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New Release Spotlight: October 5, 2021

The Ginormous Book List hit 2000 titles this week! I started The Ginormous in October 2019 as a way to help organize all the information I include in the New Release Spotlights and make it searchable. It’s an excellent tool for collection development or to see at-a-glance information about possible genres, subjects, and themes.

This week’s list is another lengthy one, albeit a little less amazing than the September lists. I’m starting to see Christmas books pop up this week, and I’m super happy to see a YA Christmas book on the list!

This week’s top picks:

  • The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros (YA)
  • Playing the Cards You’re Dealt by Varian Johnson (MG)
  • From the Tops of the Trees by Kao Kalia Yang (PB)

This week’s Spotlight titles are #1980-#2001 on The Ginormous book list.

*The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros

Chicago, 1893. For Alter Rosen, this is the land of opportunity, and he dreams of the day he’ll have enough money to bring his mother and sisters to America, freeing them from the oppression they face in his native Romania.

But when Alter’s best friend, Yakov, becomes the latest victim in a long line of murdered Jewish boys, his dream begins to slip away. While the rest of the city is busy celebrating the World’s Fair, Alter is now living a nightmare: possessed by Yakov’s dybbuk, he is plunged into a world of corruption and deceit, and thrown back into the arms of a dangerous boy from his past. A boy who means more to Alter than anyone knows.

Now, with only days to spare until the dybbuk takes over Alter’s body completely, the two boys must race to track down the killer–before the killer claims them next.

FOUR starred reviews!

  • Genre(s): historical fantasy, thriller, mystery
  • Recommended for: Grades 8-12
  • Themes: 19th Century, Chicago, immigration, Jews, Romanis, World’s Fair, murder, antisemitism, LGBTQIA+, gay boys, possession, serial killers, Jewish folklore
  • Protagonist description: boy, age 17, white, Jewish, Romani; most characters are white, Jewish immigrants

*Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by Brandy Colbert

In the early morning of June 1, 1921, a white mob marched across the train tracks in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and into its predominantly Black Greenwood District–a thriving, affluent neighborhood known as America’s Black Wall Street. They brought with them firearms, gasoline, and explosives.

In a few short hours, they’d razed thirty-five square blocks to the ground, leaving hundreds dead. The Tulsa Race Massacre is one of the most devastating acts of racial violence in US history. But how did it come to pass? What exactly happened? And why are the events unknown to so many of us today?

These are the questions that award-winning author Brandy Colbert seeks to answer in this unflinching nonfiction account of the Tulsa Race Massacre. In examining the tension that was brought to a boil by many factors–white resentment of Black economic and political advancement, the resurgence of white supremacist groups, the tone and perspective of the media, and more–a portrait is drawn of an event singular in its devastation, but not in its kind. It is part of a legacy of white violence that can be traced from our country’s earliest days through Reconstruction, the Civil Rights movement in the mid–twentieth century, and the fight for justice and accountability Black Americans still face today.

THREE starred reviews!

  • Genre(s): nonfiction
  • Recommended for: Grades 8+
  • Themes: racial violence, angry mobs, US history, white supremacy, 1920s, Tulsa, Oklahoma, massacres, segregation

Punching Bag by Rex Ogle

Rex Ogle, who brilliantly mapped his experience of hunger in Free Lunch, here describes his struggle to survive; reflects on his complex, often paradoxical relationship with his passionate, fierce mother; and charts the trajectory of his stepdad’s anger. Hovering over Rex’s story is the talismanic presence of his unborn baby sister.

Through it all, Rex threads moments of grace and humor that act as beacons of light in the darkness. Compulsively readable, beautifully crafted, and authentically told, Punching Bag is a remarkable memoir about one teenager’s cycle of violence, blame, and attempts to forgive his parents–and himself.

Booklist starred. I recently read Free Lunch, and WOW. It was engrossing and heartbreaking. Audiobook is excellent–the narrator performs the different voices very well. I’ve already pre-ordered Punching Bag on Audible.

  • Genre(s): memoir, nonfiction
  • Recommended for: Grades 7-12
  • Themes: abuse, domestic violence, siblings
  • Protagonist description: HS boy, Mexican American

Bluebird by Sharon Cameron

In 1946, Eva leaves behind the rubble of Berlin for the streets of New York City, stepping from the fiery aftermath of one war into another, far colder one, where power is more important than principles, and lies are more plentiful than the truth. Eva holds the key to a deadly secret: Project Bluebird–a horrific experiment of the concentration camps, capable of tipping the balance of world power. Both the Americans and the Soviets want Bluebird, and it is something that neither should ever be allowed to possess.

But Eva hasn’t come to America for secrets or power. She hasn’t even come for a new life. She has come to America for one thing: justice. And the Nazi that has escaped its net.

SLJ starred.

  • Genre(s): historical fiction
  • Recommended for: Grades 7-12
  • Themes: 1940s, WWII aftermath, Berlin, Germany, New York City, Cold War, propaganda, Nazi experiments, human experimentation, brainwashing, sisters, spies, alternating timelines
  • Protagonist description: teen girl, German, white

Why We Fly by Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal

With a rocky start to senior year, cheerleaders and lifelong best friends Eleanor and Chanel have a lot on their minds. Eleanor is still in physical therapy months after a serious concussion from a failed cheer stunt. Chanel starts making questionable decisions to deal with the mounting pressure of college applications. But they have each other’s backs–just as always, until Eleanor’s new relationship with star quarterback Three starts a rift between them.

Then, the cheer squad decides to take a knee at the season’s first football game, and what seemed like a positive show of solidarity suddenly shines a national spotlight on the team–and becomes the reason for a larger fallout between the girls. As Eleanor and Chanel grapple with the weight of the consequences as well as their own problems, can the girls rely on the friendship they’ve always shared?

School Library Connection starred.

  • Genre(s): realistic fiction
  • Recommended for: Grades 9-12
  • Themes: cheerleaders, senior year, friendship, cheerleading injuries, boy coming between friends, arguing with best friend, taking a knee, social pressure, prejudice, racism, social justice
  • Protagonist description: two girls, HS seniors and cheerleaders; one is Black and one is white and Jewish

Vial of Tears by Cristin Bishara

Teenage sisters Samira and Rima aren’t exactly living the dream. Instead, they live with their maddeningly unreliable mother in a rundown trailer in Michigan. Dad’s dead, money’s tight, and Mom disappears for days at a time. So when Sam’s grandfather wills her the family valuables–a cache of Lebanese antiquities–she’s desperate enough to try pawning them before Mom can.

But she shouldn’t. Because one is cursed, forbidden, the burial coin of a forgotten god. Disturbing it condemns her and Rima to the Phoenician underworld, a place of wicked cities, burning cedar forests, poisoned feasts of milk and lemons, and an endless, windless ocean.

Nothing is what it seems. No one is who they say. And down here, the night never ends.

To get home–and keep her sister safe–Sam will have to outwit beautiful shapeshifters, pose as a royal bride, sail the darkest sea… and maybe kill the god of death himself.

Kirkus starred.

  • Genre(s): fantasy, mythology
  • Recommended for: Grades 9-12
  • Themes: sisters, poverty, parental neglect, inheritance, cursed coins, gods, the Underworld, death, monsters, Lebanon, Michigan
  • Protagonist description: two teen sisters, Lebanese American (their father was white)

The Falling Girls by Hayley Krischer

Shade and Jadis are everything to each other. They share clothes, toothbrushes, and even matching stick-and-poke tattoos. So when Shade unexpectedly joins the cheerleading team, Jadis can hardly recognize who her best friend is becoming.

Shade loves the idea of falling into a group of girls; she loves the discipline it takes to push her body to the limits alongside these athletes . Most of all, Shade finds herself drawn to The Three Chloes–the insufferable trio that rules the squad–including the enigmatic cheer captain whose dark side is as compelling as it is alarming.

Jadis won’t give Shade up so easily, though, and the pull between her old best friend and her new teammates takes a toll on Shade as she tries to forge her own path. So when one of the cheerleaders dies under mysterious circumstances, Shade is determined to get to the bottom of her death. Because she knows Jadis–and if her friend is responsible, doesn’t that mean she is, too?

  • Genre(s): realistic fiction
  • Recommended for: Grades 9-12
  • Themes: cheerleaders, fighting with best friend, cliques, mysterious deaths, gymnasts, jealousy, obsession
  • Protagonist description: two HS girls, both white

I’m Dreaming of a Wyatt Christmas by Tiffany Schmidt

Noelle Partridge is known for three things: being the best ballet dancer, babysitter, and person with the most Christmas spirit in her small town. But lately she’s bored by the lessons at her dance school, and her friends and father are more bah humbug than deck the halls. So when her favorite babysitting clients ask her to accompany them on a ski trip over winter break, she packs her bags for the slopes. It helps that they’re offering double her rate–she’ll need the money for Beacon, an elite ballet academy that has granted her an audition.

Noelle is ready to have fa la la la fun, until Wyatt, the older half-brother of her babysitting charges, decides to surprise his family for the holiday. He’s one of the best dancers at Beacon, and makes Noelle’s head spin faster than pirouettes. Unfortunately, she also manages to step on his toes–spoiling his surprise and complicating his secret plans. After a few missteps, Noelle and Wyatt begin to thaw toward each other and bond over the big decisions looming in each of their lives. With enough Christmas magic, Noelle might just start the New Year with lots of babysitting cash in her pocket and a chance with the pas de deux partner of her dreams.

Whoohoo! A new YA Christmas romance! We need more Christmas fiction for YA in general. Did you notice the protagonist’s last name?

  • Genre(s): romance, holiday stories
  • Recommended for: Grades 7-11
  • Themes: Christmas, ballet, Christmas spirit, ski trips, Pennsylvania, alcoholic parent (father), babysitting
  • Protagonist description: teen girl, white; love interest (boy, age 15) is Hawaiian

Briarheart by Mercedes Lackey

Miriam may be the daughter of Queen Alethia of Tirendell, but she’s not a princess. She’s the child of Alethia and her previous husband, the King’s Champion, who died fighting for the king, and she has no ambitions to rule. When her new baby sister Aurora, heir to the throne, is born, she’s ecstatic. She adores the baby, who seems perfect in every way. But on the day of Aurora’s christening, an uninvited Dark Fae arrives, prepared to curse her, and Miriam discovers she possesses impossible power.

Soon, Miriam is charged with being trained in both magic and combat to act as chief protector to her sister. But shadowy threats are moving closer and closer to their kingdom, and Miriam’s dark power may not be enough to save everyone she loves, let alone herself.

SLJ starred.

  • Genre(s): fantasy, retelling, fairy tales
  • Recommended for: Grades 7+
  • Themes: royalty, queens, princesses, Sleeping Beauty, sisters, fae, magic, talking animals
  • Protagonist description: girl, age 15, princess, white

Just Ash by Sol Santana

Ashley “Ash” Bishop has always known who he is: a guy who loves soccer, has a crush on his friend Michelle, and is fascinated by the gruesome history of his hometown–Salem, Massachusetts. He’s also always known that he’s intersex, born with both male and female genitalia. But it’s never felt like a big deal until his junior year of high school, when Ash gets his first period in front of the entire boys’ soccer team. Now his friends and teachers see him differently, and his own mother thinks he should “try being a girl.”

As tensions mount with his parents and Ash feels more and more like an outcast, he can’t help feeling a deeper kinship with his ancestor Bridget Bishop, who was executed for witchcraft. She didn’t conform to her community’s expectations either; she was different, and her neighbors felt threatened by her. And she paid the ultimate price. Ash is haunted by her last recorded words: You will keep silent.

Ash realizes that he needs to find a way to stand up for who he really is, or the cost of his silence might destroy his life, too.

  • Genre(s): realistic fiction
  • Recommended for: Grades 9-12
  • Themes: soccer, intersexuality, Salem, Massachusetts, gender identity, witchcraft, social outcasts, discrimination, menstruation, Christian conversion camps, abuse, violence, LGBTQIA+
  • Protagonist description: boy, age 16, white, intersex; friend and love interest Michelle is Black

*Playing the Cards You’re Dealt by Varian Johnson

Ten-year-old Anthony Joplin has made it to double digits! Which means he’s finally old enough to play in the spades tournament every Joplin Man before him seems to have won. So while Ant’s friends are stressing about fifth grade homework and girls, Ant only has one thing on his mind: how he’ll measure up to his father’s expectations at the card table.

Then Ant’s best friend gets grounded, and he’s forced to find another spades partner. And Shirley, the new girl in his class, isn’t exactly who he has in mind. She talks a whole lot of trash–way more than his old partner. Plus, he’s not sure that his father wants him playing with a girl. But she’s smart and tough and pretty, and knows every card trick in the book. So Ant decides to join forces with Shirley–and keep his plans a secret.

Only it turns out secrets are another Joplin Man tradition. And his father is hiding one so big it may tear their family apart…

THREE starred reviews!

  • Genre(s): realistic fiction
  • Recommended for: Grades 3-7
  • Themes: fifth grade, card games (Spades), secrets, fathers and sons, tournaments, partnership, cooperation, school stories, competition, strong communities
  • Protagonist description: boy, age 10, African American; majority of characters are Black

Accused: My Story of Injustice by Adama Bah

Adama Bah grew up in East Harlem after immigrating from Conakry, Guinea, and was deeply connected to her community and the people who lived there. But as a thirteen-year-old after the events of September 11, 2001, she began experiencing discrimination and dehumanization as prejudice toward Muslim people grew. Then, on March 24, 2005, FBI agents arrested Adama and her father. Falsely accused of being a potential suicide bomber, Adama spent weeks in a detention center being questioned under suspicion of terrorism.

With sharp and engaging writing, Adama recounts the events surrounding her arrest and its impact on her life–the harassment, humiliation, and persecution she faced for crimes she didn’t commit. Accused brings forward a crucial and unparalleled first-person perspective of American culture post-9/11 and the country’s discrimination against Muslim Americans, and heralds the start of a new series of compelling narrative nonfiction by young people, for young people.

Kirkus starred. I’ve also pre-ordered this one on Audible. There’s a companion  (releasing simultaneously) called Hurricane, a memoir about a Puerto Rican boy living through the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. It looks like these may have been released in the UK in August 2021. Publication dates are inconsistent.

  • Genre(s): memoir, autobiography, nonfiction
  • Recommended for: Grades 3-8
  • Themes: Harlem, New York, Guinea, September 11 2001, 9/11, discrimination, prejudice, Muslims, false arrest, terrorism, innocence
  • Protagonist description: girl, age 13, Muslim, from Guinea but lives in New York City

*The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne by Jonathan Stroud

Scarlett McCain is a shoot-first ask-questions-later kind of outlaw. She scrapes by on bank heists, her wits–and never looking back.

She’s on the run from her latest crime when she comes across Albert Browne. He is the sole survivor of a horrific accident, and against her better judgement, Scarlett agrees to guide him to safety.

This is a mistake. Soon there are men with dogs and guns and explosives hot on their heels. Scarlett’s used to being chased by the law, but this is extreme. It was only a little bank she’d robbed…

As they flee together across the wilds, fighting off monstrous beasts, and dodging their pursuers, Scarlett comes to realize that Albert Browne is hiding a terrible secret. And that he may be the most dangerous threat of all.

THREE starred reviews!

  • Genre(s): adventure, fantasy
  • Recommended for: Grades 5-8
  • Themes: secrets, bank robbers, criminals, outlaws, on the run, monsters, police, survival
  • Protagonist description: boy and girl, both white, living in a near-future, post-apocalyptic England

Children of the Fox by Kevin Sands

Thieves of Shadow, Book 1. From the bestselling author of the Blackthorn Key series, this magic-infused fantasy brings together a ragtag group of kids to pull off a crime so difficult, countless adults have already tried and failed.

Lured by the promise of more money than they’ve ever dreamed of, five young criminals are hired to steal a heavily guarded treasure from the most powerful sorcerer in the city. There’s Callan the con artist, Meriel the expert at acrobatics (and knives!), Gareth the researcher, Lachlan who can obtain anything, and Foxtail, whose mysterious eyeless mask doesn’t hinder her ability to climb walls like a spider. Though their shadowy backgrounds mean that they’ve never trusted anyone but themselves, the five must learn to rely on each other in order to get the job done.

But as Callan has been warned most of his life, it’s best to stay away from magic. It can turn on you at any moment, and make you think you’re the one running the con game, when in reality you’re the one being fooled. Faced with these unsurmountable odds, can the friends pull off this legendary heist, or has their luck finally run out?

Publishers Weekly starred.

  • Genre(s): fantasy, adventure
  • Recommended for: Grades 3-7
  • Themes: crime, heists, treasure, con artists, magic, sorcerers
  • Protagonist description: Callan is age 14 and white; 4 of the 5 main characters are white; Foxtail has brown skin

Audrey L and Audrey W Best Friends-Ish by Carter Higgins (Author) and Jennifer K. Mann (Illustrator)

More than anything, second-grader Audrey wants to be the best at something. It always feels like she’s not-quite-enough—not smart enough, not fast enough, not funny enough.

When her beloved Miss Fincastle announces that a new girl, another AUDREY, is joining the class, Audrey suddenly becomes Audrey L., which makes her feel worse than ever.

But is the new Audrey all bad? Might the two Audreys have more in common than just their name? And if the girls become friends, how will Audrey ever figure out how to be her best self–if she can’t even be the best Audrey?

  • Genre(s): chapter book, realistic fiction
  • Recommended for: Grades 1-4
  • Themes: best friends, same name, identity, school stories
  • Protagonist description: girl, 2nd grade, white with brown hair; the new Audrey has black hair and olive skin

A Queen to the Rescue: The Story of Henrietta Szold, Founder of Hadassah by Nancy Churnin (Author) and Yevgenia Nayberg (Illustrator)

Henrietta Szold took Queen Esther as a model and worked hard to save the Jewish people. In 1912, she founded the Jewish women’s social justice organization, Hadassah. Henrietta started Hadassah determined to offer emergency medical care to mothers and children in Palestine. When WWII broke out, she rescued Jewish children from the Holocaust, and broadened Hadassah’s mission to include education, youth development, and women’s rights. Hadassah offers free help to all who need it and continues its mission to this day.

Kirkus starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book biography, picture book for older readers
  • Recommended for: Grades 3-8
  • Themes: Jewish people, Palestine, Holocaust, Middle East, world history, social justice, activism
  • Protagonist description: Jewish woman, Hungarian American

From the Tops of the Trees by Kao Kalia Yang (Author) and Rachel Wada (Illustrator)

Young Kalia has never known life beyond the fences of the Ban Vinai Refugee Camp. The Thai camp holds many thousands of Hmong families who fled in the aftermath of the little-known Secret War in Laos that was waged during America’s Vietnam War. For Kalia and her cousins, life isn’t always easy, but they still find ways to play, racing with chickens and riding a beloved pet dog.

Just four years old, Kalia is still figuring out her place in the world. When she asks what is beyond the fence, at first her father has no answers for her. But on the following day, he leads her to the tallest tree in the camp and, secure in her father’s arms, Kalia sees the spread of a world beyond.

Kirkus starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book, memoir
  • Recommended for: Grades K-4
  • Themes: refugee camps, Thailand, Hmong, Laos, Vietnam War, Southeast Asia, cousins
  • Protagonist description: Hmong girl, refugee, living in Thailand in 1960s

Two at the Top: A Shared Dream of Everest by Uma Krishnaswami (Author) and Christopher Corr (Illustrator)

Tenzing Norgay grew up in Nepal, herding yaks in the shadow of Chomolungma, the mountain also known as Everest. He has always dreamed of climbing to the top. He becomes a guide, leading treks through the Himalayas, and finally attempts the highest mountain himself, but doesn’t make it.

Across the ocean, in New Zealand, Edmund Hillary grew up tending his father’s bees. He climbed his first mountain at sixteen and has climbed all over the world ever since. He tries Everest, with no success.

In 1953, the two men set out on the same expedition to climb Everest. Their party numbers four hundred, counting all the guides and porters. But the climb is grueling, and eventually Norgay and Hillary are the only two determined to continue. They tramp over windswept glaciers, crawl across rope bridges, hack footholds in the ice … until finally they reach the top of the world!

This remarkable true adventure story, told in a dual narrative, includes illustrated backmatter rich in geography, history and science.

Kirkus starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book, historical fiction
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 2
  • Themes: Nepal, Sherpas, mountain climbing, Mount Everest, Himalayas, Sir Edmund Hillary, mountaineers, world history, alternating voices
  • Protagonist description: two boys growing into men–one a Sherpa and one a New Zealander

A Home Under the Stars by Andy Chou Musser

Moving from a rural house to an urban apartment, Toby feels tiny and lost in the vast, crowded city filled with unfamiliar sights and sounds. His moms try to comfort him, but their bedtime tradition of looking at the night sky together just makes Toby angry–because the city lights hide his beloved stars.

Without the stars, Toby isn’t able to sleep and in his restless state he discovers a lion wandering in a mysterious jungle that has overgrown the city at night. Only the North Star can guide the lion home. Together, boy and lion embark on an otherworldly, nocturnal journey through the city in search of the star. Along the way they befriend other lost animals, each helping Toby to name and process his feelings about moving to the city.

When, at last, Toby finds the North Star, he realizes that even if he can’t see the stars, they will always be there for him. Comforted by this thought, Toby returns from his adventure ready to make a new home in the city.

  • Genre(s): picture book
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 3
  • Themes: moving house, bedtime, stars, city lights, light pollution, having two moms, lions, being lost, North Star, city life, dealing with change
  • Protagonist description: Toby has brown skin and dark hair; one mom is Black; other mom is Asian

Little Bird’s Day by Sally Morgan (Author) and Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr (Illustrator)

A heartening read-aloud about a day in the life of Little Bird, who sings the world alive, flies with Cloud, travels with Wind, nestles with Moon, and dreams of flying among the stars.

Sally Morgan’s poetic language and Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr’s sensitive artwork combine to make this a beautiful, distinctive publication with global appeal. Printed on FSC-certified paper with vegetable inks.

Kirkus starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 2
  • Themes: birds, nature, weather, joy, Australia
  • Protagonist description: a small bird

Mr. Watson’s Chickens by Jarrett Dapier (Author) and Andrea Tsurumi (Illustrator)

With rollicking rhythms, nonsensical refrains, and too many chickens to count, this modern classic will inspire unstoppable giggles and endless rereads. Bawka-bawka!

Mr. Watson has 456 chickens in the sink, on the bed, in the bread box. When his partner, Mr. Nelson, threatens to leave, Mr. Watson takes his chickens to town to sell only for them to escape! Young readers will follow Mr. Watson all around town as he gathers up his chickens. But, when they’re all rounded up, does he have the heart to sell them? Does a different fate await these chickens?

This quirky, irresistible book is full of read-aloud fun with its onomatopoeia, rollicking rhythm, and familiar refrains and ends with a touch of sweetness. It has all the makings of a classic, with a farm theme, hilarious refrains, and a familiar narrative structure that unfolds in threes. Librarians, teachers, and parents looking for a new book that feels traditional will love sharing this book with children.

Publishers Weekly starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 3
  • Themes: nonsense, chickens, counting, onomatopoeia, rhythm, farms
  • Protagonist description: two male farmers, one white and one Asian

*All Eyes on Ozzy by K-Fai Steele

Ozzy loves attention. And the person she wants it from most of all is her music teacher, Ms. Bomba.

So when it’s time to choose an instrument for the school recital, Ozzy picks the biggest, loudest, most attention-grabbing one of all: the DRUMS!

It’s hard to stay on beat, though, when all you want to do is stand out. But getting in tune with her classmates–with a little help from her favorite teacher–just might turn out to be even better than a solo in the spotlight.

Kirkus and Publishers Weekly starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 3
  • Themes: musical instruments, making noise, drums, attention-seeking, teamwork
  • Protagonist description: girl, tan-skin, black hair; music class is racially-diverse

 

THIS WEEK’S SEQUELS (YA):

THIS WEEK’S SEQUELS (MIDDLE GRADES):

 

ABOUT THE SPOTLIGHT

The New Release Spotlight began in May 2016 as a way to help librarians keep up with the many new children’s and YA books that are released each week. Every Tuesday, school librarian Leigh Collazo compiles the New Release Spotlight using a combination of Follett’s Titlewave, Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble. As always, titles with a * by them received two or more starred professional reviews. Recommended grade levels represent the range of grade levels recommended by professional book reviewers.

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