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New Release Spotlight: March 14, 2023

Whew! Another super-fab Spotlight this week! The last several Spotlights have been quite lengthy, so they are well-worth a second look. For me, I am going to do an intentionally shorter Spotlight next week to give myself a bit of a spring break. There will still be a Spotlight, but it won’t be as long as the last few have been.

You can access previous New Release Spotlights here. The March 7th and February 28th Spotlights are unmissable!

Also, don’t miss my NEW video version of the New Release Spotlight on YouTube! This is my first time to create the Spotlight this way, but I love the idea. What’s great is that you don’t have to have Google to play the video, and you don’t need to worry about setting slide timings.

I plan to keep playing with this video format to see what new features I can add. If you have any suggestions for the videos, please let me know!

This is the third week in a row with an especially juicy list to sink our teeth into! All three groups (YA, middle grades, and picture books) look incredible. We’ve also got two books that received 4 starred professional reviews, and one picture book with three starred reviews. Big authors this week include: Patrick Ness, Elizabeth Wein, Mindy McGinnis, Kelly Baptist, Aaron Becker, and Mac Barnett.

This week’s top picks:

  • Dear Medusa by Olivia A. Cole (YA)
  • A Bit of Earth by Karuna Riazi (middle grades)
  • The Tree and the River by Aaron Becker (picture book)

This week’s Spotlight titles are #3149-#3171 on The Ginormous book list.


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*Different for Boys by Patrick Ness (Author) and Tea Bendix (Illustrator)

Anthony “Ant” Stevenson isn’t sure when he stopped being a virgin. Or even if he has. The rules aren’t always very clear when it comes to boys who like boys. In fact, relationships of all kinds feel complicated, even with Ant’s oldest friends.

There’s Charlie, who’s both virulently homophobic and in a secret physical relationship with Ant.

Then there’s drama kid Jack, who may be gay and has become the target of Charlie’s rage.

And, of course, there’s big, beautiful Freddie, who wants Ant to ditch soccer, Charlie’s sport, and try out for the rugby team instead.

Ant’s story of loneliness and intimacy, of unexpected support and heart-ripping betrayal, is told forthrightly with tongue-in-cheek black-bar redactions over the language that teenagers would actually use if, you know, they weren’t in a story.

Award-winning author Patrick Ness explores teen sexuality, friendship, and romance with a deft hand in this structurally daring, illustrated short novel.

FOUR starred reviews! Illustrated with rough pencil sketches. At only 104 pages, this is a great choice for reluctant readers.

  • Genre(s): realistic fiction, novella
  • Setting: eastern Washington (state), USA
  • Recommended for: Grades 9-12
  • Themes: censorship, redactions, LGBT+, losing one’s virginity, identity, sex, homophobia, loneliness, breaking the fourth wall
  • Protagonist description: male, age 15, white, closeted gay; story focuses on narrator + 3 other male friends; all cue white

*Dear Medusa by Olivia A. Cole

Sixteen-year-old Alicia Rivers has a reputation that precedes her. But there’s more to her story than the whispers that follow her throughout the hallways at school–whispers that splinter into a million different insults that really mean: a girl who has had sex.

But what her classmates don’t know is that Alicia was sexually abused by a popular teacher, and that trauma has rewritten every cell in her body into someone she doesn’t recognize. To the world around her, she’s been cast, like the mythical Medusa, as not the victim but the monster of her own story: the slut who asked for it.

Alicia was abandoned by her best friend, quit the track team, and now spends her days in detention feeling isolated and invisible. When mysterious letters left in her locker hint at another victim, Alicia struggles to keep up the walls she’s built around her trauma. At the same time, her growing attraction to a new girl in school makes her question what those walls are really keeping out.

SLJ and Publishers Weekly starred.

  • Genre(s): realistic fiction, novel in verse
  • Setting: high school
  • Recommended for: Grades 9-12
  • Themes: sexual abuse, predatory adults, teacher-student relationships, trauma, rape, slut-shaming, gossip, rumors, bullying, depression, LGBT+, Greek mythology, Medusa, former best friends, misogyny
  • Protagonist description: female, age 16, white, bisexual, high school junior

*The Memory Eater by Rebecca Mahoney

For generations, a monster called the Memory Eater has lived in the caves of Whistler Beach, Maine, surviving off the unhappy memories of those who want to forget. And for generations, the Harlows have been in charge of keeping her locked up–and keeping her fed.

After her grandmother dies, seventeen-year-old Alana Harlow inherits the family business. But there’s something Alana doesn’t know: the strange gaps in her memory aren’t from an accident. Her memories have been taken–eaten. And with them, she’s lost the knowledge of how to keep the monster contained.

Now the Memory Eater is loose. Alana’s mistake could cost Whistler Beach everything–unless she can figure out how to retrieve her memories and recapture the monster. But as Alana delves deeper into her family’s magic and the history of her town, she discovers a shocking secret at the center of the Harlow family business and learns that tampering with memories always comes at a price.

Kirkus and Publishers Weekly starred.

  • Genre(s): magical realism, fabulism, fantasy
  • Setting: Whistler Beach, Maine, USA
  • Recommended for: Grades 7+
  • Themes: monsters, memories, unhappiness, magic, intergenerational trauma, grief, orphans
  • Protagonist description: female, age 17, white, orphan, bisexual

Climate Champions: 15 Women Fighting for Your Future by Rachel Sarah

These 15 contemporary climate champions are on the frontlines of science to create a sustainable future on Earth.

They are climate scientists, journalists, professors, academics, researchers, and policy makers from around the world who draft policies with real-world impact, run science labs to find new answers to old problems, and lead organizations at the forefront of change. These women do not shy away from showing how racial and social injustices lie at the root of so many climate-related issues.

Their stories are accessible and energetic, with spotlights on the triumphs and struggles of women who are working to protect the planet.

Booklist starred.

  • Genre(s): collected biography, nonfiction
  • Setting: worldwide
  • Recommended for: Grades 7+
  • Themes: Women’s History Month, STEM, Earth Day, environmentalism, conservation, science, social problems, climate change, activism
  • Protagonist description: 15 women across the world; diverse

Stateless by Elizabeth Wein

When Stella North is chosen to represent Britain in Europe’s first air race for young people, she knows all too well how high the stakes are.

As the only participating female pilot, it’ll be a constant challenge to prove she’s a worthy competitor. But promoting peace in Europe feels empty to Stella when civil war is raging in Spain and the Nazis are gaining power–and when, right from the start, someone resorts to cutthroat sabotage to get ahead of the competition.

The world is looking for inspiration in what’s meant to be a friendly sporting event. But each of the racers is hiding a turbulent and violent past, and any one of them might be capable of murder…including Stella herself.

SLJ starred.

  • Genre(s): historical fiction, mystery
  • Setting: England, 1937
  • Recommended for: Grades 7+
  • Themes: female pilots, world history, WWII, traditional women’s roles, sexism, orphans, sabotage
  • Protagonist description: female, age 17, white, orphan, Russian refugee living in England

Enter the Body by Joy McCullough

In the room beneath a stage’s trapdoor, Shakespeare’s dead teenage girls compare their experiences and retell the stories of their lives, their loves, and their fates in their own words.

Bestselling author Joy McCullough offers a brilliant testament to how young women can support each other and reclaim their stories in the aftermath of trauma.

Booklist starred.

  • Genre(s): historical fiction, retelling, novel in verse
  • Setting: beneath a theater stage
  • Recommended for: Grades 9-12
  • Themes: Shakespeare, theater, literary characters
  • Protagonist description: Ophelia, Juliet, and Cordelia from Shakespeare plays

A Long Stretch of Bad Days by Mindy McGinnis

A lifetime of hard work has put Lydia Chass on track to attend a prestigious journalism program and leave Henley behind–until a school error leaves her a credit short of graduating.

Bristal Jamison has a bad reputation and a foul mouth, but she also needs one more credit to graduate. An unexpected partnership forms as the two remake Lydia’s town history podcast to investigate the Long Stretch of Bad Days–a week when Henley was hit by a tornado, a flash food, as well as its first, only, and unsolved murder.

As their investigation unearths buried secrets, some don’t want them to see the light. When the threats escalate, the girls have to uncover the truth before the dark history of Henley catches up with them.

SLJ starred.

  • Genre(s): mystery
  • Setting: small town of Henley, Ohio
  • Recommended for: Grades 9-12
  • Themes: journalism, graduation, podcasting, tornadoes, town history, unsolved murder, cold cases, investigations, secrets, detectives, class privilege, feminism
  • Protagonist description: two females, both high school seniors, both white

Ravensong by Cayla Fay

Book 1 of a planned duology. Debut author! Neve has spent lifetimes defending the mortal world against the legions of hell with her two sisters.

Unfortunately for Neve, in this lifetime, she is the only one of the Morrigan–a triad of Irish war gods–still stuck in high school and still without her full power. She’s been counting down the days until her eighteenth birthday, when she finally gets to shed the pretenses of humanity and grow into her divine power.

But then she meets Alexandria. And Alexandria is as determined to force Neve into some semblance of teenage normalcy as she is haunted by her own demons–both figurative and literal.

As they grow closer, Neve decides that humanity–and, perhaps, love–isn’t so detestable after all. Which makes it all the more dangerous when she realizes that something in Hell wants Alexandria, and it’s be up to Neve and her sisters to save her before Alexandria’s past catches up to all of them.

Booklist starred.

  • Genre(s): fantasy, mythology, urban fantasy
  • Setting: Newgrange Harbor, a small town in Massachusetts, USA
  • Recommended for: Grades 7+
  • Themes: powers, Irish mythology, Celtic mythology, demons, bullying
  • Protagonist description: female, age 17, Morrigan (demon hunting Irish god), high school student

*The Next New Syrian Girl by Ream Shukairy

Khadija Shami is a Syrian American high school senior raised on boxing and football. Saddled with a monstrous ego and a fierce mother to test it, she dreams of escaping her sheltered life to travel the world with her best friend.

Leene Tahir is a Syrian refugee, doing her best to adjust to the wildly unfamiliar society of a suburban Detroit high school while battling panic attacks and family pressures.

When their worlds collide the result is catastrophic. To Khadija, Leene embodies the tame, dutiful Syrian ideal she’s long rebelled against. And to Leene, Khadija is the strong-willed, closed-off American who makes her doubt her place in the world.

But as Khadija digs up Leene’s past, a startling and life-changing discovery forces the two of them closer together. As the girls secretly race to unravel the truth, a friendship slowly and hesitantly begins blooming. Doubts are cast aside as they realize they have more in common than they each expected. What they find takes them on a journey all the way to Jordan, challenging what each knows about the other and herself.

Kirkus and Booklist starred.

  • Genre(s): realistic fiction
  • Setting: suburban Detroit, Michigan, USA
  • Recommended for: Grades 8-12
  • Themes: Syrian refugees, anxiety, family secrets, friendship, parental expectations, boxing
  • Protagonist description: two teen females, one a Syrian refugee and one Syrian American

*The Book That No One Wanted to Read by Richard Ayoade (Author) and Tor Freeman (Illustrator)

The life of a book isn’t easy, especially when people judge you by your cover (not every book can be adorned with sparkly unicorns!). And this narrator should know–it’s the book itself, and it has a lot of opinions.

It gets irritated when readers bend its pages back, and it finds authors quite annoying.

But it does have a story to tell. Through witty direct address and charming illustrations, readers meet a book that has never been read, with a cover the boring color of a school lunch table and pages so dry they give bookworms indigestion.

But what happens when this book meets you, a curious reader?

Kirkus and Booklist starred. This would make a great read-aloud for students who loved The Book With No Pictures.

  • Genre(s): humor
  • Setting: inside the pages of a book
  • Recommended for: Grades 3-8
  • Themes: bookish, unusual narrators, writing, judging books by their covers
  • Protagonist description: the book is the narrator; human characters have varying skin tones

*Aniana del Mar Jumps In by Jasminne Mendez

Aniana del Mar belongs in the water like a dolphin belongs to the sea. But she and Papi keep her swim practices and meets hidden from Mami, who has never recovered from losing someone she loves to the water years ago.

That is, until the day Ani’s stiffness and swollen joints mean she can no longer get out of bed, and Ani is forced to reveal just how important swimming is to her. Mami forbids her from returning to the water but Ani and her doctor believe that swimming along with medication will help Ani manage her disease.

What follows is the journey of a girl who must grieve who she once was in order to rise like the tide and become the young woman she is meant to be. Aniana Del Mar Jumps In is a poignant story about chronic illness and disability, the secrets between mothers and daughters, the harm we do to the ones we love the most–and all the triumphs, big and small, that keep us afloat.

FOUR starred reviews!

  • Genre(s): realistic fiction
  • Setting: Galveston, Texas, USA
  • Recommended for: Grades 3-8
  • Themes: swimming, chronic illness, disability, mothers and daughters, joint pain, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, overprotective parents
  • Protagonist description: female, age 12, Dominican American

A Bit of Earth by Karuna Riazi

Growing up in Pakistan, Maria Latif has been bounced between reluctant relatives for as long as she can remember–first because of her parents’ constant travel, and then because of their deaths. Maria has always been a difficult child, and it never takes long for her guardians to tire of her. So when old friends of her parents offer to “give her a better life” in the United States, Maria is shipped to a host family across the world.

When Maria arrives on Long Island, things are not quite what she was expecting. Mr. Clayborne has left on an extended business trip, Mrs. Clayborne seems emotionally fraught, and inexplicable things keep happening in the Claybornes’ sprawling house. And then Maria finds a locked gate to an off-limits garden. Since she’s never been good at following rules, Maria decides to investigate and discovers something she never thought she’d find: a place where she feels at home.

With a prickly main character, a sullen boy, two friendly allies, and a locked garden, A Bit of Earth has everything a reader could want from a retelling of The Secret Garden. Karuna Riazi’s evocative prose is interspersed with poetic verses, illuminating each character’s search for a place they can truly call home. This tender yet incisive reimagining of a classic work will captivate fans of the original–and widen the appeal for a modern audience.

SLJ starred.

  • Genre(s): retelling, magical realism, mystery
  • Setting: Long Island, New York, USA
  • Recommended for: Grades 4-8
  • Themes: orphans, immigrants, gardens, secret places, The Secret Garden, friendship, belonging
  • Protagonist description: female, Pakistani and Bangladeshi

Turtles of the Midnight Moon by María José Fitzgerald

Twelve-year-old Barana lives in a coastal village in Honduras, where she spends every spare minute visiting the sea turtles that nest on the beach.

Abby is feeling adrift in sixth grade, trying to figure out who she is and where she belongs after her best friend moved away from New Jersey.

When Abby’s papi plans a work trip to Honduras, she is finally given the opportunity to see his homeland–with Barana as her tour guide. But Barana has other plans: someone has been poaching turtle eggs, and she’s determined to catch them!

Before long, Abby and Barana are both consumed by the mystery, chasing down suspects, gathering clues, and staking out the beach in the dead of night. Will they find a way to stop the poachers before it’s too late?

  • Genre(s): mystery, ecofiction
  • Setting: Pataya, a coastal village in Honduras
  • Recommended for: Grades 3-7
  • Themes: leatherback sea turtles, conservation, poaching, crime, friendship, best friend moving away
  • Protagonist description: two females, both age 12, one is Honduran and one is Honduran American

Hoops by Matt Tavares

Debut author! It is 1975 in Indiana, and the Wilkins Regional High School girls’ basketball team is in their rookie season.

Despite being undefeated, they practice at night in the elementary school and play to empty bleachers. Unlike the boys’ team, the Lady Bears have no buses to deliver them to away games and no uniforms, much less a laundry service. They make their own uniforms out of T-shirts and electrical tape.

And with help from a committed female coach, they push through to improbable victory after improbable victory.

Illustrated in full color, this story about the ongoing battle of women striving for equality in sports rings with honesty, bravery, and heart.

  • Genre(s): graphic novel, sports, historical fiction
  • Setting: Indiana, 1975
  • Recommended for: Grades 3-7
  • Themes: girls in sports, basketball, sexism, equality in sports, Title IX, civil rights, social problems, discrimination, based on a true story, perseverance
  • Protagonist description: all-female high school basketball team, diverse skin tones

*The Girl from Earth’s End by Tara Dairman

Twelve-year-old Henna loves living with her two papas and cultivating her beloved plants on the tiny island of Earth’s End–until Papa Niall grows seriously ill.

Now Henna is determined to find a legendary, long-extinct plant with miraculous healing powers, even though the search means journeying all the way to St. Basil’s Conservatory, a botanical boarding school rumored to house seeds of every plant ever grown.

At St. Basil’s, Henna is surrounded not only by incredible plants, but also, for the first time, other kids–including her new roommates: wisecracking, genderfluid P, who gleefully bends every rule they come up against, and wealthy, distant Lora, who is tired of servants doing everything for her, from folding her clothes to pushing her wheelchair.

But Henna’s search for the fabled healing seed means she doesn’t have time for friends–or so she thinks. This tender tale, blossoming with moments of joy, is a story of hope, grief, and learning to flourish with a little help from those around you.

Kirkus and Publishers Weekly starred.

  • Genre(s): realistic fiction
  • Setting: fictional island chain called Gardenia Islands
  • Recommended for: Grades 3-7
  • Themes: parental illness, two fathers, botany, healing powers, boarding school, roommates, friendship, grief
  • Protagonist description: female, age 12, bronze skin, dark hair

Eb & Flow by Kelly J. Baptist

Ebony and De’Kari (aka Flow) do not get along. How could they when their cafeteria scuffle ended with De’Kari’s ruined shoes, Ebony on the ground, and both of them with ten days of at-home suspension?

Now Eb and Flow have two weeks to think about and explain their behavior–to their families, to each other, and ultimately to themselves.

Award-winning author Kelly J. Baptist delivers a novel in verse that follows Eb and Flow as they navigate their parallel lives. Single-parent homes, tight funds, and sibling dynamics provide a balancing act for the growing tweens. And whether they realize it or not, these two have a lot more in common than they think.

  • Genre(s): novel in verse, realistic fiction
  • Setting: school and the homes of two students
  • Recommended for: Grades 3-8
  • Themes: school suspensions, parallel storylines, poverty, single parents, fighting at school, trouble at school, fathers serving in the military
  • Protagonist description: male and female, both African American, both seventh graders

*Hidden Hope: How a Toy and a Hero Saved Lives During the Holocaust by Elisa Boxer (Author) and Amy June Bates (Illustrator)

During World War II, a social worker named Jacqueline bicycled through the streets of Paris, passing Nazi soldiers and carrying a toy duck to share with the children she visited. What the Nazis didn’t know, however, was that Jacqueline wasn’t a social worker at all, but a Jewish member of the French Resistance.

Families across Europe went into hiding as the Nazis rounded up anyone Jewish. The Star of David, a symbol of faith and pride, became a tool of hate when the Nazis forced people to wear the star on their clothing and carry papers identifying them as Jewish, so that it was clear who to arrest. But many brave souls dared to help them.

Jacqueline was one of them. She risked her life in secret workshops, where forgers created false identity papers. But how to get these life-saving papers to families in hiding? The toy duck held the answer.

Kirkus and Publishers Weekly starred.

  • Genre(s): informational picture book; picture book biography, picture book for older readers
  • Setting: WWII
  • Recommended for: Grades 1-6
  • Themes: WWII, Nazis, French Resistance to Nazis, risking one’s life to save others, courage, young people making a difference, secret societies, persistence
  • Protagonist description: young female, French

Where I Live: Poems About My Home, My Street, and My Town by Paul B. Janeczko (Author) and Hyewon Yum (Illustrator)

Home is shoes tucked under the bed while you sleep, or fancy-dancying at the neighborhood block party.

It’s buttermilk biscuits and gospel music at the church picnic.

It’s traffic lights and parked cars; rooftop views as far as you can see; ice cream trucks and yellow boots; sharing breakfast cereal and boiled eggs with your brothers; or running through sprinklers with water on your lips, dripping from eyelashes like fat raindrops.

Whether we hang our hats in a walk-up apartment in the city, a farmhouse in the country, or any place in between, the poems in this collection celebrate the places where we live: our homes, our streets, our towns.

SLJ starred. Includes 34 poems by various authors. Most poems published since 2000. A great choice for upper-elementary ELA teachers!

  • Genre(s): collected poetry
  • Recommended for: Grades 1-5
  • Themes: home, community, neighborhoods, family, figurative language, metaphors, daily life, concrete poems, literary devices
  • Protagonist description: racially diverse children

*The Tree and the River by Aaron Becker

In an alternate past–or possible future–a mighty tree stands on the banks of a winding river, bearing silent witness to the flow of time and change.

A family farms the fertile valley. Soon, a village sprouts, and not long after, a town. Residents learn to harness the water, the wind, and the animals in order to survive and thrive. The growing population becomes ever more industrious and clever, bending nature itself to their will and their ambition: redirecting rivers, harvesting lumber, reshaping the land, even extending daylight itself…

The Tree and the River is an epic time-lapse reimagining of human civilization from a master of the wordless form, and a thought-provoking meditation on the relationship between two mighty forces: nature and humankind.

THREE starred reviews!

  • Genre(s): wordless picture book
  • Setting: focuses on one tree standing beside a river; timing may be centuries in length
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 4
  • Themes: passage of time, rivers, survival, human civilization, human impact on the environment, nature, life of one tree, industrial revolution, ecological collapse, detailed illustration
  • Protagonist description: lots of people, but they are too tiny to distinguish skin tones

Twenty Questions by Mac Barnett (Author) and Christian Robinson (Illustrator)

Not all questions have answers. Some have more than one answer. And others have endless answers, unfolding out to the edges of the world.

In this spare yet expansive narrative, acclaimed author Mac Barnett poses twenty questions both playful and profound. Some make us giggle. Others challenge our assumptions. The result is a quirky, wandering exploration of where the best questions lead–to stories.

Booklist starred. This will make a fun read-aloud for storytime!

  • Genre(s): interactive picture book, humor
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 3
  • Themes: questions and answers, storytelling, thinking, rhetorical questions, storytime read-alouds, interactive
  • Protagonist description: humans depicted are diverse

To the Other Side by Erika Meza

A young boy and his older sister have left home to play a game. To win, they must travel across endless lands together and make it to the finish line. Each child imagines what might be waiting for them across the border: A spotted dog? Ice cream! Or maybe a new school.

But the journey is difficult, and the monsters are realer than they imagined. And when it no longer feels like a game, the two children must still find a way to forge ahead.

Kirkus starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book
  • Setting: Mexico side of the US-Mexico border
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 5
  • Themes: US-Mexico border, crossing the border, immigration, siblings, travel, trains, imagination, journeys, danger, unaccompanied immigrant children
  • Protagonist description: brother and sister, both Latine, Mexican immigrants to the US

This Is a Story by John Schu (Author) and Lauren Castillo (Illustrator)

With a sea-horse kite in hand, a child heads out with Dad to the library. On the way they stop at a park, joining lots of people, some of whom are flying kites, too.

At the library, a person toting a big pile of books hands over a story on a favorite subject: the sea horse. All around, there are readers poring over books, each with their own questions, ideas to explore, hopes for the future, and imaginations ready to spark.

With a warm, lyrical text and tenderly expressive illustrations, John Schu and Lauren Castillo invite us to imagine the myriad ways that books can foster connection and understanding–and how they can empower children, through their own passions, to transform the world.

SLJ starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book
  • Setting: public park and library
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 3
  • Themes: libraries, books, reading, fathers and daughters, imagination
  • Protagonist description: pale-skinned child

*Elena Rides by Juana Medina

Elena wants to ride her bike. She steadies, she readies. She wobbles, she bobbles…KA-BANG!

Learning to ride a bike is hard. But Elena can do it. She just has to try, try again. With this reassuring story of childlike persistence, Juana Medina, creator of the acclaimed Juana & Lucas series, introduces Elena, a plucky elephant, and the little red bird who is Elena’s faithful cheerleader.

Simple, energetic text and bold, brilliant artwork convey a relatable tale of the ups and downs of learning something new (not without protest or tears) and the final thrill of mastery that will have children rooting for Elena and ready for her next adventure.

SLJ and Publishers Weekly starred. A dual English/Spanish edition publishes simultaneously.

  • Genre(s): picture book
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 1
  • Themes: perseverance, learning to ride a bike, onomatopoeia, elephants
  • Protagonist description: elephant and red bird

 

THIS WEEK’S SEQUELS (YA):

THIS WEEK’S SEQUELS (MIDDLE GRADES):

THIS WEEK’S SEQUELS & FAVORITE CHARACTERS (ELEMENTARY):

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. 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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