Tuesday, August 7, 2018

New Release Spotlight: August 7, 2018

This time next week, I'll be back in Shanghai! I can't wait to snuggle with our 9-month old puppy Cisco, who has been at puppy training for the past few weeks. He's a bundle of energy and thirty pounds of wiggles, licks, and tail-smacks!

This week's NRS is a meaty one and a nice change from the past few weeks. There is one title on this list that has a whopping FIVE starred reviews! Reminder: My picks for the week are shaded in purple.

Shanghai and Cisco, I'll see you soon!
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Catwoman: Soulstealer (Sarah J. Maas)
Two years after escaping Gotham City's slums, Selina Kyle returns as the mysterious and wealthy Holly Vanderhees. She quickly discovers that with Batman off on a vital mission, Gotham City looks ripe for the taking. Meanwhile, Luke Fox wants to prove that as Batwing he has what it takes to help people. He targets a new thief on the prowl who has teamed up with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. Together, they are wreaking havoc. This Catwoman is clever--she may be Batwing's undoing. Recommended for Grades 7-12. Kirkus starred. Action-adventure, superheroes.
The Dark Beneath the Ice (Amelinda Bérubé)
Something is wrong with Marianne. It's not just that her parents have finally split up. Or that life hasn't been the same since she quit dancing. Or even that her mother has checked herself into the hospital. She's losing time. Doing things she would never do. And objects around her seem to break whenever she comes close. Something is after her. And the only one who seems to believe her is the daughter of a local psychic. Recommended for Grades 7-12. Supernatural, mental illness.
This Story Is A Lie (Tom Pollock)
Seventeen-year-old Peter Blankman is a math genius. He also suffers from devastating panic attacks. Pete gets through each day with the help of his mother--a famous scientist--and his beloved twin sister, Bel. But when his mom is nearly assassinated in front of his eyes and Bel disappears, Pete finds himself on the run. Dragged into a world where state and family secrets intertwine, Pete must use his extraordinary analytical skills to find his missing sister and track down the people who attacked his mother. But his greatest battle will be with the enemy inside: the constant terror that threatens to overwhelm him. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Thriller.
The Last Best Story (Maggie Lehrman)
It's the end of senior year, and Rose Regnero is over it. She's over chasing stories for a school newspaper no one reads. Over missing out on 'normal' high school life. And most of all, over Grant Leitch: editor-in-chief, former close friend, never-quite-boyfriend. It's the end of senior year, and Grant Leitch is in denial. He's in denial about handing over the reins of the paper to an unworthy underclassman. In denial that Rose suddenly, inexplicably quit the paper and now won't talk to him. But mostly he's in denial that she is at prom with another guy, and it's no one's fault but his own. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Romance.
#MurderTrending (Gretchen McNeil)
Welcome to the near future, where good and honest citizens can enjoy watching the executions of society's most infamous convicted felons, streaming live on The Postman app from the suburbanized prison island Alcatraz 2.0. When seventeen-year-old Dee Guerrera wakes up in a haze, lying on the ground of a dimly lit warehouse, she realizes she's about to be the next victim of the app. Knowing hardened criminals are getting a taste of their own medicine in this place is one thing, but Dee refuses to roll over and die for a heinous crime she didn't commit. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Thriller, murder.
Heretics Anonymous (Katie Henry)
Debut author! When Michael walks through the doors of Catholic school, things can't get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow atheist at that. Only this girl, Lucy, isn't just Catholic...she wants to be a priest. Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare's outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where he can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism. Recommended for Grades 8-12. Booklist and Kirkus starred. Realistic fiction, humor.
The Girl at the Grave (Teri Bailey Black)
Debut author! Set in 1849. As a child, Valentine saw her mother murder the wealthiest man in their Connecticut town and then hang at the gallows. Neglected by her father, she's learned to fend for herself, living in a crumbling estate that feels haunted by the past. Now a top student at Drake Academy, she's determined to prove herself and overcome her mother's crime. But like all small towns, Feavers Crossing has a stiflingly long memory, and when a new string of murders occurs, all signs point to the daughter of a killer as they most likely suspect. Recommended for Grades 7-12. Historical fiction, romance.
The Other Side of Lost (Jessi Kirby, Annica Lydenberg)
Mari Turner's life is perfect. That is, at least, to her thousands of followers who have helped her become an internet starlet. But when she breaks down and posts a video confessing she's been living a lie--that she isn't the happy, in love, inspirational online personality she's been trying so hard to portray--it goes viral and she receives a major backlash. To get away from it all, she makes an impulsive decision: to hike the entire John Muir Trail. Recommended for Grades 8-12. Realistic fiction, hiking.
The Forest Queen (Betsy Cornwell)
When sixteen-year-old Sylvie's brother takes over management of their family's vast estates, Sylvie feels powerless to stop his abuse of the local commoners. Her dearest friend asks her to run away to the woods with him, and soon a host of other villagers join them. Together, they form their own community and fight to right the wrongs perpetrated by the king and his noblemen. Recommended for Grades 7+. Retelling (Robin Hood), corruption.
Finding Yvonne (Brandy Colbert)
Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company when times got tough. But with graduation looming, she must face face the hard truth that she might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school. Full of doubt about her future unable to connect with her emotionally closed-off father, Yvonne meets a street musician and fellow violinist who understands her struggle. He's mysterious, charming, and different from Warren, the familiar and reliable boy who has her heart. But when Yvonne becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has to make the most difficult decision yet about her future. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Realistic fiction.
Nine (Zach Hines)
Debut author! In an alternate world, humans have nine lives in which they cannot wait to use them up. A young man named Julian who is determined to stay on his first life for as long as he can along with a group of student dissenters seek out to find answers, and are on the verge of exposing one of the greatest conspiracy ever unleashed on the world. Recommended for Grades 7+. Science fiction, dystopia.
Dance of Thieves (Mary E. Pearson)
A formidable outlaw family that claims to be the first among nations. A son destined to lead, thrust suddenly into power. Three fierce young women of the Rahtan, the queen's premier guard. A legendary street thief leading a mission, determined to prove herself. A dark secret that is a threat to the entire continent. When outlaw leader meets reformed thief, a cat-and-mouse game of false moves ensues, bringing them intimately together in a battle that may cost them their lives--and their hearts. Recommended for Grades 8-12. Fantasy.
These Rebel Waves (Sarah Raasch)
Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Agrid, a country ruled by religion. Devereux is a pirate. As one of the stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he scavenges the island's magic plants and sells them on the black market. Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray's forbidden magic. As conspiracies arise, Lu, Vex, and Ben will have to decide who they really are...and what they are willing to become for peace. Recommended for Grades 8-12. Fantasy.


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Nowhere Boy (Katherine Marsh)
Yes! A Syrian refugee story--keep 'em coming, authors! Fourteen-year-old Ahmed is stuck in a city that wants nothing to do with him. Newly arrived in Brussels, Belgium, Ahmed fled a life of uncertainty and suffering in Syria, only to lose his father on the perilous journey to the shores of Europe. Then he meets Max, a thirteen-year-old American boy. Lonely and homesick, Max is struggling at his new school and just can't seem to do anything right. But with one startling discovery, Max and Ahmed's lives collide and a friendship begins to grow. Recommended for Grades 5-8. BCCB and Kirkus starred. Realistic fiction, refugees, friendship.
The Dollar Kids (Jennifer Richard Jacobson)
Twelve-year--old Lowen Grover, a budding comic-book artist, is still reeling from the shooting death of his friend Abe when he stumbles across an article about a former mill town giving away homes for just one dollar. It not only seems like the perfect escape from Flintlock and all of the awful memories associated with the city, but an opportunity for his mum to run her very own business. Fortunately, his family is willing to give it a try. But is the Dollar Program too good to be true? The homes are in horrible shape, and the locals are less than welcoming. Illustrated. Recommended for Grades 5-8. SLJ starred. Realistic fiction, community, family.
Illegal (Eoin Colfer, Andrew Donkin, Giovanni Rigano)
Ebo is alone. His brother, Kwame, has disappeared, and Ebo knows it can only be to attempt the hazardous journey to Europe, and a better life, the same journey their sister set out on months ago. But Ebo refuses to be left behind in Ghana. Ebo's epic quest takes him across the Sahara Desert to the dangerous streets of Tripoli, and finally out to the merciless sea. But with every step he holds on to his hope for a new life, and a reunion with his family. Recommended for Grades 6-9. Multiple starred reviews. Graphic novel, immigration.
Eleanor Roosevelt, Fighter for Justice (Ilene Cooper)
Though now seen as a cultural icon, Eleanor Roosevelt was a woman deeply insecure about her looks and her role in the world. But by recognizing her fears and constantly striving to overcome her prejudices, she used her proximity to presidents and her own power to aid in the fight for Civil Rights and other important causes. Includes a timeline, biography, index, and many historic photographs. Recommended for Grades 6-9. SLJ starred. Nonfiction, biography.
Spooked! How A Radio Broadcast and the War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America (Gail Jarrow)
On October 30, 1938, thousands of Americans panicked when they believed that Martians had invaded Earth. Some listeners became angry once they realized they had been tricked, and the reaction to the broadcast sparked a national discussion about fake news, propaganda, and the role of radio. Recommended for Grades 5-8. This one has FIVE starred reviews! Nonfiction, fake news, hoaxes, historical events.


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The People Awards (Lily Murray)
Welcome to the People Awards! The ceremony is about to begin. Who will win the Best Hat award? Who will be named Bad-Tempered Musical Genius? Who gets the Stand Up For What You Believe In prize? A celebration of 50 famous people from around the world who made history and changed the world for the better. People Awards include: Albert Einstein, Wangari Maathai, Abraham Lincoln, Valentina Tereshkova, Leonardo da Vinci, Ellen de Generes, and Nelson Mandela.
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This list also appears on my New Releases--Weekly Board on Pinterest:


  1. I'm glad to see I am already on top of some of these suggestions as they're on order! Do you know of older refugee type stories? I seem to keep seeing middle school ones. Besides being a school librarian, I also run puppy socialising classes - hope Cisco has enjoyed his!

    1. Awww! Teaching puppy socialising classes must be so much fun! The trainer emails us photos of Cisco every few days, and he looks like he's doing well there. For the older refugee titles, how about All the Broken Pieces (Ann Burg) or Inside Out and Back Again (Thanhha Lai)? They are a little older and both Vietnam refugee stories. Every Falling Star (Sungju Lee) is a great one from North Korea. It was a 2016 publication, so not old, but it's a great one.


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