Tuesday, March 20, 2018

New Release Spotlight: March 20, 2018

Two more weeks of school before our spring break, and I cannot wait! We do not plan to go anywhere this time, and we are looking forward to staying in Shanghai. In the meantime, I will be very busy at school with textbook ordering, PYP Exhibition ramping up, an online IB course, finalizing arrangements for three author visits in April, Scholastic book orders coming in, and our new weekly Kahoot trivia games at lunch. At least Battle of the Books was last Friday, so that is one thing we can mark off the to-do list! I always think spring flies by because it is just SO BUSY!

Curious about our Shanghai Battle of the Books? I posted photos and details about the activities on my Mrs. ReaderPants FaceBook page. My students and I all had a great time and are already planning for our next year's BB competition, which will be hosted at my school!

On to this week's new releases...

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YOUNG ADULT (GRADES 7+):

The Astonishing Color of After (Emily X.R. Pan)
Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird. Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Multiple starred reviews. Realistic fiction, magical realism, Taiwan.
59 Hours (Johnny Kovatch)
True crime for teen readers? I can definitely get this moving, especially with some of my older reluctant readers. This is the true story of Nick Markowitz, an innocent teen who becomes a hostage in the middle of a dangerous drug-fueled feud, then later killed, and the countless of people who witnessed it and said nothing. Includes bibliographical references. Recommended for Grades 8+. True crime, murder, drug trade.
Here So Far Away (Hadley Dyer)
Set in the early 1990s. Feisty and fearless George Warren (given name: Frances, but no one calls her that) has never let life get too serious. George is excited for the fun of her senior year, but things don't go quite the way she planned, and now her college plans may also in jeopardy. When George meets Francis, an older guy who shares her name and her affinity for sarcastic banter, she’s thrown. If she lets herself, she’ll fall recklessly, hopelessly in love. But because of Francis’s age, she tells no one—and ends up losing almost everything, including herself. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Realistic fiction, depression.
Tiger's Dream (Colleen Houck)
Tiger Saga, book 5. I normally put sequels together in a separate area of the NRS, but this book has been such a long time coming! It's been six years since Tiger's Destiny (book #4) came out, and my students are really ready for book #5! This series has been popular with my middle school girls in every middle school library I've worked in. There are lots of comments in Goodreads reviews about the author taking too many liberties with Indian mythology, but I enjoyed this series all the same. As of today, I am unable to find Tiger's Dream in Titlewave, but Amazon has paperback and e-book copies available. Recommended for Grades 7+. Fantasy, Indian mythology.
Orphan Monster Spy (Matt Killeen)
Sarah is blonde, blue-eyed, and Jewish in 1939 Germany, and her act of resistance is about to change the world. After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He's part of the secret resistance against the Third Reich, and he needs Sarah to hide in plain sight at a school for the daughters of top Nazi brass, posing as one of them. For more young WWII spies, pair with Wolf By Wolf. Recommended for Grades 7-12. Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books starred. Historical fiction, WWII, spies, Nazi Germany.
Tyler Johnson Was Here (Jay Coles)
When Marvin Johnson's twin, Tyler, goes to a party, Marvin decides to tag along to keep an eye on his brother. But what starts as harmless fun turns into a shooting, followed by a police raid. The next day, Tyler has gone missing, and it's up to Marvin to find him. But when Tyler is found dead, a video leaked online tells an even more chilling story: Tyler has been shot and killed by a police officer. Terrified as his mother unravels and mourning a brother who is now a hashtag, Marvin must learn what justice and freedom really mean. Recommended for Grades 9-12. SLJ and Booklist starred. Realistic fiction, police violence, racism.
Ginger Kid: Mostly True Tales of a Former Nerd (Steve Hofstetter)
Love this title and front cover! Formatted as a series of personal essays, comedian Steve Hofstetter walks his readers through awkward early dating, family turbulence, and the revenge of the bullied nerds. Recommended for Grades 7-11. VOYA starred. Nonfiction, memoir, humor, coming of age.
Losing Leah (Tiffany King)
Ten years after the tragic disappearance of her twin sister Leah, sixteen-year-old Mia Klein still struggles to exist within a family that has never fully recovered. Deep in the dark recesses of her mind lies an overwhelming shadow, taunting Mia with mind-splitting headaches that she tries to hide in an effort to appear okay. Leah Klein's life as she knew it ended the day she was taken, thrust into a world of abuse and fear by a disturbed captor―"Mother," as she insists on being called. Ten years later, any recollections of her former life are nothing more than fleeting memories, except for those about her twin sister, Mia. Thriller, kidnapping.
Miles Away From You (A.B.Rutledge)
Debut author! It's been three years since Miles fell for Vivian, a talented and dazzling transgender girl. It's been 18 months since a suicide attempt left Vivian on life support. Now Miles isn't sure who he is without her, but he knows it’s time to figure out how to say goodbye. He books a solo trip to Iceland but then has a hard time leaving the refuge of his hotel room. After a little push from Oskar, a local who is equal parts endearing and aloof, Miles decides to honor Vivian's life by photographing her treasured Doc Martens standing empty against the surreal landscapes. Told in a series of instant messages to Vivian. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Booklist starred. Realistic fiction, LGBTQIA, grief.

THIS WEEK'S SEQUELS (YA):




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MIDDLE GRADES (GRADES 4-7):

New Shoes (Sara Varon)
I don't think libraries today can possibly have too many graphic novels! This one is from the author of Robot Dream, which has been popular in my libraries for years. Francis the donkey is the best shoemaker in the village. He uses only the finest materials: coconut wood for the soles, goat’s wool for the insoles, and wild tiger grass for the uppers. One day he receives a special order from his favorite singer: Miss Manatee, the queen of calypso. But he’s all out of tiger grass! To make the perfect pair of shoes, Francis must journey deep into the jungle...and that means leaving his village for the first time. Recommended for Grades 3-6. Publishers Weekly starred. Graphic novel, adventure.
Dear Isaac Newton, You're Ruining My Life (Rachel Hruza)
As if seventh grade isn't hard enough, Truth Trendon learns she has to wear a back brace to help her worsening scoliosis. She decides gravity is to blame for curving her spine and ruining her life. Thanks for nothing, Isaac Newton! Truth's brace is hard plastic, tight, and uncomfortable. She has to wear a t-shirt under it and bulky clothes over it, making her feel both sweaty and unfashionable. She's terrified that her classmates are going to find out about it. Realistic fiction, disabilities.
When the Crickets Stopped Singing (Marilyn Cram-Donahue)
California, 1939. Angie Wallace and her friends have set out on a mission to "love thy neighbor"--even if that means inviting weird Dodie Crumper to join in their summer plans. But as they move through their neighborly to-do list, the girls can't help but notice that there's something strange about the sudden return of Jefferson Clement. He might be well-dressed and respected, yet with each interaction they become more aware of his dark intentions, especially when it comes to young girls. The adults in town either don't notice or ignore the danger he poses, but when Angie is the only witness to a terrible accident, she must make a choice that calls into question everything she understands about truth and justice. Recommended for Grades 4-6. Historical fiction, sexual abuse.
Strange Star (Emma Carroll)
Another book to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. One stormy June evening, five friends meet at Villa Diodati, the summer home of Lord Byron. After dinner is served, they challenge each other to tell ghost stories that will freeze the blood. But one of the guests--Mary Shelley--is stuck for a story to share. Then there's an unexpected knock at the front door. Collapsed on the doorstep is a girl with strange scars on her face. She has traveled a long way with her own tale to tell, and now they all must listen. Originally published in 2016 in the UK. Recommended for Grades 4-7. SLJ starred. Horror, Frankenstein.

THIS WEEK'S SEQUELS (MIDDLE GRADES):



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PICTURE BOOKS (ALL AGES):

When Paul Met Artie: The Story of Simon & Garfunkel (G. Neri, David Litchfield)
Long before they became one of the most beloved and successful duos of all time, Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel were just two kids growing up in Queens, New York — best friends who met in a sixth-grade production of Alice in Wonderland and bonded over girls, baseball, and rock ’n’ roll. 48 pages.

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







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