Tuesday, October 31, 2017

New Releases--October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween! If you were wondering if we celebrate Halloween here in China, the answer is...YES! I live in Shanghai, in an area where many expat families live. In my apartment compound, we celebrated by setting up several trick-or-treat stations all around the compound. Interested families sponsor a station, where we hand out candy to trick-or-treaters. We did this on Sunday evening this week, and it was loads of fun! I could not believe how many children came out to trick-or-treat. It does seem like Chinese people in Shanghai are also starting to enjoy Halloween traditions. Last Friday, I went to dinner with some friends, and the restaurant was playing Ghostbusters on their large outdoor screen. Over the last few years, I've seen more and more bars, restaurants, and apartment compounds offering costume contests, Halloween specials, and scary movie screenings. I am so happy to see this because Halloween is my favorite holiday!

This week's new releases bring us several scary titles for Halloween. I think that's awesome, but why are publishers waiting until Halloween to publish scary books? Yes, my students do ask for horror titles all year long, but if you are going to release a scary book in October, why not early in October? The buzz for Halloween starts in September. These books came out today, and tomorrow, most of us will be looking toward Thanksgiving and Christmas. Who wants to read Halloween books on November 1st?

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Beasts Made of Night (Tochi Onyebuchi)
Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj’s livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but 17-year-old Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family. When Taj is called to eat a sin of a royal, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves--and his own life. Kirkus and VOYA starred. Fantasy.
My New Crush Gave to Me (Shani Petroff)
Charlotte "Charlie" Donovan plans to rig the school newspaper's Secret Santa so that she can win the heart of gorgeous Teo Ortiz with five perfect gifts. She enlists the help of Teo's cousin, J.D., who is possibly the most annoying person on the planet. He's easy going, laid back, unorganized, spontaneous, and makes a joke out of everything. But the more time Charlie spends with J.D., the more she starts to wonder: Does she really know what, or rather who, she wants for Christmas? Reading that description, we all know what is going to happen here. Sure, it's predictable, but YA Christmas stories are so rare these days. No doubt this will be popular in my library. Romance, Christmas.
The Wicker King (K. Ancrum)
When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to question what is real or not. Psychological thriller.
Girl in a Bad Place (Kaitlyn Ward)
When best friends Cara and Mailee are invited to visit the Haven, a commune in the mountains near their suburban Montana homes, it seems like an adventure. Until Cara starts spending every waking minute there...and Mailee thinks it's creepy, almost like a cult. When Cara decides she's going to move to the Haven permanently, Mailee knows it's a bad idea. But how far will she go to save her best friend...from herself? Realistic fiction, cults.


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Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Jessica Townsend)
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she's blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks--and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. Multiple starred reviews. Fantasy.
Better Off Undead (James Preller)
After becoming undead, a boy tries to survive middle school. Adrian Lazarus has met with a curious fate. He's returned from the dead (after a bad bike accident, no helmet), yet not a lot has changed. He's always been an outcast. But it's not just being a zombie that makes Adrian feel different. He notices the world has changed, too: bees are vanishing, forest fires are burning, super-flus are spreading. The holographic advertisements in the night sky assure people that all is well. Adrian and his friends - a beekeeping boy, a mysterious new girl, and a seventh-grade sleuth - aren't so sure. When they discover a birdlike drone has been spying on Adrian, the clues lead to two powerful corporate moguls. What do they really want? Booklist starred. Mystery, zombies.
Death and Douglas (J.W. Ocker)
Douglas has grown up around the business of death. Generations of his family have run the Mortimer Family Funeral Home. The mortician and gravediggers are all his buddies. And the display room of caskets is an awesome place for hide and seek. It’s business as usual in Douglas’s small New England town. Until one day an incredibly out of the ordinary murder victim is brought to the funeral home. And more startling: others follow. On the cusp of Halloween, a serial killer has arrived. And unsatisfied with the small-town investigation, Douglas enlists his friends to help him solve the mystery. Mystery, Halloween.
Science Comics: Dogs (Andy Hirsch)
How well do you know our favorite furry companion? Did they really descend from wolves? What's the difference between a Chihuahua and a Saint Bernard? And just how smart are they? Join one friendly mutt on a journey to discover the secret origin of dogs, how genetics and evolution shape species, and where in the world his favorite ball bounced off to. Nonfiction, graphic novel.
The Witch Boy (Molly Knox Ostertag)
In thirteen-year-old Aster's family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn't shifted...and he's still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be. When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help--as a witch. Kirkus and SLJ starred. Supernatural, graphic novel.
Polaris (Michael Northrop)
In the 1830s Owen Ward is cabin boy on the "Polaris," a ship on a voyage of scientific exploration, when illness and a mutiny off the coast of Brazil cause the adult crew to abandon the ship, leaving the handful of young cabin attendants and deckhands behind. The young seafarers are determined to bring their ship to safety, but when one of them disappears they begin to suspect that there is something deadly on board with them. Historical fiction, science fiction, horror.


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Silent Days, Silent Dreams (Allen Say)
James Castle was born two months premature on September 25, 1899, on a farm in Garden Valley, Idaho. He was deaf, mute, autistic and probably dyslexic. He didn't walk until he was four; he would never learn to speak, write, read or use sign language. Yet, today Castle's artwork hangs in major museums throughout the world. Multiple starred reviews. Biography.

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

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