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April 2016

Cool & New

April 2016

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.

The Island of Beyond by Elizabeth Atkinson - Fiction

April 1, 2016


Eleven-year-old Martin can hardly imagine a worse summer. Martin's dad wants him to like "normal" boy things --- playing sports and exploring the outdoors --- so he sends Martin to his great-aunt Lenore, who lives on a tiny island called Beyond. Nothing about Beyond is what Martin expects, certainly not the strange, local boy who unexpectedly befriends Martin. Solo can canoe and climb trees and survive on his own in the wilderness, and Martin's drawn to him in a way he doesn't quite understand. But he's not sure he can trust Solo. In fact, can he trust anything about this strange island, where everyone seems to be keeping secrets?

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown - Children's Fiction

April 5, 2016


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....

Booked by Kwame Alexander - Fiction

April 5, 2016


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. 

Demigods & Magicians: Percy and Annabeth Meet the Kanes by Rick Riordan - Fiction

April 5, 2016


Magic, monsters and mayhem abound when Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase meet Carter and Sadie Kane for the first time. Weird creatures are appearing in unexpected places, and the demigods and magicians have to team up to take them down. As they battle with Celestial Bronze and glowing hieroglyphs, the four heroes find that they have a lot in common --- and more power than they ever thought possible. But will their combined forces be enough to foil an ancient enemy who is mixing Greek and Egyptian incantations for an evil purpose?

The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks - Graphic Novel

April 5, 2016


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.

Deadly Flowers: A Ninja’s Tale by Sarah L. Thomson - Historical Fiction

April 5, 2016


Kata, a ninja, embarks on her first solo mission, for which she must enter a warlord’s castle and make sure that a certain sleeping occupant never awakens. But then Kata discovers that her target is just a young boy (and that her new accomplice is that boy’s slightly older sister), and suddenly her mission is much more complicated than she bargained for. Faced with taking someone’s life or confronting the dire consequences of failure in her mission, Kata must make a hard choice, one that leads her into a more dangerous battle than she ever expected

Waybound (The Books of Ore) by Cam Baity and Benny Zelkowicz - Science Fiction

April 12, 2016


Phoebe Plumm and Micah Tanner are a long way from home and entrenched in a struggle with no end in sight. The Foundry, an all-powerful company that profits off the living metal creatures of Mehk, is unleashing a wave of devastating attacks to crush the rebel army of mehkans known as the Covenant and capture Phoebe and Micah, dead or alive. But the Covenant believes that their ancient god, Makina, has chosen Phoebe for a sacred task: to seek the Occulyth, a mysterious object they hope can turn the tide against the Foundry. With her father gone, Phoebe's once unshakable determination is broken, and while Micah tries to uphold the vow he made to protect her no matter the cost, their enemies are closing in and time is running out.

Counting Thyme by Melanie Conklin - Children's Fiction

April 12, 2016


When eleven-year-old Thyme Owens’ little brother, Val, is accepted into a new cancer drug trial, it’s just the second chance that he needs. But it also means the Owens family has to move to New York, thousands of miles away from Thyme’s best friend and everything she knows and loves. Thyme tries to embrace the change for what it is: temporary. After Val’s treatment shows real promise and Mr. Owens accepts a full-time position in the city, Thyme has to face the frightening possibility that the move to New York is permanent. Thyme loves her brother, and knows the trial could save his life --- she’d give anything for him to be well --- but she still wants to go home, although the guilt of not wanting to stay is agonizing. All Thyme can do is hope that time can bring both a miracle for Val and a way back home.

Mischief Season (The Witches of Benevento) written by John Bemelmans Marciano with illustrations by Sophie Blackall - Activity

April 12, 2016


Welcome to Benevento, an ancient town famous for its witches! The children of Benevento have to be careful and clever to evade the clutches of such witches as the Manalonga, the Janara, and the Clopper, who hide in wells and under bridges, fly at midnight, and play tricks during Mischief Season.
Five cousins --- Primo, Emilio, Rosa, Maria Beppina, and Sergio --- share adventures and narrow escapes, and discover astonishing secrets as they outwit the witches in each exciting story.

The Palace of Glass: The Forbidden Library: Volume 3 by Django Wexler - Historical Fantasy

April 12, 2016


For Alice, danger threatens from inside the library as well as out. Having figured out the role her master and uncle, Geryon, played in her father's disappearance, Alice turns to Ending—the mysterious, magical giant feline and guardian of Geryon's library --- for a spell to incapacitate Geryon. But, like all cats, Ending is adept at keeping secrets and Alice doesn't know the whole story. Once she traps Geryon with Ending's spell, there's no one to stop the other Readers from sending their apprentices to pillage Geryon's library. As Alice prepares to face an impending attack from the combined might of the Readers, she gathers what forces she can --- the apprentices she once thought might be her friends, the magical creatures imprisoned in Geryon's library --- not knowing who, if anyone, she can trust.

You Got This!: Unleash Your Awesomeness, Find Your Path, and Change Your World by Maya S. Penn - Self-Help

April 12, 2016


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.

Red's Planet: Book 1 by Eddie Pittman - Science Fiction

April 19, 2016


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.

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

April 19, 2016


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.

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

March 14, 2017


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.

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff - Fiction

April 4, 2017


Red is not afraid of the big bad wolf. She’s not afraid of anything . . . except magic. But when Red’s granny falls ill, it seems that only magic can save her, and fearless Red is forced to confront her one weakness. With the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance called Goldie, Red goes on a quest to cure Granny. Her journey takes her through dwarves’ caverns to a haunted well and a beast’s castle. All the while, Red and Goldie are followed by a wolf and a huntsman --- two mortal enemies who seek the girls’ help to defeat each other. And one of them just might have the magical solution Red is looking for. . . .

OCDaniel by Wesley King - Fiction

April 11, 2017


Daniel is the back-up punter for the Erie Hills Elephants. Which really means he’s the water boy. He spends football practice perfectly arranging water cups --- and hoping no one notices. Actually, he spends most of his time hoping no one notices his strange habits --- he calls them Zaps: avoiding writing the number four, for example, or flipping a light switch on and off dozens of times over. He hopes no one notices that he’s crazy, especially his best friend Max, and Raya, the prettiest girl in school. His life gets weirder when another girl at school, who is unkindly nicknamed Psycho Sara, notices him for the first time and seems to peer through him. Then Daniel gets a mysterious note and suddenly he is swept up in a mystery that might change everything for him.

Ollie's Odyssey by William Joyce - Fiction

April 11, 2017


In the secret realm of toys, there are many mysteries. There is the Code of the Toys, which is as ancient as childhood. There’s also the magic of becoming a child’s favorite, the highest honor in the Toy World. Made by hand by Billy’s mother, Ollie is a special toy, “a toy who will matter.” He becomes Billy’s best friend, confidant, pal, and yes, Billy’s “favorite.” But there are villains in the Toy World, and Zozo, the clown king, is the most feared. He and his toy henchman (the Creeps) have sworn to steal and imprison favorite toys until they forget their children and become forever lost. When Ollie is toynapped, Billy must rescue his beloved favorite from Zozo’s subterranean lair in the old Carnival Place, past the park, through the woods, and into the night.

Change Up by Derek Jeter - Children's Fiction

April 18, 2017


In the third book in the New York Times bestselling middle grade series inspired by the life of iconic New York Yankee Derek Jeter, Derek’s father keeps his promise to coach his son’s youth baseball team. 

 
Derek is sure this will be the best season yet! He has it all planned --- his dad will have him start at shortstop, and the team will cruise to a championship. But sometimes life doesn’t go according to plan. CHANGE UP focuses on a key life lesson of Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation.
The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse by Brian Farrey - Science Fiction/Fantasy

May 2, 2017


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.