Tuesday, May 15, 2018

New Release Spotlight: May 15, 2018

What's going on this week in Shanghai? Not much! We still have six weeks left of school, the temperature (and humidity!) has cranked up considerably this week, my 13-year old son has started a homemade vegan cookie business, and my six-month old puppy is chewing anything that sort-of fits in his mouth.

As for books, I've found 22 Spotlight-worthy new releases this week. Two of this week's releases, What I Leave Behind and Girl Made of Stars, also appear on my "My Silence Does Not Mean Yes" booklist from a couple of weeks ago.

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What I Leave Behind (Alison McGhee)
When Will learns his childhood friend Playa was raped at a party--a party he was at--it spurs Will to stop being complacent in his own sadness and do some good in the world. He begins to leave small gifts for everyone in his life, from Superman the homeless guy he passes on his way to work, to the Little Butterfly Dude he walks by on the way home, to Playa herself. And it is through those acts of kindness that Will is finally able to push past his own trauma and truly begin to live his life again. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Publishers Weekly and Kirkus starred. Realistic fiction.
Onyx and Ivory (Mindee Arnett)
Cast out of the nobility, Kate now works for the royal courier service. Only the most skilled ride for the Relay and only the fastest survive, for when night falls, the drakes--deadly flightless dragons--come out to hunt. Fortunately, Kate has a secret edge: She is a wilder, born with forbidden magic that allows her to influence the minds of animals. And it's this magic that leads her to a caravan massacred by drakes in broad daylight--the only survivor Corwin Tormaine, the son of the king. Her first love, the boy she swore to forget after he condemned her father to death. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Fantasy, romance.
My So-Called Bollywood Life (Nisha Sharma)
Winnie Mehta was never really convinced that Raj was her soul mate, but their love was written in the stars. Which is why Winnie is shocked when she returns from her summer at film camp to find her boyfriend of three years hooking up with Jenny Dickens. Then there's Dev, a fellow film geek and one of the few people Winnie can count on. Dev is smart and charming, and he challenges Winnie to look beyond her horoscope and find someone she'd pick for herself. But does falling for Dev mean giving up on her prophecy and her chance to live happily ever after? Recommended for Grades 7-10. Kirkus starred. Romance.
Girl Made of Stars (Ashley Herring Blake)
Mara and Owen are as close as twins can get, so when Mara's friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn't know what to think. Can her brother really be guilty of such a violent act? Torn between her family and her sense of right and wrong, Mara feels lost, and it doesn't help that things are strained with her ex-girlfriend, Charlie. As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie come together in the aftermath of this terrible crime, Mara must face a trauma from her own past and decide where Charlie fits into her future. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Multiple starred reviews. Realistic fiction, sexual assault.
You Are Mighty: A Guide to Changing the World (Caroline Paul, Lauren Tamaki)
This guide features change-maker tips, tons of DIY activities, and stories about the kids who have paved the way before, from famous activists like Malala Yousafzai and Claudette Colvin to the everyday young people whose habit changes triggered huge ripple effects. Illustrated. Recommended for Grade 6+. Nonfiction, activism.
Love and Other Carnivorous Plants (Florence Gonsalves)
Freshman year at Harvard was the most anticlimactic year of Danny's life. She's failing pre-med and drifting apart from her best friend. One by one, Danny is losing all the underpinnings of her identity. When she finds herself attracted to an older, edgy girl who she met in rehab for an eating disorder, she finally feels like she might be finding a new sense of self. But when tragedy strikes, her self-destructive tendencies come back to haunt her as she struggles to discover who that self really is. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Booklist starred. Realistic fiction, GLBT.
All of This Is True (Lygia Day Penaflor)
When Long Island teens Miri, Soleil, Penny, and Jonah befriend a bestselling YA novelist, they find their deepest, darkest secrets in the pages of her next novel, with devastating consequences. Told from different perspectives as interviews, journal entries, and book excerpts. Recommended for Grades 8-12. Booklist and Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books starred. Realistic fiction, epistolary.
Nothing Happened (Molly Booth)
Modern-day retelling of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. Sisters Bee and Hana Leonato have lived their whole lives at idyllic Camp Dogberry. Their parents own the camp, and every summer Bee and Hana look forward to leading little campers in swimming, crafts, and games. This year, Bee and longtime counselor Ben have a will-they-or-won't-they romance that's complicated by events that happened last summer. Meanwhile, Hana is falling hard for the kind but insecure Claudia, putting them both in the cross-hairs of resident troublemaker John, who spreads a vicious rumor that could tear them apart. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Romance.
Out of the Blue (Sophie Cameron)
Debut author! Jaya's life has completely fallen apart. Her mother is dead, her dad is on an obsessive wild goose chase, and mysterious winged beings are falling from the sky. For the past nine months, none of the them have survived the plummet to Earth, but when a female being lands near Jaya--and is still alive--she doesn't call the authorities. She hides the being and tries to nurse her back to health. Recommended for Grades 9-12. SLJ and Kirkus starred. Magical realism.
The Accidental Bad Girl (Maxine Kaplan)
After getting caught hooking up with her best friend's ex on the last day of junior year, Kendall starts senior year friendless and ostracized. She plans to keep her head down until she graduates. But after discovering her online identity has been hacked and she's being framed for stealing from a dealer, Kendall is drawn into a tenuous partnership with the mastermind of a drug ring lurking in the shadows of her Brooklyn private school. If she wants to repair her tattered reputation and save her neck, she'll have to decide who she really is--and own it. The longer she plays the role of "bad girl," the more she becomes her new reputation. Recommended for Grades 10+. Publisher's Weekly starred. Realistic fiction.
We Are All That's Left (Carrie Arcos)
Zara and her mother, Nadja, have a strained relationship. Nadja just doesn't understand Zara's creative passion for, and self-expression through, photography. And Zara doesn't know how to reach beyond their differences and connect to a closed-off mother who refuses to speak about her past in Bosnia. But when a bomb explodes as they're shopping in their local farmers' market in Rhode Island, Zara is left with PTSD--and her mother is left in a coma. Without the opportunity to get to know her mother, Zara is left with questions--not just about her mother, but about faith, religion, history, and her own path forward. Recommended for Grades 8+. Booklist and Publishers Weekly starred. Realistic fiction.
The Game Can't Love You Back (Karole Cozzo)
Eve is used to being the odd woman out. As the only girl on her school's baseball team, she knows exactly how to put sweaty, macho baseball players in their place, and she's learned to focus on one thing and one thing only--being the best pitcher she can be. But when a freak accident forces her school to be absorbed by the neighboring town, Eve has to contend with a new group of guys who aren't used to having a woman on their team. And the new team's star pitcher, Jamie, has no interest in being ousted from his throne. Recommended for Grades 8-11. Romance, baseball.
Airports, Exes, and Other Things I'm Over (Shani Petroff)
After Sari caught her boyfriend Zev cheating on her, their romantic Florida vacation was ruined. She can't get back to NYC soon enough. Unfortunately, mother nature may have different plans. A huge storm is brewing in the Northeast, and flights all over the country are getting canceled—including Sari's. She winds up stuck at the airport for hours. With Zev! Recommended for Grades 8+. Romance.
The Gone Away Place (Christopher Barzak)
Since the day a rash of powerful tornadoes touched down in Newfoundland, Ohio--killing more than half of the students in Ellie's school, not to mention dozens more people throughout the town--she's been haunted: by the ghosts of her best friends, by the boy next door, even by her boyfriend. And the living are haunting her too, all those left behind in the storm's wake to cope with the "gone away" pieces in their lives. Recommended for Grades 7+. Publisher's Weekly starred. Paranormal, ghosts.
More Deadly Than War (Kenneth C. Davis)
2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the Spanish flu. This narrative, told through the stories and voices of the people caught in the deadly maelstrom, explores how this vast, global epidemic was intertwined with the horrors of World War I--and how it could happen again. Complete with photographs, period documents, modern research, and firsthand reports by medical professionals and survivors. Recommended for Grades 7-10. Nonfiction, Spanish Flu.


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Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea (Lynne Rae Perkins)
Alix and her sister, Jools, have never seen the ocean. When their parents pack them up for a week at the shore, Alix is nervous about leaving home, but excited, too. At the beach, the girls make friends, go exploring, and have adventures both big and small. They pick periwinkles, spot crabs, and discover that the beach is full of endless possibilities. As the week comes to an end, Alix is surprised to find she doesn't want to leave. Recommended for Grades 3-6. Multiple starred reviews. Realistic fiction, friendship, sisters, summer.
Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like an Inventor (Temple Grandin)
Temple Grandin delves into the science behind inventions, the steps various people took to create and improve upon ideas as they evolved, and the ways in which young inventors can continue to think about and understand what it means to tinker, to fiddle, and to innovate. And laced throughout it all, Temple gives us glimpses into her own childhood tinkering, building, and inventing.Recommended for Grades 4-10. Kirkus starred. Nonfiction, inventions.
Nadya Skylung and the Cloudship Rescue (Jeff Seymour, Brett Helquist)
It takes a very special crew to keep the cloudship Orion running, and no one knows that better than Nadya Skylung, who tends the cloud garden that keeps the ship afloat. When the unthinkable happens and pirates attack, Nadya and the other children aboard--all orphans taken in by the kindhearted Captain Nic--narrowly escape, but the rest of the crew is captured. Alone and far from help, only Nadya and her four brave and loyal friends can take back the Orion and rescue the crew. And she'll risk life and limb to save the only family she's ever known. But...this attack was no accident. Recommended for Grades 4-8. Fantasy.
The Boy, the Bird, and the Coffin Maker (Matilda Woods, Anuska Allepuz)
Alberto lives alone in the town of Allora, where fish fly out of the sea and the houses shine like jewels. He is a coffin maker and widower, spending his quiet days creating the final resting places of Allora's people. Then one day a magical bird flutters into his garden, then into his home. A kindhearted boy named Tito follows the bird into Alberto's kitchen, and a door in the old man's heart cracks open. Tito is lonely too--but he's also scared and searching for a place to hide. Fleeing from danger, he just wants to feel safe for once in his life. Illustrated. Recommended for Grades 3-6. Booklist and Publishers Weekly starred. Magical realism.
The Memory of Forgotten Things (Kat Zhang)
Twelve-year-old Sophia has never told anyone about her unusual memories--snapshots of a past that never happened. She becomes convinced that the upcoming solar eclipse will grant her the opportunity to make her alternate life come true, to enter a world where her mother never died. With the help of two misfit boys, she must figure out a way to bring her mother back to her--before the opportunity is lost forever. Recommended for Grades 4-8. Fantasy, adventure, grief.
Belle's Journey (Rob Bierregaard, Kate Garchinsky)
Dr. B. and Dick, two osprey scientists in Massachusetts, observe ospreys and their offspring, tagging one special fledgling with a transmitter to better study migration habits. Follow Belle as she attempts her first flight, conquers her first fishing endeavour, and heads south for her first migration all while her tracking device transmits information about where's she been. Recommended for Grades 3-5. Nonfiction, birds.
Clara Voyant (Rachelle Delaney)
Clara can't believe her no-nonsense grandmother has just up and moved to Florida, leaving Clara and her mother on their own for the first time. This means her mother can finally "follow her bliss," which involves moving to a tiny apartment in Kensington Market, working at a herbal remedy shop and trying to develop her so-called mystical powers. Clara tries to make the best of a bad situation by joining the newspaper staff at her new middle school, where she can sharpen her investigative journalistic skills and tell the kind of hard-news stories her grandmother appreciated. But the editor relegates her to boring news stories and worse...the horoscopes. Recommended for Grades 4-7. Supernatural, mystery.


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

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