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Ed Masessa's WANDMAKER Combines Magic with Charming Sibling Rivalry

Henry Leach the Eighth thinks having a little sister was trouble --- but then he discovers that he's descended from a long line of wandmakers.

Eric Dinerstein Takes Readers to Luscious Nepal in WHAT ELEPHANTS KNOW

As a young orphan struggles to find his place in the world, his powerful friendship with a female elephant changes his life forever.

Rick Riordan Introduces A New Series with THE HIDDEN ORACLE

When Apollo angers his father, Zeus, he is banned from Olympus and made mortal. Now he must journey to Camp Half-Blood for safety.

Megan Frazer Blakemore Explores Friendship in THE FIREFLY CODE

In the utopian town of Old Harmonie, everything seems perfect. But when a new girl arrives, five friends begin to question their world.

Two Lonely Boys Discover the Power of Friendship in SAVE ME A SEAT

Authors Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan team up to write the stories of Ravi and Joe, two boys in need of a friendship and acceptance.

Author Lauren Myracle Introduces a New Trilogy with WISHING DAY

The town of Willow Hill is full of magic and traditions, but for Natasha, all that matters is her wish to be noticed in a family of chaos.

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 BLACKTHORN KEY, Kevin Sands' adventurous story about an apothecary's apprentice on a journey to save the world; Poly Holyoke's THE NEPTUNE CHALLENGE, the hit sequel to THE NEPTUNE PROJECT in which Nere and her friends must infiltrate a high-tech undersea fortress; and THE WAR THAT SAVED MY LIFE by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, an award-winning novel of love and survival during World War II.

Latest Reviews

Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan - Children's Fiction

Joe and Ravi don't think they have anything in common --- but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disoriented, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favor. But Apollo has many enemies-gods, monsters, and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

Wishing Day by Lauren Myracle - Science Fiction/Fantasy
On the third night of the third month after a girl’s thirteenth birthday, every girl in the town of Willow Hill makes three wishes. Natasha is the oldest child in a family steeped in magic, though she’s not sure she believes in it. She misses her mother, who disappeared nearly eight long years ago. She has a crush on one of the cutest boys in her class. And amid the chaos of a house full of sisters, aunts, and a father lost in grief, she aches to simply be noticed. So Natasha goes to the willow tree at the top of the hill on her Wishing Day, and she makes three wishes. What unfolds is beyond anything she could have imagined.
Red's Planet: Book 1 by Eddie Pittman - Science Fiction

Meet Red, a quirky, headstrong 10-year-old who longs to live in her own perfect paradise far away from her annoying foster family. But when a UFO mistakenly kidnaps her, Red finds herself farther away than she could have possibly imagined --- across the galaxy and aboard an enormous spaceship owned by the Aquilari, an ancient creature with a taste for rare and unusual treasures. Before Red can be discovered as a stowaway, the great ship crashes on a small deserted planet, leaving her marooned with a menagerie of misfit aliens. With her newfound friend, a small gray alien named Tawee, Red must find a way to survive the hostile castaways, evade the ravenous wildlife, and contend with Goose, the planet’s grumpy, felinoid custodian.

Booked by Kwame Alexander - Fiction

In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER,  soccer, family, love and friendship, take center stage as 12-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read. 

Sam Miracle’s life is made up of dreams, dreams where he’s a courageous, legendary hero instead of a foster kid with two bad arms that can barely move. Sometimes these dreams feel so real, they seem like forgotten memories. And sometimes they make him believe that his arms might come alive again. But Sam is about to discover that the world he knows and the world he imagines are separated by only one thing: time. And that separation is only an illusion. The laws of time can be bent and shifted by people with special magic. But not all of these “time walkers” can be trusted. One is out to protect Sam so that he can accept his greatest destiny, and another is out to kill him so that a prophecy will never be fulfilled. However, it’s an adventurous girl named Glory and two peculiar snakes who show Sam the way through the dark paths of yesterday to help him make sure there will be a tomorrow for every last person on earth.

Laura Shovan’s engaging, big-hearted debut is a time capsule of one class’s poems during a transformative school year. Families change and new friendships form as these terrific kids grow up and move on in this whimsical novel-in-verse about finding your voice and making sure others hear it.

The next person who compares Chloe Cho with famous violinist Abigail Yang is going to HEAR it. Chloe has just about had it with people not knowing the difference between someone who's Chinese, Japanese or Korean. She's had it with people thinking that everything she does well is due to her being ASIAN. Of course, her own parents don't want to have anything to DO with their Korean background. Any time Chloe asks them a question they change the subject. They seem perfectly happy to be the only Asian family in town. It's only when Chloe's with her best friend, Shelly, that she doesn't feel like a total alien. Then a new teacher comes to town: Ms. Lee. She's Korean American, and for the first time Chloe has a person to talk to who seems to understand completely.

Mori and her friends live a normal life on Firefly Lane in their utopian community, Old Harmonie. In a world this safe and perfect, they've never had to question anything . . . never had to wonder about how their lives came to be. Until a new girl named Ilana moves in. She's so perfect that Mori and her friends are curious . . . Where exactly did Ilana come from, and why does she act so strange sometimes?

What Elephants Know by Eric Dinerstein - Children's Fiction

Abandoned in the jungle of the Nepalese Borderlands, two-year-old Nandu is found living under the protective watch of a pack of wild dogs. From his mysterious beginnings, fate delivers him to the King's elephant stable, where he is raised by unlikely parents-the wise head of the stable, Subba-sahib, and Devi Kali, a fierce and affectionate female elephant.

Wandmaker by Ed Masessa - Fiction
Magic is real --- and it runs in the family --- in this charming fantasy adventure about a boy who must balance his magical education with the demands of big-brotherhood, perfect for fans of Jenny Nimmo and Angie Sage. Henry Leach the Eighth doesn't know it yet, but he's descended from a long line of wandmakers. That means he has inherited mysterious powers, a trunk full of strange artifacts...and a whole host of problems. His biggest problem at the moment, however, is his little sister, Brianna. And she takes troublemaking to new heights when she's caught in the crossfire of Henry's first major spell! 
Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions written by Chris Barton with illustrations by Don Tate - Children's Fiction

A love for rockets, robots, inventions, and a mind for creativity began early in Lonnie Johnson’s life. Growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters, persistence and a passion for problem solving became the cornerstone for a career as an engineer and his work with NASA. But it is his invention of the Super Soaker water gun that has made his most memorable splash with kids and adults.

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.