Tuesday, August 28, 2018

This Week's Newest Book Releases for Teens and Tweens: August 28, 2018

Wow, Jacqueline Woodson has been busy--she is releasing two books today, and both received multiple starred reviews! This week's list is the best one I've seen in awhile and includes lots of interesting titles that I plan to order for my school.

Speaking of school, yesterday was our students' first day! I have always loved the first day of school, even when I was a surly, disillusioned high schooler myself. My own boys have started sixth and eighth grades this year, and we are really excited to finally start homeschooling, something we've wanted to do for years. We've gotten a lot of questions about the hows and whys of our decision to homeschool, and I'm planning to write about our homeschooling adventures here. Stay tuned if you are curious about how we're managing that. In the mean time, enjoy all the fabulous titles on this week's list!

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The Second Life of Ava Rivers (Faith Gardner)
Eighteen-year-old Vera, eager to start college and escape the celebrity her family has endured since her twin's disappearance twelve years earlier, finds her world turned upside-down again when Ava returns. Recommended for Grades 8-12. Multiple starred reviews. Realistic fiction, missing persons, sisters.
Unpunished Murder: Massacre at Colfax and the Quest for Justice (Lawrence Goldstone)
On Easter Sunday of 1873, a band of white supremacists marched into Grant Parish, Louisiana, and massacred over one hundred unarmed African Americans. The court case that followed reached the highest court in the land. Yet, following one of the most ghastly incidents of mass murder in American history, not one person was convicted. Recommended for Grades 7-12. Booklist starred. Narrative nonfiction, civil rights.
The Soul Keepers (Devon Taylor)
The Soul Keepers, book 1. Great for fans of Neil Gaiman or Ransom Riggs! After dying in a terrible car accident, Rhett awakens in the afterlife and is recruited to join the crew of theHarbinger, a colossal seafaring vessel tasked with ferrying the souls of the dead. To where exactly, no one knows. But the crew must get the souls there, and along the way protect them from vicious soul-eating monsters that will stop at nothing to take the ship and all of its occupants. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Action-adventure, ghosts.
Hidden Pieces (Paula Stokes)
Embry Woods has many secrets, but her biggest secret is about what they did at the abandoned Sea Cliff Inn...and the resulting terrible fire. Embry helps a homeless man escape from the flames and is immediately hailed as a hero, but she knows that couldn't be further from the truth. Though she's wracked with guilt, Embry thinks she can take one last secret to her grave. But then she receives an anonymous note--someone else was there that night. Now she must respond to a series of threatening messages asking her to make impossible choices. Recommended for Grades 8-12. Booklist and VOYAstarred. Thriller, mystery.
In Another Time (Caroline Leech)
It’s 1942, and Maisie McCall is in the Scottish Highlands doing her bit for the war effort as a Women’s Timber Corps lumberjill. Maisie relishes her newfound independence and her growing friendships—especially with the enigmatic John Lindsay. Recommended for Grades 7-10. Historical fiction, WWII, romance.
The Sacrifice Box (Martin Stewart)
In the summer of 1982, five friends discover an ancient stone box hidden deep in the woods. They seal inside of it treasured objects from their childhoods, and they make a vow: Never come to the box alone. Never open it after dark. Never take back your sacrifice. Four years later, a series of strange and terrifying events begin to unfold: mirrors inexplicably shattering, inanimate beings coming to life, otherworldly crows thirsting for blood. Someone broke the rules of the box, and now everyone has to pay. Recommended for Grades 8+. Publishers Weekly and VOYA starred. Horror.
That's Not What Happened (Kody Keplinger)
In the three years since the Virgil County High School Massacre, a story has grown up around one of the victims, Sarah McHale, that says she died proclaiming her Christian faith--but Leanne Bauer was there, and knows what happened, and she has a choice: stay silent and let people believe in Sarah's martyrdom, or tell the truth. Recommended for Grades 7+. Realistic fiction, bullying, school shootings.
Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft (Tess Sharpe, Jessica Spotswood)
History is filled with stories of women accused of witchcraft, of fearsome girls with arcane knowledge. Toil & Trouble features fifteen stories of girls embracing their power, reclaiming their destinies and using their magic to create, to curse, to cure—and to kill. Recommended for Grades 7-12. Booklist and Kirkus starred. Short stories, witchcraft.
Seafire (Natalie C. Parker)
After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, who have lost their families and homes because of Aric and his men. The crew has one mission: stay alive, and take down Aric's armed and armored fleet. But when Caledonia's best friend and second-in-command barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether to let him join their crew. Recommended for Grades 7+. Fantasy.
Mirage (Somaiya Daud)
Debut author! In a world dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation, of writing poetry, of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day she, too, will have adventure and travel beyond her isolated moon. But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects. She is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double: someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place. Recommended for Grades 8-12. Booklist and SLJ starred. Fantasy.


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Harbor Me (Jacqueline Woodson)
It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat—by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for "A Room to Talk"), they discover it's safe to talk about what's bothering them—everything from Esteban's father's deportation and Haley's father's incarceration to Amari's fears of racial profiling and Ashton's adjustment to his changing family fortunes. Recommended for Grades 4-8. Multiple starred reviews. Realistic fiction, racism, bullying.
Elephant Secret (Eric Walters)
Sam was born and raised in an elephant sanctuary. When a beloved elephant dies giving birth, Sam develops a connection with baby Woolly—who isn't actually an elephant but was cloned from woolly mammoth DNA. And the billionaire genius behind the cloning experiment will stop at nothing to protect his investment. Smart, determined, and loving, Sam stands up to this powerful adversary to protect the sanctuary and her herd. Recommended for Grades 3-8. School Library Connection starred. Realistic fiction, elephants, animal rights, cloning.
The House in Poplar Wood (K.E. Ormsbee)
For as long as the Vickery twins can remember, Lee and his mother have served Memory, while Felix and his father assist Death. This is the Agreement. But one Halloween, Gretchen Whipple smashes her way into their lives. Her bargain is simple: If the twins help her solve the murder of local girl Essie Hasting, she'll help them break the Agreement. The more the three investigate, however, the more they realize that something's gone terribly wrong in their town. Recommended for Grades 5-8. Multiple starred reviews. Fantasy, mystery.

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The Day You Begin (Jacqueline Woodson, Rafael López)
Other students laugh when Rigoberto, an immigrant from Venezuela, introduces himself but later, he meets Angelina and discovers that he is not the only one who feels like an outsider. Multiple starred reviews.
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This list also appears on my New Releases--Weekly Board on Pinterest:

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