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Maya Penn Gives Young Readers A Head Start To Success In YOU GOT THIS!

Penn reminds readers to think big and that it is up to them to make their dreams come true. Becoming an entrepreneur isn’t so hard after all.

JUST LIKE ME Teaches Young Readers What It Means To Honor Their Roots

After being adopted from a Chinese orphanage, Julia has no desire to advertise her heritage, but soon realizes others share her same insecurities.

RAYMIE NIGHTINGALE is a Subtle Tale of Unexpected Loss and Friendship

Kate DiCamillo pulls on the heartstrings of her readers by giving them no choice but to fall in compassion with three charming girls.

Read Our Interview with Liesl Shurtliff and a Review of RED

In this twisted version of the popular fairy tale, Red strays from her usual path to find magic that will keep her grandmother alive forever.

Immerse Yourself in an Exciting Fantasy World with SHADOW MAGIC

Readers will find themselves sucked into Joshua Khan’s imaginative world and unable to disconnect from its magical characters.

THE WILD ROBOT Proves That Nature and Technology Can Work Together

Stranded on a remote island, Roz must make nice with the unsympathetic animals currently occupying it. But will they accept her?

Features and Contests

New Picture Books Roundup

In picture books this month we have THE BEST DAYS ARE DOG DAYS by Aaron Meshon and Zachariah Ohora where Meshon lovingly outlines the nature of true companionship with his own added style and flare; HORRIBLE BEAR!, written by Amy Dyckman, in which readers are asked to explore the concept of forgiveness in this engaging story of an angry bear and a compassionate girl; and THE BEAR AND THE PIANO by David Litchfield, in which a talented bear is granted an opportunity that he simply cannot resist, even if it may alienate him from his forest friends.

Cool & New Books

This month’s Cool and New roundup includes MISCHIEF SEASON, the first book in a new series by John Bemelmans Marciano and Sophie Blackall that whisks children away to Benevento, an ancient town famous for its witches; DEADLY FLOWERS, Sarah L. Thomson's action-packed novel about a young ninja's first mission; and THE SECRET OF DREADWILLOW CARSE, Brian Farrey's spooky fairy tale that celebrates the power of friendship through two strong-willed young girls.

New in Paperback

In paperback titles this month, we have THE BOOK THAT PROVES TIME TRAVEL HAPPENS, a time-bending adventure from Henry Clark in which three diverse children find themselves in the year 1852; DR. CRITCHLORE'S SCHOOL OF MINIONS: Book 1, the first book in a contemporary fantasy series written by Sheila Grau, where kids can discover that being unorthodox isn't always such a bad thing; and PIECES AND PLAYERS by Blue Balliett, in which students of Mrs. Sharpee's class find themselves in the midst of a mysterious museum robbery.

Latest Reviews

Summerlost by Ally Condie - Fiction

It's the first real summer since the devastating accident that killed Cedar's father and younger brother, Ben. But now Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar.

The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey - Science Fiction/Fantasy

In the center of the verdant Monarchy lies Dreadwillow Carse, a black and desolate bog that little is known about it, except for one dire warning: If any monarch enters Dreadwillow Carse, then the Monarchy will fall. Twelve-year-old Princess Jeniah yearns to know what the marsh could possibly conceal that might topple her family’s thousand-year reign of peace and prosperity. Meanwhile, in the nearby town of Emberfell, where everyone lives with unending joy, a girl named Aon hides a sorrow she can never reveal. She knows that something in the carse --- something that sings a haunting tune only Aon can hear--holds the cure for her sadness. After a chance meeting, Princess Jeniah and Aon hatch a plan to send Aon into the heart of the carse to unlock its darkest secret. But when Aon doesn’t return, a guilt-stricken Jeniah must enter the carse to try and rescue her friend--even if it means risking the entire Monarchy.

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo - Children's Fiction

Raymie thinks if she can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town two days ago with a dental hygienist, will see Raymie's picture in the paper and (maybe) come home. To win, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton; she also has to contend with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante, who has a show-business background, and the fiery, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who’s determined to sabotage the contest. But as the competition approaches, the three girls are drawn into an unlikely friendship --- and challenge each of them to come to the rescue in unexpected ways.

Every nation that invades the City gives it a new name. But before long, new invaders arrive and the City changes hands once again. The natives don't let themselves get caught up in the unending wars. To them, their home is the Nameless City, and those who try to name it are forever outsiders.
Kaidu is one such outsider. He's a Dao born and bred --- a member of the latest occupying nation. Rat is a native of the Nameless City. At first, she hates Kai for everything he stands for, but his love of his new home may be the one thing that can bring these two unlikely friends together.

The Nocturnals: The Mysterious Abductions Written by Tracey Hecht with illustrations by Kate Liebman. - Fantasy

THE NOCTURNALS features three unlikely friends: Dawn, a serious fox, Tobin, a sweet pangolin and Bismark, the loud mouthed, pint sized sugar glider. The stories all play out in their nighttime world with teamwork, friendship and humor in every adventure. In THE MYSTERIOUS ABDUCTIONS, the animals form a brigade of the night after a random encounter with a blood-thirsty snake, and just in time because something is threatening their night realm. Animals are disappearing without a trace. Together with the help of a wombat, a band of coyotes and many others, Dawn, Tobin and Bismark journey to the depths of the earth in a wacky, high stakes game that will determine all of their survival.

Just Like Me by Nancy Cavanaugh - Children's Fiction

Who eats Cheetos with chopsticks?! Avery and Becca, my "Chinese Sisters," that's who. We're not really sisters-we were just adopted from the same orphanage. And we're nothing alike. They like egg rolls, and I like pizza. They're wave around Chinese fans, and I pretend like I don't know them. Which is not easy since we're all going to summer camp to "bond." We have to journal about our time at camp so the adoption agency can do some kind of "where are they now" newsletter. I'll tell you where I am: At Camp Little Big Lake in a cabin with five other girls who aren't getting along, competing for a camp trophy and losing (badly).

Slacker by Gordon Korman - Fiction

Cameron Boxer is very happy to spend his life avoiding homework, hanging out with his friends, and gaming for hours in his basement. It's not too hard for him to get away with it . . . until he gets so caught up in one game that he almost lets his house burn down around him. Oops. It's time for some serious damage control --- so Cameron and his friends invent a fake school club that will make it seem like they're doing good deeds instead of slacking off. The problem? Some kids think the club is real --- and Cameron is stuck being president. Soon Cameron is part of a mission to save a beaver named Elvis from certain extinction. Along the way, he makes some new friends --- and some powerful new enemies.

Shadow Magic written by Joshua Khan with illustrations by Ben Hibon - Fantasy

Thorn, an outlaw's son, wasn't supposed to be a slave. He's been sold to Tyburn, an executioner, and they're headed to Castle Gloom in Gehenna, the land of undead, where Thorn will probably be fed to a vampire. Lilith Shadow wasn't supposed to be ruler of Gehenna. But following the murder of her family, young Lily became the last surviving member of House Shadow, a long line of dark sorcerers. Her country is surrounded by enemies and the only way she can save it is by embracing her heritage and practicing the magic of the undead. But how can she when, as a girl, magic is forbidden to her?
Just when it looks like Lily will have to leave her home forever, Thorn arrives at Castle Gloom. A sudden death brings them together, inspires them to break the rules, and leads them to soar to new heights in this fantasy with all the sparkle and luster of a starry night sky.

Maya Penn is a remarkable teen entrepreneur who has given three TED Talks, created her own eco-friendly fashion line, developed animated films, and appeared on "The View" with Whoopi Goldberg. She has even been name-checked by bestselling authors Gabrielle Bernstein, Steve Harvey and Eve Ensler. All while still in middle school! In YOU GOT THIS! Maya shares her incredible journey to becoming an artist, designer, philanthropist, and business owner. She provides a creative blueprint for teens and young adults, along with the tools she used to build an authentic, exciting and connected life, and offers creative prompts for cultivating success.

Jacky Ha-Ha written by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein with illustrations by Kerascoët - Youth Fiction

With her irresistible urge to tell a joke in every situation --- even when she really, really shouldn't --- 12-year-old Jacky Ha-Ha loves to make people laugh. And cracking wise helps distract her from thinking about not-so-funny things in her life, like her mom serving in a dangerous, faraway war, and a dad who's hardly ever home. But no matter how much fun Jacky has, she can't seem to escape her worries. So one starlit night, she makes a promise to keep her family together...even if she has to give up the one thing that makes her happy. But can she stop being Jacky Ha-Ha, if that's who she really is?

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown - Children's Fiction

When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. Why is she there? Where did she come from? And, most important, how will she survive in her harsh surroundings? Roz's only hope is to learn from the island's hostile animal inhabitants. When she tries to care for an orphaned gosling, the other animals finally decide to help, and the island starts to feel like home. Until one day, the robot's mysterious past comes back to haunt her....