Tuesday, January 30, 2018

New Releases--January 30, 2018

Last week, I mentioned snow predictions for Shanghai. Snow is rare in Shanghai, the last snowfall in the city being way back in 2008. So did the predictions pan out? You bet they did! It snowed all day long last Thursday. We were still in school for the entire day, but our students loved it! We have students from all over the world at our school, and many of them had never seen snow before. Better still, we ended up with a snow day on Friday, and it snowed again all day Saturday! Total accumulations for the three days were maybe 3-4 inches. I know that may not sound like much to many of you, but we'll take any snowfall we can get!

As the calendar flips into February, the new releases list has picked up considerably over the past couple of weeks. I've selected 21 new releases to spotlight this week, and next week's list should be even longer! So much reading to curl up with during all this frigid weather!
As the calendar flips into February, the new releases list has picked up considerably over the past couple of weeks. I've selected 21 new...

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The Hazel Wood (Melissa Albert)
When the scary, magical world in her grandmother's book of dark feminist fairy tales becomes real, seventeen-year-old Alice, partnered with Ellery, an obsessed fan of the fairy tales, must enter the world to rescue Alice's kidnapped mother. I've heard a rumor that this may be optioned for a movie. Give it to fans of Black's The Darkest Part of the Forest. Multiple starred reviews. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Fantasy.
The Dangerous Art of Blending In (Angelo Surmelis)
Seventeen-year-old Evan Panos doesn’t know where he fits in. His strict Greek mother refuses to see him as anything but a disappointment. His quiet, workaholic father is a staunch believer in avoiding any kind of conflict. And his best friend Henry has somehow become distractingly attractive over the summer. Tired, isolated, scared—Evan’s only escape is drawing in an abandoned church that feels as lonely as he is. SLJ starred. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Realistic fiction, abusive parent, LGBT.
Mary's Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein (Lita Judge)
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein turns 200 this year! This biography of Mary Shelley pairs free verse with over three hundred pages of black-and-white watercolor illustrations. Legend is correct that Mary Shelley began penning Frankenstein in answer to a dare to write a ghost story. What most people don't know, however, is that the seeds of her novel had been planted long before that night. By age nineteen, Mary had been disowned by her family, was living in scandal with a married man, and had lost her baby daughter just days after her birth. Mary poured her grief, pain, and passion into the powerful book still revered two hundred years later. SLJ starred. Recommended for Grades 7-12. Narrative nonfiction, biography.
The Upside of Falling Down (Rebekah Crane)
Clementine Haas just woke up in an Irish hospital with complete amnesia. They tell her she's the lone survivor of a plane crash. They tell her she's lucky to be alive. But she doesn't feel lucky. She feels...lost. With the relentless Irish press bearing down on her, and a father she may not even recognize on his way from America to take her home, Clementine assumes a new identity and enlists a blue-eyed Irish stranger, Kieran O'Connell, to help her escape her forgotten life...and start a new one. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Realistic fiction, romance.
This Is Not a Love Letter (Kim Purcell)
I read and loved Purcell's Trafficked a few years ago. Though early reviews are mixed, I plan to read this one, too. Jessie's boyfriend Chris has vanished. The police think he's run away, but Jessie doesn't believe it. Chris is popular and good-looking, about to head off to college on a full-ride baseball scholarship. And he disappeared while going for a run along the river--the same place where some boys from the rival high school beat him up just three weeks ago. Chris is one of the only black kids in a depressed paper mill town, and Jessie is terrified of what might have happened. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Mystery, race relations.
American Heart (Laura Moriarty)
Set in a United States in which registries and detainment camps for Muslim-Americans are a reality. Fifteen-year-old Sarah-Mary Williams has strong opinions on almost everything, but she isn't concerned with the internments because she doesn't know any Muslims. She assumes that everything she reads and sees in the news is true, and that these plans are better for everyone's safety. But when she happens upon Sadaf, a Muslim fugitive determined to reach freedom in Canada, Sarah-Mary decides to help Sadaf instead of turning her in. Kirkus originally gave a starred review, then removed the star after an online stir the book glorifies a white savior character. Read more about the controversy here and here. Based loosely on Huck Finn. Dystopia, race relations.
Winner Take All (Laurie Devore)
Nell wants to succeed at everything--school, sports, life. And victory is sweeter when it means beating Jackson Hart, the rich, privileged, undisputed king of Cedar Woods Prep Academy. Yet no matter how hard she tries, Jackson is somehow one step ahead. They're a match made in hell, but opposites do attract. Drawn to each other by their rivalry, Nell and Jackson fall into a whirlwind romance that consumes everything in their lives. Recommended for Grades 10+. Realistic fiction, romance, family drama.
It Should Have Been You (Lynn Slaughter)
Seventeen-year old Clara Seibert, a cyberstalked high-school advice columnist, takes matters into her own hands to discover the secrets behind her twin sister's murder five months ago. Recommended for Grades 8+. Mystery, thriller.
Reign the Earth (A.C. Gaughen)
Shalia is a proud daughter of the desert, but after years of devastating war with the adjoining kingdom, her people are desperate for an end to the violence that has claimed so many of their loved ones. Willing to trade her freedom to ensure the safety of her family, Shalia becomes Queen of the Bone Lands, a country where magic is outlawed and the Elementae--those that can control earth, air, fire and water--are traitors, subject to torture...or worse. Publishers Weekly starred. Recommended for Grades 8-12. Fantasy, romance.
Say You'll Remember Me (Katie McGarry)
Drix was convicted of a crime-one he didn't commit, but now he's got a new opportunity with the Second Chance Program, the governor's newest pet project to get delinquents off the streets, rehabilitated and back into society. Elle knows she lives a life of privilege. As the governor's daughter, she can open doors with her name alone. When Drix and Elle meet, their connection is immediate, but so are their problems. Drix is not the type of boy Elle's parents have in mind for her, and Elle is not the kind of girl who can understand Drix's messy life. Recommended for Grades 8+. Romance.


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The Journey of Little Charlie (Christopher Paul Curtis)
Twelve-year-old Charlie is down on his luck: His dad just died, the share crops are dry, and the most fearsome man in Possum Moan, Cap’n Buck, says Charlie’s dad owed him a lot of money. Fearing for his life, Charlie strikes a deal to repay his father’s debt by accompanying Cap’n Buck to Detroit in pursuit of some folks who have stolen from him. It’s not too bad of a bargain for Charlie . . . until he comes face-to-face with the fugitives and discovers that they escaped slavery years ago and have been living free. Multiple starred reviews. Recommended for Grades 4-8. Historical fiction.
The Problim Children (Natalie Lloyd, Julia Sarda)
When the Problim children's ramshackle bungalow in the Swampy Woods goes kaboom, the seven siblings--each born on a different day of the week--have to move into their grandpa's bizarre old mansion in Lost Cove. No problem! ... But rumors about their family run rampant in the small town: tales of a bitter feud, a hidden treasure, and a certain kind of magic lingering in the halls of #7 Main Street. Their neighbors, the O'Pinions, will do anything to find the secrets lurking inside the Problim household--including sending the seven children to seven different houses on seven different continents. Booklist starred. Recommended for Grades 3-6. Part of the same genre as Pippi Longstocking and Lemony Snicket books...adventure, maybe?
The Unicorn Quest (Kamilla Benko)
Claire Martinson still worries about her older sister Sophie, who battled a mysterious illness last year. But things are back to normal as they move into Windermere Manor...until the sisters climb a strange ladder in a fireplace and enter the magical land of Arden. There, they find a world in turmoil. The four guilds of magic no longer trust each other, the beloved unicorns have disappeared, and terrible wraiths roam freely. Scared, the girls return home. But when Sophie vanishes in the night, it will take all of Claire's courage to climb back up the ladder, find her sister, and uncover the unicorns' greatest secret. Booklist starred. Recommended for Grades 4-8. Fantasy.
Hermes (George O'Connor)
Olympians, book 10. I didn't include this one in the sequels section because I wanted to comment on it. Author/illustrator George O'Connor is coming to our Shanghai Battle of the Books competition in March, and my students are super-excited! O'Connor's Olympians graphic novels are constantly checked out from both our Primary and Secondary libraries. If you do not have them in your library, you really need to look into getting the whole set (I just ordered a second set for our school). Mythology + graphic novel format= huge hit! Kirkus and SLJ both starred this one. Recommended for Grades 4-8. Mythology, graphic novel.
Bad Princess: True Tales from Behind the Tiara (Kris Waldherr)
From the war-torn Dark Ages of Medieval Europe to America's Gilded Age, and all the way up to Kate Middleton, Bad Princess explores more than 30 true princess stories, going beyond the glitz and glamour to find out what life was really like for young royals throughout history. Recommended for Grades 4-7. Collected biography.


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Brave Jane Austen (Lisa Pliscou, Jen Corace)
Picture book biography of writer Jane Austen. Born in the late 1700s, Jane Austen was a smart, creative girl in a house full of boys, all of whom could aspire to accomplish many things as adults while girls were raised primarily to become good wives. Jane didn't have much opportunity to go to school but she read everything she could, including all the books in her father's study. And before long, she began to write her own stories, filled with funny, clever, and inventive characters. Pair with Young Jane Austen, a YA biography by the same author.

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

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