Tuesday, August 21, 2018

New Release Spotlight: August 21, 2018

Back to school for me! It's actually nice being back to my routine and to see all my teacher-friends and meet new ones. I'll get to see my students (and how much they grew over the summer) at Meet-the Teacher Day on Friday. I always love the excitement of the first day of school--it's too bad we can't keep it going for the entire year!

This week's NRS is relatively short, and to be honest, I'm not over the moon for any one title. I reviewed one book, Losing the Field a few days ago, and it wasn't something I'd buy or promote in my library. The two that stick out most to me this week are The State of Grace and Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish.

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We Regret to Inform You (Ariel Kaplan)
When overachiever Mischa Abramavicius is rejected not only by the Ivies, but her loathsome safety school, she is shocked and devastated. All the sacrifices her mother made to send her to prep school, the late nights cramming for tests, the blatantly resume-padding extracurriculars...all that for nothing. As Mischa grapples with the prospect of an increasingly uncertain future, she questions how this could have happened in the first place. Is it possible that her transcript was hacked? Recommended for Grades 8-12. Kirkus starred. Realistic fiction.
The State of Grace (Rachael Lucas)
Grace is autistic and has her own way of looking at the world. She's got a horse and a best friend who understand her, and that's pretty much all she needs. But when Grace kisses Gabe and things start to change at home, the world doesn't make much sense to her any more. Suddenly everything threatens to fall apart, and it's up to Grace to fix it on her own. Recommended for Grades 7+. Publishers Weekly starred. Realistic fiction, autism.
To Be Honest (Maggie Ann Martin)
Debut author! Savannah is dreading being home alone with her overbearing mother after her big sister--and best friend--goes off to college. But if she can just get through senior year, she'll be able to escape to college, too. What she doesn't count on is that her mother's obsession with weight has only grown deeper since her appearance on an extreme weight-loss show, and now Savvy's mom is pressuring her even harder to be constantly mindful of what she eats. Realistic fiction, romance.
The Truth Lies Here (Lindsey Klingele)
In small town Michigan, Penny Hardjoy, an aspiring journalist, teams up with the nerdy boy next door and the town's star quarterback to find her conspiracy theorist father after he goes missing and several other people turn up dead in the woods. The deeper she digs, the weirder things start to get. Townspeople repeat the same phrases--verbatim. Men in black suits stroll around Main Street. Chunks of Penny's memory go missing. Pretty soon, her research leads her to the long-ago meteorite crash in Bone Lake's woods, and she's going to have to reconsider her definition of "real" if she wants answers... Recommended for Grades 9-12. Mystery.
Giant Days (Non Pratt)
Three university first-years--Daisy, Susan, and Esther--become fast friends during their first week of university. And it's a good thing they do, because in the giant adventure that is college, a friend who has your back is key--something Daisy discovers when she gets a little too involved in her extracurricular club, the Yogic Brethren of Zoise. When she starts acting strange and life around campus gets even stranger (missing students, secret handshakes, monogrammed robes everywhere...), Esther and Susan decide it's up to them to investigate the weirdness and save their friend. Recommended for Grades 8-12. Realistic fiction, graphic novel.


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Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish (Pablo Cartaya)
After a fight at school leaves Marcus facing suspension, Marcus's mom decides it's time for a change of environment. She takes Marcus and his younger brother to Puerto Rico to spend a week with relatives they don't remember or have never met. But Marcus can't focus knowing that his father--who walked out of their lives ten years ago--is somewhere on the island. SLJ starred. Realistic fiction, families, Puerto Rico.
The Secrets of Tutankhamun: Egypt's Boy King and His Incredible Tomb (Patricia Cleveland-Peck, Isabel Greenberg)
Tutankhamun was born in a time of change. His father instituted broad political and religious reform to Egypt, and his laws were controversial. By the time Tut turned nine, his whole family had died and he was named the youngest king Egypt had ever had. His rule was short and tumultuous, and around age nineteen, Tut died. More than three thousand years later, British archaeologist Howard Carter made a discovery that shocked the world: King Tut's tomb, long ago assumed destroyed, not only survived but was fully intact. Recommended for Grades 3-5. Nonfiction, Ancient Egypt.


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Charlotte's Bones: The Beluga Whale in a Farmer's Field (Erin Rounds, Allison Carver)
In 1849, a crew building a railroad through Charlotte, Vermont, dug up strange and beautiful bones in a farmer’s field. A local naturalist asked Louis Agassiz to help identify them, and the famous scientist concluded that the bones belonged to a beluga whale. But how could a whale’s skeleton have been buried so far from the ocean? The answer—that Lake Champlain had once been an arm of the sea—encouraged radical new thinking about geological time scales and animal evolution. Nonfiction, fossils.

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

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