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New Book Releases: July 23, 2019

“You Down With OPP?” This comes from a 1991 song by Naughty By Nature. OPP can apparently stand for a few different things (some not so nice), but I always knew it to mean “Other People’s Problems.” That said, the new book release that most intrigues me this week is Let Me Fix That For You. I have not read it yet, but from the description, it looks like a very needed book in our middle schools. I’ve seen so many middle school girls trying to “fix” others and “help” them with their problems. This care-taking of others is so ingrained in girls today, and it’s important that girls recognize it. It’s nice to try to help a friend, but at some point, other people’s problems are not ours to own or fix.

The Undoing of Thistle Tate by Katelyn Detweiler

Thistle Tate is a glittering wunderkind–only seventeen, and a bestselling author of the wildly successful Lemonade Skies series, with the highly anticipated final book due to publish next year. She has die-hard fans across the globe, flashy tours, and steep advances. And now she’s finally started to date her best friend and next-door-neighbor, Liam, the only one who knows her deep dark secret: she’s not the real author of the Lemonade Skies books.

Thistle’s guilt about lying intensifies after she meets the surprisingly charming Oliver, who introduces her to his super-fan little sister–but how can she have friendships based on deception?

PAGES: 263
GENRE: realistic fiction
THEMES: plagiarism, living a lie, secrets
READALIKES: Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies (Stampler), Enter Title Here (Kanakia)

WHAT THE REVIEWS SAY: “Fandom-savvy readers may enjoy Thistle’s insights into the book business and the drama of her complicated life.” (SLJ, 1 Jun 2019)

The Spaces Between Us by Stacia Tolman

Serena Velasco and her best friend Melody Grimshaw are dying to get out of their shrinking factory town. Until now, they’ve been coasting, eluding the bleakness of home and the banality of high school. In a rebellious turn, Serena begins to fixate on communism, hoping to get a rise out of her blue-collar factory town. Her Western Civ teacher catches on and gives her an independent study of class and upward mobility–what creates the spaces between us.

Meanwhile, Grimshaw sets goals of her own: to make it onto the cheerleading squad, find a job, and dismantle her family’s hopeless reputation. But sometimes the biggest obstacles are the ones you don’t see coming; Grimshaw’s quest for success becomes a fight for survival, and Serena’s independent study gets a little too real. With the future of their friendship and their lives on the line, the stakes have never been so high.

PAGES: 293
GENRE: realistic fiction
THEMES: friendship, poor towns
READALIKES: Birthday (Russo), Big Mouth & Ugly Girl (Oates)
STARS AND AWARDS: Kirkus starred, SLJ starred

WHAT THE REVIEWS SAY: “A girl-centered Catcher in the Rye for the 21st century.” (Kirkus starred review, 15 May 2019)

Skyjacked by Paul Griffin

Five teenagers from the elite Hartwell Academy are on their way back to New York from an end-of-summer camping trip in Idaho when they realize that something has gone wrong; one of them has become violently ill, and their private plane has apparently been hijacked and is headed in the wrong direction–and even if they can somehow break into the cockpit and manage to overpower the hijacker, they have no idea how to fly the plane, much less land it.

PAGES: 227
GENRE: adventure, thriller
THEMES: survival, hijacking
READALIKES: Pitch Dark (Alameda), Girl on a Plane (Moss)

WHAT THE REVIEWS SAY: “Readers who crave nonstop plot-driven adventure will not be disappointed.” (Kirkus, 15 May 2019)

Grimoire Noir by Vera Greentea (Author) and Yana Bogatch (Illustrator)

Bucky Orson is a bit gloomy, but who isn’t at fifteen? His best friend left him to hang out with way cooler friends, his dad is the town sheriff, and wait for it–he lives in Blackwell, a town where all the girls are witches. But when his little sister is kidnapped because of her extraordinary power, Bucky has to get out of his own head and go on a strange journey to investigate the small town that gives him so much grief. And in the process he uncovers the town’s painful history and a conspiracy that will change it forever.

PAGES: 275
GENRE: paranormal, graphic novel
THEMES: witches, siblings
READALIKES: Raven (Garcia), One Hundred Nights of Hero (Greenberg)

WHAT THE REVIEWS SAY: “Occasionally some plot points get muddled, but the goth-lite atmosphere and mystery plot might appeal to fans of witch stories.” (Booklist, July 2019)

The Arrival of Someday by Jen Malone

Hard-charging and irrepressible, eighteen-year-old Amelia Linehan could see a roller derby opponent a mile away–and that’s while crouched down, bent over skates, and zooming around a track at the speed of light. What she couldn’t see coming, however, was the flare-up of the rare liver disorder she was born with. But now it’s the only thing she–and everyone around her–can think about.

With no guarantee of a viable organ transplant, everything Amelia’s been sure of–like college plans or the possibility of one day falling in love–has become a huge question mark, threatening to drag her down into a sea of what-ifs she’s desperate to avoid. Then a friend from the past shows up. With Will, it’s easy to forget about what’s lurking between the lightness of their time together. She feels alive when all signs point elsewhere. But with the odds decidedly not in her favor, Amelia knows this feeling can’t last forever. After all, what can?

PAGES: 343
GENRE: realistic fiction
THEMES: terminal illness, organ donation, roller derby
READALIKES: This Heart of Mine (Hunter)

WHAT THE REVIEWS SAY: “With its cast of convincing, empathic characters and touches of humor and hope, this heart-wrenching novel underscores the need for more organ donors.” (Publishers Weekly, 20 May 2019)

Let Me Fix That for You by Janice Erlbaum

Twelve-year-old Gladys Burke may not have many friends, but at least she has her empire. From her table at the back of the cafeteria, Glad arranges favors for her classmates in exchange for their friendship. She solves every problem, handles every situation, and saves every butt.

But the jobs keep getting harder, and when Glad decides the problem that most needs fixing is her parents’ relationship, she finds herself in way over her head. She’ll have to call in all her favors and use all her skills to help the person who most needs it–herself.

PAGES: 285
GENRE: realistic fiction, humor
THEMES: problem-solving, estranged parent
READALIKES: Lucky Little Things (Erlbaum)

WHAT THE REVIEWS SAY: “Smart, insightful, poignant—leavening brutal, middle school realities with wry humor.” (Kirkus, 15 May 2019)

Scouts by Shannon Greenland

Annie, Beans, Rocky, and Fynn are the Scouts–best friends who do everything together. It’s 1985, and the summer before seventh grade is just beginning. The Scouts decide to secretly climb Old Man Basinger’s silo to watch a meteor shower, and when one meteor seems to crash nearby, the Scouts know they have to set out on their next adventure and find it.

But their fun overnight jaunt through the woods soon takes a turn for the worst when they discover a series of disturbing clues about the meteor–and suddenly find themselves on the run from the wild, violent Mason clan. Bonds are tested when new kids join their adventure and the group’s true feelings are revealed. Will the Scouts survive this journey together–or will their unbreakable friendships prove vulnerable after all?

PAGES: 257
GENRE: adventure, historical fiction
THEMES: meteors, friendship, survival
READALIKES: See You in the Cosmos (Cheng)

WHAT THE REVIEWS SAY: “Along with a riveting “oh no, now what?” plot that features more than one astonishing twist at the climax, Greenland ultimately brings her diverse crew of young characters safely through developmental rapids that confirm old bonds and form new ones.” (Booklist, 1 Jun 2019)

Ginny Goblin Cannot Have a Monster for a Pet by David Goodner and Louis Thomas

Ginny Goblin may be a monster, but she CANNOT have a monster for a pet in this action-packed, laugh-out-loud adventure perfect for fans of Jon Klassen, Peter Brown, and Vera Brogsol.

Perhaps a pet will teach clever Ginny Goblin some responsibility. Fish make good pets. So do hermit crabs. Ginny does NOT need a giant net or bear trap or army tank to catch a pet. But will Ginny Goblin get her way? Besides, isn’t a monster a perfect pet for a goblin?

GENRE: picture book, humor
THEMES: pets, monsters
READALIKES: Ginny Goblin Is Not Allowed to Open This Box (Goodner), Truman (Reidy), There Are No Bears in This Bakery (Sarcone-Roach)
STARS AND AWARDS: Kirkus starred

WHAT THE REVIEWS SAY: “The surprise ending will elicit both a smile and a wink from all. Ginny is becoming a symbol of toddler power.” (Kirkus starred review, 1 May 2019)

Look! I Wrote a Book! (And You Can Too!) by Sally Lloyd-Jones (Author) and Neal Layton (Illustrator)

Want to write a book? Well, the spunky, know-it-all narrator of this side-splitting story can tell you just how to do it. She walks readers through the whole process, from deciding what to write about (like dump trucks or The Olden Days) to writing a story that doesn’t put everyone to sleep and getting people to buy your book (tips: be nice, give them cookies, and if all else fails, tie them to a chair).

RECOMMENDED FOR: Grades PreS-Grade 3
GENRE: picture book, humor
THEMES: writing, authorship
READALIKES: You Can Write Awesome Stories (Fandel)
STARS AND AWARDS: Booklist starred

WHAT THE REVIEWS SAY: “This master class on storytelling, which includes tidbits on plotting, pacing, and even writers’ groups, is an excellent choice for literacy classrooms, library visits, and creative writing prompts.” (Booklist starred revie, 1 Jun 2019)

Skulls! by Blaire Thornburgh (Author) and Scott Campbell (Illustrator)

You probably don’t think much about skulls.
So what’s the big deal about them?

Well, every head
of every person
you’ve ever seen
has a skull inside.

And that includes YOU!

This smart, skull-positive story cheerfully dispels any fears kids might have about their skeletons, flipping our view of skulls from a spooky symbol to a fascinating, cool, and crucial part of our bodies.

GENRE: picture book
THEMES: bones, human skeleton
READALIKES: Maria’s Marvelous Bones (Kollias), Bones: Skeletons and How They Work (Jenkins)

WHAT THE REVIEWS SAY: “The carefree tone and tidbits of humor, such as the girl’s love of grilled cheese sandwiches, make this an amusing introduction for young students of the human body.” (SLJ, 1 Jul 2019)

What’s Your Favorite Food? by Eric Carle and 13 other authors

Everybody has a favorite food. Some enjoy sweet treats like rich honey or ripe, juicy berries. Others prefer the savory comforts of warming matzo ball soup or creamy chicken Alfredo. With beautiful illustrations and charming personal stories, fourteen children’s book artists share their favorite foods and why they love them. Artists include: Aki, Isabelle Arsenault, Brigette Barrager, Matthew Cordell, Benji Davies, Karen Katz, Laurie Keller, Juliet Menendez, Greg Pizzoli, Misa Saburi, Felicita Sala, Dan Santat, and Shannon Wright.

GENRE: picture book
THEMES: food
READALIKES: What’s Your Favorite Color? (Carle, et. al.), Growing Vegetable Soup (Ehlert)

WHAT THE REVIEWS SAY: “Highly recommended for public and school libraries to be used in programs and for circulation. This vibrant and fresh title is a winner.” (SLJ, 1 Jul 2019)




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