Tuesday, March 6, 2018

New Release Spotlight--March 6, 2018

Congratulations to Jennifer J! Jennifer won last week's New Release Spotlight giveaway of A Girl Like That. The other giveaway, One True Way doesn't end until tonight (March 6th), so be sure to enter if you have not already. The link is in the New Release Spotlight for February 27. The books will ship from Amazon once the winners are confirmed.

This week's New Release Spotlight features a LOT of starred reviews. I have "purpled" eight titles below, more than a third of this week's new releases!

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Children of Blood and Bone (Tomi Adeyemi)
Orisha Legacy, book 1. Debut author! Seventeen-year-old Zelie, her older brother Tzain, and rogue princess Amari fight to restore magic to the land and activate a new generation of magi, but they are ruthlessly pursued by the crown prince, who believes the return of magic will mean the end of the monarchy. Give this to fans of Leigh Bardugo and Sabaa Tahir. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Multiple starred reviews and already over 450 five-star on Goodreads (4.51 Goodreads average/689 ratings/398 reviews). Fantasy, dystopia.
The Midnights (Sarah Nicole Smetana)
Susannah Hayes dreams of following her father, a former rock star, onto the stage. As senior year begins, she’s more interested in composing impressive chord progressions than college essays, certain that if she writes the perfect song, her father might finally see her. But when he dies unexpectedly, her life shatters. Uprooted to a new city, Susannah realizes she can reinvent herself however she wants: a confident singer-songwriter, member of a hip band, embraced by an effortlessly cool best friend. But Susannah is not the only one keeping secrets, and soon, harsh revelations threaten to unravel her life once again. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Realistic fiction, coming-of-age.
To Kill A Kingdom (Alexandra Christo)
Author confirms this book is a standalone. I plan to read this one! Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever. Lots of 5* Goodreads reviews right now, too! Give this to fans of Levenseller's Daughter of the Pirate King or Jordan's Firelight trilogy. Fantasy, sirens, pirates.
The Final Six (Alexandra Monir)
Even though reviews are mixed, I know I will read this one--I LOVE space operas! Sony has already optioned this book for a movie! Surrounded by strangers all competing for one of the six slots to travel to Jupiter's moon, Europa, Naomi, an Iranian-American science genius, finds a friend in Leo, an Italian championship swimmer, as the training tests their limits. Professional reviewers recommend Grades 9-12. Science fiction, space opera.
Blood, Water, Paint (Joy McCullough)
Told in verse; based on the life of Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi. Her mother died when she was twelve, and suddenly Artemisia Gentileschi had a stark choice: a life as a nun in a convent or a life grinding pigment for her father's paint. She chose paint. By the time she was seventeen, Artemisia did more than grind pigment. She was one of Rome's most talented painters, even if no one knew her name. But Rome in 1610 was a city where men took what they wanted from women, and in the aftermath of rape Artemisia faced another terrible choice: a life of silence or a life of truth, no matter the cost. Recommended for Grades 8+. Multiple starred reviews. Historical fiction, free verse, rape, art.
I Have the Right To (Chessy Prout, Jenn Abelson)
See Chessy's story on Today. In 2014, Chessy Prout was a freshman at St. Paul’s school, a prestigious boarding school in New Hampshire when a senior boy sexually assaulted her as part of a ritualized game of conquest. Chessy bravely reported her assault to the police and testified against her attacker in court. Then, in the face of unfathomable backlash from her once trusted school community, she shed her anonymity to help other survivors find their voice. I'm not finding many reviews on this title. Narrative nonfiction, sexual abuse, rape.
The Poet X (Elizabeth Acevedo)
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. Recommended for Grades 8-12. Multiple starred reviews. Realistic fiction, free verse, Harlem, NY.
The Beauty That Remains (Ashley Woodfolk)
Autumn always knew exactly who she was: a talented artist and a loyal friend. Shay was defined by two things: her bond with her twin sister, Sasha, and her love of music. And Logan has always turned to writing love songs when his real love life was a little less than perfect. But when tragedy strikes each of them, somehow music is no longer enough. Now Logan is a guy who can't stop watching vlogs of his dead ex-boyfriend. Shay is a music blogger who's struggling to keep it together. And Autumn sends messages that she knows can never be answered. Despite the odds, one band's music will reunite them and prove that after grief, beauty thrives in the people left behind. VOYA starred.
Pacifica (Kristen Simmons)
For too long our people have suffered, plagued by overcrowding, disease, and lack of work. We have only just survived for too long. Now we must take the next step and thrive. Pacifica. A new beginning. Blue skies. Green grass. Clear ocean water. An island paradise like the ones that existed before the Melt. A lucky five hundred lottery winners will be the first to go, the first to leave their polluted, dilapidated homes behind and start a new life. It sounds perfect. Like a dream. The only problem? Marin Carey spent her childhood on those seas and knows there's no island paradise out there. She's corsario royalty, a pirate like her father and his father before him, and she knows a con when she sees one. So where are the First Five Hundred really going? Recommended for Grades 7-12. Booklist starred. Science fiction, action-adventure, dystopia.
Mapping the Bones (Jane Yolen)
It's 1942 in Poland, and the world is coming to pieces. At least that's how it seems to Chaim and Gittel, twins whose lives feel like a fairy tale torn apart, with evil witches, forbidden forests, and dangerous ovens looming on the horizon. But in all darkness there is light, and the twins find it through Chaim's poetry and the love they have for each other. Like the bright flame of a Yahrzeit candle, his words become a beacon of memory so that the children and grandchildren of survivors will never forget the atrocities that happened during the Holocaust. Professional reviewers' recommended grade levels vary greatly, ranging from grades 6-12. VOYA and Booklist starred. Historical fantasy, WWII, Holocaust.
No Filter (Orlagh Collins)
Debut author from Ireland! Anyone who follows Emerald on her social media accounts only sees a perfect life-her loving, wealthy family, tight-knit circle of friends, and devoted internet following. But the truth hides behind the scenes of her perfectly framed, filtered photos. . . Emerald's family is far from happy, and when she finds her mom unconscious on the bathroom floor, she can no longer keep it a secret. Sent to stay with her grandmother in a small beach town while her mother recovers and her father works non-stop, Emerald fears the long, lonely summer ahead of her . . . until she meets Liam. He's an aspiring songwriter with his own baggage, but neither of them can deny their connection. Set in Ireland. Give this to fans of Nicola Yoon and Sarah Dessen. Professional reviews are positive, but Goodreads reviews are quite mixed. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Romance, family problems.
In Search of Us (Ava Dellaira)
I know I will get this--I've had three requests for Love Letters to the Dead since I featured it as my "Currently Reading" in last week's booktalks. a parallel story of a mother and daughter each at age seventeen. Marilyn's tale recounts the summer she fell in love and set out on her own path. Angie's story is about her search for her unknown father. Recommended for Grades 8+. Publisher's Weekly starred. Realistic fiction, mothers and daughters.


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The Night Diary (Veera Hiranandani)
It's 1947, and India, newly independent of British rule, has been separated into two countries: Pakistan and India. The divide has created much tension between Hindus and Muslims, and hundreds of thousands are killed crossing borders. Half-Muslim, half-Hindu twelve-year-old Nisha doesn't know where she belongs, or what her country is anymore. When Papa decides it's too dangerous to stay in what is now Pakistan, Nisha and her family become refugees and embark first by train but later on foot to reach her new home. The journey is long, difficult, and dangerous, and after losing her mother as a baby, Nisha can't imagine losing her homeland, too. But even if her country has been ripped apart, Nisha still believes in the possibility of putting herself back together. Told in letters from Nisha to her mother. Recommended for Grades 5-8. Multiple starred reviews. Historical fiction, refugees.
Knockout (K.A. Holt)
Give this to fans of Kwame Alexander. Levi just wants to be treated like a typical kid. As a baby, he had a serious disease that caused him respiratory issues. He's fine now, but his mom and overprotective brother still think of him as damaged, and his schoolmates see him as the same class clown he's always been. He feels stuck. So when his dad—divorced from his mom—suggests he take up boxing, he falls in love with the sport. Recommended for Grades 5-8. Free verse, boxing, childhood illness.
The Sky at Our Feet (Nadia Hashimi)
Jason has just learned that his Afghan mother has been living illegally in the United States since his father was killed in Afghanistan. Although Jason was born in the US, it's hard to feel American now when he's terrified that his mother will be discovered and that they will be separated. Recommended for Grades 4-8. Kirkus and Publisher's Weekly starred. Realistic fiction, immigration.
P.S. I Miss You (Jen Petro-Roy)
Evie is heartbroken when her strict Catholic parents send her pregnant older sister, Cilla, away to stay with a distant great-aunt. Forbidden to speak to Cilla, Evie secretly sends her letters. Evie writes about her family, torn apart and hurting. She writes about her life, lonely without Cilla. And she writes about the new girl in school, June, who becomes her friend, and then maybe more than a friend. Evie could really use some advice from her big sister. She sends letter after letter. But Cilla isn't writing back. Epistolary, realistic fiction.
Double Play: Baseball Genius (Tim Green, Derek Jeter)
When New York Yankee James 'JY' Yager tries to show that he can still hit in the majors without the help of twelve-year-old Jalen's baseball genius, Jalen focuses on his own baseball career as he tries to carve out a spot with the Rockton Rockets. Recommended for Grades 3-7. Sports, baseball.
The Science of Breakable Things (Tae Keller)
Debut author! How do you grow a miracle? For the record, this is not the question Mr. Neely is looking for when he says everyone in class must answer an important question using the scientific process. But Natalie's botanist mother is suffering from depression, so this is The Question that's important to Natalie. When Mr. Neely suggests that she enter an egg drop competition, Natalie has hope. Eggs are breakable. Hope is not. Natalie has a secret plan for the prize money. She's going to fly her mother to see the Cobalt Blue Orchids--flowers that survive against impossible odds. Kirkus and Booklist starred. Recommended for Grades 4-7. Realistic fiction, mental illness.
The Mad Wolf's Daughter (Diane Magras)
One dark night, Drest's sheltered life on a remote Scottish headland is shattered when invading knights capture her family, but leave Drest behind. Her father, the Mad Wolf of the North, and her beloved brothers are a fearsome war-band, but now Drest is the only one who can save them. So she starts off on a wild rescue attempt, taking a wounded invader along as a hostage. Recommended for Grades 4-7. Publishers Weekly starred. Historical fiction, Middle Ages, Scotland.
Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World (Ashley Herring Blake)
When a tornado rips through town, twelve-year-old Ivy Aberdeen's house is destroyed and her family of five is displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm--and what's worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing. Mysteriously, Ivy's drawings begin to reappear in her locker with notes from someone telling her to open up about her identity. Ivy thinks--and hopes--that this someone might be her classmate, another girl for whom Ivy has begun to develop a crush. Recommended for Grades 4-7. Multiple starred reviews. Realistic fiction, GLBT.
Midnight in the Piazza (Tiffany Parks)
Beatrice moves to Rome when her father gets a job as head of history at the American Academy of Rome. When she arrives in Rome she hears talk of a strange neighborhood legend, a centuries-old unsolved mystery about the beautiful turtle fountain outside her window. Late one night, Beatrice sees a dark figure emerge from the shadows of the square—and steal the famous turtle sculptures that give the fountain its name. When no one believes her story, Beatrice knows that it’s up to her to solve the crime and restore the turtles to their rightful place. Recommended for Grades 4-7. Mystery, art, Rome.
Plant, Cook, Eat! A Children's Cookbook (Joe Archer, Caroline Craig)
Includes color photo-illustrations and clearly organized sections. Readers will discover how to plant seeds in patio containers, window boxes, or on an allotment; harvest fruits and vegetables; determine which plant parts are edible; spot pests in the garden; and use home-grown crops to cook everything from bean and bacon spaghetti to polenta chips to tomato, feta, and basil pizza. Recommended for Grades 3-6. Kirkus starred. Nonfiction, cookbook, plants.


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

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