Tuesday, June 12, 2018

New Release Spotlight: June 12, 2018

While many of you are already out of school, I still have THREE WEEKS left! June must be the longest month ever! I plan to return home to the USA this summer, with visits to Connecticut, Virginia, Dallas, and Chicago on our busy agenda. I'm excited to see my family and friends in the US, but I have to be honest here: I am ecstatic about shopping! Shanghai is full of malls and shops, but the sizes tend to be on the small side. So, I do the bulk of my clothes and shoes shopping in the US during summer. I love going home with empty suitcases and leaving with really full ones.

It seems June is a good month to release YA romances! Five of this week's nine new YA titles are romances, and the rest are realistic fiction. The middle grade selections vary widely, from historical fiction to nonfiction to fantasy to mystery. I've only selected one picture book this week, a redesign of an older picture book that you may already have in your library.

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All That I Can Fix (Crystal Chan)
In Makersville, Indiana, people know all about Ronney--he's from that mixed-race family with the dad who tried to kill himself, the pill-popping mom, and the genius kid sister. If having a family like that wasn't bad enough, the local eccentric at the edge of town decided one night to open up all the cages of his exotic zoo--lions, cheetahs, tigers--and then shoot himself dead. Go figure. Even more proof that you can't trust adults to do the right thing. Overnight, news crews, gun control supporters, and gun rights advocates descend on Makersville, bringing around-the-clock news coverage, rallies, and anti-rallies with them. Recommended for Grades 7+. SLJ and Kirkus starred. Realistic fiction, family problems.
Crossing the Line (Elkeles)
Told in alternating perspectives. I loved Perfect Chemistry and am excited to read Elkeles's newest title, despite the mixed Goodread reviews. To escape his abusive stepdad, bad boy Ryan Hess runs from his tiny Texas border town to Mexico. Dalila Sandoval shouldn’t even know someone like Ryan Hess. The daughter of one of the wealthiest lawyers in Mexico, Dalila is focused on studying and planning for her bright future. Recommended for Grades 9+. Romance, abuse, Mexico.
Love Scene, Take Two (Alex Evansley)
Debut author! Twenty-year old Teddy Sharpe is kind of famous. He might actually be on his way to being really famous, especially if he'd nailed an audition for the lead role in the movie adaption of the newest bestselling young adult book series. There's just one problem: He totally blew the audition. And he's stuck in a tiny North Carolina airport. The weekend isn't looking good until 18-year old Bennett Caldwell, author of the very book series he just auditioned for, takes pity on him and invites him to her family's lake house. Recommended for Grades 10+. New adult, romance.
Freshmen (Tom Ellen, Lucy Ivison)
In her first year of college, Phoebe finally hooks up with her long-time crush, soccer player Luke. But drama ensues when rumors swirl about the Wall of Shame, a secret text chain run by Luke's soccer team, filled with compromising photos of girls. As the women on campus determine to expose the team and shut down the account, Luke and Phoebe find themselves grappling with confusing feelings and wondering how they'll ever make it through freshman year. New adult, romance, college.
The Fall of Innocence (Jenny Torres Sanchez)
In third grade, Emilia DeJesus was attacked by Jeremy Lance, a mentally-disabled boy living in the group home next to her elementary school. For the past eight years, she has worked toward getting past the nearly-fatal attack. But when a startling discovery about her attacker's identity comes to light, and the memories of that day break through the mental box in which she'd shut them away, Emilia is forced to confront her new reality and make sense of shifting truths about her past, her family, and herself. Recommended for Grades 9+. Kirkus and SLJ starred. Realistic fiction, abuse.
Tell Me No Lies (Adele Griffin)
In 1980s Philadelphia, Lizzy, a studious high school senior, befriends a new girl in her class and is introduced to a life of clubs, street life and art scene, and a new life filled with doubts and deceptions. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Realistic fiction, friendship, 1980s.
Sometime After Midnight (L. Philips)
In a dingy Los Angeles club late one night, Cameron and Nate meet and find they have much more in common than their love of an obscure indie band. But when Nate learns that Cameron is the heir to a record label, the very one that destroyed his father's life, he runs away as fast as he can. The only evidence of their brief but intense connection is a blurry photo Cameron snaps of Nate's Sharpie-decorated Chuck Taylors as he flees. A modern-day Cinderella story. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Romance, music, GLBT.
Final Draft (Riley Redgate)
Laila Piedra doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, and definitely doesn't sneak into the 21-and-over clubs on the Lower East Side. The only sort of risk Laila enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before graduation, Laila's number one fan is replaced by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who sees nothing at all special about Laila's writing. Recommended for Grades 8-12. Kirkus starred. Realistic fiction.
Soulstruck (Natasha Sinel)
On Cape Cod seventeen-year-old Rachel desperately wants to get struck by lightning, an act that will reveal her soul mate, as it did for her mother, but complicated relationships with friends and family get in the way. Recommended for Grades 9+. Romance.


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The Button War (Avi)
Twelve-year-old Patryk knows little of the world beyond his tiny Polish village; the Russians have occupied the land for as long as anyone can remember, but otherwise life is unremarkable. Patryk and his friends entertain themselves by coming up with dares -- some more harmful than others -- until the Germans drop a bomb on the schoolhouse and the Great War comes crashing in. As control of the village falls from one nation to another, Jurek, the ringleader of these friends, devises the best dare yet: whichever boy steals the finest military button will be king. Recommended for Grades 4-8. Publishers Weekly starred. Historical fiction, Poland, WWII.
The Legend of Greg (Chris Rylander)
Risk-averse Greg Belmont is content with being ordinary. He's got a friend--that's right, just one--at his fancy prep school, and a pretty cool dad (even if he is obsessed with organic soaps that smell like a mix of salted pork and Icelandic bog). The problem is, Greg isn't ordinary...he's actually an honest-to-goodness, fantastical Dwarf! He discovers the truth the day his dad brings home a gross new tea--one that awakens bizarre abilities in Greg. Then a murderous Bro-Troll kidnaps his dad and Greg is whisked away to the Underground, where Dwarves have lived for centuries right beneath the streets of Chicago. Recommended for Grades 4-6.
The House That Lou Built (Mae Respicio)
Debut author! Lou Bulosan-Nelson has the ultimate summer DIY project. She's going to build her own "tiny house," 100 square feet all her own. She shares a room with her mom in her grandmother's house, and longs for a place where she can escape her crazy but lovable extended Filipino family. Lou plans to build the house on land she inherited from her dad, who died before she was born. But she finds out that the land may not be hers for much longer. Lou discovers it's not easy to save her land, or to build a house. But she won't give up; with the help of friends and relatives, her dream begins to take shape, and she learns the deeper meaning of home and family. Recommended for Grades 4-8. Kirkus and SLJ starred. Realistic fiction, coming of age, family.
Science Comics Rockets: Defying Gravity (Anne Drozd, Jerzy Drozd)
Explores the history of rockets, how they work, Newton's Laws of Motion, gravity, force, acceleration. Recommended for Grades 3-6. Nonfiction, science, graphic novel.
House of Dreams: The Life of L.M. Montgomery (Liz Rosenburg, Julie Morstad)
There was once a girl named Maud who adored stories. Maud grew up to write twenty-four of books as L. M. Montgomery, the world-renowned author of Anne of Green Gables. For many years, not a great deal was known about Maud’s personal life. Her childhood was spent with strict, undemonstrative grandparents, and her reflections on writing, her lifelong struggles with anxiety and depression, her “year of mad passion,” and her difficult married life remained locked away, buried deep within her unpublished personal journals. Illustrated, but with 336 pages, this is not a picture book. Recommended for Grades 6+. Nonfiction, biography.
The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair (Amy Makechnie)
Debut author! As ten-year-old Gwyn searches for a missing neighbor in her new town in Iowa, she learns much about her mother, who grew up there but has suffered from memory loss since Gwyn was four. Recommended for Grades 3-6. Kirkus starred. Mystery, detectives, memory loss.
Everything Else in the Universe (Tracy Holczer)
"In 1971, twelve-year-old Lucy Rossi's dad returns from Vietnam after losing part of his arm, and her whole family must learn to adjust to a new dynamic, but Lucy's friend Milo unknowingly helps her navigate through this difficult time of fear and uncertainty to realize she is much tougher than she thought. Recommended for Grades 5-8. Historical fiction, Vietnam War.


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A Grain of Rice (Helena Clare Pittman)
Check your shelves before purchasing this one. You may have it already, but you may want to replace it with this one. This is a beautiful redesign of a picture book from 1986. When a humble farmer named Pong Lo asks for the hand of the Emperor’s beautiful daughter, the Emperor is enraged. Whoever heard of a peasant marrying a princess? But Pong Lo is wiser than the Emperor knows. And when he concocts a potion that saves the Princess’s life, the Emperor gladly offers him any reward he chooses—except the Princess. Pong Lo makes a surprising request. He asks for a single grain of rice, doubled every day for one hundred days. Great for math teachers!

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

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