New Books 2018

The following is to introduce some of this year's new books that have star ratings. Book trailers were not made by Mrs. H.

Beyond the Bright Sea - author Lauren Wolk

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"Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift on a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar." from her Lauren Wolk website

This author wrote Wolf Hollow - 2017 Newbery Honor. Her current book is on several best book list.

A Boy Called Bat - author Elena K. Arnold

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"When his veterinarian mom brings home a stray baby skunk that needs rehabilitation before it can be placed in a wild animal shelter, Bat, who has autism, resolves to prove that he is up to the challenge of caring for the skunk permanently"--OCLC.
VERDICT The challenges faced by kids like Bat are often underrepresented in children's literature; this is a refreshing depiction. Readers will appreciate this funny and thoughtful novel.-Juliet Morefield, Multnomah County Library, OR

Bronze and Sunflower - author Helen Wang

bronze and sunflower.jpg No Book Trailer Yet.

Translated from the Chinese. Taken in by a poor family in a rural village after the death of her father, Sunflower bonds with the family's only child, Bronze, who has not spoken since being traumatized by a terrible fire.

VERDICT This beautifully written depiction of a time and place not often seen in children's literature makes for a strong purchase.-Eileen Makoff, P.S. 90 Edna Cohen School, NY. On several starred lists.

Clayton Byrd Goes - author Rita Williams - Garcia

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Clayton is forbidden by his mother from playing the blues after his grandfather dies and runs away to the subways to join a band.
This book is on several best book list. Rita Williams- Garcia's website.

A Crack in the Sea - author H. M. Bouwman

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"No one comes to the Second World on purpose. The doorway between worlds opens only when least expected. The Raft King is desperate to change that by finding the doorway that will finally take him and the people of Raftworld back home. To do it, he needs Pip, a young boy with an incredible gift—he can speak to fish; and the Raft King is not above kidnapping to get what he wants. Pip’s sister Kinchen, though, is determined to rescue her brother and foil the Raft King’s plans." - starred review
H.M. Bouwman's website.

The End of the Wild - author Nicole Helget

end of the wo.jpegNo Book Trailer Yet.
"Eleven-year-old Fern helps to take care of her impoverished family by foraging for food in the forest, but when a fracking company rolls into town, she realizes that her peaceful woods and her family's livelihood could be threatened" from the publisher. Starred reviews. No book trailer available currently.

Hello Universe- author Erin Entrada Kelly

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The lives of four misfits are intertwined when a bully's prank lands shy Virgil at the bottom of a well and Valencia, Kaori, and Gen band together in an epic quest to find and rescue him. On several best book lists. Erin Entrada Kelly website.

The Jumbies - author Tracey Baptiste

Eleven-year-old Corinne must call on her courage and an ancient magic to stop an evil spirit and save her island home. A traditional Haitian folktale.
VERDICT This is a well written tale full of action with enough scary elements to satisfy fans of Adam Gidwitz's A Tale Dark and Grimm (Penguin, 2010) or Laura Amy Schlitz's Splendors and Glooms (Candlewick, 2012).-Gretchen Crowley, Alexandria City Public Libraries.
Tracey Baptiste's website.

Lucky Broken Girl- author Ruth Behar
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In 1960s New York, fifth-grader Ruthie, a Cuban-Jewish immigrant, must rely on books, art, her family, and friends in her multicultural neighborhood when an accident puts her in a body cast. Ruth Behar's website.

March of the Mini Beasts - author Ada Hopper

march of the mini beasts.jpeg-No Book Trailer yet.

"Three second-graders who love science get thrown in a wild spiral of adventures after meeting their reclusive neighbor, Dr. Gustav Bunsen. When Dr. Bunsen's growth ray hits a crate of animal figurines, the toys not only start growing, but also come to life"--Provided by publisher.

VERDICT Employing quirky humor and capable protagonists, this chapter book will be of interest to young fans of science fiction and adventure.-Tiffany Davis, Mount Saint Mary College, Newburgh, NY

The Matchstick Castle - author Keir Graff

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Eleven-year-old Brian's summer turns out a lot less boring than expected when he encounters a huge, wacky house in the forest and befriends the eccentric family that lives there"-- Provided by publisher.

A wild and whimsical adventure story, perfect for fans of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's LibraryVERDICT For those who enjoy a bit of absurdist humor with their realism. Purchase where wacky middle grade adventure stories circulate well.-Paige Garrison, The Davis Academy, Sandy Springs, GA Author Keir Graff website.

Me and Marvin Gardens - author Amy Sarig King

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Obe Devlin spends a lot of his time cleaning up the creek that runs through what little is left of his family's once extensive farmland, and worrying about what the developers are doing nearby, and the pollution it is causing--but one day he finds a strange creature by his creek that eats plastic, and soon the animal he calls Marvin Gardens becomes his personal secret, which he believes needs to be protected from pretty much everybody. Several starred reviews.
Author Amy Sarig King's website.

My Pet Human - author Yasmine Surovee

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Student made book trailer by Addison G.

A cat that enjoys his carefree life gets some treats and backrubs from the humans who have just moved into his favorite abandoned house, then sets out to train them properly, all the while protesting to his friends that he has no interest in being tied down to a human pet.

VERDICT A sweet story for animal lovers and emergent readers, too.-Amy M. Laughlin, Darien Library, CT

Author Yasmine Surovee's website. None at this time- only Facebook.

Orphan Island - author Laurel Snyder

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A group of orphans wait each year for a boat to arrive on the island, replacing the eldest with the youngest, never to be seen again, as each remaining child child learns what it means to say goodbye to childhood forever. A starred book. Dystopian novel - but not as heavy.

Author Laurel Snyder's website.

Refugee - author Alan Gratz


"Although separated by continents and decades, Josef, a Jewish boy livng in 1930s Nazi Germany; Isabel, a Cuban girl trying to escape the riots and unrest plaguing her country in 1994; and Mahmoud, a Syrian boy in 2015 whose homeland is torn apart by violence and destruction, embark on harrowing journeys in search of refuge, discovering shocking connections that tie their stories together"--Provided by publisher.
VERDICT This compelling novel will help young people make sense of today's refugee crisis. Meant to be read, discussed, and shared widely. A first purchase.-Patricia Feriano, -Montgomery County Public Schools, MD
On starred list and best book lists.
Author Alan Grazt's website.

The Shadow Cipher [ Book 1] - author Laura Ruby

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In order to save their apartment building, Tess, Theo, and Jaime search for the Old York Cipher treasure created by the architects of New York.

VERDICT An engaging series opener that will leave readers eagerly awaiting future installments.-Marissa Lieberman, East Orange Public Library, NJ - On several starred lists. Author Laura Ruby's website.

Sputnik's Guide to the Life on Earth - author Frank Cottrell Boyce

When Prez's grandfather is diagnosed with dementia, he's sent to live in a foster home, but when he meets a talking dog named Sputnik, together, they come up with a plan to save the world.
VERDICT Begging to be read aloud and full of escapades, humor, and spunk, this is a stand-alone gem. For all middle grade shelves.-Michele Shaw, Quail Run -Elementary School, San Ramon, CA - Several Starred Lists.

The Song from Somewhere Else - author A. F. Harrold

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Saved from bullies by the class misfit, Nick, Frank is drawn to Nick's house by strange music, discovers he has incredible secrets that bring danger, and decides to help him as he helped her.
VERDICT Hand to fans of Neil Gaiman's Coraline, Holly Black's Doll Bones, and other books that balance scariness and substance.-Steven Engelfried, -Wilsonville Public Library, OR. On several starred book lists.

Short- author Holly Goldberg Sloan

In this heartwarming and funny middle-grade novel by the New York Times bestselling author of Counting by 7s, Julia grows into herself while playing a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz. Starred reviews.
VERDICT Theater kids and fans of Tim Federle's "Nate" books will love this.-Beth Wright Redford, Richmond Elementary School Library, VT
Author Holly Goldberg Sloan.

Stef Soto, Taco Queen

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"Mexican-American Stef Soto is hoping to break free from her overprotective parents and embarrassing reputation from her family's taco truck business, but she soon learns that family, friendship, and the taco truck are important and wonderful parts of her life"--Provided by publisher.
VERDICT A worthy addition to library shelves; hand this to younger middle grade readers looking for family-centered realistic fiction.-Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ - Starred Reviews.
Author Jennifer Torres website.

This is Just a Test - author Madelyn Rosenberg & Wendy Wan-Long Shang

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In 1983 seventh-grader David Da-Wei Horowitz has a lot to worry about--his bar mitzvah is coming soon; his Jewish and Chinese grandmothers argue about everything; his teammates for the upcoming trivia contest, Scott and Hector, do not like each other; he is beginning to notice girls; and Scott has persuaded him to begin digging a fallout shelter just in case the Cold War heats up.

VERDICT Giggle-inducing, light, and charmingly realistic fiction that will resonate with a wide variety of readers.-Rhona Campbell, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC - starred reviews.

Author Wendy Shang's Website. Author Madelyn Rosenberg's website.

Tumble and Blue - author Cassie Beasley

"In order for Tumble Wilson and Blue Montgomery to fix their ancestors' mistakes and banish the bad luck that has followed them around for all of their lives, they must face Munch, the mysterious golden alligator who cast the curse centuries ago"--Provided by publisher. Several starred reviews. Same author as Circus Miranda -- sequel.

Author Cassie Beasley's website..

Patina - author Jason Reynolds

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Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team--a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. Several best book list - part of a series with Ghost [ National Book Award Finalist]
Author Jason Reynolds' website.

The War I Finally Won - author Kimberly Brubaker Bradley


VERDICT Fans of the first book will love the sequel even more; truly a first purchase. While it stands alone, encourage readers to read both books to fully appreciate Ada's remarkable and wholly believable triumph.-Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ. On several starred lists.
Author Kimberly Brubaker Bradley's website.

Also recommended the first book - The War That Saved My Life

The Wishtree - author Katherine Applegate

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood "wishtree"--people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. Along with her crow friend Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red's hollows, this "wishtree" watches over the neighborhood. Several best book lists and starred reviesw.
Author Katherine Applegate's website.