Book Mail: 33 New and Forthcoming Books to Add to Your TBR List!
Wow, has their been a major uptick in physical book mail arriving at my house. So glad so many physical galleys are still being printed, because for me, that’s still my preferred way to read. Check out the haul from the past few weeks here in this post!
I share all of the book mail that comes in on my Twitter when it arrives, so if you’re not already doing so, hop on over there and follow me. I also give away 100% of the books I get, with giveaways every few weeks on Twitter, often only for teachers and librarians. Everything that comes into my house goes back out in some fashion to find a new reader. Many of the books I get are reviewed here at TLT as either longer, in-depth reviews or quick Post-It Note reviews. Try as I may, I cannot read everything! But I really do try!
All descriptions from the publishers.
Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee (ISBN-13: 9781524740986 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 05/04/2021, Ages 12-17)
From the critically-acclaimed author of The Downstairs Girl comes the richly imagined story of Valora and Jamie Luck, twin British-Chinese acrobats traveling aboard the Titanic on its ill-fated maiden voyage.
Valora Luck has two things: a ticket for the biggest and most luxurious ocean liner in the world, and a dream of leaving England behind and making a life for herself as a circus performer in New York. Much to her surprise though, she’s turned away at the gangway; apparently, Chinese aren’t allowed into America.
But Val has to get on that ship. Her twin brother Jamie, who has spent two long years at sea, is there, as is an influential circus owner, whom Val hopes to audition for. Thankfully, there’s not much a trained acrobat like Val can’t overcome when she puts her mind to it.
As a stowaway, Val should keep her head down and stay out of sight. But the clock is ticking and she has just seven days as the ship makes its way across the Atlantic to find Jamie, perform for the circus owner, and convince him to help get them both into America.
Then one night the unthinkable happens, and suddenly Val’s dreams of a new life are crushed under the weight of the only thing that matters: survival.
Paper Heart by Cat Patrick (ISBN-13: 9781984815347 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 05/11/2021, Ages 10-12)
In this companion to Tornado Brain, a moving tale of loss and healing comes full circle.
Tess has always understood her role in her family. She is supposed to be the “okay” one. The one no one has to worry about. But all Tess does is worry, constantly picking at her fingers every time a new worry arises. Still grieving her best friend’s death, she is consumed by the fear that everything was her fault and her sadness that Colette is never coming back. Worse still, it seems like everyone else has found a way to move on, even her twin sister Frankie. When her mom decides a change of location might do her good, Tess finds herself on an airplane bound for her aunt’s house in small town Wyoming and a summer vacation attending art camp.
Tess thinks she might never be able to move on from losing Colette but her quirky but determined cousin Kennedy and new friend Izzy are determined to help. When Tess becomes convinced that Colette’s ghost might be haunting her, Kennedy and Izzy find new ways for Tess to make peace with the past and finally let go of the grief that has been haunting her heart.
Switch by A. S. King (ISBN-13: 9780525555513 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 05/11/2021, Ages 14-17)
A surreal and timely novel about the effects of isolation and what it means to be connected to the world from the Printz Award-winning author of Dig.
Time has stopped. It’s been June 23, 2020 for nearly a year as far as anyone can tell. Frantic adults demand teenagers focus on finding practical solutions to the worldwide crisis. Not everyone is on board though. Javelin-throwing prodigy Truda Becker is pretty sure her “Solution Time” class won’t solve the world’s problems, but she does have a few ideas what might. Truda lives in a house with a switch that no one ever touches, a switch her father protects every day by nailing it into hundreds of progressively larger boxes. But Truda’s got a crow bar, and one way or another, she’s going to see what happens when she flips the switch.
Perfectly Parvin by Olivia Abtahi (ISBN-13: 9780593109427 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 05/18/2021, Ages 12-17)
Fourteen-year-old Iranian-American Parvin Mohammadi sets out to win the ultimate date to homecoming in this heartfelt and outright hilarious debut.
Parvin Mohammadi has just been dumped—only days after receiving official girlfriend status. Not only is she heartbroken, she’s humiliated. Enter high school heartthrob Matty Fumero, who just might be the smoking-hot cure to all her boy problems. If Parvin can get Matty to ask her to Homecoming, she’s positive it will prove to herself and her ex that she’s girlfriend material after all. There’s just one problem: Matty is definitely too cool for bassoon-playing, frizzy-haired, Cheeto-eating Parvin. Since being herself hasn’t worked for her in the past (see aforementioned dumping), she decides to start acting like the women in her favorite rom-coms. Those women aren’t loud, they certainly don’t cackle when they laugh, and they smile much more than they talk.
But Parvin discovers that being a rom-com dream girl is much harder than it looks. Also hard? The parent-mandated Farsi lessons. A confusing friendship with a boy who’s definitely not supposed to like her. And hardest of all, the ramifications of the Muslim ban on her family in Iran. Suddenly, being herself has never been more important.
Olivia Abtahi’s debut is as hilarious as it is heartfelt—a delightful tale where, amid the turmoil of high school friendships and crushes, being yourself is always the perfect way to be.
Bodies Are Cool by Tyler Feder (ISBN-13: 9780593112625 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 06/01/2021, Ages 3-5)
This cheerful love-your-body picture book for preschoolers is an exuberant read-aloud with bright and friendly illustrations to pore over.
From the acclaimed creator of Dancing at the Pity Party and Roaring Softly, this picture book is a pure celebration of all the different human bodies that exist in the world. Highlighting the various skin tones, body shapes, and hair types is just the beginning in this truly inclusive book. With its joyful illustrations and encouraging refrain, it will instill body acceptance and confidence in the youngest of readers. “My body, your body, every different kind of body! All of them are good bodies! BODIES ARE COOL!”
Continuum by Chella Man, Ashley Lukashevsky (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9780593223482 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 06/01/2021 Series: Pocket Change Collective, Ages 12-17)
In Continuum, fine artist, activist, and Titans actor Chella Man uses his own experiences as a deaf, transgender, genderqueer, Jewish person of color to talk about cultivating self-acceptance and acting as one’s own representation.
Pocket Change Collective is a series of small books with big ideas from today’s leading activists and artists.
“What constructs in your life must you unlearn to support inclusivity and respect for all?” This is a question that artist, actor, and activist Chella Man wrestles with in this powerful and honest essay. A story of coping and resilience, Chella journeys through his experiences as a deaf, transgender, genderqueer, Jewish person of color, and shows us that identity lies on a continuum — a beautiful, messy, and ever-evolving road of exploration.
Skate for Your Life by Leo Baker, Ashley Lukashevsky (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9780593223475 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 06/01/2021 Series: Pocket Change Collective, Ages 12-17)
In this moving, personal story, professional skateboarder Leo Baker shares their journey within the sport and the importance of authenticity and allyship as a non-binary athlete.
Pocket Change Collective is a series of small books with big ideas from today’s leading activists and artists.
“Your authenticity is your superpower.” That’s the motto that professional skateboarder Leo Baker lives by and champions. But like any hero’s journey, learning about their power didn’t come easy. In this installment of the Pocket Change Collective, Baker takes the reader on a complicated, powerful journey through the world of skate and competitive sport as a non-binary athlete.
The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Ostertag (ISBN-13: 9781338540574 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 06/01/2021, Ages 12+)
From the author of The Witch Boy trilogy comes a graphic novel about family, romance, and first love.Fifteen-year-old Morgan has a secret: She can’t wait to escape the perfect little island where she lives. She’s desperate to finish high school and escape her sad divorced mom, her volatile little brother, and worst of all, her great group of friends…who don’t understand Morgan at all. Because really, Morgan’s biggest secret is that she has a lot of secrets, including the one about wanting to kiss another girl.Then one night, Morgan is saved from drowning by a mysterious girl named Keltie. The two become friends and suddenly life on the island doesn’t seem so stifling anymore.But Keltie has some secrets of her own. And as the girls start to fall in love, everything they’re each trying to hide will find its way to the surface…whether Morgan is ready or not.
We Are Inevitable by Gayle Forman (ISBN-13: 9780425290804 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 06/01/2021, Ages 14-17)
A poignant and uplifting novel about the power of community, from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay.
Aaron Stein used to think books were miracles. But not anymore. Even though he spends his days working in his family’s secondhand bookstore, the only book Aaron can bear to read is one about the demise of the dinosaurs. It’s a predicament he understands all too well, now that his brother and mom are gone and his friends have deserted him, leaving Aaron and his shambolic father alone in a moldering bookstore in a crusty mountain town where no one seems to read anymore.
So when Aaron sees the opportunity to sell the store, he jumps at it, thinking this is the only way out. But he doesn’t account for Chad, a “best life” bro with a wheelchair and way too much optimism, or the town’s out-of-work lumberjacks taking on the failing shop as their pet project. And he certainly doesn’t anticipate meeting Hannah, a beautiful, brave musician who might possibly be the kind of inevitable he’s been waiting for.
All of them will help Aaron to come to terms with what he’s lost, what he’s found, who he is, and who he wants to be, and show him that destruction doesn’t inevitably lead to extinction; sometimes it leads to the creation of something entirely new.
The Passing Playbook by Isaac Fitzsimons (ISBN-13: 9781984815408 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 06/01/2021, Ages 12-17)
Love, Simon meets Bend It Like Beckham in this feel-good contemporary romance about a trans athlete who must decide between fighting for his right to play and staying stealth.
“A sharply observant and vividly drawn debut. I loved every minute I spent in this story, and I’ve never rooted harder for a jock in my life.” – New York Timesbestselling author Becky Albertalli
Fifteen-year-old Spencer Harris is a proud nerd, an awesome big brother, and a David Beckham in training. He’s also transgender. After transitioning at his old school leads to a year of isolation and bullying, Spencer gets a fresh start at Oakley, the most liberal private school in Ohio.
At Oakley, Spencer seems to have it all: more accepting classmates, a decent shot at a starting position on the boys’ soccer team, great new friends, and maybe even something more than friendship with one of his teammates. The problem is, no one at Oakley knows Spencer is trans—he’s passing.
But when a discriminatory law forces Spencer’s coach to bench him, Spencer has to make a choice: cheer his team on from the sidelines or publicly fight for his right to play, even though it would mean coming out to everyone—including the guy he’s falling for.
Trillium Sisters 1: The Triplets Get Charmed by Laura Brown, Elly Kramer, Sarah Mensinga (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781645950158 Publisher: Holiday House Publication date: 06/01/2021, Ages 7-9)
Three sisters discover that they and their pets have superpowers they can use to protect the world around them in the first book in a fantastical new chapter book series about family, friendship, and environmental responsibility perfect for fans of Mia Mayhem and The Wish Fairy.
Nothing can stop this triple team!
Eight-year-old triplets Emmy, Clare, and Giselle are excited to celebrate Founding Day, the day their dad found them and they became a family. The girls want this year’s celebration to be extra special. And Dad has a big sur¬prise—trillium petal charms that he found with the girls.
But when the girls’ little brother, Zee, slips into the river while helping them plan a special surprise, something magical happens: The charms are drawn together, forming a glowing flower, and the girls suddenly have super¬powers! Channeling their new abilities, they work together to try to save Zee, but will they be able to figure out how to help in time?
Trillium Sisters 2: Bestie Day by Laura Brown, Elly Kramer, Sarah Mensinga (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781645950233 Publisher: Holiday House Publication date: 06/01/2021, Ages 7-9)
When the ecosystem of their mountain home is threatened, the triplets join forces and channel their super powers into saving the day in the second book in the Trillium Sisters chapter book series, perfect for fans of Mia Mayhem and The Wish Fairy.
The Trillium Triplets are flying into action!
Wondering if their powers will return, Clare, Emmy, and Giselle throw themselves into preparations for Bestie Day, when everyone in Trillsville celebrates the special people in their lives. The girls are planning to make presents for one another from fallen flower petals. That way, they can enjoy the beauty around them without causing harm.
But at the flower field, instead of finding beautiful blooms, the Trills find a big problem. Two girls from town are cutting so many flowers for their Bestie Day bouquets that the bees can’t get enough nectar. And without the bees, the entire mountain ecosystem could fall apart! When their Trillium powers activate, will the sisters be able to buzz to the rescue?
Rez Dogs by Joseph Bruchac (ISBN-13: 9780593326213 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 06/08/2021, Ages 8-12)
From the U.S.’s foremost indigenous children’s author comes a middle grade verse novel set during the COVID-19 pandemic, about a Wabanaki girl’s quarantine on her grandparents’ reservation and the local dog that becomes her best friend
Malian loves spending time with her grandparents at their home on a Wabanaki reservation. She’s there for a visit when, suddenly, all travel shuts down. There’s a new virus making people sick, and Malian will have to stay with her grandparents for the duration.
Everyone is worried about the pandemic, but Malian knows how to keep her family and community safe: She protects her grandparents, and they protect her. She doesn’t go outside to play with friends, she helps her grandparents use video chat, and she listens to and learns from their stories. And when Malsum, one of the dogs living on the rez, shows up at their door, Malian’s family knows that he’ll protect them too.
Told in verse inspired by oral storytelling, this novel about the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the ways Malian’s community has cared for one another through plagues of the past, and how they keep caring for one another today.
Almost Flying by Jake Maia Arlow (ISBN-13: 9780593112939 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 06/08/2021, Ages 10-14)
In this unabashedly queer middle grade debut, a week-long amusement park road trip becomes a true roller coaster of emotion when Dalia realizes she has more-than-friend feelings for her new bestie.
Would-be amusement park aficionado Dalia only has two items on her summer bucket list: (1) finally ride a roller coaster and (2) figure out how to make a new best friend. But when her dad suddenly announces that he’s engaged, Dalia’s schemes come to a screeching halt. With Dalia’s future stepsister Alexa heading back to college soon, the grown-ups want the girls to spend the last weeks of summer bonding—meaning Alexa has to cancel the amusement park road trip she’s been planning for months. Luckily Dalia comes up with a new plan: If she joins Alexa on her trip and brings Rani, the new girl from her swim team, along maybe she can have the perfect summer after all. But what starts out as a week of funnel cakes and Lazy River rides goes off the rails when Dalia discovers that Alexa’s girlfriend is joining the trip. And keeping Alexa’s secret makes Dalia realize one of her own: She might have more-than-friend feelings for Rani.
Athena: Goddess of Wisdom and War by Imogen Greenberg, Isabel Greenberg (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781419748592 Publisher: Amulet Books Publication date: 06/22/2021 Series: Tales of Great Goddesses, Ages 8-12)
A spunky, feminist take on the myth of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, war, and courage
From the moment she sprung from Zeus’s head, Athena was extraordinary. Even though some doubted her as a young goddess, Athena never backed down from a fight. Poseidon wants to be the patron god of a nearby city? Well, so does Athena! And she’s going to outwit him and found Athens. Perseus doesn’t know how to defeat Medusa? No problem! Athena can give him the knowledge (and shield) he needs to take off her head. Odysseus is lost at sea, seemingly doomed? Not anymore! Athena can get him home. Follow the goddess of wisdom through her adventures with gods and mortals, discover the perils of crossing her, and see how she eventually learned to better understand and aid the human race.
Dozens of Dachshunds: A Counting, Woofing, Wagging Book by Stephanie Calmenson, Zoe Persico (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781547602223 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 06/29/2021, Ages 3-6)
An exuberant counting story featuring delightful dachshunds in creative costumes, inspired by the real, and hilarious, dachshund parades, for fans of Can I Be Your Dog?.
Dozens of dachshunds in clever costumes are the stars of a woofing, wagging costume parade! How many dogs can you count? Dressed up as birds, bees, books, dinosaurs, and other delightful surprises, each new pair,
trio, and group adds to the excitement. When the parade is through, there’s a joyous jamboree, complete with a sing-along, bark-along dachshund song.
Additional back matter highlights all the different sizes, coats, colors, and patterns of this beloved breed.
Rachel Takes the Lead by Marilyn Kaye (ISBN-13: 9780823446100 Publisher: Holiday House Publication date: 07/13/2021 Series: The Spyglass Sisterhood #2, Ages 8-12)
There’s nothing four best friends with a magical spyglass can’t handle…well, except maybe a lost dog, a school election, and overprotective parents.
Book Two of the Spyglass Sisterhood finds Ellie, Rachel, Kiara, and Alyssa back for another adventure. When the spyglass reveals an image of Rachel walking a dog, she knows it’s pure fantasy. Her overprotective moms would never let her walk a dog alone, much less own one! To the dismay of her Spyglass Sisters, Rachel would rather avoid the whole thing all together. However, she can’t avoid it for long when a lost dog follows her home.
Meanwhile, Kiara has secretly nominated Rachel to run for class president. In order to win, Rachel must find her voice to advocate for the change her classmates deserve—and maybe even the changes at home she deserves.
The New York Times best-selling author behind the Gifted series and the Replica books, Marilyn Kaye delivers a story filled with light magic and heart in this first book in the Spyglass Sisterhood series. Each girl will take a turn at the spyglass, confronting fears and sticking up for her peers.
The History of Western Art in Comics Part One: From Prehistory to the Renaissance by Marion Augustin, Bruno Heitz (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9780823446469 Publisher: Holiday House Publication date: 07/13/2021, Ages 10-12)
Learning about art through the ages has never been as interesting or fun as in this humorous and very informative graphic novel.
As two kids give their grandpa a tour of Paris, he starts an interesting conversation with them—about where all the art they see in their lives—from the movie house to the stadiums to museums and even the subway— started. Dad’s impromptu history lesson goes back to the first Cavemen drawings to the pyramids of Giza, and by the end of the book includes Greco-Roman feats of ingenuity and the frescoes of the Renaissance. Recounted as a narrative about why different civilizations created different kinds of art, centuries of art history are explored entertainingly for young readers. Iconic works, such as Donatello’s David and The Book of Kells, are included as well as architectural feats like the Colosseum.
Written by a tour guide for museums and historic landmarks, the text is designed to entertain (with many funny asides and jokes) as it informs. The illustrations accurately portray the art and the artists described, with flavor and humor added to keep readers turning the page. Reproductions of the featured artworks and information about each piece are included in the back, along with a glossary of terms.
Mercury Boys by Chandra Prasad (ISBN-13: 9781641292658 Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated Publication date: 08/03/2021, Ages 14-17)
History and the speculative collide with the modern world when a group of high school girls form a secret society after discovering they can communicate with boys from the past, in this powerful look at female desire, jealousy, and the shifting lines between friendship and rivalry.
After her life is upended by divorce and a cross-country move, 16-year-old Saskia Brown feels like an outsider at her new school—not only is she a transplant, but she’s also biracial in a population of mostly white students. One day while visiting her only friend at her part-time library job, Saskia encounters a vial of liquid mercury, then touches an old daguerreotype—the precursor of the modern-day photograph—and makes a startling discovery. She is somehow able to visit the man in the portrait: Robert Cornelius, a brilliant young inventor from the nineteenth century. The hitch: she can see him only in her dreams.
Saskia shares her revelation with some classmates, hoping to find connection and friendship among strangers. Under her guidance, the other girls steal portraits of young men from a local college’s daguerreotype collection and try the dangerous experiment for themselves. Soon, they each form a bond with their own “Mercury Boy,” from an injured Union soldier to a charming pickpocket in New York City.
At night, the girls visit the boys in their dreams. During the day, they hold clandestine meetings of their new secret society. At first, the Mercury Boys Club is a thrilling diversion from their troubled everyday lives, but it’s not long before jealousy, violence and secrets threaten everything the girls hold dear.
Being Clem by Lesa Cline-Ransome (ISBN-13: 9780823446049 Publisher: Holiday House Publication date: 08/03/2021 Series: The Finding Langston Trilogy #3, Ages 8-12)
The final novel in the award-winning Finding Langston trilogy from Coretta Scott King Author Honoree and Scott O’Dell Award medalist Lesa Cline-Ransome.
Clem can make anybody, even his grumpy older sisters, smile with his jokes. But when his family receives news that his father has died in the infamous Port Chicago disaster, everything begins to fall apart. Clem’s mother is forced to work long, tough hours as a maid for a wealthy white family. Soon Clem can barely recognize his home—and himself. Can he live up to his father’s legacy?
In her award-winning trilogy, Lesa Cline-Ransome masterfully recreates mid-twentieth century America through the eyes of three boys: Langston, Lymon, and, now, Clem. Exploring the impact of the Great Migration, the Harlem Renaissance, Jim Crow laws, and much more, Lesa’s work manages at once to be both an intimate portrait of each boy and his family as well as a landscape of American history.
21 Questions: A Novel by Alexandria Rose Rizik (ISBN-13: 9781684630875 Publisher: SparkPress Publication date: 08/03/2021, Ages 13-17)
In Laguna Beach, California, sixteen-year-old Kendra Dimes is preparing for the 2010 USA Surfing Prime West. She’ll be competing this year in honor of her brother, who was a surfer too, but who died from a drug overdose. Kendra has suffered anxiety attacks ever since her brother’s death, and surfing is what’s been helping her heal.
Brock Parker is the new bad boy at school; he deals drugs to the high school clientele for his parents, who work for a Mexican drug lord. Though Brock and Kendra come from two different worlds, sparks fly when they meet at the homecoming dance—their attraction is magnetic. When they start a game of 21 Questions one night, they begin to learn more about each other—and, surprisingly, about themselves too. But some questions aren’t answered with the whole truth; after all, Brock can’t tell Kendra what his parents do for a living.
As Kendra and Brock experience all of life’s most exciting firsts, they prove that even when life throws you the perfect storm, you can make it through and come out stronger than before. 21 Questions is a coming-of-age journey packed with passion and heartbreak, risk and romance.
The Infamous Frankie Lorde 2: Going Wild by Brittany Geragotelis (ISBN-13: 9781645950578 Publisher: Holiday House Publication date: 08/03/2021 Series: The Infamous Frankie Lorde #2, Ages 10-14)
Tiger King meets Ocean’s 8 in this slick second book in the Infamous Frankie Lorde series as potentially reformed international thief Frankie dives into the dangerous and political world of trafficking exotic animals. Perfect for fans of Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls and Heist Society.
For Frankie, using her less-than-legal set of skills to pull a heist against a crooked real estate mogul with the help of her new friend Ollie was super gratifying, but she’s getting restless now. And with her no end in sight for her dad’s prison sentence, she’s finally coming to terms with the fact that she may be in Connecticut for a lot longer than she expected.
Volunteering at a local animal shelter over school break, Frankie and Ollie hear that there’s a dangerous exotic animal farm supplying Greenwich’s elite with lions and tigers and bears. (Oh my!) Feeling an instant kinship with the endangered creatures locked away in their cages, Frankie makes it her mission to find the perpetrators, free the beautiful beasts, and ensnare the bad guys in a trap of her own.
Fresh by Margot Wood (ISBN-13: 9781419748134 Publisher: Amulet Books Publication date: 08/03/2021, Ages 14-18)
A hilarious and vulnerable coming-of-age story about the thrilling new experience—and missteps—of a girl’s freshman year of college
Some students enter their freshman year of college knowing exactly what they want to do with their lives. Elliot McHugh is not one of those people. But picking a major is the last thing on Elliot’s mind when she’s too busy experiencing all that college has to offer—from dancing all night at off-campus parties, to testing her RA Rose’s patience, to making new friends, to having the best sex one can have on a twin-sized dorm room bed. But she may not be ready for the fallout when reality hits. When the sex she’s having isn’t that great. When finals creep up and smack her right in the face. Or when her roommate’s boyfriend turns out to be the biggest a-hole. Elliot may make epic mistakes, but if she’s honest with herself (and with you, dear reader), she may just find the person she wants to be. And maybe even fall in love in the process . . . Well, maybe.
Only If You Dare: 13 Stories of Darkness and Doom by Josh Allen, Sarah J. Coleman (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9780823449064 Publisher: Holiday House Publication date: 08/31/2021, Ages 9-12)
Thirteen chilling short stories to keep you up at night—but only if you dare.
You never know what’s out to get you. Though you might think you’re safe from monsters and menaces, everyday objects can turn against you, too. A mysterious microwave. A threatening board game. A snowman that refuses to melt. Even your own heartbeat has its secrets. Thu-thump. Thu-thump. When you stop to listen, each beat sounds more menacing than the last.
Master storyteller Josh Allen brings thirteen nightmare scenarios to life in this page-turning collection that’s perfect for budding horror junkies. In his wondrous world, danger waits behind every doorway . . . even in the most ordinary places.
Eerie illustrations by award-winning artist Sarah Coleman accompany the stories, packaged in a stunning hardcover edition complete with glow-in-the-dark jacket. Readers will sleep with one eye open!
Poison for Breakfast by Lemony Snicket (ISBN-13: 9781324090625 Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation Publication date: 08/31/2021)
A new stand-alone adventure—appropriate for all ages—by Lemony Snicket, one of the twenty-first century’s most beloved authors.
For more than twenty years, Lemony Snicket has led millions of young readers through a mysterious world of bewildering questions and unfortunate events. With this latest book—a love letter to readers young and old about the vagaries of real life—longtime fans and new readers alike will experience Snicket’s distinctive voice in a new way.
This true story—as true as Lemony Snicket himself—begins with a puzzling note under his door: You had poison for breakfast. Following a winding trail of clues to solve the mystery of his own demise, Snicket takes us on a thought-provoking tour of his predilections: the proper way to prepare an egg, a perplexing idea called “tzimtzum,” the sublime pleasure of swimming in open water, and much else.
Poison for Breakfast is a classic-in-the-making that—in the great tradition of modern fables like The Little Prince and The Phantom Tollbooth—will delight readers of all ages.
Middle School Bites: Out for Blood by Steven Banks, Mark Fearing (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9780823446162 Publisher: Holiday House Publication date: 08/31/2021, Ages 8-12)
Tom the Vam-Wolf-Zom is back—and so is the werewolf that bit him—in this monstrously funny series about a boy who’s dying to fit in.
Eleven-year-old Tom was bit by a vampire, a werewolf, and a zombie right before the first day of middle school. It was a weird and crazy day. And he didn’t even get excused from sixth grade!
Now he’s being hunted down by the werewolf that bit him. Should Tom join a wolf pack? On the one hand, he could give up school and homework forever. (He really doesn’t want to do his history report.) On the other hand, he’d miss his band, his friends, and Annie, his maybe-possibly-someday girlfriend. He might even miss his big sister, Emma.
Then the vampire that bit him returns with a warning: the werewolf is dangerous. Perhaps Tom should stick with sixth grade—even if it’s mostly talent show disappointments, detention, and chicken-turkey-salami-roast beef sandwiches.
Created by an Emmy-nominated writer for SpongeBob, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, and CatDog, this hilarious series is illustrated with clever, cartoon-style art on every spread. Perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Last Kids on Earth.
Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain (ISBN-13: 9780593403969 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 08/31/2021, Ages 14-17)
A teen girl disappears from her small town deep in the bayou, where magic festers beneath the surface of the swamp like water rot, in this chilling debut supernatural thriller for fans of Natasha Preston, Karen McManus, and Rory Power.
La Cachette, Louisiana, is the worst place to be if you have something to hide.
This tiny town, where seventeen-year-old Grey spends her summers, is the self-proclaimed Psychic Capital of the World—and the place where Elora Pellerin, Grey’s best friend, disappeared six months earlier.
Grey can’t believe that Elora vanished into thin air any more than she can believe that nobody in a town full of psychics knows what happened. But as she digs into the night that Elora went missing, she begins to realize that everybody in town is hiding something—her grandmother Honey; her childhood crush Hart; and even her late mother, whose secrets continue to call to Grey from beyond the grave.
When a mysterious stranger emerges from the bayou—a stormy-eyed boy with links to Elora and the town’s bloody history—Grey realizes that La Cachette’s past is far more present and dangerous than she’d ever understood. Suddenly, she doesn’t know who she can trust. In a town where secrets lurk just below the surface, and where a murderer is on the loose, nobody can be presumed innocent—and La Cachette’s dark and shallow lies may just rip the town apart.
The Splendor by Breeana Shields (ISBN-13: 9781645673224 Publisher: Page Street Publishing Publication date: 09/07/2021, Ages 14-17)
The Splendorisn’t just a glamorous hotel, it’s a magical experience that gives its guests the fantasy fulfillment of their dreams. But The Splendor didn’t make Juliette’s dreams come true. It ruined her life.
After a weeklong stay, Juliette’s sister, Clare, returns from the hotel changed. Her connection to Juliette—the special bond they once shared—has vanished. In a moment of hurt and frustration, Juliette steals their meager savings and visits The Splendor herself.
When she arrives, she’s taken in by the lush and sumptuous hotel. But as she delves more deeply into the mystery of the place, and how they make their illusions work, she grows more and more uneasy. The Splendor has a seedy underbelly, but every time she gets close to discovering something real, she seems to hit a wall.
Meanwhile, Juliette meets Henri, an illusionist who lives and works at the hotel. Henri’s job is to provide Juliette with the same Signature Experience he gives all the guests—one tailored fantasy that will make her stay unforgettable. As he gets to know her, he realizes that not only is he ill-equipped to make her dreams come true, he’s the cause of her heartache.
The Problem with the Other Side by Kwame Ivery (ISBN-13: 9781641292054 Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated Publication date: 09/07/2021, Ages 13-17)
A searing YA debut that follows the joys, complexities, and heartbreaks of an interracial romance between high school sophomores that blossoms during a volatile school election
Uly would rather watch old Westerns with his new girlfriend, Sallie, than get involved in his school’s politics—why focus on the “bad” and “ugly” when his days with Sallie are so good? His older sister Regina feels differently. She is fed up with the way white school-body presidential candidate Leona Walls talks about Black students. Regina decides to run against Leona . . . and convinces Uly to be her campaign manager.
Sallie has no interest in managing her sister’s campaign, but how could she say no? After their parents’ death, Leona is practically her only family. Even after Leona is accused of running a racist campaign that targets the school’s students of color—including Sallie’s boyfriend, Uly—Sallie wants to give her sister the benefit of the doubt. But how long can she ignore the ugly truth behind Leona’s actions?
Together and apart, Uly and Sallie must navigate sibling loyalty and romantic love as the campaign spirals toward a devastating conclusion.
CW: Acts of racism and bigotry, racist language, and gun violence are portrayed in this novel.
Not Here to Be Liked by Michelle Quach (ISBN-13: 9780063038363 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 09/14/2021, Ages 13-17)
Emergency Contact meets Moxie in this cheeky and searing novel that unpacks just how complicated new love can get…when you fall for your enemy.
Eliza Quan is the perfect candidate for editor in chief of her school paper. That is, until ex-jock Len DiMartile decides on a whim to run against her. Suddenly her vast qualifications mean squat because inexperienced Len—who is tall, handsome, and male—just seems more like a leader.
When Eliza’s frustration spills out in a viral essay, she finds herself inspiring a feminist movement she never meant to start, caught between those who believe she’s a gender equality champion and others who think she’s simply crying misogyny.
Amid this growing tension, the school asks Eliza and Len to work side by side to demonstrate civility. But as they get to know one another, Eliza feels increasingly trapped by a horrifying realization—she just might be falling for the face of the patriarchy himself.
Big Boned by Jo Watson (ISBN-13: 9781989365298 Publisher: Wattpad Books Publication date: 09/21/2021, Ages 12-17)
Can she be herself in a one-size-fits-all world?
Lori Palmer is the new girl at Bay Water High, where students prize glossy hair, beach bodies, and school spirit above all else. She misses her old school—where her talent as an artist carried more weight than she does—and longs for her old family life, before her parents got divorced and her mom reinvented herself.
So Lori decides that the only way to survive the rest of the year is to blend into the background, but her plans go awry when she discovers that the most popular (and hottest) guy at Bay Water High, Jake, is a volunteer at her brother’s school. When her brother befriends Jake’s sister, Lori is suddenly thrust into his unfamiliar and exhilarating world of water polo, parties, and stargazing.
But with her relationship with her mother deteriorating, old anxieties resurface and Lori finds a new artistic release that unknowingly ignites a powerful movement. When the authorities start asking questions, Lori realizes that finding her voice might have gotten her into a world of trouble…but sometimes standing up for what you believe in is as important as standing up for yourself.
Pencilvania by Stephanie Watson, Sofia Moore (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781728215907 Publisher: Sourcebooks Publication date: 10/05/2021, Ages 8-12)
In this illustrated, modern take on The Phantom Tollbooth meets Harold and the Purple Crayon, author Stephanie Watson beautifully explores grief and creativity through an unforgettable fantasy world.
Ever since she first learned to hold a crayon, Zora Webb has been unstoppable. Zora draws hamsters wearing pajamas and balloons and Lake Superior and pancakes and hundreds of horses. Her drawings fill sketchbooks and cover the walls of the happy home she shares with Frankie and their mother.
But when Zora’s mom is diagnosed with leukemia, everything changes. After months of illness, she dies, and with her goes Zora’s love of creation. Desperate to escape the pain, Zora scribbles out her artwork. Her dark, furious scribbles lift off the page and yank Zora and Frankie into Pencilvania, a magical world that’s home to everything Zora has ever drawn. And one drawing—a scribbled-out horse named Viscardi—is determined to finish the destruction Zora started.
Viscardi kidnaps Frankie, promising to scribble her and all of Pencilvania out at sunrise. Zora sets out to rescue her sister, venturing deep into Pencilvania—a place crawling with memories, dangers, and new friends. If she is to save Frankie, Zora will have to face the darkness that both surrounds her and is inside of her.
Crossbones by Kimberly Vale (ISBN-13: 9781989365793 Publisher: Wattpad Books Publication date: 10/05/2021, Ages 14+)
Never trust a pirate.
The Blood Bell tolls, marking the death of the pirate king and the start of the Trials—a heart-stopping competition where the reward is the Bone Crown. Only one contender can claim the coveted island throne; each will gamble life and limb to win.
Captain. Sister. Maiden.
Csilla Abado yearns to prove her strength to the seasoned pirates who balk at her youth and to her elder sister who has always craved Csilla’s captainship. She will risk everything to become the first pirate queen, no matter the cost.
Dealer. Son. Legacy.
Kane Blackwater wants to leave behind the dirty gold and shady trades he’s made to keep his father’s ship, the Iron Jewel, alive. The Trials represent a new beginning—yet rumors of a secret heir are swirling, threatening his hopes of becoming the pirate king.
Stowaway. Daughter. Storm.
Lorelei Penny longs for nothing more than to avenge her mother’s death. Stowing away on the Iron Jewel was supposed to get her closer to the killer, but instead she finds herself caught up in the deadly battle where loyalty and desire collide.
Csilla. Kane. Lorelei. Each on a mission. The sea, however, has other plans. Dark tides are rising, and if they aren’t careful, they’ll surely drown.
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About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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