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Results 1 - 25 of 172
1. Fall into a Great New Book!

Time for pumpkin spice, changing leaves, chilly air and curling up with a good book! Well you’re in luck we are launching seven new books this week perfect for the changing season!

Get to know each book and author throughout the week with profiles, giveaways and author interviews. But first we will kick off the celebration today with an introduction to the seven new titles!

Amphibians & Reptiles

AmphbnReptile_187What makes a frog an amphibian but a snake a reptile? Both classes may lay eggs, but they have different skin coverings and breathe in different ways. Pages of fun facts will help kids identify each animal in the class like a pro after reading the fourth book in Arbordale’s Compare and Contrast series. Similar to Polar Bears and Penguins, Clouds and Trees; Amphibians and Reptiles uses stunning photographs and simple non-fiction text to get kids thinking about the similarities and differences between these two animal classes.

Get to know the author @KatieGHall

The Hungriest Mouth in the Sea

HungriestMouth_187The animals of the South Sea are hungry. But who is hungrier than all of the rest? The kicking krill may swarm and the blue cod are out hunting for dinner, but neither is fierce enough to be tops in this habitat. Could it be the lurking sharks, pointy-tailed rays or the toothy barracuda? Dive into this rhythmic text to discover who is at the top of this food chain.

Get to know the hungriest mouth on Instagram 

The Lucky Litter: Wolf Pups Rescued from Wildfire

LuckyLitter_187As a huge wildfire roared along the Funny River in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, firefighters rushed to the rescue. When they found five three-week-old wolf pups in need, they raced into action to save the whole litter. With no wolf parents to help, zookeepers and vets at the Alaska Zoo made sure the babies grew into a healthy, happy pack. Follow this true story as the pups travel from their charred forest to the Alaska Zoo, where they grow big and strong before finally moving to their forever home at the Minnesota Zoo.

Get to know the author @MySaymag And the photographer

Sounds of the Savanna

SoundsSavanna_187From the first light of dawn until the sun sets at night, the savanna is alive with noise. A lion roars in the early morning, a young baboon shrieks at noon, and a young mouse squeals at dusk. What are the animals saying and why? Animals communicate in many ways; explore the thriving African savanna as its inhabitants “talk” to one another throughout the course of a day.

Get to know the author and the illustrator

The Sparrow and the Trees

SparrowTrees_187The Sparrow family is ready for their trip south for the winter, but Papa’s wing is hurt and he cannot make the trip. He asks the trees for help. One by one, the mighty, leafy trees of the forest say no! Will any of the trees help Papa Sparrow? What will happen to the selfish trees that turned him away? Discover why some trees lose their leaves in winter in this retelling of a Cherokee pourquoi tale.

Get to know the author @schriscoe_ and the illustrator

They Just Know: Animal Instincts

TheyJustKnow_187How do some young animals know what to do and how to do it? Does someone teach a caterpillar what to eat? Who gives a baby shark swimming lessons? Sometimes young animals learn things from their parents, but other times… they just know! Explore animal instincts through engaging text and fanciful illustrations.

Get to know the author @RobinEggWrites and the illustrator 

Tortoise and Hare’s Amazing Race

TortoiseHare_187A retelling of the classic story with a math twist. Henry Hare was always bragging about how fast he was. One day he challenges Tessie Tortoise to a mile-long race up the hill. Henry leaps ahead for the first eighth of a mile. As Tessie approaches, he bounds ahead again. Fractions and distance measurements mark their progress as Tessie and Henry race to the finish line.

Get to know the author and the illustrator @Cathy_Morrison

Stay with us all week and enter to win each of these books! Also check out our Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest for crafts and activities, author events and more!!

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2. New from Stephen Biesty!

Who loves Stephen Biesty's wonderful cross section books?  I do, for sure.  Look what goes on sale this month.  Check your bookstore and library for his other illuminating books,  Visit his website for a slideshow of his illustrations.
Emergency Vehicles

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3. Cover reveal for Christina Mandelski’s THE SWEETEST THING

We are so very excited for today’s cover reveal! THE SWEETEST THING by Christina Mandelski is a fantastic contemporary YA novel about love, loss, and cake, and it’s soon to be re-released on Amazon with this gorgeous new package and some yummy bonus materials.

TheSweetestThing Cover Shadow WEB

When it comes to cake, Sheridan Wells is a true artist. She’s happiest working in the back of her family’s bakery, dreaming of the day her mom will come home. But when her dad makes an announcement that threatens to change their lives, Sheridan launches a desperate plan to find her mother before it’s too late. Add to that a school art project that she can’t seem to start, a moody best friend and the fact that she may or may not have been asked out by the cutest boy in


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4. Cover Reveal for THE EYE OF MIDNIGHT by Andrew Brumbach

We’re oh-so-excited for the cover reveal of Andrew Brumbach‘s spectacular debut middle grade adventure novel, THE EYE OF MIDNIGHT (Delacorte, 2016). Hop on over to the good folks at Middle Grade Minded for the big reveal and an interview with Andrew.

 … [more]

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5. When Good Things Happen to Good People

Several years ago I attended the SCBWI summer conference and one of the wonderful people I met was Rachel Marks. Super talented as both a writer and an artist, she had an incredible joy for life, due in part to being a cancer survivor. Rachel was rooming with Paige Britt and both of them had […]

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6. Review: Nothing And Everything Left To The Imagination In James Robinson And Greg Hinkle’s “AIRBOY”

James Robbins” himself, being assigned the Airboy comic for a reboot

“James Robinson” himself, being assigned the Airboy comic for a reboot

by Nick Eskey

For starters, this work is not for kids, and there might be a plot spoiler. With that out of the way, let’s review!

Airboy was originally made during the boom of super hero comics in the World War II era, where America dreamed of spandex clad heroes fighting not only super villains, but of the likes of Hitler and the entire Nazi army. One of the things that set him apart was that Airboy flew a plane with wings that flapped much like a bird’s. Even stranger, a Franciscan monk made both the plane and the superhero costume.

Aside from sharing the same name, that’s where the buck stops in this book. What we are instead given is a fast and illicit trip through one’s insecurities, and case of writer’s block.

Through the first few pages, it’s not the WWII flying ace that we see, but rather we are treated to a modern day man sitting on a toilet. Namely, we see writer “James Robinson” himself, being assigned the Airboy comic for a reboot. The story follows him, and later on artist Greg Hinkle, through a night of alcohol and drug fueled mayhem. Amid a wicked hangover, everything crescendos with a very “unlikely” visitor.

I must admit, it was weird seeing things from other end of the drawing board. Within the first couple of panels, confusion set in, and I read on wondering when this “Airboy” was going to make the scene. A number of pages later, all expectations of him and his flapping plane disappeared. I felt like some cardinal rule was getting broken. But as someone said some time long ago, rules are made to be broken.

The visuals reminded me a lot of “The Fifth Beatle” spliced with a Lewis Carroll drug trip. The use of solid colors as opposed to shading makes the art style unique

The story follows him, and later on artist Greg Hinkle, through a night of alcohol and drug fueled mayhem

The story follows him, and later on artist Greg Hinkle, through a night of alcohol and drug fueled mayhemand pleasing to the eye. The drawing style is both clean and whimsical, making this story a fun and easy read.

Disregarding the art and the surprise twist at the end, the writing alone will keep any down to earth reader keep on reading. The frank, clear dialogue helps us relate to the characters it many ways, from their concerns and feelings, to the insane situations they are involved in.

All-in-all, I loved this story so far. It took me a few heartbeats to get passed my great confusion over the story title, but after that it was a good time. The humor and situations are very adult, so don’t be too shocked when you see male genitalia. Yup, you heard me.

This is a must read that should be picked up at your local retailer.

Airboy by Image Comics is available for sale as of today, June 3rd.

0 Comments on Review: Nothing And Everything Left To The Imagination In James Robinson And Greg Hinkle’s “AIRBOY” as of 6/3/2015 4:47:00 PM
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7. WAITING FOR UNICORNS has arrived!

WaitingforUnicorns - jacketThe wait is over! We’re thrilled to celebrate the publication of  Beth Hautala‘s debut middle grade novel WAITING FOR UNICORNS (Philomel Books).

Kirkus calls Beth “an author to watch.” School Library Journal calls her writing “poignant.” Publisher’s Weekly calls Beth’s descriptions “spellbinding.”

Talia McQuinn is much too old to believe in magic, yet she keeps a jar of wishes under her bed. When her whale-researcher father drags Tal to the Arctic for the summer following her mother’s death, she brings the jar along. During her stay, Tal learns of the ancient Inuit legend of the narwhal whale—the unicorn of the sea—she forms a plan to make the biggest wish of her life.

I discovered Beth’s work while participating in the annual agent slugfest known as the Baker’s Dozen Auction, a contest in which … [more]

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8. New Releases: October

On Pinterest

Complete list of 2014 Releases (more or less)

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel by Sara Farizan; Algonquin 

“Both personal and universal, this is a compelling story about high school, family and owning up to who you really are. Farizan is just the voice YA needs right now. Trust me, you’ll be glad you listened.” –Sarah Dessen Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. As an Iranian American, she’s different enough; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when beautiful new girl Saskia shows up, Leila starts to take risks she never thought she would, especially when it looks as if the attraction between them is mutual. Struggling to sort out her growing feelings and Saskia’s confusing signals, Leila confides in her old friend, Lisa, and grows closer to her fellow drama tech-crew members, especially Tomas, whose comments about his own sexuality are frank, funny, wise, and sometimes painful. Gradually, Leila begins to see that almost all her classmates are more complicated than they first appear to be, and many are keeping fascinating secrets of their own.
On The Other Side of the Bridge by Ray Villareal; Arte Publico Press

Lon Chaney Rodriguez is a typical thirteen-year-old boy. He loves horror movies. His bedroom is a mess. He doesn’t like to read boring books. And he likes to skip church and hang out at Catfish Creek during services. But his life changes completely when his mother is shot and killed at the apartment complex where she worked as a security guard. Life without her is unimaginable, and he’s haunted by the feeling that he let his mom down. He didn’t prioritize his schoolwork, so he’s on the brink of failing. And worse, he lied to her. Why didn’t he tell her the truth? Why didn’t he make better grades and help her more?

Lonnie’s life is turned upside down, both at school and home. The school counselor is determined to get him to talk about his mom, and the preacher’s daughter is insistent that he read scriptures to bring him comfort. His unemployed father turns to drinking excessively. He struggles to pay the bills and put food on the table. It doesn’t seem possible, but … will they really end up on the street like the homeless guy that panhandles at the freeway underpass?

Dreaming in Indian: Contemorary Native American Voices edited by Mary Beth Leatherdale; Annick Press 

A powerful and visually stunning anthology from some of the most groundbreaking Native artists working in North America today.

Truly universal in its themes, Dreaming In Indian will shatter commonly held stereotypes and challenge readers to rethink their own place in the world. Divided into four sections, ‘Roots,’ ‘Battles,’ ‘Medicines,’ and ‘Dreamcatchers,’ this book offers readers a unique insight into a community often misunderstood and misrepresented by the mainstream media.

Emerging and established Native artists, including acclaimed author Joseph Boyden, renowned visual artist Bunky Echo Hawk, and stand-up comedian Ryan McMahon, contribute thoughtful and heartfelt pieces on their experiences growing up Indigenous, expressing them through such mediums as art, food, the written word, sport, dance, and fashion. Renowned chef Aaron Bear Robe, for example, explains how he introduces restaurant customers to his culture by reinventing traditional dishes. And in a dramatic photo spread, model Ashley Callingbull and photographer Thosh Collins reappropriate the trend of wearing ‘Native’ clothing.

Whether addressing the effects of residential schools, calling out bullies through personal manifestos, or simply citing hopes for the future, Dreaming In Indian refuses to shy away from difficult topics. Insightful, thought-provoking, and beautifully honest, this book will to appeal to young adult readers. An innovative and captivating design enhances each contribution and makes for a truly unique reading experience.
In the Forbidden City by Chin Kwong-chiu, translated by Ben Want; China Insitute

Serving as the seat of imperial power for six centuries, the Forbidden City is one of China’s most famous and enigmatic landmarks. Accompanied by a mischievous cat, readers will tour this colossal architectural structure, discovering the secrets hidden inside the palace walls. They will encounter the people who have walked through its halls and gardens, including emperors, empresses, and rebel leaders, and hear exciting tales about the power struggles and intrigues of everyday life.

This large format book conveys the grandeur of the Forbidden City through highly detailed line drawings of its buildings, gardens, and courtyards with numerous fold-out spreads. Each page is populated by a large variety of characters and peppered with entertaining anecdotes. Every book includes a plastic magnifying glass for looking at the drawings more closely.
Talon by Julie Kagawa (Harlequin Teen)

In Julie Kagawa’s groundbreaking modern fantasy series, dragons walk among us in human form.

Long ago, dragons were hunted to near extinction by the Order of St. George, a legendary society of dragon slayers. Hiding in human form and growing their numbers in secret, the dragons of Talon have become strong and cunning, and they’re positioned to take over the world with humans none the wiser.

Ember and Dante Hill are the only sister and brother known to dragonkind. Trained to infiltrate society, Ember wants to live the teen experience and enjoy a summer of freedom before taking her destined place in Talon. But destiny is a matter of perspective, and a rogue dragon will soon challenge everything Ember has been taught. As Ember struggles to accept her future, she and her brother are hunted by the Order of St. George.

Soldier Garret Xavier Sebastian has a mission to seek and destroy all dragons, and Talon’s newest recruits in particular. But he cannot kill unless he is certain he has found his prey—and nothing is certain about Ember Hill. Faced with Ember’s bravery, confidence and all-too-human desires, Garret begins to question everything that the Order has ingrained in him—and what he might be willing to give up to find the truth about dragons.

Taking Flight: From War Orphan to Star Ballerina by Michaeline DePrince and Elaine DePrince (Knopf Books for Young Readers)

Michaela DePrince was known as girl Number 27 at the orphanage, where she was abandoned at a young age and tormented as a “devil child” for a skin condition that makes her skin appear spotted. But it was at the orphanage that Michaela would find a picture of a beautiful ballerina en pointe that would help change the course of her life.

At the age of four, Michaela was adopted by an American family, who encouraged her love of dancing and enrolled her in classes. She went on to study at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theatre and is now the youngest principal dancer with the Dance Theatre of Harlem. She has appeared in the ballet documentary First Position, as well as on Dancing with the Stars, Good Morning America, and Nightline.

In this engaging, moving, and unforgettable memoir, Michaela shares her dramatic journey from an orphan in West Africa to becoming one of ballet’s most exciting rising stars.

How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon (Henry Holt)

When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson dies from two gunshot wounds, his community is thrown into an uproar. Tariq was black. The shooter, Jack Franklin, is white.

In the aftermath of Tariq’s death, everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events line up. Day by day, new twists further obscure the truth.

Tariq’s friends, family, and community struggle to make sense of the tragedy, and to cope with the hole left behind when a life is cut short. In their own words, they grapple for a way to say with certainty: This is how it went down.

Mortal Gods by Kendare Blake (Tor Teens)

As ancient immortals are left reeling, a modern Athena and Hermes search the world for answers inMortal Gods, the second Goddess War novel by Kendare Blake, acclaimed author of Anna Dressed in Blood.

Ares, god of war, is leading the other dying gods into battle. Which is just fine with Athena. She’s ready to wage a war of her own, and she’s never liked him anyway. If Athena is lucky, the winning gods will have their immortality restored. If not, at least she’ll have killed the bloody lot of them, and she and Hermes can die in peace.Cassandra Weaver is a weapon of fate. The girl who kills gods. But all she wants is for the god she loved and lost to return to life. If she can’t have that, then the other gods will burn, starting with his murderer, Aphrodite.

The alliance between Cassandra and Athena is fragile. Cassandra suspects Athena lacks the will to truly kill her own family. And Athena fears that Cassandra’s hate will get them all killed.

The war takes them across the globe, searching for lost gods, old enemies, and Achilles, the greatest warrior the world has ever seen. As the struggle escalates, Athena and Cassandra must find a way to work together. Because if they can’t, fates far worse than death await.

On Two Feet and Wings by Abbas Kazerooni (Skyscrape)

He is in a foreign country, he is alone, and he is just a boy…Abbas Kazerooni is not yet ten, but he’s suddenly forced to leave his parents, his friends—his entire world—and flee Tehran. The Iran-Iraq war is at its bloodiest, and the Ayatollahs who rule Iran have reduced the recruitment age for the army. If Abbas doesn’t escape, it’s almost certain that he will be drafted and die fighting for a regime that has stripped his family of all they have.

On his own in the strange, often frightening city of Istanbul, Abbas grows up fast—with little more than his wits to guide him. He must conquer difficult things: how to live on his own, how to navigate a foreign city and culture when he doesn’t speak the language, and, most importantly, how to judge who is a friend and who is an enemy. Facing the unexpected as well as the everyday challenges of life on his own, Abbas walks a tightrope of survival—yearning to please the demanding father he has left behind, yet relishing his new found independence.

His quick thinking, entrepreneurial spirit, and the kindness of strangers allow him to make the best of his dire situation in surprising ways. Does he have what it takes to not only survive against these challenging odds but achieve his parents’ ultimate dream for him: a visa to England, and the safety it represents?

This compelling true story of one young boy’s courage provides a powerful child’s-eye view of war, political tumult, and survival.


Pig Park by Claudia Gaudelupe Martinez (Cinco Puntos Press)

It’s crazy! Fifteen-year-old Masi Burciaga hauls bricks to help build a giant pyramid in her neighborhood park. Her neighborhood is becoming more of a ghost town each day since the lard company moved away. Even her school closed down. Her family’s bakery and the other surviving businesses may soon follow. As a last resort, the neighborhood grown-ups enlist all the remaining able-bodied boys and girls into this scheme in hopes of luring visitors. Maybe their neighbors will come back too. But something’s not right about the entrepreneur behind it all. And then there’s the new boy who came to help. The one with the softest of lips. Pig Park is a contemporary Faustian tale that forces us to look at the desperate lengths people will go to in the name of community–and maybe love.



Filed under: New Books Tagged: new releases

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9. The Book Brief: The Very Best New Release Books in October

Each month we bring you the best new release books in our Book Brief Fiction Books The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion I am not going to ruin this outrageously funny book for you by telling you what happens this time round to Don. However Rosie and Don have been married for 10 months so […]

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10. Blog Tour: Ask Me by Kimberly Pauley


Ask Me by Kimberly Pauley was released this month by Soho Press.

Aria Morse is an Oracle, blessed—or cursed—with the gift of prophecy.  Ask her anything, and the truth spills out immediately. But Aria’s answers sound like nonsense, even to herself… just as they did at Delphi 2500 years ago. 
book_askme_100To cope, Aria has perfected the art of hiding in plain sight—until Jade Price, the closest person she has to a friend, disappears.  All of a sudden, everyone around her has questions. The “nonsense” Aria spouts becomes a matter of life and death.
She may be the only one who can find out what happened to Jade.  But the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she comes to being the next target of someone else who hides in plain sight. Someone with a very dark plan.  (Amazon)

She doesn’t want to hear the questions so that she won’t blurt our the answers. She avoids the questions by putting in her earbuds and cranking up her playlst.

Aria’s First Day of School Playlist
Music is so important to Aria, the main character in ASK ME. It’s what she uses to shield herself from the world. Each of the chapter titles in the book is a song that she would have been listening to during the chapter in question. But, what would she have listened to on her first day of school? This is what I think it would have been:

Listen on Spotify

Don’t Ask Me Why by Laura Marling
Mad World by Adam Lambert (rather than the Tears for Fears version, which would be mine)
You are Invisible by Anya Marina
Doesn’t Remind Me by Audioslave
On the Outside by Sheryl Crow
Stay Out of Trouble by Kings of Convenience
One of Those Days by Joshua Radin
Sullen Girl by Fiona Apple
Impossible by Shontelle
Unhinged by the Eels


Filed under: New Books Tagged: Kimberly Pauley, new release

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11. New YA: April 27-May 3.

DrowningNew hardbacks:

The Drowning, by Rachel Ward:

The flashbacks are an economical way to dole out the back story—while there aren’t a whole lot of strengths here, it can’t be said that it isn’t tight—and they’re integrated seamlessly into the main narrative. What doesn’t work is anything having to do with an emotional arc: which, unfortunately, is most of the rest.

A Time to Dance, by Padma Venkatraman

Catch a Falling Star, by Kim Culbertson

The Treatment (Program), by Suzanne Young

Tease, by Amanda Maciel

The Taking, by Kimberly Derting

Sleep No More, by Aprilynne Pike

In the Shadows, by Kiersten White and Jim Di Bartolo

The Freedom Summer Murders, by Don Mitchell

Exile: Exile #1, by Kevin Emerson

The Break-Up Artist (A Break-Up Artist Novel), by Philip Siegel Time to dance

New paperbacks (that I've read):

Unbroken: A Ruined Novel, by Paula Morris:

Just like Ruined (or, you know, what I remember of it), Unbroken reads like part-paranormal-mystery-romance, part travelogue. In addition to loads of details about New Orleans (past and present) and lots of information about the various communities and cultures and subcultures that populate the city, there's some discussion about gentrification and a bit of conversation about preserving history versus quality of life. While much of it definitely reads like the author had some travel guides open at all times as she wrote, for the most part, the information is integrated smoothly and in a non-infodumpy manner.

The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door, by Karen Finneyfrock:

Celia is smart, creative, curious, sensitive, loves reading, and loves words, but she doesn't talk like someone reading a Diablo Cody script. When she mouths off to one of the jerks at school, she keeps it simple ("You're stupid and mean, and you suck at basketball"; "Keep marching, hate parade"), and in so doing, the moment isn't about the words she chooses, but about the fact that she chooses to to speak up. When she speaks up in defense of others, it comes off as realistic and as real-world possible, rather than as something you'd see in a movie: and that makes it all the more inspiring.

Proxy, by Alex London: Does my head look big in this

It’s a thrill ride, with explosions and escapes and danger, chases and betrayals and unlikely alliances; and London’s descriptions of the vision-based technology made me think of bothMinority Report and Feed. It isn’t just about the action or the neat technology, though: It’s also a story about trust and redemption, responsibility and forgiveness; about how far people are willing to go to get what they want, and how far they will bend their own moral code in order to justify it.

Does My Head Look Big in This?, by Randa Abdel-Fattah:

I enjoyed it so much -- Amal has a great voice, whip-smart and ornery and passionate and laugh-out-loud funny* and sensitive. While the book occasionally does veer into Preachy Land, I think that Amal's character makes it work. I mean, really -- find me a teenager who doesn't get a little self-righteous now and then**. I actually found the subplot about Simone's weight issues more heavy-handed and irritating than any of Amal's railings against Muslim stereotypes.

A Drowned Maiden's Hair: A Melodrama, by Laura Amy Schlitz:

A gothic storyline AND spiritualism!? How could it get any better? Well, I'll tell ya: three-dimensional characters written with subtlety and compassion and a FANTASTIC villain. Good one, Laura Amy Schlitz. I will very definitely be watching for your next book.

The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green:

You know what got me about The Fault in Our Stars more than anything else? What made me, on more the one occasion, laugh out loud even while I was bawling**? It wasn't the witty banter or the poetry or the philosophizing or the mullings-over of mortality. It was Hazel's empathy.

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12. New YA: May 4-10.

FalconerNew hardbacks:

The Falconer: Book 1, by Elizabeth May:

But she revels in fighting the fae, full stop. She can be covered in blood, half of it her own, and rather than bemoaning her fate, she’ll grin in delight. In fighting, she has power, and in fighting, she wrests control from beings that are bigger and stronger than she is…which is exactly what seems so impossible when she’s wearing her public face.

Wish You Were Italian: An If Only novel, by Kristin Rae

Winter Damage, by Natasha Carthew

Waterfire Saga, Book One: Deep Blue (A Waterfire Saga Novel), by Jennifer Donnelly

Undone, by Cat Clarke

Torn Away, by Jennifer Brown

This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

Since You've Been Gone, by Morgan Matson

Secrets and Lies (Truth or Dare), by Jacqueline Green

Pulled Under (Sixteenth Summer), by Michelle Dalton Call me by my name

Portrait of Us (Flirt), by A. Destiny and Rhonda Helms

Pandemic, by Yvonne Ventresca

Only Everything (True Love), by Kieran Scott

The One (The Selection), by Kiera Cass

Monument 14: Savage Drift, by Emmy Laybourne

Killer Instinct, by S.E. Green

A Girl Called Fearless: A Novel, by Catherine Linka

Fool Me Twice: An If Only novel, by Mandy Hubbard

Fat Boy vs. the Cheerleaders, by Geoff Herbach

Empower (Embrace), by Jessica Shirvington

The Eighth Guardian (Annum Guard), by Meredith McCardle

A Creature of Moonlight, by Rebecca Hahn

The Chapel Wars, by Lindsey Leavitt

Chantress Alchemy, by Amy Butler Greenfield

Call Me By My Name, by John Ed Bradley

Buzz Kill, by Beth Fantaskey Chapel wars

Boys Like You, by Juliana Stone

Blonde Ops: A Novel, by Charlotte Bennardo and Natalie Zaman

After the End, by Amy Plum

Storm Chaser, by Sheila Rance

Shelter, by Patricia H. Aust

BZRK Apocalypse, by Michael Grant

New paperbacks (that I've read):

Five Summers, by Una LaMarche:

It stars a cast of likable characters, and it’ll be a good pick for fans of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and the like, but while it’s an enjoyable read, it’s also a somewhat forgettable one.

The Star of Kazan, by Eva Ibbotson:

Classic Ibbotson (minus the fantasy). I loved it, even the horses.

The Dragonfly Pool, by Eva Ibbotson:

If you haven't read any Ibbotson, you're missing out -- while I'm sure that's something you've heard before about a plethora of authors, it really is true in this case. She writes the sort of old-fashioned children's stories that make you smile all the way through and then make you happily cry at the end. 

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13. New YA: May 11-17.

Girl in reverseNew hardbacks:

Broken Hearts, Fences and Other Things to Mend, by Katie Finn

Girl in Reverse, by Barbara Stuber

The A-Word: A Sweet Dead Life Novel, by Joy Preble

We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart

Subway Love, by Nora Raleigh Baskin

The Sound, by Sarah Alderson

Signed, Skye Harper, by Carol Lynch Williams

Second Star, by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

Searching for Sky, by Jillian Cantor

Rebel (Reboot), by Amy Tintera

Raging Star (Dust Lands), by Moira Young

Of Neptune (Syrena Legacy), by Anna Banks

Nantucket Red (Nantucket Blue), by Leila Howland

MILA 2.0: Renegade, by Debra Driza

The Lovely and the Lost (The Dispossessed), by Page Morgan

Life by Committee, by Corey Ann Haydu Broken hearts fences and other things to mend

Free to Fall, by Lauren Miller

Caged Warrior, by Alan Lawrence Sitomer

Bloodwitch (The Maeve'ra), by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes

Everything Leads to You, by Nina LaCour

New paperbacks (that I've read):

Pretenders, by Lisi Harrison: For some reason, when I picked this one up I thought it was a new Sara Shepard book. (Despite Lisi Harrison's name on the cover, yes. I'm going to go ahead and blame all of this past year's brainmelt on my new job. Though, as you may have noticed, I've gotten back into the swing of posting regularly, so it looks like the brainmelt is receding, which, YAY. Anyway.)

So, The Pretenders. If I'm remembering correctly, there are five narrators, and they're all up for some sort of award, and there is cheating and dramz and romance and so on. Stronger than Harrison's Clique books, and a bit more mature, and while it clearly wasn't all that memorable, I do remember it being a fun, popcorn-y read.

The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed), by Page Morgan:

Page Morgan’s The Beautiful and the Cursed marks the first time I've seen a gargoyle as a romantic lead, and the fact that the heroine is almost more drawn to Luc Rousseau’s gargoyle side than to his human side gives it a nicely gothic flavor. There are some steamy scenes that are quite effective, the sense of time is interesting—a scene that focuses on one character is often followed up with one about another character during the same period of time—and...wow. I’ve run out of nice things to say.

Deviant, by Helen FitzGerald:

Despite the book’s disappointing spiral into inanity in the third act, the introduction of a totally extraneous love triangle (and when I say "extraneous," I’m referring to BOTH romances), AND the fact that it ends on a deflating TUNE IN NEXT TIME TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS note, I enjoyed my time with the heroine so much that I’ll very probably pick up Book Two.

Personal Effects, by E.M. Kokie:

It's a story that could have gone in any number of unimpressive directions—trite, preachy, insipid, black/white—but doesn't. Kokie doesn't shy away from Matt's less-than-politically-correct and sometimes less-than-empathetic feelings—and even when he's exhibiting them, he's still a sympathetic character because of all of the pain and confusion and anger he's feeling—and she always, always stays true to her character.

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14. New YA: May 18-24.

End timesNew hardbacks:

Dangerous Creatures, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

End Times, by Anna Schumacher

Infinite Sky, by C. J. Flood

Now and Forever, by Susane Colasanti

Reborn (Shadow Falls: After Dark), by C. C. Hunter

The Rules for Breaking, by Ashley Elston

The Summer Invitation, by Charlotte Silver

V is for Villain, by Peter Moore

Biggest Flirts (The Superlatives), by Jennifer Echols

New paperbacks (that I've read):

School Spirits (A Hex Hall Novel), by Rachel Hawkins:

Fans of Buffy will love that Izzy’s relationship with her mother is complex and believable, that she almost immediately aligns herself with the school outcasts (who are all awesome), and that Hawkins turns the usual P.E. dodge-ball scene on its head when Izzy gets ticked off and accidentally dislocates a bully’s shoulder.

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15. New YA: May 25-31.

Bad luck girlNew hardcovers:

While We Run, by Karen Healey

We Are the Goldens, by Dana Reinhardt

Take Me On (Pushing the Limits), by Katie McGarry

Surrounded By Sharks, by Michael Northrop

One Man Guy, by Michael Barakiva

Oblivion, by Sasha Dawn

Meridian (Arclight), by Josin L. McQuein

Guy in Real Life, by Steve Brezenoff

Girls Like Us, by Gail Giles

The Girl with the Windup Heart (The Steampunk Chronicles), by Kady Cross

Divided (Dualed Sequel), by Elsie Chapman

Allies & Assassins, by Justin Somper

Bad Luck Girl: The American Fairy Trilogy Book 3, by Sarah Zettel

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments), by Cassandra Clare

Curses and Smoke: A Novel of Pompeii, by Vicky Alvear Shecter

The Dark World (A Dark World Novel), by Cara Lynn Shultz

Guardian (Proxy), by Alex London

New paperbacks (that I've read): Good braider

Dualed, by Elsie Chapman:

I give Chapman huge points for writing a dystopian set in a brutal kill-or-be-killed world...and just letting it be. Unlike every other YA dystopian I’ve read, Dualed never turns into a story about Standing Up To The Man or Fighting For Freedom. It’s purely a survival story, and it was a nice change to read about a protagonist who wasn’t a special snowflake* or a focal point for a rebellion.

The Good Braider, by Terry Farish:

It's got a fantastic sense of place and Farish conveys long periods of time spent waiting without ever slowing the pace of the story, both of which are quite impressive considering how few words she uses. The contrast between cultures is striking, and it's especially nice that the book portrays Viola attempting to understand and fit into American (and even more specifically, Maine**) culture, but never uses the somewhat-tired "I renounce my former culture/this new culture is so horrible and wrong; oh wait, now I'm proud to be a part of both cultures" storyline. She's drawn towards both worlds, but she just... keeps on keeping on, and eventually finds her place in both.

The Lucy Variations, by Sara Zarr:

It's about music; about art; about beauty; about snobbery and elitism; about grief; about trust and manipulation and spite; about how a clash between two stubborn people can ultimately result in both sides losing; about economic class and using people to further your own ends and living THROUGH other people and about CHOOSING YOURSELF. All of the relationships are so complex—Lucy and her mother, her father, her grandfather, her brother, her best friend, her teacher, and, of course, Will—that I really don't think it would be possible for me to praise it highly enough. 

Rapture Practice: A True Story About Growing Up Gay in an Evangelical Family, by Aaron Hartzler:

There’s plenty of humor—the official Kirkus review called it “hilarious,” though I found it more subdued than that—but I had a lump in my throat for almost the entire 400 pages. It’s written with such emotional honesty that it’s impossible not to empathize with Hartzler’s young self: regardless of whether he’s writing about his Big Questions about God and religion or getting caught in a lie about buying the Pretty Woman soundtrack.

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16. Roundup: May

As happens every month, new diversity releases for the month are list here, at Diversity in YA and at Rich in Color. And each month, we all manage to have different lists. I only list books written by authors of color. Rich In Color “is dedicated to reading, reviewing, talking about, and otherwise promoting young adult fiction starring people of color or written by people of color” and Diversity in YA celebrates “young adult books about all kinds of diversity, from race to sexual orientation to gender identity and disability.”I hope to provide a similar post each month.

Subtle differences which gives us lists that feature marginalized American teens. For all of May’s listings please use the following links. Do you know of other YA blogs we should include? Do tell!

Diversity in YA

Rich In Color


Filed under: New Books Tagged: diversity in YA, may, Rich In Color

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17. New YA: June 1-7.

Love by the morning starNew hardcovers:

Vivian Divine Is Dead, by Lauren Sabel

yolo, by Sam Jones

My Best Friend, Maybe, by Caela Carter

My Faire Lady, by Laura Wettersten

Pretty Little Liars #15: Toxic, by Sara Shepard

The Prince of Venice Beach, by Blake Nelson

Push Girl: A Novel, by Chelsie Hill and Jessica Love

Rebels: City of Indra: The Story of Lex and Livia, by Kendall Jenner and Kylie Jenner

Say What You Will, by Cammie McGovern

The Shadows (Fianna Trilogy), by Megan Chance

Since Last Summer (Rules of Summer), by Joanna Philbin

Sometimes It Lasts (Sea Breeze), by Abbi Glines Push girl

The Truth About Alice, by Jennifer Mathieu

Lux: Consequences (Opal & Origin) (Lux Novel), by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Lux: Beginnings (Obsidian & Onyx) (Lux Novel), by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Love by the Morning Star, by Ms. Laura L. Sullivan

Hungry, by H. A. Swain

Gasp (Visions), by Lisa McMann

Dark Days, by Kate Ormand

The Book of David, by Anonymous

The Fastest Boy in the World, by Elizabeth Laird

Take Back the Skies, by Lucy Saxon

The Apple Tart of Hope, by Sarah Moore Fitzgerald

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18. New Children's Books from Piñata Books- Arte Público Press

Dalia's Wondrous Hair/ El cabello maravilloso de Dalia

by Laura Lacámara

Spanish-language translation by Gabriela Baeza Ventura

Publication Date: May 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 32
Ages: 4-9

One night, while Dalia slept safely wrapped in her mother’s cool silken sheets, her hair grew and grew. By the time the rooster crowed, her hair had “grown straight up to the sky, tall and thick as a Cuban royal palm tree.” Her mother was amazed, and wondered what her daughter would do with her wondrous hair.
As Dalia looked at the flowers blooming in the garden, an idea sprouted inside her. She decorated her hair with leaves from the forest and mud from the marsh. Her mother was puzzled and could not imagine what she was. “Are you a leaf-crusted mud-tree?” she guessed incorrectly. That night, while Dalia slept safely cocooned in her mama’s sheets, something stirred and unfolded. When the rooster crowed, the girl ran outside and everyone watched in awe as she carefully unwrapped her towering hair. Could it be? Is Dalia a . . . blossoming butterfly tree?!?
In this whimsical bilingual picture book, Dalia’s hair becomes a magical force of nature, a life-giving cocoon. Author and illustrator Laura Lacámara once again delights children ages 4-9 with her vibrant illustrations and an imaginative story about a girl’s fanciful encounters with nature.
Bonus features include a guide for how to create your own butterfly garden at home, as well as a bilingual glossary of select plant and animal species native to the island of Cuba.

Dale, dale, Dale: Una fiesta de números/ Hit It, Hit It, Hit It: A Fiesta of Numbers

by René Saldaña, Jr.

Illustrations by Carolyn Dee Flores

ISBN: 978-1-55885-782-7
Publication Date: May 31, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 32
Ages: 4-8
“Today is my birthday, and I am so excited. / One piñata filled with candy. / Two hours until the party. / Three tables set for all of the guests.” Mateo counts to twelve as he anticipates the fun he’ll have at his party!
There will be family, friends and lots of goodies for the children: tops, marbles and even toy cars! But before the children can hit the piñata, they will sing the birthday boy a song and enjoy eating a delicious cake. And then Mateo will be “the happiest boy in the whole wide world,” because he gets to swing at the piñata first with everyone cheering him on: ¡Dale! ¡Dale! ¡Dale!
Acclaimed kids’ book author René Saldaña, Jr. creates another winner with his first picture book, illustrated in vibrant colors by Carolyn Dee Flores, for children ages 4-8. In this birthday-themed counting book, children will relish practicing their counting skills while dreaming about hitting a piñata at their very own fun-filled fiesta.

0 Comments on New Children's Books from Piñata Books- Arte Público Press as of 6/4/2014 2:51:00 AM
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19. New YA: June 8-14.

Lies my girlfriend told meNew hardbacks:

Trouble, by Non Pratt

When Mr. Dog Bites, by Brian Conaghan

Wicked Games, by Sean Olin

Push: The Game: Book 2, by Eve Silver

The Strange Maid: Book 2 of United States of Asgard, by Tessa Gratton

Born of Deception (Born of Illusion), by Teri Brown

(Don't You) Forget About Me, by Kate Karyus Quinn

The Fallen (An Enemy Novel), by Charlie Higson

Glory (The Dust Chronicles), by Maureen McGowan

Hexed, by Michelle Krys

I Become Shadow, by Joe Shine

Lies My Girlfriend Told Me, by Julie Anne Peters

The Murder Complex, by Lindsay Cummings

My Last Kiss, by Bethany Neal When mr dog bites

On the Road to Find Out, by Rachel Toor

Pills and Starships, by Lydia Millet

Brazen, by Katherine Longshore

Inland, by Kat Rosenfield

The Merciless, by Danielle Vega

Starbird Murphy and the World Outside, by Karen Finneyfrock

Wings (A Black City Novel), by Elizabeth Richards

New paperbacks (that I've read):

The Secret Ingredient, by Stewart Lewis:

Despite all of the emotionally charged issues (adoption! cancer! dead dog! grief! first love! coming of age! unreliable parents! the meaning of life!) and interest-piquing details (mysterious psychic! stolen ice cream truck! vintage cookbook that includes intriguing personal notes! cameo by Jude Law!) and plotting that is moved along by many serendipitous events, The Secret Ingredient is just kind of...dull. Although her meditations on cooking and food have a nice placid sort of energy, the rest of Olivia’s narration plods, and despite the likable nature of most of the characters, the dialogue feels superscripted—heavy conversation after heavy conversation after heavy conversation, and none of the characters ever seem to have any trouble whatsoever articulating anything—and thus, unbelievable.

Crushed (Readers Circle), by Laura McNeal and Tom McNeal:

Here's a tip for all the fictional characters out there: If your book begins with a quote from Pride and Prejudice, don't go out with a guy named Wickham. You should know better than that. Go for the grouchy brooding guy. He'll be rad. I promise.

Far Far Away, by Tom McNeal:

Readers who stick with it will learn that McNeal knows exactly what he's doing: Jacob is on just as much of a journey as our young protagonist is, and as he changes and grows, his deepening connection to and affection for Jeremy & Co. makes that emotional distance shrink and disappear. As the story goes on, his voice grows steadily warmer and warmer...and then, when the darkness comes—AND HOO BOY, IT COMES—steadily more frustrated, worried, urgent and, as he has the benefit of hindsight: guilty.

The Lost Sun: Book 1 of United States of Asgard, by Tessa Gratton:

Fans of Gratton's work—if you haven't discovered her yet, you're in for a treat—have probably already read this one. It's another roadtrip story, this one about a berserker and a prophetess searching for Baldur, who's gone missing. While the relationship dynamics and the family secrets are totally compelling, and while Gratton does a great job of integrating familiar myths but keeping the plotting unpredictable, for me, this one was all about the worldbuilding, which was FANTASTIC.

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20. New Releases: June

The Truth Against the World by Sarah Jamila Stevenson; Flux
In her parents’ San Francisco flat, Olwen Nia Evans, Wyn for short, has been having unsettling dreams about her family’s past in Wales. But her dreams don’t match up with what she’s been told by her dying grandmother, Rhiannon. On the other side of the world, in London, a boy named Gareth Lewis is having disturbing dreams about a frightening encounter with a ghost. A ghost named Olwen Nia Evans.
When he looks for Olwen’s name online, Gareth connects with Wyn in San Francisco as she is preparing to move with her family to fulfill Rhiannon’s last wish to die in Wales. Once Wyn arrives in Wales, she and Gareth join forces to discover the truth of the lost soul that’s haunting them both.
Summer of Yesterday by Gaby Triana; Simon Pulse
Back to the Future meets Fast Times at Ridgemont High when Haley’s summer vacation takes a turn for the retro in this totally rad romantic fantasy.

Summer officially sucks. Thanks to a stupid seizure she had a few months earlier, Haley’s stuck going on vacation with her dad and his new family to Disney’s Fort Wilderness instead of enjoying the last session of summer camp back home with her friends. Fort Wilderness holds lots of childhood memories for her father, but surely nothing for Haley. But then a new seizure triggers something she’s never before experienced—time travel—and she ends up in River Country, the campground’s long-abandoned water park, during its heyday. The year? 1982.

And there—with its amusing fashion, “oldies” music, and primitive technology—she runs into familiar faces: teenage Dad and Mom before they’d even met. Somehow, Haley must find her way back to the twenty-first century before her present-day parents anguish over her disappearance, a difficult feat now that she’s met Jason, one of the park’s summer residents and employees, who takes the strangely dressed stowaway under his wing. Seizures aside, Haley’s used to controlling her life, and she has no idea how to deal with this dilemma. How can she be falling for a boy whose future she can’t share?

Rivals in the City: A Mary Quinn Mystery by Y. S. Lee; Walker Books
This is the fourth colourful and action-packed Victorian detective novel about the exploits of agent Mary Quinn. Mary Quinn and James Easton have set up as private detectives and are also unofficially engaged to be married. But when the Agency asks Mary to take on a special final case, she can’t resist, and agrees. Convicted fraudster Henry Thorold (from book one, A Spy in the House) is dying in prison. His daughter, Angelica, is coming to see him one last time. Mary’s brief is to monitor these visits in case Mrs Thorold, last heard of as a fugitive in France, decides to pay him one last visit. But Mrs Thorold’s return would place James in grave personal danger. Thanks to the complications of love and family loyalties, the stakes for everyone involved are higher than ever. This is the final book in the Mary Quinn Mystery series. It is perfect for fans of Philip Pullman’s Sally Lockhart series and Victorian culture. It is a vivid, well-researched and lively historical / detective fiction with a strong female protagonist and a smart romance.
Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn; St. Martin’s Griffin
Two years ago, sixteen-year-old Jamie Henry breathed a sigh of relief when a judge sentenced his older sister to juvenile detention for burning down their neighbor’s fancy horse barn. The whole town did. Because Crazy Cate Henry used to be a nice girl. Until she did a lot of bad things. Like drinking. And stealing. And lying. Like playing weird mind games in the woods with other children. Like making sure she always got her way. Or else.
But today Cate got out. And now she’s coming back for Jamie.
Because more than anything, Cate Henry needs her little brother to know the truth about their past. A truth she’s kept hidden for years. A truth she’s not supposed to tell.
Trust nothing and no one as you race toward the explosive conclusion of the gripping psychological thriller.
Tales From A Not-So-Glam TV Star (Dork Diaries) by Rachel Renée Russell; Aladdin
Everyone’s been rooting for Nikki Maxwell and her crush, Brandon—and fans will finally learn if they had their first kiss in this seventh book of the New York Times bestselling Dork Diaries series!

Nikki’s juggling a lot this month. A reality TV crew is following Nikki and her friends as they record their hit song together, plus there are voice lessons, dance practice, and little sister Brianna’s latest wacky hijinks. Nikki’s sure she can handle everything, but will all the excitement cause new problems for Nikki and Brandon, now that cameras are everywhere Nikki goes?

Discover more new, diverse releases at Rich in Color 

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21. New YA: June 15-21.

RebellionNew hardbacks:

Dark Metropolis, by Jaclyn Dolamore:

If you’re not in a questioning frame of mind and would like an adventure with atmosphere, some chills, and a bit of romance, give it a try! If you’re feeling like something with stronger character development, give it a miss for now, and pick up Jenny Davidson’s excellent The Explosionist instead: While it’s different in tone—it’s a much quieter book—like Dark Metropolis, it’s about a European girl who stumbles upon a sinister, world-altering plot, but it’s meatier in every department.

Jex Malone, by C.L. Gaber and V.C. Stanley:

I really WANTED to like this book. I mean, based on the premise, it looks practically tailor-made for me. But, alas. The main, overarching reason it doesn’t work is this: It reads like two or three different drafts of the book were smooshed together into a non-cohesive, often incoherent mess.

The Body in the Woods (Point Last Seen), by April Henry

Rebellion (Tankborn Trilogy), by Karen Sandler

#scandal, by Sarah Ockler

Ruin and Rising (Grisha Trilogy), by Leigh Bardugo

Otherbound, by Corinne Duyvis Girl of nightmares

Blazed, by Jason Myers

No Dawn without Darkness: No Safety In Numbers: Book 3, by Dayna Lorentz

I Am the Mission (The Unknown Assassin), by Allen Zadoff

Graduation Day (The Testing), by Joelle Charbonneau

Fan Art, by Sarah Tregay and Melissa DeJesus

New paperbacks (that I've read):

Girl of Nightmares (Anna Dressed in Blood), by Kendare Blake:

If you still* haven’t read Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood, you may want to do that before reading what I have to say about the sequel, Girl of Nightmares. Because, you know. Spoilers. If you’re a fan of Supernatural or Buffy, though, you really must give the duology a try. Like both shows, it’s a fabulous combination of gore, humor, wit and intense creepiness that recognizes genre conventions while still being emotionally truthful about friendship, love, loss and sacrifice. To top it off, both books are printed in rust-colored ink: the color of blood

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22. August Releases

Although somewhat late, I am so glad to deliver this list of MG and YA releases by authors of color for the month of August. It’s been quite a long while since we’ve seen so many releases in one month. If you prefer a more visual presentation, visit the Pinterest Board. And, the 2014 cumulative list can be found here.

I tried cleaning up my cumulative list, I’m not sure what’s going on with WordPress. I copied the entire list to a Word doc to clean up the spacing and the font. The results were even worse! What I’m left with is a page that looks much better, but no hyperlinks. If you need the links, you can access them on a Word doc from the page with the list. All new postings should have hyperlinks but I’m not going back to add them. I just want to get out of WordPress for now. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Descriptions are from IndieBound except where noted.

Bombay Blues by Tanuja Desai Hidier; Push     The long-awaited sequel to Hidier’s groundbreaking “Born Confused”Nan ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Dimple Lala needs a change. She and her boyfriend think they’re heading to Bombay for a family wedding, but really they are plunging into the unexpected, the unmapped, and the uncontrollable.

Knockout Games by Greg Neri; Carolrhoda Books. A disturbing rash of seemingly random attacks occur in St. Louis by a group of teens called the TKO club. Erica is one of a few girls who is down with TKO in part due to her natural skill with a video camera and her ability to make art out of the attacks.

I Remember Beirut by Zeina Abirached; Graphic Universe     Zeina Abirached, author of the award-winning graphic novel A Game for Swallows, returns with a powerful collection of wartime memories.

Abirached was born in Lebanon in 1981. She grew up in Beirut as fighting between Christians and Muslims divided the city streets. Follow her past cars riddled with bullet holes, into taxi cabs that travel where buses refuse to go, and n outings to collect shrapnel from the sidewalk.

With striking black-and-white artwork, Abirached recalls the details of ordinary life inside a war zone. (Amazon)

Kinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth; Scholastic MG     Jarrett is used to his mom taking in foster babies, but this time a baby girl has an older brother. Kevon is Jarrett’s age, and Jarrett doesn’t like sharing his room, his friends, and his life with a stranger. The more Jarrett tries to get rid of Kevon, the more he learns about Kevon’s life and his historyNwhich leads to an unexpected understanding.

The Turtles of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye MG     This accessible, exquisite novel shines with gentle humor and explores themes of moving, family, nature, and immigration. It tells the story of Aref Al-Amri, who must say good-bye to everything and everyone he loves in his hometown of Muscat, Oman, as his family prepares to move to Ann Arbor, Michigan. This is acclaimed poet and National Book Award Finalist Naomi Shihab Nye’s first novel set in the Middle East since her acclaimed Habibi.

Aref Al-Amri does not want to leave Oman. He does not want to leave his elementary school, his friends, or his beloved grandfather, Siddi. He does not want to live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his parents will go to graduate school. His mother is desperate for him to pack his suitcase, but he refuses. Finally, she calls Siddi for help. But rather than pack, Aref and Siddi go on a series of adventures. They visit the camp of a thousand stars deep in the desert, they sleep on Siddi’s roof, they fish in the Gulf of Oman and dream about going to India, and they travel to the nature reserve to watch the sea turtles. At each stop, Siddi finds a small stone that he later slips into Aref’s suitcase–mementos of home.

Naomi Shihab Nye’s warmth, attention to detail, and belief in the power of empathy and connection shines from every page. Features black-and-white spot art and decorations by Betsy Peterschmidt.

A Blind Spot for Boys by Justina Chen     Shana has always had a blind spot for boys. Can she trust the one who’s right in front of her?
Sixteen-year-old Shana Wilde is officially on a Boy Moratorium. After a devastating breakup, she decides it’s time to end the plague of Mr. Wrong, Wrong, and More Wrong.
Enter Quattro, the undeniably cute lacrosse player who slams into Shana one morning in Seattle. Sparks don’t just fly; they ignite. And so does Shana’s interest. Right as she’s about to rethink her ban on boys, she receives crushing news: Her dad is going blind. Quattro is quickly forgotten, and Shana and her parents vow to make the most of the time her father has left to see. So they travel to Machu Picchu, and as they begin their trek, they run into none other than Quattro himself. But even as the trip unites them, Quattro pulls away mysteriously… Love and loss, humor and heartbreak collide in this new novel from acclaimed author Justina Chen.

A New Beginning: My Journey with Addy by Denise Lewis Patrick, American Girl MG     Readers can enter Addy Walker’s world during the Civil War in this interactive adventure where they can outrun a slave catcher, raise money for soldiers, and search for Addy’s family. Illustrations.

The Problem with being Slightly Heroic by Uma Krishnaswami; Atheneum Books MG     Complications ensue when Bollywood star Dolly Singh premieres her new movie at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC and super fan Dinni and her best friend Maddie present a dance at the grand opening. (OCLC)

The Zero Degree Zombie Zone by Patrick Henry Bass and Jerry Craft; Scholastic    Fourth-grader Bakari Katari Johnson is having a really bad day. Class bullies Tariq and Keisha are mad at him, his best friend Wardell has nominated him for hall monitor, and a pack of ice zombies from a frozen world are demanding he return the magic ring that Keisha has! Illustrations.

The Girl From the Well by Rin Chupeco; Sourcebook Fire     The Ring” meets “The Exorcist” in this haunting story set in Japan about an American boy whose last hope for protection lies with a vengeful ghost.

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson; Nancy Paulsen Books     Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Alvin Ho: Allergic to the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, and Other Tourist Attractions by Lenore Look; Schwartz and Wade   MG     Here’s the sixth book in the beloved and hilarious Alvin Ho chapter book series, which has been compared to Diary of a Wimpy Kid and is perfect for both beginning and reluctant readers.

Alvin, an Asian American second grader who’s afraid of everything, is taking his fears to a whole new level—or should we say, continent. On a trip to introduce brand-new baby Ho to relatives in China, Alvin’s anxiety is at fever pitch. First there’s the harrowing 16-hour plane ride; then there’s a whole slew of cultural differences to contend with: eating lunch food for breakfast, kung fu lessons, and acupuncture treatment (yikes!). Not to mention the crowds that make it easy for a small boy to get lost.


Filed under: New Books Tagged: August, new releases

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23. New Children's Books from Piñata Books- Arte Público Press

Estas manos: Manitas de mi familia / These Hands: My Family’s Hands

by Samuel Caraballo
Illustrated by Shawn Costello
ISBN: 978-1-55885-795-7

Publication Date: 10/31/14
Bind: Hardcover

Pages: 32

Ages: 4-8

In this heart-warming ode to family, the young narrator compares the hands of family members to plants in the natural world. “Your hands, the most tender hands! / When I’m scared, / They soothe me,” she says to her mother. The girl compares her mother’s hands to rose petals, which represent tenderness in Latin America.
Her father’s hands are strong like the mahogany tree; her siblings’ friendly like the blooming oak tree. Grandma Inés’ are the happiest hands, like tulips that tickle and hug tightly. And Grandpa Juan’s are the wisest, like the ceiba tree, considered by many indigenous peoples of Latin America to be the tree of life and wisdom and the center of the universe. His are the hands that teach his granddaughter how to plant and care for the earth and how to play the conga drum.
She promises to give back all the love they have always given her, “Dad, when your feet get tired, / My hands will not let you fall.” Samuel Caraballo’s poetic text is combined with Shawn Costello’s striking illustrations depicting loving relationships between family members. An author’s note about Latin American symbols will introduce children both to the natural world and the idea that one thing can represent another.

Cecilia and Miguel Are Best Friends / Cecilia y Miguel son mejores amigos

by Diane Gonzales Bertrand
Illustrated by Thelma Muraida
ISBN: 978-1-55885-794-0

Publication Date: 10/31/14

Bind: Hardcover

Pages: 32

Ages: 4-8

Cecilia and Miguel are best friends, and have been since the third grade when he gave her bunny ears in the class picture. Their life-long friendship is recorded in warm recollections of bike races and soccer games, beach time and fishing from the pier.
Their closeness endures separation, “even when he drove north to college and she drove west.” The relationship evolves and grows, but remains strong even when … he dropped the ring and she found it inside her flan … he set up one crib and she told him they need two … the twins climb into their bed and beg for another story. In this celebration of friendship, best friends forgive mistakes, share adventures and—sometimes—even become family!
Popular children’s book author Diane Gonzales Bertrand teams up with illustrator Thelma Muraida to create an album of memories that reflect their shared Mexican-American childhood in San Antonio, Texas: swinging at birthday party piñatas, breaking cascarones over friends’ heads and dancing at quinceañeras. Young children are sure to giggle at the adventures of Cecilia and Miguel, and they’ll be prompted to ask about their parents’ relationship as well as explore their own.
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24. September Releases

Need covers? They’re on my Pinterest board for this month.


Dork Diaries 8: Tales from a Not-So-Happily Ever After by Rachel Renee Russell; Aladdin     Nikki Maxwell’s favorite fairy tales get dork-tastic twists in this entry in the #1 “New York Times”-bestselling series. After a bump on the head in gym class on April Fool’s Day, Nikki dreams that she, her BFFs Chloe and Zoey, her crush Brandon, and mean girl Mackenzie are all familiar classic fairy tale characters.

Half a World Away by Cynthia Kadohata; Atheneum MG     The new novel from a Newbery Medalist and National Book Award winner. Eleven-year-old Jaden, an emotionally damaged adopted boy, feels a connection to a small, weak toddler with special needs in Kazakhstan, where Jaden’s family is trying to adopt a “normal” baby.

The Only Thing to Fear by Caroline Tung Richmond; Scholastic     In a stunning reimagining of history, debut author Richmond weaves an incredible story of secrets and honor in a world where Hitler won World War II. In this action-packed, heart-stopping novel of a terrifying reality that could have been, a teenage girl must decide just how far she’ll go for freedom.

On A Clear Day by Walter Dean Myers; Crown Books for Young Readers     It is 2035. Teens, armed only with their ideals, must wage war on the power elite. Dahlia is a Low Gater: a sheep in a storm, struggling to survive completely on her own. The Gaters live in closed safe communities, protected from the Sturmers, mercenary thugs. And the C-8, a consortium of giant companies, control global access to finance, media, food, water, and energy resources—and they are only getting bigger and even more cutthroat. Dahlia, a computer whiz, joins forces with an ex-rocker, an ex-con, a chess prodigy, an ex-athlete, and a soldier wannabe. Their goal: to sabotage the C-8. But how will Sayeed, warlord and terrorist, fit into the equation?

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney; Scholastic Press     “Amira, look at me,” Muma insists.She collects both my hands in hers.“The Janjaweed attack without warning.Ifever they come run.”
Finally, Amira is twelve. Old enough to wear a toob, old enough for new responsibilities. And maybe old enough to go to school in NyalaAmira’s one true dream.
But life in her peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when the Janjaweed arrive. The terrifying attackers ravage the town and unleash unspeakable horrors. After she loses nearly everything, Amira needs to dig deep within herself to find the strength to make the long journey on foot to safety at a refugee camp. Her days are tough at the camp, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mindand all kinds of possibilities.
New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney’s powerful verse and Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist Shane W. Evans’s breathtaking illustrations combine to tell an inspiring tale of one girl’s triumph against all odds.

The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis; Scholastic     A bestselling Newbery Medalist delivers a powerful companion to “Elijah of Buxton.” Benji and Red aren’t friends, but their fates are entwined. The boys discover that they have more in common than meets the eye. Both of them have encountered a strange presence in the forest. Could the Madman of Piney Woods be real?

The Unstoppable Octobia May by Sharon G. Flake     It’s 1953, and 10-year-old Octobia May lives in her aunt’s boarding house in a southern African-American community. When Octobia starts to question the folks in her world, an adventure and a mystery unfold that beg some troubling questions: Who is black and who is “passing” for white? What happens when their vibrant community must face its own racism?

Billy Buckhorn Abnormal by Gary Robinson     Book one of the Billy Buckhorn series introduces a Cherokee teen who uses his supernatural abilities to solve mysteries. In this first installment, “Abnormal,” Billy is struck by lightning while fishing with his friend Chigger. He survives the lightning strike but begins to experience an enhanced level of esp. Billy is labeled “abnormal” by one of his teachers after he uncovers an unsavory secret from the teacher’s past. What no one suspects is that the teacher is a shape-shifter who becomes an evil raven that gains strength from his victims’ fear. When Billy confronts the teacher, he must channel his own fear into anger in order to defeat the evil birdman.

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang; Greenwillow     One cold fall day, high school junior Liz Emerson steers her car into a tree. This haunting and heartbreaking story is told by a surprising and unexpected narrator and unfolds in nonlinear flashbacks even as Liz’s friends, foes, and family gather at the hospital and Liz clings to life. This riveting debut will appeal to fans of Before I Fall, by Lauren Oliver, and 13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.

“On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.” Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? The nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force–Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

Love is the Drug by Alaya Dawn Johnson; Arthur A. Levine     The privileged daughter of research scientists, Emily Bird attends a party for Washington D.C.’s elite. Days later, she wakes up in a hospital with no memory of that night. Meanwhile, a deadly flu virus has caused a worldwide crisis. Homeland security agent Roosevelt David is certain that Bird knows something about the virus, something she shouldn’t.

The Secret Sky: A Novel of Forbidden Love in Afghanistan by Atia Abawi; Philomel     Fatima is a Hazara girl, raised to be obedient and dutiful. Samiullah is a Pashtun boy raised to defend the traditions of his tribe. They were not meant to fall in love. But they do. And the story that follows shows both the beauty and the violence in current-day Afghanistan as Fatima and Samiullah fight their families, their cultures and the Taliban to stay together. Based on the people Atia Abawi met and the events she covered during her nearly five years in Afghanistan, this stunning novel is a must-read for anyone who has lived during America’s War in Afghanistan.

No Name by Tim Tingle; 7th Generation     nspired by the traditional Choctaw story “No Name,” this modern adaptation features a present-day Choctaw teenager surviving tough family times–his mother left home and he is living with a mean-spirited, abusive father. The one place the teen can find peace is on the neighborhood basketball court. But after a violent confrontation with his father, the teen runs away, only to return home to find an unexpected hiding spot in his own backyard. His hiding spot becomes his home for weeks until the help and encouragement from a basketball coach, a Cherokee buddy and a quiet new next-door girlfriend help him face his father.

Gabi, a Girl in Pieces byIsabel Quintero; Cinco Puntos Press     Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: Cindy’s pregnancy, Sebastian’s coming out, the cute boys, her father’s meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity. Isabel Quintero is a library technician in the Inland Empire. She is also the events coordinator for Orange Monkey and helps edit the poetry journal Tin Cannon. Gabi is her debut novel.


Filed under: New Books Tagged: Andrea Davis Pinkney, Caroline Tung Richmond, Cynthia Kadohata, new releases, Rachel Renee Russell

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25. Blog Tour: Scar of the Bamboo Leaf

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Scar of the Bamboo Leaf by Sieni A.M.

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Genre: Young Adult fiction, Contemporary Romance

“Her heart wept when she realized that the hardest part about loving him was the idea that his love was never meant for her.”

Walking with a pronounced limp all her life has never stopped fifteen-year-old Kiva Mau from doing what she loves. While most girls her age are playing sports and perfecting their traditional Samoan dance, Kiva finds serenity in her sketchbook and volunteering at the run-down art center her extended family owns.

When seventeen-year-old Ryler Cade steps into the art center for the first time, Kiva is drawn to the angry and misguided student sent from abroad to reform his violent ways. Scarred and tattooed, an unlikely friendship is formed when the gentle Kiva shows him kindness and beauty through art.
After a tragic accident leaves Kiva severely disfigured, she struggles to see the beauty she has been brought up to believe. Just when she thinks she’s found her place, Ryler begins to pull away, leaving her heartbroken and confused. The patriarch of the family then takes a turn for the worse and Kiva is forced to give up her dreams to help with familial obligations, until an old family secret surfaces that makes her question everything.

Immersed in the world of traditional art and culture, this is the story of self-sacrifice and discovery, of acceptance and forbearance, of overcoming adversity and finding one’s purpose. Spanning years, it is a story about an intuitive girl and a misunderstood boy and love that becomes real when tested.

Available on Amazon

About the Author:

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Sieni A.M. is a coffee addict, Instagram enthusiast, world traveler, and avid reader turned writer. She graduated as an English and History high school teacher from the University of Canterbury and is currently living in Israel with her husband and two daughters. “Scar of the Bamboo Leaf” is her second novel.

Website: http://sieniam.blogspot.co.il/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/illumineher

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/illumineher/

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Filed under: New Books

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