Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New Book Releases for Kids and Teens: October 30, 2018

Despite a few hiccups, our school's author visit with Ying Chang Compestine went very well last week. I posted some photos on my MrsReaderPants FaceBook and Instagram pages over the weekend. I would post them here, but internet access in Shanghai is very spotty right now, and I'm not able to upload the photos to my blog. The internet issues will probably last a couple of weeks. Once the Shanghai Import Expo ends on November 10, things should be back to normal.

So what looks good on this week's list? Don't miss the sequels! There are several popular titles including Diary of a Wimpy Kid, #13 and the third book in Chmakova's popular Awkward series. I've already had requests for that one, including from my own son, so I'll need to order it ASAP.

NOTE: Titles highlighted in purple are those that received two or more starred professional reviews.

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Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts) (L.C. Rosen)
Debut author! Jack has a lot of sex--and he's not ashamed of it. While he's sometimes ostracized, and gossip constantly rages about his sex life, Jack always believes that "it could be worse." But then, the worse unexpectedly strikes: When Jack starts writing a teen sex advice column for an online site, he begins to receive creepy and threatening love letters that attempt to force Jack to curb his sexuality and personality. Now it's up to Jack and his best friends to uncover the stalker--before their love becomes dangerous. Recommended for Grades 10-12. Booklist and SLJ starred. Realistic fiction, LGBT+, bullying.
This Is Kind of An Epic Love Story (Kheryn Callender)
Nathan Bird doesn't believe in happy endings. Playing it safe to avoid a broken heart has been his MO ever since his father died and left his mom to unravel--but this strategy is not without fault. His best-friend-turned-girlfriend-turned-best-friend-again, Florence, is set on making sure Nate finds someone else. And in a twist that is rom-com-worthy, someone does come along: Oliver James Hernandez, his childhood best friend. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Kirkus starred. Romance, GLBT+.
Where She Fell (Kaitlin Ward)
Eliza knows the legends about the swamp near her house--that people have fallen into sinkholes, never to be seen again. When her best friends drag her onto the uneven ground, Eliza knows to be worried. And when the earth opens under her feet, there isn't even time to say I told you so. As she scrambles through one cave, which leads to another, and another, Eliza finds herself in an impossible world -- where a small group of people survive underground, running from vicious creatures, eating giant bugs, and creating their own subterranean society. Recommended for Grades 7+. Science fiction.
You Are the Everything (Karen Rivers)
When sixteen-year-old Elyse Schmidt and her crush, Josh Harris, are the sole survivors of a plane crash, she believes that everything is perfect and their love story is meant to be, but she finds that fate is not always what you expect it to be. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Booklist and SLJ starred. Survival, romance, unreliable narrator.
Never Quit: How I Became a Special Ops Pararescue Jumper (Jimmy Settle, Don Rearden)
YA adaptation of the memoir of Jimmy Settle, an Alaskan shoe store clerk who became a Special Forces Operator and war hero. After being shot in the head during a dangerous high mountain operation in Afghanistan, Jimmy returns to battle with his teammates for a heroic rescue, the bullet fragments stitched over and still in his skull. In a cross between a suicide rescue mission and an against-all-odds mountain battle, his team of PJs risk their lives again in an epic firefight. Recommended for Grades 7+. Narrative nonfiction, memoir, military service, survival.
Come November (Katrin van Dam)
Debut author! It's not the end of the world, but for Rooney Harris it's starting to feel that way. It's the beginning of senior year, and her mom just lost her job. Even worse, she isn't planning to get another one. Instead, she's spending every waking moment with a group called the Next World Society, whose members are convinced they'll be leaving Earth behind on November 17. It sounds crazy to Rooney, but to her mother and younger brother it sounds like salvation. As her mom's obsession threatens to tear their lives apart, Rooney is scrambling to hold it all together. Recommended for Grades 7+. SLJ starred. Realistic fiction, family.
The Brilliant Death (Amy Rose Capetta)
Teodora di Sangro is used to hiding her magical ability to transform enemies into music boxes and mirrors. Nobody knows she's a strega--and she aims to keep it that way. The she meets Cielo--and everything changes. A strega who can switch outward form as effortlessly as turning a page in a book, Cielo shows Teodora what her life could be like if she masters the power she's been keeping secret. And not a moment too soon: the ruler of Vinalia has poisoned the patriarchs of the country's five controlling families, including Teodora's father, and demands that each family send a son to the palace. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Kirkus starred. Fantasy, magic.
On Blood Road (Steve Watkins)
Taylor is a rebellious teenager with a habit of sneaking out to hang with his anti-war friends, so in January 1968 his mother drags him off to Saigon where his father is attached to the United States embassy. Bored (and still rebellious), Taylor sneaks out of the embassy to watch the Tet celebrations. Just as the war erupts all over Vietnam, he is captured by the North Vietnamese Army and sent North as a prisoner and hostage. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Historical fiction, Vietnam War.
Salt (Hannah Moskowitz)
Roaming the Mediterranean on sailboats and hunting down monsters is the only life seventeen-year-old Indi and his siblings have ever known. He never loved it, but now that his parents are gone--recently vanished at sea during a hunt--it's harder and harder to fight his desire to escape. He's constantly weighing his need for freedom against his ferocious love for his siblings and the temptation of his parents' journal, which contains directions to a possible treasure. Maybe it's something valuable enough to distract sixteen-year-old Beleza from her obsession with hunting down the monster that killed their parents. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Kirkus starred. Adventure, pirates.


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A Story Like the Wind (Gill Lewis, Jo Weaver)
Rami is in a small dinghy filled with strangers, all of them refugees seeking a safe harbor. But with no motor, no oars, and a rising tide, their situation looks bleak. So Rami pulls out the only thing he brought with him—a violin—and begins to tell his fellow refugees a story through his music. And his story, about an indomitable white stallion and its struggle for freedom, gives them all the strength to remember the past and hope for the future. Illustrated. Recommended for Grades 4-7. Kirkus and SLJ starred. Fable, refugees.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Meltdown (Jeff Kinney)
Wow, this is book #13, and poor Greg is still in middle school. When snow shuts down Greg Heffley’s middle school, his neighborhood transforms into a wintry battlefield. Rival groups fight over territory, build massive snow forts, and stage epic snowball fights. And in the crosshairs are Greg and his trusty best friend, Rowley Jefferson. Recommended for Grades 4-7. Humor, graphic novel.
Blended (Sharon Draper)
Eleven-year-old Isabella's parents are divorced, so she has to switch lives every week: One week she's Isabella with her dad, his girlfriend Anastasia, and her son Darren living in a fancy house where they are one of the only black families in the neighborhood. The next week she's Izzy with her mom and her boyfriend John-Mark in a small, not-so-fancy house that she loves. Because of this, Isabella has always felt pulled between two worlds. And now that her parents are divorced, it seems their fights are even worse, and they're always about HER. Recommended for Grades 4-7. Publishers Weekly Annex starred. Realistic fiction, blended families, racial prejudice.
What Goes Up (Wen Jane Baragrey)
Robyn Tinkerbell Goodfellow (yes, that's actually her name) has a target on her roof. Well, not a real one, but everything seems to land there: paper airplanes, lost kites, socks, cats, and once even a skydiver! In the town of Calliope, Robyn and her magnet roof are famous--for being weird. That wasn't such a big deal...until now! A rogue NASA satellite is falling out of orbit and is going to hit Earth. NASA says it will probably land in the ocean, but Robyn knows better--that satellite is headed for her roof. Recommended for Grades 3-6. Humor, adventure.
The Hidden Witch (Molly Knox Ostertag)
Aster and his family are adjusting to his unconventional talent for witchery; unlike the other boys in his family, he isn't a shapeshifter. He's taking classes with his grandmother and helping to keep an eye on his great-uncle whose corrupted magic wreaked havoc on the family. Meanwhile, Aster's friend from the non-magical part of town, Charlie, is having problems of her own -- a curse has tried to attach itself to her. She runs to Aster and escapes it, but now the friends must find the source of the curse before more people--normal and magical alike--get hurt. Recommended for Grades 3-6. Kirkus starred. Graphic novel, fantasy, magic.
The Wind Called My Name (Mary Louise Sanchez)
When ten-year-old Margarita Sandoval's family moves to Wyoming during the Great Depression, she faces racism, homesickness, and the possibility that her grandmother's land in New Mexico may be lost. Recommended for Grades 3-6. Historical fiction, Great Depression, racism.
Red Stocking Society (Ace Passmore)
Preteen Bub Olney is disillusioned over Santa and upset his parents can't afford a coveted bike under the tree. Determined to own it, Bub lands a job at mysterious RSS, Inc. where eccentric workers bustle about on a secret mission called the S-Game. In a race against time and a spooky Red Phantom, Bub is charged to perform three good deeds before the bike is sold at auction. While playing the S-Game through harrowing twists and turns, can Bub overcome his self-centered nature to reignite his family's Santa spirit? And if so, might he finally learn the identity of S1--the real Santa? Recommended for Grades 3-6. Christmas, fantasy.
The Dreamway (Lisa Papademetriou)
Every night, your sleeping body stays in your bed, while the you of you travels deep beneath the earth to ride the complex rails of the Dreamway... Stella Clay thought it was just another ordinary day at her drab gray school. Then her twin brother, Cole, is attacked by a shadowy creature on their way home, and Stella's world turns positively peculiar. Suddenly, her brother seems different, almost dimmer, like a candle about to flicker out. And then a talking mouse shows up in her bedroom. Recommended for Grades 3-6. Fantasy.


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

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