Marty causes a dangerous (and expensive) accident, Renzo knows Marty's time is up. Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly starred. Animals, realistic fiction.
Suspect Red (L.M. Elliott)
It's 1953, and the United States has just executed an American couple convicted of spying for the Soviet Union. Everyone is on edge as the Cold War standoff between communism and democracy leads to the rise of Senator Joe McCarthy and his zealous hunt for people he calls subversives or communist sympathizers. Suspicion, loyalty oaths, blacklists, political profiling, hostility to foreigners, and the assumption of guilt by association divide the nation. Richard and his family believe deeply in American values and love of country, especially since Richard's father works for the FBI. Yet when a family from Czechoslovakia moves in down the street with a son Richard's age named Vlad, their bold ideas about art and politics bring everything into question. Historical fiction.


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Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker (Shelley Johannes)
Beatrice does her best thinking upside down. Hanging from trees by her knees, doing handstands...for Beatrice Zinker, upside down works every time. She was definitely upside down when she and her best friend, Lenny, agreed to wear matching ninja suits on the first day of third grade. But when Beatrice shows up at school dressed in black, Lenny arrives with a cool new outfit and a cool new friend. Even worse, she seems to have forgotten all about the top-secret operation they planned. Give this to Judy Moody fans looking for something new. Illustrated.
Runny Babbit Returns: Another Billy Sook (Shel Silverstein)
Runny Babbit Returns, a collection of 41 never-before-published poems and drawings, features Runny and other woodland characters who speak a topsy-turvy language all their own. Poetry, humor.
How To Be An Elephant: Growing Up in the African Wild (Katherine Roy)
This nonfiction picture book follows an elephant's growth from a newborn calf to a full-grown adult in one of the most socially and structurally complex family groups on earth. Includes bibliography. Nonfiction, animals, elephants.
The Wondrous World of Violet Barnaby (Jenny Lundquist)
Violet Barnaby is a having a blue Christmas. She's still grieving the loss of her mother, and to make things worse, her dad has just married Melanie Harmer, a.k.a. the meanest teacher at Dandelion Hollow Middle School. But on the day Violet and her dad are packing up and moving into the new house they'll share with Melanie and Melanie's two children, Violet finds a letter her mother wrote to her before she died, asking Violet to enjoy Christmas, along with a Christmas Wish List--things her mom wants her to do during the holiday season. Realistic fiction, grief, Christmas.
Elizabeth and Zenobia (Jessica Miller, Yelena Bryksenkova)
When timid Elizabeth's father takes her and her fearless friend, Zenobia, to his family home, Zenobia becomes obsessed with finding a ghost there, and then Elizabeth learns she had an aunt who disappeared from the house years ago. Perfect for Halloween--spooky, but not scary. Multiple starred reviews. Mystery, ghosts.
Once You Know This (Emily Blejwas)
Fifth-grader Brittany struggles to plan, or even imagine, a future away from her mother's abusive boyfriend and the poverty and crime of Chicago's West Side. There are serious issues addressed here--abuse, poverty, Alzheimer's Disease--but this will appeal to 5th and 6th grade readers who love books featuring protagonists facing realistic modern issues. Realistic fiction.
Chasing Augustus (Kimberly Newton Fusco)
Rosie's led a charmed life with her loving dad, who runs the town donut shop. It's true her mother abandoned them when Rosie was just a baby, but her dad's all she's ever needed. But now that her father's had a stroke, Rosie lives with her tough-as-nails grandfather. And her beloved dog, Gloaty Gus, has just gone missing. Rosie's determined to find him. With the help of a new friend and her own determination, she'll follow the trail anywhere . . . no matter where it leads. If she doesn't drive the whole world crazy in the meantime. Pair with Rain Reign. Realistic fiction.


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This list also appears on my New Releases--Weekly Board on Pinterest:

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