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Kidsreads Newsletter for Parents

October 2016 Newsletter for Parents October 2016
Trick-or-Treat, It's Kidsreads with Spooktacular New Books
Hi Kidsreaders,

BOO! Don’t worry, it’s not a scary monster, it’s just me, Rebecca, with your October update. We are officially less than one week away from Halloween and if you’re anything like me, you’ve been gearing up by binge-watching all of your spookiest Halloween favorites and eating way too much candy (I have to test it for the trick-or-treaters, it’s totally legit).

When I’m not stuffing my face with candy (and sometimes when I am), I’ve been racing all over New York City for some major bookish events. In addition to a bunch of publisher previews where we got to see upcoming books, October brought New York Comic Con to town, and Kidsreads was on the scene to check out all the latest books and graphic novels. This was my second time attending, but my first time doing more than just walking around wide-eyed and overwhelmed. Our interns Dana and Maya were there, along with our reviewers Matt and Kat, and we all had a blast. This year, NYCC also had BookCon programming scheduled at the same time, so there were plenty of middle-grade book events happening all weekend long --- but please don’t remind my feet about it.

You can read more about our NYCC fun over on the Teenreads blog, where we have two posts about the event: one is a general overview of our experiences, while the other includes in-depth coverage for each panel we attended. You can see a photo of my #NYCC-inspired nails above on the right --- when you get to do this and say it's for work, life is good!

My favorite middle-grade panel took place on Sunday, when I saw authors Ridley Pearson (LOCK AND KEY), Henry Neff (IMPYRIUM), Lorie Langdon (The Doon Series), Carey Corp (DOON) and Will Staehle (WARREN THE 13TH AND THE ALL-SEEING EYE) discuss the marvelous, magical and mysterious elements in their tales for kids. Although I was initially drawn to this panel for Henry H. Neff --- whose book, IMPYRIUM, is one of my favorite books of the season --- I was also delighted to hear more about Ridley Pearson’s Sherlock Holmes re-telling, which was a big hit with the audience. We caught up with Henry Neff after the panel and asked him a few questions about his new series. You can read our interview, as well as a review of IMPYRIUM, here.

Speaking of comic books and graphic novels, be sure to check out our Special Feature below, where we’re sharing LUNCH WITCH #2 by Deb Lucke, the sequel to her wickedly funny debut, THE LUNCH WITCH. In this installment, Grunhilda's familiars and ancestors have become suspicious about her friendships with her students, believing that she has become too nice. When the familiars find her collection of letters from Madison, Mr. Williams creates a meanness potion to set her straight. But when his potion goes awry, the whole town finds itself under the influence of a positivity potion, and it is up to Grunhilda to put things back to normal. In celebration of the release of LUNCH WITCH #2, we had the pleasure of interviewing Deb Lucke about her new book, responses from fans and her artistic style. Click here to read her answers and see a very special picture from one of her fans.

Have you ever wondered about how authors and illustrators work together on their books? Author S.F. Said gave us the full scoop in this blog post, where he explains how he works with his illustrator, David McKean, and how their relationship has changed with each book. You can also read our review of Said's latest book, PHOENIX, here.

While many of you are familiar with our monthly picture book roundup, I wanted to take a moment to discuss one book in particular: WORDS by award-winning graphic designer Christoph Niemann. You may think that picture books are just for kids, but Niemann's book transcends age groups by including more than 300 words from Dr. Edward Fry’s popular teacher-tested list of sight words, which Niemann illustrates in a way that makes building vocabulary, learning homophones and basic punctuation fun --- note that this is particularly helpful for people learning English for the first time. You can check out a trailer for the book here.

I also would like to call your attention to Read for the Record, a national campaign hosted by the non-profit organization Jumpstart, which helps address educational inequities that leave too many children unprepared for kindergarten. On Thursday, October 27th, children and adults from around the world will participate in Read for the Record, a shared reading experience featuring THE BEAR ATE YOUR SANDWICH by Julia Sarcone-Roach, a classic tale of a bear’s epic journey and the mystery surrounding one delicious sandwich. You can read more about the campaign here.

In movie news, The Great Gilly Hopkins has officially arrived in select theaters and On-Demand programming to great reviews. If you haven't seen it already, here is a trailer for the film. But remember, as always, read the book first!

In case you missed it, J. K. Rowling recently announced that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them --- the latest addition to the Harry Potter canon --- will be the first of five (!) movies. Originally planned as a trilogy, this film follows the life of Newt Scamander, a young man who researches and rescues magical creatures. Fantastic Beasts releases on November 18th, so get your broomstick ready!

Last, but certainly not least, don't forget to enter our contest for your chance to win one of 50 copies of THE ADVENTURER'S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES. With adventure, magic and an awesome heroine, this book is perfect for your fall reading. Click here to enter by Tuesday, November 8th at noon ET --- and remember, this will be your last newsletter reminder!

Of course, we also have a few contests for you grown-up readers on our sister sites:

  • Teenreads: Fall Reading 2016 --- It's that time of year when all we can think about is the cooler weather, pumpkin-spiced everything and cuddling up to read in a cozy sweater with some hot cocoa (finally!). Cue: Fall Reading. We've got some great titles for when you just need to catch a break and a cool, fall breeze in our first Fall Reading feature and contest. From now through Friday, November 4th at noon ET, five lucky readers will win a copy of each of the featured books.
  • Get Listening with Your Book Group!: A Very Special Contest --- We are giving away audiobooks to nine groups in total: three groups will win BEHOLD THE DREAMERS, written by Imbolo Mbue and read by Prentice Onayemi; three will win SMALL GREAT THINGS, written by Jodi Picoult and read by Audra McDonald (with Cassandra Campbell and Ari Fliakos); and three will win THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, written by Colson Whitehead and read by Bahni Turpin. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, November 2nd at noon ET.
  • "What's Your Book Group Reading This Month?": Win 12 Copies of MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON by Elizabeth Strout --- Each month, we ask book groups to share the titles they are reading that month and rate them. From all entries received, three groups are selected, and each wins 12 copies of that month’s prize book. October's prize book is MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON --- an extraordinary novel about a simple hospital visit that illuminates the tender relationship between a daughter and her mother --- by Elizabeth Strout, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of OLIVE KITTERIDGE and THE BURGESS BOYS. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, November 2nd at noon ET.

Are you or your children dressing up as one of your favorite fictional characters this Halloween? If so, be sure to shoot me a note. I have about a million ideas swirling around, but one that keeps resurfacing is Mary Poppins --- who wouldn't want to be practically perfect in every way for a day?

Happy reading!

--- Rebecca Munro (

Special Feature and Contest: THE ADVENTURER'S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES by Wade Albert White

We have 50 copies of THE ADVENTURER'S GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL ESCAPES by Wade Albert White to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which is now in stores. To enter, please fill out this form by Tuesday, November 8th at noon ET.

If you are under 13 years old, you must print out this form, get a parent or guardian's signature, and send it to the office by Tuesday, November 8th at noon ET.

Anne has spent most of her 13 years dreaming of the day she and her best friend Penelope will finally leave Saint Lupin's Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children. When the big day arrives, a series of very curious happenings lead to Anne being charged with an epic quest. Anne, Penelope and new questing partner Hiro have only days to travel to strange new locales, solve myriad riddles and triumph over monstrous foes --- or face the horrible consequences.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Wade Albert White's bio.
-Click here to read our interview with Wade Albert White.

In our interview, Wade Albert White tells us more about the inspiration behind Anne's magical adventure, and how his Canadian background impacted his novel.

Click here to read more in our Special Feature and enter the contest.

Special Feature: LUNCH WITCH #2: Knee-Deep in Niceness by Deb Lucke

Witches come in all forms --- they can wear pointed hats and ride broomsticks across the night skies, cast spells from rickety shacks or imposing castles, or, in the case of Grunhilda from THE LUNCH WITCH, they can serve you food in the school cafeteria! In the first book, which released in 2015, Grunhilda befriends a bespectacled little girl named Madison, but when Madison needs her help, she has to decide what to do --- helping people isn't a very witchy activity, after all.

In LUNCH WITCH #2: Knee-Deep in Niceness, Grunhilda's familiars and ancestors have become suspicious about her and the tiny soft spot on her old crusty heart. When the familiars find her collection of letters from Madison, Mr. Williams creates a meanness potion to set her straight. But when his potion goes awry, the whole town finds itself under the influence of a positivity potion, and it is up to Grunhilda to put things back to normal.

We interviewed Deb Lucke, the creator of this hilarious new graphic novel series, about her own cafeteria memories, an influential childhood art project and her writing/drawing process. Click here to read her answers!

LUNCH WITCH #2: Knee-deep in Niceness by Deb Lucke (Graphic Novel)
Grunhilda the Witch has a weakness, a tiny soft spot on her black and crusty heart. She continues to hide the nice feelings she has when she gets a letter from former Salem Elementary student Madison. But she can't keep up the ruse for long because her familiars are onto her…and so are her ancestors! The familiars search her hovel and find her collection of letters from Madison. Mr. Williams has a solution, but it involves making a meanness potion from the book that Is-Not-To-Be-Used-By-Anyone-Other-Than Witches! But anything that can go wrong does when he accidentally mixes up a positivity potion instead and it starts to affect everyone in town! Reviewed by Matthew Burbridge.

- Click here to read more about the book.
- Click here to read Deb Lucke's bio.
- Click here to visit Deb Lucke's official website.


Click here to read more about LUNCH WITCH #2 in our Special Feature.

Kids, Tweens and Teen Events at the Miami Book Fair
Generation Genius Days are here again from Friday, November 18th to Sunday, November 20th! Reading, writing, storytelling, art and music --- they all lead to discovery and a life-long love of books. Once again, The Fair will bring more than 9,000 schoolchildren on school buses to the Fair so they can meet their favorite authors and receive FREE books! Catch live presentations by some of the hottest authors for kids and YA, with readings by Lois Lowry, Jon Scieszka, Victoria Aveyard, Gene Yang, Ridley Pearson, Melissa de la Cruz, Leigh Bardugo and many more! The children’s stage will host storytelling and a myriad of performances sure to delight and engage kids of all ages!
Click here to learn more about the Miami Book Festival. Talks to Henry H. Neff, Author of IMPYRIUM

Summer may be over, but there's no reason you can't take a magical journey this fall with IMPYRIUM, the first installment of Henry H. Neff's new high-stakes fantasy series. Set three thousand years after the events of Neff's Tapestry series, IMPYRIUM expands upon the same world that his fans have come to know and love, but with all sorts of new characters, conspiracies and betrayals. The Faeregine dynasty's magic has been fading, and with it their power over the empire. Hazel, the youngest member of the royal family, is happy to leave ruling to her sisters so that she can study her magic. But when Hob, a commoner from the remote provinces, is sent to the castle to spy on the Faeregines, the two unlikely allies discover that Impyrium's history may be darker than they could have ever imagined. Complete with illustrations from Neff, this book has all the qualities of your new favorite book --- with more on the way.

In celebration of the release of IMPYRIUM, we spoke to Henry about worldbuilding, writing from a female perspective and the very real origins of his fantastical stories. Click here to read his answers!


IMPYRIUM by Henry Neff (Fantasy)

For over three thousand years, the Faeregine dynasty has ruled Impyrium. But the family’s magic has been fading, and with it their power over the empire. Many believe the Faeregines are ripe to fall. Hazel, the youngest member of the royal family, is happy to leave ruling to her sisters so that she can study her magic. But the empress has other plans for her granddaughter, dark and dangerous plans to exploit Hazel’s talents and rekindle the Faeregine mystique. Hob, a commoner from the remote provinces, has been sent to the city to serve the Faeregines --- and to spy on them. Reviewed by Matthew Burbridge.


- Click here to read a review.

- Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read our interview.

Featured Review: THE HAMMER OF THOR by Rick Riordan

MAGNUS CHASE, BOOK 2: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan (Fantasy)
Thor's hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon --- the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn't just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can't retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer's return is the gods' worst enemy, Loki --- and the price he wants is very high. Reviewed by Katherine Szabo.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

Now in Stores: ASHES by Laurie Halse Anderson

ASHES by Laurie Halse Anderson (Historical Thriller)
As the Revolutionary War rages on, Isabel and Curzon have narrowly escaped Valley Forge --- but their relief is short-lived. Before long they are reported as runaways, and the awful Bellingham is determined to track them down. With purpose and faith, Isabel and Curzon march on, fiercely determined to find Isabel’s little sister Ruth, who is enslaved in a Southern state --- where bounty hunters are thick as flies. Heroism and heartbreak pave their path, but Isabel and Curzon won’t stop until they reach Ruth, and then freedom.


Click here to read more about the book.

Featured Review: WELCOME TO WONDERLAND by Chris Grabenstein

WELCOME TO WONDERLAND: Home Sweet Motel by Chris Grabenstein (Fiction)
Eleven-year-old P. T. Wilkie may be the greatest storyteller alive. But he knows one thing for a fact: the Wonderland Motel is the best place a kid could ever live! There’s only one thing the Wonderland doesn’t have, though --- customers. And if the Wonderland doesn’t get them soon, P.T. and his friend Gloria may have to say goodbye to their beloved motel forever. Luckily for them, Gloria is a business GENIUS, and OUTRAGEOUS is practically P.T.’s middle name. With Gloria’s smarts and P.T.’s world-famous stories and schemes, there’s got to be a way to save the Wonderland! Reviewed by Audrey Slater.

- Click here to read more about the book.
- Click here to read an excerpt.


Click here to read the review.

Featured Review: GERTIE'S LEAP TO GREATNESS by Kate Beasley

GERTIE'S LEAP TO GREATNESS by Kate Beasley with illustrations Jillian Tamaki (Fiction)
Gertie Reece Foy is 100% Not-From-Concentrate awesome. She has a daddy who works on an oil rig, a great-aunt who always finds the lowest prices at the Piggly Wiggly, and two loyal best friends. So when her absent mother decides to move away from their small town, Gertie sets out on her greatest mission yet: becoming the best fifth grader in the universe to show her mother exactly what she'll be leaving behind. There's just one problem: Seat-stealing new girl Mary Sue Spivey wants to be the best fifth grader, too. And there is simply not enough room at the top for the two of them. Reviewed by Terrell W. Orr.

- Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.

On the Kidsreads Blog --- A Dahl-ightful Month with Roald Dahl

This past September marked the 100th birthday of beloved author Roald Dahl. Dahl brought us masterpieces like CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH, THE BFG and our favorite bookworm, MATILDA --- all while teaching us the importance of creativity and imagination. In celebration of Dahl, we posted some gloriumptious blog posts every Tuesday of the month to share with all of you Dahlphiles --- who are fluent in gobblefunk. Read on to see how we celebrated and, in the meantime, click here to head over to Roald Dahl's official website, where you can learn about celebrations and events across the country. We're so excited to invite you all into the frothbuggling, whoopsy wiffling, and jumpsquiffling world of Roald Dahl!

Trivia and Fun Facts --- To start, we decided to introduce Dahl by sharing some fun facts about his background and his most popular books.

Happy 100th Birthday, Roald Dahl --- For our second post, which went up on Dahl's birthday, we decided to wish a gloriumptious birthday to the world's best storyteller by asking our Kidsreads reviewers and readers to tell us some of their favorite things about Roald Dahl. From childhood birthday parties to late-night reading, they shared all of their favorite Dahl moments with us.

Roald Dahl in His Own Words --- For our third post, we let Dahl take over to tell us about himself in his own words, using excerpts from MORE ABOUT BOY, the follow up to Dahl's autobiography, BOY.

Our Dahl-icious Delights Adventure --- For our fourth and final post, we decided to send our Kidsreads interns Amanda and Dana all over Manhattan on a taste-testing tour of some Dahl-inspired treats. Read on to hear more about their adventure --- and be prepared to hear your tummy growl at their beautiful photos.

Click here to visit the Kidsreads blog.

October’s Cool & New Books Roundup
This month's Cool and New roundup includes some great fairy tale books such THE LAND OF STORIES: A Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales by Chris Colfer, which contains 35 classic fairy tales as well as a little bit of extra magic. The fun continues with DISENCHANTED: Trials of Cinderella, where Megan Morrison continues her princess retelling series; and get ready to laugh out loud with BILLY SURE KID ENTREPRENEUR IS NOT A SINGER by Luke Sharpe, where Billy and Manny find out they are contestants on a T.V. singing competition.
Click here to see the rest of October's Cool & New Books roundup!

October’s New in Paperback Roundup
Our New in Paperback roundup this month includes BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson, the author's bestselling collection of poems about growing up and finding her place; THE SEVENTH MOST IMPORTANT THING by Shelley Pearsall, where Arthur T. Owens is given a second chance in the form of 120 hours of community service; and Matthew Cody's THE SECRETS OF THE PIED PIPER 1: The Peddler's Road, the first book of a wild fantasy adventure in which Max and Carter are led on a mysterious quest on the Summer Isle by the Piper.
Click here to see the rest of our October New in Paperback roundup!

New Picture Books
Our Picture Book roundup this month includes WE FOUND A HAT, the conclusion to the celebrated series from Caldecott Medalist John Klassen, in which two turtles find a hat and must learn to share; RADIANT CHILD: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe, which shares not only the childhood of a cultural phenomenon but powerful themes about art; and WORDS by award-winning graphic designer Christoph Niemann, which demonstrates all of the possibilities that words can have whilst being a great learning tool for youngsters and grown-ups alike.
Click here to see the rest of October's Picture Book Roundup!

New Series Books for September

REBELLION OF THIEVES: A Robyn Hoodlum Adventure by Kekla Magoon (Fiction)
Robyn Loxley can't rest now that she's the #1 Most Wanted Fugitive, Robyn Hoodlum. The harsh Nott City governor, Ignomus Crown, may have increased the reward for her capture, but this won't stop Robyn from masterminding her biggest mission yet: infiltrating the governor's mansion to rescue her parents. The perfect opportunity arises when the Iron Teen contest comes to Sherwood. If Robyn scores high enough, she'll be invited to a dinner at the mansion. But performing well in the contest could put her directly in Crown's sights. Can she and her crew of misfit friends pull off such a grand scheme, or are they walking into bigger trouble than they can handle?

THE DOORWAY AND THE DEEP by K. E. Ormsbee (Fiction)
Travel back to the enchanting and treacherous land of Limn, where Lottie Fiske has escaped the murderous Southerly king for a while --- but other perils are hard on her heels. War is coming to the beautiful world of magic that Lottie has come to love. Events are pushing her to the North, where many answers --- about her parents, about her abilities, about this world and others --- await. But the road to the north is full of dangers, and so are the answers.

MAGNUS CHASE AND THE GODS OF ASGARD, Book 2: The Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan (Fiction)
Thor's hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon --- the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds. But this time the hammer isn't just lost, it has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can't retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants. Ragnarok will begin. The Nine Worlds will burn. Unfortunately, the only person who can broker a deal for the hammer's return is the gods' worst enemy, Loki --- and the price he wants is very high.

FLIGHT OF THE KING: Animas, Book Two by C. R. Grey (Fiction)
Winter vacation has never seemed so long. Normally, Bailey would enjoy the break from schoolwork, but this year he can't wait to get back to Fairmount Academy in order to spend more time with his Animas, the white tiger Taleth. After years without his kin, Bailey's anxious to strengthen the bond that connects him to the magnificent animal at last.

ATTICUS CLAW GOES ASHORE by Jennifer Gray (Mystery)
Atticus is on beach cleaning duty with the kittens when he finds a message in a bottle from Fishhook Frank. Fishhook is marooned on a desert island, but he promises Atticus treasure in exchange for his rescue! The treasure contains a sleeping mermaid who has the power to grant any wish. Atticus sets out to rescue Fishhook Frank and find the Casket of Desires with his owners, the Cheddar family. But it's not all plain sailing. The pirate with the biggest beard-sweater in the nautical world.

WHEN THE SEA TURNED TO SILVER by Grace Lin (Historical Fiction)
Pinmei's gentle, loving grandmother always has the most exciting tales for her granddaughter and the other villagers. However, the peace is shattered one night when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller. Everyone knows that the Emperor wants something called the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. Determined to have her grandmother returned, Pinmei embarks on a journey to find the Luminous Stone alongside her friend Yishan, a mysterious boy who seems to have his own secrets to hide. Together, the two must face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Luminous Stone and save Pinmei's grandmother.

THE LEAGUE OF UNEXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN: Get Smart-ish by Gitty Daneshvari (Mystery)
Jonathan Murray: 12 years old. Wears khaki pants to tell the world he plans on driving the speed limit when he grows up. Saved the world once; it was probably a fluke. Shelley Brown: 12 years old. Narrates her imaginary exploits as if she is the subject of a documentary film. Saved the world once; it was probably a fluke. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has called upon Jonathan and Shelley to catch a criminal who has stolen a virus that makes people less smart.

THE LAND OF STORIES: A Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales by Chris Colfer, Illustrated by Brandon Dorman (Fairy Tale)
This gorgeous, full-color companion book to the Land of Stories series will appeal to new and old fans alike, who will delight in favorite classics such as "Cinderella," "Sleeping Beauty," "Little Red Riding Hood," "Jack and the Beanstalk," and more. Here is the beloved fairy-tale treasury that Alex and Conner fall into in The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell --- a beautifully designed addition to the series, and the magical book that started it all!

MIDDLE SCHOOL: Dog's Best Friend by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts with illustrations by Jomike Tejido (Fiction)
Life in middle school is finally starting to seem bearable-until Rafe spots his grandmother standing on the free-meal line at the local soup kitchen. In order to help bring in more money, Rafe concocts a brilliant plan-a dog-walking business that soon turns into a huge money-making neighborhood empire. He'll even have extra cash to buy his own WormHole Deluxe Multi-Platform GameBox! That is, until two terrible twins launch the Great Dog War by sabotaging Rafe's flyers and stealing his customers.

Stick Dog and his gang of hungry hounds want to play tug-of-war. Their search for rope leads to something even better --- spaghetti! Once they get a taste, they must get some more. It will be their most difficult mission ever --- and will demand all of Stick Dog’s problem-solving skills. They’ll need to scale the tallest mountain in the suburbs and sneak into a restaurant filled with people.

FIZZOPOLIS #2: Floozombies by Patrick Carman, Illustrated by Brian Sheesley (Fiction)
What do you get when you mix burptastic Fuzzwonker Fizz with crummy Flooze candy in the Fizzomatic machine? Floozombies, of course! Harold Fuzzwonker, his best good buddy, Floyd, and the Fizzies have a real problem on their hands, in the shape of slimy, gloppy monsters. Not only must Harold protect Floyd and the secret recipe for Fuzzwonker Fizz from the sneaky Snood family, he also has to stop the Floozombies before they take over the town, all while guarding the biggest secret of all: Fizzopolis!

TODHUNTER MOON, BOOK THREE: StarChaser by Angie Sage, Illustrated by Mark Zug (Fantasy)
Almost one year ago, Alice TodHunter Moon left her PathFinder village to become Apprentice to ExtraOrdinary Wizard Septimus Heap. Now in faraway lands, the Castle is in peril. The brilliant blue stone is crumbling to dust and both the witch Marisa and the wicked Red Queen have their eyes on the throne. But as Tod sets off on a hazardous journey to find a new Keystone, her life may be in the greatest danger of all. Can she save the Castle while evading the fate that befell her mother?

A LEGEND OF STARFIRE by Marissa Burt (Fantasy)
The Land of Nod used to be just a name in a nursery rhyme to Wren. But when she discovered the secret magic of stardust, she learned that some of those rhymes had secrets of their own --- and the Land of Nod is real. A few months ago, the evil Magician Boggen attempted to escape his exile on Nod and return to Earth. Wren stopped him, but Boggen is still out there.

MAKING MISTAKES ON PURPOSE (Ms. Rapscott's Girls) by Elise Primavera (Fiction)
Great Rapscott School for Girls of Busy Parents is not your typical boarding school. Students arrive in boxes, birthday cake is served for breakfast and two very talented corgis assist the rather quirky headmistress. This semester, the girls will learn how to get to The Top, but the semester is not off to a good start. One of the girls doesn’t make it back to school and when her friends try to rescue her, they wind up at the Bottom of the Barrel. Luckily, Ms. Rapscott knows that learning to fail is the secret to Going Far in life.

HAMSTER PRINCESS: Ratpunzel by Ursula Vernon (Fiction)
Princess Harriet Hamsterbone does not like sitting around at home. How’s a princess supposed to have any fun when her parents are constantly reminding her to be careful and act princessly? So when her pal Prince Wilbur needs help finding a stolen hydra egg, Harriet happily takes up the quest. The thief’s trail leads them to a wicked witch and a tall tower, occupied by a rat whose tail has more to it than meets the eye!

DISENCHANTED: The Trials of Cinderella (Tyme #2) by Megan Morrison (Fairy Tale)
Ella Coach has one wish: revolution. Her mother died working in a sweatshop, and Ella wants every laborer in the Blue Kingdom to receive fairer treatment. But to make that happen, she'll need some high-level support...

LIBERTY by Kirby Larson (Fiction)
Fish has a knack for inventing. His annoying neighbor, Olympia, has a knack for messing things up. But when his latest invention leads Fish to Liberty, a beautiful stray dog who needs a home, he and Olympia work together to rescue her.

IT'S A DOGGY DOG WORLD by Tommy Greenwald (Fiction)
Jimmy is sure that his dog Abby is special. After all, it was Abby who (with the help of Jimmy & friends) helped nab the criminal Barnaby Bratford and shut down Barnaby's babysitting service, a front for robbing the nice folks of Quietville. Jimmy's parents, on the other hand, are starting to feel like Abby is one destructive little dog (she chewed up Mom's entire shoe collection!) and they insist on enrolling Abby in obedience training. The only problem is that the longer Abby's in class, the more normal (read: boring) she becomes.

MAGICAL MISSION (Geronimo Stilton #64) by Geronimo Stilton (Mystery)
I was traveling to London, England on a secret mission! I had to investigate some strange occurrences --- someone was trying to get their paws on the crown jewels! Trap came along, too, to compete in a big magic show. And before I could solve my mystery, Trap needed my perform an impossible magic trick. Could I do it all? Squeak!

HEROES OF PEARL HARBOR (Ten True Tales) by Allan Zullo (Nonfiction)
A massive bomb explosion destroys the battleship USS Arizona and pitches Cassin Young, captain of the nearby USS Vestal, overboard into a flaming oil slick. Julio DeCastro and Joe Bulgo can hear sailors trapped inside the capsized USS Oklahoma, which is rapidly filling with water. After toiling all day and all night with their pneumatic hammers, can the exhausted workers save their comrades in time? These and other real-life heroes risked their lives during the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, which forced America into World War II. You will never forget their courageous true stories.

BOUND FOR DANGER by Franklin W. Dixon (Adventure)
Joe and Frank are taken aback when Principal Gerther announces that they need more extracurriculars on their school transcript, and he’s signed them up for the basketball team. The Hardys soon find out that their principal isn’t acting out of concern for their college applications; he wants them to solve a dangerous mystery on the team. It turns out that a band of masked players are kidnapping new team members and then beating them up, blackmailing them, and threatening them.

THE GHOST OF GREY FOX INN by Carolyn Keene (Mystery)
Nancy and her friends find themselves at a haunted inn with a mystery to solve in this thirteenth book of the Nancy Drew Diaries, a fresh approach to the classic mystery series.

BILLY SURE KID ENTREPRENEUR IS NOT A SINGER! by Luke Sharpe, Illustrated by Graham Ross (Fiction)
Billy and Manny are thrilled to be guest judges on Sing Out and Shout, everyone’s favorite singing competition TV show --- that is, until they find out they’re not judges, they’re contestants! When Manny sings, everyone cheers. But when Billy takes the stage, his voice CRACKS! and breaks a mirror! How will Billy survive the competition? Could inventing a Magical Microphone do the trick?

RETURN OF THE FORGOTTEN by Lisa Fiedler, Illustrated by Vivienne To (Fiction)
Hopper is determined to reach out to his brother-gone-bad, to see if he can talk some sense into the young rodent. But then Hope, the youngest of Zucker and Firren’s new litter, goes missing, and all signs point to Pup as culprit. Meanwhile, Firren is rattled not only by the disappearance of her daughter, but a shameful secret from her past that she’s kept hidden for years.

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More New Reviews
THE SECRET KEEPERS by Trenton Lee Stewart with illustrations by Diana Sudyka (Mystery)
When Reuben discovers an extraordinary antique watch, he soon learns it has a secret power. At first he is thrilled with his new treasure, but as one secret leads to another, Reuben finds himself torn between his innately honest nature and the lure to be a hero. Now he is on a dangerous adventure as he races to solve the mystery before it is too late. Even with fearless Penny, mighty Jack and the wise Mrs. Genevieve on his side, can Reuben outwit and outmaneuver the sly villain called The Smoke? Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

THE INQUISITOR'S TALE by Adam Gidwitz with illustrations by Hatem Aly (Fantasy)
1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children: William, an oblate on a mission from his monastery; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning village; and Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions. They are accompanied by Jeanne's loyal greyhound, Gwenforte...recently brought back from the dead. Their adventures take them on a chase through France to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned. They’re taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon. Reviewed by Alison Stewart.

Luckily for Addison, adventure has a way of finding the Cookes. After his uncle unearths the first ancient Incan clue needed to find a vast trove of lost treasure, he is kidnapped. Addison’s uncle is the bandits’ key to deciphering the ancient clues and looting the treasure...unless Addison and his friends can outsmart the kidnappers and crack the code first. So it’s off to South America, where the excitement, danger, gold, booby traps and car chases are never-ending! Reviewed by Audrey Slater.

THE BEST MAN by Richard Peck (Fiction)
Archer Magill has spent a lively five years of grade school with one eye out in search of grown-up role models. Three of the best are his grandpa, the great architect; his dad, the great vintage car customizer and his uncle Paul, who is just plain great. These are the three he wants to be. Along the way he finds a fourth --- Mr. McLeod, a teacher. In fact, the first male teacher in the history of the school. But now here comes middle school and puberty. Change. Archer wonders how much change has to happen before his voice does. Reviewed by Aimee Rogers.

FOXHEART by Claire Legrand with illustrations by Jaime Zollars (Fantasy)
Orphan. Thief. Witch. Twelve-year-old Quicksilver lives as a thief in the sleepy town of Willow-on-the-River. Her only companions are her faithful dog and partner in crime, Fox --- and Sly Boots, the shy boy who lets her live in his attic when it’s too cold to sleep on the rooftops. It’s a lonesome life, but Quicksilver is used to being alone. When you are alone, no one can hurt you. No one can abandon you. Then one day Quicksilver discovers that she can perform magic. Real magic. The kind that isn’t supposed to exist anymore. Magic is forbidden, but Quicksilver nevertheless wants to learn more. Reviewed by Alyssa Cami.

LIKE MAGIC by Elaine Vickers with illustrations by Sara Not (Fiction)
For three ten-year-old girls, their once simple worlds are starting to feel too big. Painfully shy Grace dreads starting fifth grade now that her best friend has moved away. Jada hopes she’ll stop feeling so alone if she finds the mother who left years ago. And Malia fears the arrival of her new baby sister will forever change the family she loves. When the girls each find a mysterious treasure box in their library and begin to fill the box with their own precious things, they start to feel less alone. But it’s up to Grace, Jada and Malia to take the treasures and turn them into something more: true friendship. Reviewed by Emma Kantor.

On his twelfth birthday, Al Chaudhury receives a letter from his dead father. It directs him to the bunker of their old house, where Al finds a time machine. The letter also outlines a mission: travel back to 1984 and prevent the go-kart accident that will eventually take his father's life. But, as Al soon discovers, whizzing back 30 years requires not only imagination and courage but also lying to your mom, stealing a moped and setting your school on fire --- oh, and keeping your pet hamster safe. Reviewed by Donna Rasmussen.

IRON MAN: The Gauntlet by Eoin Colfer (Graphic Novel)
Just when Tony is about to add his pizzazz to an international eco-summit in Ireland, someone close to him forces him to question his role in making the world a more dangerous place with his high-tech weaponry. But Stark doesn't have much time to reflect before an old enemy presents him with an even greater challenge: the assassination of all the eco-ministers, and Iron Man himself. Reviewed by Katherine Szabo.

MUNCHEM ACADEMY: The Boy Who Knew Too Much by Commander S.T. Bolivar III (Mystery)
Mattie Larimore used to be the good son-compared to his brother, Carter, at least. But that was before Mattie stole a train, got caught and was sent to Munchem Academy, the world's greatest reform school. Or is it? Because the kids at Munchem don't seem very, well...reformed. Mostly, they seem terrifying and the whole place is just a little off. Mattie has to get out. Fast. But it may not be fast enough. Headmaster Rooney is tired of dealing with problem students. His solution, however, may prove to be too radical. Reviewed by Becca Watts.

Billy Shivers doesn’t have a lot of excitement in his life. He prefers to spend his days reading alone in the Hitchcock Public Library. So it is a bit out of character when he finds himself drawn to the Haunted House of Books, and a competition daring readers to survive an entire night inside. The Haunted House of Books is a cross between a bookstore and a booby trap. It’s a creepy old mansion full of dark hallways and things that go bump in the night, and the store’s ill-tempered owner, Mr. Rapscallion, only adds to the mystery. Reviewed by Sally Tibbetts.

TRAILBLAZERS: 33 Women in Science Who Changed the World by Rachel Swaby (Nonfiction)
Virginia Apgar. Sally Ride. Rachel Carson. These names are etched in history and included here as part of this awe-inspiring collection of profiles of some of the world’s most influential women in science. Author Rachel Swaby delves into the minds of 33 such women, whose vision, creativity, passion and dedication have helped make important strides in the world of science --- who have in fact changed the world. Middle grade kids will be fascinated by these snapshot profiles of some of history’s most important female scientists. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvine.

PHOENIX by S.F. Said with illustrations by David McKean (Science Fiction)
Teddy is a gifted dog. Raised in a cabin by a poet named Sylvan, he grew up listening to sonnets read aloud and the comforting clicking of a keyboard. Although Teddy understands words, Sylvan always told him there are only two kinds of people in the world who can hear Teddy speak: poets and children. Then one day Teddy learns that Sylvan was right. When Teddy finds Nickel and Flora trapped in a snowstorm, he tells them that he will bring them home --- and they understand him. Reviewed by Dana Cuadrado.

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