Tuesday, July 31, 2018

New Release Spotlight: July 31, 2018

We have about a week and a half left in Texas, and we have finally gotten a short break from the summer sizzle. The high today is 94, but in Texas in late-July, we're happy to get anything below 100! This week, I'm excited to go to a reunion for a school I worked at from 2004-2008. It was where I opened my very first library, and I was pregnant with my now 13-year old son at the time. It looks like a lot of people aren't able to make it to the reunion, but I am really excited to see the people who do come.

This week's NRS has fourteen new titles, one of which is the sequel to Spirit Hunters. I read SH a couple of weeks ago and loved it. It's a great choice for middle graders looking for a creepy scare. I like it so much that I recently added SH to my Halloween Read-Alouds list.

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If Only (Jennifer Gilmore)
Told in alternating perspectives, 16 years apart. One voice is Bridget, a pregnant sixteen-year old who is frightened and trying to do what is best for her unborn baby. The other voice is Ivy, the baby Bridget gave up for adoption. Ivy is now sixteen herself, and she sets out to find her birth mom. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Kirkus and BCCB starred. Realistic fiction, teen pregnancy, adoption.
Storm-Wake (Lucy Christopher)
Retelling of Shakespeare's The Tempest. Moss lives alone with her magician father and a dog on a magical island, until a tempest sweeps a wild, not-quite-human boy, Callan, onto its beaches. Callan and Moss grow close, despite her father's worries. Then one day, a young man from the outside world is shipwrecked on her island, and after that nothing will be the same again. Recommended for Grades 7-12. Booklist starred. Fantasy, retelling.
How We Learned to Lie (Meredith Miller)
This isn't a love story, but it is a story about love. This is the story of Joan Harris and Daisy McNamara and the year everything in their lives came apart. It starts when Robbie McNamara appears at Joan's house with someone else's blood dripping from his hands. Then it all unravels from there in a string of bad angel dust, good biology teachers, rusty scalpels, and stunning car crashes. People keep disappearing, and everyone is lying. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Realistic fiction, coming of age, missing persons.
The Girl You Thought I Was (Rebecca Phillips)
No one looking at Morgan Kemper would think she had a secret--at least not one that she's deeply ashamed of. To everyone she meets, she comes across as sweet, pretty, and put together. But Morgan knows that looks can be deceiving. For over a year, she's shoplifted countless pieces of clothing and makeup. Each time, she tells herself it will be the last, and each time, it never is. But when she's caught and sentenced to thirty hours of community service, the image Morgan has carefully constructed starts to crumble. Recommended for Grades 8-12. Realistic fiction, shoplifting.
Sea Witch (Sarah Henning)
The Little Mermaid origin story. Ever since her best friend Anna died, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. Hiding her talents, mourning her loss, drowning in her guilt. Then a girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears on the shore, and the two girls catch the eyes of two charming princes. Suddenly Evie feels like she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after. But magic isn't kind, and her new friend harbors secrets of her own. She can't stay in Havnestad--or on two legs--without Evie's help. Recommended for Grades 7-10. Fantasy, retelling.
The Cheerleaders (Kara Thomas)
There are no more cheerleaders in the town of Sunnybrook. First there was the car accident--two girls dead after hitting a tree on a rainy night. Not long after, the murders happened. Those two girls were killed by the man next door. The police shot him, so no one will ever know his reasons. Monica's sister was the last cheerleader to die. After her suicide, Sunnybrook High disbanded the cheer squad. No one wanted to be reminded of the girls they'd lost. That was five years ago. Now the faculty and students at Sunnybrook High want to remember the lost cheerleaders. But for Monica, it's not that easy. She just wants to forget. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Mystery.
Grace and Fury (Tracy Banghart)
Serina Tessaro has been groomed her whole life to become a Grace--someone to stand by the heir to the throne as a shining, subjugated example of the perfect woman. It's her chance to secure a better life for her family, and to keep her headstrong and rebellious younger sister, Nomi, out of trouble. But when Nomi catches the Heir's eye instead, Serina is the one who takes the fall for the dangerous secret her sister has been hiding. Trapped in a life she never wanted, Nomi has only one option: surrender to her role as a Grace until she can use her position to save Serina. But this is easier said than done. Recommended for Grades 7-12. Fantasy, feminism.
Heart of Thorns (Bree Barton)
In the ancient river kingdom, where touch is a battlefield, bodies the instruments of war, seventeen-year-old Mia Rose has pledged her life to hunting Gwyrach: women who can manipulate flesh, bones, breath, and blood. The same women who killed her mother without a single scratch. But when Mia's father suddenly announces her marriage to the prince, she is forced to trade in her knives and trousers for a sumptuous silk gown. Only, the wedding goes disastrously wrong, and Mia discovers she has dark, forbidden magic--the very magic she has sworn to destroy. Recommended for Grades 8-12. Fantasy.
The Impossibility of Us (Katy Upperman)
Told in two voices Mati, a devout Muslim from Afghanistan, and Elise, a seventeen-year-old whose brother was killed there, try to keep their budding romance secret from their families. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Romance, star-crossed lovers.
The Letting Go (Deborah Markus)
Everyone Emily has ever loved has been brutally murdered. The killer has never been caught, but Emily knows who’s responsible. She is. It’s the only possible explanation. Emily is the one thing all the victims have in common, which can only mean that someone―or something―is killing them to make her suffer. Determined never to subject another person to the same horrible fate as her parents, friends, and pets, Emily sequesters herself at a private boarding school, keeping her classmates at a distance with well-timed insults and an unapproachable air. Day after day, she loses herself in the writing of Emily Dickinson―the poet makes a perfect friend, since she’s already dead. Recommended for Grades 8+. Thriller, mystery.
Lovely, Dark, and Deep (Justina Chen)
Bonus points for the Oxford Comma! Viola Li and her sister Roz are selling bean buns at a science fiction gathering in Seattle when she suddenly collapses--she wakes up in the hospital to find that somehow she has developed an extreme case of photosensitivity (so bad that even ordinary lights can cause blisters). Yet, somehow, in her senior year of high school, she has to craft a new life that will still include journalism school, activism, and the new guy who caught her as she fell. Recommended for Grades 7-12. Booklist starred. Realistic fiction, romance.


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Spell and Spindle (Michelle Schusterman)
The Museum of Peculiar Arts holds many oddities--a mechanical heart, a diary bound in its owner's skin...and Penny, a child-size marionette who almost looks alive. Fog clouds Penny's memories from before the museum, but she catches glimpses here and there: a stage, deep red curtains, long-fingered hands gripping her strings. One day, a boy named Chance touches Penny's strings and hears her voice in his head. Now someone else is watching Penny and Chance--a man with a sharp face, a puppeteer who has the tools to change things. Recommended for Grades 3-7. Kirkus starred. Horror, ghosts.
The Land of Yesterday (K.A. Reynolds)
After Cecelia Dahl's little brother, Celadon, dies tragically, his soul goes where all souls go: the Land of Yesterday--and Cecelia is left behind in a fractured world without him. Her beloved house's spirit is crumbling beyond repair, her father is imprisoned by sorrow, and worst of all, her grief-stricken mother abandons the land of the living to follow Celadon into Yesterday. It's up to Cecelia to put her family back together, even if that means venturing into the dark and forbidden Land of Yesterday on her own. But as Cecilia braves a hot-air balloon commanded by two gnomes, a sea of daisies, and the Planet of Nightmares, it's clear that even if she finds her family, she might not be able to save them. And if she's not careful, she might just become a lost soul herself, trapped forever in Yesterday. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Fantasy, death, grief.
The Island of Monsters (Ellen Oh)
Sequel to: Spirit Hunters. Normally, sequels go in the sequel section of the weekly NRS. But, I recently read Spirit Hunters, and I am really excited about this sequel! Harper Raine faces new challenges ahead when her parents take the whole family to a remote tropical island for vacation. As Harper starts to have visions of the resort's history of disappearances and discovers more about the island's dark and fabled past, she must use her newly acquired spirit hunting talents to save everyone on the island from murderous spirits on the attack. I recommend Grades 4-7. Horror, ghosts.


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

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