Tuesday, November 6, 2018

New Release Spotlight: November 6, 2018

It's a weird week for our area of Shanghai because we have an international import expo going on very close by. Streets are closed, and so are schools. Chairman Xi is also in town, so there is extra security everywhere. We've just decided to say home and play Wii golf and eat pretzels (literally what we're doing right now).

Lots of new titles this week, including many picture books! Don't miss new titles from Brandon Sanderson, CJ Lyons, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and Erin Dionne.

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

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Skyward (Brandon Sanderson)
Spensa's world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what's left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa's dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father's--a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa's chances of attending flight school at slim to none. Recommended for Grades 7+. Kirkus and Publishers Weekly starred. Science fiction.
Deogratias: A Tale of the Rwandan Genocide (Stassen)
Originally published in 2000, so check your shelves before buying to make sure you don't have it already. The the harrowing tale of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda unfolds, as seen through the eyes of a boy named Deogratias. Stassen's tale takes us back and forth in time, showing only before and after the killings--and inexorably revealing the grip of madness they had on one boy and his country. No professional reviews, and Goodreads reviews are mixed. Graphic novel, nonfiction, Rwanda, genocide.
Mammoth (Jill Baguchinsky)
The summer before her junior year, paleontology geek Natalie Page lands a coveted internship at an Ice Age dig site near Austin. Natalie, who’s also a plus-size fashion blogger, depends on the retro style she developed to shield herself from her former bullies, but vintage dresses and perfect lipstick aren’t compatible with prospecting for fossils in the Texas heat. Recommended for Grades 7-10. Realistic fiction, paleontology.
The Wren Hunt (Mary Watson)
Once a year, Wren is chased through the woods near her rural Ireland hometown in a warped version of a childhood game. Her pursuers belong to the judges, a group in control of an ancient, powerful magic they stole from her own people, the augurs...but they know nothing of her real identity. If they learned the truth, the game would surely turn deadly. Though she knows the risks, Wren also goes on the hunt, taking a dangerous undercover assignment as an intern at enemy headquarters, the Harkness Foundation. Recommended for Grades 7+. SLJ starred. Adventure, fantasy, spies, Ireland.
Hide With Me (Sorboni Banerjee)
Debut author! Cade, seventeen, yearns to leave the border town of Tanner, Texas, and when a mysterious girl appears, broken and bleeding, on his family farm the two begin to plan their escape, unaware that a cartel boss wants the girl back. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Thriller.
The XY (Virginia Bergin)
Originally published in 2017 in the UK as Who Runs the World?. In River's world, XYs are a relic of the past, along with things like war and violence. Thanks to the Global Agreements, River's life is simple, safe, and peaceful...until she comes across a body in the road one day. A body that is definitely male, definitely still alive. River isn't prepared for this. There's nothing in the Agreements about how to deal with an XY. Yet one lies before her, sick, suffering, and at her mercy. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Science fiction, dystopia.
Empress of All Seasons (Emiko Jean)
Each generation, a competition is held to find the next empress of Honoku. The rules are simple. Survive the palace's enchanted seasonal rooms. Conquer Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. Marry the prince. All are eligible to compete--all except yōkai, supernatural monsters and spirits whom the human emperor is determined to enslave and destroy. Mari has spent a lifetime training to become empress. Winning should be easy. And it would be, if she weren't hiding a dangerous secret. Recommended for Grades 8-12. Fantasy.
This Is What It Feels Like (Rebecca Darrow)
Who cares that the prize for the Sun City Originals contest is fifteen grand? Not Dia, that's for sure. Because Dia knows that without a band, she hasn't got a shot at winning. Because ever since Hanna's drinking took over her life...well, there hasn't been a band. It used to be the three of them, Dia, Jules, and Hanna, messing around and making music and planning for the future. But that was then, and this is now--and now means a baby, a failed relationship, a stint in rehab, all kinds of off beats that have interrupted the rhythm of their friendship.
The Color of Lies (CJ Lyons)
High school senior Ella Cleary has always been good at reading people. Her family has a rare medical condition called synesthesia that scrambles the senses--her Gram Helen sees every sound, and her uncle Joe can taste words. Ella can see colors that reveal people's true emotions...until she meets Alec. Alec is a mystery to Ella, a handsome, enigmatic young journalist who makes her feel normal for the first time in her life. That is, until he reveals the real reason why he sought her out--he wants to learn the truth behind her parents' deaths, the parents that Ella had always been told died in a fire. Recommended for Grades 8-12. Thriller, mystery, synesthesia.
Little White Lies (Jennifer Lynn Barnes)
Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself in her grandmother's "society" might mean discovering the answer to the biggest mystery of her life-her father's identity-she signs on the dotted line and braces herself for a year of makeovers, big dresses, bigger egos, and a whole lot of bless your heart. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Mystery.
Girls of Paper and Fire (Natasha Ngan)
Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king. It's the highest honor they could hope for...and the most demeaning. This year, there's a ninth. And instead of paper, she's made of fire. Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards for an unknown fate still haunts her. Now, the guards are back and this time it's Lei they're after -- the girl with the golden eyes whose rumored beauty has piqued the king's interest. Recommended for Grades 9-12. Publishers Weekly starred. Dystopia, romance.


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Mega Meltdown: The Weird and Wonderful Animals of the Ice Age (Jack Tite)
The Ice Age started around two and a half million years ago, when our planet was covered in ice sheets. Oceans froze, forcing some animals to extinction, but some fearsome Ice Age giants survived and roamed the Earth. Giant sloths fought off saber-toothed cats, and huge birds owned the skies. Mammoths walked across ice bridges over parts of the ocean frozen by the cold climate. 64 pages. Recommended for Grades 2-5. Nonfiction, Ice Age.
Tiger Vs. Nightmare (Emily Tetri)
Tiger is a very lucky kid: she has a monster living under her bed. Every night, Tiger and Monster play games until it's time for lights out. Of course, Monster would never try to scare Tiger-- that's not what best friends do. But Monster needs to scare someone-it's a monster, after all. So while Tiger sleeps, Monster scares all of her nightmares away. Thanks to her friend, Tiger has nothing but good dreams. But waiting in the darkness is a nightmare so big and mean that Monster can't fight it alone. 64 pages. Recommended for Grades K-5. BCCB and Kirkus starred. Graphic novel.
She Did It! 21 Women Who Changed the Way We Think (Emily Arnold McCully)
From Jane Addams to Alice Waters, from groundbreaking artists and social justice advocates to scientific pioneers and business innovators, a strong thread of trailblazing women runs through American history. Recommended for Grades 23-6. Nonfiction, biography.
The Prophet Calls (Melanie Sumrow)
Born into a polygamous community in the foothills of New Mexico, Gentry Forrester feels lucky to live among God's chosen, apart from the outside world and its "evils." On her thirteenth birthday, Gentry receives a new violin from her father and, more than anything, she wants to play at the Santa Fe Music Festival with her brother, Tanner. But then the Prophet calls from prison and announces he has outlawed music in their community and now forbids women to leave. Recommended for Grades 5-8. Realistic fiction.

The Capture of Black Bart (Norman H. Finkelstein)
Black Bart was not the Old West's only stagecoach robber, but he was the most famous. To many people, he was a folk hero: a robber who didn't threaten or harm passengers. He was a bandit with a sense of humor who wrote poetry. In robbing at least 28 Wells Fargo stagecoaches across Northern California between 1875 and 1883, he never fired a shot or injured anyone. His gun, it turned out, was never loaded. Recommended for Grades 5-8. Narrative nonfiction, outlaws.
Limitless: 24 Remarkable American Women of Vision, Grit, and Guts (Leah Tinari)
Tinari’s list is comprised of trailblazers, whose vision, grit, and guts paved the way not only for the generations to come, but for Tinari’s own artistic journey. These women include Louisa May Alcott, Rachel Carson, Julia Child, Shirley Chisholm, Ellen Degeneres, Ray Eames, Eve Ensler, Carrie Fisher, Dian Fossey, Aretha Franklin, Betsey Johnson, Carol Kaye, Yuri Kochiyama, Liz Lambert, Lozen, Shirley Muldowney, Tracey Norman, Annie Oakley, Georgia O’Keefe, Dolly Parton, Kimberly Pierce, Gilda Radner, Sojourner Truth, and Abby Wambach. Recommended for Grades 6+. Nonfiction, biography, women.


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Don't Touch My Hair! (Sharee Miller)
It seems that wherever Aria goes, someone wants to touch her hair. In the street, strangers reach for her fluffy curls; and even under the sea, in the jungle, and in space, she's chased by a mermaid, monkeys, and poked by aliens...until, finally, Aria has had enough! Recommended for ages 3-8. Kirkus and Publishers Weekly starred.
Loved to Bits (Teresa Heapy, Katie Cleminson)
Ted and his boy do everything together. They fight beasts and have feasts. They tickle monsters then flee on rafts, they search, explore, escape...and laugh. But sometimes things get rough, and Teddy loses an ear. He's still got his best one though, never fear! And an eye? PING!
It's nothing--he didn't feel a thing! A leg, then the other. An arm, and then the next. What do you do with a broken Ted? You lay down with him at night and snuggle in bed. Recommended for ages 3-6.
The Eye That Never Sleeps (Marissa Moss, Jeremy Holmes)
Describes how Allan Pinkerton, the first police detective in Chicago and owner of the country's most successful detective agency, protected Abraham Lincoln on the way to his 1861 inauguration. Though assassins attempted to murder Lincoln en route, Pinkerton foiled their plot and brought the president safely to the capital. Recommended for ages 6-9. Publishers Weekly starred.
The Circus Thief (Alane Adams, Lauren Gallegos)
The circus is in town, and Georgie has his heart set on going. When Papa agrees to take him and his friend Harley, the boys marvel at the amazing elephants and clowns. But the best act of all is the amazing Roxie, a trained horse who can do all sorts of tricks. When Georgie is invited to ride on her back, he discovers it’s her last show―Roxie is going to be sent to the work farm! When Roxie bolts with Georgie on her back, Papa must come to his rescue. Recommended for ages 4-8.
Once Upon A Star (James Carter, Mar Hernandez)
The Big Bang, the formation of the planets, and the origins of life on Earth are made accessible and fascinating in a poetic, jazzy, free-flowing exploration of space, the solar system, and how we all got here. With its rhythmic, and engaging style, this book is a unique and captivating approach to science and STEM topics that will have kids asking to read it again and again--while learning lessons and concepts that really stick. Recommended for ages 6-8.
No More Boring Stories! (Julie Falatko, Charles Santoso)
Great for teaching students to make their writing interesting! The unpopular animals have had enough. They want to be in a picture book! Stories about mommy-loving kitties and cuddly bunnies at bedtime are boring. Wouldn't you rather hear about yeti crabs in robo suits and fierce babirusa princesses who fight giant grape monsters?! This group of misfits has a unique story to tell, but they'll never finish writing it if their over-eager bunny neighbor won't GO AWAY! Recommended for ages 5-8.
My Heart Is A Compass (Deborah Marcero)
Rose's heart is set on discovering something that's never been found. She just doesn't know where to find it. So she sets off on a wondrous journey, bounding from one spectacular world to the next. Her only guides are a set of maps drawn from her own imagination and her heart's desire to explore new and exciting worlds. Recommended for ages 4-7. Kirkus starred.

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

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