Tuesday, March 13, 2018

New Release Spotlight: March 13, 2018

We have had beautiful weather in Shanghai this week--it seems spring has arrived! I took this photo while walking home from work yesterday. It's the sun setting over one of the many canals that criss-cross the city. The beautiful weather is expected to last the entire week, so bring on the spring fever!

This week gives us fewer new releases than usual, and I've only highlighted one title in purple. So it goes sometimes, I guess. I do plan to read Twelve Steps to Normal, and Radical Element will be a great addition to our small (but slowly growing!) short story collection. And don't miss Like Vanessa, which looks like a unique addition to middle grade libraries.

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Twelve Steps to Normal (Farrah Penn)
It's been nearly a year since Kira's father entered rehab and Kira had to move away from her friends, her dance team, and her boyfriend. Now her father is sober (again) and Kira is returning home, determined to get her life back to normal. But three of her father's rehab buddies are now living in their house. And Kira's boyfriend is dating her friend Whitney. Kira decides to take a page from the rehab handbook: she develops 12 steps to get her life back. Recommended for Grades 7-12. Kirkus starred. Realistic fiction, parental addiction.
The Radical Element (multiple authors)
Short story collection about culturally diverse women and girls who went against the grain in different time periods. Stories appear chronologically, beginning with 1838 Savannah and ending in 1984 Boston. All 12 stories are fictional and set in the USA at different points throughout history. Authors include Erin Bowman, Dhonielle Clayton, Meg Medina, and Sarvenaz Tash. Recommended for Grades 7-12. Kirkus starred. Short stories, historical fiction, women's rights.
The Falling Between Us (Ash Parsons)
After 15-year-old Joshua Blackbird posts a performance of an original song on YouTube, he becomes an overnight sensation. Joshua is plucked from his middle-of-nowhere small town to pursue a pop star career complete with million-dollar record deals, international tours with sold-out crowds, and a diehard following who call themselves "Birdies." But fame also means the constant hunger of managers, record execs, paparazzi, even family, all leeching onto him. Add in a staged romance with a teen pop princess and the unsettling fear brought on by a stalker. Until, that is, Joshua Blackbird disappears. Was it a suicide? An accident? Recommended for Grades 7-12. Realistic fiction, fame.
In Sight of Stars (Gae Polisner)
Seventeen-year-old Klee's father was the center of his life, a man who introduced Klee to New York museums and the artists on their walls. Until his death. Now, forced to live in the suburbs with his mom, Klee can't help but feel he's lost all the identifying parts of himself. When he meets Sarah in his art class, things start looking up...until she betrays him. Now Klee is in a psychiatric hospital for teens in Northollow. While there, he undergoes intensive therapy and goes back over the pieces of his life to find out what was real, what wasn't, and whether he can stand on his own feet again. Booklist starred. Realistic fiction, suicide.
Claiming My Place: A True Story of Defiance, Deception, and Coming of Age in the Shadow of the Holocaust (Planaria Price, Helen West)
Chronicles the life of Barbara Riechmann, once known as Gucia Gomolinska, who grew up as a Jew in the predominantly Catholic Poland during the 1920s and 1930s, explores how she survived after the Nazis invaded Poland, and her immigration to America until her death. Recommended for Grades 8+. Narrative nonfiction, memoir, Holocaust.
The Price Guide to the Occult (Leslye Walton)
The Blackburn women are cursed. Ever since the extraordinary witch Rona Blackburn landed on Anathema Island centuries ago and was shunned by the eight "original" settlers, Blackburn witches have been doomed to carry out a brief whirlwind affair with a descendant of the Original Eight. The vengeful curse, however, had unintended side effects: it diluted the Blackburns' supernatural powers. That's perfectly all right with seventeen-year-old Nor Blackburn. All she wants is a quiet, unremarkable life—her powers are blissfully unexceptional, her love life pretty much nonexistent. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Publishers Weekly starred. Paranormal, witches, magic.
Fire Song (Adam Garnet Jones)
Shane is still reeling from the suicide of his kid sister, Destiny. How could he have missed the fact that she was so sad? He tries to share his grief with his girlfriend, Tara, but she's too concerned with her own needs to offer him much comfort. What he really wants is to be able to turn to the one person on the rez whom he loves--his friend, David. Things go from bad to worse as Shane's dream of going to university is shattered and his grieving mother withdraws from the world. Worst of all, he and David have to hide their relationship from everyone. Shane feels that his only chance of a better life is moving to Toronto, but David refuses to join him. When yet another tragedy strikes, the two boys have to make difficult choices about their future together. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Kirkus starred. Realistic fiction, Native Americans, GLBT.
Time Bomb (Joelle Charbonneau)
A congressman's daughter who has to be perfect. A star quarterback with a secret. A guy who's tired of being ignored. A clarinet player who's done trying to fit in. An orphaned rebel who wants to teach someone a lesson. A guy who wants people to see him, not his religion. They couldn't be more different, but before the morning's over, they'll all be trapped in a school that's been rocked by a bombing. When they hear that someone inside is the bomber, they'll also be looking to one another for answers. Recommended for Grades 8-12. Realistic fiction, bombing.


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Like Vanessa (Tami Charles, Vanessa Brantley-Newton)
Debut author! Set in 1983. Vanessa Martin's real-life reality of living with family in public housing in Newark, New Jersey is a far cry from the glamorous Miss America stage. She struggles with a mother she barely remembers, a grandfather dealing with addiction and her own battle with self-confidence. But when a new teacher at school coordinates a beauty pageant and convinces Vanessa to enter, Vanessa's view of her own world begins to change. Vanessa discovers that her own self-worth is more than the scores of her talent performance and her interview answers, and that she doesn't need a crown to be comfortable in her own skin and see her own true beauty. Recommended for Grades 5-8. Booklist and Kirkus starred. Realistic fiction, beauty pageants.


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

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